Quite a few years ago now I went through a divorce. To say I was stressed was an understatement and I channeled that stress through working out and controlling what I ate. I suppose by definition I had a bit of an eating disorder and I lost a lot of weight.
The divorce was finalized and I continued with life. I moved out of the town where I had had easy access to a gym to a neighboring town and into an apartment. No easy access to a gym and my workouts stopped. You could say I did the opposite - no constant working out and not nearly as much time spent limiting what I ate. The obsession, it seemed, was over.
Unfortunately the inevitable happened and because I stopped the "healthier" living, I gained weight. But I told myself it was okay. My son loved my tummy and I used that as justification. Eventually I started dating a great guy (who I am marrying!) and I really started to settle into a comfortable life, which didn't help the weight again.
And through this all, my lack of fitness bothered me but I told myself it was okay to be heavier. It was obviously better than the alternative - obsessing over burned calories and being super restrictive with food. I used this to okay not truly getting healthy - no middle ground for me. It was all or nothing.
But now I am running. And I am feeling myself getting obsessed with it. I am currently training for a 5K, but in the process I have pushed myself to complete 4 virtual 5K run this month. I do listen to my body and slow down when I need to, but I have signed up for 24 races since starting my 5K program at the end of January.
11 - 5K runs
2 - 10K/Half Marathons
5 - 6K-9K runs
6 - distance runs
Of those I have completed four of the 5Ks and three of the distance runs (20+ miles). Granted the runs are all virtual so I can do them at my own pace and over several days when necessary.
Do you think I have a problem?
There's a game tonight about 2 hours or so away that I could be at. But I stayed home to do grad work and go running. I haven't run - I had Qdoba's instead. There went that calorie tracking for the day.
And grad work is, well, a work in progress.
The night is still young and it will all get done. I've gone as far as putting my pjs on, but I am not ruling out going to the Y yet tonight...the perks of having a 24 hour gym. Gotta love the accessibility.
And...quite a bit of time has passed and I will not be going anywhere. I am still trying to work on my grad homework and I feel like I am treading water...my mind is all over the place. Basketball (our girls' first game of playoffs), helping team members solve problems, shopping for a coworker's birthday, grad work, chasing the dog, trying to figure out what needs to be done when...you get the picture.
Am I the poster child of being present and mindful or what? Dear lord I am in trouble.
On the upside, I know...sort of...what to write for my homework. And thankfully it is a rough, rough draft so no need to be worries about perfection. Although I do tend to over think...which is when I start to shut down and wander. I like to think that I have an open mindset - okay with the idea of failing, but in the end I think that a good portion of my personality is fixed - I like to know that I am going to have some success or I shut down. I am really good at "hiding" from things until they get too big to ignore any more.
Damn dog. He's chewing at the rug again. It would be nice if he would relax and let me really work.
I, for some crazy reason, decided to add graduate classes to my list of things to do last summer. I am currently in semester 3 of this adventure, while still trying to finish a class from semester 2. Crazy, I know.
One of the tasks that we are to take on is a research project and a practice in autoethnography...which is basically doing research but including myself (the researcher) in within the fabric of the research and reporting. This goes against everything I have really ever learned about research. To me, research has always been cold, sterile, and remote. Now we are supposed to incorporate ourselves into the project and share how what we see/feel/think impacts the results.
As an ELA teacher, I can do this. As someone who is trained to separate myself from my research, I am struggling.
But one of the suggested exercises is to keep a journal. And since I basically start and end my day with sitting at the computer, I thought what better way to do this than to post on my blog...which hardly ever gets used anyway.
So here is entry #1. And maybe I should give some background.
My project is looking at the benefits of mindfulness practices in the middle school classroom. To complete this project I will teach some of my English 7 students mindfulness practices. There will be anonymous surveys administered to both sections of English 7 - one that is exposed to mindfulness and the other that experiences "normal" instruction (no mindfulness). I will keep a blog/journal to document my experience and reaction the process and help to process what I am seeing in the students.
Needless to say this is a bit daunting since I have never done anything quite like this before, but at the same time very excited to see what the results will be.
I am trying. Really I am. But the holiday spirit is escaping me. I feel like so much of the holiday has turned into impressing others and giving presents that aren't really needed - or wanted.
Right now I am trying to just keep my head above water and I feel really bad just typing that because the holidays are supposed to be such a happy time of year. But that's sort of Hallmark's take, not necessarily mine.
Yes, I have my health and my family. I have a home and food. Everything is great, right? But what about all that other stuff? What about the stress and anxiety that creeps in; the feeling of not being enough or that I should have done better? What about the feelings of jealousy and angst that show up when I know I can't give as amazing of a gift as the next person...does that mean that I failed?
No. It doesn't mean failure. And those who I choose to celebrate Christmas with, well most of them, know that I put a lot of thought into the gifts, even if there wasn't a lot of money. But still I worry. Still I question myself.
Any why is it that even though my burdens are exactly the same right now as they were before Thanksgiving, their weight seems exponentially heavier? What is that all about?
I should be doing a few things right now, and blogging isn't one of them. Yet here I am, sitting in my hotel room, avoiding everything that I should be doing.
I am in New Orleans with a few thousand other Beachbody coaches, including my really wonderful friends who are sharing a room with me (don't worry, it's a suite so I am not keeping them awake). This is my third Summit and each time I walk away with so many ideas buzzing around in my head. This year will be no different.
Today we went to a training called The Power of I Am and it was pretty freaking fantastic. The speakers shared their experience on so many different subjects and most of them did so in a way that totally made sense to me. Friday and Saturday will be very similar in the sense that we have two more full days of general session and topic specific sessions.
But my mind is a very funny place to hang out. As I am looking at Beachbody and all the really cool, exciting things coming, I am thinking about my grad classes that need to be finished in the next few days. I am thinking about my other business avenues that have manifested themselves. I am thinking about logos and branding. I am thinking about summer schedules and personal development.
I. Am. Thinking. All. The. Time.
And it is exhausting.
This is why it is 11:30 and I am still up. I have (sort of) watched a movie with my friends, worked on one of my final projects, created a logo with tag line, added to a photo album for a project I'm working on with some friends, and a few other things.
The really sad thing is, I haven't been productive in the areas I need to focus - re: grad work. =(
I wish that I had something profound to say and that by the end of this sentence I managed to figure out exactly what my purpose is.....alas, there is no magical answer. I am still a hot mess of chaos that seems to barely be holding her ish together but somehow manages to get (some of) that ish done.
My eyes are starting to droop. Maybe morning will give me some clarity. Who knows. I sure as hell don't.
There is one thing that I really struggle to get behind...mornings.
I love my sleep and from previous posts you have probably figured out that I am not very good at it. Help is coming, but until then I really do not like being up early. Not even a little.
But I have to admit, there are some perks.
Most mornings Doctor Who is on from 7-11am. Yes, I know that much tv is not a key element to a productive day, but I love Doctor Who so leave me alone. Unfortunately when Zero the Wonder Dog decided to get up this morning, BBCAmerica decided to play a cruel trick and has filled the day (literally, filled the day) with Star Trek. Sorry, this is not my jam.
So I have resigned myself to Facebook scrolling, game playing on my phone, and updating my web page...all very important tasks of a successful person. But I need to also throw in there the routine of Zero constantly needing to go outside to do the very important task of finding sticks and chewing on them. He doesn't need to pee or poo...just constantly go outside to see if there is something going on or a new stick he might need to find.
But since I have WiFi and my tablet travels well, I can sit on the front step and enjoy the morning weather. And I have to admit, the only thing I am currently missing is my coffee (which is on the table in the house). Zero is trying to sneak in some digging in the rocks while I listen to the birds chatter and watch the million bunnies that call our yard home. (But seriously, I grew up in the country and don't remember seeing this many bunnies...ever. It is like there is a bio dome surrounding the neighborhood and someone decided to drop them all in here with no chance of escape. And yes, once I typed bio dome, Pauly Shore - you remember him, right - totally came to mind.)
Alright. Time to drag Zero into the house. I would show you a picture of him exploring, but my phone is sitting on the table next to my coffee. Yes, I know it's a rough life.
Until next time.
So I am checking in.
Yesterday I started taking the stimulant that the doctor prescribed. I wasn't jittery and was fairly focused all afternoon. I went to bed later than normal, but when I went to bed it was because I wanted to, not because I felt that I had to as a result of being so exhausted I couldn't function.
This hasn't happened in, like, forever.
I woke up more rested than usual and I am not sure if this is a placebo effect or if the fact that I decided when I wanted to go to bed had something to do with it. You know how overtired kids are - they don't always sleep the best and they generally wake up still a little crabby the next morning? Yeah, that sort of describes me all the time.
Today is day two of the process. The doctor wanted me to take the meds in the morning, or as needed. I have modified the time a bit and take them in the early afternoon, when I start to really feel run down and ready for a nap. This morning I was up early and caught myself falling asleep on the couch, but in my defense I had already given the dog a bath before 7:30am and who isn't going to fall asleep with a cuddly puppy curled up on you while you are under a nice warm blanket. I mean, it would be a super human feat not to sleep under these conditions!
So the afternoon is marching on and I am attempting to focus on my grad work. I have made progress but I have a ton of work yet to do before midnight Sunday.
I am far from feeling like I have things under control, but at this point I don't feel as lost as usual. Hopefully this week continues to produce positive results and next week I can get back to incorporating my workouts. Here's hoping.
Yesterday I mentioned that I watched Embrace (a must watch for everyone who has a body or talks to someone with a body).
It really started me thinking about body image and the message that I project to both my kids and those that I want to help through Beachbody. And I am not always sure I know what the hell I am trying to say at times.
In the movie, Taryn (the writer and director of the film) commented that most "Before" and "After" photos tend to show a person (usually a woman) who is over weight and unhappy, then that person is thin and happy in the next photo. In her case, the opposite was true. She went from being super fit and competing in a body building competition to being the opposite of a body builder. And to clarify, she didn't forego fitness, she decided to forego the diet restrictions and intense sacrifices she and her family had to make in her journey to fit the mold of a "perfect" body.
The Taryn that made the film was happy and healthy and normal. She loved food, she loved fitness (she ran a race for crying out loud), she loved life when she looked beyond the restrictions of what is considered a body acceptable by society.
That got me to thinking about my own journey. In high school I was thin. Too thin. But it was no work. I was blessed with a high metabolism and a social life that didn't make me think about food. I still felt like I needed to workout at times to get the "perfect" stomach or more defined arms, but to be honest, I didn't worry about it much.
College hit and once again I maintained. I gained some weight, but there were no real issues. To my knowledge no one could comment on the appearance of the "Freshman 15". Life was good.
Then I became a mom. I gained more weight than I would have liked with the first one, but I lost most of it and while not completely happy with my new "mom" body, I could deal. Pregnancy #2, same thing. I didn't lose quite all of it, but it was still nothing to be overly concerned about. I was able to maintain with no real stress over watching calories. This was the life of a new mom with 2 kids always on the go.
Divorce struck. Stress. Major stress. I lost a lot of weight. I was a size I never should have been and I was pushing myself physically, mentally, calorically (new word). I wasn't sleeping, I was eating, I was in survival mode all the time. I knew what I could control and it wasn't the reaction or emotions of those around me.
I maintained that crazy for longer than I should have and then moved to a place where I didn't have easy access to the Y. I also sort of just collapsed into myself. The weighted crept back, but I was okay with it because I knew that I had allowed things to get out of control and I was too thin to really be healthy. But then I got comfortable and the weight kept showing up. Then add in the fact that I wasn't sleeping.
Initially the lack of sleep wasn't a worry. I was young and did a decent job of balancing lack of sleep, work, something of a social life, and parenting. Life was happening and I could handle it.
Fast forward to current times and I am still not sleeping and I can't manage it any more. I am crabby, tired all the time, and overweight. And the weight keeps coming, but the workouts don't keep happening. I am so freaking tired. All. The. Time. But here's the deal, I am not looking to be super thin again. I know what is considered average for my height and age, and I am good with that. My goal is healthy, not skinny.
So why am I going into all this. Well, you will (eventually, when I am not chicken shit about it) see pictures of me crabby and feeling not so sexy. But then you will see pictures of me sweaty and smiling and rocking the selfie. Here is the difference I want you to see...my smile is not because I lost 5lbs (or whatever).
It is because I accomplished something I didn't the day before.
It is because I got out of bed without hitting snooze 10 times.
It is because I performed a round in the workout without using the modifier.
It is because I did something for me that shows the world I accept myself and want to be around for many more years to embarrass the hell out of my kids and force students to learn grammar in the classroom (even though no one really likes or understands it).
I guess what I want to say, and what I hope to project, is that I am so far from expecting myself or others to fit a certain mold. I know that my happy (English - yuck, right?) is not your happy (Math? Yum, no thank you.) and that there are so many beautiful elements to that acknowledgement.
So whether you stop by my blog to catch up, get a few randomly placed tips/tricks, or are looking for guidance for a healthier life, I really hope that what you get is a sense of "You are enough." Because you are enough and I hope you right hook the person who tells you otherwise.
A little about me
I blog for fun, to get my thoughts in order. I am a mom to two frustrating and wonderful kids and one diva dog. My full-time gig is teacher and I do some side hustle with a few DS businesses. I love working with people...but I also value my alone time since in reality I'm a huge introvert.