Balancing Val

Posts Tagged ‘school

I would definitely agree that I am the type of person that puts a lot of pressure on herself to succeed. In a way, this is good. I’ve been able to leave a job knowing how to work every department and I have gained trust and respect and a ton of knowledge along the way.

But what happens when IM in control?

This weekend, with the help of my dad I was able to apply for my first ever student loan. Previously when I was in community college, I had help from my parents or put tuition on my credit card (so stupid). I went to college just because its what im ‘supposed’ to do. I went there not knowing what I wanted or was passionate about. So I strung along and THANKFULLY found a direction, but in nothing i truly loved.But this is the big time, this is what I want.

I have to say I was completely SHOCKED about how much it will cost me in the end to borrow the amount that I needed. I mean with interest, it’s really not to far from paying DOUBLE what I needed to borrow even with the lowest possible interest rate!

I looked at my monthly payments which work out to ~$380 per month for 8 years.


I know some of you have been there done that, but I just need to express the pressure I now feel.

This means that I have to come up with that amount of money PLUS my regular expenses, PLUS possible commuting costs if I get a job in the city. I have to make sure I do something that is able to handle all of this financially.

And so. . . . I’ve decided to become a stripper instead of go to school.

. . . .kidding šŸ˜‰

It took a lot for me to reassure myself that everything would be ok going into this a bit free spirited. I told myself that no matter what if nothing but knowledge comes from this, I will be ok where I’m at and have time to figure things out.

But, the chokehold of finance really put a damper on that.

I’m not saying that I was just going to graduate then hang out for a while and see what happened. But I really didn’t want there to be this scary elephant in the room.

I know ill be ok, but again it’s the fear of the unknown that kills me. The fear that I will be struggling. The fear that I wasn’t good enough to get a job good enough to pay my bills.

On the other hand, it might be a good thing as it is somewhat of a positive stress or motivation. I am willing to work hard and I am willing to put myself out there to follow my passion.

But jeez . . . Money Sucks! šŸ™„

Thank you for listening to today’s rant.


On the way home from a bunch of errands, I had a profound moment in the car after I left the farmers market with $13.42 worth of vegetables. I thought about all of the things I could come up with using what I had. A bunch of options came to me and there it was . . . I was EXCITED.

For the last few years I have only focused on losing weight and being healthy. My whole life in one way or another was connected to why I wasn’t where my mind thought I should be(mostly the way i looked). If i could fix this one problem, I would be perfect and so everything I did on my spare time, and every thought I had the energy for HAD to go towards fixing myself. The funny thing is, all this time, obsessing, and energy I spent hoping to come out ‘healthy’ on the other side was actually unhealthy! This re-enforced one of my health mantras from long ago . . .

‘just because you are doing healthy things, it does not mean you are healthy’

I learned this lesson a while ago while in one of my deeper quests for this ‘perfection’ but I didn’t actually start BELIEVING it until recently. To me, this statement means that to achieve health, you must attempt balance in each aspect of the mind body and soul. You can not focus just on one and not the other you must explore and find a balance of all. I don’t think there is ever a point where I will be able to tell myself . . ‘yep! your balanced now . . congrats!’ because life is one big j roller coaster journey with ups and downs a plenty.

I’m straying from my story though šŸ˜³

Anyway, a lot of books I read brought up the point that people with a weight/diet obsession often are scared of losing it. They are scared because they really wouldn’t know what to do with themselves if they were ok, or not broken. It occurred to me in the car that I honestly hadnt been living my life acting like i was broken. Sure, i have my moments, but i learn from them now. Today, I was really doing what I wanted to do without any hidden wannabe healthy person agenda behind it. I wasn’t buying vegetables because I had to get certain things for my latest diet attempt. I genuinely wanted to use my spare time and energy to cook food!

It may seem strange, but this is so comforting to me. This really makes me feel like I am in control. I actually feel good about the direction I am going.

Thank you $13.42 worth of vegetables . . . šŸ™‚

Mondays are usually looooong workdays, and today was no different. However, I did get something really important done . . . .


Sound weird? 8)

I was finally able to send out my actual application with the $150 fee. I still have to send a bunch of other documents, but I feel better knowing the preliminary stuff it’s on it’s way. I know applying to school a little under 3 months seems a little tight but I’m testing my power of positive thinking and truly trying to believe that I will be accepted. But because this helps me(obviously), let’s think about the worst thing that could happen if I don’t get accepted . . . .

A.) My dad/family/chris/friends/me will be disappointed

B.) I would have to wait until next semester which starts in April 2011

C.) . . . ? I really gotta stop writing C’s šŸ™„

I would be more upset with the disappointment then anything else. I don’t want to say I procrastinated because I really didn’t, but sometimes it’s really hard for me to get going with a big decision like this. I’ve been hyping this up for myself for so long and getting so excited and it would just be cruddy to know that I would have to wait another 6 months when I am ready NOW. Either way though, life will go on and I will deal with whatever happens when it happens.

I wanted to tell you a little bit about how i lead up to this moment though, and I will try my best to not draw it out.

My interest in nutrition started in my college health class. I was originally going to school for business management because i had no idea what i wanted to do. The professor who taught was also a nutritionist. I remember being so attentive in that class and really actually enjoyed the whole process. I was easily convinced by him to change my major to exercise science which was the closest health related major they offered. I remember learning about everything that had to do with exercise but it seemed as if i was just going through the motions. I’d only really light up when we would rarely study something about food and nutrition. I however took the easy way out and became a personal trainer.

At the time I left school, I was working for a local sports supplement company during the day, and personal training at night. I was working very long hours being immersed in exercise/fitness in every way. I had my own trainer that would send me workouts to do, i was on strict diets, and I even trained for a figure/bodybuilding competition that i never did. Something still didn’t feel right and I should have trusted my instincts. It took me about 2-3 years of doing this to finally admit to myself that I wasn’t in love with the exercise part of health. This was NOT easy. I built up such a reputation around this life and tried for so long to believe that it was what I wanted and loved but in reality, I just had to let it go and involve my life around something i am truly passionate about.

I left my job then and started looking for something else. I promised myself that if I didn’t find anything, i would start looking at culinary schools. Eventually, I landed a job being an assistant to a chiropractor which i am still at today. I am grateful for this job because it turned me on to a whole new aspect of natural health and wellness that i never knew existed. I’m always learning something new and I have a lot to thank for here, but still i felt the need to broaden my knowledge and personal satisfaction with something i love.

I heard about the Natural Gourmet Institute online when I was looking up culinary schools. I was looking for a school that combined cooking with nutrition and natural organic foods, and this honestly seemed to be the only school in the whole country that did that. The school is located in NYC and has had many many successful chefs train in their program who have written cookbooks, opened restaurants, started health movements in their cities . . . You name it! One of the more recognizable (to the average reality tv junkie) chefs that graduated there would be Bethenny Frankel.

Anyway, long story short (or saved for another time) I got right to an open house and fell in love with it there. I’m incredibly lucky to be able to live close enough to make the commute and become a part of the food world in the big city. There are so many opportunities and so many doors that could be opened for me. Even though it would be such a huge change, and there will be many many challenges if I get in, I am incredibly excited, and it feels like the right thing to do.

So . . . Here’s good luck to the second half of applying :D!

***Please note that pictures will be all clumped together on the bottom of my posts until I learn now to successfully upload them in order from my iPad***

This morning i woke up wanting a simple breakfast. I’ve been on a scrambled eggs kick and I just can’t get enough. Plus we finally have butter in the house. Pair them with some toast and coffee and I’m a happy chick.

Chris and I headed out to one of the local resivours for some cardio and good conversation. It is a nice long trail around the perimeter which ends up being 5 miles. I used to go there pretty often and am trying to sneak it in more and more.

It wasn’t as hot as usual today and despite my leg still being WAY sore from Tuesdays lunges, we managed to throw a few jogging intervals in there. It was a nice time, I just wish Chris didn’t always have to deal with work issues constantly on his cell phone on his days off. He’s gotta do what he’s gotta do though.

I had a delicious green smoothie when I got home which consisted of almond milk, wild blueberries, spinach, hemp protein and a dash of agave nectar. The way it layered in the blender looked much cooler then the final product which looked kinda swampy. I got around to making a salad for work with oven roasted turkey tenderloin, tomatoes, roasted red pepper, red onion and cannelini beans which really tasted good in there. Luckily there is some left for tomorrow.

I have school on my mind a lot and just how much my life is going to change and it’s just so scary and exciting at the same time. My finances are something that is going to be a pretty big issue. I am going to be spending $350 a month on commuting alone! I really have to come up with a strict budget and figure out ways to save. Any ideas?

    • Ayla: My easiest dinner recipe? PB + banana sandwich. Takes 2 minutes which makes me a very happy girl.
    • kristisn: Yum! That looks like a great dinner.
    • Kate D: After two scarring experiences stuck in big city rush hour traffic (facing the wrong direction) while on vacation with my parents I totally understand

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