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Gotta Get My Swagger Back

I am so pissed at myself…

I finally had to face a hard reality this morning…those 15 pounds I keep saying I’ve gained are real, y’all!

I have a pair of pants I’ve avoided for at least a month, maybe longer, because I know how they fit without the 15 pounds…I knew it wouldn’t be good…holy crap, it was horrible…I looked like a stuffed sausage!!

Losing weight is hard, gaining weight is easy…the will to do the hard work it takes to lose weight requires a catalyst…when I was at my heaviest, 5 years ago, at 260 pounds, it took a picture…it was probably the first picture I had allowed to be taken of me in a couple of years…and it was terrifying…I didn’t recognize myself…some fat people have multiple chins – I had one giant chin…it was disgusting…and I think it was the disgust I felt at looking at myself that motivated me…88 pounds later, I was happy and only needed to lose another 20 pounds…

Fast forward a few years…I maintained the weight, got pregnant, gained a few, lost them, and went through a turbulent, emotional year…I’m an emotional eater…I know that about myself and it’s something I have to fight…I also love food…the divorce, the adjustment to being a single mom, the craziness at work, the new life, the money problems – all of this and more drives me to fast food and too much food, even when it’s NOT fast food…15 pounds later (on top of the 20 I still wanted to lose), here we are…

I started my day very determined to do what I know what I need to do…I broadcast my intentions to anyone who would listen..right now, it’s easy because my motivation is high…but I gotta a little extra push today…

Big Brother said something to me that hit home, but still surprised me…”Michaela, you’ve got to get your swagger back…get back to who you were before when you were working out and cared more.” I was surprised because I figured it hadn’t been that noticeable…

But the reality is that it’s very clear to anyone who knows me…I started hiding in my clothes…I stopped wearing my sassy earrings that make me happy…I barely wear makeup most days…I keep my head down a lot…I notice that my shoulders are slumped more often than not…

And I’ve got to get over this crap! So today is day one…today was a good day…I even ran on the treadmill a little…that felt damn good…

It’s not just about the 15 pounds…it’s not just about looking like a sausage in my pants…it’s about getting my swagger back…

Gotta Love Those Endorphins

I think I have a new rule for my loved ones…if we’re talking and I seem unnecessarily down, sad, mopey, or any other basketcase-like emotion, please, please ask me if I’ve worked out yet for the day…

For the second day in a row, I whined to BBFF on the phone about how stressful life is, how I feel pretty miserable, blah blah blah…and then picked myself up, changed clothes, let Jillian Michaels kick my ass (I just love her) and felt like crap for dumping all over him…the things that have been bothering me still bother me, but I’m in a better frame of mind…I’m thinking more clearly and logically…my feelings aren’t clouding my thought process…now I’m good company…

It’s gotta be the endorphins…or it’s simply that my ass really got kicked, and I can’t focus on anything but the pain…either way, it works…

Yesterday, it was money…today, it was loneliness…sometimes, even now, I am shocked at how some of the changes in my life since the divorce can affect me…I’m very used to and comfortable with being single…with the boys and I being the Three Musketeers…but I don’t really think my life is meant to be just the three of us…and maybe that’s where the loneliness comes from…

I have BFF and I have BBFF, and I have others…but because of the way life works and the physical distance between me and a lot of the people I care about, sometimes I feel very isolated…I can admit, sometimes I do it to myself…I’m a homebody (because gas costs money)…I don’t trust people (stranger-danger)…and I am unwilling to randomly call people and whine to them (except for poor BBFF)…but I can’t spend my life wallowing in misery…

The next time I wallow and whine, someone please hit me over the head with a Jillian Michaels DVD…

A Love Letter To My Treadmill

My dearest ‘mill,

I know you’re angry with me…it’s been so long since we spent time together.  I know, I know, you feel like I neglected you, that I’ve ignored you.  I promise I thought about you…I never forgot you.  I missed you everyday.

Like all relationships, the beginning was the sweetest…getting to know one another, seeing each other every day, all those great walks…it was a wonderful time in our lives.  It’s when we moved to the next level that it became harder to keep the same intensity…that’s not your fault, I know! I’m the one who insisted on running again…you tried to warn me…every time I nearly tripped and fell, I know that was your way of telling me to slow down before I hurt myself…I didn’t appreciate what you were trying to do for me…I’m so sorry…I should have listened to you.

And then, and I know this is no excuse, I got sick…that cold kicked my ass…the nagging cough that followed was horrible…I knew I couldn’t run like that.  I know, I can hear you now…of course I could have walked…but you know I have a mental block about just walking when I could be running…and the busy nights.  I felt you staring at me all those nights I was on the computer working…you felt neglected then, too, didn’t you? Oh, ‘mill, I’m so sorry…

Tonight was good, right?  Like old times?  Before the craziness of me trying to run…I’ve had to admit that my knees can’t handle it anymore…it’s my own fault…I never went to a doctor when I blew my knee out…maybe I’ll never run again…but with you, I’ll walk hundreds of miles…

I have a favor, beloved…will you help me get race-ready again?  I can’t run, but I know I can walk faster than most people…with your help, I can be a racer again…it will mean a lot of time together…I promise, I won’t just disappear on you again…if I have to take a break, I will give you an explanation first…please say you forgive me…

Love,
Michaela

**Yeah, I know, I’m a nut.**

Big, Fat, Hairy…Goals

I’m a goal person…if I don’t have a goal (no matter how small), I feel like I have no purpose…which leads to stress, chaos, and all sorts of negative things…including procrastination and loss of focus…

I complained earlier about feeling soft…I complained yesterday about stressing and emotional eating (today was worse)…I’m sure I’ve gained 10 lbs in the past two weeks – mostly from sweet tea and cheeseburgers…I’ve talked before about taking control and taking care of myself…and it worked, while I stayed focused…

But, that’s not happening anymore…and I feel….blech…

This morning, while I was driving to work, I was thinking about why I’m not able to sustain the focus on myself…and I think my goal is too vague and I’m too vague about how I’m going to get there…I’m a planner…I’m an organized planner…it’s what I do, it’s who I am…

But I don’t plan our meals…I barely write a grocery list…I don’t keep us (as a family) organized…and it’s leading to chaos, utter chaos…and 10 extra lbs…because it’s easier to run through drive thru and order off the $1 menu (especially since sweet tea is a $1 – that’s just EVIL!)…

With any big, fat, hairy goal I give myself, I need a plan…but first, let’s start with the goal.  My birthday is at the end of October (October 30 to be exact).  I thought that it would be fitting to give myself a birthday present this year – the gift of not feeling like mush.  The official start date is October 1 but since I’m pretty excited, I’ll probably get started a little tomorrow…I would like to lose 10 lbs by the end of the month, but overall I want to be less like a side of mashed potatoes (soft and mushy)…

What’s the plan?  That’s where I’m fuzzy – I know I need to eat right and exercise…that’s a big ole duh…but what exactly do I need to do?  Since this goal is a 30 day goal, I’m thinking of doing Jillian Michael’s 30-Day Shred, again…but this time the straight 30 days instead the 6 weeks it usually takes me…but I’m also adverse to pain, so I was thinking 30 Day Shred 3-4 times a week and supplementing with the treadmill 3-4 days a week…opinions?

With the food side, I think I just need to get organized…I’m envisioning charts, calendars, color-coded things…and a trip to Staples to make it happen (I’m sure different colored Sharpies will be involved)…I need to plan out every meal – so that’s it one less thing to think about…and, this is going to sound crazy, but I need to stop with leftovers…I hate leftovers…if I like a meal well enough to want to eat leftovers the next day, I usually end up eating the extra helping the same day I cook it (soooooo not good for me)…and I’ll bring leftovers for lunch the next day with every intention of eating it…and then find 10 reasons why I need to hit the drive thru…bad, I know…I need to accept the fact that I almost never eat leftovers and stop pretending that I do…

I know how to eat, I know what to eat, I know when to eat…I just need to make it one less thing to think about…because frankly, I’ve got too much on my plate (no pun intended) to be worrying about what we’re going to have for dinner…

Time to treat this like the office…where’s my clipboard and to do list?  It’s time to get to work!

Feeling Soft

Please do not mistake that title as anything warm, fuzzy, and/or sweet…I mean soft as in flabby, lacking definition, blech…

A couple of weeks ago I made the decision to let something, anything slide so that I could sort of maintain my sanity…and it ended up being exercise.  Yes, I realize that if I exercised I would probably have more energy, sleep better, feel better about myself, and a million other things…I could write the book on why I should work out…

Unfortunately, I’ve also been emotionally eating for a couple of weeks – yes, I am an emotional eater…stress, conflict, uncertainty – those are my usual triggers…I don’t feel like I have time…I constantly feel rushed…there’s always something else that needs to be done, handled, finished, completed, submitted, whatever…it never stops…and so I never stop…it’s my own fault…

And all of this has created this horrible soft, mushy feeling…and I hate it!

I was becoming firm, toned, high and tight…now, not so much…my treadmill just looks on in sadness, wondering when I’ll come play again…

I keep telling myself when life calms down a little – especially work – I’ll focus on myself again.  I know taking time for me is the healthiest thing I can do…I get that…I just need to slow down a little first…

As for the emotional eating, I have another reason excuse for that one…The Ex told me yesterday that he’s getting married in October…at the end of October…but he assured me it wouldn’t be on my birthday…um…ok?  Eebee wondered if I was going to be ok once it sank in…surprisingly, it doesn’t bother me…it seems strange to me….but it doesn’t hurt at all or make me angry…I feel like I’m learning something about a stranger…it’s just information that has no bearing on my life…is that healthy?

I wish it would mean he’d stop being so interested in my personal life, but somehow I doubt that…

But, it hasn’t stopped me from reaching for the cheeseburgers, either…

Focusing on Me

I’ve had a fairly quiet weekend which has given me plenty of time to think…

Normally, I don’t like a quiet weekend because then I dwell on the fact that it’s just me and the boys 99.9% of the time and sometimes that’s just depressing…but this time is different.  I used the quietness (?) to think about internal stuff instead of focusing so much on the external (when will I ever get a break, when will I ever leave the house again without 2 small children in tow, when when when!)…most of that is pointless.  Whatever is supposed to happen will happens when it’s supposed to happen…

I can’t control Almost Ex, I can’t control work, I can’t control anyone (including my own children, unfortunately) but me…so that’s what I’m choosing to do…I’ve got plans for myself but if I keep focusing on the stuff I have no control over, that will be what consumes me…and I’m too damned tired for all of that…

I spent a lot of time reading about health, food, and fitness this weekend.  Most people don’t know it but I’m an actual weight-loss success story.  Before I became pregnant with Sean, I spent about 3 years losing 88 lbs – the hard way.  No pills, no points, no surgery – just exercise and portion control. 

Of course, I gained weight while I was pregnant – more than I wanted to, but by the time he was a year, I’d lost all but 3 lbs…and then I managed to maintain that weight…until I started the whole divorce process.  I’m an emotional eater so for a couple of months, everytime I went near Almost Ex, I left with an urge for a cheeseburger…and I indulged myself everytime…so 10 more lbs later, I’m feeling pretty crappy about my weight loss efforts…

I’ve noticed that doing what I did to lose the first 88 lbs doesn’t really work anymore…before I ate whatever I wanted, I just watched my calories…if I wanted cake, I ate cake…if I wanted chocolate, I ate chocolate…as long as I hit the right number by the end of the day, no biggie.  Well, maybe it’s because I’m older, maybe it’s because I’m closer to goal, but that does NOT work anymore…

So after a lot of reading this weekend, I’m going to try the most basic thing I know – exercise (of course) and eating NATURAL foods – as Jillian Michaels says, “If it doesn’t have a mother or come from the ground, don’t eat it!”  And that, sadly enough, involves trying not to drink Diet Coke…because I’ve never seen a Diet Coke plant and if I had, I’d have a whole field of them.  I’m not giving up caffeine completely, I’m just not going to drink it in carbonated form…no more processed foods – which will definitely cut out a lot of sugar and other crap I don’t really need.

I don’t know if it will work, but if after a couple of weeks, I’m not feeling better or seeing a positive change, I’ll try something else…the point is that I’m going to focus on myself…I’m even going to attempt the truly impossible – 7-8 hours of sleep a night…EVERY night…Based on what I’ve read, that may have a lot to do with my weight not going down, too…

I know that eventually I’ll want to not be completely and totally alone anymore…but what good am I to someone if I’m no good to myself?  As long as I take care of work when it’s time to work, and the boys when I’m with them, then the rest of the time needs to be about me…

I’ve been searching for something for a few weeks now that isn’t there, hasn’t been there, isn’t going to be there…I don’t really know what it is, but I’ve felt like I was looking for something and have constantly been disappointed…so I’m done with that…if it means I sit in a quiet house more often than not, that’s ok…I’ve just got focus on me right now…

And for those who have wisely pointed out that I need a vacation, you’re damned right I do…I haven’t had a week off from work since I was on maternity leave with Sean (he turns 2 on September 10), and I haven’t GONE anywhere (other than my mom’s house in MS) in YEARS (for pleasure…I’ve gone plenty of places for work)…so yeah, I know I need a break…and when both work and finances cooperate, I swear, I’ll go…

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