Monday, February 27, 2012

Thank You, Beyonce


"The time is going to pass whether you do something with it or not.  Next year it will be Next Year no matter what I do, so I might as well do something good with what I've got in the meantime."

When I was a wee sprat in middle school, I had a friend who's mother was going through a rather sudden divorce.  She used the chaotic time in her life as a spring board to change her circumstances & rather than sit & mope, she decided to get her college degree.  The above quote is something I overheard her saying to another mother (not my mother!) when asked why she was taking the time to go back to school "at her age," especially since it would take so long doing it part time.

Little did Beyonce (sadly not her name--I honestly can't remember her name this many years after the fact) know that she was not only taking charge of her life, but she was also shaping mine years down the road.  Not much good comes easy or quickly.  It takes time & hard work & consistency & perseverance to get to a long term goal. 

I don't know why I'm thinking about Beyonce today, but I wonder where I would be without that inadvertent lesson?  I pulled that quote out of my memory many times in the early stages of my journey, reminding myself that each small good choice was a step toward a big step that I wouldn't be able to see without the benefit of time.  Now that some time is past & I can look back on two years of better choices & accumulation of effort, I'd like to say: 
  • Thank you, Beyonce, for giving me an idea to hold onto when the small steps are frustrating (this is how Internet rumors get started, by the way, but I'm not saying anything mean about Beyonce, so I don't think she'll's not like I'm naming a big metal chicken after her--if you're not afraid of impolite snort out loud laughter & four-letter-words click here & you will find THE funniest thing on the Internet).
  • Thank you, Shortsighted Other Mother, for asking a hideously rude & inappropriate question within earshot of impressionable youths.  You're just lucky that Beyonce took the ball & ran with it.
  • Thank you, Memory for hanging on to at least one useful thing in my whole life.  If I can't remember kidnapping my (then) boyfriend for an impromptu trip to Graceland because Graceland should be on EVERYONE'S bucket list, well then at least I can remember a golden idea that I eavesdropped as a 14 year old.
 The take-aways:
  1. I can't stop time from marching on.  All I can do is the best I can with the time I have right now.
  2. There's always a tween looking for a life lesson, so have your message-stick at the ready at all times.  Look, there's one now with the clothes of an 80 year old man & the make-up of an 80 year old hooker.  Oh wait, that was me.  Carry on.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

New Sara + The Machine


This song.  So much:
I found myself hangin' with Ursula this afternoon & discovered this as a kick-hiney running song.  I already loved it as a grooving-in-the-kitchen, but when Florence wails "run fast for your mother," I really really wanted to!

Not only that, I really really wanted to keep running.  For the first time in a long time, I felt the thrill of fitness & wanting to make my body strong again.  I even started entertaining the idea of training for the local 20K in June. 

I was so excited about working out (wha-ha?!?!?) that I put on a clean pair of running tights & tank after my shower so that I'm ready to hit it again tomorrow morning.  Yup, I sleep in my work out wear to eliminate one excuse from the endless supply I find myself with at the crack of early. 

So here I sit ready (but for my new Smart Wool socks that are in the dryer--looooooove them) for my run in the morning & looking forward to my second ever plank (did one this afternoon after Florence got me all whipped up--10 seconds...I've got lots of room for improvement!).  It's time to make New Sara strong as well as lean.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Our Daily Bread


I'm a freak. 

About a year ago, because I didn't want to dump whey (leftover from making yogurt) down the drain, I bought a bread machine & started making all of our bread.  At the time I did the math & figured that the fancy-schmancy machine (a requirement if I was going to bake bread as I knew--& still know--nothing about baking) would pay for itself in one year with the savings from not buying our $3.50 per loaf grocery store bread.  Factor in the "savings" in preservatives & highly processed nonsense & it was a no-brainer.

Today is "free" bread day...'s a beautiful day.

I'm celebrating by pushing myself waaaaay out of my comfort zone & making hamburger buns for our veggie burgers tonight.  Anything that requires me doing anything with dough that isn't of the cookie variety terrifies me, but what's the worst that can happen?  Veggie burgers a la plate isn't the end of the world & maybe hamburger buns can be one more thing I can make to take better care of my body & the other three bodies that I feed each day.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sleeping re-Booty


"Oh, boy, sleep! That's where I'm a viking!" --Ralph Wiggum

In Week 1 of my reboot, I didn't exercise.  Not once.  Workouts & I are frenemies & we have to ease back to one another in a gentle sort of way.  So, this week I focused on the one thing that is critical in getting me back to workout ready: sleep. 

I'm a morning person.  Sometimes I live in denial of this fact.  The last couple of months have been so deep in denial that I can see Egypt (groan).  Anyway...when I'm doing my best I'm going to bed no later than 10:30 & getting up around 6, but it is so easy to be seduced by later evenings to hang out with the hubster or catch up on Pinterest (who am I's really all about Pinterest).  This week I went to bed promptly & got up early because of crazy stuff that we had planned each day.  I didn't work out (one morning I really did intend to hit Ursula with a boom stick--but woke up to find the cat had knocked over a vase of flowers & there was broken glass & plant-food-filled-sticky-water that needed to be cleaned up lest I end up with warped floors & a severed foot). 

Guess what?  Early to bed, early to rise didn't make Sara wealthy or wise, but I think it did go a ways toward healthy.  By the end of the week I was hopping out of bed just before my alarm started screaming & I had more energy throughout the day.  Now with my best sleep cycle restored & some extra energy burning a hole in my pocket, I'm feeling ready to start whooping it up again in the exercise department. 

I don't know why it's so hard for me to make the connection between good sleep & good exercise/results on the scale, but here I am re-learning it for the umpteenth time.  Sleeping to my internal clock is critical--because where else do I get to be viking?

Thursday, February 16, 2012



What was I thinking starting a reboot of healthy habits THIS week...otherwise known as The Festival of Sara at our house.  With Valentine's Day, Coraline's Birthday/My Life Changing Anniversary & My Birthday within four days of one another, there is much celebrating, much revelry & much cake in our house.  And I have eaten cake. but reasonably.

Don't get me wrong, when I found myself with a box of our very absolute favorite Tricked Out Treats (check out the yellow hexagonal bumblebee cake in the gallery, that's Coraline's 1st birthday cake) cupcakes on Tuesday, I wanted to dive head first into them with out sharing a single crumb.  Thankfully, a friend's reminder to "be good to yourself" really hit home.  Yes, treats are appropriate & yes, they are good, BUT the best way to be truly good to myself is to give my body nourishment first & treats second.  This is a major shift from Old Sara's philosophy of binging on baked goods & then not eating any real food because I couldn't "afford" the calories.  The truth hurts.

Anyway, this week has been crazy busy & crazy fun, but the reminder to be good to myself has definitely helped me navigate with control & appropriate portions.  I even passed by an opportunity to sneak junk during a kid-free trip to Tar-jay because I knew that I would be eating plenty of treats this week & that needn't be one of them.  It felt good to prioritize & helped me enjoy that cupcake on Valentine's Day--& one today for Coralooney's birthday! 

And speaking of her birthday, part of what has kept me busy & made me want to grab quick & dirty food the last couple of weeks:



...Coraline's birthday play kitchen is done!  And the reception that it got this morning was priceless.  Chefs Coraline & Lincoln cooked up a storm all morning & served up a heaping helping of this-is-why-you-changed-your-life when I heard them saying things like "No, that's too much food at one time, it will make your tummy hurt" (Lincoln) & "I make-a spe-shul t'eat fo' after good dinner" (Coraline).  My heart melts.  Talk about a way to be good to myself. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Food Creed


I know that there are people that look at me & say "Look!--she's DONE it."  Verily I say unto you: it's never done.

I knew this was going to happen.  After every "big" event in this process (ie: major weight milestones, races, acknowledgements) I've had a corresponding mental backslide.  Sometimes (as with now) I've had accompanying weight gains.  I had prepped myself for the feelings of inadequacy, failure, & frustration that would inevitably come after my piece aired on the news.  I hoped that in preparation I could avoid calamity.  She found me anyway & I've been binging & moping & making poor choices for the better part of two weeks (I even missed my very first weigh-in last week under the guise that I couldn't go because I took a drink of water at 5:00 AM--for realz).

Intellectually I know that all of these feelings are A) ridiculous & B) fleeting.  My momma always said that all emotions are fleeting & that is why it is best not to make major longterm decisions based on temporary feelings.  Wise woman, my momma.  So, as I wait for my feelings to flit away, I started thinking about what I BELIEVE as opposed to what I FEEL.  I'm embarking on a two month reboot: going back to basics & refocusing on eating as fuel.  Here is what I believe to be true for me (note: I am NOT trying to imply this to be an absolute, overarching list of mandates for the masses) :

Food Creed

I believe that food is necessary to fuel my body & make me strong.
I believe that there are no off-limits foods; simply off-limits portions.
I believe that food will not solve a problem--unless the problem is hunger.
I believe that food from creation will always satisfy & nourish me more than food from production.
I believe that a wide variety of foods will provide me the nutrients that I need.
I believe that there are no "bad" foods.
I believe that eating too much food is just as wasteful as throwing food away.
I believe that making my own food helps me appreciate & enjoy it more.
I believe that fewer steps from source to table yields better nutrition for my body.
I believe that occasional food "splurges" are critical.
I believe that food must taste good & be nutrient rich.
I believe that my body can tell me how much food I need if I retrain myself to be receptive to its cues.
I believe that I alone am responsible for what & how much food I put into my body.
I believe that food isn't personal.

Do I follow or defer to these beliefs 100% of the time?  Absolutely not.  Just as anyone with any set of beliefs--be they spiritual, ethical or social--I screw them up.  Sometimes *gasp* on purpose.  I'm human.  Here's what I can do: I can refocus, reboot & recognize that these are the guiding beliefs that have gotten me this far & these are the beliefs that will take me the rest of the way.  Two months of re-commitment starts now (actually it started yesterday, but I was elbow deep in painting Coraline's birthday project & didn't take time to finish this up).

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Just When I Think I'm All Grown Up...


I'm still waist deep in processing all of my swirly-twirly emotions about the news segment & how it went, but in the mean time...

Apparently in my jump from momentarily slender college student to obese member of the workforce to healthy stay-at-home-mom of two, I forgot to learn how a grown up dresses.  Observe:

Why yes, we are both wearing t-shirt dresses, long sleeve t's, leggings & Ugg boots.  And no, I didn't pose Coraline, but yes, I did pose myself to mimic her for effect.  A big Thank You to Coraline for grudgingly letting me borrow MonkeyBaby for the picture. 

Maybe someday I'll figure it out, but right now I'm happy with regression.