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
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.
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.
Monday, December 19, 2011
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..
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.
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.
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.
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