Friday, May 30, 2014

San Diego Bound

To say I have had a stressful couple days would be an understatement. I suddenly found myself busy at work, busy at home and running out of time before I get on a plane. Logistically I finally looked at my travel itinerary to discover that my plane leaves freaking early and with the drive and dropping off my doggie at my father in laws well out of the way we have to get up at like 3 AM. I am fairly certain that I cannot actually recall a single time in my life that I had to awake at 3 AM on purpose for anything.  The things we do in the pursuit of a dream. I suppose when phrased like that it doesn’t seem so awful.

I have to admit that I have had a ton on my mind and therefore have completely overlooked the whole packing thing. It’s only a couple days so it’s not that big of a deal but I was starting to stress because I have a ton to do and I was  supposed to go out to a movie tonight with Amanda and I just couldn’t handle that so I texted her and cancelled. When I realized that I had to wake up at 3 AM I knew that I needed to come home from work, casually be able to pack and feel relaxed enough to get stuff done and get to bed at a decent time. I took a rain check for the following weekend. It felt stupid to be running around stressing out today when next weekend aside from one 10k run on Saturday morning I have not a single plan for the rest of the weekend. Perfect time to work out and then see a movie and hang out.

What has been decent in all of this craziness is my eating. Since Tuesday I have just mentally decided it’s time and the last 3 days have been very good. Now I realize it has only been 3 days and of course I am heading to San Diego for 3 days but I am going to try. I have in my life successfully navigated a mini vacation while managing to eat healthy so I know it’s possible. I am feeling really committed right now so it’s definitely a possibility. Sometimes when you set your mind to something and can see the clear goal it doesn’t seem that hard. I mean, other days it seems terribly awful, but you get the point.

Speaking of San Diego. Um, tomorrow morning I will be there, in the sun, smiling and happy. That is a nice way to end a week for sure.  Plus, by like no later than 10 AM on Sunday morning I will be in possession of one of these bad boys…

At this point I clearly have a lot of medals but the quality of these Rock N Roll medals is just so good, that they each are special for so many reasons to me. The least of which is the travel and bonding and experiences that they afford me. This morning I read this quote on my Facebook feed and I just shook my head and smiled.

This is 100% the exact sentiment I have about running. This is my running truth. My greatest runs are not necessarily about my time or speed, but instead about the moments that clear my head and allow me to see the beauty of life. The beauty of my life. That is my running truth. PERFECTION. That is undoubtedly what San Diego is going to be for me. Another awesome run, another magnificent experience that leaves me believing whole heartedly that my life is exactly on course the way it was always meant to be. This is the path that I was always meant to go down, but was too scared to until last year. My heart has always been a runner and the fulfillment I get from it is unmatched by anything else in my life. Running is my savior. And that is worth smiling about today.

My day is officially over half way done and that is a good thing. I just have to make it thru this back half of Friday and then my weekend and mini vacation can being. Of course, I do have a lot of work left to do. Kind of waiting on other people for stuff and then I can do more stuff. Joyous times. BUT, there is light at the end of the tunnel, 4 more hours to go. And lunch time to boot. That’s good because my stomach is growling and it’s time to put some substance in it.

I should mention that my efforts at the gym the last 3 days have been killer and left me sore. It’s the great kind of sore feeling. That kind of sore that you know underneath things are growing. It is exactly what I needed this week to get myself back on track. To actually feel happy and excited about the prospect of muscle and fitness. Even my abs are on fire today. I know another two days of rest before my run on Sunday will be good for my body.  I’m so ready for this! San Diego I’m coming for you!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I am a fighter, a survivor, a beast

Today I feel revived and energetic and like I have a new lease on my goals. This is all a good thing. To say that my eating got out of hand this last Memorial Day weekend is an understatement. Essentially from Friday thru Monday I was a hot, let’s eat out, mess.  Somewhere around Monday night when I was driving to Beaverton to meet my husband for a celebratory birthday dinner with his father and grandpa, I had a mental freak out.  (Coincidentally Chris’s Grandpa and Chris share the same birthday; May 25. Whereas me and my grandpa share the same birthday, May 27) So on May 26, we had one birthday dinner for all 3 of us. This would be fine if it hadn’t come after day after day of ridiculous eating.  I’m all for living your life and having a bad meal here and there, but 4 consecutive days of over the top foods and I seriously was like enough is enough. I felt like CRAP. And not only did I feel like crap but trying to get dressed for said dinner left me wanting to cry because my jeans felt tight.

I had an old adage that I repeated many times when I was losing weight and getting rid of larger sized clothes, I told myself that this time around when my clothes got tight, I would not buy new clothes but instead use it as an indication that it was time to take a few pounds off. I am at that exact crossroads again. Honestly, I’ve been there for about a month or so, feeling not overall disappointed in my appearance but just a general feeling of dissatisfaction with a few things. The thing is, truthfully, trying to lose weight or tone or do anything out of any other reason than self-love is futile.  Trying to lose weight to spite someone else, or because anyone else makes you think like you must is a recipe for disaster. Conversely trying to lose weight because you dislike yourself is a horrible idea as well. The only way to truly do this thing is to love yourself enough to make healthy choices for yourself because of how it makes you feel. This is a lesson I finally learned a very long time ago. And until you are ready mentally to snap out of self-pity land and embrace self-love it is an impossible task.

I may have been generally displeased with my food choices the last couple months but for whatever reason was not mentally ready to say enough is enough and make better choices. It’s truly a personal decision and has to be done completely for the right reasons.  Perhaps because yesterday was my birthday which provides a certain sense of new and hope and opportunity, or perhaps because the older I get birthdays tend to leave me a bit of a feeling of depression, I spent too much of my day yesterday contemplating my choices and decisions. But at the end of the day my resolve is stronger than ever and in thinking all day I came to a place of peace and contentment over my decision to fight to be healthy.

Let’s be honest, I have not fought for anything for months. I was just existing and that was perfectly fine. I think the key to long term success at keeping weight off is to be able to live your life and then address the issues as they appear. I have lived an awesome existence the past while and while I have no intention of changing my direction, I feel like it’s time to put a bit of focus back on health.  It’s not that I am utterly disappointed with my appearance but I am utterly disappointed in my complete lack of care for quality in my diet. It’s not even possible for me to say I’m a healthy eater based on my food choices the last 3-4 months. I’m pretty much a time bomb waiting to explode into a larger body size. The only thing that is keeping me in check is that I really haven’t given up my exercise at all. I still do my strength training at the gym and of course still am partaking in crazy cardio weekends. This is the only thing that has kept me anywhere near a healthy body image.  To say the least, it would not kill me to fuel my body a little more efficiently.

What I really need is a complete detox, cleanse. I am seriously considering a cold turkey cleanse because I know my body is sincerely stuck in a sugar addiction at the moment. The cravings are real and hardcore and I have to get rid of them. I know I am fine and function better without the constant cravings. I am happy. I am utterly happy in my life, but I know, I could be ever slightly more fulfilled if I treated my nutritional needs a little better. Any amount of sluggishness I endure is because of poor diet. It’s an easy fix really and I know it.

Here’s the problem in a nutshell my friends. I am a 100% complete true food addict. This is not a shock to anyone. It’s a slippery slope between one or two bad meals and a full on addiction. I am able to manage and control my life when I give it the importance it deserves. When I slack a little too much the food control’s me. There are a lot of reasons that people end up food addicts but sometimes it simply can be about it tasting good. That is the part that is often ignored. Sure, I eat to fill voids at many points in my life, but sometimes I just eat because a freaking cupcake tastes amazing. The part of my brain that is highly sensitive to pleasure gets tripped by sugar and all those addictive components of food. Sometimes a cupcake is just a cupcake. No deeper meaning than it simply tastes good.

I honestly don’t believe I have deeper meaning for eating at this point in my life. I am not trying to sabotage myself or my happiness. I am truly happy. I am not filling a void in my heart. I am not suppressing a need or want. These are all things that I have done in the past. I guess stress is technically a possibility, but as a general rule I’m not that stressed either. The only thing that seems to slightly stress me is my concern over gaining weight so I guess that is the ultimate catch 22.

I pretty much just decided yesterday, while I had a great eating day, that enough was enough. I am perfectly capable of controlling this, this is within my reach and I just need to quit mentally punishing myself and do it. I am perfectly fine and happy just as I am, so anything else I do is simply about quality of life. My body will and does function better on fresh produce and quality protein. Basically quit bitching and do something about it!

One’s birthday is life a fresh start of sorts, much like New Year’s, it provides a solid opportunity to being fresh and new and move forward from this day on. There is simply no reason that 35 can’t and won’t be the most amazing year of my life thus far. That has to start with quality of existence. I’m feeling excited and motivated to get back to it. It also could possibly have something to do with the looming summer weather and of course the less clothes that one tends to wear in the heat!

Overall I am incredibly proud of that fact that 1 year later I am where I am at. I am actually 4 months away from 2 years since I started and weighed 215 pounds. 2 years since seeing 215 pounds, that has absolutely 100% never happened, this long and consistent of a maintain. No matter what 155 pounds-ish is a far cry from 215. Plus let’s not forget how freaking strong I am. I often times associate my 155 pound body with flab and dislike, but I am a pretty solid 155 pounds. I have a ton of muscles that certainly have never existed in my life prior this go around and the gym.  I am not a light weight and I can lift some pretty heavy weights consistently. Any time I get down on myself all I have to do is go to the gym and realize that I am a sort of female beast who is capable of a “man’s” workout. No matter what, I have not lost my strength. I’m still a bad ass chick.

So yes, 1 year 8 months after being at my lowest point in my life, here I am, incredibly proud of everything I have accomplished, maintained and everything that I believe I am capable of. I love me and that is why I am worth giving myself a little kick in the ass to improve the quality of my nutrition. Because I love me enough to care. For real. I deserve to be the best possible me, and I am going to make that happen. June is the month. No more stupid excuses. I don’t need a freaking food feast every single weekend non-stop.

This excitement to go to the gym and reach goals has been missing for a little while but slowly I feel it brewing and burning in my insides again and I like it. I have to say I like the feeling of setting a goal and achieving it. I know what I want to do, I see that girl I want to be again. I see her. And I am pretty certain that I am going to find her. Nothing wrong at all with this version of me, just looking to tweak it a little for my continued growth and happiness. This is how people are supposed to do it. I’ve got this. I will succeed at this. I’m feeling so ridiculously motivated and ready. One day at a time. We all struggle and fall down, but its how we get up that defines us.  I am not immune to needing a little help now and then.  I am a fighter, a survivor, a beast. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

35 years

Today is 35. Yup, sometime today, 35 years ago I was born. I don’t honestly know what time of day it is but that’s rather irrelevant.  35. That seems OLDER. I was going to say old but that hardly seems fair to all the amazing vibrant woman who chronologically are older than me but don’t seem at all old to me. So I will just say 35 seems so much older than I feel. I think that is a good thing. 35 seems like the exact midway point thru my 30’s as it really is. HA. Today is literally exactly half way thru this decade of my life. I am slightly sad about this if only because my thirties have been pretty damned good all things considered. I was more than happy to be-rid of my twenties. The thirties I am going to miss. But alas, I am only half way there so it’s far too early to fret about that.

I have to say that 34 was pretty much the best year of my life. It was filled with some horrific lows but ultimately it bred some of the best self-discovery and fundamental shifts in my entire existence. Yeah 34, you were truly my favorite year ever and you will be missed! Of course the events you put into motion are leading up to a truly awesome 35th year of existence so I can’t be too upset all things considered. Yes, I have no reason to worry about 35 being a great year as well. I simply am too happy with my life to not continue with the trend and enjoy the hell out of it all. I am ready for whatever life is going to bring me this year.

So yes, I am toasting 35 today because I am proud of this woman I see in the mirror. She is not perfect, she is flawed, but she is happy and real and loved and in love and blessed and did I mention happy? It is hard for me to imagine that it was literally only this past year that I started running half marathons. Has it in reality only been 8 months since my very first race? That happened this year and it set in motion the series of events that followed that have profoundly changed my entire world.

In my 34th year of life I went to Maui, to Seattle to see Pink, Las Vegas, Arizona, and San Francisco. I also joined a gym and had my life turned completely upside down, in a good way. 34 was just the best year all around because it made me realize how much more I am capable of than I ever thought possible. Life is good. I get to smile because my life is pretty damned awesome all things considered.  It doesn’t mean life is perfect, but it just means I choose to focus on the positive crap instead. Especially today on my birthday, I don’t want to dwell on any of the negative. Those are discussions for another day.

So I will simply say, welcome 35, let’s make the back half of my thirties as meaningful and happy as possible. I have quite the high hopes for you! Starting with getting on a plane Saturday morning to fly to San Diego. Just got to get thru 4 days of work and then I’m on vacation. A run-cation, my absolute favorite type of vacation ever. What a truly awesome way to kick off 35!

This last weekend I did manage to run a 10k, it was a nice fun race, tropical themed which was right up my alley, and of course given it was a Rum Run, included a post run mojito. My niece and nephew got to run the kid’s tiki run, which was a half mile loop around a lake. It was really good to get them involved and excited to run. I had a great time. Nothing overall too fancy about the event, just a solid good weekend overall with my family. Lots of good bonding. 

And that is about all I’ve got to say today, as I have been pretty busy at work and I am mostly just looking forward to going to the gym, kicking some ass lifting some weights and then getting home and relaxing. 4 more days until adventure time!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Personal Training

It’s a beautiful Thursday morning and my world is bright and cheery; just as I like it. That’s not to say it’s not without its flaws, life is full of them, but I simply choose to embrace the sun and the shine and the happy things.  I am feeling confident and in control of my life today. Some days I just feel it more than others.

Tuesday night I ended up meeting with my old personal trainer, Julie, to discuss the renewal of my personal training contract. I was torn about what I wanted to do. On one hand, I didn’t feel like I wanted to completely give up training as I think that it definitely has its benefits and I always feel great after a personal training session. Plus it keeps me on track. But, I didn’t want to pay as much monthly or commit to another entire year. I was fine with a 6 month contract but the price goes up on the training sessions if you sign a shorter duration. Basically in a nut shell, I did not like any of the terms. Also, I wasn’t sure entirely about the whole shaming of my body for being 155 pounds and apparently losing muscle based on their little body fat analyzer. I don’t really pay that much attention to numbers.

In a nutshell she told me that they love me, I have been committed for a year and they want to see me achieve my goals. That it has become apparent that running is important to me and gives me more than just a physical activity and that things would shift to accommodate that. I pretty much liked hearing everything she said to me with the exception that apparently as I am today is “unhealthy”. I pretty much heard the words, based on my infamous stats that reveal that at that impromptu shaming session where I was forced on the scale and handed a boy fat analyzer, that based on my recent numbers I have come back into unhealthy territory. I don’t know if she means BMI or body fat composition/percentages. I don’t really know. I kind of laughed internally. Really, another public shaming for how my body looks right now. WHATEVER. I laughed because I am pretty damned pleased with things overall. Here is a very very soon to be 35 year old woman (5 days to go), who at hand weighs around 155 pounds, wears size 6 jeans, has tons of muscle, and freaking runs half marathons every other weekend for fun. Yup, completely unhealthy.

I have chosen to not let it bother me honestly. I had my freak out a couple weeks ago and I ran it out, and came to my own truths, that I am perfectly acceptable just as I am. I still believe this in my core. Am I as tiny or tight as I could be? Nope, not at all. But I don’t care. What seems to be the biggest disconnect is that I don’t aspire to be anything more than I am right now. And I hate being made to feel shame of any sort for my current stats.  Do you know what my current stats say to me?

Holy cow, 1 year 7 months after I decided to lose weight. 1 year 7 months after weighing 215 pounds, I weigh around 155 pounds. I am doing it. I am living my life.  Instead of a size 18/20 I am a size 6. 1 year 7 months later, I am running half marathons. I am proud that I am not 50 plus percent body fat. Hell, seriously. Do you know how amazingly difficult it is for a person who struggles with weight loss and body image and health and fitness to maintain anything for 1 year 7 months? This has certainly never been my reality in 10 plus years.

I kind of a little bit feel like I am this crazy alcoholic who you shouldn’t push over the edge with comments about being unhealthy. It’s a fine line between encouragement and full on crazy town. Basically I’m saying you have to treat former fat people with kid gloves sometimes. A non fat girl might not ever truly understand the addiction compulsion and how dangerous it is to teeter on that slippery slope where you shame her and could unlock a horrible backlash effect.  Thank goodness I am past that. I have to talk myself down out of crazy town and the reality that I am 1 year 7 months in to this does not allow me to spiral, but geesh.

The reality is this, I have found my center and happy, and in doing so, am able to smile at them when they talk to me and walk away confident and comfortable in my own reality. I get to go home to my husband and my dog and my awesome life. I get to put on my running shoes and have amazing adventures. I get to eat real food. I get to drink alcohol beverages and eat cookies if I want. And all the while I am happy and healthy and I repeat, LOVE myself and my life.  Depravation does not work for me. It never has. Sure maybe I can’t be 135 pounds and a ripped muscle girl. Pretty sure I was never totally going to be that anyway, too much loose skin and all. So just accept that I am the best possible version of myself each and every day.

In the end, it wasn’t that big of a deal. Most everything that was said was nice and lovely and made me feel good.  So much so that I signed another 6 month contract, not because I felt forced or pressured or shamed into it, but because it was the best possible decision for me. Because I like personal training, I like what it does for me and I think it’s important for ME. They lowered the price for me because they love me and wanted me to keep doing it. So it was a win-win.

Basically if you sign a year contract for weekly sessions it costs $136 a month. If you only want a 6 month contract for weekly sessions it is $160 a month.  And of course the prices get much higher if you only want every other week sessions. I have been paying $136 a month, but basically did not want to commit to another whole year at this point. I only wanted to do a 6 month contract but basically told them I was NOT paying $160 a month. In the end, they gave me a good deal, because they loved me, they would let me sign a 6 month contract for $108 a month. So I can’t complain they really were trying to work with me. So I signed the 6 month contract. MUCH better than committing to a full year, which was my real objection. Not because I don’t think in a year I won’t still be going to the gym, but because I have no idea what my life will bring and 6 months at a time is all I am prepared to commit to.

I am comfortable with this decision all around. I wasn’t ready to give up my training sessions. I just think they are good for me. But I have been promised a revised plan/focus that caters to my weekend running life. That they are going to work with me to come up with something realistic for me that will compliment my passion. They sweet talked me with conversation of understanding that this is important to me and they would help me focus my energies on what was important to me.

Despite a few comments, I honestly felt pretty good about things afterwards. Like maybe they finally all heard me and got the memo. My life, my running, my marriage are ALWAYS going to take top priority in my life. And I found myself happy and ready to do the best I could in the time that I had to give to the gym and then walk away from it and let it go.

This is exactly how I was able to power thru a tough but effective and ultimately rewarding personal training session last night. It was good, effective and I felt powerful. TOUGH as hell, which is what I need. And then I did my hour of Iron Power weights and I felt amazing. I was reminded how good that feels, but then I was able to come home and let it go. Relax and unwind with my husband and dog. Let it go. Accept that the gym is not a substitute or replacement for things that might be missing in my life. That it is certainly not more important or meaningful than those true moments of bonding and happiness with family.

I’m excited for this weekend, because quite honestly I am always doing fun awesome things on my weekends and I find myself constantly happy for the time to make memories that keep me smiling throughout the week. This particular weekend my sister is coming again and I get to hang out with my niece and nephew making more awesome memories. I am going to go to the gym Saturday morning for class because I will feel better if I get in a workout in the morning. Then I’m going to let it go and enjoy my day. Sunday is Chris’s 35th Birthday and we are doing a Rum Run. Just a 10k to keep us feeling loose and in practice of running.  My niece and nephew will be partaking in the kids Tiki Run, a half mile loop and they get t-shirts and medals and they are excited and I am excited to share this experience with them and have the opportunity to do these things. This is what life is all about! Looks like an awesome race, INCREDIBLE company and overall I can’t wait.

Tuesday is my 35th birthday and then next Saturday, May 31, I freaking get on a plane to go to San Diego. SOOOO ridiculously excited for this you have no idea. I can’t wait to get to San Diego. EPIC life, epic experience, epic journey. This is my passion, my excitement, my joy. I could not be happier.  I have those slight moments where I get this feeling of holy shit, when is the other shoe going to drop? When I am going to wake up from this crazy dream I have been living? I can’t possibly be this happy forever right? And then I tell myself that life will happen, as it always does, and to not stress, just enjoy the ride. Enjoy the happiness as long as it lasts. And yes, hopefully forever and ever.  So have a beautiful magical day.