Day 543 – Funk

Well, we did not end up going to school Wed, and I think all of the indoor, non-teaching, treadmill time finally got to me. Wednesday and Thursday, I was in a funk. We ended up ordering pizza on Wednesday – which we almost never do! I also snacked on a fair bit of chocolate candy in the teacher work room on Thursday. It started with me just feeling really restless, but after eating crappy food, I started to feel bad all the way around.

I will be running outside this afternoon, so I’m thinking that will be a big help! Being stuck on the treadmill meant that I’ve run less than 10 miles in the last week, instead of my normal 20-ish. jan-6-12-caloriesjan-6-12-net-calories

I felt like my week went really well, until Wednesday and Thursday. Given those 2 days, I wasn’t too surprised to see the scale this morning.

3-scale-13-158-3-lbs

I’m not happy about the gain, but I’m not going to freak out about being up 0.9 lbs after 2 rough days during a week when I only managed to run half my normal miles.

I’m determined to pull things back together today!

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Day 536 – The post I should have written, yesterday

My chocolate indulgence, last night, was definitely emotionally fueled. Last month, I was invited to work with a local university professor to put together a proposal to present a national convention for English teachers. This is a big deal to me! I’m the only middle school English teacher in my building, and my principal is a former math teacher (so while she’s very supportive of what I do, she doesn’t always speak my language). I often feel… lonely… isolated… sealed off and occasionally even forgotten. I really think it’s the natural consequence that comes with the complete autonomy that I also have. I wouldn’t trade my teaching freedom for anything, so I deal with the isolation. I keep up with online teaching communities and meet with my teacher writing workshop group each month.

Anyway, having the professor get excited about something I’m doing in my classroom, and inviting me to put together a proposal was really exciting! I had to fill out a bunch of paperwork to persuade my principal and superintendent, but they agreed to let me go to the conference. I spent most of winter break working with the professor to put together our proposal, and then, on Wednesday, we submitted it!!!! We won’t know until April if it gets accepted, but seeing the proposal all put together and posted had me clapping my hands and jumping up and down with glee! I emailed the final proposal to my principal to share my joy and got…

no response

nothing

radio silence

All day, yesterday, I was checking my email; looking for an acknowledgement. My principal was in the building; why wasn’t she responding? On top of that, my kids completely failed at direction following. This is a very common middle school problem (it’s actually a chemical brain issue caused by their surging hormones – they are, frequently, literally, INCAPABLE of following 3-step directions). Most of the time, I accept this fact. I compensate by writing, saying, and having them repeat directions. I have them use hand signals to reinforce important directions, and I have strong and consistent classroom routines to limit the variation of daily directions. But yesterday, none of that was enough. It made me feel like a sucky teacher at the same I was feel invisible and forgotten.

I started to think that my presentation proposal was a stupid thing and not a big deal. I started to feel stupid for being so excited about it. I started to wonder if I’m deluding myself into believing that I’m anything more than a really crappy teacher. I found myself questioning everything I do, which led to me feeling stupid for “wasting” so much of my personal time in my classroom working on unit and lesson plans.

So I ate chocolate.

Today started off even worse. The details don’t really matter, but by lunch (which I did not have time to eat) I was ready to find a short pier where I could go for a long walk.

And then my principal walked into my room to do a surprise formal observation. (At this point, you should picture me standing at the front of the classroom, banging my forehead on the whiteboard and crying into the salmon salad I was trying to eat while teaching 6th grade science.)

Luckily, my principal is awesome (even if it sometimes takes her a little while). She walked around the room (we were doing a lab), talked to the kids, checked out what we were doing, and emailed me a nice list of compliments – including a few about my presentation proposal – and her only comment about me eating during a science lab was to say that my salad looked “delicious.” And that was all it took. My day got better. I quit feeling stupid, and my confidence came back. I’m not a perfect teacher, and I still have a lot to learn. But I also know that I’m not a total screw up. Sometimes, I just need someone with an outside perspective to reassure me that my hard work is worth it, that I’m moving and growing in the right direction, and that I’m not lost, invisible, or forgotten in my isolated little classroom.

I did not eat any chocolate tonight.

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I felt good about my food choices today! I ate because I was hungry, and my choices were healthy.

2-scale-6-jan-157-4-lbs

I also lost 2.3 lbs this week!

Day 522 – A quick update

Well, I survived the end of the fall semester! I even went out with a bang! The last Monday and Tuesday of school, I had 6th and 7th science doing back-to-back labs (6th was a chemistry lab & 7th was extracting DNA from Strawberries), and on Monday, that science lab craziness was immediately followed by a literature circle meeting involving 5th-7th grade discussing 6 different novels. Both afternoons, I felt like a crazed headless chicken trying to ensure no fires broke out, but it all totally worked! The kids had a great time, and we all kept busy enough that both days passed VERY quickly.

I’ve been enjoying a break from tracking, and my weight-loss has been relegated to the very back corners of my mind. I’ve still managed to mostly maintain my weight, and I’m still weighing in every Friday. In fact, I weighed in at 155.5 this morning – though I didn’t take a picture of it, because of that whole “It’s not the focus of my life right now” thing. Last week, I was 153, and I know this week’s gain was a direct result of obscene amounts of cookies, candy, and our giant faculty holiday meal on Wednesday. I’m reigning it back in and hope to see my weight back under 155 by next week.

I know my consistent running has helped me maintain my weight. I’ve run 4 days almost every week, and I’m consistently seeing a pace between 10 and 11 min/mile! I really want to see that drop by about 30 seconds, so that I’m frequently running faster than 10 min/miles. I want to finish my April HM in 2hr 10 min. That’s a big stretch, but it’s really driving me to keep running! Even if I miss the goal, I know the work I put into training will make me a better runner.

I’ve also had some exciting teaching news in the last couple weeks. It’s kind of a long story, but the short version is that I’ve gotten permission to attend the National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE) National Convention in St. Louis next November!!! (I’ve requested this before & been denied). The reason for the different response this year…

I’m working with a local professor to do some really cool stuff in my classroom this spring, and we’re submitting a proposal to present at NCTE (who knows if it will be accepted, or not).

Happy Holidays! I’ll be returning to a more regular posting schedule with the start of the new year, when I’ll also return to tracking every bite, every day.

Day 424 – Forgetting my birthday

Last Saturday, I spent about 4 hours at school, planning for this week. Since then, nothing has gone according to those plan – starting with me getting sick Sunday night. Thankfully, not all of it has been bad stuff! There’s actually been quite a few really awesome surprises and things that worked out better than I had planned for. But every time something happens, I adjust my “plan” around it. This week, that has meant I’ve felt scrambled, stressed, and always like I’m hanging on by my fingernails (Have I mentioned that I really like plans and struggle with change? My principal actually warns me before fire drills, because she knows how much it upsets me to have a lesson unexpectedly interrupted – she learned that my first year here when I was all dressed up as Gregor Mendel and conducting class in character, and she pulled the alarm… I FREAKED!  and had to stand outside in front of the whole school dressed as an Austrian monk.)

Anyway, in all of the choas, I’ve rarely known what day of the week it is, let alone the date! So when Hubby asked me if I wanted to do anything Thursday night, I was horribly confused by the question. After he got done laughing at me, he pointed out that it’s my birthday (and that he should get bonus points for remembering it, even though I forgot)! What’s even more awesome is everything people at school did for me. My 7th graders sang to me during homeroom; my 6th graders sang to me before lunch; the 5th grade teacher gave me some wildflowers; and our 1st grade teacher gave me a small plant! After school, I went for a beautiful 5 mile run in my new Brooks running shoes before Hubby and Little Man took me out for Mexican food and ice cream!

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After wearing Asics since Christmas, I wanted to change it up. I’d like to have 2 different go-to shoe models to alternate between, since I’ve read that I’m more likely to get blisters and have foot trouble if my feet are always pounding the pavement in the exact same shoe. I wore Brooks Ghost in college, but now I decided to try the newer Launch 3. They are much lighter than my Asics, but still really comfy. So far, I like them!

Unfortunately, that meant I had to weigh-in this morning, after eating Mexican food and ice cream!

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Don’t panic! This is after a night of the abnormal eating! It’s not as bad as it looks, and I have the numbers to prove it!

This morning made me REALLY glad I’ve been weighing daily and tracking my average in addition to my weekly weight.

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I often have plans Thursday night, so Friday morning tends to be my highest weight of the week. See how my weekly weight looks like it’s going up, but my average is actually much more stable!

Focusing on staying on-track with my eating this week meant that most of my weigh-ins were between 154 and 155 all week. The scale jumped this morning, because of last night’s choices. I enjoyed myself last night. It was a special occasion, and I celebrated it with about 2800 calories of my favorite foods. I’m not going to feel bad about, or avoid, celebrating my birthday just because it happened to fall on a Thursday night! I really want to get right back on-track, and I intend to continue posting it nightly. That helped me a lot this past week! Hopefully, next week week it will show on the scale – even on Friday!

Day 417 – This could have gone better

day-417

Yeah, this was not my best day for food choices.

I was crazy thirsty all day today, and I think some of my eating was actually me being thirsty and not drinking enough water.

I’m also just plain struggling right now. I just want to eat, and I’m having trouble stopping myself. I spent some time thinking about it this evening, and I’m not any hungrier than usual. I just want to eat more. I can’t come up with any particular reason why, but my thoughts kept returning to 2 things.

  1. The only way to fail is to quit. This is not the first time that this journey has been a struggle, and it won’t be the last (since I intend to continue this for the rest of my life). Like everything else, health, exercise, and eating will have seasons – times of ease and joy and times of struggle. I don’t quit teaching when it gets hard – I look for a great lesson and build on that. I don’t quit parenting when I feel lost and overwhelmed – I try different things until I find something that works. I’m not going to quit striving to be healthy just because it’s hard right now.
  2. I read a book last winter, and I can’t remember the title. It was written by a woman who had… some eating disorder… maybe bulimia? Yeah, I know, this is not the most helpful description. Anyway, the big point that she made was that we sometimes eat for NO reason. Sometimes it’s not emotional, or a coping mechanism, or anything else. Sometimes we just eat to eat. Sometimes eating just becomes a habit, and that habit starts to feel powerful because our “id” (the animal part of our brain) decides that we will DIE if we don’t continue this habit. The author points out that the id is a moron. I don’t think she says it quite like that, but she explains that the id has zero sense, logic, or grounding in reality. It is our “instinct,” so it’s based on nothing. She suggests that SOMETIMES, eating is simply an instinctual habit that we need to break. All we really need to do is tell our id to shut the hell up and ignore it.
    •  (Please note that eating disorders are real and often require real treatment and real therapy. I am NOT saying that they can be “cured” by telling your id to shut up. I’m saying that I, personally, identify with this idea, right now. I, personally, feel that my own current eating challenges fall into this category of instinctual habit. I have not been binge-ing or gorging or purging. I don’t feel that there is any emotional basis for my current eating struggles, and I think my weeks of heavy running did help me create a habit of eating 1800-2000 calories/day instead of my more appropriate 1200-1600.)

With all of this in mind, I am setting 2 very clear and simple goals for tomorrow. I will drink at least 80 oz of water tomorrow, and I will ignore my id. I’ll plan out my meals for the day, and then I WILL STICK TO THE PLAN! For 24 hours, I will grit my teeth and remember that my id is an idiot. I will not let a neanderthal ruin my health, and I will start to change my habits. One. Day. At. A. Time.

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Yeah, that’s almost a 2 lb gain!

I know it sounds stupid, but it never ceases to surprise me when what I eat is directly reflected on the scale. Even though I ran 13.1 on Sunday, I probably should not have eaten 2 pieces of cheesecake, half a Domino’s pizza, and half an order of cheesy bread, in addition to my protein bar and Gu’s.  Though, it wouldn’t have a been a big deal if I had stopped there. The daily brownies, chocolate bars, and extra portions at dinner this week are probably what really did me in.

In any case, what’s done is done. I’m moving forward.

Day 411 – Scales, storms, & computers

I have a laptop! It’s my OLD school computer, but it works. I’m so grateful that the tech person in my building was willing to give it back to me! (Even better, is that she’s letting me have it “indefinitely,” so I can set it up as a station in my classroom even after I get my laptop back!)

Of course, there’s Hermine to contend this weekend, but unlike last year (when I FREAKED that it might rain during our run), I’m thrilled that we’ll be running under a cloudy sky in lower 70’s temps!!! The storm is hitting the beach as I type this, so we’re delaying our drive a bit. Instead of arriving in VA Beach around noon, we’ll pull into town closer to 3. It will still be crazy windy and storming, but… what can you do? (I’ve been training for this for a YEAR! I’m running tomorrow, even if it means I have to drive out from midnight to 5 am!!)

I did weigh in yesterday. I can’t get the picture to load right now, and since that’s the worst tech issue I’m dealing with, I’m ignoring it and celebrating that I have a laptop and internet! I weighed-in at 154.8 which is something like 1/2 a pound less than last week!

I feel like I have a good plan for tomorrow, and barring any issues while traveling today, I think it will be a great run and an enjoyable weekend.

Day 398 – The joy of a camper!

I’ve been camping for the last 2 nights, and I’m not tired! This is huge! I actually slept as well while camping as I would have at home! I officially LOVE our camper – and I never thought I’d say that. I actually used to make fun of people who “camped” in a camper; if it wasn’t a tent, it wasn’t real camping. Well, sign me up for fake camping, because my almost-34-year-old back has stopped believing in “real” camping.

Friday night was outright ugly. Over the last 11 years, Hubby and I have gotten really good at tent camping. We each have our own jobs and always know who’s doing what. This allows us to go from campsite arrival to fully set-up and enjoying dinner in no more than 45 minutes. The camper was a bit different. Setting up the camper only took 1 minute – LITERALLY! (A-frames are awesome like that!) But everything was packed differently than how we usually have things arranged. We usually pack using a series of totes arranged in a specific way that allows them to fit easily into a bear box while allowing us convenient access to everything we need. That system doesn’t work when there’s a camper and no bear box. This meant that we had to keep going back and forth between the truck and the camper trying to find everything we needed. It also meant that we were tripping over each other which led to us bickering (because at 7:30 on a Friday night, when dinner has yet to be served, even grown adults will bicker!) A full 90 minutes after arriving at our camp site we finally sat down to eat.

Things improved instantly once we’d eaten. Little Man was thrilled to sleep in the camper, and we all got a really good night’s sleep.

Saturday, we decided to go to a ranger program before hiking a couple miles of the Appalachian Trail. The ranger program was about birds of prey, and we even got to see a red tailed hawk! I almost always love ranger programs, but this wasn’t one of the best. The ranger was not as experienced or informed as I’m used to, but he was still awesomely nice and very entertaining (I think I’ve gotten to see some exceptional ranger programs this past year and may have become a bit spoiled). My son loved this ranger, and thought the program was great!

The bird had been hit by a car and can’t fly any more. They have kept the bird wild, so it doesn’t have a name. It was beautiful to see, and I was amazed to learn that this guy only weighs 2 pounds!

Hiking was fun, though we didn’t go far. Of course, we roasted marshmallows and played cards Saturday evening. Once we got up this morning, we packed up and headed home.

Overall, I’m happy with my eating this weekend – even if I didn’t do my long run!!! It’s okay, though, I’m going to run it tomorrow evening after school.

Day 398

I did run today, but it was 3 miles – not 10. Meh, it’s okay.

My weigh-in on Friday was… about what I expected. I mean, really, I cannot eat almost a dozen, huge chocolate chip cookies and expect not to gain weight.

51 Scale Aug 19 156.6 lbs

I’m still down from where I was 2 weeks ago, so it wasn’t too bad. I figure with school starting, this is really not a big deal. I know it will drop right back down as I settle into the school routine over the next couple weeks.

Day 389 – Can thinking burn calories?

50 Scale Aug 12 155.2 lbs

This is a loss of 2.3 lbs!!! Getting back to my school routine is apparently good for my weight loss!

I was a bit shocked by this loss! I don’t feel like I was any more active than usual (I’ve been sitting in meetings or working at my desk all week), and while my eating has been on-track this week, it’s not that different from how I’ve been eating. This leads me to wonder a few things:

  • Could thinking burn calories? I swear my brain has been working so hard on lesson plans, smoke has been coming out of my ears. Could this somehow contribute to weight loss?
  • Am I sometimes eating more than I realize? I always eat the same oats for breakfast, and I always measure them out. One of the things that changed with my return to school is that I’m back to packing my lunch each day. This means I make food on Sunday, measure it out for each day, and eat the same thing for at least 3 or 4 days of the week. Perhaps this consistency has brought additional accuracy with it, as well?

Whatever the reason may be, I’m glad to be back to a nice routine. It’s also nice to see my weight going down again!

Day 389

I have no regrets or concerns about this.

I was hungry today! Most of those extra calories came from having a second helping of fish and rice with dinner. The food was pretty healthy, I just ate more of it, because I was hungry. I am thinking of it as carb-loading for my 10 or 11 mile run on Sunday (I don’t really need to carb load, but the rice was yummy, I was hungry, and I’m happy I ate it!).

Day 384 – Back on track with a tough 10 miler

I managed to pull off my full 10 miles this morning! The last mile was brutally tough, but I did it! I’m not sure that I’ll do my planned 11 miles next week. I may just do another 10 to get more comfortable at that distance, but we’ll see.

Aug 7 10 miler

It was a good run! I’m starting to feel better about my half marathon.

About 2 miles into my run my mp3 player died, so I ran to the sound of the river. I expected it to bother me more than it did. I never run without music, but I almost didn’t notice it was missing today – at least until that last mile, or so. It would have been really nice to have some music then!

I did weigh in this morning, as well. I was SO happy to see the scale read the EXACT SAME as I did the Friday before we went camping.

49 Scale Aug 7 157.5 lbs

l’ll take it!

I kept my eating on track today – though I should point out that’s relatively easy to do on a day when I run 10 miles!

Day 384

I really like getting to eat more on long run days.

Other than my run, I have done nothing today. I played Minecraft and Candy Crush. I took a brief nap. Basically, I’ve been as lazy as possible while enjoying my last day of freedom.

Tomorrow morning, I’ll set my classroom back up. Then I get to spend the afternoon with 2 of my favorite teachers. We’re doing some joint planning, and I’m really excited about the ideas we’ve come up with! In some ways, I’m looking forward to getting back to a normal routine.

Day 368 – Travel under control

I have felt REALLY good about my eating for the past week! I’ve been happy with my choices, and it makes me feel better about myself in so many ways. I’m not willing to veer from my very happy path, so I’m trying not to view our current vacation as a vacation from healthy eating. Luckily, we’re visiting friends who really enjoy healthy food, so they’ve already planned meals like grilled salmon with a pasta and veggie salad (which was AWESOME!).

Day 367

I’ve been feeling so much better since I got my eating back under control this week. I’m in a better mood, and I have more energy!

I’ve gotten back to a more regular running schedule, too. My knee seems to be tolerating it pretty well, and while I can tell that I’ve lost some of my fitness in the last couple weeks, I have a plan to end up reasonably prepared for my half marathon. I’m trying to rebuild slowly, so as not to infuriate my knee again. I did 1 mile on Monday, 2 miles on Wednesday, 3 on Thursday, and 3.6 this morning (I planning on doing 4, but it started to storm). We’re going to Cedar Point Amusement Park tomorrow; then I’ll try 6-7 miles on Sunday and rest on Monday.

Today, I also got an email from MapMyFitness that really shocked me! I know it’s connected to both my Garmin and the old C25K app I used to start running last year, so it has ALL of my running records. I didn’t realize just what that would add up to, though.

mapmyrun fitaversary

I would not have guessed that I’ve run 521 miles and burned more than 50,000 calories! It’s hard for me to even wrap my mind around that!

I weighed in before we left town, yesterday. I only lost 0.3 lbs this week, but with how far off track I was at the start of the week, I’m ok with it. I keep telling myself that the scale will go down more next week, if I keep making healthy choices through this trip!

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I’m really tired of being stuck between 157 & 160. I’m proud of myself for maintaining my weight this summer (If I hadn’t been paying attention, I’m sure I would have gained!), but I’m ready to get back to seeing the scale go down.