Sunday, May 5, 2013

What I've been up to and a shift in focus

It's been a really long time since I've written anything here, and even longer since I wrote anything of substance. So, I thought I would give you a quick rundown of what's been going on in my life.

1. I will be finishing my Masters in Instructional Technology at the University of Akron in August. I graduate on Saturday, August 17th and have orientation for a Ph.D. program at Kent State University three days later. My career has taken a huge turn. While it's all going really well, I am heading out into uncharted waters into a field I didn't even know existed 2 years ago. People keep telling me I'm really good at it, so I'm going to keep going.

2. As part of my Master's portfolio I started a second blog: An English Teacher Techie. The intended audience is 7th-12th grade and college teachers who want to learn about using technology in their teaching. Feel free to drop in and say hello.

3. February 1st was the official anniversary of me starting my vegetarian journey. In the past year I have learned a lot about food: what makes me feel good and what doesn't, how to vegetarian-ize just about any recipe, and how to eat at restaurants without unwanted surprises (Hint: almost all Mexican rice is made with chicken broth, and my stomach can really tell).

4. My son's father and I have decided that while my son's daycare does provide breakfast, lunch and a snack that we were unhappy with the food choices they were offering. But, since we love everything else about the school we decided to pack his food rather than finding a new daycare. And this kid has weird food preferences: He will eat coconut crusted shrimp with cocktail sauce and banana peppers straight out of the garden but he won't eat spaghetti-o's (the organic Trader Joe's kind) or rice in any form. 

5. From October-January I lost 20 lbs by meticulously counting calories and spending an hour in the gym two or three times a week. Then, I got really sick, and I switched jobs, and I started taking 3 grad classes instead of 2 like last semester, and I discovered Popcorners Kettle Corn chips (seriously, they must put crack in those things), and I've gained 5 of it back. I have always felt weird about my weight because while  I don't particularly hate the way I look, I have always really felt that my physical appearance is not something that defines me. 

But,  I started trying to loose weight because the last month I was pregnant I had to get a test every week to make sure the baby was moving as much as he should be. They told me this was because a miscarriage is more likely for obese women. I had known that most of my adult life that I wasn't skinny, but no doctor or anyone had ever used the bit "O" word or told me I needed to eat healthier and exercise. 

I was too pregnant at the time do worry about it, and then I was a new mom and didn't have time to worry about it. When I accidentally became a very strict vegetarian, the original goal was to eat healthier. It was my second of several monthly goals that ended up completely changing my life so much that I got overwhelmed and stopped making changes after the third (or fourth? I can't remember) month. I still don't eat meat and I still meditate (which had been another goal). 

But, there are a lot of crappy foods that are vegetarian. And Diet Coke is also vegetarian. And, while I am cutting back on dairy, I don't know if I will ever actually do the vegan thing, so cheese is still very much vegetarian (mostly, but that's a different post). 

So, I'm back up 5 lbs with no end in sight to how busy I am or a magical increase in being able to squeeze in hour long workouts. And I still cook constantly but end up eating cheese quesadillas and soft pretzels from Sheetz a few times a week. And I feel sluggish and tired and starting to get stomach aches again. It's time to get back on the self-improvement train and to further the things that I know make me feel good. 

So, rather than trying to make time for things that I know I will never have time for right now, I've got two new goals in mind for this month:
1) Stop eating when I'm not hungry
2) Take the stairs at work (I'm on the 5th floor) and go for a walk a few times a week. 

One of my favorite sayings is: You can't throw a bad habit down the stairs, you have to walk it down one step at a time. 

The big steps worked last time in a different context. It's time to start walking my impulses to eat when I'm not hungry and using my busy schedule as an excuse back down the stairs so I can gain control of my life again.