An Update:

Sorry, blogosphere. I’ve been missing in action. I have not had the time to write a blog to keep you updated on my teaching or Paleo adventures!

All of my “free” time seems to be devoted to remaining on track with grading, planning lessons, calling parents of students, and creating assignments and assessments. When I do find I have a truly “free” moment, I’m usually cooking Paleo goodness or trying to squeeze in a little time for my neglected hubby-to-be and my poor, depressed, separation-anxiety-riddled pup. I’ve waited a long time to have these problems, though. It sounds strange, but I couldn’t be happier about it, really.

Teaching:

Teaching is going well– really well. I’ve faced a significant amount of hurdles already in my short time teaching. You see, I teach in a rough neighborhood and most of my students rank school very low on their list of priorities. Even the students who do rank school highly have a difficult time managing their classes inside the framework of their daily challenges.

While I would be fairly comfortable saying that most of my students rise above the pressures of their community, I do know that gang violence and drugs play a role in their daily lives. In addition to that, a significant amount of my students are already parents themselves. Imagine trying to juggle the pressures of an average teenager with the struggles of living in their environment, while trying to hold down a job and raise a child all at the same time. Needless to say, it’s difficult to imagine, let alone actually battling through it on a daily basis.

Christmas Card from 2 of my students! Sweet!

Christmas Card from 2 of my students! Sweet!

My kids have a lot on their plates and I’m just doing my best to prepare them for life after graduation.  I teach all seniors (17-19 year olds), so, for most of them, graduation is speedily approaching. Some days (well, most days) I find myself teaching lessons I didn’t know I was certified to teach; lessons on life. The best part is that they teach me lessons, too. It sounds more idyllic than it really is. Sometimes I just want to shout and rip my hair out, but every job worth doing comes with challenges and hurdles to jump.

While I’ve been working with these particular students since the beginning of November, I only have them until February 12th. That’s when their original teacher comes back from maternity leave. After that, I will be working with freshman and sophomores during their teacher’s maternity leave. That will keep me going until close to the end of the school year. I’m not sure what the school has planned for me after that time. I’ve been hired as a full-time English teacher, so I imagine they will have something planned for me, but as of right now, I have no idea what’s in store. It’s all very exciting, I’m sure.

Paleo:

As far as Paleo is concerned, I’m still going strong. No gluten. No legumes. No non-caveman food. I’m going on 10 months and there is really no point looking back. I don’t see any reason to. I love what I’m eating, I don’t have any regrets, and I feel better than I have in a very long time. I don’t want to jinx myself, but even my seasonal/yearly Christmas Flu has been warded off this year! I honestly believe that eating the way my body was intended to eat has improved my immune system! I’m also still losing weight. It is coming off slower than in the beginning, but I know its happening. I haven’t gone on the scale lately (because it is unhealthy for me to stress about the numbers), but I know that I have lost over 80 pounds. Even the new work clothes I bought in November are already saggy and baggy. I can see it in my face and in my waist more noticeably than anywhere else. Jacob, though, says he can tell most in my legs…. which is weird.

Lookin' skinnier

Lookin’ skinnier

This past week for the holidays I’ve seen a bunch of people that I haven’t seen in quite some time. I was paid many compliments and it felt great. Some people couldn’t stop gushing over my new physique. While I love the sentiment and the encouragement, it is a little tiny bit embarrassing. I’m an open book. Everyone knows about my challenges with weight and health. Although, this did give me an opportunity to explain Paleo to people, and I love the chance to spread the word. And with all of the compliments on my appearance, I have to keep reminding myself that my main goal is HEALTH, not weight-loss…. even though for me, they do go hand-in-hand.

On Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve

With the new job, I am getting a ton more exercise than I was job searching (or sitting in front of my computer for ages). I’m always on the go. Plus, my school has a ton of stairs, which means lots of climbing for me. I like the fact that I’m constantly in motion and I never get tired during the day. I’m exhausted at bed time, but that’s how it’s supposed to be, right? Paleo gives me energy to do all that I have to accomplish in one day and I don’t need an extra mid-day cup of coffee or a Five Hour Energy to get the job done. It’s pretty sweet!

An Ounce of Trouble:

I’m not going to lie to you, though, my friends. The holiday sweets got the best of me today. In ten months of super clean eating and absolutely no gluten, today I caved in. I ate a cookie. One gluten-infested cookie with a Hershey’s kiss in the center (thanks a lot, Lisa Carroll). You know what, though? I’m not stressing over it. I’m waiting for the belly ache and/or headache to kick in from consuming gluten, but I’m not going to stress over it. I saw the cookies on the counter and I thought to myself, “One cookie is not going to kill you and it certainly won’t spoil all of the hard work you’ve done.” So I ate it. And it was good. This one slip-up in ten months isn’t going to change anything, either. It’s Paleo for dinner tonight and Paleo from here on out. I won’t let a cookie derail the rest of my day, the rest of my week, the month, or the year(s).

Conclusion:

To sum it up, things are going wonderfully. I’m happy with my new job, Jacob and I are still on the Paleo path, I’m feeling healthier by the minute, and right now I’m enjoying my “free” time before the planning and grading and creating kicks back in. I feel that Jacob and I are finally moving in the right direction. We’re headed somewhere. It may be at a turtle’s pace, but we are moving. It’s good to know that my stubbornness and determination have finally done some good in my life.

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas, from Norbert!

Merry Christmas, from Norbert!

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About Nicole

I have my BA in English Education and am a lover of the arts. I’m part of a small, but fiercely devoted (and annoyingly close) family– and wouldn’t change that for the world. I'm lucky in love with the love of my life and am a step-mom to his two beautiful girls. I’m also a Paleolithic eater, a lover of all things organic, whole, and natural.

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