Gently Stepping into Spring

Breaks are a time of reflection and regrouping for me.  As a public school teacher, breaks are worked into my year at the behest of the district, not my preferences, so I am often in the position of having all the time in a day and nowhere to go.  It’s obviously a nice issue to deal with as my vacations are rarely impacted with flight schedules and missed connections, plus, I have time to heal.  It sounds odd to talk about restoring myself so intentionally after a few months with kids, and usually it is something I need to deal with, but this year is a horse of a different color and, boy howdy, do I ever need my weeks or days off.  While children invigorate me with their energy, their neediness and self centeredness often leave my bucket empty.  Add to that bonafide challenges children face outside of school that impact behaviors inside the classroom and I am leaving school and immediately flopping onto my bed, shoes and all for 20 minutes, before I can even consider doing anything here.  

Working out has become so hard, as I’ve said a few times this year.  Keeping my nutrition in check is a joke.  My knees have been bad, my hip has been throbbing and all of the sudden I’m feeling sick in that way that doesn’t feel like sickness but more like a biproduct of living an unhealthy lifestyle lacking proper nutrition and exercise.  I have to do this, just like in the beginning, no matter what.  When I started reflecting on this, I got mad at myself.  Disappointed that I’m failing and I started bullying myself to get off my tail and start doing it!  I realized that I tried that in February, though.  I succeeded with small goals in January, lost ten pounds, trained well, then upped the ante in February.  I missed the goals the first week, felt like a failure then hid out from myself for a few weeks.  It’s not always a choice.  It’s not always about my effort or determination.  Sometimes life is insane to the point that you have to dial things back or fail in a bigger way, mentally, and getting my head back in the game after too much anxiety is way harder than getting back on the weight loss wagon for me.  I need to grant myself some grace and gentleness.

I really hate feeling out of shape now and I miss feeling like a superstud, so I decided to look at my dial again.  Clearly, my dial is still turned up too intensely.  I can’t keep up with the simple plans I’ve had, that signals a need to dial it back and simplify, asking what CAN I do when I return to school tomorrow.  In other words, what can I promise myself that I will do?  What is so easy that if I fail I will feel foolish and know that I just didn’t put enough effort in?  I came up with this list:

  1. Track my food in myPlate to learn more about my actual intake, then post it here on tamarashazam.  Make adjustments as I notice things, but don’t worry overly much about it.
  2. Keep it in my head that I’m suggesting going to go for a walk every day. I will keep in mind that I can say no if I want or need to.
  3. A short run on a sunny day is fun. Maybe give that a try one day this week.
  4. Run at least once on the weekend.
  5. Magic Wish Goals

  6. Lose 20 pounds by the end of the school year.  I’m hovering right around 205 and my summer clothes look soooooo much better sans muffin top and weighing around 195.  The Neil Diamond and NKOTB concerts will be much more fun with less to shake!  LOL!!
  7. Run 3 days a week and be in condition for 10-15k runs by school’s last day.
  8. Lift 3 days a week.
  9. They’re magic wishes because I’m not going to put pressure on myself to achieve them right now, but it’s good to keep them in mind.

So, this is my week as I get back into the swing of teaching.  There’s something like 55 days of teaching ahead of me.  I’m coming into the home stretch and am excited to rebuild my spirit and body this summer.  If I can start moving forward on my project, great.  If not, it’s a good thing I have July and most of August off to get going!


  1. Paula

    I am struggling too. For many reasons my drive & determination has been terrible. I am dialing it back myself. I really want to pull it together & soon. Now that spring is here I will become a bit lighter along with the weather.

  2. Jess

    I just wanted to tell you thank you for sharing your story on this blog. I have been reading here and there for over a year probably. You are truly an inspiration. Last week I was proud I ran 4 minutes straight. Last night, I made it to 8 minutes. Today I ran a whole mile without stopping. A little over 13 minutes. I am so proud of myself. But YOU sharing your story helped encourage me more than you can imagine!

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