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I won't accept this

Friday, October 19, 2012

My weight went up this week instead of down. It's not a case of doing everything right & still gaining. It's a case of failing to try.

I did step up my exercise this week & am feeling a pleasant soreness in my neglected muscles as a result. For only the second time since I fell & reinjured my left arm, Wednesday I did a long 28-Day Bootcamp session (SP video mixing cardio & strength training). My left arm still can't quite straighten out the whole way, & I didn't try to force it & did use lighter weights than I used to. I think it's going to be OK without another round of PT.

So I'm back on track in that department. It's helping me generally to feel more cheerful--I knew it would. Nothing like exercise endorphins to restore perspective.

I also saw my new spiritual director a couple of weeks ago & was SO encouraged. She listened well to me & explained that she takes a psychospiritual approach & often works with dreams. She led me in a short open-ended meditation that took me pretty deep into my pain. I've come to understand that being IN my pain (rather than avoiding it, which I've always been pretty good at) is one of my life tasks right now. So when I do have a particularly sad day (as I did recently after reading a novel about a marriage destroyed by narcissism, like mine), I remind myself that it's OK, that I need to go through this rather than around it. And making that choice means I'm not helpless, & that in itself makes me feel better.

I put my dream journal next to my bed with a pen again. Thus far I've recorded bits of several dreams--maybe some of them will be good material for discussion next time I see my spiritual director, in late November.

Now it's time to get serious about my eating again. I won't accept an upward weight/bodyfat spiral even if I'm going through an emotionally hard time. Reestablishing consistently healthy choices in my eating will be another way to comfort myself. In the coming week I will LOSE weight!

I'm writing this on an Amtrak train, headed for a long-awaited St. Louis visit with my granddaughter (& my son & DIL)! MUCH more comfortable than Megabus, I must say. Gonna be a great weekend!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUZYWM 11/23/2012 2:23PM

    I'm behind in my reading and posting, but soooo appreciate your openness, and your ability to communicate truth. It's hard to sit with the pain. But you're so right, avoidance is destructive.

Hope you had a really wonderful time with your family - and a lovely thanksgiving!

xxoo

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SHANSHE 10/25/2012 11:28PM

    So glad you are working through this instead of avoiding it all!

Post some pics of your weekend!

Love ya,
Shan

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CZARINA_TV 10/22/2012 9:21AM

    It's just really hard to be angry and upset sometimes. It's not a nice place to be, and we all want to walk past it too fast. I'm glad you're seeing someone who can guide you through all this and maybe doing a little kickboxing will get some of that anger out.

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RUNNERRACHEL 10/20/2012 11:43AM

    So cool that you are blogging from a train!
Have a great visit with your granddaughter, DIL and son!

So often the pain feels too much to bear and we avoid it. I have had trouble being in touch with anger until I saw a Christian counselor who taught me it was OK to get angry...

Happy to hear you are getting in touch with those feelings

Good job on working out. That's where I've been slacking lately and it has really affected my mood. I am getting back on track this weekend with walking and will be walking a race on Sunday.

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RAINBOWCHOC 10/20/2012 6:50AM

    Getting quality time to explore the pain will pay dividends, but find some joy to balance your life too. I'm sure being with the family will provide that
best wishes, Sandra

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KOKITTY 10/20/2012 12:11AM

    Don't forget, muscle weighs more than fat! With sticking to your workouts this past week, perhaps you're getting stronger! Get your eating together, keep working on your stress, and I'm sure you will see results!

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BEATLETOT 10/19/2012 11:13PM

    Yay for St. Louis!!! And yay for spirtual directors! You can do it, Ruth! You can get back on track!

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MADAMES 10/19/2012 10:13PM

    You can take charge of those things you need to. Enjoy your weekend with your family!

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RASLALIQUE 10/19/2012 8:26PM

    I am glad things went well with your spiritual advisor. I hope you continue to heal and find peace. emoticon

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NEED2MOVE2 10/19/2012 8:05PM

    emoticon

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I won't accept this

Friday, October 19, 2012

My weight went up this week instead of down. It's not a case of doing everything right & still gaining. It's a case of failing to try.

I did step up my exercise this week & am feeling a pleasant soreness in my neglected muscles as a result. For only the second time since I fell & reinjured my left arm, Wednesday I did a long 28-Day Bootcamp session (SP video mixing cardio & strength training). My left arm still can't quite straighten out the whole way, & I didn't try to force it & did use lighter weights than I used to. I think it's going to be OK without another round of PT.

So I'm back on track in that department. It's helping me generally to feel more cheerful--I knew it would. Nothing like exercise endorphins to restore perspective.

I also saw my new spiritual director a couple of weeks ago & was SO encouraged. She listened well to me & explained that she takes a psychospiritual approach & often works with dreams. She led me in a short open-ended meditation that took me pretty deep into my pain. I've come to understand that being IN my pain (rather than avoiding it, which I've always been pretty good at) is one of my life tasks right now. So when I do have a particularly sad day (as I did recently after reading a novel about a marriage destroyed by narcissism, like mine), I remind myself that it's OK, that I need to go through this rather than around it. And making that choice means I'm not helpless, & that in itself makes me feel better.

I put my dream journal next to my bed with a pen again. Thus far I've recorded bits of several dreams--maybe some of them will be good material for discussion next time I see my spiritual director, in late November.

Now it's time to get serious about my eating again. I won't accept an upward weight/bodyfat spiral even if I'm going through an emotionally hard time. Reestablishing consistently healthy choices in my eating will be another way to comfort myself. In the coming week I will LOSE weight!

I'm writing this on an Amtrak train, headed for a long-awaited St. Louis visit with my granddaughter (& my son & DIL)! MUCH more comfortable than Megabus, I must say. Gonna be a great weekend!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FIREFLY_MEDIC 10/19/2012 9:03PM

    :) you can do it

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Have to recalibrate

Friday, October 05, 2012

I've been mulling things over for quite a while, not updating much here. The fall I took three weeks ago really set me back, not just physically but also emotionally. Reinjury is really demoralizing--this arm has been hurt so many times now. I've been hoping that it would heal itself & I wouldn't have to request yet another round of physical therapy, & it IS better but I still can't straighten my arm. I looked through the pile of printouts of PT exercises from previous rounds, but I couldn't find any that seemed to specifically address the elbow. So I may need to go back, at least for a refresher.

I've let go of regular exercise since 9/12 when I fell. Not good--even with my arm bunged up I can do lower-body ST & fast walking, but I haven't been steady with either. Also I've craved sweets terribly & have given in to the craving rather often. I haven't been able to reward myself with travel savings for quite a while now--& I'm not sure that I even should, because . . .

I took a hard look at my finances the other day & was discouraged to see that I haven't really managed a net reduction of my debt since X moved out more than two years ago. I've made a number of big payments on credit cards, but I've also had some major expenses: my lawyer & X's lawyer (I had to pay both because his income was much less than mine); replacing my computer & adding a laptop; trips to Colombia, Boston, & LA; massive work on my car (it's old but sturdy, gets excellent mileage, & almost never breaks down, so I got some major maintenance & repair work done all at once); replacing a couple of furniture items. I made really careful choices with all these things, & am continuing to work extra & live as frugally as I can without descending into deprivation mode. But still, getting rid of the debt is going to take longer than I hoped.

In recent weeks I've started to have a pronounced eyelid twitch, clearly related to stress. It's twitching as I write this.

Though I've had many wonderful experiences in recent months--solo camping & going to outdoor concerts with friends & making tamales over open fires with Colombian friends & having people come for dinner & so on--I'm struggling with depression right now.

On a deep spiritual level I'm feeling discouraged & uncertain. The two years of psychotherapy really helped me get through the divorce, but now I'm sensing a need for a different kind of inner work. Being married to a narcissist for 7 years, & then having to fight his efforts to get all the $$ he could from me in the process of divorce, really harmed me in ways that are hard to express.

So here's how I'm going to try to address the malaise:

1. Find a spiritual director. A friend has recommended a Catholic nun who happens to live just 1.5 miles from me. The nun is open to meeting with me for discernment, so next Wednesday (when I work from home), my morning exercise will be fast-walking to meet with her. I hope she proves to be a good mentor to help me discern God's movement in my life at this time.

2. Participate in the fall 5% challenge, focusing just on exercise & healthy eating. Of course getting sweaty more often is going to help my mood.

3. Make an appointment with my doctor to see if I should get PT for my elbow.

4. Living just as frugally as I can without making myself miserable.

As always, my SP friends' encouragement will be appreciated. Love to you all.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHANSHE 10/25/2012 11:25PM

    emoticon emoticon, and more emoticon

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MONALISA112 10/15/2012 5:55AM

    Dear Ruth,

Hang in there, it will get better. I think you have a good plan. I agree that you should try to decrease your stress. I'm also a person who puts a lot on myself so I do understand. It's very easy to think that we have to do everything.

How did it go with the nun? God really helps if you let him. Difficult things will not go away, but they will be easier to manage.

God bless / Lisa

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RASLALIQUE 10/14/2012 11:17PM

    I am keeping you in my prayers. It sure has been a rough year for you. i pray that you will make it around the bend soon.

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 10/8/2012 12:24PM

    Poor, Ruth. I hope things get better soon. I think working through that list you laid out will help and start to mentally make you feel better and less stressed because you're taking the "steps" to work things out. I get that eyelid twitch from time to time too, and it will definitely go away if you can get rid of or alleviate a little bit of that stress. Also re:#4 be careful about that adding more stress. I love the idea of frugal living, but remember to live. I know you will. emoticon

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MADAMES 10/6/2012 7:25PM

    First of all, I love your new profile picture! It shows a truly lovely person. I too am excited about beginning the fall challenge with such a group of supportive friends. I applaud your efforts to get a spiritual mentor and to refocus on you....you WILL survive all of this. One day you WILL be able to look back on this stage of your life and see how you grew stronger from tackling it all.

Hugs,
Evelyn
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AMYLONGHORN 10/6/2012 10:38AM

    Hi Ruth--I'm sorry I haven't been around as much to know what you've been going through and offer support. I don't know what a deep depression feels like, but I think it is good that you have set goals to focus on YOU. You have gone through a lot and it sounds like you have a good plan in place to work through specific things. I need to get my head back in the Starfish game, too, so we can root each other on throughout the challenge! Sending TEXAS-sized hugs your way!!

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RUNNERRACHEL 10/5/2012 11:42PM

    I would like to encourage you and support you as you go through this period of adjustment/transition/change.

B vitamin helps me when my eye twitches. Helps with the stress. My favorite is Mega B- Stress by Solaray. It is inexpensive. You can find it on Vitacost website.

As for your ideas to address those issues, those are great plans of action! You are specific, you have plans, people to support you and you will make it through this and probably grow in the process. You are a wonderful, dear person and I only want the best for you. I pray for God's peace in your life in this time.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BABY_GIRL69 10/5/2012 8:18PM

    Dearest One, I am so sad to hear all that you are going through. You know I am just a phone call away Love. I am also a good listener & seeing the nun will also be a good thing for you. I think speaking to someone who has no personal stake except that you are better than when you walked in is really great. I spoke with someone some 2 years ago & I just miss her perception of me & how she uplifted me & made whole. I'm also praying for you that you are made whole.

God bless & keep you!

Dee

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Another fall

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Big sigh. But it could have been worse.

I was out this morning doing my errands-exercise (delivering a project, picking up bananas & bread, depositing a check) & absent-mindedly stepped off a curb as if it weren't a curb. I threw up my arms to help break the fall. As has happened several times before, my left arm took the brunt of the impact.

I stayed on the ground a little while--fortunately this was a low-traffic street--to gather my wits & figure out how bad it was. A nice young man who had been hurrying to the L (elevated train) came over to see if I was OK. Soon I was able to tell him that I'd be able to get up on my own & he could go on to catch the train.

I finished my errands & walked home much more slowly. Took three ibuprofen with breakfast & then sat in bed for a while, alternating the heating pad & an ice pad on different parts of my arm, & reading. I put some antibiotic ointment & a big band-aid on the forearm scrape, near the elbow.

And now I've tested the rotation of my left arm. Happy to say that I don't seem to have further damaged the rotator cuff (it has a small tear from an earlier fall) & don't think any PT will be required this time around. However, I can bend my left elbow only so far. I'm afraid that means no biceps curls or triceps extensions for at least a couple of days--dang.

I'm just not very coordinated. Sometimes I'm so spacy when exercising. Well, it's a good thing I was walking instead of running! (In case you didn't know, I stopped running a few years back after too many nasty falls.)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAREN_NY 9/17/2012 12:31PM

    I hope you're feeling better, and that maybe the fresh air from your hike has helped!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NANASAMM 9/14/2012 1:32AM

    I hate when that happens...I'm glad you didn't break anything. I do know what you mean though. I have a bad habit of turning my ankles missing stair steps. I've done it twice. Once on Christmas Eve then a few months later the night before we were to leave for our February vacation to Disney World. Another time AS I was headed out the door for a day with friends at a casino. Never a good time.


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Comment edited on: 9/14/2012 1:32:49 AM

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 9/13/2012 11:16PM

    I'm glad you're ok, but keep an eye on your injuries. I am not very coordinated AT ALL! I fell once after John and I picked up some Mongolian BBQ, I was carrying the food, tripped in the street and John was all scrambling to get the food/make sure it was ok, while my leg was bleeding! I'll never let him live that down, lol. But I have had some more serious falls and I am constantly afraid of hurting my ankle/knee again. I have to be very careful with those but my brain doesn't seem to cooperate.
RE: the part about being spacey during workouts, ME TOO! I've found that some of the dance classes I do help me concentrate/focus because they switch up the moves and purposely change the order of things to keep our brains working -- so when I do those classes I also get my cognitive juices flowing!

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SHANSHE 9/12/2012 4:15PM

    Shew... I'm glad it's not any worse than it was! Take it easy and get healed soon!
Shan

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BEATLETOT 9/12/2012 1:00PM

    Ruth! I had no idea you were so clumsy! =)

I'm clumsy, too. I think it's because I'm soooo deep and profound. I just think too much, so I don't pay attention to the world around me.

I hope you feel better soon!

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RUNNERRACHEL 9/12/2012 12:30PM

    emoticon emoticon

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Gaining strength

Thursday, September 06, 2012

It's about time I posted a blog entry! This past month-plus I was pretty busy sucking the last juice out of summer--actually, I'm still doing that--& didn't feel much need to write about it. Today I'm in a RARE moment of unhurriedness at my job, so I'm spending the day cleaning up my office. That's plenty physical, because I have to take down & recycle huge stacks of paper, getting some of them down from high shelves, & organize other stacks in their places. It's way overdue. I'm going to fill two large recycling bins, I'm pretty sure!

I've decided that my fitness/health focus for the foreseeable future is going to be strength training, particularly upper body. I've already got lots of cardio going on, between fast walking in the city & doing cardio + ST with fitness videos. The SP 28-Day Bootcamp routines are producing results--having started with mostly the beginner level with 3lb weights, I'm now able to stick with the intermediate level on nearly all the exercises, using 5lb dumbbells. But there's still LOTS of room to improve. I want to be strong!

This weekend I go solo camping for the first time! It will be just an overnight at a state park a couple of hours' drive away. I aim to do tons of hiking, taking along a tree identification book. And Sunday I'll do some ST with a resistance band. I'm also taking along my colored pencils & a pad, as drawing/painting is deeply meditative for me. And my journal for working on poems!

I like cooking outdoors, but to keep things simple this time I'm going to skip foods that would require a grill. Just taking a tuna sandwich or two for the first day, plus bread, cheese, peanut butter, veggies, & fruit in a cooler. Lots of water, of course. REALLY looking forward to this mini-retreat!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 9/10/2012 1:54PM

    Great idea - you will probably have great results focusing on that -- don't forget to do measurements and take pics!

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RASLALIQUE 9/8/2012 9:18PM

    Solo camping sounds like fun. I will be working on my upper body strength as well. I have none! I can't even do one real push-up!

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BEATLETOT 9/7/2012 8:57AM

    Oh, solo camping??? I hope you have a blast! Glad to see a blog from you.

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RUNNERRACHEL 9/7/2012 12:58AM

    Enjoy your camping trip!

Glad you are having fun and living and making the most of the end of summer!

Keep on going with your strength training! So good to hear you are gaining strength and are seeing results!

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SHANSHE 9/6/2012 6:18PM

    I love the sounds of your mini-retreat! How fun will that be and your plans to increase strength training sound awesome! Good to hear from you!
Shan

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BABY_GIRL69 9/6/2012 5:54PM

    Wow!! I have never been camping. The thought of sleeping outdoors is not an inviting issue but hiking wouldn't be too bad..lol

God bless & enjoy yourself!

Dee

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CJJANISS 9/6/2012 3:10PM

    hope you have a great time...I love camping too...but I'm too afraid to go alone emoticon

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ELOQUENTZ 9/6/2012 1:06PM

    Sounds like fun

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