Time To Remove My Clark Kent Glasses

You know what? Sometimes I wear my sports bra to work.

True story.

I do this for two reasons: 1.) Sometimes the girls get on my nerves and I need to push them out of the way a bit. 2.) I can go on a little impromptu athletic excursion during my work break…. with support.

It kind of makes me feel like Superman. At first glimpse I look like a nerdy teacher in professional gear but underneath lies the key to my super powers… a sports bra.

I even have the Clark Kent glasses.

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For the past two weeks it has been dead winter in these parts. As soon as I gathered the motivation and organization needed to go on these little outdoor excursions in between teaching classes this happened…

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And then this happened…

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(There’s hot chocolate somewhere underneath that mound of whipped cream.)

At first it was really fun! We watched movies and snuggled. And watched movies and snuggled. and watched movies and snuggled… “Okay, you can get off me now… Seriously, get off me!!!”

Cabin fever ran rampant and we started to resort to weird ways of entertaining ourselves while we waited for the cold weather to pass…

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Before long the fun faded and I got SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder, if you must). I didn’t want to spend one more evening in my pajama pants. I needed to get out. I needed exercise! When I started working full time I let my gym membership expire.  Since I started working so much I wasn’t using it. When this happened I figured I could just go outside and run, but as you could see there was a two week span when that wasn’t going to happen.

So without a gym I decided to get a punch pass for our local rec center. Brent and I agreed I could go work out during the evenings that Bridget had swim team practice. I thought this was a great idea. Our rec center was huge I had never ventured upstairs but I was sure they would have all of the equipment I would need. After I bought my pass we all marched up stairs to see what I would have to work with.

It turned out to be a play pin with a handful of cardio equipment shoved in the corner. The feng shui was totally off. I felt claustrophobic just looking at it. As soon as we saw it I turned around and walked out.

I could feel the tears prick my eyes and I wanted to walk ahead of Brent so that he wouldn’t notice. I was acting like a baby and I knew it. But I was really looking forward to having this moment to myself where I could work out and feel good. There was no way I could accomplish this in that little stinky baby play pen. (Yes, I am fully aware that my reaction indicates that a play pen was exactly where I belonged… but that’s not the point.)

What was done was done. I had twelve passes to use up before I could come up with another option. The first Swim Team day arrived and Brent had already made plans for cooking dinner and had already cleaned the house. As soon as I walked in the door from work he asked me if I was going to the gym. I started to come up with an excuse as to why I couldn’t and I could see Brent’s eyes rolling into the back of his head before I could even finish my sentence and gave up.

I was being stupid. I went upstairs and changed into my gym clothes and decided to just give it a try.

When we arrived to the rec center Bridget made her way to the pool and I trudged up the stairs. I chose to work out on an elliptical machine because it was the only thing that wasn’t shoved into a corner. I grumbled to myself as I shoved my ear buds in my head. I started out shuffling along half-heartedly but then something happened. I forgot where I was, I forgot what I was doing and I just enjoyed my music and the feeling of my muscles coming back to life. My lungs burned at first because it had been a while since I had fully utilized them. But even the burning sensation started to fade as I was lost in myself.

In myself… the one place where I can find happiness.

It was then that an epiphany hit me. I don’t need a super fancy gym to obtain my goals, or anything that I could buy for that matter. The answer to my success is simply from within, something I’ve always known but I rarely acknowledge.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but it’s that time of year…

The one where leeches come out of the wood work. They know that you are going to eat your weight in pumpkin pie and Christmas cookies so they choose this time of year to feed off of all of your insecurities. These are the companies that tell you that they have the one and only diet that will work for you. They have the “all natural supplement” that will suck all of the belly fat out of your abdomen. They’ve all got that one tool that will lead to your ultimate goals and success.

They have the solution for you!  “All for just three easy installments of  $39.95 and then we’ll rape you of the rest because without your full knowledge you have just signed up for a subscription that will automatically pull from your bank account.

I actually just fell for this not too long ago. I got sucked into a fake article about “the skinny pill” sweeping the nation. I knew it was a fake article but I was still curious. They were advertising free trials so I decided to sign up. I told myself that I was doing it simply for research purposes for my readers. Once it came in the mail I ignored it. My moment of weakness had passed and I wasn’t so curious anymore.

Unbeknownst to me the company decided to make an $89 withdrawl from my checking account.

Got all gangsta with customer service and they gave me my money back but I still felt violated… I had just been bamboozled!

Funnily enough, within the past two weeks something started happening to my blog. Instead of having hundreds of visitors to my site a day I was having thousands.

I couldn’t help but be skeptical. What the hell happened? Where are you people coming from? Don’t get me wrong glad your here but in case you didn’t notice from my lack of ad space (a conscious decision) I’m not here to sell you anything.

No greasy salesmen here! If anything were ever endorsed on this blog it is because I truly thought it was beneficial. Not because someone paid me to sell it for them. (No offense greasy salesmen.)

I did some digging and found out that some company had attached themselves to my blog without my permission. I found my website under a different web address. Check it out for yourself… http://naturalfitnessandwellness.com/top-posts/

Did you see it? It’s pretty creepy right?!

Then I simply plugged in naturalfitnessandwellness.com in my computer to see what the hell this was all about. Well guess what I found…

THE SAME ASSHOLES THAT TRIED TO RIP ME OFF!

They are selling Garcinia Cambogia AKA “the skinny pill” sweeping the nation. It’s a SCAM!!! They make this site look like it’s connected to the magazine Good Housekeeping, but if you look at the link that appears it doesn’t say naturalfitnessandwellness.com or goodhousekeeping.com it says goodhousekeep

(Not to mention the stupid name. Have you ever heard of artificial fitness? How is any fitness not natural? Weirdos.)

So if you found my webpage through their shenanigans let me first say. Welcome!

I’m sorry we met this way but listen well.

You can’t buy what you are looking for. The answer to your problems doesn’t come from a pill that you can buy on the internet. Nor does it come from any of the other crap that is being marketed to you.

What you need is a good come to Jesus talk with yourself and realize that you are fully capable of accomplishing anything you set your mind to. Be it your fitness goals, your career goals or your personal goals. The key to your success is belief.

Believe in yourself.

This type of belief isn’t a quick decision to be made but a journey you will travel for your whole life. When you travel down this road you may just find that you are amazed by what you are capable of along the way.

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These companies know the in’s and out’s of your psyche. They know your weakness. They know that it is easier for you to believe that the reason you aren’t living the life you want to live isn’t because of failure but because you didn’t have the required tools.

But if you look inwardly enough you’ll have no choice but to acknowledge that these are just a bunch of bullshit excuses. It’s humbling to admit that you’ve had everything you’ve needed all along. It was just a matter of utilizing it.

Now, time to remove the Clark Kent glasses…

To the company who is trying to use my content to take advantage of my readers.

GET THE FUCK OFF OF MY SITE!

We’re not buying it. I don’t want your traffic. I don’t write this blog to make money. I write this blog to connect with people… not trick them.

So until you stop utilizing me for your shady ways I will virtually kick your ass in every post I make until you unlink yourself to me… because until then every person you send to my website will know better than to spend their money on the bogus shit you are trying to sell.

Get Your Toes Off Of My Nipple

“Get your toes off of my nipple.”

The weirdest phrase that has ever come out of my mouth… and I have motherhood to thank for it.

Over the weekend Penelope and I have been left completely alone. Bridget was out of town for a Girl Scout event and Brent was at work. This left Penelope and I to our own devices. Which included some much needed bonding since I’ve been working full time.

We snuggled and watched “tarcoons”. We painted pictures and made homemade macaroni and cheese…

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We played at the park.

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We fed the ducks.

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And we made eggnog play dough…

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(Here is a link to the Holiday-Scented Play Dough Recipes I used.)

Then things got weird.

Every where I turned her hazel eyes were trained on me.

When I peed- “What you doing?”

When I showered- “Oh I like your boobies!”

Then things started to escalate… at one point I was sucking on a peppermint when she asked, “What you eating? Can I see?”

I opened my mouth to show it to her which provided her the perfect opportunity to shove her chubby little fingers into my mouth where she retrieved the candy and popped it into her own mouth.

Then that strange moment when lines were crossed.

She insisted I get out of the shower to change her diaper because she was poopie. I was dripping wet and my towel slipped out of its tuck and roll position as I leaned over her to clean her up. The creepy toes that managed to make their way to my breast. Then the clinching of the toes and the pinching of the nipple.

That crossed the line. Even moms have boundaries…

“Get your toes off of my nipple!”

“Ohhh, dat your nipple?”

“Yes, don’t touch it.”

“Ohhh, I like your nipple.”

(Nobody told me motherhood would be this weird.)

It’s now nap time and I’m finally able to sit alone and sip on a nice warm cup of Earl Grey while I make preparations for the week ahead. The previous week was spent working late grading 7th grade personal narratives, photo bombing 7th grade selfies and solving 7th grade riddles left under my classroom door.

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By the time I made my way home in the evenings the sun was sinking behind the mountains.

The lack of sunshine has sent me into hibernation mode. This is the time of year when the most primitive part of my brain says, “You must eat cookies… you need to put your stretchy pants on… don’t move or you’ll burn what needs to be stored for winter.”

This lack of sunshine has led me to the conclusion that I’m just going to have to use that window of time that I have between classes (from 10:00 to 11:30) when I don’t technically get paid to get out and get some fresh air. This is hard for me because I typically use this time to grade papers, plan lessons, answer emails and make copies.

But after reading The Power of Habit, I have learned that habits can form in the blink of an eye. If you don’t create them intentionally they will manifest themselves without your permission. So that’s what I need to do… create a new habit before my old winter habits creep back in.

I’ve done this in several other aspects of my life. My job is less stressful because I wake up at five in the morning and show up an hour ahead of time. It doesn’t feel like more work because it has just become the norm. The house work isn’t has hard because my husband does it for me  because I make a habit of getting it done as quickly as possible. Getting ready in the morning hardly takes any time because I have my routine. Making dinner when I get home isn’t stressful because I just automatically do it. All of these things have made me very efficient.

Making new habits is a step by step process but now the time has come to use this momentum and harness it in my weight loss efforts.

Since this was a sink or swim type of week I didn’t make any conscious effort to lose weight. That being said, I also didn’t go out of my way to buy a “I’m stressed sugar filled latte” or a “feel sorry for me because I work hard hamburger”. I just ate what was planned for dinner and if that dinner didn’t suck I took the left overs for lunch.

It’s a slow, painful process but I’ve noticed that since I’ve started writing this blog I’ve become pickier about what I eat. If I’m going to eat something fattening I make it from scratch because processed stuff gives me the willies.

Since I’ve trained myself to eat cleaner I always think twice before buying that junk. That’s not to say I don’t give in sometimes, but it weighs heavier on my conscience now. This helps when you are an emotional eater because some of the old “feel good” foods don’t feel so good any more.

So now, instead of drinking eggnog as soon as it finds its way into the dairy section of the grocery store, I make a batch of eggnog play dough. You get the same feel good scent without getting fat because it tastes gross…

Don’t ask me how I know that. It just does.

If I want something sweet I have to take the time to make it.

If I want a decadent dinner I have to make that too.

A lot of the time all of that effort will deter me from giving in to my guiltiest cravings. And if it doesn’t it tastes damn good because I put a lot of effort into it 🙂

Treat Yo Self

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I found it! Really and truly this time…

No I’m not talking about The Great Pumpkin. Although, I have found that too… over, and over, and over again. (And I’ve loved every minute of it.)

What I found over the past few weeks is that balance that I am always in a quest for. That allusive thing that only exists in your brain. That perfect in between place where you get shit done, taking care of all of your obligations AND manage to find time to treat yo self.

Ah yeah… I’ve been treating myself real good.

Wait. I didn’t mean… forget it.

What I’m trying to tell you is that I’m happy. Super duper happy. After doing a bit of habit overhauling I finally feel like I’ve got a hold of this whole working mommy thing down without sacrificing the things I need to do for myself in the name of sanity. Here are the things I’ve added back into my life…

1.) Reading! There is nothing better than getting lost in someone else’s story for a change. Once I started my new teaching job I got out of the habit of finding time to read. Then miraculously I got a stomach bug the other weekend. It was awful… but awesome. I was quarantined for an entire day so as soon as the puking subsided I found myself alone… in a hot bath… swimming through the pages of a book. It started out with a book I need to read for an upcoming unit I’m teaching.

Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow

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What started out as a chore turned into something enjoyable. I couldn’t stop thinking about it even after I had finished it. I didn’t want it to end. But it did. So I picked up another book to fill the void…

I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

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I think this is my new favorite book. I definitely have a new literary hero. The way the characters see the world is like nothing I’ve ever read before. After reading the pages of this book you look up to discover that everything is sprinkled with magic, and you feel like you have been let into a secret club where you are granted the gift of sight for the first time. I was so enamored with it that I couldn’t do anything else in my spare time. I HAD to swallow this book whole.

(You can blame Jandy for my lack of blogging.)

2.) Playing outside. I still haven’t found a consistent workout routine but I have taken the time to go for runs, take my dog for a walk, jump on the trampoline with Penelope and roll around in the leaves outside.

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3.) Cooking. I have finally rediscovered my love of cooking. In fact this morning we made pumpkin pancakes from scratch.

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Made with whole wheat flour, greek yogurt and pumpkin puree… the left overs will be used to feed the girls as they run out the door during the mid-week rush. The smell alone was worth the effort. Although I was a bit rusty, we almost ended up with pumpkin bricks because I  forgot to add the almond milk.

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I also cooked dinner every day this week. I made split pea soup, pan seared pork chops, beans and cornbread… It felt so good to sit at the table as a family and share the food I made for them. Not to mention, I’ve also taken the time to wake up a bit earlier in the mornings so that I can enjoy a cup of coffee or tea in the morning before the daily rush. All of the Starbuck’s cups that usually collect in my car have been replaced by mismatched mugs.

I’m also sure to pack a breakfast before I head out the door…

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My Go To move is still apples topped with greek yogurt, cinnamon and a bit of brown sugar in a mason jar. I bring a sandwich bag of kashi cereal and sprinkle it on when I’m ready to eat it. All of my students think it’s the coolest thing ever. I would have to agree. Plus, it keeps me full forever.

Speaking of which… I’ve finally lost weight. The more I got pulled into work the higher the weight on the scale crept. I got one pound away from 200 pounds. One pound from the weight I refused to return to! When I weighed myself this morning I weighed in at 194.8. This is still ten pounds more than what I weighed a year ago. Thirty pounds higher than what I weighed when I got married. I feel like I should beat myself up about that for your entertainment purposes but I don’t really feel like it. I’m too satisfied at the moment for self loathing.

Instead I’m just going to keep making those little changes that have been making me so happy lately. I plan on spending as much time exercising outside while the weather allows it. I want to keep cooking fresh clean food from scratch, and I’m going to continue to allow myself to enjoy the things that make me happy like reading and writing.

In other words I’m just going to keep living and learning…

And treating my self every now and then, yo.