Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Be Somewhere Else, Do Something Different.

This morning, in a fit of pout, I bought a baggie of cheddar chex mix snack stuff.

I was invited to go to turtle racing at the local bar that supports my roller derby league with some of the other skaters last night, and was really excited about it, but skipped it because I had to get up really early this morning for a meeting.

Or so I thought.

AFTER getting up really early, and driving 30 miles to the meeting location, and standing in line for an eternity for my monthly Starbucks treat, and sitting in my car for 15 minutes waiting for my coworkers, I started to think...

Is today even the right day for this meeting?
Did I just get up 2 hours early and go through all this hassle and use up that much gas on the wrong day?

I most certainly did.

So, after some creative swearing in my car, I had no choice but to turn right around and hurry back to the office.

I was SO ANNOYED with myself.
I was having at least a class 4 pout, and in a moment of pouty weakness, I pulled off at the 7/11 on the way to the office for a giant diet coke and some kind of salty snack.

I walked past the snacks and resisted; I don't need it, it wont even taste good, it's not something that will help me toward my goals.
I went back and picked one up (because with the morning I've had I deserve it!), only to immediately put it back on the shelf, because I know better.
I got in line for my fountain drink.
I went back and picked up the bag again with an eff it attitude.
I can make up for it later. I'm skating for 2 hours tonight, I can have a light lunch, a light dinner, a lighter food day with extra exercise tomorrow.

Excuses, excuses, excuses.

How many times have I been here before?
How does that quote go about insanity being doing the same thing and expecting different results?

Well I might be crazy, but I'm not stupid.
That bag of chex mix will not make me less tired, or give me back those couple hours of sleep, or put gas back in my tank, or make me feel less dumb for mixing up my weeks.
It will just make me feel sad, and gross, and disappointed in myself.

Just because I bought it doesn't mean I have to eat it!
I buy things that I don't eat or use all the time. I don't mean to, but it happens.

I'm going to get up from the computer right this second, and go give it away.

HA! Ran into a cool producer right outside my office from the weekly creature feature show who could not have been more excited to be gifted a bag of chex mix.

Now not only do I NOT feel super crummy about myself for eating something I don't even really want, I feel GOOD about making someone else happy.

I might be slow, but I'm learning, and I'm changing.
I've been there, and I've done that. LOTS of times.

Today I decided to be somewhere else, and do something different.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Several Weeks After "Someday"

Yesterday I binged and ate a WHOLE THING of Chips Ahoy chewy gooey chocfudge cookies.
In one sitting.
In maybe 20 minutes.
I'm not even sure why.

No, you know what, that's not true. I have a pretty good idea why, but it doesn't seem like a legitimate reason, so I try to brush it off and say I don't know why.
In fact, it sounds crazy.

I binged because I'm becoming exactly who I want to be, and it's scary, and it doesn't "fix" anything.

About 85-95% of the time I feel fantastic about myself. I've put in all this work and I feel good and I usually feel like I look good and I'm putting in the effort to be and become who I want to be. It's great!

But then sometimes, for no obvious reason, out of seemingly noplace, I have doubts.
I feel depressed.
I get overwhelmed.
I feel fat and unwanted and unloved and unlovable, even when I KNOW those things aren't true.
I still feel them.

So, the good news is I'm probably not a narcissist or a sociopath.

The bad news is that I will always have at least a little bit of self-doubt, and will probably always have this impulse to soothe that self-doubt with food.

The most important news is that I'm finally learning that that is okay. No one, including me, is ever going to be perfect even most of the time. I have weak spots, and one of those weak spots is my love of chocolate chip cookies.

That is totally okay.
In fact, I'm pretty lucky.
My weak spot could be for crack or moonshine or collecting too many stray cats.

All things considered, cookies aren't so bad.

It's okay to be scared.
Really, being scared of becoming exactly who I want to be is a pretty neat thing to have to be scared OF.

It wasn't scary when it was a far off daydream to be a fit and independent person who was out of the house doing things instead of watching other people do them on tv.
It wasn't scary to lay on that couch in my too-small sweat pants and tell myself that tomorrow I would start. Monday I would begin. Next week would be the first day of that life. Of becoming that person. Someday. On some particular start date in the future I would finally get to doing what I knew I needed to do so I could start pulling those too-small jeans out of the "someday drawer."

There aren't any more things in my "someday drawer."
It's completely empty.
It's been empty for WEEKS.
After years and years of stuffing it fuller and fuller of jeans that I once loved but could no longer stuff myself into, after years of it getting so full that it started to overflow into the drawer above it, there is absolutely nothing in that drawer.
Most of the jeans from that drawer are too big for me now.

I can't bring myself to put anything in that drawer.
It's pretty silly, a whole big drawer I could use to store SOMEthing, sitting empty.
But I don't want to put anything in there. I like knowing it's empty.
I like knowing that I'm living several weeks out from "someday."

I just didn't really prepare myself for the day several weeks after someday. It was always someday I will get my act together and I will become this person. I didn't really plan for what it would be like to actually BE that person. "That" person in those daydreams wasn't really me, it wasn't really even a person, it was just a daydream.

I am a totally different story.
I'm not active because it sounds so so dreamy and "right" to be active; I'm active because I'm out doing things I love! I'm playing disc golf every weekend and learning to play roller derby. I go to Zuma and now love to dance to the pop music I used to scoff at so smugly. I did a triathlon, and I won!! Okay, so I didn't win as far as anyone else participating in the race was concerned, but by my standards I won.

I don't do these things because I have to or am supposed to or because I should, I do these things because I WANT to, because I enjoy them.

That person in those daydreams lived on rabbit food and didn't even want any of the good stuff anymore. I love the good stuff. I drink beer and eat pizza and chocolate and sometimes even cookies. I don't want to give up my love of food, even occasional junk food.

So I don't really want to be that person from those daydreams.
Those daydreams are outdated. "That" girl can go ahead and join the princess and the mermaid and the vampire hunter as fond memories of something that I thought I wanted to be so badly.

Yesterday I binged and ate a whole thing of Chips Ahoy chewy gooey chocfudge cookies.
But you know what else I did yesterday?
I made myself snap out of it. I put on some good motivational music and yelled along and put on my work out clothes and went to the gym and worked hard and felt great about it.
I put that binge behind me and I moved on and had a great evening.

Yesterday I binged and ate a whole thing of Chips Ahoy chewy gooey chocfudge cookies.

Today that doesn't matter.
Today I got up and put on a cute outfit that makes me feel good about myself.
Tonight I will go to roller derby practice and work hard and have a fantastic time.

The only someday I'm worrying about now is the end of July when I get to take the skills assessment, hopefully pass, and officially pick out my derby name.
I'm currently leaning toward "The Rad Hatter."

Yesterday I binged and ate a whole thing of Chips Ahoy chewy gooey chocfudge cookies.

Today I wont.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Go Pink!

I did it!!!
On Sunday morning my alarm went off at a time I generally associate with the most raucous of my drunken evenings, I rolled excitedly out of bed, and put on the ugliest thing I've ever owned.

Or at least bought for myself to wear. I was a child of the 80's and 90's and I'm sure there were uglier things, but there were also adults to blame them on.

My partially floral one-piece triathlon suit was allllll me.
You know you're jealous.

I had a light breakfast, checked that I had everything I needed for the 47th time, and drove off into the darkness surprisingly calm. During the hour long drive to my race destination the edges of the sky began to lighten, and just as I pulled up to the water of the reservoir the sun broke over the surrounding hills.
I knew it was going to be a great morning!!!

I felt pretty out of place with my bookbag full of gear and my street bike with the nifty thing on the back for carrying stuff, but everyone was smiling and positive and looked just as sleepy eyed and almost as confused as I felt.

I found a place for my bike on what I thought was a rack near the back, spread all of my goodies out on my towel, and commenced the excellent people watching of pre-race rituals.

I got over-excited and put on my wetsuit about half an hour too soon, and then took it half way off because I felt silly and it touched my throat, and then pulled it back on only 20 minutes too early, and then felt tired of standing around and marched down to the water.
Well gingerly picked my way over all the rocks and twigs and things to the edge of the water, made some general "ewww" faces at the squoogey mud at the edge of the water getting between my toes, and then some really happy faces as I realized the water was a balmy 71 degrees.

The racers were divided by age and gender into different start "waves," and the waves were distinguished by different colored caps. I sort of clumped together with my fellow bright pink cap wearers (my current favorite color, which I took as a further sign that everything was going to be awesome). And was relieved to find out that everyone else seemed just as confused and nervous and excited and unsure of themselves as I did.

And then time magically sped up and slowed down all at once.
It was time to swim, so I swam!
Swimming was the only part of all of this that I have any previous experience with, so I was able to settle into a comfortable pace right away. I stuck to the outside edge of the pack, and looked up to get my bearings every 5-6 strokes or so.
Some super fast people from the waves behind me passed, and I passed some slower swimmers from my packs and others. All the different colors of swim caps were mixed together in no time, and I just stopped worrying about it and kept swimming.
Just as I turned the corner around the buoy I was guestimating as half way through my 0.75 mile swim, I caught sight of the finish!!
I couldn't believe it!!!

I climbed up the slippery boat ramp to the transition area surrounded by smiling strangers shouting encouragement. It was a little overwhelming, and I couldn't pick out my personal "cheering section" of dad and boyfriend from the crowd, but it was encouraging and made me smile in return.

I hurried over to my little transition spot and was able to get ready for the bike ride with a lot less stress than I'd expected. Just peel off the wetsuit, wipe off a little with my shammy, throw on the tank top I brought to cover the hideous tri suit and hold my number, sit down shamelessly to put on socks and shoes (just 'cause other people around me can do all this standing up in 3 seconds doesn't mean I should tip over and hurt myself trying), shoved on my helmet and sunglasses, and I was off!!
Kind of.
You can't get on your bike in the transition area, and the little "mounting" line was pretty crowded with people trying to hurry out onto the bike course, but it all sorted itself out pretty quickly and THEN I was off!!

I was literally one of 2 people out of the 700 participants on a street bike (with big fat tires and handle bars that have you sitting almost straight up)( instead of a fancy road bike (With skinny little tires and handle bars that have you lean way down - they are easier to pedal faster. I walked around and checked), so I wasn't off very FAST, at least not compared to the road bikes, but I didn't mind as much as I thought I would.
People were very polite about letting you know they'd be passing, and as the miles wound on, and more and more and more people were coming up behind me, my thoughts weren't so much that they were passing me, they were more that I was doing AWESOME.
If people on super fancy road bikes, who couldn't have started the swim more than 20 minutes after I did (when the last wave started), took until miles 12, 14, even 16 to catch up and pass me, I was doing really well!!! That means I had to be ahead of all of those people on the swim for them to pass me later. They had the advantage of superior equipment and were only barely faster than me at the bike, obviously I was winning at my made-up newbies with lamer equipment division.

About half the people out on the course even seemed to comment that I was doing amazingly well "on that bike" or "those tires" and shouted "go pink!!" as they passed.

All that training out on the local rec trail paid off. I was even able to bike all the way up the horrible steep awful mile long hill at mile 11 that had about half of those fancy bikes being walked up it!!
Sure, I was in first gear, but I was pedaling, and the coast down the other side made it seem totally worth it!

According to my dad and boyfriend I managed to finish the bike leg before a good 40-50 people who were on those fancy bikes, which to me is pretty darn awesome!

I felt surprisingly energetic as I pulled into the transition area... and then I got off of my bike.
My legs were like twitchy gelatain!
I had about 5 seconds of panicking that I wasn't going to be able to complete the race, but as I walked my bike back to my little stall, and took off my helmet, and chugged down some water and sports drink, I started to feel just fine.

Everything was going to be okay, that bike ride was just hard!
I was pretty sure I had to be forgetting something, since the transition from bike to run was basically getting off my bike and ditching my helmet since I didn't use fancy bike shoes or anything like that, but I walked quickly out of the transition area smiling and excited.
The run portion went 2.5 miles up the road and then just turned around and came right back down it, so there were runners going the opposite direction the whole time. Everyone was totally positive and encouraging. We all shouted encouragement back and forth. "Almost done!" "The turn-around is just past those trees!" "Keep it up, doing awesome!" It was great! I felt encouraged and had fun encouraging others.

I reminded myself over and over of my goal for the run (to run at least half of it) and repeated my running mantra when I was flagging. If I'm not going to actually die, pass out, or injure myself, I can keep running.

There were water stations at each mile marker, which made it easier to gauge the distance, and I ran about half of each mile, just as I'd hoped!

I even got stung by a bee and kept going!
(I'm not allergic or anything, so this isn't technically an important part of the racing experience, but for whatever reason it stands out to me as proof of how bad ass I am at triathloning)

When I crossed that finish line I was running, and I was happy, and I knew that I really did it.

Finishing 614 out of 700 may not sound very impressive, but I did it, and I did it in the amount of time I set a goal to finish in, so as far as I'm concerned that 614 is just code for 1st place.

Go Pink!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Lessons in Roller Derby

Thursday, May 03, 2012

In case you somehow haven't heard me blabbing incessantly about it, I decided to try out for the local flat track roller derby league!!!

What made me decide this, you ask?
Umm... a whim.

Someone told me a couple of weeks ago that there IS a local roller derby league, so I googled it, discovered that there was an informational meeting that coming Sunday for potential newbies, and immediately decided I was going to do it.

Never mind the fact that I've been on quad skates maybe 10 times total and the last time was probably 20 years ago, I was going to do roller derby and I was going to kick arse at it!!!!!

I immediately began diligent work on creating a roller derby name and researching entry level skates.
(I'm still deciding between Shreddy Ruxpin - #85 and Phenoma Blond - #007)
The informational meeting went great, the women there from the league seemed super nice and welcoming, and I was even MORE determined to be a Monterey Bay Derby Dame!!!

When the first opportunity to actually get on some roller skates finally came around the next weekend I couldn't be more excited or more nervous. I got the boyfriend and a couple we are good friends with to go with me, so I wouldn't be so scared, and just couldn't wait to step out on that floor. I was last in the group to put on my skates, but with everyone else so many years out from their last skating adventures and so confidently moving around the little putting on of the skates area, I was sure I'd be great.

And then I stood up.
I was not great.

Standing in those rental skates with such vivid memories of having them slide right out from underneath me as a kid was terrifying. I was like a baby giraffe on ice, and I wasn't even moving or off of the carpeted area yet.

I waved my friends away and assured them I just needed a minute to get used to the skates and would join them out on the floor. They all tore off a wee bit wobbly but quite confidently into the general flow of skaters... I nearly fell at least 47 times in the 5 foot trip from my chair to the entrance to the rink, and stepped gingerly out onto the tiles of the actual floor.

How did anybody manage to move around on these things? Who the hell thought putting wheels on shoes without any kind of device to keep you from tipping over backwards was a good idea? Couldn't I play roller derby on inline skates?

I dragged myself hand over hand along the wall, despairing.
In what conceivable universe was I going to be able to get from this state to trying out with just 3 Saturday evenings of open skate to practice in?
I'd never be a derby dame.
My dreams were crushed.
I wanted to cry!

And then the first turn came.
Those sadists had set up a little blocked off area at the end of the rink where people could practice things other than moving in a general counter clockwise direction, which meant I had to make it all the way across the vastyness of the hockey rink without a wall to clutch.

I was pretty sure I was going to die.
Or be run over by a mob of jeering 8 year olds on spiked skates and mad maxian garb and THEN die.
But death was, in any case, eminent.

I can do this.
Deep breath.
One foot in front of the other in a general slidey type motion.
I can skate, I skated, I even owned a pair of neon pink roller blades with mint green buckles and orange wheels. Sure, I had to run into parked cars or signs to stop, but the going forward was never a problem. I know the mechanics, all these other people seem to be making it across this expanse unscathed. I don't see a single spiked skate in the vicinity.

Let's do this!!!

It wasn't pretty. I wobbled and almost fell several times, but I DIDN'T fall, and I kept going, and I MADE IT!!


And then this girl that I'm pretty sure was born with wheels on her feet whizzed right past me and did a nifty twirly maneuver to go with the music.
I was startled and distracted. I lost my balance, I was going down!!!
Thank goodness I'd made it to within clutching distance of the opposite wall!

Okay, so not quite the master of roller skating, but I wasn't QUITE despairing anymore.
Discouraged, yes.
Disappointed, definitely.
But determined! I want this! I am going to find a way to make it happen for myself!! I am not going to let a little thing like being terrified of roller skating stop me!!

Half an hour or so later I was able to do 3 loops around the rink without touching the wall EVEN ONCE!! Sure, I was maybe 8 inches from it and going about the same speed as I would be walking, but I was doing it! I was skating!!

A few of the girls from the derby league had come in and were hanging out in the little sectioned off area, waiting to show new league hopefuls the basic skills needed to get into what they call "fresh meat" training.

Dear boyfriend came over and encouraged me to join in, but no way did I feel ready to work on anything but not falling down, was he crazy?!

I'll just go introduce myself....
I teetered over, and introduced myself, and explained that I was really just at the work on not falling down stage.
And to my amazement no one seemed even remotely surprised by that, or skeptical that I could be ready in time for try outs 3 weeks later.
Well alright then, show me all of the things!!!

And then something amazing happened.
I stopped concentrating so hard on not falling down, and started concentrating on learning some basic stops and how to cross my feet over eachother when turning.

When I stopped trying so hard not to fail, I did great!!
Sure, I ate it pretty hard a couple of times, but I ate it doing a pretty darn impressive cross-over if I do say so myself.

By the end of the night I was out on the rink skating at appropriate speeds, crossing my feet over eachother, weaving between slower skaters, I didn't have to look down at my feet.


My own skates came in the mail later that week, and the following Saturday I was doing all the basic moves necessary to make it into "fresh meat" well enough that they started teaching me NEW things, things they teach after one makes it into fresh meat.
By the end of my second Saturday night out on the rink I was able to keep up with the "real" derby girls and didn't fall once (other than when learning the correct way to fall and doing it on purpose, of course).

I stopped grasping at what seemed safe and familiar but kept me more or less stationary.
I stopped concentrating so hard on what was directly in front of my toes, blaming every little bump and warp in my path for my stumbles.
I stopped putting all of my effort into not failing.
I started doing things that felt new and awkward and scary.
I fell down, twice, and it HURT, but I got right back up and tried again.

I know I'm going to fall a lot more. I'm going to get some pretty impressive bruises, and it's going to hurt, and the things I learn will often seem difficult, even impossible at first, but I will learn them, and I will learn to be great!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Too Busy to Lose Weight.

I have a confession:
I can't even remember the last time I counted my calories.
I haven't worn my heart rate monitor or tracked my calories burned in months.

I'm way too busy to lose weight.

This week alone I went to the circus, a concert by one of my favorite bands, met my parents for lunch, celebrated Easter, twice, did my first full 16 mile training ride for my triathlon, broke my record and did 32 burpees during just 1 song, cleaned both my bathrooms, zumba'd my butt off, am throwing a huge party tomorrow, and decided to try out for roller derby on Sunday after I disc golf and maybe go to bottomless mimosas a movie.

Do you realize how much time goes into picking out a roller derby name?
Never mind that I haven't even been on skates since I was 9. When I DO get out there this Sunday, I intend to have the best derby name in all the land! I haven't decided exactly what that will be yet, but I have some ideas...

So "working out," and counting calories, and stressing incessantly about everything I do or eat or drink... I simply don't have room for it in my schedule, thank you very much!!!

I know what you're thinking, "but you just talked about burpees and triathlon training, obviously you have time to work out."

And to that I say: Nuh uh.
"Working out" implies that there was, like, forced labor and general drudgery involved.

Do you know how pretty it is on the bike trail here?!?!

I'll show you how pretty:

With a view like that, no matter how hard it was to pedal up that hill, I don't think it qualifies as "working out" so much as enjoying my beautiful coastline on top of a bicycle in a slightly sweaty fashion.

And all those burpees in ripped class... Well... ripped class is FUN!! Sure, I get super sweaty and occasionally feel like I might barf, but there are all kinds of nice people in there to say hi to and the music is fun and I always feel like a super buff ninja badass after conquering it! So while I suppose I technically put work in, I don't feel so much like it's a "work out."

And if you think of zumba as working out rather than something active and fun, either you haven't tried it, you're going to a boring class, or you don't like music.

And who wants to count calories instead of trying out a place called "extreme pizza" on a whim because the name was funny and have a beer as you wait for your favorite band to take the stage?
Well certainly not me.
My pizza was extreme indeed, incase you were wondering, though my portions weren't, and that beer was delicious!

So, with all of this going on, the scale hasn't moved, but I'm wearing smaller clothes and if the scale says the same thing for my "official" weigh in day as it said when I peeked this morning, I'll be down a pound.

And if it doesn't?

I won't care.

I've spent so much time concentrating on making my weightloss part of a lifestyle change that before I knew it, my life changed!

I've been out with friends on the disc golf course or out "riding like the wind" (as I like to call it) on my bike or seeing shows or doing cool new things at work and just kind of forgot to care enough about losing weight to focus on it.

I'm not worried about it right now.
I've changed enough that it'll happen all by itself in its own due time.

Sure, I could count calories and stop eating out with friends so much and skip bottomless mimosas after disc golf on Sunday and lose more weight faster.

I could do some diet and exercise regime and lose weight even faster than that.

I might even change my mind tomorrow or next week or 3 months from now and get in a hurry and start tracking all my calories and setting goal ranges again, and that's okay too.

But right now I'm just living, and it's amazing.
I'm not stuffing myself down or hiding my blobby double chin in my apartment anymore.

I'd rather ride like the wind and drink a good beer with good friends!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Me: Only Better

I caught myself daydreaming while I did my hair yesterday. Again.

I have a lot of unruly hair, so it takes a long time to "do right," so it is kind of my daydream and/ or sing in the bathroom time.

But that is neither here nor there.

I was having a "good mirror day," where I could see a lot of differences in my self.

I'd posted a picture, recently, of some new hair color on facebook for the friends I knew would want to see it. The picture wasn't anything exciting. I was fresh from the shower and had no make up or supportive undergarments on, just a big, baggy sweatshirt (that I LOVE because it was too small to zip a year ago and is now voluminous), just me and a goofy smile and my new pink streaks. I intended to just take it down the next day after the required close (but far away distance-wise) friends got to see it. But then people said such nice things about it!!! My face was thinner, I looked like the me they remember from when I was a teenager, all kinds of nice things. So I kept it. I was chatting with my oldest brother about it on the internets the next day, doing the old "I'm not even wearing make-up" thing all of us do (though the specific words often change), when he said the very best compliment yet:
"Health Shines."

How cool is THAT?!?!
I didn't even have a good compliment-displacing maneuver type comeback for that one; it was too good!
It was like a self-conscious-armor-of-compliment-refusal piercing bullet of awesomeness good.

So I was still riding high on that as I sang along loudly to my radio and tried to tame my crazy hair (sporting pink streaks once again!) and thinking...
It's going to be so great when I'm even thinner.
Just imagine how in-shape and awesome I'm going to look.
People will look at me and see an athlete and know how hard I work.

Blah blah blah blah blah. I'm sure you all have your own script, no need running down mine.

And you know what?
Fuck that.
Things are pretty damn great NOW.
I'm in probably the best shape of my life, and I feel like I look pretty awesome, even if those kick-arss muscles still have a pretty thick insulative fat layer on top of all of them.
People who know me DO look at me and see an athlete, and frankly, to toot my own horn a little, so do people who don't know me when they see me kicking said arss in the gym.

I don't WANT to become a whole different person.
I don't want "thin" or "healthy" Lulu to be someone I don't recognize.
I don't think that being smaller is going to solve any of my problems (though I do think it will help a lot with persistent knee pain), I don't think it's going to make the people that matter to me look at me any differently, and, most importantly:

I KNOW it's not going to make me any happier.

So yes, I am improving myself on this lifestyle change journey, and a very motivating part of that is weight loss, but I'm not becoming a new person.
I don't want to.
After a lot of formative years of kind of hating it, I've grown pretty partial to getting to be me.
All this hard work to get healthy, be in great shape, live a life that loves my body and my soul better, that's a journey TOWARD being me.
Only better.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Namby Pamby

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Lately I've been wishy-washy.
Ineffective, ineffectual, and irresolute.

It's certainly not very fun.

Oh I can eat out again tonight, I've been working out SO HARD and it takes up all the time that could be used for cooking...

I already worked out all week, I DESERVE the weekend off from hard exercise....

I'm not getting out of control. I'm eating pretty okay, I'm working out most days (sometimes twice a day)...

But I haven't had that cheerful energy behind it. I'm not gaining any weight, but I'm not losing any, either. More importantly, I'm not SURPRISED I'm not losing any, because of my half arsed efforts lately.

I was thinking, the last couple days, of analogies, because as you may know, I like to not only write, but draw it out, so I've got one!!

All efforts to change my life are an uphill journey. I don't care if it's weight loss or doing the dishes more often, it's a lot easier to NOT do what I know I should do, so sometimes I backslide, especially on the steepest, slipperiest parts, but other times I get to the "easy" part and have handy-dandy switch backs to help me up the grade gradually.

So recently, I found my old childhood friend, a slip 'n slide, on the hill.
I REALLY wan to dive headfirst onto that slippery yellow bit of joy and slide screaming as fast and as far as I can. It's easy to rationalize and tell myself I'll be able to sprint right back up to the start of the slip 'n slide and it will be like nothing happened, except for a fun little ride in the middle.

I REALLY wanted to buy a pizza when we were in costco Monday night and just chow down on half of it while guzzling diet coke and watching a kid's movie in my sweatpants. Ah the good ol' days.
Am I right?

Those days were not good. I felt like crap incarnate shortly after anytime I did that. I hated my choices, and sometimes myself. It's just not worth it.

It's hard to see from the top of the slip 'n slide that the little inflatable pool at the bottom is filled with self-loathing and doubt.

It's so easy to forget it's there and just kind of put a foot on the slide to feel the cool water.

Just a little refreshing cool-down for my tired feet, and then I'll keep going...
Then, before I knew it, I was basically running in place, like going up the down escalator. I wasn't letting myself go on the screaming ride of joy followed by the deep pit of a pool of despair, but I also wasn't making any progress up and away from it.

So Tuesday I made the conscious choice to step OFF of that yellow rubber, no matter how nice it might feel on my sore and blistery feet, and back onto firmer ground with better traction.
I didn't really do anything much different, but I changed my attitude significantly, and the difference is immeasurable.

I'm always going to feel a little bit like being the person I like being, and becoming the person I want to is one of those "up hill both ways in the snow" type of journeys.

To do what I know I should do is hard.
But to turn around and go back? Just as hard in a different way.
I can push my way through lack of willpower and motivation, or I can push up against self-doubt and a big lack of self-love.

So, after a little pit of pouting around, I've got my big girl panties back on, and I'm continuing to do what I know, now, works for me:
Do what makes me feel good ABOUT MYSELF, not what makes me feel "good" right now.
(Except when they happen to be the same thing, in which case, I do it twice as hard!)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Just a 'Toon

What I think of everytime someone says "hit the nail on the head":

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Anywhere but Sucksville, Please.

Lately I feel like on the other side of every success, big or small, is another wall I run into.

They're so big and mean and scary and they jump out of NOWHERE and just stop me dead in my tracks.

Or at least I FEEL like they do.

And then there I am again: mopiness, mild to moderate depression, sucksville.
I do not like spending time in sucksville.

I go so quickly from wanting to call in fantastic to feeling sorry for myself. Working out because it's good for me instead of because it's fun. Eating the right foods with lackluster enthusiasm.

So seriously... why am I even whining about it?
I mean, did you READ what I just wrote.

I continue to exercise.
I continue to eat well.
I continue to drink my water and get more sleep and tell myself tomorrow's mood will be better.
And it usually IS better. And if it's not better tomorrow, it's better the day after that, or the day after that, but it DOES turn around and become somewhere between pretty darn okay and awesome again.


It occurred to me during another slump of feeling sorry for myself Monday night, that it's bothering me so much because it's just that: FEELING sorry for myself.

Not eating half a pizza and a pint of ice cream to "feel" better. (More like not feel at all!)
Not skipping workouts because I'm "just not up to it today."
Not giving up on living healthier because it "obviously can't make me happy."

I'm not looking to weight loss or exercise or even pizza and ice cream to make me happy.
I'm working on looking to mySELF to make me happy, and 90% of the time it's great, but sometimes I get to looking at my feet, or to how so very far the "destination" is from where I'm at now, and I trip over myself, take a wrong path, or just generally get overwhelmed.

But it's all okay.
I can handle wearing down these scary walls with persistence, even when it doesn't seem possible.
The occasional detour to sucksville will just help me better appreciate the scenery when I'm in, well, NOT sucksville!

I can FEEL my feelings, instead of eating them, and be okay.
I'm okay.
Everything is going to be okay

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Thanks Universe. I'm Glad We've Reached an Understanding.

For those who don't know, it's official, I've registered for my very first Triathlon!!!
Which also happens to be my first race of any kind outside of when I was on swimteam in high school. I mean, why start with one sport when I can start with three?
I've always been indecisive, so this kind of eliminated having to pick one sport to concentrate on. Problem solved.

Except for that one thing.
You know the one.

That one where I don't bike.
Or run.
At all.

Ya.... that one....

I've been thinking about signing up for a triathlon for a month or two now, so I'd have something to train for, instead of just "because." Don't get me wrong, there are all kinds of becauses: weight loss, endurance, it's good for me, my heart, my mood, my sleep, you name it. Plenty of because.

But because was getting a little monotonous. I like exercise, and I like all those reasons TO exercise, and while I definitely see progress in my group exercise classes as I can do more and push harder, I wasn't working TOWARD anything, just building habits I intend to keep forever. That's awesome. But kinda boring.

Now a RACE, on the other hand, is exciting!!! Particularly my very FIRST race outside of school sports!

So, I figured, I better at least try out a spin class and see if I can do that.
Now, this may not SOUND like a big deal, but it was to me. I'd tried the spin class about a year ago, and it was AWFUL. I was totally incapable of standing up and pedaling at the same time, I couldn't keep up, and my tenders hurt for a week afterwards.

Did not like.
All I was hoping for was better than that!
Despite my fear, and some worry for my sensitive bits, I gave it a try... AND KICKED THAT SPIN CLASS'S ARSE!!! It was a great work out, but I had no problem keeping up.

Biking: not so scary.

And then I started telling people about my thoughts and saying "probably" instead of "maybe."

And then I did it. I registered for my first race last week!!!!!

Yesterday marked 12 weeks out, or, Tri Training Day 1
I decided to start with the familiar, and hit the pool. I still swim semi-regularly, but I don't track my yardage, I just do whatever sounds fun for 45 minutes to an hour, usually while wearing my fins, and then sit in the hot tub!

So last night I decided to swim about 3/4 of a mile (the distance of the swim in the race), withOUT fins, and see how hard it was/how long it took/etc. I don't know how long the pool at my gym is, so to be safe I counted one length of the pool as 20 yards (instead of the usual 25, because I suspect it's a tad short of that). I got tired of trying to do math, but I know a mile is somewhere between 1800 and 1900 yards, if I was doing it right, so I decided to just swim 1500 to be safe.
I assumed it would take me about 45 minutes to an hour.... And I swam it with no problems in about 25 minutes!

So you may have noticed something...
Former competitive swimmer still swims regularly, so
Swim: check
Tried the spin class, had no problems with a solid hour of hard cycling, so
Bike: needs practice, but check

Running.... Well.... I hate running. I can't stand it. I have never and I mean NEVER liked running. Even at my best physical shape as a competitive swimmer I couldn't complete even 1 lap around the track on the days they forced us to run.

I can't run, I have knee problems.
I can't run, I'm too fat.
I can't run, I get those terrible side stitches when I try.
I can't run.

When I TRY to run I'm fairly convinced that I'm going to shoot lasers out of my eyes in order to destroy the treadmill so that I wont have to run anymore.

But I WANT to be able to run. Having never been able to, I don't actually know, but I THINK being able to run would be really really great. I can't really explain it, but I can picture it, and in my brain it seems pretty fantastic.

I decided to try. Again.
I've tried the Couch to 5k program about 3 or 4 different times, but never made it past week 3. It HURT, so I stopped.

I was riding pretty high on discovering that a 3/4 mile swim is something I can easily work up to practically sprinting in the 12 weeks I have 'till the race...
So I went for it.
I set my alarm 90 minutes early last night.
I actually got up instead of snoozing through it, changed into some freshly washed work out gear and my new shoes (same as my old shoes, but new), gulped down a bunch of water, put on my HRM and earbuds, and left the house!
While it was practically dark out!!!!
I had a plan. There is a little park about 5 blocks from my house with a lake in it, and a nice path all the way around it, and all kinds of cute duckies and gooses and things. I decided to walk briskly from my house to the lake, and then ATTEMPT to just run the whole loop without stopping.
I had no clue how long the loop was, but I've walked it a bunch of times, so I knew it was long enough to be challenging but not so long that I was being crazy.

I've heard people who run say over and over again that there is a part at the beginning where it basically totally sucks, and then they push through that, and hit some kind of pace where they feel good and like they could run forever.

I've heard this enough, from a wide enough variety of people, that it is PROBABLY not just something they say to trick me. But I had my doubts.

I reasoned with myself: these people are probably not trying to trick me. Some of them are older, fatter, creakier, in worse shape, less motivated, or whatever other excuses I use, and they can do it.
I am a human.
I probably have a pace.
I deserve a pace!
I deserve that magical pace place where I feel like I can run forever, and I will find it!!!!

Now how to find it?
The Lulu version: If I am not ACTUALLY going to pass out, or die, or injure myself, I can keep running, even if I don't think I can.

The run started out nervous, but good. I reminded myself that I wasn't worried whatsoever about how slow I go, just that I GO, and don't stop. I had some good tunes, I found a comfortable quick jog, and tried to distract myself as much as possible with the cute duckies and people's dogs, and the children walking to school, and pretty much anything I could find to think about other than the fact that I was running....
And I kept running....
And before I knew it I was half way around the loop and still feeling surprisingly okay!
Was this the magical pace? Did I find it?
Well if I did I lost it about 200yds later, when my legs started to feel like big heavy rubber things, and I was pretty sure I was gasping but couldn't actually hear myself over my earbuds, and wanted more than anything to just slow down to a walk. But I wasn't going to pass out. I wasn't going to die. I wasn't risking injury. There was no good reason not to keep going, I was more than halfway there, just keep going!!!
I just kept telling myself, over and over. I'm not actually going to pass out, die, or injure myself, I can keep going. I can do this. I can meet this goal and run farther on Friday and run 5 whole miles after swimming 3/4 of one and biking 16 on May 20th. I can run this loop!!!
And I did it!!!
I ran the whole loop!!
And I did not pass out or die or injure myself!!!!

When I got home I turned to my old friend the google machine to see just how far I'd managed to run. I was able to do it, so I was guessing a half mile at most, if I was lucky.

The google machine told me that I actually RAN, as in not walked, and I even feel confident in saying it was a little better than a jog for most of MORE THAN A MILE.

1.3 miles to be exact.
ON MY VERY FIRST TRY. And in only about 10 or 11 minutes!!!!!!!
And in the nick of time, because as I stepped into the shower, feeling victorious, it started to rain.

That's right, I ran in the almost sunshine, a whole 1.3 miles, and THEN the rain came.

Just when I thought the universe wasn't on my side.
Thanks universe. I'm glad to see we've come to more of an understanding.