Monday, November 07, 2005

The Winds of November Change

This past year has been rough for me. Giving birth did not live up to my unrealistically high expectations. My beautiful, colicky baby left me living for and anticipating the day I went back to work. Unfortunately, the power struggles that were going on from all sides made my inexperience stick out. Being promoted had the opposite effect of boosting my confidence and morale. While all of this was going on, I pretty much stopped going to Weight Watchers. My old habits returned rather quickly and I’ve gained back the baby weight I worked so hard to lose during my maternity leave. If you asked me to describe myself I would say fat and beaten down.

That’s all changing.

One bright spot has been taking my Dale Carnegie course. Being able to stand up in front of (once) strangers and speak effectively about personal matters has really boosted my spirits. Dale Carnegie’s book on worry and anxiety is really hitting home right now. Two simple statements have really made a huge impact on me since the end of October – “You can’t saw sawdust” and “Count your blessings”. It’s time for me to move on from the feelings of failure, insecurity, abandonment, etc. and start looking toward the future. Dwelling on how I’ve been let down by myself and others is getting me nowhere – at least not to any place I want to be. On top of that, I have so much for which to be thankful. Enough said.

Over the past week I’ve started walking the trail at work more regularly. Peggy and I have both gotten out of the habit. We’ve let working in separate buildings work as an excuse as to why we aren’t walking anymore. Last week, she told me that she was going to start walking again with or without me. I can’t let that happen! At almost the same time, a few of my other co-workers asked me to take walks. It’s such a gift to me. It’s nice to get to talk to people outside of work. My eating habits didn’t fall in line immediately, but the exercise makes me feel better.

I have had pictures up in my office from when Emma was born. I was at my heaviest weight then. They used to make me proud and motivate me. They were a good reminder. Over the past 9 months, they’ve had the opposite effect. When I looked at them I would have a lot of negative thoughts about myself and my hopes for the future. As of today, those pictures are gone from my sight. Mom Schmidt took a picture of me while Allison and I were home for Meridith’s wedding. I was at my smallest weight since I don’t even know when. Even though I felt like a ball of anxiety that entire trip, I look so happy and full of joy in that picture. That happiness and joy is what I want for myself. I’m getting copies of that picture laminated. I want to keep them everywhere. They will definitely keep me motivated. I guess that the fat pictures worked before because I’ve never been what I would consider thin before. Unlike other people, I didn’t have skinny pants or a skinny picture. Now, although I wasn’t at my goal weight, I have a picture from before to work as a positive motivator. Thank you, Boots!

Yesterday, Richard Simmons premiered a three hour radio talk show Sunday on Sirius radio. Danny gave me a heads-up and I caught about an hour and a half of it. I have loved Richard Simmons for a long time now. I remember his stint on General Hospital and I remember exercising with Mom when his show was on television. He is a personality to say the least and I know that he rubs some people the wrong way. One thing that can’t be denied is that he is genuine. He’s been there and he’s kind and compassionate. The portions of his show that I caught really motivated and inspired me. It also made me realize how much I miss my Weight Watcher meetings. For me, there’s just something about being with a group of people who have or are sharing your struggles. I am joining Weight Watchers again today during my lunch break. I am excited to go back! The program helps me work on my body and my self-esteem at the same time.

I am going to start this journey in a really positive way. This Friday I’m leaving for a long weekend to spend some time with Trista and her family scrapbooking. It will be time just for Jennifer. I need that every now and then. Eating while on a trip could be seen as a problem. Luckily, you really can’t eat and get much scrapbooking done. Since I haven’t started either of my girls’ scrapbooks, I’ve got too much work to do to stop to eat even for a minute. Besides, I’m looking at this as an adventure in building myself back up. I will be feeling really wonderful about myself when I get back from this trip and have stayed on program.

Not everything is related to weight. My unhappiness and lack of enthusiasm for my job is not healthy. I spend a great majority of my day at work. Through my Dale Carnegie course, I’m learning a lot about leadership. I’ve felt more fulfilled since I’ve started putting those principles into practice. I’m also – and more importantly – thinking outside of my job. I’m putting thought and effort into my next move. I might not make another move for years to come, but feeling trapped would only make things worse. What do I want to do? I can’t say that I have all of the answers, but I’m exploring more of myself. One thing I’ve always dreamed of doing is writing a novel. It’s hard to do that when you don’t spend time outside of work writing. I’m using this blog as a start. I’m writing about my family and what we enjoy doing. That’s a great start. I soon hope to start putting some ideas down on paper. You never know. I might be out on a whirlwind book tour someday soon!

Typically, January is the time of year where everyone makes resolutions to change their lives. I think that November is the perfect time for me. The season’s finally changing and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

1 comment:

Trista said...

As usual, I'm proud of you Jennifer! I support your efforts as you transition into the next season. Everyone needs to do that every once in awhile.

I look forward to receiving my autographed copy of your first novel, too! You have always been an ambitious person, and have inspired me to aim high. I can't wait to see where you're headed... I'm here to hold your hand along the journey.

- Trista :)