really real reality

Shootout.jpg.e2ceda5e6854df2c8893abada78336abIf you’ve followed me for very long at all, I write a lot about my weight, exercise, diet, etc.  I like these things.  I like seeing progress and I hate admitting failure.  However, like two sides to any coin you’re always going to have them both.  Last year it was success upon success in my weight-loss and fitness journey.  This year is a different story.

Life has happened to me in a big way this year.  I was depressed for quite a long time and stressed even longer.  Even so, I did the very best I could with my macro guidelines and I exercised way more than not.  Still…no change.  We’ve lowered calories, changed macros, changed again, added and added and added cardio…no change.  I haven’t gained it all back, but I’ve gained this year.  Many of my wins last year have been overturned.  It’s hard not to say, “Sarah, if you just cut your calories more, you have to lost weight.”  Um, yeah, no.  I’ve done that.  I can’t really cut anymore or my body will definitely freak out.

To say that it is defeating is the most gigantic understatement you can utter.  I’m leaving for vacation in a few short weeks and this is NOT the shape I wanted to be in for it.  My poor roommate has had to deal with my meltdowns this week especially as I’m trying to buy a dress for a wedding and purchase clothes for the beach.

WHY JUST WHY.

And sadly, the long and the short of it is this…we don’t know.  Maybe my body is tired of dieting.  Maybe my body has some weird hormone things (hello STRESS) that are hijacking all the good things I’m doing.  Maybe I just need a reset and a change.  Maybe I need rest.  Who the hell knows.

So.  Really real reality.  I’m staring at my beach vacation straight in the eye.  I’m many pounds heavier than I planned.  In my mind it is kind of like one of those old outside-the-OK-corral standoffs.  Wyatt Earp staring down his opponent (before he went crazy – important fact.)  Am I going to let my perception of how I needed to be ruin my vacation?    As much as it is a struggle to say – no.  I’m not going to let it win.

I’m me.  Despite the outside package and wrappings, I’m quite awesome.   I can lift very heavy things and put them back down.  I have great hair.  My skincare routine is longer than some people’s showers and I love it.   I can spout random music facts on a whim.  I have a really awesome cat.  The older I get I’m finding joy in being myself and surprising people who expect something different.  I smile a lot and I like to make other people smile too.  My fella loves me.  I’m going to PARADISE.

When I wrap my head around all those great things, how can I let a stubborn body beat me?  It is all in my PERCEPTION of me.  And the great thing is…I can work on changing that.  It might not change how my clothes fit or the number on the scale, but if I can find happiness in my happies until the tide turns, the coin flips, or my body decides to listen, well, that’s a big win.  I’ll dip back into my college days, and all those psychology/counseling classes:  I’m taking a mental picture and I’m reframing it so I see it differently.

If you’re in the same spot I am…take stock and reframe the shot.  It is a by-the-minute battle, but if I can do it then you can too.

TODAY I LOVE: Peach & Lily.  I should just sign my paycheck over.

 

movie night facials

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Pre-Christopher Robin cries

It has been a long hot minute since I wrote last (literally hot – summer in Missouri is gross.)  So much has happened! George and I moved to the cool (not literally – it is still hot) side of town!

It has really been the best thing for us.  My old apartment itself was really great.  It was not, however, in a great part of town.  I never wanted to walk outside and everything was a drive away.  Now I’m renting a house with my best friend in an old established part of town.  This little gem of a neighborhood is right smack in the middle of all the good parts of my area.  All the houses are older and have their own character and the trees are numerous and enormous.

It has been three weeks in the new place and I’d have to say we are developing a pretty good rhythm between me, George, and Ash.  I don’t want to jinx it, but I’m LOVING it.  We go to the gym every morning (same as usual) but now when we get back home we either run or walk the neighborhood.  We go walking every evening.  We have a Sunday night tradition of a movie and facials.  Although we haven’t meant to do it intentionally, at least one night a week we cook dinner together.  We seem to mesh well in knowing when each other needs some space and our equal love/need of tidiness works VERY well.  And George, well, he’s adapting.  🙂

Last night we had a girl’s night of happy hour foodies at a local artisan place and watching Christopher Robin on the big screen.  Even though I know for certain I ugly cried every single time Pooh was on the screen, I thoroughly enjoyed the evening.  The movie was so cute and really struck me with how much we do change when we grow up.  We miss the little things.

As Pooh says, “Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”  I totally agree.

TODAY I LOVE: celery and peanut butter.  Ok, I really just love peanut butter a whole lot.

 

beauty loves: vol. 1

At the beginning of this year my dad had a LARGE sore cut out of his face that turned out to be skin cancer.  They cut him from ear to chin; diagonally across the cheek.  It was so scary and impacted me more than I let on.  Couple that with the fact that I’m turning 38 years old in October, well, skin care is at the very forefront of my mind.

I’m not an esthetician but oh if I had it to do over I think I might have chosen that path.  I’m obsessed with this stuff right now.  I did quite a lot of research before I chose the path I wanted to follow with my own skin.  Since April I have been strictly following the k-beauty methods.  K-beauty involves many steps: oil cleanse, water cleanse, exfoliator, toner, essence, serum, sheet mask, eye cream, moisturizer, sunscreen.  Twice a day.  You don’t do all those steps everyday, but most of them.  I’ve seen such a marked difference in my face that I thought I would share some of my current beauty loves.

  • Klavuu Pearlsation Divine Pearl Cleansing Oil: One of the things from the k-beauty routine that I will NEVER stop from here on out is the oil cleanse.  This takes the place of any makeup remover.  The oil, which smells amazing, just melts the makeup off.  It also feels like a mini-massage.  And no, contrary to what you might assume, it does not cause breakouts.
  • Unseen Sunscreen: THIS STUFF ROCKS.  I use it on my face, it feels like a primer, and it doesn’t leave any streaks.  Do yourself a favor and buy this stuff now.
  • Egg Cream Mask Pore Tightening: I have a lot of sheet masks that I love these days.  I’m having so much fun trying them out.  This sheet mask, however, I’ve bought more than once.  I see such a difference after using it.
  • Lala Retro Whipped Cream: I can’t give up two of my Drunk Elephant products and this is one of them.  I love this moisturizer.  I use it as my night cream.  It’s thick and luxurious but absorbs quickly.
  • Be the Skin Non-Stimulus Face Polisher: I have sensitive skin and this exfoliator does it’s job and doesn’t disrupt my face.  It’s gentle but thorough.  It is one of my favorite products these days.  I use it twice a week.
  • L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil: Oooooh boy.  This smells delightful, creates a gentle lather, and is fantastic to shave with in the shower.  You exit the shower without feeling like your skin has dried out.

I’ve got some new things coming in this week that I’ve been eagerly waiting on for months.  If they are winners I’ll let you know.  🙂

If I can give you any encouragement…take care of your skin.  I’m working on improving the rest of the skin on my body now.  If I had only listened to all the things my grandmother told me when I was a girl I wouldn’t have such an uphill battle now.  WEAR SUNSCREEN.   It doesn’t matter what treatments or fancy creams you put on your skin if you’re not wearing sunscreen.

Enjoy!

TODAY I LOVE: not wearing makeup because my skin is happy.  🙂

everything is burning

If you’ve ever been tasked with a whole bunch of responsibilities you’ve probably developed some kind of mechanism to determine what needs to be accomplished first.  I like to use the phrase, “What is the brightest burning fire?” I tackle those first.

Right at this moment it feels like everything in my life is burning.  And I can’t see a way to choose what to focus on.  I’m hoping by writing it out I’ll gain some perspective and find my path.

If you follow me on any social media at all then you know my cat George has been very ill for the last two weeks.  We’ve been in and out of the emergency vet, my vet, and he’s been hospitalized for days.  His bladder ruptured so he had to have emergency surgery.  I have him home now, but that is super challenging too with his treatment.  He’s taking 4 different medications that are all not at the same time.   He needs IV fluids under the skin everyday.  I’ve tried to do it myself the last two days and the attempts were very unsuccessful.  Today I managed to stab myself in the knuckle with his IV needle so now my knuckle is swollen and bruised.  His bladder and urethra are having spasms off and on due to all the trauma, so he leaks urine at times when he’s sleeping.  So I’ve got every piece of furniture covered in plastic and I’m washing blankets twice a day.  I’m not sleeping because I’m watching him.  I haven’t been able to exercise for the last week because I’m taking him back and forth from the emergency vet to the regular vet.

The big project at work that I’ve leading/managing has ran into one delay after another.  None of them have even been remotely my fault, but we are now WEEKS behind.  It was supposed to ready to go-live on Monday (7/2) and we literally just received word just yesterday that I can only now start testing it.  I’ll be lucky if we are ready to go by 8/1 at this point.  I chose the dates for my project with intentionality because other big things follow it.  I have other things in my normal day-to-day job that need to take precedence.  Now I need to do it all, together.  There will be many, many long days ahead with work.

Because I need one more big thing….I’m moving in 3 weeks.  Guess who hasn’t even started packing up her apartment due to all of the above?

George has cost me thousands of dollars I wasn’t expecting (or prepared) to spend.

And lastly, to top it all off, because I have had all this extreme stress and I’m not keeping my body “normal” my heart condition is flaring up.  So I’m dizzy and prone to passing out frequently.

So here is where I am.  How do I manage it all by myself? George comes first, obviously, but how do I keep up all the treatment and such that he needs AND maintain everything I need to do with my job?  I need to be the one doing my packing because I’m weeding things out as I go.  What is the answer?

I’m not writing this post for sympathy or pity.  I’m writing it for clarity.  I need to find a path.  I need to find a way to look at it that I don’t see everything burning.  So.  Without any doubt you can bet as I’m doing some work today that I’ll be doing my normal type-A self…trying to write a flowchart to make all this work.

TODAY I LOVE: Kacey Musgraves’ new album Golden Hour

random friday stuff: vol 4

Hiyo! Things have been way to depressing lately.  All around.  Let’s talk about all the things that are making me happy these days.

  1. Downton Abbey.  When it was on originally I never got past the finale of Season 3.  No spoilers but it was DEVASTATING to me.  So I stopped.  I decided to pick it up again and get past that fateful episode.  I want to start calling it luncheon instead of lunch.  And I really want to wear their gowns.
  2. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. For my birthday last year my super awesome fella got me a Nintendo Switch and this game!  First off, having never really owned a major gaming system, this thing is amazing.  I love it.  That should also tell you I’M TERRIBLE.  But you guys it is so fun.  This game is gorgeous.  You can wander around as you please and explore.  And if you are me, you die quite a lot.  I’m glad I’ve been able to get into the game and even though I’m terrible I’m slowly learning.
  3. Nayyirah Waheed.  Her poetry is LIFE.  I’m a bit obsessed with her lately and have wanted her book Salt but it is super hard to find.
  4. New music from Leon Bridges and Ray LaMontagne.  Oh, and I still can’t stop playing new music from Brandi Carlile and The Secret Sisters (both of whom are playing TOGETHER in Kansas City in June and I want to go so bad it hurts.)
  5. Sea Otters.  While I was in California with my guy a few weeks ago we went to Monterey, CA for a day.  We had dinner at an awesome restaurant right on the bay.  There was a sea otter swimming and hunting right there in the water next to us!!  It was one of the most magical settings and lovely moments.  I still think of it often.
  6. Skin Care.  To say that I’ve become obsessed with skin care and anti-aging would be the understatement of the year.  I’m not sure when I turned the corner of not caring to completely obsessed, but I’m here.  I’ve been using Drunk Elephant products exclusively for the last year now and they are FANTASTIC.  However now I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole of K-Beauty and I’m going to add (what feels like) 20 more steps to my process.  As I find things I love I’ll keep you posted.  The constant quest to not look my age is a real thing.
  7. Lastly…for a funny.  My grandma celebrated her 80th birthday a few weeks ago.  We had a little dinner party for her.  This was me trying to drive all the balloons I purchased home (an hour and a half drive.)  I really overshot what would fit in my car.  IMG_2117

TODAY I LOVE: peanut butter (I really need to not buy it.  It’s too good.)

someone has turned on the lights.

7N5A6146My grandmother just had cataract surgery in both of her eyes.  After she got out of the surgery she immediately said, “It is like someone has turned on all the lights!”  I love that.  It is also how I feel right now.  Now that the emotional and dark cloud of April has passed, now that I’ve mostly dealt with lingering emotional baggage, it’s as if someone has turned on all the lights.  Everything is brighter.  Everything is blooming.  Everything has possibility.

Before I move on to new things, I’d be remiss to not thank my dear, dear friends for getting me through a dark period.  I won’t list them; you know who you are.  They diligently tried to keep me focused, always tried to keep me smiling, and became the master of distractions when I needed it.  April was just HARD.  A lot of things that I’d apparently buried and kept swallowed since the divorce resurfaced and I had to deal with them.  I know it had to be frustrating for everyone in my life.  I’m sure you all were asking yourselves the question, “WHY WON’T SHE JUST GET OVER IT AND MOVE ON IT. IS. THE. PAST?!”  Yeah well, I asked myself the same thing.  So there.  But I’m happy to report I’m in a much better place right now.

I have so much to look forward to the remainder of this year! I’m moving into a cute house in a great old neighborhood with my bestie soul sister.  I’m going to Kauai with my fella and his family.  Plus lots of work stuff (that I could turn into very stressful things but I’m going to choose to see it as opportunities to make myself even more awesome.)  <- (Remind me about this statement later on in the year when I’m so stressed I can’t think straight.)

Lastly, as you’ve probably figured out from the last several months I WANTED to be super dedicated to my diet and fitness but I just…haven’t.  It’s embarrassing to say it but it’s true.  I’ve gained back a bit of what I lost last year and I’ve let emotions (see above) rule me for far too long this year.  Today started a new attack.  I’ve got 113 days until Kauai.  That, my friends, is a challenge I’m ready to pounce on.  I think I’ve finally regained the inner motivation and discipline I had the entirety of last year.  It is the only way this is going to work; no one can do it for me.  I’m goal driven and 113 days is an ending within sight.  I won’t make any promises right now because I’m sure you’re all thinking, “Sarah, you’ve said all these things before.”  True.  Just watch and see.  If Kauai wasn’t enough motivation I’m moving in with my friend and that means ANOTHER CLOSET OF CLOTHES.  I’m going to fit into her clothes if it kills me.

Happies.  Goals.  New environments.  Smiles.  Sunny weather.  Pretty flowers.

Someone has turned on the lights.

TODAY I LOVE: the color they painted on my toes last week…it’s called cerulean sea

the flash drive

Be softer with you.
You are a breathing thing.
A memory to someone.
A home to a life.

-Nayyirah Waheed

Today has been hard.  I guess if I’m being honest, the moment the calendar rolled over to April it has been one tough day after another.  April is the month that my ex-husband remarries.

While in my logical and present mind I know this shouldn’t bother me so, it does.  And you could all tell me, “But Sarah, you’ve moved on too.”  Yep, that’s also true.  But it doesn’t mean I don’t mourn the good times I had with one person over the course of 17 years of my life.  Almost HALF my life.  It doesn’t mean I’m not sad that I’ve officially and legally been replaced.  It is a very weird scenario that no one prepares you for in this life.

A long time ago I promised him I would give him a copy of all our years worth of photos and videos.  Since our divorce it has either slipped my mind or I just haven’t wanted to deal with it.  I have to meet him on Tuesday to sign one more lingering legal thing that ties us together and decided it would also be a good time to give him our memories.  So today I have filtered through them; thousands of photos and videos are now housed on a tiny flash drive ready to be delivered.  It’s almost like cutting through every scar, opening it up wide, and letting it all flow again.  One of my FAVORITE ARTISTS OF ALL TIME released an album a month or so ago and the first song guts me but it’s so real for me right now.  Here’s the first verse:

A love song was playing on the radio
It made me me kind of sad because it made me think of you
And I wonder how you’re doing  but I wish I didn’t care
Because I gave you all I had and got the worst of you

By the way, I forgive you
After all, maybe I should thank you
For giving me what I’ve found
‘Cause without you around
I’ve been doing just fine
Except for any time I hear that song

I’m trying to tell myself that this is ok.  I need to get it out, let it hurt, feel it, and move on. It doesn’t do me any good to bottle up the pain like it doesn’t exist because it does.  It’s real.  You can’t link yourself intricately with another person and not mourn the extrication, no matter the circumstances.  The key is to not dwell.

So despite me wanting to write this out and let the whole world read it, I’m trying my very best in this moment to be kind to me.  Feeling the hurt, moving through it, not comparing or assuming things, and recognizing I’m a person that deserves love too.  If anyone out there in this world is in the same spot I am, I hope this gives you some encouragement.  Even though it seems as if I’m saying it from a dark place; I see the light.  And that is positive.  Look for the light.

The memories I unearthed today made me laugh as much as cry.  And in “purging” them to that flash drive I’m choosing to visualize it as emptying my tank.  I’m now all ready for new memories to fill their place.

Bring on the new memories.  Fill up the tank.

TODAY I LOVE: the smell of Earl Grey tea