So we've been back from Cleveland for a bit, and things are on an upswing right now for the first time in awhile. I'm sure you guys could tell from my posts, but before we went to Cleveland, I was still in the midst of a major downswing, and was feeling very uninspired and lost. I didn't realize how bad the fog was until we were in another city and out of our routine. It was nice to be in a different city, trying new restaurants, experiencing museums I haven't seen before and meeting new people as well. I felt like my brain and body was awake for the first time in awhile, and I quietly resolved to bring that energy and momentum back here to Oregon.
The first and obvious thing this trip did for me was to give me new energy, passion and perspective on my Rock Hall project. Sometimes it's hard to do this project in a vacuum with only Eric to talk to about it, and frankly I have an uphill battle with this artist and know it, so it's hard sometimes to continue being excited. I'd hit a couple of snags with it where I felt like I failed and I'd failed the artist I was championing, and it really threw me into such a state that I wasn't sure I was even going to continue doing it. But being in the middle of the Rock Hall excitement with our friends who get it, sharing stories/opinions about our experiences and also pairing that with reading a newer biography on my artist gave me new life. It struck me how this person's friends and family are still deeply affected by and still love this person (who unfortunately passed away some time ago), so it gave me the push and reason I needed to keep going. One of my biggest hangups was feeling like no one cared that I was doing this, but there are definitely people that care, and I need to keep going for them. I definitely have more fire in the belly about it than before, and since we've gotten back I've been faithful about posting on my Twitter/Facebook again and creating a new vision for my project. It's nice to have something creative to work on!
I also came back with a fresh attitude towards my eating habits, which have been fair to poor the last few months. While we did some good eating in Cleveland certainly, being there actually put me in a more mindful state towards my health than I had been. Eric and I were pretty good about splitting meals so that portions were reasonable and trying to make the best choices possible. We kept breakfast very small and low key every day, usually just opting for cereal and fruit. Lunches for me were also modest. We had drinks, but would limit it to 1-2 beers (except for our Rock Hall Watcher dinner). We also walked a TON. Our hotel was a few blocks from the Rock Hall, so we just walked instead of cabbing or Lyfting, we were doing lots of walking around the museums and just in general were active and on the go the entire time. I even managed a low impact Fitness Blender workout on the first day we were there! By the end of the trip, my pants were actually fitting more comfortably than when we arrived, which really gave me the push I needed to keep the momentum rolling.
Since I've gotten back, I've thrown myself into making sure that I'm eating clean as possible. I know "clean eating" is a touchy subject and there are a million definitions of it for people to argue over. For me personally, it's just about making sure that I'm eating fresh, wholesome foods, that I'm making homemade meals a majority of the time and not relying on processed packaged foods or eating out. I don't stress about everything being paleo, organic, gluten free, vegan/vegetarian or any of that, I just mainly focus on exactly what foods I'm filling up on. It's just more about being sensible and focusing on nutrition. Yesterday morning was a good example, I made scrambled eggs for breakfast. While I could have paired them with an English muffin, I decided the better choice was a cup of sauteed mushrooms and a half cup of bell pepper. There's nothing wrong with English muffins or any bread, but I know it's better for me to fill up on vegetables instead, plus I was taking into account that I was making BBQ bean sliders for dinner, which involved bread. I just generally try not to have a huge calorie hit thing like that 2 meals in a row. Anyway what I'm saying is, I'm just trying to be much more mindful. I am logging calories again just for observation more than anything, and my focus on vegetables and fruits definitely allows me to eat more food, and who doesn't love eating more?
And finally, fitness. Being so active in Cleveland woke me the hell up y'all. I didn't realize how little I was moving here at home until I was in a situation where we barely stopped moving, and you know what, it felt really good. I felt like my blood was pumping, my brain was awake and just generally felt more alive. I've carried back that spirit of just simply getting up and moving around back here to Oregon. The weather is getting better, so it's easier to take our usual walks, so I average a mile or two a day of walking here. I started a second round of Fitness Blender's newest strength training program, FB Strong, and have been putting full effort into it. I've still got annoying pockets of fat that have built up from being a slug since December (belly and thighs as always), but they are slowly shrinking with a healthier diet and lifting. The batteries in my scale broke, and I honestly DGAF about replacing it right away. I know I'm doing what I need to do.
I had a crazy moment this week, one of my goals for 2018 was to be able to comfortably deadlift 70 pounds by the end of the year. Right now I am able to do one set of 60 pounds, and even though it's a struggle, I can tell that with some persistence it won't be long before I can do two full sets. Anyway I had a moment when I was struggling to pull up the weights that I've lost about 60 pounds from my original weight, and I was pulling up that very amount right in that moment. It felt difficult. It was uncomfortable. And it made me freaked out and suffocated because I realized I used to just have that weight on me all the time. Setting those weights down when my set was done was a relief, and it was a reminder to never, ever get in a place again where I have weight on me that I can't simply just set down.
Anyway, I'm just feeling really good and focusing on all of the life giving things in my world, and being grateful. I've got an amazing husband who loves me and we have so many adventures together. Our dog, who we love despite the fact she's an asshole, is incredibly healthy and doing well at 10 years old. My project is going well. The weather is shaping up. I was able to plant a bunch of flowers and vegetables in our backyard. We've got long awaited/wanted home improvement projects in the works. Life is getting much better.