Is There a Silver Lining to a Failing Diet?

I am without a doubt failing on my diet goals. Technically I’m still below where I started, so we will call that a step in the right direction. Although Thanksgiving is this week, and I for one plan on enjoying it, soooooo that might mean I’m right back to where I started a couple of months ago.  Even so, I think there is a silver lining.

Why am I not mad at myself? That’s a good question. Like most people in their 40’s I have a plenty of things that distract me from my personal goals. Work, the kids, a house, and I have had some medical challenges mixed in along the way. That’s life, a bunch of distractions from the focuses we feel are important. Dieting usually finds its way to a top focus. Maybe I’m trying to hold onto or regain my figure from my younger days, maybe I feel like if I do lose the weight, I’m still young.  Hahaha I know, some of my thoughts are somewhat delusional😉. Whatever the reason, dieting usually has a way of either making me feel good or feel really horrible about myself.

Failing while dieting happens, and yet I use the failure as an opportunity to squash any confidence I have in myself. Rather than considering what life is slinging at me, or even just understanding that I’m human and its ok to fail sometimes, my inner voice has all kinds of nasty it throws my way, making me feel even more miserable. You know the kind of defeat that makes you want the extra slice of pizza, followed by a tub of ice cream, all eaten while watching The Biggest Loser. All of which reminds me of my serious lack of backbone.

ENOUGH!!! That’s me yelling back at myself! I’m saying enough is enough. While I haven’t lost all the weight I wanted to, and I certainly haven’t jumped on a treadmill, I have done some good things. No, I haven’t adopted any life changing eating habits, I have managed some minor adjustments to my old habits. So, what have I done that’s good???

I have found a way to get through the normal daily challenges, a move, a couple of medical procedures and some not so exciting news about an upcoming surgery. I have managed to do this because thankfully I have help and support. The love and support in my life is something I am beyond grateful for and fortunate to have. Without that support I may have seriously shut down. Instead, I have been able to spend time with my loved ones and friends. We have been having fun, getting dressed up for trivia night, planning holiday gatherings, decorating and enjoying the wonderful life that unfolds in front of us every day.

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Maybe its because of the holiday season but I feel like this is where my focus should be. If I can be there to support my friends and family, if I make time to teach the kids a life lesson(whether they are ready for it or not), if I can find time to relax and share a laugh with my unconventional family or a friend, isn’t that what I should reflect on at the end of the day? Um, HELL YEAH it is! Basically 90% of life is headed the right direction, that’s just about as good as it gets!

My 40’s have made me appreciate that time is a gift. I don’t want silly distractions, like a number on the scale robbing me of it. Each year I am reminded of how much the kids change, and how the moments throughout the year and especially at the holidays are unique every time. I want to soak it all up, even the inevitable family bickering. Let’s face it, the bickering is often the entertainment😉

I would love for everyone to give themselves the gift of kindness and understanding this holiday. It’s easy to take a breath and be kind to a stranger, we’re taught that from an early age. It should be just as easy to be kind, and patient to ourselves. Be as understanding and forgiving when we miss a goal as we would if a friend did. I want to focus on enjoying all the wonderful moments the holidays are sure to bring and better yet truly enjoy and have fun with all the wonderful people in my life. Hoping your holiday season is already off to a warm, cozy and happy start!

Where Are the Cool Mom Clothes??

I know that’s kind of an oxymoron, cool and mom don’t generally go in the same sentence. In the US, Women between the ages of 30-50 account for 13% of the population, that’s over 42 million women in the US alone. Um, I think that means we should be able to find clothes that don’t make us look like one of the Golden Girls. Or worse yet, like we are trying to be friends with Kylie Jenner, so not ok!

Today I’m not talking about how to improve myself in any way, this is even a touch trivial, but it’d be nice if it were easier to find clothes that made me feel confident and even a little sexy. I said a little sexy, not the coy, frisky tight clothing of our 20’s. Why does it seem so complicated? Maybe this is why Jennifer Anniston is always caught in jeans and t-shirts. Of course, she still looks drop dead gorgeous, but maybe she keeps it simple because there aren’t enough options for women in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s.

As my kids have gotten older two things make me step back and assess my appearance before going out;  1.  Is what I’m about to wear appropriate for being around teenagers? 2.  Do I look like I’m trying to be a teenager? Can you imagine how mortified my daughter would be if one of her friends came over and I was wearing the same outfit?!? I gave myself a rule to follow, just because clothes from the Junior’s department fit, doesn’t mean that I can wear them! It’s been hard letting go of some of my go-to stores, especially the comfy clothes like leggings from PINK, ahhh, the things I do for my kid😉

I want to feel good about myself, I want to feel feminine and fashionable. I’m not ready for moomoo dresses and mom jeans. I have found a few places where I tend to find things that bring my wardrobe back to life.   Here are a few favorites:

White House Black Market

https://www.whitehouseblackmarket.com/

I always feel like the catalog is a misrepresentation of this company. It feels geared toward business and almost has an older feel to it. But, I love this store, the jeans and reversible tanks alone keep my coming back for more. I generally order most things online. They have great quality most everything is washable, and their clearance prices are fantastic!

Target https://www.target.com/

Everyone knows Target, I find myself shopping there more and more. I almost have to schedule when I go, because I can lose hours in this store, ok I might be shopping for more than just clothes😉

ModCloth https://www.modcloth.com/

Great for dresses, they have a large selection of A-Line and Midi dresses, feminine and fun. Prices here are moderate.

Kohls https://www.kohls.com/

I think Kohl’s is one of the best kept secrets out there. I get most of my work dresses, cardigans (the cute kind), and even workout clothes. Bonus, their prices are easy on the pocket book.

Stitch Fix https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/leighculian?sod=w&som=e&utm_source=mailto&g=w

This is a subscription box service and if you haven’t tried it, you don’t know what you are missing. This is my periodic treat to myself. You answer some questions, enter your size and pricing preferences and what you need and request a fix. The jeans are magical! I swear they are like Sisterhood of the Travels Pants kind of awesome. I can go to the store and try on a dozen pairs of jeans and none fit, they send one pair and it’s like Hollywood magic, they fit like a glove. I also like that the box sends tops that I like but I wouldn’t have necessarily tried them on had they not been delivered to my house. If you keep all items the discount makes Stitch Fix an affordable option, but you can read more about it online.

Lorna Jane https://www.lornajane.com/

I can thank my younger sister for introducing me to this one, love her! Athletic ware, Ok ladies this is the most expensive athletic ware I have ever purchased. But, they have sports bras that are AMAZING! Lorna Jane Sports bras are cute, sassy and they have pads! I don’t have to look like a pre-pubescent boy when I’m working out, woohoo!!!! Now you understand why I’m willing to pay the big bucks😉

These are a few of my favorites. Leave me a comment if you have a go to store I missed that makes you feel like the fine woman you are! I’d love to have more options. Happy shopping!

Thanks for the feedback:)  one cool mom gave me some information on a couple of sites I haven’t used before.

http://www.altardstate.com/      They’ve got some great looking tops, dresses and accessories and I like their lookbook section.  I think that will help keep me from going to the same cuts and styles I usually choose. I will be checking them out!

https://www.afterpay.com/index

This site has a large variety of merchants and items.  It ships same day and they have payment options if you want to take advantage of them.  I can’t believe I hadn’t seen this site before.  Becky, thank you for sharing!!!  I have a feeling this could keep me entertained for awhile!

 

 

Stilettos and Flip Flops

I’m just over 3 weeks into the Biggest Loser challenge.  I seem to have my eating under control. Well, saying it’s under control might be a touch strong.  Let’s be real, the cheese garlic bread and Italian salad I had last night for dinner are not exactly clean eating, but I’m keeping my calorie count within reason. Most days, activity is the bigger challenge. I haven’t quite gotten the energy to set the alarm clock earlier, that would probably help a lot! I blame my comfy bed for the lack of motivation.  Hmmm, maybe we shouldn’t have gotten that super fluffy mattress topper after all! I know, excuses, excuses.

I have a lovely desk job. Sure it’s air conditioned and the environment is clean and friendly, but let’s face it, I’m sitting on my ever expanding rump. So how do I change it?

The first thing I’ve done is a touch embarrassing should anyone ever walk into my office while I’m doing it.   I got the idea when I was visiting our Tokyo headquarters.  In Japan, the entire office does a series of stretches and movements at their desk to instructions and music piped through the overhead speaker. The fact the entire office is doing the exercises together is pretty impressive. Here’s a little info about these exercises. https://taiken.co/single/morning-exercise

Now, I didn’t go as far as asking for music to be piped over the speakers, but I did bring a set of 5 lb. hand weights to work. I’m trying to keep my arm jiggle from turning into full blown wings, you know the kind I’m talking about, not cool! I keep the weights in the corner, in full sight, so I can’t ignore them. Once a day while reading my emails I do 5 different arm exercises. https://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/get-fit-5-minutes-rockstar-arms-workout  It raises my heart rate a tad, mostly likely because I’m out of shape. Regardless, I’m counting it as a plus. Still hoping no one walks in on my little office activity life hack😉

The second new habit I’ve adapted is where the flipflops and stilettos come in. Heading out the door in the morning, I’ve started packing a pair of flipflops in my purse. So as not to look like a total slacker rolling into work, I start the day in my work shoes. When I have a stopping point and need a break in the morning, rather than gab with my work buddies, I grab my flipflops and I head out to the parking lot for a 10-15 minute walk. It feels good, allows me to get a few steps on my fitness tracker and doesn’t interrupt my workday.

At lunch, whether I take my time at my desk or whether I leave the office, I am intentionally leaving 15 minutes for walking. By 1:00 I already have a 30 minute walk logged! If I’m lucky and can create another 15 minute break in the afternoon I’ll be able to leave with 45 minutes of walking done. I’ve never loved my flipflops so much! They’re compact, cozy and easy to change in and out of. No excuses right?!? Now come winter I’m going to have to reorganize my purse to make room for my tennis shoes and socks!

I’m starting to feel like I’m crushing it! Ok, maybe crushing it is going a smidge too far😉 It does feel like I’m making some changes that work for my day and that’s a goal. Woohoo!!!

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