Weight Loss Woes

One of the major topics of my blog is healthy living. And for many, like me, the journey towards a healthy life includes losing weight. Weight loss is probably one ofID-10019615 the most influential aspects of being healthy if you are within the overweight and obese range. I have historically fluctuated between being on the high end of overweight and the low end of obese. Since having my son 2 years ago I have been obese according to my BMI. My weight loss happened steadily while breastfeeding and then I hit a plateau after my body wasn’t naturally burning those calories from producing milk for my son. After I stopped breastfeeding I started a more rigorous schedule of exercises and a stricter eating plan. I don’t use the word diet, because I always attempt to make lifestyle changes according to my goals. Diets to me are gimmicks that people start and stop and generally the results are temporary. ┬áSo I reduced my caloric intake and the pounds started coming off again. I was getting very close to my pre-baby weight. And then life happened. Stressors from work, increased financial difficulty, and along with the already present demands of raising a toddler caused my current success to come to a halt.

This past year we started my 2 year old in daycare. We appreciated him getting more social time, and us not having to follow him around 24/7, but it came at a cost of $113 a week. The cost along with the time cause me to cancel my YMCA membership. My workout schedule included Zumba, Yoga, Body Pump, and a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) class. I’d go to 2 classes a day, meaning I was working out 2 hrs each day. These classes were typically at 6 & 7 pm. By the time I got home it was after 8 o’ clock, and I’d get my son in bed by 9pm. When my husband was a stay at home dad that wasn’t an issue, as they’d just wake up whenever they felt like. But know that our son had to wake up at 6:30 for daycare, that was an issue. I attempted to selfish route, meaning he’d adjust to less sleep and nap longer. But after a week of having a hysterical baby at night, I decided to go with my sons best interest which was bed by 7, meaning I could not make it to my classes. Our apartment complex has a fitness room with medicine balls, a universal weight machine, elliptical, and treadmill. Given that I get all these resources for free I thought it would be silly to keep he gym membership without being able to attend the classes. So I cancelled my membership and said I would continue working out using the fitness center at my apartment complex. For the first 3 weeks that didn’t happen. I came home, made and ate dinner, put my son to bed, and often passed out myself.

The changes that had occurred in my life also had a toll on my eating habits. I began drinking wine each night, buying cakes, cookies, and ice cream to eat at nights. Any snack left in the workroom a school stood no chance if I saw them. I was out of control. I didn’t know what to do about it. I used to have so much will power. I college I’d go in the “caf” with my friends, watch them go through the pizza, burger, and ice cream stations, while I ate my salad or other health options available that day. While talking to one of my colleagues, she said it’s because you feel a sense of entitlement. When I walk through the break room after a tough class and see some leftover cookies from a church even I think “I’ve earned, this treat, I deserve this.” And that’s often times the exact thing that has crossed my mind. I often say that I believe in “all things in moderation”, but at this point there was no moderation, it was just an all out free for all. I’d seen almost 15 of the 50 pounds I lost over the past 2 years come back in 2 months. That’s when I decided I had to make some changes.

I decided to make a realistic exercise and eating plan. I could no longer rely on 2 hour hardcore workouts per day to offset the calories I consume. I know that I don’t push myself while working out independently the same way I do while in the front of a class with 10-20 other people. So I decided to start working out before I leave school with a couple other colleagues so we can motivate each other as well as get the workout done before I go home so whether I accidentally pass out or not, I’ll be Ok. I also decided that I’d allow myself a cheat meal on the weekends. That way I can pass everything up during the week knowing I’ll get a treat later. I’ve thought of a couple of rewards for myself (no food) if I reach certain goals. These rewards would included getting my nails done, new piercings and tattoos, and new clothes or shoes to show off my transformed body.

One of the major things I’ve been working on is trying to be happy and comfortable with where I am now. I may not have the time or energy to put in the strenuous workouts that would get the results I want as fast as I want. But I can take baby steps and get there in due time. This past week was the start of my new expectations and goals for myself. I can say that I was a lot more successful that I’d been before, although I still wasn’t perfect. But I will celebrate my successes. I pasted up cinnamon rolls left in the work room Monday. I worked out 4 days this past week. Even one day I did not workout before leaving school since everybody else in my group had other requirements, that same day I passed out at 8pm until 11. But I woke up at 11 and did a circuit of 40 jump and jacks, 30 crunches, 20 squats, and 10 push ups 5 times. I decided that would be my go to workout if I didn’t do anything else. Hopefully when I weight myself at school I’ll see some progress on the scale. If not at least I’m going in the right direction, and can make further adjustments to get my weight loss going again.

 

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Quarter of a Century Blues

24904724663_313f1c5787_oThe Quarter of Century life crisis is something that I didn’t even know existed. Near my 25th birthday, I don’t remember if it was before or after, I was having this feeling of being both overwhelmed and dissatisfied with my life. I posted on Facebook that I must be experiencing an early mid life crisis. Then I friend of mine replied and said, “Its called a quarter life crisis.” I began googling this term and realized that I wasn’t alone, it is a real thing, and I wasn’t crazy for having these feelings.

In our society the way your “supposed” act or things our supposed to be doing at certain ages seems to have pretty much been erased. The ideas that 40 is the new 30, kinda means that 30 is the new 20. But those of us who did things the “traditional” way, meaning getting married and having kids in there early 20s seemed to have been left in the dust. We are not in the same place as our 20 something counter parts, but yet sometimes feel out of place with the 30 somethings that are married with kids, like us. I find myself wishing I could “hang” with my friends. I also find that when I do, I have to force myself to not talk about kids and marriage. When other friends pick up and go for the weekend, before I do that I have to make sure there’s somebody to babysit and/or if its not an outing that includes my other half, see that he has everything to “survive”. Then I finally get some fun out on the town and its mixed with wishing they were there, wondering if they’re ok, and trying to keep my friends from seeing my nodding off at 10.

Then there’s the other side of the big 2-5. Looking at what others have accomplished and comparing yourself to that. I have friends and acquaintances that have doctorates, own houses, businesses, are C.E.O. of companies and they are all still in there 20s. So on one side I’m thinking maybe I jumped into this adulthood too quickly, then on the other I’m wishing I’d buckled down and accomplished more. I mean, after all, I’m just a lowly “gym teacher”. (anybody that knows me, knows I hate that terminology) Sometimes I wonder should I just go find a job at some office, where I could possibly move up in my career and pay. I could stop teaching and go to grad school full time until I’ve reached my ultimate goal of having a doctorate. No, wait, I can’t do that. How will we pay rent, daycare, groceries, ect. with just the little I’d be able to bring in as a full time student?

Its not just the career advancements that bother me. Its every time I do get ready to visit or hand with some of my friends and I think about what they might be wearing, or doing to their hair. I look in my closet that included probably 2-3 outfits per season, that I really like the way I look in. I’m constantly plagued by trying to not look like a 30 year old “mom” all the time. I can wake up early and go on you tube and figure out some nice style to put the thick crown of natural hair I have in. But, I choose sleep and laying around every time. Its a sickness I can’t help thinking about and comparing myself to others. Its not that I wish bad for them, I just wish I had to the skill and organization to have it together myself.

Today is my husband’s 25th birthday. He has had some trials in his life, but threw it all he has managed to be the best husband and father anybody could ask for. Yesterday I told, him, to make a goal for himself, a realistic one. Something that in a year, if he had accomplished this he would be happy with himself. So I am going to follow my own advice. In 1 year, if I am pursuing my Master’s degree, 15 pounds lighter, and debt free, I will be happy with those accomplishments. I will let everything else fall into place. I am a mother of a wonderful beautiful son, a have a fulfilling job, and a husband that supports me in everything I do. I saw a meme on Facebook or Instagram, I don’t remember which, but it said something like, whenever you see someone and wish your life was like their’s, there’s someone else thinking the same about you. I try to keep that in mind. I may not be exactly where I want to be in life. But there is time to make it happen. I’m 2 years into the 2nd quarter century of my life. My plan is to spend this time making sure that when I hit 50, I can look back at my life and be happy, with no regrets.