Saturday, March 31, 2018

Day 86 and Day 87: We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet

Bummed I missed yesterday. So today is a twofer.

Yesterday’s good choice of the day was not finishing the entire second hot chocolate when I went out to breakfast and saving the other half of my side of bacon in a box for lunch. Sounds ridiculous, but it actually is a step up from past behaviors. I am a tall, big boned gal with a big appetite.  But I’ve been learning to not eat beyond what feels good, even though I know I can. I still have a long way to go- today was full of Easter candy, for example. But I’m not going to give up, even though I’ve gone a little off course with my routine being mixed up by spring break (this always happens to me- I’m a creature of habit!). There was a talk in general conference about forgiveness and it quoted the scripture about how we need to forgive until 70 times 7, and that includes ourselves. This is a hard one, but I’m going to work at it.

Being part of the solemn assembly today was so neat. The spirit was very strong- it overcame me. I remember feeling that way when President Monson was sustained. God truly calls a prophet as His mouth piece in our day! Being in the choir is exhausting but is teaching me so much and bringing me closer to God. I’m very grateful for that! Being able to sing my testimony to the world is a pretty incredible opportunity and I know this is what I need to be doing, even if trying to juggle it with work can be hard. It has been a refiner’s fire in a way I never realized it could be. It reminds me of my mission a lot. I feel so very inadequate.But the Lord reminds me in His own ways that He is aware of me and accepts my meager offerings. Another talk mentioned that the atonement wasn’t a backup plan for if people made mistakes- making mistakes WAS the plan and the atonement is there to help us grow from them. That was very comforting to me!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Day 85: I think I can, I think I can

I’m tired and I don’t feel great so this entry will be lame. Even though I’m glad I’m not weighing myself, I’m realizing that it does take away motivation to keep going with my goals. Sometimes I feel like it’s hopeless because I don’t know if I’ve made any progress. I can sort of feel it in my clothes, but I can’t really tell. I felt a little discouraged today and kind of ready to throw in the proverbial towel. But I am not giving up! I just have to start fresh tomorrow!! Though the day of my mission reunion with delicious Brazilian snacks is not really not the ideal time to start. ;)

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Day 84: Super Deb

I am spending the night at Dana’s house tonight. Dana has 6 kids under the age of 8 with two sets of twins. Five boys, 1 girl. She is super human. This afternoon and evening, I watched her get all of her kids fed (and it was a homemade meal!) and to bed, including family scripture study and prayers before they slept. She was on her own because her husband was working late. I helped how I could, but she had the situation totally under control. I felt emotional watching her explain the scriptures to her 8 year old sons. After 5 of the 6 were in bed, she patiently sat beside one of her older two boys to help him finish his homework.  Not only does she make sure all of her kids’ need met, she has her own business and sells on and she is hosting her third annual Easter egg hunt this weekend for over 50 children. She is such an example to me.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Day 83: 1 Step Back, 2 Steps Forward

I was so tired last night that I fell asleep while working on my blog post and I didn't get around to making the title. I think I'll leave it like that- it's a solid representation of how happily tired I was yesterday.

The painting project is bigger than I realized, but I'm so happy I'm doing it. It's full of imperfections, but they are my imperfections.  If someone buys my house after me, they will probably want to change it.  But for me, it's perfect.  I'm  planning on tackling a backsplash next, but I'm trying to force myself to slow down my timeline a little. 

I loved rehearsing general conference music tonight! It's so much more fun going to rehearsal during spring break when I'm not coming after a full day of work. I know that's not realistic all the time, but I feel really lucky that during such a busy choir week, I have work off.  It will help make conference really wonderful.

When I'm not being accountable and eating responsibly, I don't feel as good about myself. Those feelings caught up to me today after a few consecutive days of being lax about my eating.  I was hoping to do exercise this week, but I've been prioritizing any free time to my kitchen project. I do have to say, however, that painting is a work out!

I logged my food tonight and am hoping to get back  into a good rhythm of listening to my body.  I stopped at one taco tonight, even though there were two there for me to eat.  That's a step in the right direction.  I've learned a lot over the past few months about forgiving myself and moving forward when I get off track.  Normally, I would feel like giving up entirely after missing a few days of tracking my food.  I would be mad at myself for not meeting my goal and figure it is hopeless to try to continue it. But I've been able to start again after detours, and that's so positive for me.

Day 82:

It’s 2 in the morning. I had a long but productive and fun day from doing a science experiment with Scotty to judging a choir festival to buying a dining set to 99.9% finishing the painting phase of my kitchen overhaul. The past three days, I haven’t recorded my food and I’ve been intentionally irresponsible. I’ve been eating when I’m not hungry or eating beyond capacity. I’m conscious of it, but I just consider myself taking a little spring break. I want to make my intuitive eating a healthy lifestyle and not something I feel like I have to take a break from. That goes against the whole premise of the diet.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Day 81: A Mother’s Intuition

Something I posted on Facebook today:

It’s funny how seemingly insiginifcant moments can have a big effect on us. Today at church with my sister and her kids, my 16 month nephew was crying because he wanted to hold the little snack jar that was filled to the brim of pieces of cereal. I knew he would spill it everywhere, so I tried to get him to take a piece of cereal directly the jar I was holding. He wanted to hold it himself, and nothing would appease him. As his crying began to get louder, I knew I was out of options. Swiftly, Christina grabbed the jar and dumped a small handful of the cereal in to the lid and handed him the lid, which he gleefully took and used to feed himself. I was in total awe. It was a perfect solution that simply never would have occurred to me. It made me deeply appreciate the experience and intuition mothers have. She knew exactly what her child wanted and how to meet his needs while still keeping the situation in control. Motherhood is an art that I think often goes unrecognized in a world where having a name and a resume seems to be of most value. My hats off to all my mother friends- I admire you so much!! ❤️❤️❤️

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Day 80: Painting the Town

I don’t really feel that old until my back reminds me that I’m certajnly not 20 anymore. Between the Messiah performances and the kitchen renovation today, my back hates me. But it was worth it. 

Today, Adam and Hailey helped me begin the transformation process on my kitchen. It looks beautiful! There are many little mistakes everywhere if you look closely, but if you look at the whole picture, it’s really so beautiful and quite a transformation from what it once was. 

This is so much like our lives. We are incredibly imperfect, but as we grow, make mistakes, and learn from them, the whole of our lives turns in to something pretty wonderful. The imperfections will always be there, but they remind us of our need for our creator. 

Friday, March 23, 2018

Day 79: It’s a Grand Night for Singing

I just submitted grades for term 3. Last night was my first time singing the 55 movement Messiah. The choir sings 21 pieces. The concert lasted 2 hours and 45 minutes.  That’s about how long it took me to run my half marathon, and that’s kind of what it felt like! I plan to do an essay later about everything I learned during this experience. It has been amazing. I’m also exhausted. Hoping I can continue learning tonight as I listen/perform one more time.

Today, students brought a 100 Grand bar for all the teachers. That happens to be my most favorite candy of all time. I ate half, put the other half up in a cupboard, and put it out of my mind. That was a small victory.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Day 78: Progress Report

I don’t know how much I weigh.

I know I weigh the amount that doesn’t yet fit into that darling eshakti dress I bought this summer that has been sitting in my closet as kind of a goal. I promised I wouldn’t gauge progress by a scale but by how I felt in my clothes.

I think I’ve plateaued a little. But surprisingly, I’m not discouraged. Remember my recommitment to exercise last week? Hasn’t happened. But I’m not panicked. My cravings have gone way down, and do had my guilt when I eat a treat.

Lisa and I are doing another half in June! I really do need to get serious about training. After the Easter concert (which is a pretty great ab workout with all the melismas in the Messiah) and when spring break starts, I want to jump start my training.

Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Day 77: For the Longest Time

Today was long. I keep thinking I’ll get used to long days, but I think I’m handling them with less grace than I used to. After work, I judged a festival for 2 hours, sat in traffic for an hour, then had choir rehearsal for 3.5 hours. By the end I was kind of a hot mess.  Is it spring break yet?

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Day 76: What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger

I had the chance to talk to someone today who was expericing extreme anxiety. It was pretty ironic that it happened right during a difficult time in my own life. I shared with this person how comforting music and writing are to me when I am anxious. I felt grateful for my own struggles because they helped me in that moment as I decided what to say. 

I prepared three pizza sliders (a new Dream Dinner favorite of mine) tonight, even though the serving size was two. They were so delicious and I really wanted to eat all three. But I really was full after two. Yesterday I kind of blew off my eating goals because of how I was feeling.. I allowed my emotions to dictate my eating, not my body. I was tempted to do it again today. But, I finally put the third one in a ziplock bag in the fridge and wasn’t hungry for the rest of the evening. There was no food deprivation- I was wholly satisfied. I want this kind of thing to be my norm. 

Sweet moment for me today:

Once upon a time there was a young girl who dreamed of two things: 1) falling in love and 2) becoming a star. When she grew up to be 34 years old, she settled for falling in “love” WITH a star. His name was Josh Groban. For Christmas, her roommate gave her a framed picture of the two of them (thanks to the magic of photo shop). Her “relationship” with him became a running joke. Then, Josh Groban announced his tour to Salt Lake City and the possibility of being in the same zip code became real.

One day, she was feeling a little blue. She was anxious, tired, and not her best self. She received a text that evening that made her nose tingle and her eyes water. Her sister and brother-in-law surprised her with tickets to see the singer she so admired live in concert.

And it wasn’t the prospect of seeing her husband Josh Groban for the first time that made her want to cry. It was the fact that her family cared enough about her to surprise her with a concert she really wanted to attend. 

And she felt loved in real life- way better than movie star “love.”

Monday, March 19, 2018

Day 75: Let's Talk About Feelings

In the past, I've opened up about my struggles with OCD and anxiety.  It is always risky to do that, because there might be people who judge and alter their perception of me.  But I've decided it's worth the risk if it helps make it less shameful and more understood.  I don't really know who reads my blog, but maybe someone can relate to my personal experience with it and feel less

Anxiety and OCD have been part of my life every day for 34 years.  Some days are worse than other days; some weeks are worse than other weeks. But it's always hovering there in some form or another.  The past week or so has been particularly difficult.  As I drove to work this morning, overcome by my own anxious thoughts and feelings, I started to put in to words what it is to me.  I say "to me" because it's different for everyone.  To some degree, we all have anxiety.  I believe, however, that when it begins to interfere significantly with normal daily activities and quality of life, it has to be addressed and somehow managed or else life is miserable.  That goes for any form of anxiety, depression, OCD, etc.  For me, addressing it is articulating it in writing, which I will attempt to do now.  

 It's important for me to assign qualities to the OCD and anxiety and not to me personally.  I'm the first person to make the assumption that I am my OCD and anxiety (and then despair at who I am).  But I am not.

So here is what anxiety/OCD is to me based on my own personal experience:

It is unforgiving.
It is powerful.
It’s invisible.
It’s relentless.
It devalues.
It paralyzes.
It is limiting.
It is irrational.
It is quick to anger. 
It is deaf to other opinions.
It views everything through a lens of mediocrity.
It is selective.
It punishes over and over again.
It is selfish.
It second guesses.
It's the master of guilt trips.
It jumps to conclusions.
It induces shame.
It bullies.
It ostracizes.
It is ungrateful.
It is exhausting.
It is limit-testing.
It's lies.
It's jealous.

This sounds really familiar.  These are qualities that I often associate with Satan, the adversary to Christ.  It's no wonder mental illness is so prevalent in our day and age.  He is working overtime to convince us that we are unforgivable and unlovable.  It's how he restricts us from doing good in the world. When we believe we are worthless, we stop trying.  And when we finally give up, we are in his control.  

Now that I've defined what it is, I need to continue exploring how to combat it.  This is a lifelong journey for me. 

I posted this on Facebook today- it verbalizes some of the anxiety I've been feeling and how I'm working through it.

For a long time (years), I thought I needed to write and arrange my own choral music. It hung over my head that I wasn't contributing original work to the world of choir music. I thought I was restricting myself artistically by not doing it. I wrote/arranged a couple things in the past, so I knew I was capable of it. One day, I sat down to arrange something. After about 30 minutes I thought to myself, "I don't actually enjoy this." From that moment on, I let go of the guilt. It was like a light switch turned on and I realized that it wasn't for me. It would be cool if it was me- but it's not.
Similarly, I've been feeling a lot of pressure lately to be a DIY goddess. Scrolling through Pinterest, it's easy to see there are many rockstar women out there who take something old and ugly and turn it in to something beautiful. They spend very little money, juggle busy lives with children, and still make their houses look magazine worthy. I prefer to buy things like furniture already finished. I would rather hire someone to fix a broken appliance than do it myself. But, for some reason, this haunts me. I am overwhelmed by guilt that I'm not doing it myself when I have two hands and a capable mind (and youtube).
But I have to stop to consider this:
I would much rather make my own cards. I love the way it challenges me creatively. I know that sounds boring and uninteresting to many people. But it is relaxing and fun for me.
I would rather host a bunch of people at my house for a dinner party than to go to one. I want to make the place cards, the boxes for party favors, and cobble together things I already have in creative ways for decorations instead of buying a a ton of themed decor.
I would rather make my own picture slideshows than hire someone to do it.
We are all unique! Our strengths are someone else's weaknesses and vise versa. I believe one of the main purposes of our existence is to help others using our strengths and allow ourselves to be helped with our weaknesses. Expanding our talents is important; yet, there are times and seasons for doing this.
Case in point: I'm remodeling my kitchen and I decided I want to paint my own cabinets and add knobs and handles (with the help of a more knowledgable friend). It's something I really want to do and have wanted to do for a long time. I think it will be fun and I will learn some valuable lessons. But I don't want to refurbish an older kitchen table. I don't want to shop KSL for a good deal on chairs and then fix them up to match the table- I want to find a reasonable price and buy a brand new dining set. I don't want to redo my own floors- I want to hire someone to do it. And as long as I stay within my budget that I've saved up, that's okay!
Let's let go of the guilt, everyone!

Day 74: AUGH!!

I forgot to post yesterday! Curses!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Day 73: We Found a Leprechaun in Egypt

St. Patty’s Day comes once a year
Irish music is what you should hear
The fiddler bows
Dancers light on their toes

As your grin spreads from ear to ear 

A limerick collaboration by Katie and Darren, 2018
Perry Egyptian Theater
Irish Celebration 

Friday, March 16, 2018

Day 72: Rise and Shout

I miss college. It has been almost exactly ten years since I graduated. I count my college days as some of the happiest times of my life.

I miss long study sessions in the library sprawled on the ground in the atrium area of the bottom floor of the Harold B. Lee library.

I miss getting chicken alfredo with broccoli at Tomassitos (RIP) in the Wilk.

I miss spontaneous dance parties with my roommates.  I miss helping each other get ready and borrowing each others’ clothes and jewelry. I miss all the inside jokes.

I miss getting sonic blasts...often.

I miss running around the indoor track at the RB.

I miss walking to school.

I miss college family home evenings.

I miss the sure hope I had that I would get married and have children of my own in the near future.

I miss going to Tuesday devotionals.

I miss going to church in random buildings on campus.

I miss bouncing between apartments and houses of people in my ward.

I miss the incredible feeling of finishing my last final during finals week.

I miss staying up late just because there was too much fun I would miss out on if I slept.

I miss that cute little bod that I didn’t appreciate at the time!

I miss singles ward activities.

Though I miss many things, there are parts of my life now I could never have back then. I have the opportunity to travel, to now serve a music mission, to have 10 years of teaching and relationships with students. I have the joy of seeing a program progress and change over 7 years. I have stability and independence that I didn’t have then. There are different times and seasons of our lives. It’s important for me to remember to be grateful for each one as they happen. Sometimes I forget how blessed I am as I remember what my life once was. One day I’ll look back at my life now the sweet fondness, just as I look at my college days!

Moral of the story: I love BYU.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Day 71: Full

I think spring break can’t come soon enough. Sometimes I feel like I’m losing a sense of who I am, even though my days are full of things that define me. I feel like I am paralyzed by all the things I want to do better. There’s so much to fix that I just do nothing instead. I really need to start exercising. I know from personal experience that it helps me not just physically, but emotionally. I can’t wait to get started. I realize that the cold really deters me from exercise. Since it’s cold for a good chunk of the head, I’m pretty sure I need to get over that. Eating has been going well. Now, 71 days in, I need to take this to the next level and get active again. I think it will make a lot of things so much easier, even though it may feel hard at first. My chiropractor keeps talking to me about how much it will help the chronic pain in my back and neck. So what am I waiting for! Bring on the sweat!! Let’s see how I’m feeling on day 142!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Day 70: Keen on Intuitive Eating

Today I judged a choral festival in Heber.  You know, Heber- the city where the DAIRY KEEN lives! What's the Dairy Kee,, you ask? Only the fast food joint that serves me my favorite thick ice-cream shakes on the planet. I'm never in Heber, so I never get one.  But today, my job took me right there.  Except I wasn't hungry.  Not at all.  I was totally full and not even in the mood for ice-cream.  Before I started this process of intuitive eating, I would have gotten a shake anyway because how could I pass up my favorite shakes? But I resisted and drove right by it.  I knew if I ate it, I wouldn't enjoy it as much as I normally would because I wasn't hungry for it.  I would eat past capacity not feel great afterwards.  I came home and had a little treat instead.  So I'm not nixing treats; just trying to eat them when I truly crave them and not go overboard.  
I wrote this on my Facebook page earlier today and wanted to share it here so I could remember it:
At about 9:57 a.m., my students got up in the middle of class and walked out as I was presenting their new music for the term. 3 kids stayed behind. We were instructed as teachers to stay and instruct any kids who chose to remain behind. If no one stayed in our classroom, we were to go out to the field to supervise. At about 10:24, students started returning and came back to their seats.
Of my three kids who stayed, one was concerned about the ambiguity of what the walk out was about. Was it political? Was it moral? Was it in remembrance? Another kid grew up with family members owning guns and he had lots of very thoughtful things to say about why he chose to stay. He clearly spent a lot of time developing opinions and looking at both sides. The third kid was concerned about safety and a large crowd being a target. I conducted a discussion with those that remained and encouraged them to share their perspectives. Afterwards, one of the three students thanked me for allowing him to share his perspective in a peaceful environment.
Today was a historic day. When my students returned, I told them I was proud of those who walked out and proud of those who stayed behind. I was proud of them for being peacefully true to their values. As a teacher, I felt morally content remaining neutral in my classroom and giving students space to figure out where they stand. To me, that’s what our country is about- peacefully worshipping and believing according to the dictates of our own conscience.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Day 69: Sometimes Caring Less is Caring More

I had a valuable experience today that all started with being totally exhausted and not ready to put on a concert tonight.  As the day progressed, it didn't feel like concert day.  It was almost an out of body sensation. I wasn't stressed or worried- I was sort of indifferent. I sat in my office after school and spent (wasted) an hour doing a hair tutorial. I was extremely calm.  All of a sudden I realized my students were starting their sound checks and I was still in my office putting on make-up.  "Oh," thought I, "that's good."  I just let them do their thing.  The soloists knew what time they were supposed to be there and so did the tech crew. They didn't need me there to make sure they got started.  All of a sudden it was call time for the rest of the choirs. With no anxiety or stress I just started warm ups. And I was in the best mood. I was goofing off with my students and I wasn’t biting anyone's head off or rushing around like a crazy person. The piano was missing 25 minutes before it was time to start and I wasn’t concerned. I was just at peace and letting the experience happen instead of trying to force every detail. We prepared for weeks ahead of time and the time to worry about fixing things passed. I was a much better version of my usual concert self tonight. I actually heard my students when they said, “We love you!” as they left and, for once, I recognized they probably meant it.  Usually I’m too busy worrying about everything I did wrong to believe they really appreciate me as a teacher. I did lots of things wrong tonight, too, but I didn’t stress over them. And that made all the difference.

This concert was the easiest one I’ve done. And it only cost me much less anxiety and headache. I think I’d like to try this again.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Day 68: A Moment Like This

I was watching the HHS Dance Company concert tonight and was remembering how important choir was to me in high school. As I watched the girls on stage having beautiful artistic moments together as a team, I thought how sad it was that someday they would be my age and it would just be a distant, vague memory of something that once was so very sweet. But it struck me how important it is to live in the moment, as cheesy as that sounds. I realized that when we embrace every experience as we live it, it doesnt matter how clearly we remember every detail 15-20 years later. We can just be grateful that we lived that moment to the fullest. Sometimes I don’t stop to savor the minutes I am living- I look forward constantly to what is ahead.  I think if I take more time to do that, I will be less impatient for my life to progress and more content to take the adventures of each day is the come without thought for the morrow, as the scripture says.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Day 67: Paved with Good Intentions

I was going to write a whole article on why my cell phone has ruined my life.  But the day ran away from me. Crap.  It was going to be a good essay- methodically thought out with a lot of relatable points. I was going to base it on the spoken word today from the broadcast by Lloyd Newell.  Isn't it awesome to read a post about something I was going to do but didn't?

Daylight Savings Time just made today hard. We already get up early for the broadcast, and today was an hour earlier than that.  Then, we had an extra 1.5 hour rehearsal after the broadcast. I'm in favor of the Arizona plan of no Daylight Savings.  So is Christina because of how it messes with children's' schedules. 

I binged on treats tonight and just ended up feeling bad about myself. Because that's what binging does.  It's not really fun, it's not satisfying, and it doesn't make me happy. I need to remember this feeling.  Tomorrow is fresh. 

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Day 66: 5-7-5

My bed is calling
Daylight savings is nigh 
Morning will be hard.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Day 65: Big Eyes

I definitely had an “eyes bigger than my stomach” experience tonight with a concrete custard from Culver’s. Yet, I ate the whole thing and I’m still feeling it an hour later. And not really in a good way. Lesson learned. One more reminder that a little can go a long way. I sized up and I should make it a rule to size down and simply get more later if I want it. That’s Intuitive Eating in action- eat until your body is full, but do not eat something just because it is there and you don’t want to waste it.

Enjoying some precious time with the fam tonight. My life has been consumed lately with festivals and rehearsals. I am grateful for some time to be with my favorites.

Funny “compliment” a strident gave me today:

“I was just sitting there thinking, ‘Ms. Houston is really cute. I wonder why no guy wants to date her.’”

I decided not to tell her just how complicated dating is- she’ll find out soon enough!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Day 64: Hear Me Roar

Apparently it’s National Women’s Day. I don’t think any of us would even know this day exists if it weren’t for social media. But it coincided with me overcoming some personal barriers. 

I’m starting to trust myself more. Not just with eating, but with lots of things. I had the chance to judge a choral festival today. Part of the gig was doing a 10 minute clinic with two of the choirs.  I was very intimidated by the prospect. I get stumped with how to help my own choirs- how could I help with anyone else’s? It turns out going ear blind to your own choirs is a pretty normal thing. When you step outside your situation and listen to another group, you can hear better. You can come up with tips for another group that you could never see with your own choir, even though they may have the same issues. So I felt empowered today- I realized I might have something to offer in the professional world. I began to trust my instincts and stop second guessing myself. I had so much fun working with the kids. They are trained to listen and be respectful to clinicians, so it’s a breath of fresh air! 

In terms of eating, I’m much less fearful of binging. I’m starting to learn that I CAN stop.  I have the power to eat treats sparingly- I don’t have to cut them out completely in order to be safe from binging on them. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Day 63: And Called it Macaroni

I was so proud of my students today. They did their very best at region chamber choir festival today! They were all connected and engaged. We were one. It was one of those magical moments where everything came together. I’d write more, but I’m so tired.

My eating victory today was not going out to eat after a 12 hour day where grabbing food to go on the way home would have been perfectly justified. I didn’t even want to. I enjoyed some mac and cheese with chicken and a little chocolate ice-cream.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Day 62: A Piece of My Mind

Thoughts on my mind:

  • I need to visit my two grandmothers.
  • Brahms Requiem is really, REALLY cool.
  • I don't feel as nervous as I usually do for festival tomorrow.
  • My room is a mess.  I'm supposed to be cleaning it right now.
  • I'm starting to look old.
  • I want to start a vlog or podcast with Daniel.
  • My clothes are fitting looser.  
  • It feels good to be back on track with my food journaling.
  • There are several things I've been wanting to do better year after year and I keep not doing them. Flossing every single day, for example. Why is that so hard? Why can't I just DO it?  I feel like I do way more difficult things every single day at work.  So why is flossing every day this insurmountable obstacle? Maybe I don't want it bad enough.  
  • I miss my family. My parents and sisters are all in Provo together right now and I can't get down there very much because of work and choir.  I wish I could be with them more. 

Monday, March 5, 2018

Day 61: Strawberries and Cream

At work today, we had training post Florida school tragedy. What a scary world we live in.  I know many countries around the world have lived in fear for a long time because of very oppressive environments. We've been very blessed in the U.S.  But now, it's starting to feel unsafe to send children to school.  We are being instructed to teach our students to throw things at an armed assailant if running and hiding first doesn't work.  It's such a scary concept, but it's our new reality.  There is a walk out being organized for March 14th at 10:00 a.m. for 17 minutes, one minute for each of the victims of the Florida shooting.  If I were a student, I would join in order to show solidarity with my peers that things need to change in our country so we can feel safe again.  But as a professional, they've asked us to stay in our classrooms to teach any remaining students.  I completely understand this, as we are asked to remain non-partisan in our classrooms.

I agree with not imposing our political or religious values on students so they can freely and safely believe according to the "dictates of their own conscience" when at school. That's the premise on which my own religious freedom has been granted. The walk out is associated with gun control, which is a deeply political issue.  I know many students (and adults) are still forming their own opinions on what happened in Florida and how to best eradicate violence.  No matter what my own personal beliefs are, I want those who don't walk out to feel as supported and loved as those who do. If the walk out were simply about honoring those lost and committing together to change- a symbolic promise to look out for one another and make a difference- then we teachers could be fully supportive and all walk out together.  I wish the protest wasn't wrapped in a political package so we could ALL come together in honor of the victims.  Let me emphasize that this has nothing to do with my personal views about gun control.  Quite frankly, I think it's much too easy to purchase a highly deadly weapon and that needs to change.  But my concern surrounding the walk out is that educators continue to support all students- those who walk out and those who don't- without imposing our own beliefs.  I know there are good people out there who believe things need to change, but who don't believe the primary answer is about guns.  They have a right to feel that way.  How can we show that we honor everyone's right to believe what they choose about this issue?

Some districts have mandates that teachers not to mark students absent or penalize them in any way for walking out.  Even though I fully support the students who decide to peacefully protest, I don't know how I feel about changing our normal practices for one isolated walk out.  I think part of taking a stand is being willing to accept consequences for missing school and to do it anyway.  I don't want those who remain in the classroom because they still don't know how they feel about political issues to feel like they are being punished for their beliefs, either.  I want them to have the right to not participate and not feel judged by their teachers or peers if they stay in class.  I fear that supporting kids in missing class for a very particular political protest, but not allowing them to miss school for other legitimate reasons, sends an unclear message.

I had a student tell me he was missing class for a clean air rally today.  Do I refrain from marking him absent? Is he still responsible for the work, even though it's a just cause and his right to peacefully protest?  I'm not sure where we draw the line.  I never want to live in a world where political views are being forced upon me or my students. Are we heading in that direction? Will we be asked to selectively support particular causes according to the political beliefs of the majority in the community? I don't know the answers. All I know is I want to help kids learn to love and be tolerant of one another and respect each other's rights.

Okay, enough pondering on politics and on to my normal food reflection:

The title of this post comes from the newest flavor at Yogurtland, which is exactly my kind of dream fro-yo.  Also it's another reason that I was not excited about keeping my food journal for the day.  I missed three days, however, and I knew it was now or never to get back on this horse and be consistent once again.  To new beginnings.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Day 60: "Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it."

The title for this post comes from one of the Anne of Green Gables films.  Anne's teacher, Ms. Stacey, says it to Anne, who is always getting herself in to predicaments because of her impulsivity.  I feel like Anne a lot.  I often do or say things I wish I could take back.  But I love the reminder that tomorrow is always a new day.  We never have to be satisfied with who we are today, because tomorrow, we will get a brand new start.  We can start again, but this time, from a wiser standpoint based on the lessons we learned the day before. 

Which brings me to the part where I confess I took a three day break from logging my food.  I know I said yesterday I was hoping to get back on track today. I didn't.  That's the bad news. The good news is that I didn't take my brief food journal hiatus as an opportunity to throw caution to the wind. I did have some treats, but I didn't go hog wild with the attitude that these were "free" days and they wouldn't come around often enough.  I really believe being accountable daily for what I eat makes a difference.  My eating habits haven't been as good as they were the past few days.

So tomorrow, I am ready to start fresh and keep myself honest about what I eat throughout this year.  It has been 2 months now since I began this process.  Some things are starting to click.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Day 59: Never Enough

The above link is the first of a web series by Daniel and me entitled, “Huh?” I had more fun that’s ive had in a long time just being goofy and authentically me. We made a music video at the state capitol and oscillated between being totally silly and taking ourselves really seriously- probably too seriously! We have such a great rapport. He is truly family to me.

I haven’t recorded my food in two days. I want to get back on track tomorrow!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Day 58: Guiltless

Today I decided to eat some treats and I didn’t feel guilty about it, nor did I binge. This was a landmark moment for me and means I might be starting to get somewhere with Intuitive Eating. I woke up on my day off really wanting carbs for breakfast. I stopped at a gluten free bake shop and got a raspberry roll. And I truly didn’t feel like I was doing something wrong or something I’d need to make up for later. It was a great feeling to eat something I loved and not be scared that I wasn’t going to be able to stop.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Day 57: Breakthrough

Today at parent teacher conference, there was an enormous spread of chips, dip, chocolate, licorice, fruit, cheeses, meats, etc. It was beautiful. My first reaction was to pig out- all this amazing food for free! What not just have a free night of eating? I earned it! But I was not very hungry. I decided to take one plate full of my favorite things and keep it at that. I didn’t go back in to fill up my plate like I normally would on breaks. I did eat a some more chocolate brought at my request by a friend (no one is perfect!), but I made great strides by not binging and eating a bunch of food I wasn’t hungry for. And I didn’t go home and pig out on anything I could find since I already “messed up” for the day. I ate a lot of calories today, but not as many as I would have. This is progress.