Saturday, November 01, 2014
My life has completely changed since mid-April. It's all been good but I do admit, it was stressful as well. Thank goodness for exercise - cycling in particular - or there might have been some causualities in my wake!
I had been planning to sell my house and move for the past five years and the time was this past spring. My youngest was graduating from high school and I was done with my stressful commute to work and felt as if I was stuck in Suburban-heck. I worked all winter getting the house ready and put the For Sale sign in the front yard in mid-April. I was in contract within 11 days and the process of inspections, fixing other items and worrying about my buyers' finances began. I also was going through the other end on the condo I was purchasing. It was a maddening process but in mid-July I closed on both properties and moved. Part of me was sad of course - leaving the home I had lived in for 23 years; walked in as a new bride, brought my babies home where they learned to walk, talk, ride bikes, then becoming a single mom as my marriage fell apart and learning to be myself again. But I was not sad to leave the mowing and leaf raking behind. Not to mention the much shorter commute I now had! I literally added more time to my days!
While all of this was going on, we were finalizing my son's college plans. That can be a second job as well but we managed. He is now a freshman at my alma mater, learning to live on his own, making a few mistakes, but we are working through it and helping him while trying to not be a helicopter parent. It's a challenge of course.
And to make life just a little more interesting in mid-April, my company went through a slight reorganization. While most of the company was untouched, my department was not and it was disbanded. I knew I'd have a job in another area so I went ahead with selling/buying my house but it was very depressing. I had a great team and it was sad to see two of them being forced to leave the company. I spent a few months in limbo and then in mourning. I was then assigned to a manager that really didn't "need" me but just wanted someone to sit outside his office and look pretty because it made him look more important. So frustrating. I hoped to ride out the changes and honestly, with everything else going on in my personal life, it was fine to have a quiet work environment. Things continued to settle down in my personal life and then work really started to bother me. But I do believe everything happens for a reason. Due to a meeting here and there, casual networking and keeping my options open, I ended up with my dream job and have been there now for 2 months.
Through all of this I did manage to keep up my cycling and am just short of 2300 miles for the season. I have gotten away from strength training but have joined a gym right down the street - and am teaching Spin again - and am focusing on strength again. My diet has had it's ups and downs but I've kept my weight pretty steady for the most part. Things are just shifting a bit as I approach my 50th birthday in February.
It's been an exhausting few months but it's all good now! Life is getting back to normal - or at least a new normal for me!
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
I have been a bad Sparker; at least when it comes to checking in with my Spark friends and updating my activities. Life has been busy but I know that isnít an excuse since everyoneís lives are busy. Iím no exception and Iím not going to use it as an excuse.
The truth of the matter is, I kind of needed a break. Not just from Spark but from a lot of things. We seem to go at Mach-speed at times and feel the need to keep up with EVERYTHING and honestly, sometimes I just need a break from a few things to give myself some breathing room. Iíve still been logging in everyday; I still exercise most every day and I still try to eat clean but I felt like I needed some space. Part of it Iím sure is my normal funk I get into this time of year. Cycling season has dwindled down and that is a huge social outlet for me during the warm months. The time change is tough on me as I am definitely one of those who need light. Itís not to the point I need medication or anything like that, but it does affect me to the point I just want to hibernate. I know Iím not alone though and itís temporary but itís still an adjustment every year.
So now that Iíve decided to refocus some areas of my life, one of my first steps is to reignite my Spark and get some thoughts and goals down on paper.
A few updates first. My new job is still going well. I love working downtown and really enjoy the work as well as the people. Itís a positive place to be and since I still hear about the rough times my former co-workers are going through, this was definitely the right move for me at the right time. I feel very lucky to have found this position at this company and look forward to coming to work each and every day.
Work on my house is continuing to get it ready to sell next spring. Iíve been painting rooms left and right as well as cleaning closets and drawers and working through my list. Iíve met with a cleaning lady who it going to visit once a month for now but more frequent when the house is on the market. Iím excited and nervous all at the same time. I havenít moved in 22 years and Iím ready for a new place and potentially a new lifestyle. Iím tired of the suburbs and am looking forward to a more urban atmosphere and the opportunity to meet other empty nesters. Thatís my hope anyway.
Iím still ďteachingĒ Spin twice a week at a gym near my home. They had started the morning classes in June (not the best timing) and because attendance was low during the summer, they decided to put them on hold at the end of August. I was just starting to get some regulars and when I announced the change, one gal looked at me and said ďbut youíre still going to come in and do this right?Ē Well, how could I say no to that? I wasnít termed by the gym and still getting my membership for free so I donít mind at all. I actually have some flexibility I wouldnít have if it was a scheduled class. First of all, I can do a 45 minute profile if I want instead of 60 minutes and if Iím just not feeling up to it for some reason, I can cancel and not worry about my job or finding a sub. I havenít done that often but itís nice to have the option. I send a text to my regulars to make sure they are coming the night before and so far itís worked out. I can sub when I want to get paid for a class and my teaching skills are still up to par even though things are more relaxed with my group.
Now for my goals. Other than the on-going list of things to do to the house, itís time to get back to focusing on my fitness goals. Iíve really struggled with finding time for strength training this summer and this isnít anything new. I do miss having a fitness center I can visit on-site at work since it made lunchtime workouts extremely convenient. I tried joining a gym near work that I could get to at lunch but due to the nature of my job, it just hasnít worked out that I can get there so I am dropping it. Iíve given it some thought of getting back into a morning routine since I am already at the gym two mornings a week but somehow just canít make that happen either. I enjoy classes and they donít have any strength classes at 6:00am. So here is my plan and my goals:
Monday evening Ė Yoga (love the instructor and it feels so good after the weekend and incorporates strength training)
Tuesday morning Ė Spin
Wednesday morning/evening Ė exercise at home, there are plenty of things to do and Spark videos are first on the list. Focus will be on strength training.
Thursday morning Ė Spin
Friday morning/evening Ė exercise at home; again Spark videos are great!
Saturday morning Ė Cardio Resistance Training Class (strength training)
Sunday morning Ė Spin class and/or Barbell Class (depending on CRT on Saturday)
Walking at lunch during the week when the weather is accommodating! I have a walking buddy so that makes it nice! This mix should serve me well both for cardio and strength training so Iíll be ready for cycling season in the spring!
I read an article over the weekend in Shape magazine about getting our habits in place. Iím sure everyone has heard the phrase that it takes 21 days to make a habit. This article stated that it really takes about three times that long or closer to 66 days! So that is my goal Ė to do 66 days of at least 30 minutes of exercise and I started yesterday. Iíve marked my calendar and 66 days is January 16. This will take me through the holidays and keep me on track. I know there will be days I donít feel like it but even walking the dog is considered exercise and she loves it too.
So my focus is back and Iím ready for the next 66 days! Mostly because those will become 365Ö
Saturday, June 22, 2013
I havenít posted an update in awhile but only because life has been busy but good! I started my new job at the beginning of May and I absolutely love it! Itís a bit of a culture change not needing to worry about government restrictions, and the people are really great. Donít get me wrong Ė I totally adored everyone I worked with at my previous job and am keeping in contact with them Ė but itís so nice when you meet equally as nice people coupled with a good work environment. A little bragging moment here Ė Iíve pretty much proven myself in a very short amount of time that I was the right choice for the position and worth every dime they pay me! I have already become a Subject Matter Expert when it comes to Outlook (they recently converted from Lotus Notes) as well as PowerPoint and Excel. Iím gaining the respect of the other executive admins as well as the executives and it feels good. Iíve been told Iím a Ďbreath of fresh airí and even had an outside recruiter we are working with tell my boss Ďheís lucky to have meí. All is good in the work arena.
Diet and exercise is back on track and Iíve finally gotten the scale to move! I had a resting test done at my gym a few weeks ago where I wore a mask and a machine took readings to tell me exactly how many calories I burn at rest and the makeup of those calories. Itís helped me to focus on my diet as well as know what my calorie range is that I really need to be in to lose weight. Even though I eat pretty well the majority of the time, the test showed I was still high on carbs and low on the good fats. Iím not entirely embracing the low carb, high protein diet like the trainer suggested, but I am creating a good balance that works for me. I have more energy and feel better and the scale is moving!
There is also a partner to the resting test that is a cardio test. We attempted it on Thursday evening but I have to go back on Monday. I mentioned to the trainer that I hate to run Ė Iím a cyclist Ė so we tried it as a walking test. I worked up to a 15% grade at more than 4.0 mph (which did make me run) and I couldnít hit the wall even though I felt like I was. Every time I got close, my body would adapt. It was a little frustrating but it was because Iím in great shape so I really canít complain. Iíll go back on Monday and weíll do it as a running test. This will show exactly where my fat burning zone is versus my anabolic threshold (sugar burning). I think I have a pretty good idea of zones since I am a Spin instructor and cyclist, but this will tell me for sure and then I can focus on the fat burning zones. By the way, since I left my previous job where I was a Spin instructor at lunch, I did get a position at my gym teaching the Thursday morning 6:00am classÖall is good!
I hesitate to mention my personal life in fear of jinxing it but letís just say, Iím cautiously optimistic about a potential romantic interestÖI hope I can share more on that next time!
Itís Saturday morning and cycling season. Time for a healthy breakfast and then a ride with a few of my favorite people on some aggressive rollers in the country!
Thursday, May 02, 2013
First of all, my resolution for April was to not drink any alcohol. I did not achieve this goal. Luckily Iím not a huge drinker but at the beginning of the month I was in such a funk that having one beer in the evenings just felt right. Iím not going to beat myself up about it though and have moved on. The irony is as my funk lifted throughout the month (explained below) so did my need to have a beer in the evening.
The funk has now lifted as we go into May. Part of my less than stellar attitude had to do with work. I had been frustrated for quite a while for numerous reasons and it was really starting to affect me. I was becoming depressed and didnít want to do anything other than curl up in bed and take a nap. (The crappy spring weather we have had in Ohio certainly didnít help either.) I have a good job with a company that is well-respected but itís not perfect, as so few companies are, but things just didnít seem to be moving in a good direction and personally, I was feeling as if I didnít have any direction to move. After working very hard to complete my schooling over a year ago, it was disappointing to think all of that work could have been avoided since it wasnít working to my benefit even with the company that paid for it. There have been numerous changes and many people have left Ė more on the companyís terms than their own Ė and it was beginning to wear on me. I had been keeping my Ďeyes and earsí open for a few months and suddenly an opportunity fell into my LinkedIn inbox and I answered!
On Monday (5/6), Iíll be starting a new job that Iím very excited about. Itís with a global company that is moving in a positive direction and Iíll be working for a man who is highly respected within the company. I have a friend who works there and I was able to gain some insight into the company, the manager and the department before I agreed to the interview so Iím confident all is true. What impressed me so much was the manager replied to my Ďthank you for the interviewí email. Wow!!! I had never had that happen before and that small action spoke volumes to me! He took the time to hit reply and to thank ME for taking the time to come in. Right then and there I knew he was a class act and someone I would love to work for!
Giving my notice at my current job was difficult though. Regardless of how the business is doing and the constant change that has resulted in job loss, I have many friends here. There are some really great, smart people that I will miss seeing every day whether itís around the office, in the fitness center or in my Friday lunchtime Spin class. I cycle with a lot of them so Iím thankful that Iíll still be seeing them while on my bike. I cried as I gave my notice to my manager who is really a wonderful, smart woman and once we figured out how to communicate with each other effectively (much like dating), was great to work for. Tomorrow will be a very emotional day for me as I say goodbye to this organization Iíve been a part of for close to five years but the happy hour planned at the end of the day will no doubt help me through the transition.
Since I will not be able to teach Spin at work, I looked into the gym I belong to near my home. I actually have an Ďauditioní this evening with the hope of teaching an early morning Spin class at least once a week. Iím excited about this as well Ė please wish me luck!
With all of the changes happening I can easily say my funk is lifted! Even my chiropractor commented last night how he has never felt my neck more relaxed! Yes, Iím sad about leaving one company but Iím so excited about the new adventure awaiting me. Iíll be working in downtown Columbus again and there is a definitely vibe that I really like. Yes, Iíll have to pay for parking but if I get the instructor job, that will pay will cover my parking so itís a wash! There will be new challenges in my job which I am so looking forward to and new people to meet and potentially recruit to ride Pelotonia (www.pelotonia.org). All in all, the discomfort of the last few months have been worth it to turn the corner into May, spring, flowers, long bike rides and new challenges. Bring it on!!!!!
Saturday, March 30, 2013
This feels as if it's been the longest winter ever! We had a nice day today and I hope we are on the way to warmer more spring-like weather. I managed to get a bike ride in today although it wasn't as long as I had planned but it felt good! It was still a bit chilly and the wind was stronger than I thought it was going to be but at the end of the day, a day on the bike is still a good day.
As for my March update, my resolution was no sweets. For the most part, I did very well. I admit to sneaking in a few jelly beans yesterday. My mom dropped off some baked goods for me to take to the nursing home I visit and she not only put jelly beans on the cupcakes (not a good idea for hospice patients) but she then gave us the rest of them. I took as many as I could into work but had to pick the rest of them off. A few made it into my mouth before they hit the trash can. But if that was my only slip-up then I consider the month a win! April will be do drinking alcohol during the week. I'm not a huge drinker to begin with but with some stress lately, I've been having a beer or two during the week and it really isn't necessary. I'm a two beer/wine max gal so it's not a problem but it's not a bad thing to cut back on either.
Another change which has taken place this month is my family (my ex and myself acutally) are making some changes to how we eat in an effort to help my son. He has epilepsy and has had two seizures in less than three months. He's 17 and of course this means no driving. He gets angry about it and honestly, it's frustrating for his dad and me too since it was nice when he could get himself back and forth to work. Obviously we do what we have to but it really just sucks all the way around. In an effort to try to control the seizures though, we are instituting Operation No Processed Foods and Clean Eating. We aren't saints by any means but we are off to a good start and honestly, the effort is easier for me since I already eat fairly healthy anyway. (This should also be really good for my ex-husband as he always seems to have some medical issue he's fighting. Next week is hernia surgery. ) I love Kale chips and have switched to Almond milk; will be purchasing my meat from farmers who will deliver it to work and am a fan of spaghetti squash. We are getting as many of the processed foods out of our houses and eating more fresh items. Our hope is that elimiating as many preservatives and processed foods from my son't diet, it will help control the seizures. He did need to lose some weight and has dropped 8 pounds already so we are moving in the right direction. I do want him to learn to control his portions and to eat in moderation but soda (in any form) is the one item I have put my foot down and he is not to have any. Studies do show that soda and aspartame can be triggers for an epileptic episode. I've suggested to him, when faced with the temptation, to ask himself if a soda is worth not driving for another 6 months. My guess is he'll make the right choice.
I'm excited about how clean eating could potentially help us control his seizures. It's one of those deals where we don't know exactly why he has seizures or if he'll ever grow out of them. My fingers are crossed he will but in the meantime, we need to take control of what we can and his diet can make an impact and at the end of the day, it can't hurt him!
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