Camp NaNoWriMo

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Every November there is a challenge offered to everyone in the world from NaNoWriMo. November is National novel Writing Month (hence the name NaNoWriMo), but I’m a teacher. November is not the month for me to dedicate to writing 50,000 words while also prepping for the holidays and teaching. Fortunately for me, NaNoWriMo offers an alternative for people like me who just can’t do it in November. Camp NaNoWriMo is basically the same thing, just with a camp theme, smack in the middle of teacher-friendly July! You may have already guessed that I’m knee deep in process of my novel.
I often get told that I should write a book. I always wonder at the reality of that- who would ever want to read a whole book written by me? I’m not a terrible writer, but blogging really suits me. It’s so informal, the rules are made by me and the casual nature of it makes me not flip out over grammar and typos, unlike a published book. But then I realized that Camp NaNoWriMo allows for that too- anonymous authorship without risk. I do want to write a book. I’m not sure if it’s worthy of publishing or selling, but it’s just a thing I feel like I have to do- like finish college, lose weight, get married, be a mom, run a distance that feels outside of my ability, grow my hair long once… YOLO. It’s true. So here I am, embarking on my novel.
What does this have to do with my blog? Guess what I’m writing about? I’m writing the story of Tamara Shazam in detail. So far it meanders all over and has bird walks as I through-write my story, but I’ve decided to share it here during this month.
I realized that when I found Katie from Runs For Cookies that I felt mildly discouraged that she was already ‘done’ with her project. She was maintaining her weight, she was an accomplished runner and her blog was incredibly inspiring, but I found myself having to dig deep through her archives to uncover her greater story and get closer to the genesis of her project. My blog is a few years old now. People might be having the same issue with me- sure, she’s exercising and struggling with losing and gaining right around the 200 mark, but she’s already looking good! (I actually have had people ask me why I’m continuing since I already look good, but it’s that inside goal that is important, now.). I’ve decided to share excerpts from my story this month as kind of a primer for who I am and where I’ve come from. It’s not going to be perfect, mind you it is a draft and it is for personal use on my part, but I’m also happy to share it with anyone who wants to read it.
Click through to jump to the story:
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My Cosmic Curiosity

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Sometimes it’s tricky to figure out how to write about my activity log and food log without it reading like a boring shopping list of activity. That said, I feel like it’s important to include it. This is kind of a lifestyle blog that shows how I am working toward a healthy life and the discoveries that happen along the way, but to do that there is the reality of writing the facts that support all of the ‘how she do that?’ that I get!
So, to that end, our Very Active Summer is exactly that- a Very Active Summer. Our kids are running between the pool and hot tub for several hours each day. Bradley and I have been hitting the streets as runners almost daily, to the tune of 2.5 miles while we are getting back into running condition. We haven’t been the most solid runners this year, only getting in a few runs per month and me mostly relying on my classes to keep things rolling and to stay in shape. It’s been really nice to get back into the running groove. After our run, we pick up our old girl, Martha, and take her on our dedicated dog daily miles. The heat is making her slow and tired, so we’ve dialed it back from three miles a day to one and sometimes that seems like a little too much for her. But I enjoy the extra steps and talk time with Bradley.
So, anyhow, what’s my cosmic curiosity?!
How the heck is it that my scale says I weigh 202?! How in the HECK? I mean, really! I’m working my butt off, running, walking, dancing, playing, swimming- being Very Active, and yet… I’m trying not to get ruled by the scale but I’m finding this frustrating. My diet is fine. I’m eating an ice cream cone every night, but with the level I’m working out at it shouldn’t be making me gain weight from it. What a frustration! It’s probably those Girlscout Thin Mint cookies I so arrogantly ate in my rocking chair at the end of the school year. I knew future me would blame cooking eating me at some point- that moment has arrived!

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Yesterday we went for a 2.5 mile run in the morning and then I looked forward to banking some steps as a dancer at The B-52’s concert at night! I did great! Just at the concert I managed to dance to the tune of Love Shack, Rock Lobster, Private Idaho and 11,000 steps! I have to say that Kate, my teenage idol, is now my midlife idol. The woman is closing in on 70 and still is absolutely gorgeous, can still wail her butt off and is sexy as anything. It’s still my goal to be like Kate!
It was a joyful and interesting concert to be at. I’m under the impression that there is only one person in that band who is not gay, and for them to be here, during Pride, in Seattle, so soon after the Supreme Court ruling for marriage equality was made was, clearly, very emotional for for Fred Schneider (the guy who barks out lyrics in many of their songs) and many of the folks in the crowd. He kept teasing that since the east coast is all upset about the ruling that maybe they needed to do a west coast tour and leave the rest of the country out… Don’t tease me so, Fred. 😉
I’m already looking for tickets…

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I’m going to a later Zumba class tonight with my ladies. This is our Posse from a few days ago. It’s so nice to be involved with a group of people who have their thinking so similar to me. I found this article today that really made me feel proud. It’s a little high and mighty, a little pious and pat-myself-on-the-back about how awesome the legion of fit and healthy people are, but I was proud to be able to identify with the ‘way athletes think’. Like, actual, bonafide athletes. Squeee! It’s the small things.
For example,:
*I’m approaching my midlife makeover as a lifelong shift that will take years to accomplish and upkeep. I’m not looking to fix my problems fast, I’m looking to fix them permanently
*I’ve started exercising just to maintain a healthy lifestyle more than I exercise to lose weight. While weightloss is definitely a goal, I’m not overly worried about it anymore and know that it will happen if I just keep focusing on my health and fitness- just like real athletes!
*I don’t freak out anymore if I miss a workout. I know I’ve got things pretty well under control at this point and if I miss a workout I’ll make it up in the very near future- just like real athletes!
LOL!
Anyhow, it offered some interesting points to ponder if you’re looking to transform your life. 😉

Rainbows

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There is nothing I wanted more in life when I was a kid than to be a wife and mom. The two are always linked in my mind. I realize you can have one without the other, but I wanted the whole enchilada: I wanted a husband who would love me and two children named, Isabella and Ichabod, to complete the picture. Summers together were going to be incredible, as I would also be a teacher and would have the time off to splash, paint and… But that was superfluous to the core fantasy. Marriage. Parenthood. Heaven.
Growing up as a heavy person made this fantasy compromised. I knew I had the potential to get married, a right I assumed as a straight person, but I always thought I’d end up with one of those husbands who smirks behind his wife’s back, or a husband who was really ugly, or weird or something that would demonstrate to the world that I’d had to settle for a man because I was a bigger, fatter, heavier person. More than that, I worried that I wouldn’t be able to participate in this cultural celebration of love because I was heavy and wouldn’t be able to find a partner who could overlook my weight flaws and, at least, tolerate my big personality and big body. The potential for not finding love and not being able to marry because of my weight was scary and overwhelming. Marriage and family were my number one and two goals in life.
I’m not gay. I came to adulthood in the early 1990’s, however, when it seemed like everyone thought they might be gay. Gay was suddenly more mainstream okay. I wasn’t sure if I was gay or not or maybe a little gay… After all, lots of people were trying out being bisexual… I had never been attracted to a girl before, but maybe that was because society hadn’t pushed me in that direction like it had toward heterosexuality or I just hadn’t met the right girl yet. Finally, I simply said I was open to whatever came into my life and just kept dating boys and waiting on the Dan Savage Loveline for questions about how one knows they’re gay, how Dan knew he was gay and all things gay related… It was endlessly fascinating for me and many of my peers at that time. I finally realized that I was pretty much only attracted to boys and thought about them in ways that I never thought about girls. I think if I happened to be gay, there would be thoughts and attractions that would persistently come to me unbidden, like they do for me with men.
I say all of this because of our Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage for every person in our country that came down from Washington DC today! I’ve long been a proud Washingtonian- our liberal policies fit me and my beliefs beautifully. The way we support education is a horse of a different color, but I like the way we are leaders in our country for democracy, free expression and progressive ideas. I cried real tears of joy, this morning, when I saw the news that I expected to see: legal marriage for all! I cried and cried, but couldn’t quite figure out why I was so happy and so tearful. As a straight woman who is already in a solid marriage with her dream husband and dream kids, I suddenly realized I had so much assumed privilege. Even though I was a chubby girl and marriage didn’t seem like a guarantee to me, I still had the dream of a good marriage; I had a fear that I wouldn’t be able to do it- but at least it was an option for me. So while I’m not gay, I have seriously pondered the potential of being alone, but always had the legal right to marry. Wearing the ring Bradley gave me and being called Mrs. was a huge deal for me when I was first married. It was a badge of honor, a symbol of my worth, evidence of my perceived value- I was married to a shockingly good looking, kind hearted, smart and interesting man! I wanted everyone to know!
If I had been gay growing up, I guarantee I would have still wanted all of those things and having to wait until I was 41 to legally wear a ring and get to assign Mrs. to my title would have been humiliating, frustrating and dehumanizing. Being fat has a whole different kind of prejudice, but it’s not illegal. Being fat can be hard and humiliating, but I always had the same rights as the rest of the straight, American population to marry the man of my dreams.
I guess my point is that I remember feeling like I might not be able to be a part of something that seemed so universal- but I was still legally allowed to do so. That small taste was stifling and terrifying. It made me feel embarrassed and dehumanized- potentially not getting married because I couldn’t find a parter who would love me and my fat. I can’t imagine how not even having the option to be married and love freely open to me would have felt. I’m so glad that, at last, my country has finally made this dream attainable for everyone. What a fantastic day!

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Now, all about my first Friday, ending the first full week of our Very Active Summer and those 20,000 steps…
Yesterday I got really close to making 20,000 steps. By 1:00 I was at about 15,000 steps after walking 2.5 miles and going to Zumba. Last night at about 9:45 I realized I was at about 17,000 steps- SO CLOSE! As Bradley dozed in the bed, I snuck out from under the covers, grabbed my sneakers and, while we watched a rerun of The Office, I stepped side to side, back and forth, grapevined, tangoed and did anything else that I could remember from Zumba! It only took a little bit of time before I did it! I reached 20,000 steps! It definitely took extra effort to get there, that’s for sure.
Today Bradley and I went for a 2.5 mile run followed by a 1.5 mile walk for the dog. I got home and I was still under 10,000 steps, so I got into the pool for one of my favorite summer exercises: pool laps! I went around and rand until, at last, I got to 10,000. I’m going to complete the next 10,000 steps tonight at Booty Camp with Camille! I’m pretty excited about that! It is my absolute favorite class offered at 24 Hour Fitness that I’ve tried, yet.
My conclusion is that you have to have an extraordinarily active job, a decent commute on foot, be an exercise fanatic or be a distance runner/walker to meet the standard that matches the modern, American diet of larger portions and higher calories. I like exercising, but according to a recent article called The Right Dose of Exercise that I read in the NY Times, you need about an hour of exercise a day to get the maximum benefit for extending your life. People who push past that don’t shorten their lives, but they do dial back the effectiveness of lengthening their lives to the same place that people who exercise 150 minutes per week (30 minutes per day). I think moderate exercise is what I’m shooting for. It’s nice to know.

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My lunch today, pictured above, is my new favorite. It’s a French roll with melted Brie, grapes and. Sprinkling of walnuts and thyme. So so so yummy and summery!

Tamarella and Her… Ahems

Knock-knock
Who’s there?
Tamara!
Tamara who?
Tamara Shazam who doesn’t want the first lines of this post to be so obviously about… Knockers.
Meh bewbs.
Some folks may want to avert their eyes, but exercise is exercise, my body is my body, and when the two collide sometimes there’s comBUSTion. Ha ha! Puns. Anyhow…
:)

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I have a minor injury occurring, again. It’s all because of these darn, big, ole knockers that I have! I thought I was all better. A year or so ago I started having this weird tearing/burning sensation under my skin in my back, near my shoulder blades, but closer to my armpit. This time it’s on my left hand side, right in front of my armpit, right where my breast tissue attaches and every time I jump or let the girls out of their holding cell, it hurts! It feels like fabric is tearing under my skin! But with a red, hot poker in there too!
So, today, during Zumba, I thought I’d be alright. I wore a good, sturdy, reliable bra, I wore my compression tank as always and was in it to win it! I jogged into class all full of optimism and bluster at seeing my people, but within the first song I got my first zippy, painful twang. I tried, again, with the same result. After that I had to leave my left arm down, couldn’t reach up, couldn’t reach out- it just HURT. When I’d jump or bounce, it’d hurt too!
I realized that my once bodacious rack has shrunk enough, yet again, that my sports bras are too big! It makes sense- I bought these bras about 60 pounds ago. I have new ones but they’re not like the big, roomy limousines that I’m wearing these days- all roomy with space to stretch out and move around… The ones I bought seem like those little European clown cars that have one headlight and three wheels. I feel cramped in and overly snug, like I’m wearing my cleavage high enough to hold up my chin or something. But in the name of pain-free exercise, I will don them in the future so the bouncing stays at a a minimum. It just goes to show how important the proper exercise equipment is. Last time it took about a month of 24/7 bra wearing to get healed, I’m assuming I can do the same this time. Oh fun- more confining clothes to wear in the heat of summer! Squeee! Lol.
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So, yes, today I worked out at Zumba with my friends. I took a picture of all of us but didn’t think they’d be too fond of having it accompany a post about my mammories. Then Bradley and I went on a walk in an effort to reach 20,000 steps, but it got really hot out- like in the mid 80’s. In Washington we don’t really have air conditioning in our homes, generally, so when it’s hot out it’s just plain hot EVERYWHERE. Instead of forcing myself to get steps, I stopped moving a whole lot at 1:00, right around when I hit 15,000 steps. Instead, I got in my pool and hot tub, posed unknowingly for my husband’s sketch and wrote this post. I think I made a wise choice. And sorry for the weird photography- how does one take a don’t-wanna-show-my-mama-belly bathing suit selfie, anyhow?!
I also got on the scale. At last. This morning I weighed in at 198. This afternoon I weighed in at 202. I think the heat is playing tricks on me. Grrrr to water retention!

The Days are Just Packed

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Just what you wanted to see- hot dog legs and Anna Nicole Smith cheese face… But man. This was my day yesterday and pretty much is today too. Yesterday I got my 10,000 steps in by walking around the EMP (that’s the Experience Music Project in Seattle) for their 15th anniversary and then we headed up to my favorite Seattle museum: The Fry Art Gallery. I like it because it’s small, it’s free, it’s progressive, it’s digestible for kids and I really like how they constantly rearrange the permanent collection. We do like the cafe too. 😉 Afterwards we came home and I made the delicious hummus and veg spread for dinner while we laid around the pool and hot tub, reading, writing and soaking in the heat (with sun tan lotion- I’m being very good about that for the first time ever). Today was similar with the exception of leaving the house. Instead I stayed in and smash booked, read and was super lazy.
Nonscale Victory: Yesterday I walked down a main Seattle street eating a bag of Pop Chips. To many, that might not be seen as any kind of victory, but I’ve been food shamed a-plenty, so I knew better than to ever be a fat girl eating something fattening in public- oh the shame! What if someone saw me and said something? Mostly I was saying it to myself- ‘you don’t need that!’ But yesterday I ate the chips and realized that I didn’t care what anyone thought of me. I know who I am now. I know how I eat. I know I’m healthy and strong and those chips fit just fine into my diet. I know I don’t need to justify it to anyone- not even myself. I’m just fine. It’s nice to be free. This one has less to do with being smaller and more to do with being ok with myself in my head, and that’s a really good feeling.

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I’ve been thinking a lot about how many steps I should be getting per day ever since I read a recent article that argued why we should really be getting 20,000 steps per day. According to the article, How Many Steps Should You Really Get Per Day? at NyMag.com, the original number of 10,000 steps actually was based on the 1960’s Japanese person’s dietary and fitness habits. The 1960’s Japanese person’s life is so much different from the modern American’s life that the scientists informing the article stated that 20,000 steps is really what we should all be shooting for.
Wow. 20,000 steps is something I rarely reach. Those are Disney numbers, meaning I only get those numbers when I’m in Disneyland, and I’m an active girl! I do think I need to be shooting higher than 10,000 steps, but I’m not sure when I would be able to walk that much- that’s eight miles per day… But I think I’m up for the challenge of giving it a try for a few days. Perhaps if I up my steps I can make some other magic happen! So, tomorrow I’m going for it. My Martha dog should get ready to hustle and Bradley or the kids better be prepared for a walk, hike or run! I’m going to Zumba in the morning with my posse as well, so that should help!
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Bonus points if you get what the title of this blog post’s reference is to!
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Transformation Tuesday #1

I met Heidi when her third daughter was in my class. The next year I had her eldest son and it kind of sealed a bond. I like Heidi. She’s a lovely, generous, funny, kind-hearted person who is not afraid to reach out and touch you. Like, you’ll be having a teacher-parent conference with the woman and you suddenly realize you’re holding hands with her and have been for some time. And it’s not awkward. On top of being an amazing mom to her six kids, a dedicated wife to her husband, Ryan, and a dedicated volunteer in the classroom she’s also naturally beautiful. She has always made pretty look easy. Even when she dropped her kids off at school having just rolled out of bed- simply stunning. When I was beginning my body project to get healthy, lose weight and live longer and she told me she was also in the process of creating a midlife makeover. I nodded along but wondered why in the world she felt the need to change anything. Her life and body looked amazing to me. At my size and weight, I couldn’t even comprehend why she felt the need to change anything. Come to find out, I was not alone. Heidi posted this picture a few weeks ago with the following text:

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“I’ve been debating posting this Transformation Tuesday pic for quite sometime. It has taken me a over a year and a half of maintaining my fitness to feel confident enough to do so… This picture was taken in 2007 when Seth (my 5th child) was 6 months old. I was the most unhealthy I had ever been. 99% of the time, I avoided having my picture taken and most of the time. I felt horrible about myself. I justified my terrible eating and lack of exercise habits on having a lot of kids (and being on bed rest at the end of each pregnancy), and just simply getting older. While I lost a bit of the weight before getting pregnant with my youngest, Lucy, and again after, before getting serious about my fitness just over two years ago, I realized that this was one of the hardest times in my life in regards to my confidence and self-esteem. I look at the picture on the left and remember exactly how I felt about myself (both physically and emotionally), those were not great feelings. I just wanted to say thank you to many of you who inspired me, gave encouragement, or even just smiled at me and helped me feel I have purpose- I only hope I can do the same for someone and let you know that you aren’t alone. I also want those who I’ve told that I have worked hard to get to this point, that I wasn’t just saying that and that I continue to work hard on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Due to my maintained level of fitness, I have been able to try new things and pick back up sports/activities (both individually and with my family) that at one point I was sure I would never do again. I also want to acknowledge that part of being “fit” is fueled by how we feel; our emotional state is just as important (if not more important than) the physical aspect. Be sure to take time to have “you” time and to spend time with those who build you up and make you laugh… A lot! And ultimately remember that it is NEVER too late to be/feel healthy no matter how many years it’s been, how many kids you’ve had, or how many Krispy Kreme donuts you ate on National Donut Day!”

When I read that it was a wake-up call for me. Heidi didn’t feel good just like I didn’t feel good. The number where we both started was irrelevant. What was important was that we both had a need, but I was so tunnel vision that I couldn’t see that. I realized that I need to simply be accepting people at where they are. That my perception of how I feel and see myself and the satisfaction from that is really what is important and that’s the same for other people as well. When you don’t feel good about your outsides, your inside doesn’t have the ability to shine as brightly and vice versa.
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Do you have a transformation you’d like to share? Contact me through my Facebook page and you can serve as inspiration for others while you also parade your accomplishment!

Today

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I started my first full week of summer with a bang! I woke up and found out there’s a body pump class that happens at 9:30 on Monday mornings at the gym near my house. I lit out of the house, with Jude in tow, to the Super-24 Hour Fitness nearby. I walked in, scanned my finger and had to see the attendant. Apparently I don’t belong to that gym. I belong to the lesser, more common, 24 Hour Fitness. If I wanted to regularly attend the Super I would need to pay 15 more dollars per month. Erm, no thank you. It was bigger, there were more machines and classes, but the biggest difference I saw was that there were towels for anyone’s use there. A laundry service is what I’d gain for 15 more dollars per month if I wanted to go there. I think I’m ok- I know, now, to bring my own towel. But the class was great! I’m still figuring out what kind of weight I want to use for the different reps, but I’m getting it. I looked at a different location of a gym, also near my house, and think that I’ll go there in the future for my gym needs. (In case you didn’t guess, I think I’m keeping the gym for the summer… But we will see.)

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I got home, packed a quick picnic and we headed out to St. Edward Park for a quick hike and extended play structure time. I realized, recently, that in my quest for fitness and health I had also stopped allowing long, kid-focused park times for hanging out, swinging on swings and playing lava monster. I’d get sweaty then too cold to stand around. Bored. Thirsty. Tired. So we’d leave. I’m making it a goal to give my kids time, while they’re still little enough to want to play, to leap around the park. I’ll bring sweaters, food and water so I won’t have a reason to take off. Today we were successful and it has been a wonderful, active, family-focused day. :)

Summer Break is Here

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I finished out the school year on Wednesday. It’s funny how there’s always so much to do, so much pressure I put on myself, I feel so far behind, yet… I always manage to finish my very last task about 2 minutes before my contract day is up on the last day. I’m usually walking out to my car right on time as though it’s any other day of the year.
It was really hard to walk away this year. So much of it has to do with having learned to love teaching again this year to the point that I can’t imagine my life without including this job. I love teaching and doing it in a new place with new colleagues and a new set of students was key in uncovering that truth. When I ended the school year last year I was already discouraged about the next one, uncertain that I wanted to do this anymore, unclear on whether or not I was any good at it, wondering if I even remotely enjoyed teaching anymore. I fell in love, again, with my chosen profession. To add another layer to the stress this year, I took a job interview for a teaching position in another district altogether. I have to be honest and say I’m still not sure if I’m being offered the job or not, but what I can say is that it made me reflect about where I am, what I do, the philosophies that guide me and my strengths as an educator. I was forced to realize how very happy I am, how talented I am and how, again, how I pick being a teacher over anything else I could do. It’s a gift to do what I do. An honor. That’s not to say it’s perfect and I still assert that I work in a system with serious flaws that need to be changed, but I still pick teaching. Color me happy.
The picture is of my last group hug of the year with my students. So many are leaving my school this year, making the last day very bittersweet indeed. I cried the ugly cry… As parents we get nearly two decades with our babies, as teachers we get nine months with our students but the bonds and connections run deep; I love them like they’re my own. Separating from them can be very emotional and this year was definitely no different. I love them and will miss them tremendously.

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I’ve done a solid job of working out this week, which makes me pretty happy and impressed with myself- last week of school and shark week, all in one. I hit the classes like I said I would. My friend, Nan, hit Zumba with us on Tuesday and I was extra proud on Wednesday when I hit the gym for body pump after the last day of school. I was the only one in my group there, but it was still fun and I got an amazing workout. There was a different instructor and she did a good job of pushing me. She’d tell the class that she was challenging us, to not give up, to push through and she reminded us that we were going to be so proud of ourselves if we could finish the reps/keep the heavier weight/push a little harder, and she was right. My pecs are sore, my biceps are sore, my thighs… I got some good burn and I feel proud of what I did in there. Unfortunately I have a dental appointment right before my Friday class of Boot Camp, so I’ll miss that.
I’m stopping going to the gym for the summer. I’m going to try to get Bradley, who is recovering from a neck/back injury, back into the swing of things with me as runners together. Yesterday I got on the treadmill and elliptical for a solid 3+ mile workout while he went to the store. Today I want to get him out for a walk and I think I’m going to try some YouTube Zumba. I’d like to get up a little earlier this summer and be regularly hitting 5-7 miles by the time August closes out. I don’t have a big weightloss goal for the summer; I’m going to focus on just staying fit and maintaining my current levels, hopefully get toned and build some muscle, but mostly I just want to enjoy using my body to be active. I suppose that’s a pretty great goal as well! I have the 10K coming up in September and I really like having that in front of me as a guide.
Food wise, we had a huge fifth grade party here yesterday. There was pizza, soda, chips, dip, candy… Yes, there were lots of fruits and veggies too, but just like the kids I chose poorly. It was a high calorie day. Today I’m getting back into the swing of things and turning the crud away. Well, the kids mostly ate it all so there’s not much to avoid, fortunately. Ha! But you get the idea. I’m turning over the new, healthy, green leaf and trying to eat fresh again.
So, here we go! Cheers to the start of a fabulous, active summer!

Wagon? What Wagon?

I’ve fallen so far off of the wagon that I can’t even see it anymore. I know I said I was going to forgive myself right now because it’s been just, well, insane, but oh my goodness. This weekend I ate pretty much anything I felt like putting in my mouth. I ate, even when I was full, which is a humongous no-no for me. Then, today, I sat in my classroom after my students left and ate the Fritos that have been in my classroom since February along with 2/3 of a sleeve of Girlscout Thin Mint cookies while watching a home renovation show in my rocking chair. You see, I packed my classroom all day, worked with kids all day, played kickball in the blazing sun AND shared my meager little lunch with Bradley (who was working in my classroom as the best packer-mover, ever)! I earned those junky treats, right? Except… I never allow myself to make excuses for poor eating. I have to own what I really did and remind myself that food is never a reward- I can’t allow myself to ‘earn’ food. It’s a choice and a necessity, not a prize. I looked long and hard at those cookies before finally decided that, yes, I would happily work those calories off, later this summer, in numerous runs and workouts in order to have 20 minutes of peace, stillness and mindless munching on salt, fat and sugar. I can’t say that it was worth it or that I’ll love working them off necessarily, but I will say that I sure enjoyed the yummies and the moment of peace I got while enjoying them.

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After I allowed my transgression, I got right back to packing up my room and nearly finished the whole thing, so that was worth it. Before that I had been feeling quite tired and like throwing in the towel, heading home, but I feel good that I made so much progress, now. My room is about an hour from being ‘done’ for the year. My only wish would have been for more time to pack. I feel like I’ve lost precious time with my dear students in lieu of packing up my room, but there’s really no other way without working unpaid hours. I have a hard time giving more when I already work so much extra and pay so much of my own money to support my classroom. It’s a choice I make, yes, but I’m allowed to make this choice, too. Tomorrow will be great because I worked hard today. Tomorrow I get to be Mrs. Littlejohn, again, for one last full teaching day with these kiddos. We are doing all kinds of things with marshmallows and s’mores tomorrow. It will be a day of sticky wonder! They’re leaving their mark on my heart, for sure.

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I pretty much know that I am at the end of this eating-off-the-wagon round. I’m running to catch up to the proverbial wagon and I’m getting back on. After Wednesday comes and goes, along with my last day of school for the year, life will get back to normal, my diet will return to normal, my workout schedule can resume and it will all work out. In the meantime, however, I reached out to my friends to see if they will support me this week via Facebook. It’s rare that I appeal to my mainstream friends group. I try not to inundate them with Tamara Shazam types of announcements about my weight or workouts because, well, that’s annoying to some people. But this time I need them in a big way. I need my posse, so to speak. I need to get back on track and to feeling in control again so I can step on the scale and see what happened to my numbers. Oh, please, don’t let me be back over 200… But it’s up to me. I’ve got this.

Busy Bees

Last Friday night was my 16th wedding anniversary with Bradley. As we were driving to dinner,I was loopy with joy. Life can seem so dark sometimes, but when I look at my life through the proper lens, I can’t help but see all of the blessings that are heaped on me. It’s pretty wonderful. We were lucky enough to have my parents in town and they took the kids to play overnight at a hotel with a pool and we had the whole house to ourselves! One would think we stayed up late, watched movies, made out and ate lots of chocolate, but the truth is that we got home and crashed out by 10:00, if not earlier! It was so good to be able to sleep without worrying and thinking about how our kids are doing. While I don’t actively parent all night anymore, I can assure you that I sleep better when I know there won’t be any middle of the night drama! We repaid my parents, who stayed the weekend, with a fun lunch at the Red Hook Brewery.

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Other than that, we’ve just been exceptionally busy. We are usually slammed at this time of year, but there have been a few layers that got added unexpectedly this year. I found out that I have to switch classrooms- this news after I spent last week organizing and UNPACKING my remaining boxes that I hadn’t unpacked from my move last year! Great timing, huh? I haven’t packed a thing and I need to have it ALL in boxes by Wednesday afternoon. Aiyiyi. This all with 25 squirrelly 2nd graders underfoot. Ha ha ha ha! HA!! HA! They’ve been getting this look lately, and so will you if you try to add something else to my plate:

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I haven’t been getting home until around 6:30 or 7:00 every night lately, and it’s not because I’ve been at the gym, I’ve just had meetings and parties like crazy. Awesome meetings and parties, yes, but man-oh-man! Color me just worn-out! Then I realized I haven’t posted in a while and I hate it when too much time passes between posts on my blog, so here is that update.
Regarding diet and exercise, to that I answer, “Huh? What diet or exercise?” I am not using any of my new tools – like exercise- to chill out my worrying brain, so I’ll admit that I’m turning to food again to quell the rising anxiety. I weighed in at 196 yesterday, so it’s showing on the scale, but I’m just trying to get through this week. I’m not going to worry about a small gain and I’m looking at it as a natural fluctuation, like any healthy person has.
Anyhow, onward!
Summer is just around the corner…