May 7, 2014

The Women’s Dressing Room is a Battlefield

I have been struggling with my body image more lately than ever before and I thought maybe if I made more of an effort to work on my appearance it might help me feel better about the way I look. That is why this weekend I went to one of my favorite department stores with the quest to buy a new dress for a future date night with officer P. 

As soon as I walked in the door I saw this adorable dress and grabbed it up right away!

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After walking around for a bit I decided to head to the dressing room to try it on and with visions of how it “should look” in my head I felt my heart sink a little. It didn’t fit right. The waist was not falling at my waist and was too tight. The fabric got staticky as I put it on so it clung weird as well. My legs and knees looked thick, I just looked horrible in it. This bad fitting quickly turned my excited mood into one of dread.

As I came out of the dressing room with my emotions written all over my face I waited for my sister to try on a shirt she had picked up. As I waited I saw a teenage girl come out of a dressing room with a stack of shorts and only handed her mom 1 pair. She had, what appeared to be, her whole family with her and as her mom questioned her as to why she was only getting the 1 pair she replied “because they are the only ones that look okay on me.” As her dad and sister chime in with suggestions and insisting that she try on more she started pleading with tears in her eyes that they just leave her alone and take her home, which they finally agreed to.

This left me sad and I had to fight back some tears myself. I felt bad for the girl who was probably close to 20 years younger then me, and certainly had a thinner body than mine, but appeared to be feeling the exact same way I was. I was sad that this is something that almost every women goes through over and over again throughout their lives and that we have learned to hate our bodies for what they are not, instead of loving them for all that they are. 

Since I was determined to buy a dress I went on a hunt for some more dresses to try on. After more wandering around I headed to another dressing room, since that first one was now tainted with bad juju, to try on some more dresses.

         Dressing room 2            Dressing room 3 

Sadly it was two more misses and I decided I needed a break so I headed over to housewares to look around for something for the new house.

After going up and down every aisle in housewares I found myself back in the clothing department. I decided to give it one more shot, and once again I headed into the dressing room with a couple of dresses in hand.

     photo 1            photo 2

Sadly, once again I struck out. I decided 3 strikes (and 2+ hours) and I was out so I went home with these beauties instead.

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Since I was unsuccessful in my mission I know I will have to head back to battle soon, but for now I am enjoying my shoes and trying to better prepare myself for round 2.

Have you ever had an unpleasant dressing room experience? How did you get over it and get back in there?

May 5, 2014

Random Updates Galore!

I know, I know I have been gone forever!! Life has been crazy here in Pixie land!

First of all I am finally in Houston!! and in my new house too!! The kids are back in public school, and officer P is home and today he starts back at his permanent duty location so things are finally settling down.

I told you. Lots going on!

Even though I had been keeping on eye on the weather I was surprised with quite a bit of snow on our road trip from California to Texas!! I wasn’t prepare for it, and it was the first time I have ever driven in that much snow, but it was so much easier to manage then the sand storms in west Texas!!

Thankfully we made it safe and sound and the kids were so happy to be back “home”!!

About a week and a half after we arrived in Houston all the papers were signed and I was handed an envelope full of keys to our new house!!

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Since then I have been busy unpacking, getting the girls settled in at school, and planning how I’m going to make the new house our “home”. This means a lot of time on Pinterest (do you follow me) pinning ideas.

Honestly, I really love it. At one point I had wanted to be an interior designer, then I realized I’m not that creative and can only copy other people’s ideas so I scratched that idea.

It’s going to take a very long time for me to get everything just how I want it, but I have already started my list of everything I need to make/ get and will be working through it little by little.

My first project was to turn these chairs and stained up cushions

photo 1          Yucky cushion

into this!! 

new chair

I painted the table to match and now I’m trying to commit to a centerpiece idea. I’ll keep you posted on that. ;)

repainted table

As for running, I’ve finally started to do that again. The new neighborhood is great for running, complete with sidewalks and nature trails, so I’m really looking forward to getting into a routine again! 

So there you have it. What I’ve been up to in a nutshell!!

March 17, 2014

Intuitive Eating: What it is & Why I’m Doing It.

I first heard of intuitive eating as a “thing” on a twitter chat a couple of months ago. It sounded interesting, but I didn’t really think any more about it until just before the Princess Half when I started researching it online. I then ended up buying the book “Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works” on my iPad to keep me busy on my flight back from Disney. I read through about a third of the book on my flight and have been slowly working through the rest as I can.

intuitiveeating

Simply put, diets do not work for me in the long run. Over the years I have tried a few and they all had the same thing in common, either they had long lists food restrictions, or in some cases the diet is so restrictive that they give a list of foods you are allowed to eat instead since that list is much smaller, or they require you to “count” your food.

Whether it be points, macronutrient ratios, or calories I absolutely hate counting my food. I see how keeping a food log can help one realize just how much they have or  haven’t ate, but what happens when you have eaten your allotted calories for the day and are legitimately still hungry? Here is where intuitive eating just makes more since to me. 

Much like it sounds, intuitive eating is all about learning to trust your body to tell you what, when, and how much to eat. It sounds simple enough, but unlike all the diets out there you can’t just print out a shopping list and be on your way. Instead there is a lengthy road ahead of you as you work through the 10 principles of intuitive eating.

DietPrinciple 1 is to reject the diet mentality. For many, years of dieting and watching everything that they eat has been ingrained into their brains so this principle can be a huge first step to breaking free from their serial dieting.

I haven’t been a huge dieter, although I have always “watched what I ate” for as long as I can remember. Kicking the diet mentality has gone pretty well for me, but I do find myself trying to revert back to some dieting “tricks” I picked up along the way every once in awhile. On the bright side I am more aware of them now so they are not as much of a habit as they use to be, and I realize what I am doing.

Principle 2, honoring your hunger, is where I am currently at. I feel I will probably be stuck here for quite awhile. After suffering from an eating disorder in my younger teen years, being hungry doesn’t bother me all that much so I have to relearn my hunger cues. Not only do I need to learn what my cues are, but then I also need to honor them. I am notorious for not knowing what I want to eat, which is usually more of a battle between what I really want to eat and what I feel I *should* eat, which leads to me delaying my meal until I am starving and then I eat anything and everything I can get in my mouth fast enough to try and catch up to my hunger.

Yes, we can all see the flaw in this method, yet I do it over and over again and I really seem to be surprised each time it happens.   

I will be covering the other 8 principle in future posts, as I am working on them myself, but a few things you should know, and keep in mind, about intuitive eating is that it is not so much a weight loss program as it is a listening to your body thing. Also your body has a natural weight, which probably will not be the weight you want it to be, so you have to dump the scale and trust how you feel.

born intuitive eaterThrough observations over the years I know that my body likes to hang around 145 lbs. That is a weight I can usually maintain easily and the weight my body tends to naturally fall back into time after time. For my 5’4” body that put me on the high end of normal, according to all the BMI charts, but about 10-15 pounds over what they feel my “ideal” weight is. I fully expect, that through intuitive eating, I will find myself right back at that weight but I am hoping to switch some of my fat weight over to muscle weight through exercise and weight training.    

Have you ever heard of or done intuitive eating before? What other “diets” or “lifestyle changes” have you tried in the past?

March 3, 2014

Focus T25, Take 4

This week I restarted Focus T25 for the forth time. The previous 3 times I made it about a week and a half and ended up quitting for various reasons, most of which were trips to Disney that interrupted my momentum. This time things are going to be different.

T25

First of all I am done with my race season until the fall, and I have no trips planned, other then my move to Houston next month!! So really there is little to get in my way this time.

I’ve also decided to take a different approach. I’ve been reading about intuitive eating (more on that to come) and I really like the perspective they advocate. They tell you not to exercise to count your calorie burn or to try and make your body mimic that of a fitness model, but instead to move your body and exercise for how it makes you feel. Yes, exercise can make me sore and tired, but it also makes me feel alive! I love the hint of sore muscles to know that I pushed myself and I can feel “change” happening. It also helps me to sleep better at night (remember that is one of my March goals).

Since I have been struggling to exercise regularly for over a year now I figure T25 is a great place to start.

I Got Time for That Sure, I use to do P90X yoga (an hour and a half) AFTER a 10 mile run when I was in my prime, but guess what. I’m not in my prime anymore so 25 minutes a day, 5 days a week seems like a pretty good place to start over at.

I fear one of my biggest struggles will be to drop the numbers. Today was day 1, and even though I took before pictures (so I can get my shirt for completing the program) I did not step on a scale or grab my tape measure. I’m hoping that by not having those starting numbers I will not be tempted down the road to get on a scale since I won’t have anything to compare it to anyway.

I know this goes against the norm, but if I am going to truly learn to enjoy and appreciate my body for all that it is I need to let go of the numbers. They don’t define my worth and they certainly shouldn’t define how I see myself. 

March 1, 2014

Project Me Update/ March Goals

I have not been posting much about Project Me lately and that is because I became a bit stuck with what to do next. Lucky for me while I was looking for a book to keep me occupied for my 4 hour flight to Orlando I came across “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin. As I read the subtitle “Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun” it reminded me very much of my own project currently underway. 

I will confesses I’ve only read about a chapter and a half so far, but just that little bit has helped me to get Project Me back on track. In the book she divided the things she wanted to work on into categories, and then assigned each category a month that she would devote to focusing on making the changes in that category before adding in the next category the next month.

March With today being March 1st it felt like the perfect time to set up my own set of goals to help bring me closer to becoming the person I want to be. Since I’ve decided I really need more balance in my life I plan to choose 1 or 2 [non-weight related] physical goals as well as 1 or 2 emotional/mental goals to work on each month.

I tend to have a rather *focused* personality so I like to go all in and then I burn out or get discouraged quickly; so I am really going to make an effort to keep it simple this time.

For this month I think I really need to work on my discipline since I’ve been finding myself falling more and more into complacency. I have a long standing quote I like to throw around

Don't Play Victim and this is what I feel like I’ve been doing. Yes, life is a bit of a challenge for me right now, but choices have been made that have brought me to this point and I need to just suck it up and deal with it.  

So here are the things I want to focus on for the month of March:

  1. SLEEP! I need to establish and stick with a decent sleep schedule to allow my body adequate rest.
  2. Move My Body! I sit around on my bum most of the day. I need to get back to being more active, even if I don’t follow a certain workout routine.
  3. Give myself a “time out” at least once a day to decompress and refocus my energy.
  4. Stop comparing myself to everyone else!

insecurity

Do you set time specific goals? What is something you want to work on about yourself in the coming month/months?

February 27, 2014

Princess Half: Views from the Back of the Pack

I’m going to be honest here, I was not looking forward to this race much. Especially once I heard the reports that the weather was going to be very similar to last years race I was pretty mentally defeated. But none the less I laid out my flat Summer the night before and decided I’d just get through it.

My alarm was set for 2:10am and I got up amazingly easy considering I had just gone to bed about 3 hours before that #WestCoastProblems. I got dressed and was headed down to the buses a little after 3. I was staying at the Dolphin hotel and there were only about half a dozen people on the bus when I boarded so we ended up waiting for the bus to fill up, about 20 minutes, before we took off.

PrincessHalfBus It was a very quick drive and I was in the EPCOT parking lot and on my way to the prerace staging area where I met up with DisBroad Kristen and DisBroad’s #1 fan Bonnie!! This was the first time I met either of them in person so I was pretty excited!! Quickly more and more of the DisBroads started to arrive and lots of pictures where being taken!

PHMPreRace 2014    DisBroad Kristen, Bonnie, DisBroad Patty, Me, and DisBroad Amy

DisBroad Amy and I were dressed as Alice and the Queen of Hearts so we took a few pics together and she demanded I curtsy to her. I now realize my curtsy needs some work. ;)

PHM Alice n Queen Yes Your Majesty

Eventually they started sending runners back based on the corrals they were assigned to. Since all of the Disbroads where in much lower corrals then me this was the last time I saw most of them. My friend, and running partner for the race, Kim and I held back until it was time for us back of the packers to head to the corrals as well.

I have to say being in the back of the pack was rough. Much like my Tink 10K experience we had no idea what was going on for most of the morning. We could barley hear the National Anthem and didn’t even know it had started until it was about half way through. We also stood there, not moving, for over half an hour after the first corral took off. This is because of the way the corrals were set up. They had to mostly clear corrals A-J before we could move over.  

PrincessHalfStart2014 Finally about 50 minutes after the start of the race we made our way to the start line!! At this point the countdown seemed pretty quick and we were off!! 

      PHM Mile1 PHM Mile2

After seeing the first mile marker I noticed that this year they were very different then the ones they used in the past years so I decided I was going to take pictures of all of them. That also helped me roughly guess how long each mile was taking us since I have shoddy running math.  

As if my moral wasn’t down enough the winner passed us coming back on the other side between miles 1 & 2. I knew this was expected to happen, but it was still rough to witness it. Thankfully before too long we came up to the Magic Kingdom sign, which Kim and I both accused of being false advertising. Having both ran the race before we knew we had a good 2 miles ahead of us before entering Main Street.

MagicKingdomPHM Pretty much the whole race was made up of us doing a run/walk combo of pretty much whatever I wanted, which ended up being way more walking then running. My watch was set for 2/1 run/walk ratios, but we very rarely followed it. It ended up being more of a run until we got blocked by a wall of walkers and then walked until we found a way round them.

PHM Mile3 PHM Mile4 PHM Mile5

After mile 5 is where the fun began. We were IN the park and this is always one of my favorite parts of the race! I had hoped to use the real restrooms, as I had in pervious races, but being this far back I just didn’t feel like we had the time to spare to stand in the lines that were out the door and snaking around a bit so we had to pass them by.

Running through the castle is always a highlight of the race, but for us running was not an option. Heck walking wasn’t even an option. We had to result to more of a shuffle as it was wall to wall people and a narrow passage to get them all through. Not to mention those trying for the pictures opts coming out of the castle either stopping to pose or make their way across the wall of people. It wasn’t pretty I tell ya.

PHM Castle back PHM Castle front

I had really wanted to get a pic with Royal Mickey and Minnie, but by the time I got to them in Fantasy Land I could not even see the end of the line that was at least about 50 people visibly deep. I have no idea how many where behind them that I couldn’t see and I knew I just didn’t have time to wait for it. In fact I ended up without any character pictures because the lines were just way too long.

PHM Mile6 PHM Mile7 PHM Mile8

It was very hot and humid. In fact I think Kim must be a saint for putting up with my complaints about the weather. I’m not even sure how many times I told her I was hot, and being from the Orlando area she did not seem to be struggling with it as much as I was.
I will give runDisney props, though, because the medics where all over us back of the packers like personal escorts from about mile 9 on.

PHM Mile9 PHM Mile10 PHM Mile11

From mile 10 on I really struggle with this course since that is where the “hills” come in. They are not real hills, but instead things like overpasses and on ramps and they seem to be back to back to back. After we were on the overpass a little bit after mile 10 we saw the infamous balloon ladies passing the mile 10 mark. In fact there was a lot of chatter around us as princesses were trying to determine if they were, in fact, the balloon ladies or not. I have heard rumors that if you make it pass mile 10 you are safe, and I would believe that to be true since I did not see any buses past that mark staged to take runner off the course. 

PHM mile12 PHM Spaceship Earth

After mile 12 we headed in EPCOT and even though we had intended to run the last mile or so straight through we opted to walk it since there was no room to run and the park was getting crowded. I saw the occasional park goer hopping the rope and walking onto the course. This didn’t make me feel to safe about trying to make a mad dash to the finish so we decided to just sprint the last .1 instead.

Right before we came up to the choir I spotted DisBroads Patty and Julie and they joined us for a little bit until they stopped for another picture op and we kept on moving! I had told Kim how I missed the choir the first year I ran it and it baffled her how I could have not noticed them so she made sure to point them out to me this time.

PHM Choir PHM Mile 13

Finally we saw the mile 13 sign so we stopped to take a pic and then it was a sprint to the finish line!! I saw Royal Minnie and her “handler” there and thought for half a second about stopping for a pic, but I was just too close to finishing now so I gave her a high five instead!

Once again I came in with another PW (personal worst) but I accomplished what I came there to do, which was to meet the rest of the DisBroads and to collect these little beauties!!

PHM Medals 2014

February 18, 2014

Time to Start Loving My Body

This post has been a long time coming. In fact I’ve been writing it in my head for at least a month or two. Although, in my head I kept wanting to add the word again. “Time to start loving my body AGAIN” but the truth is I’ve never really loved my body. Not as a size 5 in high school. Not as a size 12 after having the first couple of kids. Not as a size 6 a year and a half ago, and certainly not at the size 8 I currently am.

High School Skinny 1chubby 2001  Insanity 2012

The thing about chasing these arbitrary numbers is that it’s never enough. I’M never enough. I set my sights on a number and once I get there it wasn’t what I thought it would be. I didn’t see myself any different than the day, the week, or even the month before. Only after I gained weight again would I look back and think I didn’t look so bad “back then.”  I never realize it in the now. Ever.

Take these pictures from September 2012 as an example. I was a 133 lbs, the smallest I have been since graduating high school, let alone after having 4 kids!! I was at my “ideal” body weight according to those fancy charts that tell you those kinds of things, but do you know what I saw? Not a 6 pack, not 125 pounds on the scale. All I saw was the “not good enoughs.”

Sept 2012 sideview Sept 2012 

I often read blog posts and articles about the realization that we are more than our dress sizes or the numbers on the scale and I would nod my head in agreement. . . for *them*. This logic was very enlightening and completely accurate; for everyone but me.

I’m number minded. I *need* the data in cold hard numbers to know that I am making progress. Numbers don’t lie, that’s why I like them. They are concrete, but do you know what else I do with those numbers? I compare them to the numbers of others. When I lost 6 pounds doing 60 days of Insanity to get down to that 133 lbs it didn’t mean much because “everyone” else lost 10-15 pounds or more. Even other women with my same stats. Once again I just didn’t measure up.

comparison is a thief So as part of Project ME I am putting it out there that I AM good enough. I am going to take care of my body because I deserve it and I’m worthy of a healthy body. NOT because I need to lose 20 pounds. NOT because so-and-so is a size 4 while I’m a size 8 and NOT because those stupid charts tell me I’m overweight.

It’s time for me to prove to myself that I am more then all those numbers I’ve thrown out there.

Will you join me?

Love yourself

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