Archive for December, 2012

December 31, 2012

Dear Felony,

Looking back on the last decade, the decade we will call our 20s, I started thinking about defining moments in our lives. There are certainly the obvious moments: finally choosing a direction in college, the bad breakups, the changing friendships, the first date with the man when we think, “just maybe”, college graduation, career changes, marriage, the birth of children, the death of loved ones, milestones in our children’s lives. These are evident changes in the direction of our lives, which forever sculpts who we are to become.

Then, there are the not-so-evident moments. The moments that seem mundane, commonplace, uneventful at the time…but possibly affect us far beyond anything we can recognize. I have many of these, far more than the apparent life-changers. These are moments that I can thread my entire life together on…and have often wondered, “What if that tiny choice has been even a bit different?”

Taking a job a Herberger’s instead of Maurice’s in high school for some extra cash, where I would eventually meet the father of my beautiful daughter. While there have been many, many days that I wished I had chosen Maurice’s, my life would not be what it is now without those years, and I would not change it if I could.

Walking into a Verizon Wireless store because my phone was acting up, and seeing a site that would forever change what I thought my life would be. Had I been 5 minutes earlier or later, or chosen any other Verizon store in town that day…how much longer would one person’s lies have held me captive?

“Friending” a high school gal pal of mine on Facebook, completely randomly…and only because she requested it. That acceptance led me to a happy hour with an old acquaintance who had posted on her wall, and then another happy hour, and then a trip to Vegas, and the rest is history.

Starting Cue Your Life, just because I loved to write. CYL was never intended to be anything but a health, fitness and cooking blog. Three months into it, because of one post regarding my adoption…I found my birthmother.

Responding to a job posting for a company I knew nothing about, knowing I’d probably never hear back. Starting the job 3 weeks later as a result, and having the opportunity to work for one of the best companies in the world, doing work I love every day.

An argument left with, “Jamie, I’m sorry if this sounds rude…but your stress is not my burden. I am here for you, but I will not carry it as my own.” That argument left me in tears…but eventually with an entirely new outlook on life.

Simple moments.

Today however, I’ve been thinking about one specific moment in my life. A moment that seemed like many others I’ve had. The first day of class, 6 years ago. I’d very randomly chosen a couple of human resource courses to fulfill business electives at Black HillsStateUniversity. I walked into class on that first day, and sat down in an open spot near the front of the room. I had a pixie cut at the time, and a one year-old daughter. I said hello to the young woman sitting next to me.

That hello has forever changed me.

Long dark hair, and a warm smile. Studious. Reflective. Inquisitive. Bad ass. Quick chats during class led to Dunn Brother’s study sessions. Study sessions led to discussions of life, love, politics, religion, and the world. Those discussions led to a friendship that has, on many occasions, saved my life.

Choosing those electives that year, and therefore that seat in class that day, is one of the single most defining moments of my life. That day I met a woman who would become one of the most influential in my life, and my best friend.

Felony, you have taught me what it is to be a woman: Strong, loving, smart, and accepting…with a whisk in one hand, a beer in the other, a good book by the bedside, a satisfying job to go to work at, and a happy family always nearby. You are the most hilarious person I have ever known, and have had me sobbing with laughter more times than I can count.

I cannot remember a time in the last 6 years when something has happened and you haven’t been the first person I’ve wanted to call.

At times, we’ve gone months without speaking…only to pick up right where we left off.

You’ve seen me through the darkest of pits, in the most trying of times. Your simple counsel of, “Jamie, you’ll know,” taught me over the years to finally ask the hard questions, and to trust myself.

You introduced me to Carrie Bradshaw and NPR: two things that wouldn’t seem to have much in common, but both life-changing…yes?

You’ve watched me change over the years, but I am not the only one. I’ve watched you change too. I’ve seen a small town college girl graduate, with her 2nd degree, pack up her things and go to work at a coal mine. I’ve seen her struggle in a town far away from friends and family. I’ve seen her find success through the struggle, and learn from it. I’ve watched a romance turn into a life-long commitment, and that commitment grow into a family. I’ve laughed and cried with you during your pregnancy, and your first year of being a mother. I’ve often thought to myself how lucky your little man is.

You continue to be an amazing woman, and friend. The most amazing. You have added to that by growing into a loving wife and spectacular mommy.

The world we live in has taught us to find our prince charming, our soul mate…and the rest will just fall into place. Cinderella, Aurora, Snow White, Rapunzel…they found theirs. All they had to do was be completely helpless and reliant on a man, and true happiness they found. Sounds nice, but that’s not for us, is it?

I’ve come to see the more modern side of things with my own Prince Charming, and I know you have as well, but as far as soul mates go…I found mine in Jonas Hall in the Fall of 2006. Thank you, for every moment since.

On this day, your 30th birthday, and the eve of a new year, I wish you joy in the journey to come. Welcome to your 30’s my friend, I promise to catch up soon!

All my love,

Jamie

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December 30, 2012

Time to Stop

I’m a worrier by nature. Over the last two years I’ve gotten a lot better at choosing not to worry…at least about things that are out of my control. In letting a lot of out-of-my-control worry go, I’ve found two things almost constantly on my mind.

Now, as a disclaimer, these two things could be seen as a lack of confidence issue, but I assure you they are not. The two worries that I find on my mind are two things that are completely in my control, but things I have chosen not to control. One is directly related to the other, and both will have an impact on my 2013 Goals. The worry factors are my weight, and my fitness goals.

Backing up a bit: In March, I had a routine physical where my Doc delivered some news that at the time, I found ridiculous.

  1. My blood pressure was abnormally high.
  2. My BMI, (which is standard Western Medicine’s typical indicator of a healthy weight) indicated that I was overweight.

I all but laughed at the Doc when he asked me if I would consider “adding some physical activity my lifestyle, and also eating healthier.” Sure Doc, as soon as I’m done training for the half marathon I have coming up in 2 months, I’ll make sure to add some physical activity to my life. Seriously? Who did he think he was? Healthy eating?! Hello, does he know who he’s talking to?!

Now, jumping to November. I’m again in the middle of half-marathon training, and have continued to eat as I have been for the last 2 years. I ended up going to in see another doctor for a general checkup. I instantly loved the mother of 2, and triathelete. In reviewing my chart she asked, very matter-of-factly, “Jamie, how is it possible that you’ve gone through 2 half-marathon training cycles, and continue to hold onto 20 extra lbs? What is it that you’re eating every day?” Gasp. Huh?!

I could not deny her questions. She ran some tests to make sure my system was healthy and working properly, and called me a few days later. “Jamie, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that you’re perfectly healthy. The bad news is that you’re perfectly healthy. You’re going to have to accept that you’re going to have to make some changes in your diet if you want to get back to a healthy weight, and if you want your fitness to improve. Imagine putting on a 20Lb backpack on your 5’2″ frame before your runs…and then ask yourself why you’re not seeing much of a fitness improvement.”

So, as usual, I spent the next month worrying. I didn’t make any changes. I didn’t see any changes. I worried more.

Then one day, sitting next to Melody, my yoga instructor, I decided to stop. After a good conversation with her, I decided that for 1 week, I would completely stop worrying. I would not think about food, or working out. I would do exactly what I wanted to do, and end the week with a three day cleanse. Here’s what I learned:

  • Feeling like garbage sucks. For the entire week, I felt sluggish, tired, sick to my stomach, and cranky.
  • I love working out, and missed it!
  • However, I need to branch out. Marathon training plans have taken their toll on me. I am going to take a break from training as a runner, and work on changing up my routine, and adding more strength training, and getting fit as an athlete not just as a distance runner.

I finished up the week with a cleanse, which I know is questionable, but when Melody recommends something…I do not ask questions. Today, coming off the cleanse, I feel amazing. I honestly feel totally fresh and ready to start making the changes that I have obviously needed to for months…and months.

I’m committed to not using “healthy eating”, and being active as excuses for eating whatever I feel good about putting in my mouth. The cleanse showed me how much of my time I spend eating for the wrong reasons. I am used to eating not only when I am hungry, but when I’m bored, whenever the Sweetheart eats, when I’m upset, and whenever someone offers me something.

I’m committed to taking 20Lbs off my very small frame through a program I just started, and want to give a month before writing more about it. I’m also decreasing running to once or twice per week, and adding more weight training, cardio boot camp, and swimming to my routine in hopes of training all parts of my body so I can step back into running in the Spring strong and fit.

Above all though, I’ve committed to stop worrying about my weight and fitness goals…and am going to exchange the worry for action.

It’s not easy to know that at almost 30 and as a mom, I can no longer eat whatever I want, and that change is not easy. What makes it easier is to know that I am not alone, but that millions of awesome women struggle with the same things every day, and just as many make changes happen every day. Are you one of those women?

What are your struggles? What changes do you want to make, or have you made?