Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My Thankful list

My top 10 things I am thankful for this Thanksgiving:
1. My loving and ever supportive husband.
2. 2 beautiful, healthy boys who drive me nuts. I wouldn't have them any other way.
3. My health.
4. My family. We've been through a lot this year, and are continuing to be tried. I am thankful for each and every one of my family members for their love and support of me and of each other.
5. My ability to seek a job. I have skills that will enable me to get the employment I need when the time is right.
6. My home, my car, my assets, as little as they seem, are much more than some.
7. My new, exciting and scary path in life. I am so lucky to have something to strive for and look forward to, and the ability to go after it.
8. My functioning body, even though it doesn't do what I want it to on occasion, I am very lucky it gets me out of bed every morning, carries me around all day and enables me to carry around my babies all day!
9. My friends. Sometimes I'm not as good a friend as I should be, and I am trying to work on that. My friends are lovely and supportive, and I appreciate them everyday.
10. YOU -for reading this list! :-)
Happy Thanksgiving! - Give THANKS for all you have!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I have some thoughts on Thanksgiving this year. Almost every other year, Thanksgiving would be a day of gorging, starving myself all day until eating in the afternoon. Eating as much as you can with wild abandon. Sometimes, not even really tasting it - but eating because it was the holiday to do so. This year, I am determined to make Thanksgiving what it SHOULD be. A day where I give thanks to those who help me everyday, who are part of my life and make it special. I am so blessed to have so many in my life who love and support me. I plan on celebrating them by telling each of them what they mean to me. Giving thanks has nothing to do with pumpkin pie and stuffing. It has to do with telling the people who are important to you how special they are while you can. If this last year has taught me anything, it's that you never know when it will be your last chance to tell someone you love them. Tell them everyday, somehow.


For all of you following along, you have probably realized by now that this blog is not JUST about my career change, but my total life change. These changes are not something that change, and then are done. I have to think about them, and work on them every day. It can be exhausting, and I feel like I find another obstacle everyday. However, I am trying to see these obstacles and stumbles as learning experiences. Today is a good example.
I am sick. I haven't been sick in a LONG time (thank God!) But I now realize what a trigger it is to bad eating and no exercise. Now, I'm not making excuses, but who wants to exercise when they are sick? No one I know, so frankly, I'm not too mad at myself for that. However, with a throat on fire, head pounding, PLUS still needing to work and have a job interview today - I have not eaten well today. It started with lack of planning. I didn't plan and bring enough food with me to keep me from being hungry until I got home. On the way home, I got suckered in (very easily, I might add) to stopping for cupcakes by my 3 year old. When we got home, I was so tired and sore, all I wanted was something homey and hot for dinner. Soup. Creamy and yummy. Anthony went out for me and got some fresh bread and some potato cheddar soup. Not the best choice, but boy did it feel good on my throat. Fatty soup, check. Loads of bread, check. Cupcake, Check. Lack of water, check. Loads of caffeine, check. *sigh*. It's amazing what I allow my inner fat girl to convince me of when I am in a weakened state (I know, how dramatic).
It teaches me such a valuable lesson. When a little something changes for me in my normal daily routine, I use it as an excuse to make not-great choices. This was typical of my old life. Any little excuse - I took it. "It's not MY fault, I was SO stressed..." etc. What I need to remember is that making these choices are not going to make things any better. Will my cold go away faster? No way. In fact, in anything, being unhealthy has proven, for me, that it LENGTHENS my illnesses. Duh?
Well. It's just another day. And, as I always say - every moment is a new moment to make a good choice. My next moment, which is now, I choose to drink down some water to start flushing out my sodium packed soup. Tomorrow, as long as I am feeling a little better, will be a hardcore gym day, and a normal eating day.
Speaking of normal eating, I have thoughts on our upcoming holiday - Thanksgiving. See my next post if interested.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Roadblocks - or just speed bumps?

Well, taking classes in the spring semester is turning out to be more expensive than I thought. Miscellaneous fees are really raising the price. I may only be able to afford to take one for now, till I actually get a job and can fork over the rest. I will definitely take Nutrition 1, and if that's it for now, well, so be it. It is what it is, as my wise mother would say.
On some personal notes - My eating has been a little messy, but the exercise is going well. Classes, running, walking, strength training. It's all working. I can feel a difference in my clothes, even though the scale is moving at a snails pace.
Things are very stressful around here for a variety of reasons. The holidays are coming, there are health issues in the family, it will be the first holidays without my cousin, money is so tight, school, finding a job... it starts to feel like too much. But, we just keep getting up everyday, and breathing in and out, and bracing ourselves for whats to come - whatever that may be.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Shaping - a babbling blog

We have all been shaped by many things. Our past, especially. I think about all the things that have gotten me where I am. What moved me into this new career? Not just a decision a few months ago, but years of experiences that culminated in a vision.
As I look back on these experiences, I hate to say, many are unpleasant. From the rejection I suffered as a person, a woman, a singer because of my weight, to the ridicule and disgust from doctors, colleagues and society at large. From the boyfriend I was never quite good enough for (no matter what I did or how much I tried to change myself), to the girl in high school who "didn't like fat people". All of this pushed and pulled me into different directions.
But, there are reasons for everything - I have to believe that.
I had to grow into the person that was good enough for ME. My husband was a key factor in helping me do that. He truly loved me regardless of my physical, mental or psychological state - boy, he has dealt with me a TON (no pun intended)- but his love has helped me love myself.
My family has also been another key factor - loving me and encouraging me through my tough times, and always routing for me to succeed. I think when I decided not to perform anymore, knowing there was something else out there for me, it was the most hard to tell them. My mom had always done so much to keep me going - lessons, auditions, dresses, encouragement... I didn't want her to think it was all for naught - and now that I see where my life is leading me, I know she is proud of the changes I am making.
Sometimes I look at my colleagues who are still out there, pounding the pavement, getting that next audition, waiting, hoping, working, dreaming. Some making it, some not, and I wonder what would have happened if I had stuck with the whole audition circus (yes, I mean circus) But I just can't imagine it. It would probably mean no hubby, it would certainly mean no kids - and while I only mildly entertain that exceptional thought at 2am when I'm dragging my ass out of bed, I wouldn't give up my gorgeous kids for the lonely road, or living in the city.
My life is changing so much. It's so different than I thought it would be. In the midst of transition, I can only keep hoping this is the right path to take - I have to trust myself. Yeah... I'm not used to that yet.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Spinning class

So, I took a spinning class today. It was kinda spur-of-the-moment. I checked the class schedule for this morning and saw it was open, so I thought - why not?
Of course, I knew it would be hard, but man, I was like jell-o walking out of there. Not only were my legs shaking, my whole body was crashing from the expulsion of so many calories, and therefor, a blood sugar crash. Once I finished up my water and ate at home, I felt better. But boy, will I be sore tomorrow.
My goal is to try as many different classes as possible. After the class, I took a moment to speak with the instructor and let her know it was my first class. She asked why I had decided to take it, and I told her frankly - I had hurt my calf muscle in the Group Groove class and needed a good hard workout that wasn't going to kill it. She laughed and said "dancing?" like I was insane. It goes to show that many trainers and instructors certainly don't find all kinds of activity to be useful, and certainly not equal. Although I know I have a lot to learn when it comes to exercise science, I really feel that my basic idea of movement will not change: Movement is good for everyone. Spinning, dancing, walking, running, strength training - it's all movement that makes our bodies healthier. And frankly, the more diverse the better. If anyone takes the initiative to have more movement in their lives, it's a wonderful, healthy thing. No matter how fit I get, I will never laugh at someone for any kind of movement they decide to do, because I know first hand how difficult it is to get to that place - that place that makes you go to the gym, or go out for a walk, and make it a habit. It's hard, and is to be commended, regardless of the activity. So dance on, my friends. I sure will.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Baby Steps

I have a job interview next week at Yale New Haven Hospital. This is totally fabulous, obviously, for many reasons. Yale is a great place to work when it come to pay, and benefits. As many of you know, I am going back to work full time so I can afford to go to school part time. The one MAJOR perk of Yale is that they PAY FOR SCHOOL. Up to $4000 a year for full time employees, which would cover any classes I would be able to take per year. Obviously, this is amazing, because that frees up the money that would have been spent on classes and it can go to other things, like, oh I don't know, catching up on my student loans! As we have already discussed, day care will be part of these figures now too. However, it will only be part time, 2 days per week, which lessens the blow a bit. It will be hectic, and I feel like I am never going to see my kids, but I know it's what has to be done.
Of course, I am making all these plans, and I don't even have the job yet. I only have an interview. So, we will see... I'll keep updating.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Breathe in, breathe out

Breathe in deeply. Fill your lungs, your belly. Let it out. In again, through the nose, and out through the mouth...
Ok. Everything happens for a reason. The only thing constant is change. Time never stops moving.
I did not go to the gym today. I ate poorly. I was tired, headache-y and downright crabby.
And this, my friends, is life.
Life is not always going to be 5-6 days at the gym. Life is not always going to be a healthy eating day. Life is not always going to include free or easily accessible childcare, or hearing about that job you want, or your class registration working correctly, or your tests being graded on time, or your grandmother making a miraculous recovery.
All of these things would have lead me down a destructive path not so long ago. As a compulsive and binge eater, any life setback, major or minor, would have normally resulted in a long period (sometimes hours, sometimes days) of over eating and/or binging. Hiding in my room with my drug of choice, wishing all the bad things away. But guess what? When you wake up in the morning, with chocolate frosting in your hair, candy wrappers strewn around the room and a wicked stomach ache - those bad things, those issues, whatever they are, are STILL THERE. Not only are they still there, but now, I had added the additional issue of feeling guilt, disgust, and physically ill. Good. Job.
What I have learned over the last few years (VERY SLOWLY) is that every moment is a new moment to make a good choice. No, I will not always make a good choice in that moment, or maybe the next or the next, but every moment is a clean slate, a fresh start. Because of this, I am able to let "slips" go much more easily, without the overwhelming guilt, the judgement and hatred of myself. All of those things only kept me on the yo-yo - binging, dieting, overeating, dieting, binging....etc. How exhausting.
I would categorize today as a slip. I didn't eat well for the evening, I didn't visit the gym. However, I am going to go to bed early, and give my body some much needed rest, and tomorrow, I will wake up with no guilt. No self-loathing. I will go about my day as I normally have. Eating as well as possible, moving as much as I can. It's all I can ask of myself. It's all anyone SHOULD ask of themselves.

Monday, November 8, 2010

I'm so screwed

Ok, so my second reasonable option for childcare has most likely kicked the bucket. Why is this so hard? There are plenty of daycares out there - not one I feel I can afford for both kids to go to. Besides the fact that I HATE the idea of them being in a daycare all day long. Leaving them with family made me feel so much better... and now... not happening.
I really don't know what to do. The whole reason for getting a full time job was to afford classes, and now if I work full time, practically my whole paycheck will go to daycare. No money for classes, AND not seeing my kids all day? And the point of this is.....???
I feel like I shot myself in the foot by leaving UNH now - at least I could have tried to get evening classes and some students and I would have SOMETHING coming in and probably could find care for a few hours a few days a week... but now, no. I don't have that option, because I had to be all gung-ho about going back to school. Such crap. How does anyone do this? I can't be the only one who is in this situation, so...what's the answer??? I sure don't have one. I'm up a creek without a paddle - or a boat.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Interesting experiment

So, after an incredibly stressful week for many reasons, I decided to push myself and do a little experiment. I made up a "running playlist" off of my ITunes and went to the gym. I knew I had been getting better at running in my walk/run interval workouts, but I wanted to see how long I could run at one time. This experiment was inspired by wanting to walk/run a 5K on Thanksgiving morning.
So, I started out with a warm-up song at about 3.8 on the treadmill. Then I started running. I ran for 20 minutes straight and I was super proud - however, that was not the biggest breakthrough of this experiment.
As soon as I was done with my 20 minute run, my "lazy demons" started talking "you just RAN 20 minutes! You only have to do a total of 30 minutes today..." etc. I ALMOST fell for it, but then I started to tell myself things like "I'll just walk till the end of this song", then it was "well, I'm almost at 35:00, so I'll go till then" then it was "I've almost burned 400 cals, lets just keep going" and on and on... not only did I keep walking, I RETURNED to running 3 more times!! In the end, I ran/walked a 5K (3.2) miles in 47.19, and I ran/walked for a total of 65 minutes, 4.2 miles and blasted 625 calories. A long way from my 30 minute timeline!
I have noticed a few things regarding this - one is that I am beginning to ENJOY pushing myself "just a little further". Another is that I recover MUCH more quickly after a more intense workout than I used to. And finally, I am actually looking forward to going to the gym! Who knew??
I feel good. My weight is going in the right direction. Still working on eating enough, but this past week I have been doing better with that and I think that's why I am seeing the scale drop!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Injury provoking pride?

I have to continuously remind myself that things happen for a reason. I may have lost the childcare I thought I had, but it's not going to stop me from doing what I need to do, and I may just help out someone else in the process. My only struggle still is finding a nursery school type environment for Josh to continue in once I go back to work. Will keep looking.
I applied for a few part time jobs at Yale today. Part time would actually be idea - I would still bring in enough money to pay for classes - PLUS I would get to see the kids and have time for homework. This would be good. However, if I am offered a full time job, I'm going to jump all over it.
I pulled a calf muscle yesterday during Groove Class, which made me more mad than hurt. I couldn't finish the class, but the instructor told me to elevate and ice it. I did that and it feels much better today. I did a workout home tonight that involved normal use of the muscle and a little stretching and it feels good. Tomorrow, I will return to Groove Class and hope for the best. I've never gotten an exercise related injury before, and even though it was so minor, I felt sort of proud of it. I didn't twist an ankle because I was too heavy for my poor joints to carry me, or strain something just by walking because my muscles were stressed from the weight. It's different, and even though it's sore, I don't mind it at all.
I've enrolled in my accelerated Psych class, which I might have already mentioned, and I have already gotten moving on my reading. It's taken me 3 days to get through chapter 1. This does not bode well. I need to establish a scheduled time of day when I can get away from the kids, and really concentrate on reading and studying, or this is never going to happen in 2.5 weeks. I'll get it done, come Hell or high water.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


There is so much stress weighing down on me right now, and issues have arose that may effect my efforts to dive into school and work. I need to work full time in order to afford classes. I need care for my children while I work. I HAD care, and it's possible that is NOT the case now, which succeeds in turning my world upside down. I wish there was a way I could just go to school, and take a part time job, maybe Starbucks or something, so I can use that to pay for classes and still have the money from my private students to help with the household expenses. Daycare is absolutely exorbitant. $460 a week for both kids. That's just about what I will be making a week, so what's the point? There are programs out there to help with expenses such as these, but we make too much to get help, and make too little to be able to make it work. So, in essence, we are screwed. Or, should I say, I am screwed. Should I bother even trying to continue with this? I already left UNH - maybe I should have stayed and tried to make it work...My thoughts are so muddled right now, I don't know what to think or where to go or what to do. I can't believe I am in a situation where I figure out something I want to do so badly, and I can't figure out how to do it. It really sucks.