April 19, 2012

Catching up

I can't believe it's been over a week since I've posted.

When I first started writing here, I had a post every single day, with the exception of times away at holidays. It was an important part of my day, in my schedule along with going to work and going to the gym. I'd come home at night, cook and eat my dinner, and then draft the next day's post.

The lack of updates is mostly due to a lack of real news. I have been busy, for sure, but things have been more or less the same on the weight loss front. Staying active - biking to and from work again, with the exception of a couple of days last week when we had unnaturally heavy rain.

Some good days eating, some days with too much snacking. Weight is maintaining, which I'm okay with at the moment. Given my stress level, I'll take the maintain. There's been an awful lot going on in my life, just not any huge moves with weight loss.

At this point in the semester, there's a lot of work to be done - getting ready for final exams and calculating grades aren't difficult, but they're time-consuming. I'm scheduled to teach a summer class, too, so I have been thinking about making my syllabus - though the class will be canceled if enrollment drops under 15 students, and while it was up to 26 at one point, it's at exactly 15 as of right now. So I'm a bit nervous about that.

Adding to my job-related nervousness is my impending huge decision about what to do for next fall.

(Some of the cows across the street from the university campus. Not quite the Chicago Loop.)

While I would really love to relocate back to Chicago, I still reapplied for my job in California just in case - I need have something to fall back on. My coordinator said I'd hear back by mid to late June; I heard back yesterday, one week after I had applied. So now the pressure is really on. I thought I'd have more time to apply for jobs in the city and work out the logistics of moving again. Now I have about a week or so, I figure, before I need to accept or decline the California offer. I could write about my anxieties on the subject for weeks, but it's not at all weight-related, so I'll vent elsewhere. Worth sharing, though, is this article I read last night after searching on Google for help with making difficult decisions. Some highlights that I found personally relevant:

  • Consider whether or not you will be able to look proudly into the mirror the next day.

  • Imagine having made the decision. If you get a feeling of relief, that’s the way to go, even if it's coupled with sadness.

  • If you find that you have to talk yourself into something, it is usually a bad decision. Good decisions usually feel right without much second-guessing.

  • Take two pieces of paper and write down your options on each. Put them in a hat, close your eyes, and pick one. If you feel disappointed with the outcome, then you know that is the wrong decision to make!

  • Think about how you will feel when you're 70. First, it will put the difficult decision into perspective (maybe it's not as big a deal as you think it is) and secondly, it will help you make a good decision for the long term, rather than just for instant gratification.

  • Align your actions with your life purpose and personal values, and then it's much easier to know the direction that is right for you. The prerequisite to this is actually knowing and defining yourself. Gain awareness. Be true to who you really are. Follow the path of least resistance.
Bold emphasis mine, as it gave me a good feeling of mental clarity.

Personal life-wise, things are good. Our first Ragnar team meeting via conference call went well, hardly felt like two hours - we could've kept going, for sure. Things with Matt have their good days and bad, part and parcel of being 2162 miles apart most of the time. He's been amazingly supportive with the whole Chicago/California stuff, and quite level-headed and unbiased, which I truly appreciate. I've had lots of good conversations with friends and family, too - about my job situation, but also life in general, helping me feel balanced and less overwhelmed. My kid brother turned 11 a week and a half ago, and he told me on the phone yesterday that he and his friend have been doing a walk-a-thon at recess, walking a mile every day. I couldn't be prouder - I'd love to walk a race with him the next time we're in the same place!

What about you? How do you stay sane and motivated when life gets overwhelming? What's your favorite non-food way to pamper yourself? (I'm in need of healthy de-stressing ideas!)


Bluezy said...

"Given my stress levels..."
It is reassuring to read a veteran weight loss person admitting that it is just enough to maintain it in those times. I thought for sure I could easily gain, but I have actually lost some of my overeating habits and put them in check. This year associating with Bloggie support has given me a more positive habit of being aware and accountable for my past. Just because I AM stressed I do not have to set myself up with a package of OREOS and dunk and eat it all in one sitting. And my email notification sound is a regular reminder.

I bet riding around and running you get a lot of peaceful think time. It is sort of iffy with that class quota. I hope you find a wonderful position that suits you. I follow a blog of a professor I only know as Red Shoes and he got the opportunity to do an exchange thing in Europe. I know as you become tenured as a scholar, these opportunities will be there if not already.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear you have so much stress on your plate right now. Good decision making tips though- one day this monumental decision today will seem miniscule looking back on it. Glad you are maintaining- sometimes thats all we can ask for during a crazy time in our life.

CarolineCalcote said...

Those are great tips on decision-making! Whatever you decide will work out fine, I'm sure. Good luck.

Amy said...

I hope you know you can use your blog to talk about other stresses not just involving food!

I hope things become clear and that you'll be able to end up where you're destined to be!

I too have the same blogging issues... I just struggle to pick up and write!

marisol said...

Non food way to pamper myself- manicure, do an at home spa day, scope out the Kindle store and buy books that I've been wanting to read...

Ann said...

Mary - it sounds like you are just "keepin' on", which sometimes, is all I can do. Just keep moving forward. Good job maintaining (I ALWAYS turn to food in stressful situations) and I'm sending lots of love and peace for clarity with your big decisions. In the end, it will work out. It always does. :)