Friday, May 31, 2013

Changes A-Plenty!

I realized that two weeks ago when I promised a nice lengthy blog to let my readers know what I've been up to, that I never actually got around to posting anything. I've been keeping myself busy with so many things recently that blogging has been on a back burner for quite some time now. Many things have changed in my life and I've taken a very proactive approach to my weight loss and health. Let me indulge you in what has taken shape over the course of the past couple of months.

In April I met a wonderful woman who was in a really crummy living situation and was needing some assistance. I talked it over with my family and since we had three rooms of our home that we weren't using, I decided to offer for her to stay with us. She moved in with us in April and it was a chaotic time of moving her stuff in and getting used to having a roommate and trying to get onto a schedule where everyone was comfortable. It all fell into place rather easily and order was established. Our new roommate is a vegetarian, so upon her moving in our family decided to also go vegetarian to make grocery shopping and cooking family meals easier on everyone. There have been a couple of times that I have eaten meat since then and it has made me feel absolutely awful. My body is just not accepting of complex proteins like that anymore. So on top of my necessary gluten free diet, I now have adopted a vegetarian diet as well. How am I handling that? Pretty well I think. I don't crave meat or miss it at all. I have discovered new recipes and vegetables that I never even knew existed. We eat at home almost all the time so having this new diet is saving us money on eating out at restaurants. There are also some pretty awesome benefits to eating "clean" and strictly limiting my processed food intake: my skin is clearer and I rarely break out anymore. My nails are growing nicely and I am able to give myself pretty manicures without having to spend money at a salon for fake nails, my hair is healthy and is falling out less (when I'd wash my hair I'd usually pull out 2-3 handfuls of hair per washing, now it's just a few stray hairs that I pull out when I condition), I'm losing inches off my body and I've lost about 7 pounds and I'm sleeping better at night. At first I was apprehensive about the diet change but now that it's been well over a month I am feeling better than ever and I don't regret making that choice at all.

On top of all the diet changes I started walking daily at the park by our house. I don't make excuses and I get out there and do it. I started with about 2 to 2 1/2 miles per session about 3-4 days a week. I'm up to 5 miles per session 5 days a week and I've added in jogging to that as well. I can jog for up to a mile now without having to stop. I'm slowly working my way up the fitness ladder because I want to drop weight and lose those stubborn inches that have unnecessarily been clinging to me for years. I want to demonstrate a healthy lifestyle for my son and give him a person to look up to and want to be like. I can't very well tell him he needs to be more active if all I do is sit around on my butt and stuff my face now can I? I've tried various times of day for my exercise and I usually go out around 7am. The humidity and heat index are very low at this time of the morning and usually the sun hasn't completely risen yet, so I can get more accomplished in a very comfortable environment. I have tried exercising on an empty stomach or after I've eaten a meal and I do much better if I drink a cup of my coffee (international house brand froo froo coffee because "real" coffee kills my stomach now due to the gluten sensitivity) then head out for my workout. I get up at 6am, play around on my computer while I drink my tasty beverage and then I'm off for some workout magic. Some days our roommate goes with me which is nice to be able to have conversation during my workout. I do tend to be more focused and determined when I'm by myself and pushing to reach those goals that I know I can get to with just a little more effort on my part.

The corridor of trees in the park I work out at

With all these new and fabulous changes I recently decided that it was time to change my appearance too. My hair was incredibly long because I'd been growing it out and I had gotten to the point where I could no longer manage the thick mane that it had become. Pony tails cause migraines, braids were difficult to accomplish and wearing it down was just too hot and sticky because of how dense and thick my hair is. So it got cut. Not just a little either, a lot. 11 inches to be exact. I feel so much better with shorter hair now and it's so very easy to care for and maintain. I have gotten several compliments on it when I have it styled and fixed neatly. When I work out I wear ball caps so my hair can't be seen, it keeps it out of my face and protects my head from any sunlight that may penetrate through the tree canopy, I don't want a sunburned head.

 Before the cut it was almost to the middle of my back

After the cut it's chin length

I wear hats when I work out to keep it out of my face

Also recently we had my son's 5th grade graduation celebration. We were so proud and excited for him because the past 6 years (counting kindergarten) have been rough. Trying to figure out what medication he needed to be on, finding teachers that were willing to listen and work with him instead of just getting angry because of his hyperactivity, finding a doctor that would listen and not just write and prescription to make a paycheck, it has all been very trying but we made it! When we moved I made sure that his medication was changed and that has made such a remarkable difference. I am looking forward to him going into middle school and opportunities opening up for him so he stays challenged scholastically and physically with some extra curricular activities of his choosing. It's a big step and I'm ready for it!

So changed my diet, my exercise regiment, my appearance and my overall attitude about life. I don't spend hours mindlessly playing computer games anymore either. I have started reading and I use the goodreads app on my phone to keep track of what I'm currently reading, I still have to go through and add all the books I've read to it but I just haven't gotten around to that task yet. Don't get me wrong I still geek out sometimes and spend a little time on the computer, but it's not every day anymore. I am finding other ways to entertain myself and keep busy. My next big adventure will be buying new shoes. The Nike's I bought last year are dying slowly and I need to replace them. They have served as my only pair of shoes since I got my orthotics and I purged my closet when we moved and got rid of all my other shoes. Now it's time to replace them and get a new pair of running shoes. I would also like to get a nice pair of summer shoes that aren't athletic in nature and can be worn with my everyday clothing when I go out. I'd like to wear some of my summer skirts but it looks very ridiculous with black and hot pink athletic shoes on. There are many clothing pieces I'd like to pick up, like actually workout clothing. It's getting a little to warm for t-shirts and long pants here in the South and I'd like to be a little more comfortable when I work out so I'm not so tempted to quit when the going gets hot. Plus having clothing that actually fits me and isn't 1-2 sizes too big would be nice as well. I love the fact that I'm getting smaller but my wardrobe is starting to look a bit frumpy on me now. I can make do for awhile longer but eventually it will be time for another round of donations and time to replenish my closet with new more updated and fitted options. Yay for getting smaller by the day!

That's what I've been up to lately. Keeping busy, learning a new way of cooking and eating and shopping. Trying to find hobbies that I can share with my friends and be proud of and gain knowledge and entertainment from as well. Having a more positive attitude and not even thinking about being depressed (what's that I haven't felt that in months...) or sad because I am unhappy with my life. When you realize that the only person in this world who can make your life better for you is you, it tends to light a little fire of motivation under you because you don't want to let yourself down. I have complained for years about wanting things to be different for me, well I'm making it happen bit by bit and that's the way it needs to be. I am accomplishing these goals with support and love from those around me but ultimately they are my choices that are bringing forth the changes I have wanted for years. I have goals, I have desires and I am going to get to where I want to be and nobody or nothing is going to stand in my way anymore. So I drink my coffee and I get it done daily for nobody else but ME! What have you done lately?

Friday, May 17, 2013

....(Insert the Sound of Crickets)

I promise I have not fallen off the face of the Earth and died. Things here have been busy and at times chaotic. I have been struggling with myself over whether I should blog or not because I just don't feel that I have anything spectacular to tell my readers. To me my life is pretty mundane and simple. I read a few blogs that are so inspirational and the bloggers do such awesome things or travel to amazing places. Well I may not be a seasoned blogger with a plethora of stories to tell but there have been some major changes in my wee little life and I'm sure you would love to hear all about them, right?

I will give a very lengthy blog post after my morning workout today about what has been going on and talk about how these changes make me feel and where I'm at in life right now. So stay tuned for my huge, long over due, awesome blog post!

If anyone complains about the blog post length, I have no sympathy because this post is a warning. When you go months without posting....need I say more?