The Great Purge

One of my favorite things to do is clean out my closet. Get rid of the old to make room for the new. It can be sad. It took me some time to finally get rid of my old college t-shirts because of the memories we shared together. One from a formal, a couple from date nights, a few from those “special” boys who lent me their shirt (and I interpreted the “lending” to mean “keep forever”). Then those old ratty jeans–you know where each hole and rip came from and they have sentimental meaning. The thought of getting rid of them hurts your insides because it’s saying goodbye to part of your story. Like our closets, we can hold onto too much of relationships if we don’t purge, and if we don’t purge it doesn’t allow us to move forward.

Like the idea of getting rid of that nasty hat you’ve worn since you were in 9th grade, you need to start the purge. Keeping those old connections allows you to have that link to the piece of your life that may be preventing you from moving forward onto new and better things. How do you begin the process?

**FYI this part won’t be easy and will make you feel like you are betraying someone.

  • No reason for that phone number. Delete it.
  • Why do you need to read back over your old text messages? Erase them.
  • If Facebook or Instagram is a temptation either block them or get off. If getting on their account is a problem, tell someone so they can hold you accountable. You’ve crossed over to crazy (you probably know that already but don’t want to admit it to yourself.)
  • Any of their belongings—either toss them or put them in a box and have the person come and retrieve them when you aren’t home or get someone to deliver it to them.
  • Those little urges you get to make contact with that person because something makes you think of them—ignore them. Tie your hands behind your back.

The list can go on and on, but my point in giving you a starting place is because as long as you’re holding on to some part of that person and the “what ifs” is preventing you from moving forward and on to something new and great. Let go and be.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM!

Summer is almost over and I am about to lose my chance of writing about ice cream while it’s still hot outside (but let’s be serious, it’s just raining). Ice cream, let’s do it.

-Somewhat surprising Vanilla is the most popular flavor ice cream at 29% followed by chocolate at 8.9%. Out of 31 flavors 25% of Baskin Robbins sales are for Vanilla.
-First ice cream parlor opened in 1776 in NYC. Wall Street with pigs and an ice cream parlor.
-During the Victorian era, drinking soda water on Sundays was considered improper. As an alternative the idea for ice cream and syrup, but no soda. Out of respect for Sunday he named them sundaes.
-Cookies n’ cream, created in 1983, made with oreos is the fastest growing flavor in history. I love cookies n’ cream!!! 1991 Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough was created. Both are favorites.
-Americans consume an average of 23.2 quarts of ice cream and iced products each year. If you eat at Jujubees as often as I do, consumption is much higher.
-We don’t know how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop, but it’s an average of 50 licks for a scoop of ice cream.
-Old Emperor Nero was the first to crave ice cream. He ordered his slaves to the mountains to collect the ice.
-September 22nd is National Ice Cream Cone Day. Coming up on Tuesday. GET IT

We only carry sizes one, three and five. You could try Sears

There is nothing like looking at yourself butt naked in front of a full length mirror. You start picking things apart immediately. Your legs are lumpy. You’re saggy in strange places. Hair has left some places and relocated in other places. It’s like the scene in Mean Girls when the 4 main characters are sitting in front of the mirror scrutinizing every little thing about themselves, “God. My hips are huge! Oh please. I hate my calves. At least you guys can wear halters. I’ve got man shoulders. My hairline is so weird. My pores are huge. My nail beds suck.” And if we’re honest, we scrutinize ourselves in similar ways. In a culture saturated with images telling us how we are supposed to look, no wonder we suffer from negative body images—men and women both.

While there is no magic potion for a flawless figure, there are things we can do to help improve the way we see ourselves.

  1. What are your triggers? Is it looking in mirrors? Wearing clothes that grab you in your soft spots? Eating in front of people? Looking at the magazine covers in line at the grocery? Whatever it might be, figure it out, and do your best not to engage in the activities that make you feel worse about your body image.
  2. Do something! Get up an exercise. A better body isn’t going to come from sitting around and playing on Facebook or playing on your Xbox. It doesn’t matter how fast you run or how much you can lift, all that matters is that you are moving.
  3. Pay attention to what you eat. Cheeseburgers do taste really good, especially when paired with some greasy fries, but usually after I eat that I need to go home and put sweatpants on, and I’m also pretty sure I can see where it all ends up. It’s okay to eat like that sometimes, but it doesn’t do your body good to make that a regular habit.

These are pretty simple things anyone can do to help improve their body image, but if you find that the problem may be more than these suggestions, you may want to look into getting individual help.

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea

Two nights ago I went to eat with my parents and sister, Cooper. My dad ordered calamari and when they came out, they were pretty large. Somehow through that I was able to convince Cooper that Dad must be eating the giant squid that was found off the coast of Georgia by Tybee Island. Every word out of my mouth was a lie, and she fell for it immediately. In the car on the way home I told her none of it was true, but made me think that squids have never been covered in my weekly research.

-Squids have beaks instead of teeth. I got beaked by a squid in high school when we caught one on our Marine Biology trip.
-The largest squid ever brought in was in Thimble Tickle Bay, Newfoundland and it was 55 feet long weighing 2 tons. Forget the size, the place is called Thimble Tickle Bay.
-Squids have 8 arms. The male has a shorter arm to plant his manly sperm into the female. A lesson in squid reproduction.
-Giant squids eyeballs are the size of basketballs. That’s bigger than my head.
-The ink squids squirt is called sepia
-The Sperm Whale is said to be the only natural enemy of the Giant Squid.
-Along with the Giant Squid there is also a kind called the Colossal Squid which is heavier but shorter than its’ cousin.
-What I think–if we went swimming with a giant squid it would eat us.

Yes! I mean NO! Do I mean no?

If saying “NO” is not an easy thing for you to do, join the club. It’s like we are wired from the beginning to say “YES” to everything. It’s the polite thing to do, right? So, once we start doing that from the get-go it’s a habit and then by the time you’re in your mid-twenties and you are overcommitted and can’t figure out how that happened. I feel like I could be the president of the club most days. And I’ve improved. You don’t want to let anyone down and they need you. Well, who is the affecting more, them or you? My guess would be you because you’ve taken on more than you can chew and it very well could be affecting your other relationships. Your boss asked you to take on another huge project that keeps you after work late, which consequently prevents you from getting home to your spouse or family. Who is taking the hit? How can you confidently say no and not forsake losing your job, friends, family, or peace of mind?

First, check out the book “Boundaries” by Henry Cloud (he’s got books on all sorts of boundaries for all sorts of relationships). He covers everything you need to know to protect yourself while still keeping friends. I recommend it to 90% of the people who walk in my door. We all need it.

Practice saying no. Say it to yourself in the mirror. Say it to your dog. Tell your cat no. Do not be afraid of the word no. You can say it politely, “Thank you for the offer but…”, “How about we revisit this next week…”, “No, I don’t think that’s a very good idea…” No is in the language for a reason. If you give in and you don’t want to, that will lead you to resentment.

Reverse the roles. So, Sally wants to go to drinks and you’ve already committed to Donald to go to dinner. No need to overbook yourself. You might be worried Sally will never ask you to drinks again or her feelings will be hurt. Change the scenario. You ask Sally for drinks, Sally says, “I wish I could, but I already have plans to eat with Donald tonight.” Easy. You understand, so Sally will understand as well. I am sure you make great company, but your friend will be okay if you can’t make it to everything they ask you to.

Does it make you happy? If all of the running around and pleasing other people is exhausting and you find yourself more annoyed than enjoying what you’ve agreed to, take a time out. Do something for yourself. Turn your phone off. Go to a movie alone. Do something you want to do because you want to do it. Not because someone has asked you to or you’re expected to. You can’t always be the volunteer that chairs every event your local college chapter has, the classroom parent who plans all the holiday parties, or the go-to man in your office that gets all the projects. You will burn out.

Remember, NO is not a bad word.

Go on you ol’ Bee Charmer, tell me a good tall tale

Summer time offers many perks and one of those is the fresh seasonal produce. Summer fruit may be the best part of the season. Big berries, peaches, and tomatoes which are truly only acceptable bought at the local produce stand by the weathered man or in a personal garden. Yum. My most favorite are the tomatoes because they are very functional and they have the goop inside that makes them a little messy.
-Tomatoes are really fruits because of the seeds that produce the fruit but in 1963 the Supreme Court ruled that they were vegetables.
-Spelling lesson: singular-tomato, plural- tomatoes (Maybe that was just for me)

-Tomato juice is the official state juice of Ohio. It can also be used to clean pennies
-The jelly substance contains the highest concentration of Vitamin C.
-Tomatoes are the most famous fruit. Go figure. And our neighbors to the east, China, are the largest producers of tomatoes.
-Tomatine (primary alkaloid) can help prevent fungal infection on the skin
-The rich red color means that tomatoes contain antioxidants!!!! It can help prevent prostate cancer and heart disease
-The French originally called them pommes d’ amour (Love apples) because they thought tomatoes had aphrodisiac properties.
-Tomato sandwiches are my favorite kind of sandwich. Bet you didn’t know that.

Settling…and I don’t mean what the settlers did

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a change. Unfortunately, this is what many of us do in relationships. We repeat the same routine time after time and expect the outcome in our relationships to be different. Each time we wind up feeling like things could be better, it’s better than being single, or a number of other excuses for why we are settling on this one individual. Well, until we change the pattern of settling, nothing will change. You are living in insanity.

Take a look at yourself. You’re the one in the drivers seat. You do not have to stay in this relationship, you are choosing to. Why you are choosing to? Maybe it’s because you feel this is the best you can do? It is because it’s your best option right now? If this is what you’re choosing and you know something is better out there, look at the way you view yourself. I once had a supervisor tell me, “Who we date says more about us than it does about them.” In the recent movie, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, this question is addressed so simply and beautifully between two of the characters:

Charlie: Why do nice people choose the wrong people to date?

Bill: We accept the love we think we deserve.

Charlie: Can we make them know they deserve more?

Bill: We can try.

 

The simple answer is, we date who we think we deserve and if you feel like you deserve someone who treats you poorly, then it’s a matter of learning to like yourself enough to make a change. Not settling, not worrying about what ifs, and not being afraid to stand up for yourself.

You have a friend request from Facebook. Would you like to confirm?

What website do I check out and spend far too much time on each week? Yes, Facebook. If you’re on Facebook you likely do the same thing; checking up on people from your childhood who may have a secret fetish, looking at your friends-cousins-little brothers pictures, or stalking that special someone who you found on accident. How else can I keep up with birthdays each week. Here is it, for all you Facebook fanatics. Eat it up…

-Facebook was started in February 2004 by Harvard dropout Mark Zuckerberg and he is now worth 1.5 billion. So much for an Ivy leage education.
-Over 5 billion minutes are spent, or wasted, each day around the planet on Facebook. It is only wasted if it wasn’t productively stalking someone.
-Facebook is a low security website so you should never use the same password as you do for other things. Looks like I need to make some changes.
-People who have over 4,000 friends may have their account shut down with no explanation. Why? It’s a mystery. But really, no one knows that many people.
-You can change your language preference. My personal favorite is English Pirate.  ARRGHHHH
-Psychologists have introduced a new disorder, Facebook Addiction Disorder (FAD). I don’t think that piece of trivia is very credible.
-Facebook employs over 850 people. Comes with the perks of catered meals and 4 weeks vacation and 8 company holidays.
-70% of Facebook users are outside the United States. But not Syria, it’s banned there.
-People who use Facebook mobile are 50% more active than the non-mobile users. I am very glad I am not mobile activated. That may make me even creepier.

What to do with a smothering partner

Remember that time when you were a teenager and your parents wanted to know everything; who you were with, where you were going, if parents were going to be there, how long you would be gone, what you ate, how many words you type a minute? They had good intentions, but the questions were non-stop. You survived that, barely. Well, it can feel similar to that now but you’re not 16 and it’s not your parents being overly concerned, it’s your partner. And it’s 1000x worse.

First, distinguish if it is a matter or control or if it’s grounded in good intentions that are a lot too much? It may even be difficult to tell. If you’ve ever seen The Hangover (I hope so!), Stu’s girlfriend, Melissa, is classic control example. She breaths down his neck and he has to lie about anything that might rock the boat. If you fall into that camp, it’s not just smothering it’s power and control and you want no part of that. If you’re still not sure, the best gauge is if your friends have made comments about it…or if you don’t really have your own friends anymore. Move on.

So, it’s not Stu’s girlfriend bad, but it’s pretty irritating and you can tell they have good intentions but it’s a little much and it’s driving you away. TALK ABOUT IT. Not an easy conversation to bring up, but it is easier than a break up conversation. They won’t know something is wrong unless you tell them. How do you tell them? That’s a million dollar question. I can’t really tell you what to say but I can give you some tips:

  • Be direct: Sugar coating it might make it more sensitive, but it also makes it more confusing.
  • Be concise: No need to be verbose. Shorter the better and, again, less confusion.
  • Give examples: If you don’t cite anything they won’t know what it is they are doing and what you are asking for them to change.
  • Provide some alternatives: The other person may feel attacked and get defensive and be sure they know you know it’s coming from a good place by providing some solutions that would please both of you.

It’s not an easy convo to initiate, but I encourage you to do it if the person is someone you care about and value.

 

“Never eat anything you can’t lift” – Miss Piggy

The end of one more week. Don’t ask me where my idea for the email came from because I don’t know. The inner workings of my brain are a funny thing. I did see a couple wild pigs running down I-16 earlier this summer. Maybe they were hogzillas offspring, I don’t know. I suppose that’s what I picked pigs.

-Wild and domesticated pigs are found on every continent but Antarctica. China is #1.
-The average sow (female pig) gives birth to 8-12 babies. Octamom watch out.
-The average porker eats 5 pounds of feed of day. That equals close to 1 ton a year. Blubbery.
-Pigs don’t have any sweat glands therefore they do not sweat. They keep cool by wallowing in mud. I like wallowing in mud.
-Big Bill, a 5-foot high, 9-foot long Poland China hog, who weighed in at 2,552 pounds is the largest hog on record

-A pig’s orgasm lasts 30 minutes. Thank you, Jenny
-A pig is rated the 4th most intelligent creature (following humans, apes, and dolphins)
-When is a pig a hog? When it reaches 250 pounds.
-NYC once had pigs. Wall Street was named because it ran along the road where farmers built a wall to keep the pigs from straying.
-If you want to out run a pig be sure you can run 7 mph.
-Famous piggies: Miss Piggy, Three Little Pigs, Babe, Porky Pig, Hamm (from Toy Story), and Piglet!