Saturday, December 07, 2013
The end of the fall 5% challenge took me by surprise this morning, I thought we had one more week and when I went to post my weight I realized we don't. I didn't lose anything like the 5% I had hoped for, but I did end the challenge a couple pounds lighter than I started. Of course in the middle of the challenge I was up a few. I think I ended up down about 2 pounds overall. This week was a much better week weight wise than the previous weeks have been. I tracked every day and stayed in my ranges and I got in 3 days of exercise for the first time in a long time.
I lost 3 pounds and even though I know that's just the "easy" pounds that come off quickly every time I get serious I'm still pretty pleased with the week. I'm not going to track today because I need a day off - but tomorrow I'll be back at it. I just wish that I had been in the right mindset for the challenge this time so I could see progress and contribute more to my teddy bear team. I managed to get into the right frame of mind too late this round. I'm hoping to build some momentum, get through the holidays, and go into the winter challenge strong.
The situation at work has left me just totally confused. I had a meeting with my principal yesterday and now I just don't know which way my head is supposed to be. This meeting was scheduled a couple weeks ago to talk about my professional goals and had nothing at all to do with the discussion Wednesday morning. She brought it up though and "wanted to make sure I was ok because I seemed stressed at the meeting". Huh. Yep - I am stressed out, but that wasn't why I brought up a legitimate concern. I'm stressed out because it's almost Christmas, my shopping isn't done, money is tight, hubby changed shifts, and the quarter/semester ends week after next. That doesn't negate my point about another time sacrifice. It seems like the further my bosses get away from the classroom the more willing they are to make time demands on teachers. The school board has no qualms whatsoever, the superintendent has few, and the principal generally at least sees the teachers concerns.
So she asked me again about it, and I was very careful to be diplomatic. I was very careful to phrase things as neutrally as possible. I said lots of things that were meaningless and sounded good. I kept my damn mouth shut, or if not shut at least bridled. One of my co-workers did not and now she figures she's in trouble too. I guess the principal kept asking and asking until my friend finally told her what she really thought. EEEP. This woman is incredibly intelligent and articulate and I would hate to be on the other end of her tongue lashing. Nothing she said wasn't true though, and maybe it gives our new principal some background that she was missing as to the last few years at our school.
But.... A few weeks ago I had a meeting with the superintendent about a few kids that she has taken it upon herself to tutor. She is trying to get this group of totally unmotivated kids to be more successful and I applaud her efforts. She called me in for a meeting where we talked about the kids, but also about my tests and how I write them, the rigor of the questions, how I cover vocabulary, etc. It was a little intense because I thought we were going to talk about the kids not about me so I felt unprepared but generally ok. The principal was also there but was working on some paperwork and not involved in our discussion So yesterday at my meeting with the principal she asked how I felt after that previous meeting. I didn't really understand what she was getting at so she said she wanted to make sure that I didn't feel attacked. Ummmm - I didn't. Until now. Now I wonder if I should have seen it that way. Was it attack? Should I be worried? I do not need this second guessing myself crap.
The superintendent can be difficult to work with and I know that some of the other teachers have run afoul of her, but I personally have only had positive interactions with her. Now I can't help but wonder if a few of the teachers have been bending the ear of the new principal with horror stories that have colored her view of the staff as a whole. That would explain the insinuations she made the other day, and why she thought I would feel attacked after the meeting. Or, maybe I misread the first meeting and it was an attack and I should be looking for a new job. GRRRRRRR! I feel like Charlie Brown with the football. Either way one of my bosses is out to get me.
And back to the positive. This week was good nutrition wise, and hubby and I didn't kill each other over bathroom space in the mornings. It actually went more smoothly that I had any right to expect. He spent some time in the evenings in his "man cave" to give us both some space as we try to adapt to each other again. That time will diminish over the weeks to come, but I think that learning to be "us" again is going to be a process. We both have a pretty set sense of how things should be, but those sets are not the same and now we have to relearn the art of compromise that we used to do almost unconsciously. Today's high is supposed to be somewhere in the 20's (10 degrees warmer than the highs since Wednesday) so we'll be inside most of the day. I have the tree up, but today I think we'll decorate it. Maybe drink some hot chocolate and buy some candy canes for the tree. Tonight is the parade of lights in town, but I'm not sure I want to be out when it's this cold. We'll just have to see tonight. If we don't go to that maybe we'll go look at Christmas lights. Every year we go to the local movie theatre and get popcorn to go, then we drive around town looking at the lights and eating popcorn. It's one of my favorite traditions and since this is my day off tracking I think this would be the perfect night.
Goals for the next week:
-continue my 12 glasses of water streak
-track every day (Sun - Thurs) even if I don't end up in my ranges
-exercise a minimum of 3 times this week
-be conscious of my mood and how it affects my food choices
-pack & track breakfast & lunch the night before
-keep my mouth shut at work
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Yesterday was a bad day at work. We had our regular monthly before school staff meeting just to cover some basic housekeeping "stuff". Among the things we talked about was the change in procedure that I talked about in my last blog. I tried so hard to stay quiet, but I just couldn't. Sometimes I think I'm just pathologically unable to keep my mouth shut. The boss asked for our thoughts. She asked - and I answered. I did so in as positive a manner as possible, but that the loss of time was a concern. It did not end well. She jumped all over me (in a super nice professional way of course) and like 3 of the other teachers at the meeting tried to defend what I had said. It was like she was just waiting for one of us (or me in particular? it felt personal) to bring up any kind of concern so she could say the things she did. I won't go into specifics but either I wasn't as clear as I thought or she willfully misinterpreted my words so she would have an opportunity to say some things that most of us found pretty insulting and hurtful. I hope it was the first because if it was the second then it's going to be a long year. I want to give her the benefit of the doubt. I so want to, but it's getting harder. There's other "stuff" too, not just this one example.
On the plus side - I've had 3 good days in a row. I stayed in (or a hair under) my calorie ranges Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week even with the crappy day yesterday. I have some mini candy bars in my desk and I didn't even reach for them after the meeting. I haven't been out to exercise, but I walked/jogged/marched in place in front of the tv on Monday and Wednesday night. The sad part is I can actually feel that in my calves this morning. It's sad because I'm so out of shape that I can feel it, but it's good to have proof that I worked hard enough even just in place to do some good. So that's my new plan. If I can't manage anything else during the day, I can walk/jog/march in place in front of the tv at night and at least get some time in.
Goals for the rest of the week:
1. Continue tracking food and staying in ranges the rest of the week
2. Continue my 12 cups of water streak
3. Exercise 2 more days between now and Sunday
4. Breathe, be calm, practice my "zen"
5. Keep my damn mouth shut
Happy Thursday all! Let's finish this week strong.
Sunday, December 01, 2013
Let me just start out by mentioning how much I do not like change. Any change. Even tiny little nothing changes have the potential to put me in a funk and ruin my day. Unexpected changes are the worst, but even ones I have time to plan for are hard for me. Just one of my little quirks I guess. Why does that matter? Because this blog is all about change - I feel like I need to vent and try to get my head on straight before tomorrow.
For the last year my husband has been working a job with weird hours. He works over night Tuesday (14 hours) and Thursday (16 hours) and day shift on Sunday. He stays up late Monday and Wednesday night so he can maintain some kind of consistent sleep schedule. That means that for the last year the boy and I have been totally on our own Tuesday and Thursday night and I've been on my own after his bedtime 2 other nights while hubby hangs out in his "man cave". That means I have complete control over homework, supper, baths, bedtime stories, discipline, housework, evening activities, tv remote, etc. I've gotten used to that, and although I miss spending time with my hubby, I'd be lying if I said it was all bad.
Starting tomorrow he is transferring to another job within the same company that will have him working day shift Mon - Thurs. So now he'll be home every night and weekend day. This is a good thing. A good change. Don't misunderstand, I'm happy to have him back. It's going to be a tough change though. I'm going to have to give up the autonomy that I've had and actually cooperate and compromise with another adult every night. The last time he went from a night shift to a day shift it was actually harder on us than when he started working nights in the first place. I'm worried about how we will learn to be "us" again when for so long we've been "him and her". He's used to having the house to himself during the day just as much as I'm used to having it to myself at night. The other challenge is going to be over bathroom space. Now we will all be trying to get ready and out the door at the same time in the morning. The little guy and I have a routine that works - I get up at 6 and get myself ready by 6:20 when I wake him up. Then I get on spark while he gets ready. Throwing another person getting ready into the mix is going to be interesting. We have two bathrooms, but the basement one isn't really set up for anything more than basic necessities.
This is a good change - but that doesn't make it not a hard change.
There's also a change at work that has me just absolutely up in arms, but I've decided to take the advice of a colleague and not respond to it. Basically suck it up and follow orders, but I'm not happy about it or my lack of response. We received an email a while back that starting this week we will now be expected to tutor any students who are failing our classes after school every Tuesday and Thursday. I know, sounds great for the kids right? How do you argue with that? Here's my problem - the kids who are actually struggling and want the extra help are already coming in to see me. That will stop as soon as the kids that are being forced to come into my room as a punishment start showing up. So it's good for one group of kids at the expense of another group of kids. The other part that angers me is that now instead of answering a few questions and giving kids a quiet, safe place to work while I grade or plan lessons for the next day I will be expected to "actively tutor" those kids for 25 minutes per day. We already have meetings every Wednesday afternoon so that day's work time is already gone. Now there's another 50 minutes of work that I will have to drag home to do at night. I feel like I'm being punished for holding kids accountable to turn in their work.
This is going to be a tough week for me. I'll have basically an extra hour of work to get done at home or stay even later at school to get it done, I'll have hubby home in the evenings and won't want to spend all night grading/planning. I'll have to work out compromises with him as to what end up on the supper table because we don't always see eye to eye about what constitutes "supper". On top of all of that I have to find a way to work in exercise. I have to find a way to get in some kind of workout several days a week just to protect my own sanity. I don't have any idea how to add even more to my schedule though. I know "someone busier than me is exercising right now" but that person is probably also a hell of a lot more organized than I am.
Grrrrr. But on the brighter side - in just a few hours I get to watch Walking Dead so that's something to look forward to. Also with hubby home we can actually work our way through the dvr of shows that we actually like to watch together. I'm trying to have a positive attitude all the way around, but I'm failing miserably. I just hope that I can be in a good head space by tomorrow morning.
Saturday, November 02, 2013
Since Halloween is over, I decided to put up a picture of Madagascar's Baobab Avenue because this week's virtual destination is Madagascar. This is one island I would love to visit in real life. I watched a documentary a while back and was just totally enthralled. How can one island have such a huge variety of plant and animal life? Who knew there were so many varieties of lemurs?
This week's weigh in was a pleasant surprise. I had mentally prepared myself to see a gain, but I actually lost 1.6 pounds. I did not eat well, but we only ate out once - I guess that makes a difference. I only got in one "official" workout this week, but last Sunday I cleaned all day and had 8000+ steps with only going out once for some milk at the grocery store so I counted my fitbit minutes. I also walked my son around for trick or treating for about an hour - so I gave myself 20 minutes walking credit. I figure I stood around waiting for him to go to doors 2/3 of the time. This week I need to start building an exercise streak, even if it's only a few minutes a day at first.
This week's 5% LTGL challenge is fiber. I will need to track all of my food in order to participate in the fiber challenge so really it's a two for one challenge this week. Fiber isn't really something I think about on a regular basis so it will be a new focus for me.
The end of this week was stressful, and next week will be more so. Every year on Halloween I give my students a reward day - a day where I bring them candy and Halloween movies to reward them for the hard work they do for my every other day of the school year. Of course that's the day that my new principal came for a visit. It's only the 2nd time all year she's been in my classroom, and now she thinks I waste a lot of time. I dug myself a deep hole trying to reward my kids, and now I'm not sure I can climb back out. I just hope that next time she comes for a visit it's a more typical day and she is willing to see that I'm not wasting other days. I honestly didn't see it as a big deal in the past, but I guess it is now and there will be some kind of consequence for me. I don't know what yet, but I'll be on eggshells all next week waiting to be called into the office to hear what it is. Even worse, my relationship with my new principal may be irrevocably damaged. It's sad for the kids, but you better believe there won't be a second of down-time in my classroom the rest of the year. I'm terrified to even let them take a breath just in case that's the moment she walks in. I've never felt this way at my job before (it's my 17th year there) but now I'm scared to sneeze in case it's taken wrong. The work climate has been gradually shifting over the last several years, but I always felt ok about going to work. Now I just feel fear. I can't lay the blame on the new principal, she is also facing a great deal of pressure from above, but I certainly don't feel as good about going to work as I used to. Even before this fiasco I was feeling that way, and now in addition to not enjoying going to work like I used to I actually have butterflies about it. For the first time in my career I am seriously considering what alternatives I might have.
So, my big thing for this week will be to not stress eat, to exercise no matter what, and to make sure that whatever happens I handle it with professionalism and grace.
Wish me luck.
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Last Saturday I had a mini-meltdown and threw a pity party for myself. I'm over it, thank goodness. By afternoon I had a full on plan for the week. Then I blinked at it's already Saturday again. I don't know how that happened, but it feels like time is just flying by. You know that scene in "Spaceballs" - light speed, ridiculous speed, ludicrous speed - I'm feeling a bit plaid lately.
To be fair I had a super busy week, spent Wednesday at a conference two hours away, and my folks were here Tuesday and Wednesday and left Thursday morning. I feel like I'm still trying to catch my breath.
I woke up this morning with all new motivation to exercise and eat right and get fit and all of that. I'm just hoping it lasts past lunchtime. I have some errands to run this morning, and my dog has a vet appointment. He has to have some blood work done, but since he is my old guy and has a number of health problems I always worry when I have to take him in for anything.
This afternoon I'm hoping for a nap since I haven't been sleeping well all week. I'm also hoping to get out for a bike ride. I haven't ridden a bike in years, but now that my little guy is riding well I'm going to have to start again so I can keep up with him. While my folks were here they bought us a bike rack to haul our 3 bikes around, and hubby fixed up his bike and mine. This afternoon we are hoping to load up and go ride our bikes somewhere. I won't be far or fast, but I'm looking forward to it.
This week's challenge is to not skip meals. Getting too hungry and then binging is a real problem, so we are supposed to make sure that doesn't happen. I have to admit that I have been skipping breakfast a lot of days so this is a good challenge for me to focus on this week. I already had breakfast today, so for a weekend that's an improvement.
I'm looking forward to a week that I'm going to make successful. I hope that all of my sparkfriends have a great weekend and an even greater next week.
What are you doing this weekend?
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