Thursday, April 14, 2011

lessons in contentment

I'm going to do that ever-annoying blogger apology, you guys.

I'm sorry that I haven't blogged that much lately. Between my Friday Favorites and an occasional Monday Dose of Cuteness, you're probably like, What is going on with this girl?

Well. Let me tell you. Nathan and I are deep into a state of change. God, that sounds so dramatic. We're not molting.

This is how it started...

1. We're five weeks into working with a personal trainer and cracking down on our paleo diet. Seriously. Friday marks the five weeks mark, and the program is initially 12 weeks. Nearly halfway there! (Cue Bon Jovi "Livin on a Prayer") Not that we'll stop working out at 12 weeks, but we'll go into a sort of maintaining phase. At that point, Nathan and I should be able to do sweet jump kicks like this:

Kidding. Sort of.

I've noticed a huge difference in how I feel, how I look, what I'm able to do physically, how my clothes fit me, and how much money we're saving on eating out. (For the record, we are allowed one cheat meal a week, and so far, we've gone so overboard with carbs on the weekly cheat meal that we basically both enter a comatose state and soon after feel nauseous, followed by pangs of regret and shaking our fists to heaven saying, "It's not worth it!") All that to say, I don't really miss carbs or even sugar. I never would've thought a diet like this would have been balanced or healthy, but a couple months ago, our lives took a new course when Nathan's mother recommended he read this book. And if you get Nathan started, he will convert you within ten minutes. The last time I heard him speak this passionately was about a little band called Radiohead. That, and anything with the words "camera, photography, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Nikon, (and most recently) Mamiya" in the sentence. But I digress.

Between diabetes and high-blood pressure running in both our families, we decided to make a drastic change. And I can't tell you how much it's improved the way I feel on a daily basis. Couple that with the training with our good friend and Crossfit aficionado, Jeremiah, and we're entering this new path of change for the better. The irony is that to reach a place of contentment with my health/body/ability I really needed to make a change because I couldn't be content with where we were: eating crap food every night and acting lathargic. I hate to say this, but before this diet, I couldn't remember the last green vegetable I'd eaten. I was slowly but surely going from a skinny-fat to just plain fat, and every year I'd buy clothes in larger sizes. No good. Not content.

On to the next massive point of change:

2. We are househunting for our very first home! It's time. After nine years of living and renting in Austin, we love it and think we're here to stay. Sure, the summers are hot. Sure, the allergies are hideous. But there are SOOOO many other things to love that we are incredibly happy and want to build a home here.

We also believe that the right house will help grow our business, and I can't express in words how exciting that is! We've put all the details together, and when our lease is up at the end of summer, we may very well find ourselves in a house. To help get there, it's critical to crack down on our finances, so we've decided to become grown-ups and abide by a budget. Sounds terrifying, right?

Only this is part of where the contentment comes in as well. In thinking about a new home, and looking at homes with our realtor, I really see our future. But getting to that future means we both have to sacrifice and stop buying things we don't need, and put more in savings. I fully believe we have everything we need, and more. Months ago, I would obsessively scour Anthro online on the first day we were paid, to see what I wanted to buy that I didn't need. When my monthly mad money was gone, I would often sell books and movies back to Halfprice in desperation so I could buy a new pair of shoes that I didn't need. The theme here is that these are all possessions I don't need. I don't need lattes every morning from a coffeehouse. I don't need to stop by Specs and pick up cider three nights a week. And while it hurts me to say, I don't actually need new bags, shoes, and dresses. Even from Anthro. I simply don't need them. I can't tell you how liberating it is to say those words, and I think it's a big step for us toward our future. Which is far more exciting than anything I could buy in a store.

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