February Happenings

I was ready to type a post about how February treated me so poorly. Then I realized, February didn’t do anything. I’m the one who couldn’t maintain control over my eating. So I’ll just say that I ended began the month on a decent note and I’m thankful to that I managed to end it by eating well for the last four days of the month and working out. 

Here’s the damage:

February 1, 2013:  170.8

March 1, 2013:  177.0

The scale was all over the place this month and unfortunately there were far more ups than downs! But hopefully I’m slowly finding my way again. My family is also dealing with a lot of drama involving my sister and her kids that reached a boiling point this month. But I can’t regret all of February because my life changed on February 1st when I started my new job.

I enter this new phase of life still much healthier than I was when I lost my old job (I started Weight Watchers a week before my office closed in July 2010). I’m still struggling with weight loss, over eating, insecurity, and confidence. I’m still working towards finding happiness and figuring out what happiness would be. Some things may never change. But a lot of things can and will. That is something I have learned.

I will work hard to make March a more positive experience. So far, so good!

You know what’s great? The way that saying, “when it rains, it pours” is so true at the worst moments. For example, I’m already admittedly grumpy about being unexpectedly unemployed again for the past week and guess what good news I get in the wee hours of the morning when I get my free annual credit report? Some information relating to when someone stole my identity in October (literally right before my birthday) has made it onto my previously spotless credit report. Because you know my year hasn’t already been going well enough. So now I’ve got to deal with the headache of fighting to get a fraudulent account (in collections of course) and related address off of my credit report. Because clearly things have just been going far too well for me the past few years. I swear, so far my 30th year has given a whole new meaning to the phrase “dirty 30.” Dirty 30 indeed. 

11 days and counting potato chip free. I’m finally over the hurdle where it almost physically hurts to not get a bag with my lunch when every sandwich shop has a large inviting display of potato chips. I do have to give myself a pep talk on stressful days when my mind is whispering that a bag of delicious chips will make things better—even if it’s just for a little while. On Wednesday out of the blue my contract job ended after a year. That was the hardest chip free day so far. In the past I would have given into the urge to drown my emotions in chips or chocolate or candy, but I stayed strong. I think that was a big turning point for me. Hopefully something either permanent (please God) or temporary will come along really soon. In the meantime, I’m focusing on my eating and exercising. And today I’m treating myself to a much needed pedicure and I have dinner with one of my good friends. The job setback won’t derail the comeback.

Life happens and life goes on.

Oh man…such a rough week. So much going on. So many feelings. So much night time food. And so little (meaning none) working out! It took me a while to remember that this time of year was particularly rough for me last year as well. My former company closed my office officially on July 30, 2010. Since then there have been highs—including finally getting started on my road to good health and also forming an even closer bond with the parents—and lows.

I wonder if this time of year will always be pretty dark for me even after my life gets back on track. I know it’s harder now because I’m still temping and haven’t found my next permanent job or even figured out what I want my new career focus to be. But there’s a small part of me that worries that even when I’m financially secure again I’ll always struggle a little in June and July. The layoff rocked the foundation of the world I had worked hard to build. And that includes more than a loss of income etc. But regardless of what happens, I have to figure out a way to deal with dark times without abandoning my new healthy habits. Because two weeks of spiraling with food and workouts have only increased my emotional turmoil. I’m going to try to claim a victory whenever I can. So today my goal is to stay on target with my food. And depending on how tired I am when I get home, I might get ambitious and try a light work out. Getting back on track will definitely be a day by day process.

In other news, my dad’s birthday gathering was a success! My sister brought the drama as usual but we didn’t let her spoil the fun. And can you believe my pelvic muscle still is not completely healed?! It’s been officially 4 months. Sigh…

NSVs

Today was a bonus day off due to a big important meeting going on in my city.  I of course didn’t get paid but I needed the extra day because I have been really run down emotionally and physically these past few weeks.  I naturally didn’t get much of the things on my to do list completed (I don’t even know who I was trying to fool with that list!) but the weekend was full of good decisions and great times.  For instance, I:

  • Spent all of today with my parents and had fun as usual!  They took me out to breakfast and to my mom’s shock, I didn’t get my usual waffle.  I ate scrambled eggs, wheat toast, and turkey bacon and most importantly told the waitress I didn’t want her to bring the hash browns that were included with the meal.  I’ve owned the fact that if things I love are on my plate I won’t stop with a few bites.
  • Helped my mom practice her music for her piano lesson—I’m so proud of her for finally after all these years taking piano lessons.  She sacrificed so my sister and I could have lessons when we were young but never took them herself.  She even bought a piano for us.  That poor piano hadn’t been played regularly since I was in college and unfortunately I don’t have room for it in my condo.  After years of the encouragement of me and my dad she finally began taking lessons.  She’s wanted to learn since she was a child.  I’m glad that for once I can help her with something!
  • Watched tv with my dad and discussed life and craziness.  His favorite daytime shows include Cheaters, People’s Court, Judge Mathis, and Judge Judy.  Fun was had!
  • Went to dinner Saturday with my girls and ate reasonably. I left that third fish taco on my plate even though my eyes were encouraging me to eat it.  I wasn’t hungry because I made it a point to not try to save a crazy number of points for dinner.
  • Had a blast with the little rugrats at my oldest nephew’s game.  
  • Finally made a little more peace with the fact that pilates and possibly swimming are my fitness life right now.  Neither involves sweat really but instead of dwelling on my shattered fitness dreams for this summer, I am thankful that I’m at least able to do those no-impact activities.  I have also resolved myself to having to start from scratch with the running when I’m finally healed.  I do hope I can ride on the lake front path by the end of the summer because those rides were the highlight of last summer.  But I’ll take everything as it comes.
  • Made it to church (albeit a little late) and wore my new blouse tucked into my skirt!!!!!! I haven’t tucked in a shirt since maybe junior high.  I felt pretty and confident.  I need to find ways to feel like that more often.

Now I’m off to bed so I can face work tomorrow.  Something’s got to give because life is just rough right now despite my many blessings and bright spots.

Sigh…

It’s been a pretty rough week.  I won’t go into details, but some of the highlights were discovering someone had somehow gotten a hold of my debit card info (I believe probably someplace I used my card was either hacked or a shifty employee stole the info and sold it) and started living it up in Ft Worth, TX and that kit kats are like crack to me.  Good thing I check my account regularly.  But now I have several calls to make to get the charges reversed and have to wait for a new card to arrive. Damn you criminals.  Oh and there was the rock that cracked my windshield, too.  Clearly everything’s coming up roses for Jay lately.  I’m not sure what bad karma I’ve put into the universe but apparently it’s the season for the world dumping on me. 

There’s good news though—I officially sent out the evite to the big birthday par-tay (well, it’s more like a small happy gathering) so there’s no backing out now!  I finally admitted that I was letting my unemployment blues ruin the original excitement I felt for my birthday. I refuse to let the non-hiring, Jay-shunning corporate terrorists win so the party is back on.  With this in mind, now I really have to clean the house!

Operation No Chips has been going really well.  I think I’ll get through the original goal of no chips until my b-day and after that I will most likely continue to ban chips from my house since I’ve continuously proven to be irresponsible when I buy them.  I’m usually really responsible when I eat chips in public though.  I also have had to add delicious kit kats to my banned list, and milky ways too.  I gave into the halloween candy sales and bought my favorite treats for the first time in probably six months.  Needless to say, it did not end well.  Sigh…  

It will all be worth it once I get my eating back in check and start to see positive movement on the scale again.  The running is going well and I’m definitely getting faster on the stationary bike.  We’re supposed to have really beautiful weather this week so I’m looking forward to a few days of riding Schwinney on the lake path. Hopefully some sunshine after a week of horrible rain and bad news will cheer me up.  Tae bo certainly worked as a short time fix for my anger today.  

Memorial Day Recap

I enjoyed an amazing Memorial Day with my parents.  My dad never wants to barbecue (I apologize at least once a year for not yet finding an awesome husband to take over the duties) and this year I bribed him by telling him I would bake my famous pound cake just for him.  Even though everyone eats the cake, he always likes for me to formally announce to the family that the cake is “his.”

Anyway, I spent a few hours sitting in the shade pondering life with my dad.  It was horribly hot and muggy but luckily the shade and breeze made the day bearable.  I felt very much like I imagine my southern relatives feel sitting on their porches shooting the breeze.  My mom never let me and my sister play or even sit on our porch (in her defense, our “front” porch is really a side porch and we only used that entrance when snow drifts blocked the back (or again side) door).  So my dad and I shot the breeze by the garage in the shade provided by our neighbor’s tree. 

Some of our many topics included my weight loss (he’s beyond proud), my swimming (ditto, and he’s bragging to my uncle about my progress in the pool), my aspirations to finally start couch to 5k (he vetoed this due to his concern that my knee will never be strong enough and will only get worse if I start jogging), my childhood aversion to sweat and the outdoors, and my longstanding desire to finally adopt a dog (again, he vetoed but for once I’m not going to listen).

After pondering life with the pops, I went indoors to spend quality time with my mom.  I watched an awful Tyler Perry movie with my mom and aunt so I didn’t get into any deep conversations with my mom.  Of course I also fell asleep—I’ve noticed that since buying my condo I get the best sleep when I visit my parents!  For all the insomnia I’ve suffered from for years, I instantly seem to fall asleep in their bed.  Maybe it’s just psychologically comforting to be back home and their little girl.  Plus I don’t have to worry about how I’m going to pay the mortgage when I’m in their house.  It’s become a running joke.  My parents basically like to wait for me to fall asleep and then when I finally wake up try to convince me it’s too late to drive home so I can spend the night.  Due to my unscheduled 3 hour nap, I owe my mom some quality girl time this week.  Maybe now that it’s nice outside we can walk together one morning (on one of the rare days that the rain doesn’t make an appearance). 

Anyway, I had a great Memorial Day with my family.  And while I didn’t get my workout in as planned, I ate pretty well and will still meet my goal of working out at least 5 days a week so I’m happy. 

Lately I’ve been having a lot of conversations with different friends about goals, life, and fears.  I’m a bundle of worries and fear.  I’d love to change this about myself, but it feels like once I get something of a handle on one thing, some new crisis emerges.

Like most people, I have a lot of friends that have been negatively affected by the economy.  Many of us went to great colleges and graduate schools and five years ago thought that the world was ours for the taking. We found jobs in our chosen career fields and some of us actually liked those jobs. The rest of us (me especially) after a while came to hate that job and bided our time until we hit that two year anniversary and had dreams of finding our dream jobs. All of us had some sort of 5 year plan in place and things looked quite rosy.

Early 2008 brought the first signs of troubles.  A few friends I know from grad school whose work was more closely connected with the financial world were laid off.  It was horrible and scary, but still seemed like a more limited problem.  Personally, I saved up and bought my first house.  I started taking steps to finally find something at least closer to my dream job.  Panic started to set in as the job market began to crumble.  In fact, one of my good friends at my former job had to help me through my post-traumatic stress regarding buying the condo and watching the economy start to tumble down all around us only a few months later.

I know several close friends who lost jobs due to lay offs.  Luckily, everyone is generally ok although many still struggle to find their footing.  As many of us rapidly approach 30 (yikes!) I think it’s only natural that we look at our lives and take stock.  I panicked every day of my 6 month unemployment and I continue to panic daily.  I just barely scrape by every month and I’m in a job that is light years away from being my dream job.  I worry that I’ll never be able to place my career on the path to fulfill my dreams.  I worry that the past few years have so shaken my confidence and faith that I’ll never be as brave or fearless as I need to be to ultimately be happy and successful.  I worry that I won’t be able to take care of my parents and niece and nephews the way I always planned. 

None of us have found the answer to the all-consuming question—how do you bounce back and get your life back on track?  Hopefully we find the answer soon.