Tuesday, April 28, 2009

impromptu weigh-day

Ryan weighed this morning heavier than he's ever been. Still not 'fat', but it's a rapid, significant gain & he doesn't feel well. So we decided that even though we've been planning turning things around and making a lot of lifestyle changes with a deadline of Friday after my finals are turned in, that maybe we should make some changes today.

We'd definitely been falling into the trap of "I'm starting healthy habits (insert day coming up soon), so I'll just eat this (insert random unhealthy junk) while I can." After he weighed I said "well, I guess I'll weigh today, too...but I know my body and I weigh 174. I don't even need to get on the scale."But I did so I could have an official # to write down and guess what? 173.6 I really can tell what I weigh with pretty good accuracy...I guess most of us can.

I'm 'this close' to having all my research gathered and organized and will be ready to start writing the papers tonight. Once I have all my ideas down, notes gathered and outline finished it won't take me that long....one or two evenings. I decided to quit grad school, simplify and minimize stress and outside-of-work obligations so I could focus on my health, and I've been soooo looking forward to it. We have a lot of physical activity planned for the weekend and blocks of time scheduled for healthy cooking.

I'm really glad because besides regaining pretty much all of my weight (I started WW at 176 last July) I have had a few mystery ailments pop up & they certainly aren't going to be made better by NON-healthy choices. I'm hoping they'll just magically clear up while I focus on health over the summer, but I think I'm going to have to go to the dr. for one today. I'm dreading getting on that scale...it makes me not want to go because I don't want them writing this # in my chart!!! I know that's silly, but it's how I feel. I'm writing these down so I can document them here for myself, but read on if you're so inclined. :)

#1 - From Sept. through ~Feb. my lips were peeling. I told my doc and we talked about basic things like staying hydrated and wearing chapstick...duh. A week or 2 ago I got some sore or irritation in the corner of my mouth...it got better but then a milder version popped up on the other side. Then my lips got irritated, red and painful including the area around my lips. I stopped using my chapstick and have been using Carmex and it's been a lot better but not great. I don't know if I developed an allergy to chapstick or what...

#2 - For a while now I've had mild, slightly annoying pain or soreness in my left index finger knuckle. I'm right handed and don't do anything with my left hand that should be able to cause a repetitive use injury. Yesterday, all of a sudden, the knuckle got painful and swollen and now it hurts to move it in any direction and it's hard to make a fist with that finger down. I'm not able to type with that finger either, which is really slowing me down. I'm a fast typist and I think while I type, so to have to think about which fingers to use instead distracts me from what I'm typing about. Not so much a problem here, but definitely bothersome for these final papers.

#3 - I'm getting what look like liver spots...a bunch on my lower legs and 2 on my face. I've showed them to my doctor and she doesn't think they're anything to worry about, but they sure ain't cute. :-Z

So...I'm drinking my plain lemon, ginger tea now and am going to eat clean and light today and probably bite the bullet and try to get in to see my doctor about the knuckle. I've really let my body down, but I hope it's not too late to turn it around!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Quick Post

Note: I tried to post this here yesterday and couldn't figure out why it never showed up. I'm working on putting together a new blog, but am not planning on posting content there for another month or so and I just found it posted over there....hmmmmmm....
Anyway - it was just a quick post - here it is.

I just discovered facebook....I know, I know - I'm behind the times :) But, wow! Wow! The crazy names that pop out from the past! I'm not linking to the blog although for all I know people there will be able to find me here. I don't have it figured out yet. But, it is making me think that if I ever post a link to my blog on my facebook page, that I'll want to think before I type and not just spew out every whiney, stream-of-consciousness nonsense that pops through my brain. Hmmm...Maybe I should do that anyway! So many people are there from so many different areas and times in my life. It could feel a little exposing.

It's definitely a time stealer, too. I should stay away until this final paper is finished. I'm still procrastinating with that, but feeling slightly less hopeless.I'm waaaaay happier since I decided to give grad school a break - good decision, I think. Off to work!

Monday, April 13, 2009

on hold/holding on

I'm in the final few weeks of this semester. I'm sick again. I've been having anxiety spikes after cutting my meds for that in half. I'm having a super rough time with my final papers. I haven't been bingey, but haven't been great either and the only exercise I've been getting is through cleaning and walks.

I've made a decision. I swear I used to be able to multi-task, but the degree to which I keep getting derailed from my routine and goals this year and the frequency with which I'm getting sick is freaking me out. My body is clearly sending me messages that I need to simplify and prioritize. So, I'm putting grad school on hold indefinitely after I finish my final papers over the next 2 weeks.

I've known that I'm overwhelmed, run-down, stressed out and pretty much losing it for months now, and I finally decided that I couldn't just push through and ignore it. I sat down and thought hard about my priorities and what I want long and short term...what's really important and what I'm willing to sacrifice to get it.

What I came up with is this. My top three priorities are my kids at school, my health and my family, friends and daily life...like keeping organized, keeping the house clean - just the baseline things that are essential for me to have a reasonably happy existance that involves the people I love.
My fourth priority is my future growth in terms of education, career, and other development. This includes grad school, going for my NBTS certification, and other 'optional' things that I sometimes think are essential like spending time on crafts, learning new skills, etc.

What I realized is that I have been letting the thing that's fourth on my list of priorities prevent me from doing well the things that are in the top three. That's just silly. Doesn't make any sense at all.

So, until I feel that I'm doing my kids justice, my health is under control and my daily home and family life is supported by a stable, healthy routine, that 4th priority is going to have to wait.
It's a big load off to finally have made that decision. It's a difficult and emotional one for me since it's been so long in the making and I was so proud to finally be on my way to those goals after crashing and burning as an undergrad and gradually working my way back through straight A's in my first Master's and in my ESL certification. But I know by the sense of peace that I've had since I made that decision that it's the right one.

The next few weeks are going to be difficult and hectic while I finish this semester up, but as soon as it's through I have at least 3 months, even if I do decide to go back to UT in the fall, to focus on those priorities. With the summer off from work and school, 2 of those months will be without the daily work schedule. I, of course, will need to work to get ready for the next school year, but I won't have to be anywhere specific at any exact time to do that work.

I'm going to focus on diet, exercise, greening our lives (composting, gardening, making cleaning products, cooking from scratch, etc.), learning Spanish, reading some books on teaching reading and writing, making unit plans for next year, researching ways others school systems have improved ESL parent involvement, and reading, reading, reading. I'm really excited. This will be the first summer I've had completely off - no work, no school since I started teaching besides the summer my dad died which was, of course, hectic and un-relaxing in its own horrible way.

If I get rehired next year at the same school I've been at for the last 2 years (it's always up in the air with ESL) I'll be so thrilled. I drove by the site where they're rebuilding our school and it's an easy bike ride no more than a mile from my house. How awesome would that be to ride to and from work every day?! I'm so hoping that I get to go back there and really work on strengthening my ties with the parents and other teachers now that I'll have made the time to focus on that.

I'm so ready for this shift. It feels good to know I'm stopping fighting myself and starting to do what's simplest, healthiest and best for me right now. I just have to keep telling myself to push through these papers and that the sooner I finish them, the sooner I can get started on this new path. It's super difficult to push through when you're sick and burned out, but I know I can do it and it will be so worth it to get to this new place.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

weekly prep

Ryan and I spent a lot of time this weekend going over 5 of our cookbooks, picking out recipes that sound good and planning for the week.

I'm going to take a cue from Toni at The Happy Housewife and plan dinners for the month ahead of time - not specifically what I'm going to eat everyday, but a list of meals that I will choose from at the beginning of each week. I love the simple food we eat, but it will be good for us to try new things. We're going to do this Monday through Friday because Ryan wants to leave room for spontaneity on the weekends and that's cool with me.

I'm still sticking with that general shell I talked about that serves as a guide for planning the nutritional content of the day. For example, before I planned the specifics for tomorrow I knew that I'd be having a smoothie for breakfast, a sandwich with some kind of bean spread and veggies for lunch, fruit and nuts for snack and a salad with tofu or tempeh and a grain for dinner.

I have my list divided into tempeh/tofu dishes, bean/legume dishes, and miscellaneous (grains, veggies, sides, soups without beans or tempeh, etc.) I don't have all the meals for this month chosen yet, but I do have this week planned. I'll post the 20 days of dinners when I can. We decided to make things easier that we would choose one grain for the week and make it on Sunday. This week I made 8 servings of quinoa for use in 3 recipes and to have plain with my salad tomorrow.

Breakfasts: fruit, yogurt, protein powder, flaxseed oil, E3Live and cran-water smoothies x2; greek yogurt with 1/4 c. Ezekiel flax cereal, banana and almonds x2; steel cut oats with apple, almond butter and cinnamon

Lunches: bagel, cheese, chick pea spread and veggie sandwich with raw veggies; leftover corn chowder and cold bean salad (from Sunday's dinner); leftover yeasty tofu, quinoa and veggie stir-fry (from Tuesday's planned dinner); leftover curried quinoa with peas, garbanzo beans and cashews with raw veggies (from Wednesday's dinner); salad with garbanzo beans

Snacks: apple or grapes & 1/2 oz. nuts x2; raw veggies & chick pea spread; light string cheese and light Wasa crackers; fruit alone

Dinners: salad with baked tempeh, sunflower seeds and veggies with quinoa x2; yeasty tofu, veggie and quinoa stir fry; curried quinoa with peas, garbanzo beans and cashews; spicy quinoa and potato croquettes with szechuan tofu triangles

Desserts: tea; hot cocoa; fruit and almond butter; fruit and tea; popcorn

I'm excited to start actually using my cookbooks, helping out in the kitchen and trying new things. I do want to track the nutritional info on these new things, but am entering the home stretch of this semester of grad school and will probably not have time to do much else than work on my research papers this week when I'm not at school.

Right now I need to get some readings done for tomorrow's class so I can get to bed!
I'm not ready for the week like I want to be, but at least my meals are packed for tomorrow, the laundry's done and put away and the house isn't a complete disaster zone.

Here's a few pics of prepping corn chowder, chick pea spread, baked tempeh and quinoa for the week.