Waking Up With the Sun

Hello My Friends!

I hope you had a fun and restful weekend! My weekend was spent at the pool, out running errands, and dodging the constant rain. I also had an exciting evening on Saturday. I was on my way to run some last minute errands on Saturday evening, and I busted my front tire about 2 miles form our home on a pot hole. My husband was out playing golf, so he was not home, at this point. As I was calling him and AAA, my phone died! What to do??? Well, I walked home to charge my phone and make my phone calls for help. As I walked down the side of the road, I will be honest, I wanted to cry, especially as the thunder began, but I held it together.:) Once I arrived home, I called my husband who had received my urgent messages that I sent before my phone died, and of course, he was panicking since he could not get in touch with me. He came home, and in the end, AAA did have to come to help us put on the spare tire, and we made it home in time for dinner. Car issues can cause such incredible frustration. I am thankful though I stayed safe, and in the end, it was a quick and easy fix!

Moving on, I want to write a few posts about different parts of my day! Let’s start with the morning, shall we? I absolutely LOVE the morning time! For some, I know sleeping in is such a treat, and I used to try to make myself sleep late in the mornings. However, I would end up getting restless and feeling even more tired, than I did when I woke up earlier that morning. To my husband’s shock, I have embraced my early bird wake up calls, and I get up a few minutes after my body naturally wakes up, even if it is 5:30 a.m. on a day I have nothing to do! The calm and quiet of the mornings is perfection to me, and I find peace in waking up before the sun makes an appearance. During the school year, I generally would wake up at about 5:00 a.m., most days, in order to do a few things around the house or go to a workout class. I truly enjoy this routine, and I still, somewhat follow it in the summer. Please do not be concerned about if I get enough sleep each night, because as my husband will attest, I go to bed early. I will address my evenings and nights in a later post.

IMG_0303.jpgGoing back to my mornings! I wake up and drink a lot of water, about a Tervis tumbler full, and I take my vitamins which the doctor did check to make sure I was taking.:) I also like to add some lemon to my water, if I have it on hand, because it adds some vitamins b and c, as well as, some good flavor. Then, I spend a little time stretching my body, or I might do a very short yoga stretch video. This time stretching has made a significant difference in the “tightness” I used to constantly feel in my body, and I have come to crave it. Around this point, I make my coffee which is pictured in the above photo. I have started adding a little protein, as well as, coconut milk and coconut oil, to my coffee and frothing it together with a milk frother. I previously drank my coffee black, but this combination of additions, forms a delicious latte! As I drink my coffee, I spend time reading and journaling, and this practice is vital for me. Although I do not give myself guilt if I do not make time to read and journal, I have made it a priority to make time do this, as often as possible. 

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After I finish reading, journaling, and drinking my coffee, I might go ahead and make breakfast, or I might do a few things around the house and check my e-mail and social media. This depends on what I have going on that morning, and when I need to leave the house to start my day in the world! I do eat breakfast on the couch or in a chair and use a pillow as my tray. You can see the evidence of this in the photo above!

P.S. This is about the time my husband begins to gingerly make his way downstairs. He is not easily woken in the morning!

 

After I finish up breakfast, I typically will go ahead and dress and get ready to leave for the day. I will tell you, my school mornings do look, somewhat different, as I do not have time to eat a relaxed breakfast on the couch.:) However, I do take time to stretch a little, drink my coffee and spend time reading and reflecting, even if it does mean an earlier wake up call for me.

Now do you see why I wake up with the sun?!?!? The blessings of the morning are glorious!

Thoughts on the Docs

Hi There!

I have not posted much this week, because first, my time has seemed to run short each day. Also, there has not been much update from last week! However, I am waiting to have my oil changed and just saw my OBGYN, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

Let me dive in, first, to some of the thoughts I have been having on the work I have implemented from my last dietitian visit. Overall, it has gone really well. She did a great job helping me implement a plan that fits my lifestyle and preferences in food. I have, though, had several “a-ha” moments, since my visit with her last week. I had dinner with a sweet friend earlier this week, who is also a dietitian, and we talked extensively about what the dietitian had recommended for me. We also talked about some of the mental labeling and rigidity I can tend to carry with my lifestyle, particularly in food. In saying this, I completely agree with my dietitian, that at this point in my journey, I need to have a “plan” which I am following. Otherwise, I will fall right back into my old habits and fail to make any progress. On the other hand, I want to practice giving myself the freedom, mentally, to eat as much food as my body needs to gain weight while also giving myself freedom to eat whatever my body desires, even if it deviates from our “plan” which can cause me some anxiety.

Another aspect of our work, I want to discuss with my dietitian is the use of an online food journal. Once again, due to my tendency to become OCD about tasks and following instructions, I get very uncomfortable when I don’t hit the required calorie mark or if I go above my calorie goal for the day. At this point in my work, I almost feel like e-mailing her, each day, with the foods I have eaten, might be best. This way, I am accountable, but I am not becoming obsessive about logging food. As I mentioned, I need a plan right now, because my major need is to gain weight. In the past, when I did not have a plan and accountability, I fell extremely off track. However, I also think it is important to train myself to eat more intuitively, rather than restrictively.  I really want to be intentional about choosing foods which are healthy, fuel my body, but challenge my current food rotations.

If you have made it this far in reading this post, you are a champ! For my final update, I did go to my OBGYN today. He is very caring, listens intently to me, and is intentional about our time. I will not go into too many details, because this is a public post.:) I will say, though, I left feeling great comfort. I was not able to do any blood work today, but my husband and I are making plans to do this near the end of my summer break. Although, it will not be an easy road without complications and challenges, my doctor assured me, that he will be able to work with me to get my body where it needs to be, to one day, bear a child. I am going to continue to seek out further information, on my own, regarding this aspect of my health, but I am also going to trust him. In the future, if I am not confident in the medical advice I am given, I will need to, wisely, seek out further medical advice. At this point, I am doing what I need to do to gain my health and will work from that place.

Thanks so much for reading! I hope this offers, at least one reader, less of a feeling of being alone in a life event similar to my own. Remember, gain what you might have lost, by giving yourself the gift of the freedom to do this! I will be back soon with updates from my dietitian appointment tomorrow.

Much love!

 

Rotating Breakfasts and Lunches

 

Hello!

I am a creature of habit. I literally could eat the same schedule every day, and it would not bore me or phase me one bit. Granted, as life changes, my schedule changes, but this more evolves over time. I do not necessarily set out to change habits and routines in my life, because I am content with and find comfort in a set routine. I do understand this mindset can be a very positive thing. However, I also know my comfort in routine can cause me anxiety and frustration when this routine is changed or challenged. I would assert this is one of my main struggles in gaining weight, because it is difficult for me to make changes to my set routine. I am seeking to gain by giving myself the peace to make changes which are beneficial for my growth.

As I speak about routines, I want to share with you two breakfasts and two lunches, which are dietitian approved, and are easy, quick, and tasty!

To start us off, I have been loving egg and toast breakfasts! I cook two eggs in coconut oil or ghee, toast two slices of sprouted grain bread, and top the bread with an avocado and hemp or chia seeds. A second breakfast I have enjoyed is overnight oats. I combine 1/2 cup of oats,  1/2 cup of Fage whole milk yogurt, 1/2 cup of canned coconut milk, and 1T of chia seeds, and I stir this all together and save it in the fridge. I then top it with almond butter and more nuts or seeds when I am ready to it. Both of these breakfasts are delicious and filling, which is a major plus!

I also have two different lunches I have been enjoying recently. First, I hard boil 6-8 organic eggs, and I roast 2-3 large sweet potatoes ahead of time. Then, I can quickly combine 3-4 eggs, 1 sweet potato, an avocado, hummus, and sauerkraut, and throw this on top of spinach and mixed veggies. Another lunchtime meal I have been making includes a can of tuna or salmon combined with a container of whole milk yogurt or cottage cheese and hummus, and I will usually add a squirt of dijon mustard and sprinkle on some herbs. Then, I put this mixture on top of a salad, and I will chop up a large apple to throw on top or have a large sprouted wheat wrap alongside of the salad.

I hope this gives you some breakfast and lunchtime inspiration. For me, packing a breakfast and/or lunch can become a chore, so it is always nice to have some “recipes” in your back pocket! Have a fabulous Memorial Day weekend, and I will be popping in with a recap of my weekend which I am sure will include some pool time. Much love!

 

What am I learning?

Hi There!

This week has been relaxing, as well as, full of fun activities I enjoy, and I hope this has been true for you! I am currently sitting in one of my favorite coffee shops here in Birmingham, Alabama, which is the city I have lived in for my entire life. I am in LOVE with their turmeric ginger tea, and I also find their decaf coffee incredible which is hard to say about most decaf coffees I have tried.

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Moving on from the tea and coffee ramble, I promised, that I would update you on my meeting with my new dietitian, whom I met with on Tuesday. We had a 2 1/2 hour meeting, and at the end, I felt encouraged and motivated to set new and high goals for myself. She went above and beyond in her time with me, and I connected really well with her, and I also felt supported by and encouraged by her. She has sent me several “meal plans” which include foods I would regularly eat, but this plan will also give me a baseline for the number of calories, carbs, protein, and fat I should be eating at each meal. She will also track my meals, every day, on an online food journal, and I will meet with her each week. Honestly, many of the foods and amount of foods, are how I might eat, but the key is frequency. In the past, I have really been diligent for about a week. Then, I fall of the chart with my goals, which is when the weight I might have gained, falls off, as well. I am confident her daily tracking of my food choices will be beneficial for me and her accountability will be the changing factor. I will need to be very conscious of choosing the healthy and nourishing, but higher calorie food, which is a different mindset than I have carried in the past. I will be honest, cooking chicken in actual coconut oil, rather than just a “spray,” has tickled my taste buds, in a delicious way!

P.S. I am supposed to eat a handful of granola or nuts every time I get in the car which has taken some force and intentionality to implement, but I will do it!

One things I have thought about a lot recently, is how I can only control my response, not others’ responses, to my actions and choices, in all aspects of my life and, specifically, in my journey to gain weight. I want to continue to exercise and eat foods which fuel my body. I have found some people are very supportive and desire to come alongside me in this, but I have also been experiencing people in my life who doubt me. They doubt, that I can do it. They doubt, that I can change. They even look at me with pity and judgment. Yes, this is frustrating, particularly for the affirmation-seeking girl that I am, but I believe, this same thing happens for each of us in our daily life choices. However, it is our choice in how we respond. We cannot try to control other people’s thoughts or actions, or we will go into a crazy tailspin. We can only control ourselves, and our convictions and beliefs should be what drives our thoughts, choices, and responses, not how we think others will view what we choose to do or not do. This is difficult for most people, but I think it can be life changing.

I will return soon with further thoughts and updates! I leave you with a quote I saw on Pinterest this morning…

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Happy Monday!

I am officially finished with my school school year! Most of you would probably think, “You are so lucky to be off for the summer!” I have two responses for you. First, I love being a teacher, and I love the the children I teach. I become close to the families whose children I teach, and it is really difficult for me to close a school year and move forward. Secondly, I like to feel like each day has structure and purpose. When I am not working, I feel very unsettled and carry some anxiety about slower paced days. I do believe we are given seasons of rest, and in my case, I think I desperately need this season to slow down my life, give myself rest, and gain back my health. In saying these things, I will still hang out with friends, take part in various activities, and babysit for a family whose 4 children I have kept for over 6 years. I tell them they are my children, since I do not have any at home! I will be honest, that I still go to bed early and wake up early, and I make a plan for each day. My husband thinks I am crazy, as he would spend any day he has off working in the yard or playing golf. I remind him, I am created this way, and I truly enjoy living this way!

 

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This is a photo from last summer’s shenanigans. I spend a good deal of time at the pool and golf course during the summer and have no complaints! 

This summer, my desire, as I said, is to give myself permission to give my body rest and the fuel it needs to be healthy. I am meeting with a dietitian in the next week to create a meal plan which suites my body’s needs to gain weight, based on my metabolism and activity level. This gives me excitement, as I love a plan and know I will want to commit to it! I am also going to my OBGYN soon, for a yearly checkup, and I plan to have him test all of my “levels” to make sure these things are where they need to be in order for my husband and I to start looking at having a baby, at some point, in the near future. TMI for you??? I do not think it is. As I stated, my goal for this blog is to encourage and motivate other women, going through the same struggles as myself, to gain a full life. Gaining more information is one tool to make this happen, and hope I can give this gift to my readers!

I will return soon with updates on my appointments, and I plan to post some recipes of my favorite meals and drinks. Everything I make is easy, as cooking is not my passion or gifting! Much love!

IMG_0366Hello!

Thank you for stopping by to read my blog! My name is Laura, and I am in my late twenties. I am a kindergarten teacher, and I will have been married two years this July. I love my job as a teacher, as being a teacher has been what I wanted to do since I was very young. I also truly enjoy learning about and practicing healthy food and exercise habits in my daily life, and I set these as a high priority in my life. I am a very routine and disciplined individual who rarely has to be reminded to complete a task or accomplish a goal. I am very driven by keeping peace and receiving the affirmation of friends, family, and coworkers, and this can heavily dictate my day to day actions and choices. As positive as these traits can be, at times, these things have controlled my life in a negative way, which is why I mention this aspect of myself.  My heart and mindset in these areas has led to a long struggle to control my circumstances. In seeking to create a coping mechanism, I believe I have sought comfort in an unhealthy control of my health habits. I have gone through a long struggle to gain weight and keep my weight at a healthy place where I look and feel healthy, strong, and confident. After many dear friends and family members have spoken truth to my heart on this issue, I am now earnestly seeking to begin the journey to live at peace with my food choices and exercise practices. I desire to do this by giving myself the freedom to gain rather than suffocating my joy in life and my ability to be the strongest woman, wife, daughter, and friend I know I can be. This journey is what I want to document on this blog. The posts I write will vary, as some will be more personal and others will be more light-hearted. My hope is that, as I share my story, you, as well as others, will be encouraged to break free from whatever chains might bind your heart and mind and are taking away the great freedom you can experience when you give yourself the gift of gaining joy and peace!