Mobile Blogging 101

Dear Sarah,
So awesome to read all of your posts. I am so proud of you and can totally see your work is paying off.

You know this, but in an effort of full disclosure to all who read this, I have been off the blog for a bit and immersing myself in my new life.

I separated from my place of employment for the past 8 years on May 1 st. Can’t say it was a pretty separation or that I would have ever made that decision if not for some catalyst type events that really made me reconsider the direction my life was headed.

I also have been, on the whole, happier for the last few weeks than I have been in years. ( the saddest part about leaving was having to hand in the Mac … Which has left me to find alternate sources of technology)

I have kinda been acting like a kid in a candy store. Overindulgence and not enough attention to my weightless journey. ( feels weird calling it a journey. Very dramatic)

But alas, as honeymoons come to an end so must my reverie in my new found freedom.

I am going to map out a plan on Monday about my fitness routine and need some help to stick to it. Yoga and cardio are on the horizon for me. The break has to end… But I still feel the fun is beginning.

I kept the man cub home from his half- day of school yesterday and really had so much fun with him. I can’t wait for more summer days to spend with him to do whatever we wish and find adventure together. I missed that so much with all the crazy times I have spent working the past few years.

I am trying out some mobile blogging from the iPhone. Here’s to new technology!
~ E

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Running

Dear Sarah,

I am hoping that Kendra kicked your ass in the gentlest, kindest way possible… well… for a personal trainer.

I ran today. And, man, it felt great.

I am finding that running is like a new friend that feels like you have known them forever. Whenever I run after a long time off, I feel like my heart and head hit a stride that finally connect. (Remind me of that in the future when I get all whiny and talk about how hard it is, ok?)

I’m in a place of shaking up my life at the moment. Shifting from a job of 8 years into the unknown, transforming how I think about my happiness, health and intention. I swear, the feeling of being locked into an unhappy existence for the past few years has allowed me to pack on weight and limit myself so far as to always be feeling like the world rested on my shoulders alone. I can’t count how many times that I have told everyone that I’m doing “ok” or “fine” and washed my emotions down with whatever  could put into my mouth.  The truth is, I haven’t been happy for a long time.

Now, this feeling of general unhappiness has nothing to do with my husband or my man-cub. They are my touchstone and truly the reason I could keep chugging away at the things I locked myself into. And, my family and friends are amazing. I count myself truly blessed to have all of these wonderful people in my life that love me unconditionally.

The fact of the matter is, I couldn’t love me unconditionally. My internal barometer of happiness was so far south that I forgot it even existed.  I felt so disconnected from being able to be creative, to dream big dreams, and to make changes in myself that could result in a different path.

The simple act of throwing in the towel in one area of my life has led to this opening up of so many others. I feel like I want to take photos again. I want to get my ass up and run. I want to eat well, rest well, and take time for me. Why?

Simply because I can.

This is all not to say that I am not scared of what lies ahead. But the fear is tempered by pure, unabashed excitement.

And, I like it.

~ E

 

 

Get Moving

Dear Sarah,

Your diligence to yourself and our project is inspiring.

I am so excited about your meal plans. I think recipes are in order (seeing as your chili recipe is now my standard).

Headed for a run today at ass-o-clock. I’m thinking that a little weights and sweat will help me get through the day. Ending it off with yoga at 5:30pm.

I wanted to get deeply philosophical about the transition away from my career into uncharted waters.

I think this says it all.

~ e

Legilimency, or Something Like That.

Dear Sarah,

You know that moment? The one where you pick up the phone to call someone and they are already on the line?

I don’t know if it has anything to do with the full moon, or spring, or whatever it is…but we are thinking similar thoughts.

I am so, SO PROUD of you. I know that your back has done anything within its power to derail your efforts. Good for you for persevering. And  8 lbs to show for that focus is amazing.

I stole away for a few hours this morning to the garden. As I was weeding, I starting thinking about the ability of a weed to grow no matter what you do to it. You can pull it by its roots, you can till them under the soil,  you can poison them, and you can put weed barrier fabric down. Inevitably, the weeds grow back.

And often times, they grow back stronger.

I also thought that I have this tendency to aspire to be the best at everything that I do. Perfectionism is my downfall and can be quite paralyzing.  I want to be the biggest heirloom tomato, if you will. My incessant need to be amazing at everything I do is downright exhausting.

But, as the sun hit my back and the weeds were being plucked from my garden beds, I had a new thought. A thought about how I should think about who I want to be.

I think, and I know this sounds really funny, I think I want to be more like a weed.

Weeds really don’t care where or how they grow. They just do it. They dig their roots down and spread. They form a foundation and run with it. And sometimes, they even bloom.

I’m thinking it may be the way to go for me.

Keep on keepin’ on sister. I am inspired by you!

~ E

 

 

Perseverance

Dear Erin,

Thanks for reminding me to persevere. Ever time I read a post, and every time I talk to you, I remember how much stuff you have going on, and how relatively little crap i HAVE to do, and it reminds me how lucky I am to have time to devote to me, and how I damn well better do it.

I haven’t been mentioning it too much on this blog, but I have a little now and again recurring back problem.  Right now it is ON. In a big way. Not to be a whiner, but it hurts, and I have to take some sort of medicine stronger than ibuprofen to be able to fall asleep (every night).  LUCKILY for me, the most amazing thing is that WALKING makes the ouchies hurt a little bit less.  It stretches out the sore muscles, and helps make them a little bit stronger, and a little bit less sore. Especially when I remember to do them in combination with the correct stretches.  So I haven’t been talking about my power workouts, and I haven’t been talking about my amazing personal trainer, because I just can’t. Not right now.

What I CAN do is persevere. I CAN go to the gym, or go outside, and take a nice long walk and stretch out those muscles. Then I CAN follow it up with the appropriate stretches.  And I assure you I have been doing both.  Pain is an amazing motivator.  As my pain slowly recedes (thank you magical chiropractor), I look forward to talking to you about my amazing new personal trainer (her name is Kenya).

I CAN also still count my calories. I can record it all, along with notes about how I’m feeling and how much water I drank in my myfitnesspal.com program. (Its awesome, I highly recommend it.) And again, I am.  The results speak for themselves. I am down 8 lbs. I have no claims of greater energy, or better sleep, or increased happiness at this point. I can claim looser pants. And that I’m healing. Slowly.

Right now, I wish I was out digging in my garden, preparing it for spring. Putting all my veggie/herb plans into action, planting some yellow daffodil bulbs my mom just dropped off to me, and the thornless blackberry bush canes I bought.  But today, I can’t. My back hurts. Maybe tomorrow though. I persevere.

PS Edited to add a picture to make my post less boring…My parents brought me this lovely plant for Easter.

Slow and Steady Wins the …. Game?

Dear Sarah,

I woke up this morning (on the couch… where I flopped over from utter exhaustion) this morning in a haze of “what happened?”

Not having had any adult libations, or having my mind wiped by Hermione Granger’s “obliviate” charm, I wiped my sleepy eyes and remembered. This happened. 

Yes, the O’s are back in town. And yes, I completed the commitment I made to work the last opening day (hopefully) that I will ever work.

Let me start off by saying it was WAY better and easier than Opening Days in the past. We were more prepared, organized, and ready than ever before. Even still, it is a 12 hour day of hurry up and stay behind. That is the true nature of the hospitality industry when it comes to sports and entertainment.

And my decision, to move on to greener (or red hard-shelled pastures), has never been so solidified as it was yesterday. 12 hours of running around, and not finding anything healthy to eat but a single orange (that was originally destined to be cut into slices and garnish a Blue Moon beer) has left me feeling that I have made the right choice.

The pure and simple fact is that any major stadium is not a house of healthy. And, when I spend my time there, I am not a house of healthy either.

I committed to transition the new season and help where I can. And, I am a girl who takes my commitments seriously.

But, what I figured out yesterday, or more likely today as I sip my glorious cup of coffee, is I am finally more committed to myself than to others. I am committed to my health, my fitness, and to my family.

I came home to an amazing plate of salmon that the hubnut made. It was plated beautifully and waiting for me as I walked in the door. It was the first real nourishment that I consumed all day and it was freaking fantastic! So good, in fact, that I took a picture of it. 

And in that moment, I realized, there’s no place like home. No better people to spend my time with. To change my life with and to share this journey with.

The allure of the crowds and the excitement of baseball has worn off. The quiet charm of a more stable and “on my own terms” life is like a huge hug from your kid.

I’m going with it. I’m remembering that slow and steady = lasting progress.

~ E

P.S. Happy Easter, Passover, Spring and Health!

A MANTRA, or Something Like It

Dear Erin,

As you know, I am a big fan of yoga. I enjoy the philosophies behind it, the calming or invigorating properties of the focused breathing, and the way my body feels when I get my act together and practice regularly. (Still working on that, AGAIN.)

This January, I decided that in lieu of some sort of resolution, I needed to adopt an updated attitude, a mantra if you will.  I knew in my mind what I wanted to try and achieve for the year, and lucky for me, yoga had a word for it:

SANTOSHA – Santosha is defined (in my mind) as a striving for inner contentment – inner peace if you will.  For me I think this means realizing there are a lot of things I’m not in charge of, a lot of things I don’t have control over, and there is nothing I can do about them. As a bonus, if I let them go, I can focus on myself.

Yogamovement.com has a really fun yoga glossary as well as an explanation of patanjali’s eightfold path of yoga. In their explanation, Santosha is a niyama – or an inner discipline and responsibility, how we treat ourselves. These are sometimes called observances, the do’s, or the thou shalts of yoga. Their definition is: “Contentment (santosha). Cultivate contentment and tranquility by finding happiness with what you have and who you are. Seek happiness in the moment, take responsibility for where you are, and choose to grow from there.“ And I quite like it.  It’s a really excellent site to spend some time looking around if you have time.

I think that Santosha really fits in well with my journey to become healthier and fitter, by encouraging me to work on only myself and the things I can change.

~~~~~~~~

In other news, my back is feeling a LOT better today (thank you magic chiropractor), and I am looking forward to adding some exercise besides walking into my gym routine. I had to cancel visit number two with the Personal Trainer (at the magic chiropractors request), but I am SO EXCITED to work with her next week!

Hope your day is filled with joy and sunshine. Or at least Santosha.

~S
Plum Tree In Bloom
PS My Plum Tree is Blooming. Outside of my control, but a joy none-the-less. (And it smells fantastic.)

The Good, the Bad, and the Garden

Dear Sarah,

Today, like most other days, has had its good and bad things. I guess that is life.

The Good:

I was so proud to hear that when I tried calling this morning you were at the gym. Kudos friend! That is awesome.

The man-cub had a “laser tag” birthday party at 9 am this morning. Both of us were forced to be up and raring to go to make a fullest of the time we have together before I head to work tonight.

The new 2nd job is going really well. I like the folks who make up the server crew there and the management is great. I am glad that I landed in a place with less bureaucracy and more humor than I have worked in the past. If I am to be working a lot more, it is nice to be in a place that can be enjoyable.

The Bad:

I ate fast food for breakfast AND lunch. Not even smart fast food. The fast food that is highlighted in “FOOD, INC.”

Yuckity, yuck, yuck, yuck. I didn’t have a plan and now remember what happens when you do not. It is called “getting fat”. I know one day does not blow all my efforts… but am not planning on a repeat performance any time soon.

The Garden:

It was clean-up day at the garden!

It was great to show up and see my gardening friends! The man-cub came with and actually pulled weeds. (This is huge. He doth protest a lot most days!)

I got 4 of my 5 raised beds cleared up. I have strawberries flowering and herbs on the mend. I arranged for my buddy to till the plot on Monday and straw is being delivered tomorrow. Man-cub has BIG plans for his 4×4 bed and I am on the fence about building another bed and doing all raised bed gardening for evermore.

It is so very exciting to start planning my garden. I feel a little late to the party compared to other years, but I still feel like the party isn’t over in that department. I will come home from work tonight and dream of what plants are going where.

I leave you with the image of my man-cub in his post-weeding state:

~ E

P.S. My asparagus are up too!!!

 

Some Say Mantras…I Say Playlist.

Dear Sarah,

My secret confession is that, often times, I skip my multi-vitamin because it is a horse pill that makes me want to vomit. I think that the gummi-vite idea is brilliant. *mental note: buy yummy gummies*

Yesterday I hopped over to the gym to get in a small workout in-between jobs. I was happy to lift, squat, plank, repeat for a bit. I ran for about 10 minutes and did a few asanas to stretch and relax.

I started thinking about my mantra. The thing that lights my fire, calms my mind, keeps my feet moving, and grounds me in whatever moment I am in. I haven’t found that feeling in the traditional Sanskrit mantras or chanting. I don’t understand it enough,and I  haven’t connected my heart with those sounds.

The thing I have connected with is my playlist. 

Let me backtrack…

When I was an angst-filled teenager, I could sit in my room and play the same song (Pictures of You: The Cure or  In Your Eyes: Peter Gabriel) over, and over, and over again. I would think about whatever boy I was crushing on/in a relationship with and get all wrapped up in the words and the drama. (Think Ally Sheedy in the Breakfast Club)

As I have matured, I have not lost the ability to connect music and my soul. I use music to propel me forward when my mind tells me to stop. I flood my brain with the  sounds of “can do: won’t stop” and, magically, I don’t stop. And I progress.

So, what’s my most recent mantra?

My workout playlist:

Better Things: Bouncing Souls (originally a Kinks song)

Walk: Foo Fighters

Lose Yourself: Eminem

‘Til I Collapse: Eminem

The Cave: Mumford and Sons

I’ve shown you mine. Now show me yours.

~ E


Multi-Tasking

Dear Sarah,

I am super excited about your asparagus crop! I know that gardening in the spring can chase away the winter doldrums like nothing else can.

Thanks for the encouragement about my goals. I tend to be an “over-committer” and an “under-achiever” when it comes to goal setting. The perfectionist nature in me wants to do EVERYTHING right NOW and perfectly.

The reality, as I am learning it, is that changing my life and health is more of a slow and steady process.

My new formula is:

Small goals seen to fruition over long amounts of time  = PROGRESS

I was very tempted to write “= SUCCESS “ , but thought better of it. I am not sure if the word success indicates that there is an end to this getting healthy process. I think there may be a “PHASE 2 “ to my plan which leads to the STAYING healthy part of the program.

Truthfully, I’m not 100% clear on that. Seeing as this will be my first time getting there.

I did, however, complete most of my homework assignments. I took my measurements (yes… even the “redwood” thigh measurement), tracked my weight by weighing in at Weight Watchers, and developed a fitness plan. I even wrote a page of slight non-sense in my journal.

I’ve noticed that I am getting slightly anxious about my increasing need to multi-task lately. Balancing my 2 jobs, my family, and my health can be a slightly  precarious dance of keeping all the balls in the air with equal importance and not letting any one of them drop. This is why I am trying to focus on my goals of developing a fitness and eating plan that will be rigid enough to keep me accountable, yet flexible enough to bend in the times of the unforeseen. All suggestions are WELCOME!

I am back to my lunch, my messy desk, and my computer. Multi-tasking at its best.

~ E

P.S. I lost 3.2 lbs this week!!