So, as with many things in life, I have had my ups and downs… unfortunately, this has also included my weight.¬† I could sit here and blame my genes (thanks a lot Dad!), but at the end of the day it’s my own fault ūüôā¬†

All judgement aside, having a healthy weight has been one of my greatest struggles.¬† Some people might think, ‘oh, just go on¬†a diet’, or ‘oh, just stop eating’, or ‘oh, just exercise’ and you’ll be okay.¬† And although all these things are true and necessary to achieve weight loss, losing weight just aint that easy.

I’ve done my share of diets and exercise programs and some have worked, but never permanently.¬† Losing weight is hard work and takes discipline.¬† It’s about caring enough about myself to choose carefully what I put into my mouth and caring enough about my body to give it enough activity.¬† It’s about working out¬†even when I’m too tired of don’t feel like it and it’s about eating things that are delicious¬†(aka fattening) in moderation… I’ll just have a little… ūüôā

Ah, eating just a little… this is the root of the problem.¬† FOOD is DELICIOUS.¬† Eating is supposed to be an enjoyable¬†experience, however we grow up in a world that says, if you’re overweight you can’t enjoy¬†xyz, and sometimes not even a little….¬†Has anyone ever told you, you can’t have something?¬† What does that often do?¬† Make you want it more, no? In my case, subconsciously, I think yes.¬†¬†

So since I have been overweight most of my life, and thus have not been “allowed” to eat these “forbidden” foods, when I have fallen off the bandwaggen and become “bad” then I’d try and get as much in as possible before the sun rose and I’d be doomed to the¬†“evil”¬†restraint¬†provided by tomorrow’s diet.¬† However, often TOMORROW wuld never come quick enough… And one day of “cheating” would turn into two, three, sometimes even weeks… And then the snowball effect of¬†not wanting to work out because, oh well what’s the point if I was “bad.”¬† Ok, so I recognize, there is a problem… Isn’t that supposed to be the first step in solving it?¬† Yes… well, good… But now….

Now it’s time to solve it… It’s time to embark on a¬†journey of change… One where I am consistent, one where I am discliplined, one where I develop new habits, one where I have a “renewed mind” (through Christ obviously) and a new body.¬†

Today I start this journey by doing a 5 day cleanse along with 5 days of working out this week.¬† And we shall see where it takes me…¬† I have faith, that with God’s help I will be able to do all things through Christ who strengthens me and will end up a much healthier, happier Jessica on the other side…

I plan on blogging throughout my journey to share my struggles and successes and if there’s anyone out there that wants to join me, let me know.

Ok, so not a novel concept here and I know you’ve heard it a gazillion times, but could it be that the very word Christ in Christmas might indicate that Christmas is about the birth¬†of Christ and not about¬†Santa Claus, elves or presents?¬†(For those of you who didn’t notice, that was¬†sarcasm ;))¬†¬†So now for the obviouls answer: Duh! Obvoiusly, Christmas is all about preparing for and celebrating the birth of Christ.¬†¬†

I love how in Spanish “mas” means “more”, so every time you wish someone Merry Christmas, you’re actually¬†wishing “more” of Christ in their lives… (maybe in a Spanglish sort of way, but either way it works ;))

So that being the case, why do we get so wrapped up in presents?¬† Yes, the wise men did bring¬†gifts of frankincense, incense and myrrh and yes, I guess we can view the birth of our Savior as God’s gift to man to allow for the whole redemptive plan of the crucifixion.¬† BUT, God never intended it to be the sole focus of this season.¬†¬†The act of giving gifts is not wrong either.¬† I see it as a way to show our family, loved ones and friends how much we love and appreciate them.¬† We are supposed to give without¬†expecting in return…¬†but do we really?

Have you ever stopped yourself from buying a Christmas gift from someone because either the year before they didn’t get you one in return?¬† Or have you ever judged what you were going to get them based on how much¬†they had possibly spent on a¬†gift given to you the year before.¬† I must admit I have… Obviously, we all have financial limitations, but I find it funny how in terms of gift giving we usually end up giving “an eye for an eye.”¬†

In terms of receiving gifts, I¬†love receiving them, but don’t like asking for them.¬† I don’t like giving people “gift-lists” although in some cases I have been forced to ūüėȬ†¬†¬†I think¬†that’s because when telling someone what you “want” the whole beautiful suprise element behind receiving a¬†gift is lost.¬† Maybe that is what makes¬†Christmas mornings so magical, memories of waking up as a kid to wrapped gifts, not knowing what they are going to be…¬†now that was utter ¬†excitement ūüôā¬†¬†And it was even more magical if you got what you really wanted ūüôā¬† And I think we all continue being kids at heart when it comes time to unwrapping a gift…

As for myself, I usually don’t ask people what they “want” for Christmas.¬† I find it fun to think really hard until I come up with something I think they either will really enjoy.¬†¬†I know this has made me a really good gift giver, and my motto has always been¬†“I give what I would¬†like to get.”¬† ūüôā¬†¬†¬†¬†

I guess thought at the end of the day¬†any gift given or received is a good one, as somoene went out of their way to do something nice for someone else.¬† So we should be thankful for them all.¬† And gift or no gift, what’s of even more value are people, the difference they make in our lives, the moments we get to enjoy with them, and most importantly the loving relationship we get to enjoy with our Heavenly Father every day.¬† So let’s focus on that this year and remember to keep “more” of “Chris” in our Christmases!¬†

Love you all and Merry Christmas!

So here’s my dilemma: I’m a private person.¬† I don’t like people knowing “my business” and¬†even in terms of “opening up” to people, it takes me time to do so until I know I can trust that person.¬† I think this is partly due to the fact that I am more of an introvert and also partly due to how I raised.¬† I was always told, “you don’t tell people about your problems”.¬† Although I realize there is some truth to this,¬†over the years I have learned that keeping things bottled in is not a good thing, and so with age I have opened up somewhat.

In parallel, as I’ve aged, so has the notion of privacy declined.¬†¬†I think the culprit here has been technology and the fact that people by nature have a hunger for knowledge.¬† We just “want to know”…

I can’t deny that technology is a beautiful thing.¬† It’s not only made our lives more convenient, but¬†also saves us time.¬† We no longer have to wait for anything if we choose not to.¬† If you’re hungry, you can throw something in the microwave; if you don’t feel like waiting online at the bank, you can walk up to an ATM; if you want to let someone know something, you don’t have to wait until you see them next, you¬†can send them a text message; and¬†if you need information it’s usually just a few clicks away.¬†

So now we don’t even have to wait for information.¬† The internet has placed anything we could possibly want to know at our fingertips.¬† That coupled with the hunger for knowledge is what has made things like social networking sites (facebook, myspace and twitter) so popular.¬† In exchange for all the¬†convenience though, we’ve had to deal with a decline in privacy.¬†¬†

You can now log into any of these sites¬†and not only see what you’re best friend had for lunch (if they so decide to¬†share it),¬†but¬†what kind of mood they¬†were in¬†yesterday or what their latest relationship status is.¬†¬†It’s almost as if we want to know what people¬†are doing as they are doing it, and in return want to share a piece of our world as it happens.¬†¬† There’s an element of “fun” in¬†having “company” as you go about your normal day.¬†¬† And even a sense of liberation in being able to express how you’re feeling at the moment.¬† However, a note of caution (and I speak from experience) you never know who might be “watching.”¬†

The bottom line comes down to as much fun as posting things are about your day or life, you have to decide how much you want “out there.”¬† If there is something you don’t want someone to know, just step away ūüôā The other day I posted something and was getting all sorts of comments and questions, and actually got offended that people were doing so!¬† Now that I’ve had time to think about it, I’ve realized that 1) I¬†had gone a bit¬†overboard with my facebook posts, publishing my life almost minute by minute, and 2) that I had no right to be offended, when I was the one who put it out there in the first place!¬† Yes, I am a private person, but I can’t get mad at people for being¬† curious by nature, and for stepping into “my space”¬†when I’ve been the one who not only opened the door, but let them right in.¬†

So, now that I’ve taken a step backward and realized this, I have decided to hold back the reigns a bit until I figure out what the right¬†balance is going to be for me.¬† Because as much as I want to keep my private life private , I also want to be able to enjoy the fun side of sharing things with friends, family and co-workers.¬†

So morale of the story is, people will only know what you tell them ūüôā

Feel free to leave me comments or questions ūüôā Trust me I won’t get offended this time ūüôā

So the time has come for me to move yet again, only this time it’s back “home.”¬†

I had moved out for the first time in 2001¬†when I left to go to college in Philadelphia.¬† I remember that first experience very vividly, including how excited I was and how upset my poor mom was ūüôā¬† My dad and her drove me down and helped move all my stuff into my dorm suite, which I was going to be sharing with 5 other girls I had never met.¬† My dad later told me, my mommy cried on their drive back home ūüė¶¬†¬†As excited as I was,¬†leaving home¬†wasn’t that easy.¬† A week later¬†I had called my parents up crying saying I felt lonely and my dad drove down from NY to pick me up for the weekend.¬† Very sweet of him… But alas, being the resilient girl that I am, my homesickness quickly faded and I adapted¬†to living “on my own.

After 2 years of living in dorm rooms, I got my first apartment, with my then best friend, Danit.¬† She was also a chemical engineer and we had a lot of the same friends and all the same classes.¬†¬†Of course¬†this was a step up in the college student¬†living-quarters¬†ladder, but I quickly learned that although you can be best friends with someone, doesn’t always mean that makes you compatible roommates ūüôā¬† I think we just ended up spending too much time together between living in the same “four walls”, taking the same classes and hanging out with the same people.¬†¬†A year later, I was ready to live alone and so I got my own off-campus studio apartment.

I loved this apartment.¬† It was a great size and although it was a little hard to get used to the silence of living alone, which I had never previously experienced, I very quickly learned to appreciate it.¬† I was there until I graduated in 2005.¬† The only downside was the last 6 months we had mice and that’s something that I most certainly did NOT appreciate.¬†

After I graduated¬†I ended up moving to NJ, since that’s where I had secured my job.¬†¬†Since¬†I only had like 2 weeks between graduating and starting work, my time to find a place was limited, I settled for an apartment¬†in a complex in Old Bridge.¬†¬†I enjoyed it there, but after a year wanted to find something closer to work.¬†¬†I ended up moving in with¬†a roommate in an apt in Linden.¬† The apartment was so convenient since it was only 10 minutes from work and it was nice,¬† but the lady I was living with, not so much… To my credit though, I did live there for a over a year, but finally decied to move out in¬†Oct of 2007.¬† ¬†

At the time I was coming to Brooklyn every weekend (Fri-Sun) and I’d also drive down ususally¬†about twice a week for worship team rehearsal, evening services, etc.¬† Plus all my friends and family¬†were here, so I thought the most logical thing to do at the time was move back to Brooklyn.¬† Before I made that decision, I knew it was going to be an expensive move: double tax (living in NY while working in NJ), lots of money in tolls, higher rent, higer car insurance, etc etc… I had even discussed it with my mom, but the one thing that she told me that stood out was, “What good is it to have money, if you’re not happy?”¬† And the truth was I wasn’t all that happy with living in NJ.¬† My life consisted of work, gym, and shopping.¬†¬†I couldn’t visit friends, I couldn’t really walk anywhere, and I found it boring.

I can say¬†I am very glad I made the move because although my work weeks still pretty much consists of the same activities as before, now I get to walk outside at any time I want, I get to have dinner with friends or stop by my mom’s cooking, and I am much happier.¬†¬†

So now after 8.5 years of leaving my parents’, I’ve come full circle and¬†am ready to go back.¬† I know I’ll be trading some of my “independence” and personal space, but it’s all with the purpose of being able to achieve my own goals, which one of them includes getting a place of my own.¬† I am very thankful that they are taking me back and realize that although it won’t be perfect (nothing in life is) I am blessed to have loving parents who are willing to help me in however they can.¬†¬†I am glad that I’ll get to spend more time with them and I know a few years down the road, when I am no longer living there, I will look back at this time as priceless.¬†

Oh, and let it be stated for the record the so far this has been the easiest move of all the moves I’ve made ūüôā¬†A special thanks to my mom for¬†cleaning and¬†making space for me in her home, to my¬†dad for agreeing to move all my big stuff¬†this coming up Tuesday, and to my¬†boyfriend Dan, who spent all day today moving heavy boxes and bins.¬† I’m not fully done yet, but will be soon…¬†

I’ll keep all¬†you guys posted :p

Ha!¬† If someone would have asked me if I’d be blogging anytime soon, my answer a few days ago would have probably been a big, fat “NO.”¬†¬† But, as many things change in the world, so has my opinion. I guess we can say I’ve been inspired to write by my ever so creative boyfriend,¬†Dan, who started his own about 2 days ago.

I’m not sure who’s going to be reading this, so formal introductions might not be necessary. However, I do hope that whoever does, finds it at least slightly interesting ūüôā I warn you though, it might end of being a bit random, but there’s nothing wrong with that. After all this is my blog, so I get to do (type rather) whatever I want :p

I’m actually sitting here now half watching Game 3 (Yankees versus Angels)… haha, this is another thing where you would have asked me a few months ago if I would watch a baseball game, and my answer would have been an even more emphatic “NO.” This is another of those things where Dan has influenced me, but all of a sudden I care… LOL… I guess it’s a natural thing that when you care for someone, you start to take interest in the things they are interested in. And that’s not a bad thing…

I guess you can say I am in a period of transition in a lot of areas of my life right now. For starters, when I traded the comforts (as well as the aggravations) of living in parents house about 8 years for college dorm room living, I swore to never¬†go back… ūüôā Well not literally, but didn’t think I would ever move back “home.” But after 4 years of having graudated with my degree in chemical engineering from Drexel Univeristy, working full time, and living on my own,¬†I’ve come to the regretable realization¬†that aside from the 6% salary I’ve put away in my 401k, I have no other true savings… ūüôā ouch… Sometimes the truth hurts, but reality is reality. When you live on your own, have to spend almost $20 a day in tolls, pay crazy car insurance rates, all your own rent, utilities, and other expenses, it can be quite expensive. So now that I’ve matured a bit and have had some “alone time”, I’ve decided to swallow my pride, deal with a little bit of inconvience and move back in to my folks’ house for some time (probably somewhere around 2 years).¬† This should give me enough time to save enough money to place a downpayment on a place of my own or something like that… When you want things in life sometimes you have to sacrifice, and so sacrificing my own “personal space” will be worth it in th end.

I guess another change in my life (although I’ve already mentioned him twice) is my new boyfriend of 3 months Dan.¬†¬† He’s a Cuban, soon-to-be 27 year old chemE like me, although he’s much smarter ūüôā¬† He really is a great guy: funny, smart, sweet, caring, handsome and fun.¬† We’ve been official for almost 3 months and I think it’s going great.¬†

Dan & I

Dan & I

Yesterday I actually met his parents, brother and sis-in-law for the first time. Talk about a nerve-wracking experience… ūüôā It’s one of those things where even though you know in your head that there’s no reason to be nervous (well, especially since I’m such an amazing girl :)), you still are.¬† But as promised, they were great! They were warm, friendly, made me feel comfortable.¬† And I can definitely see where such a great guy gets so many of his own “qualities.”¬† Needless to say though, I think we all had a great time getting to know one another.¬† And I think they liked me… well @ least I hope so ūüôā

Last change I will discuss for the night is my desire to finally after 4 years of working an not¬†picking up a book, wanting to go back to school for my MBA¬†next fall.¬† This is all great and the only real obstacle standing in front of me is¬†one little test called the GMAT.¬† I¬†hope to take it in January, which means I have to study, study, study.¬†¬†The hardest part was starting, which I did on Saturday.¬† I think I’ll be okay –¬†God willing…

So yeah, I think that’s definitely a¬†mouthful for a¬†1st post.¬† Hope you enjoyed.