Trying to Figure Out What I Really Want

Last week, I was talking to my co-worker about his chickens. Like a lot of people these days, he and his wife got a few chickens, built a coop and are looking forward to a slew of fresh eggs in a few months. (I’m not sure if you refer to eggs as a slew. Is it a klatch? Is it a roost? Oh, forget it, I’ll just say, “a bunch of.”)

Anyway, I’m not entirely sure anymore how the conversation progressed, but I ended up asking how these chickens would have this “bunch of” eggs. Do they just start laying them? Or do you, like, need to get a rooster?

What?!

Oh, you have thought about the sex life of a chicken?

You’re sick. I don’t think I want to know you.

Well, chicken sex has not crossed my mind over the last 36 years, okay. And I thought, maybe, chickens might be asexual. You know, like frogs.

What is this? This…this is the result of 3,012 written words and hours and hours of introspection. Yep, chicken reproduction habits. Deep, deep stuff, friends.

chicken_stupid_quote

This week, the chickens came up in conversation again, and everyone had another good laugh…at my expense. (Here’s a take-away for you: Quoting something Jessica Simpson said years ago to try justify yourself doesn’t work. It just adds fuel to the fire.)

I’ve had some really stupid moments in my life. Fortunately, every stupid thing I do makes for a pretty funny story.

And I say dumb stuff a lot. All.The.Time. I say totally random off-the-wall stuff. I go on long tangents. I write overly detailed (boring) blog posts. Did you know I am a member of Oversharers Anonymous? (Everyone knows each other’s full names, birth dates and social security numbers now, though. We really should change the name of the group.)

My mouth moves faster than my brain a lot most of the time. But I absolutely love telling stories about stupid stuff I’ve done or said. Or going on silly rants about totally insignificant things.

My co-workers, all dudes, can always expect a good complaint story from me in the morning. I know they don’t read this blog (like a lot of people), but YOU GUYS ARE FREAKING WELCOME! How boring would your coffee be without me raging about random back ups that cause me to be 5–okay TEN!–minutes late?

I live for getting all worked up in the retelling of something that happened to me because people laugh. And laughter is the most beautiful sound.

And nearly 8 hours of thinking and writing helped me figure something out today: I am pretty awesome at making people laugh. Sure, some of my stories don’t get the response I envisioned in my head. But…I don’t care.

I love it.

I love making people laugh. Even if it’s at my expense. I really, really love it. And I want to do it all the time.

PS: Those 3,012 words of introspection were so boring they would instantly put a toddler to sleep. A toddler who just ate your coffee grounds. And a then sucked down a red Slurpee. These 531 words are much better. Maybe not better than asexual chickens, but still pretty good.

I’m Going through Something…Not Sure What

I am going through something. Every day, I think: Okay, today is the day I get back on the horse. Today, I will do some HIIT stuff and lift weights and run. And then today happens. And it’s all: I need to vacuum first. I have freelance writing to do. I need to reorganize my kitchen. I need to play with my son (which I do NEED to do and am always glad I make time for this).

Plus, I keep forgetting things I’m supposed to do. Like what time my son’s baseball party is. Or that I have ALL the keys to the van. Or to get tickets to that band my husband loves so we can go on his birthday. 🙁

Running, lifting and other exercise-y things seem to have dropped in importance. For example: I was going to sign up for another triathlon, but it sounds like so much work.

Maybe I get 15 minutes of dumbbells in during the day, which is something. This morning, I went for a nice, leisurely walk for about 25 minutes.

Where is my drive? Where is my love for pushing myself? What happened to my need for speed? How did I lose my motivation? Will I get it back?

Karsen’s starting kindergarten in less than two months. My work schedule will change so that I can be home when he gets home from school. I will have about two hours from when I get home until he gets home. 

It’s not that I won’t enjoy some alone time. It’s just…weird.

Part of me is feeling very unprepared for having a couple hours a day where I don’t need to feel guilty about doing “stuff.” Because right now, I can take him to day care on my two days off, but then I feel guilty about it even though he’s doing way more fun things, like playing with friends, than he would be doing at home (like emptying the dishwasher).

What does this have to do with not exercising? I don’t know. I just think it might be related somehow. If only I’d actually gone to my psychology class in college.

Or maybe I really have just lost my mojo because naps sounds way funner than long runs. Actually, more fun than long, short and medium length runs. I have been trying to eat well, but have been letting things slide more than normal. (Lucky Charms really are like candy.)

I don’t know. I sort of feel like I’m in limbo for some reason. Maybe it’s just because it’s summer? It’s a very uncomfortable place to be. I’m freaked that I’m going to let myself slide into my old habits. The ones that have taken me four years to break. Old me. Fat me. The me who thinks to the point of paralysis.

I mean, I could spend hours in my head. When I think too much, I tend to get sad. Maybe that means I need to get outside and run.

Has anyone else gone through this? Does this post even make sense?

How Do People Keep their Houses Clean?

I love a clean house. An organized house. An aaaahhhh-when-you-walk-in-the-door kind of house.

One problem. Okay, two: I hate to clean. And I (and everyone else in this house) never put stuff where it belongs (heck, we have things that don’t have anywhere to belong to!). On the three days of week that I work, when I come home after picking up the kid, I get grumpy.

There’s clutter all over the kitchen island. Dishes on the table. Dishes piled in the sink. Dirty countertops. Laundry thrown in the laundry room. Toys everywhere. Dog hair dust bunnies float across the kitchen floor (even short-hair dogs shed). I would like to sit on the couch, but first I have to move wadded up blankets, books and toys.

I head upstairs to “release the hounds.” The bed’s a tangle of sheets. There’s a plastic prehistoric gathering of dinos in the middle of my floor. There are balled up socks. The window seat is piled with clean laundry, now wrinkled, waiting to be put away. The tops of the dressers are cluttered with hair ties, random plastic garbage, a tea cup that needs to be in the sink of dishes downstairs. My bathroom is the worst probably. My jewelry and makeup is everywhere. I want to wipe the counter down, but there’s too much clutter to get to it.

I am so sick of it. But how am I supposed to keep this place clean and still take time for me to say…write a blog post…exercise…do some freelance work?

It’s overwhelming.

I did find this blog: A Bowl Full of Lemons. Kind of a random name, but her cleaning and organizing guides seem doable. But starting from zero is kind of hard because it feels like it’s going to take a few weeks just to get the place clean enough to maintain and then begin the daunting task of organizing and clearing out the clutter.

Sometimes I think it’d be easier if I was a stay-at-home mom, but even on my days off from work–like today–it’s already 2:40 and I feel like I have so much left to do. I’ve got an hour and a half to exercise, mop the floor and vacuum (but of course I have to pick up a bunch of dog and kid toys first) before getting the kid to track practice. And we’re just having leftovers, so thank god for that.

What do other moms do? How do you do it?

 

Don’t Like to Run? Then Don’t! (The #1 Rule for Weight Loss IMO)

If you are reading this blog, you probably like to run, so you’ve probably heard this from a friend before: “I’d like to lose weight and get in shape…but I don’t like to run.” (They scrunch their face a little and look at the ground, or they throw their hands up as if they’re saying, “So I guess I’ll just stay the way I am.”) So frustrating.

I can’t even count how many times I’ve heard this from friends (and strangers), and every time I hear it, it makes me want to pull my hair out. I want to scream: THEN DON’T RUN! But I don’t scream. I say it nicely instead because usually the person sounds like they are apologizing to me for not liking to run since I like to. Why would I be offended if you don’t care for running. You wouldn’t apologize to me for not liking mayonnaise on your broccoli (even though it is very, very good, and you are missing out).

Seriously, if you don’t like to run, then why would you make running your main fitness focus in your weight loss journey? It doesn’t make sense. You’ll never keep at something if you don’t enjoy it.

In 2009, when I chose to start running for fitness, it was because I had been a runner before. I already knew I would enjoy running. I could close my eyes and feel wind on my face and my ponytail swishing from shoulder to shoulder. (On the other hand, I HATE the elliptical machine. I’ll do it if it’s my only option; but I don’t enjoy it.)

Try running if you want to. But if you have tried it, and after 3 weeks or so, you still aren’t liking it, then MOVE ON and find something else you actually enjoy doing because…

THE NUMBER ONE RULE FOR SUCCEEDING IN YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY IS ENJOYING YOUR NEW LIFESTYLE.

If you hate it, you will think of a thousand excuses to not do it. If you enjoy it, you will find a way to work it into your schedule.

In my experience, getting “in shape” requires changes to two things: diet and exercise. And there are two components to each of those things. Diet: what (veggies, protein, carbs) and how much (calories consumed vs. calories burned) you eat. For exercise, it’s: cardio and strength.

Find a cardio activity you like. There are lots:

  • Cycling or spinning
  • Rowing or kayaking
  • Fast Walking
  • Hiking
  • Basketball
  • Elliptical machine
  • Stair climbing
  • Tennis
  • Badminton
  • Pickleball
  • Swimming
  • Sprinting (so different than distance running)
  • Jump rope
  • I’m forgetting about a million other fun cardio things to do, I’m sure

And here’s the other thing…if you think running is the “only way” (because of cost/time/you want to use the treadmill/whatever), remember that you don’t need that much running time if you are simply using it as a tool to lose weight (versus training for a marathon or something).

I love making up different strength workouts with my Jillian Michaels cards.
I love making up different strength workouts with my Jillian Michaels cards.

A regular STRENGTH routine (whether it’s body-weight training or lifting weights) with a little running (15-20 minutes) or some other type of cardio incorporated (jump rope, jumping jacks, mountain climbers) is actually better for boosting your metabolism for longer throughout the day, and getting your body to change faster, I’ve found.

Both times I reduced running and upped my strength training, I lost weight and inches. Once it was by accident when I injured myself, and more recently it has been through trial and error after reading more about weight loss vs. fat loss. (Keep in mind, you have to work on your nutrition, too. No matter what exercise you do, if you eat like crap, you probably won’t see much, if any, change.)

Every person is different. What works best for me, might not work best for you, but remember that in order to continue to do something, it has to be something you like to do! So if you don’t like running; stop! Grab a basketball instead.

Whew! I’ve been wanting to say this for a while.

So, what non-running cardio activities do you love to do?
Right now, I’m enjoying a few: cycling, tennis, sprinting, and even badminton with co-workers on my lunch hour.

Speaking of tennis and cycling…who’s watching the Tour de France and Wimbledon right now?
Me!