Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuckered out

I am now officially a teacher! It's been great so far and I've had a lot of fun, but one thing is sure. Teaching is so incredibly tiring. My job no longer stops the second I walk out of the door and into the car. No way! Now, it's going home to grade papers, prepare for tomorrow's lesson, and figure out lesson plans for next week to turn in at the end of this week. I'm super busy lately.

One good thing is that I'm making sure to take out some time just for myself each day. I like to do it before Phil gets home so that I can focus on relaxing instead of wanting to tell him about my day and get things done. I still do not have internet at home and that is becoming more of a difficult thing. I stop by his house every afternoon to make sure and check my email in case parents are trying to get a hold of me. It will be easier when we decide to get me internet (probably not until January) because then I can go home after work and do whatever I need to do there. In the meantime, I have to unload the work at school, load it up to go to Phil's, unload it to get it done, and load it back up to leave. Sometimes I even have to finish it at home and unload/load it up there too and I have a lot of books y'all.

I did manage to make it to the gym today to see my trainer and I'm completely exhausted. I want to work in the gym some way, but I've been so tired when I wake up I have no idea what day it is! I'm hoping I will adjust to the new schedule quickly because I'm beat!

I am very thankful things have gone well for the first couple of days and I hope it continues!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

I've been cheating...

on my other love....the gym :(

I've been cheating with everything bad. I haven't been to the gym in two weeks and there's really no good reason for it. I don't think that being tired or busy is a good enough excuse. At this point I feel like I've run out of excuses. I don't know why I've been M.I.A., but I have been.

I may not have been able to go to the gym, but I've been on my feet a lot more. Work started last week and preparing for school was hard work! No, that doesn't mean that I can eat two desserts a day and not watch what I eat, but I'm moving around. In fact, today Phil and I went to the outlets and walked around for a little more than five hours! By the time we left my feet, back, and knees hurt so much, but that just means that I was walking around and getting exercise.

Tomorrow is a new day and with a new day I get a new start. I know I won't always make the right choice, but I can always try again and make better decisions one day at a time.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pre-Teaching Week

Growing up, I've always wanted to be a teacher. I've always been drawn to teaching for some reason so, naturally, when I went to college I pursued a degree in Education.

Up until last week, I've always thought that teachers had it easy. They work 9 months of the year and get the rest off. I mean, sure, there's grading and stuff, but the majority of it was working on bulletins, writing on a chalkboard/whiteboard, and teaching. I thought that teachers were pretty smart and just knew what to teach. No planning required. I'm not sure where I got this crazy idea from, but it was there.

This past week has been a wealth of information. I have been going through three different sets of curriculum for three different classes. I've been lesson planning and trying to figure out what the right amount of homework is and what are reasonable expectations for each grade level. To be frank, it's been a lot of work.

I've been doing well with the planning process mainly because Phil's mom is a retired teacher and volunteers at the school that I am teaching at. I have been working hard this week to have everything ready to go and it is finally all together. The Parent Orientation is tomorrow and they get to come meet me and see the curriculum we are using for the year. I am both excited and nervous to meet everyone, but know it will be fine.

The students start school on Monday and it will be interesting to see how I do in the classroom. I have a great support group that assures me that it will be tough the first quarter, but after that I'll have a better feel for what does and doesn't work for me and my students.

I am definitely looking forward to the challenge. I am teaching Middle School and High School English at a small, private school and am blessed to have a small class size. It will be a great learning experience and I can't wait to have it all figured out, in time. This is what I've wanted for so long and I'm going give it 100%.

Monday, August 23, 2010

McFatty Monday

Last week was tough for weight loss. I didn't lose any weight, but I also didn't gain any. I was more focused on spending time with my friends than on what I should and should not eat. I did well with not over-eating while going out so much so I still count it as a victory.

My trainer was out last week and is unavailable this week with my new schedule. I am planning on going to a couple of classes at the bare minimum or doing some low impact cardio. My shins have been killing me for the past couple of weeks so I can't run or jump right now. Walking even hurts!

I'm happy to report that my soda intake was lower this week! I'm trying to focus on small things and keeping portion size in mind. I don't feel bad if I have a cookie, I just make sure to not eat 12 cookies!

We'll see how this week goes. Today started the "Pre-Professional Week" at school and teaching starts on Monday. I made an alterations appointment for my wedding gown so I need to soon kick it into high gear! So many things are changing, but I'm determined to overcome any stress that comes my way and to make smart, healthy decisions.

What do you do when you get stressed?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Value of Self-Worth

During the past 2+ years that Phil and I have been together, I have seen such a tremendous growth in both of us. We have grown in love, maturity, and in our walks with the Lord. There are times where we've clung to each other for support and have clung to God even more.

I have seen Phil grow from working at a retail chain store to starting his career. He struggled with finding the right job and moving forward. His specialized degree made it difficult to start a career and the fact that he graduated when the economy took a dive added to delay. Even with his job status as "temporary" (until we find out that it's permanent...keep the faith!) he still has shown so much maturity and it makes me love him even more.

To say that I've just "grown" would be an understatement. I feel like a completely different person now. When we first started dating I felt like an emotional wreck pretty much all.the.time. My stress levels would sky rocket and consume me leaving me to feel like a train wreck. I had been hurt in the past and, despite thinking I was "over it", I learned that it was deeper than I had thought.

Having a man by my side that loves me unconditionally has helped tremendously. He is constantly praying that God will make him the man that he needs to be for me. It was difficult, but over the past few months I have been able to get past so many of the deep issues that were hurting me for so long. The feelings of worthlessness are gone and I feel like I am valuable.

Now, I know what I want and am more decisive. I may still change my mind, but it is because I'm growing as a person and feel more comfortable in who I am. My desire for things of the past is gone and I want things that will continue to build me into a confident, mature woman. I thank God for helping me to grow and for giving me a man who never gives up on me and makes me want to be a better person.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Water Damage

I was having such a great morning. I went to Marshall's and was able to get some clothes, a work purse/tote, comforter set, and a pair of shoes for work. It was great and I was enjoying every minute of this morning, then the afternoon hit...

I was sitting in Phil's room on his chair when it all changed. I had been drinking water and thought the glass was empty so, naturally, I went to get more. After I stood up something fell and I bent down to pick it up. That's when I felt a gush of water go over my hand, that was holding my cell phone, and Phil's laptop. I went and got a towel to try to dry off the back of his laptop and when I opened it up it wouldn't turn on. I called him immediately and told him what happened. He was incredibly calm and said that it was an accident, no big deal.

After a little over an hour, my phone was working fine and his laptop was working. I was told to keep it off until we can guarantee that it is completely dry inside so that it doesn't get fried. I went to check my phone and realized that it wasn't doing so well anymore. There was water trapped between the battery and the phone so I wiped the water off and set it out to dry. I checked on it a while later and it was still acting up a lot. We're going to have to let it dry for a while to see if it will be ok, but in the meantime I will be using Phil's phone since my cell phone is my alarm and the only way people can contact me at my apartment.

Even when things don't go well, I still have a man who loves me and who supports me even when I almost ruin things. I am definitely so lucky and thankful for him and for God who brought him into my life.

Monday, August 16, 2010

McFatty Monday

I'm down 1 pound from last week which puts me up by 2 pounds from where I was before. It's coming off and I'm thankful for that!

In other news, gym shopping has been an adventure! I've been to the YMCA, Curves, and the Family Fitness Center. I had no desire to look into the one that used to be Powerhouse gym because the last time I was there, it was dark, dingy, and was a little creepy to go to by myself. Phil isn't looking to get a new membership just yet so that didn't seem like an option.

I wrote about the Y last week, but the quick overview was that it smells when you walk in. I'm learning that there are certain smells I just can not handle and pool water mixed with sweat and funk is not one of them. I was also looking for more of a "gym" feel and being there made me feel weird. The prices were expensive for an "individual" and since Phil and I don't live together, they would not allow us to be on the same membership. Ironic, though, because if we were living together before marriage, they would give us the discounted rate and YMCA stands for the Young Men's CHRISTIAN Association. And....that's all I have to say about that.

Curves was the last place I checked out. I had heard about and read some reviews that made me apprehensive to join there, but I wanted to check it out anyways and get a "feel" for the place. Let me tell you one thing, the music there drove me crazy! I told Mom that if I had to listen to that while working out, it would make me want to shoot myself *not literally, but seriously, it was that bad*. On top of that, they were a little taken aback that I would want to work out for more than 25 minutes and that the machines wouldn't let me start until my heart rate was in their "target range." First of all, I work out now for more than 25 minutes and hope to continue to lengthen my work outs. Secondly, my heart rate when I work out is way higher than the "target rate" and I feel fine. It's just how my body works and if it's not going to let me start the machine or count it towards my progress if I start anyways, then what's the point? Oh, and it smelled funny.

The Family Fitness Center is a place I heard about while playing in the softball tournament yesterday. The catcher from another team gave me the information and said that's where she works out and she loves it! I checked it out today and wasn't expecting much. It's in an old armory building and I'd never heard of the gym there. I was pleasantly surprised and impressed with their facility. They have a decent amount of equipment and they even have classes that are offered. They are incredibly affordable (especially for the going rate for gyms in this area) and I can even bring my trainer there to train me and it will only cost $5 for the day! They really had a lot to offer.

It looks like I'm going to be able to continue working out and I think we've found the place. I've done well today with my diet and will keep pressing on this week to see some good results next week!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Where Should I Join Next?

Let's just put it all out there...I'm looking for a new gym. I've been at Gold's for over a year now and wanted to look into renewing my membership. The last time we signed up, we paid for a year in full and were told that the contract still applies, but the billing is different. We were told that after the year is completed, we would then be charged at the same rate, but the contract term would change from yearly to month-to-month.

I have 13 personal training sessions left and absolutely love my trainer! When I checked in to see when my year would end they told me that August 31st is my last day. Ummm, but shouldn't my payments just change over to be paid monthly? Well, that's what I thought, but the four different times I tried to check on it, they avoided that question like the plague.

The first time I spoke with a manager about it and he tried to get me to pay $10 more PER MONTH than what I was paying before! He said that is the rate I would "have" to pay to keep my membership. On top of that, he didn't want to listen to anything I said and tried to convince me that he was doing me a favor by giving me that rate! The next person I spoke with had no idea what was going on. He took down my number, promised to call me by the end of the day, and never got back to me. The third person I talked to was really nice. She looked everything up and said that there were a couple of different options for me. One was to pay just under $200 down and a lower monthly payment to have a month-to-month contract or I could have another year contract and pay monthly and after a year have what they promised me this last time a month-to-month contract after that!

Phil and I went to talk to them for the fourth time last night and I asked, once again, why they can't give me the month-to-month rate/contract that was promised to me in the original contract. I was told that because we paid in full for the year, it was a different contract and we would have to start a new one. What?! That's not what our contracts said and when I mentioned this, they had "no idea" what I was talking about!

At this point, Phil was pretty upset. He had heard it out of their mouths and had sworn off any chance of me renewing with them. Now I have 13 sessions and just until the end of the month to use them all up and find a new gym.

I've been thinking hard about where I want to work out next. We have a few gyms in the area, but it's not like California where they are all over and there are so many options. I want to find somewhere where I feel comfortable going. I've looked into the YMCA and when I walk in there it feels weird, smells like pool and sweaty people, and grosses me out! I'm thinking about looking into Curves and giving it a week trial, but with some of the reviews I've read it makes me apprehensive. Women are saying that it's a good place to start out, but it's not challenging enough after a while.

I'm not sure what to do, but I need to figure it out by the end of the month! I want to continue working out and have a place that I like going to. Has anyone tried Curves? What did you think of it? And if anyone has any suggestions about what to do, please let me know!

Friday, August 13, 2010

(Not so) Fit Friday

With the wedding six months away, I'm being asked a lot of questions about my weight.

"So, how much weight are you planning to lose before the wedding?"
"Are you planning on losing any weight for the wedding?"

Ok, so maybe not a lot in the form of different questions, but I'm being asked these questions a lot.

It gets tough for me because I feel, once again, like my motivation is gone. I start to eat healthier and feel like I am starving all the time. It also sucks to see everyone around me eating whatever they want because they don't need to lose any weight. My will power is non-existent as seen last night stuffing my face with dessert yet again.

I need a new game plan.

My gym has been giving me the run-around with renewing and I'm unsure if I want to stay there or go to the other gym that is more expensive and further away. There are perks to both places, but I really feel that the most important thing is to actually get there. I have the time, but it's not something I think about too much any more.

I have resorted to thinking that I'm always going to be fat. I didn't realize that I was gaining weight until it actually happened. I remember not even knowing until there was a picture of me and I was trying to figure out who the "fat girl" was standing next to my mom (it was a side shot so you couldn't see my face). Then, I realized it was me and I cringed. At that time, I knew.

The hard thing is, that in my mind I am not heavy so when I see it in pictures or the mirror it can seriously come as a complete shock...I know, right? It may be hard to believe, but this is part of the problem. Every time I think I'm doing well I'll see a recent picture and realize that it looks the same as before. I feel like there is no hope and no point in trying anymore and I gorge myself on desserts. I do manage to eat less overall still, but that doesn't cancel it out.

It all comes down to this...I need people to not hide food from me, they may think they're being helpful, but it does the complete opposite for me. I need to feel like I'm accomplishing a lot and see the results. I need some motivation, hope, and encouragement.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Delayed Reaction

A while ago I wrote this post about whether or not I should buy my dress. It was a big decision for me since the dress was being discontinued and since I've been losing weight I would have to guess on a size that could either fit or be altered enough to fit to be able to order it. After much deliberation, I decided that it was the right dress and bought it.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I made a phone call to the store to see if they had a color swatch for the dresses and found out that my dress had come in already! We weren't expecting it until late-September, but decided to go ahead and pick it up that day since they said they could have it ready. So, off to the store mom and I went with Phil's Gram in tow this time.

Once we arrived at the bridal salon I tried on my dress and Gram absolutely loved it! She wasn't there when we picked the dress and I knew she really wanted to be a part of it so it was great to have her share that experience with me. It was definitely different to try on my dress rather than a sample dress. I still really, really liked it and how it made me look, but with the long drive down there and my less than helpful consultant, I still didn't get that wow feeling.

We took the dress over to Gram's for safe keeping and while I was there the other day, helping her prepare for a family gathering, I decided to try the dress on again. There was no pressure to "feel" anything and I really wanted to try it on and guess what...I started to get a little emotional when I saw the dress on!  So, I'm thinking that with all of the stress and pressure to get that "wow factor" that for me, the feeling was just delayed.

I am really happy that I decided to buy my dress. I would have missed out on the right dress for me if I would have only gone by an initial "feeling" instead of what my gut was telling me. I wish I could post pictures here, but we dont' want to risk Phil seeing the dress before the wedding...but after the wedding, that's a different story!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Prepping the Apartment...

Planning for the wedding has been so much fun. Planning for what happens after the wedding...not so much! Don't get me wrong, I am totally looking forward to the marriage more than anything (including the wedding), but it's getting everything to fit in my tiny apartment that is causing the most stress.

When I moved into my apartment in January of 2009, I didn't have much. In fact, most of my furniture belonged to Phil's family. Over the past year and a half we were able to get more furniture that either I bought or that we bought together. Every time new furniture came in, the old furniture went back into storage. It was working well for a while, especially when we were thinking of moving into a bigger apartment after we were married that was, until my job term ended and I was unable to find a good full-time position.

We thought long and hard about it and decided that we would both live in my apartment after the wedding. Of course, this means big changes to the layout of the furniture and how much space I have for my things. It has been difficult for me to manage changing everything around to accommodate another person when it feels like there's barely enough room for me! I know it can work, it's just a matter of making it work for us.

We have a plan and I've started by moving furniture around and emptying out a whole dresser for him. We will make it work because it is the best decision financially for us. I am excited to have Phil be able to go over and help me and to have his opinion on what would work the best. It will be such a relief to be able to get this done so that we can both focus on other things and have less stress as we get closer to the wedding.

Now, if I can only get everything ready to start teaching in a couple of weeks...

Monday, August 9, 2010

What Happens When You Let Go and Let God...

Once upon a time... my life was full of drama, chaos, and uncertainty. I grew up in Southern California and lived there for 23 years. There was tons of drama and chaos in everyday situations. Even when it seemed like things were "good",  there was always something else that would happen right away to make things difficult. Uncertainty played a role in almost every aspect of my life...family, friends, relationships, school, finances, you name it! Growing up that way was definitely challenging, but it has helped to make me who I am today.

I remember thinking over and over again, "My life will never get to where I want it to be." It seemed that life would go in cycles and always end up at the same point. Unfortunately, that point was pretty close to rock bottom for me. It was almost like no matter how much effort that was put in to change the situation, it never got better. Then came Phil...

Phil was really, so unexpected. I had signed up for an internet dating website not expecting to find anyone, but after only a week or two Phil was "suggested" to me and the communication began! As we got to know each other, it was clear that he was nothing like any of my previous relationships. He was calm, intelligent, logical, level-headed, and really cared about the people around him on a genuine level. When we first met, I was the complete opposite: hyper, emotional, wore my heart on my sleeve, and over dramatic (me? never!), but despite all of these things it didn't take me long to realize that he was exactly what I needed.

Since meeting and being with Phil, my life has turned around completely. I know have certainty, stability, support, and feel unconditional love. What I thought I would never have has become my reality. Having him in my life has opened up doors that would have never been possible. I finally feel like this is where I belong and that my life is moving in a different direction from ever before.

When I look back over the past couple of years, I can't thank God enough for bringing me exactly what and who I needed at the right time. God has used our relationship to help us grow in so many ways and I can't wait to see what he has in store for us. But, for right now, I am content in what we have and the opportunities that are right around the corner.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Living together before marriage...or not?

I was checking my email today and found a link to take a poll. The question was: Did you live with your Significant Other (SO) before marriage. Let's just say that I jumped on the opportunity to take this poll and see the results.

76.9% said Yes
23.1% said No

I must admit that I was shocked to see those numbers. I know that most people now live with their significant other before marriage, but to see how high that number really was took me by surprise.

The fact that Phil and I do not live together is no secret. We do get some comments when people find that out, but mostly it's encouraging. Every now and then we get someone who does not agree with our situation, but we have decided to wait until we are married to live together and we are both happy with our decision.

What I like most about our decision is that there is no "trail run" to see if we will "work out" before we get married. That is what the dating/courtship period is for. Living together before you are married to see if it will work out is something most people see as a precautionary measure, but we see it a bit differently. Marriage to us equals commitment. You commit yourselves to one another (and to God) and decide that you will make it work...even if he leaves his dirty socks lying all over the floor!

I know many people who like the idea of living together before marriage, including my own mom, and we really feel that is a personal decision that each couple has to make for themselves. There are always going to be pros and cons to each situation, but the bottom line is that I would rather wait to live with my husband until after we are married and know that he loves me and is committed to staying no matter what then to go through a "trial period" to see if the man I love will work out.

What are your thoughts on this subject?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I got the job!

I've been waiting to share this news until the paperwork was completed, but it's official...I am finally a teacher! I will be working as a part-time English teacher for 6th, 7th, and 10th grade. I love older kids and am so excited for the challenge that I know is ahead. I feel so blessed to have this opportunity to learn how to teach while having a small class size and great support system. This will be my first year teaching so I have so much to learn and look forward to.

I have started reading a couple of stories and am planning to come up with the worksheets needed within the next week or two. I am so lucky to have Phil's mom who is retired from teaching to help as well as some friends of mine who teach as well. I must admit that I am a little nervous about it, but God has led me to this position and I trust that He knows what He's doing. Luckily, there are only a few, amll details of the wedding left to take care of so I won't be playing a juggling act and will be able to focus on my job!

Needless to say I am so thrilled and excited for this new opportunity and plan to do my best and let God take care of the rest!

Monday, August 2, 2010

McFatty Mondays

What I'm learning....

I'm learning that playing softball on Sundays and just being more active in general is NOT cutting it!
I'm learning that no matter what other people think I should/should not be eating, it is still MY choice!
I'm learning that it's ok to have something you want every now and then...it's all about proportions.
I'm learning that even though I am getting "tighter" in my mid-section, that's not good enough. I want to be more fit all over!
I'm learning that no matter what, it comes down to what is best for me and what I want.
I'm learning that the results I do/do not get are a result of the effort I put in each and every day.

These past weeks have been a struggle for me. I'm doing well at maintaining, but I'm letting way too many things change how I feel and operate. It's about me and my goals right now and I need to do what is best for me no matter what other people tell me I can and can't do. At the end of the day, it's my body and I know what I need to do to change it.

Here's to making good decisions this week and seeing weight loss next week!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Great finds

The hardest part about planning for the wedding is planning for what happens after the wedding. Phil and I have decided to stay in my apartment to try to save and buy a house. The only problem is that my apartment is a little small. I can easily fill the apartment with my furniture and things so to add in one more person and all of his stuff is a challenge! Phil's mom and I are working on re-organizing pretty much everything. We have a plan and are going to make it work so that he and I can both be comfortable living there for as long as we need. This means getting rid of a lot of things of mine and getting new things to make more space and to offer better storage options.

We have been going to thrift stores to try to find a sewing table for my sewing machine my awesome friend gave me last year and were lucky enough to come across a sewing table and a curio/china cabinet today for a great price! We bought both of these pieces of furniture for what someone online wanted for just the sewing table...incredible!

Now, it's just a matter of getting everything taken care of, but we have plenty of time and a lot of help to get it all done!