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Of peace and joy..

Thursday, December 29, 2011

It's time. Time to find and embrace the inner peace that I've somehow lost or misplaced.

Last night, I met with other SparkPortland team mates and we volunteered our time at the Oregon Food Bank. For me, it was a pivotal experience. It was great to meet my new friends, people Iíve been reading and responding to over the last year and a half. More than that, though, it reminded me of the fact that there is a whole huge world beyond the small tight bubble Iíve banished myself to live in lately. There were so many people, none of whom I knew, giving of themselves and their time, to help others. I was a part of something bigger, much bigger and much more important than my own self and situation. There was such simple joy in the doing, in the giving of ourselves to a greater cause. I laughed and enjoyed myself and soaked up the experience. It touched me, softened me, and helped me to realize what Iíve been missing.

See, I've felt scattered lately. All sharp edges and uncomfortable and rattled. You know because you've been kind enough to bear witness to my meager attempts to write it out. I closed off my page, made it private, thinking I'd be able to pour out this angst onto these pages and get it out of my system, but I couldn't. You can't write about what you're not certain of. Flailing about blindly doesn't do any of us any good. So I bided my time.... bid my time? I waited out the rattled feeling, waiting for that moment when I could draw a deep breath and let it out again, a bit more easily.

I think I'm there. Or here. Present.

One day last week some time, I Huddled with the SparkPortland team, wishing them peace and joy. Simple enough words, but I realized that -that- was what I was looking for. I need to find my peace again, I need to remember how to live in joy, rather than in misery.

Do I blame the holidays, and missing my dad terribly to the point of crying each day?
Do I blame it on having given up on myself lately?
Do I blame it on external forces wearing away at my determination?

Yes and no. Those are reasons, but not excuses. They all played into my state of mind over the last.. well, if I'm going to be completely honest, I've been in this place for the last 7 months or so. I regained my balance for a bit, and then toppled over again 3-4 months ago. I fought the good fight, put on the brave face, continued charging forward, but whenever I'd falter, it became harder and harder to get back up and continue on.

I guess I had to fall apart enough to finally reach the point where remaining in this state is untenable and I refuse to live a half life anymore.

Where once I had firm muscle under admittedly loose skin, now I'm just squishy and jiggly.
Where once I could climb the stairs and not be winded, now I'm breathing too hard.
Where once I cared what I ate, now I'm indiscriminately shoveling.

Where once I allowed someone else to define my worth and value, now I'm shaking off that under-estimation of me and counting myself as intelligent, capable, worthy, strong, resilient, and most importantly, at peace.

I have nothing to prove to anyone, but myself. I have nothing to hoist above my head and shout 'is this finally good enough??', I have no need to hang my head and quietly whimper 'why isn't this good enough??'.

Consider this my battle cry. Consider this me putting my body, attitude, emotional health, and my detractors on notice. I can be fiercely, quietly, peacefully determined, one step at a time, gaining back the ground I've lost lately, and striding forward purposefully.

How many ways do I need to say it? How many times do I need to RAWWR to convince no one else but myself that this.. this is the time. Itís time to lift my head, find the peace and joy I had before, and coax is along, steadily, gently. Itís time to stop punishing myself for something that is beyond my control. Itís time to stand up and be worthy once more, and find my way to live in peace and joy.

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IMIN2GENES 1/3/2012 1:47PM

    I wish you continued peace and joy throughout this year! I'm so glad to hear that you've found what was troubling you and are ready to conquer. Way to go girlfriend! I'm pretty sure I heard that RAWWR.

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GAYEMC 1/2/2012 6:39PM

    I'm just now finally catching up with some blogs. The holidays and I don't get along too well so I've kinda been hibernating other than work. Great blog my friend, I'm off to read your others.

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BLACKROSE_222 12/30/2011 11:14AM

    Darling, I love how you speak nothing but the truth. HUGS and thank you so much for giving us an update on your true feelings. I hope things get better.

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HEALING_LORI 12/30/2011 10:46AM

    Candy! You deserve so much joy and peace and happiness just for being you! You are truly a beautiful person, inside and out. To volunteer at that Food Bank and be with others with the same giving spirit must have been a touching experience. You have a special heart that deserves the best! As I've told you before, you have a special spark about you that gives me, and many, many others, a glimmer of hope, a spark, a feeling that life doesn't have to be so hard. Life will get hard sometimes, and that's just the way it'll will be for most of us, but we don't have to let that define us! We can use that negative energy to build a fire in us! Burn up all those negatives and create a beautiful spark to create positives in our lives! I truly look forward to the future, hoping that I can help you in any way find joy, peace and happiness! You can so get this back!!!!
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Happy New Year Candy!

You are a true friend!


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SUSUSUZZZIE 12/29/2011 11:11PM

    I seem to be having a lot of downs lately. I don't write about it because I often just don't know what to say and I keep trying to fake it until I make it. Anyway, your blogs show me I'm not alone and give me some hope for getting out of this.

There's nothing like a dose of helping others to give life some perspective and I'm so happy that you gave of yourself. It's wonderful to hear that you are feeling yourself turn the corner.

Wishing you all the strength and belief in yourself to make your dreams come true!

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ANNESYLVIA 12/29/2011 7:48PM

    Ahh, Sheeeeeeeeee baaaaaaaaaaack!

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Love ya, Anne

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ROBBIEMARIE 12/29/2011 7:45PM

    emoticon This is a multi purpose fairy. She comes first and foremost to give you forgiveness, the forgiveness you must allow yourself to have for losing some of your path along the way. After she provides that forgiveness she is providing you with all that inner peace that you have searched. She knows you have it deep within right next to that roaring lion. Yep that lamb does reside with the lion within. It's time to allow them to co-exist. It is a tender mutual existence but one that can indeed be nurtured and allowed to grow. I know you can allow it.

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WALKAWAY 12/29/2011 7:29PM

    Candy, I have to tell you how much your last 2 blogs have touched my heart. I've struggled more than I care to admit starting in November, each day trying to just put one foot in front of the other, thinking tomorrow would be a brighter day. But all I really wanted to do was pull the blankets over my head and cry. UGH! Slowly I feel like I'm crawling out from under that mudslide that I couldn't hold back from burying me. There's still raw edges, still moments of feeling lost but there is hope.......there's always hope.

Thanks so much for your email, it meant a great deal during a time of struggle.

Wishing you peace and joy.

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 12/29/2011 3:59PM

    I too want my joy and peace back. I too want to roar and be fierce about taking care of myself. I even got a book out of the library, "Happiness Project", and thought it would help me. It was a good book but I never implemented it's suggestions so how could it possibly help me?

I'm glad that you are standing up for yourself. I believe you are an invaluable asset to my life and my self project. I cannot imagine not having you on my journey. I hope others will wake up to your value too.

Here's hoping for a joyful 2012 for both of us and all those we love. Keep us posted on how things are going. I'm proud of you!


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BEACHGIRL76 12/29/2011 3:18PM

    Glad to see you let it all out. It truely helps you feel better and helps others to know they are not alone too. I feel the same way sometimes. I read the other day that people fail all the time and fall "off" the wagon and that made me feel a little better. But I feel even more better when I get back up and get right back to it. Put the past in the past and move on, take time for yourself, love yourself, and take joy in the little things in life, then eventually peace will come. I know it's hard to change for good so just make small changes and eventually we'll figure out how to make this a lifestyle. It's taken me a full year just start small changes and they may be better for my health but I haven't lost weight. Next I need to step it up a notch and stick to it more on a regular basis so I can see results. Results always keep me motivated!! Good luck to you on this journey during the new year! -Jennifer

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IRISHBEANERGAL 12/29/2011 3:17PM

    As usual, you are right inside my head, with all my own insecurities and issues. I am standing proudly next to you, watching you take your own power back.

You are a force to be reckoned with, gal! And so very very worthy of all you are capable of accomplishing.

Here's to 2012 and all the wonderful things we are going to accomplish!


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REALLY_ROBIN 12/29/2011 2:47PM

  You are worthy! And you haven't gone back to where you were...that's a very distinct difference this time. We are going to fall and get caught in the mire of our demons that got us here in the first place....the important thing is you kept fighting and now you are able to set yourself free. Remember, Candy, even though there are those in your life that don't love you as they should, you have a creator who loves you more than you will ever know. Try to tap into that, feel that love, let it surround you and bring you the peace that you desire! You are worthy and so very loved! Hugs...Robin

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CRAZYDOGLADYBO 12/29/2011 2:08PM

    I hear you! I am so very proud of you! Way to go on putting yourself as a priority and figuring out what was going on with yourself.

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Small steps...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

How often have we hard that? Take the first small step. It'll be the start of a wonderful journey, but you must take that first step.

I'm a'steppin'.

Yesterday, we had a small departmental pot-luck for lunch. We had lots of good food, not all of it healthy, and I managed to do alright. I brought Slow Cooker Chicken and Hominy Chili

I recommend this as a very tasty dish, perfect for cold winter evenings.

So, I had a bit of that, a bit of this, enjoying everyone's offerings and enjoying the few moments of being together without work being the focus. I tracked the bits and bites as best I could, and it didn't turn out to be too terribly awful.

Knowing there would be so much food out of the norm, our menu for the evening called for garlic spiked broccoli and mushrooms with couscous.

Bill made that while I worked on his computer (he'd picked up a trojan that pretty much turned his machine into a loverly doorstop). Dinner was filling without being calorie-laden, which is what I needed. I opted to have a mocha for a snack last night, and all told came in within my calorie range.

I haven't done anything fitness wise yet, but I was so antsy and full of restless energy last night I was up and down, in and out, frittering around the house. Even if my mind isn't in a place of wanting to be active, my body certainly is. It'll come.

I tracked my food. I got my water in. I started.. yep, TOM hit last night, which explains the hormonal overload lately. Today, I'm eating within range again, healthfully, and avoiding the company-provided pizza at lunch this afternoon. Instead, I have my guilt-free cream'o broccoli soup complete with leftovers from last night's dinner. Cantaloupe and greek yogurt for breakfast, another mocha for a morning pick-me-up (it's the longest-lasting way I know of to satisfy my chocolate craving right now), and an orange for an energy boost later this afternoon. Hopefully I can keep my eating under control once I get home.

I'm moving forward nutritionally. Now if I can just get my body to do the same.

Small steps.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LMLOPEZ 12/24/2011 12:35PM

    One small step for man, one giant leap for...Candi. :)

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NUTTYSNOOPYFAN 12/24/2011 12:23PM

    Small of my favorite authors, SARK, calls them micro-movements. I like that idea. Not too scary. I'm proud of you for doing it, especially during this time of year when so many people lie to themselves and say "I'll start Jan. 1" and then pig out until then. So, so proud of you honey! Keep it up. emoticon emoticon emoticon Christine

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GAYEMC 12/23/2011 5:51PM

    Way to go with the office food! Sounds like more than baby steps to me.

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KAREN42BOYS 12/22/2011 2:03AM

    Yup, you are stepping. We just keep picking ourselves up and get back to moving. :)

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APIRLRAIN888 12/21/2011 7:22PM

    Great job

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SUSUSUZZZIE 12/21/2011 6:43PM

    Great job with your food choices and tracking! And thanks for the recipe links...both look yummy!

Keep on a'steppin'!

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IMIN2GENES 12/21/2011 3:15PM

    Yay! Baby steps are good. I feel you with TOM! It's not helping me get over being sick at all. :(

Keep it up gal! You're moving forward!

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ANNESYLVIA 12/21/2011 3:00PM

    I know you love to run and I am certainly not saying give it up but maybe try something new. I remember when you first started Zumba...You enjoyed the change and kept it up. Why not try another class? Kickboxing? Spinning? Yoga? Another sport beside running? Hiking? Swimming?
Hey how about Dance lesson with Bill?


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IRISHBEANERGAL 12/21/2011 2:04PM

    Sounds like you'd make a great ballroom dancer - steppin' and steppin' LOL

I'm glad you are finding a path - step by step. You can do this!


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BLACKROSE_222 12/21/2011 1:57PM

    I am so happy to see you stepping. It's wonderful.

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EUPHRATES 12/21/2011 1:56PM

    Fabulous! Sounds like you're truckin' right along!

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ROBBIEMARIE 12/21/2011 1:52PM

    Great job, girl! You are getting back on track with those baby steps. As long as those steps don't go backwards all is good! Hugs!

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NETGYRL 12/21/2011 1:49PM

    Excellent!! Doing right by yourself is the best way I know to kick that motivation back in gear. This is a great start!

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LISA01605 12/21/2011 1:38PM


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Well then...

Monday, December 19, 2011

10 lbs.

That's the net pounds I've released this year.


I've let go as much as 20, but gained back 10, from last December to this December.


I posted a blog earlier this year that speaks to where my mind is right now. I guess it's possible I've been stuck in this same position all year. That's sad, really. But 'ambivalence' explains it in a way.

I've gone through and removed a number of "friends". I've set my page to private. I've decided to regain a bit of privacy while I get myself through this. I've been quiet here because .. because I've regained everything I lost during the Reboot, and more. Because I spent too much time in bed this weekend feeling blah and fat and disgusting and sad. Because while I started December out strong, fitness-wise, I've done nothing the last week and a half.

Thank you for checking on me. Thank you for the notes and the goodies, the kind words and wishes. While it may not sound like it, I do have positives on my horizon. I'm looking forward to volunteering with other SparkPortland people at the Oregon Food Bank on the 28th. I'm considering running the last run of the year/first run of the year on the 31st/1st. I have a plan in place that will allow me to still get my workouts done, yet get home before 8 pm twice a week.

I have plans. I have glimmers of hope. I'm in a hole, and the first best decision I can make right now is to stop digging. I'll claw my way out of it soon. Until then, I just need to stop digging.

**As an aside.. or corollary? whatever..
This year..............
I've exceeded my goal of 16,000 fitness points for this year.
I've run 7 5Ks.
I've run 3 10Ks.
I've run 2 Halfs.
I've run nearly 500 miles.

I am not a failure. I'm just floundering. I will stand back up again. I just don't know when.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NUTTYSNOOPYFAN 12/24/2011 12:19PM

    I send you much love and many emoticon. I'm glad to see that you know you will get through this. We're all cheering for you and rooting you on. If you continue to do what you're doing, you can reset yourself. It's so hard to do it here in this public forum, so I commend you for that sweetie. Progress is progress, even if you're not yet where you want to be. Holy cow, look at all those races and fitness minutes! I guess the lesson here is finding a comfortable groove. That's the lesson for all of us. I'll continue to be here in 2012, cheering you on. In the meantime, if you need a private chat, you know where to find me. I might not make time to be on here all the time, but I do make time for my friends. Love you girl! Hang in there! emoticon Christine

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ONENEL 12/22/2011 7:48AM

    I think we need to dump the emoticon.

You are amazing for all the miles you have put on this year emoticon

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ANNESYLVIA 12/21/2011 2:51PM

    I am so afraid to see my weight loss record for this past year. I really don't think it is even 10lbs but that's okay. We will just have to work on motivation together! Click on to my SP when you need me. I will be there for you.

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APIRLRAIN888 12/21/2011 12:56AM

    U can do it

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GETFIT2LIVE 12/20/2011 5:21PM

    Numbers on the scale don't tell the whole story; you know that, don't let that number define you or the year you've had. You have accomplished SO MUCH this year, so do not diminish those because of a stupid piece of metal and some squiggly scratches on it. You are here; you are smaller and stronger and faster and wiser than you were a year ago. Celebrate the other numbers, those tell the story much better than the ones on the scale.


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IRISHBEANERGAL 12/20/2011 3:56PM

    OMG I am laughing out loud at Para's comments... and I SO AGREE...

Suck it, 10! You are not worthy of Candy's achievements this year.


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NETGYRL 12/20/2011 3:01PM

    This time of year is the pits for weight-loss and unless you are one of those people that get "happy, happy" during the holidays it can be the pits for alot of stuff. Hang in there my friend. Maintain for awhile - the motivation always comes back as some point, this from the girl whose motivation took 7 months to resurface! I am sending all the good vibes I can. You will survive! /hugs

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KAREN42BOYS 12/20/2011 2:39PM

    I LOVE what paraselenc wrote. And that ten doesn't reflect any of the emotional strides you've taken. You've shown a willingness to be honest and vulnerable -- qualities that don't show up on the scale and those qualities are what bring the clarity and richness to living our lives. This just wasn't the year to be defined by the scale.

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PARASELENIC 12/20/2011 1:16PM

    You have acheived so much in the past year!

Curse that little 10. Curse it for reducing all of the workouts, all of the monster runs, all of the inspiration that you have given and received this past year. Curse it for all the new foods you tried, and for all the new adventures you took.

This year was so much more than this number.

There is no floundering here-- you rocked this year and that number can suck it.

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IMIN2GENES 12/20/2011 11:18AM

    My dear friend, I'm so sorry you are struggling so much. You always have been and still are such an inspiration for me! You've had some incredible accomplishments this year. All those races...

I think the head game is one of the hardest ones to face. I'm glad to hear you're not digging any more. I wish there was something I could do to help; but I know that there really isn't. I just hope you know that I'm standing firmly in your corner and rooting for you!

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BLACKROSE_222 12/20/2011 9:53AM

    Glad I made the cut - because I was also getting worried about you, sweetie. You are amazing, and I KNOW you will get out of this - you haven't finished motivating me and others yet... and you will get back to it. emoticon

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LMLOPEZ 12/20/2011 9:09AM

    Aww Candi-so sorry you are struggling. You are very inspirational to me when I am in that hole you speak of. I am so proud (and jealous!) of the races you've run and of your commitment to making yourself healthier in mind, body and spirit. You have taken the ice cream spoon I was using to dig my own hole once after reading about one of your racing blogs; here's to some good positive vibes to help you not only stop digging but rebuild under your feet and toss you a rope! (plus I understand climbing is good for you LOL!)
Thanks for sharing. We all get discouraged sometimes. That's why we stay on spark. I hope you can appreciate what you mean to others and how far you've come-it just takes time.
Thanks for being my Spark Friend!

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EUPHRATES 12/20/2011 6:12AM

    Thanks for keeping me around! And wow, those are a lot of amazing fitness accomplishments! I know how frustrating the weight can be (gods know I've slowed WAY down, and am getting tired of the whole "three steps forward, two steps back" routine my body likes to screw around with). Hang in there, okay?

And "I'm looking forward to volunteering with other SparkPortland people at the Oregon Food Bank on the 28th."

OMG, what a brilliant idea! Why didn't I think of that in time to do something here in Cincy? Gods, I need to be a better city team leader.

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KAREN42BOYS 12/20/2011 2:14AM

    I wonder how your body fat composition has changed. I bet that is very different from last year.

I know you're really talking head stuff which you need to work thru, but I do admire you for all those races.

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SUSUSUZZZIE 12/19/2011 11:53PM

    I'm sorry that you are ending the year with some mixed results! I'm super-duper-impressed with your 500 miles! That is amazing.

Along with losing those 10 pounds, I bet you lost many-many inches and are much stronger. Please don't forget to look for other NSVs when you think about your year. Add to that list the way you've helped inspire and encourage me and so many others.

Good for you for doing what you need to help yourself find your way out of the hole. Please don't forget that you have a lot of SparkFriends out here who are willing to reach in and help you dig or throw you a rope.

I wish I had some words of inspiration or something profound, but I don't. But I can tell you that my heart really feels for you and I wish you some peace and love! Keep looking towards those glimmers!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HOTRODSANDY 12/19/2011 8:45PM

    Hey there. I feel kind of odd offering "support' when I feel like i'm in need of life support myself. But - if it's worth anything, you're still here! I vanished on the face of the earth for a while when I was struggling. Not you! Congrats for perseverance! Hope the positives come quickly and you're standing sooner than you realize possible!! emoticon

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REALLY_ROBIN 12/19/2011 7:10PM

  C-I'm in the same boat...I lost and relost a total of 15 pounds last year. And I'm doing the same thing so far this year. I have to say I'm definitely not as disciplined as you are with the running. One thing I got from Robert..on2victory and his marathon training was it was very difficult to work on losing when he was training too hard. Could that be the issue? Did you go down to too few calories when you did the juicing thing? And ambivalence is something I've been feeling as well. I'm hoping the new year will give me some more enthusiasm to get back to losing again, I've still got quite a ways to go. I think it's really important to focus on our health, like the fact that my BP is now under control, with no meds. That's a victory. And I know you have got victories like that. Like how much better do certain joints feel because your not packing around all that extra weight. And before you say it...I know I could feel better too...but I'm talking when we first started. I was 300 pounds. So here I am girl. Let's hold hands and get across this hurdle together...I know we can do it! One of thse trips down to Portland I make, we are going to have to meet. Maybe when my son is in his own place it will free me up to go have coffee with a dear friend! Hugs girl, and Merry Christmas! Let's make this New Year a much better one than last!

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LISA01605 12/19/2011 6:41PM

    On the positive side, you end the year with a loss and that is always better than a gain. Look at all those miles you have run! That is very impressive! Especially to a new runner like me.

You are absolutely right- stop digging! I know only too well what that hole feels like and I worry every day about falling back in. When you are ready you will begin to climb out. If you need someone to lend you a hand you can always count on me! Let me know how I can support you and it would be my pleasure.

Hang in there!


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TOMEETMYGOAL 12/19/2011 6:36PM

    This journey is always a fight and you have it in you.....clawing out is the first step. I know when there is no change on that scale, or worse yet it goes up..we can beat ourselves up but everybody is right 10 ibls is a lost!! All the running you've done is incredible!! All I know is we have to keep fighting for ourselves....we have to get up and no one can do this for us..We are here for you...we can listen and we care! Let's do this together!!

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SHERWOODCYCLER 12/19/2011 6:24PM

    Hang in there. This gloomy Oregon fog (at my house every day all day since I got back from Australia last Wednesday) can't help the mood any.

Glad to see you've got some grit and determination simmering. Take care and enjoy the Food Bank volunteering.

Do y'all need any help? If so, let me know. Sounds like a real positive thing to be doin' while we are all struggling with our mood/food issues/exercises and self worth.


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ROBBIEMARIE 12/19/2011 6:13PM

    I'm so sorry that you have been 'floundering'. Yet when I think of the word flounder I always feel a very helpless and hopeless connotation. That is not you. Staggering maybe..... it implies that there is more forward movement. After all you have:
exceeded your goal of 16,000 fitness points for this year.
run 7 5Ks.
run 3 10Ks.
run 2 Halfs.
run nearly 500 miles.
You have truly moved forward and accomplished so much more than what can be shown on a scale. 2011 is about over. The past is indeed in the past. 2012 is looking forward to you and all the marvelous things you are going to show it. You are so worth the journey. (As I recall this is a tough Christmas without kids around, no? I know how difficult my first of those was. Be kind to yourself.)

500 MILES? Dang lady! I am impressed! That's almost 1.4 miles a day on average. Now that is a number to track!!!!!!!!!!!!

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IRISHBEANERGAL 12/19/2011 6:01PM

    I'm honored to be among the friends you have kept around, gal!

10 lbs is better than zero (but yeah I know it doesn't feel wonderful)

500 miles... HOLY SH*T gal-- I can't even imagine that.. Your running numbers inspire me.

You are absolutely right - you are NOT a failure. You are a woman on a mission. And I believe in what you can achieve.

Let me know what I can do to help-- I'm here and ready to do it.


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PIXIEMOM13 12/19/2011 5:12PM

    I don't know if this will help or not, but even 'floundering' you are one of my inspirations, truly!
I forget who did the song, but the lyrics go "I get knocked down, but I get up again.. never going to bring me down." -- that's you, lady!

And while I know releasing 10 lbs might not be what you wanted... its still a loss, right?? I know for me I could usually (pre-spark and caring) GAIN 10 or more a year.


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It is what it is.. and it ain't..

Thursday, December 01, 2011

I know, I haven't reported on the Hot Buttered Run, and I'm sorry about that. It was a good 5K experience, and it was nice to get back to a fun run instead of a stressful event. It was neat, too, to run into Kashmir and KEakman and other running ladies that I saw at the Girlfriends', too.

The HBR was well organized, offered a great race tshirt (I ordered an XL, and it really is far too big, yay!), for-real Hot Buttered Rum and Hot Chocolate, and a good course. I ran to my C25K podcast and really enjoyed myself. I finished in 42:32, which surprised and pleased me. I wanted to do anything under 50, so I was very pleased. I'd like to finish the Jingle Bell 5K this coming Sunday in under 42, but if I don't, that's ok. I'm still looking forward to it.

November started off as a good month for me. I was mid-Reboot, and experiencing quite a nice loss during that time. I did well the first week post-Reboot, but then it came on Thanksgiving week, and things started to slide. That is, my better judgement wasn't what it should be. As I told a friend just a bit ago, I lost my 'give a d*mn' and pretty much gave up.

Thanksgiving was supposed to be simple - Bill was going to grill steaks, we'd have a nice little dinner, it would be a tasty treat, and we'd move on. Great!

But instead, he bought a 14 lb turkey for just the two of us. The sides we made were relatively healthy. My portions were ridiculous. Yes, I can have ANYTHING I want to eat, at any time, as long as I have a healthy, moderate portion. 1/3 of a pumpkin pie at one go is NOT healthy nor moderate.


I'm struggling. Yea, you can tell, eh? Sorry.
I'm having a hard time with relationships right now.

My dad has been gone for 6 1/2 years now and I miss him dearly. For whatever reason, this fall has been particularly hard without him. In addition to missing him, I'm missing my daughter, who has moved from Cali. to W.Va. I know, I wouldn't be seeing her or talking with her any more were she still in Cali. but at least I could convince myself that she was on my side of the country and not so very far away.

My mom, when I mentioned to her in our last phone conversation, that Bill and I had a period of time where we weren't speaking to each other, piped up and asked "Does he resent your running?"
Not simply asking 'why?'.
Not even asking what HE did - she is MY mother after all, I'd like to think she'd be on my side initially.
She doesn't approve of my running. She thinks I'm doing too much. She thinks I'm obsessed. She shot me with that 'obsessed' zinger about my fitness and running back in September and it took me out of the game for nearly two months. I know I shouldn't have let it, but I did. And then, I finally get back on my feet again, start to feel better about myself again, make progress and strides again, and she zaps me one more time with "Does he resent your running?"

Bill and I have been at odds recently. Or more accurately, I'm at odds with him. For the record, no he does not resent my running! I feel alone, and lonely. I feel very isolated, without anyone to confide in, no one to defend me in a stupid step-family conflict, no one to push me when I need it, no one to cheer me on when I need it, no one to.. whatever. I love all y'all, but it's not the same as having a bestie around to pick up and go somewhere to do something with or do nothing and talk with. I haven't had that in a very very long time, and I'm suffering because of it.
He brings crap into the house because HE's not on a diet, he can eat whatever he wants. My willpower, when I'm this down, is not that strong. I crave and I cave far too easily. If I don't have X, Y, or Z in the house, then I can't eat it. Just because he's not fat and doesn't need to lose weight doesn't mean that he should be eating the crap that he keeps bringing home.
The step-family stuff really is just stupid, but I've had crappy in-laws before, I don't want to deal with that kind of thing again. You don't get to talk crap about me and expect me not to ever say a thing about it.

I have more good days than bad, but the bad ones really do suck. When I'm out'n'about with people, I'm ok. It is the isolation and long stretches of silence when I'm in my own head that it is the worst. Is it depression? Yes. Is it situational? More yes than no. Is it related to SAD? Possibly, although this week in PDX has been very nice, and dry, with a few sunny days... while I'm in the office!

My plan for getting through today is to change once I'm done with work and go run the waterfront. I did the same thing Tuesday evening, and it was really good. I was out on the path by 4:15 or so, and yes it was dark by the time I was done, but I liked being on the familiar run along the waterfront. (Warning - nutball statement coming up) I draw energy from water, and running along the river is peaceful and energizing and calming all at once for me (end nutball statement, sorry). I ditched ST and Zumba last night because I was simply too tired. My main goal for the Jingle Bell run on Sunday is to be well rested so I can enjoy the experience, rather than being tired, grumpy, and stressed out. Sometimes, something has to give, and last night, it was going to the gym.

So.. where does all this leave me? Left wanting, certainly. I want things to be better. I want relationships to improve, one way or the other. I want to figure out how to feel good about the coming holidays. We're having house guests starting tomorrow through next weekend, so there'll be additional stress due to that as well (maybe, we'll see).

I have an opportunity to do what I want for the rest of this month. I can make it as good or as bad, as productive or lazy, as bright or as dark as I want. It really is up to me. I am not.. I Will Not be defined nor defeated by others.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANNESYLVIA 12/21/2011 2:48PM

    I did not know you were feeling this way... emoticon

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PARASELENIC 12/12/2011 12:31PM

    Other thing:

What a totally sucky thing for yer ma to do. Really, really sucktastic.

FWIW, I'm super proud and a little envious of your motivation to run, and to continue to run despite all the familial, seasonal, and regular day to day roadblocks that crop up.

I'm sure your mom is all sorts of awesome, so please don't see me as dissing her, but really, her comment totally sucks.

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PARASELENIC 12/12/2011 12:18PM

    I'm sorry to hear about your rough times, and even more sorry to hear of the isolation/lack of a bestie to turn to.


This may be off topic, but this book really helped me out when it came to besties, friends, the whole nine yards. It gave me a really good perspective on friendships, the roles they take, and how the friends we have can fill some roles and not others. It's also got some tips on getting over lonliness without a bestie to getting motivated and how to foster closeness in friendships.

Truth be told, the reason I got this book is becuase of a horrible, horrible friend break up I had a couple of years ago that was still hurting years later, but this book had so much more help for me than just that incident. In no way is this a commentary on the friends you have or anything... but I've been in a place before where I've needed a friend to talk to and not really felt like I had anyone in my life to confide in... this book really helped me to realize how wrong I was, and how to foster closeness....

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GAYLEP67 12/5/2011 10:26PM

    So sorry to hear that you're going through a rough spell, Sunshine. It's bad enough when 1 or 2 things in our lives aren't great but to have multiples is lousy. I'm glad you can find some solace in your running down by the water and think you should continue with the things that make you happy.

You have done a marvelous job at physically transforming your beautiful self over the last year+ and I'm incredibly proud of you. You're right, it IS up to you and like your journey to all of your other accomplishments, you will be successful.

Hang in there, honey!



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BEACHGIRL76 12/5/2011 10:49AM

    I hope things are going well with your house guests if they are still there or hope they did go well. I know all too much about the relationship issues. I have been married 4yrs and it's been HARD but things just recently took a turn for the better thank God! I hope the same happens for you. As for the food that your hubby brings home, I think it sucks that he does that but for the rest of our lives there is always going to be food around that isn't good for us. I think it's just about thinking of it differently. Maybe he could hide it, or at least keep it off the counter. I find that if it's in my face on the counter, then I'm more tempted to eat it. Just make rules for yourself to help you stay focused on your goal. My hubby is skinny too and works out every night. I get mad that he just has to do the bench press a few times and eats whatever he wants and doesn't gain weight but, I watch him and really he doesn't eat that much. He never finishes his food and he goes long periods without eating. He eats slow and he has a lot of muscle so he burns calories faster. And he does something active no wonder he stays that way! lol He's actually wanting to gain weight! And I'm the one who brings in the junk food so he and the kids can have it...but then of course I end up eating it. I get angry when I see him do one set on the bench press and think how bad it sucks that I can't just do some pushups and be skinny but the truth is, I'm mad at me for letting myself get out of shape in the first place. In the end we just have to take control of our lives no matter how bad it sucks and no matter how hard it is. We will always struggle with this in some way or another. They say maintaining is the hardest so I guess we better get used to the struggle and accept it. It's tough but we can do it!! Best of luck to us all during the holiday season. :)

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NUTTYSNOOPYFAN 12/3/2011 11:16PM

    Hey sweetie!

I'm sorry you're having issues with relationships. I'm sending some (((positive vibes))) your way and hoping that you continue to find things like running along the waterfront to boost your mood and recharge your soul. I, too, am a water baby...I feel so peaceful and energized when I get to be near the water (that's part of MY misery here in Ohio, not near a good body of water). And I totally feel you on the bestie issue. My bestie is in Florida and I'm here in Ohio. We haven't lived in the same area for 6 years and it's tough not having anyone to go out for a coffee with. Hubbies are ok to talk to and for support, but it makes such a difference having a LOCAL girlfriend.

I'll be thinking of you honey and hoping that your visit with your house guests goes well. It's always nice to see folks, but it's also tiring to have people staying in your home. Just went through that at Thanksgiving with Mark's parents being here for almost a week.

Hang in there. Do you have a SAD light? I don't know if it would help, but it might be worth a shot. I'm thinking of trying some St. John's Wort to get me through the situation I e-mailed you about. I know e-mail isn't the same, but I'm here for ya if you need to write and let it all out. From one nutball to another. emoticon

Love you!

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REALLY_ROBIN 12/3/2011 10:36AM are such a wonderful person! I also have a mother who makes zinger statements. I want to be close to her, but I end up not sharing my heart with her because I don't want to be hurt. So I keep it superficial. I don't know what to say about Bill...I've not exactly been successful in my past relationships. It seems to me he could eat his junk food away from home. And I understand why you would feel sabotaged. Everytime I look at your profile I'm struck by the fact that you don't even look like the person you did when you began. The change is unbelievable! So, don't get sucked into all this crap, as much as we want relationships to be peaceful especially this time of year, most of the time they just aren't. Draw your peaceful feelings from those who are in your corner and from running along the water. Water is a powerful force, you are definitely not a nut! And remember we have a wonderful creator who loves you more than anyone on earth can EVER! Be strong Candie! You will be in my thoughts and prayers! Hugs...Robin

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GETFIT2LIVE 12/2/2011 2:51PM

    I'm so sorry about the struggles and the stress right now . . . wish I lived close enough to meet up and hang out awhile, I hear you on not having a bestie nearby. I'm not sure why some times we miss those who are gone more than others, either; my mom died about the same time as your dad, and there are days I miss her so much it hurts.


Oh, and nothing nutball about your statement, you're not alone there, either!

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 12/2/2011 12:30PM

    I've always said that being lonely in a relationship is the loneliest lonely there is! I get that and it's part of what I'm going thru right now too. I identified with so much of what you wrote. I too cave way too easily and I'm working on that.

I get the water giving energy. It seems to affect me that way too. I'm glad you know yourself well enough to get that run by the water in there.

I'm such a Grinch about everything, not just the holidays but especially the holidays. I'm going to see my folks on the 10th and I have to have their Christmas things ready to go. That's too soon! Ugh.

I'm really rooting for you and hoping you have a fabulous December. Hang in there, maybe we can get thru this stuff together.

I've fallen in love with this group and this holiday song really summed it up nicely for me. I've been laughing about it all day.

njoy! emoticon

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BLACKROSE_222 12/2/2011 10:14AM

    I'm sorry things are rough at home. And your Mother and my Mother should totally meet by the way - when I told my Mom I completed my farthest training run ever the other day she actually told me I was killing myself... and HER. ARGH!

Hugs. Here's hoping the night run tonight will give you some energy. emoticon I don't think you are crazy at all. I believe that our natural elements are our true resources, and we all need them.

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IMIN2GENES 12/2/2011 9:45AM

    So apparently we just must be fellow nutballs! The first place I can be found when I need to find some peace is the water. Lake, river, even a pool in a pinch! It just soothes my soul.

As for the rest, so sorry you're in such a rough patch. Families can be really, REALLY tough. My DH and his sister are barely even speaking. Don't even get me started... I'm just trying to stay out of it and support DH. My brother and his wife, married this past May, are currently sleeping in different rooms of the house. Makes me feel sane... LOL!

I know having us isn't quite the same. If I were closer, I'd just give you a great big ole hug and go for a walk by the river with you! Hang in there and take care of yourself. I'm thinking of you and sending you happy thoughts!

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BUFFALOKAY 12/2/2011 9:08AM

    Nutball statement - nutball would be to run along water and not draw the wonderful energy nature provides!

As for the difficult time you are going through - I hope you find some answers soon, but you need to be the one to find the answers - not your mother. She may mean well, but it is your life and you don't have to let her comments upset you.

May you be blessed with better days.

Best of luck on this weekend's race.


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LISA01605 12/1/2011 10:19PM

    I am so sorry you are going through such a rough time. Eating right and exercising is hard enough without additional emotional stress. My DH recently started caring about what he eats but he hates veggies which is most of what I eat these days. There is always food in the house that I "can't" have. I have learned to think of it as his food that is off limits to me. Granted he shouldn't be eating junk but I am not the food police. Maybe you can have a cabinet where your DH can put his junk so that you are not tempted by it. Then all you would have to do is stay out of that cabinet. You wouldn't be seeing it everywhere. Just a suggestion.

I hope you find some inner peace soon.


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TOMEETMYGOAL 12/1/2011 9:40PM

    I too love the water and it does give you energy. I know I love our vacations at the beach cause my husband's family is from the east coast and in order for us to see them...we rent a beach house. There is 8 of us in the family so we can't just stay at someone's house. LOL!! Anytime I can walk near a body of water is so much more soothing to me.
I'm sorry that you are going through this with your hubby, I hope it gets better. We are here for you if you want to be heard. We support what you're doing and praying for a positive change in all your relationships!! :-) emoticon

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EUPHRATES 12/1/2011 7:08PM

    emoticonFor the record, that didn't seem like a nutball statement to me. Of course, I suspect most people would consider me a nutball, so I'm probably not exactly unbiased.

Hang in there hon. GO YOU for doing what you need to do for yourself, despite less-than-supportive family members.

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DARK_CINDERELLA 12/1/2011 6:44PM

    First off, not a nutball statement in the least. You want to hear a nutball statement? My hubby periodically says he has to "water his Jenn." Yeah, I literally draw energy from it, too. (too bad I live in landlocked western PA...) Yet another thing we have in common?

Secondly, I hear you on the isolation stuff as well. Last year and this year, the hubby has been traveling for work for the entire Christmas season. (This year he has been home this week, but he leaves again Monday and is coming home the 21st or 22nd). Shopping, decorations, etc alone is very lonely; so while it's not the same situation, I feel the sentiment. I am so sorry you are feeling it this year.

I don't have any beautiful words of wisdom; I wish I did. Just know I am thinking of you, praying for you, and sending hugs on the wind.

PS Still planning on JASR? I really really really want to meet you in person!

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SUSUSUZZZIE 12/1/2011 6:39PM

    I'm glad you had a wonderful Hot Buttered Run! I love the name of that one and I want to do it just to get a shirt with that name. Congrats on this shirt being way too big. That is an awesome NSV!

Oh have In-law and step-family BS too. I'm so sorry. I know that is hard.

I'm sorry you are having a tough time with your DH. I count my blessings every day to have a DH more or less is in this with me, even though he only needs to lose a few pounds to be at a perfect weight. He doesn't like most veggies, but he powers through. I'm sorry that you do not have that.

Drawing energy from the water is NOT nutball at all if you ask me. I think the water is at least part of the reason why I moved from the MW to WA. There is something magical about being near the water. Or maybe I'm a nutball too, in which case it's nice to know I have great company. I don't run by the water, but I live for being near it when I can make it happen. One of these days I will have to try a run.

I'm sending you a few hugs while you think of your dad. I'm glad you have him in your heart even if he isn't here. I don't have that feeling with my parents and I've finally given up any hope for that to happen.

But you do have all of us. When you feel alone, post us or ping us and we'll all be here for you. Even when we're not online with you, we're here. I know that isn't the same. I wish there was more. Let us know if I can do anything.


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APIRLRAIN888 12/1/2011 6:21PM

    Sorry about hubby, communication is key ;)

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    Ouch... sounds like a rough patch (geez that statement is so lame, but for lack of a better...) right now.

I get the whole family thing, at least on my own level, and it ain't pretty. I'm sorry. I miss my mom like crazy this time of year (she passed Dec 26, 2004), so I understand that ache from having a parent gone.

I'm sorry your mom didn't step up and give you what you needed. Been there, done that too. It sucks.

I don't have a 'real time bestie' either, and I used to - so I think I can relate there as well (fortunately, or unfortunately - take your pick)

I LIKE your last statement "I Will Not be defined nor defeated by others" - sums it up quite nicely. I'm sorry things are so sucky right now- but you ARE right - it is up to you to make of it what you will/can.

Please let me know if I can do anything. And take care of yourself, gal. You are so worth it.

~Irish emoticon

PS - I echo Pixiemom- not a nutball statement at all - running along the water sounds cool to me.

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PIXIEMOM13 12/1/2011 5:55PM

    I'm sorry you're going through a rough time... wish there was something I could do to help!

I didn't think your statement was "nutball" at all!! I like the water fine, but for me I love, love, love the feel of running in the woods (at least on bike I have yet to try trail running!) There's just something about being surrounded by the greenery and birdsong.


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Quick catch-up..

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My three-day weekend seemed to fly by, and somehow now it's Tuesday, and I've been very very busy, which is very very good.

Friday saw me making a nice investment in a few new clothes.. of the size 16 variety! W00T! I did some shopping, updating my clothes and picking up a few pair of shoes. Who knew I liked shoes this much?! Anyway, I've found that it's not just those particular big-box size 16s that fit, but pretty much each pair I tried on fit. That's a loverly feeling, truly.

Saturday was chores at home day, with a run in the morning and a walk with the puppies thrown in. Otherwise, it was nicely lazy, which I fully believe everyone needs now and again.

Sunday I did a bit of cooking, making chickpea stew and vegetarian chili. We liked both dishes very much, and it left me in good position for my lunches for work this Very Short Week! Another walk with the girls, albeit slow, was a nice use of the sunny day.

I'm finding myself, the last couple of nights, struggling with evening snacking. I've got an evening snack planned for each day, but it doesn't seem to satisfy. I don't know if it's just my body on a too-frequent eating schedule/habit deciding it needs something because it's been 2-3 hours or if it's just boredom. The scale has reflected most of my positive efforts, and I'm fluctuating a lb here and there. Now, it's TOM, and I'm prepared for the uptick.

Oh. And then there's Thanksgiving. Yes. Bill had decided over the weekend that since we won't be having any family over (mine is back in W.Va., and his will be otherwise occupied) he'd prefer to simply grill a nice steak and have a simple dinner instead of a small feast. That's fine by me - less work, prep, clean-up and calories!

Of course, the rain in Portland is now coming down in biblical proportions today, and he has decided he will not want to grill steaks outside on Thursday in the rain. Uh... well. Ok then. He's gone on the hunt for a small fresh turkey this morning. We have acorn squash on hand, plenty of veggies and yummy fixins to make a nice dinner, albeit greatly reduced. Again, that's fine, I won't have to worry about over-indulging as much.

We won't be turkey trotting that morning, but I will be out for a run, and then a walk later on with the puppies.

Ah, running. I've decided to go back to basics. I was so burnt out by the time I ran the Girlfriends I just completely quit for what felt like a really long time - in reality it was only 2-3 weeks, but it felt longer. I'm using DJ Steve's Podrunner C25K podcasts to bring myself back up to speed. It makes sense to me - a set time, a good pace, an opportunity to work on running consistently to hopefully improve my overall pace, endurance, and efforts using the Galloway r/w/r method. I don't see it as a step back from where I was before, as a runner, but as a nice break to keep myself in the game without beating up my body too much. I'll start back with Half training in earnest again in January. Until them, I'm happy with my podcasts.

I think that's the latest and greatest. No real interesting or exciting news... just me, living a healthy happy life.. as best I can.

I wish my Spark family and friends a great Thanksgiving.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MALKS_ARIA 11/25/2011 8:48PM

    Sounds like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.... !!

:) Hope you get the running bug back soon :)


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ANNESYLVIA 11/24/2011 7:49AM

    Have a romantic Thanksgiving for two! Enjoy the steak!

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ROXIT22222 11/23/2011 1:34PM

    You will have a wonderful thanksgiving! We are going to hit the gym right after I get the turkey in the roaster. With this rain and wind no hiking on my thanksgiving day!

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HEALING_LORI 11/23/2011 10:44AM

    Living a happy healthy life is what it's all about! Wishing you and your hubby a wonderful Thanksgiving together!
emoticon emoticon

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IRISHBEANERGAL 11/23/2011 12:15AM

    I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


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APIRLRAIN888 11/22/2011 10:01PM

    Awesome likqe dj steve

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IMIN2GENES 11/22/2011 9:33PM

    Happy Thanksgiving to you too! A small dinner sounds wonderful. We're doing the huge family get together which is sure to have some family drama. LOL! Still much to be thankful for!

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GAYEMC 11/22/2011 8:06PM

    Congrats on new clothes in a smaller size. You worked so hard this summer getting ready for your half that I think your body and mind needed a break. Sounds like you're back at it with new motivation.

I hope you and Bill have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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GALWAY_GIRL 11/22/2011 6:50PM

    Hmmmmmmm back to the basics. Sounds pretty good to me.

Your Thanksgiving sounds just as it should be as well..... back to the basics. Why do we do such a huge meal? In the state of the country right now and so many people hungry......we should all just do a small meal like that! Enjoy it doll.

Have a wonderful time with your hubby and enjoy those size 16's. You've earned them!!


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GETFIT2LIVE 11/22/2011 6:11PM

    Hurray on fitting into those 16s--that's wonderful! Great idea to go back to the podcasts, too; I find I do a lot better when I have a set plan to follow for running, though I often adjust it to fit my needs. Hope you have a wonderful, healthy holiday!

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NETGYRL 11/22/2011 4:29PM

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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BLACKROSE_222 11/22/2011 3:55PM

    Thanks for the catch up! Happy Turkey Hunting!

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REALLY_ROBIN 11/22/2011 3:23PM


Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving as well. Sounds like you are doing great!


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TURTLERASKIN 11/22/2011 3:05PM

    Congrats on fitting into the size 16s! I do hear you on the snacking. I have to give myself a firm talking-to in the evening to remind myself that I'm not hungry, my stomach is just empty. It's taking quite a while for me to distinguish the two feelings!

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ROBBIEMARIE 11/22/2011 2:59PM

    QUICK catch up? Lady, you are one busy person. Sounds like you will have a truly lovely Thanksgiving with a healthy meal. I'm having a small gathering as well at my house. There will only be about 15 of us. Yes, that's small. Hubby and I have huge families. Sad thing is none of our own kids and their spouse will be here. Best wishes for a wonderful quiet holiday.

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 11/22/2011 2:51PM

    I'm doing a small dinner thing at my house too. Everyone lives too far away to get together even tho I miss those times, I'm not sure others do.

I hope you have a lovely holiday. Sounds like you've got a strong game plan. I hope to get in some activity that day too. If the weather cooperates, maybe the pups and I will take a quick walk.

Enjoy your time with hubby.

Happy Thanksgiving my friend! I'm thankful for you!


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PIXIEMOM13 11/22/2011 2:44PM

    Sounds great to me! I never actually finished the C25K podcasts.. hehe maybe I ought to try that too.. or carli at has some bridge to 10K podcasts.. not sure how many she's recorded so far...

Anyhow, glad to hear you are just living a happy, healthy life the best you can. Its the best gift you can give yourself and your family.

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