Friday, March 18, 2011

Spring Break Sickness

When I think of the words "Spring Break" I think of hundreds of college students crowding gorgeous white sandy beaches and blue water. There's lots of drinking, partying, and general craziness. Me-I'm not this kind of person. I had my spring break all planned: a few days at my friend's lake house relaxing, remodeling my laundry room, working in my yard.

Spring break started off with me heading to my friend Steven's lake house with Steven and Jason. We got there Friday evening, cooked dinner, had some wine, played Phase 10 (which I rule at haha). Saturday we slept in, went walking along the beach, watched some movies, cooked, had another friend over, etc. Sunday morning I woke up sick and ended up coming home that morning, a few days earlier than planned. Here are some pics from the weekend:

My room. The light coming in early in the morning is so beautiful.

Playing Phase 10 with Steven and Jason (taking the pic)

I love the entryway. The doors are beautiful and there are fleur-de-lis in the tile.

Lake Sam Rayburn

Jason and I walking along the water's edge. The water was so nice and warm.

Jason and me

Isn't this wall of windows beautiful?

Ever since coming home Sunday I have been sick. Just when I think I'm getting better it gets worse. I'm finally over the fever, and this morning I wake up feeling like someone hit the left side of my face/jaw/neck with a baseball bat. I called my doctor and my back-up doctor Wednesday and they're both out of town until Monday. Without insurance, the urgent clinic is $150-$200 just to get seen. It's absolutely ridiculous.

One bit of good news, I got a dog yesterday. A family friend needed to find her a good home, because the family they had given her to originally weren't taking good care of her. I gave her a bath last night and took her to get her shots this morning. She's a shih tzu/chihuahua mix, black with a white stripe down her belly, and weighs 9.6 lbs. She's five years old. I'm taking her to get groomed Sunday, and I'll post pics of her then. They named her Prissy, but I have to see what name I think she earns.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Secret to Success

The number one thing that has helped me develop a healthier lifestyle regarding eating and exercise has been having a place to track my calories in and out. The best website I have found for this is SparkPeople. SparkPeople provides a wealth of information including access to articles, exercise how-to's and short exercises videos, recipes, nutrition calculators, fitness calculators and provides a social networking aspect similar to Facebook. When you join, you can create your own page reminiscent of MySpace where you can add pictures (such as before/after, progress, etc), update your status ("Just got back from Zumba!"), blog, and receive comments. Also, SP has teams you can join to meet people with similar goals or interests, competitions, and message boards.

My SparkPage

I mainly use this site to track my calories in and out and to give and receive support from other members. I have made some friends on SP, and that support really helps keep me motivated.

What keeps you motivated?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Journey is the Reward

Six months ago I decided I needed to make a change. Not only did I need to make a change, I needed to overhaul my life. Who was I living this life for, and where was I going with it?

The first, most difficult, and best change overall was ending my miserable marriage. I never thought I would be someone to get a divorce, but in the end I decided it was the best decision for not only me but for the both of us. It took a good deal of counseling and talking to God for me to realize that admitting failure in the relationship did not mean that I was a failure at life. I took this as my turning point to make some other changes.

From there, I determined that my health had to become a priority. I could sit back and let my neurocardiogenic syncope rule my life and live a sedentary lifestyle, or I could say "No!" and take my life back. I did not make any drastic changes, but slowly I began making lifestyle changes. I began eating less processed foods, more fruits and vegetables, less fried foods, and more lean meats. I cut down or cut out completely soda, ice cream, pizza, your typical junk foods. I hit the gym when I could, though in no particular system because of school. I tried Zumba and loved it! I worked my time up on the elliptical from 20 minutes to 45 minutes. So far, I've lost 20 pounds (212-192) and gone from an 18 to a 14. I have not been this size since 2007, and it's a great feeling. Seeing these results truly keeps me motivated to keep it up. They may not seem like much in pictures, but I can definitely see a difference in my body and the way I feel.



Around 205

While school has always been a priority, I really focused myself on putting my all into my education. I was doing my first internship at a local elementary school in a first grade classroom. It was honestly the best experience I have ever had, and I grew so much as a teacher thanks to a great mentor teacher, mentor professor, and a room of the best first graders around. When my days were hard, because let's face it-divorce isn't easy, I would walk into that classroom and be hugged by 20 kids. How can that not bring a smile to even those with the hardest of hearts? I believe God put me in that classroom at that time to show me the joy in life, and that I am right where He wants me to be. My work that semester paid off in a multitude of ways. I made President's List by earning all A's, and I recently found out I am one of the winners of my university's  Undergraduate Research Conference which is an honor. In April I will be doing a poster presentation at the conference, and I am so excited-but that's a whole other blog.

I have a long way to go on this journey, but in the end the journey is the reward. Won't you join me?