Sunday, December 12, 2010

Surviving The Holidays

Most people trying to lose weight or be healthy dread this time of the year. I, on the other hand, am starting really enjoy it!

In years past, I would use the holidays as an excuse to fall off the wagon. I’d have Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family, eat way too much and then feel guilty about it for weeks convinced that I’d failed my diet. So this year I built a provision into the health plan allowing myself a few days of indulgence.

If you have been reading my blog since I’ve started the “healthy” thing then you’re already aware that I track everything that I eat in an iPhone App called Loseit!! But on special occasions such as this, my anniversary, Christmas, and other stuff like that, I’ve decided not to hold myself to a daily calorie count. This doesn't mean that the entire day is a free for all, I’m still going to make smart choices and track it but the treat is not having to feel guilty for it.


I spent this past Thanksgiving in Pataskala OH with my boyfriend and his family. They live out in the country and have a barn full of horses. I love animals so this suited me just fine! While I was there I tracked as much stuff as I could but since I wasn't the one doing most of the cooking (thanks Mr. V) I wasn't able to control it. So this is where I started changing the thought process for the holidays.

The biggest simple thing I did was take a very small helping of everything. Turkey one slice, a small spoon of sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes, small serving of stuffing, small spoonful of green bean casserole, spoonful of gravy, Even two slices of pie, one pumpkin the other pecan, and wash it down with my favorite drink ever, Woodchuck hard cider. I think you get the picture here. I didn't even feel stuffed when I left the table. To redeem myself a little throughout the trip I did a bit of walking around the property with Nate and the Dogs. And his mom gave me my first riding lesson which apparently burns a butt load of calories. 

Me Riding Classy

So there you go, Thanksgiving conquered! And I didn't do anything too ground breaking. Of course the next day it was back to eating healthy so no guilt involved at all.

One of these days I'd like to have the families over to my place for the holidays (any holiday really) and in that circumstance I'll be doing the cooking so I'll have complete control over the meal. After doing a little research online I've found it fairly easy to sub in healthier alternatives for the classics. I have found a couple of online recipes  here and there and all I had to do was Google "Healthy Holiday Meals". Try it sometime, you'll be shocked! Another neat little trick I learned for surviving the calorie splurge during the holidays pertains to going to parties. If your friends are anything like mine then just about everybody brings a home made side to the party so that the burden isn't all on the host. So do something healthy for yours. Again consult the Google for this one.

There's just one more thing that I thought I'd share with you today. It's a huge victory for me. Yesterday I spent a good hour or so trying on everything in my closet. I'm happy to report having an almost empty closet now. I still have about 4 pairs of pants that fit thanks to saving some of my sister's stuff that was way to small for me. I have about 3 cute shirts, a couple of sweaters etc. I should have taken a picture of the damage done to display what I'm talking about here. Of course there are a few thing that I will never part with because of sentimental reasons, and others that I'll have taken in because I love them but it feels great to have a huge pile of Salvation Army Donation, sitting on my chair waiting for drop off. My only problem now is deciding weather to buy new stuff or wait it out because I still have about 20 more pounds to go before my goal and I'd hate to purchase a new wardrobe only to have to replace it in another few months. However I did place an order for new pijamas at Victoria's Secret last night in a size Medium!

Well I'm about done making your eyes burn for now, Have fun shopping in the coming weeks and try to skip the eggnog for hot Chocolate.

I leave you this week at a total of 20.2lbs lost so far. Oh and I've found a picture of me at my worst..... so as soon as I get a decent picture of me where I'm at now I'll post the comparison!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Community Supported Agriculture

Hello again,

I touched on this subject a little bit the last time I posted but I'm sure I got a few of you a little curious about what this is. In a nutshell all you're doing is cutting out the middleman... his name is your local grocery store.

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is your way of buying produce directly from a farmer. As a consumer, you buy a "share" of the farm and then every week you drive over on whatever day the pick up is and they hand you a box of the weeks fruits, veggies, flowers and whatever else they offer. Now this is a little different from going to a grocery store for a few reasons.

1) You don't get to pick what you want. When I told my mom about this the other day she said that this would make her nervous only because she'd be afraid to get stuff she didn't like or wasn't familiar with. I, on the other hand, love this! I would totally loose my damn mind if I had to eat salad every day as my veggies. This would actually challenge me to learn how to cook a different array of things and as a result become a better cook. See earlier blog!

2) Your produce is Fresh! You know how you know this? Because when you pick it up... your friendly farmers are probably still covered in dirt from pulling it out of the ground that morning or the evening before.

3) When your veggies are incredibly fresh like this, they are packed with way more nutrients because they didn't lose them all ripening in the truck from whatever greenhouse they came from.

4) Your produce will be totally packed with flavor! Especially if they came from an organic farm. I can't explain why because I'm not smart like that but I'm very quickly learning that in order to cook delicious food, half the battle is finding the right stuff. More on this topic a little later.

There's a website that I really believe you can learn a lot from called Local Harvest. Spend a little bit of time here going through the information that they have. It helped me along quite a bit and because of it I found Serenbe, which has a story of it's own.

Last week my lovely boyfriend and I celebrated one year together. For a while neither of us had any idea what we wanted to do for the evening and while we were doing the research on CSA's we stumbled upon their Inn..... and the community, and the trails, and the stables.... and, well.... we were both pretty enchanted by the place. We ended up staying in the Dogwood Cabin and it was very nice.

We got there fairly early in the day and the lady at the front desk wasn't sure if the room was ready yet so she suggested that we go check out the The Blue Eyed Daisy. Serenbe is host to 3 different restaurants. The Daisy is one of them, they also have The Hil, and the grand daddy of them all is the Farmhouse located at the Inn. It's only open on thursday-sunday. Each one of them pull produce directly form the Organic gardens, most likely that morning. The Blue Eyed Daisy is a bakery offering up both the sweet stuff and standard standard lunch items. I had a veggie burger and it was delicious! I can't remember what Nate had.... but he left his plate empty so I'm assuming it was delicious. It felt pretty good eating food that I knew came form  mostly up the road.

The next place I'm going to talk about is where we had our Anniversary dinner... the Hil. If you haven't clicked on the link above yet go ahed and get that out of the way now, and do a little reading. You won't regret it. Health food aside for just a second, this is how your food is supposed to taste. Our starter spinach salad wasn't too big nor was it drowning in dressing. And you know that gritty taste you get with spinach normally, nowhere to be found! There was a soft cheese on top as well that was so flavorful and creamy it melted in your mouth.

We ordered our main courses and asked our waitress for a wine recommendation for our  entrees. She wasn't totally sure but said she'd ask the chef for us. To be honest, even if she just brought us grape juice it wouldn't have changed the fact that the food was amazing! I had the lamb with risotto. It was easily the best meal I've ever had in my life. Nate had the veal and it too was delicious (I did like mine better though!) This, my friends, was the meal that made me believe that you need to pick the right produce in order to cook the best meals. We followed dinner with dessert, which isn't part of my being healthy plan but if you don't do it every once and a while you'll lose your mind!

One little neat note about Chef Hillary, she spends her spare time helping out in the Organic garden. So she's not only the Chef but the gardner too!

Words will never really tell you how I felt about our getaway to Serenbe but if you ever feel the need to treat yourself or go out and celebrate for an evening, or even head out for the day hiking, drive out that way if you're in the Atlanta area because you won't regret it.

This week we also decided to buy our very first Farm Fresh Eggs. I'd driven past The Country Gardens Farm many times before on my travels to Peachtree City (via Lower Fayetteville Rd) but never had time to stop. It's a neat little place and thy have lots of stuff for sale there. Included are, plants, eggs, chickens, beef, goat, milk, and even produce when they have some in season. I can't say much for the other stuff yet but we dug into those eggs this morning for breakfast and they were delicious. So if you are in the Newnan area give them a call before you drive out and see if they have any extra. Or just call in advance to reserve a dozen.

I'll leave this blog today telling you only to do some research and keep reading labels. The more of it I do the happier I am about the choices I make. And this only makes me want to do additional research, so it's a great cycle to be stuck in.

As of this morning I'm down 18 Pounds.... It's almost time to go clothes shopping, mine don't fit!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Lessons in Cooking

So lately I’ve been doing a little more cooking at my house. Of course the reason behind this is that I’ll be able to keep a better eye on what types of things make it into my stomach.

I’ve always loved cooking. Can’t explain why but there’s something really rewarding about looking into your pantry/fridge surveying your options and creating something delicious despite the mixed array of goods available and tossing the cookbook out the window.

At the beginning of this whole weight loss journey my boyfriend and I took stock of everything in my fridge and pantry and weeded out all the bad things from the good things. Lots of stuff got thrown in the trash.... like my mustard which I went looking for the other day after making a turkey sandwich. But all for the better. The mustard had way too much sodium. Even my Tahini didn’t make the cut because of the fat content. That one was hard to part with especially since I love making my own hummus.

So while weeding through all this stuff we of course used a bit of a guideline. Anything that was really high in sodium or fat was tossed. Calories counted too but only to a certain extent. If the food was high in whole grains or had a bunch of nutrients in it then it stayed. So after spending a good half hour on this little project I had an emptier looking pantry and a sad looking fridge. So off to the grocery store we went. This time armed with the book “Eat This, Not That! Supermarket Survival Guide”



For those of you who aren’t yet familiar with the above mentioned book, you need to be. As a matter of fact, quit reading my meaningless blog, get in your car and head over to a bookstore. Because really these guys know what they are talking about and I’m just paraphrasing. Start with the original “Eat This, Not That (ETNT) 2011” version. It’s packed with so much information your mind will explode. And if a bookstore isn’t your thing then head over to Amazon.com. I’m sure that you can find a better price over there.



So anyways after reading the “Supermarket survival guide” I’ve learned a few things about grocery shopping. There are a few simple rules that I will briefly go over with you but seriously guys read the books or at very least sign up for their newsletter. 



Grocery Guide



1) Even if the label claims “No Trans Fat” be sure to read the label, If it contains partially hydrogenated oils theres trans fat. AVOID AT ALL COSTS! Manufacturers can claim it’s trans fat free so long as there’s less than 0.5g per serving. It’s recommended that your body only take in 2g of trans fat a day. Do the math here, that’s 25% of your daily value and you’ll never know its there until you read the label.



2) Read the Label!!! It’s the ONLY reliable writing on the whole package. If it sounds like a chemistry experiment you probably shouldn’t subject your body to it.



3) Make sure you’re getting what you pay for. If you’re buying pre mixed guacamole, make sure that avocado is the first ingredient on the list. If you can’t pronounce the first 5 ingredients, run!



4) You should never accept a bread or crackers that doesn’t contain at least 2g ofFiber per serving, There is absolutely no reason for omission. They’re made from grains.



5) Watch out for sugar! It’s in EVERYTHING that it shouldn’t be in. And sure it’s true that your body can’t tell the difference between sugar and high fructose corn syrup, and that it’s ok in moderation, the stuff is everywhere! Kind of hard to take it in moderation if it’s even in your bread.



6) Vegetables will always be the freshest and most nutrient packed when picked in season. My favorite place to buy my produce right now is from the “Atlanta State Farmers Market” in Forrest Park GA. I found it on a website that I’ll be sure to add to my recommended websites list over there on the right. Another fantastic option is to participate in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). You buy a share of a farm and at the end of every week they send you home with a basket of their weekly pick. There’s also a website for that which I will be posting. The nearest one to my house is a place called “Serenbe Farms” I will be checking it out later on this week.



Well there’s a solid starter list of rules to follow next time you shop around for food. I know that I feel way better about what goes into my body as a result but even more fun is making stuff up with all the new fare. And I wanted to share with you two of my new favorites!



Grilled Apple and Eggplant Salad



You will need

1 Eggplant

4 Lg Apples of your choice

2 cloves Garlic

Chive to taste

1/2 Cup Olive Oil



Cut the Eggplant into 3/4 inch patties and remove the skin. Cut the Apples into 1 inch rings (you will want to core them as you go along). Fire up your grill and get it nice and hot. Brush both sides of each piece of eggplant and apple with a little Olive Oil and put ‘em on the grill. Now close the lid for a bit and go inside. With whatever olive oil you didn’t use Mince the garlic and Chives then add them to it. You can remove the Apples and Eggplant when they are nice and soft. Dice these up into chunks to your liking then put them in a large bowl. Toss them with the olive oil herb mixture then serve.



The other new creation I made was an omelet for breakfast. These days omelets have turned into an excellent way to ruin your day with grease.



2 Eggs

1/4 Avacado

1oz Goat Cheese

Pam Olive Oil cooking spray

S&P or any other spice you want for variety



Put your favorite omelet pan on the stove (should be a smaller pan) use medium heat and spray it lightly. Crack both eggs into a glass and beat them silly. In another bowl combine the Avocado and goat cheese until they are really well blended together you can even add fresh minced garlic to this if you’d like or any other spices. Once your pan has gotten up to temperature dump the eggs into it. At this point I like to sprinkle a little Mrs. Dash Chipoltle salt free mix on it but feel free to get creative here, after all it’s your breakfast! Try to not touch the eggs too much with the spatula because you want to keep them in a circle. Once they are fairly cooked through try to flip it over all in one piece. I’m really bad at this most of the time but I totally believe in you! Now take the Avocado/goat cheese mixture and spread it over half of the eggs. When you’re done fold it in half and transfer it to a plate. Then Enjoy



Those are my two biggest gold stars in the kitchen so far and I’m pretty proud of them. I’ll be keeping track of the delicious stuff that I cook and when I feel like it I’ll share a few with y’a as well.



I won’t keep you up reading much longer but before I peace out for the night I want to mention that I’m officially down 16lbs since the beginning of the “End” of my journey! If you have downloaded the “Loseit!” app on the iPhone then feel free to friend me!



Candice A


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The new blog theme..... BEING HEALTHY!

About 3 weeks ago I was on the phone with my mom and she was telling me about some of the health concerns they are facing with my dad right now. He’s pre diabetic and as far as I can tell from a recent visit out west, he’s taking several different medications. For what exactly, I’m not sure, but one thing I know for certain is that by the time I’m 50 I sure as hell will not need them!



Now I wasn’t really raised in a health-conscious household overall and over the years it’s showed. I remember dinners where at times my plate was piled higher than a 7 year old’s should be, and we were expected to finish it or no “My Little Pony’s later!” so we did. But our greatest downfall growing up were snacks and sweets. We always had them around. We also always knew where they were hidden in the house.



Step back to the summer when I was 17 just before I had Moved out to Utah. This was when I was at my heaviest. Since I was too embarrassed to step on the scale I actually have no idea how much I weighed at this point but I’m going to guess I was at least 220 lbs. I was definitely at least a size 20 in women’s clothes and this meant I always had to shop in the plus size area. At this point I still had no idea that I wasn’t eating properly. Since then I’ve yo-yoed up and down the scale for years. Dropping weight during the ski season from being more active and getting the occasional cold and back up again when I got stressed out.



But here I am now at about 180lbs which is actually the weight I used to lie about and put on my drivers license. This is still about 16lbs away from a healthy BMI. 



On October 3rd I downloaded an application for my iPhone called Loseit! They also have a website for those who don’t do Apple. This application tracks everything. Sodium, cholesterol, fat, all the important stuff! I have to say... I was a little shocked at how much sodium I was putting into my body. As a matter of fact... I’m a little mad at myself for eating some of the stuff that I did.......



“Dear Body, I’m sorry for being an asshole. Sincerely, the Idiot”



........ My body has been owed an apology for a while.



I’m learning that education is everything when trying to lose the weight. My boyfriend and I were walking through the Memphis airport one day and pulled off at a bookstore to kill a little time. While I was skimming through the Humor section, he found a book called “Eat This not That” It’s a series. I’m not too sure which one he pulled out but it looked really interesting. It compares different foods that are essentially the same in order to help you decide which ones are healthier for you. One week later I found a few of these books in the Houston Airport and decided to get the Restaurant Survival Guide. At very least I can make better choices when I eat out. In the Airline industry, you end up eating out a lot as a condition of spending days at a time away from your kitchen.



I started reading it right away and couldn’t put it down. Page after page was filled with valuable information about ways fast food restaurants trick your mind into eating more. From the lighting, to the packaging, to the value meals, even the taste of the food. Have you ever noticed how all their food tastes similar? This is done intentionally so that you savor it less and inhale it down. So now we know the real reason why they call it fast food!



These books also expose which restaurants refuse to disclose all the nutritional information about their food leaving patrons with only calories to go on. Assuming the patrons even care about what goes into their bodies. And on that note, the establishments who do disclose everything have nothing to be proud of. I’ll never eat at another Outback Steakhouse as long as I live. The fat content alone in the majority of their food is enough to make me lose my apetite.



So here I am on what is going to be the last time I will every have to lose weight. You can follow my blog if you like. I’ll do my best to keep it honest and I’ll post any awesome resources that I find. 



And to the one dude who has been following my blog this whole time without it having a real purpose, I’m sorry in advance if this is a little off the beaten path!


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Allow me to elaborate

One of my most recent facebook status says something about me being on the verge of realizing a life dream.... It's scary and I'm certain that I've left some of you scratching your heads. Let me tell you what actually happened...

About 2 weeks ago I called the Coweta County Deputy Sheriff on my asshole neighbor. I'm sure you've all heard me bitch about the guy underneith my unit who thinks his place sounds better as a nightclub than a home residence. I disagree... and the law was on my side that night!

Prior to the phone call I was talking to Kayla about it on MSN..... OK so I was swearing a lot. Something along the lines of "This is total bullshit! There is absolutly no reason why I shouldn't be able to fall asleep peacefully in my own home. Fuck this shit I should just buy a place!!!"

So for shits and giggles I ran a few numbers just to see what I can afford.... turns out that I can afford buying a house! A real honest to god house.

Step back for just a second though.... you know how everyone has a list of life goals that they want to accomplish? Well mine reads something like this (not necessarily in this order)

-Set foot on all continents
-Skydive
-Get Married
-Fly Aerobatics
-Become a pilot at out west
-Buy a house
-stay healthy
-look hot in Vintage red satin dress

Again not exactly in that order but you get the idea. It's not every day that you have the oppertunity to realize one of your life dreams and in the past few weeks I've found myself in a place where the house thing may actually happe. Now this just sounds insane to me so I went looking for other opinions. I like to be an informed consumer so the very first thing I did was hit a bookstore and get a guide of some kind to help me along my way. I read almost half of it in one night. But books aren't enough I need some real world advice.

You know who will tell me this is a bad idea if it really is... My parents. So the next day after having my new revelation I gave mom a call. Explained everything and waited to see what she thought. She didn't think it was a bad idea entirely, merely told me to do my research and gave me a laundry list of things that I need to consider before moving foreward. So what will dad think? Even he didn't talk me out of it. And Dad's been known to talk me out of good ideas (at least he tries to sometimes) so if even he didn't try to talk me out of it, I can't be crazy for thinking I could do this.

Only need one more opinion really and that's my bank. I have a history with them. Every single loan I've ever taken has been with them and I even have a revolving line of credit with them so we're on relativly good tearms, which is a good thing. I sat down with one of their Morgtage specialists to talk about my finances and what I can afford. To my amazment I'm a good candidate for a loan! She gave me all kinds of paperwork with facts, figures, closing costs and whatnot and explained how I can change my closing costs to make them smaller, or if I want to make my monthly payment smaller how I can do that and what I can do for a downpayment.

I went home after all this in a daze and tried to let it all sink in. If all my calculations are correct I can start looking for a place to live. The "good book" gave me a few ideas of where to start my search online and off I went. Now do I want a house or a condo. I immediatly wanted a house since I'm dying to have a yard again to nurture my green thumb. But after a couple of discussions with my family they talked me into looking at condos. All dreams aside, the reality is that I'm not home very much and the responsibilities that go with having a house are pretty time consuming.

I was originally looking at places in Newnan since I already live there and the transition would be easy. Then I started thinking that maybe I could get a place downtown Atlanta. Having a social life again would be amazing! But then I got to thinking how would this effect my flight school stuff. I was a little worried about having to transfer to PDK and loosing my instructor. So I gave him a call and threw it all on the table for him. He told me to definatly go for buying a place if I could and not to let anything hold me back. Just consider driving times and there's no zoning thing. I could attend any location that I desired. But if he were in my position, he'd be looking in Peachtree city or Newnan.

Why hadn't I thought of looking in Peachtree City? That's where I'm learining to fly and it's not that much of a drive to work either. Guess I didn't think that I could afford it. I did a quick search and while the selection was definatly more limited there were a handful of condo available in the area. The one that caught my eye was a Tinsley Mill. It's very rustic looking and has a cottage getaway feel to it. There's no way that this is real. Must be a mistake that this property is listed at such a low price. Turns out it was bank owned and therefore in Foreclosure. Also unfortunatly banks aren't the best at updating their listings so it was under contract already by the time I found it. Damn... But I found a realtor in the area who was in the know about the area and gave me a call to say that there is another unit in there that isn't on the market yet.

Maybe I shouldn't get ahed of myself talking aobut a condo that I may not be able to buy because it's out of my price range. But I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't totally excited that the lady knows my limitations and is willing to let me take a look at it anyways. I'll drop by there on tuesday at noon. The realtor told me that this is a nicer property than the other one that I'd been drooling over anyways. This one had a lake facing view and the lady who had move into it made a few renovations in the short 3 months that she'd been there. For fun I'd taken a look at the price of actual houses on Lake Peachtree and my jaw hit the floor.... $200k on the lower end!

So OMG I'm totally on cloud 9 right now as I'm on the verge of realizing one of my life reams.. and I'm only 25.

Wow........

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Summer Cleaning

A few days ago I found myself going though all kinda of stuff at my home. Long story short, I'd worked up enough nerve to ask a guy out and while waiting on a reply I nervously cleaned house. I came across a book of poetry that I'd written and hadn't seen in a really long time.

I remembered that I used to write poetry often to get thoughts out of my head and into a place where they could be organized. A means of therapy if you will. I flipped through the pages, all the trials and turmoils of me being a teenager right there in my own writing. It's remarkable to see how far I've come in life since then.

As I read through it all I couldn't believe how sad and lonely I was. How unsure of myself I was, and how lacking in confidence I was. All qualities that no one I know today would use to describe me.... I hope.... lol.

Of course I wouldn't mention that I write poetry without sharing some of it. This one written when I was about 18-19ish

Once Again I feel a frusteration in my life
Sometimes I the pain I feel cuts through me like a knife
I hate myself, I hate my life, I hate the way I am
I hate that I hate these things, strong I used to stand
I never had these feelings untill I moved to this damn place
My heart it used to be so full but now there's lots of space
I don't know why the people here don't like the way I am
I guess they're just not used to me, I'm from another land
It's not fair that I have to suffer 'cause they're all stuck up
I've only been here a year and I've had enough
It's frusterating to feel disliked when deep inside I know
I am fine the way I am, It's them who need to grow
They almost sucked me in and for them I almost changed
I read their books and found some of their teaching is derranged
All I want to do is go back to how I was
Find the ground I need to stand upon and rise above
For now I'll have to tough it out and deal with all the pain
It hurts right now but one day I'll find a break in all the rain


This was one of the least sad poems that I'd written. Even as far as I am in life right now I still don't quite feel like sharing the darker side of where I was in the past. But still not too fun. The next one I'm going to share is one that I'm positive that a lot of people can identify with. Ever really like someone but can't tell them.... yeah been there done that!

Within...

Why am I always happy when you are in the room?
And whever you are smiling I end up smiling too?
It's strange for me to feel this way and I fought it really hard
But it fought back and here I am feeling light of heart
I wish that I could find the nerve to get to know you more
Every time we talk, I choke, I fell I'm being a bore
I don't know why I can't tell you what's going on inside
It feels like when I think of you two sides of me collide
At first there is this hopeful fool who deams the day away
She longs for you and wonders how your love would change each day
The other side is weary of this, cautious and insecure
To her the mirror reflects a face that no one would call pure
I wrestle with this every time I fall for anyone
I get myself so damn worked up, it's hard to come undone
So this is what I think of you, each day these feelings grow
Too bad I'll never find the nerve to ever let you know


Place long sigh here right? There are at least a dozen or so different poems in this book. All of varying degreese of humanity. There are even a couple in there that I havn't finished yet. Of course at this point in my life I no longer have the modives I need to finish them. This is good news, truse me.

So now that I have this book back in front of me and out in the open I think that I'm going to make an effort to write more positive stuff. Maybe some of the new exciting things that are going on in my life. That's not to say that I won't have shit happen in my life and won't feel like taking it out on a piece of paper but there's more to life.

Now not all of the poems in this book are bad ones. Even as a teenager I'd made up my mind that there were bigger things taking place in the world that I may never wrap my head around....

The Meaning

I think that I know but I cannot explain
The meaning of life is complexing yet tame
I feel so alive, I feel so free
There's so much I havn't done yet so how can this be?
This time is so precious, each hour, each minute
The clock keeps ticking and I loose myself in it
It's amazing to lie down and just hear yourself breathe
My heart beats strong and in it I believe
The heart has a voice, what it says you must do
No matter how crazy, trust it, it knows you
When you let go of logic and let your heart lead
You will scare yourself shittless but be less in need
Material things like power and money
Aren't that important, they're comically funny
When you stand back and look and what they've done to the Earth
You'll smile at knowing your life has more worth
The first step to learning about life is that leap
But after that step, life is yourse to keep


That one is a little more reflective of the girls that stands before you today.

I thought that I'd share a little bit of that with all of you. Nothing really that big but I felt like writing and thise seemed like a great place to start.

Now off to bed I go!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Catalyst

A friend of mine just recently had a saying in her Facebook status that contained the phrase “If someone is dumb enough to walk out of your life, be smart enough to let them.” This is a good piece of advice really. I wish someone had told it to me a few years back….. It could very well have saved me some tears.

A few years ago I found myself dating a guy who I was really very fond of (yep it even turned into that stupid love thing). He had a good sense of humor, gorgeous eyes, and best of all we had that communication thing down to a damn near science.

Eventually our life paths branched in different directions and we decided that ending it and remaining friends in the meantime would be a good idea. He wanted this a little more than me, but I tried to make myself be ok with it. After a few weeks, and many tears on my pillow, I found myself visiting him for the 4th of July. After a week of mediocre visiting I was back on a plane to Salt Lake. At that point I was unemployed and in between seasonal jobs as usual. I didn’t know it at the time but this particular day would drastically change the rest of my life.

Cruising along in the sky, I found myself gazing out the window contemplating life and what went on during this past week. I was also trying to figure out a means of employment since I was running out of money. I also tend to get stir crazy when unemployed.

The Flight Attendants had just started their service and I watched them work for a little bit. They poured drinks, smiled at people, made small talk and answered questions. Seemed pretty simple…. nothing to it.

hmm, I could totally do this, I bet the perks kick ass too!”

The plane landed and I literally hit the ground running. I almost couldn’t apply fast enough. Three and half months later, I started Training at ASA to become a Flight Attendant. What can I say? When I get an idea in my head it sticks until complete!

I was so excited; I called my “friend.” He was genuinely very excited about my news and couldn’t wait to hear more about it. And what was he doing… managing a fast food place.

“… Well good for you. Manager of an establishment that isn’t suitable for eating at unless you are either hung-over or still sufficiently drunk.” I had a hard time faking enthusiasm but did it out of the goodness of my heart anyways.

The Airline industry scored me damn near free world travel. Anywhere, anytime I want, I can hop on a plane, you know, because it’s Wednesday and I have nothing better to do. I can even go back home to Canada and see friends or family whenever I damn well please. (That’s the best part by the way!)

Flight attending also created a new curiosity in what goes on when the cockpit door closes and the pilots do their thing. This resulted in me taking a Flight Intro and just like that, I was hooked. I needed to find a way to do more of this flying thing. In hindsight, I should have perhaps picked Ecstasy as my new addiction. It’s a much cheaper drug than the adrenaline.

Excited about my latest life experience, I had another good phone call with the ex. Again he was really enthusiastic and supportive. You might be wondering what he was up to. The answer was trying to get an “Online smoke shop” going. The inspiration behind this came because he now smoked pot every day. I didn’t even try to fake it this time. Instead I told him that this probably wasn’t the best idea in the world since there are already so many of these online stores to begin with. This resulted in me being hung up on. He never did take criticism well but eventually appreciated my honesty.

I eventually received the funding to start training at about the same time that the ex had received funding to go to college. He’s decided to be a pharmacist. This was good news considering his other ideas. However he was still smoking a lot of pot, so as much as I really would like to be supportive, I doubt that people will want a stoned pharmacist.

The common theme with all of this is that as my life continued to get more and more exciting, his just kind of stayed the same. The further along in life that I get, the less I remember what I ever saw in him to begin with. As more time passes, I care a little less if I ever hear from him. He forgets birthdays, yet texts to say happy 420, drops off the face of the planet for months only to call when he’s on a layover in Atlanta headed for spring break.

I’m thankful that I dated him though. If he had never broken up with me (who are we kidding it was never mutual) I would have never been on the flight home that changed my life. I would have never become a flight attendant and seen the world or gotten curious about flying which turned me into licensed pilot.

But I’m still young and I’m only just warming up, so I’d have to say that the very best thing about him walking out of my life is that he doesn’t get to be a part of my future. That one little day in my past where we ended our relationship and I cried myself to sleep was the Catalyst that got me to where I am today. If only I knew what was about to blossom in front of me over the next few years…..

Damnit! Where’s nostalgic advice when you really need it?

Once Upon a time.....

.... a young lady named Candice had a blog on Myspace.... But I haven't been over there in forever so here I am finally deciding to get one going. Mostly I'll just discuss things going on in my life.... probably won't let it get too personal seeing as how I have family and co-workers on here. No need to create un-necessary gossip about myself. Although.... that could tun into an interesting past time!

Today for the first time in a long time, maybe even ever, I managed to land the DA40 while flying a perfect traffic pattern profile and keeping the airplane in my control. In my past history with this airplane its kind of felt to me as though this thing either had a mind of it's own or didn't like me... maybe both. Don't know what I did to get on it's bad side but apparent'y we're getting along better as of today so that put a nice little smile on my face. I think that in the future I'm going to refer to 673AM as Daisy, just for good measure.

I've been doing a lot of thinking over the past month or so about my future and where it's heading. My attention is starting to get pulled in a thousand different directions. The problem is that I had no idea that there were so many possibilities before me when I started flying these little airplanes. I got into this mess to get a job as an airline pilot where the stupid questions of passengers would turn into a peaceful hour of reading behind a "bullet resistant" door while the airplane flew itself.

The tunnel vision I once had of "Living the Dream" is self destructing into a chaos that many know as General Aviation. The final stick of dynamite was thrown at an event Called Sun n' Fun down in Lakeland FL. The event itself is a melting pot of all things general aviation. I honestly had no idea that there were soo many diferent divisions. Light sport, Ultralight, Warbirds, Homebuilts, Experimental, Antiques.... and the one that I find myself dangerously gravitating toward... Aerobatics! What better way to spend the afternoon than by looking gravity in the eye and saying "F*** you're rules! I'm going that way!" (Picture me pointing at that big blue thing in the air).

I have yet to take my first Aerobatic flight but when I do, I imagine it being much like controling your own rollercoaster. Fast, fun, tumbling, rolls, loops, hammerheads, cuban 8's adrenaline running through my body..... sigh.... soon enough I'll be learning all these moves. It's hard to daydream about this kind of stuff all day only to have to snap out of it and focus on partial pannel flying under the foggles (Foggles= a really ugly set of shades that force you to fly using only the instruments in the panel)

*earlier today*

Instructor "Alright Candice that does it for today take off the foggles"

Me "Thank God I hate these things".... I can't get them off fast enough....

Instructor "Take me back to Falcon"

I begin a standard rate tun to the left, but stop....

Me "Does it have to be a standard rate turn?"

Instructor "....Nope"

I increase the throttle enough to maintain my altitude as I roll into a 45 degree turn and start feeling the G's

Both of us "Weeeee!!!!!"

It was the best part of the lesson.... that and having Daisy and I put our differences aside long enough for me to rock a landing!