Hello Stranger.

January 21, 2016

So. Much. Life. Has happened in the past (almost) two years since my last post.  I love a good list.  So here’s a very long winded listed recap of my life.

  • In August of 2014 we moved (again) back to the town where we first moved in together in 2007 and were married in 2009.  We haven’t moved since, even though we are quickly outgrowing our current house.  We love it here.  The school’s are great, it’s quiet and progressive and very conducive to living a healthy lifestyle.
  • I turned 30 and ran 13.1 miles the same day in September 2014.  It was the hardest and best thing I had done up until that point in my life.  Training went really well for the race.  The race itself taught me I enjoy the process of training for races more than the actual races.  It was unseasonably warm.  I forgot to put on sunblock.  I dropped my hat somewhere around mile 3.  I thought “who thought this was a good idea…oh wait, that was me” a lot.  But I finished and am I better runner for it.
  • Things with my eldest bonus-kid  have sadly worsen over the course of  two years. My husband came VERY close to being awarded custody in March of 2015, to have his narcissistic, manipulative, sociopath ex lie and deceive to keep that from happening.  After the last court hearing in April of 2015, we have slowly seen bonus kid less and less. We now see her about once a month at this point, for less than 24 hours.   What little communication between visits, through text messages is only about cancelling scheduled time and is obviously heavily influenced by her mother.  Whenever we do get to see her, she  is always kind, and sweet and you can tell she misses us, even though she won’t vocalize those words.  Her actions say so much.
  • In July of 2015, my younger bonus-kid came to live with us full time.  She is doing great, and things we her mother are great.  Besides that mom is having a tough time in life and doesn’t see her kid nearly as much as she would prefer.
  • The best for last: On October 3, 2015 I became a Mama. Our sweet girl has replaced the half marathon as the hardest and best thing I have done (and probably ever will do).  She is the best. I may be a bit biased.  So what.

I had an easy, uncomplicated pregnancy.  I was active the entire time, keeping up with running until half way through my second trimester, and then continuing Pure Barre classes 4-5 times a week until my 36th week.  The I walked (waddled more like it) 3-4 times a week until the day I delivered.

I was not prepared for the crash.  Everyone talks about postpartum depression.  I had read or heard little about postpartum anxiety.  After we came home from the hospital, when the surge of Oxytocin ended, I was sleep deprived.  I was recovering from labor. I was not feeling like myself at all.  I felt like a completely different person, who had absolutely no idea what the hell she was doing.  I tend to worry a bit, but the combination of hormones and this huge life change began a vicious cycle of worry and intrusive negative thoughts.  The what-if’s had me in tears every other day.  It took me practically my entire maternity leave to accept a few important things:

  • I have to take care of myself before I can take the best care of my baby.
  • I can’t control my baby, but I can learn how to best care for her.  She is who she is, and that’s okay.
  • She’s happy and developing: stop worrying something is wrong.
  • Worrying about things doesn’t keep them from happening.

My current goal is to work in fitness whenever and where ever I can.  It is my best and favorite stress management tool.  Being in Ohio during winter makes this a bit difficult, but I might just have to break down and join the nearby gym for a while.  Pure Barre is my favorite, but the studio is a bit of a drive, so I’m waiting until the babe is a bit older to jump back into things at the studio.  I have been running outside when possible, but anything below 27 degrees or so makes me REALLY cold 🙂

I hope to get back to this space somewhat regularly, so stay tuned for whatever’s in store for me in 2016.

Until next time!

 

 

 

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Easy vs. Right.

March 25, 2014

There comes a time when you have to decide if you are going to do what is easy or what is right.  Rarely the right thing is the easy thing.  For my life as of late, they are nowhere near each other.

***

Did I  want to move from my centrally located suburb to a small, conservative, rural community 50 minutes northeast? Not really.  Did I do it anyway?  Yes.  Is it what is best for my little family right now?  We think so.  It was the only thing my husband and I thought that we could do to make a hard time for his daughter just a bit easier.  Has it done that?  Hard to tell.  My eternal optimist wants to believe it has and will continue to make things better, but the other half of me, the realist, isn’t so sure.  Adolescence is so hard for a young lady, even with two well adjusted adults parenting her.  That’s not exactly the case for my darling bonus child, but at least we are spatially closer to her now.  I hope she knows how much we just want her to be happy and healthy and well taken care of.  And our door always open.  She has that luxury now that we live in the same town as her.  Minutes from her mother’s house.   She says the word and she can come live with us immediately.

***

It would be so easy to give up on my fitness plans.  It would be so easy to slip into self-deprecating, woe is me behavior.  Everything is so unsure.  Everything feels so in between things here, like I keep waiting to wake up from a very vivid and strange dream.  Change is hard.  I try to not think too long term, just think about each day as it comes and that seems to help. Figuring out a new daily routine in a new house and town can make it so easy to let habits slip, but the right thing for me now is is keep my activity level up, even if it is the hardest thing I have done in a long time.

 

I have let life, once again, allow me to neglect this space.  My love affair with fitness has only grown in the time since I last wrote here.

I have never written in depth about how I feel about exercise. I repeat how much I am a happier person because of it ad naseaum, but that only scratches the surface. The gratification it provides to my soul is astounding.  I epitomize the saying “Learn to love the burn.”  My day doesn’t feel quite right on rests days, or days where life happens and workouts don’t, although those have become few and far between lately.  I make the time.  I get up earlier, stay up later to get my heart rate up.  It makes me feel like I have tiny bit of control of things and for a perfectionist control freak, that goes a long way.

So isn’t it ironic (dontcha think?) that the chubby child turned teen turned young adult (who spent WAY too many years feeling inadequate and awkward and everything else you can feel when you don’t look like how everyone thinks you should look) is now obsessed with fitness?  Then again, it sort of makes sense.  I started this journey because of simple vanity.  I weighed 218 pounds in January of 2012.  I wanted to change that number so I moved more, tracked my meals, joined a gym and made fitness a part of my every day routine.  It has been hard, but I now weigh 185 pounds.  I look forward to the most active part of my day.  I live for it.

I just announced my highest weight and my current weight to the internet.  Wow, that is liberating. There’s something I never thought I would do.  It has become so much more than numbers to me; numbers I have been obsessing over for practically my entire life don’t control me anymore.  It has taken me 20 years to figure this out and truly understand it.

I have discovered it is so much more than lowering numbers on a scale.  It has become my life and how I spend my time.  It’s how I manage the stress and cut through the crap and the mundane days and sleepless nights and everything in between.  It is setting goals and meeting them, and creating new ones.  It’s going from being a kid who dreaded running the mile in gym class to being a woman who voluntarily runs, sometimes as fast as a 10 minute mile, sometimes before the sun is up because it feels amazing.  It’s letting my inner 6 year old (who desperately wanted to be a ballerina) shine every time I step into Pure Barre class.  That sense of accomplishment is worth every cent.  I can’t imagine living my life any other way from this point on.  Whenever life takes me away from my usual active routine it shows.  I get cranky and restless and then I remember I call the shots.  I make the time for running, or going to the gym, or going hiking or trying a new class.  It’s all up to me.

I feel like I have grown so much as a human in the past year.  Instead of dwelling on the defeats of my past I look towards the successes of my future.  I know nothing in life worth having will come easy, that just isn’t my life and that’s okay because I can do pretty much anything if I want it bad enough.  And these are the thoughts I have from 20 pounds away from my goal weight.  That is the part that astounds me.  I haven’t even gotten there, but I know I will.  I haven’t been sure of too many things in this life thus far, but this one I am certain of: I will see myself at a healthy weight in the next year.

The bad days still happen.  The old, tired, negative voices that have held residence in my head for the majority of my life will not go silently into the night.  But with every step of a run they get quieter and the confident lady inside me is beginning to drown them out.

Changes.

March 3, 2013

Although I have been neglecting this space for the past month, I have not been neglecting my exercise time.  I have been slowly increasing my speed on the treadmill runs.  My goal is to run a 10 minute mile sometime in the near future.  Right now I’m sitting around 11:15 so I’m getting there.  Yet besides getting back into running more regularly, I had been feeling a bit bored with my gym routine.  I would do some sporadic strength training or ab work, but nothing consistent.

So last Saturday I tried a Pure Barre class at a studio recently opened near my house and I am totally hooked.  I was VERY nervous…I hadn’t done a workout class since I was a teenager but I just got back from my 4th class and I feel like I’m finally getting it.  I plan on trying to keep up 3 times a week for the next 2, and then see if I want to go on from there.  These classes are not cheap, but I’m really loving it and already seeing more definition in my arms.  It also seems to be improving my endurance for cardio as well.

So hurray for trying new things…tomorrow I may be singing a different tune…two days of class in a row may equal some very sore muscles but it is nothing I haven’t dealt with before.

Maintaining.

January 14, 2013

I fit in an outdoor run this weekend.  Ohio gave us an unseasonably warm 60 degree Saturday (at the cost of a 20 degree overnight drop that has left me with a gross sinus headache today) so I had to take advantage.  It was a bit slow going, being that I haven’t logged 2 miles at once since December, but it felt great to get out there.  Yesterday I stepped up my cardio by doing a 45 minute elliptical interval workout, followed by some yoga.  The gym is insanely crowded still, with all the resolutioners, but I’m hoping things to thin out in the following weeks.

I wasn’t the most stringent about eating through the weekend, so this morning when I weighed myself and saw I maintained from the previous week, I wasn’t surprised. I wasn’t upset either though.  The previous week’s 4 pound loss is the most I have lost in a week in a long time.  I was almost expecting a gain this morning, with a weekend that included a Chinese buffet dinner and movie theater popcorn (I passed on the butter and only got a small…but a small is still SIX cups of popcorn!) so when I saw I maintained, I was happy.

This week I am focusing on longer cardio workouts in the morning and doing some strength training in the evenings.

Hurray for fitness!

12.

December 29, 2012

I have been consistently active throughout every month of this year.  I have lost 23 pounds to date.  No one else could have done that for me. 

Going into 2013 I really want to step things up a bit.  I talk a lot here about cleaning up my diet, and I have made some major changes in how I look at eating and the foods I put in my body, but I haven’t seen the success in the kitchen like I have at the gym.  I know i am capable, I just have to follow through.  

I have succeeded in making fitness a part of my life, and that is something no amount of weight loss can replace.

Here is to another year full of sweaty times, and hopefully another year of growing as a person.

 

Stuck.

September 24, 2012

So.  I have been losing and gaining the same four pounds for about two months now.  It is getting really old.  I’ve decided there needs to be some major changes to my routine.  I’m going to keep with the moderate to high intensity early morning workouts but I’m striving to do something different every day.  For example, today I ran intervals of running/power walking switching every minute on the treadmill for 25 minutes.  Then I did the aerobic program on the elliptical for 15 minutes.  I think I need to get over my fear of something new and try the rowing machine.  I used to bike either on the stationary or recumbent and I haven’t been doing either lately.  I’m also going to start walking a couple miles in the evenings as well.  I need to get my husband in on this (he recently went from retail where he was on his feet all day long back to a graphic design 9-5 job where he sits all day) as well.  The fresh air will do us both good and since we are in Ohio, the pleasant early fall weather could be gone any day.

The biggest thing is: I need to clean up my diet.  I am not doing very good lately with making healthy choices with what I put in my body.  I need to remember just because it is the weekend, it does not justify eating poorly.  Or just because I had a shit day at work, doesn’t mean I get to eat pizza for dinner. Breaking 20+ years of emotional eating does not happen over night, but I have already made gigantic strides on certain things.  I no longer eat when I’m bored, and any time I’m hungry right after eating I drink a glass of water because I’ve learned I’m usually just thirsty.  I often think of the following quote I saw on Pinterest:

“Do not reward yourself with food, you are not a dog.”

I also need to remember it took 2.5 years for me to gain almost 40 pounds, Losing 20 of that in 9 months isn’t horrible progress.  It is twenty pounds down.  I have a 2 1/2 year old niece who weighs about 26 pounds (she is a lil thing!) and that is practically what I was carrying around before.  That is some heavy stuff.  I need to stop comparing my current progress to how my last weight loss went.  That was three years ago.  This is now.  I need to learn to stop looking back so much.
It doesn’t get you anywhere but stuck.

This week is all about looking forward, because like it or not, the future becomes the present every day.