Stress and Food

I got on the scale this morning and was stunned by the number that I saw. 214.2 – two hundred and fourteen pounds. I’ve not been this heavy since I was probably in my early twenties.

Admittedly, the last few weeks and months have been stressful. Sadly, not sleeping well, and having little or no energy, has made exercising almost impossible. It dawned on me what I was doing only after, after, I had a loaded baked potato at 1:00 this morning. Stress has taken my life hostage, and the trouble with finding a full-time job has made matters worse.

I eat when I’m bored, I eat when I can’t sleep. I constantly crave sweets or a combination of salty and sweet. My go-to snack has been those trail mix bars with the chocolate in them. I feel so guilty. I’m frustrated and angry, I vowed I would never return to the 200s.

It’s been said the first step in any recovery is admitting you have a problem. “Hello, my name is Chris – I am a stress eater.” I suppose that is nearly the same as being an overeater, which, I guess, would make me a perfect candidate for Overeaters Anonymous.

Ironically, my boyfriend and I poke fun at each other about our individual weight issues. We will squeal like pigs and make ‘oink’ sounds whenever we eat something unhealthy. The joke is on us. Here lately I find all of it, the jokes and other garbage, stupid and particularly hurtful. I guess it’s only fitting since the scale confirmed my worst fear – weight gain.

I can’t stand the way I feel anymore, sluggish, lethargic, sad, depressed, stressed, worried.

I need help…

Nervous, happy, scared, excited

I’ve never been one to think outside the box. Unfortunately, I don’t believe I think things through thoroughly enough sometimes. Yet, at this juncture in my life, I’m finding myself at a weird point:  I’ve gone through school, years of school; however, I don’t exactly know what to do. I know I’ve written about the uncertainties of my life before, this time though things are starting to become more and more murky. It’s like I’m wading into a deep, dark pond. What lurks within the hidden depths?

I’ve applied to be a local writer for Examiner. I remember attempting to start at Examiner years ago but I gave it up as a bad job. This time around, I look at it as an opportunity to spread my wings. It may not be a newspaper, or a trendy magazine, but it is a start…somewhere. Thankfully, I have some articles I published in 2010 and 2011 as proof that I’ve actually had writing posted other than here and on my wordpress.

Things look bleak for college grads, people in their 20s, and those unemployed..

My generation is unfortunately one that got royally screwed on two fronts: jobs and student loans. Granted, I know so many others (who have degrees and more work history than I do) have been out of work longer, young people my age are facing the uphill battle of trying to find a job in a very weak economy. Sure, employers are adding jobs left and right; however, the numbers aren’t enough to truly budge the unemployment rate which is sitting at 7% nationally.

Student loans are another nightmare turned reality. With the government refusing to act on easing loan interest rates, college grads and people thinking of going back to college (like myself) are facing high interest rates on loans. Too many young people exiting college have to stare at huge bills of $10k or more – that number is more like $100k if you’re a medical student.

However, I digress…back to the matter at hand – my future.

My grandfather, who is an MD/PhD, advised me that if I truly want to go back to school (which I do) I totally need to stop wasting my time and study hard for the GRE. Admittedly, I’ve been out of school for some six months and I’m afraid of losing the information I’ve obtained. Like the old adage goes, “if you don’t use it, you lose it.” He also admitted to me, rather candidly, that he didn’t foresee me being able to go all the way to a Ph.D. I can understand his reasoning. I have severe problems in two core academic subjects. I’m terribly weak in math and science. Both subjects are, of course, on the GRE which I have to pass in order to even think about a Masters program (let alone a PhD). To be honest, Math is my kryptonite. However, I’m not going to let that stop me. What I truly need to do is focus on what I want to do with my life. My grandfather also suggested that I write out what I want to do, “make a list” he said. “Write things out in several columns with the pros and cons,” he added in earnest. What jobs do I really want to do, what jobs do I not want to do.

I’ve come up with a short list (ranked from first to last):

  • Producer/Program Developer/Archiver for PBS
  • Writer and Theatre Reviewer for NYT and Variety Magazine
  • Producer and Show Host on BBC Radio (like Elaine Paige)
  • College professor (of English)
  • Professional Technical Consultant
  • Freelance writer
  • Academic counselor (I’d be very good at that – I’ve made MANY mistakes along the way)
  • Document creation (powerpoint, etc etc)

I can very easily see myself doing one, or even all of these jobs. I love the arts and am a great advocate for arts education and the proliferation of culture. Even a former professor of mine told me, “you’d be great in the arts as well, you have such a passion for it.” Does passion equate job success and satisfaction? For some, I’m sure it does.

People have accused me of lacking drive and ambition. To them I say the proof is in the obtaining of my education, which I fought very hard to achieve. I made two goals for myself: graduate from both a community college and a four year university. I made both of those and then some. Now I have to make new, more challenging, goals for myself. I have three principal goals: get a full time job that utilizes the skills I have and builds on them, obtain a Masters Degree, and finally, find a career doing one of the above listed. What’s the point of having a career if you’re not doing something you love?

I truly want to thank my grandfather for his frank appraisal of my prospects. I’ve always been something of a stubborn ass – when someone tells me I can’t do something, I do it anyway. Who says I can’t achieve my dreams? No one. I’m sure there are those who never dreamed I’d have even two degrees, let alone one.

I feel, to quote Fanny Brice in Funny Girl, “Nervous, happy, scared, excited.” Whatever emotions are running around in my brain, one thing is certain: I’m ready to prove people wrong again. I CAN achieve my dreams and goals.

And I will.

Unsure.

I’ve spent six years in school. I’ve graduated with two degrees. I’m filing out application, after application, after application and I still can’t seem to find a rewarding job.  Now sure, I’ve put my resume out on Monster.com and CollegeMonster.com and other places; however, I keep getting offers from two-bit insurance or sales companies wanting people to peddle their services. No, I’m sorry. I did not go to school for years to end up with a mindless job working for making $11 to find myself without a place to further my career prospects. I’ve been working the weekends at (Nameless company) since I was hired in October, but I’m finding that I grow increasing tired of standing on my feet for 10 hours a day. I don’t feel fulfilled at all. In fact, I feel cheated, unchallenged and useless. I want a job where I can gain necessary experience to go up within a company, I don’t think many promotions will be forthcoming, especially for someone like me who doesn’t have managerial experience, to say the least.

I will return to work tomorrow, still unsure of my future. I know what my skills are but I’m just languishing in a job that doesn’t suit me. I know so many college grads and post-grads are in the same position, I just wish there was something more to do be done. How many applications and resumes do I have to fill out before something good comes my way.

I just feel like a failure. I’m twenty-five and I work at job that makes me $11.00. I look at my resume and I have to laugh at how stupid it all sounds. I have two degrees and yet nothing to show for them. I want to go back to school, but what’s the point. I just feel unsure about so many things of late. No companies want to hire me, I don’t have any real skills that would be needed out in the real world. I feel like I’m doomed to remain making a wage that puts me just above the poverty line.

Upcoming things

I’ve been away for a while, I apologize.

I’ve had a lot of things come up here of late, so I’ve been neglecting my blog.

Here’s what I’ve got going on in my life:

  • October 7: Orientation (Amazon) 7:00 to 3:00p.m.
  • October 11: BARBRA STREISAND: Back to Brooklyn 7:00p.m.
  • October 20: First day of work

I’m also doing research on two term papers that are due the 23rd and 1st of November.

First, I’m doing research for my formal essay in Grammar class. I’d like to talk about comma splices, and the difficulties some people have with proofreading their own work.

But as I’m doing my research, I’ve come a bitter understanding: I suck at English. I suck at writing grammatical sentences. I’ve even started to question why I majored in English in the first place.

It annoys me, angers me, and pisses me off when I see friends of mine excelling at academic writing. I have never been able to write an error free paper; although, I have tried over the past 5 years to educate myself on my own grammar pitfalls. Nothing ever seems to stick.

I had a grammar exam tuesday and I don’t know the results until next week.

I feel so lost right now.

Broken

I’ve been in school for six years, I’m due to graduate in December with a BA in English.

Last night, I was told in no uncertain terms (by a college chum) that my grammar, frankly, sucks. It’s like the last few years of college have been for nothing. It’s no wonder no one reads my tumblr or my wordpress. It’s also no surprise that the school news paper, Sidelines doesn’t want me writing for them anymore.

I have known that my grammar is shit for a long time. I’ve tried to fix it, but I can’t seem to get the hang of grammar rules. I still have severe issues with comma splices etc, etc.

It was suggested to me that I take a Grammar and Usage class, given at MTSU.

It’s important that serious writers master this crucial and complex task, and I know you would benefit from it

I don’t know what to do now. I couldn’t stand the Modern English Grammar and Usage class when I had it two years ago, because I made such a dismal grade, and the constant diagramming of sentences drove me nuts.

I wish people would have told me that English wasn’t strong suit before I had entered college. I could have saved money and wasted less time.

I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but I guess that’s not in the cards.

The lingering malaise

Where do you find the energy and motivation to work out??

Since February, I’ve been pretty blah. No energy. No drive. No motivation to do anything. It didn’t help that I had been prescribed Celexa for extreme anxiety back in October of last year, and two of the side effects: weight gain and extreme fatigue hit me pretty hard. Since October, I have gained a remarkable 35 pounds back. At my lowest I was 170!

I’m used to walking and getting out. I can usually be seen pounding the pavement with my iPhone earbuds in. I love walking and a typical day for me (during the summer) is spent power walking for 2.5 hours. However for the past few months, I haven’t wanted to exercise or participate in anything.

I recently went to the doctor and voiced my concern. What was wrong with me? Why do I feel like this? Tests came back with: chronic inflammation of the intestines and a sluggish thyroid (“slightly under active” was the term the doctor’s nurse used). My doctor advised a two week dairy and gluten free diet…. That’s expensive though and I don’t have the proper support to do it.. 😦

I’ve decided to stop taking my anxiety meds all together, as they make me moody, rather like I was wearing a horcrux from Harry Potter. I’ve been angry, sad, depressed and all together not like myself.

The only thing left to do is to find my previous level of activity. I have been in a constant struggle with weight since I was a teenager, and being gay, the constant desire to be one of “the guys” has always plagued me. I have a boyfriend who loves me regardless, still I’m unhappy with myself – physically.

What do I do?!

Editing

I understand that if I ever want to take my writing seriously, I must learn how to proofread and edit. Recently, I came across a website called “grammarly” where supposedly it helps you edit documents etc.

I’m curious about it, very curious indeed.
I need help with my writing. I don’t feel like I’m very good at it, and that truly bothers me.

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