Wednesday, January 28, 2015

My life, as told by T. Swift

Monday was one of those days. Nothing went right. I mean, nothing. And it was kind of my fault.

I have this theory about bad days. A lot of times they start as soon as we wake up. We stub our toe getting out of bed. Our dog jumps on our head while we’re sound asleep (just me?). Our alarms don’t go off. We rip a hole in our tights. It happens. But it’s how we choose to face the rest of the day that make a difference. I think we have the ability to turn them around.

And Monday, I didn’t choose to do that. I just wallowed in my grumpalupagus state. The thing that set me off was not my dog, or my tights, or my alarm or stubbing my toe.

It was the scale.

It’s just not moving. I have counted my points. Watched my carbs. And worked my butt off at the gym. I know my body. It’s just not reacting like it normally does—and I’m frustrated. I know, it’s not all about the scale. I’m trying to focus on other successes, but I’m having a little trouble seeing them.

The day started with the scale. Then I realized, as I was driving to work, that my dress was on backward. Little things like that continued to plague me all day. I was grateful to head to my local Y for my favorite Monday class after work.

Except I couldn’t find a parking space. Not one single parking space in the entire gym parking lot. And people by the dozen were driving around waiting for spaces. I finally gave up. I ended up going to another Y for a later class (but almost left when I realized class was a half hour later than I thought).

But Zumba made it a little better. A little. Because I got some insight from a guitar-playing, golden-haired angel named Taylor.

I’m not going to lie. I have developed a new love for sweet little Taylor Swift. So when I walked into class, I thought, this has been the crappiest day. I hope we do the routine to “Shake it Off.”

And we did.

As I shook it off—or at least tried to—I realized that Taylor was singing to me. Ah, the magic of T. Swift. She sings our happiness and our pain. Right? Or something.

But hear me out. You all know the song. Even if you hate it. Even if you try to hate it, but can’t. It gets stuck in your head like a happy little earworm.

'Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play

And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate

Baby, I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake

Shake it off, I shake it off

Heartbreakers gonna break, break, break, break, break

And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake

Baby, I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake

Shake it off, I shake it off

OMG, you guys! Taylor just, like, totally gave me an epiphany. *I* am the player. *I* am the hater.  *I* am the faker. *I* am the heartbreaker. Coo coo ca choo.

But seriously. I am destroying myself with hating and breaking my heart with my own choices. Because when the scale was mean to me, you know what I did? I sabotaged. Ate a bunch of crap. Who does that hurt? Me.

So. I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake. Shake it off.

Because, seriously self, why you gotta be so mean?

Thanks, Tay-Tay.

P.S. Old weight? We are never ever ever getting back together.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Colonial child? Or rapper up in herre?

Nelly/Nellie. It’s what I call her. She’s more a mean girl to my Laura Ingalls than a Band-Aid-wearing rapper from the early 2000s, but she’s there all the time. It’s my fervent wish to rid myself of her for good this year. It’s my top goal. My absolute priority. Be gone, Negative Nelly.

Today Nelly has been relentless. She’s beating me up for not losing enough weight this week. I worked my booty off last week. My food was on plan, I worked out pretty hard several days a week and took my dog for a walk on the days I didn’t. And I let myself have a little indulgence at my best friend’s birthday dinner on Saturday, but only after I went to my hardest workout class that morning. 

And I lost 4 pounds.

Um, yo Nelly (sorry, maybe she is, in fact, the rapper?), shut up—4 pounds is pretty acceptable. More than acceptable, even. It’s kind of awesome.

So why isn’t Nelly letting me believe that?

Instead, she’s reminding me that I changed into workout clothes for this week’s weigh-in, but not last week’s. Those clothes from last week could have added more, so maybe I didn't lose all 4 of those pounds. She’s telling me that 4 pounds are nothing compared to how far I have to go. Oh, and by the way, don’t forget you’re getting married in less than a year, she says. She likes to add a #fatbride hashtag, too. After pulling my pigtails.

I am doing everything I can to combat Nelly. I’m going to therapy. I’m talking it out with friends. I’m reading a new devotional about confidence. I hate that this is even an issue—that I can’t seem to shake her.

Honesty. It’s what I always strive for with this blog. So I have to be honest about my negative voice, while knowing that I can’t let it control me or even this site. I’ve let that happen far too long.

Do you guys have a way to beat your inner critic? I’m thinking duel to the death. Or maybe a dance off.

Friday, January 16, 2015

These are a few of my favorite things—finally

It’s Friday, and I’ve had a good week. I woke up this morning feeling sore, but proud. I’ve managed to get in several really good workouts this week, and am planning to incorporate some activity into the weekend, too. My food also has also been steadily on plan. So far, so good.

I promised you last week to do a favorites post. So, a week later, here are a few things I’m loving.

Incredible! Edible! Eggs!

I love a hardboiled egg. Easy breakfast. Perfect snack. Yummy on a salad. Better yet? It comes in its own natural container. But that container has caused me a lifetime of grief. I’m a terrible egg boiler. Is it possible to screw that up? Well, I do. I have Googled and tried to figure out the best method. I have tried putting the eggs in before the water boils. I have tried boiling the water with the eggs already in it. I have dunked them in ice water. I have done it all, and I’ve yet to find one works-every-time method. I’ll end up with greenish yolks. Yolks not done all the way. And the worst—shells that refuse to peel and take half the egg with it when you finally get it off.

No more.

Enter the Egg Genie. Yes, it’s an As Seen on TV product. Yes, there’s a silly infomercial for it. And yes, it seriously works. I LOVE this thing. You simply poke a tiny hole in your egg with the little needle attached to the egg tray. Fill up the water to the appropriate line of the enclosed cup, pour in the water, plug it in and wait. The result is eggs perfectly cooked to your liking. They always peel without any trouble, and I don’t have to watch them or worry about them in the pot. I love this thing. I got mine on Amazon, but I think I’ve seen them in a few stores in their As Seen on TV section. Trust me. You need one. Fair warning—when the eggs are cooked, it gives off a weird sound. Not like a typical alarm. It freaks my dog out every time. But maybe your dog isn’t as prone to fits of barking as mine is.


Could this be the most boring favorite ever? A type of lettuce? No! Arugula is NOT boring. It’s a little bit spicy and yummy and a perfect addition to salads. Lately, I’ve been buying arugula just to sprinkle in my normal spinach salads. I find the taste of arugula to be a little strong on its own, but I love the peppery punch of flavor it gives to a blah salad. A little spinach, a little arugula, a few blue (or bleu, if you’re fancy) cheese crumbles, some dried cranberries, a few toasted almond slivers and some olive oil and balsamic vinegar and you’ve got my perfect salad.

Shrimp and Grits

True confession: I’ve never really eaten grits. Though my birth roots are in Michigan, I moved to Georgia in fifth grade, and am, therefore, mostly Southern. But I’d kind of resisted grits all the same. When I go to brunch places, I pick the potatoes over the grits. One night, my precious mother-in-law-to-be, a tried and true Southern lady (with a lovely accent, to boot), had us over for dinner and made shrimp and grits. I am still winning points, so I didn’t say I wasn’t a fan of grits or hadn’t really eaten them, like, at all. Instead I smiled when she told me what we were having. And then? I gobbled those suckers up like it was my last meal. Holy delicious. I decided I needed this dish in my life immediately. Since then, it’s been my restaurant go-to, and I’ve found a healthy recipe to make it at home. Bless my sweet li'l heart.

Bonus Beauty Fave!

I love being a girl. We get to surround ourselves with so much prettiness (though I know and love a few boys who also do this, so no gender disrespect meant). I’ve always been a bit of a product junkie, and nail polish is one of my favorites. I’ve made a little resolution in 2015 to work on my nails, which are typically weak and peeling, to make them stronger. I’m pretty OK at painting my own nails and rarely get manicures (but bring on the pedis!), because it ends up peeling off so quickly and seems a waste of money.
Day four of my manicure. Still perfect!

Enter Gelous. You can only find it at Sally Beauty Supply, and it’s meant to recreate the look and staying power of the uber-popular gel nails that are all the rage these days. I, a self-proclaimed sergeant in the Sun Police, refuse to get these kinds of manicures, as you have to put your hands into what are essentially mini tanning beds. No thank you. The trick with the Gelous is to sandwich your polish with it. I do a base coat (right now I’m using Nailtiques for the strengthening factor), coat of polish, Gelous, coat of polish, Gelous, and finally, top coat (loving Out the Door right now—also found at Sally). 
I went FIVE days without so much as a chip on my polish. Pretty incredible for someone like me who can barely go two hours without chips and peels. This stuff is amazing.

Do tell. What are you loving right now?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Food envy

I've started back in earnest this week. This week. As in yesterday. And already I want to eat all the things.

I went to lunch with some co-workers. In an effort to be healthy, I had a side salad and a small cup of soup.

And you know what? I'm kind of mad at it.

I make myself laugh. I mean, I'm on Day Two. And I'm dying. But as I watched a co-worker eat a burger, and another eat tator tots (I stole one of those), I got mad at my body. Mad that I have to deal with this. Mad that I've already done this once and have to do it again. I hate it. I want to be that person who never has to watch what she eats. Who never has to worry about exercise or whether something will fit.

But I'm not that person. And I've got to start accepting it.

So. Today at Weight Watchers, I weighed in—and I'd stayed the same from last week. This is a blessing. Trust me. I didn't have the greatest week food-wise. I felt a little under the weather, so I didn't really exercise. So I didn't really earn a loss.

Next week will be different. Even if I'm mad. I'm on it. It's 2015. I'm getting married in 2015. And I'm not about to do that with regret.

Even a burger and tator tots isn't worth that, right?