Permission to Fail

It’s almost 6:30 and I’m contemplating going to bed.  It hit me all of a sudden today.  That wall.  I don’t really feel like I’ve been going and going and going…   I guess in some ways I have.  Since I started the Biggest Loser Challenge 3 weeks ago I’ve been religiously counting my daily calories.  With the help of, it’s not too hard.  The hard part was the first two weeks and adjusting to my new eating habits.  I feel like I’ve got that down, so now it’s time to add in phase 2: exercise.

Since I know myself SO well, and I know I tend to be an all or nothing personality, I purposed to go about this in a balanced manner.  I haven’t run or worked out in any way, shape, or form in months.  I figured a walk off the pounds dvd from the library might be a good way to ease back into things.  I’m LOL at that now.  After work yesterday I did the 30 minute express video.  It was a 2 mile walk with interval resistance training with a stretchy band.   I felt good while I was doing it!  I felt good afterwords.  So good in fact, that I decided to do some planks.  And try to do a push-up.  That’s right. Just one.  I’m told if I keep trying every day, eventually I’ll be strong enough to do, maybe 2.  So far I’ve managed about 1/2 a push-up.  That’s where you get in a push-up position, start to bend your arms and go down, then realize if you continue in that downward motion your chest will hit the floor, but you won’t be able to get back up.  Thus, you only go half way down.  It’s safer that way really.   I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

I was doing so well yesterday, and now today just feels like one big fail.  Yesterday my morning Bible study time was inspired!  Today I had trouble focusing and staying awake.  Yesterday I was full of energy!  Today I’m fighting to stay vertical.  What happened??  Nothing notable that I can tell.  The other big fail today is that in all my “trying to change my life” thoughts, I also decided to try a new method of keeping the house clean.  Or at least our family’s version of clean.  For the most part if it’s not sticky or visibly disgusting, we leave it alone.  Meaning my house gets a good cleaning maybe once every other month.  No lie.  I’m speaking truth here.  That may be gross to you, but it’s just reality for us.  We keep things picked up, but I’m talking about sweeping, mopping, dusting…that kind of stuff.  It’s gotten to the point where I feel like I need to be a grown up about this.  I have a plan.  If I clean one room a day, the whole house should stay clean enough that if anyone drops by, I can let them in the door.  This sounded like a good plan.  I even cleaned the bathroom after my workout yesterday (all that energy, don’t you know.)  Today was supposed to be kitchen cleaning day.  Shoot.  The only thing I did in the kitchen when I got home from work today was put down my lunch bag, and make some coffee and a pb&j sandwich (totally blew my calories for the day!)

The kids just came in my room to ask if I was making dinner, took one look at me, said, “Nevermind,” and left.

Today I’m giving myself permission to fail.  Fail at my calorie counting. Fail at my new cleaning schedule.  Failure to exercise.  I’m actually quite ok with that.  See, I know a secret.  I might fail today, but I’m not a failure.  Tomorrow (after a good night’s rest and some much-needed down time) I can get back on track.  That’s the beauty of grace.


Now I’ve Gone and Done It!

exercise cartoonI don’t make New Years resolutions.  I get really annoyed watching the same people I know, say the same thing every year, and they last all of 2 months before they quit.  Of course they don’t call it quitting, no, it’s more of an “I’ve just changed my mind about this thing” type of quitting.  Besides, I like to go against the crowd.  So, while everyone has been joining the gym, juicing, and trying to better themselves in 2013, I’ve done nothing of the sort.  If anything, I’ve been sitting around more (reading), eating worse (I’m tired of trying to figure out how to eat gluten-free in a house of picky non-gf people), and am back up to drinking too much coffee every day.  However, I’m not one to pass up an opportunity when it presents itself.

It no secret that I’m unhappy with my slow, but steady increase in weight and inches since I stopped running months ago.  It’s not just about the weight.  I don’t feel as good.  I’ve been wanting to find some activity I can do that won’t make my hips and ankle hurt worse than they already do.  I’ve had some ideas of things I could do, but it’s been months of me just not doing anything to make it happen.  A friend told me she’s joining a team of ladies in a Biggest Loser challenge at a local church.  As is typical for me, I scoffed at anything attached to the Biggest Loser name.  I’m not a fan of the show by any stretch of the imagination.  I can’t stand “reality” tv.  Especially that show.   That aside, this friend told me who the other ladies were.  I know them, and they’re a lot of fun.  Then she told me for $35 you get a t-shirt, participation in challenges, prizes, and the thing that clinched it for me…Zumba classes on Saturdays.  The last place I thought about taking a Zumba class was $7 a class.  That’s crazy.  But, the last time I lost a significant amount of weight was when I was part of a step aerobics class.  I need a class atmosphere.  I need other people I know in the trenches with me.  So…I signed on.

Tomorrow is our first weigh-in, complete with measurement taking and a “before” pic.  Lord, have mercy!  It’s been a long time since I’ve done anything like this.  About 13 years to be exact.  I’m a little scared.  But also a little excited.  I need to do this for me, and the fact that I want to is the only reason I think it might work.

Besides the Zumba classes once a week, I have a dear friend who is going to let me use her elliptical while she gives Bekah her weekly piano lesson.  That’s 2 days of moving down.  I stopped at the library today to peruse the fitness DVDs.  I bypassed all the ones that had “steel” in the title, and also the ones for “idiots”.  What I ended up checking out was a 15 minute express dance workout, and two walk away the pounds (or some such title) to try this week.  I figure if I can switch it up enough, I won’t get bored. The video that would probably be the most fun in my  opinion is Richard Simmons classic, “Sweatin’ To the Oldies.”  However, I was just too embarrassed to check it out.  I couldn’t do it.  My goal (and I hate using that word) is to move (not exercise) for at least 15 minutes a day, 6 days a week.  I know…it’s just words, but the way I’m wired, the wording can make all the difference.  I hate the word goal because in my messed up mind, I’ve failed at so many goals I’ve made in life, if I call it a “goal” I’ll quit before I’ve started for fear of failure.  And calling it moving instead of exercise might just get it through my thick skull that it ALL does count.  Those extra steps to the store when I park the car in East Jabip count.  When I forget something downstairs and have to go back down and then back up, those steps count too.  I’ve had friends in the field of fitness tell me that for years.  It all adds up.  I’m hoping to make that my theme as I do this.  I think I need to invest in a pedometer.

The rest of today is going to be spent planning out how I’m going to add all this “movement” and healthier eating into our already crazy-busy life.  The day-to-day of it is what I need to plan out.   What am I going to eat for breakfast?  What kind of snacks?  Chocolate?? What about chocolate?? And coffee…I will NOT give that up.  No matter what.  I’ll try to keep you all posted on my (hopeful, fingers crossed) progress.  I hope we can have a team name.  And that it’s something funny.  I’m all about laughing at myself.

Happy Saturday everyone!


The Joy of Shopping: IKEA

What day is it?  Seriously…I had to look at my phone to figure it out.  Phil was on vacation the week before Christmas, then the girls and I have been on vacation since.  With no set routine or schedule I’m not quite sure what day it actually is.  I like not knowing. I like not having to wear a watch.  Monday is going to be a rough day.  Back to getting up at 5am and being Mrs. Mongold again, not just Lisa.

This morning I was contemplating how much time I “wasted” over the break.  There were so many productive, useful things I could’ve gotten done.  But I didn’t.  I spent WAY too much time watching Nikita and Parenthood, and I’m in the middle of reading my 5th novel since the 21st.  The funny thing is that even though I could have used my time in better ways, I’m fine with how it all turned out.  The weeks leading up to Christmas were constant busyness and being sick.  The beginning of break was constant rest and recovery.  Now I really need to find a happy balance between the two.  Break is almost over and I can literally feel the seconds ticking by.  I don’t want to go back to work.  But I love my students and being a teacher.  I don’t want to go back to a schedule that requires a watch.  But I know if I stay too long without a routine, it’s bad for me, and I tend to spiral into depression.

Ahhhhh…the balance of life.  Why is it so hard??

I’ve been invited to go on a trip to one of my favorite places tomorrow. IKEA!!!  I perused the catalog and the website and have mentally redecorated 2 rooms in my home.  Being realistic about things, I’m going to get this for Alisha’s room, this for the living room, and if Phil approves (fingers crossed) new chairs (either these or these) for the dining room.  Maybe.  I guess dropping hundreds on new dining room chairs right after Christmas in not that realistic, but the ones we have desperately need replacing.   I better find out how big of a vehicle we’re taking!

And so it begins…

new years eveHappy New Year!  When it comes to new beginnings, who doesn’t reflect and think about what they’d like to do differently?  I’m not one who makes resolutions in the sense of writing them down and really working toward the goals.  I think that’s one thing I need to work on this year.  Recently I’ve realized I’m so afraid of failing I keep myself from some good things.

In years past we’ve celebrated New Years Eve with some good family friends and spent some time writing down things we want to let go of from the past year and then throwing those papers in the wood stove.  We also journaled the things we want to see come about in the next year.  It’s been a few years since we’ve been able to be with those friends on New Years Eve and this year I especially missed that tradition.  We had fun with some other friends last night, playing games and watching the ball drop and the tribute to Dick Clark.  It was fun, but I really missed the meaningful moments of reflection.  So, I’m doing that myself this morning.  Mentally at least.  We don’t have a wood stove or a fire-place, and it’s too darn cold to use the fire pit today.  Besides, it’s 3:00 and I’m still in my pajamas!  So, join me as I take a mental walk through 2012 and remember the best things that happened and the things that need to go up in smoke. Keep in mind my memory being what it is, this may be a short walk.

  • I finally got the help I needed to work through some stuff with the help of a Christian counselor.  I’d say one of the best things I did in 2012!
  • After years of being a follower of Jesus Christ and doing my best to live a life that brings Him glory, for the first time I’ve gotten into the routine of a daily time of prayer and Bible study. By far, this is the one thing that made the most difference in my life this past year!  I believe that, in combination with the therapist, is why I can say I’m in a better place than I’ve ever been.  It feels really good to be going into a new year with that mindset.
  • Watching my girls grow up and finding joy in it.  It’s not like when they were little and I’d marvel at their new words, and their funny sayings.  It’s not like when they were so cute and everything was a “first”.  They’re teenagers now, and honestly, there is very little that is “cute” about these years.  It tough.  It’s trial and error.  It’s not at all in my skill set.  But this past year, I’ve found great joy in seeing them become the people God is crafting them to be.  Sometimes it’s a huge thing that is clearly seen, and other times it’s a small, seemingly unimportant detail that actually has huge implications.  We don’t get this parent/teenager thing right all the time, and at times it’s messy and ugly, but I’ve seen forward motion and that’s what I choose to focus on.  I’ve got really, really good kids!  They are amazing and I am so thankful that God has gifted me to be their mom and graced me to do the job.
  • Something I need to let go of and burn up is the guilt of falling off the healthy wagon…again and again.  I had to go gluten-free this year, not out of choice but out of necessity.  I’m thankful I figured out what needed to be done to stop the constant pain, but it meant not being real clear on how to eat.  I also have had a lot of hip and ankle issues and quit running and exercising in general.  Because of a combination of all of that, I now weigh more than I ever have and am back up to the biggest size I’ve ever been.  I want that to change in this next year, and even have a few ideas about how to make that happen, but I’m afraid to start and then fail.  I know, I’m failing already if I don’t even start.  Like I said…I need to burn up the fear and guilt and just move forward.  My plan is to read the book “Failing Forward” and start walking 15 minutes a day.  Not trying to get my heart rate up or get crazy sweaty, or take away time from other stuff (time I really don’t have), but just to walk.  I can do that.  I’m hoping that by being consistent in that I’ll be able to see at least a little change, and that will compel me to make other changes.  I’d also like to start seeing a nutritionist, but that costs money.  I have learned though, with the therapy, that for me sometimes I need an unbiased person to hold me accountable.
  • This next issue is quite the quagmire.  Relationships.  Ugh…just typing that word brings up so many feelings and thoughts.  There are many things I need to let go of, and many things I need to hold tighter to and commit to making them work.  I’m counting on God to lead me in this area, because He is the only one who can.  I feel as though I’ve let so many people down this past year.  I’ve been a terrible friend and been extremely selfish with my time and energy.  As a result, the friendships I do try to keep up have suffered.  The ones that really didn’t matter went by the wayside, and I’m ok with that.  But as I sit here at the end of one year and the beginning of a new one, I know I really need to decide who my “crew” is going to be.  I need a group of people who I can count on.  Who love me for who I am and despite who I am.  People I can call in the middle of a real or perceived crisis and they will drop everything and be there.  I also know it’s going to take me being all those things for them.  I used to have this with a group of friends, but it’s been years.  Those people are now gone from my life, but I miss that camaraderie, that accountability, that friendship, more than anything.  I also believe that for relationships like that to form, it has to be a God thing.  It’s not something we can manufacture or work up ourselves.  I think we just need to be open and transparent and willing to put what it takes into it.  That’s what I plan on doing this year.

Looking ahead…

  • I want focus on the positive more than the negative, and surround myself with people who try to do the same
  • I want to do more thanking and less complaining
  • I want to be healthy
  • I want to build deep, meaningful relationships
  • I want to find and keep balance in all things

I encourage you to take some time and reflect.  Ask God to show you the good, the bad, and the ugly, then give it over to Him to work it all out.  I promise you’ll be better off for it. Oh, and let me know how it goes!

Here’s to a great year for all of us! (my coffee cup is raised…clink;)