Falling into Place

There are several things happening in my life right now, which can be a little overwhelming at times. I am trying to remain focused on what is important to me and where I want to go on my journey. I have completed two weeks of my externship and am starting the third week tomorrow (there are a total of 5 weeks). Once I have completed this, I will have everything that I need to get my license and will have graduated from the program. While I am not fully enamored with the field of pharmacy, I made a committment to finish this program, and I will. Once that is done, it looks like I will be able to move into a full-time position in my current store and not have to worry about moving to a different location. This makes me incredibly happy for so many reasons.

Things have been financially tight for me for some time. Ever since I was laid off over 2 years ago, I have been struggling to keep my head above water, never more so than in the last 5 months. Thankfully I had financial aid to help with my expenses in addition to my part-time job, as well as some incredibly generous friends who really helped me out and took care of me. I have been very stressed about what was going to happen after March when I no longer have any additional funding to supplement my part-time job. Thankfully it looks like this really shouldn’t be a huge issue any longer. As long as everything goes the way it looks like its going to, I should be able to meet my expenses and look at started to put together some savings.

In addition to all of this, I kicked off the next phase of my fitness plan a little early and started training for a 5K today. I have walked in numerous 5Ks over the years, but have never run one. Really, I have never run anything! I started the C25K program about 2 years ago, but had a difficult time running more than 30 seconds at a time, let alone the minute that you are supposed to start with. At the time I had been walking 2-5 miles daily for about 3 months and weighed a few pounds more than I weigh now. This time I am using a slightly different program through Sparkpeople.com and had no problem running the one minute intervals required in today’s training plan. This reinforces for me that I am in probably the best shape of my life right now even though I still have a long way to go. But I know that I will be able to reach my goals this time around.

I feel like things have really started to fall into place for me over the last 6 months or so. I love my job, I get along great with my roommate, and my goals are starting to crystallize. The positive trends that I am seeing in my life, and the fact that things seem to be coming together right when I need them to, is telling me that I am making the right decisions (for the most part) and am on the right path for my journey. It feels like I have been struggling up a hill for a long time and I am finally reaching the summit… and I have to tell you the view is amazing!

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Updates and Pant Sizes

I have now successfully completed my first week of my extern. I have 4 more weeks to go. I really haven’t changed my mind about the direction of my future, but am realizing that the position I am expecting at my current job may not be instantly available when I am ready for it, which scares me. I absolutely need to be working full-time by mid-March in order to meet my financial obligations and pay my rent for April. So in addition to everything I have going on right now, I am also starting to hunt for a full-time position, at least temporarily to see me through. But that is really not the focus of where I am right now…

Over the last week my exercise really took a hit as I tried to adjust to the schedule of my extern site. I am not a morning person, so switching to an early morning start was very difficult and I was extremely tired most of the time. Once I completed my shift at the hospital, I really didn’t want to worry about exercise. This really isn’t working for me!! I had great workouts Saturday and Sunday and am planning to head over to the gym a little later today (after getting some cleaning and laundry done around the house). I also planned out my exercise for the week, which has me getting off at the gym rather than taking the bus all the way home. I will be putting in at least 30 minutes of cardio on the treadmill each day, then will be adding either 30 minutes of strength or 30 additional cardio minutes on either the bike or the elliptical everyday except on the night I work this week. This isn’t quite as much as I was doing in January, but I had more hours available then.

I did have an amazing event this week, at least in my opinion! Yesterday I realized that I didn’t have any clean pants to wear to work because I had been too busy/ tired to do laundry. There was a pair of pants at the back of my closet that I had bought a size smaller many years ago but could never fit into. They even still had the tags attached. Anyway, I really didn’t think they would fit, but thought I would try them on for the heck of it… they fit! In a pant size that I can’t even remember the last time I wore (high school definitely and maybe my early 20’s?). It felt really good to zip them up! I felt like dancing around laughing and screaming. I still have a lot of work left to do, but it feels so good to be on the right track, and it’s really motivated me to keep going. Sometimes I think that non-scale victories are the best!

Last night I noticed something that I have never seen before at my gym. On the wall over the windows that face the street are 3 big signs: “Believe in Yourself” “Push Your Limits” and “Change Your Body”. I am really surprised that I never noticed them before as I left the club or waited for Zumba class. They are awesome and just some of the phrases that I have included in my own vision collage. And combined with the smaller pant size, really helped to reinforce that I am on the correct path.

The Next Phase

Tomorrow I will be starting my 5 week (200 hour) externship to complete my training as a pharmacy technician. I am really hoping that the next 5 weeks go by fairly quickly and I can finish everything and graduate. Once I graduate I feel like my life will be my own again. To be perfectly honest, I am not all that enthralled by the whole pharmacy thing. Some of it is interesting, but I just don’t see it as a place that I want to spend the next 5 years of my life until I am ready to devote myself full-time to my dream career. But I am committed to finishing the program and I will. I will do my absolute best during my externship, graduate and get my license, but I don’t think that I will be seeking employment in the field. I am leaning more towards sticking with my current company and moving into a full-time supervisory position. I have already spoken with the powers that be about this and it is definitely an option for me, so I think that’s the option that I want to take.

Of course I am saying all of this before I have even set foot into a pharmacy to actually work. Maybe I’ll love it and change my mind. Maybe I’ll hate it and reinforce my decision. Or maybe I will continue to be indifferent to the whole thing, which would also reinforce my decision. With this type of attitude you may be wondering why I even started this program. In the beginning I really had no idea how I would feel about it. I was in a state of flux and needed something to change in my life, a friend suggested this and I decided to pursue it. I loved the first sequence which is all anatomy and physiology, but once we got into the actual pharmacy stuff my interest waned. But I have quit so many different degree programs, so I made a promise that I would complete this one.

The program has really done a lot for me though. It introduced me to two amazing friends, who I will always cherish (as well as some other friends too). It helped me define what it is I really want to do with my life (my job also helped with this). Without going to school, I would not have applied for the job that I have (which I love) or moved in with my roommate (who is awesome). So while I am not enthralled with the world of pharmacy (or the school I attended), I am extremely grateful that I made the decision to enter the program because it has helped me to find the right path and has brought me to the place where I am now.

I am very excited about my future, but anxious for it to begin. I have so many things that I want to accomplish and I finally feel like I can and will accomplish them!

Have you ever gone down a road with one destination in mind, only to find that it has led you to a completely different place?

Blogging Re-Boot

Its been a while since I’ve posted to this blog… and I could make all kinds of excuses as to why that is, but here is the truth. I was attempting to make this blog into something more that it is because I though that would get more people to read it, and I really want people to read it. I was trying to plan it all out and model it after other blogs that I’ve seen or read, but that’s not me and not what this blog is really supposed to be about. The blog is supposed to be about my journey and my quest to live healthier and lose weight. It’s not about product reviews and businesses in Seattle, it’s about the day in, day out work that goes into being me, living my life.

So, here’s a re-boot on this blog. This is me! I am 40 years old, single and living in Seattle, WA. I love Disney, Harry Potter, romance, butterflies, waterfalls and cats. I have some great friends in the virtual world and in the real world. I currently weight 185.6 lbs, which is a lot on my 5’1″ frame. I have lost almost 30lbs so far on this journey. Right now for cardio, I walk, use the stationary bike & elliptical, plus dance and do Zumba. I also do strength training at home. I belong to a gym and try to get there at least 3 times a week, but sometimes go less (and other times more).

I am getting ready to start an externship on Monday at Seattle Children’s Hospital as a Pharmacy Technician. I am nervous and excited about it, but mostly because I just want to get the program over with already. I have gone back to school multiple times in my life and never finish, so I promised myself and the people in my life that I would finish this program, even though my heart really isn’t in it. My heart is really into preparing for a career in the fitness industry as a certified Weight-Loss and Lifestyle Coach so that I can help people who have gone through life dealing with many of the same issues that I have. But I need to work full-time again and need to support myself, so it’s either try to get a full-time job where I currently work (at The Vitamin Shoppe) or get a full-time job somewhere else. I would really rather stay where I am right now, because it is more inline with what I want to do in the future, plus opens up potential contacts in the fitness world. But I am committed to finishing this program, so for at least the next 5 weeks, I will be focused on pharmacy.

At this point, I know that I am going to be incredibly busy with my externship and work. I am hoping to be able to continue my exercise routine at a level close to what it is now, but know that I might have to step it down a little for the time being. This makes me a little sad, but I just keep reminding myself that its only for 5 weeks. I can handle just about anything for 5 weeks, right?

So there it is, I will not be trying to come up with witty product reviews or locations to visit here in Seattle, but I will share my journey with you and let you know what is working and what isn’t in my life. It is still all about balance for me, and the initial construction of this blog was throwing me a little off-balance, but now things are more in line with my purpose. I will definitely share any products I try that I love and will absolutely mention any places to visit that I think are worth it, but I am not going to seek them out for the sole purpose of this blog. I do, however plan to join the Healthy Lifestyle Bloggers soon and am really interested in a Foodie Pen Pal program that one of my friends has mentioned several times in her blog.

In the meantime, I hope that everyone who is reading this is well and happy and working on your own healthy journey. I will share more of my journey as we travel through the year. I have goals and dreams and big plans for the future, and I want to share them all with you along the way.