Spice World

The pursuit of a perfect life...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Peace of mind...

It’s been almost six months to the day I last blogged. I’m definitely in a different mind-set than I was a year ago and decided I need to get myself back on track. I’ve been slacking lately with going to the gym regularly. I’m not too happy with myself as I started going to Fit-Town in Feb 2011 and never missed a day, I followed General M’s training advice religiously and alternated weights with walking on the treadmill. I actually would leave feeling energized and positive. It took me almost three months to see the difference but once that three months passed I started feeling awesome inside and out.

By early summer I’d wake up and my whole body felt slim, toned and powerful. I actually felt like I found the secret to making me happy and I felt beautiful for the first time in years. For once I was in the best mental groove of my life. 

Of course with every good comes an ugly and July brought the ugly. My former life brought all those good feelings to a screeching halt and I pretty much slipped into a free fall… I’ve found myself faced with a lot of ugly stress and drama and rather than hit the gym harder to combat the feelings of frustration and grief I just stopped going for weeks at a time. My buddy Tamala says I spend way too much time focusing on the “woulda, coulda, shoulda” dance in my head instead of learning to accept what I can’t change and letting go of what I need to change. Of course she’s right and tends to pull my cart back on the road whenever I derail. I now have to tell myself daily I won’t let the negative take me down. I find myself chanting that same sentence over and over when I’m in doubt.

I’ve still been eating better and have been able to maintain my 10lb weight-loss. But without regular exercise it’s hard to keep off and even harder eating a bigger variety of things. As of this morning I am now at a 15lb loss but I attribute that last few pounds to the amount of stress that has increased my self-doubt, fears and totally torpedoed my appetite. That of course is not a healthy way to lose weight or maintain a healthy outlet so after a lot of urging and guilt by the General I’m gonna make myself go to the gym even on the days that I’d rather go home and hide in my bed.

It’s strange how God has us wired because some days I feel like Wonder Woman and on other days I feel like nothing. When I was telling my trainer, the General about this he told me the best thing I could do for myself was to take care of me and focus on the good things I could do and feel and let the negative things fall to the side. I can’t let a few bumps in my life derail what I’ve been working towards, a better me.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Weight and see

So where do I start? I don't think a day goes by that I don't think about what I'm going to eat and how much will I gain as a result. I pretty much started obsessing about my weight at an early age and I'm certain this obsession came about from a visit to one of my Momma's relatives. I was with my mother and sister visiting my Momma's Great Grandma M. Great Grandma was an interesting and eccentric woman, she both loved yet terrorized my Mother and her sister, Susie when they were growing up.But that's a story for another time.

Great Grandma M had a way about her that would both unnerve you yet you still found yourself looking forward to visiting. My most vivid memory of these visits were all the counters in her kitchen, counters that were forever covered in boxes and bags of snacks. Snacks that were inevitably stale or covered in a layer of dust as she never really ate anything with any particular thought of expiration date. We'd visit her every time we were in town and my sister & I enjoyed the musty smell of her old Victorian house with its numerous rooms and huge attic. I especially liked her kitchen with all the pots and pans hanging from the ceiling and the numerous bottles and tins of spices and herbs that seemed to be on every available ledge and cranny in her kitchen.   ...and of course the wealth of unopened snacks that seemed to be everywhere in her kitchen. We knew better to ask for a hostess cake or a stack of Pringles because it seemed she enjoyed making you feel both foolish and gluttonous for just asking. But heck, we were all of 10 & 11yrs old and my mom didn't buy snack foods like cupcakes or potato chips for us regularly. Momma felt that snacks were treats and should only be purchased if it was a special occasion.

The thing about visiting Great Grandma M were the visits had a predictable ritual...   guilt (for not visiting often enough), talking, more guilt, eating, more guilt and reminiscing, followed by one last dose of guilt. Of course at some point in the visit Great Grandma M would get around to accessing any physical changes that she deemed necessary to comment on when it came to us kids. Funny how she thought it was just being conversational while my sister and I felt like we were being picked apart like a bug...   On this particular visit after eyeballing us kids for several minutes, Great Grandma M proceeded to commented on how my sister had skinny legs like a chicken and knee caps like knuckles and that my  thighs were the size of ham-hocks. She continued this observation by letting my Momma know that no one would ever go hungry if I were around. Thinking about it now I wonder did she mean that who ever was with me wouldn't go hungry because I'd always know where the food was or if a life or death situation came up that the survivors could eat on my ample thighs until the rescue team came?! It was a pretty perplexing comment and stuck with me to this day. I think I was way more aware of my appearance from that day forward.

So not a day goes by that I don't worry about how much weight I'm gonna gain by eating that 2nd helping of pasta or that extra slice of bread. And I look at other women, those who seem to graze continually and never worry about their weight and enjoy food & life without all the fuss. I ask myself daily when can I get to that point where I can just enjoy food & life and not get wrapped up in all the other things...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Out of the closet

So I spent the past weekend cleaning, specifically cleaning and organizing my walk-in closet. I wish I could cop and say the picture above is my closet but unfortunately my closet doesn't have that much space nor looks as glamorous. Nevertheless I spent some time this weekend really going through things and seeing what I had and what I had forgotten....  Actually under the guilt and pressure from my monkey I spent an entire afternoon sorting and organizing. The first thing "The General"  did was haul out several hangers full of clothes, drop them on my bed and had me try on clothes that I've had since college but haven't worn nor had she ever seen me in in her life-time. (she'll be 11yrs old in a little over a month). So feeling pretty good after hitting the gym earlier that morning and having eaten only fruit for breakfast I felt game to try on some clothes. Wow, it's amazing what things you find when you start going through all your clothes. I found several circa 1980's Janet Jackson jackets & matching leggings when I was going through my own "Rythm Nation/Control" period. I also found a couple big over-sized shoulder-pad jackets with big neon flowers and numerous black cat suits that I bought in hopes of wearing when I lost that last 15lbs...

So regretfully I let go of some pretty cool but dated clothes. Of course my daughter snagged a couple things that she liked and we bagged the rest in two large shopping bags....  dresses, jackets, blouses, jeans, dress pants and skirts. I felt a bit guilty that about 30% of these things still had the tags on them and some others had only been worn once or twice... But in truth I actually started feeling good about letting a lot of this stuff go. After about a two hours of this I was ready to call it quits and start putting my remaining clothes back in the closet and make some lunch... but nope the General decided that shoes, purses and accessories were next on her list. So with the single-mindedness of my Monkey pushing me I started in on the task of going through all my shoe boxes and accessory drawers.   ...another 90mins later she was bagging up 30 pairs of shoes (12 pairs of those shoes were brand-new and unworn) and 11 purses, those too were in various stages of wear. I felt a little sad, very wasteful and somewhat relieved getting through all the shoes & accessories and bagging and donating what I (uh what the General) had gone through. So close to 4 hours later my closet was thinned out by a third and Goodwill had plenty of good things bagged and ready to go through.

Despite feeling a little nostalgic for some of the things I let go, part of my reward was finding several pairs of dress slacks & leggings I had bought at The Limited and would get around to wearing when I lost the "baby" weight finally fit.  It was a great feeling slipping into these expensive well tailored pants and easily zipping them up and seeing them hang so nice on me. It made all the time and sweat spent this last 4 1/2 months at the gym worth it! My monkey saw me looking sad as we were loading up the car with the bags of clothes & shoes and she reminded me that cleaning out closets, giving away clothes or just throwing out worn things every once in awhile was a good way to lose weight as well, and she was right...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I think Ted Danson's character on the show BORED TO DEATH said it best, "I've never had anything removed before, like my appendix, tonsils, wisdom teeth. I hold on to everything. I'm like a hoarder, I guess."  I was cleaning this past weekend and I realized it was less about the actual cleaning and more about what would I be able to part with from my numerous boxes of treasures and keepsakes. Now let me start by saying I'm the type of person who whenever I go to a party, graduation, on a date or someone's house for dinner I'm always on the look-out for a souvenir to keep to remember the occasion by. Its not enough for me to take a bunch of pictures or later write what I was thinking or doing during that event in my journal but that I gotta have something I can hold and keep. Having watched numerous episodes of A&E's show, HOARDERS last fall I can safely say that I am not a full on hoarder. I don't keep random boxes of ribbons or stacks of plates, all red socks or stuffed frogs only bought at truck-stops. However I do like the stuff, specifically my stuff. And as my mother so brutally pointed out once,  I've also been known to get a little testy if someone wants to help me sort or clean. Momma has told me many times before that I'm a hard person to live with and I think I believe her now as I really do have a certain way that I like to live, clean, sort and catalog my life. I think my collecting has more to do with the comfort of repetition and pattern and less about the actual stuff. I have a certain comfort level that happens when things are back in the same place and that type of order makes sense to me. I think I've gotten into numerous squabbles with my monkeys when they don't pick-up after themselves or leave wet towels on the floor. For me that disturbs the order of my universe...  I've noticed here lately my daughter is more inclined to some of my proclivities when it comes to organization and collecting while my son seems to follow the sensibilities of his father. I just wonder though if I am just one step away from being like those folks on those documentaries who like their stuff so much that it replaces truly happy feelings that one normally gets from friends and family.  I continue to ponder this thought as I sort and clean out yet another pile of my treasures and keep-sakes from under my desk....

Friday, June 10, 2011

Trees and other poses

Feelings are good today. Woke up around 6ish and for a split second thought about rolling over for one more hour of sleep but two things weren't letting me, the strong urge to pee and the fact it was a weight-lifting/cardio do for me. Given last night's food sins the gym won out. The gym is actually a decent place to go every day, once I get over the initial dread and sweat.. It's taken me a while to realize, but gym time is me-time. I don't have to worry about feeding anyone, getting one ready or making anyone happy it's just about me. Initially my goal was about making over my outside but in the last month I've been doing a lot more work on my inside. During cardio I spend less time thinking about time and reps and more about life, love, food, health and my monkeys. Last night I went to my first yoga class. Wasn't sure what to expect but I read that many thin, toned women attribute their overall tight bodies to yoga so I thought I'd see what it was all about. Boy am I glad I did! I was seriously won over by the discipline it takes and the stretching and the deep breathing and relaxing one's mind. I thought from all the pictures I've seen and articles I'd read it was just about posing, but it's so much more... it's about clearing your mind and loving yourself. I have to say I LOVE IT and can't wait to go back next week for more! I probably won't get a killer body like Gwyneth or J.Aniston but I hope to see a change in my strength and tone.

Off to a lunch of salad, grilled chicken and strawberries...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

a late lunch

Having a salad, grilled chicken and some water. Not much going on food-wise over at the food court, so resorting to my secret stash. Missing some fruit to round off the meal, but hopefully can poach an apple or some clementines from my office mate who does WW.     ...Already thinking about what to have for supper.

Promise of a new day...

So I've recently gotten into this new mindset that I need to start taking better care of myself, i.e. eat better, work-out, sleep 8hrs and appreciate my blessings instead of worry about things I can't change. As with everyone it started out as a New Year's resolution to make a self improvement list and topping that list was taking off the 15lbs I've been carrying around since 2002.

Unfortunately it took me until February to actually do something on this list, so I signed myself up for a gym membership. Now I know what you are thinking... sign up for a membership, buy some cute work-out clothes and new tennies, go for a couple days and then quit. Well believe it or not I'm coming up on 4 months and I going strong. I'm feeling all the cliche' things.... stronger, more positive, fit and happier. So far I've only lost 5lbs but I have such a natural high working out and trying to get myself back into fighting shape.

So with the working out comes some other things on my list that I want to work on as well. I am making a promise to myself that while I'm working on the outside I'll work on making some changes on the inside.

So here's the first day of a new day.