#Mamavation Monday – Updates from the Trenches

Another birthday, another skipped birthday cake.

Well, not totally skipped – I had one small taste from my husband’s fork and that was that. I have heard from multiple sources that total denial is not the way to go. I’m not sure enough that is true that I will try a small piece, but a small bite is kind of my way of compromising with my desire to stay away from it 100% and my fear that if I do I’ll end up buying a whole cake and eating it in secret like some weird after-school special about eating disorders.

I’ve been a whole grain rockstar. Brownberry wheat bread (or whole grain bread) is the best. I know I’m getting the right one because it has the seal on it from the whole grain seal-giving organization. I also know I’m getting the right amount of whole grains because that stuff makes the plumbing work right if ya know what I mean.

I’m not sure what I weigh, I’m afraid to get on the scale because I don’t know how it will make me feel. I thought of it again yesterday morning when I put on my jeans and they felt loose. It’s been a long time since those jeans haven’t felt tight. They were the last piece of non-maternity clothing I was wearing before having to go all-maternity. I also wore them three days after having my darling little girl. They were snug, but they were wearable without giving me camel-toe or some other awful side-effect of wearing “oh hell no” tight jeans.

So the food is still on track, the jeans feel loose, and I’m exercising about three times a week.

Why three times when I love it so much?

Mostly because I don’t love it the way I used to. Even when I try to throw myself into it I just don’t get the rush I used to get. My endorphins, I think, are a bit broken still.

But I keep going.

Soon…soon I know I’ll enjoy it again. Probably. I really hope so because exercise made me feel SO good. It was a great feeling to finish a workout and down a bottle of water and laugh on the phone while I used a towel to dry off my neck.

So that’s how my fitness journey is going. I hope you are keeping up with – or thinking of starting – yours! The fact

#Mamavation Monday – Gotta Get Some Sleep!

Here is my weekly update on my healthy living journey….

Nutrition has been going pretty well. Last night I used my free meal for the week to nosh on some fabulous Ethiopian cuisine downtown. We went there after I attended the Zen Buddhist Temple service for my comparative religions class. The service was nice, and there was chanting and bowing and the woman running the service tapping a hollow wooden gourd-shaped thing with a wooden stick that made a really cool, mellow noise.

Exercise has been happening about three times a week. I crave exercise on the days I don’t do it, but it seems I have time for either a shower or exercise right after we get my oldest on the bus at 7:20am. So I alternate. It’s not as gross as it sounds.

I feel pretty good about what I’ve been doing, but I know that the big piece of my fitness and health puzzle that’s missing is sleep. I’m not getting enough. Not by a long shot. I don’t know exactly what to do to fix it, either. I work a lot, I have a lot of homework, and I have three kids, three dogs and a husband. Where on earth do I find the time to sleep?

It used to be no big deal because I would just mutter, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” But now knowing it’s a part of the health and fitness puzzle, I really want to fit it in!

I encourage you to either start or continue living a fit and healthy lifestyle!

So Excited about the Concert Tonight

Going to see Roger Waters do The Wall.

So many memories for those songs, from when I was young all the way through today when I’m going to make new memories.

Have a great night everyone! I’m not planning on wasting a minute taking pictures when I can be listening and experiencing the moments of music, but I’ll still give you an update tomorrow and let you know how it went.

I Need to Vlog Again

Well, not right this second because my hair is still in a transition phase from the baking soda. It feels greasy but looks amazing – so I don’t know what to do about that. Probably not much other than make sure to rinse my hair really, really good today before washing it.

I did a 3 mile power walk yesterday and want to get a couple miles in before showering today (which is why I’m not already squeaky clean) – I also need to start posting on Mondays again, but honestly, you’re not going to see a scale pic from me until my weight is lower than it was my last week of the 8-week mommy weight-loss challenge.

Because, and I’m really serious, if anyone says anything about my weight while I’m grieving I’ll lose my shit.

Completely.

I walk around at school, during work meetings, and at home…totally fine. Making jokes. Being awesome. But I still hurt – and to be safe I remove the potential to lash-out in order to NOT do that. As much as I crave the feeling of cutting all ties to everyone I know, I don’t. Because I don’t want to do anything I’ll regret years from now.

Was there a weight spike after the bad thing happened? Damn right there was. I stopped eating and wanted to die. I existed on cheese sticks, fruit and Riesling because that was the amount of time I was willing to eat for and my husband was handing me anything small and easily consumable. The wine is *horrible* for weight loss. Just horrible. All alcohol is. Plus, I hadn’t had a drop of liquor or wine or anything else alcohol while I was doing the Mamavation thing – so I got rocked really fast because my tolerance had dropped like a rock.

But I want to get back to the land of the living, even if it means still being in the land of the over-scheduled. I’m still hoping for an epiphany that lets me figure out how I have time for all the things I’m doing and to be able to give 100% to all of them when I’m doing them.

I want that. I really do.

For now? I’m going to share with you a sneak peek and let you know that I’ve been losing between 1-2lbs. a week. My goal is to have my abdominal surgery my doctor refuses to perform until I weigh 50lbs. less than I do right now.

So really, it’s a real goal. It’s not a pie in the sky thing, it’s surgery. Surgery I need. So weight loss will continue and soon, soon there will be a scale pic.

Plus, vlogging was really fun. I enjoyed it. So want to continue. 🙂

Just One of Those Things

It’s been an interesting week.

I can’t believe I’m wrapping up the third week of classes. Is it this third week or is it the fourth? Really, it’s splitting hairs because it’s going to take me 16 total weeks to get through these classes and Thanksgiving is still a distant dream.

Work is fabulous and I love my job.

I’m eating healthy (like, way healthy), small (100-200cal), frequent meals but have not been exercising as much. Now I do 50 situps in bed every morning and try to walk in place at the bus stop with my daughter and while waiting in line with my other daughter. I try to do my exercise like my food, short regular blasts throughout the day.

I’m not saying that’s the best way to do it, but since 85% of weight loss is diet – I’m going to focus on perfecting the food intake and “regular foods” in the house first. Then I’ll become my very own exercise expert. In the meantime, I’ll do as much as I can fit into my schedule and figure out if I can do one of the full length core rhythms videos instead of the five-minute quick blast which I also do randomly through the day, because it rules! (Plus I could swear it’s more than five minutes. Hmmm.)

Alright, I have to finish my Physics homework and re-read the chapters in the book (not in that order) so I can have a basic understanding of acceleration vs. velocity. Required classes are hardcore. I hate lab science. But you know what, I’m seeing this through to the end. I’m a little confused about what my concentration should be. I thought economics and now am kind of thinking political science but really am unsure what you can do with either right now. But I’m still liking economics.

Maybe if we can do it I should just do one masters after the other. That would be good times.

The Shower and Shampoo Problem

Ok, so I went “no poo” once before and then had a bad experience with too much baking soda really stripping my hair.

Recently I went on this “I want WEN but it’s so freaking expensive and really do I want to know that I’m helping to pay Jeff Lewis’ salary with my purchase?” But then I realized TV shows are recorded pretty far in advance and I’m not helping to pay for anything, really, with my WEN purchase from Chaz Dean.

But this morning I was out of regular conditioner (I haven’t used shampoo in I don’t know how long, I only use conditioner to clean my hair) and I just don’t want to drive to Sally Beauty Supply to pick up the One World WEN knockoff they sell.

So it was back to the internet for a hot minute to find another “no poo” recipe so I could bathe this morning.

The new recipe I found over at One Green Generation had a LOT more baking soda than other recipes I’ve found. Either that or everyone else in the world that’s not me doesn’t have a problem with 1 part solid to 6 parts liquid. In my brain that equation breaks everything because how can you add one part of a solid to six parts of a liquid? So I just put two teaspoons into a water bottle that was just a nudge under 17oz. It still looks a lot whiter than my last recipe, but we’ll have to see how it works.

I also threw together the conditioner. 8 parts water to 1 part vinegar and then a half teaspoon vanilla and a cinnamon stick. Normally I wouldn’t rock the cinnamon and vanilla, but fall and winter seem like a perfect time for it. Plus it was super-easy to mix since everything was liquid.

Now I’m blogging because I’m afraid to go into the actual shower and put it on my actual hair. Maybe I should stop coloring my hair. Then I wouldn’t be so worried because I wouldn’t fear my hair being stripped of all it’s red glory every time I put something on it in the shower.

Or maybe I should just switch to henna. I’ll have to do a search sometime to see how permanent it is. I love having red hair, way more than I ever loved being blonde. Red is just so….me.

Of course, this procrastination may also have to do with having so much work to do this weekend I don’t know how it’s all going to get, you know, done. I’m really feeling overwhelmed right now. Like, a lot.

Happy Yom Kippur to everyone not eating today.

Last but not least – this post is filed under education because learning how to wash your hair without shampoo is just as much a learning process as a political science paper that’s due next Monday. Speaking of which, I have to make a mental note to tell my friend my assignment is not a narrative essay, but a descriptive essay. I’m sure it makes a big difference in how I’m supposed to write this paper.

Update: 2tsp baking soda with 16.9oz of water seems a little heavy on the baking soda to me. But my hair looks really good and has more volume than usual. If I used a curling iron I do not doubt that my hair would take the curl and stick it like a gymnast’s landing. The vinegar and water conditioner made my hair crazy-soft, which is great in combination with the extra volume from the baking soda and water. The cinnamon stick and vanilla did not scent my hair. All the scent of everything washed away. My hair just smells like hair.

Update #2: I did a one mile walk today and feel good. I’m getting back into the habit. I missed it, but honestly, with gram and everything else I just didn’t care about exercise. Luckily I kept my nutrition mostly on track.

Fits and Starts

Those of you who follow me on the Facebook know I had a death in the family on Saturday.

What you  may not know is that it’s making me reconsider blogging. I mean, I don’t want to share how I feel, I don’t even want to talk to anyone. I want to just not be for a while.

If ever there were a time to hang out in one of those sensory deprivation flotation pod things, this would be it. The light is too bright and breathing is too noisy. Laughter scratches at the inside of my brain and crying gives me an instant migraine. All the sensations of everyday life are just too much to bear.

I don’t want to have conversations. I don’t want to be authentic. I don’t want to be transparent.

I want to be invisible.

I want to keep my head down, my mouth shut, and get good grades. I want to find someone who works at the CATO Institute to find out how to work there. I want a career path.

Really, I just want to be normal. What I picture as normal. How I think I’ll look and act and be when I am normal.

Which probably means I should stop getting my diction and conversation training from episodes of the Rachel Zoe Project.

If I Were An Anime Character

Well, for that matter, if I were cast as a character in almost any kind of movie.

I’d never be the cool, quiet, mysterious chick who turns out to have special powers, amazing somethingorother, and save the day.

I’d be the sidekick. Either for humor, or power, or backup.

Never the main character, always the sidekick.

Granted, I’m way better than Robin (a la Batman and Robin) because he was kind of the worst sidekick ever and I’m not a teenager, soooo…yeah.

But I’m just not THAT girl. I’m the sidekick or the mentor or the person that helps the main character be – or achieve – their destiny. I don’t have the destiny of my own that makes me a lead character.

Or so I see it.

I held her hand for over two hours just listening to her breathe. It was enough. It was so much enough I don’t know that I’ll ever be capable of feeling like anything is not good enough ever again. I was so grateful for those moments.

Bad Comment Strategy + Weekend of Love

I always hesitate to delete comments instead of posting them. Deletion doesn’t happen often and usually the comment stays in my backend for about a month before I finally decide to axe one.

There are two things that make comments to go that great trash bin in the sky:

  1. You just put a link. No words. Just link. It’s creepy.
  2. The FAR  more prevalent problem around the internet: Using the company name as the “Name” field and putting in a fantastic, relevant, really nice comment.

I love thought out or funny or nice comments. I’m a blogger, for goodness sake, I’d be weird if I hated comments. But seeing that company name at the top reminds me that this wasn’t done with good intentions, it was done for a purpose. Even if, in the moment, the comment is honest, they are only there because of a desire for company backlinks.

Basically, they’re trying to game Google. I’m not down with that.

Maybe it’s having a husband that’s into SEO and online advertising and knowing how much he thinks that’s (let me just quote him) “A tactic, not a strategy. Not even a good tactic. Really, it’s a crappy tactic that no one should use and why do they do that?” Yeah, he gets riled up when people do things to promote – I use the term super-loosely – their businesses.

So, that’s that. I deleted the really nice comments by the well-meaning but misguided business owner and am moving on from this and all other spam comments on my blog. I’m going to stop worrying so much. It’s just the Internet, right? Right?!

In other news, this is what I refer to as my weekend of love. Today I’ll be studying and getting ahead – yes, you heard me, I said ahead – on schoolwork and will be spending this evening laughing and screaming at the Chippendales dancers at the Horseshoe Casino in Indiana. Last time we went I’m pretty sure I was sick. I remember getting soup for my sore throat.

Sunday I’m having a small girls-party at my house. Sponsored by Sauza Tequila and House Party. There will be snacks, margaritas, and some of my family and friends hanging out. It should be a good time. I don’t know if I’m going to drink or not. I have heard multiple times that alcohol slows the metabolism. But I was fat when I only had liquor twice a year so I’m not sure how much of an impact it has really had on my shape or will have on my shape.

The problem with “general knowledge” about fitness and nutrition is that one size fits one. Not most. Not all. Everyone is so different. The thought that my weight is related to not eating often enough still bugs the crap out of me. Because it’s not what I’ve heard. Eating more to lose weight is the most counter-intuitive thing I’ve ever heard. But it’s my path, and I have to stick with it or face gaining back the weight I’ve lost through Mamavation.

By the way, if I haven’t invited you and you’d like to come by on Sunday, give me a call or shoot me an email and let me know. If you weren’t invited it is probably because I had a brain fart, not because I didn’t want to invite you.

So now I’m going to take a shower and be ready to start on schoolwork bright and shiny at 9am. I’m liking this getting up early for school with S. It means I sleep in an hour and am still ahead of the game on weekends, too.

Two Out of Four is a Start

So, yeah, online learning has come a long way since the last time I did this whole thing. Which was years ago. Not a whole buncha years ago but more than two. LOL

Everything is online. Financial aid balances, you use your student ID as a swipey card that can buy stuff from the bookstore (including folders and wickedly overpriced spiral-bound wide-ruled notebooks) and come to find out the bookstore is actually a Barnes & Noble. It’s one of the reasons I cannot figure out why B&N is in trouble financially. They’re in so many big colleges and universities that they have to be making a killing on all that horribly overpriced stuff that is, for the most part, being bought by kids with an ID card and no sense of financial responsibility.

But that’s neither here nor there. I’m just thrilled that it was so easy to get my books and have them swipe my card and then when I had to exchange the book for the right book it was just as easy. Totally painless.

Plus I can see my financial aid balance online through the school as well. It’s not “real time” updated, but whatever, gift-horse, mouth, etc.

But, this being the first week of school it seems my classes just aren’t popping up on the blackboard backend as quickly as I thought they would. I didn’t even realize my non-online courses would use blackboard, but the communications class professor walked us through her syllabus online and then told us it was available on blackboard. Since I’d spent a large part of the day ON blackboard getting the hang of the system and checking out my theology class, I was worried it wouldn’t show up for me.

So I whipped out my iPhone and checked. I tried to check on the laptop but couldn’t connect to the internet through my laptop. You read the part where my iPhone connected to the internet through the school, right? So it seems if I want to use my laptop in a class (which I probably won’t, because, well, no one else used them and who wants to be THAT girl in class) I have to figure out why it won’t connect to the internet. Or, to be more specific, why it will connect with limited access and no internet access.

Basically why did I have to read my syllabus on a friggin’ iPhone. It was clearer than the projector but a damn sight less fun than if I’d had it on my laptop, which I’d charged just to make sure it was available for use. Whatever.

So now two of my classes are online and I can access a whole BUNCH of information about them online.

The other two? Still floating in the ether somewhere. They may or may not show up, but I think they will.

In the meantime, I’m just doing my best to get through what I’m getting through and taking notes along the way.

These are NOT the blow-off classes I thought they’d be. Not by a long shot.

Which is nice, because I like thinking and doing things and writing and all the assignments and quizzes and tests will be interesting. A huge change from my last school that didn’t “do” tests and quizzes. Just 3 page paper after 3 page paper. It was absolutely painful. I missed school as school. I think I actually missed the structure.

Hell, I think I missed any kind of structure. I have the most unstructured life you could imagine. I cannot wait for school to start Thursday. I’ll start living my life around school bus times, and that’s just fine with me.