Friday, March 20, 2015

Oh. Hello!

Happy Spring! It was a rainy, dreary first day of spring for us in the Ohio River Valley.
I've been a bit absent this past month, haven't I.  This has been true in so many facets of my life - I was sporadic with my boot camp attendance, eating horribly, messing up work issues, spacey, irritable.  End of winter blues, maybe?

Let's discuss the health stuff, first.  I am about to admit something here, and it is painful, but true.  I gained ten pounds this past month.  TEN!  Drinking pop, eating mass amounts of candy and junk (Ding Dongs were a particular vice.  Not exactly gourmet fare, that.)  I think I may have made it to boot camp 5 times between February and March 15. I stepped on the scale on Monday and almost fell over from the shock.
Some things I've learned (or RElearned) from this past month:

1.  Momentum is key - this is for both exercise and nutrition.  If I go one day, it's easier for me to go the next day, and the next, and the next.  If I stop, it's harder.  Pretty simplistic, but important.
2.  Planning is so important - I know this, I've blogged about this, and I still fall into my own trap of "I don't feel like making a meal plan and prepping my food.  I'll just wing it."  And then I buy Ding Dongs on my way to work.
3.  I am not particularly motivated by money.  This is a new lesson for me.  I entered a challenge at boot camp where we put $5 into a pot at the beginning of the month, and the members with the highest percentages of loss won the pot.  I've also entered a few DietBets.  I thought, because there was money involved, I would be more committed.  Nope.  Good to know.
4.  Pop is BAD!  I know this!  Why is dropping the pop so hard for me?!
5.  White rice seems to have a very nasty effect on me.  Like, serious bloating, horrible, distended belly.  I do not know why.  This really doesn't have anything to do with weight loss, but it's something I've discovered recently.  I realize it's not the most healthy option, but it is a comfort food for me. The last few times I've eaten it, I've had this bloat, and the white rice is the only common factor.
6.  Getting up at 4:30AM and going out in the snow and cold is really hard.

This week I hit my mental reset button (again, I know, but at least I keep hitting it.)  I went to boot camp each morning this week.  Even this morning, when my workout buddy was unable to join me, I went.  I logged every bite I took, even the crap.  Today was particularly bad, but I logged it all.  I made green smoothies the night before, put them in the freezer, and took them out before I left for boot camp so they were melted enough that I could drink them on my way to work.  They're very filling, and I sip on them all morning, so I don't feel hungry again until lunch. I need to do some more meal planning, but I'm feeling better about this.

Other things I learned this past month:
1.  O. M. G. My mind is blown. Seriously, this habit is going to be as hard to break as drinking pop.
2.  My sweet sister R. is getting married!  Very excited.
3.  Tay's "Better Than Sex" tea Best way to spend a Friday evening.
Yes, those are Girl Scout Thin Mints.  I bought 1 box this year, and have been nibbling at them slowly.

I love to read.  You all know that.  I read a lot, and most of it is pretty lightweight, mindless fluff, and I have no problem with that. Once in a while, though, I read something that grabs my heart and squeezes so tightly, I have trouble catching my breath.  I've been slowly savoring I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by the late and wonderful Maya Angelou.  Very slowly, reading a few chapters, then taking a break for some fluff, then a few more chapters.  It is worth the read for the language alone, which lingers on your tongue like a deep, dark chocolate. Each chapter is another part of her childhood (so far, I'm only 60% through), and the stories are entertaining at times, disturbing at others.  They are stories about life for an African American in the south in the 1940's and 50's, so I knew to expect disturbing.  Today, though, I read a chapter that touched me so deeply, I was in tears.  It is graduation day, and the whole community is elated.  Everyone is dressed up, giving gifts, excited about the future.  And then the key speaker, a white gentleman running for election, mounted the stage, and began to speak about the great changes in store - new science equipment, famous art teachers - for the white school.  Then he went on to praise a football player and basketball player who had graduated from their school.  The message was obvious - "The white kids were going to have a chance to become Galileos and Madame Curies and Edisons and Gauguins, and our boys (the girls weren't even in on it) would try to be Jesse Owenses and Joe Louises." The speaker leaves the stage shortly after, the diplomas are handed out, and the valedictorian begins his speech.  The room is hushed, angry, the entire audience stricken by the words of their "esteemed" guest speaker.  The valedictorian then turns to the students and begins to sing "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing", the poem by James Weldon Johnson, set to music by J. Rosamond Johnson, and the entire room joins in, and is empowered.  "We were on top again.  As always, again.  We survived.  The depths had been icy and dark, but now a bright sun spoke to our souls.  I was no longer simply a member of the proud graduating class of 1940; I was a proud member of the wonderful, beautiful Negro race."  Tears running down my face (at my office, no less), I wanted to shout out "Amen!" I am neither an African American woman, nor a religious one, but I was compelled by Maya Angelou's beautiful, powerful words. I've heard her speak on NPR - I think I may have to get this book on audio. If you haven't yet, please read it.
Image result for maya angelou quotes
Have a glorious evening, friends.

Note:  Shall we count how many times I double-spaced after my periods?