Thursday, August 27, 2015

Where does the time go?

I have been writing blogs in my head the past few weeks, and they have been as contrasting as my own thoughts about my journey to a healthier place.  Some blogs I didn't post were about a sort of breaking apart, things just not going according to plan, me withdrawing from certain things and feeling more stressed and less happy.  Some of them would have been about how I worked out and felt great, and how I know I'm not that far off track, and can get back to my diet-or-die mindset.  But there's a reason those blogs never made it on here.  I have been  refocusing on happiness and calmness and what it takes to have them.  The reasonable part of my mind knows that losing weight won't make me happy and that the size of my jeans amounts to nothing in the scope of a life lived.  I know this because my friend is dying of cancer, and with six months to live, guess what she's not thinking about?  Her weight.  And guess what no one else who loves her is thinking about?  You guessed it.  But there is this irrational, gut-reaction ugly little pre-teen girl in me who is certain I am weak, lazy, unattractive and unworthy of good stuff unless I either am thinner or trying to get there.  These two sides make war in my head.  But lately I have been finding a little bit of the calmness I've been seeking and the funny thing is, when I am calm, taking a walk to see the way the sun kisses a field of green life is such a magnificent treat for my senses that it becomes about something bigger than me.  In those moments I feel bigger than my problems or worries, powerful, connected to the ancient life in the roots of the trees and weightless as the fuzzy things floating in the breeze.  I am of this earth, what could I have to feel bad about?  
My diet has been consistent except on the road, which is not a big deal.  I have been walking a few times a week and strength training only once a week or so. My knee was really irritated last time I did my Jillian Michaels workout, if it continues I'll have to find plan b.  But for now, I'm not really stressing out over my weight.  How much time I'll have for any of that is questionable once school stars for me and my kids next week.  It usually means all of my free time is gone, and I seriously falter the first month or so until we fall into our groove.  I am going to try and really enjoy fall this year instead of dreading what comes after.  Sometimes I think I hate the thought of winter more than the actual thing, but the first time I have to drive on slippery roads I will remember quickly why we are moving to California!  And that move will be happening sooner than I think, the way time flies.  That is something really positive to think about and a great thought to end my night on.  
Hope today was great for you!  

Monday, August 10, 2015

Pulling Myself Up

Sometimes I write blog entries in my head throughout the day, thinking through what I did and what I want to say about it and trying to make sense of it all.  When I sit to write, it is somewhere between a journal and a letter to a friend.  Maybe none of it matters in the long run, but it helps me sort my thoughts and sleep better.  So I'm grateful for a space to do this, and grateful for the people I've met along the way.
I haven't meditated in a few weeks now, not with any success at least, so trying to meditate after a long break from it feels like starting over from the first time I've ever tried.  It feels a bit like trying to hypnotize yourself, foreign and making you question if you are even doing it right, or doing anything at all.  But now that I have had a few good experiences with meditation, I can say that I typically get at least one little morsel of information even if it isn't a very productive session.  And when I am really not able to meditate I think it is often a sign that things are either too congested or too vague and I need to pin them down in writing before I can free up head space.
The message I got from my meditation is that I can just fight for what I want once, or for a short time, but that I have to keep reminding myself what I want every day.  I got a really clear image of my family and I hiking way up on a huge mountain edge.  The weather was absolutely perfect, a beautiful blue sky with a few puffy clouds and a sharp, clean sun above.   During our mountain hike, we came to a spot where the mountain split, leaving a huge 4 foot gap between one wall of the mountain and the next, with a gap that lead straight to certain death.  My family had all cleared the gap easily and were prodding me, cheering me, even slightly annoyed at my hesitation.  As I tried to jump, I came up short and was left trying to cling to a smooth rock on the other side where my family was, clawing at me trying to save me.  I knew I didn't have the strength to save myself and that I would certainly fall to my death, but the overwhelming sense of guilt washed over me.  I felt bad that I was weak, that I hadn't made myself stronger but allowed myself to become soft and weak.  I felt helpless, and feeling that way made me feel like a compete burden.  I felt ashamed of myself.
While I realize this was an extreme way of my mind trying to make sense of what is bubbling beneath the surface, I took the message in.  Feeling helpless may have been a normal part of being a kid, but as an adult, I am not helpless.  Helplessness and strength are options we have, and we choose them with our actions.  I have been acting helpless lately and I am not.  I have been acting unaffected lately and I am not.  I have been silent, I have been guarded.  I am slowly turning away from myself in seek of comfort from places where it has never been.  I am more aware that I am trying to give up on myself and I am fighting it harder this time than in past attempts.  I want to make sense of all of this so I can stop yo-yoing all over the place.  I am not back to where I started, but the patterns I am sliding into tell me it won't be long, if I keep up what I've been doing.  I have stopped moving more than I have to and started to let unhealthy food creep in more than it should.  I know better.  My knee feels aweful today, part of that was the walking and climbing I did over the weekend on a beautiful island with my family, but part of it is eating out, the salt and sugar that I'd been cutting back on recently.  My body is sending me signs and I am ignoring them.  That needs to stop.
I went for a little micro-walk with my son tonight.  It was so short and slow that it doesn't qualify as cardio for me, but he needed that walk more than I did and I felt good that I could do that for him.  I will try to get things back on track with exercise this week.  I miss having the drive to get out and get moving, sometimes you just have to create that from the inside, change the motivator and focus on it, use it to drive you when it feels like everything has gone off course.  For me, I don't want to be helpless or weak.  I want to fight for physical strength.  That way, should I ever find myself dangling from a mountainside, I'll simply just pull myself back up and enjoy the view.

Monday, August 3, 2015

A positive step

This morning I woke earlier than I wanted, but when I woke up and went into the living room, the curtains were drawn open inviting bird songs and a cool morning breeze in to greet me.  Everything felt fresh like fall.  Despite it looking and feeling lovely I still fought the idea of getting out there for a walk.  I sat back in the chair for a minute, watching ducks milling around my patio, looking for birdseed that may have fallen from the bird feeder.  The early light making their feathers look as though they were glowing.  I thought for a moment about how good it would feel to just enjoy a cup of coffee and watch the ducks and birds outside, but then my thoughts turned to the event we were having at work today, I imagined throngs of people and just my boss and I to handle them, stressed and starving, trying to be five places at once.  I knew if even a fraction of that image was true that I'd rather feel alert and energetic than stressed out and lethargic, and I knew the best way to make that happen was to get out and get moving. 
My entire lower body was pretty sore form yesterday's workout, but walking actually made them feel better.  I walked 2.5 miles with ease and it did help me feel more energized.  It turns out, I didn't really need to super amped up anyway, we didn't have quite the turnout we'd hoped for, but I was OK with it.  
Tonight I feel really tired, but I know it's from all the good stuff I've been doing for my body the past few days.  I like that when fighting with my mind, how I will feel if I workout vs how I will feel if I don't is a factor, it means is not about losing weight so much as it is about feeling good and being happy.  That's a step in a positive direction!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Productive

I made an effort today.  I didn't want to, I could have very easily spent the entire day in a chair playing games on my phone but about an hour into doing that, I started to feel restless.  My kids were occupied, my husband at work, what better opportunity is going to fall into my lap.  I was considering going for a walk, but I knew I was avoiding the 30 Day Shred video because it kicks my butt, so I decided to do the video.  I was breathing hard and sweating immediately, and it was hard, but it went fast.  
I finally got some housework done too.  It was nice that we were home this weekend so I could get that done.  Not that I would rather clean than go do something fun, but having a clean space makes me feel calmer, like everything flows how it should.  I even cooked dinner tonight, it's the most productive I've been in a while, but I still had plenty of time to relax with my family tonight to.  I can't say for sure, but I don't think all that housework would've gotten done if it wasn't for the energy I got from doing that workout.  
So I can say that August 2 got its butt kicked by me.  Feels good to be tired because I did something instead of being lethargic from doing nothing, and because I was busy with tasks I didn't think about food at all until my stomach was growling.  I can't speak for the future, but today was successful.  It might not be the most dynamic story to tell, but it's one I like to tell.  

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Not Checking Out

I jumped off the wagon after that last post, going back into "Quasi" mode, kinda eating OK, kinda thinking about working out but nothing is at all committed.  I had a really excruciating "monthly" this time, that made me want to spend a week in the fetal position in a dark room with lots of drugs.  Coupled with a couple weeks of heavy relationship stuff to get through, stuff that left me feeling stripped-bare and questioning myself more than ever, it has all meant I am worn down and grappling for any bit of self-confidence I can imagine for myself.  
I imagine myself working out, getting back on track but then I wake up and feel burnt out, like I need to soothe myself and it all slips away.  I have been noticing my mood has been slipping ever closer to depressed and just when I was about to blame it on the emotional roller coaster I've been on lately, I saw a clip about how effective exercise is on regulating our emotions.  Yes, I've been through some heavy stuff but even when things are good/happy I still feel a cloud of sadness following me.  I didn't feel that way when I was working out everyday.  The part that sucks about it is, the feeling good doesn't happen until you start working out, so you have to start when your energy is already kind of low (assuming you're like me) and then the rewards of more energy and feeling better make an appearance.  I keep learning about myself each time I make an effort, and each time I have more tools to use.  
On Friday night, before I fell asleep at a ridiculously early time, I sleepily thought to myself, August is going to get its a$$ kicked by me, I'm going to work really hard and get this thing back on track!  Well, maybe starting tomorrow.  One month left to get into some good habits before my life gets a lot more chaotic.  I'm battling my mind, I don't have a real strong track record in this situation, but I have more tools now than I did before.  Let's hope it makes a difference!