Friday, January 28, 2011

You think you know someone...want to know more about me?

I've hemmed and hawed for awhile about doing an in-depth post, and I figured there was really no time like the present. I don't think I ever did much of an "introduction" post, as most of the people who read this blog know me outside of the internet. However, how often can you say that you really know someone? Outside of my sister and my husband, I think there are few that can truly say that.

I'm not really even sure how I should approach this blog post, as it's kind of awkward. I mean, I'm about to bear my soul, but I think that it will shed some light on some issues. Rarely do I ever let people get close enough to know all that much about me, outside of the unabashed sense of humor, the fact that I never beat around the bush with any issues, my ability to be brutally honest, almost to the point of cruelty...but where does all of that come from? There are reasons all of those traits are there. I think they were always kind of there, but events in recent years have caused them to bubble to the surface.

A few questions:

Why do I have a blog trying to keep myself accountable for weight loss? Why did I put on the weight in the first place? Well, almost three years ago, I found myself reacting irrationally to many every day situations. I would just flip out, to put it nicely. I don't even know why my husband put up with it. After awhile, I found out he just thought that was normal. The fact that he thought that I was really like that still breaks my heart. I didn't like what I had become. One day, I decided that I should have a physical, since I had never had one as an adult, just to make sure everything was on the up-and-up. The PA and I discussed all of the events in my life that had occurred in recent years: the long-term illness, estrangement, and death of my father (actually, we didn't talk about that all that much), starting my new job as a band director, the stress of that first job and the stress of losing it, getting married, moving in with my then boyfriend, later husband, the stress of taking on a new position where I had essentially now clue what I was doing, and the tasks which were piled onto me on what seemed like a daily basis...and well, she decided to put me on anti-depressants. I agreed to take them, shocking myself. They were a new brand, Pristiq, which touted no weight gain, which was something I was fighting at the time.

The makers of Pristiq lied. Yes, I felt better. I even learned how to manage my irrationality and react appropriately to stressful situations. But I gained somewhere between 30 and 40 pounds in about a year. I decided I had learned all that I needed, and per our 1-year agreement, I weaned myself off of the drug.

That was the most awful 2-3 weeks of my life. I felt anxious, nervous, restless to the point of taking hours long walks, nauseous to the point of nearly vomiting in my graduate courses that summer, so dizzy that I could barely even sit without falling over. I eventually shook the dependency and came off the drug, but my coursework suffered and I amazingly squeaked by with an A in my courses, though one of the professors so kindly let me know that she was surprised the averages "worked out" the way they did. I still don't like her.

Ever since then, weight has been a major struggle. I don't totally blame the Pristiq for my weight gain; however, it seemed to make the gaining so easy. I had maintained for quite some time at a weight that my body was comfortable with. I now seem to have issues with getting the weight off. I lack the drive or willpower or something. So, that's why I have the blog chronicling my failures at getting my weight back to a comfortable level.

I think that one question at this point is enough. I will likely post more insight into my inner tickings another time. I can, however, at least say that I am a much more stable person now. I do my best to control my reactions, though sometimes it is still a conscious effort. I have days that are very hard, and I don't really have many people with whom I can discuss that, although there isn't much to say about it. I'm hoping to find some kind of catharsis through all of these ramblings.

On a more positive note, a student today complimented my band directing skills. The kid is no slack (in fact, he was with me today because he made an honor band and we had to travel for that) so I appreciate and respect his compliment.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I'm so weird.

I am probably the only person that isn't going to enjoy this snow day. I had already taken the day off because I was supposed to go to a music educator's conference in a nearby city today and tomorrow. I diligently put sub plans together, got subs for all my classes, and now all of that work doesn't even matter. And now, we don't get a day off in February. I refuse to accept adding days on the end of the semester because there is very little precious vacation time between the end of the school year, and the start of my summer classes for grad school. Plus, MIL and FIL are going on a vacation during that same time (grr!) so we only have about a week.

I need a real vacation. Not an effing snow day.

I found out that I am going to have to take 12 hours this summer, plus my comprehensive exams. I think I just peed my pants a little...again...thinking about it.

I'm currently doing a graduate project with my band, though most of them don't know it. I went up to the university last week and had dressed nicer than usual (maybe...I'm getting better about that) since I was meeting with my adviser and all that. I snapped a picture in the bathroom with my iPhone (sorry about the quality...I'm a little shaky and you know iPhones don't have the most awesome cameras). I thought I would share it since as I was walking into the music building, I saw my reflection and thought, "wow, I look grown-up today!" And that was the first time I ever really thought that.

Good thing it happened now. I'm getting old.

As you can see, not much in the way of weight loss is happening, and I'm not standing in the most flattering of poses. And I have on no makeup or jewelry at that point, but you get the idea ha. And I'm totally forcing that idiotic smile. Forgive me, it was 6:30am. My face doesn't smile at that hour.

It was a lot of blue but it's kind of a favorite outfit now. I think monochromatic is an okay clothing concept, yes? Fashion bloggers, advice?

Ice blue cardigan: NY&Co.
Blue and black pattern shirt: Ross
Denim-blue trousers: NY&Co
Blue jeweled satin flats: Nine West via

So, this was me feeling grown-up. Now if I only felt grown-up enough to drive in the ice and snow without having a panic attack. Yeah, northerners can deal (or can you? Seems there were a lot of closings and accidents during that blizzard recently...) but us Okies, well, we just don't see it often enough. And I maintain that no one can drive "well" on the ice. It's a crapshoot at best. And I drive a Fit. I have to go over 100 miles today to my destination (did I say "nearby city?" I was exaggerating). So, you can all just suck it.

Yeah, that's right. I said suck it. That's my grown up response.

I'm going to go eat cold pizza for breakfast now and play video games or something childish.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Feeling more "grown up"

Well, I made it this far into the month without purchasing clothes, one of the items on my January challenge I figured I could do even injured. However, I did decide that it was high time to buy some undergarments. The bras I have currently I bought at Dillard's almost two years ago (I can't believe they lasted this long!) and I've been buying undies in 3-packs for quite some time. So, I decided it was time that I put on my big-girl panties. Hahaha.

Now, I certainly didn't spend any big bucks, and Kohl's was having quite a nice BOGO 1/2 off sale on certain brands. I got some undies at Tar-jay out of a 5 for $20 bin, but they are nicer than the Hanes that I have.

I don't know why I felt like sharing all of that. I don't normally share much about my shopping adventures. It can be an adventure...or rather a treasure hunt...when you wear a D-DD. I love the girls, but it can be a challenge to find the right bra to lock and load them in. I refuse to be the teacher that has to cross her arms when it's cold. I want the girls where they belong, strapped down, in, and practically immobile. When you teach teenage boys, this is not just a is a must.

In fact, the last time I bought bras, the lady asked me what I wanted and I said pretty much just that. "I want them locked down, strapped in, and I can't show when I'm cold. I teach teenagers." The lady said, "I understand. I know what you need." I liked the one I tried so much I just bought three of that same style in different colors and never looked back!

So, that was my day. I also got some awesome new mascara and finished up the bathroom painting. Currently laundry is running and I got to have lunch with H and FIL. Here in a minute I'm going to put together this week's plans for band and my graduate project. I'm just a bundle of productivity.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Constantly playing catch-up

Still no running. Still in pain. It was pretty unbearable yesterday. I think it was the seat at the movie theater.

H and I both felt sick yesterday evening. I think our lunch got to us, since we both had different dinners Friday night and it was too soon after dinner last night. I felt exhausted. True Grit was a great movie, though.

I slept probably 10+ hours the past two nights. I'm not sure what's going on with that.

This coming week, you probably won't hear from me much. Since H has all these fraternity meetings, I'll probably not be doing much in the way of cooking. I have tomorrow off so I'll probably just be cleaning house and playing Donkey Kong, while heating my poor hip flexor. I'm excited about having Monday off for MLK.

Tuesday night I am going to a meeting at a local Irish pub, which I'm excited about. The group I am meeting is gifting my band with flip folders for basketball games! Some of my students have been taping music to each others' backs. Now, if they would just buy the lyres for their instruments themselves...But, I get to eat at a place I've been wanting to go to for awhile. I haven't been in probably a year.

Thursday through Saturday I have a convention for music educators, so I have some networking and learning coming up. There are a few seminars I'm interested in. It's mostly seeing old college friends, teachers, and getting to dish about our jobs since most non-music people have no clue what we are talking about most of the time!

I doubt I'll get much in the way of working out in, as well. Walking for a while makes my hip ache and I'm getting pretty down in the dumps about it. Maybe I'll actually pick up those free weights and do something with my upper body this week like I've been meaning to.

So, if you haven't already figured out, my January "challenge" has been put on hold until further notice. I eat well most of the time, though this week is going to be kind of a bust. Since I can't run for now, I don't know when I'll finish C25K. January has ended up being far more busy than I expected, but that happens.

Anyway, there isn't much of a point to this post except to gripe about my injury and talk about work a little bit. Sorry.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Holy crap, it's Thursday!

So yeah....this week has been fast and slow at the same time! I have to be careful not to wish my life away, constantly wishing for Friday. There has been a lot of good Monday through Thursday, and I need to remember to enjoy that.

I signed up for my master's thesis project and got enrolled today. My band students are going to be guinea pigs, though they don't know it. Poor things. If things go the way I plan, however, my unwilling subjects will see and hear improvement in their playing. Hopefully lots of improvement. We have had lots of improvement before, but I plan to really buckle down.

No workouts this week, but eating has been okay. My hip is still bothering me quite a bit. I'm getting tired of it. Just when I think it's better, it gets worse again.

So, not much to report. I hope to have more soon, as I heal and can do more.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

This week's plan

This week shouldn't be too honor bands, no basketball games, no professional development trips. All of that is coming up in the near future, though! I have to miss four days of work this month. January is always crazy. The only thing I have this week is a prospective parent/student night at school Tuesday that I am planning on attending. It's good recruitment for me, I've done it a lot of times so I'm good with the tours. I like to help out where/when I can.

On the food plan this week:
White chicken chili, corn muffins
Chicken cacciatore (with some pasta for H)
Salmon croquettes, green beans
Salsa chicken, avocado/tomato salad
Baked lemon pork chops and brussels sprouts
Fun meal: Fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans
One night is possibly a leftover night or sandwiches or something like that.

Lunches can be leftover chili or cacciatore.

I probably won't be able to run this week (and if it's going to be 8 outside, I don't really want to!) so I'm going to try some stretching and upper body weights. Things that don't use the hip flexor. I realized last night I've been slightly over-dosing on the ibuprofen. Evidently I'm not supposed to take more than 6 in a day, and I was taking 8. Not sure how much it's all even helping...I guess it's anti-inflammatory whether I feel pain relief or not.

The bathroom project is almost done. We need to find some wall art since the walls are so plain now. That paisley wallpaper made it impossible to decorate! I think I'll check out Ross or somewhere cheap. I also have a little more paint touch-up and cleaning to do, and we're still waiting on blinds. It's a tiny window. I love the light in there now. I can't wait until we can put the laminate flooring through other parts of the house because the cat room is the nicest-looking room (without furniture) in the house and we hardly even use it!

I've started planning what I want to grow in my gardens this spring and summer. I will need to buy some big pots, strawberry pots, and I have some other things around the house like baskets I'm going to use. I really want to do a better job at it all this year. I also want to grow more edibles, and will be doing a lot of that in pots. I think a big planter of lettuces sounds like a great idea!

No big plans for today except groceries, lunch with H, and some housework. It's too cold to do much else!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

I'm here, I swear

So, hobbling along with my hip flexor aching. I've found that driving makes it hurt the most. And I had to spend a lot of time in my car for an honor band in a town about 45 minutes away. Ouch.

It was a crazy week. It all started with that iPhone alarm issue. Starting out a Monday like that just doesn't bode well for the rest of the week. As we were coming back from the honor band on Monday, my gas light came on and I discovered I had left my wallet at home. The kids didn't have any money and since gas is nearly $3 a gallon, I didn't have enough change to do any good. Pointless to pump half a gallon of gas. I made it home, barely.

The next morning, the kids left from their home and I left from mine in plenty of time for us to get to the honor band early so they could get warmed up. Wrong. There was a huge pileup that they got caught behind. I lead-footed us all the way there, but figured someone's late every year, and this year it just happened to be me.

That night, I totally screwed one of the kids over by getting my information wrong (the whole honor band was a clusterfuck of mis-communication, in my defense) and we didn't get back in time for the concert, so my freshman missed his performance. Once I figured out what happened, I made my way through the bowels of the performance hall to get behind the area where the performance was going on (so...many...stairs....hip...aching...) and I found him, with the most deflated, blank, devastated look on his face. It crushed me. My heart ripped in two. This is one of my very best kids...he practices, he's a great musician and only a freshman, he's bright, he's responsible...and I fucked him over. I couldn't help it...the tears started (freaking PMS didn't help there). I went and sat with another band director who tried to make me feel better but you know that never works. He was kind enough to post on my facebook the next morning that he hoped I was feeling better and that everything was okay. After the performances were over, I went out front to get some air and be in a dark area so people couldn't see my tear-stained face, and alternated between tearing up again and wanting to vomit. It came very close to that. There was nothing I could do to make it right. Nothing.

But, the kid wasn't mad. The parents weren't mad. It would have been so much easier had they been, but they had this whole "turn the other cheek" thing that I honestly just can't do, and so, I felt even worse because had I been the kid, I would have been PISSED beyond belief at my director! But, the kid said, "Eh, we weren't that good, anyway" in an attempt to make ME feel better. And my heart broke a little more.

Jokingly, they asked if the kid could skip the rest of the basketball game performances. Hahahaha. It's nice to put it all behind us. I told the kid he could hang it over my head and say, "Hey, Mrs. band director, you remember the time you screwed me over and cried like a big ol' baby?" and he thought that was pretty funny.

Then, I had to go back to work. It's so easy to forget how draining teaching can be, since you have to be "on" all the time. So, I'm pretty exhausted.

THEN, a teacher who is an avid runner, asked me how I was doing with the program. The last time she asked me, I was nursing that pinched nerve issue. This time, it's the hip. I explained that I was taking a break since I was injured but I'd get back to it soon. She said, "Maybe you should just try fast walking so you won't hurt yourself." I said, "I've not injured myself while running. Everything I've done has been an accident or just an everyday activity that went wrong." She just said, "Oh" and walked away. I don't really like being told what to do.

I'm accident-prone. I have at least one if not more bruises on my body at all times. I have at least one scratch on me, somewhere, pretty much at all times. It's just the way things are for me. I run into stuff due to poor depth perception. I've come to terms with it. It's a non-issue for me at this point in my life.

I wish I could say that I ate amazingly well this week, but I can't. I'm not even going to recall the atrocities that have occurred in my stomach. PMS week shall be over soon. Every day is a new day.

Monday, January 3, 2011


So, the injury I have, according to the health and phys ed teacher at my school, is a hip flexor strain. I'm screwed. Evidently this is kind of a serious deal, from what I've been reading. I'm going to have to push back C25K a bit until I get this under control. I guess I'll focus on upper body weights instead.

Not like I could have ran this morning, anyway, since my stupid iPhone alarm didn't go off. it worked fine for me for my previously set 6:45am alarm, when I take my pills. But, the new alarm didn't work. I don't know what I'm going to do in the morning...oh, I can use Sleep Cycle, a really cool app that I have. It has an alarm! Problem solved :P All of that is to say that I didn't have time to do anything except scramble to work.

I guess for now, I'll focus on eating along the guidelines I set for myself and do upper body weights, and maybe ab work, until I feel my lower body has healed.

I am just an injury magnet, aren't I?

Oh, the best thing ever was said at my table at our meeting this morning. A teacher's phone started to vibrate, loudly and obnoxiously on the table. Honestly, this was the strongest phone vibration I've ever heard. The department head looked at them and said, "Good grief, girl, that's a big vibrator!" I lost it. The head of school was up there talking about something important and our entire table was just giggling away. I love my department head. She's awesome.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Weekend absence

Please excuse my absence this weekend. A nice couple (band parents) came and remodeled our bathroom! They stopped by Friday to check it out and then worked a lot of yesterday and almost all of today. All that's left is little stuff--wall plates (on order), re-hang doors, and put up new blinds. And give the shower a good scrubbing because it looks grubby next to the sparkly-clean rest of the bathroom. It's so much brighter!

I wish I had before pictures, but it honestly was the place where paisley went to die: hunter green, navy, and burgundy paisley. So dark, so awful. The trim was a taupey-gray that was too dark for such a small space. It's all like new now!

I'm also still nursing that damn injury and my upper back is hurting quite a bit. I feel like I need H to pop it for me, and I will be bugging him very, very soon. Like as soon as I'm done with this blog posting.

Oh, and I will hopefully have time soon to type up the letter that the guy found in the attic while working on the ductwork and electrical: It's from the mid-late 80's (the mention of a Stevie Ray Vaughan tape gave it away) and talks about college, boys, small penises, and the Bible. Seriously. It's an interesting read. We have to wonder how in the hell it got up there! So, be looking for that relatively soon, dear readers. It's pretty fun.

Off to have some chili and watch 30 Rock Season 2.

Oh, and by the way, here's what I accomplished over break:

I finished week 5 of C25K
I organized 3 very disorganized closets
I watched both seasons of Dead Like Me, and the movie (unfortunately...the series was SO GOOD and they totally ruined it)
Cleaned a lot
Studied scores for band
Read some of an interesting book about food from about the 1800s through WWII in America
Saw my sister several times
Saw my in laws several times
Put pictures in frames in my office and the cat room (small projects are getting done!)
Tried several new recipes
Did a lot of research over various things
Stripped a lot of wallpaper
Made many trips to Home Depot
Bathroom was renovated

I think it was a productive break!