May 4, 2018

Plans

Yesterday afternoon I taught my last class for the semester. It feels incredible - not to be done, per se, but to finish a semester and not be entirely exhausted and overwhelmed. I have felt so incredibly content with my worklife this year, and compared to how I felt this time last spring, I am endlessly grateful. My students here work hard and my boss is just amazing - so supportive, so much faith in me.

It's been a terrific year. I'm still recovering from my divorce and the last few difficult years in a lot of ways - beyond the financial part, I'm still extra cautious with my trust, still deeply protective of my and my son's hearts. But this time in California has been so good for us. I'm a better mom here - more patient, less tired. I'm a healthier person here - mentally, physically, emotionally. And Noah is absolutely flourishing - my sweetest little love, who is excited for his fifth birthday this weekend and for summer camping trips and for kindergarten and for every single moment of every day. He's still a kid, and there are still tough days, but overall, I am beyond thankful for what a terrific kid he is and for the wonderful life we are creating together.

We've got a lot on our minds with summer coming. Noah's been planning his birthday celebration for months (and changing his ideas hourly), finally deciding on an Amtrak train trip down to Fresno for a minor league baseball game. His dad is in town, which means Noah's routine is altered and I'm on edge, but it's just for a few days, at least. In a few weeks, it's Pre-K graduation, and we'd like to get my mom out here for a visit. And for me, there's all the nervousness about Daniel's PhD defense in a few months and what happens next. I've tentatively got a summer class, depending based on enrollment, but as for now (fingers crossed) it's moving ahead. We're thinking about finding a new apartment that's a little less expensive.

It's a lot, but it doesn't feel as heavy as half as much did in South Carolina. I'm glad for that.

I'm glad things are going well with Weight Watchers, too. It's slow - averaging out to a little more than a pound a week or so - but it's moving forward, and I'm feeling good. I'm grateful for slower changes this time around, for time to adapt to the shifts, for not having disordered behaviors with food or exercise. I'm closing in on the 50-pounds-lost milestone, and it feels wonderful.

I say it far too often and rarely follow through, but I really do want to write more. With a little extra time during the school break, now's a great time for me to get back into the writing habit. I was thinking about motivating myself to write at least one post a week based on what we discuss in our WW meetings - my responses, my reflections. I post a lot over on Instagram but it's mostly food-related. (We take pictures of the meals we enjoy so we can remember and make them again!)

I know there's a direct correlation between interacting with my community and my success. I want to be as active as I can, and as interactive, too.

April 9, 2018

Wildflowers

I've been really doing terrific at Weight Watchers - slow and steady, for sure, but losing. I'm down 32.8 pounds since we started in September, making very good progress towards my goal of losing 52 pounds this year. I had a lousy doctor appointment in late February - the doctor herself was lousy, not the appointment per se. Just one of those hmm-you're-fat-so-you-obviously-must-X-Y-Z types that presumes a lot and doesn't stop to listen for a few minutes while you explain yourself. I don't proport to know more than a medical doctor, but I also know that I've been in this body for 31 years and I know a thing or two about how it works, and I don't need my appointment notes to say "try eating fruits and vegetables." I cried and cried and cried - but I didn't let it defeat me. My test results vindicated me, in a sense: no issues with cholesterol, no diabetes (not even pre-diabetes!), no high blood pressure, no nothing. It also felt really, really, really good to get awarded my 25-pounds-down charm at Weight Watchers a few days later.

It's not the 150 pounds in one year that I experienced when I first started the blog, but it feels good to have a much more complex life and still manage to work my way back to my healthiest self. I'm not racing to a goal or setting date-specific deadlines, but I sure am looking forward to my next WW charm: the 50-pounds-down one.

Every milestone is as exciting and unbelievable as it was the first time I lost it, and I am so glad to have Noah and Daniel and their love and support. Noah tells me all the time how proud he is of me, how happy he is that I'm working hard to be healthy, and "Mama, you're beautiful" - which means so much coming from him because it's genuine, sincere, and more than just physical. Daniel is also incredibly kind and supportive, of course, but it's just so sweet coming from my Noah.

(Who is about to be 5 years old and I am in complete disbelief of how fast that happened.)

My ex-husband came to visit a few weeks ago, at a time convenient for no one, but I was still grateful for a few days to rest and enjoy some relative quiet. Daniel was out of town too, so I decided to be bold and have an adventure. I met up with Marisol, a friend I've known for ages now (first through blogging! We did Bay to Breakers together in 2012), and we did one of those paint nights, followed by dinner and great conversation. It was perfect self-care - not just the creativity and the delicious meal, but the company. It's so wonderful to spend time with someone who just gets it, you know?

It's why I started this blog, to tell the truth. All my friends wanted to lose weight, but it was the usual 5, 10, 20 college pounds. I had significantly more than that to lose, and I wanted to share my experience and hopefully find some other folks on similar journeys with advice, empathy, and suggestions to share. It's always worth it, but it's rarely easy - so it's nice to have shoulders to cry on and folks to cheer with.

The next day, I went on a solo hike at the John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez, CA. It was perfect - cool but sunny, a nice breeze, and the views ...


Oh my goodness, completely life-giving. Rejuvenating. Restorative. Just perfect. It was absolutely heavenly.

I know it isn't like this everywhere, but we're having some truly gorgeous weather here in central California. A bit of rain this weekend, but overall quite sunny and warm - warmer, even, than South Carolina had been. It does such good for our spirits, and the positivity ripples through every area of our lives.


I've been very surprised lately that there are so many wildflowers in our part of the state. Driving down the highway, there are huge waves of yellow, orange, and purple all through the grassy fields. It's simple but warm and gorgeous. I wonder if there weren't as many wildflowers last time, or if I just hadn't noticed them. This time of year the last time around, I was deeply depressed and just tunnel-vision-focused on getting out of California. This time, I'm taking the time to look around and notice just how lovely it all really is. I say it a lot, but it's true: this place isn't for everyone, but it's perfect for us. We're blooming here, completely. Noah's doing well at school, I'm loving my job, we're in such a good place in every aspect of our lives.