Fat and happy?

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Yes, I realize that these photos seem to have NOTHING to do with my previous post on the subject, but let me tell you friends, it does.

These LOVELY photos, captured by my cell phone, show you what I currently have on my plate: finishing my credential portfolio, grading 49 essays for our district writing assessment, 103 essays for my own students and 103 reading summaries.

Ah, the life of the teacher.

Truly, my life will get astoundingly easier in just two and a half weeks, when my credential is DONE and those papers have to be graded, but for the past week or so and for the next two, my life will be a bit hellish.

In case it’s not completely obvious, hitting the gym every day is a near impossibility with a workload like this, on top of teaching, tutoring as my part time job and trying to maintain my rapidly fraying sanity. When I come home, I am absolutely exhausted, and usually lay down on the couch for a half an hour before working some more. I am also totally thrilled to be participating in Holly from Decor8’s Blogging Your Way course, which is AMAZING, but alas, it is another thing to add to the pile. Oh, and I happen to love and adore my friends, family and boyfriend, and need time with them too.

So, what do you do? I’ve heard those people who believe that “you can always get up an hour earlier!” or “everyone has 30 minutes a day for the gym!” And while that may be true, and I am totally willing to call myself on the carpet and admit that yes, I could get up earlier, I challenge ANY OF THEM to stay in a room with 35 13-year-olds for one day and see how little sleep YOU need.

Still, the truth is I could put things aside to work out. I need to be honest and admit that at times, I have chosen more relaxing activities over the gym. Activities like sitting on Leslie’s porch and drinking red wine or spending a lovely evening with my family or date night with Andrew. But I also need to be real and say that these times of relaxation are absolutely essential to me making it through the end of my program and grading hell.

I am choosing to focus on what I HAVE been doing right. A huge struggle for me is eating emotionally. Stressed? EAT. Happy? EAT. Accomplished something? EAT. While I have indulged, I’ve also been cognizant of these feelings, and not given in. I have stayed within my calorie goal, with the exception of one day. I have planned for and eaten healthy lunches.

And, gratefully, my body has rewarded me: I have lost a pound. Sure, it’s just one pound, and if I was working out, I’m certain that number would be a lot higher. Still, there’s been a lot of goodness in my life this week, as well as a lot of stress. I’ve had a bit of both, and this has shown me that it’s possible to be stressed, and to not eat. That it’s possible to still enjoy life without totally throwing my diet out the window. I think it’s easy for me to equate food and indulgence with happiness, and this week has shown me that eating healthily and happiness are not mutually exclusive. It has shown me that even when I am completely stressed and have a lot on my hypothetical plate, I don’t have to pile a lot of food on my ACTUAL plate to make it through…

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