Change is comin’

I have an ear worm in my brain.  I keep hearing the John Cougar song “Jack and Diane”, and not the whole thing…just the bridge in the middle.  You know that line, “Holdin’ on to 16 as long as you can, change is comin’ ’round real soon, make us women and men.” Over and over again, all day long.

As a kid, I had it on a single LP and I played it on repeat in my room day after day.  And partly, because of that song, I used to dread getting older.  Nothing could be worse, I thought, than being a woman.  All that work.  All that responsibility.  All that change.

Who would want that?

Years later, I remember the hearing it play on the radio and thinking that life was over because I was on the other side of the lyric.   I was now 18 or 19…

I had to grow up.

Damn.

If I try to draw any parallels to “change” coming in 2017, they fail.  I mean, really.  We had plenty of change in 2016.  And in 2015.  And plenty more even before that.  Every year of my “adult” life has been laughably riddled with change – my kids get older, cooler, crazier.  My marriage morphs into something new, with memories in the rear view that are (mostly) good.  And don’t even get me started on my body.

I know that the year ahead will bring even more change. We are going to have to decide where to live after our year of resort living ends.  We want to travel and expose our kids to new places, new people, new cultures and new food.   My Meetjax project will change into something new. We want to get a handle on our finances.  We want to grow our Rodan + Fields business.  I’d really like to get my body back.

Heck, even this new year’s eve is going to be a big change for me and my tribe.  (For the first time since I have been married, I will be spending new years at home with HH, instead of spending it with him at a concert, or alone with the kiddos because I gave him a nudge and a ticket to go on without me.)

It all feels very grown up.

And that is good.

For me, the year ahead is filled with wide open possibility. I know that when it is behind me, things will look very differently than they do now.

Change is coming.

I am holdin’ on, but not to the past.

I am holdin’ on, ready for another year, ready to embrace the change.

Bring on 2017!

Wishing you a very safe and joyous new year’s eve celebration and all the best for your best year yet.

Thanks for reading,

Jennifer

 

 

 

 

 

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Deja vu

Guess who gained 5 lbs. back over the last 2 weeks?!?

this-girl

I guess that 2017 is going to be my year.

Jennifer

 

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Moving in the right direction

Guess who finally lost 5 lbs!?!

this-girl

Yes, it turns out that one week of near militant control over my eating has resulted in a little dip in my weight.  Better yet, I was able to enjoy 3 glasses of wine over the course of the week, so I do not feel like I was left on the sidelines of several holiday parties.

I am now on week two of my shakes with Juice Plus and meals with Kathy’s Table.  Having go-to options has been a BIG help.

I know that it will take as long to lose as it took to gain (if I am doing it right), so I am not looking for another stellar week this upcoming week, but at least SOMETHING is happening.

Thanks for reading.

~Jennifer

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Changed/unchanged

I think the harder I try, the worse off I am.  I have been taking on this effort literally minute by minute, making choices to eat, or not eat, one item at a time.  And when I look at the items I have avoided, I am pretty proud of myself. I skipped the mediocre buffet lunch.  I did not have the cookie.  I am drinking the shakes instead of a meal.  I am taking my vitamins.  I am walking.  This is great!  Something should be happening!?!

The scale has not moved.  Not one ounce.  Not even a fraction of an ounce.

So then I start thinking about the things I did eat.  The glass of wine I had at the party. The dessert I had as a reward for not eating the bread or potatoes.  And even though I made better choices, they are not enough.

I am going to have to make the best choice, every time.

I will say it again.

Ug.

 

~Jennifer

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Day 9 is fine.

I am not sure if I am technically losing weight, but my clothes do not feel any looser.  In fact, I feel bigger than I did a week ago. But, there are victories in making better choices even if it doesn’t feel better.  My heart is happier.  My liver is happier. Eventually, my waistline will catch up.  I could proudly report that I:

  • Got grilled chicken instead of fried chicken to top my salad at lunch.
  • Skipped the croutons and the creamy dressing all together.
  • Did not have the last Krispy Kreme doughnut which sat outside my office door…all…day…long.  (This was HARD.)

I also had my first Juice plus shakes over the last two days.  I used our trusty Ninja (which by the way is totally worth the hype) to blend yesterday’s vanilla powder with skim milk and ice.  It tasted like cake batter and not in a good way. It was not what I wanted for breakfast when I am used to scrambled eggs and bacon.

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And then I had an epiphany.  My eating falls apart most days after 4 pm.  I am HANGRY, tired and want all of the (junk food) things.  So, instead of making the shake my choice at breakfast, why not try a shake for dinner instead?

Today, I went back to real food for breakfast.  I had a salad for lunch and a couple of fruit leathers for a snack.  (I get these at Publix in the Greenwise section, but Amazon sells them too and they are cheaper in bulk.)  Then for dinner, while I was cooking up cheeseburgers and tater tots for the boys (they also get veggies and fruit), I went with the shake instead.  This seems so obvious now!  I was able to avoid arguement with myself about whether I have a burger too, and do I have it with a bun, or cheese or catsup…  This was SO much easier.

As for the taste, I doctored it up with a frozen banana and used water instead of milk and it tasted way better.  And now, at 6:30 pm, I am full and able to safely avoid having to make any choices for the rest of the night.

This could work.

I will weigh in again tomorrow.  Maybe I will be surprised, but even if the number is the same, at least I now feel like I have a game plan.

Onward to the closet!

Thanks for reading.

~Jennifer

 

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Holding. (Day 7)

I would consider not gaining weight in the last two days a victory and because of that, I will consider losing 1 lb. a miracle.  I know that slow and steady wins the race, so I will go slow.  I will go steady.

I will avoid temptation and eating like a normal person should.  I will have a protein rich breakfast.  I will move during the day.  I will make sure I have 250 steps each hour, thanks to my gizmo.  Even better, I will take the stairs.  I will not get a mid-afternoon pick-me-up snack.  I will choose fruit.  I will choose water.  I will choose better.

And tomorrow, I will try again to do even better than that.

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Get back into my clothes: Day 5

Thanksgiving has come and gone. While I enjoyed a smidge of all of the Thanksgiving treats, I avoided SO many temptations.  While my family enjoyed pancakes or sausage, I did not have the them Thursday morning.  I skipped the doughnuts on Black Friday.  I stopped at one glass of wine at dinner  I did not go back for seconds of anything.

Moreover, I got in nearly 12,000 steps each day.  I did crunches.  I got a good nights rest.

And yet, when I stepped on the scale today, I was actually up a half of a pound.

This is going to be harder than I thought.

 

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March back (in)to my closet: day 1

It is the day of reckoning, so to speak.  The Fit Bit Blaze showed up today so I was able to track my first 25  minutes of exercise.  (By the way, did you know that it will share your text messages too?  How cool is that?!)

I ordered a salad, with the dressing on the side, for lunch and I ate a light dinner too. I had a handful of Craisins for a snack. I did crunches and tried to do a push up.

I have a 40 day plan of attack and it involves a HUGE amount of mental ju-ju, but I can get it done.

I will NOT be buying a new wardrobe.

I will be back in my clothes by the first of the new year.

If you want to join me, PM me on Twitter at @ImJenChapman.

Day two tomorrow!

Thanks for reading!

~Jennifer

 

 

 

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Getting fit…again

I am at my wit’s end.  I matched three months of daily exercise with weekly, er…daily indulgences of Halloween candy, wine and cheese, junk food and more.

I now weigh more than I have weighed in several years.  While the number bothers me, I think what bothers me more is the fact that I cannot wear most of the clothes in my closet. I only have 2 pairs of pants that (barely) fit and I have resorted to wearing several knit dresses that have plenty of give, coupled with sweaters, jackets and scarfs to try to hide my extra pounds.

I have to do something.

I am going to give this whole getting fit/healthy/smaller a go again.  My timing is interesting, right?  Why not start a healthy eating program the week of Thanksgiving?   The reality of my situation is that if I don’t do something, I am going to have to go buy a new wardrobe, which will put a serious dent in the Christmas budget and be a major downer on my holiday season.

So here goes!

I am going to try the 10 day shred with Juice Plus.  The plan is 10 days of Whole 30 like eating for 1-2 meals a day and then a shake in place of the other meals.  It is also coupled with exercise and accountability from a group of other people doing it.

The shakes and the capsules from Juice Plus are a new thing for me. (I really like to eat, so I am nervous about having a shake in the place of a meal, but I am game for anything at this point.)    As I have written before, I love the way I feel after I do a Whole 30.  I also really like the fact that there is nothing to buy.  It is a completely sustainable way to live.  BUT,  I am not making great choices on my own and I need to get things turned around quickly.  My plan is to drink the shakes daily and then after the 10 days, eat Whole30 meals more than I am now.  I am also going to allow myself the occasional holiday indulgences like wine because I am not a masochist. (The planning and restriction that Whole30 requires is too much for this time of the year.  I am not going to for perfect. I am going for easy and do-able.)

I also need to get some idea about how my fitness levels are improving.  While I have been more active in the last few months thanks to the #yearofresortliving, I am not sure I making myself any healthier.

I am going to get back to tracking myself and purchase the Fit Bit Blaze.  It is a little more sophisticated that the Fit Bit Flex and more importantly, the Blaze has a buckle on the back, so hopefully I cannot lose it!  (In the last 2 years, I have lost 3 Fit Bits, all with the button clasp, and a Jawbone.  I went back and forth on which device to get, since I loved both of the devices, and but I admit that the fact that so few people use the Jawbone was a problem for me.  I need the peer pressure of friends and coworkers participating in weekly challenges to get me going.  I only have one friend who uses a Jawbone, so I am going back to Fit Bit.)  I will resume my early morning power walks which are a heck of a lot more enjoyable now that the sun is up at 6:30 am instead of 7:30 am, but I will hopefully be able to see if I am truly getting a work out.

Hopefully, before the end of the year, I am back in my clothes.

Wish me luck!

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What do you do?

“What do you do?”  When the lovely woman seated to my right at a luncheon asked me this question, my friend on the left chuckled out loud.

“Good luck answering that, Jennifer!”

It wasn’t because I don’t know, but because I do several things and I am never quite sure what to say.  This blog post is the result of trying to come up with an answer.

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Here goes.

My job: I run the Florida public affairs department of a Boston-based financial services company.  I spend my time working with elected officials from around the state, local non-profits, civic organizations, and other business leaders.  On any given day, I might be talking to a State representative about a bill, arranging a team service event for a group of volunteers, attending a Chamber of Commerce meeting, visiting with a member of Congress or their staff, or communicating with our associates about something going on in our area.  I often travel around the US for meetings and conferences.  I work with some of the smartest, most dedicated folks I know and for that reason and a whole bunch more, I love this job.  In March, 2017, I will have been at it for 10 years and, in my opinion, there is no better job for me.

My “side-gig”: If you move past my full time job, the next logical answer to the “what do you do?” question is my business.  While I have had some small money-makers on the side over the years, my Rodan + Fields business is a real business that suits my life. And, I love being the skincare lady!  I sell anti-aging products and tools, as well as items for acne, sensitive skin, sun damage and, as of this week, an eyelash product called “Lash Boost” that is blowing up my business. R+F has not only provided a reliable stream of revenue for our family, but has helped me be more confident, expanded my vision for our family’s future, and grown my circle of friends. I spend between 5 and 10 hours a week on my business, usually in small chunks of time – 15 minutes putting orders in, 30 minutes chatting with a prospective consultant who is considering joining my team, an hour of training once a week, etc., and I usually do my work after the kids are in bed or while I am in the car driving to an appointment or soccer practice.  Direct selling has come a long way from the days of home parties (I don’t do them) with garages full of inventory you have to pre-order and deliver (my products are drop-shipped by the corporate office/warehouse when they are purchased).  I have found that the people who have jumped into this type of business in recent years are smart, friendly, socially and technologically savvy people who are trusted by their circle of influence. It is a fun time to be in direct sales.

#Meetjax:  This summer, I started “Meet” (which may or may not be the final name) or #Meetjax, as it has come to be called.  I score folks coffee dates with an awesome person they didn’t know they needed to know.  There are three rules:  1.) You cannot pitch or sell anything, 2.) you cannot flirt, and 3.) you cannot know who you are going to meet until you get there. The response has been thrilling! Dozens of people have signed up and most of those have either come back for more or referred their friends to do it too.   This is my night time guilty pleasure; it is what I do instead of binge watch tv. 😉  I am really excited to see where this goes next.

Family stuff: Not to be overlooked, the second largest amount of stuff I do (after my full time job) is related to being a wife, mom, daughter and sister.  HH (Handsome Hubby) and I have 3 kiddos, known here as Vader, Splash and Turtle.  I am also excited to have 2 of my sisters and their families close by, as well as my mom who just retired and moved here this summer!  It is the bee’s knees. I am sure my daily to-do list looks a lot like yours: soccer, flag football, parent teacher conferences, school fundraisers, holiday gatherings, milestone events and such.

Other: As a volunteer, I currently chair the Early Learning Coalition of Duval and participate annually as a member of the selection committee for Leadership Jacksonville’s Adult Program.  As a representative of my company, I am on the board of trustees of the Florida Chamber Foundation and serve as the co-chair of the policy committee for the Jax Chamber.  I have also invested some time into the effort to open a Sudbury School in Northeast Florida although I admit, I have moved that to the back burner as my kids are all excelling in their current school.

Other other: As my mentor Audrey told me once, “You do better when you have a couple of new projects.” This is so true.  Over the last few years and with great intention, I sunset my roles with several wonderful non-profits and set the table for some new things in my life.  HH and I moved from our suburban home to a suburban apartment closer to the kids’ school and my office.  We are trying to live a leaner, cleaner life, which equates to buying less, purging what we already have, taking advantage of shared amenities and spending less time in the car.  I am reading more, walking more, inviting people over more, and sleeping more…sometimes.  This is our #YearOfResortLiving.  

I also realized that I wanted to connect more with the people I know.  #Jensquestions is result.  Monday through Friday, I post a different question on my Facebook page (Twitter is lagging, but I keep trying).  The answers delight, amaze and inform me about the marvelous people in my circle in a way that is just not possible in the limited amount of time we have to interact in person.  (The questions are always set to “public” on Facebook, so even if we don’t know each other personally, I welcome your replies too!)

That’s what I do. 🙂

Thanks for reading.

Jennifer

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