Pancakes Don’t Belong in Cars

Please tell me I’m not the only person to join Weight Watchers and gain right away?  Maybe it’s because I’m not new to the program; the magic just isn’t there.  I’ve been tracking (ok, aside from the past two days when the damn app and Etools just don’t want to work…and my ire causes me to “forget” about my paper tracker), but my eating habits haven’t changed.  And they so, so need to.

April sucks. Seriously.  Yeah, yeah, spring is here, and daffodils are in bloom, which is great.  But April means, for me, that the end of the semester is nearing, which means research papers, endless grading, and students who realize (too late) that they’re failing and start begging and attempting to bribe me.  Add my non-work life to that mix, and I’m one stressed Pilgrim.  And when I’m stressed and tired, I eat like crap.  Because, you know, eating like crap will TOTALLY make me feel better.

Right.

This morning, after dropping my diabetic cat off at the vet, I found myself craving McDonald’s hotcakes and sausage.  Me, the person who’s been showing Food, Inc. to her class this week, telling them that fast food is the DEVIL, and we need to eat healthy, whole foods.  I didn’t attempt to talk myself out of it, and ate my hotcakes in the car.  Because pancakes should be eaten in a car, not at a table where I can relax or anything.  I didn’t even enjoy them; I ate them like a dog, shoving the pieces in my mouth and choking them down.  I didn’t chew well enough, and felt the food want to lodge in my throat.  Because what I need is to choke on hotcakes and die in a McDonald’s parking lot. 

*sigh*

I need to break out of this.  Eating like crap doesn’t make me feel better.  I know that I feel better when I eat healthy food.  If I fell better, I can deal with the stress better.  But somehow, I forget that when I want hotcakes, or a Little Debbie brownie, or a third cup of coffee.  Not good. 

Anyone have any great tips for dealing with stress without eating like crap?  I really think I need to de-tox and somehow break free of the hold sugar has over me. 

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Belated Meatless March Wrap-Up

I’ve always wanted to try a vegetarian diet, but usually only lasted a few days due to not being able to rid myself of the habit of turning to meat for food.  So, when I saw that Brooke and Emily were hosting a Meatless March challenge, I was in. 

Hubs was on board with no argument, thankfully.  He always wants to eat healthier, and since I’m the cook and he’s at my mercy, he was in on the challenge, too.  KidPilgrim was sort of in on it; there were certain meals that were too spicy for him, or that he didn’t care for, so I made sure he had other options if necessary. 

For the most part, I didn’t miss meat at all during the month. I did have one day where I caved and had a burger (it was a stressful day, and I “didn’t care” about my goals).  Otherwise, we ate plant-based — lots of lentils, beans, and greens.  By the end of the month, Hubs and I definitely noticed a big change in how we felt.  We were less fatigued, and our digestive systems were super happy.  For me, with my busted guts, this was a big, big deal!

We’ve decided to continue a plant-based diet.  Not quite vegan, but perhaps moving toward that gradually.  I do have some meat in the freezer that I’ll use up over the next month, but I don’t plan on buying more. 

I’m so grateful that I was a part of the challenge!

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Will You Take Me Back, Weight Watchers? Please?

In January, I left Weight Watchers.  It all started with a stuffed pepper.  It was full of brown rice, black beans, a little bit of cheese, some veggies…and it was 11 PointsPlus. 11. I was irritated that a simple stuffed pepper, filled with healthy things, was so pointy.  So I quit. 

OK, it was more than that.  I haven’t yet found a meeting that I love.  The meetings in my area tend to be filled with folks who are…older.  Who don’t know what quinoa is.  Who think that Weight Watchers is all about eating Fiber One Bars, and salads with no dressing.  I was tired of sitting through the meetings without anyone I could relate to. 

I needed a break.  So, I took one. 

I tried tracking using MyFitnessPal.  I love the database, the ease of calculating recipes on the app (seriously, Weight Watchers, y’all need to make that happen on the WW app!), and that many of my online friends were using it.  But it never clicked with me.  I don’t know if it was dealing with the larger numbers, or what, but I just couldn’t get the hang of it.  I found myself missing Weight Watchers and the simplicity of the program.  I missed having weekly points, and even just having a defined week.  I missed having to be accountable to someone.

I’ve been resisting going back, though, because of the cost, and because I’ve given up on it so many times before.  I can’t count the number of times (though I’m pretty sure my husband has kept track) that I’ve joined, swore it was THE LAST TIME, quit, and then rejoined, swearing again that it was THE VERY LAST TIME FOR REALS.  And, here I am again.

I signed up for WW this morning, and will go back to meetings on Saturday. 

When I told my husband, he rolled his eyes.  I can’t blame him.  All I can do is show him that I’m working hard.  He’s very supportive; I think he just wishes I’d find something to work for me. 

I know the problem lies with me.  With my dedication.  With my tendency to turn to food when I’m happy, sad, scared, stressed…anything.  I know that Weight Watchers works.  But I also know that I have a lot of work to do on myself.  I have come a long way, and have made a lot of positive changes in my life.  I just have to continue that journey.

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Rambling Tuesday

I need to ramble. 

  • Wisdom Teeth — the extraction went well.  I was in pain, very swollen, and it sucked.  I’m still healing, thanks to a slight complication.  But I think I’ll be back to normal within a few weeks.
  • Work — the spring semester has started, and so far, so good. The biggest problem is that I have 5 preps, and I’m struggling to stay organized with everything I have to do.  A few of the classes are completely new to me, which means reading and creating new assignments/material.  Which leads me to…
  • My Planner.  *sigh*  I started off the year with a planner, which started failing me when my task list exploded.  I tried using an app for my calendar/tasks, but I just feel better when I can write things down.  So I DIY’d a planner in a graph composition book, and that was working well until I realized that I needed more space for random lists, and then a student gave me an odd look when I pulled out my planner to write down an appointment.  So, again, I’m trying to find a system that works for me.  The challenge is that because most of my work is done at home, I need a planner that’s spacious enough for work/home schedule, and my work/home tasks.  I like to see a week at a time, too, so that I can see when my week is going to be crazy. 
  • Weight Watchers.  Well.  Thanks to my wisdom teeth procedure, I’ve lost weight this month.  But now that I’m mostly healed, I need to get back on track.  But I’m frustrated with Weight Watchers. Don’t get me wrong — I like the program, and I think that it works.  But, for some reason, it doesn’t work for me.  And I’m starting to have a really difficult time paying $50/month for it.  So, I’m considering breaking up with WW and going back to tracking calories on MyFitnessPal.  Honestly, I like the MFP app better, especially being able to calculate recipes on the app, where with WW I had to use the computer), and it’s FREE.  FREE is good right now.  Very good.  But I’m afraid that if I leave WW, I’ll fail again.  My motivation is lagging.  I’ve come a long way; I’ve lost over 40lbs since I had BabyPilgrim in August.  But I need to step it up and start exercising.  I have access to a gym on campus (for free!), but I haven’t used it yet.  Mostly because I was healing, but also because when I’m on campus, I try to get work done so that I don’t have to do it at home.  But I need to work out.  I know that I’ll feel better. 

I think that’s all for now.  Sorry for the rambling, and thanks for reading.  Any comments, guidance, or kicks in the ass would be appreciated. 🙂

 

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Fear of Evaluation

So, along with all of the New Year’s Resolutions and Goals, many folks are evaluating their lives, and thinking about the kind of life they want to live.

I’m afraid to do that.

I’m afraid that if I think about what I want, or how I want my life to be, I’ll realize that I’m not who I want to be, or who I thought I’d be.  What if reflecting on my life leads me to realize that I’m not married to the right person, or in the right career, or that I really am not cut out to be a mother? What if I live in the wrong state?

My life isn’t at all what I thought it would be like, when I was a teenager dreaming about becoming a writer, and living in NYC.  I thought I’d be alone, a crazy cat lady, churning out poems and novels in a dusty, book-covered apartment. 

Instead, I barely write anymore, I haven’t moved away from my hometown, I’m married, and I have two sons.  I haven’t been to NYC in over a decade.  I’ve just followed this path that Life set out for me.  Sure, I had some goals along the way, mostly related to my education, but for the most part, I didn’t think about where I was going; I just went. 

Following that non-plan, I found my way back to the love of my life (go ahead, gag.  I know it’s cheesy), got a job at a school that I love despite its flaws, and had children, something I didn’t think I wanted.  I also realized that I didn’t want to be an unhealthy role model for my boys, and started following Weight Watchers.  I’m going to start running, something I NEVER thought I’d want to do.

What do I do if this is all wrong?  If I really think about what I want, and realize that non of my current life fits? My people don’t think about whether or not they’re happy; they just live their lives, and accept what comes, both good and bad. 

I’m 3 years away from being 40. And even though I realize that’s young, I still sometimes feel like that’s too old to make major changes in my life. I still have angst because I don’t have a full-time teaching gig at this age. 

Am I happy?  I think so.  I have moments of frustration, sure, but overall, I think I’m a much happier person than I used to be.  I love my boys.  I love my job. I love my family.  I guess the question I should be asking is: do I love myself?

*sigh*

I was hoping that by writing all of this, I’d figure it out.  But I haven’t. 

Have any of you been afraid to take stock of your lives, and face the reality that you may need to make some major changes?

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On Surviving and Moving Forward

I survived the wisdom teeth extraction today.  AND I didn’t cry in front of Hot Dr. 

Call me silly, but since I had kids, I’ve been more aware of my mortality.  I’m terrified that something will happen, and that they’ll have to live without me.  Which they’ll have to do eventually, but I’d like them to be old enough to actually remember me. 

I know that wisdom teeth extraction is routine, but I was mostly concerned about a cyst in my jaw.  The Dr. planned on doing a biopsy, and was overly cautious in telling me that there was a slim chance it could be cancer.  So, I’ve had that in the back of my head for a month.  Thankfully, when he got in there today, he found that it wasn’t actually a mass, just a pocket of stuff, and there was nothing to biopsy.  Gross, but I’ll take it. 

I’m in pain, but he gave me some good drugs that I’ll take when I’m not on kid duty tonight. 

Most of all, I’m just relieved.  I didn’t realize how much all of this was weighing on me until after the procedure was over.  I finally feel like I can start planning my fitness and health goals for the year.  I’m starting C25K in a couple of weeks, and this WILL be the year I hit goal (or come damn close to it) on Weight Watchers.  I also plan on transitioning to a more veg*n diet throughout the year, something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. 

I’ve felt so…on hold…for the past year.  Getting pregnant unexpectedly (though I’m so grateful that it happened) and having to put all of my big plans on hold really threw me.  Now, nothing is standing in my way, and I love that feeling. 

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Hey, 2013. Nice to Meet You.

I’ve been opening and closing WordPress over and over the past few days, trying to decide what I wanted to write.  Nothing seems important enough.  Or, I have nothing new to add to the conversation. 

I’m on my winter break now, and finished all of my fall grading yesterday.  But now I have to start prepping for classes, which begin on January 14th.  Oh, and I’m having two wisdom teeth removed tomorrow.  I really, really don’t want to do it.  I’m terrified that it will hurt and that I’ll be in pain for weeks (thanks, super hot Dr. for scaring me that way). 

The holidays were great. Lots of stress, last-minute wrapping,  and not enough baking, but it was all worth it to see the boys (ok, just KidPilgrim) excited.  BabyPilgrim gurgled and oohed, but those are his typical baby noises.  But I think he was excited. 

I’ve fallen a little off of the Weight Watchers wagon, enjoying lots of cookies and sweets over the past few weeks.  I’m mostly ok with this.  I’ve pretty much maintained my weight, which was my goal for the holidays.  Now I’m ready to start eating healthy again, and to start exercising. 

One of the colleges I’m going to teach at has a very nice fitness center and pool that I’m allowed to use for free.  So, the plan is to start C25K in a couple of weeks.  I’m looking forward to it.  I’ve pretty much been a slug for a year.  I’m ready to move again. 

I do have some goals and resolutions for the new year, but I won’t bore you with them.  I just like the idea/feeling of a clean slate.  A new year to fill with experiences, good and bad.  The past few years have been full of big changes for me, and I don’t expect anything less from 2013.

I hope everyone is well, and enjoying life. Be kind to one another. And hold hands while crossing the street. 

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