but then I stopped.

OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN, Physical video, circa 1981-82

I’m writing this during the day. ON MY LUNCH BREAK. Yeah, I still can’t get over that. ūüôā

So this morning I did something that I wanted to write about. You want to know what it was? I didn’t go to the gym and I didn’t feel guilty about it.

At first glance that sentence probably doesn’t mean very much to you. So what? I didn’t go to the gym. I don’t go to the gym several days a week (rest days.) It is the second part of that sentence that makes me smile. I have all the excuses for wanting to sleep: it took me a little while to fall asleep last night, the cat woke me up sometime in the middle of the night yowling as he was chasing a bug (I had to get up and make sure George wasn’t dying or anything), there was a thunderstorm early this morning and it was lovely to sleep to…and when my weekly alarm went off at 4:30am I was sleeping so good that I just turned it right off and went back to sleep. Again, it’s the part AFTER I’m most proud of.

Usually when I make the decision to sleep in and miss a workout, it’s almost a moot point. I will lay there and beat myself up for giving in, for being weak, telling myself that this is why I’m fat, etc. I have very, very ugly self-talk early in the morning. And then I don’t end up benefiting from the extra sleep because I’m so mad at myself! And I didn’t do that today.

Don’t get me wrong, old habits are very hard to break. I started to let it all wash over me. I started thinking about my friends seeing my LACK of Apple Watch activity and thinking me lazy and fat, I thought “Sarah, this is only slowing your goals,” I thought the gym regulars and my workout partner would think me wishy-washy and uncommitted, I thought myself ugly. BUT THEN I STOPPED. I really can’t tell you how hard this was to do, but I did it. I stopped all the thoughts and I redirected them. And I went back to sleep.

Maybe I’m finally putting some parts and pieces of my old Psychology degree in place, and maybe I’m recalling some old tools from counseling I’ve had, but it is slowly working.

Do I still have those ugly thoughts? Yep. They’ve tried to creep up on my several times this morning. And I have to actively and forcibly stop them. After sitting here and unpacking it all (after I journaled it), I’m realizing that I have a lot of internal things to work out, but I also seem to have a big hangup of others judgement of me. And it’s not by their doing – it’s my own mind. I need to think some more on how to help me change that setting within myself. I shouldn’t be having these thoughts to begin with, much less fighting them 24/7. Baby steps.

In the end, that extra sleep was ah-mazing. It was well worth it. It makes me no less of a person because I didn’t get up and go to the gym this morning.

TODAY I LOVE: sleeping during a thunderstorm
SONG OF THE DAY: “The Place Where Lost Things Go” by Emily Blunt (from Mary Poppins Returns)

Black coffee and honesty

acs_0254-1One of my compromises with myself when I started this blog (in deference to my last one) was to be completely honest. You get the good and the bad, the ups and downs, the wins and the losses. Why be fake? Why try to trick everyone into believing that life is rosy all the time and every single goal I set, I reach?

Somewhere out there (if you don’t have this song in your head right now I don’t know you at all)…anyway, somewhere out there I’ve lost my focus and drive. For some reason the journey seems a lot more difficult this time around. And yes, I’m talking about weight loss. I think I’m always talking about weight loss. When you’re uncomfortable in your own skin (and your own jeans) it is always what you’re thinking about.

I keep finding excuses!

  • I’ve had a rough week, I deserve this treat.
  • PMS…give me all the things I’m craving.
  • Whew…I’ve got meetings all week. They’ll feed me. I don’t need to count.
  • I’m cold and I don’t feel that great. I should just eat what will make me happy.
  • I’m going home and nobody cooks like my mom and grandma. I don’t get home that much, I should enjoy it.

Anyone ever say some variation of those? I usually have really great discipline and can bypass all that stuff. Not this last month. Frankly, I’m scared to get on the scale for what it is going to tell me. I know I haven’t lost but I’m terrified to see if or how much I’ve gained. I’m failing at all my self-talk. I’m failing at saying NO.

I’m failing. And I want to leave it at that. Throw a fit. Say that I just can’t do it; the plan doesn’t work for me. I want to tell everyone how hard it is to be me. But guess what? That doesn’t help me either, it just makes me fail…more.

So I’m not going to do that. Because deep down I know these things:

  • I’m not failing at everything. Those are just lies that we tell ourselves.
  • If I fix my self-talk and start thinking about things on a decision-by-decision basis, I can choose to say no and make better choices. I can make choices that aren’t based on hormones, emotions, and circumstances.
  • I’m not failing at workouts (for the most part – I’ve had to miss a few.) I’m pushing myself and not giving in. I like getting stronger and seeing what new things my body can do.
  • It is going to be hard. It just is. I’m not in my 20’s anymore and things are just HARD. Recognize the challenge, say “game on”, and do it. Just do it.
  • Again – don’t look at weeks at a time. One decision, one good choice, one moment.
  • Plan better.

This post was for me. It was public self-talk and public accountability. We don’t always win. It’s so easy to fall down the social media rabbit hole of how all things are perfect. They aren’t. There is no quick fix. It isn’t easy. I haven’t won; I’ve lost this round. I let myself lose this round.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t win the next one.

New moment. New day. New week. New month. As the character President Jed Bartlet says in one of my favorite shows, “What’s next?”

TODAY I LOVE: finally finishing the “Downton Abby” series on BBC

SONG OF THE DAY: “Forever” by Mumford & Sons

tired and hungry and sore

Well, I think my title says it all. It fully encapsulates this week.

I started Phase II of my new year journey on Monday. I jumped in with both feet. Phase II included new programming at the gym (both strength and HIIT), calorie and macro guidelines based on my reading of Fat Loss Forever, and getting up early to do said gym workouts. After two weeks of the head and stomach flu, that 4:30am alarm is BRUTAL. So yeah, this week has been me on the struggle bus. BUT I HAVE DONE IT.

No cheats. I’ve stayed perfectly within my macros and calories. I haven’t missed a day of workouts. I just need to keep this up until it’s a habit and then it won’t be such a struggle. I’ve done it before and I know I can do it again.

Here are some things that are helping me this week:

  • I accidentally changed the setting on my bathroom scale to kilograms. I weigh every morning and then take an average for the week so see gain/loss. I didn’t mean to change it to kilograms but it’s been so much better for me emotionally! I’m much too lazy to remember the conversion to pounds that early in the morning so it’s awesome to weigh without all the guilt and shame of the pounds number. Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves? Sure, I still weigh a ton but in my mind it’s just a number when it is kilograms.
  • I’m a nerd. You know this. I created a lovely excel workbook that has all my BMR, TDEE, and macro calculations (based on the book mentioned above.) I also have calculations for all my weights and measurements so that it calculates my averages for me. I am also able to see trends.
  • You can eat a LOT of veggies for little calories.
  • I’m not always going to improve my lifts at the gym. But I’ve been complacent for far too long. I haven’t stopped working out in all this time but if I’m honest I’ve been “mailing it in.” Every day this week I’ve given myself a pep talk to challenge myself. Don’t just do it to do it; make those calories and muscles work. And it has paid off in soreness. ūüôā

I hope all of you are achieving your goals as well! One day at a time, friends. One moment at a time.

SONG OF THE DAY: “Rescue” by Lauren Daigle

TODAY I LOVE: my new pillow…makes a huge difference!

2018…let it go (queue Elsa.)

I’m typing this post in the throws of a massive cold/flu/grossest junk EVER mess. ¬†Knowing that, it’s safe for me to say that 2018 can just keep on trucking right out the door. ¬†HOWEVER…this year was one I won’t forget: the good, the bad, and what’s to come…

Let’s start off with the bad and just get it out of the way. ¬†If I had to sum up the year in two words they would be stress and emotion. ¬†I had so much of both. ¬†The year started right off the bat with my first kitty baby, Callie, passing away. ¬†She lived with Ryan after we divorced but it was so sad to let her go. ¬†She was one more piece of my old life that disappeared. ¬†My ex-husband got remarried and that effected me more than I ever thought possible. ¬†It was the sense of loss all over again. ¬†I was knocked down again when I found out they are expecting a baby. ¬†I’m happy for them, I mean that sincerely, but it’s just….so weird. ¬†Onward…my cat got very, very sick (his bladder blocked and ruptured) and that was a stressful, time-consuming, and VERY costly months of recovery. ¬† I moved. ¬†It was a great move and I’m SO HAPPY I did it, but still. ¬†New place, new roommate, packing and unpacking…not fun, expensive, and stressful. ¬†Alright, now take all of that and add abnormally high work stress. ¬†Oh, and I gained back all the weight I lost in 2017. ¬†BAM! ¬†2018 in a nutshell.

If I left it at that you would think the year was total crap, right? ¬†It’s a good thing I had a lot of happies too. ¬†ūüôā

I hired a fantastic gal from Louisiana to work for me and she’s been phenomenal. ¬†With her help, we had an exceptional audit this month. ¬†I’m excited for the new projects we can tackle this coming year. ¬†I have a roommate! ¬†It’s been such a nice treat having someone to come home to and share life with everyday. ¬†We’ve went on on several girl trips this year; a hiking trip in Hot Springs, AR and a weekend jaunt to South Bend, IN and Mackinac Island, MI! ¬†I cannot tell you how much I loved Mackinac Island. ¬†It’s a must-see for anyone looking for a beautiful and unique place to visit. ¬†Lastly, one of my biggest happies, I spent 3 weeks in Kauai with my fella and his family. ¬†Whoa, what a HUGE blessing. ¬†I’m convinced there isn’t a more beautiful place on earth.

So.  2018 all wrapped up in two paragraphs.  Boiling down your year into small sentences is harder than you think.  Crazily enough, the year felt like it went that fast.  Two paragraphs worth.

What do I want for 2019? I don’t really like to do resolutions; I prefer goals. ¬†Kinda. ¬†Here are my hopes/goals for the year to come:

  • Consistency & Discipline. ¬†I let stress and emotion (see above) control a lot of my life this year. ¬†I let it control my actions. ¬†I let it control my mood. ¬†I let it control my health. ¬†I need to change that this year.
  • Intentionality with my Health. ¬†If I follow my goal above, my health will fall in line too. ¬†Diet, exercise, skincare, stress-management, and emotional well-being will all be better if I can be intentional, consistent, and disciplined with the tools I have to work with. ¬†I know what to do. ¬†I just need to do it.
  • Strengthen my faith. ¬†I don’t think I need to explain that one. ¬†ūüôā
  • Payoff at least one loan. ¬†Money is tight for me now as 2018 was a huge drain on EVERYTHING. ¬†I need to be budget focused and paying off one loan would be a great ¬†snowball for that.
  • Find my happy. ¬†Whatever that might be.
  • Beat (or at least make it to) the end of one video game. ¬†Ok, this one is silly, but still. ¬†I’ve gotta get to the end of at least one.

 

Let’s do this 2019.

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 next 30 days

I wish I could tell you that I started this year just killing my workouts and nailing my diet and never being lazy or tired or sick or inconsistent.  But that would be a lie.  With the exception of a couple of good weeks, 2018 has been a roiling boil of excuses and exceptions.  It is embarrassing.  Also infuriating.  I woke up this morning just straight up mad.

I don’t like that all my new smaller clothes are a tinge uncomfortable. ¬†I don’t like that I have no energy because I haven’t been eating correctly. ¬†I don’t like being scared to step on the scale. ¬†And I REALLY don’t like feeling like a failure. ¬†This is a really real confession that I hate to admit, but hey, it is what it is. ¬†I hate that in my mind it feels like I’m giving all the doubters what they wanted to see all along. ¬†“I knew she wouldn’t/couldn’t keep it up.” ¬†*WOMP* ¬†That statement is way too much to unpack in this post, but it’s definitely something I’m journaling about privately. ¬†Homegirl has some issues. ¬†I really hate that my mood and thoughts of myself tend to hinge on how comfortable I feel in my skin.

ANYWAY. ¬†I had every intention of being 100% everything this week. ¬†However due to a variety of reason that were out of my control, that didn’t happen. ¬†So here’s what I’m telling you – I’ve made a pact with myself. ¬†All this mess stops here. ¬†I mean, I was perfect with diet and exercise for 8 WEEKS WITH A BROKEN ANKLE. ¬†I can do this.

I love my Apple Watch. ¬†I’m tied to it like I married the thing. ¬†I love that it gives you little challenges to complete every now and again. ¬†I am a sucker for pretty rewards. ¬†(Yes, I was the girl in school who wanted alllllllll the gold stars by her name. ¬†I like shiny things.) ¬†So I’m creating a Sarah Challenge.

In just over 30 days I go to Dallas for a work convention. ¬†There is a pretty good possibility I’m going to have to be fabulous in front of a whole lot of people. ¬†I don’t want to feel like this when I need to be the epitome of self-confidence. ¬†For the next 30 days I’m committing to myself to do the following:

  • Close all my 3 of my apple watch rings every day.
  • Lift/strength training 6 days a week (already do this when I’m consistent.)
  • Auxiliary Class (barre, TRX, yoga, etc.) 2 days a week
  • 100% on my macro levels. ¬†No exceptions. No cheats.
  • Drop at least 5lbs of the fluff I gained over the holidays. ¬†I didn’t handle the holidays and vacation appropriately. ¬†I’ve learned my lesson. ¬†Now I need to fix it.
  • Everyday identify something within me to feel confident about.

I can do this. ¬†I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again. ¬†I just need that line in the sand and the deadline to make it happen. ¬†Once I can get in the groove I’ll be just fine. ¬†No more excuses. ¬†I just can’t do it anymore.

TODAY I LOVE: the entire Drunk Elephant skincare line.  GAME CHANGER.

Climbing again

It is Friday night and I’m sitting here on my sofa, having a cup of sleepy tea, and watching Grace & Frankie (again) on the TV. (Side note: I’m SO excited for Season 4 which comes out next week.) ANYWAY. I got off work this afternoon and came home and deep cleaned my living room. I tore down the Christmas tree and all the decorations. I moved all the furniture and vacuumed. I bought a lamp (also random.) All that to say, I’m super content in this spot, right this second. Which puts me in a good place to talk about something that I’m not happy about: my fitness.

A week before Christmas I messed up my back. It was AWFUL. I’m too embarrassed to say what I did, but it was a dumb thing and I’ve LEARNED MY LESSON. ANYWAY. I couldn’t bend my spine at all. I couldn’t even sit. I could only lay flat or be in terrible pain. So needless to say my workouts were not fabulous. And then I went home to my family for Christmas. And then I went to California for 2 weeks to be with my fella. My butt has not been in a gym for 3 WEEKS. It’s embarrassing. And I didn’t follow my macros over the holidays either. I wasn’t terrible, but I wasn’t perfect.

Confession: I’m absolutely terrified to step on the scale. (I’m not stepping on the scale until Monday morning, but still.).

I feel bloated and chunky and lumpy and likely 10 pounds heavier.

So that’s the bad news.

The good news? I can fix it. I can fix all of it. You know why? Because last year I learned how. I can’t tell you how much that reassures me that this is all going to be fine. This year when I’m looking at my fitness and health journey it is totally different than last year. It’s kind of like carving an ice sculpture. When you get started you have to take off a whole bunch of the bulk before you can even start to shape what you’re really trying to carve. 2017 was getting rid of the excess for me. In 2018 I get to sculpt something fantastic. Isn’t that wonderful!?

I admit, I don’t like that it feels I’m starting this year behind. But you know what? I had a great Christmas and New Years and California dreams. The rest let my back heal. I just…lived for a while. And I wouldn’t trade that for anything. Even if it does feel like I’m starting in a deficit. Whatever I’ve gained will come back off. I’ve proven I can do it.

So with that said…tomorrow I go back to the gym with my best girl. Good things to come.

TODAY I LOVE: my Filimin lantern