Friday Night Frenzy!

Wow! What a week. It has been a whirlwind so far and next week looks like it will be the same. I feel like I have been a bad blogger this week- it is really weird not to write every day. I mean I know what I write isn’t necessarily deep and moving stuff but it is cathartic to spend some time each day reviewing my life and my thoughts and not being able to do that this week has made a noticeable impact on my mental wellbeing. I am glad to be able to take some time tonight and write to you if for no other reason than to catch you up on what’s been going on here.  Well, at least the highlights.

Sunday I went shopping with my friend SF for a nice, lightweight, summery outfit to wear to Paul’s graduation. SF works at a retail store that sells plus-sized clothes for women, one of the few I typically shop at, which came in handy when I was trying to pick out outfits and needed different sizes/colors and whatnot. Normally I go shopping with Paul, he is always honest, knows my style (plain), and is very patient. It was interesting to shop with someone else for a change, especially someone who has a better sense of style than I do. Unfortunately, things did not go to well at the store. There just wasn’t anything I really liked or felt comfortable in. For me comfort is key because if I am uncomfortable with what I am wearing I will be fidgety and self-conscious the entire time it is on and that’s no fun. What’s worse was I was not thrilled with how the clothes were fitting. 30 pounds lost and I was still not wearing smaller sizes. My size for tops was big in the chest area (I think my boobs are the only place I lost weight) but still tight around my stomach. Pants were tight at the waist but droopy in the butt and it looked like I pooped myself- not really that flattering of a look believe it or not.  After a good hour or so looking I gave up and resigned myself to just wearing something I already had and left SF and the store.

As I headed home I became sad because I really wanted to buy something new, I wanted Paul to see my progress and think I looked nice, but also because I felt like what’s the point. I mean it’s been over 3 and a half months of me busting my ass every day and I was still the same size- how depressing. So, I decided to check out Target because it was on my way home. They carry a limited selection of plus-size clothes in store and I thought it was worth a shot. At Target I was able to find clothes that fit me better but they were too casual for a graduation ceremony. So off I went, still feeling somewhat hopeless. I should point out here that after both stores I called Paul who helped me feel less like crap about the clothes, or lack thereof, situation. Thanks Paul! As I was heading home I thought about something another WW member had said the day before, about how she shopped at Dillard’s so I decided to head over to the mall. I don’t typically shop at department stores. Heck, I had no idea that they even carried plus sizes until earlier this year so I thought I would check it out. Third time’s a charm, right?

I am so happy that I did because not only did they carry plus size clothes, they carried nice plus size clothes that fit me beautifully. I was wearing a size 20 pants, down from a 24 and a 2X top, down from a 3X, so yay for smaller sizes. I found a bunch of tops, pants, and dresses that all fit well and I loved and I even stepped outside of my comfort zone and tried on some funky prints because of the designer who made the clothes. I mean Michael Kors knows his stuff, I trust he wouldn’t want to make fat people look ridiculous and he most certainly did not. The clothes not only fit me but they made me feel good in them both inside and out. I was comfortable with the size, not too restrictive, and the feel of the clothes was so soft on my skin I just wanted to wear them home. Now I can definitely understand why people buy expensive clothes. They were so worth it. Yes, it was a big splurge for me and yes, I probably could have bought 3 times as much for the same amount of money at a different store but why should I? I deserve to feel good about myself and if Michael Kors can do that then that is what I am buying. I ended up leaving with two tops and a pair of pants but I know I will be back every now and again to buy something nice for myself. Next time I will bring a coupon 😉

I had mentioned last week about how I bought a Groupon for the Synergy Studio and had taken a yoga and Nia class with it. Well, the pass I bought was for eight classes and although I had fallen in love with the place right off the bat I decided this week I would use some of it towards trying out new classes. Sunday after shopping was Zumba which was so much fun. I have no sense of rhythm and I cannot dance but I like the class nonetheless. I am not sure how this happens but I always seem to be in the front row at these classes which makes me nervous at first but luckily for me the instructors and students at Synergy are so kind and wonderful that I don’t feel like a complete idiot when I end up randomly spinning around until I can figure out what is going on.  Needless to say, I liked this class so much I plan on doing it again this Sunday. This time I will wear different shoes though. I tried to wear my new ones to break them in and they ended up hurting me most of the class L

Monday I was back in the Gentle Yoga class which was a great way to stretch out and relax from my weekend. Starting the week off with yoga put my week and my body in alignment and allowed me to continue pushing through with a sense of calm and ease throughout some of the chaos. Tuesday I was at the boxing studio for class and then met up with SF for a three-mile walk afterwards. Since I have decided to walk a half-marathon in October I needed to start training for it because it is not something you would just do, or at least not something I could just do, without preparing for. So now I walk 2 times a week, usually after my boxing classes, and then a long walk on Saturdays. You will notice this pattern popping up in future posts so I thought I would explain where all these walks came from.  Boxing was great and exhausting as always and I am trying to adapt to walking in the extreme Texas heat. It has been in the 90’s at night when I walk- freaking hot. At least it is not humid yet, that would be too much to handle.

Wednesday I was back at the Synergy Studio for Hoopdance! Originally I was going to take the earlier Nia class but something came up that needed to be addressed immediately after work so I had to adapt my plans. The key to success, or at least for me, is that you need to be rigid when it comes to planning and follow-through as well as be flexible so when your plans go to shit it doesn’t ruin your day and you can still meet your goals/expectations. So there you have it folks, the key to success is to be a flexible, rigid person 😉 But I digress. Back to hoopdance! Hoopdance is basically hula-hooping to music. The class was pretty full and there were three of us new to hoopdance so the others just started right in while we received a tutorial on how to hoop. FYI- beginners use bigger hoops and I was given the biggest hula hoop in all of mankind to start off with. It was ginormous. I had never seen a hula hoop that big and it took some time to adjust to it. Basically the concept is the bigger the hoop the slower you rotate so it took me a while to get that timing down. It felt like I was hooping in slow mo. Very strange at first and then once I got the hang of it, it was exhilarating. It’s just you and a hoop and all of your cares and thoughts dissipate. It’s great. The instructor and some of the people in the class were amazing, they were doing all kinds of crazy tricks and fancy moves- it was awesome. My new goal is to get to that point. It is a great workout and even better I had fun doing it which is the most important part. I was so into it that I even gave myself a big ole bruise on my side- it was a really big hula hoop J I will definitely be coming back to this class again and I recommend you try it out sometime. If not a class then at least by a hoop and do it at home.

Thursday, after I returned home from Paul’s graduation, was another new class at the Synergy Studio- qigong. The best way for me to describe the class is by including an excerpt of the description from their website.

“Qigong: Qi is the body’s life force energy which is responsible for our vitality. Gong means skill, work or foundation.

Qigong (sometimes written as Chi Kung) then is the practice of accumulating and cultivating vital life force energy (qi) in the body. This is achieved through the coordination of physical exercises, meditation and visualization, and breathing exercises. Qigong developed into a systematic healing art that integrates body, mind and spirit and is a main branch of traditional Chinese medicine. The effects of qigong practice include prevention and healing of disease, relief from stress, improved physical strength, improved mental focus, improved sexual function, spiritual enrichment and a slowing of the aging process.”

I loved this class. As you can see, I pretty much love every class I have taken there. I love the mix of classes that are relaxing, meditative, healing with others that are fun, exhilarating and child-like. This class, like yoga, is definitely something I want to incorporate into my weekly routine because it is good for my body and my soul. No, I didn’t burn any calories and no, my heart rate wasn’t elevated but that isn’t always the only point. This journey for me is about health and wellness and classes like qigong play a big role in me being able to get to that point. I am very excited to learn more about this practice and will hopefully make it a regular part of my life.

Tonight was pretty much the same routine as Tuesday; boxing and a three-mile walk, except that tonight Paul joined me for both. It was great to have him come to boxing, which of course he is really good at, and I really enjoyed the company on my walk. Of course we had to go to Red Mango afterwards for some frozen yogurt to help combat the 55 minutes we spent walking in the heat. It was 103 when we finished up. Damn it was hot! I am pretty sure I sweated off ten pounds!

Afterward I was thinking that this must be awkward for him-  to come home and have to adjust to my schedule which is more jam-packed with classes and walks and other randomness but also for him to leave the routine he adjusted to for the month he was away. For both of us, it always takes some time to get used to our ‘normal’ married life again after a long time apart. Even though it was only a month it was long enough for both of us to adapt to a new schedule and routine. Yesterday, on the way home from Ft. Hood, I was rattling through all of my plans and everything I had going on I made a comment about going to a class that night. I said that even though it was his first night home I still wanted to go to a class. It was important to me to not skip workouts. I said that I was sorry but that he wasn’t my number one priority, that I was my number one priority and he said good, that’s the way it should be. I told him he was a close second and he replied again; good, that’s the way it should be 🙂

Thanks for reading!

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June 17, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Exercise, Fitness, inspiration, Life, Moving, San Antonio, Walking, Weight Watchers. 7 comments.

We’re movin’ on up….

So it’s official- we are moving into post housing once our lease is up this summer. On Friday, Paul dropped off all of the necessary paperwork in order to get us onto the waitlist for housing. Right now there is a 3-4 month wait for housing which is why it was so important for is to decide now about whether or not we should move onto post. We are both very excited about this decision and cannot wait to move. So, if you live in the greater San Antonio area feel free to volunteer some time to help us out with the move. 😉

Previously I had listed some out the pros and cons of post housing and I wanted to revisit this so you can see why we ended up making the decision to go this route.

Pros:

• Very convenient for Paul- no commuting for work, and for me- easy access to the gym

• Living on post puts us closer to downtown and to the AT&T Center, where we spend a lot of our time.

• We would be surrounded by army people. It might be nice to make some friends that are in a similar a situation. Plus we would be closer to T & K.

New Pros:

We could have a grill. We miss grilling especially since we live in Texas and grilling is possible 365 days a year. This means BBQs and horseshoes!

• We could have a garden, which I am so excited for. I am already planning on what I would like to grow and picking out bins I want to buy in order to compost.

• The dogs will be able to spend much more time outside. I know this will help them get their daily exercise and eliminate the need for a dog walker.

• Closer to T&K means closer to their daughter. I love spending time with the baby and I am sure they will love having us close by to babysit. Also, this means it will be easier to join K for her evening walks up at the track on post.

• Grocery shopping will be less time-consuming as we would be living super close to the commissary. You have no idea how much of a pain it is driving on and off post every time I want to go to the gym or go shopping. It will be so convenient to live near both places.

Cons:

• It will increase my commute time- actually it is almost the same drive time, I tried it out the other day. It is a further distance but almost all highway driving.

• The houses are teeny tiny and we would probably have to replace all of our living room furniture to fit in the space- Paul figured out a way to make our furniture fit but we still may replace the living room set just because it is time. Also, the houses have a basement and a garage & driveway; which will help with storage space and eliminate the need for me to constantly wash my car- all parking spots at the apartment complex are under trees.

• Living on post would cost the full amount of our housing allowance which basically means we will have to pay more out-of-pocket every month. Our current rent is over $300 less than the housing allowance we receive- we would be paying more for rent but we would not need to put out $50 a week for a dog walker and Paul would not have to drive to work so we would save on gas. Plus utilities are included in the rent amount. Currently we pay anywhere from 130-300 a month in utilities. Therefore, living on post would be cheaper.

 • We would be surrounded by army people. This really could go either way, it really depends on the specific army people we find ourselves surrounded by. It could end up being more annoying than beneficial- there is no way now to know what our neighbors will be like but that is true anywhere you move so it is a moot point. Also, just being closer to our friends who live on post would be nice. Especially since Paul and his BFF T. refer to themselves as the wolf pack- they are both so happy at the possibility of hanging out every single day.

• The only pool is the indoor pool at the gym. Not quite what I am used to and they probably frown on you drinking alcoholic beverages while swimming- I’ll adapt, there will be plenty of drinking going on out on out front porch that I think I can live without drinking by/at the pool. I might actually take advantage of having a real pool that is meant to be used for exercise.

As I said previously, we are both very excited for the move. The more we discussed it, the clearer it became that the best decision for us was to move on post. Now we just wait until August 1st to move but don’t think that I won’t be spending as much free time as possible this summer in the pools at our complex. That really is the only thing I will miss.

March 22, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Life, Moving. 3 comments.

Should I stay or should I go….

The time is quickly approaching for us to decide whether or not to renew our apartment lease. I have been thinking about this a lot lately, trying to weigh out the pros and cons of each situation, but I am just not sure what to do. Paul and I are both getting antsy here in San Antonio and I know it is because we have been here longer than anywhere else. Normally at his point we would be moving on to somewhere new but it looks like we’ll be here for at least another 18 months. So I really need to make a decision I won’t end up regretting for the rest of my time here.

Option 1: Stay in current apartment

Pros:

• There are three swimming pools in my complex that are hardly ever used. I spend May through September/October in those pools. It is pretty much what I do every day during the summer.

• I don’t have to move. I hate packing and I hate unpacking. I hate the giant hassle of moving. I won’t need to search for a new place or put down deposits.

• My dog walker is here. She lives in my apartment complex. She is fairly inexpensive and she really loves the dogs, which is the most important thing.

Cons:

• I hate my apartment. It is definitely old and lived in. It is starting to feel cramped. The kitchen is super small and the stove only has one regular sized burner and three small ones. It’s so annoying, especially for someone who loves to cook.

• The gym is crappy. Neither Paul nor I ever use it.

• It is a pain to get to post from where I live. It is not a far distance to drive but there are so many traffic lights that it just ends up taking forever. Paul makes that trip 1-2 times a day and now that I am using the post gym I am making at least 5 trips to post a week. It’s annoying.

Option 2: Move onto post

Pros:

• Very convenient for Paul- no commuting for work, and for me- easy access to the gym

• Living on post puts us closer to downtown and to the AT&T Center, where we spend a lot of our time.

• We would be surrounded by army people. It might be nice to make some friends that are in a similar a situation. Plus we would be closer to T & K.

Cons:

• It will increase my commute time

• The houses are teeny tiny and we would probably have to replace all of our living room furniture to fit in the space

• Living on post would cost the full amount of our housing allowance which basically means we will have to pay more out-of-pocket every month. Our current rent is over $300 less than the housing allowance we receive.

 • We would be surrounded by army people. This really could go either way, it really depends on the specific army people we find ourselves surrounded by. It could end up being more annoying than beneficial.

• The only pool is the indoor pool at the gym. Not quite what I am used to and they probably frown on you drinking alcoholic beverages while swimming

Option 3: Move into a rental home

Pros:

• I would be able to find someplace with a better kitchen, more space, maybe even a backyard for the dogs

• I would be able to own and operate a BBQ and possibly even grow a little garden.

• It could introduce us to a new area of the city

Cons:

• All the downsides of moving; packing/unpacking, finding a new place, all the money you have to put out in deposits and whatnot.

• It will more than likely increase both of our commuting times

• It will probably cost more in rent and utilities than what we pay now

• Highly unlikely it will have a pool

I have a pretty good idea which way I am leaning towards but am wondering what you think. Which option do you think would work best? Also, can you find any pros/cons I might have not considered? I would love your feedback on this.

Thanks for reading!

March 1, 2011. Tags: , , . Moving. 5 comments.