Six Week Challenge

I don’t work out. If I’m running, something is either chasing me or a student is having an emergency! So WTF was I doing joining a six week nutrition and workout challenge?!  That is what I said to myself as I drove home from a gym a little over six weeks ago.

You see this summer I tried yoga and it was an epic fail. I felt like an 80 year old and not a spry 80 year old. Something just triggered in me this year that I need to start taking care of me and finding myself so here I was trying to get healthy.

I have alluded to it in some of my previous posts, but I ridiculously signed up for a six week challenge at the end of September.  I took the Facebook bait and clicked an ad for a gym. I somehow found myself handing over my money, agreeing to a super strict diet, and three workouts a week for the next six weeks. I was petrified!

The next day I found myself at the gym again working out, swearing in my head that I wouldn’t make it through, crying that I just wanted my mom (she’s dead by the way), and plotting how I could possibly get my money back without having to go through with the next six weeks.  I made it through the first workout and I was a mess!

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My next stop was the Vitamin Shoppe for my soon to be favorite new drink…protein shakes! I hope you can sense my sarcasm.  That stuff is expensive! I totally was that girl who knew nothing in that store. I think stupid was flashing over my head when I walked in. I now have my frequent shopper card though- woo hoo! Walking out with two  huge jugs of powder I felt crazy.   Protein shakes for everyone!

Heading to the grocery store with my specialized shopping list was nuts. I walked out with more vegetables, spices, organic food, specialized butter, egg whites, etc. than I had in the rest of my life put together.  Meal prep would become my new life style.  I have found a new found appreciation for Pinterest and finding recipes that I could and could not eat. I pinned both 🙂  If I found one that was healthy that maybe had oil in it (which I could not have unless it was dinner) I still pinned it for after my 6 week challenge.

I was miserable that first week. I felt like my asthma might kick back in and I did not lose a pound. Week 2 came and the meal prep was a little easier but still no weight loss. I was so disheartened that I was ready to give up! Do you know how hard it is go out with your friends when they eat and drink but you are stuck with water?  Mmmm…water!

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From my Instagram Stories

Finally….Some Progress!

Week 3 hit and I finally saw weight loss. The thing is in weeks 1 & 2 I did feel my clothes getting looser.  However, to see the scale go down feels more tangible and it was the victory I needed to keep going. The workouts were getting easier.  By that I mean, I did not need to stop as often. I did not feel defeated as much. I could start using heavier weights.

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I kept going and I persevered. I was working out regularly. I even started working out extra at home because I was determined to get my money back and win this challenge!

The End is Here:

So yesterday was the end of my 6 week challenge and I lost because I was short 1 body fat percentage even though I lost 14 pounds. I am trying hard to be okay with it because I do feel much better.  My body is leaner and more toned.  I was what I call “skinny fat”.  Not fat but not healthy either.  Take a peek at my before and after pictures:

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To celebrate never cheating on my 6 week challenge and being able to eat some “real” food again I took my nephew out for lunch since we had the day off of school for election day yesterday. It was great to be able to chat with him one on one without his siblings around! I hope everyone did their civic duty and voted yesterday.

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So I am bummed I didn’t win my challenge but proud my hard work.  Have any of you done a 6 week challenge? Did you win it? I am a bit nervous of trying to integrate some foods back into my diet and still maintain my weight. Any tips for me out there on this stage of my journey?

 

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World Mental Health Day

Last Wednesday was World Mental Health Day. A big reason I started this blog was that I felt my mental health was decreasing.  Is that okay to say? Are teachers allowed to say they struggle with mental health? It is a scary thing to put out there. I’m nervous to even say it. What if a parent sees this an decides they do not want his/her child in my classroom because of my struggles?! It has been my constant fear and probably makes things worse for myself because I live under a cloud of shame.

It is something I finally admitted to myself in college and pursued help but I am guessing that I dealt with in high school as well. Anxiety. Depression. How are teachers supposed to admit that to their peers? To their administrator? To the world?  I think a big part of me keeps myself so busy that I do not “feel” most of the time. I can live my life and seem happy-go-lucky.  My anxiety however…..

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Pic from Glennon Doyle’s Instagram

This is me in a nutshell. I like to think of myself as laid back but my anxiety kicks my butt.  I have been told by one of my best friends that I am one of the strongest people she knows. Is that a good thing? Or am I just hiding behind a shell? I am thankful that my depression ebbs and flows. It has never been as bad as when my mom died six years ago understandably so I know I can make it through most things now, but anxiety is crazy.

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So I put this all to you in the world. Would knowing that your child’s teacher struggled with anxiety and/or depression make you concerned? Why or why not?

To those teachers that do struggle with their mental health I say, carry on and persevere! Know that there are many teachers out there that struggle as we do. Make sure you are doing self-care.

Self-care is different for every person. For me it is a massage every two weeks and starting this blog. It spending time with my nieces and nephews. What do you for self-care?

 

For those who do not struggle, make sure you are checking in with those around you. We may try to push you away but don’t let us.

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Both pics are from Glennon Doyle’s Instagram

 

A New Year- A New Intern

Today a new student intern started in my classroom.  Normally they begin before school year starts, but hey we are in education. We roll with what happens around us. I count myself lucky she is with me at all. I was originally assigned an intern before school even started but for unknown reasons it did not work out and the first one never showed up.

I love having student interns in my room. This is actually my third year having student intern(s) in my classroom. While some teachers do not like it or shy away from it for various reasons of their own I will take any that I can get.

So how does this work in my journey to find balance? Student interns typically can be more work, it can slow me down, and means more meetings and planning time. However, I like to look at the flip side of it. I get more adult support in the room. The kids get more adult support and intervention. It means I will be able to take the time to handle kinder kiddo conflict while she continues teaching.  It means she will be able to do an extra intervention group  at the same!  I like to think of it as a win-win situation.

Lucky me too- I get to make an amazing impact on a new teacher and in a way all of his/her future students.  I get to build a relationship with a newbie teacher who can bring all of their ideas to our classroom and I learn from them too.  I am still in touch with my mentor teacher almost 20 years later and look up to her career in the early childhood field.

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This article from Edutopia is great and talks about how every teacher needs a mentor. Did you know that most teacher who leave the profession in the first five years do so because they lack support. Mentors can do a lot to curb this stat.

So teachers (even non-teachers) out there- do you have yourself a good mentor?

Someone who will:

  • Support you
  • Challenge you in positive ways
  • Celebrate your success
  • Listen and Collaborate
  • Be a Safe Space for You (most important!!)

If you do not have a person like this in your life- seek one out immediately!  If there is not one at your place of work, seek one out locally.  If there is no one- email me; I’ll be there for you (now imagine me singing the Friends theme)

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