The Keto Diaries — Cheater, Cheater, Pumpkin Eater

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It wasn’t pumpkin.

It was a muffin.

Two to be exact.

So, I cheated a bit at our Admin Appreciation Day breakfast and had four chick-fil-a chicken mini’s.

And I felt bad.

And I took my bad feelings to /r/keto, because the two keto groups I’m a part of are very supportive.

Well, /r/keto wasn’t. I got scolded for posting a topic about “cheating” when “cheating posts aren’t tolerated.”

Well, shit. I just wanted some support.

Which made me feel worse.

But I was determined to bounce back. I was going to do my bulletproof coffee (BPC) on Thursday, and an intermittent fast and get back into ketosis.

So much nope.

By lunch I was starving and because it was Thursday before payday, I had like $2 to my name.

So I had another left over muffin.

Two.

I know, I’m bad.

But I got home and had a good dinner of scrambled eggs, left over lemon pepper chicken thighs and some hollandaise.

This morning, I was gonna do it right.

I didn’t do BPC, mostly because I was feeling lazy this morning. But because it was payday, I always have a little “treat” and eat out.

I went to the cafeteria this morning and got two scoops of scrambled eggs, a sausage link and a chicken patty with some hot sauce.

And I feel much better.

But this weekend, I’m sticking with kale, bacon, chicken thighs and butter.

But on a more pleasant note, every Friday was made into jeans Friday, and I keep having to pull my favorite jeans up. Also have saggy butt/crotch and these are SKINNY jeans.

The problem is my “fat” jeans are too big, but my smaller jeans that I couldn’t bear to part with and promised myself I’d wear again one day are a bit too snug to be comfortable.

Almost to one quarter of my goal weight loss.

Yay!

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The Gratitude — WP Has Been Awesome To Me

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I just wanted to put it out there — WP has been very good to me the past few months. The folks on here are amazing and have such amazing stories about struggles, triumphs, creative endeavors, journeys, and even day to day minutiae.

I adore your pictures, your gusto, your honesty.

So thank you, all of you for making this one of the best blogging experiences I’ve ever had.

Ya’ll are so completely amazing and supportive.

I read somewhere the average lifespan of a blog is roughly three months. And honestly, I started this whole thing on a lark because I needed to get stuff out of my head.

And this platform is soooo much better and more giving and kind than other social media.

And ya’ll have inspired me so much to continue writing, and even get back into fiction writing — which I haven’t done in many, many years.

Again, thank you.

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The Criticisms of Religions

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Well, this is controversial post week!

I’ve gone into long diatribes why I don’t have religion — I’m very agnostic though — I’ve seen some crazy stuff science can’t explain or that is out of our understanding.

But this is something that I find so completely comically bothersome.

If someone says one bad thing about Islam, folks come pouring in talking about all the bad things in the Christian bible.

And I’m just kind of over here, like… “well, that’s nice that you went through all that trouble, but I’m not a Christian so your argument is null”.

I mean, it’s typical straw man meant to distract someone from the original argument at hand.

And this isn’t saying there aren’t bad things in Christianity, like their are bad things in Islam, like in other religions. Religion makes people do crazy things in the name of their God.

But if you are going to criticize one religion, using the bad deeds from another religion as a rebuttal does not a good argument make.

This post is kind of inspired by /r/news comments on a story about an 11 year old Malaysian school boy being beaten to death at an Islamic school. 

And there are several different heated topics here at hand. First, well Islam. Second, whether or not corporal punishment for children should be a thing. I mean, beating a child, who is not your own (was done by a school official) is bad. Like really bad. I mean, its one thing for the actual PARENT to discipline a child by spanking, but it is a completely different story for a person who is NOT THE PARENT to enact corporal punishment.

And I’m not defending corporal punishment. My parents spanked me, and I think I turned out okay, but I don’t want to do that to my children. It seems antiquated and cruel.

And there are a plethora of other ways to discipline children not involving hitting…

But I’ve deviated from my original point… now I know all Muslims are not these horrible violent terrorists. I have friends and people I respect immensely who are Muslim and they aren’t terrorists or bad people. They’re just folks, like you and me. And I don’t care what religion you are, your race, creed, color — good people are good people and bad people are bad people. It’s your morals and deeds that define you, not your societal identifiers and labels.

But it’s the fact that when someone criticizes Islam, everyone loses their mind. People are relegated to the label of Islamaphobe or racist. And it’s not the case. Now people are afraid to criticize anything for fear of being labeled or being attacked.

Everyone should question and critique everything. Be a skeptic. Be doubtful. Always strive to learn and grow and challenge the norm.

I mean, the whole reason I abdicated religion is because I questioned it and I did a great deal of introspection and moved away from it. And I’ve faced ridicule, from my family especially. When my cousin took her life, my family said it was demons  who told her to do it and some people feared she’d end up in hell for taking her life. And I just wanted to grab them and shake them and tell them she was in legitimate physical and emotional pain from having a debilitating chronic disease and didn’t want to hurt anymore.

What is so wrong with that?

My argument was that if God didn’t understand, then he wasn’t God and we needn’t worry.

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The Gaslighting

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I evidently was using this term wrong. I was curious of the exact meaning of the word and got sucked into several literature reviews and articles. And then stuck in old memories.

Evidently, it’s a tool of psychological warfare.

Gaslighting is a tactic in which a person or entity, in order to gain more power, makes a victim question their reality. It works much better than you may think. Anyone is susceptible to gaslighting, and it is a common technique of abusers, dictators, narcissists, and cult leaders. It is done slowly, so the victim doesn’t realize how much they’ve been brainwashed. For example, in the movie Gaslight (1944), a man manipulates his wife to the point where she thinks she is losing her mind.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/here-there-and-everywhere/201701/11-signs-gaslighting-in-relationship

Some signs of gaslighting include:

  1. You are constantly second-guessing yourself.
  2. You ask yourself, “Am I too sensitive?” a dozen times a day.
  3. You often feel confused and even crazy at work.
  4. You’re always apologizing to your mother, father, boyfriend,, boss.
  5. You can’t understand why, with so many apparently good things in your life, you aren’t happier.
  6. You frequently make excuses for your partner’s behavior to friends and family.
  7. You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don’t have to explain or make excuses.
  8. You know something is terribly wrong, but you can never quite express what it is, even to yourself.
  9. You start lying to avoid the put downs and reality twists.
  10. You have trouble making simple decisions.
  11. You have the sense that you used to be a very different person – more confident, more fun-loving, more relaxed.
  12. You feel hopeless and joyless.
  13. You feel as though you can’t do anything right.
  14. You wonder if you are a “good enough” girlfriend/ wife/employee/ friend; daughter.
  15. You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don’t have to explain or make excuses.
https://www.healthyplace.com/abuse/emotional-psychological-abuse/gaslighting-definition-techniques-and-being-gaslighted/

Having been a victim of this type of psychological abuse is that you don’t see what is actually happening until you have distanced yourself from the person doing the abuse.

I literally did every single one of those things almost every day for almost 10 years while that person was in my life. I was terrified of being “too sensitive”, “wrong”, having to lie to cover for that person, feeling hopeless and depressed, hiding things from friends and loved ones, thinking that I’m the crazy one or I’m the bad one. Hell, I was afraid to talk to my therapist about the abuse, when the abuse was the whole reason I went into therapy. Like I said, I was the crazy one. But I was petrified to even mention that person to my therapist lest get back to him.

And on it went…

And then it stopped. And I realized I wasn’t.

I was very damn sane.

And some of the tactics used:

1. They tell blatant lies.

You know it’s an outright lie. Yet they are telling you this lie with a straight face. Why are they so blatant? Because they’re setting up a precedent. Once they tell you a huge lie, you’re not sure if anything they say is true. Keeping you unsteady and off-kilter is the goal.

2. They deny they ever said something, even though you have proof. 

You know they said they would do something; you know you heard it. But they out and out deny it. It makes you start questioning your reality—maybe they never said that thing. And the more they do this, the more you question your reality and start accepting theirs.

3. They use what is near and dear to you as ammunition. 

They know how important your kids are to you, and they know how important your identityis to you. So those may be one of the first things they attack. If you have kids, they tell you that you should not have had those children. They will tell you’d be a worthy person if only you didn’t have a long list of negative traits. They attack the foundation of your being.

4. They wear you down over time.

This is one of the insidious things about gaslighting—it is done gradually, over time. A lie here, a lie there, a snide comment every so often…and then it starts ramping up. Even the brightest, most self-aware people can be sucked into gaslighting—it is that effective. It’s the “frog in the frying pan” analogy: The heat is turned up slowly, so the frog never realizes what’s happening to it.

5. Their actions do not match their words.

When dealing with a person or entity that gaslights, look at what they are doing rather than what they are saying. What they are saying means nothing; it is just talk. What they are doing is the issue.

6. They throw in positive reinforcement to confuse you. 

This person or entity that is cutting you down, telling you that you don’t have value, is now praising you for something you did. This adds an additional sense of uneasiness. You think, “Well maybe they aren’t so bad.” Yes, they are. This is a calculated attempt to keep you off-kilter—and again, to question your reality. Also look at what you were praised for; it is probably something that served the gaslighter.

7. They know confusion weakens people. 

Gaslighters know that people like having a sense of stability and normalcy. Their goal is to uproot this and make you constantly question everything. And humans’ natural tendency is to look to the person or entity that will help you feel more stable—and that happens to be the gaslighter.

8. They project.

They are a drug user or a cheater, yet they are constantly accusing you of that. This is done so often that you start trying to defend yourself, and are distracted from the gaslighter’s own behavior.

9. They try to align people against you.

Gaslighters are masters at manipulating and finding the people they know will stand by them no matter what—and they use these people against you. They will make comments such as, “This person knows that you’re not right,” or “This person knows you’re useless too.” Keep in mind it does not mean that these people actually said these things. A gaslighter is a constant liar. When the gaslighter uses this tactic it makes you feel like you don’t know who to trust or turn to—and that leads you right back to the gaslighter. And that’s exactly what they want: Isolation gives them more control.

10. They tell you or others that you are crazy.

This is one of the most effective tools of the gaslighter, because it’s dismissive. The gaslighter knows if they question your sanity, people will not believe you when you tell them the gaslighter is abusive or out-of-control. It’s a master technique.

11. They tell you everyone else is a liar.

By telling you that everyone else (your family, the media) is a liar, it again makes you question your reality. You’ve never known someone with the audacity to do this, so they must be telling the truth, right? No. It’s a manipulation technique. It makes people turn to the gaslighter for the “correct” information—which isn’t correct information at all.

The more you are aware of these techniques, the quicker you can identify them and avoid falling into the gaslighter’s trap.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/here-there-and-everywhere/201701/11-signs-gaslighting-in-relationship

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The Roof Over My Head

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So, my apartment’s being reroofed. And it’s awesome. Most folks would look at it as an inconvenience, but because my dad has been a roofer since before I was born, he’s always expressed how important it is to have a good roof.

I was told they were going to be doing this roofing thing between the hours of 8am and 8pm.

I got home yesterday to find a dumpster in my yard and my driveway cordoned off. Only mine on my little road.

So I had to park a ways away.

I already needed to go talk to the property manager about renewing my lease, so I mosied over there and he was mortified that they put the dumpster in my hard.

“I gave them a list of vacant units they could place the dumpster.”

And we got to chatting.

Although my rent’s going to go up like $39 because I’m not a new tenant, I think it is worth it for the new roof alone. Plus I kind of like it here. With the renewal of my lease, this will make the longest place I’ve lived in once place since I was 18.

Seriously.

Also, I told him the story about my experience with my crazy neighbor.

Months ago S.O. parked his truck like a foot on her side of the driveway because I was parked all janky. She came home and we thought she was swearing up a storm talking to someone on the phone. Nope.

She beat on my door and demanded he moved his truck and was pretty nasty about the whole thing.

I told my property manager about it and his comment, “Yeah, she’s insane, but she’s also been here for forever.” And proceeded to tell me this story about how she hounded him about her water meter being wrong and even though the property manager promised to reimburse her the difference if she presented the last three bills, she never did. Then called corporate on her saying my property manager was being an ass.

She has a rep for craziness, yo.

I made it back home to find Harley just chilling on the coffee table in her usual spot with Vesper nowhere to be found. I called out to her a few times and figured she was hiding. I mean, they were pretty violently banging on my roof and making lots of noise. I sat on the couch and was thumbing through my phone when I heard scratching below me.

The damn cat was under the couch and terrified.

I gave her some snuggles, but she was still freaking out.

And Harley was still just like, whatever.

They stayed until it got dark (past 8 pm).

And woke me up this morning at 6:30 am. I usually get up at 7am anyways… but that extra half hour of sleep that could have been.

Haven’t been sleeping that great anyway and Tuesday ran me ragged today.

I’ve reached that weird exhausted delirium where I’m having hypothetical conversations in my head.

But the reroofing is the perfect opportunity to camp out at Starbucks or Panera and get some interneting/writing done without persistent banging above my head.

Lies. Going home and to bed.

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The Paranoia and Nuclear War

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I just need to stay off of /r/worldnews. Seriously.

Now I want to make a bomb shelter.

But, I mean, if it’s my time, it’s my time. I’d rather go out in the blaze — incandescently vaporized — than have to suffer radiation sickness.

But if I do manage to survive sans irradiation, it would be all Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road.”

the-road

I don’t know if I want to go through that.

And honestly, I live on the east coast in a not so populated area.

I think I might be okay.

But if the apocalypse is happening, I’m totally shaving my head.

And I’ve got a good bit of fat on me, so I know starvation won’t be a thing for a while.

But the idea of hunkering down in a bomb shelter for an indeterminate amount of time — I could barely stand having roommates, but to be stuck there with people and not being able to leave or avoid them.

Ugh.

Or, it could be all Mad Max.

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The Things I Do For Friends

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Story time!

Many, many years ago I was good friends with this girl Jesse (obvs pseudonym).

She had a host of medical issues and we frequented the ER, because Jesse didn’t have insurance.

The first time was for peeing blood from a really nasty kidney infection.

The second time, the bleeding was elsewhere.

I got the call from a mutual guy friend, pseudonym Nick, that Jesse needed some moral support at the ER.

So, I went.

Not much was explained on why Jesse was back in the ER.

We checked in and finally, after waiting about an hour with frequent trips to the ladies’ room from Jesse, we make it to the triage nurse.

She does all the vital checking.

“So, Jesse, what brings you in today?”

“I’m bleeding,” says Jesse.

“From where?” asks the nurse.

“Out my ass.”

I’m dying trying to contain my laugh. My gut tightens and I am just struggling not to let out some obnoxious laughter.

“Was it trauma?” the triage nurse asks.

“No! I don’t do anal or anything!”

I’m about to die. I look at Nick and I can tell he’s in the same predicament.

So, they put us in this room and tell Jesse to strip down and put on one of the dreaded gowns. It was cold in the hospital, so I gave her my sweater and Nick gave her his jacket.

The nurse checks on us a few times, until the doctor walks in.

This dude had to be like 6’5″, and just burly. Doesn’t help that he’s wearing grim reaper black scrubs.

He asks Nick and I to step out of the room, look at each other and start snickering.

Holy god!

I mean, we both legitimately felt terrible for Jesse, but I just about died after “out my ass.”

We are ushered back into the room. Jesse’s curled up in the fetal position with Nick’s jacket and my sweater.

“So, you feel a bit violated?” Nick asks.

“Yeah…”

Then we left and went to Denny’s for pancakes.

Turns out it was a fissure.

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The Friday Morning Drive Music Extravaganza

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Well, not that extravagant.

This morning, my phone decided that my Friday drive music was going to be Rammstein.

Funny story — I took two years of German classes in undergrad. I took Spanish in high school and I figured since a large chunk of my family immigrated from Germany after the Civil War, why not.

My German teacher was an interesting lady who would get mad at you if you yawned. I learned more German from Rammstein than my German teacher. We’d form study groups and listen to Rammstein with lyrics and translations.

I had an easy time with grammar and conjugation — where everything went in the sentence, the 16 different versions of the word “the” depending on the gender of the noun and where it was in the sentence.

However, vocabulary was a different story.

Ich vergesse… a lot.

I’ve never been very good at rote memorization.

But swearing in German — Oh my! I was good at that.

“Du bist ein Schlampe!”

And what really sucks is that when I started taking German, all the Spanish I learned was getting tangled up.

And now that I deal with more Spanish speaking people, and I’m learning Spanish from them, my German is going away.

My dreams of being a polyglot are dead.

Also, there is an obscene amount of Queen on my phone.

I haven’t really been getting into a lot of new music. I generally always listen to the classic rock station — ELO, Styx, Ozzy, Aerosmith, Stones, etc…

And what really sucks is that the music I listened to in high school is already being played on the classic rock stations — Nirvana, Chili Peppers, etc…

**Sigh**

I’m an old soul, I guess.

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The Ambitious Girl

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I don’t want to jinx myself.

But it’s just been announced that the position I really wanted within my unit has opened back up officially. I wrote about this in The Employment Grievance. 

And I’m going to sit down and talk with my supervisor about it and explain in great detail why it would be advantageous to give me the position.

And I really hope I get it.

Not just because the pay is better, but because I’ve been shafted for that position twice and I would feel vindicated if I got it.

And not as bitter.

I mean, I really love our program and what we do. We help babies. I don’t really want to leave and I want to show future employers that I have longevity and am not hopping from job to job every six months to a year.

Fingers crossed.

Update:

So, I talked with my boss. She agreed that I’d be a good fit for the job and was very impressed that I made a physical, written list of 10 reasons why it would be advantageous to hire me for that position.

But because of HR things, they will have to advertise the position publicly and I would have to compete. Also, because the way the position is funded, they want someone with a specific background. The only problem is the position pays $41k-ish a year, while the median income for someone with the specified background in the state I live in is $85k-ish.

They’re going to have a hard time filling that position with a person of the specified background, and might have to bend the rules.

Fingers and toes crossed!

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