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Trading Convenience for Wellness

I took a me day yesterday. In grad school, we were given one me day per class per semester but we called it something different. We called it Global Anxiety Day (or a GAD). Luckily, this wasn’t a GAD. It was truly a day I set aside to hang out with myself and treat myself a bit.

In the morning, I went to Hand and Stone and got a massage. I was under the impression that as a first timer, a massage would be $49. Turns out it is but ONLY if you become a member. I weighed my options. We are not wealthy by any means. We have what we need and we try to keep it simple. We bought our first home in July so when there is extra cash we are usually putting it towards house stuff.

After weighing my options, I decided to take the plunge. I am now committed to getting a massage once a month for a year (poor me). It is an extra $50/month BUT. I thought about what I spend my money on. I thought about what bothers me about what I spend my money on. And then, I decided a trade needed to take place. I get breakfast on the go A LOT. My usual suspects are Starbucks (it’s on Cary, perfectly located halfway between my house and work), Panera, and of course, Ellwood’s. I looked at how much money I can sometimes spend per month on these breakfasts. The answer? A LOT. Too much. So here’s my trade. Breakfast out only in dire situations or special occasions and in exchange, that frees up some money to do this spa membership.

I realized that after I had this massage, I felt SO GOOD. I felt energized but more calm than I had felt in a long time. I felt content. I feel guilty when I buy my breakfast out, especially when it’s because I didn’t make time to make myself breakfast in the morning or I was just too lazy. I’m trading it for something that makes me feel good.

That’s sort of how I am trying to view this whole challenge. Trading the easy way out for hard work and even better rewards.

My husband came into our room the other night and told me he read one of my blog posts. He asked if we could get up early a couple times a week to take a walk around the neighborhood. I don’t know that that plan would have been set in motion without this challenge. Now we are trading a few extra minutes of shut eye for some time spent doing something healthy in the morning and we’re doing it together.

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Clarity.

At our challenge meeting last month Katie talked about sabotage behaviors, many of which were very familiar to me. I’ve been thinking about that talk a lot over the past couple days as I’ve tried to shake off the lack of progress I feel I’ve made and move forward with a go-get-em attitude. I read through the list of behaviors again and the one that I kept coming back to was having a lack of clarity. 

According to Katie, when we don’t have a certain degree of clarity in our goals and why we have those goals, we are more prone to sabotaging ourselves. Her suggested remedy is sitting down with yourself and asking some questions. Where do you want to go? Who do you want to be? Why? The idea is that when you go through these questions with yourself, you will be better equipped to fight off the temptation to sabotaging yourself when that comes up.

I realized that I had an idea of my goals and the type of person I’m hoping to be but without writing them down, I’m still quite lost. Without having a place to visit these thoughts, they’re really nebulous and hard to nail down and use when I really need them. 

So here I am. When I ask myself the question, “Who do I want to be?” I automatically think of my application for the challenge. They asked why I wanted to take part in the challenge. I had a few reasons but mainly…I want to more fully live up to my job. My job is a huge extension of myself. It isn’t just my job. My job puts my lifestyle on display in a lot of ways. And, when I look at my job and then I look at my lifestyle, I don’t feel that they entirely match up and that’s what I wanted to change. 

I teach kids and sometimes my co-workers about gardening, health, and sustainability. I’m still learning about these things in so many ways every day but I’m still in a position to teach about these things and I love that. But, when I go home and watch TV and order pizza, I kind of feel like a fraud, even though this isn’t something that happens on the regular. Here I am touting the amazingness of pickled radishes and growing your own food, yet I don’t feel that I totally embody that. My physical body is the heaviest it has ever been. When I stand in front of the children and tell them that eating those veggies will make them healthy and strong, I know it’s true, but I myself am not living up to that for them, at least I don’t feel like it.

I’ve lost weight before. A few years ago I lost about 25 pounds over the course of a year, but my lifestyle was completely different. So, figuring out how to do that again and keep the lifestyle change that this will require is my challenge. 

So, who do I want to be? I want to be someone that talks the talk AND walks the walk when it comes to a sustainable, healthy, active, and fully lived life. And, it’s not just for my job. It’s for me. It’s for my husband. It will allow me to be more confident in my work life and in all the other aspects. I want to move forward with my career and I love where I work. Showing that I fully embody what I am teaching can help me reach this goal and carve out a unique, fulfilling, and more financially sustainable career, I believe.

I want to be someone who isn’t afraid. I don’t want to be afraid of having my feet off of the ground in crow position when I’m doing yoga. I don’t want to not go somewhere because I might not know anyone. I WENT TO AUSTRALIA AND DIDN’T KNOW ANYONE. Seriously. And it was one of the best things I ever did. I can do things by myself and be fine and probably have fun and meet other people. And that’s happened in this challenge and it’s been great! I hope it keeps happening! It will if I let it.

I want to be someone that doesn’t feel the need to pull at their clothes because they’re trying to minimize flabby bits. I just want to be comfortable and feel confident in that. I want to not be afraid of having my picture taken or have thoughts like “they probably are thinking about how much weight I’ve gained” when I see someone I haven’t seen in a while. It’s just nice to see them! Why can’t it end there? 

I also just want to be someone that craves salad, not raviolis all the time.

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The Slump. And turning it around.

Well, folks. I might be struggling a bit here.

Last week, I was sick. Coughing and coughing for a week straight. I managed to make it to work every day but I left early pretty much every day and was in bed by 7 definitely every day. I forgot about my food journal and my bitters. I got some chinese take out because I was too tired to cook anything or go grocery shopping (which is one of my favorite things to do).

And then, we went on our mini-honeymoon to the mountains. I drank beer, ate a lot of pasta, did not work out, you get the point.

I knew my check-in at RNM was going to tell me I gained a little weight back. Maybe a pound or two. But, it was three pounds. I’m not going to sit here and cry and mope over three pounds because come on but I am mentioning it because as soon as I saw the number I felt the guilt creeping back. Guilt that at this point in the challenge I have not lost what I was hoping to lose. That at this point in the challenge I’m still getting my breakfast at Panera or Starbucks or Ellwoods instead of cooking it myself most mornings. That at this point in the challenge I’m still having trouble with portions and getting stupid hungry at work even on the days that I pack a really good, filling lunch. That at this point in the challenge I’m still dwelling for even a second instead of moving on and kicking ass. And mostly, that at this point in the challenge I haven’t gotten my routine down and I still feel in many ways (especially mentally) not out of the fog and into the land of wellness. That’s where I want to be. But, I’m having trouble finding the clarity to map it out for myself.

It’s not that I thought I’d have it all figured out at this point but I had hoped I’d be a little further along at this point. I’m sure other folks can relate. I feel like I need a fire lit under me but I have a pocket full of wet matches.

And food? I haven’t been in the mood to cook at all. How do I get myself (the person who loves being in the kitchen) back in there to cook a decent meal? I’m just not in the mood for ANYTHING these days.

I just want to squeeze every little bit out of the time we have left in this challenge and to get that to propel me through the months after and beyond. I think I need to reach out to our community a little more and offer my support if anyone needs a high five and maybe get a few high fives myself.

I know we all have ups and downs on journeys like these and there are plenty of victories big and small in store. I just need to get my head in the game!

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