On Being Thankful

11 weeks out from delivering our beautiful girl, I find I have been really down on my body.  It doesn’t even look like it did before Cricket… not even at the same weight.  Things don’t fit the same.  I don’t feel the same.  I look at it and it looks like the body of someone else, someone older and doughier.

I took 10 weeks of maternity leave full-time, and 2 weeks part-time from home.  These 2 weeks have been an eye opener… I struggle to get work done, and keep Cricket taken care of.  To pump and feed.  To do laundry and clean house.  To make delicious and nutritious meals…  Working full-time and caring for an infant will be no joke.

I haven’t found time to exercise while on maternity.  A few walks here and there…  Some strength training spattered in there as well.  I don’t imagine it will be better when I get to working full-time in the office again.  And that makes me so sad because I truly wanted to start out with habits during this transition in our life that I could share and show Cricket.  It makes me feel like I’m failing her already.

And then I thought about how lucky I am to be where I am at with my body.

Because I have a beautiful baby girl, whom I love more than the world.

Because I am so lucky that my body carried and delivered her to us.

Because my body provides her with milk and comfort.

And I am so thankful for those things…

And for this girl…
best day ever
1 week old
so little... so tired
Lady
Smirky

30 Day Challenge

Last year in May I participated in a 30 day challenge that involved: running/walking 1 mile daily, realacing an unhealthy breakfast with a healthy one (Mine wasn’t unhealthy to start) and journal on what moves/motivates you.  I am doing a variation on that theme starting tomorrow…
April 1 – April 30 I will run a mile everyday.  I am also committing to three random acts of kindness each day if the month.
I am also giving myself a little push and from April 1 until my husband moves up on April 12.  I am giving up junk food, fried food (Which basically IS junk food!), added sugar, and…. drumroll…. breads!

Alright!  Its out there in the interweb… no turning back!

Weight Talk Wednesday

The past week and a half I’ve been devouring a couple of books…

One is “The Rules of Normal Eating” by Karen Koenig, and the other is “When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair” by Geneen Roth.  (S.W.  – This was the only one by that author that you suggested I could get my hands on easily!!  It’s great so far, thank you so much for the suggestion!)

I know for months now I have been outwardly proclaiming calorie goals.  But all this time, there’s a little voice inside me that doesn’t know if it trusts that path.

How do they know I really burn X calories a day and therefore need Y to lose weight?  (This usually comes to mind when I’ve eaten 1200 calories and it’s mid-afternoon and I’m hearing my stomach rumble and I’m getting bitchy and light-headed and KNOW I’m still hungry… but don’t want to eat because I only have 300 calories for dinner.)

So then I set new calorie goals, only to fail when I’m truly hungry or when it doesn’t sound true to my heart.  I keep setting myself up to be undependable (to myself) and to “fail”.

Long ago I stopped trusting my appetite, and I stopped trusting my body.  I stopped listening to and trusting in my inner voice.

Leaving the bank to pursue my current path took a lot of faith in, and trust in that inner voice.  It has been one of the most empowering things that’s happened to me in such a long time.  But I haven’t applied that trust in that inner voice to the other biggest challenge in my life… My body and my relationship with it… My health and my relationship with food…

These books really helped me remember that I have that inner voice on all things… Not just my career path…  But applicable to all walks of my life… Needless to say, I have really really been happy with these books.

One of the parts I was just reading with my coffee this morning doesn’t really relate just to weight loss or a healthier relationship with food…  So even though this is officially filed under Weight Talk Wednesday, it’s more of a lifestyle post.  However, I’m sharing it today because I feel compelled to.

There is no one right way.  No one right path…. right answer… right food…

We have the amazing ability to choose to craft the life that works best for us… We can hack our way through the woods making our own path for a while, then we can choose follow well trodden paths for a while…. We can live whatever life, in whatever ways we chose.  And if our goals and needs change, we can change our lives too…  We can see when the forest is too thick and we need to move to a different direction to move forward.  What works to fulfill us today may not be what works to fulfill us a year or two from now… and.that.is.okay.

The hard part is how to choose those paths…

That’s where a set of questions in the book I mentioned above by Geneen Roth are so helpful!

I’m calling them Life Questions, but basically these questions refer to the company you keep, the foods, you eat, the work you do, the ways you give and receive love and money, basically any aspect of your life.

  1. Does it lead you towards a fuller life, or confine you?
  2. Does it bring you closer to your heart, or take you further away?
  3. Does it open you, or close you?
  4. Does it allow you to trust yourself further, or does it make you frighted of yourself?
  5. Does it enlarge your life, or make your life smaller?

“Paths are not meant to be followed forever.  They are meant to take you from one place to the next.”

The only one I don’t really love is the second part of  #4.  I think that being frightened can allow you to see you’re moving from what is comfortable to some uncharted area… but if it’s crippling you with fear, then it’s not healthy.

The funny thing is one of the mantras that got me through my last year or so at the bank was… “Does it lead you closer to or further from your goals?”… Which falls in line nicely with these questions.

For the record… When it comes to counting calories…

  1. It does confine me, and it certainly doesn’t make my life fuller.  It makes me operate around those parameters rather than my own true hunger.
  2. It doesn’t bring me joy.  It makes me feel like I’m living someone else’s rules, which takes me further from a loving place.
  3. It closes me up.  It does make me optimistic that i can lose weight… but it also makes me feel like i can’t count accurately if I’m full after 1/5 or 1/ of a portion.
  4. I don’t trust myself more.  It makes me feel like my body and I are on two different sides of a war.  And it really makes me scared I would ALWAYS have to count calories.  It’s too much work and it robs the joy out of eating anything.
  5. It doesn’t enlarge my life… It makes me worried and anxious about those times I can’t weight or measure my foods.  It makes eating and what I’m going to eat a HUGE driving force in my life…  Imagine what else I could do if I refocused my energy spent on worrying about my weight elsewhere… I mean… I’d be unstoppable! 🙂

I think one of the biggest gifts we can give ourselves is to be brave enough to live a life we examine…  These questions are helpful in that process.

What do you think?  Are these questions helpful?

Hiatus Over!

Upon review, I realized the last time I posted was Monday, December 12, 2011.

That’s too much time to do a huge, overwhelming recap for… so I’m doing some quick hits!!!

I’m attempting chronological order, and to include the highlights but no promises!!

Health/Wellness:

  • Went vegan for a month and a half; went back to meat, cheese, eggs.  I found I was getting drained and lethargic, but turning to an omnivore diet fixed it!
  • Quit being gluten free.
  • Joined the real food revolution.  We are eating full fat cheese, milk, yogurt… Whole wheat everything.  Just clean whole real foods.  We are trying to hit 5 ingredients or less for anything we eat… which doesn’t happen if something has oh say 9 different grains and seeds in it.
  • We’ve started doing P90X.  But we do it our way… With massage being such a body intensive job, and Hubs playing b-ball 2x a week, sometimes we need a break sooner than they say to.  But I will say this… Man oh man have I gotten stronger in the past month than I believed would happen that quick.  We’re totally in love with P90X.  Late to the party, but here none the less!
  • I’ve gotten into the habit of walking Theron 2-3 times a day.  This might sound like a lot, but not all the walks are super long… This has really done a lot for the poor pup’s hips and his training!
  • Sadly, I haven’t lost any weight.  I feel healthier and feel stronger… but the scale is still no showing much of a change.  It’s quite disappointing.  
  • I found a yoga class I love… it’s Monday nights at St Elizabeth’s and the teacher is aaaahhhmazing.  I haven’t gone on the regular, but that’s okay.  I promised myself I wouldn’t let my yoga practice become a chore.  
Business/Career:
  • Signed a lease on a space for my business to operate out of in February, effective March 1st!
  • Worked at both my own business and the day spa.
  • Quit the day spa… Trusted in the net to catch me.   🙂  This has actually given me a quiet calmness in my heart.  I wasn’t unhappy with the arrangement there, but as a small business owner having to abide someone else’s rules left quite a bit to be desired!!
  • I am continuing to work with the Roanoke area Small Business Development group.  It’s great to have an impartial sounding board who’s not emotionally tied to the business.
  • I’ve been struggling with where to “mine” clients from… I’m throwing it out there in the universe that I still would like more clients and hoping someone has some great ideas to share!! (HINT HINT! 🙂 )
  • Created and have maintained a new website for my business, and have a blog attached to it.
  • I worked on the traveling Cirque du Soliel show (Quidam).  I was the only CMT working on them and really wore myself out, but it was a great experience.
  • I had some issues with my back and thumbs from using both in much different ways than banking… Thankfully with great advice and patients I’m on the other side of that(I HOPE)!
Home/Home life:

  • We had a snow day!
  • We Craigslisted like crazy people and sold a bunch of stuff, then turned around and purchased (also on Craigslist) a new couch and two new chairs for our living room.  It looks so different but so nice.  We moved some of the furniture in there elsewhere in the house.  We got a few other misc. pieces, like a bakers rack for our hallway from the foyer to the kitchen to store mittens and such in!
  • I primed and painted the dining room.  It’s an amazing transformation.

  • We finally organized our basement; even the unfinished side is now usable!!
  • We pulled up a majority of the plants in the front yard and redid the gardens out front… they are all lined and mulched and look awesome.  We prettied up and planted our veggie garden on the side.  Next up – The backyard!
  • I’ve been able to catch a rhythm finally on being a “housewife”, so we’ve had lunch together most days… and the kitchen/bathrooms/house have stayed nice and orderly.
  • We purchased a Kegerator using Hubs’ Amazon bucks… the keg and filled CO2 are due this week!! We got the cheapest beer they had, in case we screw something up. 🙂
  • We planned our vacations out for this year and part of next year!  This year is pretty heavy on the trips to Vermont.  We are going home in June for a week… Hubs’ turns 30 while we’re staying with his parents, and we’re swinging back to their place at the end of the trip to spend some QT with his dad on Father’s Day!  We’ll get to see my family and be part of my grandmother’s burial as well.  And we have a wedding to attend (I’m a bridesmaid!!) in September (Hooray for Chris and Kathleen!).  We also have some stuff in the works for the beginning part of next year, that will not involve Vermont.
  • We are still reading LOTR out loud…  still on book one.  But we have watched the first two movies so it’s easier to remember the plot lines when the book gets extra verbose.  
  • Since going to the gluten, I’ve been able to enjoy the world of craft beers… I really was missing out!!  It’s been an amazing adventure to eat and drink things I haven’t had since August 2008.
Relationships/Marriage:
  • I have found a lot more happiness and depth in my marriage in the past 6 months.  I think I’m finally done self-sabotaging, and holding onto the belief that it’s just going to implode one day.  It’s been wonderful to be less stressed and to be able to just be happy.
  • I’ve found that I actually really enjoy taking care of the home, who knew??  I find myself kicking around the idea of being a stay at home mom, if/when we are on that path!  Just call me Susie Homemaker!  Both Hubs and I find that our whole life feels better/happier/more balanced with me being home to take care of so much of the day to day stuff.  Our clothes are finally being ironed!  Our home is clean!  We have time to play together because dinner’s ready when he gets home and most of the dishes are done. 
  • Up until last month we’ve gotten together with some of our closest friends down here every month!!!  Illness and family issues got in the way but I’m hoping to revive that ritual this month or next.
Misc. Personal Growth:  
  • I’ve had the time/energy to come to a place of finding what I want, not what others have projected on me.  It’s still a work in progress, as I think it will be basically forever, but I feel more comfortable doing what’s best for me, and for my husband even if it means disappointing others.
  • I stopped feeling like a failure for quitting the corporate world.
  • I’ve realized that a lot of my anxiety did come from my job at the bank… but there are definitely other sources in my life that I can’t just walk away from.  I’m having to learn to cope with my anxiety and not let it rule my world.  Exercise has helped, as has breathing.  And to be lame, avoidance of the triggers.  I’m hoping to add meditation into the mix… I think it’ll really help with my anxiety and with centering myself more quickly when I do my massage.
  • My big push right now is on boundaries… setting them and keeping them.  It’s probably one of the hardest things for me to navigate right now.
Well, I’m sure I missed some stuff… but that’s what’s new for me… What’s new for you?

Who do you want to be?

Every choice we make defines us.  Chose to take the easy way, or give up… that’s defining us as weak or undependable.  Chose to push through the hard times, that makes us strong.  Chose the road less travelled because it’s what’s right for you, and right for your health.  Well, then you are independent, and inspirational.  Each little choice is up to you.  And they all build up to showing yourself and the world who you are.  Who do you want to be?