Tuesday, November 26, 2013

What I am truly thankful for

So our branch in church does this thing where there is an RS newsletter. It's so we feel more connected since there are many of us that live in a city by ourselves. I never really wanted to contribute to them, I don't know why, but since I visit teach the woman who is in charge of the newsletter when she asked me to write something I couldn't really say no. She asked me to write on the topic of what I am truly grateful for. While writing it I thought this would be a good thing to post on my blog since I haven't updated it in forever. So here it is! What I am truly grateful for: 

One of the biggest struggles I have is that I suffer from depression; both seasonal and, at times, a mildly crippling case of just general depression. It can get to be very overwhelming for me and leads me to retreat from life sometimes. So one thing I am truly thankful for is the friendships I have made with my family members and with friends I have made all around the world.
The hardest thing about this trial in my life is that it brings out someone who is the exact opposite of my normal self. I am usually a very social and outgoing person. I love being in a crowd and having a full calendar of things to do. When I get depressed it becomes a vicious cycle for me. I don’t want to go out, I don’t want to be around people and I struggle to get excited about anything; which only makes me more depressed.
It seems to me that the friends and family I have in my life have always just known the exact moment I need them and have always been there for me: a phone call or email from my brother to encourage me or check in on me, an invitation to go out to dinner from a friend to catch up, or someone just telling me they noticed they haven’t seen me around lately. It is like they can sense when I am struggling and know the perfect thing to help. I know this is not a coincidence. I know that I have had people placed in my life to help me through my trials who are in touch enough with the Spirit to know when they are needed.
I have also been blessed to have amazing in-laws. From people who know exactly what I am going through because of their own personal struggles to people who just love me unconditionally and support me when I’m down. They also raised an amazing son who just seems to know how to make me smile when I’m sad and how to get me out of a situation when I feel completely overwhelmed or that sometimes a trip to a tropical location in the middle of the winter is just what the doctor ordered.
I am truly blessed by the people the Lord has put into my life and the support he gives me through people who love me. I cannot list everyone here who has helped me in one way or another, but I am grateful for all the amazing people I know and can call my friends and family.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Rules of Dieting

Hi my name is Michelle and I have a very unhealthy relationship with food and dieting and the small amount of fat that resides on my mid section.

There is something empowering and depressing about this all at once. It's empowering because I recognize it and I can sometimes remember it and control my brain, but it's depressing because I'm sure it's something that will only be fixed by therapy and time and I don't want to put in the work. Also, as a MO it's really one of the few vices I get... and really there are worse vices.

As some of you know I was in the running to be on a infomercial. With it came food delivered to my door (no eating out of the box!) and 6 day a week, butt kicking bootcamp classes. The food was pretty yummy (although left me very hungry) and I really enjoyed the bootcamp after the first week of being so sore I could barely move.

But then things started going wrong. First, it was HARD to stay on track when people around me were eating such delicious things. Second, my life kinda sucked. Most social gatherings revolve around food so I knew I didn't have the will power to resist so I became a hermit. As most of you know I'm pretty social... so sitting inside all weekend being hungry isn't really something I enjoyed. So the way it broke down was I was at a job I hated so the week depressed me, then I was starving and locked inside my apartment so the weekends depressed me. I basically had nothing to do that would keep me happy.

Then we had visitors... and I was doing really well... I would steal the occasional thing from Chad's plate but mostly be okay... till we went to Indian food. Let me tell you- there is no diet friendly food at an Indian restaurant. I got the Okra cooked in tomatoes (green veggies are usually okay "cheat" items) but Chad got this Indian food feast and I couldn't resist. So I had bites here and there... but then I felt so guilty about it. So guilty in fact that I headed to the bathroom and attempted to do something I haven't in a long time... make myself throw up. That was the tipping point for me. I went back and after we split with our friends Chad and I talked about it and he asked me a great question, "What's the worst thing that will happen if you get cut?" and I realized that the worst thing would be that it would be a blow to my ego... but since I just spent 5 minutes in a small closet of a bathroom in an Indian restaurant trying to puke I really didn't have much of a ego left to salvage.

I am being very open here about the remnant of my eating disorder, don't worry this isn't a call for help or me dismissing how serious they are... I know they're serious.. I had one and obviously there are still some triggers. What I would love to hear about is from a girl who didn't have any sort of eating disorder (starving, puking, exercising obsessively, intense dieting) and would like to know how they were raised so I could replicate it... 

So, anyway, in a few days I got cut from the program and you know what I was HAPPY! I didn't have the stress anymore of feeling like I was starving all the time or not eating anything outside of the small amount of food they were sending me and I lost 11 lbs, gained some serious muscle and set up a habit of exercising. 

So all this jibber jabber is finally leading to this, the rules/mantras/beliefs I created for myself.

1. working out is the priority 
how many times do we cancel our workout to do something else? I do it too often.. And with stuff like this there is no excuse to not workout
2. one treat a day 
Honestly, this is the hardest thing for me... I have such a sweet tooth, but I decided I mean one processed sugar treat a day... so if I have a treat at lunch then an apple is okay after dinner 
3. fill up on veggies and protein
But eat some carbs- because they're yummy and when I don't I'm grumpy, but FILL up on the good stuff 
4. nothing is BAD somethings are just BETTER
This is so key for me... I use to eat a cupcake and then berate and hate myself for it because it's "bad" and I "shouldn't". Self hating does not make for a healthy lifestyle
5. Love your body however it comes-it does amazing things
It really does! I mean my body has climbed me up mountains, swam me around oceans, walked miles and miles and kept on going... 
6. The key is health and strength not torture and hate and unhealthy ideals
This is the most key thing I think. The big question here is "am I doing this because I want to be healthy and respect my body or am I doing this because I want to be skinny and "more attractive  in the worst sense

So there it is. The new Michelle mindset and how I'm going to live my life... I'm going to workout, I'm going to focus on eating things that are better for me, but not torturing myself if I eat something that isn't as good for me. I'm going to love myself more.

So if all that came out of that torturous bootcamp was this then I would say I didn't even fail- I did better than anyone, even myself, expected.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The book installments continue!

So as I ride the train and read I start thinking about the stories I would put in my book so I started making a list. So to hold me accountable for writing them at some point I will now give you the list of topics I want to write on... 

 Dating in general

Worst date in HS
 Worst date in college
 Worst date ever 

Best date in HS
 Best date in college
 Best date ever 

 First memory 
Worst nightmare
 Best day 
Scariest thing 
The day I found out I was chubby 

High School
 Day I realized I should just embrace me and not worry
 My group of friends
 How to decide what college to attend

The beautiful butterfly
 learning to love myself 
My roommates 
working in Logan UT 
The internship politicking 
Lost love

Adult life
First job
Law school dreams and destroyed
Botched Interview
My first little while at Disney
Turns out it wasn't forever
Bouncing back
Batman and Michelle, together forever
A full accounting of Chad and mine's relationship as it unfolded

Embracing my feminism
Bread winner
Newlywed life

That should keep me typing for a long while now... and just because I think Batman makes everyone's day better here's a picture of him!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Do you ever look at your life and think how did I get here?

This will most likely be a whiny post, so before I begin I want to say I am thankful that I have a steady paycheck that allows me to support the love of my life while he goes to school. I have an adorable dog who makes me smile and really compared to some life is just fine. That's my issue though... it's just fine. I'm sitting here completely demotivated... I absolutely hate my job... like more than I can express in words, but I think if anyone I worked with at Disney could see me and how I work now they would think someone body swapped me. I am always late, I just can't get out of bed to get here on time. I give the bare minimum; I didn't use to but you get so sick of hearing no and I'll consider it or I'll let someone know and then nothing happens. I'm rarely smiling, I let deadlines slip without caring. WHO AM I???? The number of times my Manager has flat out lied to my face is actually shocking- no pause no nervous look, but a flat out lie. It makes me so uncomfortable that she is so comfortable with it. I just can't respect her on a basic level... we won't even get into the fact that she's been promoted way past her level of competence or that Nespresso just moves people around instead of firing them when they don't do their job well... It's just been difficult for me because I just wonder why I'm still here, that's the hard thing. I have now turned down 3 jobs because of this one... and I know it was the right thing to do, at least it felt right, but why does the "right thing" make me so incredibly miserable? I know there is an end in sight. I made Chad promise that I get to quit soon. That we need to do something new and exciting... and odds are we'll be leaving New York to do that anyway... but that seems so far away right now. I guess it's good to know that I'm pretty certain I'm ready for a career change unless a great project comes along. But what? I have gone through so many different ideas and plans... I just wish I knew where life was trying to push me....

Monday, April 1, 2013

Things do not change; we change.

In college I use to always make sure I checked Post Secret everyday. I loved it; the site made me laugh, cry and feel. I related to posts or I felt blessed because I did not relate.

But then, over time I checked it less and less frequently- I missed it sometimes, the secrets were always interesting to me, but life got busy and usually when I thought of the site it was at all the inopportune times when I couldn't visit the site for a variety of reasons.

But now that I'm at a job that isn't busy and usually the resources I need to do my job are almost always broken I have a lot of free time to browse the web. This has brought me back to Post Secret and I've found something has changed.

I don't love it anymore and I don't know why. Is it Post Secret? I don't think so- why would the format change? Why would the secrets change? So I guess that means I have.

But how have I changed? I don't think I've ever been too angsty as a teen or during my college years.A quick google search tells me angsty people have "the feeling of not being understood by anyone and that the person is alone in the world." That's not me... I thought my life was unique in how all lives are, but not that unique that no one would understand what it's like.

So as I sit here I wonder, what changed? Why don't I relate... and I realized it's because I'm married.

It KILLS me to admit that. I hate that I've changed because I've gotten married, but it makes sense. I mean, like a typical mormon girl (see) I was anxious about marriage. It's taught to be such an important part of your life... and it is don't get me wrong, but I wonder if I would be a different girl today if people encouraged me to do more than get myself married, that for some reason I wasn't a complete person because I was single. But, because I was the way I was I was constantly worried about finding someone to love me- that I loved back. It's a hard dance and like everything else I think if you set your mind on it, something you cannot really control*, it eludes you. If you make it your reason for being- it won't happen... you'll just waste your time.

My little feminist self hates that marriage changed me. Why should it? But it did... and it did because my priorities changed. Marriage forces you to not be so selfish... when you're a college grad with a good job and you're single... you can become very selfish, it's a tough transition. 

Other things that changed for me: how you interact with the opposite sex- that has been weird for me. I've always been friends with guys, and didn't realize it but physically affectionate with guys... now it's weird to hug, touch during a convo, interact with guys

Work: before I got married I didn't mind long hours, late nights and working like crazy. 1. it was something to do and 2. it was something I was good at. Now I'm ready to sprint out of the office at the exact moment I can. I mean why be at work when I can be with the hubs? I have been told this will change and I won't care as much as time goes on, but we're getting close to 2 years and I still get grumpy if I'm at work late/ have to leave him.

Validation: This one has been hard for me. I use to find a lot of validation in interactions I've had with males. If they hit on me, flirt with me, compliment me. Guess what, that doesn't happen as much when you're married especially since my favorite going out buddy has a matching ring on his finger.

Socially: I am still social, but now for me if I spend time once a week with friends I'm pretty happy with my social level. Before I wanted s
tuff to do on most nights and an action packed event filled schedule each weekend. As I said before this is suppose to change, but right now there is only one person with whom I want to socialize with daily and I can do that at home.

I can go on and on, but this is a bit of a thought dump as it.

I guess my synopsis is I've changed. It's hard to admit it to myself but my marriage has changed me. I'm still Michelle says dumb things, talks way too much, laughs too loud and too much, spaz Dittman, but tacking a McCombs to the end of that has also made me Michelle I'd rather be at home with the hubby then out and about, find my own validation, doesn't work as hard McCombs.

*Okay I know some of you think you can control it- but it's not like I went on dates in sweat pants and didn't talk to boys... I tried to always appear put together and I was a flirting monster so really what more could I control... in the end it was the guy's choice

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Most proud

Here's the essay I had to write for a job I was offered but turned down for my current job. It made sense- it was less pay and worse hours (overnight shift and graveyard) but sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I took this one instead...

Anyway the question (in case you don't pick it up by the intro sentence) was what are you most proud of and why?

As I have contemplated what I'm most proud of, it was quite difficult to pinpoint one singular thing. I just could not decide. Then finally it dawned on me, I'm most proud of me!

I have done many things with my life that I'm proud of. I have moved across the country on a whim, based on a promising internship, knowing no one, something I had never done before. I have moved, but it was always with someone else. I always had a safety net to my adventures, but this time I didn't know a soul. During that internship I learned a lot about myself that I'm proud of. I learned how to be independent, that it's okay to go to dinner or the movies by myself. I learned how to be me.

Another thing I'm proud of about myself is that I graduated college. I was never a bad student, but in college I changed my mind constantly and my family all joked that if anyone in our large family dropped out to pursue another life path or a whirlwind marriage it would be me. Part of this accomplishment that I'm proud of is that I managed to graduate after spending only 3 years on campus and two internships.

A third thing that makes me proud of myself is that I have forged a very strong relationship with each of my 5 siblings. I am certain that if you asked any of them which sibling they are closest to, they would all say me. In a family full of type A, stubborn, smart, over-achieving people this is quite the feat. I believe family is important and that all great relationships need to be fostered, and that takes work. I try to make my family a priority and show them I value them in my life.

Another one of my most proud accomplishments was when, right out of college, I landed a job at Disney. It was a very competitive position and I got it! Along those lines, I am also very proud of the fact that in just 3 short years I was able to progress from the role of coordinator to the role of Manager. I was one of the youngest managers in my Business Unit and I had worked hard to prove myself to everyone at the company. Anyone that worked with me knew that I was smart, professional, passionate and was an expert in my field. I cultivated that reputation and I am still regarded as a great resource by many of my old co-workers and executives.

There are many other small things about myself that I'm proud of, that I'm an awesome party planner, I make a really good sugar cookie, I have friends that live all across the US and the world, I can strike up a conversation with almost anyone, and that I am an incredibly upbeat happy person. So as I said when it really comes down to it, what I'm most proud of is myself.

Friday, February 15, 2013


Do not read this unless you have read this.... he's one of my musings that was perhaps meant for an intro...

Everyone thinks that the worst thing in life is being picked last in gym class, but as a few of us can attest to it's not. The kids picked last- those are your Steve Jobs and Egdar Allen Poes of the world. They failed so significantly at gym (I assume) because they were destined for greatness. They were the first picks of the science and art worlds.They had promise.

No the worst is being picked about 6th from the last. You're the best of the worst. The two uber jocks the teacher picked to captain the teams finally make their way to the end of the picking and you're still up there looking around and thinking, "seriously you'd rather her? The girl whose asthma prohibits her from moving quicker than a slow walk?"

See being the best of the worst means you still care. I would stand there in the gym and think "I'm going to save the day in dodgeball today. "

Then your moment comes, that ball comes flying at you and you're ready to catch it- everyone is watching and you stretch your arms out and BAM the slow pitch dodgeball, that chocolate labs catch with ease nails you in the face.

That was always my problem- you see I dream of greatness, but I'm 6th from the last.

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

I, along with probably everyone else, have always toyed with the idea of writing a book.

So at different points in my life I have written small parts and bits and pieces of what my book would be about. Would it be about my dating shenanigans? Would it just be the story of a random slightly above average person's life? How about all the crazy dreams I've had (BORING)?

Anyway, I thought maybe I would start sharing my excerpts on my blog because really, I don't have time to sit down and write an entire book, I just write snippets of thoughts while I'm on the subway in the notes app on my phone.

So enjoy, and if you are an awesome book publisher and want to pay me to quit my job and write a whole book then leave a comment. I get email notifications for comments and I check my email obsessively so you'll hear back from me in no time.