2014 – The Year of Jen!

I am going to start this off by letting you all know in advance that I don’t have a plan for this particular post, and am hoping that I will find a path to go down as I explore all the different stuff happening in this mind of mine. Hopefully I will stumble upon a point. If not, I apologize for rambling.

***I would also like to add  a little disclaimer before you all read on. After re-reading and editing, I came to the conclusion that there may be some hurt feelings and thoughts of “fine, if you don’t want to be there for me, just say so” and a little harrumphing. Please, friends, do NOT take this post as anything more than me dedicating the year to taking better care of myself. I love you all and am honoured to be your friend. I am happy to talk to you, be there for you, and to run to you if you are in need. ***

I don’t know how I feel about “resolutions” for the New Year, which is why I’m not going to claim to be making any. I feel like setting resolutions for ourselves is just a fancy way of setting ourselves up for failure. If you are anything like me, the sting of failure settles in and resurfaces every time you set out to do something new. I still have flashbacks of the time my alarm didn’t go off when I was doing my student teaching practicum, and I arrived with a minute to spare before the bell. My associate teacher made me feel like an absolute ass for it, despite me calling, and convinced me that if that happened in the “real world” I would be fired on the spot. I still feel sick and anxious when I think about this, and it was more than five years ago. So, in resolving to do anything, if I fail, I know that sinking feeling and that gut-rot feeling will resurface and sabotage my efforts. I’m very self-aware tonight, apparently.

So. I am not setting resolutions. I am, however, making a conscious decision to make 2014 the year of Jen (a la “Summer of George!”). I spent a lot of 2013 helping other people, and doing for others and spent very little of 2013 worrying about myself and treating myself well.

I am not sad to see 2013 go. It started off with me in full grief mode. While dealing with the passing of my step-dad, I found out that my Gramma had a stroke. She has been in and out of the hospital, and has been moved into a nursing home. Wesleigh’s Oma was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and it is progressing quickly. I found out that I wasn’t hired for the LTO list, due to so many political issues that I am not going to get into on this forum. I wasn’t approved for my EI claim this summer, and missed it by four hours. I found this out in October, and to be honest, just couldn’t be bothered to call them and fight it that far out. Money was, as a result, extremely tight. Add family issues to the mix.

There was positive in 2013, most of it toward the end. Some extra funds allowed us to breath a bit financially speaking, I got a promotion at Oxford, I’ve been getting lots of supply work, and my side business was busier than ever.

I really feel like 2014 is going to be a better year – it has to be, right?

So, the year of Jen.

My word of the year is going to be NO. I do a lot of saying yes because I am afraid that others will not be happy if I don’t. I haven’t quite grasped that making other people happy / pleased / helped can’t happen at the expense of my own happiness. I feel like I focused more on others than on myself. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – I enjoy helping my friends and family, and feel honoured that they come to me for my wisdom (haha) and advice. I just need to find balance. If I don’t have time, a true friend will understand if I say “I can’t today, can we make another day work?” A client will understand if I say “I’m sorry, I don’t have time to add your order to the other three I have this weekend. I won’t be able to offer you quality product” instead of me staying up until 5am to get everything done to my standards.

I was told a few years back, by a doctor running a weight loss group, that I need to say no more often. I was taken aback, and to be honest, a little offended. I got my back up and stopped going to the group. I realize now that, perhaps, he was right. See – self aware!

In putting myself first, I will be making that time to plan meals and exercise. I will not put off my exercise or meal prep. Instead, I will say “I’m busy right now, but I’ll be able to help you out in a few hours.” I will make the time and put in the effort to haul my ass off the couch and get my act together. If I am not spending so much time in the kitchen and out of the house, I will not be so drained and just “done” by the end of the day.

In putting myself first, I will be making time to sleep on a regular schedule. Staying up until 2am and sleeping in until 11 is not the way I want to live my life. Sleeping the day away and staying up until the wee hours is not ideal. Sleep is such a key component in weight loss, and I don’t get nearly enough of it. I would like to set a goal to get up earlier, especially on the weekends, and I’m hoping that comes naturally with going to bed earlier. Eating better, exercising, and taking my vitamins and supplements will help me to sleep properly and have the iron and the energy I need so that I don’t need to sleep ten hours a day. Sleep is so freaking wonderful though…

In putting myself first, I will ensure that I am better with money. I will not be buying fast food and stuff I don’t need. I will keep my goals (ie: debt repayment, house, wedding) at the forefront of my mind and will ask myself if I really NEED what I am purchasing. We are going to be doing the 52 week money challenge, and at this time next year, we should have just under $1400 to have some fun with – a trip, a shopping spree, something for the house – who knows!? All I know is that I’ll have something to look forward to and that will help keep me on track.

In putting myself first, I hope to reach some of the goals I set out for myself in the past. I still want to be “thin by thirty” – I have ten months to get my act together. Even at a rate of about a pound per week,  I should be able to hit that 50 lbs lost mark by my birthday. That would be a major accomplishment, and halfway to my ultimate goal. I can be on board with that.

So, without further ado, let the year of Jen begin! I hope to be blogging a LOT more this year, and with my hard work and motivation, it should be good news!

Tomorrow is “before picture” day. I will also be weighing in and doing measurements and keeping close track of my progress. I am a little afraid to step on the scale (I haven’t since November), but the year of Jen has no room for fear. If I’ve gained it all back, I’ve gained it all back. If I’ve gained it all back plus more, then that’s just a little bit more work I’ll need to do.

So, farewell, 2013. It was a roller coaster of a year, and I am not sorry to see you go. I welcome you, 2014. Let’s kick some ass!

Until next time,

Jen

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Hi-ATE-us, or just plain Hiatus…

Hey all, 

So. It’s been a while, huh? 

I don’t have a weigh in, just a list of excuses to share. Life has been hectic, work has been crazy, the usual. 

Recently, it came to my attention, through massive anxiety, that lately, perhaps, I have bitten off more than I can chew in this little thing called life. Work has been busy – I have been teaching as much as I want to, I have been working away learning my new role at Oxford, and business has been really good with Jonesie’s Just Desserts. Part of the problem with work is that come Friday night, after a long week of teaching, education director-ing, and supply shopping / cake planning, I just want to relax. But Friday nights and Saturdays are when the majority of Jonesie’s stuff happens, since most people have their parties on Saturdays and Sundays. I can’t complain that work is busy. The working has helped to take away some financial anxiety, but has replaced it with the feeling of never having any time to myself. 

Of course, as is always the way, there is some stuff going on with the family life too. I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty on here, because I have a limit of what personal information I will and will not share, and it is not my information to share with the world. I am not directly impacted by the situation, but being an innocent bystander has it’s moments of stress and anxiety too. 

Another issue I have been having is at home. I like the house that I live in, but it has its issues. It is not as new as I would like for it to be, and while our home is only eight years old, the previous tenants treated it like crap, and so it looks far older than that. There are walls that need to be scrubbed, there are bathrooms I would love to paint, and carpets that I would love to steam clean. I have some organizing that I need to do as well. Minor things, but they all add up in my head and I get stressed out even more. When my home is in upheaval, my world is in upheaval. I am used to my home being my haven – a place where I can come and sit and feel stress-free because it is clean, and organized, and just the way I like it. I know it seems silly to be anxious about not having been able to scrub some walls, but to me, it’s a big deal. 

On top of that, it is very close to the one year anniversary of my father’s passing away. It has been on my mind constantly for the past month or so, and I think the stress of that is contributing as well. 

I am currently feeling a little overwhelmed with all of this and a little more, and the weight loss has taken a back seat to coping with everything else. I’ve been drinking pop. I’ve been eating fast food – much more than I’d care to admit. I’ve been eating easy comfort foods, and not taking the time to plan and make good choices. The idea of having to do that is causing me greater stress, since it is just one more thing I have to do. 

So with that being said, I have decided to take a little break. I still intend to watch what I eat, and am trying very hard not to comfort the stress with food. In December, I will be focusing on making ME sane and organized and stress free, and will be right back to the blog and the active attempt at weight loss come January. This doesn’t mean that December will be a free-for-all – that would just stress me out too. I would like to report a loss in my first blog post of the new year. At the very least, I would like to report a stayed the same. I will be taking a short break from Jonesie’s Just Desserts in January, and possibly February too. I normally take a break and start to miss it, so it will depend on when that feeling starts to kick in. I will be off work for two weeks, and in that time, I’m going to focus on getting myself organized and in the right mindset to handle all of the crazy that seems to work its way into my world. 

 

So, to positive mental health, until next time, 

Jen 

Week Nine Results!

Well, life has been hectic once again. Kind of a trend in my world, always something going on to me or those close to me. Now that I have clued into the fact that I am an emotional eater (and in some cases, an emotional non-eater), I am becoming aware that just because something has been happening that’s not normal day-to-day (being sick, working different shifts, having a weird schedule, etc), it does not give me an excuse to mow down on everything in sight.

In light of that fact, I was careful this past week to ensure I have been eating meals, despite the strep throat. Typically, when I’m sick, I go without eating for a couple of days because I feel so crummy, but then once I’m feeling better, it’s an all out “eat everything your couldn’t” for a day or two.

This week I was also careful to watch portions, stop when full, and make good choices. I did have fast food for the first time in nine weeks, and I definitely enjoyed it while I was eating it (a burger and fries from Wendy’s), but my tummy did not agree later that evening. It’s amazing – I had this food on Saturday night, and it’s now Tuesday. I am STILL craving sugar, sweets, and salt. Damn, that stuff is addictive. Back to avoiding the fast food, for sure. It is nice to know that I can have it once in a while and not throw myself completely off the rails, but the fact that I have been having to consciously ignore the cravings is a pain in the behind, and something that I will not subject myself to often because it’s not fun depriving yourself of something your brain and body is craving.

But anyway.

This week was another good weigh in, I must say. I lost… 1.2 lbs!

That means I have officially passed that first ten lb hurdle and landed on 11 lbs total!! So I am officially 11% of the way to my ultimate goal, and I have surpassed my initial 10 lb goal. The next milestone I would like to hit is the 20 lb mark. Usually – haha, not usually – always – I get close to hitting that 20 lb milestone, and I quit trying. I always seem to self-sabotage and never actually hit that mark. I truly feel like if I can accomplish that first 20 lb mark, I will be unstoppable! It would be very nice to have dropped that full 20 lbs by Christmas, a wonderful gift to myself. I am not going to get down on myself if I don’t, because weight loss is a slow and steady kind of process for this gal.The fact that I have lost 11 lbs in nine weeks means I have lost an average of 1.2 lbs per week, which is an absolutely acceptable and appropriate rate of weight loss, especially if I want to maintain the loss and not gain it and ten of its friends back like I have in the past.

So, without further ado…

Image

This is what 11 lbs of fat looks like. This is FOREVER gone from my body, people!

Until next time,

Jen

Week Eight Results

This one is going to be short and sweet. I have strep throat, and therefore feel beyond awful. Figured I’d hop on the scale before making the big move from the bed to the couch, and had to pay a bill, so figured while I was on the computer, I’d share my results, because there are definitely the silver lining on this otherwise painfully crappy day. 

So, this week, I lost … 

 

1.6 lbs! Super stoked, especially considering I went out for breakfast and ate a cookie or two (or six) yesterday. 

Grand total is up to 9.8 lbs! I am slightly frustrated that it’s taking so long to hit that 10lb mark, but I seem to have hopped over the plateau of not losing and managed a good loss!! So I am now 9.8% of the way to my goal, and if everything goes as planned, I should be over that 10lb mark next week 🙂 

 

Until next time, 

 

Jen

I am a Bad, Bad Blogger (AKA Week SEVEN)

Well. I’ve been a little neglectful. 

 

Life has been hectic. 

I suck. 

 

The good news is I stayed the same again this week … the bad news is that this is three weeks without a LOSS 😥 

 

It’s totally my fault. I have developed my typical “fuck it” attitude that tends to creep up when life gets busy or difficult, and I have been floating along, slowly slipping into bad habits. 

NOW. Before I get too down on myself, I think it’s important to recognize that I have not gained anything in these past few weeks, and that in the past, a few hectic weeks would have led to an extra lb or two. So that’s the positive. I have still been stopping when I’m full, and that’s been the key to maintaining – relatively healthy choices most of the time, and only enough until I’m full. I’ve discovered the key to maintenance, but I have a lot to lose before I consider that… 

 

Since my weigh in on Tuesday, I have refocused. I ate a healthy meal tonight for dinner, I drank lots of water, and I avoided the sugary sweet carb loaded snacks I was craving. This evening, I was craving something sweet (amazing how once you get a taste, you crave like crazy!), but I made a coffee instead and left the couch, since that’s where the cravings seem to kick in. So far, so good. I have been eating veggies, (and fruit, if you count the tomatoes…), and been taking it easy on the carbs. I’ve been making sure to take my vitamins and avoid the drive thru windows. Have still managed to go without fast food, and except for craving the emotional reaction (I wanted a chilli cheese burrito and fries supreme so badly on Monday – I could literally imagine the feeling of biting into it and thought about how marvellous it would feel), but I resisted. I had three bites of ice cream and then cooked a healthy dinner. My “splurge” was cooking with white pasta instead of whole wheat. 

 

SO. I might be a bad, bad blogger, who has been neglecting writing and myself, but I have been working on me and have been doing some self discovery. And hey, I didn’t gain, so I’m still doing pretty damn well. 

 

Here’s to what should be a fantastic week eight! 

Until next time, 

 

Jen 

Week Six – The Turkey Day Weigh In…

I find it hard to believe I’m already on week six of this journey! So far, I would say it’s been a success, although not without challenges and life lessons. 

 

This week, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I stepped on the scale. I avoided my usual “weigh myself every day” toward the end of this week, mainly because I was super busy and just didn’t feel the need to. That tells me that I was less focused this week – when I’m on track, I’m usually ridiculous about weighing myself once or twice a day. It was nice not to be chained to the scale this week, but I still don’t think I’m quite ready to go down to once a week – I need that motivator, that daily reminder of why I’m doing this whole thing in the first place. 

 

So, this week had a few challenges – eating out is a constant one. I still haven’t had “fast food,” but I’ve eaten out a fair amount and have tried to make good choices while out. My mind set when I go to a restaurant is “I’m out, I’m at a restaurant, I’m not going to just have a salad and call it a day.” I figure if I’m out, I’m out, and I will order what looks good. That being said, instead of going the burger and fries route, I did a wrap and a salad. I had whole wheat pasta loaded with veggies. I had one pop instead of four, or just had water. The most important thing, is that I stopped when I was full. I consider that a major success. 

So, the weigh in. Tough to do a weigh in after a weekend full of turkey, pie, and other delicious food. I tried to have small amounts of everything, and not eat more than I should, again, stopping when I felt full. 

I was expecting a gain this week (when I made my sweeping “I will have reached the ten lb total” declaration at my last weigh in, I forgot it was Thanksgiving weekend…). In the past, it would not be unusual for me to binge on leftovers all day on Monday and then weigh myself and see that I’d gained a pound or two over the weekend from all the crap I ate. 

So total, when I weighed myself and saw that I’d… stayed the same, I was thrilled! That gets me back on track for this coming week – back to no pop, back to veggies and fruit and my multivitamin. Back to single helpings, avoiding leftovers, and not eating late at night. 

 

I never thought I’d be so thrilled to stay the same weight! 

 

Until next time, 

 

Jen 

Weigh In Five…

Well. It’s as I suspected. 

The scale jumped up a bit. BUT I was prepared, and totally didn’t get down on myself about it – so that’s the good news! 

I’m going to keep this one short, because I pretty much said it all in the last one. I am slightly disappointed that I didn’t hit that official “10 pounds” goal, but I’ll totally hit it by weigh in six, I’m certain. 

A wise friend suggested I skip the weigh in. I thought about it, I really did. Then I decided that I need to embrace the hiccups in this journey as much as the successes, and learn from them. I’m back on track this week, and wanted to know the damage done. 

Another wise friend commented that it looked like I was getting it – that even though it was an off week, it’s still better than I would have done in the past, and I have to agree – Instead of gaining two, or three, or even four pounds after a major crazy week (and trust me, that’s happened…), I gained…

 

Exactly one pound. 

So, I’m back down to 8.2 lbs lost, which is still a pretty impressive feat in my world. I’m still 8.2% of the way to my goal, and I know that this pound will be GONE next week! 

 

Until next time, 

 

Jen