Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Unreachable

"I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel all alone." Robin Williams

I have written before about depression and the way it feels and the dark places it can take me.  I am at the moment I am feeling ambivalent. I am neither up nor down. I am okay.

However, Robin Williams’ suicide is tragic and the media of course reports too much on what happened.  I need to tune it out and stop watching tributes and reading sad stories about him because it is hard to do.  It is hard to do because I feel a rush of emotions about it all. Like so many Robin Williams played a vast part in my life in terms of movies and television shows and comedy.  I used to play tapes of his act in my car when I could finally drive and I would giggle at his fantastically amazing use of the word FUCK!  I distinctly remember sitting on the ground watching Mork and Mindy. I know exactly where I was the first time I watched Popeye who was also a favorite, much watched cartoon character to me.  I was awed by how amazingly well his movies matched up to my life dramas when those movies came out.  There is more I could say – the many hours of watch Comedy Network and the lesser known movies that were shit panned by the critics that I went to see because he was in it and who cares how crappy the movie was, I was watching comedic genius! 

This is not just about Mr. Williams because he was amazingly brilliant and funny and he could use the f-word in ways that quite frankly still astounds me!  Honestly, depression is heinous. It is a deep dark wound.  It is not like a broken arm or scar across one’s face.  Depression often cannot be seen or heard or understood by those who have never had it. It is tragic and harsh and vile and unwitting.  I can feel great, light and happy, and suddenly I won’t. Only that moment where I seem okay to feeling horrible happens on the inside – a chemical reaction, an emotional affliction, a tragedy in the comedy of life. I will find myself groping around in the dark looking for ways out and yet on the outside I appear to just be me.  No one suspects otherwise.  No one knows that I spent hours in the dark of night, pacing the hallway in my house, trying to calm the noise in my head, dealing with the dark feelings in the dark.  No one knows that when I am alone I contemplate the darkest recesses of my brain much to the horror of emotional self, all of the fucked up stupidity I have ever claimed as my own making it much, much worse than it actually was. Sure I can keep depression at bay to some degree.  I can read or screw around on the computer playing games, I can watch television and run miles on end but at the end of it, the depression lurks waiting to drag me back into the dark.

For someone who has spent years grappling with those demons, I get it.  It is the years and years of fighting and losing and fighting again and the desire to not be like that which makes it increasing difficult in life. I see each failure in my life with intensity and if I allow myself to wallow in those failings, it drives home what an awful person I am. The thing about depression and the subsequent ways that we find to fight depression (alcohol, drugs, harmful relationships, etc…) is that it has no rhyme or reason.  And only I can change how I am feeling. I could have “it all” and yet in the end I am my own worst enemy. I see all of the failure and all of the bright wonderful things in my life appear to be dull and blur in those moments. I may be laughing and cracking smart ass jokes on the outside but on the inside an enemy deeper and darker than I could ever explain is waiting to well up and crush me. I have often said that depression sits on my chest crushing the air out of me, devouring me, dividing me from me.  Depression seems inescapable when I am in the midst of it. Eventually I get past it and when things become clear again and I look back on how I was feeling and the question is always why?  Why did I feel that way?  Why do I let myself get that way?  Why me?

It is very hard to explain to most. It is very hard to explain here.  I want to give more words, more thoughts to help people understand it.  Depression hurts and I am left raw and guilty for being that way so I hide it. Again and again because I want to see the next day and the next but at what point does fighting get old, more difficult, and tiresome. 

My one wish, the wish I have for humanity – reach out to those you love even if they are unreachable.  Hug them however you need to.  Give them what you can emotionally and do not stop doing it, do not give up on someone.  Just know that someone you least suspect is suffering with this pain inside and even if it seems hopeless because you do not know it for sure, there is always hope.  Keep giving out your love unconditionally because you just never know who that will help.


And for the love of god, ignore the media. Let this go. We should have been telling Mr. Williams how he changed our lives before he died and we did not.  We need to grow our worlds, tell people what we are thinking before this happens.  That is how we will change the world and those who are in it now.  

Friday, August 8, 2014

Trying

Over the years, I have contemplated many things on this here little blog.  I have discussed how I was going to change this or that or do this to change that. Blah blah blah.  I was considering this the other day because I really do want to write here more often. However, I did not want to write another 'I am doing this now' type posts only to either do it for one day or you know just not ever do it.  Or seemingly never do it because WHY on earth would I report back on things here especially when I really did accomplish something. That would be absurd!  I digress. 

I have been working on being gentler with myself internally (WTF?) I have been thinking about how hard I am trying all of the time and that has to count for something, right? Like for instance, I am trying to not be so judgmental to myself. I am trying to stay on the fitness track. I am trying to eat healthier. I am trying to be calmer with the kids when they start pushing my buttons and omg my PMS lasts for like two weeks a month these days and I cannot handle all this {{sob}} {{WAIL}}… ahem.  SO I am trying a lot more. I am working on saying that is enough. I am proud of that. I am proud of the hard work that I often put in.  AND I am easier on myself that I sometimes fail because the thing about failure sometimes is that I have chance to try again. 

I have had the same training plan on my fridge pretty much since May. It was a mere 5k training plan but summer plans and sicknesses and events kept mucking it up.  I had to re-set the plan multiple times.  Like okay I cannot run on this day so I will do the cross training and man I am tired like mad (see two weeks plus of PMS above) I am taking a break for a couple of days and I would have to start over.  Then I was about three weeks in having started this plan over at least six times and I realized it was too much. It was too much running too soon.  My foot still gets sore and began to wonder why am I pushing myself to go longer when what I really need to do is just start over.  It stinks to start over and the old me, the one who thinks in perfectionist terms and go hard or go home attitudes, would have pushed harder and gotten it done even if it hurt and I was miserable. I went back, printed off the beginning training plan and put that one on the fridge instead. I can start out lower in mileage and add on if I feel like it. I want to start with a solid base and build up. It makes more sense to go back and build a good base then just jump in and land myself back where I was - injured and miserable.


I am not very good at trying… I am better at doing or not doing. I think the thing that I am trying to do here is get over doing or not doing.  I am trying to just try things. It opens more doors; it makes me happier, it feels better, I am a stronger, better person for it.  It shoves the anxiety I often feel out of the way because rather than being fixated on the doing it or not doing it part, I am just trying things, for good or bad, I am trying.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Power of Positive Definitions

Life has been unusual and changed a lot since April. April seems like a different life! Mainly my work life has changed. At times between April and July I have thought about dropping my emotions, thoughts and ideas here but I have held back.  No real reason... it was just intense and I could not take on even more intensity by writing about it. It was like a wound, an open sore, painful and itchy and uncomfortable and not really something I wanted to poke at again and again. I decided at some point there that I was in a lot of pain emotionally and decided to meet with a therapist whom I am still seeing. It is hard because I am unsure if it is the right thing for me to do but I want to keep doing it, to see it through for me. I started out seeing this therapist about my relationship with my mom and family but it has turned to me more and more. I think it is scary to expose myself in ways I am not sure I want to but I feel like at forty I am on the precipice of change. I need to talk to someone who can take apart what I am feeling and help me to reconstruct it. I also needed an escape from the depression that seems to invade my life nearly constantly.

To that end, I was given the chance to change my role at work. I went from being an recruiter/consultant to being on our business development team part time 25 hours a week with an solid hourly wage and the hours are defined by me.  It is definitely not where I see myself five years from now but I do not have the same drive and motivation to be a recruiter any more so I feel this is a fair transition for me. I have significantly reduced my stress levels in terms of work and to some degree the money side of things should increase my stress levels but I am trying with all of my heart to quiet the noise in my head about this. It also helps that we paid off our mortgage the same week I decided to go part time - it was our only major debt/loan so we freed up a huge chunk of our money. I have found myself thinking about what is most important to me in terms of work.  I want a great team environment, I want fun, positive team players, I want a comfortable steady income (ie: NOT on a draw), and I want excellent health benefits.  When the right thing comes my way I will know it. Until then I am just trying to enjoy the choice I made which I do honestly feel is a good one.

One thing I have been working on in my life is the power of positive thoughts. My entire life has been a series of buts and what if's and if I only's.  I am frankly ready to change my life and make it more inwardly and outwardly positive. I have had more time to step back and listen to my kids.  This made me realize that my constant negative undertone was pervasive. I have been teaching the kids my positive thought BUT material.  I do not have one defining story - it just the attitude and yes they say but a lot.  I am working on cutting myself off at the but stage.  Stay happy with what I have.  The positive is just the positive.  I do not need to say 'I am sorry but'. I have been working on this exercise for a couple of weeks and it is really hard. I have lived an entire lifetime one way and now I am trying to do it another way.  It is interesting as I listen more closely to my internal self how that one positive but five negatives thing shoves me headlong into a depressive state too. I think at this point my main goal is to tap into the positive me that exists under the layers of negative. I have for several years found that I did this with work. I love my job or I love where I work BUUUUT... In fact, work became my biggest priority the past few years and there was inverse relation going on there.

I was working harder, worrying about work all of the time, trying to make work work for me, making myself sick and tired and stressed out about work and I was doing worse and worse at work.  Now there is more at work (heh, pun) than just not being successful at work but the lack of success at work is the part I find worth mentioning. The more I failed, the more I felt like a failure. The ultimate failure was giving it up for something "less". K told me that if I took this lesser position I was not allowed to say I failed but that is how I have felt. Like a giant red rubber stamp on my ten plus years at this job: FAILED.  It went along with all of the other FAILED rubber stamps I felt I had in my life: FAILED relationships, FAILED swimming, FAILED school.  Okay not really because I have a fantastic relationship with K and various other friends and family but I can only see the failures like my Mom or various odd friendships that in hindsight were... odd. I swam for 14 years USS to college - not everyone can say that but I was very good at it, I was average. I graduated from HS and college twice (BS, MPA) but I went to an eh school and I was an average student.  See how that but thing works in my life.  Rounding back to the sense of failure at work, I am working on learning that my work does not necessarily define me. I have so many other things that define me beyond any job or work that I do in this life.  So I am working hard to let that rubber stamp FAILED go. It is not true and I am survivor. I am stronger than I perceive myself to be.  Now I just need to believe in that!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Finding My Way...

I always like an unexpectedly hard workout.  I find myself dragging myself to get to the workout part of my evening but once I do, once I get moving, I am excited and into it.  It helped that I had Survivor to keep me entertained for most of it!  My legs are sore today and I feel tired. I think the feeling tired part comes from emotional stuff I am fighting with.

The thing with emotional stuff is several folds. I am finding myself unable to control my emotions the past few months – like the outbursts from me are downright strong and angry and tearful… to the point where I have decided, after several years of weighing this thought, to see a therapist.  I just cannot go on like this nor do I want to go on like this.  I feel like it will help me to get out of the emotional tunnel of hell I have walking in for months now. 

I also realized in the past I turned to alcohol. For instance, if I was having a rough day, I felt I deserved a beer or two.  Since I have removed that option, I know that I have to deal with things on their own and well let’s face is alcohol dulls things, numbs me to the feelings, and makes me feel a little out of it so that I cannot spend time mulling over what it happening inside emotionally at that moment. 

The other thing I have turned to over the years was eating.  Stuffing food into my mouth to make myself feel better did work albeit temporarily. I would bake cookies or a cake and then watch out - eating it all mostly by myself.  Ice cream binges and candy and SUGAR.  Or a slab of cheese and sleeve of crackers or nachos smothered in cheese or… you get the idea.  When I was younger, I used to go in the other direction with food – not eating to control things whereas now I eat to make myself feel better.  Either way it was a rotten cycle that I broke when I decided to change my eating habits late last year.  Well now I have very little to “eat” that makes me feel better and while I still eat, I eat healthy whole foods that are good for me but do not necessarily fill that void of feeling empty/sad/depressed/angry. 

I think the energy it takes for all of this “emotional” stuff is just crushing me. I have been working the past couple of days to get myself in bed by 11 pm which is a huge change for me – I was going to bed after 12:30 or later most nights and generally not sleeping well. I figure if I can train myself to be in bed by 11 pm I can eventually cut that down to an earlier time frame 10:45 or 10:30 but baby steps.  Beyond just getting sleep however I think my exhaustion is really from feeling so much right now– I am worn out and because I am Mom and I work full time and I have a house and dogs and huge life to contend with I never get a chance to truly really deeply find rest in my mind.  On top of that there are mounds of old shit I know still floating around inside my head plus the hormonal upheaval as of late… I am a wreck to say the least!

At the end of the day, I feel like some of this is hormonal changes that are happening but I also know that I am fighting with my “old” self – the one I always think I have put to rest years ago and the person who I really want to be.  This dynamic along with my job are creating a… okay for lack of better term – a shit storm in my life.  I want and need to dig out. I want and need to find generally speaking happiness and calm on the inside. I want and need to be a better person/friend/mother/co-worker/wife/daughter. I want and need to succeed at the goals I laid out yesterday because I want and need to. 

Ack.  Off to make a phone call now…


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Happy Goal Setting

I was reading a blog post today entitled “I’ll Be Happy When…”  It was essentially from my perspective about getting to the goal and being dissatisfied with the success of it all. 

I did what I set out to do years ago when I decided to run and get fit again… lose the last bit of weight I felt I wanted to lose – 10 pounds. I went from 135 to 125 in eight months.  It was an effort to some degree.  And yet I enjoyed it this time!  And yes of course I have a new goal but I am not dissatisfied. I am proud and excited and thrilled beyond words.  I do want to drop another five pounds.  That would put me at the weight I was in my 20s and when I felt the best about my physical body.  The five pounds won’t be easy but I am up for the challenge and I am excited by it – I would say by no stretch is that a meaningful goal.  It just something that would be nice to do and I will continue on the road I have been on to lose the last ten pounds. 

I do think that in society there is a prevailing sense of reaching a goal and feeling like I did it but now what and perhaps a bit of a letdown – like I did it followed by the expectation that an epiphany will happen or I will change in some way because I achieved that goal rather than celebrating the excitement/happiness/achievement of it all.

The blog writer suggests writing it down, make it real, pay attention to it, and be honest about the goals. Does it make you happy or unhappy?  Happy will lead to satisfaction and unhappy will do the opposite.  Also, unhappy will lead to failure. 

Okay, so I obviously I want to follow this line of thinking here.  I have been sort of rolling around workout wise for the past two months. It is hit or miss. 4-6 days a week I work out.  The past two months exhaustion has really hindered me and my efforts.  That exhaustion is really by my own making. I cannot sleep; I go to sleep too late; I struggle with it.  My GOAL is to get to sleep at night at a reasonable hour.  The problem with this goal is that I will do it for a day or two and feel better/more rested and slip right back into old bad habits.

Funny, I said this very same thing about eating and diet and exercise for years before I buckled down, shut up the voices in my head that were telling me the same shit (you love bread and cheese and beer) and made the 10 lb loss happen!  We offer up our own sabotage. I failed to lose the weight because I wanted to fail.  Back to sleep – I want to fail because I like to stay up late but I hate the after effects, the lack of motivation and the exhaustion and the sense of failure in that. 

The other goal I have is to get back to running/training again. I would like to run a marathon next year (2015) and I would like to run a half marathon in the 2nd half of 2014.  I am ready for that challenge – my foot is better. I do however have a secondary goal to this – I want to keep doing the cross training and build muscle. I am loving the abs and slow going but noticeable change to my upper arms (MUSCLES OMG MUSCLES) 

Finally, I have a work goal. I am going to make 15 placements this year.  I know I have not always been entirely glowing and happy about my job but man this is something I want and I need and it will happen.  I need to make it happen and I need to keep myself on track to do it.  Sleep and an exercise plan with help with this job.  Also, I did the first thing on that list: write it down.  To recap:

1.)  Get more sleep (8-10 hours each night)
2.)  Train to run a half marathon in the 2nd half of 2014
3.)  Continue to cross train (abs and arms baby!)
4.)  15 placements at SJA

Here is the blog post I referred. Read on – this guy is fab!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Number Nine Number Nine Number Nine

I am infinitely grateful for this blog in ways
that I often do not express.
Well this one and the old one. 
They are one and the same in my mind.
M Bug will turn nine on Saturday
and I love that I have a little place where
I told stories about him
and posted pictures
and just sort kept a little journal.
Most of it was from before Missy 
and to see our lives before we had two kiddos
is fascinating and amazing.
So cool !

I know I have not written about 
the kids as much as I did back then.
There are many reasons for that.
Time, energy, wherewithal, desire.
I feel the kids are getting older 
and to put every detail of our lives or theirs
on the Internet is a weird thing.
I do not need the blog in ways I did when 
M Bug was little and I was fresh new Momma
who desperately needed my own space
away from being Mommy and work.

However, that blog is the closest thing I have 
to a letter to M Bug from what life was like before 
when he was an only
and we were much younger and new 
to this parenting business.

M Bug,
This is for you on your ninth birthday:
Someone told me there are not many of you
in this world and he was right.
You are one of a kind in the best most amazingly cool ways!
You are an old soul with the kindest of hearts.
You are passionate.
You are sweet.
You are smart.
You are funnier than I have ever been in my whole life.
You are tough and yet sensitive.
You are sporty and yet you are a fantastic artist.
You love books about history and shows about animals
and when you want to set about learning something
you do with a fire not many have in their lives.
You want to do everything so well
that is hurts my heart to see you 
frustrated when you cannot be perfect at everything.
You still love your blanket and your stuffed pup
and you are okay with it, like hey take me for
what I am, like me for me and do not try to change me.
You are a good sport (most of the time!)
You work hard if you do not get something
and yet oh my this year, this grade...
it has been a tough one.
Fear not for life will only become more
intricate and difficult and if you are fearful
you will be constantly mired in unhappiness.
Your internal strength and wit will take you 
places you imagine and I think anything you 
imagine will come true.
I know you dream of traveling the world
and it will happen because you are you.
I am so very proud of you.
I know your baby sister makes you crazy
but always look after her and remember
that as long as you take good care of her
she will always think the sun rises and sets over
your head; she just wants to be like you
and that is a compliment, a huge one.
Hold that compliment dear to your heart.
No matter what happens in this life
know that we love and cherish you 
with all of our hearts!
You are special and loved and adored.
Happy 9th Birthday.
NINE! 
Love to you,
Mom

Monday, March 31, 2014

Fresh Path

Whenever I stop writing here which has been more and more often over time, I generally think at some point weeks ago, I want to start writing again. It is good for me. It is cathartic and it is like a salve for my soul. It sure beat paying a lot of money of therapy – which I do not look down upon at all, but that is expensive so… writing, I am going to start writing again.

Often I find myself thinking about where to start. Time has passed and so much has happened and I do not necessarily want to rehash the past even though it has been a rough few months in my world emotionally speaking I just want to look forward. I will start with the banal of items on my list to write about. The first one is LONG…

Yep, that subject is health and fitness. It is funny because long ago in another time and place I earned a degree in Health and Fitness Management. I truly thought I wanted to help people get fit and I loved to be fit and in a most undefined way I thought that was the career path for me. Over the past few years, I have thought about this more and more often. I miss that world of helping people, seeing the plan click and stick, the goals and accomplishments hard fought for and won.  I often find people at the Y when I spend time there more often to cheer for.  There was one woman I saw slowly jog/walking at the Y every evening when I was there years ago and I have watched her journey and I have silently shouted praises to her.  She has lost a lot of weight and I know she is regular runner, she’s done a few half marathons and she works hard and she has no idea about me nor that I have watched her journey but I am so proud of her.  That is weird, right?

When I hurt my foot last year and ended up wearing “the boot” forever, I had to come up with a new plan for myself.  At first, in my mind, it involved working out to stay fit to be able to run again. I thought I will be well enough to run again and train for marathon I previously signed up for that will happen in April… Oh how humbled I am at the force with which reality can strike back.  I am still slowly working my way through retraining myself to run without getting re-injured. I have read several articles about the fear of re-injury and I know I am in that place BUT I also need to go slowly for me.  See difficult emotional period of life the past few months mentioned above.  The fact is since I stopped running I have lost 7 lbs which is about 3 lbs off of the 10 lbs I have been “trying” to lose since I started running several years ago!  There have been ups and down in there but I am 100 percent certain that my current weight loss would not have happened had I not been injured. 

I feel beyond just numbers I feel better. I feel better about my body image and it is nice to wear clothing without hating everything I put on! For instance, I went from a size 8 to size 6 in pants.  I am stronger – I have been lifting weights with some consistency for 8 months or so.  I have definition to my arms and abs that I did not have at all in those months and years of running.  I have a lot more fun “working out” then I ever did with running in that I am doing so much more variety that I never really get bored and when I do get bored (more accurately tired… I am always tired!) I just take more breaks and do not beat myself silly about not working out every day.

While I miss running/training with an intensity I reserve for few things I am not quite ready to remount the training horse (heh…) I like that I do not have to stick to some crazy plan and because I can tend to be rigid about training – go hard or go home –  I find myself happy to enjoy running when I can and doing the 30-35 minutes runs I have been doing.  I did tell K that I wanted to start running with more consistency in April doing 3-4 days a week so I can increase mileage and see how my foot/body handles it.  I would like to get past the current “re-training” schedule and perhaps start to train for a fall ½ marathon. I miss the long stuff but we shall see…

What I have been doing that works:
Eating differently – I technically would not say I ate poorly before but let’s just say I was not doing myself any favors.  I basically cut all bread/pasta out of my diet.  I tend to lean toward GF products now. I know that pisses off some people with serious health issues from consuming gluten. I am forever grateful that there are more readily available products though.  I try to mostly eat only whole foods – non processed, non-chemical, etc… you get the idea.  I cook/bake with olive oil and real organic butter (my favorites are Kerrygold and Organic Valley for butter.) I eat only Fage yogurt and I change it up – some weeks I do the higher fat kind, other weeks I do the non-fat.  I use as many fruit and veggies in any meal I am having as I can. I found a great GF cereal that I love so I get some of the calcium from the non-fat milk I use in that. 

I stopped drinking all together. No more beer/wine. I have not had soda since I was preggers with M Bug but I was drinking a lot of root beer and LaCroix in the recent past. I stopped that too.  Water, Coffee, and Traditional Organics Mint or Ginger tea are the main things I drink – occasionally I like a glass of lemonade but that is rare.

There are two things that I do eat that just make me giddy with happiness that I wanted to share: I make my own homemade nachos – organic chips, grated block cheeses (Organic Valley and Cabot), Jack’s salsa (mild) and low fat sour cream (generally organic). My favorite snack food!  Also, I have an obsession with high end dark chocolate (any fair trade kind will do… and there are tons of them these days!) However my current fav is Alter Ego: Dark coconut toffee organic chocolate. Oh… I mean I dream about that stuff!

I am not crazy or hardcore – I find that balance is everything in my life.  I also do just enough.  If I am still hungry after eating, I wait and drink some water to see how I am feeling.  Then I go find something else to eat.  I find eating can be mindless so I really have worked to make eating a mindful process.  I do think as our society has become increasing industrialized and we have to go faster, do more, etc… we think we cannot do eat healthier due to time and energy and it is hard to make our own meals and expensive and why to all this work, etc… the facts are it is expensive to eat a certain way (which is sad given the country we live in and the wonderful resources we have) and it is harder – sure I would rather go out to eat lunch and dinner for that matter every day, no dishes, no cleaning, no gripes about my cooking but oh my does food ever taste better and more interesting and I am happier and I weigh less and look/feel better because I take the time and energy to focus on those good things versus ease.  There are so many fads running amuck out there as always and I know when I look at those fads I find myself critically thinking about them – yes, there are some benefits to any diet or fad but at the end of the day it is simple – eat well, exercise well and all will follow BUT it takes time. 

I do lots of different “stuff”. I have been running, biking, swimming, cross training, lifting weights, planking, sit-ups, running stairs, using the exercise ball, crafting crazy new workouts out of ones I have seen on Pinterest… you get the idea.  I do something as often as I can.  Even if it is doing sit-ups while watching Believe on the television. 

I got a Fitbit for Christmas and I just love the hell out of that thing. I like it because it reminds me how active I am/have been/could be in a day.  Yesterday I did not technically “workout” but I walked over 10,000 steps and ran up and down the stairs doing laundry 13 times. That amounted to 4.5 miles of steps!  I have no idea how accurate it is but even if it’s not accurate it is a friendly reminder to keep moving!

Anything can be a workout.  Basketball with the kids.  Gardening the yard.  Doing laundry. Dusting/sweeping/moping/cleaning the bathrooms/making the beds. AND the trick is to do this stuff and then NOT reward yourself with food.  Reward yourself with a mental pat on the back.  You did it, be proud, be loud, but do not say ‘hey I worked in the garden all day I can now sit back and pile drive chips and dip into my mouth and wash it down with 8 beers!’ (Only me?? Yes well do not do this, it is bad!)

Running is a great form of exercise but if I am only exclusively running I am not technically taking care of my whole body.  Nuff said. I need to do a variety of things or else I will have issues with joints or well you know stress fractures in my heel (how?? I still am in awe of my ability to do that!) I cannot run to the exclusion of everything else. It will not work for me especially as I *ehem* get older! Plus it makes running more fun to do.  So cross train and run are a good combo (for me.)

Everything takes time - I have been seeing a lot of “fad” stuff from women around my age (or those closing in 40 quickly) and I am appalled.  Everything will work for a bit but the key is maintenance.  How do you maintain something?  The fact is we all need a break. I ended up hitting the proverbial wall in March.  I did some stuff but not to the level I had been and I started to slip with my diet and exercise.  It was rough… I am back mentally to my commitment of getting healthy and fit again. I think the key is not only that it takes time but to allow yourself a break but how long that break lasts is up to you.  Years of a break?  Bad idea probably.  A couple of weeks… fair enough.

Hang-ups/Issues/Slip-Ups:
For me, I have exactly three known things I struggle with. 
Emotional upsets/female issues: part of this is a bit out of my control nature and good stuff like that – I get really exhausted like I have never ever felt before for a full week or more every month plus the week of my “female” time – I literally have to crush the desire to just lie down and sleep vs. work out.  This is a new thing for me and the intensity of it has really amped up in just in the past 18 months or so. At first I thought it was a fluke then I started to notice a pattern. It is rough and finding my inner strength on this front takes a lot out of me.  The situation with my Mom for instance threw me for a loop. I was doing really well up till that event and then I just start to knock myself for being a bad person, etc… I tend to let the overwhelming emotions surrounding my female time to completely crush me and I am still trying to come up ways to deal with this/work through it.

Sleep/exhaustion: this is mostly manufactured by me. Yes, a week out of the month I am spent from being a girl/hormones/etc but I also have a bed time that is wholly inadequate for the lifestyle I want to lead. I need to get myself to bed at the latest by 11 pm (10 pm would be super ideal) and I am currently generally going to bed at 12-1 am.  Oaf.  Not good.  Still also trying to come up with ways to deal with this/work through it.

Being kind to myself: A lifetime of telling myself how awful I am and reminding myself nonstop about all of the mistakes I have made is a hard thing to just up and change. It is actually the thing I have made the most strides on of these three. I let go a lot more.  I still wake up in the middle of night sometimes flipping out about things but mostly I just let it go (like the song… OH GAWD THAT SONG!) I think that for the most part I just do not see everything as big and dramatic anymore AND honestly I cannot go back and change anything. I can only learn and go forward so I do for the most part. I think the guilt, depression, and anxiety are really my deal killers but totally apart from being kind to me in a sense.  Also we can “save” those for another blog post (You: oh goody gum drops!)

Long and long of it. I am excited for spring time, for losing that last three pounds, for the possibility of running regularly again and maybe even racing. I am excited to do weights to continue to define my arms and abs and expand on the current excitement about eating healthy.  More to come hopefully!