Friday, March 23, 2012


I never thought that I would ever be without work. I never thought that I would be a stay at home Mom that was waiting for my EDD paperwork or searching the want ads for the next best thing, or even something. I am, for the moment. I am keeping a positive attitude (most days) and today is turning out to be a good day. I get to spend the full day with my son, as he finishes up his Spring Break. We have a full schedule - grocery shopping, fixing the bathroom toilet, going with some other Scouts to a Rock Wall experience tonight (they get to climb the rock wall over and over again from about midnight to 6 am - I will be one tired Mom after), then we have another Hockey game (for FREE) to attend and for that I am thankful. Sunday will be a quiet day - sure we will be resting after a full schedule. Good thing he is still sleeping (10 hours and counting at this point) - so he can have energy for the next 24 hours and this gives Mom the time to search the want-ads.

In the midst of all my ups and downs, I have received tons of support. My neighbor calls for morning walks from time to time. I did mention that I am now volunteering for my sisters 2nd grade class and I have decided to go in about 3 days a week. Then there are the cards in the mail that I get. One card in particular came from a long time friend. I cried when I got it. I was amazed at how she found this. It was like it was calling her name when she arrived at the store. She even threw in a Subway Sandwich shop and Starbucks Coffee gift card in there too - (I have not used all of it up and it has been a nice to have that in my purse these past weeks). So, the card - well, the long and short of it - just have to share it with you...

(the scanning was kind of off - but this will have to do)

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this card. It is on my night stand and I see it every night before I go to bed. I then see it as I wake up. The inside is the best, so I now have the card open from the outside in. And from time to time I move the card to my "office" desk so I can see it as I am searching for a job on the internet.

I hope that when you are feeling down - in your everyday life and especially in your weight loss journey - that you are getting the support you need. Be it from your gym, your program meetings, the blogs or just seeing a smiling face when they see how far you have come in your journey - those NSV's are the best, too!!!!

Have a most wonderful weekend  - I know that I will, and will carry the support with me the whole way.

P.S - had another first round interview with another job - Keeping fingers crossed that I get to move onto the 2nd round - will know something next week. There was another job that I also qualified for - sent off that packet and the deadline is next week. Many things happening on the job front - doing my best to stay positive. Something will happen soon and then I will wonder why I didn't get more done during my down time. Have to run - today's "to do" list involves organizing paperwork - yuck!!

Staying MOtivated MO

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Better Week

What a difference a week makes. I am doing so much better and for so many reasons. I signed up to volunteer in my sisters 2nd grade classroom. I used to teach full time, even have a teaching degree from college, but I do not teach anymore - for several reasons. Well, when I became unemployed I knew that I needed to keep myself busy. So, I took the time to get my fingerprints done (the good part, it was free from the school district) and only paid $10.00 to have a TB test. Just a few days later I was able to go volunteer. Spring break is over and the "work" has begun. I have gotten up, jumped in the shower and had some place to go. I am going to keep up that pace. I have decided to do about 3 hours in the classroom several days a week. It is being helpful not only for me, but for my sister and her co-workers. I have helped them do fluency reading tests and next up is making copies for next years school plan.

Once the morning is over I am coming home and getting things done on the computer, organizing one or two things that need to be taken care of, doing some simple cleaning. Then in the afternoon I am getting in my workout. I did a long walk with my sister yesterday. Today it was a double duty. Did a 2.5 mile walk with my neighbor, then before I knew it I was off to my sisters for another workout. She was not home, so while waiting for her I did the Total Gym workout, two rounds of the 15 exercises. Then off for a long walk with sis - I think we did a full 3 miles. I came home and felt like crunching out some balance ball crunches - 100 down and might do another 100 before the night is done.

What a difference a week makes!!! I am getting things done, I am taking the time to exercise and I have realized that life will keep going. Like I said in two posts ago I knew that I was going to hit an emotional wall. In fact, sort of hit it again tonight - at the end of my second walk I was crying, but I needed to have that release. I am going to have those moments and even with a job will have those moments. There will be the bad times, but when you see the good moments it all balances out.

One last things to share for today - I got a really good post card from Mer. It included -

  • Better to light a candle than to curse darkness.
  • Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat
  • Stand for something or fall for anything
  • Who I am keeps surprising me!
  • From a tiny spark may burst a Mighty Flame
Looking forward to the rest of my week!!!!

Staying MOtivated MO

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Cake didn't win....

My sons 11th birthday was just about a week ago. It was a Lorax themed kind of day. We went to IHOP pancake restaurant to have a Dr. Suess themed breakfast - green eggs and ham, then the Barba Loot Rootie Tootie pancakes - (okay - Aman didn't have the "green" in the eggs, but he did pick up some tree seeds at the end of the meal to plant a tree in our yard). We did a bit of reading, too - LOL

Then off to the movies with my sisters and a few friends. My niece, nephew and one of my other sisters saw the movie on the East Coast - so it was a true family event, across the country. My family are huge Lorax fans, so it was nice to see this movie in a whole new light.

We made it home in time to enjoy my new Chili recipe, with a side dish of corn bread. 

Then came the cake and the ice cream, too. I did not have a lot of people at the party - just a few neighbor kids, as I kept it very small. However, the was left over - sitting in the box, sort of calling my name. I was good for two of the days, or did it flow into three...I was really proud of myself for not opening up the box. Not even looking at it. But, the 4th day of being alone in the house with a cake turned into a challenge. I cut a piece. Started eating it and well, it was not the best. The cake was not stale, but it wasn't good either. I left all the frosting on the plate. I was pretty happy, but knew that the garbage can was calling. I proceeded to take the box and set it on the floor by the garbage can. Each time I walked by the kitchen I would step on the box - just enough to make me not open the box again. I started putting other trash into the box - I was not going to let the cake win. I finally did take the box out to the main garbage can, but I guess having it in the house and smashing it was my way of telling myself that I didn't need cake to "fix" it or even cake to eat!! This was just a way for me to beat up the cake - I was going to win. The cake did not survive - I did!!! Yes, it was very hard to throw away half of a cake that I paid good money for, but it needed to be done - and I won!!!

Fun 11th birthday celebration - kept it at a minimum  - won the cake challenge. Now onto the next obstacle...

Staying MOtivated Mo

Emotional Moments

I knew this moment was going to happen. I have been out of work for just about 1 month now and I kind of knew that I would have rough emotional patch in this unemployment process. This last week was going to be a rough one. There was the fact that my son is on Spring break from school and he is at his father's for the next two weeks. However, I was able to spend time with him last Wednesday and we took in a local hockey game together, I did get my Aman fix. My sister was on a long vacation, so there was no workout buddy for the week. (I was house sitting for her, so I was able to workout a few days using my sisters "gym" - that was good - I even challenged myself when I was on the Elliptical Slider and realized that I could do 100 strides per minute, then pushed myself more and did about 150 strides per minute - keeping up the pace I was thrilled that by the end of the week I was doing 3200 strides in 30 was a good motivation for me and made me want to have my own slider at home). But, I am getting a bit off track at this point............then my neighbor was also on vacation, so no walking buddy this past week. I woke up each morning with no motivation, no drive. Most days I was in my PJ's until about 12 noon. Now, I know that PJ moments will happen and I am trying my best to have a set schedule, because I really need to be making progress each day. I did get out a few times - having some errands to run, a last minute dinner invite with a friend, and then lunch with some other friends on another day. Saturday was the worst, maybe because of the weather, or the fact that my emotions were all over the place, but in the end I did go out with some girlfriends, danced the night away and celebrated my Irish with a fun night!!! Happy late St. Patrick's Day to you all - by the way.

Then this morning, Sunday...a time to start the new week. I have a pending interview on the horizon, and it is a new week - let's make this one count better then the last. There is no reason to be non-productive. But, I was disappointed to miss my CBS Sunday Morning show - even if the channel said it was supposed to be on at the regular time. I am a huge fan of this show and always start my week with it - it gets me going - I needed it this morning (yes, that is awful, to be dependent on a TV show, but it was better then having "comfort food"). However, I was not going to let missing it control my mood. Then I got my Sunday morning phone call from Mer. We had a great conversation. She makes me laugh and smile and be happy just by hearing about her crazy week, or something fun and then when she hits the "dip" and I have to call her back because the cell phone lost contact, we just pick up right where we left off. This mornings phone call was more then just laughter - it included a good emotional moment for me.

Mer and I were talking and we both realized something and for me the light bulb went off again - go figure...With me, it is the emotional aspect. I KNOW I feel better when I workout. Mer KNOWS what she needs to do, but she needs to make the time. I have tons of time on my hands, but the emotion is controlling me. Mer has to juggle this and that, but how come juggling losing weight seems to take a back seat to other things?

If we both KNOW what we need to do then WHY don't we do it? As much as we feel the daunting task of exercising, tracking our food, drinking out water, getting the full amount of sleep and so much more, WHY don't we make that an everyday habit? Then all of the sudden - in the midst of us both agreeing on many things - we both said out loud - "We know what we have to do, why don't we do it" I sat back and thought about that phone call. I cleaned the house and thought more. I finished the laundry and thought again about that statement. Even with a well needed afternoon visit with my sister (glad she had a great vacation) I thought again and came up with a new motto.............

I am doing all that needs to be done to lose this weight
AND I am feeling good and looking good!!!!

A new week 
A new me on the horizon
Going to get this done - the emotional moments will not control me!!!!!

Staying MOtivated MO

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spring, Sprung and Stretched

Since the 8 week challenge it has been so hard to get myself motivated these days. The sprung forward this past weekend has stretched my spring so much that there is no boing it just lies out there. I can't get myself out of bed this week to do my morning exercise! I will admit that I am having trouble finishing this post because I can't seem to focus or formulate anything that makes sense.  Here are some reasons of why I am feeling this way....

  • Maybe it is the last grading period that has wiped me out.
  •  Maybe it is the attitude of the teenager that is getting to me. 
  • Maybe it is the needy son who is demanding face time with me all the time. 
  • Maybe it is the stress out spouse who seems to be so busy that I can barely keep up with all that he is doing.  
  • Maybe it is the fact that I signed a reassignment notice yesterday and I knew that was going to happen, but it is still hard to see it in print. 
  • Maybe it is that last week of Physics class that has me just stressed out because of the looming final and exit project that I have been procrastinating doing. 
How do you dig yourself out of a 10 foot hole when you are given a tiny shovel? That is how I feel! I need to get out of this funk and sluggishness to find my groove again.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Spring - catch the Fever!!!

Spring is upon us. Here in California we will Spring forward one hour, giving us a chance to save on electricity. We lose an hour of sleep on Sunday morning, but it is all worth it to have longer sunshine during the day. Kids will play until 7:30, instead of 5:30 - we will be greeted with the warmth and not as much cold in the coming weeks. Yes, we do need more rain and I am hoping that April Showers might really come true this year.

Looking forward to a great weekend, as my week has been pretty good. Even with dealing with a sick little 10 year old that is soon to turn 11 didn't get in my way. I had an interview for a new job and I am keeping my fingers crossed that they will call me back for a second interview that is with a panel of higher up decision makers. I felt pretty confident afterwards. With or without a job I took the steps to volunteer in my little sisters 2nd grade classroom. All the background checks are done and now I just have to wait for Spring Break to be over. I received the judgement for my Child Support - which has never been a "real" court enforced matter. It is a good thing and in a round about way I feel like I have been hitting the "easy" button in this process (and my son's father did agree that it was a step in the right direction, just not sure how he feels about the final judgement). I also got my taxes done. I am going to hold onto the money for the time being, but once I get a full time job again then I can pay off some long standing bills - even the doctor bills that are coming in from my last set of heart issue tests.

This weekend - The Lorax birthday celebration. My son will turn 11 this weekend and is very excited to be having a Dr. Suess celebration. The Lorax - The Lorax - The Lorax - if you have never read the book, then you for sure need to - it is memorable!!! We are heading to I-Hop restaurant this Saturday morning to have The Lorax breakfast meal - as my son is excited to get Tree Seeds and find a place to plant them. Then off to see The Lorax movie with my family and then I will treat them to lunch of my homemade chili. For sure no kids birthday celebration would be complete without other kids, we are having just a few kids in the neighborhood come for cake and ice cream. I am not going overboard and never planned to do so - this is just the right tone for this 11 year old. I am very excited, since The Lorax is a huge family favorite and well, even asked my sister that lives in Boston to take my niece and nephew tomorrow, so that it is like a full family celebration.

Many good things happening!!! Looking forward to what each new week has in store for me!!! Hope that you all have a GREAT weekend -

Staying MOtivated MO

Friday, March 9, 2012


Have you ever taken a Pilates class? I have taken a few, with the assistance of Mer's sister who owns a Pilates studio. I would have never guessed that Pilates is more then just lying down on the floor. There are machines, balls, rollers and more stretches then you can count. I always thought it was just a new type of Yoga (and never have done a yoga class, I am for sure not one to know much about yoga vs. pilates).

I have learned to use a Pilates Reformer - and even purchased one that I use not as frequently as I should, but I do put it to use at the end of most of my garage workout sessions...

I then took another Pilates class that allowed me to use a Balance Ball -

My latest Pilates class involved learning how to stretch and mold myself with a Foam Roller -

After my Boot Camp class with Mer last Saturday I ventured over to the Pilates Studio to get in a good workout with the Foam Roller. It was an hour of learning how to stretch out muscles that I don't stretch often enough. Some of the moves were a bit difficult, but at the same time I knew that I was doing my body some good. I have used the Foam Roller about three times this week. I can feel the difference in my back and when I had a headache the other day I put it to use to work out the pressure I was feeling on my neck.

(some sample movements) - looks uncomfortable, but after a bit it really does a body good!!!

What new exercise have you done lately?

Stay Strong
Stay Focused
Stay Positive
and be grateful for all that you have!!!

Staying MOtivated MO

Sunday, March 4, 2012

8 Week Challenge Roundup

Mer and I have been doing a Boot Camp Challenge for the last 8 weeks. Not really a huge challenge on our part, well - maybe on my part, as I know that Mer did much better on this challenge then me. This was called the Best Body 8 Week Challenge. Kind of a bit disorganized group, if you ask my opinion, but I was going to go to the last meet up event because, well, I am not a quitter. The cost was just $20.00 you could participate in several options of getting a Better Body. The money went to the Boys and Girls Club, so I was not only doing good for me, but being able to support another organization. Now, if some of you have been keeping up with this blog, you will know that I hit a wall with this challenge. The wall for the fact that when I signed up for the challenge they did not get my payment the first time. They got it the second time, but then I never got emails to confirm this. Mer has been getting emails and "cyper" encouragement for the last 8 weeks, but not me. We both have been encouraging each other, so for that fact I am grateful. I guess it just would have been nice to get more encouragement from the group. My original plan was to finish the challenge by driving down to Mer's place, attend the final boot camp session and show myself that I could complete this. I know I have not lost weight, but do feel that the inches have come off.

We headed to the Boot Camp early Saturday morning. I was a bit nervous. I have not been exercising up to capacity or even pushing myself like I should be. I was afraid that I was going to get sick. Would I be able to do the whole workout? What about actually keeping up with others. Mer was going to be a good support. She stuck by me the whole 1.5 hour workout. We did a fast pace warm up, then they wanted us to do blanks and pushups and compare what we did from the first week. (I did not do this back in January, so I do not know how far I have come - but was pleased to see that Mer did a full 2 minute blank - awesome!!!). Then there was a 20 minute workout. After that was a 12 minute obstacle course. Yes, I thought I was going to heave, but I did it - we both did it - we both finished strong and we survived. This was a good finish for me. A good way for me to realize that I still have a long way to go, but look at how far I have come!!! That is an accomplishment in itself - how far I have come.

I did get measured this morning, but need to go back to my main Boot Camp instructor and have her do the final measurements to be more accurate, so I will have an update on that in the coming days.

Very glad that we both did this 8 week challenge. I think that when you break up the challenges in pieces it keeps you motivated. If you have a goal to hit after 4 weeks or even 8 weeks, then you can set smaller goals that will add up to bigger goals. I am going to head home today and start another 8 week challenge on my own. Here are my goals on that:

Loss another 10 pounds (if it is more, then great!!)

Do stretching exercising each and everyday!! It will help me stay lose and my muscles will love me!!

Do a boot camp workout 3 times a week!!

Walk, Walk, Walk, as much as I can each day, everyday!!

I am also thinking of adding ZUMBA to my workouts. I have never done this, but do hear that it has a lot of dancing to it - and I love to dance. I have reconnected with a good friend recently and she became a ZUMBA instructor, and even if I can't take her class each week (she lives way out of town), then I can start something new.

Mixing it up - trying something new - having goals - that is going to get me to where I need to be, to be healthy!!! When I work out I am achieving many goals - my mind, body and soul are at peace - I am at peace - I feel centered - many things to be thankful for and glad that I am on this journey with myself!!!!

Hope you are having a good week - looking forward to a most wonderful Lucky to be Irish Green March!!

Stay Strong
Much Success to you this month
Keep up the good work

Staying MOtivated Mo

Friday, March 2, 2012

Good News Friday

Some of the highlights of my week -

Getting some good leads on the work force. Had a lady call me that had viewed my resume that I had forwarded to another friend. This lady was a complete stranger to me. She is also looking for work, but in finding out about this one job opportunity she didn't feel she was qualified and then decided to call me so I could apply. I was thrilled. I am not sure where it will all lead, but to have someone out of the blue call me, think of me for a job, well, I am still smiling!!! Finding other leads that have me surprised has kept me busy with letter writing, applications and resume emailing. Things look pretty good on the job hunting prospects.

No unemployment money coming in as of yet, all in due time. The good part, I did not hyperventilate when I paid a handful of bills - no paper bag moment for me, so I am keeping it all in check. More good news, my ex-husband is going to let me claim my son on my taxes this year. That was a nice change of pace - with him saying that I could use the money more then he could this year. Wow - things are going pretty good for me. So much to be thankful for.

Then I went to the cardiologist on Wednesday and there is more good news - I do not have any major heart issues. I don't have to get on blood thinners and there is no sign that I am having any blood clotting. My doctor told me to just keep track of the flutter issue and if I feel that it is something that is causing major issues, then I could come back for more tests, but at the moment he is just saying that it is my heart telling me I am alive (LOL). I was so thrilled to hear this news. Laughed at my long list of questions I was going to ask, all to have them thrown in the trash. It was the icing on the cake for me in regards to my health.

But, a time of reflection in regards to my health was upon me. I realized on my drive home on Wednesday that having a little bit of a health issue, that turned out to be nothing huge is a good thing. (thank goodness)!!!
I have had two health scares in the last 18 months or so. Back in November 2010 I was having some minor issues with my "bottom" (no, not going into details on this one) and it caused me to reflect. This too turned out to be nothing and I chalked it up to the fact that I was eating wrong, was overweight and well, needed to get rid of that extra weight. Not that I was not ready to loss weight or that I was forced to loss weight, this was just the moment that I knew I was ready and willing and able to finally completely commit to losing those many extra pounds. I have been working hard. On the right path. Then to have this second health scare made me reflect again. Even with doing all that I have been doing, my body seems to be telling me "are you really doing enough". Yes, I am a pretty healthy individual. I don't have high blood pressure, my cholesterol is right on target, everything else seems to be right on track, with maybe a minor red flag on the diabetes front. I guess what I keep thinking is that if my "numbers" are right on target, then I can't be unhealthy. Oh, yeah, that's right - I have a lot of extra poundage that I am carrying around. It makes my insides do flip flops, while making my outside look bigger. Go figure, I do need to keep losing weight. I HAVE NOT given up on that factor.

So - listening to my body is key. I have been working out - but have I "really" been working out. I am drinking my water - but have I "really" been drinking enough? I have been watching what I been eating - but "watching" it go into my mouth is not the factor we are looking for - tracking and keeping it under control is the key to my success. I received a blog comment the other day that reminded me that even in my struggles with my job, life and my health I have not gained, and for that I am thankful. I need to keep going, I will keep going and those darn 5 pounds that keep holding me back - well, they will be a thing of the past very soon!!! And then there will be another 5 gone, and another 5 gone and so on and so on and so on.

I am reminded more and more each day (more so lately) that life is good, my life is good - I am going to make it better by still staying on this healthy living lifestyle. The smaller I get the more my body will applaud me and I will look back on my weight loss journey and smile!!!!!

Staying MOtivated Mo