Monday, March 30, 2015

Out of Sorts

I think I'm going crazy. Maybe I'm there already. All I know is that I'm not myself. Is it because I, an extrovert, have been alone in my apartment for several days? Is it because I, a normally healthy eater, indulged in sweets and all sorts of crap foods several nights in a row?

Is it all of the above? Quite likely.

I'm feeling lethargic, no energy for my workout, and tired, I just want to crawl into bed and sleep until I wake up some time tomorrow. That's not going to happen, but that's how I feel. Thank goodness Easter break is only a few days away. Not sure I could make it otherwise.

To top off an already less than wonderful day yesterday (my hair stylist forgot my appointment and left early, and my roommate's cat is in heat and driving me crazy), I ate my feelings in the form of most of a large Philly cheesesteak pizza resulting in bloating and gas, dropped the water pitcher on the floor which broke the handle and flooded the kitchen, and had a disagreement with a friend via text messages. I ended the night sitting on the edge of my bed crying great tears of frustration. Not my most stellar moment in life, but not my worst either, so for that I can be grateful.

Today, I ate better, I exercised, and I'm still in a funk. I think I need a hug. I miss human contact. I know I'll be ok on my own, I AM OK on my own,  but still a long bear hug would go a long way to helping restore my sanity. That and a steak dinner, I think.

I think my friend and I made up. I did my part to apologize.

I'm not going to kill the cat. I probably won't kick her either. (Totally kidding, don't call PETA on me!) She'll be through her cycle soon and back to normal,  which is mostly ignoring me.

And a new month starts in two days, so I'll mix up my workout routine again. Maybe that's what I need to feel more motivated.

I'm gonna survive. I'm get through this. But if you see me, will you give me a hug? And if you see me and I'm crying, please make it a long bear hug!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Time to Get Creative

The end of another month is approaching. That means it's time to switch up my workout routine again. I've been alternating my workout sets (upper body sets and lower body sets) every other month. I'm kind of ready to bring in something new. 

I follow a couple blogs from fitness professionals (Jenna Wolfe on and's fitness blog). Usually, I pull in ideas from those places with workouts from my trainer I had many years ago in North Carolina, and mix it all together to make it work in my little fitness center at the apartment complex. It's been working so far; I've lost 20 pounds since living here and toned up a bit. But I'm getting bored with alternating the same workouts every other month. 

With the warmer weather here I'll definitely be incorporating more outdoor walk. I've mapped out two routes so far. One route is just under 4 miles and the other is about 4.5 miles. I think I need to look for a route that is about 3 miles, and one that is 5-6 miles, just to give myself plenty of options.

My immediate goal is to find something that I can do while travelling that requires no weights, can use exercise bands or body weight, and can be done either in my room or outside. Spring Break is coming, I'll be visiting family, and don't want to lose what I've gained, but I also don't want to sacrifice family time either. 

Please share your favorite "anytime, anywhere" activities for fitness in comments. Links to videos to demonstrate are always appreciated!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Spring Closet Cleaning

Too frumpy!
I got up Saturday morning with no alarm clock. I planned to go to the fitness center first thing, but somehow or other got sidetracked by my two storage tubs of old clothes.

Saving for a wacky dress-up day
at school.
I'm not really sure why I stopped to look for something in them, but I started to pull things out one at a time to try on. Of course, that meant I had to change back out of my work out clothes into regular undergarments to see what would work and what wouldn't.

It was like a trip down memory lane as I found pieces I hadn't worn since my first few years of teaching in North Carolina. From a younger and even thinner me.

Loved this outfit!
I pulled on each top or pair of pants, eager to see them fit again and planning of when I would wear them. But ten years later, my body has changed, styles have changed, I have changed. And so, of the two large tubs of clothes that I went through, I only kept about 6 pieces of clothing. The rest is going to Goodwill. (Hello, tax deductions for 2015!)
Fun tops for dressing up.

Look at all the clothes!

Great legs, but the skort must go!

The clothes heading to Goodwill!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Amazing Myself

Some of you might hate me for saying this, but I accidentally lost 4 pounds last week. I wasn't trying to lose weight last week, I was just trying to get back to the healthy eating habits I'd somewhat abandoned in February. I also amped up my workout routine. Last weekend I weighed in at 166, this weekend I weighed in at 162. I was shocked.
I'm a rebel and a rule-breaker!

I knew things were different because on Thursday I was able to button a corduroy jacket that hasn't fit in ages. I'd been wearing it anyway, just not buttoning it. But when I felt a slight chill and pulled it tighter across my chest, I was surprised that I didn't have to tug to get the two sides together. They easily came together across my chest and stomach.

Friday night, getting dressed to go dancing, my tummy pooch didn't seem quite as noticeable. My Spanx weren't having to work as hard to keep me slim.

And this weekend, I woke up feeling comfortable in my own body. I've been amazed at how it's been working the last week. From dancing, to exercising- including running 3 miles on the treadmill, to every day in the classroom my body has been going hard. And it's been keeping up.

I know I've said it before, but it doesn't hurt to say it again, I'm grateful to my body. I've put it through a bit of abuse with the extra weight, lack of exercise, and poor eating habits over past years and yet it's kept on going. Now, I'm paying more attention to it, not in a vain way, but in a way of being present with myself and noticing how I feel - paying attention to my body's signals. I'm practicing mindfulness.

I noticed my body was extra tired so I gave myself permission to turn off the alarm clock and wake up when my body was ready. And yes, that meant that I missed church today, which I am sad of, but didn't Jesus also take time off to take care of His physical need for rest? While it's not a habit I endorse, I'm spending time in personal meditation and reflection, and thanking God for what He's given me and and done for me. I whole-heartedly believe that fellowship with other believers is important, but so is listening to your body - the body God cretaed - and giving it what it needs. Today it needs rest, so that's what I'm giving it.

Sometimes I get so busy that I forget to appreciate my body and honor all that it's done for me. A new friend reminded me of how wonderful my body is when last weekend he told me "You're hot." I scoffed at first because of his word choice, having just read a blog post by another blogger who is a professional writer (Single Dad Laughing). He'd told a woman on a date "you're hot" and she also scoffed, not because she didn't believe him (as I didn't believe my friend), but because he's a writer and couldn't come up with better words. (Read blog post here.)

The next day I tried to explain to my friend via text why I had scoffed at his comment by sharing the blog link with him. He read it and wrote back that he liked the arrangement of my atoms. Hah! Well, since I was still waiting for the upswing of getting back into the habit of eating better and exercising more, I didn't truly believe him. I thought I was pretty enough, but not hot.

Now, a week later, I believe him. My atoms are arranged in a pretty awesome way, so thanks, my friend, for that reminder. I'll try to remember that on my own more often. My body is amazing, not just for how it looks, but for all it does.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Non-Scale Victories

What non-scale victories have you had this week?

Mine? (yah, they're selfies....)

1- Last night I jogged for 3 miles
on the treadmill - nonstop
2- Today I button up my dress jacket
that didn't button last week! 
Haven't worn this jacket button up
in over 8 years!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Beware, Girl Scout Cookies VS Girl Scout Cookies Beware!

Just 1 more Girl Scout Cookie
Yesterday, I approached the impending delivery of my pre-purchased Girl Scout Cookies with dread. I'd just gone a week with no sweets and was feeling good from my sugar detox.

Today, the cookies were delivered. Four boxes- two Samoas and two Tagalongs. And yes, I ate some. Five, in fact, one whole row. And, oh, were they as good as I remembered. Sweet, gooey, coconut-y and delicious Samoas. My favorite.

But four boxes? I had ordered them when I was still dating that guy. I had planned to share them with him. Now what am I going to do with four boxes?! I gave one to my Japanese exchange student aide. Samoas. Yes, I parted with my favorite first. I don't need that many Samoas. Upon further reflection, I don't need that many Tagalongs. I think I'll give some to my new Japanese student I'm getting next week.

But back to those five cookies I ate. They were good. But I'm glad I left them in my desk at work so they wouldn't further tempt me this evening. I put them in the back of a drawer that I rarely open, hoping that I might forget about them and thereby be less tempted by them as well. We'll see...

As I worked out in the fitness center this evening I thought about my month-long sugar binge and my week-long sugar fast. (Ok, so I wasn't completely sugar-free, I had natural fruit sugars, and some low-sugar instant oatmeal, and even some protein bars as snacks, but I didn't have candy and sweets they way I had been for pretty much all of February, so I'm pretty ok with calling it a sugar fast. I was back to my somewhat regular amounts of sugar.) But as I was saying, my week-long sugar fast. I was feeling so much more comfortable in my own skin. No longer bloated. My face was clearing up. My joints are less achy and my body less fatigued. I feel more energetic. In other words, I feel more like the best version of myself.

But if I go on to eat more of those Girl Scout cookies, I'll be back to the not so pleasant version of myself that is achy, bloated, irritable, uncomfortable, and lethargic. Oh, but the little voice in my head reminds me that Girl Scout cookies are only here once a year for a limited time.

What to do? What to do?

To be honest, I'm not totally sure, what I'm going to do, but I really like the way I'm feeling now and don't want to go back to how I was feeling in February. If I hold on to that, it's easy to stay away from eating the cookies. But what do I do with them? Because, come on- they are GIRL SCOUT COOKIES! Only once  a year. I can't just throw them out. And I'm not sure I want to just give them all away. I want to taste at least a few cookies, because they are just a once a year treat. But I don't want to go overboard on the sugar and blow my diet and bring back all the above negative feelings.

So I've decided to do nothing. I'm going to keep them in my desk. That way I don't feel like I'm being deprived (which I would if f I were to just get rid of them all). I can know in my mind that they are there if I really want some. But I'm going to set a loving limit of just once a week (so for this week I've already had my one time). Too much sugar in one week will make me feel really yucky and I want to feel really fabulous when I go dancing this week- not the bloated and uncomfortable, self-conscious feeling I felt the last couple weeks.

On second thought, maybe I'll move them up to a really high cupboard in the classroom so they are a little harder to get without some work. I mean, after all, they ARE Girl Scout Cookies!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Moving On

"I'll be ok," I tell myself. "Correction, I AM ok."

It's been going through my head for several weeks- telling myself I AM ok, even when I don't feel it. But, y'all, I wasn't. I wasn't taking good care of myself. I wasn't ok so I wasn't eating well, I wasn't sleeping well, and I wasn't feeling well emotionally.

On Wednesday of this week I'd had enough. I woke up determined to not eat any candy or sweets that day. Morning was easy. Lunchtime came and I had a good lunch. But the afternoon was the hardest. I keep a tub of Jolly Ranchers in my classroom. When my kiddos fill up their homework chart (for bringing back homework on time) they get a piece of candy. Wednesday afternoon the candy was calling my name. Every time I'd walk by it I wanted to just grab one and suck on it, my reasoning being that it was for my dry mouth (because of the cold weather). I looked that temptation in the eye and kept walking. I was so proud of myself.

But oh the headache I was experiencing. I thought it was just allergies and weather change. I took some Tylenol and tried to move on.

Thursday the headache was still there. I continued to stare down the temptation of the Jolly Ranchers. I left work feeling victorious over the candy's calling, but with a pounding headache and a cancelled coffee date.

After work I begged my roommate to stop at Target on our way home from work, which she did. I remembered what my doctor had suggested- Benadryl and Mucinex. So I grabbed a box of each and hit the checkout. Finally at 7 pm on Thursday night I felt relief as those meds kicked in. I could breathe and my headache was finally gone. And with the headache gone, I suddenly didn't feel so tired or lethargic either. Amazing.

Friday was a wonderful day now that I was "feeling better". The candy was no longer calling my name. I was able to focus on my kids and not my headache. I was the best teacher I'd been in a few weeks. And I was going dancing that night!

I'd made a new friend two weekends ago while out dancing. He just plopped down on a chair next to me while I was resting between dances and started chatting. His charming personality and warm smile helped me open up and we started chatting. I went dancing two nights in a row last weekend and he was there both nights. We swapped numbers and now I have a dancing friend.

He picked me up Friday night and we stayed out until after 3 am. I can't remember a night in a long time where I have smiled and laughed so much, deep belly laughing, or felt so thoroughly happy. I AM ok.

Taking care of myself by eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep helped me feel like myself again. I AM ok. No more tears over the past. I'm looking forward to the future and enjoying, embracing the present.