Sunday, October 16, 2011
Time to face the facts. I AM SABOTAGING MYSELF. Every day I overeat, skip my workouts, and make excuses about why I'm not pushing myself towards my goals, and every night I go to sleep feeling guilty and fat and unhappy. I have skipped my weekly weigh-ins these past few weeks because I know I haven't lost anything. I'm no closer to my goal of losing 10 lbs this month than I was at the end of September when I set the goal for myself. As for my goal of fitting into jeans that are one size smaller by Halloween.... I don't know. I might be able to pull that one off if I apply myself for the rest of the month. My current jeans are loose already and have been for ages. But I doubt I'll be able to lose the 10 that I'd wanted to lose and I feel like settling for 5 is just... disappointing.
I don't know why I'm so lazy. I don't know why I eat so much. I start the weeks great and feeling positive but by mid-week I just give up. I'll record calories by hand instead of logging them here because it's faster for me in the mornings, and I'm fine with that, but by mid-week I either stop counting or overeat at work and once I get home. I know they say that losing weight is mostly a mental battle and that you really have to want it, and I DO want it. I have NEVER been skinny. Even at my lowest weight I was still 20-30 lbs overweight. I want so badly to fit in with the slim, healthy, fit, happy people I see every day. I want to wear clothes that make me feel sexy and fashionable. I want to not be embarrassed every time I'm in public. I want to not feel like I have to make excuses about my size like "Oh, I had a baby 9 months ago...."... I WANT TO REACH MY GOALS and I don't want to be in this dark place anymore. I'm not happy being this person and I can't keep going on like this.
But there's something stopping me from making the changes I need to make and I don't know what it is. I do know that I need help, I need motivation, I need a friend to do this with me... I need the guidance of people who have already taken this journey or who have made a bigger dent in their weight loss than I have (10 pounds so far).
I know I need to make a change. I need to figure out what's keeping me here in this unhappy place and I need to gather up the strength and courage to move forward. I'm scared though...scared todisappoint the people who are supporting me, and scared of failing.
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
This blog contains some personal info about our family's bills and income, but I really wanted to write it.
I'm wondering if there's any Sparkers out there in the same predicament as my family is currently.
I make $10/hour, 40 hours a week. My husband currently only works 5 hours a week at $8.50 an hour. Our rent is way beyond our current means at $800/month. Add that to $50 for gas every week, the miscellaneous cost of baby supplies and pet supplies, household needs, and the monthly bills- cable (only $6 extra a month in our rent, so very affordable), internet, and electric, and it really doesn't leave a lot of room for groceries.
And we're a family of 4.
We currently recieve EBT benefits (food stamps) and get $170 a month. Which really is not very much for a family of our size, especially considering the high cost of baby formula. And, frankly, the higher cost of healthy food. It usually only lasts us two trips to the store and this month we ran out of food about 2.5 weeks before our monthly benefits renewed (today, thankfully!!) We were forced to pay for some supplimental groceries out of our own pocket and it really hurt us, now we are likely to be behind on our rent payment.
It got so bad this month that I considered going to our local food pantry and getting food there. We do meet the income limit by quite a large amount and I know that sometimes people need a bit of help, but I felt guilty for taking food from the homeless or the unemployed.
My questions are these:
-Is your family currently receiving EBT benefits, or have you in the past? If you were, how did you stretch them to make them last a full month? Did you buy cheaper, less expensive food and just count calories, or did you splurge on healthier options and sacrifice for it later in the month when the benefits ran out? How did you manage to keep up with your weight loss in both of those instances?
-Have you ever had to go to the food pantry or be part of a food assistance program? How did it make you feel? I feel guilty and even a bit ashamed that I can't provide for my family the way I should, and I think that's been discouraging me from taking advantage of the supplies my community is fortunate enough to have to offer to people in my position.
My husband is looking for work and recently applied for a perfect 32/hr a week position as an office manager. The salary is great and if he got the job it would really take a dent out of our money woes- we could get off food stamps, pay our rent without worry, always have food for our babies, start paying off debt, and afford child care for our son... not to mention all the small perks of having enough income to support our family such as not constantly worrying and arguing... I am not getting my hopes up that this will be the job he ends up with but it would be so wonderful. He's not really qualified for positions that pay on the higher end of the scale and this one, remarkably, is something he has done before and the pay is wonderful...
Please keep us in your prayers if prayer is something you do. Our family is really struggling right now and I am having a hard time seeing the light at the end of this long, dark tunnel.
Sunday, October 02, 2011
I'm up early this morning, my little boy and hubby are still asleep, and I thought I'd take some time to earn some SparkPoints! I had a lot of fun doing quizzes, reading articles, filling out my motivation worksheet, and starting to find images for some vision collages- I've wanted to put up visual reminders of why I'm on this journey for some time and haven't gotten around to it, but today on this lazy morning it seemed like the perfect time to start thinking about what my motivators are and what visual aids I can put around our house to help me reach them. Some of the things I selected are:
- fit into "that dress": A few years ago I bought two size 8 dresses on sale because my hope was to shrink into them. I still don't, but they are beautiful, sexy dresses that I am determined to wear before they're no longer age-appropriate! I'm going to hang them up where I can see them instead of hiding them in the close and also take a picture of them to put on my vision collage!
-look better naked: I don't feel good with or without clothes at the moment and I want both of those to change! Motivators for this goal are some pics of sexy lingerie my hubby's picked out... I'd like to wear some for his birthday in March!
-play and be active with my kids: Motivation, obviously- pictures of my beautiful son and stepdaughter!! The more I see them, the more I know I want to be around for them until they're old! Right now, our baby boy isn't even walking yet, but soon he will be and I want to have the energy that a 25 year old mom should have to play with him, run with him, and keep up with him!
-kick off a new career: I just enrolled in online Psychology classes so I can earn a better degree. I want to be confident entering a new, more professional career in a few years- right now I teach toddlers at a local preschool and wear jeans or sweats every day- I want to feel great and confident in business attire!
-wear a swimsuit on the beach: pretty standard, right? this summer I wore shorts and a tanktop to the lake when we took the kids and felt awful about myself. Next summer I want to rock it in a bikini or at the very least a sexy one-piece!! I've NEVER looked good in a swimsuit, and I want it so badly!
-Get in shape for my wedding: My husband and I got married in the courthouse and didn't have a wedding or ceremony- just a small reception dinner with family. I REALLY want the dress, the cake, and the flowers that traditional brides get, so we're planning to renew our vows for our 5th anniversary and have a small wedding then. I definitely want to look beautiful in a wedding gown, even if it's not expensive. As of right now, I hate dresses- I want to feel confident, beautiful, and like a bride!
Those are just some of the things that are motivating me to lose weight and get healthy. Others, that aren't so much outward as internal, are things like being more confident, not feeling like the fat girl, and feeling beautiful again. What are YOUR motivators?
Saturday, October 01, 2011
Man... the past couple of weeks have been crazy. I've still managed to keep off the 10 pounds I've lost but haven't seen a loss in ages! I know I should be happy that despite the hectic-ness of my life lately, I haven't GAINED weight, but I'm a bit depressed that I haven't managed to lose even one pound extra in the past weeks.
I know I need to readjust my schedule to really include time every day for exercise because that is where I'm slacking the most, and that I won't see the changes I really want to see until I do, but life has been such a wild ride lately that I've been pushing it off.
For starters, and a very positive thing; I got promoted at work! I am now a LEAD TEACHER again (finally) and my classroom is the 2 year olds. They are crazy but adorable! It's really nice to have my own room again but I'm still working out the kinks and trying to get the rest of the staff in the classroom on the same page. My first official day was this past Monday even though I spent most of the week prior in the room learning their schedule and getting to know the kids a bit better. The associate teacher is a friend of mine outside of work and we get along quite well. She was the strongest staff person in the room before I joined the class so it's been great having her to help me and to work on the curriculum and stuff with. The two assistants are okay- one is very nice but very meek and needs to be a little more outspoken, in my opinion. The other is the one staff person that basically everyone in the center has issues with because she complains constantly, shirks her duty, and has no respect for the authority of the lead teacher in whatever classroom she is in. I worked with her when I was the associate teacher in preschool and was happy to be done with her...now I'm back in a classroom with her and it's been a little stressful. I've talked to my boss though and we are working out the issues slowly. I am enjoying the new classroom and the responsibilities AND my new schedule which gets me out of work at 2:45 every day except for Tuesdays. I'm planning to start working out after work in the gym, I need to start this coming week...can't keep putting it off!!
In other news I also accepted an offer to take online courses in Psychology so I'm now a college student again, and will be starting classes October 17th. I am verrrry nervous about it, it's been years since college and my Associate's degree in Early Childhood Education was easy to earn- I went to a 2 year school and the work wasn't much harder than high school level for me. I'm definitely wondering if I'll do well in "real" college level courses. I know I sell myself short in every aspect of my life and that I need to stop, but it's hard for me not to worry about fitting schoolwork, exercise, curriculum planning for work, actual work, and taking care of my family into my schedule. I know that earning a degree in Psychology will allow me to change careers and do something that I really want to do and that will provide much more for my family than teaching preschool does, but I can't help the nerves that keep me from thinking I'll really excel.
My husband took a leave of absence from the college he's been attending and is looking for work because our finances are so bad right now, and has also applied at the same online school I'll be taking classes through, but right now we're still struggling financially. It really weighs on me and makes everything else seem unimportant in comparison, but I KNOW that my health needs to be a priority and that I have to stop making excuses.
My plan is to work out in the gym at work in the afternoons after my shift because I don't have time in the mornings (I have to be at work at 6:45 am now) and definitely start doing regular strength training either at home or at the gym because I am weak! (And I really want to have nicely defined muscles when all the fat melts away ). I have been doing okay with my diet- it hasn't been great because we really don't have much food in the house right now so it's basically what I can make or what we can afford at the moment, but I HAVE been eating way less at work! I think that my early morning schedule really helps- I take an early lunch break but I leave before the afternoon really gets underway, which is when I snack the most. Plus now if I go work out right after my shift I'll avoid the snacking right when I get home!
My goal is to lose at least 10 more pounds during October AND meet my original goal of going down a pant size by then as well. Starting ASAP I'm going to start working out whenever I have the chance- even if it's just doing squats while I'm watching tv! I can do everything on my plate, I just need to think positively and stop making excuses. Deep down I feel really great about where my life is headed now- even though nerves get the best of me I really do feel like everything I'm taking on is going to make me so much happier in the long run, and I KNOW losing weight will do the same.
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