Sunday, January 4, 2015

I'm joining: Show Your Shelves Some Love, No Book Buying Challenge 2015. You got ‘em, now read ‘em!


I decided to join this challenge because I have tons of stacks of books that need to be read. I'm going for the black belt, which means reading 50-plus of my own books. I officially pledged to read 100 on Goodreads. It's probably a crazy goal but I'm going to try!

Reading List: (read so far)
1, 2.) Pollyana and...Pollyana Grows Up by Eleanor H. Porter
3, 4, 5, 6.) Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, Fifty Shades Freed and Grey by E.L. James
7.) Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
8.) Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
9, 10.) Pushing the Limits and Breaking the Rules by Katie McGarry
11. 12, 13, 14. 15) Jaked, Jake Me, Unbelonging, Rebelonging and Illegal Fortunes by Sabrina Stark
16, 17, 18.) Enthrall, Enthrall Her and Enthrall Him by Vanessa Fewings
19, 20.) 2 books I'd rather not share
21, 22, 23, 24.) Torrent, Rampant, Fervent and Vagrant by Gemma James
25, 26, 27, 28, 29.) Bully, Until You, Rival, Falling Away and Aflame by Penelope Douglas
30, 31, 32, 33.) Close Up and Personal, The Berkeley Method, The Director's Cut, and The Final Act by J.S. Taylor

Friday, December 27, 2013

5 year plan -no. 19- read at least 100 books total

This is one of those goals that should not be hard at all for me but probably will. Reading 100 books (of my choice by the way) in the next 5 years sounds reasonable. When I was a little younger I would devour books like candy until the rest of my life got in the way. Now for whatever reason I have a hard time concentrating when I read or carving out the time to do it in the first place, even though I really do enjoy it!

Shortly after I made my goal list I came across this post at the blog Freda's Voice. It's a post encouraging others to participate in a 100 books year challenge.

So I've decided to go for it and do my best to read 100 books in the year 2014. I'm going to link over to the post as a participant and I encourage others to do the same. I think it will be good for me as reading is not only good for my intellectual mind but my soul as well.
This post will be my link back to keep track of the books I have read/am reading. Wish me luck!

Books Read:
1.) Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin

2, 3, 4.) The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
I've been wanting to read these books forever. I love the first two movies so I knew I'd like the books even more. Loved, loved, loved them except.....very disappointed with the ending to the 3rd book. Without giving a total spoiler alert I will just say the "happy ending" was not nearly as happy as it should have been. You could have done anything with this book Suzanne, why did you have to end it in such a 'real-life' way. I was horribly depressed the whole next day after finishing it.

5, 6, 7, 8.) Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer.
I was actually not super impressed by the movies but after reading the books and really liking them I watched the movies again and this time enjoyed them a lot more. I don't care at all that it seems to be uncool now to like these books, I really enjoyed them. By the way Suzanne, Stephenie knows how to end a book correctly, with a super happy, better than reality ending. I'm personally looking to books as an escape, and they don't provide much escape if the ending isn't as described above.

9.) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
10.) Maid to Match by Deeanne Gist
11.) Sixteen Brides by Stephanie Grace Witson
12.) The House by Danielle Steel
13.) Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness by William Styron

+6 books that will remain nameless due to the fact they were basically smut so I'm a little embarrassed. :)

Jan 2015 update:
So that is 19 books total for the year. That is nowhere near the 100 I aimed for BUT it is 19 more than I had read in 2013 so I am proud of myself! In 2015 I'll try again and hopefully get closer than 2014. I have greatly enjoyed getting back to reading and am excited to read even more in the next year!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

5 year plan

So, my health coach (yes, I'm occasionally seeing a health coach) suggested I do a re-start with my goals by doing a 5 year plan of sorts. Specifically she asked me to write down a description or list of where and what I'd like to be in 5 years. It made me think a lot about how the last few years are a blur and how I don't want the next few years to be a blur as well. I made a specific list of goals I'd like to have completed in the next 5 years to give myself some focus.

Here's my list (in no particular order):
  1. Reach my UGW
  2. Start running
  3. Run a 5k
  4. Exercise/gym regularly (3x week minimum)
  5. Achieve a 90% vegan diet (consistent)
  6. Start yoga (again)
  7. Master basic yoga moves
  8. See P!nk live in concert
  9. Get tickets for Blue Man Group (for Joe)
  10. *personal* -relating to relationship with Joe
  11. Take a real vacation with Joe
  12. Go to Silver Dollar City with Mom
  13. Build and maintain an emergency savings fund
  14. Be actively paying on all debts
  15. Start and catch up with Zoe’s scrapbook
  16. Watch AFI’s 100 films/100 years list
  17. Read The Power of Now until I understand it
  18. Read list of “great books” I will compile
  19. Read at least 100 books total
  20. Get a tattoo
  21. Get pink highlights or allover pink hair at salon
  22. Learn to meditate
  23. Practice meditation at least 3x week
  24. Learn to use sewing machine
  25. Get through my Photoshop Elements instruction book
  26. Learn to crochet
  27. Crochet full size blanket
  28. Blog at least 2x week
  29. Reach 500 blog followers
  30. Learn how to take awesome photos
  31. Quit my diet coke habit
  32. Journal at least 3x week
  33. Set up and use a planner daily
  34. Achieve and maintain recovery from my ED
  35. Make and follow a basic meal plan
  36. Try at least 50 new recipes
  37. Put together my own ‘cookbook’ of fave recipes
  38. Achieve and maintain a clean and uncluttered home
  39. Make/do 50 pinterest projects and blog on them
  40.  Have an awesome 40th birthday party

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Chicago News Story about Binge Eating Disorder

Healthbeat Report: Uncontrollable Overeating

What I need to work on (a.k.a. everything about myself)

So maybe this post title is a bit dramatic. I really do feel like I need vast improvement in basically every area of my life though. Here's "the list" of everything I feel that needs work in my life:
1.) I need to recover from my binge eating disorder. This includes:
     a.) eating a healthy amount of calories (1200-1500) daily for my height, frame size and activity level
     b.) finding new coping skills
     c.) developing new habits to replace my highly ingrained ones
2.) I need to adopt as close to a completely vegan diet as possible. This may not be a necessary improvement as far as many people are concerned, but considering how I feel about animals and our current food system it is for me. Plus this diet will fairly easily be super healthy which would surely be a good thing for anyone.
3.) I need to adopt a more active lifestyle. This includes not only going to the gym and traditional workouts but also being more active in my general daily routines.
4.) I need to achieve and maintain a consistent healthy sleep schedule.
5.) I need to live within my means and work towards paying back all my debt.
6.) I need to work on my relationships. This includes refraining from isolating myself and reaching out more.
7.) I need to get organized in my home, my schedule, my time, and my mind! Everything right now feels like chaos.
8.) I need to work on my career. I need to start saving to one day go back to school. In the meantime I need to work at my arts and crafts. If I can support myself as an artist I won't need to go back to school!
If I can achieve these top 8 goals I believe that not only losing 100 lbs but also getting rid of (or at least getting under control) my anxiety and depression would be automatic.
This was a set I put together on polyvore of my New Year's resolutions for 2012.

Pretty much nothing has changed. I think I'm ready to get off my butt and make it change. The only thing giving me motivation is that I'm so sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I am a mess

The other day I was asked how old I was and I had to do the math. That’s how much I’ve been ignoring the passage of time lately. I turned 34 four months ago. The last several years seem like a blur.

I still feel like a teenager in a lot of ways and I still live like one somewhat. I’m married to a man-child that loves to play as much as I do and I’m childless by choice. I worked my way up to management at my day job a few years ago but got overwhelmed by the responsibility and work load. I’m now working an entry level position by choice, despite my bachelor’s degree and almost a decade of experience in my field.

I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety since my childhood. I have good days and bad days but I never really feel “better”. My depression causes me to sleep for days at a time with no energy to do anything productive. It makes me avoid my family and friends and shut myself off from the outside world. Conversely, my anxiety gives me insomnia and late night panic attacks, and paralyzes me from doing anything at all. It prevents me from trying new things and causes me to avoid any social situation that involves those people not in my immediate family.   

me from the front
I’m easily 100 pounds over my ideal weight. I have binge eating disorder, which is the most common but also most un-diagnosed eating disorder in the United States. I started compulsively overeating at the age of 11 and was just a little overweight until the age of 19 or 20, when I started steadily gaining and didn’t stop until I reached 226 pounds on my 5 foot 3 inch frame.

I struggle with hoarding and compulsive shopping. I am an “aspirational” hoarder, buying craft supplies for projects I never start, books I never read and clothes I hope to someday fit into. I have massive credit card debt and I’m constantly struggling with money due to my shopping issues.

I have an addictive personality, meaning I seem to “acquire” addictions easily. In addition to eating, hoarding and shopping I will become obsessed with certain television shows or websites and spend unreasonable amounts of time and energy on them, letting my responsibilities and regular routines fall by the wayside.

I feel like I’ve been struggling for years to “fix” myself, to get organized, to be productive and to really live. I’ll do good for a few days and occasionally even weeks before I fall down the rabbit hole of me again.

I’m turning 35 in eight short months and I really want something to show for it. Next October, a year from now, I don’t want to look back and say the last year was another blur with the same old problems that never got any better.

I’ve had this blog for awhile now and only posted in it occasionally, specifically about my arts and crafts projects, ideas and inspiration. I called it My Altered World because of my love of mixed media and altered art projects. I’ve decided to change it up a little and make it a blog about altering my whole self---body, mind, spirit, home and lifestyle. I still plan to include lots of arts and crafts posts because supporting myself as an artist has always been my dream job, and I intend to keep working on that goal even if I never do make it.

My goal as of now is to post at least 3 times a week. Hopefully I can build up to even more. Please join me on my journey to a better me. I welcome support, questions, and respectful criticism.