I’ve been doing the happy dance a lot this week.
I finished my first eight sessions of personal training and signed up for forty more. I have never worked out this well and this hard. It’s true what they say about exercise-based euphoria, because I experience it every Tuesday and Friday. It’s a revelation.
I’ve completed four weeks of eating like a thin person and have lost eight pounds. I’m right on target at two pounds a week. I’ve also found that having protein shakes made with fruit helps me to get through the witching hours of 11:00 am and 4:00 pm. I no longer feel as though I could eat my arm, and a result, I’m not snacking on bad stuff while driving home or preparing dinner. I feel victorious over a demon that has ruled my life for many years.
I went through all of my clothing and separated out the “fits” from the “doesn’t fits.” I made a stack of “I never wear this” stuff to give to Amvets next week, and then I put only those pieces of clothing that actually fit back into my closet. I’ll save the “doesn’t fits” for later this fall and winter as I reduce back into them. Or I’ll give them away when I find that they don’t fit my new lifestyle or outlook on life!
I’ve made some positive steps forward toward a new career in travel. I’m feeling (almost) capable of reserving and ticketing an airline ticket and I’m signed up for the Incentive Travel Show in October, where I’ll make some connections with people who want me to use their services or book their hotels in England. With the exception of the current issues with American Airlines, which worry me, I’m feeling really pumped about my future as a custom tours travel agent.
There’s also something I’m happy about that’s not such as clear-cut as losing weight and learning a new trade.
It all started at happy hour last week with my former colleagues when I found out that my work nemesis not only “quit,” she was escorted out of the building. Although I’m not usually one to dwell on the past, lingering resentment over unfair treatment and a tarnishing of what was previously a good reputation has followed me for six years. I have to admit it made me happy to know that there is karma in the world.
I’ve been listening to a good book in the car, and yesterday, the climax of the book was really relatable to my situation. The main character finds that the anger she’s been carrying around for twenty years is corrosive and it is time to let it go. Even though I’m retired and no longer in the toxic situation, I’ve continued to carry my own resentment about my former boss and it hasn’t been good for me. Since I’m not with my work friends every day, the resentment has been under the surface, but it was still there, eating away at my soul. Just the act of writing this down is freeing — I’m done with all that and I don’t need to think about it again.
And now it’s time for me to move on too. I’m a blank slate and a clean book ready for a new story.
They say it takes three weeks to break a habit and apparently I’m living proof of that.
I’ve lost the I’m-crabby-about-work mentality that has driven my every waking moment for years. I’m not angry anymore — and unless provoked by someone who wants to disrespect the teaching profession, I’m ready to move on to something that interests me more. I’m cured, and apparently it shows in my face. Several people this week have commented on the fact that my whole demeanor is less stressed and more calm. I’ve broken my crabby habit.
On the surface life now seems pretty boring.
As I’m sitting down to write and eat my leftover squash casserole from last night, I’m realizing that my days are starting to have a pattern. I get up at a reasonable 7:00 ish, check my social media sources, make a healthy breakfast, and then embark on the project of the day. I market almost daily for fresh food and household essentials, go to various appointments, and exercise. Two days a week I train at the travel agency for a few hours. I watch some tube and read for a while every day. I cook and make protein shakes. I go out with my friends. I listen to Music Man’s stories of work and share the need-to-know pieces of my day. I attend rehearsals of my musical groups and go to club meetings in the evenings. I’ve become a stay-at-home-wife and I like it.
Change seems to have become the new normal, at least where it comes to food.
I’ve also broken the unhealthy food chain. I’ve been able to go out to restaurants and only order one glass of wine and yes, even decaf coffee. I didn’t order the chips with the fabulous fish and chips at Duke of Perth, and yesterday I didn’t have raisin toast or hash browns with my omelette at Buffalo. I haven’t cracked open a bottle of wine at my house for two weeks — what will the recycling men think today when my bin is not full of empty wine bottles? I’ve been having fun trying new recipes, and I don’t think that either Music Man or I have felt deprived in any way. And I’m continuing to lose weight, bit by bit, which is all I’m trying to do. It took me a long time to put this weight on, and it will take a long time to take it off as well. I’m okay with that.
Yet the essential me is still in there.
I’m devouring books and movies. I’m researching the city tote bag that I am going to create to carry camera equipment, one that won’t scream “I’m carrying thousands of dollars of camera equipment!” to pickpockets. I’m thinking about how I can turn my love of travel into a custom travel service for busy people who don’t have time to do the research themselves. The agile mind that has served me well as an academic is now enjoying the opportunity to be creative in a different way.
Friday, Friday has a new meaning to me now.
When we played Rebecca Black’s anthem to the weekend in my homeroom, it was as heartfelt for me as it was for the students (unless, of course, I had papers to grade over the weekend). But then, the weekend meant errands, projects, craziness around the house trying to catch up with the things we didn’t get done during the week. My being at home has taken some of the stress off of our household and we have the freedom to choose whether or not we can take the time to spend a day playing in the city.
There’s still a lot to be done, but progress is also habit-forming.
Every day I take a step toward establishing order in my home and my personal life. I’m breaking some life-long habits of ignoring what’s in front of me and hoping that somehow the hard stuff will just go away. I know that I’ve made the right decision for Music Man and for me, and we’re happy. I get some flack from people who question my choice to retire at age sixty, but thank goodness we live in a world where I have that choice.
Have a wonderful weekend. You deserve it!
A friend of mine told me that I’d spend more money in the first year of retirement than I did while teaching.
If this summer has been any indication of that, I am thinking he’s right. Every day I have a list of stuff — little stuff, mind you — to pick up. Most of these things are pent-up items that just needed to be done, but there are also some big-ticket items on my lists. And since I started entering the purchases on Quicken instead of Music Man doing it, I can see the daily totals with clarity. Scary.
That being said, I’m really happy with this week’s purchases.
I’ve been unsure about whether I wanted to talk about this on the blog, but here goes. In my retirement plan to get healthy, I included a 21 day purification program. It’s not a fast and there’s nothing unsafe about it, but the requirements are somewhat stringent. First on the list is that all fruits and veggies must be organic. Did you know that organics spoil rapidly? I guess I knew that intellectually; it makes sense, of course. I didn’t quite get it in practice, though. The first time I let a box of organic raspberries mold, it was soul-wrenching, not to mention a waste of good money.
So I’m at the grocery store pretty often. I think I’ve been there every day this week.
The good news is that after five days, I’m getting a handle on how to manage the fruit and veg issue. I’ve also come up with some new recipes — the beet and carrot slaw was quite tasty. The bad news is that I found out my store doesn’t stock its organic shelves as often as I am at the store, so there were days that I saw entire shelves of wiped out stock. And then there was the day that I bought arugula instead of spinach. It was on the spinach shelf and I didn’t look at the tag. It kind of looks like spinach, doesn’t it? We’re eating arugula and kale in our salads, scrambled eggs, and I even put some in last night’s meatloaf. Hopefully these greens will become an acquired taste, because they’re very good for us!
The other side effect of eating nothing but fruits, vegetables, and lean meat is weight loss.
I’m down four pounds at the end of five days. Since I put on two pounds over Labor Day weekend, that’s a net of two pounds for the week so far, and that’s all I’m aiming for. I’m trying to do the turtle weight loss program; slow and steady will win this race.