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To say it’s been a hell of a summer would be an understatement for sure.  I feel like I’m FINALLY beginning to relax and truly savor our glorious weather a little.  Getting abruptly cut from my job back in mid May, the ensuing job search, some drama with my unemployment benefits claim, the trip to Indy which I thought would result in an FTE job at their Seattle branch and getting me off the 8-year contractor merry go round…to now land in a (contract) job which is great on paper, but not where I truly think I should be right now.

I admit I have these thoughts in my head while in meetings and getting to know my new co-workers.  Thoughts like “I’m not supposed to be here!!  I’m supposed to be at [name of company]!!”  I feel like an impostor sometimes.  A poser.  Just going through the motions.  Feeling a little restless, unsettled and off-balance.  And it’s not my co-workers’ faults at ALL.  They’re GREAT.  A very hard working, energetic and somewhat nutty team.  That works for me!   Heck, I don’t even have the same manager after just three weeks.  That’s how fast this group moves.  Oh and if you’re easily offended, stay away from the offices near mine.  That other group drops F bombs like they’re going out of style.  Not in a hostile way though.  Kind of funny.

So I’m trying hard to be positive, get engaged and learn learn learn.  That’s the typical ramping up process when you do short-term consulting engagements.  Find out where you can contribute and add value right away.  Geez, I could write a fucking book about all of this.  Guess those F bomb-dropping neighbors are rubbing off on me.  Actually no…I’ve always had a potty mouth streak.

What’s kept me grounded through my stress this summer?  The Lean Eating for Women program I officially wrapped up in July.  Good nutrition habits.  Good exercise habits. Things we learned gradually over the last 12 months.  I learned that trying to do everything new or different all at once sets us up for failure and getting overwhelmed.  I missed my workout yesterday?  Well fuck it, that means I won’t work out the rest of the week.  Ever have that “all or nothing” mindset?  Yep, me too.  Rather, in Lean Eating we start very small practicing just one habit for a couple of weeks and then add on another.  That’s why the program is a full year in length.  There’s time built in to incorporate all of what we need, when we need it.

I’ve learned about taking action rather than “wondering and worrying”.  Meaning, what can I do RIGHT NOW to set myself up for success, whether that means planning my exercise and food prep for the upcoming week, or doing something about what’s bothering me.  What did I do when I worried about being out of work?  [Believe me, when you’re out of work there’s that terror of wondering how long it’s going to be.  Is my next job offer coming tomorrow?  6 months from now?  A year?]  And that can burn a lot of cycles for sure.  I learned that sometimes all the action I could take was to make sure I had a communications plan in place for the next day, next week, etc.  I’d review my job search log (kept on a spreadsheet) and mark who I needed to contact or email to follow up on a networking call or to follow-up with a recruiter on how a phone screen went a couple of days prior.  And I’d note new contacts to reach out to, or company websites to review for their open job positions.

I “officially” dropped 36 lbs (16.3 kg) in the 12 month PN/LE program timeframe.  But I’m not done yet, my body is telling me.  People often ask me “so now that you’re ‘done,’ what do you do?”  The answer is simple:  the same damn stuff I learned to do in the 12 months prior!  Keep doing the habits, keep practicing the workouts!  I’m still in the gym 5-6 nights a week and practicing good eating and nutrition habits.  My weight has dropped another 6 lbs since, and I’m still noticing shifts in my body and how my clothes fit. So we’re down 42 lbs now (19 kg).  Stuff I bought when the clothes from last year were too loose to be effectively worn anymore are now even getting loose themselves!  WORKOUT gear is getting a little looser too.  Kind of funny to have to pull up your yoga pants between weight lifting sets…anyone handy with sewing so I can put a string tie around my waist?

But it’s not just about the number on the scale.  I haven’t just lost weight.  I’ve gained muscle tone.  I have some biceps emerging now, my lats are getting stronger and my legs are in the best shape of my life.  I can wear shorts and sleeveless tops and feel pretty toned and confident.  I’m 47, not 25, keep in mind, but I do think I’m holding up alright.

And still shifting.