Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Skinny Jeans Crisis

Maybe it's just me, but the late 20's early 30's is an awkward age. Last year when I was writing "20 days to 30", I wrote about getting lost in stores. I got lost in the store again this weekend, and more specifically, got lost in skinny jeans. Usually I avoid new trends, which is why I am all of a sudden interested in skinny jeans, even though they have probably come close to running their course. Surprisingly enough, I actually like the trend this spring of brightly colored skinny jeans, so I've been window shopping for some recently.

So last night, I went to the mall to try to find some skinny jeans in a fun color. I went to few stores without much luck, and landed in one of those stores I was probably too old to shop in-but I went anyway. My goodness was I soon overwhelmed. They had skinny jeans, extra skinny jeans, ultra skinny jeans and jeggins. I was frozen with uncertainty, tried on a couple, didn't buy any, and left. I thought I might have more luck with the internet. The opposite actually happened. I went online and saw a pair I thought might work, so I read the reviews. One person commented that these were perfect skinny jeans if you didn't "want to look like you were trying to wear your teenage daughters jeans". Shit. Here we go again. And I didn't even know if these jeans would be classified as skinny, extra skinny or ultra skinny! So, as I try to wrap my brain around the skinny jean rules, this is what I have come up with:

Rules of Skinny Jeans:
1. If you are a teenager, you should wear a certain type of skinny jean. 
2. If you have a teenager, you should wear a certain type of skinny jean. 
3. If you are neither, don't bother. 
4. If you have any body shape other than that of Kate Moss, you are at risk of feeling like a fat ass in skinny jeans.

And these rules don't even begin to cover the color rules! So I went back at it today. I went to a different store, and dug through 18 different styles of jeans. I found some I liked that I think are supposed to be for a 30 something person, and don't make me feel like a fat ass. I am still too chicken to try a bold color, because I don't want to look like I am trying to be 18 instead of 30. (I saw a recent photo of Kris Jenner wearing red jeans, getting RIPPED by a  fashion writer for trying to look too young. This had made me nervous about the color, even though I know I'm not her age) I also bought a scarf from a home shopping network yesterday...I don't even want to know what that means!

When I was 26 and got lost in stores for the first time, I thought I would be secure in what I could wear by my 30's. No such luck.  If anyone finds the manual for what to wear in your 30's please let me know.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Stress Habits

I hate stress. I know how to keep my stress low-I have lots of ways to do that. I run or do yoga, I read, call or see my friends or have a glass of wine (I know you aren't supposed to use alcohol for stress relief, but it just works sometimes!). The thing is, I am really good at doing all these things to keep my stress low, until I am really stressed. Then they become the hardest things in the world to do. This week has been a high stress week for me.  I quit running, I don't eat healthy, I stay up late and oversleep and rush around in the mornings. And when I do this, I feel even more stressed. On Friday, I was really excited about working up to a 6 mile run by the early to mid week. I haven't ran since Monday....and struggled to get 2 miles that day.

 In the past, I use a day or two of vacation to reset and get back to healthy. I need to figure out how to sustain the motivation and energy I have to be healthy and well even when I am more stressed. I am working really hard to tap into my "motivation trees"; I hope that works. I really want to accomplish the 6 mile run so I am confident to sign up for the 10K, which is my goal this summer. Hopefully the weekend will help me to reset...I don't want to have to rely on vacation days all the time...but I might the good with relying on the wine! :) If you have ideas please feel free to share!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Memory Lane

For the past few weeks I have been working on turning an unused room in our basement into a craft room. It has been a fun, trying, and interesting process, and is almost over! Last night, on the eve of my 31st birthday, I was in another room in our basement cleaning out some old furniture that I am going to re-purpose for craft storage. In one of the boxes, I came across a book my little sister Jennifer made me when she was 11 and I was 13. It is great. If you want to see it, today is your lucky day :) I am sharing it because there are some really funny things written in it (my sister has spunk that I have had never had!). It was a bit like looking at myself 18 years ago, and then now to compare. It was kinda weird. Before I post these pictures, I must say that I asked my sister if I could post these online, and she said yes. I'm going to make the pictures large so you can see the print-it is really funny.

This is the front cover...its all held up fairly well for being 18 years old and moved probably 10 times over those years!

If you ever read my 20 days to 30 blog (which ended a year ago today!), you know I have had a terrible affair with my hair my whole life. This is proof. Yikes. If I had to guess, this was around 3rd grade.
I so excited to find this last night because I haven't been able to remember what time I was born. Now I know, and was awake for it this morning. Another really funny thing about this is that I remember HATING Ace of Base as a kid...but I must have liked it at some point. Our memory isn't always right! I also remember loving Wayne's World...I got the single cassette tape of Bohemian Rhapsody and playing on repeat for days and days. I'm sure this didn't drive my parents crazy at all! 

Ok, could I be any cuter!? I love this pic of me. It really shows me in all my dorkiness :) This page made me a bit teary when I saw it last night. First, the things I wanted to do with my life haven't changed much. It is really weird to think that I knew what my passions were that early. I am currently working with young people, and even though I am not a psychologist, I am in a very similar field. I still have a passion for teaching, and am doing some teaching in the fall. And I still love animals...just not the brains to take all those bio and chem. classes to be a Veterinarian. 
It was also VERY weird to run across this book on the eve of my 31st birthday, which was written when my parents were both 31. I always thought my parents were so old! Ha! It just gives some perspective...when my parents were my age they had 3 kids! 
And lastly, I want to go back to my 13 year-old self and ask me, "Really? You have had no happy, funny or exciting moments in 13 years!?!" I'm glad I have become more optimistic in my old age :)

Oh, just look at those late-80's/early 90's bangs! What steals the show on this page is the back handed compliment Jen gives me...I won this honor by default!

And lastly, the author herself makes an appearance. Don't miss the last line...remember I told you she had spunk! :)

I hope you have enjoyed this trip down my memory lane. Thank you to my sister for making this for me...18 years ago. It is so very precious to me.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Practicing What I Preach

I've decided that I am going to write here more often. I might not always post to FB or Twitter, so check back if you want to keep reading. I also worked (kinda) hard to give my page a makeover yesterday, so I wanted to show that off too!

I had a rough morning. I have not been getting much sleep, and last night was no exception. I was up late last night because of a wonderful evening with friends to celebrate my birthday. I was also up early again this morning. I am on vacation from work this week, but my body doesn't realize that, so if any little thing wakes me up from 6am on, I am pretty much guaranteed to not be able to go back to sleep. So this morning, after about 4 hours of sleep overnight, I called to inquire about a change in my student loan payments, a task I had been avoiding all last week. The news I got was not payments went up significantly more than I anticipated. After hanging up I couldn't help it-the tears started flowing. It was right then that Warren got up to find me making breakfast while crying. I don't think guys like walking in on those situations :)

The water works didn't last long, but I still felt pretty bummed. I thought about something I teach my students. HALT-it's an acronym that stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. It's a pretty basic idea. If you are one or more of those things, you are not going to be able to accept difficult things as easily, keep your emotions in check or make the best decisions. Babies show us this pretty well. If I see a toddler having a melt down in the grocery store the first thing I always think is "that must be one tired kid". My mini-meltdown was a combo this morning-tired and hungry. I still am bummed that my payments are going up, don't get me wrong. I am just aware that I probably wouldn't have cried about it if I wasn't running on little sleep and no breakfast. After eating breakfast, I decided to practice what I preach and do some things to clear my mind and hopefully feel better. I cleaned and then Warren and I went for a long walk, and it helped. So, remember, if you are feeling really bummed or down, do a quick check. If you are HALT tend to those first. It will help. That is also why I am going to take a nap right after posting this :)

On another note, I am going to attempt to complete a 6 mile run this week. I may not run the whole thing, but I have learned that taking walking breaks as a runner is ok, and pretty normal. As long as I can make the entire route I will be super excited. I will keep you posted!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Trees of Motivation

It must this time of year that gets me in the mood to write. If you remember back a whole year ago at this time, I was smack in the middle of my 20 days to 30 blog. That still remains one of the most creative and great things I have ever done for myself. It also reminds me that I am about to turn 31. Birthdays sure do come faster as you get older.

So in January, I made a New Year's resolution that was so cliche. I guess I was feeling a bit sassy since I completed my last two resolutions. Two years ago I decided to open an IRA and begin saving for my retirement, which I completed. Last year was completing a 5K, which I did 3 times. This year, I decided to make the ever so common weight loss resolution. And I didn't tell hardly anyone, because every time I make this resolution, I don't stick to it. Well, 2.5 months in I am still going strong, and have lost almost 10 pounds. More importantly, I feel great and healthier than I have in a while. I had thought about reviving the blog to track my progress, but I was a bit nervous that if I didn't stick to it that I would have failed publicly. I think I am ready to share. Tonight I went for a 5 mile run (my longest distance yet!). It took me a while, so I had lots of time to think. So in that full hour of jogging around a tiny little track at the gym, my mind landed on motivation.

I got to thinking-lots of things people wish for come right down to motivation. For me, I often lose my motivation to workout consistently or eat healthy pretty quick. It isn't that I don't know how to do those things, I just get lost in life, and there goes my motivation. So tonight, I did some reflecting on how I was able to keep motivated for so long this time.  An image of a money tree came to mind-that idea that if we just each had a money tree our lives would be so much if we all had a motivation tree imagine what we could get done! A little tree in our backyard that we could pluck little bits of motivation from whenever we needed a boost? Then I dared to dream big; what about a motivation forest!??! I realized that this very idea was what I had been tapping into for the last 2 1/2 months. I had been diversifying my motivation to keep it steady...plucking my motivation from different trees as needed to make it interesting and (so far) unwavering.

My motivation trees are pretty varied: A new piece of running clothing really makes me want to run so I can try it out; a new running playlist will get me motivated to go for a run. Reading a really good, inspiring running blog can do the trick sometimes ( I really like, or even just telling a new person the goals I have set works. Last week I found a new motivation tree-I got complemented on my "runners legs". That is a motivation tree I REALLY like! Another new one was found today. I had a wellness assessment at work. I learned that my recent lifestyle changes have led to health benefits; I also got new info about ways to boost my energy before working out, which made me really excited to try. And sure enough, I got over the 4 mile running plateau and made it 5 miles for the first time!

So the moral of my ramblings-when I find myself losing motivation, I will know it is time to diversify, move to another tree. If we pluck leaves off the same tree, pretty soon it will be bare. And hopefully, since I have put my New Year's resolution out there for everyone to see I can turn it in to another tree in my motivation forest. I'll keep you updated :)