The Box

I’m going to share a secret with you. Something that’s been haunting me for 5 years.

But first, let me tell you about last week.

I spent 2 days in a leadership class. In that class we talked about our saboteurs and our guardians. A saboteur is that negative voice in your head. The one that tells me I can’t do things or I’m not good enough or I might as well not try because I’ll fail anyway. The saboteur keeps me from sharing ideas at work because they might be stupid. Or from swimming because I could drown. Or from singing karaoke because people might laugh at me.

The guardian, on the other hand, is the all knowing voice that guides you, protects you and says loving thing to you no matter what. The voice that counters the saboteur and shuts it up. My guardian is a tiger. A strong, sleek, beautiful, warm, regal tiger. I call her Tigra.

And now for that secret.

I’m afraid to jump on the 2nd level box in the gym.

It all started when I returned to work from maternity leave with Cora, back in 2013. One of my first days in the gym, my trainer told me to jump on the box. No big deal, I used to do it all the time. So I jumped. And fell off. I tried again. And hit my shin.

That was it. At that point my mind said, “We are never doing this again” and it shut down. I tried to make myself do it but to no avail. I would bend my knees as if to jump but it was like my feet were nailed down. One day my trainer and I stood there for almost an hour trying to do it, staring at that damn box and no matter what he said or did, my mind wouldn’t let my body move.

My saboteur was in full control.

You’re going to fall again.

Do you want to hurt yourself?

It’s too high.

You can’t do it.

When you miss everyone will laugh at you.

You’re too old for this.

Just go get the small box. That’s s all you can do.

And on and on.

It bothers me. I pretend it doesn’t but it does. I want to conquer that box. I hate that it has control over me. Every day I walk by that box and it mocks me. Or when I see another woman jump on it with ease it’s like a knife to my gut. The competitor in me comes out and thinks, “How come she can do it and I can’t? ”

Well the truth is, I can. I just won’t let myself.

That all ends now. I’ve decided my next goal in the gym is to beat that f*ing box. I am going to take a step bench and raise it a little higher every day until I have my confidence back.

I will succeed.

Goodbye saboteur. Tigra is winning this battle.

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Guess Who’s Back?

Hard to believe but it’s been 4 years since I last wrote an entry on this blog. At the time I was burned out, tired of writing, and my heart wasn’t in it. It felt forced. If we’re being honest, I kind of felt that way about life in general too. I had 2 little kids, a busy job, a new house, and didn’t feel like I had anything “together”. Everything felt frantic and unorganized and crazy. I was overwhelmed.

So I stopped writing. It was a hard decision made easier over time. Every time I’d think about the blog I’d examine my life and it re-affirmed my decision to stop. I don’t have enough time. There’s nothing interesting to write about. No one cares what’s going on in my life.

And so it goes.

However I kept paying to renew the domain name and keep the site up year after year. Whenever I’d see a payment processed I’d cringe a little and tell myself I should just take it down. But I never did. Nostalgia perhaps? Sure. Thoughts that one day I’d write again? Probably. Lazy? Absolutely!

Recently though I’ve felt the itch again. 2018 feels like a year of renewal to me. A renewal of myself and getting back to feeling good and doing things I enjoy. For so long it felt like my own life was put on hold in favor of what the kids needed (Yes, I know thats called being a parent). I don’t feel that way anymore. I bought season tickets to the Broadway Series that comes through town because I love live theater. I’m going to several concerts this year because I also love live music and hate that I’ve missed so many amazing artists over the last couple years. I’m traveling a lot more (mostly for work) and enjoy every minute of visiting other cities.

I’m ready for more….more adventure…more fun…more laughter…just more!

I’m also doing more to take care of myself. One thing that’s stayed constant is my workout regime. That is something I’ll never give up. I work out at 5:30 am every weekday morning and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I also still play volleyball 1 to 2 nights a week and love it! However, my eating habits had gone way downhill. I was yo-yo dieting with no success. Eating all kinds of amazing tasting junk food and constantly feeling guilty. Then wondering why the scale wouldn’t go down. I was actually at my heaviest weight not including pregnancy/post-pregnancy. My confidence was way down and I felt icky. So I finally sucked it up, kicked myself in the ass and did the Whole30 program for the month of January. It was exactly what I needed. I feel great and like I’ve really gained my power back. I now make conscious decisions about what I put in my body and only eat what will nourish me and provide the best fuel. I lost 8 lbs. but had other major “non-scale victories” and am still going (I’ll do a separate post on Whole30 at some point).

Part of the Whole30 program is to keep a journal everyday of what you ate, how you feel, and your non-scale victories. I used to journal on a pretty regular basis, but like everything else, that went out the window. Bringing it back as part of the program was great and it reinvigorated my need for creative writing. I am an inherently creative person but have had no outlet for it in recent years. The itch was coming back. So I bought myself a new journal, some colorful pens and committed to journaling at least once every week. Nothing too crazy, no rules around it – just write once a week. So far I’ve been journaling an average of 3 – 4 times a week and loving it.

That got me thinking, where else can I do more writing?

I was talking to a friend, sharing another story of some bizarre crazy thing that happened in my life and he said “You should really write this stuff down!”

The lightbulb went off.

I used to write this stuff down and it was fun! Why not do it again? I pulled up the blog and read through the old entries and all those memories came flooding back and I realized this wasn’t an accident. This was the universes way of nudging me in the right direction.

So, here we are.

A lot has changed in 4 years but I won’t get in to those details now. Look for some upcoming entries with updates on the family, my life, and work.

Couple promises:

  • I will keep this blog light-hearted. My writing tends to err on the funny or sarcastic side. That’s just who I am so why force myself to be something else?
  • Some of my most popular entries were about work (Annexed, $#*! My British Friend Says). My job has changed – I’m in a different position, in a different building, with a whole new team. But we still have a lot of fun and I’ll share what I can out here.
  • I don’t know how often I’ll be able to write so I’m not putting any pressure on myself to do X number of entries a week. But I’ll do what I can.

So that’s it. I’m back and excited to pick up where I left off. Care to join me?

Life A.D.–5 Months

5 months isn’t sexy. It isn’t flashy. It doesn’t get a lot of attention like it’s friends 3, 6, 9 and 12 months. But it’s actually fairly important.

There is a lot that happens between months 4-6 of a babies development yet you really don’t hear much about that middle number 5.

We have seen a big difference in Cora in the last 30 days.

She’s showing her personality more every day (here she is getting angry when she couldn’t figure out how to roll over).

She’s a bit like her mama this way…

But she soon figured it out…

Wow that was easy

She can hold her head up very steadily all on her own and she’s sitting up, with some assistance.

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She can do little baby “V-ups” (where she lifts her head, neck, shoulders and feet off the ground).

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She’s having fun sticking her tongue out.

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She’s even  grown enough to start wearing size 6 month clothes.

She’s very attentive, watching everything we do. And she wants to be included. If we’re at the table eating dinner and she’s in her swing, she will squawk until we bring her over to join us. If we have her on the floor of the playroom for exercise time while we play, she will crane her neck to see what we are doing at all times.

I find that I can’t get enough of Cora. I stare at her and think how beautiful she is. I snuggle and kiss her all the time. Making her smile is endlessly fun. I remember this phase with Isabella when she was that age too. I want Cora to progress but I don’t want her to grow up. I wish she could stay this sweet and happy forever.

Isabella has made some strides of her own in the last month. She’s now a pre-schooler!

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My biggest little one is in school now and it seems somewhat surreal. I didn’t cry when I dropped her off on the first day, and she didn’t either. She was excited and ready. But the moment was  not lost on me. Watching her standing in front of the school, waiting with the other kids to go inside, I was struck by how small she is.

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Not in terms of size but in terms of years. She seems so old to me most of the time because she’s the big kid in the house  that I forget she’s a tiny little person. She’s only 3 (she turns 4 in a couple weeks) and has a her whole life in front of her.

I have been extremely lucky to have the peace of mind knowing that my babies are in the trusted hands of CJ every day.

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Now one of those babies has been handed off to someone else. I completely trust our pre-school teachers and Isabella loves going there. Still, it can be a challenge to let go.

As for me, I’ve lost a total of 14 pounds so far and am pretty darn close to my pre-pregnancy size. I am able to get back in to many of my old clothes, and therefore give away some of the bigger sized ones. Let me tell you, that feels great.

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I didn’t get a chance to take a selfie and this is the most recent pic I have. Yes, that’s an astronaut.

I have 11 more pounds before I reach my goal weight. I originally set my goal at my pre-pregnancy weight but have since decided to shoot for losing a few pounds beyond that. Hey, why not? Losing with Weight Watchers has been surprisingly easy so it seems feasible now for me to get there.

Life for the Team Trader is good these days. Really good.  I am extremely grateful for what I have and don’t want to take a moment of it for granted. Ever.

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Catch up on more Team Trader action!

Life A.D. – 4 months | Little Things | Fat Talk

Fat Talk

When I got married, I wore a size 6. I was 5’7″ and 125 pounds.

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I thought I was fat. 

Well, ok, maybe not truly “fat” but I certainly wasn’t happy with my body.

I look back at old pictures of myself and shake my head.

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What would young Sarah have thought of me today, wearing a size 12-14 (depending on the item), a size Large and weighing in at 154 pounds?

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I throw all these numbers out there to show that as women we are almost never happy with our appearance. I admit that I am not thrilled with how I look today. I would like to shed about 14 lbs. to get back to the 140 that I was pre-Cora. If I could shed even more, that would be a bonus. I recognize that I will never be a size 6 and 125 lbs. again. After having 2 babies my body just can’t bounce back to that.

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And it’s ok.

Society wants us to think that we have to be a certain size/shape to be pretty. Admittedly I have bought in to that over the years, thinking I was not worthy because I had a muffin top or extra junk in the trunk. I have looked at myself in the mirror and been disgusted with what I saw, thinking horrible things about myself.

That kind of negative self-talk has got to stop.

Would I say those things to a friend? Absolutely not. I look around at the women in my life and think of those who strike me as beautiful. They are not all a size 2 with 6 pack abs and perfectly defined arms and legs. They are beautiful because of who they are on the inside – their personalities. That in turn makes their outsides beautiful too.

Why don’t I look at myself the same way?

I have always been careful about what I say in front of Isabella. I make a point to not only complement her looks but also her intelligence, sense of humor and loving heart. In front of her I have never used the word “fat” to describe myself or anyone else, nor have I berated how I look. Believe me, that is hard on some days, especially right after Cora was born and I was a bit down with how I was looking and feeling. I know she will reach a point in her life where she starts to put herself down, or heaven forbid someone else does it, but I don’t want to be an influencer of that.

In that vein, I think it’s high time that women everywhere stop putting ourselves down and instead embrace who we are and how we look. No more fat talk!

Let me begin…

I love my eyes.

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One thing that people always notice about my girls is that they have big beautiful blue eyes.

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They get the rich color from their dad but the shape from me. I hadn’t realized that until someone pointed it out to me recently. My eyes are beautiful too!

I have always had nice legs. I remember as a kid that my dad would complement my  mom’s legs a lot, saying how shapely they were. That led me to pay attention to my own gams and have been confident in showing them off. They are long, lean and strong, which I love.

Brunettes are where it’s at! They say blondes have more fun but I love being a natural brunette. I have never wanted to be anything else. Sure I’ve played with highlights over the years but have always kept a dark rich base. I think it’s exotic and lovely.

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My sense of humor. I love to make people laugh. I like to think I’m fairly witty about it too.

My ability to accept all people. I avoid talking religion and politics on this blog, or in general conversation, because as we all know, they are touchy subjects. But I will say this: one of my main  problems with certain religions and political parties is when they don’t accept anyone and everyone as being equal. I have always been inclusive of everyone (from the grade school playground to buying black Cabbage Patch dolls to go along with my other white dolls). To this day I have friends who are gay/straight/African American/Caucasian/Asian/Muslim/religious/atheist/etc.  I love all kinds of people and am proud of my ability to do that.

My pledge is to stop saying bad things about how I look and stop comparing myself to others. I am a work in progress and I will love where I am and how I look at any given moment. I encourage every woman out there to do the same. We are all beautiful, inside and out! Let’s proclaim it to the world!

Read more….

Eating Disorders Awareness | Little Things

Light Bright

Today I snuck out over lunch to run errands. Namely, buy new clothes that will get me through this interim stage where both maternity and pre-pregnancy clothes are unflattering. I’ve been putting it off because I didn’t want to spend money on items that I view as temporary (oh and they will be temporary!) but since I’m going back to the office next week, I need something to wear.

I think they frown on associates showing up naked. Or in jammies.

I was feeling a tad discouraged because everything I tried on made me look ginormous (or is it those damned dressing room lights and mirrors?). I left the store with a few pairs of jeans that will suffice for now and about 4 shirts…and some Weight Watchers meals.

Upon pulling in to my driveway I was struck by just how beautiful all the flowers in our yard look. For some reason they have really blossomed and popped over the last week and it almost took my breath away.

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There were pops of pink and red and yellow jumping out at me, all against a background of luscious green.

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I can in no way take credit for any of it either. I do not have a green thumb. My potted plants are lucky on the days I remember to water them. Fortunately we’ve had a rainy spring which has been the main contributor to our gorgeous garden.

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I plan to enjoy it while it lasts because I’m sure as we get in to the real heat of summer, many will start to dry up and fade. But boy are they spectacular now!

Funny how the glory of nature can put things in to perspective and make a few pairs of jeans seem pretty silly.

 

Interested in reading more? Follow these links!

Summertime One Liners | Out with the Old | What I Will and Won’t Miss…