Wednesday, December 15, 2010
The past few weeks have been my longest (and one of my only) absences from SP. I wish that I could say that I have dealt with all of the difficulties of the past weeks with my head held high and a lot of courage and found strength I didn't know I had to make good decisions, etc.
What I can say is that it has been a difficult last 2 months, and I made it through and did the best I could.
There was the attack i n October I wrote about, then the subsequent trial that did me in nearly as much as the actual attack. There was being sick and there was Thanksgiving. There was a trip to NYC where I was not in charge of my food or my time.
Blah, blah, blah.
But now it is December 15th. Yesterday was the day I got to get back to me--I had been looking forward to it for several weeks (we got back from NYC on Monday). So on Tuesday I happily came back to me and my life. One of the core things about that is taking care of myself, something that looked different the past few months, but now looks an awful lot like health. There is nothing coming up that will challenge me too much (barring more trauma). The holidays can be hard, but I am so tired of not living in the way that I've become accustomed in the past 2.5 years that I am ready to say no to all of those cookies!
So, my goals for the next week, Dec 14 - Dec 21:
no coffee at all (I had started letting myself have decaf a day or two a week which has turned magically into caffeinated coffee every day).
No desserts (i'm not a big dessert person, but the occasional piece of dark chocolate has turned into 2 or 3 pieces every night)
no more than 8 oz of wine per day, no liquor (this had slid into 12 oz, etc)
exercise every day with one day off (this has actually stayed on track through everything)
track every day
No unplanned eating, picking, etc. Eating in a planned way does more for my feelings of success, wellness than anything.
I will come up with more holiday specific goals, but for the next week, I want to focus very firmly on these things.
I've kept running, even in the cold. My new gear is fantastic! The lowest I've run in is 19 degrees, but I was not cold at all. With so much ice on the ground right now, though, it looks like a week of Turbo Jam and jumping rope. Winter already seems a little long!
I spent the morning reading friends' blogs that I had missed.
I missed you all!
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
It's been a while since I've written.
I had planned to write quickly after my first 5K, replete with tales of the race and photos and all the other gushy, celebratory stuff that is supposed to go along with it.
The good news is that it was an amazing day! But I'll get to that in a minute (so that I can end on an up note).
The reason I have not written is that my celebration got cut short. 2 days after my 5K while I was riding home from work on my bike, I got attacked by 4 teenagers. I didn't get physically hurt, though they tried very hard to pull me off of my bike while I was riding. I managed to stop (only 1/2 crashing), and then try to talk to them. The main kid was very, very angry and hateful. I have had the fortune to have training in non-violent communication and deflection of these kinds of situations and it served me well.
But it was still an incredibly difficult (to say the least) and painful experience. And it goes on as 2 of the 4 kids are in jail right now. They are only 13 and 14.
Both my own fear/pain AND the experience of those kids have been all I've been able to focus on the past 2 weeks. I understand both that every individual is responsible for their own actions and that the lives these kids come from doesn't offer them many chances.
It just really sucks.
I feel a lot better now emotionally. I haven't been able to get back on my bike yet, but I expect that will take time and space.
Health wise, I kind of ate what I wanted to for the past 2 weeks. It didn't really make me feel better, but it helped to not have to think about it at the same time. And things didn't go too crazy given the circumstances. I kept running, too, which was great.
But as of yesterday I started tracking again, and started remembering that I am a person who works out several times a week. I started craving again that feeling of being kind of in control of myself, and proud of myself and the way that I am living. I don't judge how I've been for the past 2 weeks, but it's time to get back to me again. So I have. This blog is part of that.
And the good news, again, is that the race was phenomenal! I wept for the last 100 yards and all the way through the finish line into the arms of Jenny and another 20 people who had come to cheer me on. Those running around me in the race kept asking if I was a rock star. I think about 35 people total were screaming on the course for me. It was very fun. I hadn't anticipated talking to other racers about my life changing health behaviors or SP, but I did end up doing so. It was a great spirit. It was amazing to find out other runners (at least at the pace I was running) were welcoming, open, and friendly It was so much fun.
And at the finish line I got 2 bouquets of flowers! (and a Klingon sash of honor!)
And after we had a big party and that was so fun too. The day was really perfect. Really, really perfect.
I want to do another 5K soon. Maybe someday (soon) I'll think about a 10K, but for now I just want to keep running and bask.
So there you have it all.
Love to you all.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
I've been quietly training for my first 5K which is this weekend!
I am so, so excited!! The training has gone really well. I had been training this spring, but was sidelined by a hip injury. I've taken it slowly and feel really good this time around. It has been both good and hard putting so much focus on one thing (other things have gone to the wayside in the interest of 'hip protection' like digging in the garden, tennis, and this week biking). I look forward to all of those things coming back. But for now, I am all 5K all the time.
It feels like such a moment. Such a big moment where time should just stand still for a second when I cross that finish line. It represents so much for me. I feel like I am rejoicing with and holding up the transforming me of the past 2 1/2 years but also the heartbroken me in 3rd grade when a valentine got rejected with a note saying I was as wide as I was tall. I feel like I am making it up to the jr. high student who was so embarrassed by her elastic waist stretch jeans. I feel like the girl who's mom said, "I only wish I could go into a normal store to buy clothes for you", is looking up and smiling at me.
And a million other examples. I carry them all with me when I run this Saturday.
And I carry all of my SP examples and friends as well. In fact, I ordered a new SP tee to run in just to carry that message to anyone who might be looking during the race.
I wrote a note to a lot of friends and family. Most of them will never know, never have any idea how deep this goes for me. But I wanted to give them a hint.
So here is the note, to them, to you. And the details of the race in case any St. Louis folks are around.
I've also been practicing my arms in the sky victory pose for crossing that finish line!!
On October 16th I will be running my first 5K!
I don’t want to get all Oprah on you (at least not so soon in this note), but at no point in my life have I imagined that it would be possible to run a 5K, or a 1K for that matter. But as you probably know, the past 2 ½ years have been incredibly transformative for me in many ways.
The reason I am telling you this is because you are one of the people who have been holding me up in this process, helping me and encouraging me, and making this all possible. You have loved me before and during this process, and that has made an incredible difference. I am not exactly where I want to be yet. Having said that, I am further than I ever, ever dreamed I would be. And believe me when I tell you I have dreamed about this for most of my life.
So… I want you there! This 5K is a big deal for me, a celebration of life and health, and I want to be surrounded by the people who have been surrounding me so well to this point.
But…This is a no pressure deal. I KNOW you support me. This is mostly a chance to say thank you. But do come if you are in town, free, and so inclined.
And…(here’s the Oprah part)
It has been an amazing thing to wish for something my whole life and then realize I can have it. It is even more amazing to realize that I have the power to make it happen. It’s been so good, it makes me want to encourage everyone to do that thing that they think is impossible.
I should mention that this has been possible because of all of you, but also because of this website: www.sparkpeople.com. Check it out if you like!
Saturday, October 16th
Race Starts at 4:00pm
Race Start and Finish is at:
St. Louis, MO 63116
If you want to be on part of the course (which would be awesome to see smiling, happy people all through the race), here is a link to the race route:
After the race, we are going to converge for celebration at the annex of Café Ventana near SLU. For directions and to see the food and drink menus, go here:
We’re expecting to be at Ventana around 5:30pm.
Thanks so much!
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
That's actually a pretty amusing title if you know me---I am extroversion incarnate.
But I've been so quiet here on SP. Not inactive, but not interactive. I've been mostly tracking my food and exercise like always, but I just don't seem to have time or energy for writing to folks, responding to blogs, or writing my own blog. I've never been way interactive (my internet time is a little limited). But I usually every other week or so go through a little bevy of activity, responding to cool stuff, getting inspired by peoples' stories, following the progress and lives of my friends here.
I have 2 thoughts---they are completely opposite and I'm not sure which is true:
1. It is summer, and I've been super active. So it's great that I've been tracking still, but my online time has given away to active things in a huge way. I'm biking, playing tennis, training for a 5K again, gardening, etc. It was a long, hard winter last year, and I am making up for it by being off the computer and into life this summer, soon to return to my former ways of checking in more frequently once the weather changes.
2. This is a warning sign. Though I'm still tracking, could that be the next online activity to go? Could this be a sign that I am not being as careful, as enthusiastic, and focused as I should be? Is this the thing that happens before it all falls apart (cue dramatic music indicating impending doom).
Well, it's probably a little of both. I am amazed by the people who keep their activity and enthusiasm up long term. I've been here 2.5 years now and am still on the SP hoop and holler band wagon. I tell everyone about it. I sing the praises of SP to my patients, coworkers, and mostly anywhere it slightly fits into the conversation.
But online it's harder to keep my oomph up. Has anyone else ever felt like that?
My friend Jamie Horn talks about it as a privilege and responsibility. I grew up in AA with my Dad, so know that once you get your s**t together, it is imperative that you help other people do the same. I believe that. But the motivation is harder to come by.
Anyway, if you've paused to wonder where I am, there you have it.
Things are great. My hip injury is not bothering me anymore and my 5K training is progressing beautifully. I am SO happy to be running again.
I am creeping out of the 180s and I am pretty excited about that. 179 is my next big goal, but I haven't decided what to reward myself with yet.
It sounds so freaking crazy to me to say, "I have 24 pounds to go till my goal weight."
How I've hated people who had such little weight to lose. I've spent years despising people who complained about such a thing.
And here I am.
It is glorious. And humbling. I try not to hate too much these days (although jealousy at all you longer distance runners is still coming easily to me :)
Eating is good. It comes and goes. I am more relaxed in a way but within parameters I am comfortable with.
It's almost like after 2 1/2 years---this is me now, not an experiment or project. It's me and my life.
How cool is that?
See....once you start me talking I just can't stop! :)
PS giving up coffee is complete! we haven't had it in over a month now. It went OK. I still miss it, but am doing OK and feeling proud.
Wine is going harder, but we did find a Michigan wine we like, which fits better in with our local philosophy than California or Australian wine did!
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Things have been a bit rough since returning from vacation a week and a half ago. We offer hospitality to a homeless Mom and her 3 kids, and are very involved in the kids lives, education, etc. The summer and 4th of July always bring great struggles to our house (I won't bore you with the details), but it's been rough. I can't wait for the school year to start again.
I am feeling pretty good, though. I just wrote a long journal entry, which was helpful. Food on vacation was better than any previous vacation. I actually think I stayed in range most days. I let up a little bit (not intentionally) the last 2 days, and that letting up has seeped into real life. It has felt too overwhelming (because of the other stuff going on) to track, and I am not focused and so making lots of tiny poor decisions many times a day (a lick of a spoon with peanut butter here, an extra walnut or 2 there, you know the drill).
The good news is that exercise has been awesome, both before vacation and since we got back. We are playing tennis a lot, and really working hard during our drills. On vacation there was tennis, biking, paddle tennis on the beach, and splashing around in the waves—all very cool.
The other good news is that the unfocus is not throwing me too much emotionally, which still amazes me. It’s not time to freak out, it’s just time to focus again.
Two other things we decided on vacation were to give up coffee and to drastically reduce our wine consumption. I joke that these 2 things are my only vices left. We’ll see how it goes. This is not, per say, a health decision, but a continuation of our desire to reduce our impact on the earth by not consuming poorly—most of what we eat we get locally and seasonally, but there is no Missouri wine that we like and no coffee produced anywhere near here. I think in a way those decisions have me panicked, though. I see coffee and wine as my treats, and now I have to do without (or with less)? I’ll keep you posted. The whole treat thing is interesting. As Jenny pointed out yesterday, we start to feel entitled when we feel deprived. When we feel entitled we can justify an awful lot. So how to give up coffee and reduce wine and not feel deprived??? I don’t have a clue about that one.
Anyway my little 2 week hiatus is over, and I am very happy to be back, and refocusing.
I hope you all are well.
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