I’ve noticed lately that I look at myself very differently when I’m not running. I went a couple of weeks without running because it was so damn hot and humid around here that I just couldn’t do it. During that time, I looked at myself in the mirror with disgust. I walked around in a gray cloud and didn’t feel good about myself, was a less understanding mom, and didn’t have any motivation to do much around the house.
But when I am running, I notice that I’m not so tough on the girl in the mirror. It’s like I see her as the girl who kicked ass before 6am that morning. I notice the small changes in her body. Her arms are smaller. Her butt isn’t sticking out as far. Her calves are little bit tighter. He cheekbones are showing more. This didn’t all happen this morning during my run so why am I just now noticing? I like her more. I’m proud of her. And I realized that I walk around the rest of the day feeling a little bit better in her skin, more positive and just plain sunnier. I have this lingering sense of pride. I wanna scream from the rooftops “I freakin rock. I ran this morning!” It doesn’t matter that I’ve had to go back to week 4 of the Couch to 5K plan. I’m still proud of myself. I’m motivated to get shit accomplished. Everything just looks more possible. I feel like I could conquer anything.
Yoga changes my outlook too. I feel more centered and awake on the days I do yoga. I recently found my yoga DVDs in a box so for the past two weeks, I’ve been doing some yoga in the morning on my non-running days. Nothing too strenuous. Just my yoga for beginners DVD. There is no soreness after I’m done, but there is that same lingering sense of pride.
The Best Friend made a comment when he was helping me get ready for my date Friday. I was telling him that I was excited but nervous. And he said that he hopes my date was nice and not homophobic (did I mention that the best friend is a gay dude?) I then responded with what I was really afraid of…”I hope he doesn’t think I’m too fat.” He asked if I thought I was, to which I responded “Yup.” Being the softy that he has become in his old age, he says “That’s not the right answer. How are you gonna love somebody else if you don’t love yourself?” I quickly replied that I love myself inside just not outside (I had not run that morning because it was raining. I wonder how I would have judged myself had I got out and ran in the rain……).
I do love my outside when I think about what my body is capable of. How far I’ve come with my running…. or how strong I feel when standing in warrior pose, But only when I’ve actually done one or the other that morning. I’ve had his question hanging out in the back of my mind ever since. It will pop in my head when I’m being hard on myself about something. Its making me look at how I talk to myself and I realize that I’m actually mentally abusing myself. How stupid is that?
I wonder if it’s the endorphins that are making me feel proud or just the simple fact that I pushed myself further than I thought I could…..and before 6am……
So Friday night I stepped out to have a beer with a guy that I met on okCupid. I’ve been on and off that site for a couple of months now trying to decide if I was ready to start dating. After exchanging a few emails with this guy he asked if I wanted to meet for coffee. Well, my
parenting status schedule got in the way and after several tries, we ended up meeting for a couple of beers.
I was nervous because in his pictures on the site, he was really, really good-looking and he seemed to be pretty intelligent (expect for some bad spelling and your vs. you’re issues but I was trying to stop the grammar nazi in me from noticing). So I got the Best Friend on Facetime and he helped me get ready with some shits and giggles added in to help me relax a bit.
So, off I go to meet him. He met me out in front of the restaurant and he was just a good-looking as his pictures. After a short wait we make our way in and sit down. The conversation is rolling and we are talking about all the things you aren’t supposed to talk about on a first date….politics, religion, exes, etc. But the conversation flowed and I was very comfortable (probably due to the tall Stella I had in front of me as well). We sat and chatted for four hours and overall it was easy conversation. One problem, we have very different views on a lot of those things. So, I guess talking about those “don’t talk about them on a first date” things was actually a good idea. At the end of the night he hugged me (no kiss) and said that he hoped we could do this again and I was thinking, ya know, it can’t hurt. He did say some things that had me really thinking and there were no real deal breakers so maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to try again. Well, it’s now Tuesday and I haven’t heard from him so I’m guessing that our differences were too much for him.
But the best part of all this…..that’s ok. I’m ok with that. I put myself out there and dipped my toe in the dating pool and it felt good. I had a thought-provoking conversation with an intelligent man and it’s been a really long time since I have done that. The fact that him not calling hasn’t made me feel like crap about myself, shows me that I am ready to get back out there.
So, a little revising of my dating profile and I’m ready for some more! I’m going into this with a positive attitude. I’m not going to think about how much dating sucks, I’m going to look at as an opportunity to have some fun. Less interview like, more just enjoying the
free drinks moment.
We are in the house and I’m starting to feel like a grown up again! It’s like I have my own life back. I have everything that is important, unpacked and put away. Just need to figure out where I’m going to put and organize all that not-so-important stuff. But that’s the fun part of a new house. Willow is slowly getting her stuff together. Last weekend she went to the Cape with my parents to have the inspection done on their new house so she wasn’t around to get it together but we’ll get there. And this weekend I got the yard all mowed, the gardens all weeded and Willow and my dad got our new pool up. There’s nothing like getting a bunch of yard work done and then taking a dip in the pool!
I have been doing a little bit of running in my new neighborhood. There’s a sidewalk on the main road that is about 1/2 mile from my house. I’m amazed at how much more relaxed I am running on the sidewalk. It’s so nice not to spend my whole run worrying about dodging cars. Only problem is that with all the moving and organizing, I didn’t have time or utensils to cooks so we ate a lot of fast food. That caused me some problems on my first couple of runs in the new neighborhood. I was basically the poster child for crap in, crap out. This morning was a bit better. Still did some walking but that’s ok. I tried to talk myself out of the run while lying in my nice bed with my awesome new mattress and the AC keeping the icky humidity out. But eventually, I berated my laziness enough to get my ass up and out the door and that’s the hardest part.
I’m on day 30 something or maybe 40 of no-sugar. I’ve really shocked myself in how well I’m doing with that. I’ve lost 10.4 lbs and the cravings are getting fewer and far between. Our neighbors gave us a couple of Drumsticks (my favorite ice cream treat!) this weekend when it was hot out. Willow ate hers and I put mine in the freezer for her to have another day. It was in there for 3 days and after the first day, I forgot all about it. That’s huge!
I’m starting to feel less guilt about the huge mistake that I made in moving us. I’m coming around to that part when you see why something really bad happens. We are in a better house, we are both happy again, and now I know better than to allow someone else to hold my happiness.
Today is day 15 of avoiding processed sugar.
After doing some reading about food addiction, it was all up in my grill and unavoidable that I have a food addiction and sugar is a major trigger for me. I mean I knew it before, but I didn’t fully understand exactly why and what was going on. I know that it has gotten much worse in the last two years and I attribute that to being unhappy for too long. Now that I’m getting my life back and feel like a 1,000 lb burden has been lifted from my shoulders, I’m working on fixing these bad habits that have evolved while dealing with someone else’s bullshit. And I’ve learned the hard way to not let anyone else ruin my happiness. Other people’s shit doesn’t have to become your shit.
In the interest of full disclosure, because there is sugar in EVERYTHING, to make this as basic as possible (otherwise I wouldn’t stick to it) I’ve been avoiding the obvious sugar laden foods (cookies, candy, cake) and sticking to things that don’t have sugar or artificial sweeteners in the first 5 ingredients. It has been really tough but I’m sick of being addicted to this crap and after 15 days, it’s starting to get easier. I lost 3.8 lbs in the first week and it’s made a difference in my running.
Today I tried my third shot at the final day of the Couch to 5k program. The first time I added more hills to my run so I had to walk three times. The second time was Saturday when even at 7am it was hot and humid. Humidity and me don’t work well together and right about the middle point of my run, my legs just stopped running. No conscious decision by me, they just stopped.
Then, this morning the universe came together to give me a good run. It all just came together. I slept great last night. The temp was about 49 and the humidity was at about 58%. And I was ready! After about the 1/2 mile mark a little voice in my head said “You got this shit.” My first thought was “Uh, am I hearing voices now” and then I was like “Yeah, I do got this shit!” And I killed it. A nice average pace of about an 11 minute mile and I was in the zone. When the voice in my earbuds said “Cool Down” I did a little dance right there in the middle of the road. Luckily, there was no one around me because I was just going to town. I’m not sure if it was that runner’s high that people talk about, but I felt GOOOOOOOOD!
I’m exercising again. Getting rid of my bad eating habits. My kid’s happy. My job rocks and I get to work with amazing people. The house stuff is all coming together. Everything is falling into place and I’m happy again.
It’s funny how you don’t realize just how unhappy you were until you are back to being happy again. Unhappiness does happen but don’t stick around hoping for something to get better. Life’s too short to waste an entire year being miserable.
Well, I did it! This past weekend I ran my first 5K in the pouring rain. Well, ran is kinda pushing it. Since the event was at the New Hampshire Motorspeedway, I figured that we would be running around the actual track. Since there are no hills on a racetrack, I’ve been training on a road that has no hills. Back and forth, back and forth, just trying to get through the minutes for the Couch to 5K program. Then I find out the week before that the race isn’t actually on the track itself, it’s out on a paved path. Well, that path had hills, and big ones. Hills that kicked my ass. I couldn’t even make it up the first hill. And then we went down a big hill and I noticed that runners were coming up the other side. I was having trouble running down this damn hill, how the hell was I gonna run back up??? I told myself that I didn’t have to run up it. That it was a fun run and most people were walking anyway so I shouldn’t feel bad. When we finally made it to the finish line, Willow and I crossed it together. I was disappointed that I couldn’t run the whole thing but was happy that I ran as much as I could.
Then there was the after-race party: Music, dancing, lots of color and unfortunately, more rain. But we had a blast!
Now I’m signing up for a 5K Race at the end of June that isn’t so ass kicking hilly and I will run all of this one!
Finished week 7 this morning. Twenty five minutes of straight running. Just a hair under 2 miles. It was actually easy until about 3/4 of the way thru. I felt a pull in my right thigh and my mind went all negative. But I just kept going and the pain went away.
I’m a little nervous since I’m two weeks away from my first 5k but I’m only running two miles. I’ve heard that the adrenaline gets you all pumped up to finish the race but the thought of running another mile scares me. But I’m not going to let fear get in my way. I’m going to just keep swimming.
And, some happy news! Things are moving forward with the house. I got rid of all the incompetence surrounding me and things are progressing. I may even get to close next week!!!!
Well, week 4 and week 5 are under my belt. And the last day of week 5, I ran for 20 minutes straight. I was amazed that my body could actually do that. There were even times when I just forgot I was running and went inside my head. It wasn’t nearly as hard I was imagining it would be (isn’t that always the case?)
Then over the weekend my body kicked me in the ass. I couldn’t get myself to do anything all day Saturday. My body just didn’t want to move. Then Sunday I somehow found the motivation to get my running sneaks on and get out the door. But once I started running, I knew that it wasn’t going to happen. My body just wouldn’t cooperate and I felt like my lungs were going to explode. I gave up about 3 minutes into the first running interval and tried again the next one. Only got about 30 seconds into that one and I was done. I walked home with my head low and all kinds of negative thoughts running thru my head. As the day progressed I started to feel like every muscle in my body was tensed up. It started in my shoulders and gradually worked its way down my body. Monday morning brought me unable to get up and out the door for a run and then unable to make my body move in any way so I stayed home from work. Tuesday morning I couldn’t get up and out the door for a run because I had a lot of trouble sleeping Monday night but I did get to work, though wasn’t very productive. By last night, I was starting to feel like myself again. And this morning I got out and ran. It was tough but I’m very glad I did.
I realized something on my run. This was all because of stress. My body basically tied itself up in knots because of the stress I’ve been under with all the problems with getting this house. I always carry my stress in my shoulders. So the fact that it started there clued me in on the source.
I can’t let this happen. I thought I was dealing with the stress as it came but obviously not. I’ve felt like the Universe was punishing me for making a bad decision to sell my house and move in with the ex and I’ve been carrying that around with me. A person can only take so much punishment, especially when we are punishing ourselves.
I’m working on forgiving myself. I’m working on not punishing myself for something that I thought was the right thing to do at the time I did it. It’s not easy, but I have to do this…..for my health.