Monday, December 28, 2009

Paranoia and Other Messy Titles

Christmas is over. Although, today I'm taking my 7 year old friend (and her friend) bowling so excitement and nervousness prevails.

It's cold outside now--much colder than I would've believed it could get a week ago. Seems like winter has finally hit, and with it a barrage of things that would be much prettier tucked under a blanket of snow. Seems the older I get, the more of those things I encounter. I envy those people who successfully manage avoidance as a life strategy. For some reason, that strategy has never worked for me. I never actually get the opportunity to avoid the things I don't want to deal with because they follow me.

Maybe it's because too many things bother me. Chris wonders sometimes why the ideals of stupid people upset me. I guess it's because they often catch me off-guard. Maybe I should be more prepared for the stupidity of others, but they shock me every time. On the way home last night, Chris and I talked about people who believe that women are less than equal and men who are extremely intimidated by an intelligent and capable woman. I don't understand it.

I also don't understand why people at church won't bring their babies to us in the nursery. Do they see something in me that I don't see? Do I seem like I would be an incapable caregiver? I've always had a blast with the kids who do come to the nursery, and, as far as I know, they've all left with their arms, legs and heads in tact...but maybe there's something there I'm just not seeing.

Or maybe today is a day for paranoia.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Unchiseled

"I Am" by Nichole Nordeman has been a favorite of mine since the song came out several years ago. The first time I heard it, I remember thinking, "That's it. That's exactly it." Now, a few (plus) years later, I still marvel over the intimacy in the words of that song. It's a relationship that goes beyond "Hi, how are you?" and really pushes deeply into the heart of what we need/desire as a functioning person.

I've never been any good at intimacy. For some reason, there is a "shutting down" point for me, and when we reach that point, I get uncomfortable, make a joke or just stop talking. I'm not sure why I'm this way, but sometimes I wonder if it doesn't have something to do with my lack of trust in people generally. Obviously, it transfers into all aspects of my life--prayer has suffered as a result.

After our women's Bible study, Stepping Up, I realized that the Psalms are a series of intimate conversations--sometimes appropriately shared, and sometimes so painstakingly private that I wonder we are allowed access to them at all. What I realized more than anything? Real life is lived on those pages. David is nothing if not real before God. He shares hurts, victories and fears. He's honest when he doesn't feel God's presence. He marvels in God's deliverance. More than anything, these pages capture a relationship that is highly developed and extremely intimate. These guys are friends--with a capital "f."

It has occurred to me over the past few weeks that, while I have been privvy to that amazing relationship, I haven't done much to rectify my relationship with the Almighty. Oddly enough, that paranoid "I-Won't-Be-Accepted" attitude can't and won't work as an excuse. I am expected to come before Him as myself--to share hurts, feelings, betrayals, joys, hopes and victories. The older I get, the more I realize that this Christian thing is meant to be intimate because we are meant to live in tandem with one another. It requires sharing. It means that sometimes we're going to see each other fail, but we need to see how failure is handled in order to grow. We're going to see joys, and we need to know how to live in that joy if we are going to grow.

As a fiercely independent child, I really only wanted to watch once, and then I demanded to "do it m'self." I've had the blessing of watching a thousand times over. Maybe when it comes to a deep intimacy with Christ and my brethren, it's time I demanded to "just do it" to quote Nike's catchphrase. I need to live alongside others, but I need to be actively living instead of allowing myself to be a bystander.

True intimacy is simple in concept, but more difficult in action. I never have been comfortable with the thought of myself laid completely bare. There's too much to pick at, and the unrefined is overwhelming. But sometimes I wonder how it's possible to truly be known if people don't understand those parts of me. It's even more of a marvel how God knows those things and loves me anyway. That gift alone is enough to make him omnipotent.

All those names for God in the Bible--each one defines a separate type of relationship--and yet I know Him in a very limited capacity. I'm ready for Him to show me anything--even if it means hiding me in the cleft so that I only see His back. It will be more than I've allowed myself to see after all this time.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The sun got up later than I did

My thoughts may be foggy because I've been up since 3 am in an attempt to have a bit of solidarity with the girls in my family. Yep, we went black friday shopping. Nope, I can't feel my legs. Thank you for asking.

Because my brain is obviously not working anymore, I won't take the time to post what has been in my head. Just wanted to jot down a brief preview as a reminder to myself, and anyone else who might be interested, regarding the thoughts that have been floating around inside my head for the last few days.

I've been thinking about relationships--what it means to be intimate (no, not in the sexual way) and the sacrifice that often requires. I've been thinking about teaching and what I have to give to my students and my classroom. I've been thinking about the purpose of education and what my kids need--not just for the future, but for today. Sometimes I wonder what is relevant to them--today and in the future. I occasionally forget how much I want to enjoy school and how difficult it can be to make it a meaningful and interesting experience for every single student. In the end, I've been thinking about how I want my students to think of me, and how I want to think of them. But all of that will come...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Time Tables, Problem Students and Other Uncontrollable Forces of Nature

Apparently I'm a control freak.

When I share this revelation, most people look at me and laugh with a look that says, "how could you have not made this discovery a long time ago?" I guess I was in denial. Or maybe I was living in comparison. Regardless, I never processed this obviously well-known fact.

Now I have known some control-freaks in my day. I realize this statement makes me sound like Granma Moses; however, I say it to make the point that I've had a wide range of experience with people who have to have it their way or no way at all. Many of these people demand answers on the spot, will not tolerate any sort of indecision and will gladly make your life's choices if you find yourself unable to do so. A few of them believed that only their opinion mattered and anyone who spoke to the contrary was inept or brain dead.

This is not the category in which I would've placed myself. I don't believe my opinion is the only one and indecision is a necessary part of life sometimes. But comparison of my lifestyle to someone else's doesn't make me any less of a control freak.

So many things are beyond my control. I understand the concept--better than most people, I would think. What I didn't understand was the fact that I couldn't let go when I had done everything that I could possibly do. It's an extremely detrimental form of control--it holds me accountable for things that I simply cannot fix.

I also had/have a really strong fear of the unknown that extends far beyond the question "What IS my natural hair color?" So because of that fear, I am insatiable about knowing everything I can about some of the situations I'm in. Call it know-it-all-ism, but it's just another form of controlling my environment. I don't want to be terrified, so I fill in the blanks.

I'm working on it. Chris is really great about reminding me that some things just don't matter. I'm getting better about telling my students to take responsibility for their own actions, and then taking the background when the final results are posted. I'm not taking it so personally when other teachers don't have the same problems with particular students, and I'm in a constant state of realizing that not everyone's life works on the same magical time table. When things DO matter, I'm learning to let go and trust a God I've rarely let into my life (in this particular capacity, anyway).

I guess that's what it all boils down to: trust. I'm not sure why I don't trust others, but I wonder if that lifestyle isn't more destructive than a person who trusts everyone. It seems there is a certain innocence with constant trust--not that I want to be on that end of the spectrum, either.

At the end of the day, I want to lay my head down knowing I've done what I can do, and then I want to let it go. There has to be a sense of relief in a fresh start each day.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Tellin' It Like It Is: A Disclaimer

TMI would be a way of life around my family's house, but it just isn't. I realize that's about the most contradictory I could ever be in a statement, but it's the best way to describe the situation. We have discussed everything from sex to diarrhea at the dinner table and red faces only mean that the next object of torment has been identified.

That openness is not really crude; it's honest. And that honesty can be purposeful on some occasions and meant for laughter on others. It's always created an interesting dynamic, and one that I've loved. There is a sense of home-y with a family that allows open exchanges.

But not all things are for the public. It's a difficult pill to swallow when the "always open" becomes the "don't wanna talk about it." Yet in the last few years there are issues that I just don't want to talk about. I don't want people to pretend they understand or pretend they know what's going on. You know why? Because there is a select list of people I've shared my feelings with on a few subjects: 1. My husband, 2. My mother. That's it.

Frankly, it pisses me off when I get these lectures about how I need to let people help me deal with difficult issues or share whatever situation I'm going through so people can be there for me. Some situations aren't meant to be shared.

Let's be honest, being there for someone has a whole lot more to do with what you do when you don't know every single detail. It doesn't require that you make assumptions about the situation. It doesn't require you to stand around and nod your head in sympathy. It's just possible that the person who is actually in A situation (and I say "a situation" because it may not even be the situation you think it is) doesn't want your sympathy. Any time I've known someone who dealt with a bad situation, his or her general feeling was the same: They didn't want sympathy. They wanted normal. They didn't want people to try to understand, because they usually couldn't. And, in the beginning, they learned that some feelings need to be kept close. It's far more devastating to share a heartrending situation and watch someone blow it off as unimportant than it is to deal with the situation alone.

Some things aren't about friendship or a lack of understanding regarding the perameters in which friendship is meant to function. Some things are what they are.

And that should be respected.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Gimme the Clicker

I've started something new--just one day in, in fact.

I'm always complaining that there is not enough time in a day to accomplish the things I want to accomplish. In a lot of ways, this statement is true. It's difficult to manage all of the things we feel obligated to manage on a daily basis. But in some ways, this statement is a clue to how much time I mismanage in a day.

Don't get me wrong. We all need downtime and time to relax. It makes sense to take an occasional break so we don't become completely overwhelmed with work or assignments. I, however, tend to take that "downtime" to the nth degree when I walk through my front door.

I turn on my television, eat dinner and then sit for the majority of my evening. If I do housework or laundry, I do it with the television on. When I go to bed, I watch television. That thing rarely gets turned off after I walk through the door. It's ridiculous.

So, in the name of science (or what I'm calling science), I'm conducting an experiment. I'm allowing myself 1-2 hours of television when I get home from work every day. After a maximum of 2 hours, the television goes off--regardless of whatever relationship I feel I have formed with the characters on the screen. If I'm right, I have a feeling I'm going to be more productive. Other possible outcomes? I could lose weight. I could be less tired in the morning. I might actually manage to find time to do all of those things I don't feel I have time to do every day--time to pray, to do Bible study.

I'm going to attempt to update my log at least once a week (maybe more) to report how my project is progressing. At the very least, I expect that I'll be a little less stressed--which is odd, considering I sit and just watch TV to destress.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Dear Mr Webster...

Over the last year, it's become a habit to look up things in the dictionary if I don't feel I can adequately explain a concept I grasp emotionally. I have this overwhelming need to explain things in finite terms--things that can be grasped by any bystander who happens to be listening. Turns out there are some things that just can't be explained in those terms.

I've started realize that some things are concepts you can't understand until you've experienced them. Or concepts that can't be explained in a finite way. I can't explain what it means to be overwhelmingly grateful. What it means to be loved and to love. Or the elusive nature of grief.

But here I am always trying to put words with the music that's floating in and out of my life. Most of the time I get it wrong, but sometimes, very rarely, I actually manage to get the thought across in its entirity. I'm hoping for more of those moments. Here's to a new day...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hi! My Name Is...

It's odd the things we use to identify ourselves. I was thinking as I looked a few pictures of people I know really well. As I scanned through various shots, I found myself wishing I were prettier. To some people it may sound funny, but I've always identified myself as smart. That's funny because I'm not especially intelligent, but I'm not an idiot either. At any rate, I guess I've just believed that you get one or the other: smart or pretty.

It's ridiculous. Of course that's not the case, but I've been so insecure about one, I put all the weight in the other. I'm sure it happens more than we care to admit. I've identified myself in so many ways over the years. Sometimes I stick to those labels because I really believe them. Other times, I find myself stuck with a nametag that doesn't fit at all. But today, I feel like one does, and I'd rather like to see it go.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Summer Lovin'

I love summer. I love the sun; I love the water. I love getting to swim every day if that warms my heart. I love the lack of stress and the ability to sit down and strum on my guitar for an hour without feeling like I'm wasting time. Add all of this to the fact that I get to see Chris just about every day and you've got a wonderful time of year.

Maybe I am just naturally a summer person. Maybe there is something about a lot of sunshine that brings me into my own. Who knows? All I know is that I really really love this time of year.

That's it. Nothing of substance. Just wanted to share how much I love summer :)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Vocals Sometimes Fail Me

Another Women's Bible study will begin at my church this fall. Again, I'm excited about it albeit apprehensive. This is the first time we are conducting study on a Sunday evening. Here were my thoughts:

1. Women's Study usually forges some pretty strong friendships and relationships. The atmosphere generally allows for people to share personal struggles or feelings and this generally forges a pretty deep bond. We learn together and we learn about each other.

2. Some women cannot come during the week due to other commitments. I know many women who work long hours--from time to time, I am one of those women. Mondays can and have gotten a little laborious for me. I get into my classroom by 7 am and I wasn't getting home until 9 pm. It was a LONG day. But, like me, many women have already set Sunday aside for church and fellowship time. Therefore, it didn't seem a stretch to provide study on that day, too.

3. If they are going to be there anyway, might as well join study. Self explanatory.

4. Maybe the husbands will have the opportunity to form a strong bond with one another. Sometimes smaller groups allow for better interaction.

I suggested it to my church board realizing that this will be a trial and error sort of thing. Maybe it will work. Maybe it won't. Who knows at this point?

So when a lady approaches me today and asks to move study up, I was a little dumbfounded. I understood her reasoning--she really wants to be with her husband in church--and I appreciate it. She also wants to keep the church body united.

It was never my intention, however, to "divide" the church body. I was just hoping to give some women a chance for a better connection--if at all possible. And I needed a way to streamline the scheduling. I don't want to complain because I have a pretty sweet schedule, but the school year can be pretty hectic.

With my thoughts in mind, you think I would share a few of them...or that I would at least not be bothered by her comment regarding unification. But I am. I feel like (even after she said this wasn't the case) that she believes that I have no desire for unification in our church. The truth is this: I need this for a connection. I need to connect with other people on a deeper level. It is not enough for me to share a pew with them, and the good majority of our meetings don't always allow us the depth of conversation that Bible study allows.

So my voice failed me. Why does it always happen at the most inopportune of moments?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Blood and Redemption

Jesus, in the Bible, is so human. Too often, I have turned him into some sort of other-worldly superhuman who relies on his divinity to survive the chaos we know as human existence. His “human-ness” (not to be confused with humanism) is possibly best seen in the garden (Matt. 26:39-46; Mark 14:33-41; Luke 22::39-46; John 18:1). It takes every gospel account to put together an adequate picture, but the different perspectives are often easily dismissed as nothing more than part of the puzzle of the cross.

Mark and Matthew provide more descriptive language (even though this “descriptions” falls decisively short of the emotion of the moment), but Luke’s account, mostly matter-of-fact, includes a paralyzing medical diagnosis—’His sweat became like great clots of blood dropping down upon the ground” (Amplified).

English, as a language, is sadly lacking in its descriptiveness. I may never be able to explain agony, distress or depression to a person who has never lived them, but when someone sweats blood, it’s hard not to wonder what sort of stress must be placed on a body to achieve that sort of physical reaction. That question led me to a conclusion: At the most, a gospel provides us with nine verses to share Jesus’ emotional (and human) predicament. Too often, I’ve glossed that text failing to realize that Christ was clearly laying his feelings bare—”I would like to have a different plan, but my job is to follow—not lead.”

I wonder if there were other times like this that aren’t recorded in scripture. When the sun set, and Jesus laid down and was alone with his thoughts, I wonder if there were moments of sobbing and begging the Almighty to turn things around. I hesitate to believe the garden is the first place Jesus asked to give that cup back. The truth is that the situation is not unfamiliar to many. Who will ever be capable of counting the number of tears that have been shed as godly men and women have asked—begged even—for one cup or another to pass from their lives? With many, you will rarely see the agony they face. The reality of the cup is daily; the hurt (maybe even feelings of betrayal) likely comes when everyone else is asleep, or as we’ve seen through familiar scripture, when everyone who has been asked for support sleeps. I guess sympathy is hard to come by when there is no precedent to draw on. How can night be explained to a person who has only seen daylight?

At the end of these scriptures, Jesus agony is just beginning. That scene is so poignant for me. I can’t believe I was so willing to pass right over it n the same way I would read a menu (“Chicken fingers—en, I had those LAST night.”). Christ didn’t keep on keeping on just because he knew His Father’s Will. He agonized over that circumstance. Suddenly I understand Paul’s admonition: “I want to know Him in His sufferings,” because now I realize that resolution may not mean twenty minutes at an altar followed by a potluck (Phil. 3:10). I want to understand how Christ was able to dislike the plan enough to beg for it to change, and still give himself over completely the hands of one who created that plan. I guess sometimes it requires self-sacrifice and the agony of a cross.

After Luke’s pronouncement of sweat and blood, the IVP New Testament Commentaries states that in “a literary sense, the shedding of blood is already beginning. A deep dependence on the Father sometimes comes with great pain.” It’s the simplest way to sum up one of the most difficult concepts I’ve ever faced. It’s a promise of pain—dying to self wasn’t meant to be pleasant. But the theme of blood is also coupled with the concept of redemption.

I had never considered the fact that my redeemer had to die to self before he could accept His Father’s plan fully. Why should my journey be any different?

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Zumba Revelation

Another Friday, another week down, another night at Zumba with Morgan and Mary Beth. The class was smaller tonight and I didn't feel like my left lung was going to need to be surgically removed from my right knee when Mary Beth was finally done with us, so my mind drifted a bit while I "kumbia-ed" my way across the floor. The past couple of weeks I haven't been able to avoid the variety of bodies around me--all attending class with different goals in mind. My goal has been so neon-bright in my mind that it's all I can think about during class. I feel things shake and my thoughts shudder trying to imagine what other people see as I attempt Latin-style moves a bit too hip-hop for the whitest girl this side of the Mississippi. I watch other women and contemplate, "Do I look like THAT when I cha-cha?"

The self-consciousness took over. In several classes, I found myself refusing to give any extra hip movement, pulling my waistband up in order to "secure" any love handles that might shake during a squat and wearing bigger t-shirts to cover up offending parts that could not be strapped down or in. Today, as I hiked my britches in an attempt to do some quick camoflauge, I realized something: I like the way my body feels when I do some of those moves. Granted, if I were to catch a glimpse of myself in the floor to ceiling mirrors at the front of the room, I would probably see something the equivalent of that African anteater mating ritual from Can't Buy Me Love. But the way it looks is beside the point. It FEELS amazing. There is a freedom in some kinds of dance that is just...liberating, I suppose.

Truthfully, the problems is that it won't matter how much weight I lose--I will still have this body. I will still have problems with this body. Stretch marks, weird angles (or lack of) and odd proportions will get on my nerves when I'm not focusing on the last 60 lbs. The fact that I am the color of paper will probably come to my mind more often than my shaking thighs do now. It's not fair for me to believe that losing the last bit (as though it's just 4 lbs...HA!) of the weight I'd like to see go will all of a sudden put me into a romantic relationship with my form. But appreciating what this form can do--movement, feeling, stretching, touching--that will change the way I feel about me and what I walk around in.

It's so funny. There are different women in that class on Monday than on Friday, and it's possible that for every person, there is a different personal goal. Morgan and I joined with the intention of losing weight. In the process, I gained a friend. Who knew that exercise could give anyone the opportunity to get to know someone else without yelling about how much running sucks?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The beginning of the end

Spring break will be over tomorrow, and it's back to the daily grind of educating young minds. Chris and I spent our spring break in Orlando, Florida, and it was a fantastic get-away. To know that you're in 92 degree weather when your hometown is braving sleet and snow (not kidding) is a warm fuzzy beyond belief. On another note, I pretty well allowed myself to eat whatever I wanted to eat on vacation. This led to a 3 lb weight gain (which isn't horrible) over the course of my "wonderful" vacation.

That wouldn't be so bad, but I have somehow managed to misplace my thyroid medicine (which I JUST refilled) when we got back from Orlando. I called the pharmacist to see if I could get it replaced. Turns out, I can, but I have to pay full price--about $100--because my insurance company just payed for the refill a few days ago. Talk about frustrating. It's also a controlled substance...so those wonderful people at the pharmacy would need approval from my doctor in order to do the refill. Again, not so bad aside from the $100 price tag.

That said, I've really been trying to do some ab exercises on my own. I've also been wondering why weight loss is so hard. I don't need to eat as often as I do. I don't need to eat some of the garbage I put in my mouth. I don't mind going to Zumba or doing ab work. How did I come to this point? Any dieter will probably ask the same question. Any woman who has ever struggled to fit into her "skinny" jeans would probably confess the same realities.

It's frustrating to know that so many things in life are hit and miss. There are some who are blessed with quick metabolisms. There are some who are not. It seems really random how some are gifted and blessed and others are not given the same gifts or blessings. I wonder if this is something that evens out with age, or if it's a life constant. Something makes me think it's simply a constant that must be swallowed--perhaps with a spoonful of sugar?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

One plus one plus one plus one...

Down 1 1/4 lbs this week. It's a success, small or not.

I'm tired. I feel like I've had the garbage beaten out of me, and it's only Tuesday. I should've worked this weekend, and I didn't because I figured I needed the time. Regretting that now. Today, I realized I had three huge stacks of grading, and I hadn't even finished my handouts for this week. Chaulk it up to bad planning on my part...or forgetfulness on my part...or something on my part. Who knows? At any rate, I'm hoping this lets up by the end of the day tomorrow. I don't want to be exhausted when we leave for vacation.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Are you Kidding?

So I weighed in this week--got on the scale, thought I was down one pound. I was excited, because a loss is a loss. When she doubled checked the weight with me, I was off. I was down....TWO POUNDS :) Now, I realize this isn't a 20 lb impressive week, but it's more than what I originally thought :)

5 lbs total. Wish it was more, but it's getting more consistent now.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Dresses and bad legs

I absolutely love dresses. I love flow-y material that looks feminine. I love the idea of dresses and how girly one can look in them. I especially love that it is sometimes possible to buy a dress in a full size smaller because they are flared around hips and thighs.

This season I am appreciative that the "maxi" dress has come back into style. Long dresses are imperative for those of us who don't have the prettiest legs. I am cursed two-fold: I cannot tan and have the whitest legs known to man, and I have man-calves. I just don't have cute legs. But the maxi dress allows for all the femininity without the worry of ugly legs. One would think the problem is solved, right?

Nope. Now, on top of worrying about whether a dress is long enough to cover my legs, I am always concerned about the issue of modesty. For those of us with a rather generous helping up top, it becomes difficult to find things that are both modest and attractive. I am not interested in wearing a turtleneck every day of my life; however, I am also uninterested in flashing my top half to the free world. Surely there is an in between, right? Surely it's possible to provide a little more material for the sake of covering one's self.

I had always considered myself blessed because that generous portion meant my waist looked smaller that it really was. But now, on top of being jealous of their figures, I am also jealous of smaller girls who do not have this issue. I long to be able to throw just about anything on and look adorable anyway. I'm jealous of those girls who can just pick up a dress, throw it over their head, slip on some flip-flops and call themselves ready. Instead, the good majority of my wardrobe is carefully planned to cover, conceal and de-enhance.

Will weight loss ever bring me to that point? Is it possible to hit that point?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Finally

I get to show a real loss at a weigh-in. I'm currently three pounds down from the last weigh-in for the competition and five pounds down from my visit to the doctor (crazy that there was a 2 lb difference, right?). I'm feeling less frustrated, and not as tired. It's a good feeling. It does disturb me that it bleeds over into other areas of my life, too, though.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Week...oh, who can remember at this point?

I gained a pound in the weigh-in this week. Beyond frustrating. I ended up going back to my doctor and she put me back on my previous thyroid medicine. I had hoped that I would be able to do it myself this time, but I guess there are some situations that require help. At any rate, I started re-taking the medicine on Wednesday, and this morning (Saturday) my scale is showing a three pound loss--already! I'm not sure if this is my incapability of reading the scale, or if the medicine really does work this well. Nonetheless, it's nice to see that some efforts are paying off. We'll see as of the weigh-in this coming Tuesday.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Just Another Manic Monday

Back to Zumba today after a week layover. Good grief--I thought I was going to die after 30 minutes. Just goes to show that regular exercise has to stay regular in order to keep up--literally. Morgan and I have formed a bond with our instructor (Yay, Mary Beth!) and Zumba is something I actually look forward to instead of dreading.

Unfortunately, I have yet to see a loss. That whole thyroid thing really becomes a frustration when you are doing everything right and have yet to see a loss. I'm making an honest effort to look past the scale (really hard when the competition is based on weight LOST) and focus on how my body feels and how clothes fit. I have to admit, I do feel stronger and there are muscles that feel tighter since we started class. I'll consider that a win.

Of course, emotional issues make it harder to stay on track. It's going to sound stupid, but I was really thrilled to walk out of Walmart WITHOUT the double-stuffed oreos. When I'm going through emotional trauma, I usually succomb to the temptation. I just started thinking about how I look, how I used to look and how I want to look. It worked. It's seriously a first. So maybe now it's a little easier to understand why I'm still a little proud despite the fact that I'm losing this competition with flying colors.

Morgan, on the other hand, is doing fantastically. I'm really proud of her. She's almost to our 15 lb, new shoe mark. Kudos...and more power to her.

Until the next time...and a random rant on Public school vs. other kinds of schooling...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Another Day...No School

We HAVE to go to school tomorrow. I'm going nuts at home. I don't want to lesson plan anymore. My motivation is completely gone.

Tomorrow is our second weigh-in, and I'm starving today. I don't know why I'm so hungry. I could seriously eat for hours, I think. If I don't lose weight tomorrow, I'm going to seriously consider quitting. I know that sounds harsh and ridiculous, but I feel like I'm putting this effort in to stay the same. If I was going to stay the same, couldn't I just eat the things I wanted to eat in the first place? This is going to pay off, right? I'm not just doing this for nothing, right?

Arggg...

(P.S. Here we go, Morgan. Only four posts in, and I'm already to the whining stage).

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Hungry

It's Sunday and I just recently received a call from the high school that stated we will not be in school again tomorrow. I'm going nuts here. I think I'll probably go in tomorrow and do some work anyway.

It's been a frustrating day. Diet-wise, I've been pretty good. I haven't eaten anything crazy even though I'm HUNGRY, but I'm coming to realize that part of being an adult means seeing things in people you wouldn't normally want to see...or know. Maybe my concentration on other issues has kept me from nosing in the fridge.

In the last year, I've faced some pretty crazy things faith-wise. There was a time when it wasn't beyond the realm of conception to believe and know that belief was solid, concrete, sustainable. These days I'm lucky if it's as fluid as a glass of water. Part of it may be due to seeing things in people I never saw before; part of it is likely due to seeing things in myself I never thought existed. Turns out, in the face of real faith, I can't seem to walk on my own two feet.

Of course, maybe that's the point. We were never really meant to trek the walk of faith alone. Maybe I'm finally realizing what Paul meant when he said, "THROUGH CHRIST, I can do all things" (my paraphrase). I've depended on myself for far too much--beyond any conception of what I am capable of delivering. And every time, every single time, I couldn't deliver.

I know God is faithful. I know He is constant. And in the face of those two facts, I still struggle with enduring some things that I don't know how to deal with--leadership issues, personal problems, deep contempt for people in my life, lack of belief in other people. Is part of stepping out in faith simply recoginizing those things and allowing Him to work as you walk? I wish I felt like I was capable. But again, if it doesn't come back to me, maybe that was the point.

Hungry seems to work two ways, doesn't it? Turns out I'm hungry for more than food...

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Hazy Saturday Morning

I went Zumba-ing with my friend Morgan yesterday and then we went out to eat with our husbands at Buffalo Wild Wings. I'm going to have to learn a couple of things in my attempt to make real lifestyle changes. At the top of the list? Buffalo Wild Wings does not work for me.

It's time I get serious about this losing weight thing. I've changed a lot of my eating habits so that I'm not eating crazy stuff anymore, but I need to be more careful when I go out to eat. AND, and this is the one that kills me every time, I'm really going to have to devote myself to exercise. Zumba is no big deal. Since I have a buddy there, I have to go. But the other two days a week I SHOULD be exercising? Yeah...I pretty well do nothing. It's time to bite the bullet. If I really want to show big losses on the Biggest Loser thing, I'm going to need to get going.

I wonder how many calories I used to burn worrying about clothes, boys and makeup? It must've been a lot, because I'm significantly fatter now than I used to be. Can I legitimately blame my husband for a lot of that? I mean, if not for him, I would still be worrying about clothes, boys and makeup, right?

Friday, January 30, 2009

It's Been One Week

It's been a long week--stuck at home in the middle of a snow storm that wasn't nearly as bad as the ice we got last year. I wish I felt more motivated when I had this time. Instead, I feel like laying in bed and reading. Or sitting in the bathtub and reading. Or laying on the couch and reading. Of course, none of those things means stuff around my house gets done, and even fewer of them help with the weight loss goals I've set for this year.

Why is it easier to stay on track when you are on a schedule? This is nothing I've been able to figure out, but it certainly leads me to a healthy fear/respect of that open summer vacation I'll be looking at in a few months. So far I gained 1/2 lb after a weekend retreat--and the first weigh-in we had during our Biggest Loser competition at school. We didn't get to weigh-in this week due to the snow storm, but I'm hoping to see an 8% loss next week. Is that unrealistic thinking? Possibly, but that goal will hopefully drive me when I want to stare into the fridge for the 14 millionth time...