Do What?!

Good morning, and what a beautiful one at that. I walked out of the gym at about 6:45 and the smell of spring consumed me like a drug. That combined with the elation that comes with the knowledge that I just burned several hundred calories before 7am and there’s no impending workout to contend with, set the tone for what I hope will be….the most amazing day.

Nothing on the schedule that is particularly awesome but today just feels warm and peaceful. My granny used to have furry rabbit skins around the house, I’m not sure why, but the way those skins felt when running your hands over them as a child, was warm and soft and…peaceful. That’s how I feel this morning. Pumping the brakes here as I feel like the dead rabbit skin analogy was just a little much. Moving on.

Homeschooling is what excites me this morning. Yep, homeschooling. We’ve decided to give it a whirl. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for so many years but never had the courage to step out and just try. I never felt like I was competent enough or patient enough or conservative enough. Ok, I’m conservative but in a very relaxed way, is that possible? Then a few months ago I felt a check in my spirit, for about the hundredth time, and the question was again raised, can I entertain this home school thing?

I think the first step in answering the question was, why do I want to home school? And I found out there are so many reasons, here is my short list:

1) Flexibility, being tied down to the district calendar for lack of a better word, stinks.

2) Time, I miss my kids because I work weekends, homeschooling will enable me to spend more time with them and it doesn’t take nearly as long as a typical school day. The older they are the more involved they are in sports and activities that take them away from our home. Eight hours in school, home for a snack, football, baseball, gymnastics, dance or the sport du jour takes up the rest of the day. If I home school we actually have time for family and learning things like chores and cooking and other family responsibilities.

3) Curriculum, introducing the study of religion and bible which they don’t get in the public school and is something I think is extremely important. I can also tailor their education to their learning style and spend more one on one time with them than their teacher can.

4) FIELD TRIPS! Speaks for itself, I can’t wait for field trips!

There’s probably more but that’s what I can come up with now. We are planning to attend the Teach them Diligently homeschooling conference in Omaha Nebraska next week and looking forward to learning lots more about curriculum and homeschooling in general.

Stay tuned to my blog for updates on how a crazy girl like me fares in a this new world. Fingers crossed this doesn’t automatically qualify my kids for therapy. Have an extra awesome day!

The bathroom is only 10 ft away…

It’s been a long day, I’ve longed for this moment when I collapse into bed but there’s one problem, I’m still in my clothes and haven’t brushed my teeth. This is no bueno.

Right now I dream of Jeannie comes to mind…now that’s a skill.

My feet would be massaged, my jams would be on, my teeth would be brushed, and I’d be a size 4.

I guess there’s a reason that show was fictional. Working for something, even as small as clean teeth and bedtime clothes make the reward feel like an accomplishment.

If I were to wake up in the morning a size 4 I’m sure I’d be all broken up about having been denied the opportunity to work for it. Not. But I wouldn’t know the cost and I’d probably quickly gain the weight back again.

So, the bedtime story moral tonight, is enjoy the journey. Whatever your journey is, seek out the joy and hold those things close, they are the meaning behind your mission.

Right now, it’s the toothpaste calling me, and my cozy new jams, I can’t wait to sleep…

Sweet dreams.

Dear Me,

I started to formulate this letter in spin class this morning, I think I deserve to actually compose it and publish it, it’s a word of encouragement for myself, and anyone who needs it. Dearest friend, I applaud you for … Continue reading

Fit-Fat

Hands

Gratitude, what’s it about anyway? It’s about not feeling sorry for yourself, not being a victim, it’s about empowerment, it’s about grace and thankfulness.

1. Friends, these people hold me accountable and let me be me, they let me vent and say all the things I couldn’t otherwise say, I wouldn’t otherwise say, if not for a discerning ear. They know what to hold on to, and what to let go of, and what is in my heart. This morning, I’m thankful for friends.

2. Life, I am simply awestruck at this opportunity. The possibilities are endless, the potential for life altering mistakes and victories, the complexity, the fragility, and the knowledge that it’s all so very simple.

3. Health, I feel like starting a FB page called fit-fat. Yeah, you read that right, fit-fat. I’m not kidding here. I am fat, I own that, but I also own that I am pretty darn fit right now and yes, those two can coincide. Hopefully, I can get powerless over the food and as a natural effect of my physical fitness and food choices the fat will go away, but for now I’m fit-fat…and I’m good with that.

4. Springtime…enough said.

5. Fender benders. I have a 2005 paid off Dodge Grand Caravan that I’ve wanted detailed for a few years now. It’s never been in the budget, until now. The other day I was hit from behind in the carpool line, this mom seemed was a little flighty. The incident resulted in a little dimple in the bumper, barely recognizable.  The adjustment and check I received from her insurance company was just shy of the cost of detailing my van. Thank goodness no one was hurt, but who knew that morning driving the kids to school in my pajamas that I would soon be able to afford the cost of  detailing!

One more word about health. I received a pretty amazing compliment the other day. I went to spin class at the gym and pushed myself, it was exactly what I needed, sweat was pouring off my head, good times. After class two girls stopped me and asked me if that was my first time in class, they commented on how well I did. They were noticeably struggling through it. I told them that I normally come to an earlier class and that I am doing ripped now so I use spin for an off day. My level of endurance was obviously impressive…they didn’t know I was fit-fat. 

In conclusion, it was an awesome feeling. Take a few minutes to get grateful and sweat a little today, these will help you learn to love yourself a little more and when we love ourselves we are in a better place to love others and God.

Blog from the Bike

I just finished my workout given to me by fireman trainer Gus. My partner had a date with a biscuit so I had to go it alone. It’s ok though, it’s done, and I didn’t think I was going to be able to do it, mostly because my legs and butt and arms hurt so bad already. I sweat and I worked hard and I listened to “For Today” the Christian metal core band from Iowa during the whole thing and even as I post this.

Regarding Christian metal core; it’s awesome! I’ve never been a huge fan of metal, save the stent in high school when I hung around a bunch of metal heads, rap has always been my preferred workout genre. It’s definitely growing on me and I need some new bands to download. The fact that its Christian and metal core is…different? I can’t have negative, non life giving music in my head, but I need the excitement of the music. For Today combines the beauty of Gods encouraging spirit with fierce drum, guitar and melodies, and serious fuels my workouts.

That’s all…for today. Cheesy pun intended.

seasons

Sitting here at my desk I feel the weight of the wet winters day. The wind is up, and the naked trees look fragile as they bend in it. I hear the screeches and yearnings of a train in the distance, and finally it’s whistling down some old railroad.

Today I am contemplating life. My daughter, my baby, is eloping. She’s twenty years old today, and she will be a married women by nightfall. Today I look back at my life, the life of my mother and grandmother and listen to my ancestors before them, they tell me to rest. Nothing is happening that hasn’t happened before, nothing can come that will separate the bonds we share. Process and proverbs, we all rise and fall to the beats God put in our hearts thousands of years ago.

My wish for her today is simple, that she learn to rest in this life. It seems today I am finding it so much simpler than I once had. There are big problems and small problems, but in reality, they are all but little moments in which we can practice surrender.

I am surrendering today. Like the naked tree in the winters wind I will lean into it, not looking graceful at times, not caring, my roots are firm. I know that spring is coming, and winter again. There is nothing new under the sun.

I am resting in the blissful idea that life will happen just as it should, and I will learn from it just as I should. In the spring and summer, fall and winter, there will bountiful blessings and sorrows alike, and I will soak in every second of this amazing gift called LIFE.

Happy happy happy

New year that is, my husbands new favorite obsession is Duck Dynasty and everytime I think of the word happy I think about that show, and my husbands chirping around the house, “Happy, happy, happy…”

I read a Christmas card from a friend recently who told me I should keep this blog going, and he’s right, I should, I’ve missed it.

So about doing life, I am, or rather, it’s doing me. Life has a way of taking you by surprise and just when you think you are in control of things, BOOM, you realize your actually in the trunk of life’s Ford Fiesta, well hatchback, and your hanging on and wishing Life would put down the can of Schlitz and pull over at the next bus stop so you can get out.

That made no sense at all, but yet, it did. I’ve had an interesting year, arguably one of the most interesting I’ve had in awhile. On February 28th last year, I decided to tackle weight loss. That summer I ran my first 5k and then did my first triathlon. Later I found out that I was going to be a grandma, and then a big job change, Thanksgiving, a hospitalization, Christmas and all the yummy goodness that it brings. January 1 I had some decisions to make, up 20 lbs from my lowest weight, 30 to go to get back to that dreadful place I once was.

Bottom line? I am learning to love myself more each day, learning that I need grace just as much as the underdog I am always defending, hrm, is that irony? I’ve never really understood irony.
I feel best when my stomach is empty but my heart is full. Don’t misinterpret that.

Today was easier than yesterday.
It’s not about a number, ever.
Feeling good is a place I choose to go.
By body responds to less carbohydrates.
I can’t wait for spring when I reunite with my bike.
Exercise is my prescription for feeling good, not weight loss, but they work together.
I am the same girl at any weight. I am still loving, and passionate, and worthwhile.

Just some randomness to begin 2013, have a blessed day.

Dusty Canvases

Good morning…It’s another day, another hour passing, another blog post that begs to be more than meaningless words.

Weight loss, that’s what this blog is supposedly about, ok. Eph that. I need to just swirl everything into one focused thought. Losing weight, that’s good. Losing the behaviors that keep one in  self medicating  states, even better.

My struggles:

Anxiety

Fear

Fat

Loneliness

Laundry

Not kidding. I’m just a regular woman on a path, yesterday I felt like a girl and thought you saw me as that too until you called Ma’am one too many times. Just wait little woman, your day is coming. That’s the funny thing about life, no one gets out of this easy, if your lucky you’ll get wrinkles, you’ll love and lose it, you’ll die a thousands deaths in your heart and be left with emptiness of body and soul…and the sun will rise again in the morning, inviting you to do it all over again.

Since I have stopped using food medication, my anxiety level has raised to the point where I can feel it in my body. Not a great feeling. It really crept up on me, and guess what I am doing more of? Smoking. It relaxes me and I love it. I know it’s bad for me, inhale, which is why I have to get this crossed off my feel good list, yesterday.

Oddly enough, I am in the best shape of my life, I run once or twice a week and ride my bike an average of sixty to seventy miles a week. I am posting all of this because I need to say it. I am not going to pretend that life is roses or cherries all the ephing time, nor is it always cigarettes and Cheetos.

Desperate for middle ground and balance.

I haven’t hit my second goal, but I don’t care. Not a cop-out. I don’t care if it takes me two years to get this weight off because with each pound I am uncovering old pieces of myself that must be dealt with. Like spelunking in the attics of my life, the deeper I go the dustier the canvases become, and as I pull them off I discover a treasure buried there. Some treasure requires more time, more love, more preservation. Some, require burning. I didn’t get this way overnight. I won’t give up on me. Even if me takes forever.

My husband has been such a good man during this season in my life. He walks with me and deals with my high drama and emotional vomit. I won’t candy coat it,  he’s a pain in the ephhing ass too sometimes. But he’s a man, and we’re so different. I don’t pretend we have a marriage made in wonderland. We have a very real marriage. We wrestle it out, there are days we can’t stand each other, and days we want to be close. He’s a good friend, a good daddy, a good companion. I cringe at the thought of what his blog would say about me:) He doesn’t blog by the way…lucky me.

What you missed while I was away:

My Triathlon, I did it. Although I almost forgot how to swim, but I did it. YAY!

Atlanta, learned some lessons about myself while spending time with my dearest friend.

New job, forthcoming.

Made another video for the ANCC Art of Nursing film festival, not really creative, just helped a friend, earned a trip to LA in October.

 

 

 

So can you…

This is way overdue. I’ll explain, you see this series called Mad Men, is taking up my extra time. Tonight, I have a glass of red and I’m in. Must. Update. Blog.

Pushed through plateau, continuing to lose, working out hard, eating small. The single biggest thing that has helped me continue to lose is this, go to bed hungry-ish. Going to bed hungry-ish does mean lots of things though, such as, I ate a small healthy dinner, I didn’t go buck wild all day long, cut my carbs after lunch, and emotional eating…not allowed. 

As for that, emotional eating, it lingers there just below the surface, I feel it beckoning me to give in every now and then. It’s tempting, I’ll admit it, until I remember the real cesspool it always brings me to. Guilt, shame, hopelessness, unrelieved anxiety and…a bigger ass. Yeah, there’s that.

Here is the real whopper, I officially signed up for…wait for it, wait for it…a TRIATHLON. Sprint, of course. It’s a 500 meter swim, 10 mile bike, and 5K run. I’ve trained like crazy, self studying for a training guide and freaking the eph out. I’m not really doing any weight training, but I will get back to that later. The race is in about 2 weeks so I am focusing on my swim and my run, I think the bike will be my favorite part. I don’t have any lofty ideas here people, I want to finish, like with a time not a DNF. I want to make it to the finish line, period. My body hurts every night, but to say I’ve done a triathlon, to know how hard I worked, that will be my prize.

So my weight, well when I started this blog I was 250. My last official weight before that was 258, that was last summer/spring. I weighed in at 209 this morning. This is a big deal for me. Why, you ask? Because the last time I weighed in at 209 was back in 1994. Yep, 18 eph-ing years ago, wow, it’s amazing how long I let my self go, and go, and go. I am so glad that one day I decided I was worth the effort. I am so glad that I decided I deserved to find fitness and comfort in my skin. I am so glad that I decided to stop self-abusing. 

And now the stakes are a little higher, I have lost almost 50 pounds. I have about 50 to go. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it’s getting brighter every day. And there’s this realization that the light is only a mirage, because getting to my goal weight isn’t really a destination. Staying at my goal is a state of mind that I am working on every day, so that when I arrive I will have already been to dress rehearsal and ready to do. It’s a daily walk of self-control and humility. It’s a place where loving yourself means passing up the cookies now and then and giving yourself exercise as a gift. It’s a contemplative, honest, place where ones faults are reconciled daily and life can move on. It’s a place where I teeter now.

Inhale, exhale. I deserve this. I can do this. I can do this. 

And so can you.

Check out my triathlon site and feel free to support me if you like.

Matt Mason Cowboy up Triathlon

And here’s a few highlights from my very first 5k! The Kansas City Glow Run!

The Dream Crusher & The Latin Rock Band that Made it all Better

Lots on my mind tonight. First of all I have to confess something. I made cookies yesterday, just enough for the kids and thier friends to each have one of my homeade buckaroos. It’s my grandmother’s recipe, cocnut, chocolate chips, oatmeal, and I add some coarsely chopped almonds, yum. There was one that happened to be left over, I tried to get my friend to eat it and she declined. So there it sat, all day log, alone, on the cold glass stovetop.

Later, I came home from dinner and a movie with my family, and there it sat, still alone, rejected… scrumptious. So I took it, into my hand and gave it a home, in my tummy, with all the other bad food from the night. Later, I invited acai dark chocolate berries to the party. It wasn’t a good feeling, to go to bed full. I am getting used to going to bed hungryish. Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. I am still having trouble with the big breakfast thing. I would rather do meals this way; price, king, pauper.

I went on a ride to the community center tonight, ready to swim some laps and ride home. My brick workout, where you stack two types of exercises from the tri. Being the newb that I am I forgot a lock for my bike and the silver headed rule follower working the front desk was under no circumstances going to let me bring my bike in. I all but begged, but no, said she didn’t want to be yelled at being new and all. That, and I suspect it gave her great pleasure to crush my dreams. Why do some people roll like that? I pictured her later that night eating her pot pie watching wheel of fortune feeling quite satisfied with herself, as if she’d done some great favor to the universe.

I ended up riding twenty miles and loving it! Tomorrow I will try to swim and run, but the best part about tonight was my new clip-less pedals and shoes. It felt a little like wearing tap shoes and bike riding but it was great! I don’t know if it was the coffee, or the shakeology I mixed with it, or maybe even the shoes but my ride was phenom. The hills were cake, I had no problems with them. I’ve been told that the shoes would help on hills and they must have, it was an entire different riding experience. Kudos to they guys at Epic bike and sport in near Parkville, Mo. Those guys are certifiably the best crew and bike shop I’ve been in so far. Which is why I pass two other bike shops and go all the way over there from Liberty to shop them. Service, it still works.

So I rode and rode and could have ridden another ten easily. I made myself go home because it was getting dark. Oye Como Va, the Santana rendition not the Tito Puente version, is now my official last song of the ride, it’s perfect. I’ve fallen in love with cycling.