Five Reasons I’m Trying Terrafit

If you have been reading this blog for long, you know that I struggle with commitments.  I often start things enthusiastically, only to totally give up on them a few days later.  My fitness and weight loss experience demonstrate this.  I’ve tried Jazzercise.  I went twice but just didn’t feel like it “fit” me.  I tried doing Weight Watchers but it was just all too overwhelming to keep track of the points and figure out the points when I didn’t have them, etc.  I tried to do Beachbody and the meal planning and colored containers was just too much.  I signed up for Flipping Fifty and didn’t even start it, perhaps because I am trying to dismiss my fifty-year landmark.  I have tried online fitness trackers, apps, etc.  Nothing works.  But, I’m not giving up.  I recently stumbled upon a mention of Terrafit on a blog and read up on it and here are five reasons I’m choosing to give it a try:

  1. I get points, but I don’t have to calculate them for every meal.  I love the idea of getting points for doing good (and deleting points for doing bad).  Weight Watchers was fun that way, but I got overwhelmed with having to do each meal, broken into its components to figure out the points.  This one allows me to just give myself points for eating healthy foods and take away points for eating not-so-healthy-foods.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy.  I get points for all sorts of things and they are easy to track.
  2. It uses Doterra Oils and products, but you don’t HAVE to buy them to participate.  I have fallen in love with Doterra Oils, but I don’t want to get a bunch of supplements, shakes, etc.  This program allows me to use some oils, but not necessarily do shakes, etc.  You CAN do them, but you don’t HAVE to do them.  It focuses more on eating and exercising than the products related.
  3. You can win money!  Yeah.  Weight Watchers never offered me that.  In each Terrafit challenge, there is a pot of money that is divided between coach and participants to recognize the top performers (point-wise).  It probably won’t end up being a ton of money, but I bought a whole year for $99 and that allows me to do unlimited challenges.  Usually, they are $25 each.  So, I need to do more than four in a year to get my money back.  I think I can do that.  And, there is the possibility of winning some money back.  It is like playing the lottery, but with healthy food and exercise instead of scratching.
  4. You get a coach.  I need accountability and help and a swift kick in the tush sometimes.  So, getting a personal coach sounds really good.
  5. You get to be on a team.  See #4.  I need all the help I can get!

So, there you have it.  I start my first challenge in two days.  I am the heaviest I have ever been in my life – hovering around 190, sometimes slightly under, sometimes slightly over.  That is a lot of weight on my frame.  I remember when I hit 160 in graduate school and thought I was heavy.  I haven’t grown in height since then, but I have 30 more pounds on me.  It isn’t surprising that I am tired most days, my feet hurt, my back often hurts and I just don’t feel like doing really strenuous exercise.

That has to change.  I want to be active with my daughter and my girl scouts.  I want to do fun things and go on adventures.  I want to feel good, be healthy and set a good example.  So, here goes nothing.  In six weeks, I hope to be lighter in both weight and mood.

terrafit

I am 50…now what?

As of July 24, 2018, I am officially 50 years old.  It is a milestone.  A pretty big milestone.  I think I entered into it preferring not to think about it.  I don’t want to be old, but here I am.  So, it got me thinking, now what?  I mean, my life isn’t changing at all.  I still have a 9-year-old (I’m old to be a 9-year old’s mom).  I will still have a job and a half in the Fall (I’m old to be working two plus jobs).  I will still be traveling for work regularly (I’m old enough that I should be traveling for fun, not work).  I will still be trying to figure out a somewhat messy financial situation (I’m too old to not have this figured out).  So, basically, I feel like I’ve been pretty poor at adulting to this point in my life.  I mean, I’ve dealt with some pretty hefty adult situations in the last decade – a seriously ill child, two seriously ill parents, losing both parents.  So, it isn’t that I haven’t had to be an adult.  But, without an emergency situation, I’m pretty bad at adulting.

So, my goal for this first year of my fifth decade (that sounds so much better) is to get better at all aspects of adulting, even when there is not an urgent situation that drives the adulting.  This is something that most people seem to be able to grasp in their 20s.  Even late bloomers get it in their 30s.  But, not me.  I’m late to every party.  I was late finishing college.  I was late in finding a career.  I was late having a child.  I was late buying a house.  Late.  Always late. But, as the saying goes, better late than never.

You'realwayswith me

So, what exactly does this mean to me?  After all, “adulting” is a term used mostly by millennials (we have Adulting Workshops at both my colleges) and I am decades away from being a millennial.  But, according to Oxford Dictionaries, it means, “The practice of behaving in a way characteristic of a responsible adult, especially the accomplishment of mundane but necessary tasks.”  And, as I said above, this is my major weakness.  In times of emergency or urgent need, I can perform as an adult and take care of business.  But, I am not very good at accomplishing all the mundane but necessary tasks that come along with being a responsible adult.  I procrastinate.  I ignore.  I forget.  I simply let things go.  This is what I need to overcome.  I need to practice behaving like a responsible adult.  I need to accomplish mundane but necessary tasks on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis.  If I could actually do that, my life would take a turn for the better.  The way better.

So, this is my public notice.  My request for accountability.  My declaration of commitment.  This is not my first and probably won’t be my last.  But, I think I’ve finally figured out why other “changes” I’ve tried to make in the past didn’t work.  It is because, like a child who lacks focus and attention on an arts and craft project, I have simply started a project without any understanding that at some point, that project would become mundane.  There would be no urgent need to complete the project.  Other things would arise that would take my attention away from that original project and would seem more fun, more interesting, more necessary.  And, as a result, I would drop that original project and move to something else.  And that would happen over and over and over again.  My need is not for “change” but for staying the course.

I realize that the word adulting is not without its critics.  The word has been accused of being “gross and sexist”  as well as overused and fake and an indict of our entire societal framework.  But, I’m going to use it anyways, because I am not a millennial.  I am not degrading myself by using it.  I am not claiming to “adult” because I cook a single dinner and I am not a product of the society that produced 20-somethings. I am seriously struggling with consistent, responsible, productive behavior and if I think that focusing on “adulting” for a year will help with that, I’m going to do it.  I’m going to do it at 50!  So, apologies to the haters of the word “adulting.”  But, no apologies for my need to recognize my weaknesses and find a way to overcome them.  And, for today anyway, this is a way!

So, watch this blog to follow along with my adulting attempts in the first year of my fifth decade.

Where does a child’s anxiety end and a mother’s anxiety begin?

I have never considered myself to be an anxious person.  I’ve always been able to get through things relatively unscathed emotionally.  My daughter’s illness changed all that.  My parents’ illnesses also changed all that.  Now, I feel like I have a certain level of anxiety most of the time.  But, that anxiety is nothing compared to what my relatively tiny 9-year-old holds in her heart on an almost daily basis.

Actually, that may be an overstatement.  Maybe it isn’t an almost daily basis.  Maybe it isn’t even that often but every occurrence seems like a huge ordeal for me.  Or maybe sometimes her being upset about going somewhere or doing something isn’t anxiety but just plain old moodiness or tiredness or too much sugarness.  I don’t really know anymore, but I feel like I should know.  I feel like everytime something happens that could be related to anxiety, I should be doing something about it, making sure that she does not become a statistic.  She has been through so much already.  She doesn’t need to be feeling like she is not on her own side in life.  But, she is 9 years old.  So, how do I talk to her about it without making it something else that gives her anxiety?!?  Please, someone tell me.  Because at this point, I’m a little lost.

My daughter has been exceptional.  She survived an infant heart transplant, severe sleep apnea as a baby which led to a tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy, then a bump during a heart biopsy leaves her with a severely leaking tricuspid valve that requires her chest to be drained of fluid that had backed up and then several bouts of pneumonia and then an attempted repair that failed and probably led to her needing a pacemaker for irregular heartbeat.  She has quarterly cardiac clinic appointments where she has to get poked for blood, examined with gel and a probing device on her chest and abdomen.  So, to my rational mind, after all of that, what could possibly be scary?  What could possibly make you feel threatened?  Well, it seems that it is a lot of things.  Places where she doesn’t know anyone.  Places where she does know someone but for some reason feels like she doesn’t belong.  Math.  Sports that take place on a team.  Someone being late to pick her up from school.  Any change in classes and teachers.  Staying overnight, even with family and friends, without us there.  Sleeping in her own bed up until about six months ago.  Going to bed without someone going with her, even now.

So, what do I do?  I want to “fix” it, but I know that isn’t possible.  I am not a mental health professional.  And anxiety never really gets “fixed” it just is something people learn to deal with in a healthy way.  But, I don’t want to put some other thing on her to be “dealt” with like her chronic condition of being a heart transplant recipient and having a leaky valve and having a pacemaker.  She has to deal with so, damned much.  I just don’t want her to deal with this.  And maybe in some small way (or a large way), I don’t want to have to deal with this.  It is yet another thing on the long list of things to be “concerned” about, to be “aware” of, to know how to properly “deal with” to be sure it is not something we make harder on her in the future.  It is a lot.  For her.  For me.  For us.

I don’t know the answer to the question in the title of this blog post.  I don’t know what is her anxiety and what is my anxiety about her anxiety.  I may never know the answer to the question.  The best I can do is my best.  That is the best I can do in any situation.

DON'T QUIT

Telling More Stories Beyond Forty

Hello everyone.  It has been a long, long while since I’ve been on this particular blog.  Once again, I got caught up in “new” and “better” and “starting over with a clean slate” and I lost myself in it all.  Because we are never really new and we never really have a clean slate.  It is a nice thought at first, but it quickly becomes overwhelming to realize that it would mean you lose your history.  Basically, you would have to lose your SELF in order to be really new or to really start over with a totally clean slate.  And that, my friends, just isn’t worth it.  No matter how much “better” it may be.  So, I’m back to my messy, somewhat chaotic blog and my messy, really chaotic life.  And that is okay.  I have my SELF here and I can make improvements, but not totally let go of all that I’ve done.

As I quickly approach the 50th year mark (July 24th folks), I thought that maybe the More at Forty idea I signed up for five years ago was not going to work anymore.  But, you know what?  I can tell more stories and they can be for forty plus!  The specifics of our ages don’t matter so much as the stories we tell and those can cross age ranges quite frequently.  Am I truly MORE than I was five years ago when I started this blog?  I’m not sure.  But, I do have many, many, many MORE stories I can tell.  And there will still be MORE stories to come.  So, that is my focus – telling more stories – past, present and future ones.  My stories as well as those around me (when appropriate).

Welcome back to those who rejoined me after my long hiatus.  I hope to see you on a regular basis and I hope you will enjoy the stories I tell and share your own as well.

joe-shillington-240205

Why I Can’t Be a Protester

Let me get this over up front.  I am terribly disappointed that Trump is our President.  I think he is a horrible person who lacks any sort of skills at important traits for civil service such as compassion, empathy and a basic understanding of our political and legal processes.  So, I am by no means a Trump apologist.  But, I will consider myself a Trump-supporter apologist.  And the two are vastly different to me.  So, although I would love to make a cleverly worded sign and adorn myself in a feminist phrases t-shirt on Saturday, I will instead be standing at a table for the Union at our University, answering questions and providing information about the labor protections provided by the Union.  Let me tell you why…

im-not-marching

I feel like a bad ___________.  Fill in the blank.  Progressive.  Liberal.  Feminist.  It all works.  But, I just can’t bring myself to march in Saturday’s protest.  I have a lot of friends who are marching, both in DC and their localities.  And I totally support them.  I don’t think the protests are wrong or should not happen.  In fact, I am thankful that some do feel compelled to participate.  But, it just isn’t for me.

I remember eight years ago, as I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, coming across a former student of mine who posted throughout the lead up to the inauguration and for a while afterward that the world as we knew it was ending due to Obama being elected.  I’m sure most of you have read some of those claims over the last eight years (and perhaps wrote them yourselves).  I liked Obama, so her posts struck me as ignorant and hurtful and totally out of step with reality.  Hers were not the only comments like that on my Facebook feed, they were just the most extreme.  It was easy to dismiss her feelings because I didn’t share them, but I remember being shocked that someone could actually feel that strongly negative towards a President-Elect.

Eight years later, I sit on the other side of the fence.  Now, I’m not comparing Obama to Trump.  Lord knows that Obama has about 100 times more class and compassion and empathy in the tip of his pinky finger as Trump.  But, so far today, I’ve read on Facebook friends’ posts that we should support violent protests in Oakland and other places, including breaking glass and setting fires, in the name of resistance, that we should stop supporting Girl Scouts because they have troops marching in the inauguration and are supporting it by saying they have a tradition of marching in the inauguration, that we are entering a post-apocalyptic era, that we should not JUST not watch the inauguration tomorrow but that we should turn on our TV to a channel NOT showing the inauguration to truly bring down the ratings.  The list goes on and on.  Half of the information is based in half-truths.  The other half seems like the rantings of lunatics.  They are just lunatics who happen to agree with me politically.  If Hilary had been elected, I would be seeing many of the same posts, but from those who I disagree with politically.  It just isn’t healthy the way we seem to frame the debate so anyone who disagrees with us is deserving of wrath and ridicule.  It is all focused on us vs. them.  It is divisive, often for the sake of divisiveness, not solutions or true division of belief or ground.  It exhausts me and saddens me and sometimes even angers me.  I feel like I have to constantly be the voice of reason.  I am drawn to find points of compromise or to point out when arguments are flawed.  But, that also makes me sound like an apologist at times.  And it makes me feel like a bad ________________.

Protests are all about fueling those feelings of us vs. them.  They are all about drawing distinctions – those who are protesting, those who support the protests and those who do not support the protests.  But, that is really an oversimplification.  I guarantee you that there will be groups of women at the protests that I will totally agree with on most, if not all, things.  I also guarantee you there will be groups of women at the protests who I totally disagree with on most, if not all, things.  There will be some involved in protests who use the us vs. them feelings as a justification for violent acts against police or store windows or cars.  There will be some involved in the protests who want to claim the moral high ground and display their oppression as a badge of honor, while ignoring their privilege in many other instances.  There will be some involved in the protests who do hold the moral high ground in their day-to-day activities and who change the lives of people daily and recognize their privilege readily.  There will be some involved in the protests who see it as their “chance” to be “political,” as if we don’t have and make those choices daily.  And because I feel like all of that nuance is lost in the format and purpose of a protest, I can’t find it in myself to want to participate.

I guess I am less afraid of looking like a bad _____________ than I am of supporting something or someone I don’t believe in or support.  I definitely don’t support Donald Trump as President, but I don’t think of protests as demonstrating a lack of support for someone, I think of them as showing support for something else.  At this point, I’m not sure what that something else is.  I feel better waiting it out and trying to make my daily choices more compassionate, empathetic and with knowledge and understanding of our political and legal processes.  But, that means I have to be compassionate to Trump supporters as much as I am to Trump haters.  It means I have to be empathetic to those who do not see the world the way I do.  And it means that I have to recognize that as much as I hate it, the political process deemed Trump the winner and he is President.  We shall see what that means over the next four years, but hopefully, our political process will be able to withstand this low point in political decision making.  I think it will.  I am not preparing for a post-apocalyptic world.  I am preparing for some backtracking in civil rights and, ironically enough, protections against government interference and control, but I am also prepared to see our political process work against extremism, as it was designed to do.

I may eat these words.  I may wish that I had marched with the protesters and drew a more solid line between me and the Trump supporters.  But, at this point, I can’t find it in myself to take that stance.  So, Trump supporters, I will be seen as an apologist for you.  I will try to come from a place of compassion and empathy.  But, Trump, I will not be an apologist for you.  You need to change your ways and act more interested in your constituents than yourself.  You are not our CEO who can hire and fire us.  We are not your employees or your “apprentices”.  We are your constituents.  We expect you to figure out how to do your job without using Twitter storms as a agent of threat.  We expect you to deal with other countries as if there is peace on the line.  We expect you to choose individuals who can do the jobs they are chosen to do.  So far, as President Elect, you’ve done a pretty poor job of all of this.  But, now you are the President.  So, step up and act like one.  Please and thank you.

Goodbye Christmas, Hello New Year!

You’re probably thinking that this post is coming out two weeks too late.  But, really, we just got rid of our Christmas tree tonight (sob) and I’m just now settling in to figure out the new year.  So far, I have not even been able to figure out what day of the week it is in the new year.  In fact, for most of today, I thought it was Monday not Tuesday.  Proving once again how much I need a routine in my life.  I wrote the wrong date on everything today, would have missed my DD’s swim lesson had my phone not sent me a reminder as I finished grocery shopping and I didn’t help out in my DD’s class this morning like I said I would on Tuesdays this semester.  Sigh…

But, 2017 is here and Spring semester starts next week.  I’ll be on a schedule again and I am looking forward to being able to eat dinner at a decent hour AT HOME every night of the week!  My meal planning has fallen to the wayside thus far.  Heck, most things have fallen to the wayside thus far.  But, I figure school starting will help me out with getting things together a bit better (send a prayer my way on this one).  Although, traveling the first week of classes is a little bit rough.  But, I will take it.  The holiday is over.  I need a routine and I need it now!

I’m shifting to try something new this year.  I have been using a 10 minute timer to get things done.  I have a long list of things that I need to work on and I work on one thing for 10 minutes and then move on.  But, I find this to be too short of a time (although I’ve adjusted to it and often will stay doing a task for longer when I’m in flow on it).  So, I’ve decided to use some block scheduling instead.  I find that I’ve really lost my ability to focus for long periods of time and do any kind of deep work and it is really negatively impacting my productivity on larger projects.  My schedule this semester lends itself to this type of schedule much better than my prior schedules, so I’m going to give it a shot and see if I can regain my focus, get more done and take more time away from the laptop!

focus

 

More Followers Monday #1 – Join Up!

I said I was going to start this two weeks ago and missed both the last Mondays.  Sad, but true.  But, here I am posting just before Monday ends.  But, the linkup will be open all week and I hope that some of you will join up this first week.  I’m sure it will be pretty small, but if we all visit and follow the blogs that Linkup and if you share about this linkup on your blog, we can build up our followers slowly but surely!

I think it would be great if you could link to a page that lets the readers know how you would like them to follow you (if you have a preference).  So, link to your Instagram if you’re building your following there or to your Facebook if you need followers there, etc.  Blogs are always welcome, but feel free to link up to other areas if that is where you need More Followers!  In case you missed my original post back a couple of weeks ago, here it is and the linky is at the bottom!

I’ve decided to start a “more” themed post on Mondays in 2017 – More Follower Mondays at More at Forty!  My hope is that we can help each other by generating more followers for our blogs and social media.  I am doing it as a Linkup so we can actually see a blog post that you’d like to drive traffic to, but you can also link to a social media account if that is where you need followers.  I’m new to this Linkup thing so be patient with me, but I think I have it figured out.  My plan is to make the first linkup available on Monday, January 2 and to have one each Monday.  Some Mondays, I may add a theme, but to start, we’re just going with an open-ended invitation to linkup and get more followers!

more-followers-mondays