Sunday, August 26, 2012

Saturday Mall Madness

WOOHOOO! Saturday marked my first payday in about three months. My bestie called me and asked if I wanted to go shopping. A girl with a paycheck  who has no plans on a Saturday and can hang with her friend at the mall? YES! We went from 3:30 and I got home at 8:30. Think of all the walking!  It was simply amazing. I now have 6 news shirts, two cardigans, a pair of capris, earrings and a necklace. Oh, and everything was on sale. I'm talking 50%-80% off. No breaking the bank for this girl!

My mall shopping was fun but I have a few things to say to the major retailers of the world. Yes, I'm talking to you Victoria's Secret and JCPenney! I find it sad that these companies (along with some others) seem to think it's okay to only carry certain sizes for women. Did you know that Victoria's Secret only carries up to a 38 in it's various cup sizes? If you'd like to order online they may have a 40. But you don't go to the mall to be told that the store doesn't carry your bra size and you have to order it online. Did you know I could only find up to a bra sized 42DD at JCPenney? What about the women who have bigger chests? Where do they go? How are they supposed to feel about  an everyday store that advertises to everyday women?

You know what else is not right? Size 18 pant not actually being size 18. I get this all the time and it infuriates me. I cannot wear a size 18 when I go to the woman's section of stores but when I go to the designated areas for plus size women (which is termed nicely as "misses") I can fit into a size 18W. Why is an 18 not an 18 all around? And why can't these stores mix the 2X and 3X with the rest of the clothing? Why do I have to shop in a different section than my friend? I also am infuriated when I see the prices for the 1X (which is different than XL ya'll) 2X and 3X shirts marked at least $2 more in the plus size section versus the regular woman's section. I found a t-shirt in XL that I tried on because it was nice and on sale for $5.00. I didn't like how it clung to me so I went in search of the 1X or the 2X ( I factor in the chances of shrinking). That same t-shirt in the plus size area was on sale for $7. And apparently larger women don't want to dress as nice as their smaller friends. In many a store I've found hideous clothing that would not flatter any body type only offered in the plus size sections. Way to make a girl feel good about herself.

I feel like I'm not only losing weight to be healthy, but to also save money. It's crazy to me. I feel like it's a " fat tax" or something. Yes someway, somehow I let myself get to this weight. I did not wake each and every morning and say to myself, "Karen, today is the day to gain more weight!" Never. Life dealt me some hard blows and I handled the stress in unhealthy ways. I'm trying to correct that. But I do not need a retailer to make me feel worse about my body. I'm hard enough on myself.

Oh, and by the way major retailers, I lost 1.8 lbs this week, so there ya go! It's not like I'm sitting on my behind not trying to better myself. But what about the other women who can't? The ones who gain weight for medical reasons. The ones who gain weight because healthy food is more expensive than a pack of ramen noodles? Shouldn't they be able to get a shirt for $5.00 instead of $7.00 like the other smaller patrons of your store? Isn't our money all the same?

If you have ever experienced what feels like being an outcast at your local clothing stores, you are not alone. We, the everyday woman, are not wrong. They are.

And on a happy note, woo hoo! I lost 1.8lbs. I'm at 244lbs now. :-)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Back to School

Well hi there! Have you missed me? It's been more than a week since my last post, and I know, shame on me; but my first week back to school as a teacher took over my life. I've never been in so many meetings before! Oh the life of a professional. I love it though. School has been in session for two days now and every moment of being in my OWN classroom has been pretty wonderful. I have an awesome group of 2nd grade kiddos. 

Oh, and the sleep has been great too. Going back to work has worn me out to the point that I've been in bed anywhere from 5pm - 7pm and have not thought about waking up until 6am the next morning. Quite frankly, I'm shocked that I'm awake right now. This has been optimal snooze time. Getting sleep has been a joy and I've been feeling better from it. 

On Friday I wanted to post and amazing special edition Friday Weigh-In where I not only revealed my weight loss (or gain for the week) but I weighed in on some awesome products see what I did there? I was able to test this summer thanks to Influenster. But, as stated earlier, the first week back to school for teachers kicked my butt so I did not post. I'm shooting for that awesome post this weekend. Some of the products I used rocked my socks off. 

Speaking of last Friday, I had a weight loss of 1.9 pounds. I'm rounding that and saying it's two pounds. I was very relieved. There's something to this not being home all the time to snack away on food because I'm bored. I'm hoping for at least half a pound this week. We'll see. 

If my team has anything to say about it, I'll be svelte once the weather cools. HA! What a joke, weather cooling in Florida. But once it does, and I'm saying it loosely here, one of the amazing 2nd grade teachers mentioned walking around campus for about 20 minutes a couple times a week. I'm all for getting some cardio in. Plus, through the wellness program my school board offers, there will be Pilates classes offered at my campus twice a week for 10 weeks starting in Sept. I'm all over that! There cannot be any excuses if I participate in that because I'll already be on campus. All I have to do is change into some comfy work out clothes which will not be hard considering my "dress clothes" are very uncomfortable come 3pm. 

The school year is looking bright. Whenever one starts I feel like I get to experience New Years Day all over again. It's a fresh start for one and all. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Gym Class Memoir

It's Sunday afternoon and I know I need to workout. I don't want to. It's hot and I feel like taking a nap instead. That's my way of avoiding a workout. Instead of a taking a nap I decided to write a blog post because it will make me feel silly for procrastinating. So a thought has taken over. Why was I not properly educated in physical fitness? I took gym classes from pre-K through 10th grade. It seems that I should have understood something.

Honestly, I don't have any good memories attached to physical education past the 2nd grade. 3rd grade is when I remember running the dreaded "mile". We would line up on our field, our coach would tell us how many times we had to run around to complete a mile, she would blow her whistle and we were off. For a girl who enjoyed riding her bike and walking, running felt weird. My teacher never encouraged me. She would just snap at me, "Keep going." She never said it in a positive way either. My best advice came from another classmate would told me to bend my elbows and keep them at my side so I met less resistance.

Fast forward to middle school. Chunky Karen had to run in front of her peers. I inherited my mother's knees. There is nothing wrong with them but they have a distinct shape and the back of them aren't magazine-cover ready. Oh and I should point out that I wasn't completely out of shape in middle school. I took jazz classes, Irish Step Dancing classes, was part of the town cheer leading squad and was part of my school's competitive cheer leading squad. I could dance like nobody's business but I could not run for long periods of time.

I had a really great gym teacher, but of course he focused his energies into the boys and girls who were athletic and could already master running and other exercises. He cheered me on when I did 40 push-ups in a row and told me I could complete that mile no matter what, even if I had to walk. There was the positive I needed, but I wish someone had taught me how to pace myself when I ran. How to start small and build up to completing a mile run in under 15 minutes - that is usually how long it took. And when I did feel confident the resident girl bully make sure I felt ten times as small. I remember her whispering, very loudly to a popular girl in our class who I used to be friends with, "Why do the back of her knees look like that? Yours don't and mine don't." It was humiliating.

Now I am in high school. Once again the dreaded "mile" run is the fixture for 10th grade P.E. and I sucked. There are no other words than that. And once again my P.E. teacher took to the students who were part of sports teams and could already perform with outstanding times. Once again I wish someone would have taken the time to train me, to teach me.

As an educator I realize how important is to celebrate the successes of the students who understand a concept right away. I was trained on how to keep them climbing up the success ladder. On the other hand I have to realize how important it is to focus on the student who is struggling. It's not that the student will never understand the concept being taught it's just that he or she needs more guidance. I'll give that student equal attention to make sure that he or she is successful. It's differentiated instruction, it's scaffolding, it's support. Why did my gym teachers never do that for me? I grew up thinking I was just not meant to be good at anything athletic. So now that I am trying on my own it's really hard. I still have that mind frame that if I fail at my exercises it's because I was never really meant to be good at them any way. I am just the book smarts kind of girl.

I'm 24 and I feel like I have to start training myself to get more physical activity in my life as if I were 6 again. So be it. I hope that children out there who were like me growing up are getting better learning opportunities in health than me. I hope that there is a gym teacher out there who believes every child can achieve physical fitness but some may have to have more guidance along the way. Personally, I am going to teach myself to be better so that I can teach my own children. I don't want them to end up like me in their young adult lives.

Well that was all the encouragement I needed. Here's to day one of C25K. I'll tell you all about that. I am so excited!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Weigh-In

Hello my lovelies! Friday is here and I could not be happier. My week has been full of new teacher training mixed in with setting up my classroom. I am whooped. Honestly, I am not complaining because I am happy to be busy again. It feels good.

What doesn't feel good, however, is gaining back 2 lbs. I am back at 247.2 lbs. This is not shocking news since I was a very bad girl this week. There were two Taco Bell runs, a Boston Market outing, a lunch at McDonald's, bagels for breakfast, a chocolate chip cookie, Cody's, Tarpon Pointe, Don Pabolo's, and Jersey Mikes involved. Not to mention a bag of Doritos. Oh goodness I can't wait to be totally in control of what I eat again!

This week I had to participate in 3 days of new teacher training where breakfast and lunch was graciously provided for us. Since I have this weird fruit phobia (don't ask, I'm still trying to figure it out) I went for the bagels for breakfast two days in a row. Then for lunch one day I had a beef dip sandwich with fries, another day the MEA provided yummy croissant sandwiches that weren't too bad nutritionally speaking; and yesterday I had lunch with my principal where I  ordered a blackened grouper sandwich with fries. Yesterday I had one pork and one chicken tamale with refried beans and Spanish rice for dinner. These were not smart choices and they were not taken care of with exercise. I was too darn tired, which is such a lame excuse.

Some of my food choices for this week were out of my control and I had to roll with it. Living off of free food and gift cards to certain eateries makes smart choices a little difficult. I'm dreaming of the day when I can eat celery again! I need to suck it up and work out too. I wish I was more athletic like my brother. He LOVES staying active. In fact he plays softball, tennis and football with friends and in leagues. Why did that gene skip me? When I think of having to lace up my sneakers my body just groans.

I was complaining about the fact that after work I  just want to go home and not work out. One of my colleagues said, "Well everyone does." That simple statement made a big impact on me. It's true. No one, unless they are really into fitness, wants to put in another 30 minutes to an hour sweating it out after a full day of work. What makes those people who do it different from me is that they actually do it. Last night when I came home from Don Pablo's I saw a woman in my complex running at 9:30 p.m. It was late, it was dark and she still found the time to run. She could have come up with a million excuses but instead she had a her butt out there running.

I need to stop talking and actually DO more. Yes, it is true that I cannot do too much for running until I can afford to buy proper shoes but that doesn't mean I should blow off my walking dates with Leslie from Walk Away the Pounds. I can still do that until I get some running gear.

It's a journey to a life style change and sometimes during a journey you lose your way. In my case it is a lot, but as long as I get right back on track again I am still on my way. Bring it on new week. I've got this!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Friday Weigh-In

Why yes, it is another Weigh-In, Friday Edition. I'm going to make the change to weighing myself on Fridays instead of Thursdays. 1.) I probably won't have energy during the rest of the week once school starts. 2.) Seeing weight results closer to the weekend kept me more motivated to not cheat during the weekend. 3.) I just felt like it. Oh, and I'm not doing Weight Watchers anymore so that is part of it too.

Before I go into that detail it is time to share what the scale displayed this morning. It read 245.2lbs. I was angry at first because I thought  it was a weight gain. It's not like I was a bum all week who did nothing and ate everything in sight, but when I logged it in my weight tracker I saw it was weight lost of 0.2 lbs. I was able to get on my with my day without hating the world. As long as the number keeps going down I'll be happy. As I've heard before, it took a while to put the weight on so it will take a while to get the weight off.

Now, I know you are all thinking, "What?! She stopped doing Weight Watchers?" Yes I did. No it was not a rash decision. Lets be honest about this. If I was sticking to the plan the correct way I would have been losing more weight. I wasn't following it exactly and so it was a waste of my money that I could put toward other important things. What Weight Watchers became for me was a security blanket. It made me feel like I was doing something when in reality I really wasn't.

Instead of focusing on making smart choices with my food I focused mainly on how many points something was and ultimately it led me down to a  path of food destruction. It  made me feel deprived because I'd choose food with low points that had little nutritional value just so I could have a larger quantity of food throughout the day. I'll say it - I'm a food addict. If I wasn't one I would not have gotten to this, my heaviest weight. Weight Watchers just was not doing it for me anymore.

The last huge weight loss I had, the 1.8lbs was done on good old hard work and eating small meals throughout the day. And I wasn't stressed about it either. Stress is not healthy and does not help with weight loss. This week's weight loss was based on the same concept of eating small meals and working out. However, the meals weren't as nutritional as the week before (bottom of the barrel food options because it was rent week and so it was pasta and canned soup) but I did it.

So here's to a successful weekend. I'm looking forward to tomorrow night when I get to see a friend I haven't seen in ages. Have fun ya'll!