Oh my Blog.
I'm having such trouble keeping up with this blog at this moment in time, but just an update- I'm at 138.3 pounds when I was at 138. 5 two weeks ago. Last week, I stayed at 138.5 and it's frustrating that I've only lost .2 pounds in two weeks :(
At least I didn't gain anything?
On the plus side, my boyfriend has noticed changes in my face and sent me a picture from a skype call we had a month ago. To the left is the picture he sent me and to the right is me today.
I've Been Bad About Blogging
Did that modeling job on Wednesday and somehow it's Sunday and I haven't blogged since Tuesday night when I was prepping for that Wednesday modeling job.
First off, it went well! I'm excited to hopefully work for that studio on a regular basis. As for weight lost--I am STUCK. I've been super faithful to the plan, but somehow I'm still exactly the same weight as I was last week and it's frustrating as heck.
A Song for the Pearl
I wrote this song in response to the massacre that happened on April 1st, 2016 in Cotabato, Philippines. It's something that got nearly 0 press in the United States.
Blowin' in the Wind
A classic activist piece of music that still gives me goosebumps every time I listen to the original Bob Dylan recording.
I booked a modeling job for tomorrow! I'm excited!
I have a lot going on, yet again, so this will be brief but wanted to post the photos from yesterday and today.
The left photo is from yesterday and the right photo is from today. I think my body is changing- I know that this top I'm wearing today fits much more loosely on my body than it used to.
That Red Devil
Not to get too Too-Much-Information on everyone but since this is a blog for me and my journey, I've gotta say it: Periods suck. Periods suck because I crave lots of food. Periods suck because my body feels all funky and weird. Periods suck because I'm super moody and often turn into someone I don't really like to be. It makes me less patient than I normally am. It makes me snappier than I normally am. It makes me sadder than I normally am. It also makes me HEAVIER than I normally am. So bottom line: periods suck.
I was on plan all last week and all of today but somehow, this morning, I gained 2 pounds. After looking things up, it seems like it may just be a temporary water gain thing, especially since I haven't given into any of the temptations.
Today was a busy day. Had a million things to do and somehow managed to do all of them (and still have a couple things going after I write this blog). Probably the most memorable part of the day was my initiation into Kappa Delta Pi. I've been joking around with my boyfriend about this for a while because it sounds like I'm getting myself into some sort of sorority. Rest assured, KDP is an international honor society for educators. I got an email after transcripts came out last semester about being nominated. In passing, I filled out the stuff without completely reading. Today, I learned that Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt and John Dewey were all members of this organization- 3 people that I admire for many reasons, many of those reasons probably obvious ones.
I have about 15 pounds to go before I hit my goal weight. I'm so so so close to being at the weight where I was happiest at and most comfortable in my skin! Now's the time where I start to sabotage myself, though, because I feel so so close to the gold that I feel like I can cheat a little. To resisting the temptations!!!
My boyfriend is coming to New York to visit exactly 14 days from today and he will be here for 14 days! I've been talking to him a lot about supporting me through my weight loss and he has sworn is solemn support to me, even when he gets here. Today, when we had time to Skype one another this afternoon, he noticed a difference in me physically, even through just Skype- so I'm very excited to see him in person but VERY nervous about the temptations that will come with him!
Skyler, my boyfriend, is a super out-doorsy kid with a million physical activity hobbies that he loves--he skateboards, surfs, rock climbs--so many things that keep him in shape all the time. The kid only weighs 147 pounds! Just a few months ago, I was heavier than my boyfriend who is soooooo much taller than 5' little me. I'm glad to be under his weight right now and hopefully much nearer the weight that I should be to be healthy, soon!
I'm actually not sure what my weight was in 2010 when I competed in Ms. Philippines San Diego (to the left). I definitely was much more confident than I am today. Hopefully I can get back to that kind of confidence very, very soon!
What is my aesthetic?
Today, I got asked a question by a guest Professor that got me thinking about my life in a million different ways. He asked me: "Why are you here? Really, why are you here?"
He really asked the whole class, but his emphasis on the question resonated with me. Well, I'm here in New York City, pursuing an MA in Art, Education & Community Practice. I'm here because I was frustrated as a high school Humanities teacher last year and I wanted to be better for the kids and families I serve. School as an institution had begun to rear its ugly multiple faces at me and I wanted a better way. I wanted to teach in a way that engaged the community and the families rather than just individual students who were after grades. I wanted to blur the lines between the world and the space inside my classroom. I came to this program seeking tools to help me do that. I've always intended to return to my life as a high school teacher. It is an identity that I have found I love to self-identify as. I am a teacher. Sure, I make things once in a while, and I play music and I love to read in the solitude of my own mind. But I feel the most whole when I am in an interesting exchange with a student or a classroom of students. I feel the most comfortable in my own skin when I am wearing the hat of "teacher".
It is a hat I love to wear, but one I also love to subvert. I've always treated my classrooms as political places. I'm that crazy quirky teacher that you've heard of. When I taught in San Diego, I took my kids to the beach to write haikus and sing by the ocean after they built solar ovens to cook our lunch. I walked with my kids to Starbucks on Fridays and had conversations about life. My kids called me Carol. I learned from my students as much as if not more than they learned from me. To me, teaching is not one sided. To teach is to be in an exchange, to be inside a dialogue. To look at things with critical eyes, together and discuss how we are all seeing what we are looking at. There are great thinkers who I've been introduced to this year who put into words what I feel about teaching much better than I ever will. Paolo Freire is one of them. William Ayers is my favorite (if you're a teacher and you've never read Teaching Towards Freedom, it's a book I highly, highly recommend).
Today, I wrote a question for myself in my notebook:
What is my aesthetic?
Then, I started writing down words and phrases. Here they all are:
*reminders of our shared humanity
*opening and sharing space
*restoring humanity when people are turned into stereotypes or statistics
*a search for freedom
This is my aesthetic stripped down into bullet points. These are the spaces I come from and where I want to return to and where I want to work within.
So as I write in this blog and connect my life to my body... why am I so harsh with myself when it comes to my body? I find myself yelling at myself in my head and reprimanding myself for all my failures. Today, I resolve to be kinder to myself and to show myself more grace. I also pledge to make my Medifast journey one about kindness--about a way to show compassion to my body by treating it like a vessel.
PS. I was on plan for the most part today. I think I might have had a tad too much soy milk!
I've been listening to meditation music to wake up and meditation music to go to sleep (Spotify has playlists for both waking and sleeping!).
It's helped a bit calm my mind that's always going a little too quickly.
Headed to work. Had a Medifast pancake this morning.
Here's to an on plan day! Cheers!
Another Long Day
I'm almost too tired to write anything at all, but I made a promise to myself to be faithful to this thing until I've shaped my body the way I shape art and get to my final product, or my goal at 125 pounds.
Today, I taught in the morning, came home for a hot second and recorded a song mourning the 3 murdered in the Philippines on April 1st.
Then, headed to a protest at the Philippine consulate on 5th Avenue, documented the protest and sang a song of prayer for those who have died.
Somehow managed to stay on plan-- 2 meals left for today which I'll be consuming very soon.
What is "Me" Time?
This is the first time, in almost a week that I've been home before 12am.
When people ask me what I "do", there are many answers that can come out of my mouth at any given moment. I'm a teacher. I'm a student. I'm an artist. I work on children's storybooks. I model. I act. I write plays. I write poetry. I do photography. I'm an activist.
Today, I'm just tired.
Yesterday, I spent the day at Raised Pinay, selling my latest children's book with all proceeds going to Roots of Health, an organization dedicated to reproductive health justice in the Philippines (hard mission for a country that is Catholic). Today, I spent the morning stage managing an event called Afro-Asian Solidarity & Kinship as part of the Active Archive series with two INCREDIBLE socially engaged theatre artists whose work I super admire and respect. Then, I spent the afternoon at a vigil to mourn the farmers who were recently killed in the Philippines.
The work that I find myself doing is undoubtedly important and I am glad to be doing it. It is also hard and wearing on the soul and it makes me tired. Sometimes, it makes me overeat. Sometimes it makes me feel like I can't eat at all.
My boyfriend is a street magician and he spends his day making people smile and laugh. I'm one of those people. Sometimes, I'm not sure what I would do without his goofy antics to help lighten the mood of my often dark-subject filled days.
Yesterday was one of those days that I felt like I could eat a horse. Today's one of those days when I feel like I can't eat at all. Spending the afternoon learning about the Lumad crisis and about the murders in the country of my ancestors makes me feel sick to my stomach. I keep telling myself that there is only so much we can do, and that I'm doing my best to do that much.
I always try to approach difficult issues through the eyes of a child. One of my main projects right now is called Si Malakas at Si Maganda, a children's storybook project that recounts the Philippine creation story, a story I didn't hear until I was 26, despite the fact that my parents are both Filipino and I grew up with my two grandparents who are also Filipino. I'm interested in mythology, legend and folklore and how it can apply to us today, if it can. What does it teach us? What might we gain from understanding our roots? When I sell the book and talk about diversity and issues of representation, I dress up like one of the characters. Maganda. Maganda is the Tagalog word for beautiful. Here I am in the bathroom of one of yesterday's venues, dressed as Maganda. The costume is inspired by a sprouting bamboo shoot.
Short Blog Today
Long day but an on task one!
Will write a longer blog tomorrow!
The human body is art.