February Goals

I’m very happy to announce that in January I completed 8/10 of my planned goals. Not only did I successfully do the 10 I set out to, I also made great progress in creating lasting habits for my health and well-being. It isn’t important which goals I did or did not meet, what matters most is that I was able to achieve more than I thought I would for the month. 

With that being said, I decided on my February goals. I have less on my list this month, and some are the same or slightly different, while some are new. Although I’m doing a lot of focusing on the short-term goals, I haven’t forgotten about the long term; many of my goals I set intentionally to get into the habit of doing it, so I can eventually turn around and utilize them for a longterm plan. An example would be more exercise: someday I want to comfortably complete a full marathon. I can’t do that without consistent running and training (and diet!!) every day. Another would be my writing: four blog posts a month at minimum gives me the practice and experience to someday get paid for writing.  “I want to learn everything I can, and write down everything I see. Golly says if I want to be a writer, I’d better start now…”

  • Publish 4 blog posts
  • Read 4 books
  • Work out 4 days a week
  • Put (and keep) money in savings
  • Continue to clean and de-clutter
  • No soda

I feel good. These may seem like more “to-do” list items, but they mean more than that to me. These goals mean working to become a better person, both physically and mentally. I want to learn, I want to feel stable, I want to feel strong. I’m so ready to be the best I can be. This month I also want to sit down and seriously begin to plan out my long-term life goals, and I’ll be sure to write about it when I know more myself. 

January Goals

I could very well write about New Year’s Resolutions and how I plan on maintaining long-term goals throughout the entire year. But we all know how resolutions go, and I hate admitting that I’ve failed at something. Instead of writing about the long-term, I’ve decided to break down my goals into smaller, month-sized pieces and share them as the year goes on. Many of my goals may be the same month to month; this makes it less of a resolution and more of a continuing habit.

With all that being said, here are my goals for January

  • Drink more water
  • Run 3 times a week
  • Lose 5 pounds
  • Complete a “75 Push-up Challenge”
  • Complete my half marathon without dying
  • Enjoy my trip to Disneyland without stressing out about money
  • Continue reducing the items I own
  • Crack down on a good skin care routine
  • Publish at least 4 blog posts
  • Read at least 4 books
  • Maintain a private journal
  • Focus on more photography

I tried to make goals that were diverse. Some are health-related while some are personal goals, and some are just good practices to get into. I spent a lot of December thinking on these and making strides to begin my new habits.

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Both in this blog and in my personal journal I’ve
mentioned that 2017 is the year of growth, and I plan on returning to that word throughout my year. Everything I do this year is all based around personal growth. Expect that to be a reoccurring word in my posts.

What are your thoughts on forming New Year’s Resolutions? Do you stick with them through the entire year or do they fizzle out? How do you separate a “resolution” and making new habits, or is there a difference at all? I’d love to know your opinion on this, and I hope you join me through this year of blogging.

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Welcome to My Normal

It’s really amazing how normal my life feels. Walking down Main Street at Midnight because I can, running to EPCOT for lunch, seeing a movie at Downtown Disney, making a day of Universal Studios. Every bit of this is my norm now. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would (basically) live at the Magic Kingdom. It’s been three months, and every day I can’t get over how amazingly blessed I am to be living my dreams at Walt Disney World.

It makes me really sad for those who are miserable being here. First of all, life is too short to hate your job. And second of all, of all the jobs to be miserable at, Walt Disney World isn’t the place for that. I know plenty of people who do nothing but complain about working here. They exude negativity, and guests notice. I will NEVER be a Cast Member who has to work at WDW. I will forever be a Cast Member who gets paid to play at Magic Kingdom and make great memories for families on vacation. 
Being a pirate isn’t a job. It’s a lifestyle. 
It’s true. But seriously, even on days where “work” is hard, I don’t have to force myself out of the apartment to go to my job, because it isn’t a job to me. I have so much fun with my friends and guests and my leaders. I get my work done like I’m supposed to, but I love finding ways to make it enjoyable. Sweeping the queue isn’t all that fun and it makes me hate people who leave trash on the floor three feet away from a trash can. But I don’t care. Because being here means so much to me and I’ll never lose that. A lot of Cast Members either lost it a long time ago, or never got here with it. Some people deserve to be Cast Members, and others work here. There’s a huge difference. 
I will forever be a Cast Member. A Cast Member who never loses themselves in “working” but can’t wait to see what guests they can meet today. That’s the coolest part of my job: meeting different people every single day. Occasionally seeing the same person a time or two, but every day brings new “First Visits” and that makes me so excited to be a pirate. I get to experience families on their first visit to Walt Disney World and be a part of their vacation. I wish I knew why some Cast Members are so miserable. We work in the most Magical Place on Earth. We are so lucky to be here in this “normal” that some people may only get to experience once in their lives, or may never get to experience. I love sharing my “normal” with them. 

Refocused on My Health

I didn’t want to write this today. Know that. But my intentions for writing it are not for typical “New Years Resolutions” reasons, so there’s that. It just happens to be written and posted on January 1st, which is a day when normal people set goals and such for themselves that they will keep up with for a month and then quit. I’m done quitting.

As most of you know, 2013 was the year I reached my highest weight of about 250 pounds. I don’t know my exact weight, because I couldn’t stand to weigh myself when I first began losing, But I know I was anywhere from 240-260 so let’s just split the difference and say 250. After gaining the More-Like-Freshman-Fifty, I came home from school in May and made a change; not just went on a diet, but began to make lifelong habit changes. In June, Shay Butler posted a video on his ShayLoss channel on YouTube about starting a five week challenge to get in shape. Because of this challenge, I became very close to a community of people like me who were wanting to make permanent changes. We became the Red Faced Warriors and they became a HUGE part of my 2013 year. Without them, I would not have lost the 50-ish pounds that I did. I would not have gained the inspiration and motivation that I did without this community. 
I did slack on exercise after the summer, I will admit that. But the eating habits have continued. But since October, I have done very little activity other than a few mile runs with my sister. I lost my mojo because I no longer had a goal like the Tower of Terror run. The run was over, so I stopped running. But I missed it. Like a lot. A few weeks ago, registration opened for the Expedition Everest Challenge in  May, and I convinced my sister to run it with me. This has given me a new goal and added motivation. From following running motivation on Tumblr and Instagram, I have a new vision for my 20th year and where I want to see myself. 
Runners World posted this article about setting running goals for the year, and I plan on keeping up with this. My goal as I said in a previous post is to run a half marathon in 2015. I have a year to train, and I know it is going to be a huge year. Making time to run is going to be hard as hell. I will want to sleep in, watch Netflix, go to the parks instead of run. But I have to. I have the DESIRE to run and be healthy, but the DOING is harder. But I never regret it once I’m out there. I want it to be a part of me. I want to feel confident saying “I’m a runner.” 
I want every one of these medals. I COVET these medals. These medals motivate me. I will have them all. But especially I want this one:
I want the Coast-To-Coast medal, meaning I have to run a half (or full!!) marathon at both Walt Disney World AND the Disneyland Resort in the same year. On top of this, I want the other challenge medals like the Dopey and Goofy Challenges. Of course, I want to run other races not just through RunDisney, but I set my mind to running in every RunDisney race, and that is a goal I will achieve. The full marathon will take some major determination that I just don’t have right now, but a half is doable. I did 10 miles in October! Even though my feet hurt so badly, I could see that a half could be feasible with better training. I guess I’ll say while I have no IMMEDIATE plans to run a full marathon, I’m not saying I never will. It’s just a lot to think about at my current level of running. 
On top of the Runner’s World article that is going to help me shape up my running this year, I also got Sean Sarantos’ ebook he wrote about health and nutrition and fitness. I’ve watched him on YouTube a lot recently (NOT just because he’s absolutely dreamy, but because I really do like the information he gives) and have learned a lot through his videos. He’s very good at encouraging people like me (not-fit, self-conscious-when-it-comes-to-the-gym women) to not compare ourselves to others. I like his weekly videos gear specifically toward women, and he’s constantly saying in his book and videos and twitter and everywhere else, that ANYONE can do the exercises he shows. He doesn’t dumb anything down, but explains things that many fitness people assume you know. I’m looking forward to trying out the plans in his ebook and hoping to grow from the experience. It’s not a formal book. He cusses and calls his readers “little birds” and it’s very much like a conversation between you and him. He explains his terms and I really appreciate the informality of the whole thing. 
He also tweeted me back. So it is inevitable that we are going to fall in love now. He grew up in San Antonio. So we have the whole “Native Texan” thing together. 
Of course, the next two weeks are NOT going to be healthy ones. I’m leaving Saturday to spend a week in the car and on a cruise ship. Then starts Disney training and work. Once I get to Florida, though, I WILL have healthy food in the apartment if nothing else. Even if I don’t get any running or weights in, I will have a good diet (Maybe not 100% but at least 85%). 
I know that with how busy I am going to be this year. But I’m ready for the challenge. Health IS challenging. But I’m going to plan ahead meals, and maybe have to wake up early to go run or wait to take a nap until after. But however  it happens, it’s going to happen. I’m GOING to lose the last 50 pounds and I’m GOING to run that half marathon. I’ve got a notebook that I want to use to write down a food journal, running times, other workouts, quotes, progress, etc. I will of course update my blog with this, but not as often. That’s why I want to use the notebook. (YES I know there are apps for that, but I’m old-fashioned enough to want to hand write it). 
I am also doing this #TeamRunDisney photo challenge for January. So follow my Instagram. 
I really hope anyone who reads this that might be feeling like I have: ready to get back at it, but haven’t for whatever reason, joins me this year to complete our goals that we started out with. Message me so we can help motivate each other! Sometimes you just need someone who is on a similar journey as you to keep you accountable and focused. I’m ready to be focused. 

Christmas, Packing, Birthday Resolutions, and More!

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything. Basically, my life is full of anticipation for the near future, and one can only say

so many times before it becomes obvious. Also, the only thing I’ve even been able to think about writing is about the Duck Dynasty stuff that everyone has been talking nonstop about. 
But, honestly, anyone who knows me knows EXACTLY how I feel about the topic, and so I will save it for another day when it isn’t expected. The hipster inside of me wants to wait anyway until it’s no longer on the trending topics to mention it. 
Christmas happened. That’s a thing. I pretty much had the best Christmas ever. Nothing can really beat having the one-and-only Mickey Mouse call you while you’re watching the Disney Parks Christmas Parade to tell you you’re going on a Disney Cruise right before DCP check-in. So Christmas will be continuing for weeks! Sorry, Piper. WHICH IS ANOTHER THING. My sister is such a Grinch. She HATES Christmas so insanely much. I don’t understand. I love Christmas. 
I’ve been struggling with packing these last few days, just knowing how far I will be away from home and HATING the idea of not bringing something I need ASAP just to have to buy it there when it’s sitting at home. I would rather bring too much then spend money I didn’t need to if I’d just brought the dumb thing in the first place. Not only am I packing for life in Florida, but I’m also packing for the drive down there and the day or two at the parks, but now I am also packing for the three day cruise from the 8th-11th. So I’m trying to figure out what to pack where so I know where it all is!

Something else I decided to do it forget about New Year’s Resolutions. Not like anyone ever keeps up with theirs anyway. But I AM choosing to decide my resolutions a week and a half early and do Birthday Resolutions instead. It’s basically the same thing since my birthday is so close to New Years. BUT it makes more sense to say you want to do something during a certain age. So here are my 20 Year Old Resolutions:

  1. Train for a half marathon
  2. Begin reviewing things. (I suck at trying to review, so I want to get better at that)
  3. Be able to do a handstand
 I say I want to TRAIN for a half marathon, but I want to do the WDW Half or Princess Half which are in January and February, so I can’t complete it while being 20, but I definitely want to get to that point in the next year. 

As far as reviewing goes, yes, I watch a lot of movies, read a lot of books, listen to a lot of music, but I really struggle with thoughts when I say if I like something or not. In the next year I would really like to focus on explaining WHY I like or don’t like something. I think watching BookTube reviews and seeing blog posts on certain things will really help me develop my own opinions and be able to express them. It takes practice, which I have zero of!
For the handstand, doing that involves gaining muscle and upper body strength. While that is the end goal, there is a lot that goes into it. This also means I will have to do some yoga and other things that will help gain that strength to be able to accomplish this goal! I have been wanting to get into yoga for a long time, but am too self-conscious to go to an actual class, so I’m stuck doing things in my room from YouTube until I can gain some confidence to find a good outlet for it. 
My journey to Florida begins on Saturday. My entire life will be packed up into my car and my mom’s car to take me to live at the Happiest Place on Earth. I switch from being insanely ready and excited and nothing-can-stop-me feeling, to being terrified and upset with the realization of how far away I am going and the people I will be leaving here. It’s such a HUGE thing and a MAJOR life change for me that I know I will learn from and grow through it. Still, it’s a lot for me. But I know I will not regret the opportunity I have been given, even as I sit in my room like: 
So don’t expect a lot from me in the next little bit of time on here. If you care, follow me on other social media for up-to-date information until I write a full wrap-up probably after I’m settled in Orlando! I’ll have plenty of photos and videos that I will want to share!

The Importance of Working for Disney

I’m writing this very late after-the-fact, but I feel like I need to stick up for myself and for others in a similar situation. When it come to doing the DCP, for a lot of people, the program is VERY important to them. It’s important in many ways, because they have grown up loving Disney and the movies and the characters and what the company means. Doing the program is a dream come true for people like me. It’s more important that I get to learn about working for the company that I love and get to create magical moments for guests than it is that I’m getting to put it on my resume. I would do the program even if it wasn’t impressive on my resume. It means that much to me that I participate in this great and magical opportunity.

I’ve had more magical moments AS a guest in the parks than I could even imagine. I’ve had great experience waiting in long lines for characters:
The Character Attendant for Phineas and Ferb last May:

Him: “are you a mermaid?”
Me:”Yes.”
Him:”It’s the hair. I knew it.”
Me:”I only have three days here!!”
Him:”Oh, you have to find a prince! You know what you should do? Marry one of the Star Wars guys. That way you can be on land AND the galaxy! “

Me:”Eeeehhh Illthink about it.”
And this:
Not to mention that both my 18th and 19th birthdays and graduation were celebrated in a Disney Park. Nothing is more magical than having every CM that sees you genuinely wish you a happy birthday. During the first trip, we were eating in Adventureland at Tortuga and a little girl from the next table ran over to me and told me happy birthday. Just being there with the generally-happy people (obviously there are grumpies, but I’ve had good experiences so far) is really amazing. 
I saw this post on Tumblr the other day:
I hope you can read it, because it’s exactly how I feel. And I read this after something that happened to me, and the real reason for this post. Link here because the photo isn’t very clear.
I understand not everyone doing the program BLEEDS DISNEY like me. But I know enough people that do and I know how important the program is to them. Others are just doing it as a job. I’ve seen many people admit that they feel guilty because they see how much this means to some people, and people that didn’t get in the program this year. They feel bad that they got accepted and it doesn’t mean the same to them. What I don’t understand is, why would you even APPLY to the program if you didn’t believe in what you were going to do for 5-8 months? Would it not be hard to “fake” the magic everyone else naturally feels? I could work at some government internship for 8 months and want to kill myself because I don’t speak that lingo or feel anything for that. So I won’t apply for anything like that, even if it looked good on a resume. 
One of the (few) things I’ve loved about the main DCP Facebook page is the advice from alumni. One said they regretted not knowing any basic Spanish while on their program, because so many people speak it that come to the parks and it was difficult to communicate. I totally agreed with this, and it’s made me look up some vocabulary I might need, just to be able to know a few words here and there. I’ve had 6 years of Spanish, but due to the lack of great teachers, I don’t know as much as I should. So though I will not, most likely, have a name tag like this:
I hope to someday. But I thought this person’s post was helpful. They weren’t saying “You need to be bilingual before doing the program” but were just saying pick up some basic direction words that would be very useful to other guests. 
On Twitter later, a girl I followed (note past-tense) was going off about how there was no way she would learn another language just for a minimum wage job and she didn’t want to be yelled at in another language anyway. It was several Tweets in a row talking badly about this Facebook post and so I subtweeted. Some subtweets are mean, but that was not my intention. And, honestly, it wasn’t just about her. Like I said above, many people have made comments about the program that do not reflect my views and opinions. I subtweeted basically what I said earlier, “If you aren’t excited about the program, why did you even apply?” and she called me out on it. The night before I had a conversation with someone else doing the program who admitted to me that he is just doing the program to do it. This tweet was NOT just about this one particular girl, but it was on my mind because of her mini-rant. 
(direct screenshot quote) “Yeah, people are going to go though the trouble of learning an entire language for a fucking minimum wage job. Disney People.” 
My subtweet.
“Because I want to terrorize you all. I’m just kidding. I am excited lol. I just think some of these people are overly obsessed.”
“Yeaaaah I’m one of those people XD Sorry I have dreams” complete with the little laughing-so-hard-they’re-crying emoji. See, I wasn’t arguing with her. I was laughing and owning up to it. Even saying “sorry I have dreams” wasn’t sarcastic in my meaning. It probably appeared that way, but it wasn’t my intention.
“Well good for you. My dream is to be a lawyer, advocating for children in the foster case system. Yours is just the DCP.” 
and then some other girl I don’t know replied with “Mmmmm those minimum wage dreams, the best kind! #girlbye” 
I did respond to the lawyer comment and told her–GENUINELY–“I wish you the best! n_n That’s a wonderful and fulfilling career.” And I meant every word of it!! I don’t care if she thought I was being patronizing, I wasn’t. 
Then lawyer-girl continues “Okay I don’t want to fight with you. I apologize for even responding to your tweet. I just knew it was about me. “ 
and continues again “I know I seem cynical but that’s just my personality. I love Disney and am very proud to be selected to work there.” 
and STILL continues, “I don’t want enemies before we even get there. I’ll try not to complain so much about Disney people anymore.”

I never replied, because whatever I would have said would have been awful. Not to say I didn’t share my thoughts with Jaelen and my friend who loves Disney just as much if not more than me, Colin. But I wasn’t going to lash out on this girl I don’t even know. But honestly, it’s like the Tumblr post above. My “dream” isn’t doing the DCP for the rest of my life. It’s a stepping stone to it, yes. My dreams aren’t over in August. But they do start in January. The way she and the other girl responded, you’d think I’d told them my dream was to work at McDonalds. Working for Disney is so much more than just a job to pay bills. That isn’t why I’m doing it. Trust me, everyone says, “Don’t do the DCP to make money because you won’t.” But I AM doing it because it is what will get me to working within the company later on, if that is what I want to do in the future. 
So, if you want to get through it and put it on your resume and then go do whatever the heck you want, go for it. As for me and others that I know, I’m going to make the very most of my program and my experience and be the very best Cast Member that I can possibly be and I will work hard, earn my Four Keys Fanatic recognition cards, and find where I want to be within the company. I will follow the rules and withhold the legacy of the company that Walt himself set in place. #GirlBye

Health and Lifestyle Updates

So many things I want to talk about…and knowing me, I’ll probably forget half of them before I publish this post. But I’ll write what I can and either edit later or just write a second post. I HAVE ADHD, OKAY!?!!

First off, I completed the first week of the ShayLoss Five Week Challenge! In reality, the “challenge” is more of a motivation to continue what I have already been doing since May than any actual challenge. It’s been a way to keep going, and stay accountable because I’ve been blogging more and making videos about weight loss.  As far as any extra exercise, I haven’t been doing it. I’ve really just been doing everything gradually and seeing what is going to work for me in changing my lifestyle.

Things I’ve changed this week:

  • I started doing weight workouts. 
            I hadn’t been concerned at all about doing weights, mainly because I haven’t known exactly what to do or how much to do it. Pinterest has been a great help for that and now I am adding arm workouts at home or at the gym to my activity. 
  • I started juicing.
           Obviously, I’ve blogged about this and made videos. But This is MY update, and I can say what I want.  So I started juicing after visiting our AWESOME juice bar. It’s also a way for me to get more vegetables in my diet. I really love it and it fills me up even more than my morning smoothies seem to. 
  • As I have been since May, I’ve started cutting back on portions.
           When I first began this change, I started with just doing smoothies. After I felt comfortable with that, we got rid of packaged foods. Once I got comfortable with that, we substituted things or got rid of things altogether, etc.  Today I decided to try and not snack quite so much. I felt like I snacked a lot yesterday, even if it WAS better snacks, and would just like to do better.  So the next best thing is just to re-evaluate how much food my body ACTUALLY needs me to consume. 
My eventual goal would be to do more juicing or something equally intense and good. Be able to cut out bread (even Ezekiel Bread) just a little bit more than I already am, and see what happens. I’m trying to do research about juicing while training for half marathons, because I don’t know whether or not I should wait until after my Tower of Terror Run to do anything TOO intense, or if juice will still give me what I need. 
I found a GREAT idea on Runningonjuice.com that I think could be very doable for a meal or two, and maybe still eat a “normal” meal in between. They juiced, then put it in a blender with protein powder, coconut water, and CHIA SEEDS. I will definitely be trying this in the morning. I know Chia Seeds are SO great for you. 
Another thing I found in my research are some good quotes:

“My body is THRIVING (not surviving!) on freshly extracted juice from a wide array of fruits and vegetables.”

“…think of juicing as a ‘gateway drug’ to better health and eating clean.”

I also found the idea to “reestablish a RELATIONSHIP with clean food.” That’s something I’ve never had: a RELATIONSHIP with clean food. Isn’t that a neat thought?!?!

This evening, I was watching old ShayLoss videos in the kitchen and Shay said, “If you want to be fat, do what fat people do. If you want to be skinny, do what skinny people do.” My mom and I just thought, “WOW.” It’s such a “duh” idea, but to hear it SAID just made it click.

Mom also said, “We’re going to look so different in our family pictures at Disney in October. We’re going to be THOSE people. The people who DID IT.” And I can’t wait to be THAT person. To look back at this journey and say, “I’m SO GLAD I didn’t give up when I wanted to.” I already feel like such a better person than I did five weeks ago.

Since today on ShayLoss it was an update day, here are my measurements. I wanted them side-by-side the old ones, so if there are two, it means there was a change. If not, I stayed the same in that area. Made some good progress in a week! I’m definitely proud of myself.

Like I said…I knew I would forget my thoughts. But there’s a great deal of them!! 

Bucket List

I’ve been talking with a coworker (one I didn’t rant about 😉 ) and she’s planning on backpacking across Europe after graduation next spring. I want to do something like that so badly! I’ve got a bucket list, and here she is: 

1)Move to Florida 

2)Work at Disney
3)Go to Spain
4)And other places in Europe
5)Spend New Years in Times Square
6)GET MARRIED
7)Write a book
8)Run a 5k ✔
9)Run a 10k
10)Run a half marathon
11)Run a full marathon
12)Run every Disney run event at least once 
13)Repeat
14)Longboard
15) goto the oscars
16) go to vidcon
17) quidditch World Cup
18) go to comicon with piper
None of this is in any particular order, just in the order I thought it up. Just thought I’d share it, and I will DEFINITELY be updating it and crossing things off in good time. 
A lot of people talk about having bucket lists, and so have I. I finally decided a few months ago that I needed to write it down. Because how can you keep yourself accountable (and remember things!) if you don’t have your goals written down?? So that’s what I did, and I’m very excited to cross things off one by one, as well as add to it!