Dusting Myself Off

Hello?

Helloooo?  Anybody home???

HELLO!!!

(echo) …..                         

                                                                                         ………… (echo)         

                                   (echo) ………………………..      

                                                                                                                                                    ……………………..  (echo)       

Why, hello!  It is so good to see you again!   How have you been?  I saw!  I have been keeping up with you on your blog.  That’s great!

Yes, my little narration is directed to you, my readers.  It IS good to see you again and I have missed you. I know this place is dusty due to my reduced activity, but I have brought my broom and windex and I am gonna give it a good scrubbing!

What does this mean?  That I have been missing blogging and writing about my ballet obsession.  I have kept up with my other ballet bloggers and loved seeing Nutcracker season and how everyone is doing with their classes.  I swooned at Bush Ballerina’s class with Tibor!  Rejoiced with Traveling Dancer’s auditions. Had fun watching the fun All Round Girl was having. I was inspired by Legal Ballerina’s courage.  Envy at all the dancing LoveBallet89 is doing, plus many more of you!  What I am saying is I did not forget or ignore. I was just quietly lurking in the wings.

Now, you might also be wondering, what went on?  What’s happening now?

Well, I am going to grab this bull by the horns and call a duck a duck….

When I realized ballet classes were not in any kind of foreseeable future I basically did this…..

I feel deflated...

I feel deflated…

and this…

Timber!!!

Timber!!!

That pretty much sums it up.  Honestly, my heart was broken.  I tried very hard to keep a strong front but inside it felt like glass shattering.    It was no one’s fault but circumstance.  At first we thought things would be financially more feasible sooner but that was not the reality to allow the room for ballet classes financially.  So, taking ballet classes were put off for much longer. As a result, I fell off the weight loss bandwagon pretty quick since my last weight loss update was back in August, I really got to the point I didn’t care anymore.  So, I have gained most of the weight I lost in this time period.  Not really proud of that fact, but it’s a reality and something I have learned from, that I don’t need to tie my weight loss to an extraneous goal, more on this later in the post.

So, to make things more financially fluid with the family, I needed to get back to work.  I have been a nanny over the past year but I needed to start pulling in more so I got on the job hunt.  I wanted to get back into doing something professional, which is my background, but I was determined this time around I would do work I would really enjoy and that it would make a difference in someones life.  I also wanted work that would allow me to get my son from school and to keep his schedule as routine as possible. This became an odyssey… It went from I needed like 10 PhD’s or 35 years experience (not really but it felt like it) to just nothing. Facing this realization, I was happy to go work at the grocery store or the Dollar General as a clerk…then my back happened.

Back in late September or early October, my back had been doing some weird stuff . At this point I had not been exercising for weeks and I had done nothing strenuous to warrant what happened. I have always had back problems and I do have scoliosis.  So, back pain on a daily basis is common to me. Then one day I literally felt like I was going into labor…like I am not kidding the pain in my back was exactly like when I was in labor with my son years ago.   Contractions were happening like a wave, all concentrated in my lower back, just like when I had been in labor prior to having my epidural. It started off with just pressure and not able to get comfortable to a crescendo of agony over and over again. I was envisioning myself on that show, “I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant”.  I mean the pain was THAT bad.  I knew I was not pregnant. Coincidentally, I had taken a pregnancy test just a few weeks prior.  I was in so much pain I was crying uncontrollably not knowing what was going on from fear and pain.  I was not insured so the thought of needing to go to the hospital was daunting, especially when in light of our financial situation at the time, but we were on the verge of going.  So, we called Ms. L thinking I could be passing a kidney stone, being that she churns one of those out regularly she is an expert.  We determined it was not a kidney stone.  Then the waves of agony started to lessen and I started to calm down. We now think I had a severe muscle spasm in my left lower back.  I was laid up for about two weeks where I could barely walk and spent most of my time in the recliner in the only comfortable position relieving the pressure off my back.  My left lower back has not been the same since. During all of this, I have been worried if this is going to hamper my ability to dance.  Standing on my left leg or standing for long periods of time is challenging.  In ballet, what is the left leg primarily? Yep…  I have switched to wearing sneakers almost exclusively because that made a big difference in the pain level in my back.  I don’t take medication, because I  just don’t like taking meds.  Being that I have pain daily, I do not want to take daily pain meds.  So I learned to live with it, how to ease it, and work around it.  I also know it wouldn’t take much to throw me back to the fangs of agony that I experienced months ago so I am very protective of my back.  I also know that losing weight and strengthening my back and core would do wonders for my back as well.

Which brings me back to the job search….

Pretty much...

Pretty much…only I was in a skirt and heels

I now had to add to the criteria…non-back aggravating. Which meant no work that required physical lifting, standing for long periods, etc. Just going to WalMart or Target on long shopping trips are physically challenging.  I can’t imagine a 6 or 8 hour work shift on my feet.  So I had to look for work that was at a desk, but me being me, I can’t stand being relegated exclusively to a chair (I’d go stir crazy) and would need a job that did have some moving around and such. Finally, in early December some positions opened in the legal field which I qualified for and would really like to do.  I had two choices and Job 1 fit better in the parameters than Job 2, but Job 2 seemed a bit more interesting, but something kept nagging at me about it and I decided to go with Job 1. Really, when “they” say to listen to your inner voice…”they” are right!  I love doing Job 1, it’s perfect for me.  I enjoy going to the courthouse everyday, doing what I do, the people I interact with, my boss, and co-workers.  It’s been great and I really know I made the right decision.  I am happy, my family is happy, and we are back on the right track.

So where does that leave me now?  Thinking about taking ballet classes again that’s where! THAT desire never went away and it has been tucked away into my thoughts everyday. Realistically, it looks like I could start classes soon, like in a month or two.  I know the cost and the studio, and we just need to make sure some other things are straightened out first before I make the financial commitment.  So now I really am on my way to classes finally.

Do I wish I had kept up with my weight loss? Yes.  I know my weight really poses a challenge for me in ballet classes and the care of my back. I can only do what I can do and at this point that is to climb back on that band wagon and start to focus back on losing weight. I have learned that I can’t have weight loss only connected to taking classes but it has to go deeper than that. I need to get more serious about my health.  I think my back is just worn out from carrying the weight around my middle for so many years.

So that’s that folks. Which brings me to today and it has been really great to write a post. Almost like stretching a sore muscle. It was painful but felt great.  Don’t forget you can check my Facebook and Pinterest pages. I post fun stuff there all of the time as I am addicted!

Despite the disappointment over the year and the challenges I faced, it’s been a good growing experience. I learned a lot, cried some, screamed on occasion, loved deeply, and became inspired by my fellow bloggers.  Through it all I am still moving forward, while things didn’t happen as I wanted I know they happened the way they were supposed to and here I am again close to getting back to classes and I can not wait.

glass fragments #1 with WM

Battements

X-Ray Vision

Having a bad back day and I saw this on PostSecret, and while I do not suffer from severe scoliosis, I sometimes wonder with how my back is I worry if I will dance again…

Picture from PostSecret.com

Picture from PostSecret.com

 

Having a Problem with Weight Loss…

Pants on the Ground

Pants on the Ground

Ha!  It’s a good one to have!

This really happened to me last night.  As I was walking into the living room I thought to my self, “Hey my pajama pants are slipping I think.” At that exact moment, I had just walked into the room where my husband and son were playing a video game, and the pants fell to the ground before I could even react. My husband guffawed out loud and my son sat there staring at me with a horrified look on his face. He’s probably scarred for life. (Yes, I had on my under-pantaloons….)

Embarrassing moment, yes.

Lost enough weight that my pants literally fell off me, even better.

Good problem to have.

Inspiration in the Small Things

small things 5

 

Ok the quote is not mine but it really means something to me.  I created this meme for the lovely blogger at Advance and Never Halt.  She is the rightful owner of this quote and I wanted to put it to picture.  I hope she likes it!  Thank you AGAIN for the inspiration. 🙂

Quitters and Winners

Just gotta say it felt great to do my ballet workout yesterday.  I felt more myself and centered.  My ankle even felt better afterwards.  I could even point it!

Though I have had my struggles in life to keep the momentum going for something I have started…this phrase struck a chord in me and settled itself somewhere deep.

Winners never quit and quitters never win.

I’m not going for the gold in the ballet-olympics but I will never lose this weight if I quit, because then the fat wins.  By quitting, I am only giving up on myself.  When I think about what that means, how sad is that?  Then I realized that I got this way because I did give up on myself. Time to fight for team BTFP!

I gotta do the work to get the results, especially when it’s the hardest.  Sometimes that is the most rewarding.

Measuring Up

Guess who is armed with a measuring tape? And I’m not afraid to use it!  Ok, maybe a little bit…

ballet 010

Knowing my weight loss isn’t enough now.  I want to know the inches lost so I can have a better understanding of  why my shirts are fitting better now.   In other words, how else can I drive myself batty on a weekly basis?  Haha!

Ok so here goes the inital measurements:

  • Waist: 40″
  • Belly: 48″
  • Hips: 47″
  • Thighs: L  25 1/2″  R  24 1/4″
  • Calves: L  15 1/4″   R  15 1/2″
  • Arms:   L  13 1/2″    R 13 1/4″

Yowza!

Well, this weekend pretty much was a loss and it’s stretching into the week too.

I spent most of it in bed because I have some inexplicable back pain in my lower back.  Drop something on the floor?  Well, it’s gonna stay there I can tell you that. Feet are cold and want to pull on some socks?  Feet are gonna stay cold.  I have taken meds, icy/hot, heating pad, hot showers…nothing gives me much relief except laying in bed on my side with a pillow between my knees.  I do not like doing nothing.  I feel so useless because I can barely do anything.  I have about 9,349 things to do and this is not one of them.  I am really worried it’s going to derail my weight loss momentum I have going too.

For some “back” story (pun is intended haha!), about a year ago I was leaving my house to get my son from school.  I was recovering from a badly sprained left ankle and you have to step down when walking out the front door.  I somehow managed to do a magnificent flop on my front stoop.  I sprained the other ankle, bloodied up hands and an elbow, and I strained my back.  Keep in mind I weighed nearly 200 lbs.  I am surprised someone didn’t yell “Timber!”  It happened so fast I didn’t know anything had happened until I was on the ground.  Ever since, I have been dealing with the strained back and I somehow have aggravated it to the tenth degree.

I do not know why this has decided to latch itself on to me at this point.  I worked out Monday-Thursday.  I always take great care to protect my back during exercises.  Recently, I felt like the exercise has been helping it to feel better.  Never was there a point I felt like I did something and pulled it.  Friday, I hung out with a friend, it was bugging me more than usual but nothing to write a blog post about.  Now comes Saturday morning.  I wake up and I feel like I have been torn in two.  I have my son and his friend over so I gotta deal with it.  As the day progresses, so does the pain to the point I can hardly walk.  Then after the kids were changing out of their swimsuits my son decided it would be funny to throw it in my face.  Why he did this I don’t know.  He is the sweetest and kindest kid and I guess he thought it would be funny.  Well it was not.  As a reaction I jerked to the left to avoid the cold wet swimsuit in the face and I think I heard my lower back actually scream…or was that me?  Since that moment I have been nearly bed ridden.

Thanks to my wonderfully developed coping skills (soooo not true) I was not sticking to my healthier eating choices and eating whatever the husband will get for me.  Standing up and cooking is not going to be happening.  I did do better this morning but I will need to eat much better thanks to the sodas, burgers, Chinese takeout, and pizza that was flying around this weekend.  Food is an emotional crutch for me and why I have gotten so fluffy.  “Feeling bad?  Let’s eat this! Having a bad day? This cake will make it all go away!  Everyone deserves a treat every two hours!  Don’t forget the cheese puffs!”

The fact I am seeing how my thoughts and emotions fuel poor eating choices is a good thing but I have to find a way to retrain those thoughts.  I am very weak when it comes to those thoughts.  After I “treat myself” I end up feeling worse than what made me feel bad in the first place.  I have been so worried I gained weight I weighed myself this morning and thankfully I didn’t.  It wasn’t worth it to me to negate all the hard work because my back hurt and I felt sorry for myself.  That’s the dark negative thoughts that want to keep me fat and the skinny girl in me is trying so hard to fight her way out.  I guess she fought so hard she pulled a muscle.

Gonna take it easy and smell like icy/hot for the rest of the week I guess…

Visions of Sugar Plums Dancing in My Head – Part Deux

The conclusion to Sugar Plums Dancing in My Head

I am fired up now.  “Ballet!  Pink tights!  Plies!  I’mma be a bunhead!”  I go to the website for the studio I went to before and they thankfully have daytime adult beginning classes and some open intermediates too.  I soon learn it is the only studio in the area that offers adult daytime classes.  Not that the town I live in is dripping with ballet but we do have some nice studios. I am a mom and a nanny and with the tikes getting out of school soon, day classes over the summer would not be possible.  Evening classes would not either.  My husband’s work schedule fluctuates greatly in the summer and who knows when I could make an evening class.  I don’t want to be stop and start about this new endeavor.  I want to make the commitment.  It looks like I will need to wait until the kiddo’s are back in school.  But that is soooooo far away!  I want to go NOW!

Now, I am a believer of providence.  Things happen for a reason and timing is a part of that too.  I really need to lose weight.  I now have an awesome purpose for losing weight.  I have finally found the motivation I need to lose the weight but I need the time to lose the weight.  This summer delay may not be so bad after all…I could start to lose some poundage over the summer so maybe my wrap skirt will actually wrap all the way around me as opposed to refusing to meet me in the middle like before…(Yep…I’ll leave you with that visual for a moment, take your time.)

Before I know it, I have grabbed a notebook (the one I replaced with my pretty pink one here.) and started brainstorming on how I can dump this weight, get stronger, and be more flexible.  I evaluate the time between now and classes starting in August.  For ease of math, I make it a 20 week goal.  (It is actually two weeks beyond the start of ballet classes.)  At losing 2 lbs a week, that is forty-freaking pounds!  I can totally do this!  Had I decided how much I was going to lose before figuring out how I was going to lose it…well I would have felt like it was not possible.  This really is do-able.  That wrap skirt is SO going to wrap….

If you have made it this far (I hope you have!), you may be wondering, “How did a notebook turn into a blog?”  Because it can, baby!  I love to write. It’s in my soul nestled somewhere close to dance. I wanted something that felt formal and made me accountable to achieve these goals.  I didn’t want some random Facebook post that didn’t mean more than the time it spent at the top of my timeline.  So, I turned to WordPress, tinkered around a bit and had this site, as you see, up and going.  Only you couldn’t see it.  I set it to private.  After debating, I decided the best thing was to share this with others.  I really learned a lot from other bloggers and wanted to give back, per se.  Plus, it felt more real and while it can be hard to put your 195 lbs self out there for others to read about and what-not, it adds to the accountability I need to attain these goals.  Going public was a good decision.  What’s different than when I walk out of my house and other strangers “see” me in a store or walking down the street?  The difference in a blog is they will “see” more of what is going on in my life than the 5 seconds it took to glance and move on.  So I changed the settings to “public” and now here we all sit together before our computers, tablets, and smartphones.

So that’s it…that’s all she wrote folks.  (Well, I will write more, just saying)  Thank you for reading this loooong post and hanging in there with me.  I have been overwhelmed by the amount of support I have received and for that I am deeply grateful.

There is one thing I learned after I finished writing this blog post…even though I had stopped dancing for the past 24 years…the sugar plum fairies never stopped dancing in my head…

Made My Fat Cry

This is my shirt after working out yesterday but not the same shirt from the post here.  Ok, a little gross I admit, BUT I love seeing how hard I worked.  I made my fat cry!  Plus, this is a shirt I have never really worn.  I got it on a super sale at Target like three years ago or something but I never liked how it clung to the belly and the shoulders were a little snug.  Getting dressed yesterday to workout I thought, “Huh, let’s see how this fits now.  I know I won’t wear it to work out in.”  Well, ya know what?  I wore it. 🙂

fat crying 004

I threw in my ballet slippers to make it a “ballet” picture. Ha!

Proud ‘O Myself

Proud of my self yesterday!

I had one of those days where I just had no energy to do anything.  I had an awful time going to sleep the night before and I only had about 3-4 hours of sleep.  Overslept the alarm making my son late to school.  So my Monday did NOT start well.  I tried to catch some more ZZZ’s which in turn meant I did not and I was just a grouch. I tried to be productive around my house which just made me feel even more tired.  I workout Monday – Friday and even the thought of working out made me feel even more tired.  I continued to debate about working out all day. It wasn’t like I worked out the day before, Saturday and Sunday are my rest days.

Finally at 4 pm I quit the debate and broke out the workout gear and just did it.  SO PROUD OF MYSELF.  This was a big break through for me. I am a champion procrastinator especially when I am tired and grouchy. I also realized on this day a t-shirt I wore to workout in was not tight across the belly anymore (my son even noticed) and my fave pair of house-comfy pants I had to re-tie the drawstring  tighter!!!

 Had I not worked out…these things would not have been noticed.

Yay me.

🙂