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Archive for the ‘Life in General’ Category

A Little Anxious


I have not heard my internal drumbeat for quite some time. I had heard it in March and April, but then it thankfully faded. Now, this week, it started again, albeit softly. My drumbeat is my sign that I am anxious. I don’t feel too much in control and I like to be in control.

Perhaps this is a lingering PTSD effect of Isaias swinging past and we haven’t even hit active storm season. Perhaps it is a discussion board on a professional site about the gloomy future of business. Perhaps it is the hard conversation I had with my son about school expenses, my thought that his dad is struggling to meet his obligations, so my son needs to talk to the financial aid office about more money. Maybe it is a combination of all three and more.

One thing I know is that I am a trifle weary about my utter lack of social life. I am trying to dig deep into focusing on things I can control: diet, exercise, sleep and finances. I am holding back on my spending. That is always a false stress-reliever for me so when I want to buy shit, I now stop and ask why? My cozy apartment can’t hold much, so any purchase needs to be carefully analyzed. I am focused on saving, saving, saving and frugal living, but honestly, that’s boring. No razzle dazzle there, but I do like seeing my savings grow, so I need to savor that.

I need to focus on what does bring me joy these days. I need to embrace the simple pleasures. My Beachbody on Demand (BOD) has been a surprising happiness builder for me. Yesterday was rainy so I couldn’t go outside for my nightly walk. Instead I did 30 minutes of Country Western dancing. This was in addition to my morning 30-minute Barre Blend, which combines barre and Pilates. To know me is to know that I have 2 left feet, no flexibility or rhythm. BOD has been introducing me to my hips and teaching me about coordination, stretching and footwork. Plus I get to look ridiculous in the comfort of my home with no one judging me. I also get to do these workouts repeatedly on my schedule and I advance when I feel comfortable moving on. I really like that. Look out Shakira – when I find my hips, they won’t be lying!

The other thing bringing me joy these days is the simple pleasure of being able to go to an office and be around people. This week is a trifle boring because I am in a lull with most of my projects. I have a few interesting things to do and some not so interesting, but I am around pleasant people all day without pressure.

I am reading a good book. Finished another last night. I have listened to some interesting podcasts. I have a weekly Zoom Toastmasters and this week I have a Zoom bingo night with another professional group. I am sleeping well. I just wish I could go to dinner or brunch with some girlfriends. I wish I had some girlfriends up here. The pandemic quashed all my plans of developing a social network up here.

Part of my internal drumbeat of anxiety is what I am seeing and hearing out of my professional networks. A tsunami of more layoffs and shutdowns is coming. Companies are distributing boxes to employees so they can pack up and work from home permanently, however, as those employees drive off the company knows most will never return. Lots of companies are closing up offices as of the end of September to coincide with the end of the third quarter. More will close up in December so horrific write-offs can be done for 2020. This will enable companies to potentially salvage 2021 after shedding everything possible.

Add to that mess the fact that as a woman over 55 years old, if I am laid off, I will be the last hired. Age and gender discrimination ratchet up during times such as these. Don’t believe me? Go read the studies. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/bye-boomer-the-coming-cull-of-workers-over-50-2020-07-29

For now let me be thankful for what I have. I am thankful for my job, my work colleagues, my cozy apartment, my growing savings, my health and much more. I am very lucky to have what I have.

Boring is Good

This week I have felt bored. Life is ho hum. Then Taz gave me a wake up call. We had a long chat and she was filling me in on news from friends and my Ex’s family. Wow – talk about drama.

This friend’s mom had two heart attacks. The friend is trying to finish school and her fiancé was transferred to an out of state job. Another friend’s grandparent passed leaving behind an autistic son with metastatic lung cancer. The friend’s mom is now nursing her brother while he battles pneumonia and lung cancer. The same friend is dealing with a boyfriend who has accepted a job promotion and transfer.

Then my Ex had some serious drama with his fiancée’s daughters. Long story, I won’t go into it, but I felt bad for the guy. Really bad.

It was just drama, drama, drama. Wow. I have never been so grateful to be ordinary and dull. Thank you, Karma. You won’t hear a peep of complaint from me. Not a single peep. I am ever so grateful for all I have. Now let me drag my ordinary self to bed in my cozy, simple apartment.

Reset Once Again

For some reason weight loss has been a conundrum for me this go round. When I separated from my husband, I melted off 40 pounds effortlessly. I guess it is that revenge body situation. I have been trying to remember what I did and what I need to do know.

I have been reading Chasing Cupcakes by Elizabeth Benton. It is a good book and says what needs to be said. I am not quite ready to hear her lessons. Plus last week I listened to her podcast Primal Potential and she broke my heart. She lost her 12-day-old baby in April. Enough said. She is soldiering on and applying her grief to her coaching. It tore me apart to listen to one episode of her podcast where she talked about it. Particularly because I thought of Taz.

I decided that for August I am going to focus on three habits. Very simple: 30 minutes of daily exercise, 15 minutes organizing my damn photos (I only need to do this 20x in the month), bedtime at 10:00 with 7 hours of sleep. I have a habit tracker on my frig and off we go.

However, as I sat on my patio this morning enjoying the tropical storm breeze of Isasias, I knew that this isn’t enough for the weight loss. I need more tweaks. I have been doing my daily 30 minutes of Barre Blend from Beachbody on Demand (BOD). It is awesome and I feel my flexibility and balance increasing tremendously. I sweat, it’s hard and challenging, but it’s not enough. Sorry, Elise, but I think I need more pure cardio.

I was losing about 1-1/2 – 2 pounds on another BOD program, 21 Day Fix. Instead of switching back (because I do like the benefits of Barre Blend), I am going to add in another 1/2 hour 5x a week of cardio. Back to None2Run. Ugh. Maybe not the whole program, but at least get into some steady running intervals. The cardio really helps. Step 1 – increase my exercise to an hour a day/5x a week and 30 minutes on my off days. I won’t bore you with the schedule, but my off days will be midweek and those days will only be the Barre Blend.

Next, I need to focus on the food intake. Actually, I need to take my focus away from food. I have enjoyed meal prepping, having various meal options throughout the week and all that stuff. Too much focus on food. I need to downplay it. I am not a fan of intermittent fasting. Done it, meh. I guess my plan is a form of IF, but it harkens back to my previous weight loss success.

I will continue with 3 meals a day, but dinner will be extra light. Some Greek yogurt, a sandwich – very light. Lunch will be plant-based. Breakfast will be the main meal and it will still be reasonable. I need to recognize my hunger cues and stopping cues better. One weight loss coach recommends eating half of your meal, stopping for 20 minutes and then deciding if you eat more. I agree. It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to realize if it is full.

I am convinced my scale is broken, but I know it is not. It hasn’t moved in two weeks and I am so frustrated with it, but really the frustration is with me. I am being impatient. Impatient with my body both through exercise and weight loss. I am not helping my body. I am not giving it the time it needs to change. I am not providing nutrition at the levels that maximize weight loss. I am not recognizing it’s strength in certain areas or appreciating where it is gaining balance and flexibility. I love my body and need to be kinder to it. I need to appreciate all it has done (birthed and nursed 2 healthy, beautiful babies, been strong and healthy, etc.), what it is doing now (exercising, staying healthy) and what it can do (get stronger, leaner). My body can do a lot, but I just need to allow her to have the time and the right fuel to do so. Patience. Dammit, it is always a lack of patience with me. Deep breath, reset and let’s try again.

Time to change the middle part, albeit patiently…

Feint Right

Tropical Storm, sometimes Hurricane, Isaias skimmed by us off the coast. I am writing this on Sunday morning as we get some wind and sideways drizzle. Nothing exciting and that’s what you always wish for in hurricane season.

How the heck is Florida suppose to prepare for a hurricane when we have rampant unemployment, the $600 surplus ended, a pandemic and I know I probably left out a few other obstacles? Plus Isaias snuck up on us. Usually we have the drumbeat of an approaching storm for a solid week as it strengthens. It seemed like on Wednesday the news said, “by the way, this storm might ruin your weekend, so you might want to hit the grocery store.”

Things were a bit tense when I went to pick up my groceries. I stopped at an independent grocery to sort a bunch of coins in exchange for a free Amazon card. Walmart has the same card sorter but doesn’t offer Amazon cards – they aren’t stupid. Anyway, I walked out with an Amazon voucher for $68 after witnessing a woman simply losing it in the store. Why? I have no idea, and it was none of my business.

There is a Costco next to my Walmart pick up and its gas pumps were packed. The Walmart parking lot was packed. I felt a lot of sympathy for folks trying to be prepared. 2020 has been tough.

Meanwhile at Casa Maggie, I got a few hurricane supplies and set out to clean up my apartment because this was my weekend for a thorough cleaning. That kept me busy for most of Saturday.

My hurricane supplies and procedures are honed from 30 years of Florida storms, including Hurricane Andrew (click here for that story), 2005 which gave us 3 direct hits within 2 months (Katrina, Rita & Wilma – yes, Katrina hit Miami as a Category 1 before she got to New Orleans. Her eye passed over my neighborhood). Here is what I do for a storm:

  • I do not buy water. That is ridiculous. Andrew was the only time water was an issue and that was only for a week. Hey, when a Cat 5 hits, you do need to worry about water, but most storms do not affect water supply. Instead I fill up a few gallon jugs I keep around for this purpose. Nothing fancy. If we lose electricity, I stop drinking tap water for about 48 hours in case the system needs to flush. You don’t always get the boil water alerts after a storm.
  • Crackers, canned fruit and tuna, maybe cold cuts – yep, that’s about it. Nothing fancy, nothing that has to be cooked, nothing that can get moldy quickly. Bread is a lost cause. After a storm, it is unbearably hot. No wind, high pressure, it is stifling. If you don’t have electricity, you have no appetite because of the heat. Plus you will be so stressed out, that you need easy things. Now during the storm, I highly recommend mini Reese’s Cups. These are purely medicinal for your stress level. They pair well with prosecco. I do recommend an adult beverage during a challenging storm. Once again, it’s medicinal.
  • As soon as you lose power, switch to paper goods. The hassle of heating up water, etc. for dishes is a wasted effort.
  • Battery-operated fan, lantern(s), head lamp. This is where I was lacking for this storm. I ordered a fan with my groceries, but by the time I picked my groceries, they had run out. I knew the odds were against me. My headlamp is old and doesn’t work. I have an old mini lantern and flashlight which is fine, but with my newfound Amazon credit, I have ordered my fan and a new headlamp.
  • Keep the phones charged and have a couple of battery packs. During extended outages, the nicest part of the day is sitting in the air-conditioned car charging up the phones, but you can’t do that too much because gas becomes a precious commodity.

I can go in-depth about generators, house prep, etc., but these days with my simple little apartment I don’t have to worry about all of that. I brought my chair, ottoman and end table inside early. I brought in my front doormat. That was it. I parked my car strategically away from trees and between two other cars as a buffer from side debris. That’s it. It was incredibly easy and I am truly thankful that this area of my life is so simplified. I sent a text to the kids about my plans so they knew what was up, I let my dad know and poof, I was done. I made banana bread for my storm stress eating and I wasn’t even stressed enough to binge.

Mostly I sit here this morning being thankful. Thankful we dodged the storm, no matter how weak it is. Thankful I have a small place of newer construction with windows that meet hurricane code, so I feel safe and my prep is quick. Thankful that I have a job and no debt so I can buy the things I need without stress. Thankful that I lost neither internet or power – it gets really sucky when those two things go. Thankful this happened over a weekend so I didn’t have to decide if going to work was the politically savvy decision. I think recognizing all of these things add to my overall happiness. I am truly fortunate and I know it. Thank you, Karma. Yes, I have been thinking about how to play it forward. More to come on that in the future.

9 Years Ago

A memory popped up on my FB feed this morning. It was me posting about leaving a company I had been with for 9 years. I didn’t say the raw truth because it’s social media for goodness sake. I didn’t say that the company kicked me to the curb. I didn’t say that my new female boss fired me and my older female mentor and attempted to replace us with cute, young men. That bitch. My then husband turned my farewell Happy Hour into his own drunk fest and I had to drive us home because it always had to be about him. But that’s not what I wanted to write about.

What I was really thinking about this morning is how much life I have lived in the past 9 years. I have had some great highs and lows. Today I am in a great place, even with a tropical storm and raging pandemic.

Highlights of the past 9 years include:

  • Within 18 months of being fired, I successfully completed a very public, career defining project that got a lot of press and accolades. Ha! Plus it was business my old company passed up. Hehehe….
  • I divorced on my terms and started my next chapter.
  • My kids moved on through to adulthood in ways large and small that make me ever so proud of them.
  • I left Miami and eventually have ended up 2 counties away from its insanity (although I will always have a soft spot for that crazy city).
  • I have had 3 jobs including starting my own company.
  • I learned about failure and went bust with my own company.
  • I learned about dating and found love.
  • I learned to set limits and say no.
  • I learned a lot about money, spending, not spending, getting out of debt. Oh so much in this area.
  • I reconnected with friends and family.
  • I have embraced my inner introvert and enjoyed my solitude.
  • I lost 40 pounds and unfortunately found it again. LOL. I’m back to working on the losing part again. Sigh.

I think the biggest thing is that I have been LIVING. I have done so much personal growth and change during these years. I feel different in some ways, but I still have my ready smile and great sense of humor. I am happy to be where I am,

The amazing Maya Angelou said, “We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated. It may even be necessary to encounter the defeat, so that we can know who we are.” I know who I am. Being fired 9 years ago lead me to where I am today and I am grateful.

Test Results are In

The news have been full of woes about COVID testing, but I have to say my experience wasn’t that bad. I got a text 2 business days and 4 actual days from my test date.

I waited until I got a second text days later because I didn’t recognize the company texting me. I googled them and said, “Crap, this could be my test results”. They do need to do better on that part of things. Anyway, my test came back (drumroll…) negative. Hallelujah!

However, my work colleague (who is also a dear friend) came back positive. She’s the one who is also a kidney donor. She felt crappy one weekend, has had an upset stomach, only ran a fever for 2-3 days. She is lucky it appears.

COVID is a very strange virus. Her hubby got it at work – both his boss and a coworker tested positive. The coworker was briefly hospitalized. The hubby, by the time he tested, came out negative. He had mild symptoms, mostly digestive.

With Florida spiraling out of control, we are seeing/hearing more cases at work. People have fled back to work from home, thankfully. This leaves fewer people in the office. I am now mask on all day, eat lunch outside, use only one bathroom and really minimize my movement around the building. That is all I can control.

I got my hair cut today (mask on, temp check, etc). My stylist is very careful and sanitizes the area, mask, gloves. But people around her and me for that matter aren’t. Young man comes in for his haircut and only puts a mask on when told to do so and then wears it under his nose. Maskhole. A barber waltzes in and doesn’t have his mask on. He dumps his bag on his chair and heads back up front. I don’t know if they checked his temp. He too is a maskhole wearing his mask under his nose. WTF. I held my tongue because the owner was right there and had told the young customer to mask up. The barber had no excuse.

My young stylist tells me her very young roommate who just moved down to SFLA got COVID. This caused my stylist to flee her own apartment for two weeks. Apparently the roommate was quite sick. She was and is running around on Tinder dates, partying in Ft Lauderdale. What is wrong with people? Sigh.

Once again, this is not something I can control, so I will let it go. I will keep my focus on the things I can control. Thus here I sit at home, safe with a really cute haircut.

Birthday Reflections

My best writing and thinking takes place early in the morning with a cup of coffee for company.  I wrote all of this while on vacation and am just getting around to transcribing and editing my handwritten notes.

I had a lazy day on the couch during my vacation.  I simply vegged either in front of the TV or on the front porch with a book in my lap.  I think it was because my mind was examining some big questions and needed the time and space.  Here are some of the topics I examined:

  • The repercussions of being single with limited nearby friends during a pandemic.  This issue has resolved itself somewhat.  Friends, family and coworkers have stepped up to volunteer assistance should I need it.  I am blessed and thankful.
  • Now that cases are escalating exponentially, working in the office, even with a mask is a bit fraught to say the least.  No shit, Sherlock.  I wrote this BEFORE I realized I might have been exposed and before Florida hit over 15K cases in a single day.
  • Vacations for the next few years will be limited for many reasons.  I do not see myself flying anywhere unless there is a damn good reason.  Rats because I yearn to travel.
  • What and where will retirement look like for me?  That is always a question for me.  I like to plan and this is the biggest unknown for me.  My pragmatic side hates the uncertainty of this.  I just need to accept that I have limited control over this.  I need to identify what I can control and focus on those things.  A topic for another post.
  • Can I handle a decade of my boss who can be a handful on occasion?  This is looking like it will be my last full-time job if all goes well.  I believe the answer is yes.  Everyone has their moments of questioning their employment.  Will the company navigate this recession successfully and without major layoffs?  Too soon to say….

I wrote all of this as I sat outside on the front porch of my parents’ mountain home.  It was a beautiful morning.  I listened to the birds and watched the chipmunks scurry around the yard.  I turned 56 this year.  I am pensive because I am on the downhill slide to 60.  LOL.

I have a decade of full-time work left in me, hopefully.  A decade to save and plan my retirement.  A decade to make a home in my new community so I can decide if I stay or leave during my golden years.

I am happy having my free time be for just me.  I am happy to be doing little to no compromising these days.  It is a first in my life.  I have spent a lifetime compromising and letting loved ones’ needs come before my own. 

Birthdays are a great time for reflection.  50 years ago I was a young girl living about 2 hours from this mountain home.  My parents were in the midst of splitting up.  My mom had a breakdown and was hospitalized for a few days.  My dad was having an affair with his now current wife of almost 50 years. It was 1970 and all the adults in my life were acting in self-centered ways to the detriment of me and my older brother.  My mom was a borderline personality.  She claimed their psychiatrist labeled my dad a sociopath.  Let’s not get hung up on labels and let’s just generalize it and call them both selfish.

The result of selfish parents, for me, was to counter balance with over-giving.  I have always given too much.  Too much time doing for others, too much time putting others before me, too much time for futile causes, too much money for others rather than saving for myself, too much, too much.

Now I am learning to value myself and my time.  I am learning the value of no and boundaries.  It is a bit uncomfortable to express those boundaries, but each time I flex that muscle, it becomes stronger and easier.  I look forward to it becoming more effortless and less guilt and anxiety producing.  When I first wrote out the previous sentence, I wrote it as a limiting belief “I am never going to think…”.  As I transcribed my handwritten notes, I recognized the limiting belief.  That is a minor victory!

I feel safe these days.  I feel like I have navigated my little lifeboat into a tiny, safe harbor while a storm of catastrophic proportions rages around me.  I feel small when looking at the vastness of chaos all around me. I know this single year of 2020 is a turning point in history, yet I will carry on having normal days of work and home.  I am very fortunate.

I also feel incredibly fortunate to have my little boat safely anchored.  I now longer strive to have trappings of success like expensive clothes, car and a fancier home. Minimal suits me far better. I am happy in my cozy oasis of an apartment.  I may decide to redecorate.  I need to do something with my grandmother’s dining room set.  I think I will get it refinished.  Maybe change the seat covers even though she needlepointed them all.  Perhaps I will frame them instead or just store them for the kids. Fewer belongings mean fewer ties and responsibilities.

I have led an incredibly interesting life compared to many.  Yes, I know many others who are even more interesting and that’s fine. I am no longer competing.  I am content to realize I will always have a story, an experience, an understanding for almost any conversation.  That is an accomplishment.  I also have learned to be a good listener and appreciate the stories and experiences of others.

I have kids who are simply amazing.  I listened, on vacation, to my son’s friend tell him how amazing my son is for living in Asia for a year.  What an accomplishment that few people have achieved.  My son felt and looked rejuvenated and recharged from this vacation.  He needed it as much, if not more, than me.

My daughter is in a league of her own.  Finding her soul mate has made her journey easier.  Their communication with each other is light years ahead of my relationship communication.  She is still wrestling with conforming to society norms.  I continue to encourage her to follow her heart without guilt.  What do I mean by that?

For example, she has discovered she doesn’t like to teach.  I get it.  Her patience is a precious commodity.  She feels guilty because her residency program has encouraged her to teach others, but it is not in her DNA.  I asked her how many doctors of her specialty teach and she responded less than 20%. I replied that her mentors knew from the beginning that the odds were against them for her to teach.  I said she shouldn’t sweat it. 

Perspective – perhaps that is my best gift to friends and family.  I offer gentle perspective when appropriate.  Blunt, but I also hold back at times.  It is a nuanced diplomacy that I have been blessed with.

There you have it.  Maggie’s morning reflections on a porch swing with delicious coffee….

Photo by Jeb Buchman on Unsplash

Vacay – Part II

I was being lazy after my son left and hung around the cabin. My birthday was the final part of my trip. My son had guiltily left the day before (I didn’t need or want guilt about his departure). My dad and stepmom planned to hang with me for the birthday afternoon and evening, then we would all leave the next day. A short, but sweet visit with them.

Until I got the Happy Birthday text from my GF at work. She called me. She may have COVID. However, I have been directly exposed not only through work, but she gave me a ride to the car rental and we didn’t wear masks. Sigh.

I immediately cancelled my afternoon rendezvous with the parents. My dad then said what I was thinking. Go home. Immediately. So much for my birthday. Fortunately I don’t get hung up on that type of stuff. My poor dad had gotten me a cake. Sweet thing.

There were multiple reasons for immediate action. I didn’t want to get too sick to drive. I didn’t want to further contaminate their house. I had to pass a Florida checkpoint, so I needed to be reasonably healthy for that. If I am going to be sick, I want to be home.

I packed up, washed the sheets, wiped down the house with my Clorox bleach spray and hit the road. Shortly after midnight I was tired, but home and the car was unloaded.

Today I slept in, returned the rental, picked up some groceries, made an extra key to my apartment. I am ready. I received official notice from work (via my GF who is HR) that I am not to return to work for another week. I am to work from home.

This will be interesting. I am waiting to speak to my boss who does not like WFH at all, even though she does it successfully when on a deadline. I have my laptop with me and I don’t need much else.

With the logistics all in place, let’s talk about me. How do I feel? No fever, my neck is a bit achy, I have a mild headache and a slight dry cough. Sounds ominous doesn’t it? I called Taz. Not much to be done at this point. I am scheduling my own COVID test right now. No sense in waiting if I already have mild symptoms.

Am I scared? Not yet. I do want to know if I have it. I am very worried for my GF. She donated a kidney to a family member a couple of years ago.

Like Tom Petty says, the waiting is the hardest part. Sigh.

Photo by Morgan Lane on Unsplash

Vacay – Part I

Vacay has been nice. I enjoyed the company of my son and his friends. They are smart, well-mannered guys. We sat around with a beer and discussed adult stuff. I enjoyed their opinions and stories. I think they enjoyed listening to my stories and thoughts as well.

We did a couple of low key hikes ending with a picnic. The boys took one day to hike something more strenuous while I hung around the cabin reading and relaxing.

They all left a day or so before me. I spent most of one day home alone. Initially I thought I would go walk around my favorite lake, but instead I have puttered around the cabin.

I am feeling a trifle blue, but at first I didn’t know why. As I thought about it, I think my minor funk is more about this never-ending pandemic. Before I left, two work colleagues reached out because they lost their jobs. I have tried to ignore the real world, but I see the surge of COVID cases in Florida and sigh.

How long will I have to abstain from activities, restaurants and the like? I think it will be 2 years. Taz agrees. I don’t want to be one of the first getting a vaccine. I want someone else to be the guinea pig.

Two years of limited socializing. Two years of probably not expanding my social circle with new girlfriends. I am doubtful I will be able to do any group lessons for any activity.

So that is why I have a funk today. It’s OK. My dad is popping in to celebrate my birthday.

Not my hike, but we saw similar beauty…

Health Check

I just finished my first Beachbody on Demand workout program. I did 21 days in a row on the 21 Day Real Fix. I wrote about starting it. The great news is I actually finished. That alone is a big win.

My weight is down and that program has directly contributed to a weekly 2 pound loss for 3 weeks. It has put me in the middle of the pack on the work weight loss challenge. This is a big win for me because I was bringing up the rear in the previous two challenges. All in all, amazing results for a soon-to-be 56 year old woman. I have another 34 to go.

I didn’t change up my diet too much. I try to stick to mostly plants. Salads, roasted veggies and the like. I do eat carbs like rice, non-white bread, couscous, overnight oats. Last week’s lunch was a tossed salad with a scoop of homemade chicken salad (little mayo) with some homemade balsamic dressing. I defrosted some homemade chicken & wild rice soup which I had for dinner. I was craving a pumpernickel bagel but instead I got pumpernickel bread and made the most amazing sandwich with avocado, cream cheese, homemade pickled onions and nova. I know it sounds chock full of calories, but it wasn’t too bad.

Yum!

What has been an interesting change is my thought process around food these days. Food bores me a bit which is absolutely wonderful. I don’t want to make much these days, which is fine since I am headed out on vacation. I really am not interested in sweets because if I want them I have to make them (that’s part of my no-processed food rule). I have been feeling lazy, so making something is an effort. I did make some coconut macaroons dipped in chocolate. They were lovely, and since it was a small recipe I rationed them out one at a time over the week. Desserts are tasting too sweet, so a little goes a long way.

I am thrilled that I am not turning towards food to find comfort these days. To me this demonstrates that my mental health has been improving and I am keeping myself occupied in healthy ways.

Another improvement is that I now can identify if I am bored, thirsty or hungry and I know the difference of all three. I keep myself on a pretty steady schedule of eating about the same times each day which helps.

The Beachbody on Demand kicked my butt and provided a structured 30 minute exercise routine. My next series will hopefully be a little easier because at the end of 21 Day Fix Real Time, my attempts were in no way matching the instructor’s. I didn’t care except for the fact I have to be careful not to push too hard on something and hurt myself.

I am in a good place these days. My stress level is manageable, my finances are good with no debt and I am saving every month. I am eating healthy foods made from scratch with little to no takeout. This keeps me both healthy and saves money. I exercise regularly, and strive for at least 7 hours of sleep each night.

Vacay is right around the corner. I want to spend time outdoors. Usually I like to take a river float or easy rafting trip, but it will not be in the cards this summer. It would probably be outside my social distancing comfort zone, so I will be content with other things.

I made some pulled pork and black beans to take along for a couple of easy meals on vacation. My son and his friends are all South Florida guys who love Cuban pork and black beans, so we will probably demolish that quickly. One of the guys is a great cook because his dad is a chef. I have a great idea on how he can earn his keep….

Let’s see how I do on vacation. Can I keep my exercise level up? Will I continue to not overeat and make smart choices? I think so, however, time will tell.

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