Saturday, May 30, 2015

My Luck

Yesterday was a day that I was looking at as a turning point as far as Elliot and a bunch of interrelated stuff goes.  During a two week cycle, the runner typically gets one week day off (I'm guessing they rotate Saturday's).  I was hoping Elliot would be filling in, but I figured if he didn't come yesterday that I pretty much wouldn't see him anymore.  Not that my life would be dramatically different, I have been slowly adapting to not seeing him, even though I wasn't loving it.  But he sneaked in while I was helping a casual browser who announced that she wasn't going to buy anything but wanted to see what we had for her granddaughter.  I don't know how I didn't see him come in, he walked right past me but as he was coming out of my work area I said "it's nice to see you!"  And he stopped for a minute and said, "It really is!" Then we wished each other a good weekend and he was gone.  I was a little stunned, it happened so fast.  And that's all it took to put me in an awesome mood!  It renewed something in me; hope? Drive?Joy, at least momentarily.  I had that Jason Derulo playing (Want to Want me) as I am quite addicted to it right now, and  I had my little happy-dance session to it a few times throughout the day.  He is getting a little less shy, but I don't know if he'll ever make a move.  I kinda hope he doesn't.  I like it where it's at.  
I got a decent walk yesterday, my son Zach wanted to come with me.  I really wanted to just go by myself and blast that song and think about stuff, but I can't argue with spending time with my son and helping him get some exercise.  I am happy he's following my example and adapting some of the healthier habits I've begun.  As a family we went out to dinner at our favorite Chinese restaurant where the food is really high quality and the service is fantastic.  I always get the mixed veggies with tofu and it never disappoints.  It's nice to have options that aren't going to totally reverse all the work I put in all week.  
This morning when I woke up, my husband had gone out to coffee with one of his buddies from the lodge, and it was raining.  At first I was a little disappointed about the rain and was going to postpone my walk, but that made me feel bummed out so I grabbed my headphones and umbrella and headed out.  It was cold and windy but I was grinning like an idiot, it feels really freeing to be out there making good stuff happen.  Zach and I grabbed a quick breakfast at Subway (egg white and cheese flatbread for me, yum!) and got groceries.  Once my husband headed off to the gym, I decided to sneak in a strength session myself.  I trained shoulders, chest and triceps, and after 2 circuits my muscles were so trashed I couldn't use my arms to get off the floor! I have lost a lot of strength, but it felt good to see my muscles in motion again.  It can only add to the positive results I am already starting to see.  As I was working out, I made a comment about how shakey my arms were and Zach, who was watching me, asked if I was happy I was doing it and I said that I don't want to just keep getting weaker as I get older so, yes.  I choose to be strong because I am owning the fact that I have the choice.  And if I keep working I'll get there.  I don't know if I can ever give back what Elliot gave to me; when he looked at me like that I came alive again. After all the time I spent trying to find motivation it fell in my lap from someone I didn't even know.  My luck is amazing, and I won't take it for granted!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Positive Energy

The positive energy from yesterday carried over to today, and all in all, it was a pretty awesome day.  I say that, even though nothing extraordinary happened.  And I guess that's the point. 
On the drive home from work last night I heard the new Jason Derulo song, "Want to Want me", I've heard it once before but didn't want to like it because I typically think his lyrics are like a third grader trying to write poetry, but I cannot help it, this song I actually like.  I bought it and played it a lot today.  It sounds like summer and made me happy today.  
I wrote another letter-I'm-not-going-to-send today.  It actually made me feel good, because I thought of how it might make him feel or react.  Then I realized that if I ever do tell him how I felt, it can't leave the door open to anything.  I just have to leave it short and sweet and not too personal, just like our interactions were.  I heard once that people only write to each other because they want attention.  That bothered me for a long time, but it's only because I don't like to admit it's true.  Think of the last time you wrote to someone and they didn't respond.  It drives us nuts to put ourselves out there and not get a response.  So I need to check my intentions if o ever do write to him.  Just writing throw away versions makes me feel better, reminds me that I decided to show up in my own life again, he inspired me to start and I took off.  He would probably feel pretty good about that.  
Tonight I took a little piece of myself back.  My son was doing homework at an alarmingly slow rate while my husband was reading and I was antsy waiting to go for my walk.  Finally I decided that I was going to stop making myself the "victim" of the situation and just got up and announced that I was going for my walk.  My husband agreed that I should get it in and said he'd help our son finish up his homework.  I could have easily been waiting an extra hour if I didn't decide to take what I need.  That could've ruined my plans because I would have had to eat by then, which would have made me feel weighed down.  Anyway, it was a great walk, the longest I've had in a while.  It feels so good to have some energy back!  I am looking forward to the trend continuing. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Let's Hope it's Catching

Today was one of those days when I just felt good.  I had more energy, I was in a good mood, work was smooth, and my hormones are starting to shift to a better place.  It's good to start the day off feeling good.  
For some reason when I was getting ready for work this morning, I had an overwhelming feeling (intuition? Wishful thinking?) that I would see Elliot today.  It didn't happen, but I was still in a great mood.  Then in the afternoon, I found myself thinking about him so much that I had the idea of writing him a letter that I would give him when I go.  The intention was not to write it so it could be given to him, but to write it so I feel better, then I can put those feelings down on paper, let them juggle around in my head for a while, then toss the letter.  It helped me a lot.  It helped put things back into perspective, helped me to realize that I was the one shining, and I can do it without any help.  
Tonight I got to walk by myself!  It sounds so selfish and awful but I really don't like when people want to walk cardio with me.  I like to put on my headphones and think about stuff and walk where I want, at the pace I set.  When my husband comes he always wants to turn back before I'm ready and when my son comes, he walks kind of slow and barely makes it back before he's complaining that his back or ankles hurt.  Plus, the music is so powerful for a workout.  Anyway, I had an awesome walk tonight.  
I didn't do any strength training yet this week, it was a bad week for that due to low iron levels, but I'll think about it for next week or even this weekend.  
Well, short and sweet tonight, going to get some good sleep in hopes tomorrow will feel just as good.  

Weekend, Be Gone!

5/26/15
I, for one, am happy the extended weekend is over.  It seems like everywhere I went I was confronted with junk food begging me to eat it and I obliged too many times.  I used my Monthly Disaster as an excuse, because once certain hormones shift a couple days into the ordeal, I am solid, but the first couple days I am a disaster.  Truly. 
I did manage to get some cardio in, even in the rain one day.  I am typically taking walks of varying intensity and length 5-7 days a week.  I started to notice myself reverting to old patterns over the weekend though, thinking bad thoughts and wanting to eat.  And I did catch myself wanting to eat more when I was extremely and passionately bored on Saturday while my husband was at work.  I did some housework to keep myself busy so I wouldn't eat the entire fridge along with its contents.  It was a good distraction and my house looks nicer.  win-win.  I did eat more chips than I should be allowing myself and I had a sweet granola bar too, despite my better judgement.  And the Memorial Day picnic food was definitely not low-carb with homemade mac and cheese, tofu-brat on white bun, and cole slaw.  Sheesh.  It is just one of the reasons I don't look forward to holiday celebrations, though I know that is selfish to say. 
I still haven't brought myself to meditate.  I am fighting it as if there is a trade-off between feeling good about how I look and being centered emotionally.  I am getting something from feeling pretty/desirable.  I know I need to focus on the meaning behind it, but I am resisting it so much.  I feel like I am in limbo.  At one point, I thought about pretending that I still see him every day, so that the energy of what was there will still propel me to work hard to achieve my goals.  I also thought about keeping working hard so that if I do happen to see him (if he fills in sometime when the runner is out for a day) I will look amazing.  But the one thing that made me feel a little better for a bit was during my walk yesterday, I imagined writing a letter to him on my last day here in the state, telling him the positive ways in which he affected me, and the wonderful things that happened to me because of it.  In a way, just thinking about doing that gave me closure.  We are moving to California in 10 months, if I am still thinking about him by then, I will consider writing a real letter when I am leaving.  Still, I have to reconcile these things for myself in the meantime so I don't fall into a pattern of not caring because there's 'no one to impress' anymore.  This is the problem with letting something outside myself inspire me to lose weight.  Yes, I want to look good and feel beautiful and enjoy the sweet moments in life, and Elliot awakened some of those things in me, but I feel like I am losing some of the mojo since he's not around anymore, which is how I know it didn't come from me really. 
So I still have work to do.  I am still putting in the work because it is habit by now (thank goodness) and I can work on the focus as I go. 
I want to start adding weight training, but I am not looking forward to the shakey, sore/stiff muscles!  I know it is worth it in the end, but I have to get over the mental aversion to these things.  We'll see if I can sneak in a session or two this week.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Balance and Peace

I think it is pretty much official that the Elliot chapter of my life has come to an end.  I didn't see him all week, so it is pretty much the end of him doing the deliveries and pick ups.  A huge part of me is whining, and hoping I'll bump into him out and about sometime, and still hoping that maybe he'll do the deliveries on the girl's day off.  But, the realistic side of me knows that it is foolish to continue to chase the idea of affecting him and allowing him to affect me.  Longing for positive attention from others is a sure fire way to end up with damaged self esteem.  Or, at very least, a measure of already-low self esteem.  So now I am left with me and my reality, and trying to make sense of what it was, what it is now, and what it all meant.  And, most importantly, moving on so that the past doesn't continue to affect me.  I have put off meditation while this whole thing was going on because I didn't want to know what it mean and why I was doing it because it was elevating my mood and ego.  But now that there is distance between myself and the situation, I think I need to get some clarity from it.
My husband and I had a chance to have dinner together without the kids last night, and we went to an upscale bistro-meets-beach place in the neighborhood we used to live in when we first started dating.  I have been coming out of my shell more lately so I was able to volley back some of the witty banter with him and we were laughing and reconnecting and it felt good to be back to the happier and more connected relationship I've been missing lately.  The food was top-notch and the atmosphere relaxing.  It was a perfect Friday night.
Today felt really productive.  I got groceries, took a walk, got a haircut and will now finish this blog and go for a drive with my family before possibly watching a movie later.
This month has been much harder to deal with Monthly Disaster and its seemingly incessant cravings.  Last month was a breeze, this month? Not so much.  I have given in to some of the cravings but not with reckless abandon.  I am happy to say that feeling beautiful is more important to me right now than shoveling junk into my mouth.  Chips are my weakness, but I can eat a handful or two and stop where before I would just keep going.  It is the best of both worlds, I can have a little something, not feel awful, and stop when I'm satisfied. It is starting to make sense, the balance of all these things.  I can enjoy the fact that an attractive man smiles at me and blushes without losing control or losing my head.  There needs to be balance in every aspect of life.  I think I have been feeling like I am falling over for a long time now, but I am finally starting to regain my balance.  It feels good to be upright and looking forward to balance and peace.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Beauty

I have two alarms set on my iPhone for weekdays, one at 4:30am, in case I am in the mood to get up and do cardio, and one for 5:00am, which gives me 1/2 hour to wake up, watch the news and check Facebook before jumping into the chaos of getting myself and the kids ready.  The 4:30 alarm has, for many months, been more like a warning alarm telling me not to sleep too deeply because the real alarm is coming.  Today I actually got up and decided to try to dance for cardio.  It was not pretty!  Very uninspired, uncaffienated, clumsy and zombie-esque.  But it got my heart rate up, and that's the point.  Still, I didn't feel like it was much of a workout.  I did it because 2 Thursday's a month my husband goes to meetings at the Masonic Lodge which sometimes translates into me having to handle homework with my kids, which can mean I don't get done in time to go for a walk.  So I planned ahead and got it done.  
Work went fairly smoothly, not too busy or too slow.  It was yet another day that I didn't get to see Elliot, it was the girl.  I guess she's our permanent 'runner'.  Boo!  I'm still holding out hope that Elliot will come tomorrow since it was like that last week, but I don't want to set myself up for disappointment.  
I was hungry so much today, despite eating almost exactly what I eat other days.  I actually ate tomorrow's cheese sticks today my stomach was growling so hardcore!  I was also craving junk.  
When I got home my younger son said that he needs a protractor to do his homework and we didn't have one so we went to Target.  Bad idea! I can never buy only what I need from that place, I find so much else that I have to have!  I came home with flaming hot Cheetos for my older son, Doritos Spicy Street Taco flavor plus guacamole for me and them, some Fiber One bars for the kids and a curling iron that I can leave at work.  And no protractor.  I ate some chips and guacamole and felt simultaneously good and bad, mentally.  Since it wasn't raining I decided to go for a walk.  It makes such a huge difference with music!  I got into a nice groove and felt good walking and rockin' out to my music.  Hips still hurt, might be a posture/lower back thing.  I have been stretching more today and will keep working my lower body with stretches and massage.  I am wondering if it has anything to do with the fact that I have upped my carbs slightly, according to the plan.  It'll take more research but I think if I keep moving and stretching I will be ok.  I had a bizarro day where I looked thin in the mirror today, particularly my face, it made me a little confused because I know I'm not thin.  Maybe it's because my hair seems to have grown a foot overnight too.  Strange stuff.  I haven't actually been putting all that much thought into my weight lately, I am focused more on my hair and face.  I've been using a treatment for puffy eyes and wrinkles around the eye, putting a lot more work into my hair and making sure I have lip gloss on all day.  It makes me feel prettier.  And right now I guess that's where I'm at, wanting to feel good about myself despite my weight.  I am taking back what was lost all those years that I let myself believe that I was not worthy of positive attention (from myself or others) because I didn't look like a swimsuit model.  My body is not wrong, I am not wrong.  I don't look like a swimsuit model and I'm still getting all kinds of attention.  When you know you are beautiful it glows from the inside and paints the outside in a brilliant palette of colors.  And others notice.  Too bad so many of us don't know we are beautiful.  And affective.  It's a shame someone else had to clue me in on my own beauty before I believed it existed.  Feeling beautiful is so powerful!  I hope you take time to do something for yourself today that makes you feel beautiful.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Cheesecake and Such

Tuesday always seems to go a little smoother than Monday for me.  Things get back into my normal 8-5 work schedule and I start counting down days til the weekend.  I didn't see Elliot because there were no orders going out or coming in.  I'm not even sure it would have been him anyway, the girl does it most of the time now.  It is a bit of a downer, but nothing I can do about it.  
I don't know if it's the weather (so stinking cold again) or allergies/sinus pressure or what, but I have had low energy since last weekend.  Could have a little to do with the fact that I don't see Elliot much anymore.  His smile brightens my day, and I like to imagine it's just for me.  With my lower energy level I have noticed myself wanting to eat junk for a perceived quick boost.  Over the weekend we ate out two times again, and I had wine.  Then yesterday was my husband's birthday so I had a piece of cheesecake with my family.  It tasted so good-my first real sugar-laiden treat since starting back on South Beach.  I was worried that it'd trigger sugar cravings but it only caused an aweful feeling in my gut and the too-sweet shudders.  We went for a walk afterword, but I was not in the mood.  My hips began hurting early into the walk and the brisk wind was a little uncomfortable.  
Today I was in a great mood.  I felt well-rested and my hair turned out good, I even had some sales for the first time in a while.  But it was the girl doing the pickup again.  Boo.  When I got home, I laced up my shoes and hit the pavement with my husband.  Again, my hips began hurting fairly early in the walk.  I will have to figure that whole thing out.  I may have to switch activities while I sort things out. I know I have to get more stretching in and strength training.  All in good time!
Falling asleep as I type this, gonna go catch some zzzzz's.  Tomorrow is another day, and one day closer to the weekend!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Mush Brain

Yesterday had me grateful that I didn't do cardio and saved my energy for other things.  I did some housework for a couple hours, then we headed up to a waterfall just outside of the city.  The water level is so low that we were able to walk very near the waterfall.  It was an amazing place, the rock walls looked ancient, and were letting water pass through seemingly from mid-air.  All the plant life was so stunningly green and the sound of the waterfall was refreshing.  
I was proud of myself for climbing on wiggly rocks and getting through our expedition without getting hurt or falling in the water.  It was especially slippery because recent rains had turned the path to slippery mud.  My sons both got some scrapes from slipping, but thankfully it was just a few minor hiccups on our Sunday adventure.  We went to another spot along the bay, and it was so relaxing just watching the waves roll in and out.  It was a pretty good Sunday.  
Today at work was so boring!  I didn't have one sale at all and since I came in late to close, I wasn't there for our lab drop-offs.  I might not get to see Elliot much this week, we don't have any work going out and we only have 2 orders coming in.  Anyway, I am going to try and make this week awesome despite.  
I felt really tired today, like I'm still burnt out from the weekend, but I also realized that it's been 2 days in a row that I haven't worked out and that was starting to lead to a "who cares" attitude.  I am keeping my eye on my mood and actions to see where things are going.  I think I am legitimately tired, I was up late talking to my husband and got less sleep than normal.  I am going to get better sleep tonight for sure.  In fact, right now!
Hope your Monday was good. Ill be back when my brain's not mush!


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Event in the Bag

I am happy to report that my marathon event is finally done!  Everything leading up to it felt rushed and chaotic, and I even got a little excited in the flurry of activity.  
We had a lot of people through our booth, but not a lot of sales, so it ended up being more of a networking event.  Financially speaking, not an immediate success.  I felt bad for our rep who got a hotel, a $2,000 display tent, and had a long drive home afterward.  I was really happy when it was done, it was a lot of sensory overload.  The other department from my clinic was Sports Medicine, and they were doing free injury consultation wrapping and massage.  There was always a line, they were always assessing and taping.  It made me think about what running does to the body and I'm glad I'm not all hung up on not being able to run like I once was.  I'll leave that for those who've got something to prove.  
I have bee going through some mental things which I know I struggled with last time too.  I feel like I should look better after all the clean eating and exercise I've been doing. When those thoughts come into my mind I have to remember that I am where I am and I can't magically change that. If I keep on the same course the changes I'm looking for will come.  Besides, even at this size I am getting attention.
Speaking of which, I finally saw Elliot again on Friday.  I was helping some ladies pick out glasses and I was so surprised when he came in that right in front of them I exclaimed, "Hey!  I didn't think I was ever going to see you again!" He smiled and blushed so hard and we exchanged 'happy Friday's' and 'have a good weekend's'.  My mood immediately lifted a little.  And I got a lot of work done!
Friday night I got groceries after work and by the time I got home at 7 pm I was wanting Domino's pizza, so we ordered pizza for the first time in about 2 months.  It tasted amazing!  I could really taste the pepper in the sauce and the garlic in the crust.  I had 2 pieces at dinner and one more after having a few glasses of wine.  That was a great cheat meal!  
I walked 2.5 miles yesterday morning before the event and spent the day on my feet so I crashed a little when I got home.  I am looking forward to a mellow Sunday today, maybe get out with the family somewhere.  I will probably save any activity for whatever we go do as I'm still feeling a little burnt out.  
I'm looking forward to getting back into my regular groove now that this event is behind me.  Call me boring but I like routine.  
Hope everyone had a great weekend! 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Head Space

Sometimes I wish my overactive brain would just shut up and shut off for a few hours, give me a small break so I can get out of my head.  
There is a lot going on at work right now. We are preparing to staff the Oakley booth at a marathon this weekend, and it's a Boston qualifier race so it's going to be a pretty big event.  I am mixed with feelings of not wanting to give up the majority of my Saturday to be in a crowded, noisy place (Lambeau Field atrium) and a little excited to be doing something with my work team because that means we actually have a staff, which is saying something!
Elliot hasn't come through the past couple days and I am starting to wonder if the girl whose been doing it is going to be our regular delivery person.  When she first came in I told myself it's no big deal, maybe he's on vacation or too busy with other projects.  But as the day wore on I was thinking about it more than I should have been, and the disappointment set in.  It is bittersweet.  Maybe it's nature's way of telling me I need to stop thinking about him so much and pay attention internally.  
By the time I was driving home from work, I was thinking about Elliot and how my weekend is going to feel really short and not relaxing, and my stomach was growling and I just wanted to go home and eat comfort food and be lazy.  Numb myself to make up for what is to come.  I am a baby, I am so used to not working the weekends that when I have to work one stinking one per year I act like its a catastrophic!  Still, the 6-day work week kind of stinks.  I'll get over it.
I didn't eat junk food when I got home.  I did eat some pickles while fixing my son a veggie burger and I made myself a black bean burger and was still considering not exercising tonight because my hips have been achy since Monday's long walk to work.  But after my burger was cooked, it was determined that no one had homework so I let the burger sit and laced up my shoes and hit the sidewalks.  I thought about how all this began, with a little attention from a cute guy, and what that means for me now that that energy might be gone.  As Paramore played in my hot pink headphones and I watched seagulls gliding effortlessly above me I realized that regardless of how it started or what has changed in me, I have the power to celebrate the ways that I feel cool/am cool and use my strength and energy to continue to grow and own those things.   The only way to grow is to push, and the only way to know who you really are is to be alone with yourself with no one to impress.  This is for me now, not for a cute guy or my hot husband, not for my mother's acceptance or my boss's or teachers.  This is where the real, gritty, punk-rebel has to come out and realize that people are going to do their thing in life, and I have to do mine.  I don't always have the clear vision to it, but I have had this power and strength all along, I just transferred it onto someone else because I didn't believe I could shine that brightly without someone else inspiring it.  I probably wouldn't have gotten back on track of taking care of myself if it wasn't for Elliot, not now at least.  So maybe I
am not seeing this for what it is.  Something lit a spark in me and I have reaped amazing rewards from it.  And I have grown.  It happened for a reason and it ended for a reason.  I will be fine without the training wheels, if I fall I can always get back up and keep on pedaling.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Glow

I am a fighter.  I learned this from my mother.  When I am backed into a corner I protect myself and look for an opportunity to throw a blow.  I don't wallow in pity or act meek, I am there to stand my ground.
My marriage is in a bit of a fight right now.  Not a drag-down, screaming fight but a fight to reestablish ourselves and collect some pieces of what has been getting thrown around the past few days since I told him what I've been feeling.  I had no choice, he touched me for the first time in a while, and it made me cry.  So we talked.  I told him I have been perplexed by how other men seem to notice me/ find me attractive but it seems like to my own husband I am invisible.  He asked about how I feel about the men that flirt with me and I said that it felt good, but that I wished it was coming from him instead of them.  He said that it doesn't bother him that other guys find me attractive, but it matters what I do in response to that.  I didn't tell him specifics, it isn't important.  The conversation left off not with him reassuring me that I am attractive and he loves me, but with him telling me that the only one's opinion of me that matters is my own.  And while I know philisophically this is true, I am not that strong yet.  I need that reassurance and I didn't get it.   And it made me feel more distant and guarded.  This all happened Sunday night.  I didn't get enough sleep that night, and I was crying so I must have looked a fright when I saw Elliot on Monday.  He said he was really tired that day too.  I joked and asked if he had a "big weekend" and he just said, "A lot of good eats!"  We shared our flat 'have a good day's' and I was alone to try and stay awake and get work done.  I'd walked to work that morning, 3 mile trek with a hella-steep hill and I was pretty ploughed down from everything.
Later that night, my husband said he wanted to talk some more.  I obliged, feeling that things were really left unresolved.  We hashed over some more things, he was a little degrading in some of the things he said, but I kept sharing feelings because what good is not talking at this point.  He was again put-off by some of the things I said but did give a little bit of reassurance in me/us.  Overall, it still felt really strained between us, and I went to bed with my guard up still.
Today at work was a bit of a drain.  I am so used to working alone, but the new optician came over halfway through the day to learn where everything was located etc.  She is smart and willing to work, I just didn't have much work for her to do, it was slow.  Elliot came through earlier when I was alone, trying to get my computer to work properly.  I was ordering a pair of really funky Ray Ban sunglasses from his lab so when he came to pick up I said, "Those are for a really cool person so take good care of them, OK?"  We made a little small talk and he disappeared.  It didn't affect me as much today.  I was more excited about the new sunglasses I'll be getting than Elliot today.  Sure, he's cute but today I felt like I was picking up on something else that I missed before.  I won't say anything about it until I know more.  I didn't give it much thought.  It was hard getting through my day, I was still tired from not getting as much sleep as I am used to, and with barely no customers coming in, it was snoozeville.  Plus, my muscles were aching from walking up that huge hill yesterday, not to mention the other long walks I've been doing daily.  I had pretty much resigned myself to not walking tonight.  But then I got home and my husband was playing video games with our son, and the homework situation was light so I just decided to go.  I got a decent walk in before it started to sprinkle and I turned for home.  It was actually refreshing to not think about much while walking.  I just really noticed the nature on my street and took in the aroma of all the different trees and bushes in bloom.  I am glad I went even though I didn't want to.  One day off can turn into a week of days off if I let things slip.  My goal is to keep working to make myself feel good no matter what happens with any of the drama in my life.  I can't have things like that dragging me down.  I am working far too hard for this.  I am walking 7 days a week consistently and eating clean every day except a cheat meal on the weekend (which ended up being 2 last weekend due to travel).  I haven't been on the scale, I really don't care what the number tells me.  Things are fitting baggy and some things are much more flattering than they were a month ago.  And I feel better physically, that is a huge statement because I have spent far too much time feeling not good, like something was medically wrong with me.  This is where I am at.  My life might not be glamorous but it is colorful and understated, just like me.  And right now, I'm OK with that.  I have had the boxing gloves on for too long, now Its time to just breathe and take things in stride day by day.  I can't change other people, but I have a choice in how I react to them and how much I allow them to affect me.  Its like my husband said, "If you are glowing that is good, but it isn't for others that you glow, it has to be for you."   I think it's time to glow for me.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

What's a Wednesday Without a little Drama?

Today was an interesting mix of things that left me feeling...hmm unsure.  It was sort of like my day was in reverse, I had a great amount of energy in the morning, despite having a nasty sore throat.  I could not get my hair to look good even after a second wash/retry, but I was still in pretty good spirits because I knew I would see Elliot today.  Normally when he comes I am working in my "lab" area, and the door chime sounds and I peek around the corner and he's almost to my lab area.  Today, I was within sight when he came through my store-front, and he gave me a huge smile right away when he saw me, like he was feeling a little shy about me watching him walk toward me.  When he got to me, we both started to talk at once, he asking me how I am and me asking if he had the day off yesterday.  He said that yes, he did indeed have the day off yesterday and said he's not even supposed to be doing the deliveries, but the person whose job it is is on a medical leave for 3 mos.  He said, " They just ask if I want to do it and I say, 'who wouldn't?!"  I wanted to tell him that I will be bummed out when he stops doing it, but he started moving as if to leave, but looked at me straight in the eyes and while blushing so hard he said, " Well, hopefully I'll get to see you tomorrow."  I think I said it back, but I was a little stunned.  He seems somewhat shy and I know he likes me, but sometimes it's hard to tell what he's thinking, and while he stays to talk a few minutes, it always seems like he is itching to bolt.  Maybe he is just flirting but not putting any stock into it.  I like the thought of that.  That's what I'm trying to do.  But just by how hard he was blushing when he said he hopes he sees me, I think he's got a little more going on.  And it's really been the first time in a few weeks that he's acted that way, so I had been initiating conversation thinking it was safe to try and make friends and get to know him more.  When he left I had this sickening bittersweet feeling twisting inside me.  Not because I can't have him, but because he seems like such a genuinely nice guy and I feel like I'm leading him on.  I imagined what his reaction would be when he finds out I'm married, and it made me feel like a huge jerk, because I think he'd be a little pissed off that I didn't bring it up before.  But I realize that that is getting way ahead of myself.  He might just be a shy guy who's obliging and old lady by talking to her and maybe he blushes all the time.  I could just be reading into it more than what there is.  I AM the queen of reading into things.  But the way he smiles and blushes I think I'm right on this one.  It's just been a long long time since I made anyone react to me that way.  For the record, and so everyone can get somewhat of an idea, I scouted out a photo from the internet of what he kind of looks like.  This is not my photo, this guy is an actor, Ryan Guzman.  The smile/lips are dead-on, this really looks like Elliot.

So, now you can see why this man has me messed up.
Another strange thing happened today, or has been happening for a couple weeks.  My main UPS man has been acting different around me, won't make eye contact with me, I've even caught him staring at my chest while I sign the pad.  We have only ever exchanged pleasantries, usually business-related ones at that, but I have been in lighter spirits with the Elliot thing, and this UPS man might be taking things the wrong way.  He started spiking his hair up and talking more, standing closer to me than necessary, and today he had cologne on!  I am not going to assume that it is about me, maybe he had a hot date after work or something, but I'm really hoping it has nothing to do with me.  It was about the same time that he put his arm around me that he started acting different.  Could be coincidence.  I have been giving off some vibes, because I feel so good about myself.  I'm not asking for trouble, I am just expressing myself, and I happen to be in a pretty good mood and I think those are qualities men find attractive.
Whatever is making my throat sore slowly started to suck the energy out of me, and the thought of not going for a walk tonight was sounding really good, but once I realized how nice it is outside, I decided to go for a shorter, slower-paced walk than the past couple days.  My husband came with and we had a few laughs, but I was just counting the paces until we got back home so I could rest a little.  My joints were a little achey today, especially my hips, but that might be from adding so much activity so soon with few breaks.  I have one more final exam to take this week and then I'll be free for the summer.  I could have done it tonight, but I'd rather take it when my mind feels fresher.
I know I will need to talk to my husband about what I feel I am lacking, part of the conversation we were having on our walk was about girls who take selfies all the time in order for people to tell them how pretty they are.  I said, "It feels good to hear that you look good." He answered something about it being a shallow way to fulfill oneself.  I wanted to say something but I was a little put-off by the conversation.  Maybe I am shallow, I need outside reinforcement because I didn't grow up as the apple of anyone's eye, an only child totally spoiled and doted on.  I'd like it if that reassurance came from my husband.  Maybe it's not fair to put that on him when it's my own childhood issue, but it is part of my nature as a Capricorn to need reassurance.  My husband is extremely attractive, and ladies do love him, (you can see one of his modeling pictures here) but sometimes he needs a little help knowing what I need.  It's not fair to compare him to someone else, especially when I haven't shared my thoughts with him.  We are planning an overnight or weekend away at the end of the month, just the two of us, this should give us some time to talk.  My marriage isn't in jeopardy, I still see myself growing old with my husband, sometimes I just wish he still looked at me like Elliot does.  We all deserve that from time to time.  Now I'm going to drift off with that lovely picture of Ryan Guzman in my head.  Oh the drama!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Details, Details

The longer I stay on South Beach Diet, the more it becomes a non-issue for me.  Today was normal, not much to report.  I didn't get to see Elliot today, it must have been his day off.  It didn't really bother me, but when I found out I'll be having a delivery tomorrow it did perk up my interest a little.
I have noticed two patterns that I am going to keep an eye on this week.  One is that I am forever missing my mid-morning snack, then I get stark-raving hungry by about 11 am, and I get breaked for lunch anywhere from 11-1.  So, today I ate two string cheese sticks and then someone came to relieve me for lunch 40 minutes later.  Geneen Roth warns about "eating for a future hunger" and I have been falling into this trap due to this strange cycle.  I eat my lunch during my lunch break, even though I'm not hungry, but I think to myself, but if I don't eat now and it gets really busy, then I won't get to eat my lunch and I'll starve!  That is eating for the future hunger.  Not hungry now, but if I don't eat now I'll regret it later.  There wont be enough, I'll be hungry and miserable.  Its a hard habit to let go of, but with a little more awareness I'm sure I can fix it.  I figure my two choices are to A, concentrate on getting that mid-morning snack in so I'm perfectly ready for lunch or B, if I just ate and I'm not hungry, I can use my lunch break to take a walk or just do something relaxing instead of eating.  It needs work.  I am on it.
The other pattern I am noticing that past couple days is that I start out feeling pretty tired/rough in the morning at work (I suspect the building has mold as I am in the basement) and a short while after I eat my lunch, I get a little burst of energy and start looking forward to my walk after work.  I am eating hummus wraps this week for lunch, chalk full of dark power greens, onions, low-fat feta cheese and kalamata olives.  They are really tastey and apparently make me feel good.  If it happens again tomorrow I'll know it's not a fluke.
Went for a walk with my husband again tonight.  I was tired by the time we got home, and I could tell that I was trying to compensate for my weak muscles, but it feels so good to be able to be active again!  And, I am falling back into that weird spot where my underwear feel really saggy in the back, it is the strangest sensation, I swear!!  Nevertheless, it helps me realize that good things are happening.  I FEEL GOOD, like my body was motionless for months and finally got the OK to get a big, long STRETCH!  I feel good like having your back scratched.  I feel good like putting a sweater on when you are cold.  My confidence is back, my figure is slowly trying to peak out, I even have cheekbones again.  I didn't know how desperately I was living until I awoke.  Evil, evil sugar!  Who knew it could rob me of so much?  Well, I am just glad I found out now before I ended up needing a walker or a wheelchair for my birthday, lol!  I can't wait to see what the next year brings.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Woman on a Mission

Ah, Monday has a feel to it, doesn't it?  I have gone through love-hate relationships with Monday, and right now I just chalk them up to getting past the necessary evil.  I go into work later on Mondays, because we are open later.  Today I was feeling a little "sinusy" and a little off, I had to take my son to a dr appointment before work and my husband was home for a change so my personal time I usually get on Mondays was nonexistent.  I was looking forward to seeing Elliot and asking how his weekend went.  But he (or someone else) must have come super early and I missed him.  Part of me was glad, I wasn't in the most charming place, felt a little too wired from the sinus medicine I took.  
The weekend for me, was just what I expected, tons of homework and exam prep.  But on Sunday my husband convinced me to let the housework go and skip town for the day, to our beautiful Door Peninsula just an hour north of Green Bay.  It is so charming, quaint little shops, breathtaking scenery of Lake Michigan and the bay of Green Bay, cliffs, woods, vineyards left and right.  It feels like another world.  I'll be honest, as charming as it is, I am not as drawn to it as my husband.  He loves water, I love trees and animals.  And, I don't like spending so much of my Sunday away because that means things aren't getting done at home.  One of my husband's favorite stops is in a state park with a tall tower (75 feet I think).  It's a lot of steep stairs and once you've been to the top once, it seems silly to keep going up every few weekends.  I had usually opted to stay on the ground, certain that all those stairs would kill my knee, but this time I went up,  I had to stop before reaching the top to catch my breath.  But I made it up without any knee pain.  Then the down.  Halfway down my opposite knee (the one I didn't have surgery on) started hurting.  It was a reminder that I need to keep pushing.  I ate squeaky clean all day, I brought cheese sticks and Greek yogurt with me.  We got home just after 7pm and I surprised my husband with a bottle of apple wine from one of the peninsula vineyards. We had a glass together and it felt like I was on vacation.  
Tonight when I got home from work, I decided to go for a walk and my husband said he wanted to go with me.  I always get a little disappointed when he comes because it takes away the cleansing, cathartic feeling for me, and turns it into his thing, him talking and talking and talking about himself.  He'd an only child.  I don't think he realizes that my walks are a way of having a little time to myself to remember who I am.  I don't want to hurt his feelings but at some point I may say something.  At any rate, I had a lot of energy so I set the pace and I think I made him walk faster and farther than he wanted.  I felt good when it was over, refreshed and revitalized and I'm glad I got the chance to do it.  This feels so easy right now, I'm really grateful for that!  Every time I get off sugar I feel like things fall into place.  I'm lucky I have this in my back pocket, it works as a nice sort of "reset" button for me.  A month ago I was spending money every morning on junk-pastry, candy, chips.  Now I'm eating hummus wraps and salads and I don't crave the junk.  I'm a woman on a mission!  Look out ahead!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Friday Feels Fabulous

Today had Friday written all over it!  Everything went so smoothly.  I don't when the last time I said that was.
At the place I work, we  have a charity called Casual for a Cause on Fridays, which means that if you make a donation, you get to wear relaxed dress code.  I have been trying to come up with some stuff to wear that makes me feel good, which was part of the reason I went thrift shopping last weekend, but came up empty.  So, just for the heck of it, I went to the storage bin in my closet.  It is filled with clothes I used to fit in when I lost the weight, and a few items that I bought that didn't fit at the time, but I knew I'd regret passing up.  One such item was purchased in fall last year, a 3/4 sleeve Calvin Klein super soft T-shirt, with a just-high-enough-to-not-reveal-the-"jewels" neckline, and adorable muted blue stripes.  It looks kind of punk and I love it, but it was too small to be flattering when I bought it.  But when I tried it on today, it really accentuated my good qualities and was actually flattering to my current figure.  I paired it with a long jersey skirt and my converse shoes and I looked adorable.  I was getting compliments all day and I felt really good.
By the time Elliot came through, I was actually free today so we talked for a few minutes, and he finally opened up about what he does at the lab.  He was really kind of shy, but I'm glad he took a few minutes to talk.  I think I will start drawing more information and conversation out of him the more I see him.  Those are the best few minutes of my whole work day.  I'm not imagining him into something more than he is, I think we could be friends.  Not friends that hang out, but like, we both have to be here so we might as well talk a little.
I am not going to walk tonight, but everything about today made me feel energized and happy and I know I will get back into the activity.  Just knowing that I am getting to a point where I can wear things that make me feel good, despite being very overweight still, is a sign that feeling good is driving me, and I can take happiness from life before I am thin.  I have some other things in the works too, they involve my husband, and I think it will bring us closer than ever.  In less than a year we will be moving cross country to California, and I feel like everything in my life has been building up to this, this happiness, this move, this peace I am feeling, this self-discovery and renewal.
Now, I am going to go enjoy a couple glasses of wine while I watch American Idol, because the rest of my weekend will be spent on homework and studying as I prepare for my final week of the semester next week (ie, final exams, ugh).  Hope everyone had a killer Friday and gets to enjoy some awesome weather this weekend!