Wednesday, April 11, 2012
I thought I’d drop in and give you guys a super quick update on what’s been going on and what’s been keeping me so busy and, well…not here.
First things first, my appologies. I am still here, still going strong and Sparking on. I have been ridiculously crazy busy at work and at home and just haven’t had the time to spend online. I can assure you, while I am not here every day or every week supporting my friends on here, I am thinking of you often. I am still cheering for you and when I do have a free minute I am trying to pop on here to catch up a little. I can also assure you I am doing my best to continue to live a healthy lifestyle and make improvements in my body, both mentally and physically.
At the beginning of the year, I set a goal to run 2 marathons this year. My husband wanted to run and train with me and do a half and then a full in the fall with me. I started running and training, but our family schedule (we are very involved in boy scouts and cub scouts, plus kids sport and dance schedules…it’s pretty nuts) quickly proved to be near impossible to get long runs in. I kept with my training plan, minus the long runs and focused on speed and distances shorter than 5 miles and strength training on non running days. I mixed up my workouts and made them fun. But I had no goal, no drive; nothing pushing me forward other than tiny personal things like running a sub 8:30. (Made my month!) I’d done the distances, I’d reached my goals…I’d gotten comfortable. And comfortable, my friends, is a double edged sword.
I’ll admit, I have been struggling with chocolate lately and the holiday season (I'm talking Christmas still people... Man I've been gone a while!), which came so quickly after the “letdown and recovery” of the completion of my first marathon. They say you get the post marathon blues and I didn’t really buy it as I was riding the high of it for so long. I still think of the sheer joy on that day and am so proud of my accomplishment but there was definitely a sort of lull in momentum. I’ve gained about 6 lbs since the marathon due to not spending enough time focusing on my health, enjoying a few too many holiday goodies and drinks and not making the time to exercise everyday and I had gained 5 over the course of the summer while marathon training (all that running made me so hungry! I guess that is very common). All in all, not too bad. Since the beginning of the year, I have gained and re-lost the same 5 lbs. My downfall is sugar right now; sugar, stress, lack of time and focus and comfort.
We all want to reach a point in our lives where we are comfortable in our own skin; with our size, our appearance, our hair, style…that’s everyone’s dream, right? Wouldn’t it feel great to wake up in the morning and just love yourself and know that whatever you put on will look great and feel great and you never have to worry about putting on a smile because you are just so happy being you? I know, I’ve been there, too. But I’ve come to learn that with comfort comes slacking. I’m not talking about “sitting down and eating a heaping bowl of bacon and macaroni and cheese followed up with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s” but more of a “hey, that extra 400 calories today won’t kill me I’m happy where I am and don’t have xyz lbs to lose anymore”, the "dude, I'm tired and don't want to get out of bed an hour early to workout. I don't NEED it" and the “don’t worry about eating that cookie, you lost the weight once you know you can do it.” Comfortable, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
So, what is causing all this stress? If you are easily bored, you might want to skip this part. OK? You’re still here? Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you. I’ve been highly involved in my work since early last spring when I was informed that the company I work for was preparing for a huge merger with an overseas company/customer/competitor/fr
iend. I was able to juggle it all; family, work, exercise, training, until after the marathon. We signed on the merger a few days after the race and I just hit a wall. I was tired, I was sore and my job was even more demanding than usual and there was an added level of stress as this merger wasn’t resulting in us being the controlling force we had always been. While this was going on, I was also very involved in a more in-depth than usual sales tax audit and a bank audit. Because of the merger, we’ve had 3 year ends in a 4 month period (one of which is moving fiscal to calendar)(man my life is so glamorous, lol) and since our fiscal year end I have been battling with new financial auditors who are auditing 3 year ends, the opening balance sheet, the sale…everything. FOR MONTHS. Oh yeah, and I also had the bright idea to update our budgeting and financial reporting software in the midst of all this craziness…not the best idea. Anyhoo…hopefully this will all be coming to a close in the next few weeks and I can breathe a little more freely. And stop turning to dark chocolate chips and baking to cope with my stress. My skin and waistline will thank me!
So, that brings us all to today. Last week, I decided to stop being comfortable. I was uncomfortable living comfortably. This came after 2 weeks with almost no exercise. I hadn’t gone that long without exercise since starting on this journey more than 2 years ago! I was tired, I was run down…I quit being me. I took a few days off from work (while auditors were still there, but I got over the guilt), spent time with my family just being together. That gave me the mental clarity that I needed to make a huge change. I immediately took all my measurements and set myself up for a challenge.
So, I’m putting running on a short hiatus. Running is so important to me. I give it so much credit in losing weight and becoming healthy. I love to run and really enjoy the time I spend doing it. But, my body is comfortable running. It is comfortable in my routines and it’s not going to change that on its own. I looked back through pictures of me over the last year and a half, while at different weights and different stages of health and to me; I looked the best while working my way through P90x. I wasn’t at my lowest weight, but I looked great and felt great after completing it. I’ve also been reading a lot about improving in running and different forms of cross training as I want to attack my next marathon differently (much more strength and core training! Running alone will get you to the finish line, but strength training will get you there stronger and faster. I missed that part last time). I’ve read a lot about Plyometrics and decided to commit to the Insanity program 100%. I started it before, but it was much too soon after the marathon and the fact that I didn’t strength train as I should have while training for the big day made my recovery much longer. My legs and core could not handle it at the time. This time, I’ve spent the last several months with a good base running schedule and have worked in a lot of P90x and Insanity workouts for cross training so I know I will be successful.
I love that feeling…knowing I can do it. “Challenge accepted!” to quote the great Barney Stinson. But more importantly, I love knowing that I will see results. That is so important.
So, I’m almost done week 1. I have to say, I am so uncomfortable. My body is using muscles that just don’t get touched while running. And I have to say, I LOVE IT!