New Year, New Rules

Oh no! Another New Years resolution blog post! Yes! And no. 

Sure, I have goals, but this year I decided to set some new rules for myself. 

1) Be in bed, phone off, by 9:30. This ensures I get at least eight hours of sleep. I’ve been doing this for the past several days, and what a difference! I can think more clearly, I’m more focused, and I have more energy, but not in a manic, shakey, caffeine way.

2) No more caffeine. With getting more sleep, I’m finding I need less caffeine anyway, but the biggest motivation is the cost. We are a one-income family with two mortgages (anyone want to buy our beautiful lakefront house in Newport News, VA?), and my crippling Starbucks habit is NOT helping. I finished draining the money available in my app, then deleted it. 

Also, caffeinated beverages don’t really boost my energy anymore, and just kind of make me irritable. 

3) No more Facebook. It’s another crippling addiction. Since I deactivated my account a week ago, I’ve had more time to not just clean, but declutter and organize. Plus, I occasionally get angry about stuff, and I post it to Facebook, causing lots of butt hurt. Which brings me to…

4) Write it in a journal. When I post about how I really feel about things, people’s widdile feewings get hurt. Overly sensitive people can’t get their feelings hurt if I write how I feel in a journal. 

5) No more shopping from my phone. I buy a lot more crap than I need when I can jump on the app and hit “buy now.” You may remember I mentioned that we’re a one-income family with two mortgages. We can’t exactly afford for me to get whatever shiny catches my eye. So as soon as I get my last few books I ordered in, I’m deleting my Amazon and Ebates apps. 

Now don’t misunderstand, I plan to still shop online. It’s just now, I have to do it from my slow, frustrating computer. 
So there you have it, my rules for the rest of my life. I have other goals for the year in motion already, and I’ll post about them as I find motivation 😊


When your washer dies… 

Our washing machine has been making screeching noises for months now, but not every time we washed laundry. We thought we had more time with our machine. 

Yesterday, after the drum filled with dirty clothes, water, and laundry soap, the washer started to start agitating… and SCREECH! Then silence. Then black smoke. I immediately unplugged the washer, to HOPEFULLY keep my house from burning down. 
I’m screwed, right? We can’t call a repair person until Monday, but I can’t leave a load of laundry sitting in water either. Then I remembered my grandma and my great aunt (my grandma’s sister in law, who was like a blood sister, and they served in the Air Force together, and raised babies together. More on those amazing women another time) talking about washing clothes in the bathtub. What did I have to lose?  I jumped on YouTube for further instructions. 
Right off the bat, I ran into a problem. A couple problems, actually. We don’t own a plunger (we left ours at our previous house last summer), an our bathtub doesn’t plug. 
After running to Home Depot for a plunger (and a Christmas tree!), I set to work, um, this morning because I like my sleep, agitating the laundry IN the dead washer with my new plunger. 

Why yes, I am in my pajamas, and yes, that is bed hair. 
I plunged, and plunged, and stirred, and plunged, until the water was really dirty (probably about 20 minutes. Gonna have some big shoulders after this!). 

The bathtub may not plug, but it does have clean, hot water, and it can actually drain, unlike my dead washer. So, one by one, I pulled clothes out of the dirty water, squeezed out the excess water, then plopped them in a bucket for transport to my bathtub. 

Since the bucket wasn’t very big, I have to make two trips. I rinsed the first batch, then carried it back to the dryer. Then I repeated with the second batch. 

Fun times! 

The key here is to keep moving the item around and keep rinsing until the water runs clear. 
Once everything was rinsed, I threw it all in my (still working for now) dryer. Yay modern technology! 
I’m not sure if I’m going to wash laundry in this manner (after fixing the plug in the bathtub, of course), but it’s good to know that I can, and I know I saved the money and time of dragging it all to the laundry mat! 
Have you ever washed your clothes in a bathtub? 

I’m on FIRE!!

Yesterday I ran three miles. Okay, it was 60% walking, but the rest was running. It didn’t hurt. This is HUGE. 

Today I ran three miles. It was almost ten minutes faster, because I ran that much more! I still walked, but the improvement is there. 

I wanted to find my trainer and give him a gross, sweaty hug. His program, based on his physical therapy training, is WORKING. Fortunately for him, I didn’t find him. 

Stronger, faster, getting better every day. I want to cry, I’m so happy. 

My knees ache now, several hours after my run, but it’s bringing back memories of when I easily ran twice today’s distance. Yes, good memories are associated with my achy knees. 

For the first time in almost a year, I have hope. And it feels SO GOOD! 
Ice and oils tonight (yes, I jumped on the essential oils bandwagon), early to bed, easy walk and yoga tomorrow. 


The Eusta Bee

There’s this annoying insect that buzzes around my brain. I call it “the Eusta Bee.”

The Eusta Bee keeps you focused on what you used to be.

“I used to be strong.”

“I used to be tough.”

“I used to not complain.”

“I used to dig deeper.”

My poor trainer. Unfortunately he had to listen to the noise of the Eusta Bee during our session today. Despite lifting heavier than when I started working with him almost a month ago, despite having a LOT more strength and stability in my knee, the Eusta Bee’s buzzing prevented me from focusing on what I’m accomplishing NOW.

Shut up, Eusta Bee. I’m strong now. I’m tough now. I dig deep now.



The Beginning, Again

Once upon a time, there was a mom.



She was a martial artist.



She was a runner, and an athlete.



She amazed herself more every day with what her body and mind could do.


One night, during her tae kwon do class, she got injured. To be fair, the flip looked amazing, and it was pretty darn cool that at her age and size, she was able to flips in the first place. But a wrong landing was about to rock her world, and destroy everything she worked for.

After fighting with military medical personnel, she finally got the surgery to repair her torn ACL.



Surprisingly, the surgery wasn’t the hard part. The hard part was everything after. Using the bathroom was hard. Bathing was hard. Trusting her knee enough to put weight on it, walking with crutches, walking without crutches, physical therapy, all difficult.

But the most difficult thing of all, was the toll it took on her mind and spirit. From softball in middle school, cross country in high school, joining the army at 17, getting out at 25 and getting certified as a personal trainer, all those races, the miles, the hours, the obstacles, she was always an athlete. A fat athlete, but an athlete. Struggling with things that used to come easy quickly wore her spirit down. Not being able to do tae kwon do and not being able to run, nearly destroyed any hope she had left of having a life worth living (as opposed to just existing).

Fast-forward to almost a year after the injury, and nine months since surgery, and that former athlete is finally seeing some tiny glimmer of hope that she can be an athlete again.

“You’re not broken,” her trainer, who was helping her further her rehabilitation, said one session, when the mom started to wonder why she was still doing this. “Why try?” she said, “I’m broken and these workouts aren’t getting any easier. I feel like I’m not progressing.”

Her trainer assured her she was, but it wasn’t until last week that she realized she really was getting stronger. She was getting so strong, and improving so much that her trainer encouraged her to start training for a race. Not a marathon, obviously, not yet anyway, but a 5K fun run.


So here we are, 11 months after the night I failed at a flip, and 9 months after surgery, and I am publicly proclaiming my intention to run a half-marathon by my birthday next April. It will be a million times harder this time around than the last couple times, but I need something to work toward to keep my spirits up. Someone hold me to this.

Oh, and yes I’m aware my pictures are sideways. I have no idea how to fix it in the limited time I have. Since moving to the boonies, my internet is spotty at best, so I’m actually writing this blog in a Starbucks at 8:30 at night (when I should be at home getting the kids in bed). Eventually, I’ll have a good internet day and I will fix my pictures then. If I didn’t hammer out this post before I start training tomorrow, I wasn’t going to get this post posted at all (see: the last year where I broke my knee, had surgery, watched my oldest get his black belt, went on a cross-country road trip by myself and another with my kids, and a cross-country move and me getting a trainer, and none of it was blogged about).

If you read this whole post, thanks! My blog and its posts will get more polished, and SHORTER as I get better at this 🙂



Ugh, Halloween

Really torn right now. We don’t celebrate Halloween, but our church is having a “trunk-or-treat,” which I have considered going to. I want to go because I like the people at my church and I’d like to at least stop by and say hi. But if we go, I’d feel obligated to put costumes on my children (which would be participating in something we don’t celebrate), and then what about the candy? I would hate to throw it away, and I sure don’t want us to eat ALL of it (a couple pieces are fine, but not every day for a month). Really, I could send it to Dave’s work, but I’m sure his co-workers (who all have kids) would be doing the same thing, and I would sure feel bad about fattening up a bunch of soldiers.

So basically I want to go to a Halloween party to see my friends but I don’t want to get dressed up or bring candy home, which seems unfair to the kids, who would have no choice but to go with me. Yes they’d see their friends, but the friends would be dressed up and bringing home candy. I hate Halloween.


Oh My Goodness NaNoWriMo!!

Only one week until the 2013 National Novel Writing Month starts! Never mind that I haven’t finished a novel yet or hit my 50k words in the previous years, I still get excited like it’s Christmas or something. Well, if Christmas involved hundreds of hours of writing as fast as I can about things that kind of make up a plot, and all the frustration and writer’s block that occurs…

I’m a bright-eyed optimist who believes that THIS is the year I finish all 50,000 words! Even though my track record would say otherwise…

Yay, ellipsis… Ha ha!


Um, Wow…

What do you get when you cross a long-distance move, a month living in a hotel, an ever-changing closing date on your house, improvements to said house, four kids and homeschooling in a rather homeschool unfriendly state?

Fifteen or more squishy pounds. I’m right back to where I started.

It’s humiliating, but my clothes are pretty forgiving so I didn’t notice too much. More than anything, I feel sluggish and I miss the gym. I had a hard time finding a gym with childcare, and I held off on joining the gym I could find because the child care started too late in the morning.

Sure, I could workout at home, but I DO NOT have the self-discipline to work out at home. I belong in a gym. Today I decided that I would suck it up and join a gym, going in the afternoon instead of the morning (the late child care time interferes with school).

I brought up to my husband that I’d like to start working out again because I feel like a lump. Later I made a crack about being fat, and MY HUSBAND STAYED SILENT. He agreed with my observation. He then said, “Well, I’d still do you, and that’s the standard… Although it’s not a bad thing to exceed the standard.”

It got awkward and quiet, until I said, “Okay, this awkward. So, how much did you have to drink?” He answered that he had had quite a bit.

My sister has said a few times, “A drunk man’s words are a sober man’s thoughts.”

I’m devastated. It’s not like I’m so large I need to go to a tent-maker to buy clothes, and I’m not even in the women’s plus section. I’m not a super model, but I’m not a beached whale either. I could cry.

So, I guess I’m reviving this dead blog. But don’t worry, I’m not a Beachbody coach any more, so I won’t irritate you with the annoying, “Buy this workout! Buy this shake*!” It’ll just be me, trying to look better so I know I’m not a disappointment to my husband.


*I actually really, REALLY like the shakes, and I still drink them for the vitamins, but I won’t be all irritating about it since I’m not selling it.


Seems like all I post any more…

…are catch-up blog posts! I got stuck trying to figure out what direction I wanted this blog to go, and it took (oh, gosh, how many months now?) a while to figure out that I’m going to write about whatever the heck I feel like writing about! At this point, I don’t care if my blog is all over the place, because honestly, my LIFE feels like it’s all over the place sometimes (hence the blog title…).

I still have a couple weeks before we begin our school year (I’d love to throw out a post on what we’re using for my 4th grader, 3rd grader, and Pre-k’er at some point), so I’d like to get into the habit of posting a little bit of something every day until then.

You may be thinking, “Um, Arley, it takes 21-30 days to build a habit and you think you can build a habit in two weeks?” Eh, who knows? It’ll be fun to try 😉


A Little About Me…

My name is Arley, and I just recently completed the Gold’s Gym Body Transformation Challenge! I lost 15 lbs (and in the last two weeks I’ve easily gained 5 back), but I’m still not where I want to be physically. Honestly, the scale is a horrible indicator of progress, but how your clothes fit and what you look like in pictures are more reliable, in my opinion, at least.

This coming Sunday (April 21st), I will be celebrating my 30th birthday! I’ve spent the last 15 years mostly fat (I did get thin after I had my second baby using a combination of over-exercising and Weight Watchers, but I gained it all back within 6 months of hitting Lifetime, yikes!), and I am on a mission to end this. I’m tired of being tired all the time and I’m tired of the lose-gain cycle. I’m ready to keep up with the changes I made over the last 12 weeks, and I’m ready to go further, making more and better changes to my life.

This blog will chronicle not only my continued fat-loss, but also follow me as I get my degree in Kinesiology (applied exercise physiology, I still need to get into school!), get a new and better personal training certification (I had a certification in the past), all while managing my home-based business and homeschooling my four boys! Oh yes, I can do it! Watch me!