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That little extra push

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Early this month I started swimming laps at my gym pool. I believe the first time I did it I swam five laps. It took a bit of asking around to find out how many laps it takes to swim a mile and the answer is some fractional one - so I have settled for 34.5 laps. I decided that each time I went to the pool I would swim one more lap. Saturday before last I really had to push myself to swim 11 but last Saturday I realized that when I'd swum 14 laps I could have swum another if I'd had to. Ditto on Monday when I pushed it to 15 and when I walked away from the gym I got really psyched at the thought of swimming half a mile on this coming Saturday.

But though I love the idea of routine - life seldom gives it to me. I will be doing something else this Saturday and there is no way I can get to the pool between now and then either. So yesterday I just decided to give that little extra push and bump up the laps by 2 instead of 1. And when I'd swum 17 laps there was no reason to not do the extra half lap and be sure I'd gotten in my half a mile.

I've been surprised at how long it takes me to swim half a mile - 30 minutes - which is twice as long as the average swimmer - though those are race times and for people between 40-49 and I am nearly 10 years older. But I am not in any hurry right now. What I am working for is endurance. If I find someone to give me some speed tips great - but what I want to be able to do is swim a mile. That's the distance from one side of my river to the other. I'd like, next summer, to swim across the river.

Of course, on swim days I sleep like a log through the night; another added bonus. but isn't it nice to realize that sometimes it only takes a little push to do something big?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ELLENB10 9/23/2010 8:25PM

    Congratulations! I've always admired people who can swim distances! emoticon

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WEDDWT 9/23/2010 4:50PM

    Great! Have you noticed a diff in your lower back? Keep up the good work!

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JLITT62 9/23/2010 8:49AM

    "isn't it nice to realize that sometimes it only takes a little push to do something big?"

What a great insight!

I am not a fast swimmer. I don't do anything fast! It's just my nature.

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IFDEEVARUNS2 9/23/2010 8:27AM

    Great job!

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MSLZZY 9/23/2010 7:58AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHEILA1505 9/23/2010 6:35AM

    This is H U G E ! Bess! Well done :))

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My birthday gift to me

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The big day was all a birthday ought to be and I am still walking in the glow of all the fun. There were presents emoticon and there was cake emoticon and champagne emoticon and I got some work done (I always work on my birthday because I like to hear lots of people say "Happy Birthday" - somehow that makes the day even happier!)

September first heralds weeks of anticipation of this happy peak moment and no matter what else is going on around me I manage to celebrate the joy of life on that special day.

And as at Christmas time - the day after, while still thrumming with pleasure, starts me thinking about .... What's Next? and just a wee bit about "What did I leave undone...ooops?"

For some time now I haven't tracked my food here. Partly it's because my internet is just slow enough that it's often irksome to write it down - here. Of course there is nothing that keeps me from writing it down on paper and, if I really want it calculated by SP I could add it all the next morning at work, on the faster internet. In fact, that is probably what I will begin doing. But however I keep my books, it's time to start bookkeeping my eating once again. There has been no movement on the scale and I'd really like to see some.

As for what's next? ahh that will be the swim-a-half-mile mark which I should reach this week - I might even push it and get there this afternoon.

And so - my birthday gift to me will be - putting a little more attention - on my nutrition, my portion sizes and my swimming.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 9/22/2010 7:41AM

    Happy Birthday! Many more! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JLITT62 9/22/2010 7:39AM

    Happy belated birthday! But I know you celebrate all month, so I suppose I'm not late, huh? Just celebrated DH's. But boy, after a couple of days off, he was in a MOOD this morning.

Me, I ALWAYS took my birthday off. That way I could do what I wanted to do!

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QUEEN_REINA 9/22/2010 7:34AM

    So glad you had a wonderful birthday!!

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Time passes - and a big Thank You

Monday, September 13, 2010

I am sending an enormous heartfelt THANK YOU to each and every one of you who reached out to me last week, as I plowed my way through a tough situation. I have come quite far since last weekend and I am sure I will get all the way through to the other side. I know I will get there because this is not an unfamiliar valley. Throughout our lives, we're all required to make several journeys down into the pit, across the wasteland and back up to the sunny plateau. As a beloved friend once said to me, when I lamented my fate, "It's just your turn" and last week was that - just my turn.

I can't say I soared through the food options last week, but neither did I wallow in the chocolate bin. I even came to a few conclusions and came up with a few metaphors that I'll elaborate on at some point in the future. I've neither gained nor lost ground and still hover at that same old 167 lbs I've been at for months. (this is not a plateau, my dear friends - this is minimal effort on my part.) the splendid news is that I went swimming twice and will pick it up again this afternoon. Working my way up to a final goal of 36 laps (one mile) by Christmas.

So. I have NOT been inspired to write but I did want to reach out to all of you who have been so kind to me this week and let you know I am okay and will only get better.

many many hugs

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLITT62 9/13/2010 8:33PM

    You are strong, smart, inspiring woman. And I'm so proud of you for not making a direct line to the chocolate! It would be so easy to do. And it's something you should be proud of, too.

They do say whatever doesn't kill us makes us stronger -- but sometimes you just wish God didn't think you were so strong, right?

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WEDDWT 9/13/2010 10:20AM

    Glad you're feeling better. Thank you for reinforcing my belief that the journey into the pit is temporary, because we will all have "our turn", and we need to remember and be encouraged that it is not a permanent place. Woo Hoo for sunny plateaus!

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CHELLESDOINGR8 9/13/2010 7:36AM

    Wishing you all the best in your healthy lifestyle journey!!! emoticon

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MSLZZY 9/13/2010 7:35AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Let's hope this week is much better!

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Who knew I'd unearth THAT

Monday, September 06, 2010

I know I said, on Monday past, that I wanted to clean out the corners of my life that were filled with unwanted, unused, irrelevant clutter, making my life cleaner, crisper, more real. Ha! I didn't think I'd have to deal with some unwanted clutter from my childhood. Events last week really shook my world, uncovering some deeply embedded bad juju and slappin' me upside the head with painful memories. Not the mental memories we carry in our heads, but the physical memories that actually make you start to shiver and gasp for breath. Big Deal Family crisis with a very difficult parent stirred up some stuff that I had thought had been put neatly in its place. Evidently not. Some things, those fundamental things that define you early on, still have power to make your body quake with emotions. They can cast a look on your face or arrange your limbs into unmistakable poses that speak as loudly as words.

Right now I feel like I was caught in a flash flood and carried way down the valley, tumbled with all the detritus the waters had already picked up, pretty bruised and shaky. I 'm not exactly sure where I landed nor exactly where I'll end up as this situation plays out, but there are things I know.

I left a bad thing behind me 40 years ago
I chose a clean good path and lived it for decades
I didn't pass on that bad thing to another generation
I decided when I was very little that I would never let anybody make me a victim and I never have.

Needless to say - in this difficult situation my food choices have not always been so hot and exercise has been a little short changed. But only for a day or two, and even on those days I managed to drink lots of water and get in a little gentle walking. I see some tricky steps ahead ... or to continue the metaphor, I see some rapids ahead that i'm going to have to steer through, but I think I've got what it takes to make it to calm waters safely.

At almost 60 I'm surprised to be caught up in the same horrible situation I was in as a teenager. There's something almost bizarre about it - like being in a surreal time travel movie or a long bad dream. But dreams and movies are not real and they aren't what I choose to play around in either. If I have to walk away from the last dregs of a bad thing, well, there you have it. I did it before. I can do it again.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 9/8/2010 12:01AM

    No words, just emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LUNADRAGON 9/7/2010 7:42PM

    May you be blessed with peace. Perhaps now that it is unburied, you can discard it properly out of your life.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WEDDWT 9/6/2010 11:37PM

    Maybe that's why some avoid the unwanted clutter from childhood, because there's the chance that we'll unearth THAT.
You are stronger than the rapids, you know.

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ELLENB10 9/6/2010 9:33AM

    Peace be with you. You are older, wiser and now have healthier coping skills. I wish you all the best. You are very courageous to write and share this.

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MYFEETHURT 9/6/2010 9:29AM

  I know through your writings that you are stronger then any situation that has ever occurred or will ever occur to you. I take a deep breath for you and say...head up...look forward...keep is good. mary

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GNUATTITUDE 9/6/2010 9:04AM

    This is a profound revelation you experienced. What is great about it is that you know you have walked THOUGH the mess and you don't have to go back to it again. It may require getting down and dirty for a while, but then you clean yourself up and keep moving forward. Clearly you know how to do this--Kudos to you!


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DISMOM3 9/6/2010 8:19AM

    Just adding my support. Do what you have to do for YOU.

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CATSRTRUE 9/6/2010 8:06AM

    Sometimes past situations will knock you for a loop, I think we've all experienced it from time to time. You are a very strong person and will weather this and become even stronger. You are better than the situation and there are those in your life that love you. Stay strong! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JLITT62 9/6/2010 8:00AM

    I'm with Sheila, sending hugs!

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SHEILA1505 9/6/2010 7:20AM

I think that is all that needs to be said because words would be meaningless
Huge hugs
with love

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Getting real - everywhere in my life

Monday, August 30, 2010

First off - I want to recommend Meralo's blog post - because it's good and because - coming from almost exactly the opposite direction, she has arrived at the same place I am.

A lot of threads have been coalescing around me, ready, I am sure, to weave themselves into a new cloth. It's a strange, but delightful sensation. I thought I'd try to lay them out and identify them.

I've been reading and listening to a lot of books this summer, most of them about pushing through the cobwebs and dust of the status quo into a more fulfilling place. This is common in late August as the summertime winds down and we gear up for all the busy-ness that's autumn. Fall explodes on my life with the first of September - my BirthdayMonth (which I celebrate all month) but it is followed swiftly by professional meetings, holidays, anniversaries and civic events. Although my summers are always busy - as they are for all public librarians - my autumns are BUSY.

At the same time, I have a friend who is preparing to move out of a house she's lived in for 15 years and move to a new city, a new job, a new life. As she winnows out the chaff of her life, she's left with just the gold - the pure clean useful kernels of what she needs in her new situation. And I am both envious and inspired by how sleek things will be for her when she finally settles into her new place.

For all that I have been wrestling and not wrestling with weight and size issues, I have been pretty much the same size for about 4 years - and it was about 4 years ago I bought 4 cotton poplin skirts that have become my summer work uniform. They're slightly casual, but with the right top they can pass as business attire in my rural and very casual community. Now - I take pretty good care of my clothes but even the best things wear out and as I pressed these skirts this weekend I realized that not even the heaviest steam iron is going to erase the signs of wear on these skirts. They're kaput and when cool weather comes they will not be stored till next year. I will have to replace them come springtime. And while I love to go shopping and I enjoy buying new clothes, the thought of bringing One More Thing into this house is overwhelming.

Which brought to mind a statement in The Spark - Get rid of stupid stress - and I realized that I have been lazily hording stupid stress all over the house. I have too much clutter and too much yarn, too many magazines, too many books, too many unidentified photos, all the family papers from my parents house ..... the common thread here is excess. So much I can't enjoy any of it. So much, I have abandoned an entire room in my house to it. And because I am tolerating all this stupid stress in my physical setting, it's no wonder I'm tolerating it on my body.

Stupid stress.

And so I spent the whole weekend uncluttering. I started in the bathroom where the cabinets had filled so that they had begun debouching their contents onto the floor. Tossing all those almost empty bottles of "perfectly good body lotion" (oh la - what a Virgo thing to think) and expired antihistamines not only left me with a usable collection of products but also prompted some storage solutions for all this stuff.

As a reward for cleaning out the bathroom cabinets I dove into my yarn stash - just the Spare Bedroom Stash, mind you - not the other stuff. (fellow knitters will know) That was a more daunting task but I am now slightly more organized and, if no longer filled with that first flush of passion for Cleanitis, certainly more sure than ever that I am on the right path. That if I get real with my surroundings I will probably also get real with my body.

And so - both Meralo and I have seen that we often treat our bodies the way we treat our surroundings. If we are callous and thoughtless - either by senselessly tossing out the useful or by hoarding every last morsel and crumb - in one area of life - we are very likely to be so in another.

May your life and your body be sleekly maximized with zero stupid stress.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLITT62 8/30/2010 11:39AM

    Well, it wasn't all that long ago that we moved from our home of 15 years to a new house & a new state. We still have clutter. I have gotten rid of a LOT, but there is still more to go.

And then there is the stuff I put out to throw away or donate and somehow it makes its way back into the house thanks to DH, who has a very hard time getting rid of stuff. But complains about my stuff!

I don't even have the excuse that I'm too busy because I'm working.

Decluttering can be a process too!

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AEBROWNSON 8/30/2010 10:02AM

    A couple of months ago I sent 7 yard waste sized paper bags to goodwill...all the bigger clothes, so there's no going back! And one of my goals right now is to go through one cupboard or drawer each week and get rid of stuff. It's very cathartic!

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SHEILA1505 8/30/2010 6:53AM

    Ever since I've been on here for health and fitness, I have also been on 3 or 4 of the Teams for organising my life and all the accountability is paying off!

One of these days I will be able to get all the stored items (DD2 and DS left stuff with me) out of my room - I have already cleared the mess under my bed :)

It's amazing - but should be glaringly obvious (it just took me time to realise it) - that if we take control of our actions in one area, it rolls over into other parts of our life


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183WANTS2B140 8/30/2010 6:28AM

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