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Returning again, again

Friday, January 15, 2010

I hope this doesn't become a life-long thing for me, but I have a habit of starting things -- lots of things -- and then never finishing them. I am sure that is nothing shocking to most people, but it's a major source of frustration for me. The reason I start things like trying to get in shape is because I want the end result! So why do I keep giving up before I get there?

I've slowly been working my way through the muddle that is "What do I do now that I've graduated from college?" You see, once you finish college, unless you're one of the people who knows they want to get married and have 2.5 kids and a white picket fence, there is no longer a pre-defined "end goal." Up until this point, it's been easy: go to school.

School is over now. I could always go back to school, go for a graduate degree, but I am honestly burnt out. I am an idealist to a fault, and it's hard for me to see the tangible results that academic work in the field I'm in would provide.

There are plenty of things I want to do. Depression makes me feel like they're not worthwhile, but I ALWAYS want to do them. I've decided that this year I will actually start to do things. Nothing ever hurts as much as I'm afraid it does, but I keep doing the one thing I know keeps hurting me (not doing!). Why? What a waste of time, energy, effort, of youth!

Here's a few things on my to-do list for 2010:

1. Travel to London
2. Run a 5k
3. Take a dance class or join a team sport
4. Pay off my credit cards
5. Set up my business

1. I am an Anglophile. A lot of Americans are, and a lot of English majors are, so I can't claim originality here. What I really want to do is travel the world, but I figure I should cut my teeth (and my passport) by going to the one place I've been dreaming of visiting since I was a little girl. My main goal in visiting London is to hit up the sights and sounds that inspired the writers I love. Of course, this also means "London" equals "England" because, last time I checked, Canterbury wasn't next to Big Ben.

2. I have mixed feelings about running. Mainly, I think I like it. But I like it with a purpose. If it's not actively doing something more than getting me from point A to point B all sweaty and tired, I hate it! So I am setting a running goal for myself to motivate me to actually run every day. "For fitness" just doesn't cut it -- besides, athletic goals are something I want to build up into. Maybe eventually I'll aim to run a marathon or compete in a triathlon. Maybe.

3. Part of why I've avoided doing this is because I hate my body. It's dumb, but there it is. Because of this, I've been afraid of -using- it -- so I've avoided dance, even though I kind of want to try, and team sports, even though I love them. I've always told myself, "Once you get in shape, you can do that!" Dance studios and team sports advertising that you can use their services -to get into shape- don't phase me; I never wanted to be "the fat one" and I never went to see whether I would be or not. I think, though, that this falls under the category of "once I'm there." So this is a goal for when I get into better shape. More specifically, I'm looking at playing soccer or taking jazz/modern dance.

4. These have been haunting me for 6 years now. They're not insurmountably huge, but they are uncomfortably large. The balances aren't killing my credit score yet (I'm carrying ~40% of my available credit), but it's silly to have this and the monthly payments hanging over my head are scary, especially since I also have student loans. I want to GET RID OF THESE! I don't think I can quite do it in 2010, but I can certainly reduce them by at least half.

5. I don't like working for other people. I also don't like not being in control of what my work is used for. So, there's this. It would help satisfy my idealistic self -- I could do something that meant something to me -- as well as my control-freak self. ;)

So... that's where we're starting.

Let's see where we end up!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NH_MOM 1/15/2010 2:38PM

    I enjoyed visiting London(my hubby is from England). We went on the London Eye, saw the Trafalgar Square, Tower Bridge, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. There were 2 or 3 more things, but we ran out of time. I'd love to go back and visit sometime. I was thinking of starting a running program. I found one here on SP that starts out with walking which I'd have to do since I haven't been concentrating on my cardio very much. I'm curious to know what you are going to do or if you are following a plan. It's great you've set some goals. Good luck with everything!

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BALLOUZOO 1/15/2010 2:33PM

    Those are wonderful goals. I am currently reading the Spark and it talks about setting deadlines and breaking your goals into smaller chunks.

1. Get your passport, save money (they have travel plans that let you make monthly payments to help you spread the cost out).

2. I don't love running either, but it is one of the best calorie burners. Again start slow (if you haven't already)

3. You can do it!! Maybe start with a video and/or find out what kind of dancing you like best.

4. Me too. I am focused on paying one off first (the smallest balance) and using the payment for that one and the monthly payment of the other to pay off the next and so on.

5. There are a lot of internet (work from home) businesses to try.

Best wishes

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Falling down -- and getting back up again

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Fallen off the wagon. I missed exercise on Monday and today, been eating things without really paying much attention. I doubt I've gone over 2000 calories on any day except for Valentine's Day (ate out and had a Mrs. Field's cookie), but I still feel uncomfortable.

I blame most of the failure on a combination of building stress and that it was raining for 3 solid days. It's really hard for me to get up to go to the gym when it's freezing and pouring rain since I have to wake up early AND walk 10 minutes.

Excuses, excuses; it takes me until I establish a solid routine (about 1 month of regularly going) before I can do it through things like that without having to force myself.

I am really looking forward to getting into athletic shape because I sincerely want to start swimming and hiking and running and biking and playing group sports and doing all the things I know make me feel good and look good. I really do! It's just been really hard to give up the comfort of lazing around and eating whatever I want when I'm depressed, which I have been for a majority of the past several months.

Medication should help if I can ever find a way to bring my focus back. Working on that one, too.

Starting Friday, assuming no rain, it's back to the gym for me. This will be a feat since Friday is a pretty "busy" day off for me.


The Starting Line

Sunday, January 04, 2009

I'm a 23-year-old college student trying to get to a healthy weight and lifestyle.

I've had odd eating habits for a very long time. I remember when I was young, I would hide myself with a jar of peanut butter and a spoon and eat as much as I could before I would get caught. I'd sneak quarters from my parents' dresser so I could run down to the convenience store and pick up a Little Debbie snack cake. Even now, I find myself buying candy bars, eating them one or two at a time and hiding the rest so I can have them when I get the urge.

I was very, very active as a child, playing soccer, being a gymnast, swimming, doing ballet, riding horses, playing pick-up basketball and just plain running around the neighborhood. I climbed trees and hiked and camped for years and years.

When I moved to California, I withdrew, and I stopped doing these things even though I kept the same eating habits. I was blessed with the revved metabolism for a few years and when I hit high-school I was hovering around a boderline-healthy 160 pounds at 5'7".

My freshman year in high school I gained 40 pounds because of a bad relationship and the even worse consequence of eating my feelings. I peaked at 215 pounds one summer, and though I have always been extremely body-conscious, it wasn't until I saw the photos from a road trip with my mother in the summer of 2003 that I realized I had to do something productive. I didn't get around to it.

With six strenuous months working at high-movement jobs (especially being a bagging clerk at the grocery store), I lost down to 175. I wasn't even proud of myself because I hadn't even been keeping track.

The following year was spent in a haze of manic-depression, and the combination of binge drinking and not eating led to some massive swings in my weight. I was lucky to get out of that without injuring myself or others, and weighing about 160 pounds.

When I finally got myself together and transferred to the college I'm slated to graduate from this May, I slipped into slightly compulsive anorexic behaviors and got myself all the way down to 140, the lowest adult weight I've ever been at. I was elated, but also very mentally ill. This was about 1 year ago.

I have since gained back to about 160 pounds. I would like to get myself down to 125 pounds, but considering my body I think that might be asking for a little much. My initial goal right now is to get back down little by little -- 5 pounds at a time. I will be pretty satisfied if I am fit: my ultimate goal is to be able to run a 7:30 mile. When I reach it, I'll re-evaluate where I am and work from there.

The main thing for me is to get to a healthy place, mentally and physically, that I can maintain. The one thing I want more than anything else is to be able to travel and see the world, and I simply don't think I can do it comfortably or well in my current shape. My first goal for travel is to head to Japan to teach English this fall, so I'm hoping that the next 6-8 months are productive ones. :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WOMEN4CHANGE 1/4/2009 7:21PM

  I wish you the best of luck with your goals. It's good that you want to be mentally healthy as well as physically. I've learned the hard way you can't have one without the other. It's also good to keep your goals about more than just the weight.

Don't be too hard on yourself. Just remember it takes time to accomplish these things!

Best of luck.

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