Saturday, February 3, 2007

New beginnings

As you can tell I am not a frequent poster. Life gets too busy! I have been trying to re-vision my life and only do what's important, and I've been trying to eliminate those things that get in the way. I'm not sure that I'm as successful at that as I'd like to be.

I teach sixth grade full-time, and I am a super-active, involved lay leader in my church. Both those "jobs" are vital to my well-being in all senses of the word!

Knitting is one way I cope with the daily stress. It centers me and provides a soothing end to my too-busy days. Knitting relaxes me, and empties my mind of the incessant chatter. As I concentrate on the repetitive motion of knitting and purling, I drop into a meditative state. I make it a point to try to knit at least a few rows every night. Of course, there are many nights when I just sit in front of the TV and knit to some of my favorite shows! Right now, I get a lot of knitting done on Thursday evenings --- Ugly Betty and Gray's Anatomy and knitting!

I also started a knitting club at school. It's very informal. Every Monday afternoon knitters are welcome to join me in my classroom for 45 minutes of knit and chat. I have a core group of 3-5 6-8 graders who come religiously, but we're joined by several others on a regular basis. Sometimes other teachers drop in too. Not much knitting gets done -- one 6th grader with Asperger's comes and grabs needles and yarn out of my classroom stash and knits 2-3 rows, pulls it out at the end of the meeting, and starts again the next time she comes. But it's a wonderful way to bond with kids in a non-academic way and I love it!

My big challenge for now is that I am seriously trying to lose a substantial amount of weight. I successfully lost over 100 lbs and I kept it off for almost 5 years, but I started gaining some of it back after my mom died a year and a half ago. I am ready to re-lose about 20 lbs and keep going for another 50 lbs beyond that. I'm just at the beginning ---the stage where all you can think about is what you just ate, when you can next eat, what you eat, when all you can think about is food! It's also the irritable stage - your body knows it's getting less calories and it's definitely affecting your moods!

The good thing is that I exercise regularly and that hasn't changed. I belong to what's called The Wellness Center,(TWC) run by our community hospital. The hospital's physical therapy and cardiac rehab programs are run there, but it's also a community health club with all sorts of aerobic exercise classes, pool classes, yoga, pilates, and a full gym. My husband and I have been taking water aerobics classes there for 5 years, and I also do weight training. What I've done to help jumpstart the weight loss program is to add one more day of exercise to my usual 3 -days/ week routine. This is a tough move (no pun intended). As it is, I leave my house at 6:15 am and head to school. I leave school most days between 4-4:30 and head to TWC 3 days a week for exercise class. On those days we get home 6:30-6:45 and have dinner, do chores, etc, and I collapse into my knitting chair about 8:30 for an hour, and then to bed, only to do it all over again the next day! Some nights I have meetings (teacher negotiations most of the fall, and church meetings). So adding another day of exercise is one more night of late dinners and long days. TWC is 20-25 minutes away from home one way. But I'm doing it!

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