Goodbye, Month of No Fear; Hello, August!

I approached a weeping angel. Even took a picture. (Doctor Who fans will understand this fear.)
Sorry I disappeared for a while. After seeing that top photo, my fellow Whovians might assume I got zapped back to 1934, back before laptops and internet and Life is For Living. Sometimes, I wish that were the case. But I've just been too busy to write.

And, well, perhaps a little embarrassed.

The Month of No Fear made me realize something about myself: fears and anxieties turn me to food. Facing a fear each day seemed like a really cool, inspiring, adventurous idea that could only propel me forward. I've been hiding in my shell for too long, and I wanted to venture outward. But I had no idea that shifting my focus from weight loss to wild, fearless pursuits would kill my weight loss efforts. I have been dreading sharing this, but here goes.

In the month of July, I gained 9 pounds. 

Most of my anxiety came from joining that blasted dating site. I went from talking to no one to getting messages from multiple guys each day. I messaged back. Then the prospect of meeting in person came up. I freaked out. Started questioning everything. Why did I join a dating site? Why did I let social and familial expectations talk me into something like this, when I'm not even sure I'm ready to date?

I ended up blocking I don't know how many guys. I was actually starting to lose sleep over them. However, I am still talking to one. We exchanged e-mail addresses, and now we talk outside of the dating site. And we might have set up a lunch meeting for next week. (GASP!) Please say a prayer for me. I'm truly terrified.

I never heard back from the UCP Telethon coordinator I e-mailed about performing. But in other frightening musical pursuits, I did film another cover, and I uploaded it to YouTube. I'll face yet another fear and post it here:

I went to an intimidatingly cool music store in Birmingham. Alone. I bought a new capo and a windscreen for my mic so I could start recording songs again. (And I recorded 3 new mp3s!)

I spent two nights in a supposedly haunted hotel in Mobile, Alabama. The Malaga Inn. So beautiful and charming and really quite magical. I felt like I'd gone back in time. (Didn't see or hear any spirits, though.)

I went to church by myself again on a hair day so bad I almost stayed home. Instead of pulling my uncontrollable thick hair into a big, bushy, Hermione Granger-ish ponytail like always, I ignored the hateful, critical voice in my head, found some courage, and went au nautrale. Sounds lame, but I've never done that before. I have stayed home because of bad hair days in the past. (I guess I'll use any excuse to avoid social contact.)

That's about all I can think of. Thanks to eHarmony, the latter part of July ending up turning into an anxiety-ridden early life crisis. I want to dedicate an entire post to the details of that experience, but I can't seem to organize my thoughts well enough. There's still so many doubts and uncertainties when it comes to dating and my future marriage and just my future in general. More on that to come, I'm sure.

So yeah. I wound up back in the 190's. I've since lost 4 of those 9 gained pounds, and I was back to 187 at my last weigh-in. I'm starting to get back on track (for the ZILLIONTH time). But that's why I'm calling August The Month of Rededication. I have to refocus on the things that are currently very important in my life, the things that I've let get out of hand lately:

1) My ever-struggling relationship with God.

More specifically, talking to Him. I had gotten into the habit of using a prayer journal each day, but I let it go over the summer. It's time to pick that back up and focus on praying for specific people and situations again.

2) Weight loss.

Obviously. The year is halfway gone, and I keep moving backwards. I could and should reach my goal weight this year. I have to keep trying. It's back to basics on this one.

3) Money.

After May: The Month of No Spending, my finances were perfect and stress-free. June went well, too. Then in July, I realized that getting out and doing things costs money. I ran my credit card bill up again, despite the fact that one of the goals for 2013 is to use the credit card for emergencies only. So. It's gonna have to be back to May's rules for me.

Rededication. Recommitment. Refocusing. That's what August is going to be about. Here's my rules (which I have posted in my room to remind me):

*#10 is referring to the random, spur-of-the-moment trips I make to Birmingham to get out of my annoying hometown for a while. These trips are nice, but they waste money and gas and really serve no purpose, since in the end, I still have to come home and I usually end up even sadder than when I left. So. When the urge to go on one of these excursions hits, I have to do one of the local 5K routes.

I hate that I'm going to have to start counting calories again, but that's how I've lost weight successfully in the past. That's how I lost the first 50 pounds. Then I got cocky. I started thinking I had memorized how many calories were in just about anything, plus I began thinking I didn't need to do cardio every day as long as I ran three times a week. And that's when the weight loss stopped. So. Counting calories and adding in extra cardio.

Well, that's it for now. What have you guys been up to over the last few weeks? Do any of you have any goals for August?


Niken said...

wow! you're amazing. seriously. being a nomad with work that requires me to travel, taught me to learn to go on alone. you know, sometimes i just stay in one place for a week or less. i learned to go to a restaurant and eat alone, do the grocery run alone, etc. it was a little bit awkward but now it's not a problem for me anymore.

You're so brave. i hope the date will go well!!!

Regine Karpel said...

Good Luck and God Bless!
2 Corinthians 12:9

Lacey said...

First of all, you have a stunningly beautiful voice! I love it, you are so gifted by God. That's a fear you should keep on facing, because you have such talent!

Second, au natural hair is my FAVORITE! I obsess over my hair way too much and sometimes I just think "I don't care!" and I leave the house with it just down and don't do anything to it. Surprisingly, those are the days I will get comments and compliments for it. Your hair is gorgeous!

I'm really sorry eHarmony was kind of a mess! It's dangerous to do things as a response to pressure. I hope your lovely heart is protected! :) (I am curious about that one guy though ;) )

I know you are facing a lot of difficulties and it's so cool to see you re-dedicating yourself. I wish you the best of luck and can't wait to read your adventures!

Jessica said...

I know July was a BIG splurge month, between the vacation and all the eating out and random trips to Birmingham and Gadsden. When will we learn!?! Only spend money on things we can show for it. But at least we did get some good eats last month. I agree it's time to get back on track, and so far, August is looking pretty darn good. Woodstock and meals at home? I'd say we are on a roll!

Jennifer said...

Thank you so much! Your work sounds really interesting. You'd have to be brave to take on something like that!

Jennifer said...

Thank you so much!

Jennifer said...

Thank you so much, Lacey! You are too sweet!

Yeah, eHarmony was kind of dangerous. Really, the entire idea of The Month of No Fear was pretty dangerous in itself. I'm thinking there's a fine line between bravery and stupidity.

Jennifer said...

Yes....I know. We've gotta get it together! And yeah, I got 9 pounds worth of good eats! lol not funny. I'm totally proud of our August progress so far. Let's keep it up!

Anna Marie Schaefer said...

Miss you! We need to catch up soon!!