Category Archives: Humor

It’s been two years already??

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I can’t believe it has been two years since I started eating differently. When I looked back to find a before picture, it was shocking to me that I really couldn’t find many full-length pictures. I was always hiding behind someone else, or I had the person take a waist up picture. Now, I’m not embarrassed to be photographed at all!

I will say that I’ve been struggling with some sugar cravings lately, and I haven’t quite gotten a hold on them yet, but the great thing is that I recognize them, and I know I have the willpower to do something about it. I know now that food doesn’t have to control the way I feel about myself. I also know that staying away from those things that aren’t good for me help my mental state as well. I have more energy, and those tired, negative thoughts don’t rear their ugly heads as often. They are gone, but they happen way less often.

I started this on May 9, 2016, and here I am, still 40 pounds lighter, and much, much happier. I hope that I can maintain this mindset for years to come, and remember that food is just fuel. If I put watered down, sludgy gas in my tank, then I deserve the results I get. Only premium from here on out (except when we go on vacation because seriously).

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I’m that person?

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May 9, 2016- that’s when it all started. I needed to overhaul my eating habits to help me deal with depression, blood sugar issues, and lethargy. Fast forward to now, over a year and a half later, and I’m that person.

“Nope, I don’t eat that.” “No, thanks, I’ll have sugar free Jello with whipped cream.” Nah, I brought my own snacks.”

Yep. I’m the annoying “it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle choice” person in the room. Except for one difference- I don’t want to put it in people’s face. I try not to make a big deal. But when you’ve lost over 40 pounds, people notice, and sometimes they ask questions. What can I say? After struggling for most of my life, I finally figured out what works. For me. Not for everyone.

If you ask me questions, I’m more than happy to answer them, but most people can’t deal with what I say. No bread? No pasta? No potatoes? No rice? No cake? (You get the picture) Yes. None of that, but only for a short time. You have to figure out how to add healthy carbs back into your diet after you’ve sent yourself into ketosis. It’s a process. It’s a TOUGH process. Detoxing from sugar addiction is BULL****. You should stay away from sharp objects so that you don’t harm your family and friends. Don’t plan any road trips that will confine you with people for long periods. Nope, don’t do it.

BUT- after you get through that, it does get easier. The choices you have to make about food get easier too, but they NEVER STOP. This is probably the biggest thing I have learned. I will forever be making choices about what to eat, and I won’t always choose well. As long as I choose the good stuff over the bad most of the time, I’ll be okay. Especially if I do well with the easier choices, like sandwich thins over wheat bread, zoodles over pasta, and Jello over cheesecake (sometimes).

I didn’t want this to sound preachy, and I fear it does, but I have had enough people ask questions about my weight since I started this journey that I felt it was worth mentioning. Anyone who has known me for any length of time can tell you that I have truly struggled with weight and body image for a dog’s age and yo-yoed too many times to count. It took a complete re-examination of my habits to finally “get it”. I’m living proof that you can do it and maintain it. I have NO PROBLEM answering questions and helping with tips, so don’t hesitate to ask.

It’s the little things

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Teachers can be weird about their stuff. Lots of teachers only use certain kinds of pens. Some have to have two pieces of paper on the desk before they can write (guilty). You name it, we have preferences- dry erase markers, pencils, fonts we use, etc. Well my weirdness is customization. I love stuff that is MINE. Things that aren’t like everyone else’s stuff.

Because of this, I search for many things on Google, and I end up finding some really interesting items. Recently, I began looking for a lesson plan/gradebook for next year (I know, I’m weird). I went on Etsy and found some planners with a Harry Potter theme. WHAT?!?! I must own one of these. I found one shop that would customize my planner for a VERY reasonable price. This is important because I don’t need all the stuff elementary teachers have in their planners. Birthdays? I have 125 kids. Your list for 25 kids isn’t going to cut it. Seating charts? I have 6 classes of teenagers. That crap can change daily. Parent contacts? I have a 3 inch binder to hold all of that documentation. The 5 pages you provide won’t even last for the first nine weeks grading period.

So you can see how this customization option would appeal to me. I can buy a planner that I won’t immediately begin to tear apart to make it work. I will have a planner for next school year that is truly mine. Awesome.

I’m sharing this because I realized I have spent this school year making my space at work truly mine. My classroom is cozy, warm, and decorated to my taste. Hey, I spend all day in here! So that comfy chair I bought on Facebook Marketplace? Yeah, I need that. Table stolen out of Mom’s garage? Yep, gimme that too. But you know what, when I walk in here every day, I smile. I do! I smile! I’m in a good place, both mentally and physically. And I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts.

If you need me, I’ll be in my comfy chair writing lessons in my new planner. 🙂

Planner listing

Go here to find a cool planner!

Side Hustle

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Teaching is my passion. It’s been a roller coaster ride of emotion, but I always seem to find my way back to a place where I am truly happy with what I do. One of the reasons that I got fired up about creating my own lessons and assignments is my discovery of Teachers Pay Teachers, a place where educators can buy and sell units, worksheets, quizzes, tests, etc. At first, I just used it as a way to save time by not reinventing the wheel when I needed to spice up a stagnant lesson. It’s so much easier to pay $1-$5 (my personal spending limit) on a ready-made assignment than to spend the time to think up and type out my own.

Then my job changed, and I was going to be teaching two grades that I hadn’t for the past few years, and I had the freedom and autonomy to decide what I wanted to do with my classes. Enter TPT. I realized as I was writing these new units that I could put them on TPT and maybe make a few bucks on the side. Well, I made over $100 the first month that I started selling products. It’s not much, but it was pretty exciting each time I would hear the cash register chime on my phone. Aside from the money, the best thing that happened was that I got excited to be creative and think outside the box about what I was teaching. That used to be the norm for me, but I had gotten away from that, simply using what was already available.

It’s been almost a year since I began selling, and sometimes I only make $20 in a month, but it’s passive income from something that I was going to be creating anyway. I’m excited to try some new ideas in the coming year, and see if I can really ramp up the creativity and interaction in my own classroom!

You can visit my store here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Johnstons-Ela-Gems

Friend or foe?

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I’m not a good friend. I’ve realized this recently, and honestly, it came as a bit of a shock. I thought I was a great friend. Here is my thinking: If there is an issue in your life that involves several different people from different areas in your life, then the common denominator is you. Enter self-scrutiny.

Now, I know I’m a dark, twisty, sarcastic weirdo, but hey, I’m a hoot. And I know that I’m kind of a homebody, but I’ve been branching out a lot in the last year (read actually leaving my house). I recently had a holiday get-together, and people came, but not as many as I would have thought. Maybe it was the weather, maybe it was the flu going around, maybe people just get too busy around the holidays and I should have planned it for another time. There are a multitude of perfectly acceptable reasons why people didn’t or couldn’t come. Maybe it’s just low self-esteem? Nah!

Now I will say I was pleasantly surprised by some of the people who did come, and we had a wonderful time. I got to see some people I hadn’t seen in a while, but when you have to throw out large containers of bloody marys and sangria, clearly you over-estimated the attendance at your event.

Friendship gets harder in adulthood. Work, kids, spouse, illness, napping- all these things can prevent the best laid plans from happening. I know that I am guilty of a three year, self-imposed hibernation brought on by depression. It’s a miracle I have any friends at all after that one. I guess I just want to know what I can do to reignite the friendships that have stagnated over the years.

I’m not whining, even though it probably sounds like it, I am genuinely interested in the solution to my problem. Do I reach out more? Less? Have more opportunities for friends to get together? Simply call or text more? Seems easy enough, right? I should take my own advice, but I’ve never been good at that, even when I know what I should do. I can sure come up with a sarcastic comment about it!

Who is that old lady in the mirror?

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Who is that old lady in the mirror?

Have you ever stumbled into the bathroom in the morning, bleary-eyed and uncaffeinated, only to look up and not recognize the face staring back at you? Yeah, me too. I don’t know if it’s because we are actually having a winter in Texas this year or what, but my skin looks horrendous. Don’t even talk about the fact that my birthday is a month away. Just don’t.

I have more trouble with my skin now than I ever did when I was a teenager. And I’m such a cheapskate that I’ve been using baby soap and Cetaphil as my beauty regimen for years. Now I’m actually contemplating making purchases like lip serum for $60. What?!? Hey, I might have to go there. TJ Maxx has all kinds of fancy shmancy beauty stuff, and it’s discounted. I’ll probably start with some of that.

The weird thing about this is that I just made the decision not to color my hair and see what happens with the grays. And I’m okay with it. It doesn’t bother me. Yet. There are some gorgeous women with gray hair, and I think I could pull it off. Maybe. Maybe if my skin didn’t look like an ad for needing Proactiv or Clearasil I’d feel more confident about the grays.

There is a slight chance that all of this is a way for me to deal with the fact that my oldest daughter is beginning her last semester of high school, and every time I think about her going to college I can’t breathe. I could be focusing on my face because I can fix that, and I can’t make her stay with me forever. I can’t wrap my head around what it will be like when she goes off to find her own life in a few short months. Don’t get me wrong, I’m THRILLED for her. She has done some really hard work in the past year to get to where she is, mentally and emotionally, to make the decision to spread her wings and go away to school. I couldn’t be more proud of her.

But…

She’s so little.

😦

Back on the wagon

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Most of you know that I began a journey toward physical and mental health in May of 2016. I used the Atkins diet to help me with both because it is the right plan to help balance blood sugar and combat sugar crashes due to hypoglycemia. A great side effect is weight loss (one of the more pleasant side effects).

Recently I began to realize that I have become re-addicted to sugar as I haven’t been sticking to a strict plan because I don’t want to lose anymore weight. I know, what an awesome problem to have, right? Y’all, this sugar thing is no joke. Right before I got back on the wagon, I was craving sugar all day long. All I could think about was sweets. And it doesn’t help that my wonderful students gave me quite the array of chocolate and baked goods for Christmas. I had to eat them. I don’t want to hurt the kids’ feelings!

So as soon as I returned to work on January 2nd, I was determined to detox. I find that can control my food environment WAY better at work than at home. I have been meal planning for the last month and a half, so I just started planning my work breakfasts and lunches as well. Yesterday, I got to work in the kitchen pre-making all my food for this week. I made Cauliflower Breakfast Muffins (photo and recipe included below), tuna salad, and a Sausage and Cabbage Skillet meal (photo and recipe included) that fed us last night and made me 3 lunches for work. Never mind that I almost destroyed our kitchen in a sugar detox rage when I realized we didn’t have any mushrooms for another recipe I had planned to make. We’ll just concentrate on the positive.

I’m beginning this week with high hopes that no one brings cupcakes (like they did last week) or brownies to work. Hopefully I can spare my sweet family anymore sugar rages, but I make no promises.Cauliflower Breakfast MuffinsHere’s the recipe and the link if you want to save itKielbasa and Sausage SkilletI’ve included this link as well. Enjoy!