TMI – Progress…or not?

My amazing followers,

I’ve been missing you..partially the reason I’ve returned. But I’ve taken time away from basically every “normal” part of my life to focus on me, more importantly, my health. This is something that has been plummeting throughout the years, only getting worse as I get older. Like almost every other person out there, you make the goal to do something… then simply don’t. At this point in time, it seems to be more of a bandwagon type of thing to get healthy. Every social networking site has a portion dedicated to those starting their journey to fitness, so it’s easy to say “If they can do it, so can I.” I’ve filled my mind with all these methods, the encouragement to get up off my ass and do something, and for once in my life, I have. And so my journey started.

I found juicing.. well smoothieing? Using smoothies as a meal replacement worked so much better for me than just constantly reading labels, which honestly, isn’t my thing. Getting the nutrition from that, instead of whatever my grandmother makes is definitely much better. Aye, I still have my junk days, though. Just so I didn’t feel like I was depriving myself of anything, y’know? It was easy to follow for the first two weeks. I mean, I have this thing where I don’t feel hungry.. almost ever. I have to force myself to eat. In fact, it’s usually my grandma that forces me to eat. She’s actually the reminder that I have to keep my portion sizes on point when I eat. God forbid my grandmother ever take out food for me again.. It’s literally about two and a half servings of food in one sitting. Her response to my meal replacing smoothies: Is that going to fill you? And the answer was simple. Yes. I didn’t crave anything.. and I was full.

The funny part is that most people drop weight like crazy just cutting out sugary beverages from their diets. I couldn’t even resort to that because all I literally drink is water. Carbonated beverages make my eyes tear up. It feels like acid going down my throat and then leaves this disgusting feeling on my teeth afterwards.

But besides eating right, I had to incorporate exercise into my daily regimen. God that was hell. I signed up for a gym membership because I know that if I’m paying for something, I’m definitely going to want to go. The first day.. holy.. Let me not. Anyway, let’s just say the following three days, I had a hard time moving. In fact, it took the weekend for me to fully heal. But as soon as I could feel my legs again, I was back at it. And I was surprised how much I could push myself, how much easier it became. I proved to myself that if I keep going, I don’t have to see the progress (though that would be nice) to feel better.

Then I went back to a junk day.. which was at a buffet. I remembered going there when I was around ten years old and I able to pull down three plates, with ice cream, no struggle at all. I sat there and had my first. But I’m thinking, I’m going to eat my money’s worth. And went back for a second, but my body simply couldn’t handle it anymore. I struggled through that plate and ended up leaving more than half of it there. Damn, things are really changing.

Now, just before I decided to do this whole thing, I made sure I saved up to buy myself a scale. This could have been a risk because I’ve read the horror stories when people become obsessed with the numbers. And at first, so did I. Everyday after buying the scale I’d hop on once I woke up and then before I went to sleep. That was because I conveniently left it out in the bathroom. Enough was enough so I tucked it away in the closet and honestly, forgot about it.

Two weeks later, after feeling like I could conquer the world, I remembered it was hiding in the closet and so I took it out and hopped on. I don’t want to disclose my weight just as yet.. but I had lost fifteen pounds. Wait, what? Holy hell. People struggle through months to lose that weight. And I did it in two weeks, just from starting to get active and eating right.

But here comes the TMI part and currently where I am at. I’ve amped up the workout since I saw the numbers but then.. I got my period. I’ve been skipping on and off for months. Only for the past few months its seem somewhat regular. And just when I thought the bitch was hiding.. she pops up. Yeah, thanks Mother Nature. Fours days into my period and I gained close to ten pounds back. What…the…hell? So help me out here guys, water weight? Work harder?

I’m kind of bummed now that I’ve seen the number go back up. That moment when there’s a bit of failure and a little hope slips away.

On the other hand, my first fitness goal is not a number. But be able to run a 5k. So. I hopped on another bandwagon and downloaded the Couch to 5K app.. which I’ve heard amazing things about. I’m hoping it works wonders for someone who’s never been a runner.

For those interested, follow for updates. I’m doing this to document my journey. It’s going to happen.

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Delirium Series Ending – WTF?!

Now that the spring semester is over (Thank God!), I’ve been looking for ways to have fun while focusing on me. So.. I found my home again.. with books.

Technically not with books.. iBooks. So hard to get the real thing these days.

Anyway. I needed a series. Something that would pull me in so that I can get lost for hours, like I used to. Then I found the Delirium series by Lauren Oliver.

Alright, let me just take a moment to say SPOILER ALERT. Do not read any further if you have not read the books.. This may funsuck reading it for you.

I was never into the whole dystopian society type of thing like other novels have it portrayed. Usually filled with extreme violence and gory scenes that would go on for ages, not that I mind any of that stuff. But the idea that love would be considered a disease. That is definitely intriguing. Of course after reading the first few chapters, the storyline was a bit predictable. Oliver did throw in some twists as the series went on though.

I assumed that Hana would be the one that would go into the Wilds first without Lena.. But turns out, love can make you do stupid shit, yes? Okay so, yadda, yadda, yadda.. the ending of Delirium made my heart shatter. My eyes seriously welled up with tears. Alex is definitely the kind of guy anyone could be attached to. He’s cute..funny.. witty.. that charm.. he reads poetry for God’s sake! Because of this, I really did not want to continue reading the rest of the books. We’re so used to happy endings, but Oliver reminds us that these fairytale endings do not happen..

Though my heart was dead set on the whole Lena and Alex thing, I read on to Pandemonium, skipping the novels in between since they really didn’t exactly have much effect on the main story. In Pandemonium, we witness Lena’s transformation. She used to be the girl afraid to take risks, soft.. But in Pandemonium, she hardens like those living in the Wilds already. Her love for Alex remains.. she convinces herself that he is alive. Because of this she continues to fight for the freedom to love so to speak. One thing I really enjoyed was that Lena was a girl part of the drama but it wasn’t about her necessarily. Unlike Twilight, The Hunger Games, and so on.. the problem exists even without Lena. Anyway, this is the book where Julian is introduced. I was forced to like Julian simply because he did nothing for me to hate him. I really wanted to not like him, but he became the comforter for Lena.. so eventually I backed down.. I just didn’t think Lena would cave in to Julian so fast.. Kinda felt like he was a rebound, y’know? But then the shocking part.. The end of the book where Alex returns.

Requiem was simply my favorite out of all of the books. Of course, there would be a love triangle.. but it was different than others. I expected Alex to be the old Alex.. I automatically thought he would scoop Lena back into his arms and run off into the sunset. I wanted him to fight for her. Shit doesn’t happen like that and so the books became ten times more relatable. I know so many guys in the real world that would react the way Alex did. No one seems to think of the situation from his point of view. He was tortured, and the only thing probably kept him wanting to live and escape the Crypts was his love for Lena.. which is why he even remembers her.. But even after all of that, he comes back finding his girl in the arms of another guy. Of course, he’d be ticked off. I just didn’t think he would take it as far as he did when they actually had that one on one conversation. The words of him saying that he never loved her stung. I even believed that. After that point I was screaming to Lena to jsut move on with Julian. I felt like Alex, would never even get those words out of his mouth if he had even a little feeling for her. The fact that he was “with” Coral was a killer. It showed the true aspects of the behavior of people in a love triangle.

I admit, I skipped over much of Hana’s part because it seemed to drag on. It was good to look into Hana’s mind for a bit to see her true feelings towards Lena and her reaction to seeing Lena with Alex. Dropping the bomb of her snitching really wasn’t much of a surprise. There always is a traitor when it comes to stories like this and Hana isn’t the only traitor in the books, anyway.

The WTF part. The ending. So much time was spent on elevating and drawing interest to the romance.. or lack of between Alex and Lena. Knowing the two, there was that tension, pining for one another. All of those emotions seemed to be trapped in this bag.. and it was weighing down.. and down.. and down.. I expected that bag to pop.. I needed it to pop so all of that energy will explode. Instead that bag sagged and just ended up on the floor. A simple peck. That was it.

I have heard no rumors of another book coming out, though I really.. REALLY wish it was. I feel like I have some type of disorder when it comes to things like cliffhangers. I feel like so much needed to be said.. not just between Alex and Lena but with the main story. I wanted the peace. I feel like I’m still holding my breath. The books played so much with my imagination that I cannot predict a proper ending myself. So many questions remain unanswered.

Le Sigh.

I’ll be taking any recommendations for other novels. Trying to find others. The help would be greatly appreciated.

God and the News

Just a warning: This is mostly a rant fueled by Fox News. Just had to get the thought out before the fire in me extinguishes.

So while I had the couple of moments to myself, I decided that I would scroll down my news feed on Facebook. Since I was still in public school, I’ve been watching Fox News. I just loved the energy and vibe they gave to my mornings. I mean, I got the information I needed and a smile. What more could I ask for? But as the years passed on and I got more educated, I noticed their flaws. Perhaps it is my idea of what a news channel should be that spurred my rant or am I justified?

I’ve noticed on multiple occasions that the anchors of Fox News would slip in their opinions between giving the stories. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but if it is a news station, I believe it should be purely based on fact and remain completely unbiased. That being said, Fox News invited a guest host who happened to be a pastor. I’m sure he is a wonderful man and his message was truly delightful, but he was being asked questions about God. ..Wait what?

Before I go on, I’d like to include that I am a believer in God. I am not of the Christian faith but I believe that all the gods of any religion.. Hindu, Muslim, Christian etc. is one. However, in respect to those who do not believe there is a God, there should be none of the sort mentioned in this country. Sure, many people are of the Christian faith, however, it does not give a justifiable reason as to why their beliefs are not respected. It is easy to say ,”Change the channel,” something I was told when I commented on that post but changing the channel does not solve the issue. Some argued that it was uplifting to see that as opposed to the violent stories told. The same uplifting message can be delivered without mentioning a God. There are so many topics, so many moments throughout the country that take place which can easily bring a smile to anyone’s face. Using religion as a means to bring a smile, in the news specifically, is simply not an excuse.

Though I batted their responses away for hours, eventually I quieted down and decided to finish the argument at Abandoned Lyrics. I realized how closed minded much of the population is.. How the ways of a previous society are drilled into their minds. They so easily forget that though the United States was based upon a document mentioning religion, times have changed. Our forefathers did not foresee the current world and so, did not tailor the founding documents to suit our needs. That is not an excuse.

And yet another dare blamed the lack of religion in school to the crime and violence that takes place in society today. There is a reason those ways have faded. I did not even bother gifting a reply to such a fool. Perhaps it can be argued, but using that to argue the fact that God is mentioned in the news? Really? 

Perhaps I am troubled by this because I believe the United States is a place that encourages the destruction of prejudice. Fox News station became more of a talk show than a news station to me. You’ve lost a viewer. 

So in the end, I may get more crap for my thoughts here, again because of the closed mindedness of much of the population, but screw it. At least these lyrics won’t be abandoned.

A Quick Thought: Tumblr

I’ve been fond of Tumblr for years. I love that I can easily build my own space using things I find in my day-to-day life using text, pictures, even music.

But what is even better is finding support. Whether it is weight loss or recovering from a recent relapse.. There will be someone out there wanting to listen and willing to help. This post was even inspired by something I reblogged. It was a post asking what should be done if you fear someone may attempt suicide. The solution was quickly contacting Tumblr support so that help will be given to that blogger. Imagine the lives saved by this simple act of kindness.. 

So here I am at 9:55A.M in my classroom..smiling like an idiot because of my Tumblr feed. I can only hope it makes other people at smile. 

My home away from home (and WordPress): xmyheartsong.tumblr.com

Feel free to follow me there. 

Fitting in – Don’t.

My thoughts float around the idea of finding the place I am most comfortable in. Just scrolling down the wall on WordPress, I found myself wondering if I should make my blog more focused on a single topic, or having it more like -this person- etc. etc. Narrowing it down, I was attempting to find a place to fit in. And to fit in, I’d have to change myself. That is something I refuse to do to myself.

Being social creatures, us humans crave a sense of belonging and comfort. Though I enjoy being among my friends and meeting people that enjoy the same things I do, the best comfort is myself. In my mind and on my own, I can do whatever freely. No worrying about what someone thinks of me.

This idea of loving my unique thoughts projected outward faster than I imagined. This was the confidence that created Abandoned Lyrics. Because I found something I already was comfortable with, it was easy to just act on my thoughts.

Of course, in the world there are always going to be people who do not like the things you do and you have to understand that. You have to come to appreciate the fact that everyone is different. Stand your ground no matter the situation. Your unique way of thinking will be accepted by someone, somewhere. Those are the people you should keep around.

FUCK THE HATERS.

I wish I had this mentality during my younger years, where I struggled the most with finding a niche. I never fit into any group. I was always somewhere caught in the middle. Even during small tests to figure out if I was right brained or left brained, I would always have to answer a tie breaker. Little things like this made me realize that I do not have to be one or the other. I can be both. There is a reason my blog never focuses on one central idea. I am passionate about several things, not a single thing and that is okay.

• Love yourself: Find what you like best about yourself. If you don’t like something, work to change it. You are in control of yourself and no one else. No excuses.

• Be yourself: There is a reason I put “Love yourself,” before this. You have to appreciate everything about you. Only then, will it show on the outside.

• Shine: Leaders are born when they choose not to fit in. They choose to shine over the rest. Be that light. Be the eagle among the pigeons.

Bettas

In no way, shape, or form, am I  a professional on this topic. But I can definitely say, I am one of those few people who have kept bettas for longer than a month.

I’d like to start off saying that bettas are the most adorable fish I’ve ever had, not to mention beautiful. Each really has their own personality. I mean, I’ve seen some animal lovers who say their pets have a personality when sometimes, I really cannot tell the difference between theirs and the next. You will never find a betta that will behave the exact same way as another.

I really would recommend these guys to first time pet keepers to teach them the extent some pet owners have to go in order to care for their pets.

What you will need for your betta.

1. A 2.5 gallon tank minimum

Some people say that bettas need a 5 gallon or 10 gallon tank to thrive. I find this to be misleading. I find that a 2.5 gallon tank is plenty of space for this fish. Keep in mind, they are loners. I am not saying it is impossible for bettas to live with others but it is highly recommended that they live on their own. However, if you do plan on putting other fish, make sure you go for a bigger sized tank.  Remember, I said 2.5 gallon minimum. I made the mistake of listening to the people in the pet store. They are really out to sell you the animal more than providing you the proper directions in caring the creature. The bowls or cups you buy these beautiful fish in are not suitable.

2. A heater

Bettas are tropical fish and so they belong at a temperature of about 78 degrees Fahrenheit. It can go to 80..maybe 82.. but the heater is recommended so that the temperature can remain constant. Changing environments can stress out the fish. Most people skip the heater.. Sure, your fish will survive, but it won’t thrive.  Please do not skip this unless the room temperature is constant. Nights can bring colder temperatures. Thermometers for tanks are only a few dollars, so be sure to invest in one.

3.  Filter.

A filter for your tank will be beneficial, especially if you have a bigger tank. It will mean less water changes on you. However, for smaller tanks without a filter, you will definitely have to do water changes more often. So many people will disagree with me but I say once every two weeks if you’ve got a medium sized critter keeper.. Depends on your fish. I have a betta, Elmo, who gets swollen.. almost like swimbladder but not really when I do water changes. I made sure the water temperature is the same, and that the dechlorinator has been in the water for at least fifteen minutes. I put it in gently as possible to avoid stressing him out. Even to these extents, I foudn that he puffed up. That was when I did 75% changes once a week. Once in two weeks, a 50% change, the problem has faded.. Anyway, another thing with filters is that you should keep it on low. Bettas aren’t great swimmers with that beautiful tail.

4. Lighting

Since its not good to keep your tank in direct sunlight, I keep mine where it can be lit by the natural light but still not be hit directly. Don’t want the algae. If you have live plants, the lighting will be beneficial. Just be sure to keep track of the hours. Bettas need day and night too.

I’ll continue this post if anyone has questions.

Check out my Q&A. Post the question there and I will get to it. If it is concerning bettas, I’ll forward you back to this post where I’ll answer your question. But don’t worry, I’ll reply in that section too.

Happy petkeeping! 😀

Blackfish

Like most of this country, I have found companionship in pets. The hypocrisy of loving animals but still enslaving them is something that beats at my thoughts daily. Still, I cannot help but stare at them in the jail cells in the pet store and watch them suffer. I find it easy to justify my behavior in saying that I can ease the pain of their imprisonment by providing them with care…

Since we are on the topic of slavery, I cannot help but turn my attention to Seaworld because of the movie.. or documentary called Blackfish. If you have not seen this movie, it is on Netflix. I believe you can watch it on Youtube as well. Consider this your warning, though. This will most likely contain spoilers.

The movie goes behind the scenes of Seaworld and deep into the dark pasts of the whales who are enslaved there. The attention on Seaworld for the accidents that have taken place there have only been momentarily. The people were in rage but that fire died down as time went on. This movie reignited the flame as it exposed the murders that took place at Seaworld’s famous killer whale show.

I can go on and on about the deaths that occurred, but I believe enough has been said concerning that. May those souls R.I.P.

All I can concentrate on now, are those who live. Those Seaworld trainers who put their lives at risk, but who also love the animals they work with and then, there are the animals themselves.

One whale specifically who seemed to have found his way into my heart is Tilikum. The same Tilikum who is responsible for the death of Dawn Brancheau. If that whale were a human being, more people would open their eyes to the pain. Imagine being merely two years of age and being snatched away from your family.. your mother, your mother whose side you were meant to stay by throughout your lifetime. These experiences were snatched away from you in an instant. And while they have taken you, your family followed for as long as they could until finally, they gave up.

Next thing you know, you are in a concrete confinement. There are two other whales, both of which are females and more dominant. You are a mere two year old and crave nothing but comfort but these females provide you with anything but that. They cannot understand you, nor you, them. In a show of their dominance, they bite you, ram you, bump you.. You have the scars to prove it. 

Then there are the trainers who work you nonstop. Fail the task you are given, and you are deprived of your already small meals. Because of the hunger scraping your insides, you do your best so you can look forward to the meal. In the meantime, however, you continue to be the target of abuse. As you grow, your hormones are raging. Tired, hungry, hormonal, the only way to release this, is that toy the other two whales were playing with. That fun is short lived, though. Not long after, you are split from the other whales and find yourself in a new concrete confinement. 

The story goes on until the same frustrated, stressed whale releases his pain onto the trainer, Dawn. The real pain is after Dawn’s death. They say animals can sense when something is wrong. I believe this was definitely the case with Tilikum. That doesn’t mean his behavior after Dawn’s death did not have to do with his treatment. Socialization was taken from him, along with toys. For hours he remained motionless according to volunteers from The Orca Project. There was not a toy or anyone spending much time with him. He’d have company upon moving from tank to tank, and being fed. Without shade, he was left to endure the beaming sun. 

Until recently they have decided to put Tilikum back to work.. putting another trainer’s life at risk.. and setting the whale up for disaster. 

I would not recommend or wish that Tilly would be free.. Because of aggression and boredom, his teeth are dulled out from chewing and baring his teeth between the metal bars that separate the tanks. He would not be able to survive long in the wild. But if they can just retire him, provide him with proper care.. I wish this for the rest of the whales in Seaworld and other parks across the world. 

Once again.. R.I.P to the lives lost and were shamelessly covered by Seaworld. 

Bullying and Self-Harm – Anonymous

The question: Hi i saw that you said to post whatever my mind wonders about and i really need someone to talk to. i get bullied a lot for my looks and my scars cuz i cut and the bullying just makes me do it more it is like an endless circle any advise for me please

Dear Anonymous,

I know exactly how you feel from experience. This is such a deep, personal topic, but here on Abandoned Lyrics, we can be free to speak of what we need to. This is one of those questions that conjures up so many memories of my younger days, coincidentally for the same exact thing; my looks.

Growing up, though, I realized no one can bully me without my consent. Why should you value their opinion? Because you show that you actually care and let it get to you, the bullies will just keep going at it. In life, we have to appreciate ourselves for being different. Everyone is human, everyone. Love the person you are and look at all the great things about you. Your friends obviously find something that is amazing about you which is why they are your friends. Just think positive and find your confidence. Learn to smile more and not care about what people think. When you have that confidence, it shows and makes you untouchable. You are the only person whose opinion matters when it comes to yourself. They are only obstacles in the way of achieving your goal. Just focus on that bigger goal in your mind, reach for it and push all that blocks you from reaching it, away.

As for self harm, I have also been down that road and I am a recovered self-harmer. Recovering from that takes time and dedication to yourself, not anyone else. Focus on what makes you happy. You are beautiful and some day, you will soar. When that time comes, your bullies will probably be the ones working for YOU. Step one is to get rid of the blade. Don’t think about it, just do it. Then think of what you want in the future. I always think, would I want my future child to ask what these scars are? To think it is okay to hurt themself? No, I don’t and I hope you don’t either.

The scars you already have.. Let them be and let them heal. Those are your battle scars. It might be a reminder of what you been through, but they are also reminders that you are not that person anymore and you can stand up alone without depending on the blade for comfort.

YOU are beautiful.

YOU control your life.

YOU are priceless.

Find your confidence, it is your secret weapon. Use it and you will shine.

I hope you keep in touch and update me on how you are doing. I would really love to know.

-Abandoned Lyrics.

 

The Struggle and the Solution

Like most college students, especially being a freshman, I find myself struggling to keep track of my work. While I did not have much of a social life before, being in a new environment has opened up new doors. There are people and opportunities coming into my life and being the person I am, i want to take advantage of all of them. This is where the struggle began. Balancing the time between papers, study time and the actual classes was already difficult enough. Not to mention my normal 8-9 hours of sleep have been cut to maybe five hours maximum.

Technology is a temptation. It is easy to turn your phone off and push it aside, but it also just that easy to put it back on. Taking a five minute break and going on Facebook can so easily become half an hour, and then an hour, and then a couple of hours. With all the social media, it is so difficult to stay focused.

Luckily, I put myself back on track.

The solution(s):

1.) I find that being in a place that promotes studying helps me do so. Instead of staying home where I have technology at my fingertips, I go to the library and leave my phone at home. Simply being in a different environment can work wonders for people.

Going back to the turning off the phone, it simply does not work. Surprisingly, there are apps and websites to help you concentrate when you are at home.

2.) For Mac users, there is an app called SelfControl. Like most of the following, this site is designed to block websites that you have to avoid for a set amount of time.

3.) For PC, you can get Cold Turkey. Like the SelfControl app, you are able to block websites, games and even programs.

This requires the download of a program, though. There is another option of just installing extensions. Since this option is supported by many platforms (and because someone has laid out the directions for installing them), I’ll provide a link that you can follow to block the social media. This, however, works only when you’re on the computer.

SITE: http://hackmystudy.com/how_to_block_specific_websites.html

(The main site is a great help as well)

Finally, there is the problem of picking up your phone. Since, I’m more familiar with the iPhone, I’ll go ahead and talk about that. I’m pretty sure Android users have some type of solution similar to the following.

Well, you know how sometimes you put your phone on silent and then cannot find it? Do exactly that. Put your phone on silent and give it to a trusted friend to hide it for you.

So what if there is no one around?

Here is somewhat of a solution.

Grab a piece of pen and paper and go through your phone settings. Look for the option that enables you to put long passwords on your phone. Make sure it is a difficult pattern that most likely will not stick into your head. If it requires letters, let it go something like this:

hcunrghsits (a.k.a a bunch of nonsense)

JUST MAKE SURE YOU WRITE IT DOWN. Write it and leave it with the phone. Though you know where it is, it is probably going to be a hassle to type that into your phone.

Should these options not work for you, well…. You probably really, really, need some help.

Happy studying! 😀