A Case of the Hum-Drums

March has been a weird month.

The baby and I have both been sick twice, my current bout now going on 12 days (finally got antibiotics yesterday because this ish needs to STOP), hubs has been sick once, we’ve had both shipments of our stuff arrive (yay!) AND our car (yay yay!), but I hurt my back the morning of the second shipment (super fun spasm) so I’ve been off of working out for a week and a half. Combine all of that with having been in Korea for two months now and only having left the base a handful of times and not having left the town we’re in at all, PLUS the fact that I’m a stay-at-home mom with a stay-at-home job and 99% of my friends and family are in a different country, and, well, your girl’s got herself a hearty bit of cabin fever and maybe just a splash of situational depression.

I was on a looooong and much-needed call with Momma Bear this morning and was able to finally call the depression out by name. Hubs could tell something was off the other night and asked me about it, and I tried to explain how I’ve just felt off, like nothing looked how I thought it was gonna look this month and how I’m not happy. I mean, it’s not that I’m never happy, because I definitely have enjoyed plenty of moments this month, but I don’t feel like myself and I don’t like that. And for anyone who read the line about things not looking how I thought they would and thought, “Well you really shouldn’t have expectations because that leads to disappointment,” I love you, but shut it. But also I love you. I know expectations are dangerous, but it happened and now I’m here, so there’s really no point in letting me know that I shouldn’t have had them in the first place.

Anyways…

The cherry blossoms are starting to bloom and it’s about to get gorgeous around here. Korea is super pretty anyways, but the Cherry Blossom Festival comes around every early April and from what we’ve been told it’s quite wondrous. Our whole street on base is lined with the trees, with two especially large ones looming just over our front steps, so when they all hit full bloom I imagine it’ll be pretty spectacular. The festival itself takes place in Jinhae, and millions of people descend on our little town to take part in it. They even open up the base for a day, which should be very interesting given how small it is, but I also like that it provides a bonding experience for us and the local population. We’ve been told to be back on base by I believe noon on the day it’s open though, because otherwise we have to wait in line to get back on and it’s typically around an hour and a half. So we’re just not gonna leave that day!

I will say that the blossoms are gradually helping me shift in a better direction. I pass under a ton of them every time I walk to or from daycare (which is typically four times a day, five days a week), so I’ve gotten to see them in all of their stages, from dead, to sprouting, to buds, to peeking open, to half-bloom, and then an overnight blossom into beautiful flowers of the palest, palest pink. They really are something. And the process is hitting home with me right now, because I feel a little bit like that dead tree phase, where I’m not really dead but I’m not really showing the signs of life that I know are in here somewhere. I need to find my spark again, my sunlight that’ll help me go through all those other phases and turn into a gorgeous lil flower. I’ve been there before and I know I can get it back, but I feel like ever since I had the baby it’s been a constant struggle of back and forths as I try to dig myself back up out of the trenches. And what makes it frustrating sometimes is when onlookers comment on my physical progress or even talk about how great it is that I’m working in the fitness industry now and how it’s such a perfect fit for me, because while I agree, I don’t feel like I’m really in it yet. I feel more like I’m parading around pretending to have lost weight and smacking a smile on my face because it’s the right thing to do rather than being how I truly feel.

I don’t know. I know I’ll get out of this place. I need to get my ass out of the house more, to start with. I’ve decided that once my back is well enough to work out again I’m not going back to the 80-day program I was doing before. It’s a fab program, but I’m really craving lifting and there are several Beachbody programs that are perfect for that, so me and the laptop or iPad are gonna head to the gym a few days a week and get our swol on. Well, I dunno if the electronics will get swol, but they’ll help me get swol, so it’s kinda the same thing. And I’m gonna find other opportunities to get out, too. Like today hubs and I went grocery shopping on his lunch break so we could spend this evening going out into town for dinner, and this weekend I’m *finally* gonna get to go to Daegu (about an hour and a half from here), which is where the big exchange and commissary are. Hubs says it’ll be great for me because the drive up is super pretty and once we’re on the base there I’ll feel like I’m in America—there’s even a Burger King, Starbucks, and Subway! We’re gonna get cray, obviously. And since this was my birthday month (the big 32, woop woop), I might even let myself buy some new clothes (and NOT workout gear!).

As for the dietary changes we had going before, we tried grain-free sugar-free high-fat/low-carb for four weeks and ultimately decided that we would rather just eat a balanced diet. We’re still aiming for as few added sugars as possible and we’ll be limiting our flour intake, but things like brown rice and the occasional wheat or grain bread or pasta are back on the menu (along with quinoa, one of our faves!).

So that’s where I’m at, kids. And since the baby just woke up, I’ll sign off with a big hug to anyone out there who needs it, and a, “See ya when I feel like barfing up my life again.”

xoxo

Bulgogi & Badassery

I KNOW. I know. It’s been a long freaking time. I know. Almost four months, actually. And yes, I am well aware that my last posting was titled “Hiatus Be Gone,” but I may have been a liiiiittle premature with that. I don’t know what I was thinking really, since we were a month shy of hubs coming home and then we headed straight into 30 days of family visits and then a week-long turnaround where we packed up and sent off our lives and then moved ourselves and the minion and two cats overseas…well actually the two cats ended up coming about three weeks in, a very long and drawn out process which I will summarize by saying that they better start figuring out how to show some gratitude for the several thousand dollars it cost to get their furry butts here.

But here we are now, in Chinhae, South Korea. CRAZY. We’ve been here for over a month already, and while we still haven’t received any of our stuff (first shipment *finally* arrives this Thursday), I feel we’ve done a fairly good job of settling in. We have a routine, we feel very comfortable in our (spacious) house on base, and we’re adapting to communicating with friends and family who are a minimum of 14 hours behind us (soon to be 13 after the time change! I cannot adequately express how excited I am to not do daylight savings time for the next two years. My circadian rhythm is jumping with joy!). I’ve also progressed quite a bit with my postpartum fitness capabilities (which I’ll elaborate on more below), and hubs is getting back into running with the goal of doing his very first marathon later this year. Oh, and we have a potential Spartan Super ahead! Date TBA but likely this fall. EXCITED!

Baby girl is also doing well, she’s coming up on 10 MONTHS (and I’m pretending that the next two months aren’t going to fly by because I’m not ready to have a one-year-old yet), has two bottom teeth (and looks like the most adorable ogre on the planet), scoots herself very efficiently on her butt all around the house (no crawling, but she definitely gets where she wants to go), and has started stomp-walking (with assistance of course). Her hobbies include eating everything I put in front of her, yelling at the cats, banging toys together or on the floor, using me as a trampoline, clapping, waving indiscriminately at things, growling, yelling bababa and dadada as loud as she can, and blowing raspberries whenever I ask her to say “mama.” Oh, and she also loves power cords, electrical outlets, bags of recycling items, and finding random pieces of jagged plastic to stick in her mouth. Babies are such magical creatures.

All in all though I have no complaints. In the first several weeks here I was developing a bad case of cabin fever because we live on a teeny-tiny base (like 250 people and walkable from end-to-end in 10 minutes) and we have the exchange (think small CVS/Rite-Aid) and the commissary (grocery store), and two places to eat (a restaurant and a quick-order place with calzones/wraps/burgers/etc.). I grew up in Southern California, then I lived in a Denver suburb, and then I was in Southeastern Virginia—my high school graduating class had twice as many people as there are on this whole base. I don’t do small-town. Hubs has experience with it, but even though I gravitate towards homebodyism, I still like having variety and space and options, which, when you can’t read any of the signs in the outer city and don’t have a car, can be hard to find here. Living in “Little America,” as I’ve dubbed it, has its perks for sure—for example, daycare is a five-minute walk from my front door (woop woop!), and being surrounded by fellow expats and English-speaking Korean natives has definitely eased the culture shock that comes with moving to a foreign country—but the feeling of being trapped came around anyways, and we dealt with it in stride. Fortunately hubs and I have now had two opportunities to go explore sans baby and that’s helped a ton, especially since one of those outings was a hike, which I LOVED, even though (and yes, to all those who have heard this already, I have to mention it again) there was carpet in the forest. That’s what the featured image is for this post—that’s thick, straw-y, woven carpet folks. If there are any Korean natives or people with family in Korea who can explain this to me, please do! I would love to understand. Also, how did it get there? Current popular theory is mules. Oh and we’ve also now had amaaaazing Korean BBQ (though here it’s probably just called BBQ). Do yourselves a favor—find a well-reviewed, authentic Korean restaurant and then go order meat. Literally any meat. We had pork belly this time but we’ve also had beef bulgogi, and both will make you very, very happy.

But anyways. I’ve also started something new since we’ve been here. Some of you already know this and some don’t, but since this is my catch-up post I’ll share again. Y’all know I love my fitness, and you also know that I love working with other women to help them on their journeys through life. Many moons ago that was in more of a spiritual/life-guidance world, but now it’s in the health/fitness/happiness world. See what had happened was, last August I met a health coach on Instagram and she wanted to talk to me about Beachbody. Well naturally, I was immensely skeptical because I didn’t know much about the whole deal and just thought she was gonna throw a sales pitch at me and I wanted nothing to do with it. I even told her right off the bat, “I don’t want to buy anything right now,” and she replied with, “So, I’m a free coach!” And that caught my attention, because, well, FREE. I like free. So I joined this free accountability group that she has on Facebook, and I met a lovely tribe of women who were all on various legs of their fitness journeys, and we got to share and encourage and support each other through successes and setbacks, through gains and losses, and it was just super nice overall. My workout routine at the time needed some help because I was struggling with my postpartum body and its lack of strength and tendency to get injured easily, so I finally signed up for the streaming workout service they offer and completed two programs over the fall. And guess what? That damn baby weight *finally* started coming off. Just workouts, y’all. I did start using the shakes a couple months ago and I now love love love them, but I started with just workouts and lost almost 15 lbs between Aug-Dec, which was huge for my confidence. I started being able to do moves that I hadn’t done in forever, like those lovely burpees I posted about before. This is what I was doing the whole time I kept this blog up, this is how I started feeling like I might get some sense of myself back. And I never really called it out by name (except maybe once?) because I feel like there’s such a stigma attached to the word “Beachbody” (I mean hello, I was instantly turned off when I found out that’s who my coach coached for). But now that I’ve experienced it firsthand I gotta admit—I’m a convert.

So with this rediscovered zest for life, I’ve decided to pass on what was so lovingly given to me—coaching. My coach approached me about becoming a coach myself in December, and I participated in a week-long “sneak peek” and almost immediately knew that I could do this, and I could do it well. It combines two of my favorite things in life, fitness and helping other women. I’m still working on a way to intertwine cats, but if you give me a little time I’m sure I’ll find a way (#catladyforlife). I didn’t really start kicking things into gear until early Feb, once we were nicely ensconced in our new abode, but since then I’ve had the opportunity to share my experience, love, support, and encouragement with several women and it’s been extremely rewarding. It’s also given me a change to start earning an income again, because as much as I love being a mom, I’ll admit that it isn’t enough for me. I have too many passions and interests in life, I don’t want to let my role as a mother take all of that away. Yes, I am absolutely there for our little dummy whenever and however she needs me, but it’s also time for both of us to learn some independence from one another so we can grow and be better for it. She gets daycare, I get to work. I think we’re both getting pretty good deals out of it.

All of that being said, this is not turning into a Beachbody blog. This is and always will be Fit Fam & a Little Ham (unless we have another minion at some point, in which case it’ll be Two Little Hams). Sure, I might talk about which workout I’m doing, but I would do that no matter what program I was using, just like I would talk about which workout studio or gym I was going to if that were the case. But this blog is also for #momlife and family adventures and overseas explorations and venting and all of that wonderful stuff that prompted me to even start this damn thing in the first place. This is my little corner of the world where I can just dump everything and anything and know that y’all will understand. If you choose to learn more about the Beachbody side of my life, connect with me on IG. Even if you’re not into Beachbody, connect with me on IG. There are tons of ridiculous baby videos and cat pictures, you’re really missing out if you’re not on there.

Alright it’s time for me to scrounge up some kind of healthyish dessert. Oh yeah, that’s new too! Hubs and I are trying the “fat adapted” thing (same principles as keto but way less strict). I’ll do my next post about that! I don’t know exactly when that will be because every time I commit to a new schedule I end up not sticking to it, but I’m hoping for twice a month. I feel like that’s doable. Soooo hopefully I’ll see ya in a couple weeks! xoxo