Today was my first day back at school. We don’t have students until the ninth, but the teachers have to meet to talk about important things for several days before the kids come in. Of course. I had an excellent day. It’s kind of funny because when I consider summer ending and starting working, I kind of freak out and dread going back. I think it’s just getting back into the swing of things though. Everything always smooths out And starts to fall into place once I get going.
A prime example is the above photo. Not my grinning ‘first day of school’ mug, but the lunch shot. The top picture is my lunch on the counter this morning before I packed it*. The bottom picture was at the very end of the day when I picked up my lunch bag and realized it still had quite a lot of stuff in it! I’m not usually one for denying myself calories or food. I generally try to live by the rule that if I’m hungry then my body needs something. I’ve learned enough about myself over the last couple years to understand the difference between eating for entertainment and eating for nutrition. My habit at work is to eat as I get hungry and I snack all day long. My students are also allowed to eat as they get hungry.
This morning, before I left for work, I had a coffee, a granola bar and a veggie sausage. For my midday snack at about 10 AM I had half of the grapes in my bag. At 11:30 we broke for lunch and I ate my veggie chik nuggets along with my carrots and hummus. After that, I never returned to my lunch. I feel like being distracted by work is so beneficial to my ability to keep my calories in order. A schedule and consistency do a world of wonder for me. What I’m celebrating here is not the denial of the intake, rather finding the balance between the munchy habit that I developed over the summer and the actual caloric needs that my body has.
Along those same lines, I had a conversation with a colleague today that really illustrated why it is helpful to have community support and people who are going through similar transitions. My friend, Jessica, mentioned dieting fatigue during lunch today. My mind went bonkers because I totally know what she meant. She said that when summer got going, it was really hard for her to maintain focus and, furthermore, she really didn’t care to. She felt a bit bored of dieting and watching her calories and working out all the time. It felt so good to hear somebody else say what I’ve been feeling. After years of dieting and working towards this goal of weighing 170 pounds I’m a little sick of it, frankly. Sometimes I want to counter that feeling by going balls to the wall like a bat out of hell and just get it all done! Starve myself and work out for eight hours a day! Of course that’s the exaggeration, but you know what I mean. I’ll get pretty extreme for a little while and make some decent headway. But I think it’s also important to recognize the balance of that. It’s important to recognize when your body is worn out, when your brain is just exhausted, and you’re overwhelmed and tired of thinking about all the stuff. It’s important to take a break. That doesn’t mean that you can go totally off plan and go backwards, but it does mean that you can relax and focus on just maintaining your fitness while enjoying life at the weight you’re currently at. I feel like that’s what some people in our group did over the summer. I certainly did! Kind of…
Two of the best things about going back to work today were:
1. A bunch of people came into my room for lunch today. It started out with me asking one person, but by the end of lunch there were a lot more people in there. I felt really good that so many of my colleagues consider me a friend enough to spend time in my room! I have often felt quite isolated in my life and it was just such a pleasant surprise.
2. Several people approached me, or said little side comments to a friend or me, about coming to Zumba with my colleague group. I’m of the mind that the more the merrier and as the community of dancers grows, so does our health and relationships. Working out with my colleagues so often has been such a gratifying and unique experience resulting in friendships that have grown in unexpected places.
My back has been really bothering me lately to the point that I stopped working out altogether in order to heal. I spent the past week or so unpacking my classroom and alternating ice heat ice heat on my back while laying in bed. But I’m freaking ouuuut! I have an ‘official’ six mile run coming up next weekend and have been spinning my wheels worrying that I’m not keeping up with my cardio enough. I couldn’t deal any longer after today. I decided to just try running for a little while on the treadmill. My intent was to get 15 minutes of cardio in order to maintain some kind of ability level! I do want to Beat the Blerch, after all.
Anyhow, 15 minutes of cardio started with ten minutes of chatting with my daughter about her first day of school and walking on the treadmill. After that, I went for it! I went up to 5.3 for 15 minutes and maxed out my run at 6.1 for three minutes. It was really nice to run, but I felt the need to stop before I hurt myself, so I hopped on the stair climber and climbed two hundred steps before being done for the day. Base2Space, here I come!
*okay. OKAY! I’m a total honesty nerd and I can’t let it go by with letting you know that this was not my lunch before school; this was the lunch I remade after school to look just like the first one I ate today because I couldn’t believe it so I needed to compare what I actually ate. How’s that for a run on sentence??