Friday, September 7, 2018

I Feel the Need...

September has always been a magical time for me.  There's a change in the air that is almost tangible.  Some of the most amazing things in my life have been borne on an invisible September breeze.  So it comes as no surprise, really, that my blood has started stirring, and I'm once again feeling the urge to start doing something, to start moving again. To feel the steady rhythm of the pavement pounding once again beneath my feet, carrying me away from all the stressful things in my life.

I'm not quite sure how, yet...but I am feeling that inevitable pull again, and I'm excited. For the first time in a very long time, my palms are itching to get started again.  But right now, I'm not quite sure as to what form that may take. I know what's worked for me in the past, and I know what hasn't. And I've learned enough from those experiences to know that I definitely don't want to repeat my mistakes again. 

So, this time, instead of planning things out and tackling it all head on, I think I'm going to take a more organic approach and just let this all develop on its own without me forcing it. I'll report whatever progress I make in whatever form that takes as often as I can...and we'll just see where the magical winds of September blow me. For now, I'd say just blogging two days in a row is quite an accomplishment.

Oh...and I did get my gym bag out of the back of my car.  That counts...right?

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Some Days, I Wonder...

  • ...if I can make it to work by the skin of my teeth without being late, even though the odds are totally not in my favor.
  • ...if I can magically make all the projects stacked on my desk disappear without repercussion.
  • ...if I can slide by one more day without stopping by the bank/post office/gas station/pharmacy on my way home.
  • ...if I can figure out a way to make a healthy dinner without actually having to cook anything.
  • ...if I will ever be able to stop writing 'new start' blog posts again.

The answer to all of these, of course, is 'probably not'. No matter how much I do or do not like it, life happens, and there are days when I'm going to be late, and overwhelmed by work, and just want to get home and have magic stuff happen....and many, many days when I'm going to have to recover from bad decisions.

Three years ago, I had an amazing year of health and wellness. But toward the end of that year, as successful as it was, I began struggling.  Really struggling. And as time wore on, it just kept getting worse and worse. I lost all my motivation, all my drive and determination.  Then I lost my energy.  Then my will.  And before I knew it, I was lost in a very deep hole, surrounded by a fogginess I've never experienced.  I couldn't concentrate, I wasn't capable of focusing or listening to people around me, and I became rude and snarly...completely against my personality. I didn't even realize I was doing it, until my family finally pointed it out.

That's when I decided to talk to my doctor. And boy, am I glad I did.  Turns out that all these issues I was experiencing are pretty par for the course for women my age. It's called 'menopause'. 

Yeah, that.

But 'that' was enough to completely derail me from my path.  No wonder I felt like I was fighting a losing battle...I was!  My doctor was able to prescribe something to help clear the fog and it's amazing the difference it has made in my life.  I am more focused, more able to concentrate, and I'm even starting to feel that old zest-for-life buzz in my veins I've been missing for so long.  It's exciting...and if I'm honest, a little scary, too....the thought of legitimately getting back out there and starting fresh yet again.  What if I fail again? What if I have to start over AGAIN again?

Well....I've had enough practice. I may suck at finishing stuff, but I'm a master at crossing start lines.'s to yet another new beginning. :)

Saturday, February 10, 2018

A Slushy Saturday

ome days, it feels like the Universe is conspiring against me.  Some weeks feel the same way.  Between bad weather and unplanned trips, this has been one of those weeks.  Still, I feel like all things considered, I've been doing fairly well, under the circumstances.

In the first ten days of February, I've managed a little over 5 1/2 miles of walking. Not a huge amount, but a huge start for me. Thursday and Friday were beautiful days, and after a LOT of rain earlier in the week, I had planned to make a two or three mile day out of both days...but Keith and I had to make an unscheduled trip to Knoxville on Thursday afternoon to pick up a load of tile, which took FOREVER, and the load was so heavy it actually put one of the tires on the dump trailer off its rim.  Considering the load we had to pull 100 miles back home, that was a lot of fun to fix. In the cold.  And dark.  Needless to say, we got home in the wee hours of the morning. Safe, but exhausted.  The lack of sleep forced me to take an unplanned day off of work on Friday, and I slept a lot of the day away.  I guess part of the reality of getting older is admitting to yourself you just can't pull crazy stunts and burn the midnight road trip oil like you could even ten years earlier.

Of course, today is rainy and cold...a really slushy day, so I won't get any mileage in today, either.  But I do have a lot of housework to look forward to, so I'll be burning a lot of calories, regardless.  I sure will be glad when the weather turns.

Despite the lack of mileage, my eating has been really good, and I'm pleased with my overall progress.  Slow and steady wins the race, and I've said often that I don't care how long it takes me to get there....just as long as I do.  And I am definitely headed in the right direction.

Monday, our daughter Jessica will be coming up from Atlanta for a work week, and I am really looking forward to spending some time with her.  It will be a challenge to keep my mileage streak going, with the temptation to come straight home being very strong.  So I will do what I can to walk on my lunch break as much as I can. I will still have to work late, but at least it will save some time.

I really miss not being able to blog from work. I really like putting my feelings down on paper in the mornings while my thoughts are still fresh.  Hopefully, my computer will stop having issues and I'll be able to get back to blogging more regularly. Or maybe I can find a better solution.  Until then, I'll probably just post on the weekends as I can.

What about you? What is the weather like in your part of the world?  What are you doing to make today count toward your goals?

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Weigh-in Wednesday

've been having a lot of trouble posting from my work computer, so yes...I'm way overdue. But despite appearances to the contrary, I'm actually doing very well right now!  As of this morning, I'm down almost 13 pounds this month, and I'm fairly comfortably on the food wagon, which was the goal I set for myself this month. I really wanted to concentrate on getting back in the habit of food prepping each morning, and sticking to my program. Mostly, I've done that.  Interestingly enough, this past Monday, I had a really hard battle with the need to go completely off the wagon. I did cave...but I did it as healthily as my inner drive would allow.  And at the end of the day, I had gone over my calorie goal by about 100 points.  Not terrible...definitely not where I wanted to be, especially after a dismally depressing POINT 2 pound loss last week.  But...lo and behold, this week, a six pound loss!  Looking back, I have to wonder if maybe my metabolism kicking into high gear this week isn't what triggered those unholy cravings on Monday. 

Things that make you go 'hmmm...' During this entire month, my head has not been where it needed to be. Every day has been a struggle of 'but I don't wanna!' with my inner child.  The difference has been that I have actually voiced that to a couple of people, and just the fact that I allowed myself to speak that out loud seemed to break the spell it had over me.  Before, I wouldn't let myself get started if I had to start in that funky mental mood, preferring to 'get my head right' first.

What a crock.

My mind may control my body, but my head doesn't need to be 'in the right place' in order for my body to function. I can think...and voice...whatever I want to, just as long as I don't drop the ball in the process.  Making myself wait was just an excuse like so many others to not have to start my journey yet. I am coming to terms with that....just another lesson I'm learning through this process.  My inner child can pout and whine, and cry, and throw as many tantrums as it wants to, but at the end of the day, that room had still better be clean. the exercise category…I've gotten out a couple of times, walked a half mile here and there over the past four weeks...nothing substantial. Mileage wasn't my goal this month.  Building a good foundation was.

Mileage won't be my goal in February, either.  But getting myself moving while maintaining the progress I've made with my eating habits will be.  I've got a mileage goal in mind (not a big one), but that's just to give me something to shoot for in order to keep me moving.  And with all the snow and cold weather, if that means getting on my Dreadmill at home, then that is what I will have to make myself do. (Just writing those words was enough to trigger my inner child.)

By the head IS coming around, slowly (very slowly), but surely. ;) I'd call that a win, any day.

How about you?  Are you working toward a goal? What is it, and what are you doing to obtain it?

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Note to Self...

appy New Year!  There's something so special about new's like getting a brand new journal.  You get to write whatever you want in those beautiful blank pages. It's not about resolutions, it's about creating your own destiny. There's a lot of power in that.  This year, I'm going to do my best to tap into that power and write an amazing with a truly happy ending. I'll let you know how it goes.

Right now, things aren't looking so hot. For all the hard work I put in during 2015, I've let it all come crashing down around me. I let go of my dream, lost sight of the vision I had for my life and my health. That's all it takes to lose it. If you have it, folks...don't let it go. Ever. 

This morning, I sat on my bed and looked at my reflection in the mirror across from me.  I saw a middle aged woman who was absolutely radiating misery.  At 292+ pounds, I'm the heaviest I've ever been, and I cannot imagine how people can go higher, how my skin could hold any more weight, how I could even function. Yet, every day you hear amazing, inspirational stories about someone who had (or in some cases still has) a much larger number on that scale. It's overwhelming to even contemplate.

One day, many days away from today, I'm going to be tempted to stop what I'm doing, to take a break from my routine, to cut myself some slack....just for a few days. Or maybe a month. Or two.  On that day, I want to be able to look back at this post and remind myself of what it's like to weigh 292 pounds.

· Having to sit up in stages when the alarm goes off because the lower back pain from laying in one position all night is agonizing.
· Being terrified of stepping into the shower, for fear of sliding/falling/breaking things. 
· Not being able to adequately reach your feet/back/god-knows-what to wash them properly without incredible strain.
· Having to buy stock in Gold Bond to keep the sweaty parts from turning into yeast infections.
· Not being able to step into your underwear because you can't lift your feet high enough.
· Not being able to fasten your bra without almost forcing your shoulders out of joint.
· Living with a grand total of two pairs of pants and four shirts for the better part of a year and a half, because you refuse to 'waste' money on anything that looks like Otto the Tentmaker whipped it up.
· Resigning yourself to the fact that no matter how much you spend, or how stylish the garment, anything you put on your body will ultimately still look like Otto made it.
· Buying tennis shoes that slip on because tying your shoes is impossible.
· Cramming yourself behind the steering wheel, and struggling to get the seat belt buckled.
· Dealing with constant sciatic pain, knee/hip pain and legs/feet losing circulation because of the constant pressure of just sitting.
· Struggling....actually having to contort your body into the weirdest possible attend to the most basic personal toilette.
· Getting seriously winded just walking from your desk to your car in the afternoon.
· Not caring what you eat, just as long as somebody else cooks it, because you have zero energy.
· Not being able to sit or kneel on the ground because you literally can not get back up.  Ever. Even with help.
· The embarrassment that follows the above.
· Always worrying about whether the thing you're about to sit on will hold you without collapsing.
· Struggling with circulation issues so bad you can literally never get your feet warm.
· Waddling...seriously...everywhere you go because you have to shift your weight with each step.
· Swollen ankles.
· Heart palpitations.
· Depression.
· Indigestion.
· Constipation.
· Sleeping on your stomach by default like a beached whale all night, because sleeping on your right side makes you snore and sleeping on your left side makes you fart like an ox.
· Living in fear of falling because your balance sucks.
· Living in fear of getting stuck somewhere because you don't fit.
· Living in fear of judgmental people.
· Living in fear of getting your picture taken.
· Living in fear.

Last night, I stopped by the grocery store and bought what I needed to prep my meals this week.  This morning, I got up in enough time to actually prep my food for the day, and I waddled

half a mile after work.  It's a start. It feels like a start I've made so many times in the past. But in order to get where I want to order to have a day 365, I have to have a day one.

Good thing I love new beginnings so much.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Every Day I'm Hustlin'

 r so it seems these days.  I swear, it's so much harder to find time to THINK, much less ACT on anything, even stopping to get gas, these days. My life has become way too hectic. I'm not sure how I got here, but I know I have to Slow It Down if I ever hope to regain control of it.

Yesterday is a great example of what I've been dealing with lately. I had two things I wanted to accomplish yesterday before I got home: I wanted to go get a run in (yes, RUN), and I had to drop a dish off at a friend's house on my way home. That was it. I told Keith I'd be home around 5:30-6:00pm, at the latest. Somehow during the day, that exploded into an hour-long run, followed by the pet store, the home building store, the grocery store, the gas station, and THEN my friend's house. I did manage to consolidate some of it down to a stop at Wally World (gawd I despise that place!!!), and I put my friend off until tomorrow.  But even just that put me getting home after 7pm. Day Officially Gone.

Despite all that, I'm very proud that I did NOT try to short-change myself by shortening my run. I call it a run...but what it was was Week One, Day One of Runkeeper's beginner 5k training plan. It was only supposed to be a 1.5 mile walk (or very slow run), but since my fastest run right now IS very slow, I tried to walk at a very fast pace. I was feeling pretty good yesterday, though, and since the trail I was on was very shady, and at least partly downhill, I decided to trot along as much as I could for as long as I could. That turned out to be a little over a quarter of a mile, which I was ecstatic about.  I may have been able to go a little farther, but my shade ran out as the trail crossed the interstate over a bridge that had full...and brutal...exposure to the sun. 

I decided to walk a ways.

At the 1 mile marker, I turned around, and headed back, running any parts that were shady and down hill. Not sure there was much of that, actually, but by the time I hit cool-down, I was very sure that I could not and SHOULD not have run any more than I did. My hip was yelling pretty fiercely that I had done it a serious injustice, and for the first time in a good while, I was pouring sweat. 

It felt so good to be out there again...not just walking in my work clothes, but actually putting on my sweats, tying up my hair, inserting my earbuds, cranking up my tunes and going all was amazing.  It didn't hurt that I'd been fantasizing (yes, really) about hitting the trail again.  I have missed this part of my life so much, it's unreal.  I can't wait until I can really get out and run again... a whole, entire, several-miles long run. 

Pure bliss.

I know that this is one day of my life.  And I know that to get where I want to be, I'm going to have to string a whole lot of these kinds of days together.  But you have to start somewhere, and for me, that was yesterday.  I'd be lying if I said I don't have Grand Plans right now...visions of future race bling are dancing in my head as I type...but right now, I'm just going to be happy to finish Week One, Day Two...which will happen tomorrow. 

I'm back to an 'every other day' schedule, right now.  It will mean some major adjustments, but I think even Keith can acknowledge how important it is for me to regain continuity and consistency right now if I'm going to gain any traction to dig myself out of this hole I've been in for so long.  It will come. I believe in myself enough to know that it will. Now, I just need to believe that I'm worth investing the time in more than everything else in my life that always seems to take precedence over what I need.  Therein lies the challenge.


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Hey, Wait Up

Iron Mountain
I love to hike. It sounds like a simple statement, but it wasn’t always the case.

The first time I went hiking I was around 13. We moved from the middle of Georgia to the coast of North Carolina and my best friend, Mary-Ann, took me on a trip with her parents. I was so excited to have been invited it didn’t really matter to me where we were going or what we’d be doing when we got there. It was the first time I’d ever felt chosen. So, I didn’t take in the fact I was meant to walk for miles and cart my chubby, out of shape, asthmatic carcass up a mountain. So, imagine my surprise when I stepped onto the dirt path and realized what I had gotten myself into. My legs were aching, my lungs were on fire, and I was self-conscious and miserable the entire time.

The three of them, on the other hand, looked like it was the easiest thing in the world- they barely had the decency to sweat.

The more I struggled, the more smiley and encouraging they got, which felt sadistic and patronizing even though I know they were only trying to be supportive and motivate me. I was dragging behind them like an anchor that fell from a boat. I started to get angry with myself because I couldn’t enjoy this, I couldn’t be happy with them. The first time someone ever wanted to include me in something and I was blowing it. I wanted to cry. I wanted to sit down in a nest of dirty roots and bawl like a baby because this was really hard. Every time the path tilted up in the slightest degree, a wave of dread washed over me.

I don’t remember the trees, or the air, or the animals, or the laughing, or the view when we reached the top, or even if we did. That’s been something I’ve regretted all my life. I don’t remember anything but shame and struggle, much like my life up to that point. 

Stone Mountain

The next time I went hiking was a few years later.

I was with my family, back in Georgia, and we were hiking up Stone Mountain. Everyone was buzzing with excitement where as I was just praying it was easy, that it wouldn’t take long, and anxiety was draped around my shoulders like a freezing cold blanket. Each step was more difficult than the one before and I could feel the weight of my body pulling me back towards the start. I leaned forward, pushing against it like a fish swimming against the current. How long had we been climbing? Hours? Days

The heat smothered us relentlessly and my sweaty skin was gritty from the dirt of the trail. There was no relief, no choice but to push through the pain. The last part of the hike was a steep crawl up bald granite, my calves felt like molten lava and my lungs felt like a pressure cooker about to explode. My body was screaming at me to quit, but, for some reason, my heart was dismissing that entirely. I didn’t want to stop. I just wanted to get out of this all consuming misery, this agony. I thought about my old friend Mary-Ann and how I missed an adventure because I couldn’t cope. The same thing was happening all over again. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, both hands gripping the stone beneath me. Then, something incredible happened…

I gave up.

Not physically, that would be a horrible story to tell you... mentally, I stopped caring. Weird, right? I didn’t stop hurting. I just accepted it. I stopped focusing on it and I noticed a gust of wind was caressing my skin, filling my shirt like the sails of a boat. The sensation shot a bolt of electricity through me and I climbed the rock like I was chasing the breeze. Suddenly, I was almost to the top. I heard my cousin laughing at something and turned just in time to see her smiling up at me. That’s right. Up. I had passed her. I was still struggling, still burning, still aching, but I could see the city in the distance, the faint skyline of Atlanta sitting like a trophy among the trees… and clouds… and birds. I walked slowly around the summit for a long time thinking, “This is it. This is my peace.. and it's the one thing I thought I hated."

The more I focused on my goal and the good things around me, the less I noticed the struggle.

Roan Mountain
On the way back down the mountain, having made a significant breakthrough, I merrily bounded along the path almost at a run, when I passed a young couple on their way to the top. The man looked up at me and frowned, “I wish I had that much energy.” I laughed and almost shouted back, “You do! It’s in there! You just have to find it!”

Everything seemed so much clearer... so much easier.

Now, pushing through a hike always feels like pushing through life- it gives me peace when I’ve reached the goal and it teaches me patience and endurance along the way. I’m over twice the age I was when I first climbed Stone Mountain and I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve climbed it since. It’s actually one of the easiest hikes I’ve taken (I've scaled a freakin' volcano!) and I use the lesson I learned from it for my life, as well as on the trails- Sometimes the path is narrow, or rocky, or hidden, or straight up. Sometimes it’s hot, or painful, or tiring, or hard, but keep moving and don’t miss the beauty of where you are or where you’re going.

Quitting is easy. You can walk away at any time, but don’t keep dreaming about the summit if you’re willing to give it up.

I'm still chubby and asthmatic, but I don't let things like that hold me back. In fact, it’s funny how unyielding I can be, how unwilling to stop or to settle, once I have the vision of the summit in my mind, once I feel the wind on my face, and how often I find myself having to sit and wait for other people to catch up, but like I said, I love to hike. 

Blood Mountain

Checkout Jescole's blog- Wholeness for the Broken