Sunday, July 14, 2013

A Day with Friends

Spending time with my friends is one of the most rewarding things in my life. Today, I went on a short hike and downtown adventure with two of my best friends. We are fortunate to be near both a medium sized, art-friendly city and the mountains. 

It was a great way to recharge my batteries after a long week of work and preparing my house for this week's guests. 

After I completed the study for the first in a series of paintings, my friends Tina and Sarah gave me some canvases to paint on; I now have to do five paintings related to body image! I have pretty good ideas for the first and last paintings, but it's going to take some time for me to know what to do for the middle three.

This week, I am also planning to start making stuffed animals again. Instead of building a complicated prototype, I'm going to make more stuffed animals like this fella on the left:


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Work in Progress: Trapped

Recovering from depression is a difficult journey, especially when a lifetime of depression is combined with 15 years of bullying and abuse. Some of the negative messages are fairly easy to deflect; I'm clearly not stupid, worthless, or brainless. But there is one message remaining that permeates through every facet of my life: I am fat, ugly, and unattractive. 

Body image originates from a number of places it shouldn't: the minds and mouths of others, the media, and comparing ourselves to others (especially those whom we arbitrarily designate as more attractive than ourselves). 

Reforming my body image to a more truthful one, one that originates with me, is a slow and painful process. I'll never completely remove outside influences from my thoughts, but I can choose whether I want to accept them as my own. I have to ask myself, Why do I think that way? all the time. I have a list of questions to ask myself periodically.

Am I healthy?
What do I like about the way I look?
How do I feel in my body?

I'm going to journal my answers to these questions, but not in writing. I've decided to document this process visually through drawing and painting. The first piece I have is a drawing I did months ago:

It's a pretty raw, judgmental, self-hating image. It's one of the ones I almost ripped out of my sketchbook, but decided to keep. From this drawing, I did a 20-minute study of the style of painting and color scheme I want to use.

Before you laugh, remember I said I did this in 20 minutes.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

With my new daily schedule, meals are kind of tough for me, especially breakfast. I don't start work until noon, but I only eat breakfast before I go. I don't get a break while I'm at work, which is the only thing I don't like about my job. Breakfast has to be a small but filling meal because it's all I eat until dinner.

A few months ago, I made cookies using only mashed bananas, dry oatmeal, and chocolate chips. I decided to recreate these cookies, but with more protein packed in. This time, I added mixed nuts and applesauce to the cookies. 

The Recipe:
2 bananas, mashed
1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup mixed nuts
4 cups dry oatmeal

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.  Form cookies from the dough, and place them onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, until the cookies are firm.

Updates and Project Planning

The past few weeks have been full of change and excitement. A couple of days after I decided to take a break from blogging, I got a phone call about a job I'd applied for and interviewed for back in April. The interview had gone so badly (in my mind, at least), that I never called to ask if I would be hired. Frankly, I felt like I couldn't live down the anxiety of making the call.

I got the job. I teach preschool now. I wake up in the morning, and I'm supposed to be responsible for things. It's mind boggling.

After receiving that good news, I took a mini road trip to see a couple of my friends. It was a very inspiring weekend; my friend Lauren and I visited several art museums and shops. I came away from the experience recharged with ideas for projects. I may even apply for an internship with an artist collaborative in the future. 

So far, I have ideas for a couple of novels, a series of paintings, and sewing projects. I need to organize my time more efficiently if I am going to accomplish all these things. After completing my first full week at work one thing has become painfully clear: I need to be healthier if I'm going to accomplish my goals. 

At the end of every day, after work and going to the gym, I'm exhausted. For a while, I probably won't feel like getting much done, but I'm going to do the best I can. My goals are to first work out daily and to eat more healthful foods. Secondly, I will continue to create something each day, or make progress on a project daily. I may not be able to update my blog daily, but I will do the very best I can.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Happy Birthday, Mom!

One of the reasons I've been absent from my blog lately is that I started a new job last Monday. The good news is that I like my job, but the bad news is that I won't get paid for at least another two weeks. The disappointing part is that I didn't have money to give my mom something for her birthday.

Then, I remembered this salvage fabric I found at a warehouse sale a month ago. I made this simple bag from three pieces of cloth. I really hope my mom will like it!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Veggie Tacos

As part of my quest for better health, I've decided to eat less meat. Since I already limit the types of meat I eat, the only real change is in how often I eat meat. For last night's dinner, I made vegetarian tacos. 

Everything about this meal was the same as any other time I've made tacos, but I replaced the beef with lentils, and I opted for a tortilla made with spinach to add some more nutritional value to my meal.

The "Recipe"
- 1/2 cup of lentils (measured before cooking)
- 1/2 of a shallot
- 1/2 of a jalapeƱo
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/4 of a tomato
- fresh cilantro
- fresh lime juice
- chili powder, cayenne powder, garlic powder, minced onion, salt, and black pepper to taste
- jasmine rice, flavored with adobo and coconut oil
- spring mix lettuce
- shredded cheese

I'm really pleased with how the tacos turned out, even if they're technically burritos! I didn't miss the meat at all. 


Friday, July 5, 2013

Pre-Update Post

I am back from my vacation safe and sound, and I will have plenty of real updates (and some exciting news!) coming over the next few days!

Take care,