August Rush

Okay, let me be clear up front that I am not really going to be discussing the movie “August Rush” today, delightful though it may have been (though let’s be honest, I pretty much watched that entire movie solely for glimpses of Jonathan Rhys Meyers). No, this is more of an homage to the general feeling I have today which is along the lines of:

HOLY CRAP IT’S AUGUST?!?!?!!!??

This year has been flying by. I know how cliche that must sound for me to say (write?) out loud, but it’s true! I cannot believe that the year is already almost 3/4 of the way done. They say time flies when you’re having fun so… way to go, 2012! August is a particularly important milestone month for me because lots of stuff tends to happen to me in August. Par example, in August of 2010 I started this blog. And last August, I started my new (day)job. The fact that yet another anniversary is about to pass for the first thing and my first anniversary is impending for the second really puts into perspective how much time has passed over this last year.

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Pensive Daxter is pensive. Also, I have since trimmed his ears.

I’ve mentioned before that the fact that I can easily look back on exactly what I was doing/saying/thinking/eating (heh) a year ago is one of the things that I love most about this blog. While I may not always want to remember everything, keeping this blog is like keeping a scrapbook of my life… that anyone can see at any time. Okay, so it’s not perfect, hahaha. But what can I say? I’m a bit of an emotional exhibitionist, so sharing my formative years (er, if you consider 22 – 24+ formative) with the interwebs is really okay with me. This is why I feel like I would make a really good celebrity. I just really like it when people pay attention to me. 😛

In case you were interested, by the way, here is the post from this day last year. It includes puppy pictures (look at how TINY my sister’s dog Oreo is!) as well as sushi. So clearly, not that much has actually changed.

Originally when I started thinking about the fact that a year has already passed, and I’m about to celebrate HISTG’s second birthday, I started to get a little sad. After all, I’m still not at “goal” weight. In fact, I haven’t really lost any significant weight all year. But then I smacked myself in the face (true story) and told myself to get over it. After all, who cares if I meet some arbitrary deadline? I’m still much healthier now than I was two years ago, and my relationship with my body, my weight, and myself is still growing and evolving. I am confident that I will get to place where I am truly satisfied with my weight and appearance (I hope, at least!) so I don’t need to be apologetic for it taking a little longer for me to get there than I had originally planned, right?

I don’t want to have to apologize for doing things my way, in my own time. Two years ago, did I think that I would ever get to a point where I could run in a 200-mile relay across the state of Massachussetts? Did I think that I would be able to make regular exercise part of my routine? Absolutely not! And that is progress, my friends, as I’ve said time and time again.

I’ll reiterate, just so no doubt or confusion circulates, that I do still have goals and intentions to lose more weight. You know, to find that true “happy” weight of mine, because I still am above the threshold. I still don’t completely LOVE my body right now. I would like to tone up, flatten out, and maybe drop just one more elusive size. But just because you don’t actively see it here doesn’t mean that I’m not still making an effort (even if it’s a slightly less focused effort at present moment, admittedly). It will all come in time.

I feel like in the past, I’ve spent every self-reflective, anniversary-ish post pretending to celebrate my accomplishments but in reality, I’ve been regretting the things that I wasn’t able to accomplish. “If only I had gotten my act together sooner, I’d already have long since been at my goal weight!” “I wish I hadn’t ever done X, or gone to Y, or wasted my time with Z!” Well, no more! There is absolutely no point in regretting my past – it’s what has shaped me into the (totally awesome and modest) person that I am today. Every year has brought me something new, something to grow from, something to celebrate. And I can’t wait to see what’s in store for this next one.


2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

Televisionary

I make no secret of the fact that I love TV. Despite all of my attempts to counteract my true nature, I’m really a couch potato through and through. It is for this reason that for the better part of two years living in my house, having a TV took precedence over having a usable desk.

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Here’s a closer shot (from a different, messier occasion) of that whole situation:

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Er, yeah. Now, before you think that this is going to turn into some kind of resolution-y post about cutting TV out of my life, think again. I love TV. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with enjoying both quality programs and a few guilty pleasures. I am never going to be one of those people who just “doesn’t watch a lot of TV”. Pass! But I do think it’s important to make the distinction between how I view TV now, versus how Old Gretchen viewed TV.

I fully admit to being the kind of person who would actively pass up activities to watch TV. Believe me, I know how sad that sounds. I would decline going out to dinner so I could catch one of my favorite shows and nix heading out with friends on the weekend so I could clear out my DVR queue. All that sitting and TV-watching really worked up an appetite too, so I would spend hours literally resting on my laurels while I ate chips and cookies and pizza and… well, you get the general idea. Mindless eating in front of the television is something I still struggle with.


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After we made the decision to cut out cable (and all live TV access) from our household, I did cut down on my hours logged in front of the boob tube. That said, I do still watch a lot of TV. Though I have kicked quite a few shows off of my list, I still vigilantly watch The Vampire Diaries (duh), Glee (not 100% sure why lately), and all the Thursday night NBC sitcoms (Community, come back!) the day after they air. I’ve really gotten into Once Upon a Time this season, and I squee with nerdy hipster delight at Zooey Deschanel in her show, New Girl. Netflix streaming has also proven to be a powerful friend.


Can’t. Handle. So. Much. Pretty. (source)

I guess the biggest difference between the old and, er, current me when it comes to this aspect of my lifestyle is that I am no longer willing to sacrifice other parts of my life for television. Except for the occasional episode of The Vampire Diaries following a particularly gasp-worthy cliffhanger from the week before (IT’S SO GOOD.), I would never pass up meeting a friend for dinner or going out to an event just so I could sit in and clock out in front of the TV. I even finally got a mount (a Christmas gift from my brother!) to put the TV on the wall and give myself a real desk like a real(ish) adult!

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And to use like I’m a real writer. 🙂 Of course, let’s ignore the fact that now my TV is situated perfectly in front of my bed, and focus on the desk-clearing aspect.

In grand scheme of all the changes I’ve made in my life thus far, this one is probably pretty insignificant. Maybe if I had kicked the TV bucket completely it would seem more… monumental. But I do think it’s a nice representation of all the smaller things that get affected when you make one large change. I made my health a priority, and it hasn’t meant giving up the things that I enjoy. It just means being smarter about them. I used to use TV as an excuse to not have to interact with the rest of the world, to hole up in a private place where I could wear stretchy pants all the time and nobody would mind my stomach rolls. I love living my life now. And the lingering bits of television? Well, they’re just gravy.

What is the one TV show (or two, or six) that you just can’t seem to kick?