Sunday, September 28, 2008

You have GOT to be kidding me!

Commence self-therapy...  

Despite having written a burst of well thought out motivational nuggets for myself in my previous post, my resolve to be healthy in what I eat and in getting exercise and taking care of myself lasted all of SIX HOURS!!  Are you kidding me?!?!?!  Sometimes I feel like I'm not even the one driving my life, but it's completely self-inflicted.  You know those stress dreams where you're sitting in the BACK seat, trying to reach the pedals and steering the wheel with the tips of your fingers, and it's not quite working?  I'm living it.  And yet, I should be getting to the point where things are getting EASIER- my kid is three now, and he's been sleeping well since he was 18 months old.  That's a big opportunity NOT to be walking around tired all the time.  It's also a perfectly good opportunity to get things done and have my life in relative order while he's sleeping.  Now, I'm not downplaying the challenge of the mom-factor (translation: high-energy required all day) combined with the part time job (moderately brain taxing and draining) and trying to manage the household.  Plus the not quite so perfect timing of starting a business this year, which can and should be a full time job to be done right.  I'm merely pointing out that I can't even seem to let it go at all that.  I want to do it ALL, and I am clearly not cut out for it!  But, tell me about something fun or interesting going on that I can do or be involved with, and you couldn't keep me away.  If there's a white spot on my calendar and it works ok for the kid, you'd better believe I don't want to miss it and will cram it in.  So, instead of choosing which parts of my life to prioritize and savor, I'm zooming around "getting through" each thing, and "relaxing" (i.e. totally wasting time and getting behind) when I'm not busy.  And staying up late both as a means of fitting things in, and as a means of escapism- you don't have to face the next day UNTIL you go to bed and then wake up, right?

Richard Carlson, the guy who wrote "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff (And It's All Small Stuff)" also wrote a book called "Slowing Down to the Speed of Life."  That guy is a genius, by the way.  It is about living in and savoring the moments in your life right as you are in them, and slowing down your frenetic mental pace.  When I read it a few years ago it had a strong impact on me, that lasted for a while, and it also permanently erased the "road rage" rushing to get there mentality of driving permanently.  But in my daily life I seem to have gotten REEEEALLY far away from that in the last few years.  Today I had a blast in the morning picking apples with the boy and a friend, but was already thinking forward to the bridal meeting in the afternoon.  I just looked at my next week's calendar, and I already feel like there's a lot of stuff to "get through" again.  Several doctor/dentist appointments between myself and my son, a crucial job interview, a "tough budget times" status meeting at work that I have to get to on my day off, and another bridal client meeting.  It felt like a chocolate crutch week just looking at it!  And yet, tomorrow morning I have the whole morning (while most people are at work other than the very lucky full-time stay-at-home-moms I know) to enjoy life with my son, to watch him blossom in his gym class, to take the opportunity to walk there and back for a bit of fresh air and exercise, and to just be.  I can't afford to squander those chances since they are dwindling rapidly, assuming I do well in the interview.  Gotta change the mindset somehow.  If I could just reach those brakes a little better!

Friday, September 26, 2008

50 Reasons why The Time is NOW!!!!!

As I think I have mentioned previously (but still have not done anything about), I need to lose 50 pounds to be at a healthy weight. I am 5'8", and I weigh 200 pounds currently. (!!!!!!) For a decent sized frame such as mine, 150 pounds would be an ideal, healthy weight. That means losing 25% of my body weight!! Do you realize how challenging that is, but how significant the results would be?!?!?!

Here I have listed for myself one very good reason for each of the 50 pounds I need to lose. I want them to go away for good and leave me with a healthy body and life! Hopefully posting them here will let me see what I have to gain by losing, and perhaps I can conjure up some discipline somewhere...

50. Because I didn't recognize myself when I caught a sideways glance in the full-length mirror this morning. After years of up and down amounts of too much weight on me, it still doesn't look like me wrapped up in all that fat.

49. Because I seem to have lost some of the bloat that was pushing me up over my starting weight. I was at 201 this morning down from 204, close enough to my starting point of 200 and easier to try to continue going the same direction.

48. Because I have a closet full of cute and nice clothes that I look at wistfully every time I get dressed, and every time I have to do laundry to have something to wear despite having a full closet. I really looked good in a lot of those clothes, and most of them aren't even as small as my goal weight size. It would so rock to shop for small clothes that looked good on me AND made me look good!

47. Because it feels SOOOO good to be self confident. My naturally shy personality struggles even more when I am self conscious and tugging at my clothes to hide/adjust things.

46. Because I'm out of breath a lot lately with the way I've been eating and not exercising enough.

45. Because stress is much better at eating away at me when my body and mind already don't feel good. Exercise=endorphins=happy and relaxed. Right now I am a tense mess.

44. Because I actually ENJOY getting exercise and fresh air, when I'm not trapped by inertia!

43. Because I am way better at playing hockey when I'm lighter and faster.

42. So my hockey gear will return to fitting the way it's supposed to, instead of leaving big fleshy patched exposed to dangerous slapshots.

41. Because I'm spending 7,000 to fix my teeth, and it would be stupid to have this great smile if I still feel like a heavy mess.

40. Because people are more confident in hiring someone for wedding planning and organization help if they appear to have themselves pulled together really well. I agree that someone who's not looking and feeling their best is not projecting the image of a valuable investment!

39. Because major health problems would be resolved such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

38. Because other minor aspects of my looks and health would be improved, such as eczema, acne, allergies symptoms management.

37. Because I will be better able to function in high heat and humidity, which is a solid part of our summer environment here and at the beach.

36. Because it's easier to feel like losing a significant portion of your body weight is possible when "Biggest Loser" is in-season.

35. Because my kid is 3 years old now, and I'm not planning on having any more. All feeble reasons for being overweight related to being a mom and having a baby are long gone.

34. Because each decade of life is a lot harder to lose weight in than the previous. I can't afford to let the rest of my thirties go by without taking advantage of that. It only gets harder.

33. Because it sucked to feel like a cow in a bathing suit all summer at the beach and pool.

32. Because I have a great support network, just waiting to encourage me!

31. Because eating healthy foods is probably better for the environment on a lot of levels.

30. Because it's hard to take good family pictures when we're both unhappy with how we look. Adam will not be sure he even had parents at this age because the pictures are mostly only ever of him and other relatives/friends!

29. Because I have 29 Days to fit into a pair of pants that fit well 10 pounds ago, for a needed part of my Halloween costume. We are too broke for me to be buying new fat clothes.

28. Because in one month I will be quasi-in a wedding and want to look and feel better.

27. Because if I go out with a bunch of girlfriends now, I'm the "fat" friend.

26. Because we're spending the money for a gym to further out workout opportunities.

25. Because eating oversized portions and extra junk food all the time is expensive!

24. Because being preoccupied with my weight is distracting.

23. Because I'd like to continue learning other active sports such as golf, and it seems like my big self is in the way when I try to swing properly.

22. Because I'm lucky enough to have a great life, and it would be stupid to waste it feeling gross and miserable.

21. Because good habits and major life changes take 21 DAYS to stick. That seems like a long time, so might as well get going. 21 Days from today puts me at Thursday, October 16. Since time flies most of the time anyway, can't I just suck it up and be good for that long?

20. Because I'm less than a year away from my 20th High School reunion. Thanks to Facebook, I'm actually getting back in touch with a lot of these people, and it would be a royal suck to be heavy and uncomfortable for something like that. I am too shy not to at least look and feel great!
19. Because I will be a better wife/mother/daughter/friend if I am happier, healthier, more energetic, and as a result have my life in order and my head on straight.

18. Because I can hear Jillian's voice in my head if I try hard enough. How can I fail?

17. Because I'm lucky enough to have a fantastic figure under all the layers. I've got great legs, a generous rack, a good butt, pretty eyes, and nice overall proportions, just waiting to be uncovered. Not everybody does who is healthy and in good shape, and I shouldn't waste the gift/opportunity!

16. Because I always find inspiration in the success of others, but wouldn't it be great to actually use that inspiration to succeed, and go on to motivate someone else?

15. Because it stokes my ego to be noticed. :)

14. Because jogging is cheaper than therapy!

13. Because I am in a vicious cycle of staying up 'til midnight avoiding all the things I don't feel like doing, and then being tired all the time.

12. Because I will sleep better and wake up feeling refreshed. When my body is tired from exercise, I sleep great. When it is drained from being stressed and anxious, lethargic, and filled with unhealthy food, no sleep seems to be enough AND I avoid sleep to do slack things as an escape.

11. To be comfortable TURNING 40 in 18 months. I can only do this gracefully if I feel I am looking and feeling awesome!

10. To be able to celebrate achievements in my life (and re-capture my youth?) when I turn 40 by decorating my body with a tattoo and/or a piercing. No chance I'm doing that unless I look fantastic!

9. To be able to take a trip to Vegas and have some fun dressing a little slutty.

8. To be able to return to great physical challenges such as triathlons. I would like to do multiple races where I actually compete on some level rather than survive!

7. To live a more active life all around.

6. To be able to help motivate my sweetie, who is in the same boat as me. We are too nice to each other and end up being enablers.

5. To be better equipped to handle life's hurdles, physical and emotional.

4. To have more energy to enjoy the time I have with my family and friends, while still being able to DO IT ALL. I want to be one of those people who CAN.

3. To set a good example, provide a healthy environment, and foster good habits for my son to grow up with.

2. To live a long life and to be there for my son throughout his life.

1. Because I am worth it.

Note, it has taken me half the day to complete this list, and I've still been good so far. I hope I can do it!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Survived September!

Ok, so at this point, since my last post, I have so much on my mind, have done so much, and have so many things to reflect on I don't even know where to begin! The Bridal Showcase was a smashing success, in my humble opinion. The booth looked great (thanks to the helpful design eye of my awesome assistant), I very was pleased with the amount of traffic/exposure, and I had a good time with networking and checking everything out, too. A few weeks later, I am starting to hear from people who talked to me and are interested in my service, and I haven't even begun to follow up with the greater list. I have one family ready to sign a contract and two more meetings this weekend. (But the boy will be there, crossing my fingers for good behavior!!)

I'm still waiting to hear about the status of my application for the full time job, and as sad as I have been at the prospect of returning to work full time, I am ready to embrace it, for a number of reasons. One, we are stone cold broke and the debt is starting to creep up past where we are comfortable. After we got married and erased our pre-wedding debt through the miracle of home equity, it had been a great relief not to have that spectre hanging over our heads, until now. Post-kid with first one and now one and a third incomes, we just haven't been cutting it. I'm SOOO ready to pay that off, build our savings back up to a less dire level, and eventually get back to considering the possibility of eventually moving into a house, once the real estate market (and the rest of the economy) emerges a little bit out of the toilet.

The kid is awesome, and despite some weird habits and the need for some extra language coaching from us, the County has deemed him a totally normal 3 yr. old, so no extra help needed from their perspective. Now, if only to learn the potty (PLEASE!!!) He also got to be spoiled by a recent visit to Thomas the Train, that was a real hoot, and he's definitely getting into the spirit of Halloween. I had him help me pick out a couple of party decorations, and he went for some really creepy images, ones that I was afraid would scare him. I was so pleased!

I'm not quite there yet with finishing up the computer transfer and returning to home organization, but I have made great strides. The computer just needs the drivers for the wireless card to be loaded, the anti-virus software loaded, and then I will be up and running, able to extract my calendar/contact files, among other things. I have in the meantime pieced together a paper calendar, but it is missing the things that my overstuffed mom-brain can not retain from year-to-year, like birthdays. The house is on the brink of tidy, with one last area of paper piles to attack, and then major filing and business paperwork catch-up. But if my cleaning lady does not make time for us this week I am firing her, it is becoming a biohazard and I am still resisting doing it myself!

So, I'm excited in the next few months to turn my focus to more fun, and hopefully more balance with all the other stuff I have going on in my life. Fall is my absolute FAVORITE time of the year, as it contains the best weather, the best sports, and my favorite holidays. I look forward to spending more time with family and friends, and I hope to be able to find the inner strength (or is it peace?) to be able to start taking better care of myself on top of all that. I tend to put myself last, behind all of my other obligations. The 'ole 50 Pounds has now become 55, and I need to place more importance on my health and well being!

Friday, September 5, 2008

No Dice This Week!

Ok, so I really took care of myself and a LOT of personal business on vacation last week.  You name it, I got it done.  I was at my parents beach house for 12 days, the longest vacation in at least 5 or 6 years, and in that time I finished up some of my work and sent it to my boss, paid the bills, did extensive preparation for the upcoming bridal showcase, (including roping in no less than THREE people to help me for free with the graphics/printing, my website, and help at the event-I feel very loved!), worked on potty training the kid, exercised a ton, and even fit in some beach time and relaxing with the family.  Shockingly, I also refrained from eating my chocolate cryptonite.  So what went wrong, you say?

Upon returning home, my life this week was a bit of a bear, as I expected.  I had set myself up for the Perfect Storm, and it delivered!  (In advance of Hanna, even.)  The pressure was on to get each of three printing items for the bridal show ordered from different sources, while being victim of hideous rush charges, praying to be received on time, all while my dear graphic volunteer is about to bust out a baby.  In addition it was a hideous week at my job.  I spent the whole morning today with the phone at full arm's length being yelled at by various representatives of an application over a verdict over which I have little control, and even less control of the schedule.  It is a church request, and this guy actually invoked the Bishop on me. My boss declined to intervene on my behalf.  In addition, I had two back-to-back nights of Fantasy Football Drafts, which I love dearly but would have preferred to be any week other than this one.  Too much brain space, and no time to get help with the kid to pay enough attention.  I overpaid for Ben Rothlisberger, when I surely could have had him for free and don't even particularly like him.  (I also promptly forgot to submit my lineups before gametime Thursday and accidentally benched a great player!)  

In addition, early in the week I experienced the 10th and 11th iterations of "What will become of Cathy's career?"  In this episode our hero learns that the job she reluctantly wants to return to full time so as to secure the right spot in the long run and to not be fired with the budget cuts will not be hers, despite being exceptionally qualified, having held it before, and being wanted for it by the boss.  5 supervisors for me, one division director against me, I lose. (I'm so tired of choosing between rock and a hard place, each time I pick one the other happens instead!)  Then just today, I am offered a different job, one which I expect to abhor, but will probably take, because we're going broke at a rapid clip and it also seems like the only way to guarantee keeping my foot in the door for the big picture.  

Lastly, the planets further aligned (or is it misaligned, in this case?) such that my dear laptop containing every scrap of my personal information, needed emails, contacts, and yes my precious CALENDAR with every appointment that my over-frazzled mom brain couldn't dream of retaining went belly up!  I had AGAIN to beg for discount help.  My dad, his office geek, and the Geek Squad delivered, at least I think they did.  I don't have time to search for all the drivers, instructions, etc. that I need to complete rebirth, but I have my data in some format or other on a portable hard drive.  Hoping it will be let out sometime soon like a genie in a bottle.  If I live through the bridal show with a good looking booth and muster up the energy to overcome my introvertedness for 4 straight hours while selling myself to total strangers, it'll be a damn miracle.  But, thus far I am staving off the nervous breakdown.  And I haven't turned back to chocolate-yet.  Stay tuned.