Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tricky Little Muscle

Today was a pretty good day.  I woke up sore from yesterday's workout, I actually like that feeling much more than the shakey feeling.  When my alarm went off at 5:30 am I noticed my friend Tim commented on one of my Facebook posts and also sent me messages regarding our visit in September.  It woke me up and I was considering going for a 3 mile walk but I started to worry about having enough time to get ready for work.  So I stayed home and danced for a half hour.  It was fun, but I didn't feel like I got as much from it as I would if I'd walked.  It did lift my spirits though, another reminder of how big an impact exercise has on me emotionally.  
After work, the weather was cool and cloudy so I decided to go ahead and get a real walk in.  I'm happy that the 3 mile walk is still challenging enough to me that I feel proud when I complete it. I shaved 5 minutes off my usual time of an hour.  My tailbone is still being funky, which annoys me but I figure, that thing's going to feel funky whether or not I go for a walk so I might as well just do it.  When I got home I searched some videos on how to stretch the psoas muscle and did a few stretches.  It made a big difference in the tailbone.  Hopefully that is going to be a great discovery I can continue to get success from.  I might make it part of my morning ritual, psoas stretches with some meditation and something hot to drink after.  If it doesn't get better with psoas stretches I might have to see a chiropractor.  I am going to try and avoid that if I can help it.  I know stretching is essential to vitality and it has been the missing link in my quest for a healthier lifestyle.  I think if I make it routine I'll be grateful I did.  The hardest part of developing a habit is starting, once it becomes part of the norm you're not fighting against it so much.  
I feel like I put a lot of effort into my quest for self-improvement today.  Now I'm going to go pamper myself with a mud mask and a little reading before getting some beauty rest.  I can't wait to see what tomorrow will bring.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Questioning and Awareness

Wow my work 5K was 5 days ago and that's the last time I posted on this blog.  Usually that means I've either fallen off the wagon or started school, but neither are true, thankfully!  I have just been in my head, caught between many different emotions all at once it seems, and maybe that kind of stuff isn't meant for this blog. I have been journaling on a private blog and it is helpful in sorting out my thoughts.  
I had a longer weekend, and Not much of it was very productive as far as housework goes!  I spent time at some caves with hotel ruins that looked like a castle on Saturday 
It was a ton of walking, after I'd just finished a 3 mile walk beforehand, and it was so bloody hot out that I think I drank two gallons of water on my own that night.  We had sushi afterwards so that made it feel extra special!  
I didn't work out at all on Sunday, which was a bittersweet feeling but against my First instinct I decided to go for a drive with my husband.  The only reason I was reluctant is because with him it's never just a drive to a destination and then home, it always ends up being a whole day thing.  But we had a good time together, we went browsing antique shops on the peninsula near our town, spent some time looking at the bay, and had a pleasant patio dinner at a charming restaurant.  My kids didn't feel like coming, so it felt like a date.  I was exhausted from everything and fell asleep early.  
Today I had to force myself to work out.  It was strength training day and I just  have a mental aversion to it that I need to get over.  I trained shoulders, chest and triceps and I wanted to throw the towel in  halfway through my workout when my arms started getting shakey.  I don't know if I'll ever enjoy that feeling, it reminds me of being really sick.  I think my iron is low again, I've been pale and tired a lot, so I'll have to schedule my yearly physical soon to have all my blood work done.  
Before I worked out today I was trying to decide what to do, go for a walk, weight train or skip it altogether and enjoy what little free time/me time I get before my world gets crazy again when the kids and I go back to school.  Mindset is so crucial.  I could feel myself starting to sink back into that place where I question why I do any of this, who it is for and why it matters.  That is an excuse to not care in disguise, I found that out today as I was trying to decide whether or not to even work out at all.  I could feel myself thinking about there not being an Elliot to impress or affect anymore and my husband apparently doesn't care one way or another because he keeps telling me how one shouldn't attach themselves emotionally to how they look.  And when I really thought of how I was trying to get out of putting effort in just because there wasn't a guy behind/motivating me, I felt disappointed that I let these times make me feel weak and unimportant instead of using that energy to make me push harder.  I have work to do, especially in regards to men and the attention they do or don't give me.  I suspect it may be Daddy issues that are manifesting as "men" issues and attention issues.  It requires a level of introspection that I don't have the energy for at the moment, but knowing it is an issue is a great place to start.  Buddhism teaches us that as a human being, you are already complete, a universe unto yourself.  I need to start believing that I am reason enough, worthy enough to make the effort, and great enough to command the space of my vast, personal universe!  Everyone else in my life is a bonus and a blessing.  And those who choose not to be in my life are a blessing too because they make room for my universe to expand.  
I'm glad I didn't let myself down today.  It isn't as much about shrinking my body as it is about helping my mind grow.  I will not be happy no matter what size I am if I cannot find happiness at any size.  If my mind is constantly thinking about external things I will put my entire value as a human being into the way my exterior changes.  A house does lose its purpose because it is painted a different color, so why should the value of myself change because of how I look?  In the end, Geneen Roth has been right about so many things.  Questioning and awareness are the best ways to conquer auto-pilot actions.  If you feel like giving up on making your body healthy, investigate why you are trying to let yourself off the hook.  Questioning and awareness saved me today.  I'm sure it won't be the last time.  

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I did it!

This is a shot from my 5k walk I did tonight.  There were a million beautiful pictures I could have taken because we were right by the river.  There were so many bunnies and baby goslings and pelicans gliding above as if they were in slow motion.  It was beautiful.  And I walked until my blisters had blisters it seemed.  It was structured as a staggered start so everyone started when they arrived and walked at their own pace.  When I walk 3.2 miles in my neighborhood it typically takes me a full hour.  Tonight, despite it being 80 degrees and humid, I finished it in 50 minutes.  I was really proud of that!  
Surprisingly enough, I didn't think about Elliot much at all.  Sure, a small part of me hoped he would have somehow just showed up, but with each person from my work that walked past me, I knew almost all of them and exchanged smiles and hellos.  In a company that has more than 3,000 employees that made me feel kind of great.  And to think that my company supports and encourages these events, it's cool to work at a place that cares about the health of its employees so much.  
I'll admit, the first part of my walk I was feeling a lite bad for myself, focusing on how I was one of the only people walking it alone, everyone else was with friends, family or coworkers.  Then I reminded myself that I chose to walk alone.  I could have had my husband meet me there but it would have meant my kids would have been alone all day and then again in the evening because my younger one cannot walk for longer than a block without being in back or ankle pain. So reminding myself that I chose to walk alone got me out of apathy mode and I sank into the music in my ears, happy to have it for motivation and company.  By the time I hit the halfway point, the endorphins had kicked in and my mood was high.  I was happy that I had the chance to get out and walk in such a beautiful place.  
As I come down from all the buildup, all the drama and the actual event, I feel a slight pull of sadness but it is undefined and might just be tiredness.  I think I'll sleep really well tonight, then tomorrow is a brand new day!  *yawn* Either so much has happened that I am numb or not enough happened for me to talk about.  Think I just need to relax and put it all behind me now.  The next one is a month away, I am considering doing one more and then stopping.  
Hope you all had a great night!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Walking my own Path

I feel like a broken record sometimes.  Good night of sleep, bad night of sleep, good night of sleep...last night was kind of a bad night, so I am due a good night tonight.  I usually have a couple restless nights during the week of my Monthly Disaster, so I'm not too concerned with it, but I know my eating has been a little off-schedule lately too.  Since my walks have become longer, I find myself eating at 8pm and going to bed by ten.  My stomach usually wakes me by 11pm, it is on a food schedule these days!  That is a good thing for sure, it means my metabolism is revved up and talking care of things even when I'm sleeping, but the loss of sleep is getting a little old.  I had to get up to have a snack twice last night and had a hard time falling back asleep each time.  Tonight I am better prepared with some cottage cheese dished and ready in the fridge so I don't have to stress out over noisy string cheese packages or trying to find dishes in the dark.  Hopefully it'll be more effective.
I didn't work out this morning, though I was planning to do a back and bicep workout.  When I got up I was so drained and my backbone was a little sore so I was lazy this morning.  Work went fairly smoothly today, and I felt good in general.  It is getting easier to stay on a schedule for eating because my stomach is a lot better at alerting me than it used to be.  My hunger pangs show up every 2 1/2 to 3 hours, it is rare that I can go longer than that without a growling stomach, unless I am eating less clean.  I am in a good place where just the thought of eating greasy, sugary junk makes me feel disgusted, which is good.  Isn't the human body amazing that way?!  I didn't have energy until I started burning energy, and I didn't really prefer clean food over junk food until I cleaned up my diet.  It reminds me of the whole, "If you build it they will come" philosophy.   If you make an effort your body will respond in ways that make it easier for you to keep making an effort.  Here is a pretty big lesson I am learning this time around that I never made the connection with before: if I don't work out, I am way more open to the idea of eating whatever without regard.  That doesn't mean I eat that way, but I will let the thought cross my mind, whereas after a workout, whether I just got done or it was hours ago, my body feels clean and light and the last thing I want to do is make it feel heavy with some junk.  I will need to keep more aware of this.
I was really tired when I got home from work and didn't feel like working out in the least, but it is such a beautiful day that I didn't want to pass it up.  Besides, I wanted to clear my head a little, I've had a hard time not thinking about Elliot lately since the walk he won't be going on with me is tomorrow.  It's natural that it reminds me of what happened (or, more fittingly, what didn't happen).  My husband decided to come with me at the last minute.  My tailbone was irritated the first half of the 3 miles, but by the time we turned around and headed home it was feeling better.  I did take ibuprofen before walking again, just to help.  We talked a lot about self image, weight loss, self esteem, and all of the pros and cons that come with it.  I felt like he was trying to lecture me at times, saying how beauty is so subjective and transient.  Yes, but that is not the only reason I workout.  I workout to prove to myself that I can do things I didn't think I could do, to push myself, to regain strength, to keep my mind in a strong place, and yes, to feel more attractive.  He was focusing on the girls who post a million selfies under the guise of something, just to show off their cleavage to get attention from guys.  I get it, it makes me roll my eyes when I see that too.  But we as a society have stressed the importance of beauty, it makes a difference how we are treated by others and how we feel about ourselves.  His argument is that if people read about more worldly, amazing things they would see how small these issues are.  I can kind of see his point, it is insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but exercise and nutrition do more than just make us feel pretty, they stir the human spirit.  Setting a goal and working toward it, figuring out why my mind does things I don't understand sometimes, and feeling vital are just some of the awesome things I am gaining.  I know part of his thinking was based on how I told him I was getting attention from other men and not him.  And I know his reaction to it is not one of compassion and understanding because he probably thinks there is a chance I will turn into one of those needy girls who leaves him for the first guy to pay attention to me.  Worse, if he thinks that is my goal in exercising, who does he take me to be?  At any rate, I was saying how odd it feels to think of myself outliving the 3 people I consider my close friends in life and when he asked who I mentioned my friend Tim and I wasn't expecting the dramatic reaction to that, but it made me aware that he still has concern over my having anything to do with Tim.  He is someone who will always mean a lot to me as a friend, and my husband will have to get used to the fact that adult men and women can indeed be friends without hidden agendas.  I don't look at Tim the way I used to nor want him that way, it is hard to convince him of and I understand that.  But I haven't seen Tim in more than 10 years, and my trip home in fall will likely be the last time I do unless by some chance I happen to see him when we come home to visit friends and family.  At any rate, I will be upfront  with my husband and tell  him when I go visit that my bestie and I will be meeting up with Tim for coffee or drinks, in public, and that will be that.
Anyway, the walk made me feel really good afterword, and I ate a hot, clean meal afterword to help me toward a more restful night of sleep.  Tomorrow's my work 5K and other than the blister on the bottom of my foot, I feel ready to kick butt! This has been an awesome summer so far, and the best part about it is, a few months ago I was struggling to walk across the room without knee pain, now I am walking 5K's like it is nothing!  I feel powerful and alive!  I wish I could bottle it and ship it out, but the only way to get this feeling is to get started, take the steps and let your body help you make things easier and fun.  Life's an amazing journey!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Hear my Popping

This morning, despite the persistent tailbone irritation, I attempted a 5K walk in my neighborhood.  I took some ibuprofen before I left because I had some cramps to contend with anyway.  I felt a ton of popping/snapping stuff going on, but the nice thing is that a good portion of the time, when something would pop my tailbone would stop hurting.  The longer I walked, the less I felt my tailbone, and by the time I completed the walk, I was feeling really good.  I don't want to jinx anything, but I think I am back in service, so to speak.  I feel way more energetic and positive today, despite the Monthly Disaster. 
I am still tracking calories today, even though Mondays are not typical days for me either because I go into work later, so my first meal is much later than on a typical weekday.  I take in less calories in general on weekends and Mondays because I sleep more.  That's a win-win I guess!  So tomorrow should be a more accurate picture of typical caloric intake.  If I keep working out daily I don't think it is going to be an issue whatsoever. 
Today when I was walking I was thinking about how I would react if Elliot suddenly replied to my invite.  The thought of it made me a little queasy, as though I were being asked to do something outside my ethics.  I have already decided that if he is scared or bothered by little ole me that he is probably not mature enough to have a meaningful friendship with.  I could be wrong.  Thinking about him that way does help me move on though.  Maybe he is just painfully shy or has something about his past or present that he's ashamed of.  In the end, my thoughts passed quickly onto the next thought of my friends, and how my last visit to my hometown this fall is going to have to be a major event that we will remember forever.  I can't wait to plan some things.  And beyond that, I have been checking out apartments in California and my family is really excited about our move, talking about all the places we will go explore when we live there.  I have so much to look forward to, that it makes no sense to look backwards!  I am so happy I can walk again without pain, and can move and feel like I'm making a difference in my health.  I am happy that I still have time to build my strength so I don't lose it and end up frail.  I am happy, period.  And that feels mighty good!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

No Regrets

Another night of terrible, restless sleep was followed by a long, boring Sunday with a nagging headache.  After a little eye-rubbing and wake time, I had a couple cups of coffee and despite the lingering tailbone irritation, I decided to give walking a try.  I walked 1/2 hour in my apartment, figuring the carpeting would give a little cushion.  There were moments that felt just fine and moments where I could feel that irritation had no intentions of leaving right now, no matter what I have scheduled.  I was happy that I at least walked.  I was starting to feel that if I didn't walk soon, I was going to lose my mojo yet again.
My MD (Monthly Disaster) started today and robbed me of any energy I was anticipating having.  I wanted to clean the house really well to surprise my husband who got forced to work today, but I only got a few things done before I was just too worn out.  I spent the day in a chair, seriously mellow.  I am emotionally hung over and physically feel like I was dragged under a bus after the strength training I did yesterday.  For some reason, though, I was hungrier than normal, and I did question it and check my brain to make sure the hunger wasn't emotional, because that would be understandable, but my stomach truly was growling up a storm about every 2 to 2 1/2 hours.  I typically go 3 hours between eating, so it wasn't a dramatic difference, but I was more aware of it because I decided to track my calories today with my Fooducate app.  It isn't as thorough or useful as other apps out there, but what I like about it is that it tells you what hidden stuff is in your food.  Anyway, I don't have plans to count calories at any point, I was just curious to see where my fall on a typical day. Being that I didn't get out of bed until 9am and didn't eat my first meal until 11am, it didn't end up being very typical, but I'll continue using the app a few more days.  The app tells me I should aim for 1720 calories, I ate 1374 and burned 370.  It's a ballpark idea.  I backed off carbs a little today, just some of the grains because I was feeling a little more knee pain lately.  I'd like to see where my set point is for carbs so I can stay in a relatively good place most of the time. Overall, I did feel like I was able to put the crazy food thoughts out of my mind more today, maybe it was the shift in hormones, but I'm sure some of it had to do with getting the walk in this morning, and the fact that I was tracking my food.
This week for lunch, I will substitute a salad for the tofurkey wrap I was eating, which will mean I am cutting down to two grains and two servings of fruit a day.  Three of each is typically allowed in this phase, but I will listen to my body, to see if it will respond to a slight adjustment.  I don't think it will make much difference in the tailbone thing, but at least in the knee if I'm lucky.
I am usually pretty drained of energy for the first few days of MD, but then I recover pretty quickly, and my resolve is typically iron-clad for a few weeks before the hormones shift again.  I will do what I can on Wednesday for the walk.  Maybe forcing myself to do it goes against my better judgement, but I am a stubborn German, I won't let a little 3 mile walk defeat me!  I can do it, I just have to take a little ibuprofen before hand and pay attention to careful posture and form.  Most of all, I am just really hoping whatever is irritating me will just go away by then.  This is a pebble in the road.  I have a choice to let it trip me up or to simply find a way to get around it.  I will chose my path and have no regrets.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

My Heart Hurts

I've been neglecting this blog lately, feeling like I have so much going on in my head that it simply won't spill onto the page neatly and not sure what is real and what is emotions/hormones.  I feel there is a simultaneous amount of nothing extraordinary happening, yet some major things happening all at once and it is making my head want to explode.  The sciatica or pinched nerve thing or IT band issue-whatever it is coincides with a snapping hip and it sucks because the only time my tailbone doesn't hurt is when my hip is really "loose" and popping/snapping like mad.  It feels so odd.  I tried exercises to strengthen my psoas and all it did was irritate my tailbone more.  I haven't walked for exercise since last Monday and I hate it.  It feels like all the beautiful weather is going to disappear and I am inside pouting and succumbing to apathy.  Oh, the familiar feeling of apathy, I have lived inside of it my whole life.  Whoa is me, I am such a victim to an almost unbearable life.  It's funny how perception changes so quickly.  I am not a victim.  I choose to act like one sometimes, because it is the easy way out, but doing so makes me miserable.  So why would I chose to live that way?
I did a few things at work yesterday to try to see if I could help my issue, tried some squats, some stretches, some hip-strengthening things.  It still felt like I was getting an electrical shock in the tailbone when I walk.  So last night I just got the groceries and came home, feeling sorry for myself.  I ate a mini bean burrito covered in cheese and some lime chips with lime-avocado salsa.  Yep, it was good.  And I felt myself slipping into a place I've been before, the F-it, I'll-start-eating-clean-again-on-Monday mode that excuses me from having to give a F about myself or how I'm destroying everything I worked for for the last 2 months.  I ate my meal and had a glass of my leftover champagne, and tried to numb myself by watching a funny movie before going to bed.  What am I trying to numb myself from?  Elliot came to mind, but I know Elliot isn't a surface thing.  I didn't even know the guy, really, there is something deeper there that I haven't put my finger on yet because there is so much else weighing on me right now.  I thought about my dad, and how so much of what I thought were "Mommy issues" for me truly ended up being "Daddy issues" when I examined them closer.  I almost lost him a few months ago and I have been feeling like I need to be closer to him and rebuild that relationship that I allowed to become estranged due to years of misunderstanding and misjudging him as a person.  But after today, I think I had my answer.
Today I saw my friend Lisa for the first time since she was diagnosed with terminal cancer in January.  I have been keeping my distance because I knew it would be hard for me to handle.  How do you handle being around someone who knows they are going to die in 6 months?  How do I do that?  I am not strong enough, that's how I felt.  How can I keep it together in front of her friends and our coworkers?  If I just keep my distance I won't realize how dear she holds our connection, how much she treasures the time we've spent and wants me to know that.  And I won't ache so bad when she stops being able to put on such a brave face for us and starts to really show signs of how fragile and sick she is.  And I won't crumble to pieces when she passes.  Apparently, there was a lot on my mind when I ate that junk, actually all week as I dealt with the other stuff, this was the one that was eating away at me.  How am I going to be strong when I don't feel like I am at all.  I haven't been exposed to death much and it bothers me so much.
When I arrived, she hugged me so hard and didn't let go for a while.  I know she needed it, but I think in some way, she knew I needed it too.  She did indeed have her brave face on, she looked so pretty and happy, she was joking sometimes, but she also shared that, no matter how much she feels like she's accepted it, it still sucks.  She is 45 and this is the last summer she will ever see.  Her husband was putting on a brave face too, but while she was outside talking with friends, I caught him watching her interact from the kitchen window and the look of sadness was unmistakable.  It was one of the saddest things I've accidentally witnessed and it will take me a while to get over it.  When we left, We told each other we'd get together for lunch soon and I will keep my promise if she's up to it.  And she invited me to her last famous Halloween party this fall, which I will make no matter what.  I know I'll see her again, and I know my heart will break all over again, but it isn't about me.
My heart was really heavy after the gathering, and I felt a huge lump in my throat as we drove the long ride home.  I began thinking about my family and  how I'll be moving more than 2,000 miles away from them in less than a year and right now they only live 90 miles away and I never make time for them.  My sister especially.  Her daughter is three and I've never seen her other than on Facebook.  I have held a lot of negativity against my family for things I felt they did or didn't do and it has only been recently that I have been able to work through some of those outdated feelings and see things from a fresh perspective.  Seeing Lisa today made me aware of how I want to reconnect with my family.  I am doing the same thing with my family as I was doing with Lisa, avoiding getting closer to them because I am afraid of how bad it will hurt when they pass.  I guess I have some separation issues/death issues that I need to look at and work through.
The positive of all this is that it is making me look at my relationships in my life.  I have spent most of  my life avoiding letting others get close to me and now I have a very small group of people around me, I am worried that they will all die off and leave me all alone.  It is not necessarily a rational fear, but fear seldom is rational.  Now that I recognize that I have been doing this and why, I want to strengthen the connections I do have, and build more.  That was what I was looking for from Elliot.  I want to befriend someone young and healthy who won't leave me.  It's absurd, I see that now, but it was driven by my fears.
When I got home I avoided going on Facebook for awhile, expecting that there would be pictures posted from the cook out for Lisa.  I wanted to escape thinking about it for a bit.  My husband and I talked about other stuff for a bit and once the house settled into our nightly "devices time", I finally went on Facebook.  I had a message waiting and it was from the last person I expected it from, my friend, Tim.  He is someone I worked with, hung out with and crushed hardcore on for 8 years before moving to Green Bay and falling in love with my husband.  I have considered him one of my good friends, even though we haven't kept in touch very much since I moved from my hometown in 2001.  I had asked if we could meet for coffee or a drink when I was in my hometown (visiting my bestie) last weekend, and mentioned that I would be returning in Fall and wanted to see him before I move again.  He is rarely ever on Facebook so I didn't expect him to see the message in time for my June visit.  I figured it would take a few months for him to notice the message.  He said that that sounded like a great time, to catch up over drinks, and that he hopes to see me again before I move.  Boy, did that message come at the right time!  I have been wanting to reconnect with him for some time, but didn't want either of our spouses to be uncomfortable with it.  But now that I am going through losing a dear friend, I need to tell him what he's meant to me, stop shying away from the closeness I have been avoiding.  The human connection makes life rich, and I don't want to miss out on it because I'm afraid to feel something.  I have been blessed to have the few dear friends that I do and I am going to pay more attention to nurturing the bonds I have been fortunate to have.
My contribution to myself today was a grueling strength workout, legs, hips, butt, shoulders, chest and triceps.  Normally I wouldn't hit all those muscles in one day, but I have missed a few workouts this week ( this would normally be 2 separate workouts) and I wanted to do something to make myself feel better before going to the cookout.  I felt strong for doing it and it helped my tailbone hurt a little less.  I am going to be hurting for days!  I am hoping I can get walking again tomorrow, Sunday mornings are my absolutely favorite for walks!  Wednesday I have my work 5K and I know I'll be thinking about Elliot again, but ever so slowly his affect on me is wearing off.  I have good things to focus on this fall, seeing old friends, celebrating favorite holidays with friends and relatives, and enjoying the rest of the time I have left in Wisconsin before moving to California!  I am enough on my own to be strong and make my health a priority.  I don't need some guy-a virtual stranger- whose actions I try to analyze, to dictate how I should feel about myself.  If he was crushing on me I say, good!  He should crush on me.  I have a lot to offer.  If he wasn't I say, oh well, he just doesn't know how awesome I am because his mind is not mature enough to realize a great human being when he sees one.  Either way, deep down, it doesn't change who I am.
Sorry this is so long.  I really needed to get that all out!  

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Drama-Holic

I didn't blog yesterday because the night seemed to slip through my hands like water.  I have started journaling so I don't feel like I have to rehash and agonize over the same thing over and over.  I was thinking about how this is supposed to be a weight blog, not a tell-all chronicling the drama in my life!  But drama and weight seem to be very interconnected in my life.  Yesterday I felt really good, really "on" .  My bestie and I were chatting online and she mentioned something about the next time I see Elliot.  It was like someone flipped a switch.  Just because he doesn't want to see me outside work doesn't mean I won't ever see him again.  It will be more awkward for him than me, because he didn't even respond, which is a little disrespectful if not disappointing.  I will show him that I'm still cool, won't even bring it up, I'll treat him like none of it happened so he can see I'm just a cool chick who wanted to hang.  I felt better about that and really wanted to go for a walk after work but I am having what I think is sciatica, it feels aweful like something is out of place and pinching the nerve because it needs to go back where it belongs.  I've had this before and it always goes away on its own, I just don't want to aggravate it anymore.  And of course it feels the worst when I walk.  
This morning I got up at 5am to see if I could walk, stretching and stretching hoping something would unlock what is jammed back there, I even looked up some yoga stretches and physical therapy moves.  It didn't work, still the aggravating sensation that has now settled around my tailbone.  Grrr!  I don't like feeling like I can't do something.  Especially when the weather was so perfect today.  I could feel my mood sink a little.  
There had been someone new picking up the jobs from Elliot's lab, it's crazy how many different people have been doing it.  I wonder if everyone knows.  I didn't do anything inappropriate but it still feels a little odd.  I started thinking back to how yesterday I was content at the thought that I might still get to see him from time to time but I realized today that he might not volunteer to do it anymore because he'll be uncomfortable seeing me.  It's gotta be OK.  I have come to the conclusion that if you have to force something or work that hard, maybe it's not right to begin with.  This whole thing started with me thinking he was interested in me when I felt really unattractive, and in the beginning I wasn't interested, but the longer it went on, the more I allowed myself to become intoxicated by the idea of him, and that's when's brain became scrambled!  
My tailbone still feels odd/irritating so I couldn't walk again tonight.  It's funny how a couple of days off can really put my self esteem in the dumps.  I was feeling fat and unattractive today and after a chaotic night of helping and doing for others, I needed to run to the store and it had been almost three hours since I ate, so I was starving. My son and I grabbed some essentials, then before leaving decided to get some pizza.  It was ultra thin mushroom and spinach with garlic and it was good.  I also ate a couple handfuls of chips and some watermelon.  All bets were off for that little bit of time and I found myself feeling bittersweet.  Yes, it felt liberating to eat without rules or limits, but at the same time there was something inside that knew I wasn't doing it out of need but out of hurt, and I thought to myself, how sad that I let someone else have this kind of power over me!  
I know that exercise has a very therapeutic effect on me and I need it now ore than ever to get me over this whole "Elliot" speedbump.  I really hope this sciatica kindly f#€+s off so I can move again without irritation.  I will have to get creative if it doesn't, but I already signed myself up for my work 5K next Wednesday.  My life is never lacking of some sort of drama.  Then again, who would want a life without it?

Monday, June 15, 2015

Moving Forward

Yesterday was a day that challenged me from beginning to end.  Because I'd had a few glasses of champagne The night before, I woke up at 5am and couldn't fall back asleep, so after wasting time on Facebook, I decided to go downtown and take a walk along the river.  The fog was so thick I couldn't see the other side, it felt so intimate and peaceful, especially watching pelicans gliding through the fog on the water.  I walked for an hour, assuming that if it takes me an hour to walk a 5K, walking for an hour should be about 3 miles.  A lot of stuff ran through my head, about Elliot and about the weekend, about my friends and my husband.  Now that the dust has settled I can say what I've been vaguely talking about.  On Friday, when I was conveniently not at work due to heading out of town to spend time with my bestie, I left a note for Elliot in the pickup basket for him.  I wrote his name on it so it wouldn't be mistakenly removed by my boss.  The note had a flier for a 5k walk that my work puts on where friends and family are encouraged to join in.  It's free and runs along the river path so it's a very pleasant walk.  I asked Elliot if he's not busy or creeped out that I crossed professional boundaries, if he wanted to meet me for a walk and talk.  I promised it was nothing creepy, and promised I would not make things weird if he wasn't interested.  I told him I would be out of town with limited cell reception and left me email as the easiest way to be reached.  No answer.  Nothing.  This is what I've been turning over in my mind all weekend.  There are a million hopeful excuses I could dream up as to why he couldn't/ wouldn't answer, but to save myself from the mental game I've been playing with myself, I have decided it is in my best interest to believe he thinks I want more than friendship and is not interested.  I have to move on from the whole thing.  Still, it's hard not to internalize that as rejection, and I found myself irritable and wanting to comfort with food yesterday.  Hormonal shifts did play a part in that too, I know whenever I get to the point of wanting to eat after I'm already full that hormones are at play, there's only a couple days a month when this happens to me.  Do yesterday I ate more junk (some handfuls of a few different kinds of chips) than I typically do, figuring today would be the day I turn things back around and climb back in the saddle.  This time for myself and not for some guy, known or unknown.  As I started out my walk today I immediately thought about the Elliot situation and it was tempting to make excuses and hope that there was still a chance he'd answer me but then I thought about the book I'm reading by the Dalai Lama.  It is about happiness and the things that keep us from it.  One of the things he says is that when we are attracted to someone, we tend to view them with all positive attributes.  It is a dangerous fantasy that ends in disappointment when we realize they are not indeed perfect.  This hit me in a tough spot.  I was thinking, how could I have misjudged him to be such a nice, respectful guy.  I would have thought he'd at least do me the courtesy of a reply, even if he's not interested.  Maybe he's not someone I need in my life if he's creeped out by a simple invitation to go for a walk.  Etc etc.  then I thought about another thing from the book where the Dalai Lama says in order to be happy we need to find the positive in things that anger or disappoint us.  My aim positive is that, if he would have been interested, and we became friends, there would have been some level of torture involved with knowing we could only be friends.  Now I don't have to deal with that or the awkward way it might have made my husband feel to know I'd made a new male friend.  Honestly, I didn't plan on hanging out with him, I did want to talk to him so in case he was interested, he'd know that I'm not available.  Anyway, as I thought about the positive things I am gaining from being disappointed, I sank into the Green Day playing in my ears and began to feel cool about who I am.  I am not shattered or bitter or hurt.  I am still me.  A short, Green Day-loving mom who still has what it takes to make people happy.  And in the process I am happy too.  I walked another 5K today, it is starting to feel like a normal distance to walk, and not a major feat.  I am still going to do my work 5k walk because I can.  I am doing this with or without Elliot because I'm going to keep moving forward, whoever is with me needs to jump on, who is not better get out of my way because nothing's going to stop me!  I feel liberated and powerful!  This is going to be the best summer yet!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Old Dog Learns a Lesson

Everytime I visit my bestie, we have a lot of laughs and girl talk, which is usually just the break we need from our individual lives, but a million emotions come with it.  It reminds me how simple life was when we were young and energetic with few responsibilities.  It reminds me of the town I grew up in and how much it's changed since I moved away 14 years ago.  And it reminds me that I'm about to move a couple thousand miles away and these get togethers will be rare.  
I said there might be news to share by tonight and unfortunately there is none, which could be an answer in itself.  I won't extrapolate unless there is a reason to, I'll just chalk it up to my assumptions and expectations being a product of my active imagination and when we make assumptions about people's character without knowing them well it can lead to disappointments we are blindsided by.  I would be lying if I said it didn't affect me during my time with my friend, but I realize that I set my plan into motion and expected something to happen, good or bad, and absolutely nothing happened.  Crickets.  So instead of best-case-scenario positive thinking I have decided to let it go for now.  The non-answer is the answer I am getting.  It'll all make sense at some point.  
During my overnight visit, my bestie and I fit as much as we could into what time we had.  We drove around so I could see my hometown again, there were parts near the neighborhood where I grew up that still looked warmingly familiar.  It gave me a real nostalgically peaceful feeling.  We ate lunch at a place we used to frequent when I lived there, it was truly a cheat meal for me, thick noodles with sauce, veggies and tofu.  I had to box some to go, but it was good.  We did a little thrift shopping, I found a couple shirts, which was a good feeling.  Then we checked into an upscale inn right in the heart of downtown.  It was pretty swank, with marble and all.  We were lucky to get a room there without a reservation, it was centrally located by everything.  We spent some time in the room then had some sushi and margaritas for dinner before getting gussied up and hitting a popular Irish pub for a few drinks.  It turns out there was a band, and we had a great time.  I admit, I was thinking about my anticipated message, but after I realized it wasn't likely to come, I put it out of my mind and gave myself permission to enjoy the memories I was making with my friend.  It has been so long since I've seen a live band, and I could have stayed all night.  It reminds me of how my husband and I met, he was in a band and I happened to walk into the club where he was playing and he took my breath away.  My friend and I traveled all over to see/follow/support them, until I was able to make my husband fall for me.  As I was watching this unknown band (they were good) I was aware of how lucky I am.  I felt like I looked really good but I wasn't even concerned with getting attention, I was just finally in the moment and trying to capture the colors of the stage lights in my memory, and the way they lit the scene, giving sound and vision layers of depth that make reality seem like a warm, happy dream.  There may have been a few drinks involved.  Just being out, being free felt like being young and vital again.  
My disappointment reappeared today, as I dropped my friend off and headed home.  It's a 1 1/2 hour drive and I was thinking of the situation and wondering how I could have misread things so badly and I vowed to try and be more level-headed about things in the future.  The closer I got to home, I began thinking about my family and how good it would be to see everyone and maybe have a nice dinner together.  It felt good to be with my family again, felt really warm and good to be where I belong.  My husband and I had a nice, quiet dinner together at one of our favorite restaurants and took a short drive.  All in all, my life is pretty outstanding.  I feel really lucky to have these guys in my life, we are on each other's wavelength and happy to be there.  That's the real stuff that makes life richer, not shallow attraction or fleeting attention that feeds the ego. My head is back to a sensible place and now I need to be remember the lesson I learned from all of this. I am awesome because I am awesome, not because someone else thinks so.  I may be an old dog but I'm still learning!


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Shirt to End all Shirts

Yesterday I didn't start work until noon, and I had plans to workout and do some thrift shopping before work.  My son, however woke up with an ear infection so we headed to the Urgent Care center.  I still had time to do either the workout or the shopping and I chose the shopping, knowing I could get my walk in after work.  I went to a shop I haven't been to in a while, and chose about 8 things to try on, mostly shirts in size XL.  The first shirt I tried was an Old Navy shirt, it looked brand new, it was a red, super soft material and lower cut than I would ever wear to work, but I tried it.  When I looked in the mirror I thought to myself, ah!  They are smart, putting in mirrors that make you look thinner so you'll buy more!  The red shirt might just become a staple in my closet, it highlights my best features and makes me look good.  I found another shirt that's good too, but the red one makes me feel invincible!  When I got home, I had to try it on in my own mirror to see how distorted their mirrors are and I was stunned that it looked just as good at home.  I love it when I find such a treasure thrift shopping!  I could have spent all day shopping in a bunch of stores and not found one I like as much.  I did go for a walk after work, it was perfect weather and I really appreciated the fact that it is essentially summer.  
Today the sales rep from Elliot's lab was in, she's a sweet woman I have known for 5 years so when she mentioned how our usage of their lab had grown, I told her, "You have the cutest guy doing the pickups.  Or at least you did!"  She smiled and joked that they need to consider putting him back on the run and I heartily agreed that it would make good business sense.  All in jest of course, but it was fun to joke about it.  After she left, I started thinking, what if she goes back and tells him I said that? I panicked a little and then I realized it would probably make him feel good.  I don't know if the rep really spends too much time at the lab anyway.  She probably forgot about it before she stopped at her next shop.  
Tonight when I got home, it was 80 degrees and very humid, and I decided to push myself to do a 5K to prep for when I walk it on June 24.  I felt pretty good doing it, despite the fact that my shoes are giving me a blister on the bottom of my foot-I suspect they may be 1/2 size too big and my foot slides too much.  I'll search for a solution and wait patiently for a callus to form.  3/4 of the way through I started to get so freaking hot, sweat started dripping off of me but I was in a zone.  I finished in exactly 1 hour including cool down.  Talk about water consumption!  I definitely torched some calories tonight.  I will be in good shape for my walk, I hope it doesn't get rained out!
I got checked out a few times while walking tonight which kinda makes me laugh and kinda makes me feel good.  The funny thing is, guys who drive a big truck (and a lot of them around here do) have to duck their head down in order to see past their rear-view mirror, which makes them look like they have no neck! It's pretty funny looking!  
My husband and I have been laughing more and joking more and just closer in general and it feels so good and right.  I think, when the dust settles on this little time in my life, I will have learned some valuable lessons and come out the other side happier.  What more could anyone want?  Well, maybe a flirty red shirt for good measure!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Addicted to Walking

This morning's walk was in the rain, and I had such a fantastic time doing it that I didn't even feel the 2.5 miles that I walked.  Walking gives me the opportunity to think about stuff and make plans for whats to come.  I did find myself restless again, I guess that's probably going to be a huge problem for me, especially this week, because I am excited about visiting my friend and filled with bittersweet anxious waiting to see what will happen with "the plan".  
I found myself restless more than once today, and I wanted to take another walk, but I talked myself out of it.  Instead, when my husband went to the gym, I did a lower body resistance session.  I was able to do squats without knee pain, (which is a huge deal for me) but not lunges.  It's ok, I was never a huge fan of lunges, I think at this point I need more strength in my lower body before I do lunges in order to have the form be correct so it doesn't hurt my knee.  I did deadlifts, clamshells and some intense leg lifts for my glutes that really killed them, and I planked twice.  I was a shakey mess, and I know that's good, I still have to change my mindset on it though.  I was laughing at how trashed my lower body was.  I held up better than I expected but I am going to be sore for the next few days.  I really wanted to go walking outside again, but I refrained  because I know doing too much cardio can actually detract from muscle you're trying to build.  Not that it's that big of a deal, I was just trying to get rid of that restless-on-a-beautiful-day feeling.  I finally settled into the sun with my book, just listening to the birds as I read the simply brilliant lessons from the Dalai Lama.  It was so peaceful and wonderful, and I was delighted to be doing something to take my mind out of that place of feeling like I'm spinning my tires and getting nowhere.  
I think it is key that I keep myself busy this week or I'll go insane!  Thank goodness I only work 4 days then I'm hitting the road to my bestie's house.  This week needs to fly by.  Hopefully I'll have news to tell by this time next week.
Hope you all had a great weekend!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Why did I do that?!

I did a thing I said I wasn't going to do yesterday.  I was trying to find an outfit to wear to work, Fridays being a day we don't have to wear uniforms, and I feel like I am perpetually between sizes.  Some shirts too baggy to highlight my curves, some too clingy, very few just right for my current shape.  I chose an outfit of jeans and a sweater with zippers on it, which likely sounds less cool than it is.  After getting my kids ready and on the bus, I came inside and looked at myself in the full length mirror and with frustration, went through and tried on all my outfits again.  I chose a really earthy elephant skirt and black shirt.  It frustrated me that I can't gauge what fits and will look good, that I have no idea where I am in this journey because I feel like I'm progressing nicely but when I try those clothes on, I'm expecting them to look better than they do.  So I stepped on the scale, without stopping to question if it was worth it.  Before it showed me the number I was hoping please be under 180.  It was 183.  I was immediately disappointed, then I talked myself off a ledge by thinking that's only a few pounds away from 179.  I should have been reminding myself of how insignificant that number is to who I am as a person, and that this was not begun to look good for someone else, or get attention from guys, it was begun to feel better, and I do.  I am not discounting the emotional journey I am on and how my changing body affects my mind, all of this gives me more opportunity to become more aware of the reasons why I do certain things.  
Last night after work I got the grocery shopping done and when I got home my son was all excited that he won a Dairy Queen coupon from his school carnival and my husband had promised to bring him and his brother to use the coupon.  I knew there would be nothing vegetarian I could eat there that would be worth it, do I stayed home by myself and cooked a black bean burger which I ate on one slice of bread with a whole bunch of veggies and condiments.  It was an awesome mess.  I found myself resorting to old ways of wanting to sneak "bad" food while everyone was away but I knew sweets were out of the question.  I had a glass of wine and a snack package of some bacon cheeseburger flavored crackers.  They tasted like Burger King, which was pretty tasty, but I found myself asking, what the hell am I doing?!  I thought about hormonal shifts and it's true it could be a small factor, but I think it is more due to the number I saw on the scale, and being bored.  I have been having a huge problem with boredom since my semester ended, which is very uncharacteristic of me.  I used to be able to spend hours playing Angry Birds or reading and now I feel so restless.  Part of it is Elliot, I admit.  I feel a bit caged by the fact that I have no way to be in touch with him other than the chance few seconds a month he comes in, and  I have been with a customer the past few times he's come.  So much of my energy revolves around the situation that I feel like I need to make something happen.  The plan is in place, next Friday could be a huge point of change for me.  I won't extrapolate until I know what's going on, but one way or another it will change some things.  And I will be out of town visiting my bestie for some much needed girl talk and laughs. Waiting is hard, and the unpredictability of the situation is simultaneously exciting and a little concerning, but I need to do something other than just wait and let my mind keep swirling.  I know that sounds vague and I'll explain it all in due time.  I am taking steps to stop chaining myself in many areas.  
I have been reading The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama and it is opening me up and having a profound impact on me.  One of the parts that affected me a lot is when the co-author, and American psychiatrist, asks him if he ever gets lonely, on account of not having a wife.  The Dalai Lama explains that everyone has a seed of perfection in them, and when he meets someone, even just a stranger on the street, that he immediately sees that perfection in them, and because he does not fear being disliked and is not emotionally attached to worrying about what others think of him, his warm compassionate heart finds a friend, a connection in every person he meets.  He goes on to say how important it is to draw warmth from sharing human connections on a deeper level.  It spoke to me.  It feels strange to me to think about having a deep human connection to a man outside of my marriage, but I think that might be part of what is drawing me to Elliot.  Not the wanting of inappropriate things, but the warmth of the human connection.  There is warmth all around him and I feel like the connection is there for the taking.  The glow between us may be innocent.  I haven't made a new friend in a long time, not on the level that I think it could be if I am right about all of this.  In our culture we immediately get suspicious of a married person making a friend with someone of the opposite sex, but I know it's possible to have a connection with someone and not cross boundaries.  
At any rate, the book is helping me center more, and I feel more grounded than I did before I started it.  I think it'll be a great Summer read that sticks with me for years to come.  
Looking forward to time with my bestie next weekend, I really need a break from my own mind for a while!  


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Thursday...yeah, that's all I've got

I don't feel like I have a lot to say today, but it's good practice to blog.
My boss was at my work today, it's been months since he has been at my site, much less all day.  I finished a big project today, which felt good and made the day go fast. 
After work I had to bring back the shoes I bought last night and it took an hour of trying nearly every pair in the store before I finally found a pair I like in my size.  Part of my problem is that I don't like the swirly, dizzy neon shoes everyone is wearing these days, if my zipper-laiden Convese One Star shoes didn't give me a blister on the ball of my foot I'd wear those as an anti-neon statement.  Anyway, I'm happy I found a pair.  After one more errand, I got home to the smell of french fries baking in the oven, and I was starving so I ate six fries while cooking my eggs.  They weren't that great, that's why I was able to stop at six.  
It looked like it was about to pour rain and I was feeling really restless at the thought of not going for a walk, especially with brand new shows just waiting to be tried out.  When I stepped outside, it was only misting/sprinkling so I decided to take my chances and sneak in a walk.  It actually felt good to have that mist on me, and the walk was nice.  I'm glad I went!  And that's how I've been feeling every day I go for a walk.  I may not be blasting hundreds of calories, but it makes me feel good and sleep good. 
I am getting excited for the plan I have in mind for later this month, but I'll wait to say what it is until I figure out if it is really going to happen.  Waiting is tough when you really want something, it feels like a kid waiting for the carnival to come!  
Well, I guess my brain is too tired to dream up anything else to babble about. Happy Thursday, friends!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Taking Care of Me

I didn't post yesterday because I was suffering with what I am always suffering with, restless thinking and waiting for things that may not come.  I am still on track- it feels effortless right now, food is just a tool and walking is absolutely necessary to keep my mind sane!
I know I let the Elliot thing take over this blog for a while, it is really helpful to blog about it, if nothing else to organize my thoughts.  There are so many reasons why it affects me the way it does, stemming from a lot of the same things that I had/have to get past with comfort eating, and I am torn right now because I know I can be his friend and leave it at that, but it will take me getting to talk to him.  If he is crushing on me I have to put an end to it by letting him know I'm married.  That will help my own mind calm down a little.  I have a plan in the works for later this month, so I'll see how that goes.
My walks have been really awesome.  I feel like I can go farther and faster than when I got back into it, and seem to recover decently.  I lost so much strength in my glutes and legs that walking that fast and far is actually quite a workout.  But I am planning on walking a 5K for work in the end of June, so I want to make sure I'm ready.  My pace, if my plan goes as I am hoping, will be slower than usual but for good cause.  More on that as it develops.
Tonight I was determined to get a new pair of walking shoes so I have time to break them in before the 5K, and after an hour of searching and searching I finally chose a pair.  I don't love them, but they are better than my old worn out Nikes I've been wearing.  When I got them home I realized that I grabbed the wrong box and the shoes are way too big!  Boo.  So now I'll have to go exchange them tomorrow.  Hopefully I'll find a shoe I like better too.  I was looking forward to wearing new shoes for my walk tonight, but I didn't let that stop me.  I laced up, put some Green Day in my ears and walked faster and harder than I have in a good long time.  At one point I felt like I was running, NO, gliding my movements were so automatic and smooth.  It was a cool feeling.  For the past couple months, when I walk I always look at the cars going by, somehow hoping that Elliot will be in one of them, it detracts from the walk a little bit.  Tonight I didn't bother with any of that.  The sky was so amazing, the sun masked by seemingly iridescent clouds, and birds of all sorts drifting around.  The smell of the greenery all around was intoxicating, a mix of summer berries and fresh cut grass.  I absorbed everything I could out of the plush landscape and it felt majestic.  Now that's how a walk should feel!
I haven't done any more strength training yet this week, I want to get better at that.  Once the kids are out of school I might start going to the gym in the mornings again.  I say that now, but when the alarm clock goes off at 4:30 am it might be a different story. It will all come together!
I have been tempted to weigh myself, I am a little fency about it.  I am curious to see where I am at, but at the same time,  I feel like I've lost a good amount but if the scale shows me that I haven't lost much it will affect my mood/how I feel a little.  It matters, but it really doesn't.  I am seeing collarbone showing again, and shoulders are reappearing.  That is this weeks return on my investment.  I like how I am feeling, the results are starting to show, who needs an arbitrary number from a scale?  I will weigh at some point, and really anything less than what I started at is progress, so I won't let any number affect me more than it should.  For now, I am going to keep doing what I'm doing because it feels right and makes sense.  That's how taking care of yourself is supposed to feel.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Bonus

I feel like this day disappeared in the blink of an eye and I'm here blogging when I should be getting to bed.  
A morning meeting ran late and I didn't get a workout in before work.  By the time I got home it was 7pm and I felt a little wiped out, but it is beautiful weather so I decided I should make use of it.  In Wisconsin, that gorgeous weather disappears way too fast.  I was planning on just taking a low intensity walk, but one the music hit me I was more energetic and plugging along.  It ended up being a great walk after all.  
My muscles are still sore from Saturday, but I know it's a good thing, that means I made them work, and the more I do that the easier recovery will be.  The first few times are always the toughest.  I will try to train my other body parts this week.  I'm hoping that weight training can become habitual like walking has become for me.  I like how strong it makes me feel, like I am pushing myself to new limits, even though I'm only using ten pound weights.  
I can tell my body is changing, I'm having a tough time keeping my skirts up where they used to stay, which means I'm constantly stepping on them or getting them stuck in the wheels of my computer chairs at work.  It's a rather annoying side effect but I'll accept it considering what it does for my mood.  I think I am in a good place with this right now.  I am doing stuff that makes me feel good, but when I start to let doubt creep in I remind myself that some really attractive men are attracted to me even at this weight.  One of them is my husband.  He keeps wanting to go out to restaurants on the weekends, sometimes 2-3 times a weekend and I caught him joking that I was going to "get skinny and leave".  So now I'm joking that he's trying to keep my fat so I'll stay around.  It's all in fun.  I have healthier choices at the restaurants we go to so its not all-out burgers and fries type stuff.  Vegetarian meals tend to be a little higher carb in restaurants, but it's not killing me.  I'm using South Beach Diet as a guide, not to rule my life.  I feel good, and that was the main reason for starting this.  What an absolute gift that my knee doesn't hurt anymore and I have more energy!  The weight loss is truly a bonus.