Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Writing Itch

I've got the itch to blog again. It's been hitting me hard over the last few weeks. Maybe this marks my return to my dusty blog!

I think this itch is coming from the place that made me redo my whole office last year-- I'm not a teacher anymore, but this time of the year makes me want to start fresh, just like I did whenever I redid my whole syllabus and classroom over the month of August. By the way, I've kept up the cleanliness of my office, although a few piles are carefully placed around the room. However, it is exponentially better in this room this year versus the last seven years.

I've got a few new projects I'm going to tackle over the next few months. I need new blog-writing fodder. If my life improves because of these projects, I won't complain.

1. I'm tackling the Whole 30 Program starting the day after Labor Day (in between business trips). I travel quite a bit for work now and I work odd hours-- my eating patterns have turned to complete poo. Like I feel like poo because of my poopy eating patterns. I want to see if I can do this program for 30 days. Plus, I think I have a serious issue with sugar and maybe this will break me of it. It doesn't seem that difficult. I kid, I kid, it seems impossible. I mostly want to learn some stuff about my body. How does it operate when it's being treated like an award winning race horse as opposed to the penny horse at Meijer?
This doesn't look fun, but I feel like a challenge!
2. I'm forcing myself to learn how to balance my crazy busy schedule with self-care. How will I attempt this? I don't know. I'm getting a new planner that might help me... it's not just a planner-- it's an ACTION planner. This means that I will learn to utilize every minute of my work day, right?  I just have to write in it. I'm down to try! I don't want to establish the same unhealthy workaholic habits in my new career as I did when I was a teacher.
3. Speaking of self-care, I'm going to continue doing yoga with my role model, Adriene Mishler. Despite the crazy changes in my life since January, doing yoga with my girl Adriene has remained a constant in my life-- almost every day since January started. Actually practicing yoga daily has made me more aware and appreciative of my body, has built my back into a stronger and more flexible one, and has calmed my anxiety. I lurve it.
My virtual BFF. I see her every morning. 
4. I've got to figure out how to clean my house in bits in pieces instead of spending my whole freakin' Saturday or Sunday cleaning. I'm going to try one of these home cleaning schedules that fancy women who probably have sparkling clean homes that smell like lemongrass (and sparkling white teeth that they've whitened on their own with their own homemade whitener) post on their blogs. Specifically this one:
Lemongrass-smellin' house here I come!
I suppose you could say that this year's not-going-back-to-school redo project is focusing on upping my quality of life.

We'll see how it goes...

Sunday, March 29, 2015


Whew, I haven't posted in forever. Things got pretty crazy for me in February and March. 
My position changed at my job, which was unexpected. It is really cool, but unexpected and has brought about many feelings. 

The thing with feelings is that I eat my feelings. Excited? Eat. Happy? Eat. Stressed? Eat. Worried? Eat. Eat all the feelings. 

April is almost here and I stepped on the scale today to find that I've put on almost ten pounds in two months. This is what happens when you eat all the feelings. 

I joined a Facebook group about making simple changes every day. That is going to be my focus this month as I get used to a new routine. Drinking water, getting 10,000 steps a day, cutting out the refined sugar, and working out on the regular. These are all things I usually do-- I just really let the ball drop over the last two months. My body is feelin' it and it hurts. 

I'm going to try and write about getting it together this month. If the writing doesn't happen I'm sorry, but not sorry! Things are crazy, but it's good to know my little space on the internets is still here. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

30 Days of Yoga: Days 11-20

Well... I am addicted to yoga. I blame it on days 11-20 of this 30 Days of Yoga Challenge. Here are five things about days 11-20:

1. I am sleeping through the night-- deep and restful sleeps. I think it's the yoga.
2. I still haven't had any alcohol. I'm not giving it up for good because, why? It has been nice to detox, but I didn't really have a lot to detox from. I think I just liked the challenge. I can't wait to have a Two Hearted next week.
3. My pants are looser and my clothes are fitting the way I like them to fit. It could be from the no alcohol, or it could be from the constant yoga. We'll see when February hits!
4. My lower back still hurts every day, but the pain isn't as severe as usual. I decided on the day that I took the picture of the hyacinth bulb in the vase that I'm going to do yoga every day until the bulb blooms. Maybe my back pain won't be there anymore either. A fresh flower and a fresh back-- sounds like a good deal to me!
5. I went to hot yoga with my sista and sista-from-another-mista on day 17. Hot yoga is really disgusting and it doesn't really feel like yoga to me. I don't think yoga should make you feel so dizzy and gross. However, the minute it was over, I felt cleansed. It's all very confusing. I still don't think it's really yoga.

Bonus #6: God, my dogs are cute. Best yoga buddies ever.

In other news, the goal is to have my book proposal submitted to the publisher by the 31st. My brotha-from-another-motha is checking over the last sample chapter and then I'm sending it off. I care but don't care if it gets accepted. I just want to send it in so that it's done! That was the good thing about today's hot yoga session. I visualized myself finishing the proposal and emailing it to my bro instead of passing out from the heat. Then I actually sat down at my computer and did it-- after a long shower to rinse the rivers of sweat off of me, of course.

Monday, January 12, 2015

30 Days of Yoga: The First 10 Days

When I was eighteen, I was really into yoga and practicing three to four times a week. I could get into some complicated poses like crow and plow. I felt pretty good about yoga. During this time, I was also mediating a few times a week and I was so good at focusing and quieting my mind! Granted, I didn't have a smart phone that I felt too attached to-- just my mind and the space I was in.

I wanted to get back into yoga, so fast forward to me to thirty-one. As of Sunday, I've done yoga for ten days in a row. This is the most yoga I've ever done in my life, but I am no where near as flexible as I once was. That's okay. I'll keep working on it. I tried to meditate on Friday and I fell apart. There was too much happening in my mind-- how were the roads after all of the snow? Would I have to go into work? What about the evening? What was the plan? Ugh. It was exhausting, but that's okay. I'll keep working on it.

Despite the meditation failure, this has been quite an interesting ten days. I only have eight pictures because I didn't start recording this challenge until a few days in. I've already gotten quite a lot out of this practice:

1. I tried something new and painted my nails. This might sound like a shallow feat, but it was FUNN (Functional Understanding Not Necessary). :)
2. I spend every morning with Hannah the dog. Nipsy is not a yoga buddy-- I think the poses scare her away, but Hannah? She wakes with me every morning, follows me downstairs, and finds a way to be a part of my practice. I love having this little ritual with her. I was feeling bummed around the December because December tenth was our eleventh anniversary of adopting her. If it was estimated that she was three or four when we got her then, well, she's so old. I'm trying to enjoy all of my time with her and this is the perfect way to do it.
3. I improvised. I didn't have a yoga block, so I used an empty box of Kleenex. This made me laugh.
4. I drank more water and tea over the last ten days. That's just plain good for your health.
5. I decided since I'm devoting so much time to yoga over the next thirty days that I should just do a full body detox and not drink. I don't know if I'm going to last, especially because it's Kalamazoo Beer Week, but I just want to see if I can do it.

Here's to the next ten days! These are my favorite videos from the first ten days:
I have terrible back issues and I can tell Adrienne has had them too by the careful way she protects the back. I did the video on days 5-9 too. 

This video left me sweating and I really felt the detox happening! I can't wait to get better at these poses. 

Anyone else tackling this challenge? How is it going? 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Chest Tummies

Just wanted to write an interaction that occurred between my three-year-old niece and me after Christmas dinner because it makes me smile every time I think about it.

My three-year-old niece had been pressing on my chest and staring at my boobs for almost the whole afternoon of Christmas Day. I get it, I wanted to tell her. They're huge.
        "Aunt Jen, what's in your tummies?" she asked in her little girl voice.
        "Well, we just ate, " I explained, "so my tummy is full of steak!"
        "Noooooooo," she said, "what's in your CHEST TUMMIES?" Then she pulled my shirt down.
        "These?" I asked, pointing at my breasts while holding the neck of my shirt up, since she was trying her hardest to pull it down again, "These are boobs." I pointed at her chest. "You have them too. They'll get bigger when you start growing up."
         My niece stared at me incredulously. She grabbed the neck of her shirt and looked down at her chest. Then she fell back on the couch laughing and screaming, "NOOOOOOOOOO!"
          I started laughing too. "Kid, you have no idea."

30 Day of Yoga is going really well. I'll give you an update this week! 

Monday, January 05, 2015

30 Days of Yoga?!

In my last whiny post, I wrote about how I've been sick for too long. That means I haven't worked out the way I like to work out in nearly three weeks.
Me on the inside (and eventually outside) without workouts.
Something I have been able to stick with is Yoga with Adrienne. She has a very helpful and comforting Yoga for When You Are Sick video that accompanied my pile of kleenex and cups of tea over the last few weeks:
I've written about this fantastic YouTube channel before and was pumped to see that she was starting a 30 Days of Yoga Challenge for the New Year. She'll be releasing a video each day for the whole month. Part of me is like, "Yoga every day?! Nope." The other part of me is up to the challenge of trying to do yoga every day for a month-- I'm curious if I can stick to it and how flexible I'll be after thirty days of focusing on yoga.

I just finished Day 4 and I love the way I feel already! In college I was really into yoga and meditation, but as I started getting into life I became more of a casual yogi. Sometimes I forget how much healthier I feel mentally, emotionally, and physically when I make time for yoga. Check out Day 4 if you're curious-- it's only 20 minutes.
Let me know if you're doing this challenge or if you're attempting a different challenge! I love having accountability partners when I'm focusing on my health and wellness.
Yeah... I can't do this pose. Yet. 

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Why, Body, Why?!

I've had the last two weeks off and I've spent them being sick. 
UGH, so frustrating. I had plans for this break, but my body just decided to shut down on me. I haven't been able to work out except for some gentle yoga and I think I've been taking four naps a day. How is my body going to adjust to going back to work?

The worst part about this sickness is that there doesn't appear to be any medicine for it. I went to the doctor twice and both times she just said in no uncertain terms, "Buck up and wait it out. It's a virus." REALLY?! Nothing? Not even a placebo. Not even cough syrup for my hacking cough.
There's nothing like starting a new year feeling totally unhealthy and like there is no way you will ever be healthy again. I've never been sick for this long. I was a three-days-of-feeling-horrible-and-then-feeling-back-to-normal kind of sick person. Maybe getting into my 30s means being sick for inordinate amounts of time. 



So, this is my first blog post of 2015. Seems like a promising year, eh? 
Hope all of you are in tip-top shape! Seriously, I do. 
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