Thursday, October 24, 2013

Bring it on!

I like a challenge.  A challenge typically helps push me to a goal and keeps me from giving up.  Now, have I completed every challenge that I have set my mind to...nope.  However, what I have found is when I post online and tell the world I am doing something...it keeps me going.  There is this part of me that knows if I give up I am not only letting me down but I feel like I'm letting all of you down too.  That's what helped me through the 30 day Green Boheme Challenge and the 90 day Summer Challenge.  I knew you were rooting for me and reading about what I was doing and helping me stay on track and excited and motivated.

As you've read..life has been tough lately.  When life gets tough I put myself on the back burner and tend to use food as a support.  Food doesn't support though.  It makes me feel good at the first bite but with each unhealthy bite after that I feel ashamed and mad at myself.  So, right now I am way off track.  I don't know how much weight I have gained because it was easier to avoid the scale than face the music.  I see it in my face though, in the way I feel, in the tightness of my clothes.  I just don't like it and I'm ready to make a change.

It's a big one!  Are you ready?  I am!

Starting on November 1st I am going to go raw/vegan for 6 months.  Yep, you read that right...SIX MONTHS.  I felt soo good when I was eating this way so I want to do it again.  Only I know that 30 days is not going to cut it.  I've had way to many years of bad habit to break them in that short amount of a time.  With the help of The Green Boheme community and Chef Brooke I know I can do this.  I want to do it to get healthy.  I want to do it to see what happens to my body in 6 months of eating this way and then be armed with so much information that I will know exactly which path to take after that.

On October 31st I'm also going to go and have some detailed labs drawn.  It's easy on the outside for me to see how this diet affects me physically, but I want to see how it affects me MEDICALLY as well.  Of course I will share all of this with you because if there is one thing I am good at..it's over-sharing!

I'm nervous, I'm excited and I'm ready to see what the next 6 months has to offer!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Health Care

This post is going to be a bit different for me.  Typically things are a bit more personal but today I wanted to talk about something that has been in my head as of late.

Health care.  Yep, I'm about to go there.  Let me start by saying that I am NOT POLITICAL at all.  I don't follow a certain party, I am not for or against a person in office.  Why?  Well because I've always kind of thought you can't believe what you hear, so unless I know you..I'm not going to take your words for fact or truth.

Anyway, I do however work in health insurance and feel like I can speak from a place on the inside...not just the outside looking in.  I've been managing health insurance products for small groups for over 5 years now.  In those 5 years I have seen rates change DRAMATICALLY.  There was a year that every group I had saw a 25% or more increase in their premium...in ONE YEAR.  If you had asked me I would have told you that something needed to give, something needed to change.  So when Obama Care came about I was not for or against it.  I needed to see how it played out.  I did see some good in it though.  Did we need to get rid of pre-existing conditions?  Yes.  Why?  Well, because why have insurance at all if the sick can't even be covered?  Did we need to get rid of lifetime maximums?  Yes.  Why?  Well, very similar to the above.  There are people out there that were running out of health insurance for using it so much....but I'm pretty sure they were using it so much because THEY NEEDED IT!  Did we need to cover kids till 26 on their parents plans?  Nope, not really.  Get them on their own, get them to be more independent.  Sorry, I went off my parents plan at 18 and I TOTALLY survived.  Ultimately though I agreed that we needed to find a way for more people to be able to get health insurance and hopefully do so at an expense that wouldn't kill them.

Speaking from a business standpoint though I do not see how this is going to work out.  The way the rules are right now a small business of 50 or more people MUST provide health insurance and must pay for 50% of it.  Problem is, part timers count towards that number.  I have a business that now must provide health insurance because he has enough part timers to reach that 50 mark.  This is going to cost him over $66,000 a year!  For many companies, this is going to break their back and make them go under.  Or, it's going to cause small business to fire people so they stay under 50 and only hire young because they are cheaper to insure.  Also, for all of you out there with employers who are paying for your plan and complaining about how they do nothing for you and your medical insurance sucks...SHUT UP.  It is NOT your employers fault.  Truth of the matter is you probably have no idea how much insurance even costs in the first place and don't even know how your plan works.  I didn't.  Six years ago I was in your shoes complaining and I have learned that you shouldn't complain when you don't know the facts.  I hear people all the time who have to go on COBRA and bitch that it is so expensive.  Actually, it's just the full cost of your insurance.  You are now just paying your part AND what your employer paid.  Health Insurance is expensive and it's not getting any better.  For SOME prices will go down.  For those that are eligible for subsidy, well it will definitely go down.

I'm not one to say I want to mooch off the government, but damn the subsidy doesn't make sense either.  Let me give you an example.  If I go look on Covered California and plug in my family and what we make...we qualify for subsidy.  Thing is though, we can't get it.  Why?  Well, my husband's employer allows dependents to be on the health plan.  Only...they pay nothing for dependents.  That is typical.  There are very few employers out there (I know of none) that pay for dependents and good lord if your employer does then NEVER LEAVE.  So, what that says to me is the government or state thinks I don't make enough to pay for my health insurance but won't help me out for it because I'm eligible for something else...even though I have to pay for that 100% out of my own pocket.  It just doesn't quite make sense to me how this is going to help families that ARE working.

Needless to say, there are benefits and there are drawbacks.  I'm in it and I see it and I'm here to say...it's not all fair.  No matter who you support, this is not going to help everyone.  Did we need change?  Yes.  Do I think that this is the answer?  Nope.  I just don't honestly see how it's going to work out.  We live in a world of supporting small business and yet this is going to do the exact opposite.

That is my political rant for the day.  It probably will never happen again.  Oh, and if your employer offers health insurance...please go thank them and quit bashing them because chances are....it has nothing to do with them and everything to do with the cost of health insurance.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Adventures

Leyton and I take a lot of "adventures." Here's the thing though, anything can be an adventure.  Sometimes we just go to Target, sometimes to the park or sometimes we do something new and different.  No matter what, if Leyton and I are doing something by ourselves together I ALWAYS call it an adventure.

On Saturday as I was getting ready and Leyton was eating breakfast I asked him if he wanted to go on an adventure with me.  He was super excited and asked, "Where are we going?" I told him that it was going to be a surprise adventure.  He replied with, "Maybe we are going to go to the store!  Maybe we are going to go to the bakery!"

His Dad and I laughed our asses off.  The bakery?!  I have never taken him to a bakery nor did I think he even knew the word bakery.  Looks like I'm going to have to find us a bakery though so we can go there on our next adventure.

Instead this weekend's adventures were to Target, the park, the local fire station open house, the farmer's market and a drive to get our favorite drinks.  It was a great weekend with my boy!!

The park we went to has lots of things that spin.  Leyton is still a huge fan of spinning and getting dizzy.  Some of you may not have been around long enough to remember this:

This is Leyton at 8 months old in a doorway jumper.  He figured out how to spin in them and that was all he would do.  Needless to say, once he figured it out he wasn't allowed in the jumper anymore.

Fast forward to now.  Last time we came to this park he got sick from spinning so much so this time I kept it at a minimum.

That laugh kills me!!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Once a writer, always a writer.

Just like that, I'm back.  I think after I wrote my last post I knew that I couldn't be gone forever.  That being gone forever was not the answer.  I just needed to figure out a way to do things differently.  At the moment of writing that post I hated social media and all the BS that comes along with it.  Ten minutes after posting I saw the good in it.  I realized all the friends that I have gotten back in touch with, all the ways these people have helped me.  I heard from people that I may not know well or in person who asked that I not be gone long, that they liked what I wrote and related and it helped them in some way.  The truth is, it helps me too.  I have to come to the understanding that it's not always going to be sunshine and rainbows over here and that's fine.  That when it isn't people will either read or not read and that is also fine.  It's fine because on many levels it helps me get through stuff.

It's been a rough year and has only gotten rougher.  It's been one of those where you think "it couldn't get worse"...and yet it does.  When my car died the other day I had no idea what I was going to do.  The thought of buying a car made me sick to my stomach.  I wasn't sure I'd qualify, I wasn't sure I'd have a deposit, I wasn't sure what I was going to do with my old car.  Because of social media it took one day to get all that settled and I'm thankful for that.  Facebook and friends came through for the win!  Thanks again to an old friend (and we realized just how OLD we were yesterday) Brent who helped me through a tough time.

When I got home I was happy and in some part of me had a sense of relief.  Just a few moments later though I got a call that my Step Dad had passed away.  Bruce was diagnosed with lung cancer at the end of March and at that time they thought that with treatment he would have a lot of time left.  It was cancer but there was no need for great worry.  Sadly, he didn't get better from treatment though.  He just kept getting worse.

Bruce and I did not have a good relationship, I was not his biggest fan.  A couple years ago I ended any relationship we did have and I know that was very hard for my Mom.  I hated causing her that stress but it was something I had to do and I do not regret the decision.  Here's the thing though, he has been in my life for roughly 30 years.  There have been instances through that time that I had awful thoughts about him.  Now, as an adult, knowing he was going through something awful was hard to deal with.  I felt guilty because ultimately I don't want any harm to come to anyone.  While I know none of this is my fault, there is a part of me that it was eating up inside.  Now he is gone and I am sad.  I am sad he had to go through what he went through.  I am sad that my Mom has to go through this.  I am sad that he never was the Dad for me that I'm sure he wanted to be.  Through whatever shortcomings he had, he had a huge heart and he cared for me.  He also cared for my Mom more than anything else in this world.

Today I will get on a flight to Florida to be with her and help her out.

I am not a person that lives a life of "poor me." I'm positive, I try to see the good in things.  I live my life feeling that things happen for a reason and at the time they are happening we might not understand, but when we look back we will know.  Right now though I'm having a hard time feeling that way.  I'm tired of all this bad shit happening.

Please pray if you pray, make a wish if you make a wish on a star, throw a penny in a fountain if you throw pennies or just think to yourself out loud that you hope it gets better for all of my family.  We are all very tired right now and need some positive mojo.