My 39th year

Hello hello! We are at the END of September. Can you believe that?! I certainly can’t. I keep saying it over and over, but I can’t really believe how fast it feels this year is flying by. Before I know it we will be celebrating Christmas and then the arrival of 2020. C-R-A-Z-Y.

I’m sitting here doing a little bit of prep work for the coming week; it’s going to be pretty busy one for me. On top of the normal month end / quarter end / reporting that comes with an old month and a new month, I’ll be busy prepping for an even busier week following this one. So as I’m sitting here sketching out some plans to make it all happen, I’ve somewhat drifted to the personal side of things. This week I will celebrate my 39th trip around the sun. C-R-A-Z-Y.

Birthdays aren’t really a big thing to me anymore. It’s really just another day. (It’s a day I can have a cupcake with literally no shame.). They do, however, make you take stock of where you’ve been and where you’re headed. For the first time in many years and months, I really like the direction I’m going. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t remotely how I thought my life was going to be. It isn’t what you plan when you’re fresh out of high school or college. But I believe there is a purpose for all of it. The best is definitely yet to come.

So I’m making some goals for the month of October, month #1 of year 39. Some of them are ambitious and will challenge me. Some of them are “minimums” just to get me in the habit of doing some new things. All of them will make me a better Sarah for whatever my future holds.

I challenge you to set a few goals for this coming month. Strive and stretch and grow and reach. What else can we accomplish by the end of this year?

TODAY I LOVE: kettle corn from the fall festival
SONG OF THE DAY: “A Safe Place to Land” by Sara Bareilles

goals, direction, and starting to see light.

Seeing the light arriving

Greetings, my friends! And Happy Sunday!

I hope everyone is having a great and relaxing weekend. It has been raining off and on yesterday and today and honestly it’s been nice to chill for a hot minute. I did quite a bit of socializing this week and was oh-so-ready for a day to be a hermit and recharge.

I do apologize that my writing has been so sporadic lately. I certainly didn’t intend for this to blog to only be used when I’m feeling down in the dumps. Now that I’ve made great strides crawling out of the dark place, I guess I’m trying to decide which direction to take this thing now.

First things first, some updates. This week will be Week 6 of my elimination diet. As I said in my last post, I’ve been adding things in and taking them out for a few weeks now. Even though I do believe now that most of my health issues are being caused by something other than food, it has been very enlightening to find out what foods do cause a reaction of any kind in my body. I *think* I’ve found out this week that dairy actually increases my heartburn. This makes me very sad, as cheese is practically one of my love languages. Anyway, the experiment continues. After that first week I’ve managed to maintain my calories at my normal level. Cravings are gone. I sleep well (for the most part). I don’t have a headache everyday. All that to say, I’m going to keep this experiment going for a while.

Beginning September I started running again. I’ve also added in yoga (in addition to strength training.) I’m really, really enjoying it. I’m not sure what finally made the switch flip in my brain, but I’m looking forward to workouts again rather than seeing them as a chore. I’m also looking forward to setting some goals for each of those areas for October. I haven’t set any kind of athletic goal in AGES! This is great mental progress for me.

So, where do I go from here? Someone told me this morning, “Every time I see you you’re always smiling! It makes me smile.” I guarantee the gal who said it had no idea how much it effected me, and probably not even for the reason that you’d imagine. I think maybe after all these months I’m finally figuring out that it really is all up to me on my perspective of things. I’m not in control of anything and I need to stop trying to grapple for it like a lifeline. I can’t control what people think of me, I can rarely control what happens to me. The one thing I can control? My perspective. If I can do that then the lows won’t be so low. The highs are even higher. And every thing isn’t nearly so dark. Life is quite a lot sweeter when you let it happen.

I’m looking forward to this week. I’m going home this weekend for our fall festival. I haven’t been back to it in probably 15+ years. This would normally probably cause me anxiety…but it’s going to be ok. I’m going to choose to look at is as an opportunity to enjoy some folks I haven’t seen in quite some time. Plus the parade! Band nerds unite! What are you looking forward to this week?

TODAY I LOVE: dry shampoo (seriously gals, am I right?!)
SONG OF THE DAY: “Alice from Dallas” by Foy Vance

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

the calm and the storm

Flying over a thunderstorm outside of Dallas this past October

I think I’ve stared at the “Add title” part of this post for a good 20 minutes. I just finished writing a very mopey post about memories and pain. It’s still in my drafts but I’ll probably never post it. I’m sure everyone is tired of me mulling over my divorce and the never-ending tentacles of it’s reach in my life. It still just amazes me how I can go from moments of pure joy and happiness to watching one video of a concert we attended and I’m zapped back into sadness. It has to stop hurting at some point, right?

Anyway, I really just wanted to update you on my goals and such. I’m entering week 3. I can say without hesitation…it’s been hard. I’ve pushed myself in workouts (which is a good thing) and it’s made me so sore. Week 1 of my “diet” was hard but I was 100% perfect. Well…I fell off the wagon hard this weekend. I had cravings that I haven’t been able get rid of so I indulged them. The scale scolded me HARD this morning, but it was necessary. I’m in a much better place today. Overall I have lost and not gained any weight. I wish it was more, but this is for the long-haul, not in the day-to-day ups and downs.

Little wins and little falls…it is life and going to happen. It’s how I even out and recover that matters. It is not letting my “little fall” take me all the way to “I don’t care anymore.” And guess what? I still care. A lot. All of this matters.

So if you’ve had a weekend like I have, where you’ve celebrated birthdays and you’ve enjoyed some things outside of your norm…find your way back. And remember your “why.”

Now. I’m going to go watch something that makes me happy and not sad home videos on my phone.

TODAY I LOVE: Milk Makeup Kush Lip Balm

SONG OF THE DAY: “Girl” by Maren Morris

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!

week 1: here I am

Has everyone watched the movie “Dumplin” on Netflix yet? If not, you totally should. You’ll walk away smiley AND have new appreciation for Dolly Parton. I read the book last year and loved it and couldn’t wait for the movie. I watched it with my mom and grandma over Christmas and it was nice. (The title of my post, “Here I Am” is a song from the movie.) Also…2019 HERE I AM!

So far this year started with the flu. That wasn’t really the way I was hoping to ring in a brand new year, but it is what it is. Sadly. I’m happy to report that I’m feeling loads better now. I’m also happy to report that of the goals I set for myself for the new year, most of them I’ve been able to keep up so far. Yeah, yeah, one week in but consistency has to start somewhere. I haven’t been able to work on the diet/exercise front yet. The nasty flu mentioned previously and the boyfriend being in town has pushed that back a bit. I’m all set to go on Monday, full steam.

In the meantime, I thought I’d tell you some things that are working for me and some things I’m loving right now.

  • Agenda – I kind of love this app a lot. I want to be a paper journal/planner person. I give it a try every year because paper planners are so pretty. Sadly it doesn’t take me very long to give it up because I’m just too digital. This app helps me bring my paper loving things into a digital world. I set up a bullet journal within Agenda. Works fantastic. Using this app, combined with Things 3 and Evernote…(which I’m sure could all be combined to one app to do all things but I have a system so let me be)…makes me a productive powerhouse.
  • Theraflu – My dad reminded me of this medicine this week as I’ve been sick. It helped so much! Keep it in mind if any of you peeps start feeling under the
  • An American Marriage by Tayari Jones: Read this while on vacation these last two weeks. Great read. It will draw you in.
  • Camilla Cleansing Oil – It’s no secret I’m OBSESSED with skincare. I think if I could do life over again I’d train to be an esthetician. I do a lot of reading and researching on products and methods and it has dramatically changed my skin over the last year. One of the tips I learned, that I will now never not do, is the double cleanse. BEST. THING. EVER. This cleansing oil is so luxurious for your oil cleanse that it feels like you’re having a fancy facial massage. Treat yo self.

Have a great weekend everyone!

TODAY I LOVE: The sun is shining bright out my window!
SONG OF THE DAY: “Here I Am” by Dolly Parton and Sia

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.