The Summer Of Not Doing Much– But In Reality, Accomplishing A Lot

An update on The Summer Of Not Doing Much– But In Reality, Accomplishing A Lot

This Summer: It’s been great. I’ve watched a lot of movies. I’ve spent lots of time cuddling and playing with the Beans. I’ve exercised just about 6 days a week. I’ve tried out lots of healthy new recipes that we both really enjoy. And! I’ve lost somewhere in the range of 15-20 lbs since late March.

Left -- in March. Right--- Last Week. A new haircut, too!

Left — in March. Right— Last Week. A new haircut, too!

 Yesterday I had my yearly health assessment for my insurance. I’ve lost 6.5 inches around my waist, although it’s probably more since I was doing a great imitation of a roller coaster with my poundage. I still have a little ways to go, but not much. For the first time in a three years ALL my clothes fit. Actually, many of them are bordering on too big now and I’d like to thank strength training and lean muscle for that one. I feel good. I want to eat healthy food. I don’t even want pizza. I know. Somebody slap me back to my senses! No, don’t, because I’d like to relish in this moment for a bit. This is pretty much the first time in my life where eating and exercising are a balanced part of my life.

When I was a kid/teenager, I never routinely exercised.  When I was 16ish, my family changed our eating habits and I lost 40+ lbs in the course of a year. It was great, but it all came back on with college stress and life changes. By the time I was a sophomore, I knew I had to do something. I wasn’t happy. I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror. During a nutrition and health class required by my major, I realized the thing I had to change was the plod/sedentary pudge I had become. I started working out at the university’s high tech gym. Back then it took me 45 minutes to run 3 miles. And that was after working up to three miles. But I haven’t stopped working out since. Now, I have pretty awesome endurance. I love, love, love the mindlessness of cardio and regularly do an hour to an hour and a half of it. But even with all the exercise, when life got stressful about 3 years ago, a lot of the weight came back. Not all, thanks to massive amounts of cardio, but enough that I’ve been slowly yo-yoing back down for three years.

This year sucked. And all the weight I lost last year came back. I see now that I was on auto-pilot. I knew what I needed to do to lose and then maintain a healthy weight, but it was hard, and I didn’t care, and when I cared too much I became discouraged and if you’ve ever been discouraged you know that feeling tastes a lot like a box of cheeze-its. Which is where my hand would find itself on particularly bad days/weeks.

Me in a dress that I bought and never fit into. UNTIL NOW.

Me in a dress that I bought and never fit into. UNTIL NOW.

This summer I told myself we would do better. We owed it to ourselves. I really owed it to me (ok, pinterest quote, settle down). I wanted to actually reap the benefits of all the work I put into my workout. I also want to live for a long time but not as a sedentary cheeze-it pudge. So I stuck to my commitment and I’m glad I didn’t give up.

These are some of the things that really helped/ are helping to keep me going:

  • The Lose It! App – you can log everything you eat. Need to scan a bar code? No problem. Do most of your own cooking? Cool, you can input recipes and see how much you’re actually eating.
  • The South Beach Diet (but the vegetarian recipes, because animals)- This is the lifestyle change my family made when I was in high school. The hubs and I choose the best sounding/ my favorite old recipes. It’s simple, delicious, and healthy food.
  • Limiting carbs-  I love carbs. If I could hug every potato in the world, I totally would.  If you told me I could never have bread again, I’d punch you right in the mouth. But I hold these carbs so dear that I can actually eat a whole loaf of healthy bread by myself. And still have room for potatoes and pizza. So, I’ve tried to limit those favorite carbs. And it’s been pretty ok!
  • Vegan recipes- In the name of limiting carbs I had to find alternatives to those things that I love, those starchy, starchy things. I stumbled on vegan recipes like this one, and this one, and this one. While not all of those are a replacement for the love of my life, starch (Just kidding, Chris! I love you the most! Especially if you are cradling a potato!), it doesn’t matter because the food is so. damn. delicious.
  • Moderation- I can still have beer. I can still eat bread. I just can’t do these things every day. BUT THIS IS AMERICA! I SHOULD HAVE ALL THE BEER AND POTATO CHIPS I WANT. Yes, but, you turn into a catatonic salt and vinegar dipped in beer infused version of yourself, Nancy, and you don’t like that aftermath. I allow myself a “cheat day” or an occasional not as healthy treat during the week. It can’t be every day, but if we are at a friend’s house and they have pie? I am probably going to still have a small slice. And so help me if I ever have to give up beer. I can’t! But if I limit myself to 1-2 beers once a week, it’s a treat and not a part of my unbalanced diet.
  • Exercise- I already worked out a lot. I just wasn’t getting any benefit because I wasn’t paying attention to my diet because apathetic Nancy was apathetic. Even on the days that I don’t run for 8 hours, I can see/feel the difference it makes because I’ve finally balanced eating and exercise in a way that works for me.
  • Chris-  He signed on to eat better. He encourages me when I feel like a pudge (and makes sure to tell me I am emphatically not a pudge). He started exercising too. He lets me try all sorts of crazy/new vegan and vegetarian recipes. The hubs is pretty much the best person ever and this would have been many cheeze-it boxes harder if he wasn’t so helpful.

So that’s all really. It’s been a summer of loss and Netflix. I’d call that a success. I hope if you’re trying to push through your own healthy hurdle that you are seeing positive changes, too. If not, keep going. Avoid the cheeze-it aisle. You can do it (ok, motivational kitten poster, nobody takes you seriously)… (but really, you can do it.)

Advertisements

I Only Roast Chickpeas In This Oven

ImageI don’t know what to write about this evening. I told myself that I would write a thing a day for the next 7 days but I feel neither creative nor humorous. So I’m going to write about assumptions in this post that I have just titled Assumptions: Or, How I am Definitely, Really Not Pregnant Or I Only Roast Chickpeas In This Oven and That Oven Is In The Kitchen So Stop Alluding Already.

We got married last month in the courthouse, no muss, no fuss. It was awesome and exactly what we wanted. We told everyone we were going to do it and 26 days later we did. I guess this is still incredibly incriminating evidence of pregnancy in this day and age. Honestly, I didn’t even think about how the quick turn around might set tongue’s wagging, because, well, we just got married our way.

But damn if people didn’t start asking all sorts of questions about whether or not the reproductive plumbing was cooking a small version of us. And I mean, everyone. Teacher friends at school, pretty sure some people in the extended family, the grocery bagger at the store.

Yeah. The bagger. At the checkout. At the grocery store.

“So you guys going to have some kids now?” he asked as he expertly packed the rice and cereal.

Good gravy, man, I just got married! And what stake do you have in this anyway!? I wanted to yell, but instead said, I teach. I have 32 kids an hour. That’s plenty. Alsoareyoudonebaggingthosepotatoesbecausethisisreallyawkward.

The best, and kindest way I’ve heard this whole third degree baby thing put is this: people are excited for us, and they want to welcome us to the club: the married and usually jonesing for children club.

I just don’t know quite how to handle that exclusive offer sometimes.

Like today, when someone asked how my weekend was and it suddenly turned into IS THERE A BABY INSIDE YOU. It went like this:

How was your weekend? she asked. Simple. Not a trap. There is no way this can somehow turn to my uterus.

I said, pretty good considering I was sick with a head and chest infection.

And then, “You’re not pregnant are you!?

Oh crap! 9 out of 10 chest infections turn into babies! No, nope, that’s not right. Ok, I’m good. We’re good! No worries! Still baby free!

I’m not sure if I’ll ever quite be at peace with the unsolicited advice, interest, and questions about possible buns in ovens.

Chris assures me that people will stop asking either when we’re forty… or dead.

Mysteries of the Pantsless

Don't judge the wrinkles.

Don’t judge the wrinkles.

The plains and the people in them were finally taught a lesson after two years of sticking our thumbs in our ears and going “pbbbbfffft” at the weather. Or maybe it’s just me that does that. Around February 15th every year I dare Mother Nature to get colder, because, please, I can practically see March and Spring Break, you wouldn’t dare, Nature.

She dared. There is a snow drift practically up to my big picture window and I’ve been inside for two going on three days. I am anxious to go outside but also, no thank you, because it is cold, I am short, and I might get lost in the hip deep depths a few paces from our front door.

So, excuses to stay inside: I haven’t written anything in a while and I am trying to do that more. Excellent. A reason to stay in my jim jams for another half hour and entertain no one but myself with another teaching story.

_

It is a well-known fact that Miss G. does not wear pants. The 6th grade children, who somehow cannot remember homework or that they should, yes, please, write their names on all their papers, run into one another because they have no spacial awareness, have sharp eyes for inside out sweaters (I wish this had only happened once. I did it again this year, too. ) and fashion.

 The weekend after I bought a very trendy cape coat one 6th grade boy says, “Miss G.,” as he runs past and into the room just as the bell rings, “that is a very fashionable coat.”

See?

So they have noticed that I do not wear pants. Ever. Coldest day of the year? Who cares. That’s what tights and boots are for. It becomes a point of curiosity. And concern.

After a fun day of writing six word stories, they turn in their assignment: Write 6 different 6 word stories. One reads, “Please wear pants. It’s winter time.” Five words technically, but clever. Another, not about pants, but so sweet and endearing it has to be shared: “I still wish I could fly.” And you wonder why I love to teach middle school.

Another time a little girl turns to me with a serious question. “Miss G., would you rather wear pants or be chased by a bear?” Naturally, it depends on what kind of bear I am being chased by.

And just after the year turns over into 2012 and it is cold, cold, cold I finally do wear pants and they ask what I have done with Miss G. and it becomes a story that spreads to the whole of sixth grade. “Have you heard? Miss G. is wearing pants.” And they all come to look and tell me I don’t look like myself at all. It was a big mystery why I didn’t wear pants. I became much like the bearded lady at a carnival when both my legs were jammed into uncomfortable sausage casings. I mean, pants.

I wear them now. My current 6th graders have no idea what I put my kids through last year. If they saw me now, they might keel over in surprise.

And why didn’t you wear them, Miss G? They would ask.

Because it’s funny. Also, they pinch. Now let’s talk about grammar.