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Project Pixie Dust: Day 51 01-03-11

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

All you need is faith, trust, and a little pixie dust!

And here we go...the first work week of 2011. My first week of Country Music training. My first run of the year tomorrow. Lots of firsts! I had a great day back today. Work was very quiet, still. It seems like many of my clients are still rolling in from the holidays and just starting to get caught up on their backlogs of work. I expect I'll be starting to hear more from them in the next couple of days, and by next week, I'll fall back into my typical work-related craziness! And this coming weekend, I'll be cheering on all of my friends who are running the Walt Disney World marathon and half marathon (and some doing the Goofy challenge, which is both races in one weekend). I'm very excited for them, and even more excited that I'll be joining their ranks one year from now!

Drink my water, 64+ ounces: DONE (27 days running)!

Eat five servings of fruits and veggies: DONE (4 days running)! Really starting to love my little clementines. They are so cute and smell so good, and although I used to dislike citrus fruit because it was sorta stringy, they have a fairly smooth texture - for citrus. So I like them, and all that vitamin C has to be doing good things for me!

Eat mindfully all day and night: I give myself an A- today. I packed a great lunchbox with lots of fruits to snack on and vegetarian chili, carrots, and salad for lunch. I ate it all, and also had room for a sugar cookie from the cafeteria for dessert. We had spaghetti, at Bruce's request, for dinner. I have decided that spaghetti with meat sauce is a major waste of calories, as far as I'm concerned. Honestly, I don't like it that much to use that many calories on it. Now, I could waste calories on alfredo pasta or buttered noodles or mac 'n' cheese, but I think next time we have spaghetti, mine will be sans meat. In any event, even with eating the spaghetti, I still had room for one of those yummy pumpkin bottom cupcakes for dessert. Another small accomplishment, I didn't have ANY soda today! My husband calls me a "Diet Coke head" because I really looooove my diet sodas, but I've been making an effort to cut back on it lately. Not cut it out altogether, just make it something I have, maybe, a couple of times a week, rather than daily. So, I didn't have any on Saturday, I had just one on Sunday, and none today.

Running: Still on hiatus, but tomorrow is the big day! I'm anxious to see how it goes. I expect that I may have a bit of hard workout, being that it will be my first day back and on the 'mill (and you know how I feel about the treadmill). We'll see. Even if it's hard for me, I know I'll eventually get into a groove and get comfortable with it again.

Cross Training: I hit the gym today - surprise! I was in at 7:30, on the early side for me, and when I walked through the doorway, my jaw literally dropped. It was PACKED, you guys, way more than I had ever seen it. WOW. I'll admit to being mildly annoyed, as people were swarming everywhere and there were quite a few people doing inconsiderate things (blocking doorways, talking on their cell phones while using the equipment, not wiping down equipment when they finished), and it just kind of interfered with my whole "gym time = relax time" mentality, but whatevs. It's easy enough to say, "the newbies are so annoying, they're just clogging up the works and they don't know what they're doing, and I can't wait until February when most of them are gone..." BELIEVE ME, some of the folks tonight made it EASY. BUT, the more compassionate side of me has to remember that we were all new at some point, and we all have to start somewhere, and it's just happy coincidence that many, many people choose January 1 (or 3, being the first Monday of this year) to get going. Sure, it's quite possible that many of my gym's new members will lose steam after a few weeks or even a few days, but there will be some who will keep on going, get fitter and stronger and, thereby, improve their lives in ways they could have never imagined! And why would I begrudge anyone that opportunity? (And I can make an almost identical comment about SparkPeople, whose surge in lunchtime traffic pretty much crippled it, making it impossible to do anything, including the all-important tracking lunch calories, and inducing quite a bit of irritation in a basement office in Southern Wisconsin...) Back to today's workout, I did find a free elliptical and cranked out 49 minutes. It was quite boring, I'll be frank, although I had a clear view of the basketball court, and there was a guy on the sidelines practicing his juggling. Like literally. Juggling. With balls and hoops and clubs and stuff. Quite entertaining. Made the time go by faster...and apparently, he didn't just entertain me, because I saw a basketball player go up and shake his hand as he was finishing up. Today's workout was equivalent to 3.27 miles.

On my way to DISNEY WORLD! 14.53 miles complete, 1275.47 to go (1290 total)

Strength Training: Today was a ten minute lower body workout, courtesy of SparkPeople. Thankfully, by late evening, the SparkPeople website was running at full speed again!

So, Monday is in the bag! Also, today we got our first batch of listing from our home buyer's agent. It was quite overwhelming to see this big, long list of houses with price tags and all the details. It could literally take hours and hours to pick through it all. (And our agent warned us that, until February, pickings would be very slim as people often pull their houses off the market over the winter, apparently. So if these listings represent the low season, I can't imagine what they will be like when things pick up!) Bruce and I plan to sift through them separately and each come up with a list of ones we like. The ones we have in common and/or each of our top picks will be the ones we go to look at "for real." This could get interesting. We seem to make a lot of decisions this our child's name, for instance! But hopefully, even though we both have some different priorities for our future home, we'll find enough common ground to agree on some good candidates.

I hope you don't mind the extra chit-chat in my Project Pixie Dust blogs. I enjoy telling you a bit more about myself and my family that's not related to nutrition, fitness, or running, just so you can know that there's a real-life person under all the self-improvement-related chatter ;)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FUNFROG79 1/5/2011 11:49AM

    Thanks for the update! My gym is crazy crowded now too, I'm gonna give it a few weeks emoticon Sounds like you had a great day and are on track! Keep up that veggie streak!

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    Sounds like a great day! The agent is right...alot of new homes do go on the market come spring....enjoy looking at your options.

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Project Pixie Dust: Day 50 01-02-11

Sunday, January 02, 2011

All you need is faith, trust, and a little pixie dust!

In the past, January 2 has been my least favorite day of the year (with my favorite being December 24). It signaled the end of the holiday season and the beginning of the rest of the long, dreary winter. It meant back to work, back to business, back to blah as far as I was concerned. Christmas decorations would come down and people would just sort of duck their heads down and get back to the grind. Depressing, right? This year, I don't feel the usual sense of dread in approaching the new year. I'm pretty excited about continuing my voyage of self-discovery, practicing healthier habits, and learning more and more about myself every day. Sounds hokey, I guess, but it's definitely true! Today, although I was a bit under the weather with the remnants of cold #2 of this season, I had a very successful day!

Drink my water, 64+ ounces: DONE (26 days running)!

Eat five servings of fruits and veggies: DONE (3 days running)!

Eat mindfully all day and night: I give myself another A today. My routine was a bit off today, but I feel happy with how things turned out. I was feeling pretty ghastly this morning, so slept in and skipped mass. Didn't actually end up stirring until close to eleven (eep!), so went straight to lunch. We ate as a family at Taco Bell, but I stuck to a small-ish $2 meal and brought a clementine and some berries along for dessert, to reduce the temptation to dig into nachos or cinnamon twists. My strategy worked out great, and I really enjoyed my daily dose of citrus. The smell of an orange or clementine as you're peeling it is just divine. It smells like sunshine, like good cheer, I don't know, I just love it! For dinner, I made homemade lightened-up General Tso's Chicken, and we ate it with rice and veggies. White rice, admittedly, but brown rice just doesn't seem to fit so well with Asian-style food. Just doesn't seem light and fluffy enough! Had room for a pumpkin bottom cupcake from the freezer for dessert.

Running: Still on hiatus, but tomorrow is my last day before I start up again!

Cross Training: After being sluggish and tired all morning and afternoon, I was up to some in-home workouts after dinner. Did some more aerobics, thirty minutes of Denise Austin and about forty of Leslie Sansone. This all added up to "mileage" of 4.87.

On my way to DISNEY WORLD! 11.60 miles complete, 1278.40 to go (1290 total)

Strength Training: Technically I didn't do any today, as it's not on the schedule, but half of the Denise Austin workout had sculpting exercises with 3-lb weights.

Very proud of myself! I did everything I could to set myself up for a fabulous January 3. I packed a lunchbox with some vegetarian chili, a bunch of fruits and veggies, and some cereal and other goodies for breakfast. The one thing I don't love about packing lunches is all the finicky little containers I have to pack everything in. (We don't do the ziploc bag thing, since it gets $$$ and wasteful...) But it's worth it to have good, healthy, homemade eats on hand. Not that I don't like the work cafeteria, but I can't be eating like that every day. And I could do the Lean Cuisine/SmartOnes thing, but over time I started to develop kind of a distaste for them, even the ones which were supposedly my favorites. Once in awhile I can stomach pasta alfredo or pizza, but that's my limit now!!

And we're getting ourselves pretty excited about the house thing. Today we took a drive to a neighboring town, one we're seriously considering, just to browse through the neighborhoods and see which ones we like. Bruce and I have some different ideas about what we want in a house, and one of our concerns is that we won't agree on one. Lo and behold, as we drove around, we spotted one that we both liked the look of, and it's for sale! When we got home and checked the listing, we found that it was actually in our price range. And the square footage is about right, and it has the right number of bedrooms, bathrooms, a basement (which we want), two car garage, deck, and lots of good stuff. Photos of the interior looked decent. And the house isn't even painted a hideous color or anything. We got pretty excited and actually pictured ourselves there. Now that means very little for the time being, since we might hate it on the inside or it may have issues or whatever, but it was just kind of cool that we saw a real life house which could potentially be OURS in a few months! We already sent an email to our buyer's agent to see about going and looking at the house. Why not? It could be the one! Our agent is also collecting up listings about other houses to send our way, so hopefully we'll see some other prospects soon!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    emoticon You looking in Verona?

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LAURIE5658 1/3/2011 8:58AM

    House hunting rocks! Moving into your first home rocks even more! Have a great time during this enitre process and even though there will be a few stressful moments its so worth it!

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FUNFROG79 1/3/2011 8:26AM

    Oh, house hunting fun! My husband and I had different idea about what we wanted as well and in the end compromising won!I love the smell of clementines too. Congrats on your streaks, keep going! emoticon

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Project Pixie Dust: Day 49 01-01-11

Sunday, January 02, 2011

All you need is faith, trust, and a little pixie dust!

Business first...officially HAPPY NEW YEAR now that we're really in 2011, and this is my first post of the new year! 1-1-11, the day of ONEs, and one of new beginnings for so many people. I wish you many blessings in 2011, and hope it's a good one for you and your family and friends. I'm not starting out with any official new year's resolutions, but am keeping in mind the things I hope to accomplish and tune up this year. And I feel like I got off to an amazing start today!

Drink my water, 64+ ounces: DONE (25 days running)!

Eat five servings of fruits and veggies: DONE (2 days running)! Second day in my new streak was even easier than the first. Got lots of yummy fresh fruit, as well as some beans, steamed vegetables, and other goodness.

Eat mindfully all day and night: I give myself an A today. Today we ate at home, which I think always makes things that much easier! I generally can't be much happier with the choices I made. There was even room for a cupcake for dessert, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Running: Still on hiatus, but there are just three more days to go! I'm starting to feel a bit nervous about my running comeback, but very excited too! I'll just take it slow and steady and have fun with it whenever I can.

Cross Training: I started the year off with an encore of the Leslie Sansone Super Challenge vid. It was an awesome way to get up and moving, and open 2011 with lots of positive energy. I love Leslie! Later in the evening, I followed it up with...more Leslie! I got a total of 101 minutes of cardio today, an equivalent of 6.73 miles. That's over a 10k! Way to start the new year with a bang!

On my way to DISNEY WORLD! 6.73 miles complete, 1283.27 to go (1290 total)

Strength Training: Kept it pretty simple and easy going today with a quick SP bootcamp core strength video. Core strength training is the one area I really HATE training, in spite of its millions of benefits, so I'm probably getting the least of this out of the three major types of ST I do (lower/core/upper). I just find the core exercises to be boring, cumbersome, and not very satisfying, quite like lifting weights or doing a bunch of squats and lunges. But compared to not doing it AT ALL, which is what I had going on previously, I'll deal with this slight imbalance away from core strength training for now.

Just for fun, I'm doing a little "project" to motivate myself to get those exercise minutes done! I'm going to do a virtual run/walk/cycle/whatever from my home in Wisconsin to Disney World (specifically EPCOT). I'll basically count my total mileage every day, until I get up to 1290, the total distance from my front door to the entrance to EPCOT. I will count miles walked/run as literal distances and all other cardio as 1 mile = 15 minutes. This should be FUN! Let's see how close I can get to Disney in 2011! And once I make it there, I'll celebrate with an awesome margarita from the Mexican pavilion...and then gear up for the 2012 WDW Marathon, which I plan to run for realsies! My virtual travels from here to WDW over the next year will most definitely be symbolic of my journey to the WDW marathon next January, especially when you consider that I'll be putting marathon training miles into my total! So, look out for my totals in my daily blog posts from now on.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LAURIE5658 1/2/2011 10:07AM

    What an awesome idea and what is so cool about it the running of the WDW Marathon in the end. You go, girl!

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FUNFROG79 1/2/2011 9:50AM

    So exciting! Have a blast at Disney, the race there is so fun! emoticon

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COMPUCATHY 1/2/2011 8:43AM

    Very cool. Sounds like a great plan and a great goal! I hope you have a magical 2011! Enjoy the journey! Spark on! emoticon

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JAKENSAMSMOM 1/2/2011 8:36AM

    Are you tracking miles to run to WDW?

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Project Pixie Dust: Day 48 12-31-10

Saturday, January 01, 2011

All you need is faith, trust, and a little pixie dust!

One more day left of 2010, and I'm happy to report that I was able to end the year on a good note. After several days where I just kind of felt blah and out of control, I was much more in my usual routine today and was able to keep things right on track. It definitely seems to help me to have a pretty set routine, where I know approximately what I'm going to be doing and when. I mean, it's not always possible to keep a routine, but when it is, that's what works for me. Anyway, here's the lowdown for my very last day of 2010!

Drink my water, 64+ ounces: DONE (24 days running)!

Eat five servings of fruits and veggies: DONE (1 day running)! Starting a new streak today! I ate fruit during the workday (while managing to avoid the stuff like chocolate covered raisins), and when we were at Target tonight to pick up some odds and ends, I bought a bag of Cuties clementines, some more vegetables, and a pint of blueberries. Yum!

Eat mindfully all day and night: I give myself a B+ today. I'm proud of myself for keeping track of my food today, staying positive, and keeping away from the binge eating. It helped that I was generally in a good mood, and that Bruce and I have resolved our squabble from a couple of nights ago. We did have lunch at the Golden Arches, and I was kind of ehhhh there, but it still wasn't nearly as crazy as it could have been!

Running: Still on hiatus, but I'm on the final countdown to my first half marathon training run. Four days to go!

Cross Training: My final cardio of 2010 was the Leslie Sansone Super Challenge video, which takes about an hour. It felt like a great workout!

Strength Training: Two SP strength training videos, a bootcamp lower body training video with a stability ball and a twenty minute stretch/strength workout that covered all the major muscle groups.

So I already wrote out a long blog to bid farewell to 2010 and lay out my hopes and goals for it! In short, I would say that, in spite of some challenges and slip ups, 2010 has been a wonderful year, mainly because I have learned a LOT about myself, who I am, what I'm capable of, and what I hope to do with my life. I look forward to another year of growth and accomplishment. Here's to 2011!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FUNFROG79 1/2/2011 9:45AM

    I think you started the year off right! Keep that veggie/fruit streak going, YOU CAN DO IT!

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Goodbye 2010

Friday, December 31, 2010

One year ago today, I was sitting in my office, much as I am this afternoon, sipping on a calorie-free beverage, monitoring my silent phone and empty email Inbox, and daydreaming about the sleep Iíll get this evening. (Since if you think Iím going to stay up to ring in the new year, you can forget itÖ) After a 2009 marked with uncertainty and confusion, I entered this year with confidence, resolve, and determination to make 2010 a year of accomplishment and personal growth. I had lost all the weight I wanted to lose on Weight Watchers, my son had finally received a diagnosis to explain his developmental delays, I was getting the hang of my job, and I was a newly minted runner. There were still a few troubles lurking in the background, but, all in all, I felt prepared to hurtle into 2010 and take it by storm!

And now, 365 days later, how did that all end up? If I simply had to answer the question, ďWas 2010 a Ďgoodí year?Ē with a yes or no, Iíd likely take the ďyesĒ option, although with some reservation. I did accomplish many of the things I set out to do, but as the year progressed, I came to some painful realizations about who I really am, where my weaknesses truly are, and the amount of growth I still have left to do. This kind of understanding is part of the human journey, in general, as we are all works in progress with potential for great improvement. But at the same time, it can be frustrating and disheartening to feel like youíve come a thousand miles, only to find that you have thousands more to go, or even worse, youíve been traveling down the wrong road all along. So, now letís take a look back at my 2010, starting with the resolutions I put forth one year ago and ending with where I stand today, and where I hope to go in 2011.
Many of my hopes for 2010 were related to my new-found love of running. My primary goal was to train for and complete the Madison Mini Marathon in August. At the time, I expected that it would be my first (and only) half of the year, but I did end up completing five, beginning with the Disney Princess in March and ending with the Haunted Hustle, the race that made me eligible for the Half Fanatics, in October. I think itís safe to say that I met my goal, but it didnít come without a price. I completed almost a year of NON-STOP half training injury free. I didnít really bomb any of my races, and have a rack full of bling to remind myself of the hundreds of miles and dozens of hours I dedicated to training on all kinds of terrain, through widely varying weather conditions. I have stories, good, bad, and ugly, of my running adventures, and Iím sure that when I look back at them, even some of the bad ones, Iíll always smile because they really do represent happy memories, for the most part.

But hereís where I get a bit tripped up. A year ago, I wrote, ďMy biggest wish is that I will enjoy running on January 1, 2011 just as much if not more than I enjoy it today.Ē Do I enjoy running in the same way I did a year ago? No. Thatís not to say that Iíve fallen out of love with it. I still do like it, very much, and I look forward to beginning half marathon training next week. But, as an enthusiastic newbie, I think I made some crucial mistakes in planning and training that seriously compromised my ability to truly ENJOY running. I ran five halfs this year, as well as several shorter races, ranging in distance from 5k to 10k. I never really gave myself a rest from intense training. Sure, I earned that Half Fanatics membership, which makes me very proud, but I really went about it the wrong way, looking back. It wasnít so much the quantity of races that killed me, but if I WAS going to do so many events in such a short span of time, I just needed to RELAX. Against my better judgment, I got caught up in ďimproving,Ē as in running faster, stronger, longer, etc. I pushed myself to limits which were probably verging on unreasonable. My exercise schedule, at one point, appeared to be nothing BUT running, and over time, did my times get faster and faster, as I had hoped? NopeÖquite the oppositeÖand when I crossed the finish line at the Haunted Hustle, I was completely and utterly exhausted, and NOT the same kind of ďtired and sore but smiling and enthusiastic about running my next raceĒ exhausted I felt after the Princess Half. Even when I ran a 10k on Thanksgiving, I still could tell that my body just was run down and tired of it. I shuffled away from the 10k feeling quite downtrodden and disgusted with myself. Not because I had ďunderperformed,Ē but because I had let my relationship with running get into such a dissatisfying state. Quite alarmingly, I wasnít enjoying it much anymore.

I knew, in my heart, though, that I had NO desire to give up running. I remembered all of the great moments, those times when I felt free and confident, when, even if I was moving at an eleven minute mile, which is tortoise-like slowness to elite runners, I felt like I was flying. I remembered the overwhelming feeling of pride and elation I experienced when I was handed my Princess Half Marathon medal after two hours and twenty minutes of what, for the most part, felt like playtime in the Disney parks. And the fact that a burning desire to run a marathon still resides within me is telling. I know now that I still crave MORE running glory, but if Iím to truly love running in the way that I want to, I canít approach it in 2011 the same way that I did in 2010. My first goal is to curb the quantity of events I select this year. Itís so easy to get caught up in the mindset, ďoh, thereís a fun 5k in town this weekend, donít mind if I do,Ē but I donít think that kind of decision-making really did me any favors. As of today, I have two 2011 half marathons planned (April and August), and am keeping marathon training (for January 2012) on the horizon. Other than that, I will probably fill in with another half or two, and maybe a couple of smaller races. But Iíll be honestÖIím very much in love with the half marathon distance, and might be quite all right with the thought of not ever doing another 5k. The 5k is just such a mad dash, and sprinting just isnít my speedÖplain and simple. And if I were to drop $50-60 on two 5k races, I may as well have just saved my money for a half, which usually comes with a cool tech shirt and blingage and the simple ďpleasureĒ of getting the most of your race fees by being out thereÖoh 2:20:00+ or so if youíre me.

And trainingÖI need to be more careful. NEED. Much as my competitive side loathes the idea of it, NO MORE worrying about what other runners are doing, NO MORE obsessing over time/pace, NO MORE Type A-ness which is putting a damper on the process. And be wary of what I read in Runnerís World. Thatís a cool magazine for reading stories and browsing the race listings, but a good bit of the running advice is geared towards the type of runner which I am not and, quite frankly, donít ever want to be. Iím shifting to a more conservative training plan (two 30 minute runs and one long one each week), and am making sure I budget the time I need for cross-training and strength-training. The layoff Iíve taken over the last month has helped me get into a good rhythm with other kinds of exercise. For months I was basically JUST doing running, and this month I did pretty much everything BUT running. Now, rather than doing my running workouts begrudgingly, Iím actually back to the point where I can look forward to them again! So, in the new year, I hope to find the right balance as I slowly integrate the running back into my program. And if I even HAD a running watch, it would be going in the drawer for a hiatus, because, while pacing is a useful tool, I donít need to be concerned with my times right now. Anyway, Iím literally taking it one step at a time, just running easy and reminding myself that Iím doing this because itís SUPPOSED to be fun. Why should I worry about my half times? Even if I were to do a 1:55 half, if I didnít enjoy the race and the journey of getting there, it is not worth it to me. Sure, Iíd get mad bragging rights, but no thanks. And believe me, if I manage to PR this year, Iíll most certainly be celebrating like any runner would, but I am not particularly going to ďgo for it,Ē so to speak. If it happens, awesome, if not, thatís cool too. My most important running-related goal for 2011 is simply to recapture the spark that I got from getting out there, running, and truly finding joy in it. I have faith that January 2012 is the right time to make my marathon debut. The marathon is a beast of a distance to take on, but I feel called to do it and know that, with the right approach, can make it one of the most joyful experiences of my life. I have time on my side, as well as the resources I need to make it a true celebration of all the hard work I have done over the last couple of years. And as 2011 marches on, you will hear more and more about my plans to make my marathon dreams come true.

And, of course, my health, eating habits, and weight maintenance somewhat go hand-in-hand with running and physical fitness. At the end of 2009, I was actually below my pre-pregnancy weight and had actually sailed right past the weight goal I had set for myself. I was strictly following the Weight Watchers program and would have called myself successful. I was proud to announce that I was starting to phase pre-packaged foods out of my diet and had replaced many of my old standby snacks with fruits, veggies, lean meats, and more wholesome alternatives. One year later, things have changed drastically and, unfortunately, not for the better. While I certainly havenít gained all of the weight back, not even close, I have 15 pounds that Iíd like to see go. I have fallen back into some unhealthy eating patterns, and itís a constant struggle to maintain any kind of sensible ďdiet.Ē Even when I claimed to be content with my Weight Watchers program, under the surface, whether I wanted to admit it or not, I was just one bite away from falling back into old habits of emotional and binge eating. And towards the middle of this year, once I started to slip a little bit, it turned into a runaway train, and as I finish up the year, I am so far removed from how I was eating in December 2009 that now, quite frankly, I am not even sure how I could get through a day on so little. Iíve been doing a lot of thinking about my eating, why Iíll do well with a ďdietĒ plan for a while, only to fall completely off the wagon, never to go back, months later. I know itís not an uncommon struggle, but at the same time, it truly bothers me that, even if I am eating well, it takes every ounce of emotional control I have to keep myself from overeating or making the wrong choices. Many days it feels like an addiction that Iím trying to fight, and I donít always know how. I feel like no ďdietĒ is really going to ďfixĒ my eating habits unless I deal with the underlying emotional forces that are driving me to eat the way I do. Perhaps I need more solid emotional outlets that donít involve food. Maybe I could benefit from joining forces with other people with similar struggles, so we can benefit from each otherís support and empathy.

I know that, somewhere out there, there are ways to make this easier on myself. But, at this point, I almost feel like it does very little good to say ďIím going to follow x programĒ or ďIím going to eat more yĒ or ďless zĒ without acknowledging that I HAVE to take better care of my emotional needs, or the food and weight maintenance issues will probably continue to follow me for the rest of my life. To this end, I have found a couple of teams on Spark People of members who deal with similar challenges, and will no doubt seek other resources as the year goes on. My hope is that these teams will be a good starting point for exploring my emotions and understanding whatís driving my behaviorÖand hopefully, from there, I can make some real, lasting improvements. Iím also hoping that, the more solid my personal life feels, the better Iíll do with my emotional eating. Right now, itís a mixed bag, somewhat. On the plus side, my job is going very well. After 2 Ĺ years at my current company, I feel like Iím mastering my job fairly well and making some useful contributions to the company. I feel confident that I have selected the right line of work, so that, even if I donít stay in this job long-term, I could easily see myself transitioning to another job in the same industry. Bruce is finally on a career path that seems to satisfy him, and while the trades arenít always the most stable work (as in, there are seasons when he sits at home, and that is to be expected), I can tell that he generally is fulfilled by the kind of work heís been doing. Financially, while my family has struggled a bit in the past, we are on very solid footing now and prepared to buy our first home in mid-2011. Itís a frightening but exhilarating prospect! Also, Timmy is really starting to grow up, and more and more, we see his personality coming out, and I just love it! He has been in autism therapy since April, and since then, he has really made great strides with his communication and social skills. I feel grateful that we were able to finally get a diagnosis last December and that we had the resources to connect him with amazing therapists. Everyone feels encouraged by his progress and optimistic that heíll do well in mainstream schools in a couple of years.

On the flip side, there are still some tensions lurking in our household. The most distressing at this time is that weíve recently received bad news about the health of several family members. One of Bruceís uncles is losing his battle with cancer, and we could get ďthe callĒ literally any day now, one of my aunts was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, and my motherís best friend, who is like an aunt to me, also recently received a cancer diagnosis. I just fear that 2011 will bring bad news about any or all of these beloved family members. I like to remain hopeful, but sometimes itís tricky when the bad news just streams in so quickly. My anxiety about my family members isnít helped by the fact that, spiritually, Iím about as weak as Iíve ever been. After writing something similar last year, I still donít feel like I have a spiritual ďhome.Ē This is complicated by the fact that Bruce and I are of different religious backgrounds (both Christian, but vastly different): he attends a church of his choosing and doesnít feel comfortable with attending a different type of church, and he wants to raise Timmy in this church. I donít severely object to that, or even attending with him sometimes, but I just donít feel like I fit in at all there as itís fairly out of line with my personal beliefs. And at the same time, I feel like breaking off from the family to attend a church of my choosing doesnít feel like the answer either. So, to say the least, Iím in kind of a spiritual quandary, and hope that God will lead me the way I need to go. I am still very much a believer, but I just feel completely disconnected right now. I believe that finding a spiritual home, or at least a better way to ground myself in that way, will also help me deal with some of the emotions that are triggering my food-related problems. I can only hope. And, my marriage isnít necessarily in the place where Iíd like to see it. We had a very painful couple of years in 2008 and 2009, and in 2010, I think we finally started to find some stability. Weíre in a more comfortable place, generally, although sometimes it still feels more like weíre roommates than husband and wife. Weíre both hopeful that, as we restore our trust in each other, we can find ways to re-connect and recapture the love we felt for each other while we were dating and in the early days of our marriage. Neither one of us is considering leaving, but I know we both could be happier. I hope that 2011 can be a year of renewal for the two of us. Anyway, to sum up, If I think about all the blessings we have, I know in my heart that life is good, itís just a matter of tuning things up. There are just a few areas where Iím out of touch, and just want so desperately to be more grounded and stableÖhopefully with some prayer and hard work (or faith, trust, and pixie dust?), Iíll get there in time.

In eight hours, weíll be moving on from 2010 and onto 2011, and I look forward to seeing where this year takes me, in spite of my few anxieties about the future. I wish you a happy new year 2011, and hope that the new year brings you many good things!



  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROOT4HOME 1/1/2011 10:56PM

    I can relate to how you felt about your running once you finished the Haunted Hustle...I felt depleted and didn't have much fun running either after my 2nd HM and then especially after the 5k I ran after it! I too had lost all desire to run 5k's...I think it's b/c of the fast sprint like pace (I'm not fast) and b/c the ones I do are usually local, I end up running alone and thats NO fun. I want to enjoy running/racing and especially running/racing with friends! So much more enjoyable - to PR then is just a BONUS!

Wishing you all the best in '11 - including guidance/comfort from up above on issues of faith and family! emoticon

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LAURIE5658 12/31/2010 8:36PM

    RB, this blog is such a powerful tool for me to learn from and ultimately apply the ideas to my own masterplan. After my first HM training and race experience I decided right there and then that I would be happy with NOT forcing the training for PR's. Like you, I love the distance as it gives you a challenge but not over the top. My Princess training is so simple to the point where I have it all in my head. With my first, I was constantly looking to see what the torture of the day would be. Also, as you mentioned I am NOT going to run nearly as many 5k's as I HATE them to be very honest. The speed is not for me at all. Slow and stready is my true love.

Marriage. Jim and I celebrated our 32nd yesterday and trust is a constant work in progress. It does get to a point where things truly do fall into place and your marriage will become comfortable. I promise.

Church. I grew up Methodist and Jim Southern Baptist. Neither one of us had a very positive religious feeling up until two years ago when we moved to a larger metro area. That gave us so many new opportunites to test various churches. We found a "Methodist Lite" church with a large membership with contemporary music and a very casual atmosphere. We truly love it and FINALLY found the Love of God and feel peace every single day. My hope for you, Bruce and little Timmy is that you find that peace one day. There is nothing like it.

Family illness. All I can say is do NOT try to look into the future as it will eat you alive. Take it one day at a time and STAY POSITIVE. Pray. God will never give you more than you can handle for He will light the way. I promise.

I love you, my friend.


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AMARAN 12/31/2010 6:44PM

    What a thoughtful reflection on your year! Thanks for discussing your feelings about running. It will help me keep an even keel when I start running. I know how amazing therapy can be for our little special needs kiddos. I'm glad Timmy is responding well! What a blessing!

Be strong, friend. May your 2011 be wonderful, blessed, and restful - even in the midst of chaos. emoticon

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CRYSBROWN1 12/31/2010 6:33PM

    What an amazing year you had! I like all of your goals for 2011! Sorry to hear about the family health concerns, my thoughts are with you.

I wish you the best for a great 2011!

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HJFOGARTY 12/31/2010 6:23PM

    wow you sure did have a year and I really hope your love of running returns and you are able to make 2011 even better! you are such an inspiration and deserve all the happiness in the world! take care of you!

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FUNFROG79 12/31/2010 6:03PM

    Stay strong and positive that the new year will bring you health and happiness. I think everyone worries about the future, but I've come to realize that the future is coming, good and bad things will come along with it, and we just have to deal with them the best way we know how. Cheers to you in 2011! I wish you well! emoticon

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