Saturday, March 19, 2016

Feeling Like the Old Me Again :)

I’m back again J

Greetings all, I am back to blogging, among other things. It seems that there is always a lot happening in my little corner of the world.

I’ll start with work. In case you didn’t already know…I teach first grade and I enjoy it immensely. I currently work in a school in East San Jose where I have been working for the past four years. I am kind of a late start professional, as I did not attend college until I was in my 30’s. It’s OK though because I feel that being a little bit older has given me some maturity and life experience and it works towards my benefit.

Anyways, I think the last time I wrote I was pointing out how the particular school site that I work at has a high demand to go above and beyond, with home visits, additional conferences, an extended day and almost two additional weeks of professional development classes pre and post school year. Now, I am not against working hard and always striving to do my very best, but being the perfectionist that I tend to be, I never feel completely accomplished and I am certain that it has been attributing to my feeling down at the years start. (*Note, I have since crawled out of my temporary depression and am feeling like myself again, thanks to additional vitamin D). The amount of work we all put in is overwhelming. Teaching in itself is a demanding job, but at our school it is almost impossible to keep up, maintain the level of expectation and remain happy in doing so.

So, I had made the difficult decision to opt out of my contract to continue at this school for the upcoming 2016-2017 school year. I hadn’t told anyone of my decision. Then our staff was  presented with letters of intent to say whether we are remaining at our current campus, retiring, resigning or “other.” What I had selected to do counts as “other.” So, I was faced with having to be honest and upfront to my principal about my decision. She was understanding and asked me to reconsider, but I just cannot remain in a constant state of stress. I have opted to excess, which means that I have put my name in as not wanting to remain at my current site, but am guaranteed a position within the district, dependent upon available openings and seniority status. So, for now I am just waiting for the selection process that is to happen on May 5th.  And ya know, I feel really good about my decision to move on. It will be the next exciting chapter of my beautiful life. I’m hoping to find another primary (K-1-2) position at a desirable site, so wish me luck and send me some of that good universe juju.

It actually turned out that five out of our eleven of staff members are moving on. This particular school has had a long history of large turnover and really no longevity, so I don’t feel so bad. I will however miss my students, former students and families, but know that wherever I go I will love my new students just as much.

On another note, I have decided to go back to Medifast after five years. I thought about it for a long time and spoke with my general practitioner, who is supportive and is monitoring me during this current weight loss phase. I did Medifast in 2011, with great success and more than likely would have remained through transition and maintenance had I not become ill with adenomyosis and uterine/abdominal cavity mesothelial cysts.

My goal this time around is to lose the weight, transition accordingly and maintain my loss using the learned habits from Dr. Wayne Anderson’s Habits of Health textbook and workbook. It actually feels like a college course on sound nutrition and I am enjoying it completely!

I started following the program last week on Sunday and am already down five pounds. It feels great to get up and see the scale going down again. I lucked out because my old health coach is still active and she is also supporting and assisting me in this process. I really like her and trust her input, so it feels good. I should also say that my sweet husband is incredibly supportive. He just may be my biggest fan. Prior to making this decision I had been counting calories on MFP religiously and getting regular exercise without much success. I was also doing WW for a while and more or less maintaining at a weight that I am not comfortable with. I am certain that my new plan and support system will be effective. 

And, it was just the one-year anniversary of my hysterectomy on St. Patrick’s Day and I have been feeling physically better than ever, so it feels like the perfect time to take on this weight loss challenge. I had tried briefly to go back to Medifast after my initial surgery in 2011, but I was too ill at that time to follow through. I actually required three further surgeries from the initial one in 2011, until the final hysterectomy surgery in 2015. So, I had been feeling physically poor for a long, long time…BUT NO MORE! I feel good and now I want to look good too!

I think that’s all for now-

Until next time, be well J

Live, Love, Laugh-


Thursday, February 18, 2016

New Positive Outlook

Hello all,

I've been meaning to get back over here and update after that last downer post.

Actually, I've been putting off posting because I wanted to add some pictures, but I don't know how to get the pictures off of my iphone and onto my MacBook. I forgot to ask my son to help me this past weekend. No matter, I felt like writing and updating today. Nothing specific, just random thoughts and what's new with me.

Last post I was in the midst of feeling extremely down and depressed. And actually posting about it made me feel somewhat better. I was however proactive and doing all that I could to feel my best and find a solution. I even scheduled some time to speak with a professional who told me that there are many triggers contributing to my feeling depressed (shorter winter days, holidays, obligation, overworking, missing my children, extended family stuff, loneliness etc. etc.) and that I was doing all of the proper things I needed to do to for my health, but the piece that was causing the most distress was my over thinking, over active mind. Just knowing that allowed me the opportunity to change my thinking when a sad or negative thought popped in, and  I also started supplementing myself with additional vitamin D and ya know what? I feel so much better, like my true self again! So, yay to me for making a quick turnaround. My only wish for the future is that I am able to recognize when this is happening to me again before I get too immersed into depression. Depression flat out SUCKS and if you've ever suffered then you understand. I am not going to be ashamed of being depressed ever again, but rather speak out and hopefully make a difference in the lives of others as well as my own. 

I should also say that I have some really great friends that reached out and took me to breakfast, went on walks with me, shared deep conversation and just were there for if you are one of those great people, thank you so much. It really means the world to me and makes a true difference.

Now that I have climbed out from feeling depressed and back to me again, things are going very well. I weigh in each week at my TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) meeting and this week I was down -4.6lbs, so very pleased with that. I have been truly faithful about tracking honestly and being extremely careful about staying within my calorie limit. I always drink the required water and strive to get enough sleep every night. Of course I try to get enough exercise, but find it more difficult in the winter when the daylight hours are shorter. So my new fix for that is with my sweet and supportive husband's assistance, I am creating a workout room that includes a treadmill, stepper, free weights and all the yoga essentials. All of these simple and healthy lifestyle adjustments are what have led to my current weight loss and new positive outlook.

Ya know, it really is that simple. It seems that I have always made it more difficult to lose weight than it needs to be. I cannot explain it but I feel different this time around, it's almost like an empowerment of sorts. There is something in me that just knows I am going to attain my goal. Having this week off work and allowing myself some time to breathe without over planning and over extending myself every day has been a real eye opener in that I have been reevaluating many things that lead to my healthy lifestyle. 

My goal is to make healthy decisions in my food and exercise choices, but what about livelihood? Has my job been contributing to my difficulty in losing weight as well as feeling depressed? Is my job contributing to me feeling ill so much? Can I keep going at this pace? 

The past few days since I have been feeling ill yet again have left me home with nothing to do but think (possibly overthink) about where I am at in life, where I want to be and what I need to do about it.

I've been very careful about my food choices and staying within my calorie limits. I am exercising faithfully and am creating a work out room now that my children are grown and out of the house. But I am seriously considering looking to work at another school campus, or possibly making a career change. I actually applied for three different positions today.

I read somewhere that if you work at a job that you love, it will not feel like work at all... hmmm.... I think I am overworking and not allowing enough time for me to be the best me anymore. 

All of this has really got me to thinking....YES, I am going to leave my current place of employment at years end. I don't even know if I want to stay in the same district any longer. And ya know, I have a calm, confident and peaceful feeling about it. I actually feel good about making this decision. I'm not sure where I am going to work but I'm ok with that.

If I have difficulty finding another teaching position, maybe I will just work at Nordstrom for a while.

I am lucky to have a strong and supportive husband that backs me up no matter what. Thank goodness for that! 

Well, that's what has been consuming my mind of late. For now though I am off to get my hair cut and colored, as close to the lighter natural color as possible (by Sarah's hair girl). I'm kind of excited about it. New hair is always a terrific boost! Hopefully it will look beautiful and contribute to the new healthy and happy me.

Until next time-
Keep shining :)


Saturday, January 16, 2016

It Can Only Get Better

I’m depressed.

I cannot even believe that I am putting this out there. It seems to me that depression has this negative stigma attached to it and it’s not something that comes up in daily conversation. Admitting that I am depressed actually makes me feel like less of a person, less worthy somehow, less valued, less of me.

If you’ve never suffered from depression it can be difficult to understand. It’s like feeling numb to life and everything around you, and essentially going through the motions of daily life with no sight of light at the end of the tunnel. It feels like an extreme sensitivity that is challenging to turn off or even tone down. It sucks and it hurts deep down inside at the very core of your soul. I find myself continually asking,  “How can I make this sad and lonely feeling go away?” I don’t want to leave the house. I don’t want to wake up. I don’t want to do even the usual mundane things that are needed to get by each and every day. Everything feels as if it takes more effort and I feel doubtful that I even have it in me to push forward.

What really sucks is that even though I have suffered through this before, and most likely will again, I don’t recognize that it’s happening to me until I am in the thick of it. I’m here now and I think I’ve been feeling this way since before the holiday season. In looking back over my previous blog posts, it is so apparent to me that I am and have been depressed for much of my life. That sucks! That’s hard to face, and I am sad to say that I don’t really know how and what to do about it. It’s like a quiet desperation inside my head that tells me I am destined to live a sad and lonely life. I have seriously been feeling lonely within my own household. Sure Alex and Glenn are here, but Alex never says more than two words to me at a time, and even then it’s not until he wants or needs something. And Glenn, though he means well and would never purposely avoid or distance himself from me has been so busy either doing his own thing or being tired from life, that we have barely connected lately. It really is a bummer to feel alone in your own home where there are people around.

I wish that I were somebody’s priority. I wish that I mattered more. I wish that I felt better and that this desperate feeling would go away and never come back.

I can remember years ago feeling like this and reaching out to my parents for advice, love or reassurance. Instead I was met with “Everyone feels down sometimes, You are being dramatic, You are overreacting, You are being ridiculous, Snap out of it”, and my favorite,  “You do this to yourself.” I am certain that this contributes to why I doubt and question myself.

I used to see a counselor for many years. She helped me work through lots of issues in my life. But in the end it stopped feeling helpful and more of an obligation, an expensive obligation. So I stopped seeing her about two years ago.

I also used to take medication, but felt that it just numbed me even more. I actually tried several different medications over the years…all with the same numbing effects, along with some unpleasant side effects. They were difficult to wean off of and I’m not really sure that they helped. I am certain though that I do not want to subject myself to antidepressants ever again.

That said I am not one to really give up or give in so I have been trying my best to crawl out of this current dark place. I am mindful of getting enough sleep. I try my best to eat healthy. I go to Weight Watchers every week. I walk and ride my bike (though not as regularly as I would like, now that it’s wintertime). I try to stay within my routine.  I’m reading a book called The Depression Cure. I’m trying to reach out to friends and be more social. I have shared with Glenn. I even got one of those light therapy boxes and now I’m writing this blog putting it out to the entire world. I know it will eventually pass, it has before, but for right now I am down.

Along with all of those positive lifestyle checklist items, I am about to close down and let go of my Facebook page. I’ve been thinking about it for a long time now and I think I am fairly close to doing so. I can’t say why making that decision has been so tough for me. It may be because there is a time line of pictures of my life over the past 10 years, or if it is because it really is a window into the world of friendships that I am always longing for. I’m not sure exactly what it is but I feel that my inner voice is telling me to let it go. I see these awful heartbreaking stories of animal abuse and neglect that really cause me to break down and cry and I just cannot take seeing those crushing stories any longer.  And, it is not that I am burying my head in the sand. I know that these things exist and happen daily. I just choose not to subject myself to the daily exposure any longer.

Again, I cannot believe I am putting it out there quite like this, but I have no one to talk to and I like to write. I find writing to be very therapeutic, a way of sorting out your thoughts. It gives you the opportunity to get out there what is on your mind and then (hopefully) let it go.

Don’t worry. I am going to pull through and be the best me again. I just need to push through it. Hopefully I am on the uphill side of things.

No matter what though, I have decided to take up blogging again. It really does give me the outlet for expression that I need.

Until next time,

Be well and shine on!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

February’s Life, Love and Busy-ness


It really is amazing how quickly time passes. It has been over a month since I last posted and so much has happened around here. February came and went in a flash. It was full of worry due to several events that are close to my heart. It all started with a letter I sent to CPS at Christmastime regarding my sweet little nephew, Christian, after he complained about some scary and disturbing happenings in his home environment.

          The chain of events that happened after my letter was sent has all happened quickly and intensely. I have been to court in San Luis Obispo twice in support of my brother and to protect Christian from his current difficult environment. In short, Christian has been appointed his own attorney that is further investigating and allowing Christian to have his own voice in court. His mother was proven a liar and we are due to follow up at the end of the month. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers that he will remain in good spirits and continue to be safe. I love him as if he was my own and more than anything, I would want him to be in the custody of my brother and in the care of my family. 

          Following all of that madness, my father in law suffered a heart attack on the same day I drove to and from SLO. It was one of the days I woke at 3:30am to brave the long drive. Upon my return I found out that Gramps was brought to the hospital. Glenn and I headed over there to find further details and we were in the hospital until late that night. It was one of those crazy days that you are absolutely on auto pilot and continue to push forth to get it all done. My mother in law definitely needed our support and we wanted firsthand information. Gramps is absolutely back to his old self and has been recovering well ever since. He did require surgery for intervention but came through it and has been in great spirits ever since. He is so resilient and has such a positive outlook, I have no doubt that he will not allow this to set him back. We are just pleased to have a healthy and happy Gramps again. He gave us all quite a scare. 

      I was fighting illness for what felt like a month. It began with bronchitis, lead to laryngitis and finally to asthma. I am back to feeling like myself again, but it is evident that working around all of the little germies has attributed to my poor health this year. I imagine after some time my immunities will build up and I will not catch every little bug that comes around. Until then, I will continue to enforce hygiene etiquette and hope for the best.

      At work I have been very busy this month as it was time for formal observations from the principal. Even though it is not such a big deal, it still raises the anxiety level. My observation was this past week and it went well according to the debrief meeting. Really, I am just happy to have it behind me. Also at work, we celebrated Valentine’s Day and I had no idea that it was such a big deal at our school. My students brought me so many gifts; gift baskets, chocolates, flowers and many, many assorted little goodies. I really had no idea. I definitely feel all of the love

      As for health, Aaron is attending WW meetings regularly with me again. We’ve switched to the Wednesday evening meeting and the leader is so much fun. She is lively, enthusiastic, funny and well informed. She makes it more engaging. The group is also very cohesive. Everybody is open to sharing and supportive of each other; just the way it should be. I’ve not lost much over the past month and this past week I was concerned. My new leader looked over my past week and all of my information and she has come to the conclusion that I am getting too much sodium. So, now that I am aware, I am being nit-picky about every little thing and trying to eliminate as much sodium from my intake as possible. I’ll keep you all posted and let you know next week if it makes a difference.

I have also been teaching yoga to students each week for our Fun Friday elective. It is remarkable to me that they have taken to the practice so well. They are definitely more flexible than I am and it makes me happy to see that they are taking it so seriously. I must admit that being sick and becoming so busy and overwhelmed, the first thing I have allowed to suffer has been my exercise routine. Wow…just confessing and writing this down feels bad and makes me want to figure it out and get back into my routine. In weeks past, Sarah and I have gone over our schedules on Sunday to determine which days for the following week are best for us to work out together. Today this is a must! I commit to attending the gym at least 3X this coming week. I also plan to either walk my dogs with Glenn or ride my bike around the neighborhood today. 


Other positives for the past month include signing up for Color Me Rad 5K run in September (I plan to train and actually run this one!). I was invited by a sweet friend to participate on her team. Sarah also signed up to do it. I have spent a lot of time with friends and family that included lunches, dinners, coffee, shopping and all of that good stuff. Our family was able to have Christian visit for a few days. The judge confirmed that he will be with us over the Spring break so we can take him with us on a big family Disneyland trip. I had a week off for Winter break where I mostly tried to recharge and regroup. I have spent a lot of time with Glenn as he has not been working regularly for several weeks. He has actually been invited to participate in a chronic pain management program that I think will change his/our life for the better. Finally I did book that trip to Las Vegas to attend my friend’s wedding in April. As always…having fun things to look forward to keeps us all going.

February started out extreme and seemed to fly by with one thing after another, but looking back it just feels like progress. That said, I am off to enjoy this beautiful day and continue making progress.

Until next time...Live, Love, Laugh and Light!