Insecure

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Source: @drawninacorner

This is a post I’ve been thinking about writing for a while now and I’ve always wondered how I should go about it. In a turn of no particular events I’ve decided to share with you my greatest weakness, the cardinal vice of insecurity.

To say that I’ve always been insecure, well, I wouldn’t negate it. It was one of the first conscious thoughts of self-awareness I had when I was a little girl in elementary school. It’s a feeling, a deepness inside me that I haven’t been able to shake off in years.

But I would like to state first that I’ve come a long way since then and have accepted myself for who and what I am.

Struggling with insecurity is like failing a test, you try so hard to study every minute detail of a subject only to underperform and let yourself down. You’re so critical on yourself that not even those around you can comfort you; you are your biggest enemy.

When I was a teenager my insecurities ruled my world. I was insecure about how tall I was, how much bigger I was, how poofy my hair was, how I had small eyes and chubby cheeks; it was a living hell for me. Then in my early twenties I decided to work on myself by killing those insecurities superficially. I dyed my hair red, I started wearing brand name makeup, I bought a gym pass and even went under the knife. Now, just a few weeks shy of officially being in my mid-twenties, the pit of my insecurities harbor inside me like a festering sickness at the bottom of my stomach, waiting for the catalyst that will spread it throughout my body.

My adult insecurities stem from a fear of never being good enough. That I’ve reached the pinnacle of my youth and still have yet to feel comfortable in my own body. I still compare myself to others and still see in myself that little teenage girl in the mirror instead of a beautiful grown woman. My weakness is that I don’t value myself as much as I should. It hurts to even write this because seeing my insecurities manifest itself like this on the one thing I’m proud of most… it’s almost offensive.

But I feel the necessity to share this part of me.

Being in a relationship is also the best thing and worst thing to happen to self-confidence. On one end you have your partner showing you unconditional love that shrinks any self doubt but on the other end, you fear that your partner will manipulate you for someone else. Your insecurities take over and you don’t know how to deal with it.

In my previous two relationships I’ve found out that one ex was cheating on me through social media and the other say to my face that he’s dated other girls prettier than me. I’ve been heartbroken and betrayed and sometimes I think I’ll never forget these moments in my life, but I’ve been coping. At times I even feel like damaged goods because of the fear of going through that again, even more so now that I’m not trying not to jump to conclusions to keep a healthy relationship.

But I still think that it’s true, that girlfriends get jealous if their boyfriends like another girl’s picture. Why? Because in that moment their whole world is giving their attention to someone else. I can’t say every girl is like this but I know for me it’s something that I’ve been trying not to let bother me so much because of what happened to me in previous relationships.

I’ve battled and conquered but the wounds are visceral. Being insecure is a part of me as much as I’m a part of it and just like anyone else, I’m always trying to better myself.

 

6 Week Transformation

In my spare time that exists in post grad purgatory, I found a new niche that has been seemingly growing, and that is an unusual love for CrossFit. In February I joined a bootcamp class at the CrossFit gym I workout at now and I’ve steadily transitioned from bootcamper to crossfitter.

After the six week bootcamp I decided to go the next step and begin strength training by doing some of the CrossFit WOD’s (workout of the day). I’m telling you, whatever weightlifting workout you do at 24-Hour Fitness is nothing compared to these CrossFit exercises. I used to think crossfitters were just some weird ass buff people showing off their big shoulders and tree trunk abs. But really, CrossFit is just functional bodybuilding. It’s more than just doing a set amount of reps for a set amount of sets, it’s building muscle memory that targets every functional body movement. Each workout is at most 30 minutes, but the classes are spent stretching, conditioning and strength training.

Granted, having a boyfriend that is a coach at the box allows me to put in extra work but that doesn’t mean it’s also any easier. Much of my free time now is geared towards working out and really turning fitness into a lifestyle. Whether it’s doing a workout pre or post WOD or coming in twice a day, your results are going to be what you make of it. I’m just here to share with you my slight transformation and show that if even my baby muscles can jump from 10 pound dumbbells to 20 pound dumbbells that so can you.

Also, cooking (not meal prepping) has also taken over my life simply because I love fresh produce and feeding my family healthier options. So here are just a few examples of healthier food choices!

The Plastics: Four Women and their Stories of Cosmetic Surgery

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Source: @huldaguzman

I woke up to a bright white light squeezing into the slits of my eyelids. Strapped down by each carpal and tarsal, I was crucified on a surgical table in downtown Santa Monica. I awoke with an inability to breathe, gasping for air from what felt like two cement bags pushing on my lungs. The nurse asked, “Do you need more morphine?” and with a quick reply of “yes,” I was sedated again.

Continue reading “The Plastics: Four Women and their Stories of Cosmetic Surgery”

Workout Wednesday

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At the beginning of this month I joined a 6-week bootcamp at a CrossFit gym thanks to my trainer boyfriend (eye roll lol). Originally I had no intention of joining whatsoever and was content with my only-workout-to-eat-and-drink-whatever-I-want lifestyle but of course, girlfriend duties mean that I respect his work.

In the corner, weighing in at 145 pounds, standing at 5 foot 7 inches with 27% body fat, Jillian Salas ready to rumble.

Although I’m at a particularly healthy weight for my size, I joined the bootcamp to see if I can push my body to levels I haven’t before. Prior, my workouts included going to the gym lifting for 30-45 minutes then cardio for another 30, with basic knowledge on form and diet. Now, at high intensity training using just body weight and dumbbells programmed specifically for the bootcamp, I am already seeing results in strength as well as endurance.

The bootcamp classes are held every weekday and night with about 5-15 attendees varying from each class. We have two coaches that lead the classes and assist us with proper form as well as introducing new workouts. They push us to reach our goals and to make sure we are staying on track. This is only the third week of bootcamp but I feel like my healthy lifestyle choices are improving overall. My diet is more consistent and now I workout on a daily basis.

 

My personal goal is to lower my body fat percentage to 24% while gaining muscle by the end of the six week program. Part of the bootcamp includes free consultations for meal prepping and showing us what supplements aid in proper muscle recovery. My daily routine looks something like this:

Supplements: Vanilla Whey Protein (to feed protein to muscles after workouts), Multivitamin & Carnitine (fat burner) taken 1-3 times a day, BCAA (amino acids taken while working out to protect muscles), Glutamine (restore glycogen levels), and occasionally pre-workout to get me through bootcamp.

Meal 1: Egg whites with banana and peanut butter wheat toast

Meal 2: Quinoa kale cauliflower with lean steak; stuffed quinoa avocados; black bean patty sandwich with hummus and wheat pita; ground lean turkey with veggies; salmon and baked sweet potatoes

Post Workout: Protein Shake with vanilla protein powder, glutamine, almond milk, peanut butter, banana, cinnamon, ice cubes

Snack: Greek yogurt with blueberries

My body is still adjusting to eating four times a day so often times I feel bloated. Since I work at a restaurant I also have problems with snacking too much before eating my meal. I TRY to save it for the weekend but sometimes I can’t resist 🙂 but alas I’m also working on my discipline. Three weeks and counting but soon enough you’ll see the new and improved me!

Valentine’s Day

 

 

No words can describe the way I feel towards him, but I’ll try my best to do so. Since first saying ‘I love you’ to each other our relationship has only bloomed into a beautiful field of flowers. In our garden, aromatic bursts of passion and scents of excitement intoxicate the surroundings; if love was in the air then you’d be suffocating on it.

Our first Valentine’s Day was perfect. We began the day at 6 a.m. to fit in a CrossFit workout before our complete and utter cheat meal day commenced. By 10 a.m. we were fresh and already on the road to Pasadena. Our champagne brunch was served at Barney’s Beanery in downtown complemented with the American take on Mexican breakfast. We were there to watch the Champions League game Real Madrid vs PSG. There my back to back champions defeated PSG in a 3-1 upset that shocked football fanatics (and my boyfriend) to the core. But me, being the savior of the day, didn’t let him drown in his sorrows because his gift was PSG Nike Windbreaker and a Barcelona Nike training pullover. Although one day, I’ll convince him to wear a Ronaldo jersey.

Hand in hand we walked down Colorado Street on a beautiful mid-February day once the game was over. Cars were driving from light to light and the season casted a temperature just over 75 degrees. Love really was in the air that day and it was radiating just from our connection.

At our hotel we toasted to our relationship with a handmade cocktail. The room was decorated with chocolates and flowers per his request. I was so in love, my heart filled to the brim with his kindness. He could have given me rock with a bow tied around it and I still would have been happy.

With him, it’s something that feels so real. So tangible and alive that it makes life easier. To have the person you love by your side, to share that same feeling with each other, it is the most deadly yet compassionate drug ever. I have his heart, and he has mine.

We later had reservations at Ruth’s Chris and again he swept me off my feet with an amazing dinner. A glass of Duckhorn Merlot and a medium rare filet, my stomach was as happy as my heart. For dessert was him, and a slice of mixed berries cheesecake.

The best thing about this relationship is looking forward to the new experiences we get to share with each other. We promised to take care of each other and in my most intimate inner thoughts, he is there right beside me.

Victory at Sea

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Courtesy Ballast Point | Calm Before the Storm

I boarded the wooden ship to set sail in search of a mythical creature. I, the captain, was preparing for battle.

Into the ocean I hoisted my sails, gazed upon the stars for direction and left everything I knew behind. I was vulnerable and alone in this voyage. The day turned into night and I found the beast alone in his cave. Ready to attack, he made the first move.

He was conniving. He knew my weakness, my obsession with defeating him. Our quarrel began at the strike of midnight and I was lost at sea with the creature unknown.

The waves of the ocean tossed and pounded my vessel onto him. Back and forth we were  both fighting for air. The wetness was everywhere, our bodies glued from the sweat and salt water precipitating from our skin. The current was aggressive. Just like the beast, it was rough and insurmountable but we rallied through the night. He was thick and large, again pounding onto my ship like every blow was going to be my last.

It was a dance through the night, parlaying each other’s sanity for the final cue. Our formation was unbroken. When I took the lead, I thrusted forward and attacked. Waves grew higher around us and crashed in the form of an tempest, swallowing our energies. Back and forth, back and forth, we were crawling into each other’s skin.

In between the respirations and battle cries he let out a whimper. A whimper so soft I couldn’t believe it. It was what I traveled the sea for, what I came to conquer; it was his heart. In the misty night he said “I love you” and I dove into the cave in which he lived. Every guard I had up, every drop of patience, was for this moment. There, in a split second our forbidden love turned into something real. So real that we were both afraid of it but we had each other to navigate this course.

The battle between woman and beast had ended. And in that night, I claimed victory at sea.

Mexican Mother, American Daughter

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Courtesy my cousin Leslie quoting her mom on Facebook

It’s hard to come to an understanding on my personal life when a language and culture barrier still separates my mother and I.

On my end, I want to express my freedom of liberty, sexuality and expression. On her end, she wants me to be her perfect stay-at-home-daughter. I want to travel the world and move out of the house, she wants me to do the chores and run the errands. I want to go out on weekend nights with my friends, she wants me to stay inside and lock me in my room. I want to enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, she wants me to regurgitate it back up and wash the dishes.

The complex is: What should a 24 going on 25 year old daughter do when she still lives in her mother’s traditional Mexican household? Do I choose selfishness or do I succumb to prehistoric standards?

I read in Octavio Paz’s Labyrinth of Solitude that the Mexican woman can never be herself as she must play the roles of wife and homemaker. Although he’s speaking to the native born female of the 1950’s, this concept was how my mother was raised throughout the 70’s in Mexico.

She was conditioned to be the perfect household mom. Her schooling was that of my abuelita’s where her and her other nine siblings received lectures of cooking and cleaning. Emigrated by 18, married by 23, first child by 25, my mother’s path was set in stone.

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Courtesy: @undocumedia

As a daughter I carry the same weight of those traditions. Since nothing is more important to me than to make my mom happy, I oblige to most of them. Our sincerest mother-daughter connection even comes from the kitchen when she’s teaching me how to make chile rellenos or bestowing the recipe for my abuelita’s salsa. In the intimate setting of our kitchen our love is wrapped up in a tortilla, served with a side of arroz y frijoles, and shared with nuestra familia.

But in the Mexican Mother, American Daughter complex, our disagreement on her outdated norms bring us to each other’s necks.

 

In light of the growing relationship between my Mexican-American sancho and myself, I’ve had to make the decision whether I want my mom thinking of me as a “bariloca” or “borracha.” Our puppy love between my man and I means that I spend most weekends at his house, MIA at times from the place I call home. Since he was born a male, and I, a female, our star crossed love was doomed from the start.

The head of my house, Guadalupe “Lupita” Maria Tamayo Cruiel, Ruler of Rules,

IMG_8063.jpgGiver of Life, deems that her middle born child has no need for boys. So I, being the middle child that I am, will make up excuses and say I’m spending the night at a friend’s house. In return, she thinks I’m out partying every weekend when really I’m just watching Netflix with my sancho.

So after spending a few nights here and there in a bed other than mine, my Mexican mom has blessed her American daughter with angry voicemails on her phone.

Another fixation I have is in regards to the Mexican-American-Sancho’s-Parents and the Mexican-American-Sancho’s-Lover (me). Why is that when I stay the night at my significant other’s family house, the parents are so welcoming to bring me in? Does this only happen in Latino households? Are we viewed as the one to settle their son down? Now that I’m 3 for 3 on the subject, I’m also still wondering why I can’t even bring a boyfriend into my room.

I guess this is a topic of discussion for another time. Until then, as my mom would say, “Pónganse a limpiar!”