Kafka…This is why I love literature. Words have power. Sometimes we have to take it back.

kafka1906What was always incomprehensible to me was your total lack of feeling for the suffering and shame you could inflict on me with your words and judgments. It was as though you had no notion of your power. I too, I am sure, often hurt you with what I said, but then I always knew, and it pained me, but I could not control myself, could not keep the words back, I was sorry even while I was saying them. But you struck out with your words without much ado, you weren’t sorry for anyone, either during or afterwards, one was utterly defenseless against you.

They kinda saved my life.

And yes there maybe a little flare of the dramatic in that title. But I have no doubt. Yesterday a friend of mine posted an article on her facebook page. An article that as soon as I read the title, “How I gave up tupperware and got my life back.” I knew immediately what that title was about. I opened it and let it queue in my phone on the app for most of the day because I knew there would be no time to read it.

Blog1As soon as I was snuggled in bed last night I opened it back up and fell asleep before I was even through the first paragraph. And this was not because it was overly boring. It was because I was overly tired, overly emotional and I just needed to shut down. As soon as I opened my eyes this morning and had a cup of a coffee I turned on my phone and I remembered it. I finally had a chance to read. And the more I read the more I found myself thinking and then shouting, “yes”.

But that same yes was audibly heard in my bathroom about two weeks ago. My guy and I watching a show in bed and I say, “hey I am gonna run to the bathroom be right back.” A few moments later a loud and piercing, “Yes!” echos from our bathroom. He giggles and I giggle back. I open the door and he is looking at me confused and trying to read my face.

I never weigh myself at night. It is probably on  the top of every girl trying to lose weight’s top do not do list. But something compelled me that day. So I did. I saw that I had lost a stubborn two pounds that I had not managed to lose because of the addition of weights to my work out schedule.

And you wonder why this goofy story right? Well that two pounds was the first movement I had seen in two weeks. It was also something that I credit to my containers. I so understand the “prepping” part of weight loss and watch and I understand it can create an obsession. Most hate it. Most become frustrated with it and give it up. Some use it as an excuse and give it up. Heck I am all of three of those.

But my containers…They saved my life. They didn’t just kind of save my life. The completely saved my life. Call it dramatic if you will and I am okay with that. I am two root canals and three crowns in. I am in a three year treatment plan to salvage and strengthen my teeth. I am on a mission to save myself from the damage I have done to my nails, my bones and my body. These things have all been victims to my poor diet choices.

I thank God every single day that something in me clicked and I turned it around. I struggle even seeing going back. I see food very differently now. It may have started with a fad diet of pretty and colorful containers. But it has since turned into something very different. A saving of myself.

Three years ago I started a blog category titled, “One last thing.” I never really shared what it was for. Mostly because it was my one last thing. But when I look at my life and I think about all that I have had the ability to conquer and do my health has always been something that I just couldn’t. The roots of that are so very deep and something I haven’t even begun to deal with. But it was a combo revolution, root canal, taking time for myself and deciding I was worth it.

And yea my containers did that for me. I know for a fact that my relationship with food in the past has been unhealthy. I realized that good, healthy cooking and food  is so much more than what I thought it was. It can also be all cancelled out by poor choices. Poor choices like my pepsi addiction.

I don’t step on the scale every day. I am not obsessed with my next meal and what it can or can’t do to that daily number. What I have found and probably just realized more recently is if I eat right and make the best choices I can the rest just happens naturally.

The last few weeks I have heard multiple times “You are just melting away.” And I am not gonna sit here and act like I don’t work for it because I do and I work hard. But I am also not going to say that it has been incredibly hard. It hasn’t. I eat all the time. I just eat good foods that fuel my body. I also acknowledge that when I want to splurge I have to or it just won’t work.

And it has worked. I feel great which is the top priority here. I am getting my health back in line with where it needs and should be. I don’t feel deprived or depressed because I can’t have this or that. If I want it I have it. And if the scale reflects that choice tomorrow I refuse to beat myself up for that. I spent far too long beating myself up for the poor choices I was making. If 98% of my choices are good then yea.

This has been and will continue to be about loving myself. This is my revolution.

Best Carbs I ever ate.

Since the 21 day fix I am really careful about my carb consumption. More than anything I find that keeping my calorie count for the day helps and when I am doubtful of portion size I resort back to 21 Day Fix. I also try and do the counts of all the food categories on 21 Day Fix! Pasta irritates me so badly because one round of it in a day and screws with my calorie intake all day long. So I just decided unless I really need it, I ain’t having pasta.

Well today I had a shakeology so my calorie count is down for the day. I also have limited supply of food at this point because it is grocery day. So I knew the time had arrived to make Dragon Noodles. A recipe I had been eyeballing before 21. I had heard and seen so many raving reviews about it I almost felt left out since I had not tried it.

Well enter the perfect storm today of all of the above and it came time. I still was missing a few of the ingredients but not anything I felt would leave me not liking it. I also had to clean it up. I am very purposeful with everything I eat now, so if I am consuming it then it has to have a purpose that is good for me.

YUM!

The original recipe is from budgetbytes, a site solely dedicated to eating good and not spending a lot of money to do it. The original ingredient list is as follows:

Ingredients
  • 4 oz. lo mein noodles $1.13
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.20
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper $0.02
  • 1 large egg $0.25
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha (rooster sauce) $0.08
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro $0.22
  • 1 sliced green onion $0.06

Here is mine:

  • Whole wheat pasta (I made one cup that I intend to use in portions)
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil
  • Omitted crushed red pepper (didn’t have any)
  • Organic Egg (I believe an egg is an egg…I just buy organic)
  • 1 tbsp of raw honey (you could also use agave)
  • 1 tbsp of low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of sriracha
  • No cilantro or green onion (but they would be amazing and add an awesome freshness to pasta)

Follow the rest of the recipe and I used the coconut oil for the scrambled egg. I should say I don’t stray from butter. Butter is much healthier for you than margarine. However, I prefer my eggs with coconut oil.

I did measure it out with my yellow container because on my carbs I need to. This is probably my hardest weakness. I mean pasta in general. I love pasta and I realized just how much I was eating and it was alarming. So it is something that rarely happens. It was definitely worth it this go around and if I want the leftovers I am gonna have to do the work.

It was amazingly yummy and I will be making again!

Less of Me Post of Sorts.

“Keep your face to the sun and you will never see the shadows.”
Helen Keller

I usually take my stats week by week or even day by day sometimes. Then other times I forget about them all together. Or I obsess about why this is happening or why that isn’t happening. More importantly I learn that I control very little of it. I do what I can do to make those numbers change and the rest is up to God.

I am trying a lot harder to just love myself. To see the strength and will power that I do have. Those are things I needed to see. It is about more than a diet and I hate the cliched lifestyle statement. I have done both of those. That is not what this is nor has it ever been.

I called it a revolution and it is. But the revolution that is taking place isn’t just doing the next beachbody workout video or trying every vegetable known to man. It isn’t about a costly gym membership or a ticket to the clean eating club.

It is about changing me. The me who gives so very much to others. I do that so much sometimes that at the end of the day I collapse into a ball and realized I never even took time to breath and enjoy all that giving which is really why I do it. Giving is how I show love. But what do I get out of it if I never take the moments necessary to sit back and reflect in what happened?

I have had people tell me what I am doing or how I am living my life isn’t right. Normally, I would respond with hate and anger, but then I started to question why. Is their statement about me or is it more about them? And I know the answer. I teach my girls that every day. When you are unkind to someone to knowingly and purposefully hurt them that says more about you than it could ever say about them. Those are words I utter in my classroom almost weekly.

It is the unintentional hurts that we have to own. And I own that I have unintentionallySunshine hurt myself. I used and abused my body by the way I ate or didn’t exercise.  I did this for so long that it was crying out for this. It was sending up distress signals constantly. Begging for a few moments of sanity in the chaos. A chaos that I gladly welcome in the form of marriage, parenthood and a job that I love.

It is the quote, “Don’t blink or you will miss it.” Believe it or not the choosing to eat and exercise right and write more are where I find my peace.  I can’t say it will be there forever. But I can say I have to fight for that. That moment that keeps me moving from one moment to the next. It lets me reflect on who I am and what I want to be. Life is hard. Life is so hard dang it for all the many reasons you can read on my blog.

But I refuse to be a slave to the, “I can’t do this because….” machine. Because I can. I look back and realize I have made some pretty difficult decisions that some don’t agree with it or I have done things because someone thought I should. But that isn’t happening any more. I am not that person anymore. That belief and sentiment doesn’t just stick because I want it to be true. It takes a physical and mental exercise every day to make it happen.

I will own and each and everything I have done in this life. I will own each and every mistake. I will own each and every hurt to the fullest extent that I can. But never ever can anyone tell me my priorities are not right. Because they are. They always  have been. My faith and my family are first. The only difference here is that I added hating my body a little less to the list.

And clearly it is working…I am making strides. I have lost 33lbs and 18 inches. I have done all of that since January 3rd. I have become more firm in my beliefs and the things that I value and give my time too. So yea, I guess less of me isn’t just about weight on a scale but the baggage I carry for myself.

The good kind of stuff.

charlie

Every morning I walk into my classroom and I feel like it is home.  It isn’t that good kind of home to be with my guy or my baby girls. But it is awfully close. To go to work every day and love what you do has meant more to me than I can even verbalize. On my wall I have notes, letters, drawings, and projects if they will stick. My filing cabinets have presents of candles, cards and picture frames that all are just little tiny pieces of my heart and hard work. Each representing a beautiful memory or sentiment. A daily reminder that sometimes we all feel a little small, but we can do big things.

I have no doubt there are millions like me. Teachers who give everything they have and love what they do and carry a passion for the job that is unparalleled. I work with them. They roam my same halls and carry the same passions. The pay isn’t what it should be(it really isn’t in most fields), Sometimes it is draining emotionally and physically and sometimes I do things I don’t necessarily like. But all the time it is and has been my passion. It is what I was meant to do after being a wife and mother.

However, that really isn’t the intended purpose of this post. I made the conscious decision almost six years that I would not share too much info on social media from my students. No identifying markers, no pictures and sometimes that is hard. They are constantly doing amazing things that make my teacher heart swell. They hit walls and then overcome them. Those are things that tell me the sacrifices of my own education and my time were why I am there today.

But for the last month my students and my colleague have been working tirelessly to prepare for a musical. We are doing “You’re a good man, Charlie Brown.” And you say, “so what? Every high school in America has some sort of musical.” And you would be right, so what makes ours special. Well ladies and gentleman our program is still it’s infancy. We are three years in and every thing we have done we have started from scratch.

Any drama program we have had was started from the passion and idea of my colleague who loves theater and me supporting and pushing it as far as I had the agency to do so. We started with a zero balance and zero people. It was her and an idea of two students who I said, “Go talk to her!” We are now into our third production and first musical.

And wow, this one is stretching the limits of our technical knowledge and capabilities.  I have a tech team which is amazing. I have a tech team who learned what took me a couple of months in weeks. We have broken lights, torn auditeria curtains, an old sound board that we peeled the dust off. We have no costume or prop budget. Every little thing we have done we have had to create ourselves. We have had to use the resources and people we have.

What started out as three people and idea has blossomed into a large cast, an even larger stage crew and a tech crew. I can barely get that out without tears in my eyes. These are all kids who had to purchase their own costumes, donate wires to make the tech work and more importantly tireless dedication to something bigger than themselves. We may not be up to Jesus Christ Superstar status yet, but we will get there.

To say I am proud is an understatement, but more than anything I am honored to work with such amazing students and staff who do this on a daily basis. It isn’t just for our drama club. It is a belief in the school community that we are trying to create and the belief that you get out of it, what you put into it. That dear readers is love winning.

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

What I have learned in my revolution so far…

workout1All week long the scratchy throat, the small nasal drips, the borderline ache and fatigue has been plaguing me. At first I assumed allergies because I am known for spring allergies. Then it felt better with meds. Then I felt crummy again. No one in my family has really been too sick, but my colleague in my department was out twice this week and suffered similarly to myself and we are working the musical together. So I guess what I am saying is we will see. I spent most of this weekend in bed trying to rest up. We are two weeks until the musical and my guy’s golf season starts, so to say I have no time for illness is an understatement. But I suppose that is when it always comes.

I tried shakeology sample kit this week a few times and was kinda disappointed, then even more disappointed and then I fell in love. I have to use the vegan varieties because I don’t really have dairy at all anymore and am intolerant. The first day I did it on a weekend and felt so ridiculously full I was uncomfortable. It felt chalky and blah. I gave it a few days andworkout3 tried strawberry and it was miserable. In my defense, I am not a huge strawberry fan in shakes. The next morning was insanely busy and I acquired a blender that works and tried the chocolate again. I drank it on way to work and once there. I loved the convenience. I felt amazing all day and had energy I wouldn’t normally have. It was the one day I felt entirely healthy all day long and my calorie intake for that day ended up being 800 even and I felt full. So I was sold. I ordered more.

But why I am really here is more to discuss what I have learned in my revolution so far. It is no secret I learned how to eat better. But I have also learned some other things that have some value.

  • Sleep is so very important and the difference between eating good and not eating good usually relies on this for me
  • That if I make a bad choice then I pretty much throw out that whole day and eat like crap (binge eating anyone?). My solution is to just not.
  • My body responds horribly to not eating healthy and it is usually never worth it
  • Weight training slows weight loss but increases inches lost
  • I love lifting weights and how strong it makes me feel physically and emotionally
  • KPuff and I have almost completed T25 which means we have done it for 14 weeks! Wahooo!
  • This journey is about so much more than a scale. It is about emotional and physical well being. It is about doing something for myself. It is about taking care of my needs.
  • My will power is stubbornly strong. I also am very forgiving.
  • It is about me. The moment it is about someone else or someone else tries to make me think I need to do it their way the fun is sucked out and I am miserable.
  • Writing about it all isn’t necessarily the most exciting read, but it is good to share and it keeps me accountable.

Sorry I am MIA

  

  • Game of Thrones on speed. Started the series a week ago today and almost caught up for the season 5 premiere 
  • Still working out everyday and eating good 
  • Been more focused on muscles than cardio and I love it
  • School is insane 
  • My guy is so so. I have been seeing and noticing pains more recently.

Small steps coincide with big gains

This week has been about the mental aspects of losing weight and I believe it is harder than any other part of weight loss. The battle from within. Multiple times this week I found myself comforting my lack of (motivation, high fat foods, energy) with the thought that eventually I could eat that junk again or eventually I could lay off the workouts.

Then I realized that is my flaw. This can’t be for just now. It can’t be for just today. It has to be permanent. The choice to be healthy, eat healthy and feel healthy isn’t a decision you make from Monday-Thursday. It shouldn’t be a just for now thought. But I have spent most of my life living like that and that didn’t work. I even went to bed pouty last night because I felt hungry.

My response when I feel mentally beat is to starve myself. It is to not eat anything. Almost like a stubborn child who refuses to do what they need to do just so they can have some upper hand. But who is that upper hand for? Who will am I battling but my own? My answer is to eat as few as calories as I can and feel okay and I punish me.

Previously in the past I would have taken a similar path but would have been to over eat, so I guess something has changed. But the thought process is not all that different. Being mad, or sad or angry that I even have to think about these things and the punishment for it is to over eat or not eat. Who wins? It certainly is not me.

It doesn’t help that the weight loss has been slower this week. I am not sure why? I haven’t changed my eating. I haven’t changed my activity. In fact, according to my fitbit stats my activity is higher this week than it is normally. So it was a punch in the gut.

And today is STATurday so I got up and measured myself and saw that I lost 4.5 inches. Despite little weight loss I had great loss in body composition and I know in the fitness world that truly has more value than the scale and it maybe true but tell that to my brain.

I am trying to remind myself how good I have felt this week. I have felt so very strong and mentally vibrant. We have moved into the Gamma phase of T25 which focuses more on healthy weightlifting and toning your body. I have never focused on that ever in a workout and it has been enlightening and I love it. I feel healthier and just generally stronger. I also know it ramps up metabolism so I am trying to focus on that.

But I am not going to lie, the mental battle inside is so much harder than the rest. I know I said it already above and I will say it again. I will say it 100,000 times if I need too. No matter how you look on the outside it doesn’t matter if you don’t work on how you feel on the inside.

I find that mentally I am scared of changing or maybe even failing. I am not sure. The issue here is where things can go miserably wrong. I feel like if I say it out loud it gives my doubt a voice and me the ability to move passed it. Weight doesn’t come on over a week or a month.

For me it came on over years and off over years and back on. The only fault for lack of success is my own mental battle. The one that convinced myself I couldn’t. It was too hard. It was too much time. But I will acknowledge today isn’t easy. Tomorrow may not be either. But it won’t get better by giving up. The possibility of success comes from trying. It comes from showing up and finally it comes from leaving it all out there.

Every single day this week during our workouts I felt like I couldn’t do it. I mentally told myself, “You are weak.” But I did it anyway and at the end I felt stronger and I told myself, “You did it.” I showed up and I got further every single day.

This battle will never be easy and it will be a long one. But every day, every meal, every workout I am just a little bit closer.

Every journey begins with a single step. ~ Maya Angelou

It isn’t for everybody.

This semester I am taking a really fun and thought provoking class. It is the rhetoric of social movements. I have been all over the place with my final decision in a topic. I started with health social movements (think ice bucket challenge) and then moved to educational movements then specifically to teacher’s unions. But then I had a thought yesterday why in the world am I not writing about something I am passionate about? It didn’t have to be aligned to my specialty or guiding in my field.

I began to think and wonder why not explore the social movements of food. Specifically, I found myself intrigued and interested in the this idea of how the social movements sometimes create an other or show privilege. If we look at access and those who fight for it or what we think of it as a society. I specifically focusing on cultural otherness with the food movement.

4colorsealGIFFor example, if a person wanted to live a organic, vegetarian/vegan lifestyle they have to be able to afford it. Money alone denies or grants access. And yes it does cost more. Therefore, it creates a have and have not situation. Every single time I have gone down the diet/fitness road money and the need for it is always the first thing I have noticed. We don’t spend frivolously nor can we afford to.

 

There is much of our culture that is set up this way. Non-healthy foods are cheaper, easier to access and has the financial power to back it. However, because of social movements (the reason for this class) alternative options have been becoming more and more prominent. With more demand the cost should begin to make it more accessible.

It has also created an alternative to this social movement in the way products market to society. If they make it look more “natural” they can mark up the price and make it more appealing to those seeking out the alternatives. It is laden with deceit because then a personal assumes they are consuming something that aligns with their beliefs and values when really they unintentionally become a part of the problem of access.

So there you see my paper in a nutshell.

Out of the comfort zone but completely comfortable.

Something very unique has been happening for me the last three months. I have found out things about myself I never really knew. Things like I love blackberries and raspberries and that I don’t like mangoes. I don’t like them mostly because they are too similar in texture to pineapples. Still hate pineapples.

But I have also found out I can do things I never thought possible. Things like lifting weights and enjoying how it makes me feel when I do. Or enjoying the crazy sweat after a nutty crazy workout. And yes if you are a longtime reader you know I have been down this weight loss road before. And I am not sure what happened.

But I know how it makes me feel that I am here again. That is something that I could beat myself up over, but what is unique about this time and different for me is my resistance and reluctance to teaching myself how to eat for my body. I very much have always lived believing that working out was the only thing necessary for a healthy body.

That was naive and foolish and probably where I messed up most because I was not fueling my body for the work and health I wanted. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t successful. It was because I lost a lot of weight. But I couldn’t sustain it. Now I feel like I can. I also have figured out what works for me and my body when it comes to food.

And the food I have been making is amazing and sustains me. For example, I read this great article from Rachel Ray’s magazine about mashing which is where you take toast and mash a healthy veg into. Seems okay right? Well can I just tell you it took my plain old turkey sammie to new levels tonight?

fix39I smashed half an avocado into toasted bread and loaded it full of lettuce and tomato and added my go-to zero calorie condiment grey poupon and doused it with fresh ground pepper. I had four small slices of sara lee honey roasted turkey. It was amazing. The best sandwich I have ever had in my life and no I am not just saying that. It had about 220 calories and I had it with a side low fat cottage cheese for an additional 56 calories. I am still full and it was amazing.

Or we could talk about the banana muffins I made. I used this recipe and they taste exactly the same as my usual recipe. I added in my 2 tbsp peanut butter made of of PB2 which is my favorite treat diet or no diet. AMAZING!!! I didn’t even tell my family they were a “healthy” version of banana bread. I just said I made them smaller for me. They loved them.

fix41

Heck I even tried a meatless fish. How does this happen you ask? I have been very intrigued by meatless options and they did look super yummy in their packaging and I am a huge packaging person. So I was immediately in love. At first it bugged me a little thinking I was going to have a reaction to them. But they tasted like a complete cheat and they weren’t. YEA! Fish allergies have me afraid and the kind I am not allergic to is super pricey. So this Gardein variety worked.

fix40

But I cannot bring myself to eat a meatless hot dog. For some reason that is a ridiculous craving I have been having. A hot dog is not something I usually eat anyway, but for some odd reason I am wanting one. I am not giving in, but I have meandered a bit by the meatless options. Kpuff keeps saying, “No, don’t do it. They aren’t good.” So I will listen.

fix42

The most important thing I can do to help myself is keeping food to snack on with me. I keep clementines on me at all times. Popcorn is another go-to that I carry. They both are low cal and good grab and go options. I feel like more and more cleaning eating is my new way of life.

And finally I made the most amazing clean meal of pot roast, carrots, half a sweet potato and wild rice with quinoa. It was so amazing! NOMS!
fix43

Using good for fuel, not comfort. FINALLY I have figured out my own equation.