Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Positive Self-Talk

Although this will be a short post today, I HAVE to share a great correlation I've been seeing lately:

Exercise = Positive Self-Talk!

As someone who has and continues to struggle with very demeaning and damaging self-talk since I can remember, this is very new to me! Now that I am well into a streak of exercising nearly every day, I am discovering a small but stubborn voice emerging in my head while I exercise. No, I'm not struggling with multiple personality disorder :) Call it happy endorphins or whatever, when I am exercise I am starting to tell myself messages such as, "YOU ARE STRONG", "YOU'VE GOT THIS", "NOTHING CAN STOP YOU NOW!". It's absolutely fantastic! The best part about it, is that it is not forced. When I'm exercising, I no longer have to try to convince myself that I can do this- I actually believe I can. 

This doesn't mean it's been easy, nor does it mean that I'm doing anything extraordinary. But for some reason, this time I must be providing my body with what it needs to feel just a little healthier every day, and my body is responding with happy messages flying through my brain.

Let this weight-loss, health-gain, self discovery process continue!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Stepping Away from the Scale

I am four days into eating low-carb, and two weeks into a regular exercise schedule, and I'm feeling AWESOME!!! Ketosis is definitely my happy place, and I am already seeing the scale go in the right direction (I know it is water weight, but it means that my body has changed over to burning fat for fuel- hoooray!)

My addiction with my scale is something I really want to tackle, starting this week, and so I am making a promise to all of Blogosphere that I will not step on it again until Saturday morning. See, I LOVE stepping on my scale way too much. Like, sometimes 4 to 5 times a day. This may not be a problem, except my mood and enthusiasm is tied directly to that number. As we all know, weight can fluctuate day by day (and even hour by hour), so I know it is not healthy for me to be putting so much emphasis on what it says.

I also know that the last time I fell off the low-carb wagon, it was because the scale gave me a number I didn't like (after a day or two), and I allowed doubt to creep into my head and ultimately convinced myself that I may as well take a "cheat day" since the scale isn't moving - cue 3 months of being off plan!!

So, I'm thinking that weighing myself once a week is enough to make sure I am heading in the right direction without becoming obsessive over the number. I'm still frightened over what I might do on weeks where I hit a plateau, but I'll cross that road when I get to it. For now, I'm moving in the right direction, and that's all that matters!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Biggest Loser Makeover Week - Review/Reflection

Let me start by saying, I don't necessarily agree with how the show The Biggest Loser gets their results. I fully understand that reality TV is NOT reality, and that there are a lot of "smoke and mirrors", editing, etc. 

That being said, makeover week is always my FAVORITE episode of the Biggest Loser, and last night's episode was no different. As a woman larger than most of their "before" images, I desperately love to see people reach their goals, and dream that someday I might be a success story too. It's the same reason I scour Sparkpeople and other websites for success stories. It's so empowering, motivating, and reassuring that people have come from where I am and persevered. It's also amazing to watch the contestants' families show so much emotion as they are reunited with their relatives. 

Unlike some of the previous years, I really thought everyone's makeovers were really stunning. I wasn't a huge fan of Alison Sweeney's outfit or Marie's hair, but all in all they looked amazing. 

And, let's be honest, Tim Gunn is the best...ever :)

After the makeovers, there was a big shock that two contestants were going to be eliminated. I'm not for spoilers, so I won't say who they were right now (you know how to Google it!), but I know that makeover week was a lot of their "milestone" episodes, so to have just gotten that far was a huge accomplishment, and many contestants recognized that significance as well. This makes sense, because the makeover gives them a whole new outlook on who they can be from that moment on.

As for me, this episode made me realize that my bucket list has very little to do with improving my appearance via clothing, makeup, etc. There are a couple (wearing "regular" sized clothing, etc.) but not that much. I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that I have never really known the feeling of going to a store and having my pick of clothing. Therefore, I haven't really paid much attention to fashion, makeup (except the basics), and hairstyles. I'm pretty sure I hve no idea what I'm missing. So, the first thing I am going to do when I get close to my goal weight is to get a crash-course on these things from my friends. I just...don't...understand - YET!

Ultimately, I know it's not all about the outward appearance. It's not even the biggest part. It is, however, something to look forward to!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Friend Makin' Monday - Quick and Easy Questions

Guess what day it is? GUESS WHAT DAY IT IS?

No, not hump day, it's Friend Makin' Monday! If you are not familiar with FMM, it's a great opportunity that Kenlie over at www.alltheweigh.com has come up with to help bloggers get to know one another. Simply answer the questions on your blog, and add a comment over on her page - it's just that easy!  Here are the questions for this week:

1. What time did you go to bed last night? About 11pm - much later than this teacher should be, but today is a professional development day, so I didn't have to go into school very early.

2. What is the last thing that made you smile? Waking up this morning to some sore muscles - they let me know that I really pushed myself yesterday!

3. What is the last movie you watched?  Bridesmaids - it was on TV last night, so while I was finishing report cards I was watching. I had never seen it before - typical chick flick (not my favorite kind of movie) but some pretty good humor and one-liners to keep me entertained.

4. What did you have for breakfast today? A light blueberry yogurt and a couple of clementines.

5. Would you rather mop all of your floors or do laundry? DO LAUNDRY! This is the first time in my adult life that I have a washer and dryer in my apartment, and so it feels really easy! Then again, I don't have many floors to mop, so that wouldn't bee TOO bad either, but I definitely would prefer laundry.

6. Do you drink coffee? Very occasionally, and it's only the "fru-fru" drinks that are more sugar and milk than actual coffee. The smell, though, is the best! It brings back lots of childhood memories, as my parents are big coffee drinkers.

7. Will you watch the Superbowl? Yes, though I won't be glued to the screen or anything. I like to be able to talk about the commercials (and sometimes the game, if it's a good one) with my students the next day.

8. How often do you shop for groceries? About once a week or so.

9. What kind of workout will you do today? It depends on how nice it is outside after school, but I'll probably just walk laps inside the school building.

10. Do you use a fitness tracker? I want to really bad, but it's one of my "weight loss rewards", so I'll hae to be patient. If anyone has any that they prefer, please make sure to let me know! I'm thinking about going the Polar Heart Monitor route, but I'm not sure.

Have a great Monday everyone! 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Jen in Motion...

stays in motion!

I am currently on a 3-day streak of walking 1 mile per day. It's not much, but it IS consistent, which is something I'm apparently getting better at! Most revealing in these last three days, however, has been that now that I have a streak going, it's easier to KEEP going. The hardest was the first day, by far! I know that there will be other very challenging days, but I don't know how many will be harder than that.

I've also noticed that once I start moving, I'm more likely to KEEP moving after the workout is done. This means I'm being more productive at work, getting more things around the house, and just making some smarter, healthier, and productive choices in my life. I've read other bloggers talk about how getting control of their eating really spilled over into their whole lives, and I can see just a little speck of how that might happen. Very exciting!

Finally, I forgot how much moving just makes me FEEL better. I don't really like exercising itself, but my mood is just a little bit more positive and stable with a workout under my belt.

On a side note, tomorrow is a full moon, and if you are a teacher you know that this means CrAzY kids (no, really! I didn't believe it when I first started teaching, but you really can tell!). Good thing it's also hump day!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Friend Makin' Monday - Taboo Topics

Friend Makin' Monday time! Just a reminder- if you blog and want to participate, answer the following questions on your own blog, and then post a comment at www.alltheweigh.com so we can get to know one another! A big shout out to Kenli for putting this together!

Taboo Topics

1. Are you a registered voter? Yes

2. Do you believe in GOD? Absolutely.

3. How has your readership changed since you first started blogging? Well, I really still consider myself a newbie to the blogging world, and unfortunately, I think I lost the few readers I had when I stopped blogging and ultimately relaunched this blog. I completely understand, however, and am blogging more for my own benefit than anything else.

4. If you could choose between a serious relationship or $100,00, which would you choose? Not a tough question. If we are talking about a mutually loving, respectful, and adventurous relationship, I would say absolutely that, but otherwise I would take the money. The last thing I need right now is additional drama in my life!

5. Have you ever changed political parties? I have voted for both republican and democratic candidates, but consider the candidate more than the party on most occasions.

6. If you were put in a position in which you had to be in a room with someone you can't stand, how would you handle the situation? This really depends on the circumstance. Are there other people involved? I have some awesome friends that would absolutely come to my rescue and divert the person away from talking to me if they could. If I was alone, I would probably try to play cards or something to give us something to focus on besides each other.

7. Do you ever eat in secret because you don't want anyone to see what you consume? Yes. Shame and not wanting to admit the reality of my situation is really at the root of why I am so overweight in the first place.

8. Do you use curse words in your daily conversations? Surprisingly not, and honestly it's not really much of a choice - it's just never been something I've done. It is fun to bring out curse words when among good friends occasionally, just to absolutely shock them!

9. How much do you tip when you've had decent service at a restaurant? Normally twenty percent, rounded up to the next highest dollar.

10. How do you responds when someone confronts you? Honestly, I hate confrontation, so sometimes I will say whatever I need to say to get it done with (I'm not proud of it, but since this is all about truth). I wish I could stand up for myself, and be comfortable enough in my own skin to speak up if I feel the confrontation is uncalled for, but right now I'm not there. I'm working on it though!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Fed Up!

Today I am 100% fed up. Most of the time, I consider myself to be an extremely positive person - sometimes to a fault. I think in some ways it has actually been a coping strategy I've used since I was young, trying to forget the bad things going on in life with a bag of Cheetos and a smile on my face. I don't like to feel defeated (or at least admit it), and I REALLY don't like other knowing that I don't have this world all figured out. It's denial, I know, because with one look at me, any stranger would know that there HAS to be issues under the surface. But yet, I remain the sunny-faced happy friend that others can rely on in their darkest hour, but can't bear to reach out in my own.

So here it is. This is all of the stuff that I bottle up and stuff down with food - and of course THAT isn't working for me!

The Anti-Bucket List (or, things I am currently dealing with that I want to get rid of.)

1. Feeling judged. All. The.Time. This is more to do with my own insecurities than anyone else. I've never been able to pull of that "big girl with all the confidence in the world" look. In someways, though, I KNOW that people make snap judgments on appearances - I do this too- and I would just like to have a chance to win people over without having to overcome the first impression.

2. Feeling like an abused girlfriend to food - my junkie food choices do nothing but AWFUL things to my body! They promise me momentary bliss, and allow me to relax and de-stress from all of life's problems, only to make them worse in the long run. Worse, I've tried EVERYTHING (really) and I still cannot seem to win, at least long-term

3. Giving up - very similar to #2. In my life, there have been things (both weight-related and not) that I have wanted to achieve, but I don't have the perseverance. As a child, I very rarely had to deal with delayed gratification (for reasons I'll go into later) and now I feel like it is a skill that has left me somewhat disabled.

4. Aches, pains, and frustration with my body. I am in my mid 20s. I should be able to go FOREVER without my legs hurting, without getting out of breath or needing to sit down. I should be able to sit in even the rickety-est chairs with full confidence that it is strong enough to hold me. I know I will enjoy moving SO MUCH MORE if I lose even a percentage of all the weight I need to lose.

5. Low self esteem - I want to go out and pound down some serious goals so that I can stop doubting myself at every turn. I doubt every decision, every action, and even every opinion I have, and I know that if I can go out and achieve some of my goals, I will feel so much more ready to take on anything.

Some of this I have mentioned in another blog post, but tonight is a night I just need to say all of this again, maybe to give myself that swift kick in the rear. Now on to the weekend!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Friend Makin' Monday 1-6-14

I'm so glad my blogging friend Kenlie at www.alltheweigh.com has continued "Friend Makin' Monday"- a great way to get to know other bloggers out there! The idea is to answer some questions on your own blog, and then post a comment on Kenlie's blog so others can connect with you. Here's are this week's questions:

1. What has been your happiest moment in 2014 so far? So many great memories already! Reconnecting with my two very best friends over lunch and a movie - spending time with my family in Minneapolis - a snow (cold) day and a half of extra vacation before the second half of the school year.

2. Share the last compliment you received. I posted a pic on Facebook that had some really sweet comments on it.

3. What is one thing that you plan to accomplish in the next week? I want to make sure to pack healthy lunches for work each day this week.

4. What is your favorite TV show currently on air?  Call the Midwife, Scandal, and Parenthood (Apparently I'm having difficulties limiting myself to one answer today!)

5. If you could go anywhere in the world free for the next two weeks, where would you go? No question - a villa in the Virgin Islands. It's really my happy place!

6. Describe a significant event in your life that caused you to change your value system. Movingg away from my support system and community for a new job. It really reminded me of how IMPORTANT and BLESSED I am to have so many amazing people in my life, and how much support they give me!

7. What made you decide to live where you currently live? I really moved only for a job opportunity. It is farther away from my family and friends, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do!

8. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you thing about GOD? How much I need to reconnect and find a church home.

9. If you could have a long conversation with someone famous (and alive now) who would you choose? Jennifer Knapp- she has been my music idol forever, and her insight always makes me think a lot.

10. List three things that you are thankful for today.
- Snow day = time to catch up on the phone with friends
- A late start tomorrow which gives me time to finish the lesson planning I need to complete
- Words of encouragement that surround me and tell me that I CAN DO IT!

Don't forget to do this on your own blog and comment on Kenlie's website!