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A’s all around! And I need a kick in my fitness pants, please

I got my grades back – 6 A’s so far.. with only 3 more classes to report!

I have NEVER in my life received straight A’s - and I have never worked harder to get them! Not only did I get straight A’s- but I got straight A’s while taking 26 credit hours, most of the credit hours in 7 weeks!I worked my @ss off and I am P-R-O-U-D of myself!

I have no idea why I haven’t crashed and burned yet…. but I am so glad I haven’t.

The ony thing that sidetracked me this week was the dreaded hay fever that always comes this time of year—it is like clockwork. You think I would have learned my lesson by now sice I have been living with allergies for years. I have looked like a weepy-eyed Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer for the past week and have gone through 3 big boxes of tissues. My nose and upper lip are chapped and red, and I look like I have a little chapped red mustache.

Pretty.

Anyway, my Rx medicine (Allegra – pill and Nasocort – nose spray) that have worked for the past 8 years DID NOT (obviously) work this year. I headed to the doctor Friday afternoon and he added another nose spray to the mix which seems to be working. I used about 20 tissues today – BIG improvement over Friday.

I usually am miserable for the last 2 weeks of August and the first week of September, then fine until April. This year though, I want to be over this ASAP as I am beginning my teaching residency and don’t want to look like a scary read nosed mean lady when I walk into the classroom.

And now, to talk about the (literal) elephant in the room – MY BIG BEHIND

I am so disappointed in myself. While I have been doing awesome in school and have been proud of myself in that aspect, I am so down about my eating and my weight. Here’s my secret:

I am probably (back AGAIN) at the heaviest I have ever been in my life. I am too scared to step on the scale, but I know I am not fitting into my clothes like I used to. I know my legs are way bigger. I know my arms are way bigger than they were. I just don’t feel good, both health-wise and body-image wise.

I read other fitness and health bloggers and I am so excited for their success at either taking off the weight (slowly but surely) or for those who are maintaining. I KNOW they have been working at eating healthy for YEARS, but I am so into the quick fix right now, it is scary. When I eat well for 3 days, I need to see benefits, people. And I am not seeing anything. ZILCH.

WAIT – That last paragraph, as I read it over, makes me so sad. I KNOW being healthy and losing weight is not a QUICK FIX- it cant be. ALL GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE WHO TRY AND WORK HARD.

But I am letting school, my grandpa’s death, Mr More’s death, being “too busy” and…and…and…and… get in the way of the biggest goal I hold for myself- being a healthy person.

Yes, I said being a healthy person.

Not being a person that is 120lbs.

Or being a person who can fit into size “X” clothing.

I seriously want to just be a healthy person who can run around with my niece and nephew anytime I want and not get winded. And put on a pair of pants without them being so tight I am gonna burst out of them (whatever size they are). And not worrying about a risk of high blood pressure or diabetes or not being able to get pregnant in the future because I “F’ed” up my body so bad in my 20′s and 30′s.

I am 32 years old, for goodness sake. I will be 33 in November.

Why do I treat my body like crap?

I am going to be teaching children about healthy eating habits but I DON’T CURRENTLY HAVE ANY HEALTHY EATING HABITS.

Obviously I am at a breaking point- and anyone who has healthy goals in mind (weight loss or other) has had one or two (or 12) of these.

As my mom puts it, I need to have a Come to Jesus Meeting with myself and decide what my priorities are and what I am willing to do to tackle them.

Because hell, I just got 6 A’s in 7 weeks- making healthy goals AND STICKING TO THEM should be a walk in the park next to that awesome feat, right?

RIGHT?!?!

Where I’ve Been: Now with more Big News!

Since Fitbloggin, I have been MIA when it comes to all things social media.

It wasn’t the conference– I had a BLAST.

My break had alot to do with my personal life and now that alot of the issues are resolved, I am finally ready to come back.

Lots of stuff has been happening…. Here is a little bit of this and that….

First, some news on the fitness front– I am signed up for my FIRST 1/2 MARATHON!!!! A 1/2 marathon is on my bucket list, and when my friend Loren told me about the training program that helps support the AIDS Foundation of Chicago along with giving me world-class training, I was IN! I don’t want my first real post back to be a pitch for money, but if you would like to support me on my journey to 13.1 miles, please click here for more information and a secure donation area. So far my training has been good: This is in part what I wrote as an update to my friends and family this morning:

Yesterday, I did my timing/pacing group 3 mile walk for the AIDS Foundation 1/2 Marathon. I “slogged” my way through it– “slogged” is a word I stole from amerrylife that means “slow jogging” — and did OK– 16:30 minute miles. Not the best time I have done in a race, but good enough. Because there is a time limit for the Marathon, I was put in the 14:00 minute mile group with my friend Loren. Atleast I will have a friend to help me on my journey to 13.1 miles! :-) I am still a bit sore today, but know the more I train the faster my recovery will be.

If you have trained for a 1/2 marathon and have any tips or tricks, please let me know. I can use all the support i can get! :-)

Second big news- and I am kinda burying the lead here-

I AM FINALLY GAINFULLY EMPLOYED!!!!

Cue the confetti and get out the party hats!

A big reason I have been gone from the blog is hat I have spent many a sleepless night worrying about not having a job. The past 6 months have been rough. Ok, the past 3 months have been rough. I actually enjoyed having “time” to do things I wanted to do and not have to worry about meetings, deadlines and waking up at 6 am. Without being laid off, I would never have been able to be an assistant coach for Girls on the Run. Or babysit for a great mom’s group. Or take 4pm naps!

But after a few months it got old sending out resumes and never getting a call back.

In early March, I heard about a program here in Chicago that allows people who already have a B.A. to train to become an urban teacher through “residency-style” program. The competition is stiff- out of 1000 people who apply, only around 100 people are asked to join the program. I was late in hearing about the program (they start taking applications in September and close applications April 1) but decided that I would apply and see what happened.

After a crazy application process, rigorous testing (and by rigorous I mean two 5 hour entrance tests in one day–ack!), 2 strenuous interviews and countless nights spent worrying I wouldn’t get in, I found out Friday at Noon that I have been accepted!!

I am humbled, honored and am still pinching myself.

I will begin graduate classes toward a Masters in Elementary Education in downtown Chicago on June 14th. I won’t know for a while which grade I will teach, though I applied to be a K-3rd grade teacher. My hope is for 1st grade.

Here is an issue– I may not be able to go to BlogHer now. I will be in class on Friday that weekend and I am not sure if I can miss any days of class. I will find out June 14, but if I do miss BlogHer this year, I know that I will be missing it for a good cause. :-)

—-

3rd big news:

During the time I was going through my first and second interviews for the graduate program, I was bitten by a (spider? some sort of bug? not sure) on my left shoulder. Overnight it went from a bite to the circumference of a baseball- sized infection. It was hot to the touch, blood red and I was only able partially lift my arm.

Of course.

I went to urgent care, where they put me on a SUPER strong antibiotic and Rx strength Motrin for the swelling. I was tired, not sleeping more than 2 hours a night and feeling crappy for days after starting the meds, though my infection seemed to be healing nicely. Then I had my final interview for grad school last Tuesday — that’s when I started having numbness in my left arm and pains in my chest on the left side of my body.

I figured I was having a panic attack/stressed out from what I thought was a horrible job I did at the interview, and tried to just shrug the pain and discomfort off.

but when I woke up Wednesday morning, I was still having the same feelings. I called urgent care back, and they told me to go to the ER.

So I went.

I will spare you the details, but in short, the infection that was in my shoulder was deeper than they thought, and it was pressing on a nerve in my arm causing it to go numb. I was also having a nasty reaction to the antibiotic, which caused my blood pressure to soar to 188/66. They got me up to the observation deck, got me fluids and some kind of meds, and got an X-ray of my shoulder, just in case. I came home with a muscle relaxer and a blood pressure of 118/47. MUCH BETTER.

My arm is still a bit numb, but I am feeling much better. The meds that made me so sick are done now, and the infection seems to be gone. Thank goodness.

I have to say, the nurses and doctors at the Northwestern ER were great, but I hope to never see them again.

It has been a crazy mixed up life the past few months, but I am glad I was along for the ride.

I am not sure how my blog will change now that I am going to be training for and then teaching. I of course will continue to blog about my 1/2 marathon training, and I have short and long term goals to continue on my weight loss journey. I just have to be a bit censored now that some know my real name (though some still don’t) and I don’t want to be penalized for what I say on this blog.

AJ “Loves” to Bootcamp – Day 7

Bootcamp attended? No.

Done sleeping 20 plus hours a day? Maybe.

I spent from Friday morning until 6pm today in bed, leaving only for the Second City thing and to get something to eat this evening. On Sunday, I really was only upright for 1 hour. And that was just sitting up.

I truly don’t remember ever sleeping this much (well, maybe when I was a collage student and had been up for like 21 hours straight studying/partying).

Obviously my body is trying very hard to fight this infection. I felt like I was hit with a Mack truck, though I have been up for more than 2 hours now and don’t feel like I need to lay down. I hope this means I am on the mend. FINALLY.

I have 2 days left of bootcamp- I am trying to decide if I should go and just sit there or just say screw it and sleep in, get 100 percent better, and start back up again on December 28th (when the next round I have paid for begins).

I don’t want to be a quitter.

I want to be strong and finish strong. I want to PROVE that I can finish a 3 week long bootcamp.

But my body? Is weak. At least right now it is. I am trying to do the best that I can for my body- eat healthy food, drink lots of water, take my meds and R.E.S.T.

If this was a muscle injury, I would have to take time off for rest—Why can’t I get it through my thick skull that REST is needed when non-muscle or bone body parts are sick too…

Tune in tomorrow to see if I made it to the class…

In other news, I’VE GOT A JOB INTERVIEW! I don’t want to jinx it, so I won’t say with who, but it is Thursday. I am excited and scared at the same time—I haven’t interviewed in over 7 years and I am a bit freaked out. I have no idea what to say.

I am working with an outplacement company and am doing a video-taped job interview on Wednesday to help me prepare. I have to go buy something nice to wear tomorrow (since I was a ding-a-ling and packed up all my “grown-up” clothes and can’t get to them in my storage unit)  and read up on interview questions that might be asked. I hope I am feeling more like myself by the time the interview rolls around.

Please be thinking good interview thoughts on Thursday for me!

OK, back to bed, to get a good night’s sleep and have a productive Tuesday!

AJ Loves to Sleep

Just stopping by to say that I am feeling about 30 percent better after a looong night of feeling really crappy and not sleeping.

I ended up sleeping from about 3:30 am until 7am, then back to sleep at 7:30a until about 12:30p. I went to the a panel at Second City that had Jack McBrayer and Scott Adsit from 30 Rock and Kate Flannery from the Office – it was great to hear them talk about how far they have come from their time at Second City.

I came home and by 4:15p I was out again. I woke up about 11pm.

Yeah, obviously I need to sleep.

My body is doing trying to fight off this crap.

I hate to say this but I think I am going to head back to bed. I am not hungry (have only had a bowl of cereal this morning) and I don’t feel like watching tv (the not watching tv thing really means I am not feeling well).

OK, I am going to go back to bed.

Night!

Lose the Sugar?

Sorry I have been a bit MIA.

I have been feeling really crappy.

Over the past few years I have been battling Shingles. They first appeared on my back on the right side, then the last two times it has reoccurred, it has been in my mouth and on my face.

Shingles are not fun, and they are painful. I still have residual face nerve pain.

The last time I had a reoccurrence, I had just moved (against my will) to the South, I was finalizing my first assignment at my new job, I bought a car, I was traveling in that car back home for 2 weeks, I was in my best friends wedding (in a yellow strapless dress I was not sure I was going to fit in)…etc….

Needless to say, I was stressed.

I had 102 fever and was sick and in pain for a week.

Not fun.

Last week, I felt like I might be getting sick again. I still feel the same today.

I have been dead tired, no energy, not able to get up in the mornings. Not lazy tired, but like sleep 12 hours, get up, maybe eat something and go back to sleep for another 5 hours. I have never felt like this before.

My right eye has been bothering me. My right cheek is tingly-hurty. Like it was before, but I don’t have the gum infection like normal.

I have been a crabby jerk, and just wanting to be by myself.

I have been eating EVERYTHING IN SIGHT. EVERYTHING. Even when I am not hungry I eat.

So I went online to look up my symptoms (thinking I needed to get on Shingles meds again) when I saw the dreaded “D” word pop up in the symptom checker.

Diabetes.

I have always been tested (as my mom and grandpa are diabetic) and my sugar levels have always been normal (or low). I am scared to death that I am diabetic.

I have always be “big” but have always been active and ate healthier than most.

The past month, bye bye healthy. Bye Bye workouts. Bye bye walking 45 min a day.

I have just been too tired. I really have tried to get back into it.

I wonder if I am getting Shingles so often because of the dreaded “D”.

I am on vacation today from work today, so I guess I will be spending the rest of the day looking for a GP.

Wish me luck – and I will give an update as soon as I know something.

I am worried. I don’t want to be a statistic. 

Lose the Runny Nose and Sore Throat

I blame the flight back from BlogHer.

Yesterday while at work, I got the old familiar, yet despised, feeling.

A tickly throat.

Sometimes the tickly throat means I have just been talking too much (which I have been known to do), but most of the time it is the ominous sign that I am getting sick.

On the flight back to Atlanta on Tuesday morning, there was a man sitting 1 row ahead of me hacking his lungs out and blowing his nose the whole time. When I heard him, I thought “crap, I am gonna get that!”

Yeah, I think I was right.

By the end of the day yesterday, my top teeth on the let hand side were aching and my left nostril was full. Also- my head was throbbing and I felt all loopy.

When I got home, all I wanted to do was sleep – so I did. At about 10, I woke up and, yeah, I felt like poopy-caca.

I looked high and low for something to take to help me sleep, but nothing.

I texted my 2 friends to tell them that the unpacking party we had planned for Saturday was a no-go since I didn’t want them to get sick.

At 11:30pm I went online and found a 24 hour Walgreens (not CVS like I Twittered about – blame it on the a-aa-aaa-ca-hol loopiness ) and grabbed 4 bottled of water (the cat spills glasses), 2 16 oz Diet 7-ups and both regular and Sudafed PM.

By 1:30 am I was sawing logs (loudly I am sure, sorry to my neighbors for my sickly snoring) and loving Sudafed PM.

I had a great night’s sleep. I usually wake up 2 or 3 times a night. But I didn’t.

Then, hearing the birds chirp and feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin, I woke up.

AT 12:30PM.

AS IN AFTERNOON.

P.M.

Holly sh*t, I haven’t slept this late since, well, forever. I must really feel like crap. I don’t remember any dreams or anything.

I spent today (Saturday) in bed watching bad TV and trying to sleep. But I forgot I bought the Sudafed Daytime, so I didn’t take it.

About 6pm, I remembered I bought the Day meds, so i opened the package, and found this…OK, well, my email/phone camera are not  working, but imagine you are seeing a blister pack with 6 out of the 8 pills popped out. They are still in the box, but they are open.

Soooooo, that means I will be taking a trip back to Walgreens in the near future. thank goodness the PM version is OK.

I still feel like crap tonight, but hope tomorrow I will be feeling good enough to do a few reviews of some of the stuff I got at BlogHer. I tried the Skin Free sample today, and would really like to write up a proper review (sneak peek: the products are awesome so far!) I would also like to link to more of the WONDERFUL people I met at the conference.

But for now, I am going to curl up with TiVo’ed Ellen DeGeneres  standup, and a bottle of water.

Hopefully I will be able to lose this runny nose and sore throat soon… cuz it will be the  first thing I will be able to “lose” in my new blog idea!