The pressures of blogging

I’m inspired to write this blog because of Hollie’s blog today! Actually, more of it was because of the comments.

I’ve been blogging for a long, long, looong time (14 years now, nonstop for the most part). My blog is always about what’s happening in my life. The three tags I used on every blog are “life, personal, blog.” I have never felt any blogging pressure. I have no desire to become some famous blogger. I mean, it’d be nice to get paid to go on cool ski trips or other “healthy living blogger” adventures, but I’ll just save my money and do those things if I really want. Ain’t nobody got time to be blogging e’ry day. I blog whenever I feel like it about whatever I want. And the blogs I like reading most are the ones who do just the same.

I don’t understand the “pressure” (from the internetz) to post about some exciting event. Do adults really expect that any other adult is going to have anything that exciting to say? I mean, I think my life is pretty cool, but most of my blogs are just like, “I went to the gym and did no set workout, then I drank coffee like I do every day, and then I worked like I do every day. I still hate my job. Maybe today I went to Boston or Providence, or maybe not. I think I’ll just go watch Real Housewives now and go to bed.” Every day. Is that exciting? No. Hello, we’re Americans. You know we spend like 98% of our lives working and 2% of our lives trying to clean the house and cook food. And we probably aren’t even going to have social security when we’re old and then we’ll all be poor and miserable, even though we worked so hard our whole lives (unless you’re just living off the government, in which case, you should not be reading my blog- you should be job searching).

Is there really pressure to come up with something that exciting? Or so much pressure that you need to post what you eat every day (the consensus among the general population is no- we do not care what anybody eats every day, especially when it’s all just prepackaged gluten free food- at least post something exciting)? Or your favorite thing Fridays? Sometimes I actually like those. I like to know what people like. I even sporadically like to know what people eat, but not their yogurt and oatmeal every day. Really? Boring. I actually do still like reading about people’s workouts unless they’re annoyingly obsessive, like say, over CrossFit. I still hate CrossFit people who just want to talk about how cool their workouts are and their new “I love snatches” and Reebok shoes. Come on guys, I wore Reeboks in kindergarten. You’re not cool.

I like to read about people I relate to and who share about their real lives. I’d rather read, “I was so tired today that I skipped the gym and then sat in my disastrous house eating bon bons and watching Parenthood reruns all day on Netflix. And now I feel like a disgusting cow and hope that tomorrow I’m motivated to do anything, but I might just eat more bon bons and wallow in misery” than, “I made it to the gym at 5am today for the millionth time even though I was exhausted and then I ate broccoli and celery all day.” I struggle. I struggle to make it to the gym, to feel happy about my job, to have a marriage with no arguing, to save money, to plan a life… Don’t you want to connect with people on a level deeper than just sharing a love for Noosa (which is something to bond over cause it is the best, but still)? I mean, everybody could love Noosa, but that doesn’t mean we can actually be friends.

I feel like blogs should be a glance into your life. Even some more “famous bloggers” (paleomg!) consistently have comments about how much they love her blog because she talks about her life and not just recipes. People are just a bunch of voyeurs. They like seeing what happens in other people’s lives. Why do you think Facebook and Instagram are so famous?! It’s a quick and easy way to know what other people are doing! So there shouldn’t really be any pressure to come up with something exciting for a blog… People actually seem to be satisfied just reading about your mundane, boring life. Unless you’re just some asshole, then nobody cares.

 

Advertisements

My first gym selfie & travel nurse updates

This morning (Monday morning- it’s midnight after work) I was really NOT motivated at the gym at all. I ran 0.5 mile (yup) and then did legs. I actually managed to get through back squats, deadlifts, and good mornings fairly well but by the time I finished that short leg workout, I was over it. After a few quick pull ups and an ab workout, I was out the door. But not before taking my first gym selfies ever. And last. Look at how awkward I am. How do you even pose for a full body photo of yourself?

photo-7

Helloooo long torso and short legs! And lack of hips. I rarely look at photos of myself and think that I look like I’m only 5′, but I look pretty short here. Every time I’ve weighed myself lately, I’ve been 101.4lbs, so this is right around that weight, I’m sure. I don’t really weigh myself much and only do if a scale happens to be in the bathroom I’m in. If I ever get back to 105lbs, I’ll do a comparison photo. But I doubt that’ll happen cause it takes a lot for me to gain weight.

After the gym, I had an interview for a job in Portland, OR. I was technically offered the position from my paper profile but wouldn’t accept a position without speaking to the manager. I have to be honest, the manager did not sell me on the job. I expected some sort of info about the hospital but she said, “I was told you wanted to speak with me” and then let me take the entire lead and provided very unimpressive answers. It seems like their nurse/patient ratios are good and it’s either 2p-2a or 3p-3a shifts with mostly block scheduling. That sounds pretty good to me, however, the pay leaves a little to be desired still. The one benefit of it, which I initially was really put off about, was that this is an 8 week assignment. I really want 13 weeks, but Portland is going to be rainy and once it snows, I can’t hike the surrounding mountains because of the snow (unless I learn to drive in snow). Since the start date is October 13th (earlier than I wanted), I would be finished before Christmas. Jon can come up and we can take a California road trip (TAHOE IN WINTER!) and I can fly home to work before my next assignment, all over Jon’s Christmas break from school! Score! So, I think I’m going to accept it and then Jess is going to work on getting an ICU/ER position in Portland or Salem for the same time. Also, if the weather sucks, we can move on to our next assignment earlier! I think New Mexico may be next!

My second to last night at work was fantastic! People have been bringing me food to work and tonight it was actually something healthy! Then the Panera crumb cake showed up, but that wasn’t actually for me. I just ate a lot of it. It was a slow night at work and I enjoyed plenty of snack breaks and chats with my coworkers! Definitely going to miss them! They really are a fun bunch to work with! I’m bummed to be leaving here in the fall too! I bet it’s beautiful in the fall up here!

I’m about to get in bed, enjoy the 50 degree weather, and relax for a bit. My energy level is still lacking so I think tomorrow will either be a nice rest day or perhaps a day in Boston. Not sure which, but the weather has been great so I’d be fine with either!

Lazy Monday Morning

Happy Monday! Two shifts of work left for me and then I’m headed on out of here! I’ve been working the last 3 days and go in again at 3. I’m currently laying in bed and I’m too lazy to get up. Alternating 3-11 and 9-9 shifts is wearing me out. I got up for a second and decided that I wanted to enjoy the comforts of my bed a little longer before starting my morning!

I considered skipping the gym today but I’m trying to get myself over just skipping the gym. I always enjoy my workout when I go and have made it two weeks without skipping the gym at all, so why start now? I’m going to have to miss it a few times this coming weekend while Jon and I take our weekend trip and drive home! I haven’t decided yet what to do about the gym while I’m home and when I head out again. Anytime Fitness is all over the US, so I could do that, but there actually isn’t one near me in Atlanta. I already paid a month at my CrossFit gym there that I never use, but CrossFit doesn’t always line up with my schedule, especially since that one only had 7:30am and noon (and then evening), but that also doesn’t always work for me… We’ll see! I want to keep up with going to the gym but am not going to stress too much about it in the two short weeks that I get to be home.

Speaking of the weekend trip, I’m excited for Jon to get here! We meet Friday morning in New York and head out to hike/camp in the Catskills until Saturday evening. I’d like to camp more, but we’re staying with his friends again near NYC so he wants to get some time to spend with them also, so Sunday we’ll head into the city with them. Monday we’re driving home, with a stop at Shenandoah National Park, since we’re not in a huge hurry to get home!

Once we get home, we have a roommate! She moved in yesterday so it’ll definitely be different in our tiny house to have another person in such close proximity for the two weeks that I get to spend at home! Regardless, I’m super excited to go home and see everybody again! I was hoping for 3 weeks at home, but have a potential job lined up and may not get to enjoy that full amount of time. I’ll find out shortly, if I even accept the position.

I guess it’s time to drag myself out of bed and head out to the gym! Something about laying in bed his morning feels even better than it usually does! Maybe it’s the 57 degree weather!

My first year after college!

I’ve been a college student for the last TEN YEARS! I finished my bachelor’s in May and hope to go back to grad school next fall, so I’m trying to soak in every moment of my one measly year off school.

Today I made it to the gym, which means I’ve gone for the last 2 weeks without missing any days unless I worked 12 hour shifts (I work 2 of them a week). The gym is closed already when I get off work at 9 so they get to be rest days. It seems so much easier to make the gym part of your schedule when you’re not in school! When I was working full time (and going into overtime on a regular basis so that I could pay my tuition) and then coming home to do school work, plus having my house to keep up, food to make since I try to eat moo-Paleo at home, and have some sort of social life, the gym was always the first to go. I obviously really value being active and healthy, so it really sucks that I let that slip so easily, but sometimes it just feels like something’s gotta give!

It is so incredibly nice to be able to wake up when I want, meander over to the gym for a nice morning workout, and then come sit down and enjoy the world of blogging and eat my homemade breakfast and a nice cup of coffee. My free time belongs to me. I don’t think I even had free time in the last 10 years. I really think every second of every day was taken up by a laundry list of things that needed to be done. This is the first time I’ve been able to just relax on my days off! It really makes me dread grad school, but I really want to get my master’s so I guess I need to just suck it up.

Hard work pays off. But then again, not working so hard really pays off too sometimes. I think in the last few weeks, my cortisol levels have decreased. I say that jokingly kind of. I have no idea what my cortisol levels are. But since I live in a pretty constant state of stress (hello Type A), I imagine my cortisol levels will contribute to a death 10 years early.

I am so envious of people who finished their bachelor’s in 4-5 years and then have just taken the last 5-6 years to enjoy life! I know ended up taking 1 1/2 years off of school because of the Army (by the way- I count this time as my college years because I wasn’t enjoying my life during basic and AIT and my deployment, while it was relaxing, I was definitely not living my life how I wanted) and went a nonconventional route of finishing my ASN (associate’s in nursing) and working full time while getting my BSN, but still…

I bet they have enjoyed far more cups of coffee without some schoolbook in front of their face!

photo 1-6

My mornings like this are the best… And I kind of dread the days where my cup of coffee is enjoyed over research papers and discussion postings.

photo 2-5

And to end this, I really love this breakfast food. One smashed banana, two eggs, some vanilla, cinnamon, whatever… Scramble it like scrambled eggs and it’s the best. These are the same recipe as Paleo pancakes (although I make my pancakes way better) but for lazy people who don’t have time to sit and make them turn into pancakes. It tricks you into feeling like your getting bread for breakfast too because it just kind of has that consistency to me. Satisfies me. I have the best food ideas.

Survey time!

Name/Age/Location

Hiiii my name is Liz! I’m 28, closing in on 30 (I think this blog will have to change to at30something when the time comes). I’m currently in Plymouth, MA on a travel nursing assignment but my home is in Dunwoody, GA, just north of Atlanta! ATL represent.

082

 From The Westin.

Family

This part is so fun now that I’m married! On my side, I have my mom and dad (happily married 33 years), my oldest sister Tonie and my oldest brother KJ, who are technically my half siblings. Then I have my sister Annie and her husband Pat, and my favorite (and only) nephew Tank! I also have a brother, Jake. And I’m the youngest! (As we’ve talked about, I have youngest child syndrome, which is why I need a blog to talk about my life.)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

These are definitely not the professional pictures and the only picture I have on my computer with Jake is one where he’s messing with his glasses. My oldest brother, KJ, wasn’t at the wedding because of his job! But there’s my cutest little Tank!!!!

On Jon’s side (my husband), we got lots of little ones in the family! His mom and dad are also happily married, also over 30 years. His oldest sister Jessica is married to Ryan and they have our youngest nephew, Levi! His next to oldest sister, Rebecca, is married to Brad and they have our only niece, Zoe, and another nephew for us, Slade. Zoe was the first baby on both sides 4 years ago and Jon and I definitely have a soft spot for her! Next up is Jon’s twin sister, Jamie Lynn, who is married to John and has a son named Micah and is pregnant again with another boy. Jon’s youngest brother is married, but his wife is pretty much nonexistent, and he has a son, Devyn.

P1010653

The only one not pictured here is David’s wife.

Jon and I have two fur babies, Tom and Fluff.

60673_10100137754795592_5961732828430629109_n

I’m going to try to find them cat sweaters so Jon and I can take family Christmas photos this year, but as of now, we don’t have a family photo with my main loves.

Work

I’m a pretty baller ER nurse. I kid. But I am really an ER nurse. I have worked at my main job for the last 4 years, 3 of them as a nurse. All 4 in the ER. And now I’m traveling around doing ER nursing and will return to my job at the end!

15911_965775282142_1372082971_n

The only picture of me I have at work!

Hobbies

I have a new found love for hiking! I’ve been doing day hikes here and there for awhile, but now I want to hike all the time! And I want to hike big things and do long hikes, not just easy peasy day hikes!

IMG_2118 2

TRAVELING! I think this should be number one! I LOVE to travel. Love it. Love everything about it! Below was my very first trip out of the US that I ever took, to Switzerland (on top) and Italy back in 2007! I’ve wanted to see the world ever since!

1929398_508892184332_5342_n

1929398_508892753192_9852_n

And of course, the gym. Is that lame? The gym for real. I started working out on deployment in 2008 and started CrossFit when I got back in 2009. I’ve done CrossFit off and on since then and have been at globo gyms off and on since then too. I love different things about my own gym time and CrossFit, but I’m thankful for a nice, healthy body thanks to both!

906118_10200769547950736_74508634_o

And lastly, I love doing anything with my friends. Although I am fairly good at being alone, I crave my friend time and am always so extremely happy to spend time with them! I don’t care what we do, I will be happy! I’m definitely happiest with my high school bunch, Crista (my only really close non high school friend in Georgia), or Jess (my nurse travel buddy).

abf6d0b09b5611e3be511244bbeab6f1_8

Favorite food

If I’m going out to eat, Mexican and sushi! But in all honesty, I prefer eating at home, and I don’t have a favorite food at home. I tend to cook everything healthy and I mostly only enjoy it because it’s good for me. There are things I’d rather eat, but don’t really have a favorite.

photo 5

Favorite color

Green. I just love everything green. Bright green, dark green, forest green, any green.

Standard coffee order

Well, I mostly drink my Keurig. My favorite are Brown Sugar Cake k-cups (from Target). I tend to get mochas if I’m out. All time favorite though, European coffee.

999984_873357128662_1667375524_n

 In Croatia with Laura last year, loving our 2+ coffee breaks a day to cool off! (And that’s my cute thumb splint from when I tore my ligaments.)

Standard bar order

Fireball whiskey and sprite. Hands down my favorite. But I also really love beer, although I tend to go easy on the beer because of the old tum tum.

10606133_10100140064956012_468958963083958559_n

My favorite beer is Weihenstephaner Hefe. Pictured on the right, but not in the correct glass.

Places I shop

Banana Republic outlet! Most definitely. And Von Maur.

10325418_10100101828063052_8033734659904200714_n

Hello Von Maur dresses. The best. Especially for people my size.

Bedtime/wake up time

Whenever. I work a big variety of shifts, so it totally depends. At home, I would be in bed by 11 on work nights and up at 5:15. On days off, in bed by 11-12 and up around 9-10. These days, I go to bed anywhere from 12-3 and get up anywhere from 7:30-10.

Beauty products I can’t live without

I really like Almay. I love my Almay liquid eyeliner and would probably be lost without it. I would also be lost without concealer for under my eyes, powder, and bronzer. And as for hurr, I use S Factor leave in moisturizer and Aveeno leave in conditioner every single time I wash my hair. So those two as well. And I need my Vaseline for my chapped lips.

What I blog about

Myself. Duh. Cause I’m the best! And about my boring working out, my boring job, my boring marriage, my boring cats, and my boring food. Sometimes I throw in a fun traveling post, but not much lately.

IMG_2660

First blog I read

Let’s take this back. I don’t actually know. I started blogging at 14 (yup, before it was cool). I actually used to read Amy Lauren’s blog back in high school! Aside from that, I don’t remember all of them, although I am actually friends on Facebook with some of those bloggers from back then!

How did I start blogging

I have no idea. I started on Kiwibox, which is now a completely different type of site. Back then it was a “journal,” not a blog. I started this blog because every blog I’ve ever had was anonymous (except for live journal, and if you know my old name, you can still google it and find it). I started reading public blogs and decided to start this and stop sharing all my dirty little secrets! So here we are!

Why I blog

Youngest child syndrome.

Thursdays with Liz!

Well well well!!! These last few days have been pretty much filled with snot and exhaustion. Pleasant, I know. I actually never fell asleep on Monday night since I skipped the Benadryl and then spent all night in a snot filled misery. I called out of work Tuesday and felt pretty under the weather all day. I managed to make it in for a quick workout at 7:45 at night since I felt like I had restless limbs. I did a very easy mile run and some minimal lifting and felt 100x better when I left. The power of the gym.

Yesterday I ended up working 9-9 to make up my hours that I missed. I came home and worked on learning parabolas.I called Jon last night and we went over some basic exponent stuff that I never seem to keep straight. We were trying to figure out if normal people really do well on the math portion of the GRE. I mean, history majors take the GRE (and nurses, who clearly don’t need to know any of this math). I’m sure they never had to take very advanced math courses. I just don’t want to take it and completely bomb the math portion and then get a terrible score on the GRE.

Anyway, today I wanted to wake up early but that definitely didn’t happen! Life is exhausting when you’re sick. I slept till 10:30 and then headed out to the gym. I ran 3 miles on the treadmill (luckily, nobody else was in the cardio room while I blew snot bubbles into my shirt, #imsosexy) and then did some lighter squats with pauses at the bottom. I’m trying to continue working on my form (it has improved a ton over the last year) and the pause at the bottom helps stretch me out. I did some abs and then just some random stuff before stretching it out and calling it a day.

I made it home and showered and got ready in 15 minutes before heading out to meet Jessica and Baby Jonny (her boyfriend) for breakfast! It’s nice to enjoy time with other people since I feel a bit socially isolated here still (which is really okay for the most part!).

Anyway, now here I am, enjoying my Marylou’s, just dreading the days when Marylou’s is no longer close by.

photo 1-5

I can’t believe tomorrow marks my ONE WEEK left in Massachusetts! Ah! The time has flown by and I’ve grown accustomed to my coworkers! While I still get frustrated by this job at times, I am so thankful for the wonderful people I’ve met! I am really kind of sad that I will probably never see any of them again! But that’s the nature of travel nursing, I suppose! I’ll be on to new adventures with a new group of people, hopefully that are just as great as the ones here! I told them all that for each of the next 5 shifts I work, I expect going away surprises (mostly in the form of food)! We’ll see who remembers my demands!  In all seriousness though, it has been a great 13 weeks, although I haven’t forgotten how much I hated it when I first got here and am dreading learning a new charting system again in the very near future!

And in even more positive news, tomorrow marks ONE WEEK till I get to see my husband!

1934077_540928273752_7494204_n

Throwback to 2009 when we first got home from Iraq! This was at one of our post-deployment events in Chicago! (Side note: This was an unplanned throwback, I am not a #tbt kind of girl.)

Have a great day, everybody! I’m off to start cooking for the next 4 days of work!

Counting calories. Counting protein. The pointless “diet.”

I just read a blog about a girl who is trying to lose weight and get toned. She’s majoring in all these molecular sciences and says that she knows the science behind how to lose weight. Fantastic! Awesome! BUT, the only thing she tracks on a daily basis on her blog are calories and protein.

In general, I totally disagree with tracking your food intake by using calories, fat, carbs, anything. Unless you are an elite athlete of sorts or use your body to to an extreme, I think it’s pointless and that it’s unhealthy. It puts an emphasis on your intake and when you emphasize something for long enough, it becomes an obsession. I don’t think obsessions are ever good for you, especially with food.

I’m not against tracking for a week or so to see where you stand. Actually, it’s probably good to know your general intake at times. In the past, I’ve tracked everything and gotten a general idea of where I stand. I think the emphasis on intake should be how you feel and on eating real food.

I’ve been building muscle over the last five years, and when I quit working out or eating my normal amount, I lose weight. When I start working out and increase my food intake (because I’m hungry from working out), I build muscle. I am still building muscle now. How do I know? I can see it. I make gains in my weight lifting. Do I have any idea how much protein I eat on a daily basis? Not a clue. I don’t know how many carbs I eat. I don’t know how much fiber I eat. I don’t even know how many calories I eat. I pay attention to what I put on my plate and make sure I’m eating nutrient rich foods. I’m not some crazy athlete. I’ve gone through periods where I lifted heavy and worked out about 10 hours a week, and still made strength gains. I now have weeks where I spend 0 hours at the gym and weeks where I spent 7-8 hours at the gym. On gym days, I make an effort to increase my intake because I know I burned off more energy and need to refuel. On days where I don’t work out, my intake is still healthy (typically), but less.

Now, say, if I was going to the gym and doing the same lifts and never increasing my weight or never seeing any physical gains, would I look at my diet? If I was constantly tired and drained, would I look at my diet? Absolutely. Then I would think something in my diet is lacking because clearly, I’m dragging. Gains aren’t happening even though the physical work is there. And then there will be more than just looking at protein. Am I lacking because I don’t have any carbohydrates so I don’t have the energy to lift heavier? Do I need more protein? Are my chicken sausages just not enough?!?!?!

I just don’t get the point of picking ONE thing to track. You want to track protein? Well, what about cholesterol? What about fats?! (Fats are SO important!!!!) In the blog I just read, I saw hardly any fats at all. The omelets were egg whites (who doesn’t eat the yolk anymore?! It is so good for you!). There were plant of veggies and some tofu, but not much else.

I’m glad that nutrition is becoming more recognized these days. I haven’t decided if it’s because I surround myself with healthy people so of course I see health related articles and statuses all over Facebook or if it really is becoming a big deal all over the US! Staying fit and eating real food is really the only way to turn the healthcare industry around and to lead long, healthy lives. For the average person, this means doing anything active and making sure your plate consists of plenty of different colors that didn’t come from a box. In time, you learn how to pay attention to your body and to how you feel. You know what to eat and what not to eat and don’t have to count to figure it out…

(Again, people with exceptional fitness goals here are exempt from this belief… Fueling a body for 26.2 miles of running or becoming the next Ironman may take a little more nutritional planning.)