Monday, November 29, 2010
This blog is not going to be fun or inspirational. It may even be a bit dark and a tad bit depressing. So if youíre looking for light and fluffy today this is not the place to be. If you are interested in reading about how I plan to get back on track, read on.
I realized yesterday how far off the path Iíd gotten. Iíd convinced myself that I could cheat a little bit here, a little more there and things would be just fine because after all I run three days a week, let my personal trainer push me to the brink of death two other days and Iím adding spinning and yoga to freshen things up. I forgotÖÖÖÖ Iím a Spark rock star. So I can put whatever I want in my mouth, smile big for the camera John and the weight will melt off. Yeah right. I have made no progress for close to three months. Iíve been treading water. Sixty four pounds and it stopped. It bothered me till Iíd get one of those sweet little Spark Goodies from someone who found my page and found me inspirational. Did I mention Iím a Spark rock star?
My pastor cut me to the quick yesterday morning. He made me realize just how far away from who and what I want to be Iíd gotten. It was much needed and Iím grateful but itís sort of like having a tooth pulled. You know it needs to come out but it still hurts to no end when it does.
I woke up at two thirty this morning and proceeded to have a full blown panic attack. I have been dealing with these for over twenty years and intellectually I know no real harm will come from them. Itís like riding out a really bad storm. You know it will end and youíll be exhausted. I also know that the fears that trigger and precipitate them arenít realistic and I can honestly tell you none of them have ever come to pass. They are just like throwing one more piece of wood on a roaring fire. The flames get larger. Last nightís theme was failure and stupidity and thatís the short version. I finally fell back to sleep only because once the storm is over you are exhausted and canít help but sleep. I never wake up feeling rested after having one of these episodes. I feel drugged and like I am walking through Jell-O. I feel disjointed and out of touch and quite honestly I am going through the motions today. In short, starting over, getting back to basics really sucks.
No one can do this but me. You can pray for me all you like, Iíll appreciate it and thank you. You can write to me and inspire me, and Iíll be grateful to you. But when all is said and done only I can do this. Itís just me and me and while I have faith in myself and know that eventually it will all work out I also am aware that going back to what worked and letting go of those bad habits that crept back in is difficult and not always welcome.
So here is my short list of new goals to help get me back on track.
1. I noticed that my daily cardio time has remained the same for a year, roughly forty minutes per day. That allows me to wimp out at times so I have raised it to fifty minutes. I can handle that and it will give me a bit of a jump start.
2. Things work much better for me when my caloric intake resembles a decrescendo. My largest meal is breakfast, then a smaller lunch and finally a light supper. Along with this I am wrestling the carb monster. If I have a secret affair itís with bread of all types. Suffice to say Iíll be in a foul mood for a few days as I rid my body of those sticky and icky carbs. I need to return to water and tea instead of diet coke.
3. No food after six in the evening or three hours before retiring, whichever comes first. This will help me sleep better.
4. Meditation is medication for the mind and soul. I convinced myself I was too busy to take that ten to twenty minutes per day to revitalize and rejuvenate and keep my center of balance in focus. Today we begin again, slowly, but refocusing on the John who walks in the light surrounded by a positive energy vortex.
I am not giving up. Iíve learned to much about me in the past eleven months to quit now. I wish I hadnít gotten so far off track, but I did and now itís time to keep flying the plane through the storm once again. Thank you for caring about me and for loving me and simply for being there. Iíll return the favor.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
I have been lost for close to three months. I have been wandering around in some sort of haze trying to grasp on to some sort of stability in this journey and it feels like I am missing it by about five seconds. Just about the time I think Iíve found it, ďpoofĒ itís gone. Itís frustrating and depressing. Itís made me wonder if itís all worth it. Maybe I should just go back to being unhealthy and undisciplined. I talked to a wise friend about this. She thought for a moment and said, ďThank God for everything. No matter how painful, or disheartening, thank Him. You are being taught a lesson.Ē So I did. As much as I felt like I was standing alone in a fog; every bad run I had, every painful workout every last stupid temptation to eat emotionally: I thanked Him, over and over. ďI know there is a lesson here.Ē
Joan and I went to church early this morning. Our pastor talked about the coming of Christmas. He told us he had a wish for us and he wanted to share a Scripture passage. It was from the book Revelation. ďÖBut I do have something against you! And it is this: You donít have as much love as you used to. Think about where you have fallen from and then turn back and do as you did at firstÖĒ (Revelation 2:4-5)
Most often my notion of God is one who comforts and cuddles. Thatís how He is supposed to teach me. He is not supposed to hit me over the head with a large piece of wood and stun me. Lesson learned.
I have fallen away, gradually cut corners and like the Scripture says I am not embracing my health (loving) as I did at first. I have lost three really valuable things: my focus, my balance and I am no longer centered. It is time to get back to work.
After church I took a long walk, about two miles, and regrouped. I uttered at least three or four prayers of thanks because I am starting to see why I was stagnant. When I got home I saw where my friend ANEPANALIPTI had written a blog this morning that cut to the core of my issues. While the jest of her blog talked about putting off dealing with thoughts and emotions, the lesson I walked away with was the part where she questioned the purpose of her running.
I sat back and asked myself that simple question, ďWhy do ya run, John?Ē It took me a few minutes to answer that question: I run for my health. End of discussion. NowÖÖÖÖÖ there are a lot of things that have gotten in the way of all that and sent me careening off course:
I do not run for time or distance. Iím slow, so what? I am running to make myself stronger and healthier and if I never shave another second off of my time I am still getting healthy and it does not diminish my value as a human being. I was getting caught up in comparing myself to other people and fighting against a standard I had no chance of reaching. Then my self-esteem hit the toilet. Focus gone!!!
I am not competing against, you, your friends or even myself. If it takes all day and all night to get it as long as I get results, does it matter? The very best run I ever had was in Nashville two weeks ago. It was a fall afternoon and the temperature was just right and I slugged along lost in the sunshine and it must have took me forever to run two miles but man, did I feel good. If you were running that day, you might have shot past me. I doubt I would have noticed. I need to get that feeling back.
I run to be healthy. I run to lose weight and when I put it in those terms, my focus started to sharpen. I may never run a half marathon, but who knows I might. Itís not important. I have been dreading my runs, putting them off and making excuses for the way I felt. I wasnít running for me.
What is important is what the Scripture stated: ďGet back to the start and do the things you were once doing.Ē
Between me and you, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Donít get me wrong. I may run further and faster one day, but it is not why Iím doing it. Iím doing it because
I am worth it and I deserve it and my health is what matters.
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