Bless My Heart

the improvement of a southern girl


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Cleaning Up

They are putting out school supplies in the stores, sigh… I have a month. I’m never ready to go back. Never ready until that first day back, that is. And then I’ll get excited and anxious for a completely new school year. I am blessed to be able to start over again in my job, year after year. That’s what it feels like, at least. Never monotonous, never boring. Never the same kids or the same problems or the same victories. Always different. It’s good for me – I like change. I like change that happens without me having to change it, rather…

I have things that need to change in my life. I have people who I need to talk to less, and people who I need to talk to more. I have things that I need to cut out of my heart and seeds of growth that I need to plant in their stead. I have allowed weaknesses to grow in my soft spots instead of fortifying those areas with what I really need.

  • I really need my God.
  • I really need my family.
  • I really need my health.
  • I really need the Earth.

 

I have already made small changes that will help me along this journey. I have hooked in to a wonderful church filled with genuinely Godly people, and I am trying my best to carve out time for bible study and devotionals. Although my mother was a Christian and took us to church whenever she could, I still did not grow up with a strong foundation for worship and fellowship. That being said, I have a deep desire to have a rock-steady faith and fall in love with my one true Father.

I am blessed with the family that I have been given. Most of all, the hearts that live in my house. My sweet girls need a strong momma that can show them how to live with confidence and compassion. They also need to grow up with two parents that love each other completely. What an example for them in a dark world! I am my husband’s, and he is mine. It has been this way from the start, as we saved ourselves for one another, and that is they way it will always be. We live in a sex-driven society and relationships and families are broken every day. I want my girls to grow up knowing that you CAN have the relationship that you dream of. That doesn’t mean it’s not hard. That doesn’t mean we don’t butt heads and fight. It means that mommy loves daddy, and daddy loves mommy. No matter what.

I am tired of feeling sorry for myself. I am a strong women on the inside, and it is time once again to reflect that on the outside. I am making the changes that are needed – however hard they may be to do. The new gym with childcare, although a 20 minute drive away, takes away any excuses that I had. I am creating new habits, new hobbies. Ones that bring out who I am. I am experimenting with mountain biking and want to look into kayaking. I have my eye on entering road races again. Maybe join the pool and start swimming laps? I am so much more than I have been up to this point.

I am never at peace like I am when I am outside. It is my escape. My redemption. I need mountains and streams. Rocks and trees. Fish and birds. Sunsets and new dawns. Shooting stars. Funny thing about shooting stars and me, I always see them when I am at my lowest point. I feel like it’s my direct message from God that I am not alone. I need to be outside more. Even in the 100 degree Louisiana summertime heat. It is where I feel whole.

I don’t think I have been happy since early 2010. That’s too long. I will be 34 in a few months. I will not let the crap load of circumstances that have been handed to me affect my life anymore. I’m cleaning up.

Oh, yeah… I need a tattoo 😉

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It’s all uphill from here.

I’m only human, right?

I’m having a “bad” last few days. No exercise and eating CHOCOLATE AND CARB CITY. No fooling anybody on what I’m going through, huh? 😉 Oh well. It’s life.

I get very very down on myself when I have a slump, as do most of us, I figure. I start spiraling down into the world of might-as-well-eat-everything-else-I-want-since-I-ruined-the-day-with-this-junk, and it’s all uphill from there. If there is one thing that I struggle with the most, that is it. Not beating myself up and tossing my hands up in the air and reaching for the closest bag of these…

And then….  15.79 seconds later…. feeling like…

Sorry for the graphic content. But this is a serious issue.

Because after I eat that – and feel like that – I don’t go run – and then I REALLY feel like this..

and then I cry and feel sorry for myself and vow to never do that again forever and ever and ever.

and you all know how that turns up, don’t you?

So. What am I going to do? What is going to flip the switch on this behavior? Well, I haven’t figured that out yet. I’ll have to get back with you on that one. Sorry for the disappointment 😉 In the meantime, physically I have GOT to set another fitness goal. Quick! Maybe TWO fitness goals. One I decided on tonight on the way back from lifting with The Man. By the end of the summer (or hopefully in the middle of it) I want to be able to do AT LEAST ONE PULL-UP. Yes, boys… just one. Put away that sarcastic tone please and listen up. Do you know how impossible it is for most females to do pull-ups? It’s just not in us. We don’t pee standing up and we don’t do pull-ups! But goshdarnit, I’m gonna give it my best (to the pull-up thing, not peeing erect).

I am starting to feel sooo much stronger since we started lifting 3 weeks ago. I’ve gone from squatting the bar (45 lbs) to squatting 90 lbs today. Muscle definition definitely starting to poke through here and there as well. If only I could get my diet under control…

Running is a struggle right now, I’m not gonna lie. I always find it harder once it starts getting humid. I would rather run in 35 degrees any day! I’m browsing race schedules though and trying to find something that peaks my interest. Got to find something soon!


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Eight Week Urgency

IT’S ON.

I’m on the home stretch to summer break. 8 weeks till I lock up the classroom for the summer and slide my toes in the white sand on Florida’s coast.

Give me a second here….

….

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Alright. I am now ready to proceed.

In my nice little daydream I had there, I was tanned, toned, and at least 10 pounds lighter than I am right now. Or maybe 15. Somewhere around there. So that’s the goal now. Not a 5k, not a half marathon… just a measley 15 pounds. Sounds easy, right? You would think, but I’ve been plateaued where I am right now for about 2 years now. I have lost and gained the same 5 pounds over and over and over again. Even with all this running, nada. So I’m tired of that. It’s time to step up my game.

IT’S ON.

The game plan is to continue the weight lifting program that The Man and I are doing; continue the cross training cardio after lifting; add road running back into my routine on Tues/Thur/Sat. Rest on Sunday.

The biggie is that I will be strictly counting calories for the next two months. I haven’t wanted to do this, but it really is the only way that I can keep myself from eating too much during the day. I used myfooddiary.com when I did this before, with great results. It is a pay site though and I’m not planning on doing this for more than two months so I will be using sparkpeople.com and their free program.

Wish me luck!

Got to go make out my menu for the week now!


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Another Round

I have being going through waves of exercise periods here lately. I’ll get on a roll for a few months, then drop off for a week, then hit it hard again for another month, then slack for the next. You get the idea. In fact, the last time I was consistently training was probably last spring, when The Man and I were going on gym dates twice a week and I was training for a 5k.

Then school got out for the summer. Then it got hot. Then I went on vacation. Then it got hotter than hell.

You see a pattern? Welcome to Louisiana. People don’t run outside in the summertime here. The only time you do that is if..  well.. maybe if you…  no, can’t think of any good reason. It’s just “too darn hot”, as Ella would put it. I actually tried to do a 5k this summer, and suffered from heat exhaustion (shakes, chills, dizziness) during the run. And I get bored on the treadmill, so that idea never lasts too long. Thus, me gets lazy.

To jump start myself again, I’ve decided I need something to work for, and that something would be the race I just registered for. It’s the Spa10k in Hot Springs, Arkansas, on November 21st. It’s just what I need to get myself going again. I’ve run in four 5k’s now, and although I haven’t gotten the time that I would like, it is just not that important to me. I’m not really competitive. I don’t care if I win anything. I just want to do it. I want to run the race. I want to complete something that I previously could not. I want to check it off my list.

And that is what I am going to do.

5 weeks of training should be just enough time to get it done. I’m looking forward to it. Spending my time tonight making new playlist for my ipod, and considering buying a new toy, the Garmin Forerunner 205. Happy October to me.

I went on a jog today, before I registered, to convince myself that I was strong enough to sign up. It was a beautiful evening, with perfect temperatures and a lovely sunset. Lucky for me, my road has hills, so hopefully I’ll be ready for Arkansas’ rolling hills in a month.

My road

My road


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Bless My Heart

I am pretty sure that everyone on this planet has a list of things that they would like to change about themselves.  Or, at least, it makes me feel better to think that we all are in the same boat.  However small that boat might be. My list began when I was around the age of eleven or twelve, the “tween” years.  Not quite in the full-on awkwardness of puberty, but close enough to start seeing how I was stacking up against the other girls in my class.

I didn’t measure up.

There are many reasons why I felt this way, but the main one, and the easiest for my young brain to latch on to, was the fact that I was bigger than most of them.  I have never been obese, per say, but I have always been “the big girl”.  Especially when compared to my two older sisters.  Never mind that my 5’10” frame would never fit into either one of there 5’6″ shadows, I was bigger, and that was all that mattered.

I look back now at pictures of me in my awkward teenage years and realized that I never was that big. But here’s what happens when you’re labeled “the big girl”.  You start living up to your label.  You sit on the couch and eat 5 or 6 more cookies than you should, because you are already screwed anyway.  “What the hell, why not?”  Shrug you’re shoulders and start thinking about what you are going to eat next, after your stomach stops feeling sick from the current binge.  And here’s the kicker… over and over again, late at night, I’d sit down with pencil and paper and sketch out my plan of action.  How I was going to lose 2.5 pounds a week for x amount of weeks and end up at some fabricated perfect weight for me.  I remember making these “goals” up for myself on countless sunday nights in junior high.  Ready to start fresh on Monday morning.  Every week a plan.  Every week another failure.

Years and years of failures.

When I married my college sweetheart I was the heaviest I had ever been.  Sure, I had made a goal of slimming down before my wedding, but let’s just say that didn’t work out.  I do not like looking at pictures from my honeymoon in Hawaii.  When they should remind me of one of the happiest times in my life, they really only remind me of how out of control I was.  My swollen face smiles back at me in those photographs, but there is not a lot of joy coming from within.

It really wasn’t until after I had my second daughter that things started clicking for me.  A reality set in, very deep, that my life was going to be what I made of it.  It wasn’t going to happen for me, but it was going to happen to me, whether I liked it or not.  Might as well have a little control, then. Another huge motivation for me was the fact that not one, but both of my parents had become diagnosed with Type II diabetes.  I had a target as large as a chicken fried steak on my back, or rather, backside.  Something, a lot of things, had to change.  And preferably, before I turned 30 ; )

So here I am, a couple of years later.  I am about 35 pounds lighter, and I have completed several 5k races.  I feel much better about myself, but I am realizing more and more that this is not enough.  I am ready to get to the next level.  Plenty of thoughts have been stirring around my head, so I have started this blog in order to give them all a place to rest.

My husband and I are going to kick start ourselves again into healthier eating my “eating clean” this week http://www.eatcleandiet.com/ The week will be full of green veggies, brown rice, oatmeal, and lean proteins.  It was a good jump start a few months ago, the first time we did it.  Maybe I can quickly lose those 5 pounds I stress ate these last few weeks!

I have so many things that I want to write about, so many things that I want to do.  I also have some major fitness goals that I’m tossing around.  I’m not ready to share them yet, because that would kind of be committal on my part, but just know they are out there.

Time to go to bed.  This was kinda fun though.  I look forward to doing it again tomorrow.  ‘Night.

Juli