Forty Four and Lesson Learned

I have to admit, I am one of those who loves to celebrate my own birthday. For so many years, I wanted others to make me feel celebrated and special, but then a few years ago I decided to take matters into my own hands and make MYSELF feel celebrated and special. Leaving that up to others was unkind of me…who wants that kind of pressure? Every year for the past, I don’t know…5 years?, I’ve been making my birthday into something that will leave me fulfilled and happy. One year, I got a massage for myself, another year I bought myself a Kindle, once it was a mani/pedi. Yesterday I decided to take the afternoon off work (I usually try to take the whole day off, but I had some things at work that needed to be done in the morning) and treat myself to a lovely afternoon with myself. 🙂

I took myself to lunch at a sweet little tea room that is decorated in various shades of pink – it is a very girly place and it was perfect for a quiet lunch. I don’t mind eating alone…I know some people have a problem with it, but for me, it’s kind of nice sometimes to just sit and watch the other diners or to just spend some time reading on my Kindle while I eat. After lunch, I took myself shopping and bought a few new Spring-y pieces to add to my wardrobe. Every place I went, I ended up getting some kind of discount, either because it was a promotion offered by the store or because the sales clerk wanted to add my birth month to their list for future coupons (when I told the girl that it was my birthday, she went ahead and gave me the coupon anyway), so I scored some great deals all for less than $100 total, which made the day even sweeter!

After buying two tops, a pair of pants, and two pair of super cute wedges, I went home to celebrate with my family. My husband cooked dinner for all of us (I love a man who cooks!) and the kids gave me their cards and presents and then we had cake and ice cream. Honestly, I felt so fulfilled already that I wasn’t even phased by the cake. I had one small piece with a small scoop of ice cream and after that, I didn’t want more. I was done with it and I didn’t go back for seconds.

At one point early in the evening, the kiddos had scattered to their rooms or to go play outside while dinner was cooking, and the hubs and I were talking about ordinary stuff when a special-to-us song came on (we were listening to a virtual mixtape I had made for him – you should try this, it’s so cool!!) and he pulled me in for a slow dance right there in the living room. I just remember feeling so happy – just pure happiness right at that moment, I almost wanted to cry. It was the sweetest gift I could have gotten.

At the end of the evening, I remember thinking “this is what having a full life feels like”…I don’t have a big fancy house, but I have a home with people I love; I don’t have loads of money in the bank, but I have enough to meet our needs plus a little bit extra; I don’t have tons of friends, but I have a few loyal pals that would kill or die for me (and I for them). And my family (immediate and extended)…gosh I don’t know how I would do this life without them.

The point of all this gushiness is that food was barely even on my radar yesterday. I had my special lunch and then I didn’t even think about food for the next 6 hours at all. Let me repeat that…I DIDN’T EVEN THINK ABOUT FOOD FOR THE NEXT 6 HOURS. AT ALL. Once I realized that, it dawned on me that “Oh! THIS is how I get to the other side of this food issue…I fill my days with things other than food that are just as satisfying!” Now, although I would love to go on a shopping spree every day of my life, my finances just won’t allow that, but I can totally do other things – I just have to remind myself to do them. I want to carry this feeling with me all the time, even in the midst of running kids around and folding laundry and cooking meals and cleaning house…if I could remember to carry this feeling with me all day every day, I’d solve my food issues for good.

Shoes That Fit

I have to admit something. Since I quit dieting (and by dieting, I mean trying to lose weight through external forces as opposed to internal motivations) I feel happier than I have in a really, really long time. There are some really great things about all of the programs I have done, but I feel like typical dieting is just not for me. Counting calories, hyper-focusing on certain food groups, restricting and depriving myself of certain things…it feels like wearing shoes that are a size too small for me. I know those things work great for some people and if you are one of those people, then more power to you, but for me it feels uncomfortable and unnatural. I just can’t do it and I don’t want to do it and I won’t do it.

For the last month I’ve been focusing on emotional eating resources (blogs, podcasts, books) and I feel happier and better in my body than I have for YEARS. And I suddenly have so much more free space in my brain, if that makes sense. When I’m not super focused on LOSING WEIGHT, I have more room to entertain other thoughts – I feel like my brain just opened up and I realize there are so many other things in the world that can make me happy other than pursuing thinness. This feels so much better to me than losing two pounds.

And let me clarify – I’m talking about what feels good FOR ME. You might have a totally different experience and that’s okay. I have a friend who has counted calories for years – it just works for her. She doesn’t obsess over it or turn into the main focus of her life, it’s just something that’s become part of her life, so it works for her and that’s great! I have another friend who swears by low carb eating – she feels better when she’s eating low carb and to her I say brava! I still think the Selvera program is excellent. I know lots of people who have successfully done Weight Watchers and Overeaters Anonymous and they are happy, functioning members of society. So just because I say that I am happier taking a different approach, don’t take that to mean I think any other way is wrong…I’ve said for a long time that every one has to find their own way and I still believe that.

I think I have found my way and if it leads to a bunch of weight loss, well that’s fantastic, but I’m done obsessing about all the weight I haven’t lost. I’m replacing shame and guilt with confidence and optimism.  I will not wear shoes that are too small anymore.

Upside Down & Inside Out

Wow! I had no idea my “note to self” would resonate so much with you guys!

I’ve been doing a lot of questioning lately. Questioning the things I do daily and why I do them and rethinking some old thought processes…I’m really just trying to see things in a new light. One of the things I’m turning upside down in my own brain is this: What if working out and eating to my body’s needs really isn’t hard? What if the diet industry just wants me to think it’s hard? What if I finally decide to say “I’ve got this goal I want to achieve, and I’m going to believe that it’s going to be a fun process to reach that goal?” What if I just change how I think about this process instead of dreading every step of it?

Not too long ago, my 14 year old had an assignment in chemistry where she had to balance several chemical equations. Now, it’s been over 25 years since I last had to balance a chemical equation so I had no idea how to do it and I wasn’t about to sit down and try to figure it out because CHEMISTRY IS HARD (sound familiar?). Unfortunately, my daughter had no idea how to do it either and as I could see her frustration growing, I decided I needed to help her get through this. So I looked on Youtube for a tutorial on balancing chemical equations and slowly I figured it out. Once I got the hang of it, it actually become sort of…dare I say it?…fun. It was fun figuring out the problem and after I checked my answer to make sure it was right (because I’m a parent and I can do that), it was a great feeling to know that I had indeed figured it out! I am no longer afraid of balancing chemical equations – because I am a badass and I rock that sh*t. I was able to help my daughter figure it out and in the end we both learned something new. What if…what if…it is the same with figuring out my emotional eating issues??? What if it becomes fun to take that pause before I eat and say “Okay, are you hungry? and if you aren’t hungry, what is it that you really need?” Maybe I am a chemical equation just begging to be balanced! 🙂

I am in the process of completely turning my weight loss process upside down and inside out. I’m reading a lot of emotional eating resources and listening to podcasts and trying on some new ideas about taking care of myself and really learning what is best for me, as decided by ME, not by an outside source. I am a reasonably intelligent, highly intuitive 43 year old woman – I know what I need to do and I’m finally doing it. For myself, it all has to come from inside – it has to be intrinsically motivated or else I will rebel against it and stamp my foot and say “you can’t make me!” (because, mature).

I have ended my time with Selvera, but I still very much recommend them for personal coaching and awesome hand-holding. I learned so, so much from my coach Amanda but I think it’s time I take off the training wheels and do what I instinctively know that I need to do, and that is figure out my brain and it’s habits and it’s misguided beliefs once and for all.

I don’t believe that I am a binge eater – I think I used to be, a long time ago, but I’m pretty sure that I’m just a garden-variety emotional eater now. I have confidence that I can figure this out, slowly but surely, and that some day in the not-so-distant future I’ll be on the other side of this issue. I know I can get to the other side. I just know it.

Note to Self

Change your frame of mind, Jill. Telling yourself over and over again “losing weight is so HARD!! It’s the MOST DIFFICULT THING I’VE EVER HAD TO DO!!! IT’S JUST SO HARRRRRRRD!!!!!” is not going to help. And besides that, you deserve a bitch slap for thinking it’s too damn hard, because you know what’s hard? Trekking for 5 miles with a jar on your head to the nearest watering hole so you have enough water for your family for ONE DAY is hard. Having to figure out how to pay for another round of chemo for your cancer-stricken child/spouse/parent is hard. Deciding to put your grandparent (or parent) in a nursing home is hard. Not having enough food to feed your kids…when payday (if you’re lucky enough to have one) is still 6 days away is hard.

Deciding to stop feeding yourself shitty food…NOT HARD. Deciding to figure out WHY the hell you think stuffing your face is a good idea every time you have a feeling …NOT HARD. Finally deciding that WHAT you put in your mouth is not the issue and taking the steps to figure out the WHY…NOT HARD.

It’s only hard if you decide it is. It doesn’t have to be hard. It can be soft and gentle and freeing and liberating, if only you’ll let it be.

You think changing is going to feel like jumping into an ice cold swimming pool in the middle of February, but what if you dip your toe in and you discover the pool is heated and it feels warm and welcoming and absolutely divine??? What if slipping into that warm, silky water is exactly what you need? You’ll never know if you stand there on the side of pool, shivering because you decide it’s too hard to be brave enough to take that first tentative dip.

Get some perspective. It doesn’t have to be hard.

As my title says, this is a note to MYSELF. I’m tired of using the excuse that it’s too hard to change…too hard to pause before I eat, too hard to ask myself the right questions. There are so many things in this world that are hard…taking care of myself should not be one of them. 

Random bits

Howdy!

Still feeling a bit tired today, but better than I have felt the last 4 days. I had gotten out of the habit of taking my iron supplement over the last two months, so I started that again a few days ago. I know it takes a couple of weeks for the iron to start doing its thing, but hopefully I’ll start having more energy soon. I don’t really think that has anything to do with why I was so tired over the weekend, but it can’t hurt to put that habit into practice again.

I found my Fitbit!! Just as I suspected, it was in the couch. I think I remember taking it off the charger, then lying down on the couch for a nap and that must have been when it fell in between the cushions. Reunited, and it feels so good. I also read about a hack for the Fitbit sleep wristband thingie (technical term) for the Fitbit One (which is what I have). My sleep wristband got messed up sometime a couple of years ago – I think it got torn if I remember correctly, so I hadn’t been using the sleep function of the Fitbit, but one day when I was perusing the online forum on Fitbit’s website I read about how you can get a cheap terry cloth wristband (the kind tennis players wear), snip a small hole in the center and wiggle your Fitbit into the wristband. Then you just slip on the wristband and go to sleep. I tried this last night and it worked great! It was comfy, it didn’t move around, and it still recorded my sleeping/restless times throughout the night. I love a good life hack!

On my way home from work every evening, I pass by a liquor store, and as I drove by last night it occurred to me that I would like for my attitude toward sweets to be the same as my attitude toward alcohol: nice to have occasionally, but not something I want, or even think about, every day. I’m not a big drinker. I might have a glass of wine once a month on a weekend, or when we go to a Mexican restaurant my husband and I like to have a margarita…but most days I don’t even want alcohol. I don’t even think about wanting alcohol. Alcohol is something that to me is a fun treat once in a great while. I am curious as to why I can’t think the same way about sweets…I  mean, after all, they’re both sugar, right? (Doesn’t alcohol turn to sugar in the body? Am I right in thinking this?) Anyway, I would really love to cultivate that take-it-or-leave-it attitude that I have toward alcohol and apply it to sweets. I just really have no idea how to get from Point A to Point B with that one. :/

I think one of my goals for this year is to fall in love with vegetables. I like vegetables. They’re nice to look at and they’re so beneficial…but do I ❀ ❀ ❀LOVE  them? Not so much. I do really enjoy roasted vegetables, but roasting them takes a little time and I typically forget to do that when I’m cooking dinner at night. I really like all the vegetable tian recipes I’ve been seeing on blogs and Pinterest lately…so maybe I just need to make up a big batch of that on the weekend and eat off of that for a few days. Maybe that will be a good first step. Maybe falling in love with vegetables is a bridge to lessening my desire for sweets? Hmmm…  Yes, I think my pursuit of veggies will be a good thing to focus on because really, could there be a bad outcome?? Hard to think of one.

Time to wrap this up because unfortunately, I don’t get paid to blog at work and there is actual work-work to be done today.

Later!

Gettin’ a little woo woo up in here

Warning: I’ma get a little deep for a minute or two, so if you aren’t the touch-feely type, click away! Won’t hurt my feelings if you don’t want to hear me talk about my feelings. 🙂

While searching for emotional eating resources, I stumbled upon the Inside Out Weight Loss podcast. Does everyone know about this and I’m just way late to the party?? I started listening to the podcast from the beginning ( I think it started way back in 2008 so I have a lot to catch up on!) and the latest podcast (that I listened to anyway) was about accepting ourselves as-is and why we might object to that. One of the questions posed was something along the lines of “What is the positive intent of objecting to accepting yourself as you are right now?” In laymen terms, why are you so freaking hard on yourself about accepting yourself???

I have had this question directed at me several times when talking with others about my weight loss. I’ve often heard the following from friends and coaches when I recount my perceived faults:

  • Don’t be so hard on yourself
  • You are being too hard on yourself
  • Give yourself some credit
  • Cut yourself some slack

It never really occurred to me that I was being hard on myself, until I heard this from several different people in different times of my life (but lately and especially about weight loss). Now, let me clarify here that I am NOT a Type A personality at all. I am as far from being an overachiever as a bowling ball is from being an apple. I am the Queen of Good Enough and it suits me just fine. So I needed to stop and think…am I too hard on myself when it comes to my weight loss? And if so, why?

The question asked in the podcast intrigued me enough that I spent a few minutes really thinking about it and this is what I came up with (I actually wrote this down in a notebook):

I know that good things can happen if I put forth a lot of effort. When I make a REAL, CONCENTRATED effort, great things happen for me. If things aren’t happening for me, then I must not be making enough of an effort, therefore I feel like I need to expect more of myself. Since I am still very overweight, I must not be putting forth enough effort, so only when I’m losing weight do I feel that I am meeting my own expectations. I think that in my mind being overweight = not trying hard enough. And I just can’t accept myself the way that I am because I haven’t put in the work…I don’t deserve to feel okay with the body I have now.

Of course, this was not really a conscious thought I had, but the more deeply I dug, this is what came up and it makes sense to me in a way. And so now I’m thinking…well, is this just a limiting belief I have about myself? Just because I’m thinking all of this, does that make it true (what’s that quote about “don’t always believe the things you think”?) What if I could be okay with my body without putting in any effort at all? Is that even possible? I don’t know.

I don’t like it that I put conditions on myself to be acceptable: ONLY when I’m thin will I be okay; ONLY when I’ve worked super duper hard, will I be worthy; ONLY will I be acceptable to myself and everyone around me when I lose this excess weight. Maybe it’s these very conditions that have been holding me back. Maybe carrying around these conditions is the reason I feel that losing weight is like running through mud.

Maybe if I could figure out how to get rid of these prerequisites to acceptance, my weight loss would pick up pace?

Maybe…

I don’t have any answers yet. I’m thinking through this as I type, but if I figure it out, I’ll let ya know.

Now let’s all join hands and sing Kumbaya, okay? 😉

Rolling along

Hello Friends!

How’s it going? I’m doing well. I’m about halfway finished with my Christmas shopping – most of the big stuff is bought and now I just have to take care of all the little things – teacher gifts, stocking stuffers, gifts for the mail carrier, etc. Its these little things that usually make me crazy because it feels like they never end. My plan is to take off work Friday and finish it all up – I’d really like to be able to just sit back and enjoy the rest of the holiday season. So, for right now, I’m feeling okay and not so much frazzled. We’ll see what the next week brings. 🙂

In continuing with my habits theme from my last post, I wanted to hit on those habits that I’d like to change once more. I’ve been thinking about what I need to do to and what steps I might need to take to change those habits and here’s what I’ve come up with:

1) Daily workouts. I finally cleared off the treadmill (it is in the garage and had gotten covered up during the Thanksgiving hurry-and-clean-the-house rush), so now I have no excuses not to use it. When I thought about how I wanted to incorporate my treadmill, the thought of making myself get on it for 30 minutes to an hour every day felt laborious and completely unfun (yes unfun is a word – I just declared it to be one. So there.) and who wants unfun in her life? Not me. So I changed my frame of mind to say that I will get on the treadmill for an undetermined amount of time and I’ll write it down after I’m finished. Maybe some days I’ll have ten minutes logged and some days I’ll have 45 minutes – who knows? I won’t feel the same way every single day so why would I be so rigid with my “rules”? If I’m making an effort, at this point that’s all that matters. And since I’m still going to Zumba twice a week, that makes 3 days per week that I will make an effort to get on the treadmill. I’m using baby steps here, people.

2) Eliminate grazing after work. I’m happy to say that I am getting so much better in this area, but yeah, I still have my hiccups. It just occurred to me today that maybe I need to reframe my phrasing of this habit. I have a reminder on my phone that comes every day as I’m driving home from work and it says NO GRAZING AFTER WORK!!. So guess what I’m thinking when I walk in the door? “No grazing after work, Jill! No GRAZING!!” Guess what happens when you tell yourself not to do something? You think about doing it! So I have changed the wording of that reminder to say “Find something productive or relaxing to do until dinner time!” This gives me permission to relax if I need to for a little while before fixing dinner or it reminds me that there is always a load of laundry begging for my attention – either way it keeps me out of the kitchen unnecessarily. The previous phrasing helped in the beginning, but I think I’m ready to go beyond what not to do.

3) Eliminate Emotional Eating Behaviors. I am actively working on this right now. You know what helps? Staying plugged in to the thoughts that keep me from eating my feelings. Daily reading of books, listening to podcasts, and going over notes I’ve made really helps me to stay focused on what I want and keeps me in check when I see unwanted behaviors emerge. Reminding myself every day of what I’ve learned is crucial because apparently I have a very short memory – if I go a few days without reading my materials then I start to slip back into old behaviors, so I have to be active in keeping all of this front and center in my brain. In talking with my favorite dietitian Amanda, we’ve both sort of determined that for me, it’s really not about the food. I can try to control the food all I want, but if I’m not dealing with my emotions (good or bad) then nothing will ever get solved and I’ll just be spinning my wheels forever. What I’m finding though, is that the more I lessen my grasp on that control, the easier it becomes to say no to the food my body doesn’t need or want. My desire is to one day have a take-it-or-leave-it attitude towards food; to see a plate of cookies and think “yeah those look really good and maybe I’ll have one in a little bit” instead of feeling the compulsion to have 2 or 3 every time I walk through the kitchen or feeling like I’m a failure at life because I ate a cookie at all.

In related news, it dawned on me that the reason I want to cry all the time now is because I’m not stuffing my feelings down with food as much lately. I can pretty much cry on demand now, which is pretty awesome because for a long time I couldn’t cry at all – and that sucks when you really need to just let it all out in a big dramatic gush of tears. So even though crying can be inconvenient at times, I just roll with it and let it happen. Sometimes a few tears are all I need and other times a gush is the only cure – either way, I’m good with it. I have to admit: all this learning and feeling and seeing the change happen is a very cool thing!

4) Finding things that I enjoy doing. Wow, this one is harder than I thought it would be. Ideally, I’d like to find something dual purpose – something fun that will also keep my body healthy. I haven’t really had time to actually try out different things – maybe when Christmas is over I’ll be able to dig in and search more thoroughly. Maybe I’ll also have the money to try some group exercise classes or even take a class at the local votech. I think I’ll defer this until after Christmas when I can really look seriously at what I want to do.

So that’s about it for now. Things are just kinda rolling along for me and I think I’m in a pretty good groove. I know I’ll continue to have bumps in the road but I’m learning that that’s just part of it. Slipping up is not a character flaw, it’s just part of establishing new habits and eventually my slip ups will be fewer and fewer. I just have to keep moving forward.

Habits habits everywhere

I had a mystery on my hands the last few days: ever since Thanksgiving, I could not stop eating and I had no idea why. I mean, sure there were delicious leftovers, but once those were gone I still had the incredible urge to EAT ALL THE THINGS EVERYWHERE and it was really bugging me. My brain felt different, I was sliding back into behaviors that only days ago weren’t a big problem, and I just really wanted all the sugar and all the carbs the world had to offer and I wanted them in my face NOW.

And then this morning, something shifted. As I was eating my oatmeal, I actually said to myself “I feel better now…I feel like I’ve turned a corner and feel like eating well again…I wonder what that’s all about?” and then not ten minutes later, I’m not even kidding you, I felt that old familiar stab in my lower abdomen and then the light bulb went on over my head. “Oh…it’s THAT time of the month! No wonder I’ve felt like I couldn’t get enough food!!” I had totally forgotten that it was time for my cycle to begin – I just thought that I was seriously backsliding away from all the good habits I’ve cultivated throughout the last year. I can’t tell you what a relief it is to know I’m back in my right mind now. 🙂

Then a friend of mine posted this article on FB and I thought it was a timely read. I do feel like my ultimate success will come down to whether or not I can let go of old habits and embrace new ones. I’m also working on some emotional eating concepts, but I believe that those things are tied in with habits as well. The subject of habits is really interesting to me – it just clicks with me regarding my weight loss (or lack thereof). I have to cultivate the habits that will lead to weight loss – I think I always sort of believed that once I lost weight it would be easier to have healthy habits, which when I type that out makes no sense whatsoever, but sometimes the brain just believes what it believes. As I said in my last post, sometimes my brain is a weird and confusing place.

One thing I know is key when changing habits is having patience. Losing weight at approximately one pound per month over the last 11 months has taught me loads about patience! Only in the last couple of months have I learned to be okay with the fact that it might take me 2 or 3 years to reach my goal weight – of course I wish it would go faster, and if I continue to work on changing some more habits, it probably will, but for now I realize that if I keep doing what I’m doing, I WILL lose weight, but it will be slow. And I’m okay with that.

Here’s a list of some of the habits I’ve adopted that seem to be coming pretty easy to me lately:

  • Having dinner early in the evening. I like getting dinner over and done with before 6:30 so I can have the rest of the evening to digest.
  • Going to Zumba twice a week. Zumba for me is less about working out and more about doing something I enjoy. I’ve found a class where the instructor and other participants are welcoming and a lot of fun. It’s a small class and I really enjoy it. Around here, I could find a Zumba class for every day of the week, but I think I’d get burned out if I went more than 2 or 3 times a week. So for now, twice a week is perfect.
  • My weekly calls with Amanda from Selvera. Knowing I’ll be talking with her keeps me accountable, even when I want to eat all the food in the world. I have no doubt that I’d be well over 200 pounds if I wasn’t working with her.
  •  Getting up 15 – 30 minutes earlier in the mornings. I got so tired of rushing around every morning trying to get myself and my family out the door for school and work that I decided to get up a few minutes earlier to give myself some breathing room. It just makes my day go so much more smoothly when I have time to actually drink my coffee instead of letting getting lukewarm on the kitchen counter. I’m really pleased with myself for developing this habit.
  • Getting plenty of sleep. I’ve been getting at least 7 hours of sleep at night and  I LOVE IT SO SO MUCH.
  • Blogging more often. It really does help when I come here and unload or share thoughts or just ramble incoherently for a little while. It’s such a release. 🙂

Some of things I’d like to work on cultivating in the next year are:

  • Daily workouts. I would really like to find something that I enjoy as much as Zumba for the days when I don’t go to Zumba. Right now I can’t think of anything that I would like to do for an hour that would also work up a sweat. The thought of getting on the treadmill in my cold dark garage is about as appealing as a root canal and I don’t want to mess up my sleeping mojo by having to get up at 4:30 am to do an hour long DVD. I’m beginning to think that I might be a social exerciser, meaning that group classes might be the way to go, but I still don’t know what I would like to do.
  • Eliminate grazing after work. This is my Achilles Heel. For as long as I can remember, as soon as I came home from school (or later on in my life, work) I would head to the kitchen and grab a snack or six. Eating was a way to unwind or celebrate being home. I could easily polish off 1,000 calories and then STILL eat dinner two hours later. This habit wasn’t a problem for me for a long time because I was so active throughout the day, but when I got this desk job and became sedentary…it caught up to me in a big way (pun fully intended). I am working on this habit now and have come a long way with it, but I still need to keep working on it.
  • Eliminate emotional eating behaviors. I eat mostly in response to emotional cues. Bored? Let’s eat. Sad? Let’s eat. Happy? Let’s eat. If there’s an emotion, there’s an appropriate food to match. This is another deeply ingrained habit that I learned at a young age, so it’s going to take some time and effort to replace it.
  • Finding things that I enjoy doing. If you asked me what my interests are, I would say Zumba and reading, and that’s about it. I don’t really have a hobby that I get excited about. I like getting together with friends, but sometimes it’s hard to coordinate schedules. Maybe I should find a book club? I don’t know, but this is one of those things I need to actively work on in the next year because enjoying my life will ultimately lead to my leaning less on food for entertainment.

So there you have it…I’m working on shifting some beliefs and actions so that I can live a healthier, happier life. Do you have any habits that you have changed or are in the process of changing? I’d love to hear all about it – you can comment below or you can email me at sassypearblog@gmail.com if you don’t want share them here. 🙂

Hello December!

Howdy!

Well, I did NOT get sick the day before Thanksgiving, thank goodness, and I was able to pull off another successful Family Feast. You know how I was whining about having so much to do, yada yada yada? Turns out, my kids are awesome – they did 98% of the cleaning and set up while I was out running a last minute errand – they all pulled together and kicked some house-cleaning tail!! So thankful for those kids. ❀ All I had to do was the cooking, which my daughter also helped me with, so it was actually pretty easy overall.

After the all the festivities of Thursday, on Friday all I wanted to do was lay around in my pjs and watch movies with my kids, which is what we did for most of the day. It was bliss!! I needed a day to just do nothing and not think about anything other than Thor’s beefy muscles (excuse me while I swoon). On Saturday I was a bit more productive and put up the Christmas tree, decorated it and the rest of the house, cleaned out part of our storage shed, and took my girls to the park because it was a crazy 76 degrees outside – can you believe that?!? Can you also believe today’s high is only 32 degrees?

Go home Oklahoma weather! You’re drunk!

Yesterday I spent part of the afternoon cleaning the floor on my side of the bed because the books were overflowing and my husband was threatening to come in with a bulldozer and clean them all out. I dug an old bookcase out of our storage shed and set all my books on it. To look at my books, you would think that I’m Super Thin Christian Girl since most of the books I own are either about religion or dieting. Well, we all know I’m no expert on either topic, which is probably why I feel the need to keep buying books about them. To be fair, most books that I buy now are in ebook form – my Kindle is still my most prized possession, so I haven’t bought an actual book-book in a long time. I have to say, that having that area clean is a goooood feeling, and I love how the book case looks at the foot of my bed. If I think about it, I’ll take a picture, but don’t hold your breath on that one. 🙂

Okay, so it’s confession time. I ate ALL THE THINGS over the weekend. If it was there, I ate it. Most of the time it went like this:

Me (opening fridge): “Hmmm, wonder what’s in here?”

Pie: “Hey. How’s it going?”

Me: Shoves pie in face.

Aaand scene.

Feel free to substitute PIE with any other food that had the misfortune to be within my grasp and you’ll get an idea of how it went for the last four days.

I just didn’t want to think about food over the weekend and what I mean is, I didn’t want to think about fighting it off. I feel like so much of my days are spent in a tug of war with food. When I’m focused and actively making an effort to eat healthy, I do well, but sometimes I get so tired of being careful. This weekend I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. And it’s not that I really wanted the food, I just wanted to not THINK about whether or not I wanted it. Does that make sense? My brain is a weird and confusing place sometimes. :/

So now I’m back to eating well and drinking tons of water (I drank very little water over the long weekend, I did however drink plenty of wine.) and trying to move more. I haven’t stepped on the scale and don’t plan to at least until Thursday – I need a few days before I face that number.

I’ve got Zumba on tap for Tuesday and Wednesday evening and I’m trying to talk myself into spending at least 20 minutes on the treadmill tonight, Thursday, and Saturday. We’ll see how that goes. I dread getting on the treadmill, so I figure if I tell myself that I only have to do 20 intense minutes, that will be good enough.

I hope you all had a good weekend – only 24 days until my next long weekend. WOOHOO!!

The Aggravating, The Anxious, & The Good Stuff

Amanda (my favorite dietitian) and I had a really good session the other day in which she suggested that to help combat some emotional eating issues I’ve been dealing with lately, I should write more. How convenient that I already have a place where I can write to my heart’s content!! My aim is to write daily…my reality is that I’ll probably write a few times a week, so you’ll be seeing more of my ramblings here starting…now.

Writing really does help me work through things – if I can get it out on paper, or a screen as the case may be, then I don’t have to think about it anymore; I literally feel like weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Walking is another avenue we discussed for managing my issues, but I haven’t put that one into motion much this week. I’m working on it.

But I don’t want this blog to just be a dumping grounds for all my emotional garbage, so I am going to also include some good things, if only to remind myself that there are LOTS of good things happening in my life (because I don’t always focus on those things).

So I’m just going to jump in…

The Aggravating: I got really irritated with my son earlier this evening – I was cooking dinner and I needed to leave to take my daughter to a youth group activity so I asked my son to watch the pasta that was boiling on the stove (I thought it would be finished cooking before I needed to leave – I was wrong). When I got home a half hour later, he was stirring what can only be described as mushy pieces of mush in the pan. He had gotten distracted by a project he was working on (he was looking through some family pictures – I should have made him stop what he was doing and pay attention to the pasta) and forgot to check it. It didn’t burn…but it was definitely waaaay overcooked. We threw that out in the trash and I had to start over with the pasta, and then by the time it was finished I had to leave again to pick up my daughter. So it was much later than I wanted it to be by the time I finally sat down to eat dinner. Annoying.

The Anxious: Something else coming up for me is Senior Night on Friday night for my son who is graduating next May. For Senior Night, parents have to walk their Senior to the middle of the football field where they get recognized and I’m not even sure what else happens. I am not looking forward to having hundreds of people watch me walk across a football field in all my overweight, waddling glory. I realize that the focus of this is not me – this is my son’s time and he’ll be the center of attention (well one of the centers of attention, anyway), so I need to just get over myself. Also, it’s going to be cold, so I plan on bundling up in my favorite winter coat and my dark wash jeans and boots and calling it good. I just hope the wind cooperates and blows my hair so that it is OFF my face and not whipping around getting stuck in my lip gloss. Note to self: wear waterproof mascara. I cry at the drop of a hat lately and if I think of my son turning into an almost-man, the waterworks start up and it’s hard to turn them off. Being super sensitive is fun!

The Good Stuff: My hair has been playing nice lately; all my kids are healthy; I just finished a really good book (Take Me With You by Catherine Ryan Hyde). I know that’s not very much but that’s about all I’ve got in me tonight. I’m tired and ready to head for bed. I actually love the time change – I start getting ready for bed at 7:30 – I don’t make it to bed until 10:00, but I start getting ready at 7:30. 🙂

Sleep tight!

Jill