If you're anything like me there are foods that you subconsciously associate with good memories and feelings... and these are foods that you turn to in times of stress or emotional turmoil even though we know it isn't the best choice. Maybe its cookies, or pizza or chips but everyone I know I would say they've done it at some point or another so I would say this is a common enough human issue. We comfort eat, and its often foods that are high in carbohydrates and sugar when you think back on it. Today was one of the time for me. I regret allowing myself to do so but I'm not going to beat myself up about it either. I'm acknowledging the emotions that caused it so that next time I can find a healthier way to cope with those emotions should they come up again which I think is a much more effective use of my energy personally.
So, what happened? It's a bit of a long story that involved days of letting myself get emotionally run down to the point that my decision making ability wasn't up to where it needed to be essentially and I gave into the temptation of easy carbs. What did I learn? Take breaks when I need them instead of forcing myself to push through... I've done this my whole life and its time that I stop and acknowledge that I have limits and need to respect them. So, if you want to read the long version, here it goes:
I've been spending a lot of time going through boxes over the last few weeks as I unpack items that have been in storage for years while I didn't have my own place. This weekend it was time to go through the boxes I had stored in my guest and office closets as well as the garage as I had most of the weekend free of obligations. Thursday evening was lovely- I went through boxes from my childhood, discovered photos of my family from years ago, sorted through stuffed animals and trinkets I had collected over my younger years. There were moments of intermittent pain as memories surfaced of my mother's parents who both passed over the last year or so but the painful moments were brief and were far outweighed by the happy memories of summers and Christmases with family and friends.
And then came Friday night. I started out by putting together my brand new whiteboard for my office so that I could begin teaching again online. It was fun and even the dogs were having fun playing in the packaging. I figured that I'd finish up the guest room closet and then still have time to get through most of the office as well since I'm a night owl. The first boxes I opened were wedding memories and the next were boxes of our time in Korea. I had avoided those boxes like the plague for the first year after I came back to Texas and they had been in storage after that while I house-hunted for the next few years so opening them back to back wasn't a great choice but I thought it would be easier after all this time. I wasn't expecting the rush of memories and pain that those memories would elicit. Always logically minded I decided it needed to get done so I may as well finish the job and pushed though sorting the items: photos of our courtship, letters received from a beau in boot camp, a Valentine's Day gift card, photos with mutual friends and ones with family members, even some of his things that had been mixed in with my own because that's what happens when you're married... mostly good memories (I had taken care of the more negatively charged items in a previous purge) that dredged up pain that literally gave me palpations and drained. I should have stopped and waited to go through those boxes another day when the emotion hit me like a brick wall rather than go it alone and all at once but instead I finished as much of the task as I could. I ended up with a pile of items that will go to his parents to do with as they please, a pile for the trash and a few things that I simply wasn't ready to part with. Memories of happy times before the pain that I couldn't yet let go of despite the years that had passed and the hurt he caused me. Once everything was sorted, I did reach out to a friend but not the ones that would have been able to help me sort through the emotions in my head and heart the best and I ended up caught up in my own head for most of the night reliving a life long gone. I ended up watching a movie to try to move away from those memories with thoughts of finishing everything else today and fell asleep on the couch before waking around dawn to move to bed.
Today came, as it always does, and due to the late night movie session I had a really late start to my day but I finished up the little there was to do in the garage and went baby shower shopping- always a fun adventure. I didn't realize that I was avoiding the last of the boxes until I literally had done everything else but sort through them for most of the day. Wrapped presents for my nieces, two baby shower gifts, reorganized the guest bathroom, did the laundry, vacuumed, you name it. It was time to finish the office eventually though so I did, that's just who I am... if there is a job that needs doing I'll wrap myself in as much strength as I can muster and get it done. It needs doing after all and who else will do it? It was easier than I expected as most of it ended up just being paperwork- taxes, business documentation from when I was a dance teacher, lesson plans for my Kindergarten classroom, simple things with either little emotional attachement or good memories. Then there were high school photos which were fun sorting through- graduation, homecoming, choir parties, all kinds of fun. Occasionally a photo with my ex would crop up as we had dated in high school but we attended different schools so they were fewer than I would have anticipated... until wedding photos and family trips post marriage started coming up in the stack. Everyone was so happy and there were dear faces that I will likely never see again amongst the photos. To be honest it sucked, bad, and I had to lay aside the photos for a while but I finished the sorting and thought I had put the issue to bed. Not so much.
Refusing to just deal with the emotions and pushing them away caused me to make poor choices when it came to a very belated dinner where I was both hungry and hurting. I understood the why as I made the decision but didn't really care at the moment. Eating bad food didn't help the issue of course so I still had to deal with the emotional aftermath of three days of walking down memory lane afterwards. I have started that process already and will likely be continuing to do so for a while yet. But I'm doing it, I'm not tucking it away again to deal with at another time that never comes.
Why share this failure? Why show the world the cracks in the facade that is the me I've rebuilt the last few years? Because failure happens and that's ok. It isn't the end of the world to make a poor choice and you can come back from it 99.9% of the time without lasting harm. It may take me an extra couple of days to get to my goal weight now but in the scheme of things its not a big deal. I'll still make it there in the end and I'll be a happier person in the end due to the self-care of working on the emotional why's rather than self-torment over failure to stick to an eating plan.
We need to stop pretending that they're perfect 100% of the time and show our imperfections. We can help each other and build each other up rather than forcing everyone to feel a need to hide what is really happening inside themselves. Its the imperfections that make us the beautiful creatures that we are. They show where we've grown, strengthened weaknesses, where people have touched our lives- for good or bad... they show beauty and strength and trust in the person that you are sharing those imperfections with. Share your lives, be bravely imperfect rather than showing the world perfection... perfect is a lie.
Until next time, be amazingly imperfect,
OK, this week is going to be a pretty short update. Right up front: I didn't lose weight... not an ounce. I actually gained and had to work back down to where I ended up last week. This could be due to a couple different possibilities, the highest likelihood being either:
I'm trying to do a vlog every week along with the blog overviews. This week's is below.
Until next time,
This month's app trial was Ibotta. I downloaded it years ago but never really used it as the location I was living in didn't have many store options (I was on a military base in the middle of nowhere). This time I took advantage of the app and earned about $10 in less than 2 weeks. That's pretty awesome in my mind so I won't be forgetting this one post weekly shop this year.
I would equate Ibotta with couponing in that you get money back on items you purchased at the grocery or other stores. First you choose the location you shopped at then simply scroll through the offers checking off anything that you purchased. Sometimes you will need to watch a quick 10-15 second video or answer a survey question in order to add the offer to your list but most of the time the process has only taken me a couple of minutes per receipt.
To add more cash back to your list you can scan through available options before you leave for the store in order to max out cash back by choosing brands that are available or picking up staples you may normally get another time while they have a larger coupon. For instance, I picked up a lipstick that I normally would have held off on until it was completed gone while there was a $2 coupon which stacked with a sale at the store made it cost next to nothing. I've now got a couple of them sitting there waiting for me when I need them.
OK, time for a quick walk through. When you open the app you will see any additional offers available and a list of your recommended retailers. I'll look through this screen every now and again but I'm pretty habitual in my spending habits so typically skip right over to the the 'Find Offers" area.
Scroll down to the location I shopped at... in this case Kroger. And just start clicking away at things I purchased or plan on purchasing.
Below are two examples of purchases I made this month for examples. You'll see that sometimes there are even bonuses just for going to the grocery store and uploading the receipt. If its $0.25 a week that's still over $10 back in addition to normal coupons every year.... this year I'd be on track to earn over $200 back from Ibotta. That's a nice chunk of change and can help fund my Christmas travel plans!
Now, payouts... you can cash out once you reach $20. Currently I'm sitting at $9.45 waiting to be paid out this time as you can see below. Cash out options are PayPal, Venmo, and a variety of gift card options. You can also get money for referrals and bonuses for everyone in your friend group hitting markers such as: 10 offers and $10 redeemed in a certain month so there is opportunity to add a few dollars on each month in addition to your normal redemptions. Further, there are in app purchase deals if you know you are going to be searching for an item such as flowers from 1800flowers.com or a Fire TV Recast, both of which are options listed this week.
I would definitely suggest keeping this app on your phone for a little passive income, especially if you already coupon as you can stack those coupons with cash back for even more savings. To download click over to Ibotta and download the app. If you don't mind using my referral code (nkbmjfu) I'd appreciate it... as a perk, you'll get $10 closer to your first payout!
Until next time,
This isn't the first time I've gone on a diet nor is it even the first time I've gone keto. Last year I lost over 40 pounds on keto and felt amazing. Unfortunately I let myself give in to stress and go back to old habits and ended the year with a net 20 pound loss and a desire to get back on track. As much as progress photos aren't any fun and I'm definitely embarrassed at how far I still have to go I'm going to be sharing my journey with you all online. I find stories of people's journeys helpful and inspiring for myself so the hope is that I can be an inspiration to others looking to start their own health journeys as well as keep myself accountable.
I started on 1/2/2019 at 240.6 pounds. I forgot to take photos and do measurements as I was coming off of a migraine (I had suffered from several the week before and it was horrible) and it was all I could do to remember my lunchbox to be honest. I actually forgot to put the ice pack into the lunchbox if that helps explain how exhausted I was that morning. I will be taking photos later for the next update and have already done measurements. I definitely suggest you do progress photos and track measurements if at all possible rather than relying solely on the scale. It can help keep you stay motivated when the scale says you're not doing as well as you'd prefer.
Measurements (taken mid-week so no update this week)
As I mentioned, I went with Keto again because I usually feel amazing on it. This week I would say I felt about like I remember feeling- lots of energy and not super hungry between meals. I ended up moving back to two larger meals within week one rather than in a few weeks as I'd planned as my body wanted to go back there naturally. I will say that I had a few side effects this week which can likely be attributed to the transition:
Finally, I lost 5.6 pounds this week which brings me up to 25 pounds lost from the beginning of my journey to now. I say in the video its 35... I don't know what I was thinking *sigh* major former math teacher fail. Anyways, I'm looking forward to week 2!
Until next time,
Part of taking care of my health is making sure to take time to de-stress, refresh and do all the small tasks required for me to feel my best. Thinking on that this evening while meal prepping caused me to decide to add another goal to my “Health & Wellness” section. It’s simple: “Make, and take, time for your health.”
This will encompass lifestyle things I have been meaning to do or have neglected to do in the past. Some of those things:
1. Use a mask at least once a week for relaxation and better skin.
2. Use moisturizer daily to help with skin elasticity and wrinkle prevention.
3. Give dry brushing a try for better lymphatic system function.
4. Drink more water!
5. Stretch at least 3 times per week.
... and etc. The sub-goals will change as I try things that may or may not work for me but I wanted an official goal out there that meant I wouldn’t start taking my routines for granted or settle into bad habits. With that said... time for a mask, dry brushing and stretching before bed!
Until next time,
2018 was an interesting year, full of major positive moments as well as some huge downturns as well. I struggled to stick with my "One Word" more than any other year to date... balance was difficult to achieve consistently. With that said, it was overall a good year. I thrived in my career, had amazing experiences with my friends and met a lot of my goals, including the giant one of buying a house!
So, let's jump into goals and wrap ups for each section of my life in 2018.
My career goals (which don't go online... sorry!) were almost 100% accomplished this year which was great. I love what I do and the people I work for and with and am continuing to learn and grow which is my #1 priority in this category right now. Unfortunately I didn't accomplish all of my side-hustle goals though. This was for several reasons but it essentially boils down to time commitments and my mental health. My Oma (grandmother) passed in November and my health had taken several hits in the previous few months which both affected my mental well-being. I needed to take a break to get back into a healthy place mentally and that need superseded the rather aggressive timelines I had set for my side-hustle goals in this situation. Its important to realize that sometimes your goals change or need to be put on a temporary hold for something more important- and that's ok. Just don't give up on something that you really want, rework the plan and keep going!
Social & Recreation
I didn't put any goals online in this category but I did have a few things that occurred here. With my "One Word" being 'Balance' this year I knew there would have to be some changes but, as I stated before, it was a battle. I hate saying no. Like, really hate it. I love my friends and my hobbies and would love to participate in everything that is out there... but I can't. The end of this year saw me cutting back on chorus activities to take care of myself and find a bit more balance in my life. Long term this is a transition to, unfortunately, resigning from one of my choruses and the board member position that I hold there. This was a difficult decision as I love all of the women there but with the move it just isn't possible to keep driving there weekly. This decision was announced in the last quarter of 2018 and will take effect in April. I'm working to find a way to keep these wonderful people in my life though, I love them!
Well, this one's simple... still single. Haha! I'm online and making sure to remain open minded about people that I meet but so far I haven't begun a relationship with anyone. We'll see what 2019 holds though. I'm content with my life but I am also hopeful that I will find the person God has in mind for me eventually. Fingers crossed for 2019!
Health & Wellness
Here's another place where I didn't quite make it to my goals. I did great for the first 3 quarters of the year but depression and stress derailed me. I'm back on track though and didn't let the partial failure get me down. Giving some grace and moving forward! I ended up losing about 20 pounds (I had gotten up to 40 pounds lost before things went crazy in my life) which means I've got a ways to go. I reset the under 200 pounds goal to June 2019 but I am hoping that I make it there a little sooner, we'll see! I love keto though, its definitely that best option for my body and its where I've decided to focus going forward.
Health wise... well its been more difficult for me the past 4-5 months than I have had to deal with in the past few years. This caused additional stress and pain which I'm sure didn't help with the weight loss journey. One day I'll talk about my medical conditions but I don't really have enough time to get into all of it today. I'll leave it at I've been in a lot of pain intermittently, my heart rate has been elevated significantly more often than usual and I've been dealing with some major allergy issues. No fun.
Education & Personal Development
I did meet the goals I put here with the exception of SEO classes. No time, its been rescheduled to later in 2019 and I'm a-ok with that. I read several really great books and have developed a love for audio-books during my drive time. Give it a try, I definitely recommend audio-books!
I'm still in progress on this goal as I added it towards the end of the year. I'm using the YouVersion app to work towards it. :)
Household & Home Life
I bought my house! Ahh! This is a new category since I'm officially back on my own (well, with the pups) so you'll see some goals developed here over the next few months. For now its mostly been: unpacking everything, getting the Master bed and bath linens purchased, sorting through clothing and trying to decide on curtains. The last one is still in the air... I'm not great with curtains.
OK, the big one that I talk about a lot here: financial goals. My main goals for 2018 here were: save up for a down payment for a house (check), pay off $5,000 in debt (the payment didn't clear till January, but soooo close!) and lower my monthly expenses. I managed to stick to my goals until I got the house when the last one- lowering monthly expenses- got a little more difficult. Between having some unexpected home bills, unexpected travel and depression it was difficult to keep steam rolling at the pace I was going before and I back slid a bit. Not an astronomical amount but I had hoped to blow the $5,000 goal out of the water rather than missing it by a paycheck. I'm not deterred though and next year will be easier to plan now that I've been in the house a bit longer and have a better idea on my monthly costs. I'm excited for where this one is going. One thing to note... though I didn't pay off as much debt as I wanted my net worth rose by over $15,000! This is from investments and growth in my 401k and 403b, debt payoff and the house purchase. Here's to next year being amazing!
I've updated the home page with my current set of goals for the coming year. Have you set your goals? Next week I plan to be back with another app review. See you then!