Sunday, August 04, 2013
School started for me last Tuesday. Right now, it's all just meetings and professional development, which is fine. We have family conferences on the 8th and 9th, then kids come on the 12th.
I spent this summer working on me. I went to the gym a lot, and depending on which scale you look at, I lost anywhere from 7-12 pounds since mid-June. I relaxed, ate well, read books, took walks, went to concerts with Brad, and while I thought about school a lot, I didn't do much related to it.
I went back in toward the end of July and put my classroom back together so that it would be done before all of our training and professional development sessions, which I was helping facilitate. It's nice to know that the kids will be able to find things this year, that *I* will be able to find things, and that I can focus on planning and teaching and the other things I'll be involved in this year.
I have two new teammates this year. One is a brand new teacher, who is also a parent of one of our kids, which makes things somewhat complicated. She will be a good teacher, but her only experience is part time in a school for which everything is scripted and prescribed. She has lots of good ideas, but doesn't know how to fully think them through yet--that will come with time. The other has taught off and on for a little while--she took several years to raise her kids. I think we compliment one another well, though the newer teacher and I are very similar--we both need to control everything to feel like we are in the loop. That will make things interesting. But I suspect my stress level, despite having two new teachers to train in how we do things (because it is very different from anywhere else), will be significantly less than in years past.
So yeah, we went back this week and I made it successfully to the gym...twice. Once on Sunday and once on Monday. I need to honor myself and take myself to the gym after work consistently in order to keep pounds disappearing. It's not even the pounds really, but how I feel, and how I think I LOOK that makes the difference. I put on a pair of capris I haven't worn for a while and they fit better than they did last spring. I notice little things like that my arms look thinner or the side boob fat is getting smaller. I think those mean more than what the scale says, but my head still puts the scale's opinion first because that is how I am judged by others. When you hear that someone weighs almost 200 pounds, there's a picture attached, whether or not it is accurate. I never thought I LOOKED like I weighed that much...but apparently I must have.
I keep thinking that a particular weight looks different depending on the person. I dunno...
So my goals this week are to get to the gym every day, granting myself one grace day, eating well and pre-planning for meals at school, and remembering that this is a process and a journey--it won't all happen at once, and if I make mistakes, they're just like rocks on the trail...they might slow me down a little but I can still move forward.
Friday, June 14, 2013
My gym offers everything you can possibly imagine. Everything from a bazillion classes all day long to a medispa where you can get botox if you want it.
I don't really have a use for botox, but I did take advantage of one of their "tests" today. The Health Score. Basically, it's a smallish blood test to check cholesterol levels and a few other things as well as a short fitness test. One of the things it checks is weight and body fat. Sadly, not one of my scales is right. I weighed in today at 199....and 50.1% body fat.
Half of me is fat.
I wanted to cry.
I knew I was fat. There was never any question. I see it when I look in the mirror, clothed or otherwise. But I never imagined it was THAT bad.
I have lost no weight since I began working out and eating better at the beginning of the month. Not. One. Pound.
Not on any scale.
I wanted to just come home and curl up and cry.
But I stayed and listened to the trainer. A huge, hulking Katrina evacuee who never went home.
And I got overwhelmed with the data and what it all says. Apparently a lot of things contribute to weight gain and hamper losing it...not all of them have to do with choices I make. And then I got overwhelmed with all the "next steps" I should take.
After I listened, I went and worked out for about 40 minutes, lifting weights and such according to the plan Kelly put together for me. When I couldn't hold it in any longer, I went and got my stuff, picked up a healthy breakfast at their little cafe, and then went home and cried.
Saturday, May 25, 2013
I have three days with kids left. One with parents. And one to pack up my room and make it easy for the custodian to move my crap and clean my room this summer.
And I joined a gym. I know SP says you don't need a gym. I know that there are lots of online and DVD resources out there. I know that running costs like no money and there are lots of things that I can do just using my body weight.
But I can't do this by myself.
One of my families joined a gym that's a bit north of me and so I went to take a look at it. I'd been inside once when I picked up tennis balls from them for the feet of my classroom chairs. It's overwhelming.
It takes up a whole city block. It smells like new building though it's been there two years. They have a salon and spa, and a medispa. There's a cafe with healthy meals to go that cost as much as a fast food meal. The locker rooms are gorgeous. They have two pools (one inside, one ouside), a sauna, 2 whirlpools, and whole separate area for kids so adults are never working out with children around. I've never seen so many treadmills in my life. Their yoga studio is to die for and smells like bliss. They have a separate pilates studio, two cardio rooms, and the biggest cycling room I've ever seen. 10 tennis courts, two basketball courts, racquetball courts, and pretty much anything else you can think of..oh yes...a climbing wall.
It's overwhelming and that doesn't even begin to express what you feel when you walk in. They have more training staff than a hospital has doctors. And nutritionists on staff, personal trainers for anything you might want to do, and doctors on staff for medical and lab work to determine a thousand different things. Yeah, some of this might just be gimmick, but damn it's impressive.
I went to a yoga class Monday and it was amazing. I'd intended to go more but just got caught up in end of year stuff and was absolutely exhausted after 15 hours at school in meetings and with kids. That's the other thing. They have classes scheduled at times just about everyone can go...and the popular ones are spread out with multiple opportunities! Monday I intended to go to a barbell strength class, but misjudged 4:30pm traffic and missed the first 15 minutes by the time I got there and got changed. So I treadmilled a bit and then went to the yoga class. I'm going to the barbell strength class this morning in a couple hours and have a meeting with a trainer to talk about what I need to be doing in order to get this weight off.
I just...needed help. Guidance. Just...help.
When I went in for a tour, I sat there in front of this huge, intimidating guy (which was probably the worst choice as far as someone for me to talk to, but what do you do when the girl online doesn't *know* you?). He asked what I was looking for in a gym, and all I could get out was "Help" behind the tears welling up in my eyes and the catch in my throat.
The thing about this, and something a lot of guys don't get, is that this weight loss thing is very mental and emotional at the same time. One guy I used to work with said "Oh just have some self control!" as though that was the magic trick to this. Except if I had self control I wouldn't BE in this mess.
The first hurdle is believing that I am WORTH it. Am I deserving of the membership, the time, the dedication to myself? Normal people would say of COURSE! But that isn't how my mind works. I really had to talk myself into this membership and then have to talk myself into going EVERY TIME. (Fine..I've done it successfully all of once, but that took a lot of talking!) Brad couldn't wrap his head around why it was such a dilemma--for him it was a no-brainer. Of course I should join this gym, regardless of the cost, he said; I am the most important investment I could possibly make--all the other stuff doesn't matter.
I worried about the money, I won't lie. $64 a month is a lot of money. I have a sink in my bathroom that needs fixing. I have carpet that needs replacing. I have a jeep that has things that need to be fixed. I have linoleum that is 30 years old that needs to be dealt with. I have bills I should be paying off. Part of me, because of how I was raised, is that anything outside of food, shelter, clothes to wear to the office, and a way to get to work is an absolute luxury and anything that isn't one of those things isn't where money should go. (I've rebelled against that mindset by buying THINGS for many years, just to have, and just to prove I could.) And now that I've "dishonored" my family by having to declare bankruptcy this year, my brain says I really don't deserve THIS luxury or any other even if the money is there.
So I had to get over THAT hurdle first. Then I had to tell myself that even though I do not look "good enough" to be seen in a gym, going was the only way that I would ever get there. Trying to do this on my own hasn't worked. I let myself talk myself out of working out at home and have scared myself out of running or being outside to work out alone. The fact is, I don't know what I *should* be doing. Yoga is great, but unless I'm in a class, I give up too fast. Running is great, but again, my brain overrides my body and tells me I have to stop when I really haven't hit that wall yet. By myself, I don't have much in the way of weights and have no idea if I'm using them correctly anyway.
So this summer is going to be about me. I can see what I want my body to look like in my head and how I want clothes to fit, and most importantly, how I want to FEEL. I don't like thinking that parents are looking at me now wondering how I can be a role model to their child looking like this. I don't like knowing that some don't take me seriously because of the way I look. It's a real fear--people DO judge based on looks alone and those who are fit and attractive get people's respect.
I think that's what I want most of all...people to respect me both personally AND professionally, and to have the confidence to demand it. Maybe this will help.
Saturday, April 20, 2013
"It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of someone else’s life with perfection.” – Bhagavad Gita
I came across this quote this morning and I think it encompasses what I really need to hear sometimes. I think sometimes that we get caught up in what things should be, what our lives should look like, how our careers should progress, and what or who we should become in life.
When that happens, we feel and sometimes internalize the added stress that comes with it when we aren't executing this "plan" to perfection and we begin to doubt ourselves.
I did a bit of yoga this morning after having been away for a while. I focused on how my body felt, how intensely my limbs and muscles felt each stretch. I thought about my breathing, remembering to do it. It wasn't perfect. My hands couldn't touch in certain shoulder-relaxation poses the way the instructors did. I didn't feel graceful. It was all very imperfect. But afterwards, I felt that lingering gooeyness that comes after things have stretched out a bit, relaxed somewhat.
And that was what matters.
I don't have to live my life in a way that others deem perfect. I just have to live it in a way that brings me joy, and helps others find joy and happiness.
Sunday, April 14, 2013
Sisyphus was "condemned to an eternity at hard labor. And frustrating labor at that. For his assignment was to roll a great boulder to the top of a hill. Only every time Sisyphus, by the greatest of exertion and toil, attained the summit, the darn thing rolled back down again." You can read the whole tale here: http://www.mythweb.com/encyc/entries/sisyp
Sometimes I think that this is my fate. Somewhere along the line, I did something terrible and this is my punishment. I know though, that really, it's all in my head and that I'm the only one who can control any of this.
Work has been...work. I'm pleased with my kids' progress for the most part, and though my hours are still long, I feel, for the most part, that the time is well spent.
My relationship with my colleagues is suffering though. Earlier this year, one counseled another (newer teacher) to "Not become" me....meaning taking my work so seriously that there isn't room for anything else. Last week during a team meeting, we were talking about how we need to get on the same page about what data we are tracking and how we are tracking it, how we assess and how often. I noted that there are lots of things our new grading and data tracking system can do to help us with that. Others noted that not everyone is using the system correctly, if at all, and that we need to build in some accountability there for next year. We tossed around the idea of working this summer to design PD around these needs, and someone I really respect said that unlike the majority, I have no life, and I don't get that others don't DO the things I do because they don't WANT to--it's not important to them...and I simply can't relate.
And she didn't lie.
I can't relate. I get irritated when the colleagues with kids (and a couple of those without) come in late, don't follow through, take extra time off, don't show up to our students' events, don't do their part to make things run smoothly. I am one of four who don't have kids... So no, I can't relate. I see the things we are asked to do like before and after school meetings, data discussions and tracking, chaperoning of events, plan time meetings with one another, school-wide events, summertime planning for the next year...all of that is just part of our job. When someone doesn't do that stuff because "they have kids, and shouldn't have to do those things," they are essentially opting OUT of their job in my view. I get annoyed when they choose not to participate and then complain when "they aren't being consulted or included." I can't consult or include you if you don't show up to the discussion!!
Here's an example. Friday night our grade level put on a performance, once in the afternoon for the school and anyone else who wanted to come, and then again that evening. Instead of watching the performance and supporting our kids, one colleague holed up in her classroom. I'd heard that she wasn't planning to come to the evening performance, and she finally mentioned it to me as she flew out the door shortly after dismissal. That night, the remaining two of us had to field questions about why she wasn't there, and give her apologies. I am annoyed because she's known since FEBRUARY when this performance was. She chose to take a weekend trip to the mountains instead....planned three days before. She was never intending to come though--others had mentioned it weeks ago.
It looked bad to our parents, our board, our community as a whole, that one of the three of us wasn't there to support our students. But more importantly, her KIDS were upset by it. They were sad their teacher wasn't there. They were vocal about it. I had to answer questions like "How come you always come to these events, but she never does?" It broke my heart and I didn't know how to respond in a way that didn't paint her in a bad light....so I skirted the question and minimized why *I* choose to come.
When my respected colleague said that I have no life, she's right there too. I got to work and I come home. I don't go out of town unless it's school related--where would I get the money? I rarely participate in local events anymore because I feel that there isn't time and there are more important things to do. Brad and I rarely get out, even though he lives less than a mile from me because the demands on him with his business don't allow it--he's trying to stay afloat with 3 shops, one of which can be very good once it gets going. We talk online, and both of us are working... Could we do this in the same house? Sure we could...but so far it hasn't happened--there are a ton of other issues/factors in the way to allow it. So I wait. I posted about waiting a while back...I spent a lot of time waiting. I'm afraid to get involved in anything for fear that I will miss something...but really, I'm missing everything.
I watched a short video the other day, when we had a snow day and I spent 90% of it working to get caught up on the things I'd brought home, about a "new and improved" way to look at weight loss. The first thing the girl said was that often, we are so focused on tracking food and fitness, that there isn't any room for the important things...fun and enjoying life. We think we're "taking care of ourselves." In reality though, we are just setting ourselves up for failure again--when we do fail, even going so far as to eat a whole bag of something we know is bad for us, it's a deal breaker and we see that yet again, we have failed ourselves...and it just goes to hell from there.
I read blogs here, and while there are some who seem to enjoy this process--working out, tracking food, competing against themselves to continually see improvement, there are many of us who stumble and fall, and eat a bag of dove chocolates before we get up again.
And that is where I am right now. I'm the girl in the corner, surrounded by candy wrappers and an empty bag, wondering what I am going to do next...in any part of my life. I'm sad. I'm frustrated. I'm angry. Do I go the route of Sisyphus and start rolling the rock back up the hill? Or do I try something different. What does different look like? I'm not sure.
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