I am seriously struggling. I’ve been working for the past year to knock off the ten pounds I’ve gained, and I’ve been partially successful on and off, but it never lasts very long. Sadly, over the past few months, that number has increased to about seventeen unwanted pounds. It’s really annoying.

I spent about four months not working, and before that, I was working at a nursing home where the only time I sat down during the day was on my thirty-minute lunch break. I actually lost about three pounds just working that job, but I stayed there for only three months. I was kind of crushed when I realized that I’d have to reset my activity level on My Fitness Pal back down to “sedentary.” Oh, “active,” I hardly knew ye. So when I went from being on my feet to lying on the couch, I wasn’t surprised when the pounds packed on. I didn’t take the opportunity “funemployment” gave me to hit up the gym every day for hours at a time. I didn’t explore all the cool fitness classes I had been wanting to try. Honestly, if I didn’t have Audrey, I probably would have stayed inside for those 120 days, give or take. I was just so tired.

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Rara in the Rose Garden. She might be sticking out her tongue to mock me, as she is in much better shape than I.

But that was then. Now that I am gainfully employed once more, I was hopeful I could get on a new, steady workout plan. How could I not? My schedule is delightfully predictable, I should have more energy now that I’m not constantly running around from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. like my old job, and I really have no excuse if I’m already up for the day for work. And I am sick of these extra pounds and of being out of shape.

We have made a small effort. We have gotten up early for the gym four times since mid-June, so there is that. A small victory. And at the start of this week, after gorging ourselves over the long holiday weekend and not moving much (unless you count traveling across the state . . . in a car), we were ready for change. But truly—and I don’t like making excuses, so this pains me to write—we’ve been suffering from some Murphy’s Law BS over here. Every night this week, we’ve set our alarms so we can get up and go to the gym. And so far, the last three nights have been so unbearably hot and humid that we haven’t gotten any solid sleep. Our very old and decrepit air conditioner spits freon-water on our heads (very loudly and obnoxiously, I might add), and our only fan stopped working Monday night. Add to that the fact that both Jon and I are sick with colds, we are just craving quality sleep.

So last night, as I was tossing and turning and franticly kicking off the sheets, Jon took matters into his own hands. At 3:00 a.m., after four hours of fitful “rest,” he woke me up and said he had punched the fan into submission. I didn’t question it, as long as the fan worked. I slept better in those four hours than I have in days. And I didn’t want to get up when my alarm yelled at me to do so. The heat had finally broken this morning, so I just wanted to keep sleeping in the blissfully cool air. With Jon still dealing with a runny nose and sneezing, and me working on banishing this headache, body aches, and low-grade fever, we didn’t make it to the gym. Surprise.

I am hopeful that tomorrow will be better, but I keep thinking of a saying I learned in German class that translates to “‘Tomorrow, tomorrow, just not today!’ All the lazy people say.” I hate thinking that I’ll just keep putting things off and will never actually make the right changes. But right now, as my headache seems to be waning a bit, the fan is still working (fingers crossed!), and the humidity has broken, I am forcing myself to be optimistic. The only missing piece is for us to get a good night’s sleep so we can wake up refreshed and ready to workout! I guess this all just reminds me of how much of a lifestyle choice being healthy is. And it’s hard. Establishing a routine, planning healthy meals, getting quality sleep: all these are essential to my end goals of having more energy, getting in better shape, and ditching these extra pounds. I’ll keep you posted, especially as I dive in to meal planning, clean(er) eating, and maybe even some meal prepping. In the meantime, check out my grocery list and recipes for the next few days (minus the Taste of Buffalo this weekend):

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That grocery list is fierce, if I do say so myself! Jon called it “thorough.”