Saturday, August 06, 2005

Legally brunette moments

I absolutely love the movie Legally Blond. If you are a woman and you've seen it, you'll already know why. I watch this when I get off track and need to get my focus back - it never fails to help.
So, this past week has been a week full of legally brunette moments (since I am not a blond, although I do have blond highlights :). I'm slowly, but steadily, getting my life back in order and regaining my focus. Part of it has been that grad school summer session is winding down and I'm feeling better about starting the new semester. I'm getting more comfortable in my new job and getting into a better routine during the day to balance work, "me" time, grad school work and dog time. I've also recruited some people to help me stay on track with my weight loss and exercise goals. Since my divorce, that has been a sore spot with me. And the last two years have been terrible - I read recently in several different places (including one of my grad school texts) that weight gain around the waist, especially in women, is caused by stress and this also could lead to increased risk for heart disease and type II diabetes. My family has a well-known history of heart problems - and they've already found two in me that are not critical and will probalby not impact me, but I really don't want to go through heart surgery. The last two years ALL of the weight I've put on (about 10 pounds or so) has seemed to go straight to my waist. I hate it. So, I'm taking more positive steps to reduce stress and set goals that are realistic for losing the weight in a healthy way that doesn't involve extreme dieting, but does involve lifestyle changes.

So, my routine now (which I LOVE that I can do this with my new job - I could not with my old one due to having to get to work so early): I get up around 5:40 or so - which is the same time I used to get up, so it's no big change there, BUT instead of jumping the shower and rushing to get to school, I get my butt to the gym and spend about 40 minutes weight training and another 30 or so doing some type of cardio. I come home from the gym and if it's not incredibly hot/humid already (this is about 7:30 AM) - I walk the dog about 2 miles (another 30 minutes of moderate cardio). I then work from home from about 9 - noon and break for lunch. I spend my afternoons running errands or doing grad work or cleaning up around the house, then in the evenings I work a little more - which usually means making phone calls to my students. I stop around 8 and do whatever else needs to be done until bedtime. AND I'm trying to consistently get between 7-8 hours of sleep each night - 8 is ideal for me, but minimum is 7 I've found.

I was not getting that much sleep with my regular job - it was about 6 a night average - which I've also read contributes to the stress response and weight gain at the waist. ....sigh.... If I had known this sooner, I don't think it would have made that much of a difference - I had to keep the schedule I was on. What WOULD have made a difference is not having so much stress at my school during the day caused by my former a**hole of a principal and his lackey - my assistant principal (who also turned out to be an a**).

Other things I do to de-stress include adding yoga during the day at least a couple of times a week. I'm also occasionally doing my cardio in the afternoons and taking a class just to mix things up. And, I'm watching what I eat - right now WeightWatchers is my friend :) I like it because it's not a "diet" - but it's helping me be more conscious of what I eat by monitoring/journaling my food and I can see when I am making healthy choices, and when I am making stressful choices. I've also recruited 4 friends to motivate me - three of which are going to also embark on the weight-loss journey with me so we can keep each other motivated. A support system is critical. I used to have a personal trainer and she was my support system (my ex never would support anything I was doing - but he sure would pick on me, example: Why don't you get breast implants? You would look thinner. Nice guy, huh?) So, can't afford the trainer, but I CAN afford friends :)

I didn't mean for this to be a weight-loss rant this AM - but I did need to see it in black & white. Other things in my life are slowly getting under control as well. My house is slowly returning to normal and getting cleaned. I had to put a lot on hold due to trying to wrap up school for the summer. This weekend will be the finishing touches on the inside of getting my place cleaned and organized, then I will slowly begin working on the garage and getting boxes unpacked or stored, and throwing stuff out that I no longer want/need for any reason. I will soon be making my "master" list of things that I would like to do before the end of the year - but are not critical to be completed immediately. Then, as I have time, I will schedule those activities. For me, planning is crucial and allows me to stay on task and feel as though I have accomplished my goals - whether they be small (logging my food and exercise) or huge (finishing grad school) - I have to plan. But, I've been learning to set more realistic goals on a daily, weekly and monthly basis that are also allowing me to not stress and see things more clearly, and I'm not wigging out at the little things so much anymore. Example: my bank switched my credit card number and I forgot to change it on the online bill payer thing I use. So, my entire payment ( a BIG chunk of $$) went to the wrong card and it was showing a negative balance and the new one was showing no change. So, I calmly called the bank, explained what had happened and verified that they would take care of it for me. Done. The not-so-old me would have flipped out - even on the phone - the "newer" me is beginning to realize that shit happens and that to de-stress, I need to deal with things a little more calmly.

Oh, and the new me is planning a vacation for my spring break in March - and one of my friends (who is in the virtual weight-loss group) is planning on joining me :) Carribean vaca here I come!!!!!


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