Perhaps I can too! This week at Weight Watchers was “Ambassador Week” which meant we got to hear from some inspirational Weight Watchers members who courageously agreed to share some of their story. At the meeting I attended on Friday morning we heard Deb and Stella speak. Both were wonderful and Stella is already a dear freind of mine but I found I could relate a bit more to Deb’s story as Stella is at a slightly different life stage to me.
Deb wasn’t into exercise at all when she started but that has really changed now. It was a great moment when someone asked if she had toned up by going to the gym and she flexed her very shapely biceps in reply! I could relate to that because I’m currently in the process of moving from absolutely no exercise at all to trying to do at least something each day. I’ve got many things in mind but haven’t followed through on them all yet. I have done a couple of sessions at my own gym but until now had stuck to the plan I had worked out with my wonderful physiotherapist. As of Tuesday that will change because I’m meeting with one of their trainers to work out a proper plan. I’ve also got my eye on Yoga and Pilates classes, then Body Balance further down the track. I’ve gone as far as working out the times of the classes and thinking through what might happen if I cannot make it through a class but I haven’t actually got there yet. They are both on at 7:30pm and I’m still finding that I am very tired by that time of day. I have considered the Yoga class that is on at 5:45am on a Friday but only for about 10 seconds! Deb is now being flogged by a personal trainer on a regular basis and I’m certainly not aspiring to that at the moment but it might be possible later on when I am fitter financially as well as physically.
When asked about how she managed to lose weight without exercising Deb insisted that she was “anal” about her food intake. She counted, measured and tracked fervently in order to reach her goal. So as of today I have gotten myself back on the tracking bandwagon. I’ve already got dinner in the tracker so that I don’t slip up tonight although there is still room to wiggle this week as I haven’t yet touched my 49 spontaneity points.
Deb looked sensational. She had curves and wasn’t afraid to show them off in a stunning dress. Apparently I have curves too but I wondered where they were hiding until I found this photo which had been taken quite some time ago. They are still there but just hidden temporarily. I think this photo needs to be displayed on my fridge!
Thanks to a very generous friend who has negotiated her way through peak hour traffic to pick me up last Thursday and the Thursday, I’ve been able to re-join Weight Watchers and start again. I know that quite a few people who know me well will be saying to themselves, “Here she goes again. What will be different this time?”
Well, there are quite a few differences already. I’ve got a Chronic Condition Health Care plan set in place by my wonderful GP which will give me access to an exercise physiologist (a cross between a personal trainer and a physiotherapist). My GP will be keeping a closer eye on things and the nurse who is part of the practice will keep up with me too.
I am still seeing my wonderful physio as my ankles continue to heal and he and I have been discussing possible exercise options for now while my ankles are still quite wobbly and weak and later when I can do more weight bearing exercise.
I’ve been to the gym and was quietly pedalling the recumbent bike as I had been instructed by the physio when the trainer asked if I would like to join in a weights circuit with three other ladies. After a bit of encouragement from him, I did join in and much to my amazement, I was able to complete a 45 minute circuit with very few modifications. It was the most amazing feeling to do that successfully.
I’ve got a great circle of friends who are “in the loop” about my efforts and are encouraging me every step of the way. Eric is right behind me cheering me on and Daniel, who still lacks tact and diplomacy at almost 8, has asked whether my big belly (which he illustrates by holding his arms out wide) to going to shrink up to the size of his belly. Probably a bit extreme but he is being positive in his own way.
One of my friends is going to join the same Weight Watchers meeting as me so I will be meeting up with her each week. I can’t say how glad I am about this. Not only will I get a free pampering session and she a 3 month movie pass due to a membership promotion but I will look forward to seeing someone each week who is truly on my side and has much the same dry sense of humour as myself.
However the number 1 things are weighing in each week (which involves fronting up the the very formidable Carol) and staying for the meeting. I certainly won’t paraphrase the meeting content here because if you want that you should really go to Weight Watchers yourself. But when we recieve information, we all process it in different ways and take away our own responses and hopefully, action plans.
This week was all about monitoring hunger signals. We discussed the difference between being so hungry that you would eat almost anything to having eaten so much that you feel like your clothes would burst. Ideally we should aim for something in between. That is going to happen for different people in different ways but for me hunger signals are controlled when I eat small amounts often during the day, keep moving and maintain my water intake. Please excuse me for a moment while I uncap my trusty water bottle and take a big swig.
Ah, that’s better.
We have discussed many mantras and saying that we can use to keep our goals in mind and to stay on track. It was recommended that we have a saying that describes ourselves at a healthy weight in the present tense and includes some tings we can do or have achieved. Mine is:
I am slim, fit and focussed.
Then I thought more about what would help me to monitor my hunger signals and indeed, lots of other signals from my body and I came up with this:
What do I really need right now?
Some of the answers to that question in the last few days have been:
salad instead of chips
baked fish instead of crumbed fish
more water instead of more coffee
one small dessert that I really liked instead of just eating dessert whenever it was offered whether I really liked it or not
doing my physio stretches
walking a few more steps
keeping up with my pain relief so I could keep up with moving more and healing faster
not staying up for the end of the movie/tv show but going to bed when I needed to
taking a nap during the day when I needed it
doing something pleasurable during the day
talking to people who woud help me with making good choices
As I write this the working week stretches out in front of me as a blank slate. I have no days of work lined up as yet and I don’t really know what will be happening. However I have to plan a few days in advance so that I get things done and I stay in touch with people or else I can end up at home doing not much at all.
So, Plan A for tomorrow is working if I get a call in the morning. Plan B is taking the boys to school, helping in Eric’s classroom and then making an appearance at the gym hopefully not causing any heart attacks amongst the staff seeing as how they haven’t seen me for so long. I also predict some ironing and “finishing” work on two different knitting projects. I’d like to get dinner done ahead of time because Dan is having a swimming lesson but I’ll have to see what is happening. I’ve also got two after school “coffee dates” organised with colleagues during the week and book club on Friday night for which I gave myself a night off from Little Athletics.
(Just as side note, there is another good reason for not appearing at Little Athletics on Friday night. Master 6 disgraced himself yesterday afternoon by “mooning” the Under 7 girls while they were together waiting for an event. Maybe a night off will give people more time to forget! It is Centre Championship weekend so I will be there on Saturday afternoon anyway. We have laughed a lot at D’s antics but there have also been some stern words about what is acceptable in mixed (or any) company!)
If I don’t work on the other days I’m going to go around and deliver some more “relief teacher” letters to local schools. I’m also searching the job sites each day for any new prospects because I’d much rather have weeks that are planned to be full of action rather than facing the great unknown every Sunday night.
I’m joining in this project here because I want to achieve good things this year. I’ve had a break from just about everything and now is the time to step up and start getting things done again. The categories for each month are follow with my wants for each category.
January – Fabulous Beginnings – getting into good routines and being really well prepared for relief teaching
February – Fabulous Organization – getting routines fine tuned and getting the family more involved
March – Fabulous Fitness – build up my stamina and lose weight
April – Fabulous Food – cooking more meals, baking more things for school lunches, making more interesting things for my own lunches
May – Fabulous Style – hair and make-up
June – Fabulous Fun – planning birthday parties for the boys
July – Fabulous Hobbies – knitting up a storm
August – Fabulous Finances – making a budget
September – Fabulous Food – more of what was done in April
October – Fabulous Health – stress management and sleep
November – Fabulous Home – making the bedroom a sanctuary
December – Fabulous Blogging – building up my readership
The big three of these?
It is highly unusual for me to be coming to this part of the year without having a clear vision of what is store for me in the new year to come. However since my decision to resign in July, uncertainty has been my constant companion and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It has made me think deeply about my vocation of teaching and I truly believe it is a vocation. I have also had to think about balancing the different roles I have in my life and all of that is productive. I remember a saying “let go and let God” and that is what I have been doing for the last six months. That isn’t easy when I’m used to having all my ducks in a row and knowing exactly what the next step will be.
As of this moment I know these things:
- My true passion is teaching. I will teach in any primary year level. I used to think that Prep would be too hard. Now I think it would be great fun.
- I am open to new and different experiences in teaching. They will all be part of life’s rich tapestry.
- While I can be a competent homemaker, I’m not cut out to make it my full time occupation.
- When I am feeling contented and on top of things that feeling spreads to the rest of my family.
I’ve been doing an number of things to deal with the uncertainty around next year. These include sticking to a regular daily and weekly routine, slowly getting the house more organised so that a return to work is made easier and training my boys in taking on more household responsibilities instead of being “waited on”. I’ve made sure that I have regular social contact through my knitting groups and book club. I’m also being open to suggestions about what I might do. I’ve applied for a number of positions in a range of different schools and in many different year levels for anything from six months to 12 months. I’m willing to try new things but I feel that I need more than casual relief work to truly utilize my talents and to make a viable financial contribution to my family. Four days out of 10 weeks is certainly not enough for us to live on!
I’m also looking after my health. Weight Watchers and Contours are a big part of my life. Our menu planning at home is improving and we are cooking more regularly. I stay in touch with my doctors on a regular basis and follow their advice. I’m still not the best sleeper but I think part of that is natural when I’m faced with not knowing what the new year will bring.
A friend wrote on her blog today about things that she is thankful for or “blessings” and she was able to add some photos. What a great idea! This has inspired me to take more photos of everyday things and to “count my blessings” at the end of the day especially on a day like today when not much has gone right!
So no photos today because it is 10:27pm as I write this (after a Little Athletics meeting that ran LATE) but the following is what I am grateful for tonight:
- My sore left arm because it means I’ve been vaccinated and am now safe from swine flu
- The little boy curled up on the bed behind me watching his favourite Scooby Doo cartoons – his Prep class did an assembly item today about all the LetterLand characters they have learned this year and it was excellent!
- The wonderful teacher that Prep boy has this year.
- The other, almost 9 year old boy who has already passed out in his own bed and his wonderful love for reading. He’s up to the 4th book in the Harry Potter series and just can’t put it down. He was in the athletics clubhouse reading when it was time for his 400m tonight!
- The Wii Fit because it meant I could squeeze in 15 minutes of exercise this afternoon even though I didn’t make it to the gym.
- The help that I get with recording at Little Athletics. I was really frazzled when I got there tonight because we were running late, I’ve mislaid the age patches that I’d ordered in the mail and the boys couldn’t find their gear to put on but once I’d been there for about half an hour and had a chat to few people, registered some new athletes and started recording sprint times everything felt much better.
One thing that fascinates my boys is bridges. They like looking at the view from them, from underneath them and from all angles really and since a new bridge has been built over the Western freeway linking ANZAC Park with the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens they’ve itching to get onto it. It is a cycle and pedestrian bridge and we drive underneath it every day on our way home from school. I went looking for it’s name only to find that it has been called the “Toowong Cycle and Pedestrian Overpass” (not very exciting considering the names of other bridges in Brisbane. Below is a video of what it looks like to ride over it.
Yesterday the boys packed their scooters into my car in the morning so that after school we could go to the park and ride over the bridge. We actually ventured further into the Botanic Gardens (Eric insists that they are the “BOWtanic Gardens”) the check out the exact location for my godson’s wedding which was today. We’ve decided that further exploration of the Gardens is needed during the upcoming holidays and set out to scooter (or trudge in my case) back over the bridge to the car again.
Poor old Dan “lost control” coming around one of the bends on the ANZAC Park side and had a crash. He got off lightly with just a few grazes but fortunately his “damaged” arm was better after a band-aid.
In all it was a good solid hour of walking for me which is just what I need so I’ll have to think up some more little after school and holiday adventures.