Saturday, May 28, 2016

Can't Stop This Ear Worm

I can't sleep.

I had a fun night of dancing. A few particular dance partners made me feel just fabulous on the dance floor. It. Was. Amazing.

But now I've been home for over 2 hours and I can't sleep. I just want to keep dancing. And I've got this song stuck in my head. And really, it's just perfectly fitting.

My jam. My new favorite dance tune. Why fight it?

Sunday, May 22, 2016

My Shoulders Were Up To My Ears

I have been so stressed the last several days. My body filled with tension and pain. My shoulders were up to my ears and has huge, painful knots. I wasn't relaxed.  I couldn't relax. My body wouldn't let go.

I went to Westify, a west coast swing social, last night. During the lesson, my instructor kept telling me to drop my shoulders and release the tension so I would have a better connection. I couldn't.  I couldn't do it. At least not naturally. I really had to think hard about relaxing and dropping my shoulders.

And it hurt! Oh man did it hurt to drop my shoulders down. But I kept trying. I kept focusing on that part of my connection. And counting.

Connection and counting.

And guess what! A few hours later, I realized my shoulders didn't hurt and they had dropped out of my ears. I was relaxed again. Focusing on the connection and counting got me out of my head and into my body. I was able to let go of the things weighing on me. ....and to think, I almost didn't go last night! That would've been a great loss.

I need more dancing in my life!

Thank you to Bill, Kevin, Josh, Martin, Robert, Jay, Jeremy and many others for your help in my de-stressing!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Scale

It's up again.

It was down. Now it's up again. What is going on? I'm doing everything right. Following my trainer's guidelines. But the scale keeps creeping up.

I know it's just a number. But it's bothering me. In the back of my mind I still have this fear that I'll balloon up again.

I'm trying to balance it out with positive self-talk. Reminders of how far I've come. A few pounds back doesn't mean I've lost the war.

I check in with my body to see how it feels. *deep breaths, hands on chest and stomach to check in* I feel stressed. I can feel tension in my shoulders. Lots of tension. It's the end of the school year and this has been a rough one.

I also feel comfortable in my skin. I don't feel fat. I don't feel overweight. I don't feel bloated. I feel good. Hmmm... but my pants do feel a bit snugger. I have a bit of a muffin top. I can work on that.

So, maybe I do need to get the scale number to go down a bit, but I also need to remember that I'm stressed and stress doesn't help the scale numbers or my body look or feel good. I'm going to do my best to get through the last two weeks of school. Then we'll see where things fall when that stressor is gone. I'm doing the best that I can right now....


My birthday is coming up in a few weeks! I'll be 37... no big deal; age is just a number.

Isn't it?

This week, though, I've heard on the radio several times that around age 37/38 people claim to start feeling old. I scoffed. I don't feel like I'm old. I still feel young, vibrant, and energetic. But this radio spot that kept coming on has gotten me thinking. Hmmm....

  • I enjoy keeping things routine. Trainer workout on Monday. Volleyball followed by Rancheritos on Wednesday. Ballroom dancing on Friday. West Coast Swing dancing on Saturday. And resuming next week, Tuesday night dancing outdoors to live music in downtown.
  • I don't like staying up late anymore. (Ok, aside from the fact that I'm writing this at 1am, I am usually not awake at this hour. The only reason I'm up this late is because of the dancing. And because stress kept me awake last night, so I took a long nap this afternoon, and now I'm not ready to go to bed.) Usually, during the week I'm in bed by 10 and on the weekend.... maybe a little later, depending on dancing.
Ok, so maybe there's not a lot of overwhelming evidence. But I certainly do like my routines. But maybe it's just my way of taking care of myself.

Confession time. I've not gone to a couple friend's birthday parties recently because they conflict with dancing. And also because they revolve around food. I have been invited to birthday dinners out at restaurants. Yes, I feel some sadness about not being with my friends to celebrate these milestones in their lives. And, yes, I do wonder if they'll come to my birthday event since I didn't go to theirs. But these are the choices I'm making right now because it's how I'm taking care of me in the best way I know how to do in this moment.

Partly I haven't gone because of finances; I don't have a big budget for eating out. (I'd rather spend my entertainment money on doing, not eating.) The other reason, the big reason, is that I don't want my social life to revolve around food. Using food for entertainment is a big reason why I got overweight in the first place. I want to spend time with my friends DOING something, not EATING. *Note: only one event in my weekly routine has food attached, and that food comes after a lot of physical activity.

I guess that's why I'm not planning a big birthday party for myself. I don't want it to be about food - I want it to be about time with my friends. That's why I'm planning to continue doing my favorite activities during my birthday week, but I'm inviting my friends to join me. And there may or may not be birthday cake. What I want more is just to be around people I care about who also care about me. That's what's important to me.

So to my friend's whose birthday dinners I have missed - I'm sorry. I do love and care about you. I enjoy the time we spend together at volleyball, dancing, or other activities; however, I don't want to give up my beloved activities to spend several hours sitting and eating. I love you, but I also love me. And I love me too much to not take care of myself by not doing the physical activities I love. For too many years I put myself on the back burner. I'm taking care of me now.

My dear friends, I have some sadness about not attending your birthday dinners. You are important. I feel a tug in my heart to go. But I also feel a strong tug in my heart to go dance and enjoy the things I love - a healthy (and budget friendly) dinner at home and dancing for hours. I'm listening to my heart as it tells me what my body needs to have peace right now. Is that getting old, or is that just maturity and self-awareness....

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Keep Going

It finally shifted.

Since March I've been struggling with health issues and convalescence. During that time my weight fluctuated a lot. I did fairly well keeping the weight off while I was sick because I didn't have much of an appetite. However, afterwards, while on the road to recovery (convalescence) I started eating more again, though I didn't have the energy or strength to get back to my usual physical activities. My weight started to creep up, my waist line got softer and a little fuller. I didn't look or feel like my healthy self.

The physical stress started to lead to mental stress, and on top of that piled usual end-of-the-school-year stress at work. I felt like I was in a downward health spiral as the weight didn't go down and the stress went up. I was battling a depression because of things.

Though I felt physically better, I wasn't back to where I was before the illness and needed to remember to give myself time to get there. During my depression I struggled with feeling like I had regressed to where I was a year ago, before my running and before my months of hard work with my trainer. I kept beating myself up. I talked with my trainer and my psychotherapist to help get some perspective. I wasn't giving myself compassion and love during my recovery time.

So I took a snapshot of my weight loss journey and kept it on my phone as a reminder of how far I've come. Yes, the past few months have been a struggle, but I needed to remember how far I have come and remember that it was only a minor setback, not a total loss.

The past few weeks I've really rededicated myself to better eating and physical activity. My trainer and I have tweaked some things on my nutritional goals. I was frustrated at not seeing anything different after the first week. This week, though, something happened. After two weeks of hard work, something shifted.

I knew last night that my body was feeling different. My clothes felt different and looked different on me. And this morning the scale reflected what my body had revealed the night before. The weight is shifting. And just a small change, but it's spurring me on to not give up. I just needed to keep focused on my goals and the things that would get me there: a good night's sleep, moving more, eating well, drinking plenty of water, and lowering my stress by doing things to take care of myself. It can all be summed up by a favorite quote I've seen and shared before: