08/20/14
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How I Get What I Want

What do I really want?
1. To go to FitBloggin in Denver
2. To work from home at least one day per week
3. To become a yoga teacher
4. To compete in one strength competition, ideally the Disney Fit Challenge

How do I get those things?
1. Save money. This means I have to stop spending money on toys, incidentals, eating out, and unnecessary clothing purchases. Time to tighten the purse strings big time.
2. Work hard all the time. Meet or exceed deadlines. Take more initiative when it comes to learning more about the company. Come up with ideas and share them more often.
3. See #1, but also get back to regular daily practice as a priority. My time on the mat is necessary to being in the right mental and physical space for teacher training.
4. Keep up with my NF training. It will also help with yoga!

This weekend someone I care about spent several hours in the ER and, in fact, is still in the hospital. The person in question is alright, and wasn’t there for something anyone could ever claim was brought on by bad choices or unhealthy living or any such thing. Still, as I waited out that first night, my stomach a mess from a combination of stress and bad food choices, I couldn’t help but think about choices, health, the passage of time, and about all I want from this life. There are no guarantees, not ever, but maybe there is power in choices. Power to say you’ve done all you could. Power to put out into the universe the right energy to attract what you desire. Power to make a difference, however small or temporary, in the quality of your own life.

I’m caught up in thoughts about the importance of really listening, of making a connection with my true needs and honoring them above all else. It’s a path I’m already on, though one I stray from more often than not. So this week, I’m scrapping the big specific goals in favor of one single goal. This week, I will strive to live the life I deserve. I will do this by making choices that bring me genuine, lasting joy. I will listen to my body every chance I get, and I will remember that one moment or day or week of choices out of line with this path is simply another chance to learn more about how to more fully align.

I’m also working hard to align myself with things that matter, and that get me closer to the goals I have of aligning better with real joy. In part, this means forging relationships with some companies that are pretty dear to me in one way or another. I’ve been incredibly lucky to have found a few things that help make living actively more enjoyable for me, and one of them is finding the right gear. Two years ago now I finally bit the bullet and spent real money on a real sports bra, instead of wearing 2-3 of the ones I found at Target or Walmart. The bra? An ENELL. Now I’ve been lucky enough to be chosen as an ambassador for the bras, and I can’t say enough. They’re the only ones that have ever worked for me. They’re super supportive, incredibly comfortable, and the only reason I can do a shoulder stand without suffocating.  More than that, it’s a company out there saying that just because I have a body that doesn’t fit a particular mold, it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have the chance to successfully and comfortably move in a way that really, truly brings me joy. THAT’s something I can really get behind. The more I thought about the ways I love to move, the ways that make my body truly happy, the more I realized how much of it was possible thanks to the support of this sports bra. Walking, yoga, strength training…it’s all so much easier with something that’s made for MY body, with the added bonus of doing less laundry since I’m not wearing 2-3 bras for every workout.

In the spirit of reaching out and moving more, I also reached out to be a blogger for Jost Running. I haven’t heard back on their decision yet, but I’m excited because it means extra motivation to get up and moving several times a month. Jost hosts virtual races every month, offering beautiful medals and donating proceeds to a different charity every month. I’ve signed up for their races before, and loved the bling and the donation. Now I’ve applied to blog for them for a few months, which means extra chances to encourage others to get up and moving, and great motivation to get me off the couch/office chair as well. And that should be perfect timing because…I’m probably walking a half marathon in December.

I haven’t signed up for the race yet. I want the idea to percolate for a while first, because I have a tendency to jump into these big plans without thinking them through well enough. I did look into a walking half training plan though, and even found a fellow ENELL ambassador who’s fairly local and might be able to meet me for the occasional training walk! I’ve always wanted to complete a half, and when running was no longer an option for me, I figured I would never be able to do it. When I found a local holiday-themed half that accepted walkers, it got me thinking again about finishing a half. If I decide to do it, my training plan would start in early September. I’m thinking I’ll stick to my 2-3 strength training workouts a week, alongside the 4-5 walking workouts for the half training, and scale my yoga back to shorter sessions on a more consistent basis instead of getting in 60-90 minutes but only once or twice a week.

I’ve also been sort of tracking my food lately. I haven’t tracked any amounts or anything, but instead have just been recording what I ate, when, and what thoughts or feelings were part of the choice. I found very quickly that my stress levels and boredom are the two biggest triggers for bad food choices, but that the other key was access. I won’t go buy bad food if I’m at work. I won’t leave the house to go get something bad for me. If, however, it’s already there…I’ll probably consume the entire bag/box/package. So as long as I’m a little more careful about what I keep nearby, I should have an easier time (particularly at work) with controlling emotion-fueled food intake.

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08/12/14
8-11-2014 2-34-37 PM

Wrong, Right, and Everything Else

8-11-2014 2-34-37 PMDay 1

What went wrong:

  1. I made it until 1:45 before I had a near break down in the kitchen and ate some PopTarts. So… that went badly.
  2. I also slept awfully last night so my plan for morning workouts was a bust too.
  3. The PopTarts led to four whole wheat fig bars.
  4. I stayed up way too late reading.

What went well:

  1. I only had two cups of coffee.
  2. I drank way more water than I usually do.
  3. I had a super healthy lunch.
  4. I started out the morning with meditation.

Day 2

What went wrong:

  1. Dog poop. Cell phone won’t turn on. Running late.
  2. Waffle taco. Two bites. SO awful.
  3. Another fig bar.

What went well:

  1. Only two cups of coffee.
  2. Lots of veggies at lunch.
  3. Another morning meditation.
  • The present moment is eternal because it endlessly renews itself.
  • Inspiration is just another word for renewal.

What else there is:

I’m feeling delicate, and frankly I have been for a while now. I know it means that something has to change, but I don’t know what. More than delicate, I’m finding the instances in which I think “I am sad” (versus ‘I FEEL sad’) are increasing overall, which concerns me because it means I’m missing something…some sign, some signal.

dcc891ad0b4cfe5c04c504ca894bc111I’m having thoughts around dieting and weight loss again. It’s my go-to for when I don’t feel like I have control. Pics like this one tend to make me feel a little more that way sometimes. I know that if I did a certain set of things – a certain way of eating, a certain way of moving, I would lose weight. I wouldn’t be any happier, perhaps, but I would lose weight and some part of me, after so many years chasing that goal, would count that as a success. It’s also a reaction to being frustrated lately. No matter how many ways I come at it, how many tactics I attempt when it comes to making the food and movement choices that make me feel my best…it just keeps not happening. I set big goals, and then I just don’t. I eat PopTarts and read until 1am, wake up exhausted, drink too much coffee, and repeat. I watch people around me have success in meeting their goals, and I just…don’t. I tried shifting my goals. I tried focus on interior changes. I tried taking baby steps, then super baby steps, then nearly invisible steps, and I keep falling back into the same pattern of eating and (not) moving that just make the tired and cranky worse. The less I get off the couch, the harder it is to get off the couch. But the thing is? I hate getting off the couch. I seriously do. I want to sit and read and watch movies. I want to type and surf the internet and put my feet up. I always have wanted that. Sometimes I find interludes of a particular type of movement that keeps me motivated for days or weeks…and then I settle back into my preferred lack of movement.

But is that really what I prefer? I don’t feel better when I don’t move. I’m more tired, less secure in my own skin. And as I’ve previously established, the eating is about both confidence and control as well. I eat poorly when I feel insecure, when things feel too easily shifted or when I’m questioning my own abilities.

I feel like I have spent my entire life trying to break out of this routine, trying to eat right and exercise in ways I don’t completely hate. I just keep trying and trying and trying and I never succeed. I know it’s not a race, not something with a final end goal, but I never make progress. I don’t get stronger, I don’t get leaner. Not in a sustainable way or in the long term. I’m tired. I’m tired of constantly pushing to go workout when I’d rather do anything else. I’m tired of considering everything I put into my mouth because I can’t be sure without examination what’s behind the food choice I’m making.

I don’t want to be tired all the time. I don’t want to be short tempered. I don’t want to be more and more sad. I don’t want to give up on the things I believe are best for me. I really, honestly feel better when I’m making healthy choices. I just don’t know how to sustain it. I don’t know how to make it work long term. There always comes a point when I step away and then I can’t get back. I took last week off, and now I have even less motivation to do anything.

I don’t think I have a point here, and I’m pretty sure at this point I’m talking in circles…so that’s what I’ve got for now. I guess… I don’t know. Maybe I’m asking for help. Again.

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08/9/14

When I Quit

In a fit of overwhelmed desperation, I quit trying this week. Monday and Tuesday were unintentional, ending in me falling exhausted into bed with no workout done and lots of sugar/caffeine consumed. By midday Wednesday, when it was reasonably clear that the day was going to end the same way, I made the conscious choice not to try. I let go of any plans to workout. I stopped policing my food. I stepped back. I went to bed early. I did a lot of reading. I ate a ton of sugar and drank too much coffee.

I just needed a break. Was it the right thing to do? Yes. And also no.

I did it because I felt like I was drowning in things to do. Laundry, dishes, clean the house. Walk the dog, pack the lunch, make dinner. Pack the bags, keep the kid clean and fed, remember to pay the bills. Get school uniforms, get gas. Show up at work, do the things and do them well.

Work got more and more busy. Money stress was mounting. I was feeling exhausted and emotional and wasn’t sleeping at all. So maybe the choice to quit was legitimate…except…

Except I felt awful. Even though I was sleeping more, I was MORE tired instead of less. My stomach hurt, like a lot. My stress levels didn’t decrease even a little bit. In fact, between the caffeine and the knowledge that I wasn’t treating myself well, things got worse in the stress department. Getting everything else done got HARDER even though I technically had a little bit more time in the day. I was grumpier, sadder, less pleasant to hang out with. The kid told me I was hurting her feelings because I was holed up reading my book instead of hanging out with her while she brushed her teeth, all because I just…couldn’t.

So my week of relaxing, of letting it go, of giving myself a break? Never happened. Instead I got a week of stomach cramps, exhaustion, stress, sadness, lack of energy or motivation, and guilt over the ways I wasn’t treating myself well. This morning I realized I was DONE with the guilt of it. It was a good experiment. It was worth a try to see how it felt, and it taught me a lot about myself. I always let ME slide when things get crazy, and this week proved to me how terrible an idea that is – I felt worse instead of better…more tired, more stressed, less able to capably handle my days.

So if I really learned my lesson, what am I going to do differently this coming week? Everything. I’m going all in, and I need you guys to hold me accountable to that promise. I’m tired of being tired, and I truly believe it’s in my power to change that on all but the most extreme sleep deprivation days. I can drink less coffee, sleep more, and still have time to treat myself right.

So this week I’m going to do the things: I WILL do two strength workouts (and aim for three). I WILL do at least two yoga sessions. I will also not consume added sugar unless someone buys it for me…which, to clarify, almost never happens, and allows me a loophole for something like a date night dessert. It also means that when I get to work Friday morning, triumphant in my week of happier habits, I can have a single donut and enjoy it if I feel like it, instead of eating three because I’m “hungry” and want sweet stuff.

And for the record – I learned something else too. It’s okay to take a break. It’s okay to stop, to let things fall by the wayside. Missed workouts? So what. Questionable meals? Fine too. It’s when they take over, when they become the norm, when they begin to take a toll on my wellbeing…THAT is when it becomes an issue.

In other news, perhaps related to all the pushes coming from the universe lately, I’m feeling a weird itch to do…something. I’ve considered roller derby, taking some kind of dance class, and several other out of the box things, all around movement. The truth is I’d love to do any or all of them, but it’s hard enough to manage my work schedule and getting the kid where she needs to go without adding something else to the mix…

How do you find purpose? (source)

Do something, anything. Do anything that is the opposite of what you are doing right now.

Get uneasy, get scared, become a beginner again. If you think you know it all, find something you know nothing about, and learn it well.

Observe how you respond and react. You will learn something new about yourself; not only about your character, but what turns on your light. Once you’ve found something that turns on your light, you’ve found purpose.

When you place yourself in foreign situations, you arrive in your most concentrated form. You will always bump into yourself in the unfamiliar.

The most difficult part of this process is the aloneness. You can’t rely on anyone else to guide you in the right direction. This is a solo mission. Doing it alone, is the whole point of the journey.

Listen to yourself regardless of what others may say. All that matters is your encouragement, not others’ discouragement.

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08/4/14

Right Now! (+Comic Con)

I’m feeling super contemplative today. I went to Tampa Comic Con yesterday (click for my pics – not many), my first ever nerdy con, and it was pretty amazing. Super intense and a little overwhelming too, but overall I enjoyed the experience. Man, I could go so broke if I went to cons more often. Instead of spending a ton of money and buying a ton of stuff, I was careful and came home with some fun prints for the kid and some decals for me. I definitely got excited about the possibility of dressing up for next year’s Comic Con, although I doubt I could handle more than one day there without my introvert tendencies getting the best of me.

It was also nice to get out there because it was easily the most walking I’ve done in quite a while. It was nice to get moving in a climate controlled environment.

In terms of food, I’m a mess. I’ve been snacking too much, overeating, and then skipping dinner because I feel gross. I’m still having too much sugar, too much caffeine. It’s 100% stress related, and honestly right now I only have the bandwidth to recognize it as happening, and no energy leftover to deal with it in any way. We’re having some major financial stress right now, so I’m eating to cope with a situation that I feel utterly out of control on. I recognize that it’s not a helpful choice to make, but right now I just… I can’t.

In line with the images I posted last time though, I came across two more that really held some meaning for me.

Lo and behold, they’re both talking about taking action, about being intentional, about what it takes to truly succeed. Again I feel like there’s something I’m supposed to be hearing here, something I’m meant to be doing…but I don’t know what. Honestly, it’s making me a little bit tired right now. I just having this increasing feeling that I’m constantly playing catch up. There’s never enough time, enough money, enough creativity, enough sleep. I worry constantly about just paying the bills, and am starting to think bigger things like taking Evi to Disney might never be feasible. I worry that she’s still having to be reminded not to put her fingers in her mouth nearly constantly and wonder if it’s because she’s not getting enough attention, enough time, the right kind of stimulation. I forgot to feed her breakfast this morning so she ate a muffin and hot cocoa from DD.

Man, I’m a total Eeyore today. It’s time to step away from the keyboard before this becomes wallowing. <3

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08/1/14

Jumbled

I’ve got a ton going on right now. I’m in line for my first ever week of three strength workouts, and I’ve done better and better about produce. On the other hand, sugar remains a serious issue and my sleep habits have become downright dismal. I can’t fall asleep, I can’t stay asleep, I wake up exhausted.

Work is getting increasingly busy right now, which is good for the passing of time on my work days, and exciting because it is giving me the chance to stretch my talents. Honestly, I’m loving my job and my team here at work, and it’s exciting to get a feel for where it could go in the long term. I feel like this is definitely the sort of fit in terms of work, team, and management that could easily be long haul. Which is incredible because I never want to apply for another job.  The whole process is heinous.

All that is to essentially say that I’m doing well overall, and that my brain is in no state to produce a cohesive story arc here, so instead you’re getting a bit of a brain dump in the form of some pictures I’ve been saving because they spoke to me, and some commentary on those pics.

unnamed (1)This one came from my buddy InTheThickOfFit on Instagram, who has been a tremendous inspiration for me in terms of yoga. She’s also equally nerdy, which I love finding out. Essentially, anyone who gets the super nerd reference in my screen name is forever solidified as one of my people in my head.

So on to my thoughts on the pic. It’s been sitting in my email for weeks now… “And suddenly you just know it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.” Whew. It’s sort of a loaded one for me. Living here is new. This job is new. A lot of what’s going on in my life right now is new, and the confirmation that I need to relax and trust the process was a good one for me to hear. I’m still feeling a little unsettled about the move, with everything shifting so quickly, and I’ve had a hard time getting into a predictable routine. Routine makes my days easier when Aaron isn’t here to help, so I’m still feeling shaken by everything. I’m working now on trying to breathe more, sleep more. I want to get back into the meditation I was doing pretty regularly in MD, because I was finding it incredibly helpful in centering me, particularly on tired or stressful days.

unnamed (2)This one’s from Stephanie, and is another one that hit me hard. There are some obvious connections to parenting here, as my precious infant angel child is seconds away from starting KINDERGARTEN with her pierced ears and fourth grade reading level and lacrosse camp and first pedicure and grown up taste in listening to NPR in the mornings. She’s growing up so fast, and I’m doing everything I can to be as present as possible while that happens. She’s too incredible to miss out on, and she helps me remember what really matters in every day.

It’s about me too though. It’s about making sure I’m taking time for myself, getting down time, getting enough sleep. It’s about allowing myself time for creativity and writing, for pursuing my yoga, for making sure I don’t slack on my strength training. Because NOW is the time, right? NOW is what matters most. It’s a lesson I have to learn over and over again, particularly as I have a tendency to worry. I know it doesn’t help, but sometimes I can’t help it. The more I concentrate on right here, right now, the more I benefit from those moments and the less space I have to entertain all the what-ifs and who knows parts of worry.

unnamedThis one totally came from one of those ridiculous internet quizzes. Which Tarot Card am I? Apparently (or, as the kid would say, apparNENTly) I’m the magician. Hells yes. I see things. I make things happen, impossible things even! And maybe, just maybe I really do.

I’m not even 100% sure why I saved this one, except that at the time that I saw it I felt lit up by it so I filed it away with the other images that I felt connection to.

And now as I’m looking through these three, I’m seeing a continuation of theme. Be here now. Let things happen. Trust in myself, my own particular brand of magic. As my kid continues to remind me, the world IS magical, and it looks like all signs point to me needing to PAY ATTENTION. So now I’ve got my antennae up, and I’m doing what I can to keep my eyes open. There’s something coming, it would seem, and big or small I want to not miss it.

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07/25/14

One Month In

In an attempt to keep up with my new habit of more honestly evaluating my work, and also posting Anamaniacs gifs, here’s another installment of where I think I did well and where I think I need to focus harder. To start, I’ll just repost the goals from last time:

  • One baked good/dessert sort of thing per day
  • At least 2 veggies AND 2 fruit servings daily
  • 3 strength workouts
  • 5 conditioning workouts
  • Less than 50% processed foods
  • At least 20 consecutive minutes AWAY from my desk every day

So how did I do? Well…not as well as I would have liked. This week turned out to be a culmination of extra busy, car issues, kid’s lacrosse camp, awful sleep, and extra work hours, and a lot of things fell through the cracks.

What I did well:

  • 2-4 veggies every day
  • 2 strength workouts a week (might still pull off three this week)
  • 2-3 conditioning workouts a week
  • Continued the less sugar route
  • Reduced my processed foods by about 10%

What I’m aiming for now:

  • One truly worthwhile sweet a day
  • At least 2 fruit servings a day (right now I get NONE on most days!)
  • 5 conditioning workouts a week, which include walks and yoga and essentially any purposeful movement that isn’t strength training
  • Another 10% reduction in my processed food intake
  • 20minute break every day at work – this week I missed a day so I’ve had ZERO breaks while trying to make up those hours and, as such, get paid for them
  • 3 strength workouts – at least one done in the morning

I’m liking the way I feel after the workouts, but I’ll admit that I’m finding them a little bit boring. And with the warm up and cool down, all told they take about an hour. I’ve discovered that working out right before bed is a recipe for not sleeping. I’ve just been SO TIRED lately, but I’m still determined to try working out in the mornings instead. I might be exhausted, but getting it out of the way before the day even starts sounds pretty perfect right now.

I also retook my measurements and saw zero change. It was super frustrating, until I posted about it on the FB group for Nerd Fitness and realized a few other things I’ve done that are showing progress:

  1. One pair of my pants feels baggy now
  2. I’ve moved from the Recruit Workout to the Bodyweight 1 workout, and I’m ready to move to Bodyweight 2 now too
  3. I’m completing the workouts faster and some of the really miserable moves (lunges, Spidermans) are getting a little easier.

So I AM making progress. I’m not giving up. I’m also really enjoying the quest features on the revamped Nerd Fitness Academy site, which has now allowed me to give my “character” a goofy cool name and set myself up on the Assassin track (because how could I choose anything else?). I really am a nerd.

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07/16/14

Sad is okay.

unnamedSometimes it’s alright to be sad.

In the constant forward chug of days and routines, of lunches packed and tiny pigtails securely fashioned…sad happens. It’s hormones, or lack of sleep. It’s too much stress, too little downtime. It’s too much sugar or not enough laughter. It’s all of these things or none of them, in an endlessly shifting combination too complex to explain or predict.

Right now, I’m sad. This morning, as I drove in to work, I had the startling realization that I’m allowed to be sad. It doesn’t require fighting or changing or struggling. I don’t have to try to change it. I can just sit with it. I can recognize it as a temporary state of being (aren’t they all?) and give it space to stir around a bit. I can cry just because it feels like the right thing to do at the moment. I know it’s about hormones for me right now, but it hardly matters why.

Sad doesn’t mean depressed. Not for me, not right now. Instead, it means I’m delicate, easily stirred. It means I find myself whisper close to the deepest sadnesses I hold in my heart every day, suddenly an unintended finger brush away from hard hitting memories, the waves of grief and loss still tangible as the rain that falls every day in the Florida summer.

I think sometimes those sads, those heavy, dark, dense bits require some airing out. Sometimes they demand some attention, dammit! I spend most of my days in a consistent state of reasonable happiness, and while that happiness is both well reasoned and utterly authentic, it’s not all there is to me. The sads don’t require constant attention. They don’t need to be honored hourly or daily or even weekly, most of the time. Their needs don’t follow the cycle of my life, but instead march along to their own dark rhythm (I like to think it’s the Imperial March). It makes it impossible to predict when they’ll show up, but I’ve spent so much time trying to force them back, hold them in, and conform them to my consistently content life.

What I’ve finally realized is that the don’t require conformity. The existence of my deepest grief and pain does not in any way devalue my experience of joy and comfort and love. Sad isn’t a negative feeling. In fact, by giving it room to exist and stretch its wings now and again, those other feelings are bolstered and brightened the way a touch of salt can bring out the best flavors in a cake or a stroke of black on canvas can whiten whites. So today I choose to sit with my sad, to honor it as just another part of all the awesome that is me.

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07/14/14

Bad vs. Good

I started my Nerd Fitness journey three weeks ago. I had high hopes for making big changes all at once. Of course, life happens, and not everything went quite as I’d planned. Generally, this would be a time for me to lament my awfulness by rehashing everything I could have done but didn’t. Then, in some cases, I’d backlash with the reasons why I should be proud/am awesome. Thanks for the most part to some #JustTrollin love, I’m changing that up to something simpler, more honest, and less morally charged.

What I did well:

  • Week 1
    • Veggies at 10/14 meals
    • 1 strength workout
    • 5 conditioning workouts (walking, yoga)
  • Week 2
    • Veggies at 8/14 meals
    • 2 strength workouts
    • 3 conditioning workouts
    • Under 72g sugar 5/7 days
  • Week 3
    • Veggies at 10/14 meals
    • 2 strength workouts
    • 4 conditioning workouts (walking, yoga)
    • Monitored my intake of processed foods
  • Overall
    • Transferred all of my workout notes, stats, and instructions into one notebook to make it easier to track and to know what I’m doing at the gym
    • Completed 17 hours of intentional workouts, compared to less than 10 (and mostly <5) prior to these three weeks
    • Upped my veggie intake at dinners and on weekends just by paying attention
    • Started paying close attention to my sugar intake (no more sweetened coffee) and my processed food intake
    • Lost 8.2 pounds
    • Graduated from the Tutorial workout to the first level Bodyweight workout

What I could have done better:

  • Week 1
    • More strength! One workout a week is not enough to see the progress I want
  • Week 2
    • More conditioning. I like walking and yoga. No excuse not to do them
    • Less sugar. Drop that level to even less than 72g, which was an arbitrary MFP value
  • Week 3
    • Step it up with processed foods. Now it’s not about monitoring, it’s about action

My goals for the next two weeks:

  • One baked good/dessert sort of thing per day
  • At least 2 veggies AND 2 fruit servings daily
  • 3 strength workouts
  • 5 conditioning workouts
  • Less than 50% processed foods
  • At least 20 consecutive minutes AWAY from my desk every day
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07/11/14

Excuses, Frustration, Macarons

Yesterday I ate six macarons. I bought them at the mall, where I went to get some walking in without getting sweaty in my work clothes. I saw the macaron store and knew that if I walked in, I’d buy something. I walked in, and knew that if I bought something, I’d eat it. I bought twelve, and knew that if I put them in my desk drawer they’d never make it home. I ate six, giving myself a stomachache and a case of the angries, before I chucked the other half. They weren’t even that good.

Then I sat there confused, trying to figure out what went wrong. I did my strength workout the day before and was proud of myself. I did yoga the night before and it was super challenging but still felt amazing. I’d only just finished a 35min mall walk and was feeling pretty good about finally getting a conditioning workout in on a non-strength day.

I’m super exhausted this week. Thanks to car issues, we’re staying at my mom’s house again, which means sharing a bed with my floppy-sleeping, cuddle monster kid. I love the cuddles, but I’m pretty positive it’s impacting my sleep big time.

Is that an excuse? Maybe. Probably. Is an excuse inherently a bad thing? I feel like the way we use it, it always means it’s something you say to lie, to cover up the fact that really you COULD have done that thing you were supposed to do but didn’t.

And holy frack. There it is. (See, writing brings answers sometimes.) I know why I ate those damned mediocre macarons.

I felt bad about myself. A comment left on my blog after I asked to be called out made me feel bad. I felt like I was being judged, like I might be lying to myself, like maybe I’m not doing very well after all. So what was the super offensive, hurtful comment? (It was neither of those things.)

Great post and I’m going to give you some #tribelove right now that my coach always calls me on. Making excuses. That whole paragraph about exercise is full of excuses about why it doesn’t get done but at the same time you have some good ideas in there about how to make them work. You like to work out in the morning but need time to wake up? Get up a few minutes earlier. Seriously, if I had a dime for the number of times my coach told me “work it out” when I gave an excuse as to why I couldn’t get a workout in, I’d have enough money to go to Denver.

As for yummy, healthy foods? Pinterest is your friend. Also, buy a spiralizer from Amazon for about 30 bucks and start making zucchini noodles instead of pasta. Life changing.

I know. Bari’s so mean, right? Except that she’s NOT. She’s doing exactly what I asked her to do. Here was my response yesterday morning:

This is something I really struggle with. During the work week, for instance: sometimes I can get my workout in at lunch, but if I have a project due I can’t skip out when work is needed. After work, I have to leave right away to pick up my daughter, make dinner, walk the dog, do the dishes, do the laundry… it’s all on me because my husband travels. My workouts take an hour or more, so to do them in the mornings and have time to shower and get to work means getting up at 5am. As it is, I’m barely sleeping enough. I know it sounds like excuses, and maybe it is…but I genuinely don’t know how to work it in.

Look at that. A whole paragraph of excuses, right? But…I mean, is it? I’ve talked before about how ridiculous my days are. Most days I don’t get a lunch break. It’s just me to get myself and the kid ready and off to our places every morning. The dog routinely wakes me up in the middle of the night for a walk because she’s getting old and her bladder sucks. I’ve been sleeping with the kid for a week and she throws arms/legs over me every hour or so and it wakes me up. I wake up feeling 100% exhausted already. When I leave work, I’ve already had to depend on my mom or dad to pick the kid up from school because I can’t get there in time. I get home, make dinner, eat dinner, walk the dog, handle bath time, do story time, chat about the day, and it’s all I can do to stay awake once she’s headed off to sleep. I feel stretched to my limits and I don’t know how to make it different. Yes, I could wake up earlier, but I’m ten seconds from falling asleep as it is.

And yes, I could take a different approach and say this “isn’t a priority” right now versus I don’t have time, but I feel defensive about it because the priorities I’m putting ahead of it are my kid, food, sleep, my dog, and my job. I do a lot better on the weekends, when my husband is home and I have backup and sleep time and no work to worry about. I get my workouts in without feeling crazed, and the kid gets one-on-one time with her dad, which they both need.

I just…I don’t know where the line is. What’s an “excuse” versus an explanation? In what cases am I making the right choice? Do I sacrifice sleep or time with my kid to exercise? Do I risk work falling behind at the new job that I love so that I can get to the gym? Is it true that those things would happen if I made time for the gym more often? Would I be even more exhausted? Would I be missing important kid time? Would work potentially suffer?

Right now the answers feel unclear. Would I be more tired? Maybe, or maybe I’d be less tired because working out would give me energy. Would I miss kid time? Well, yes. I mean there’s no way around that. If I work out during my time with her, then I’m not with her. I could work out after she goes to bed instead, but that makes it really tough for me to fall asleep. Would work suffer if I go to the gym at lunch? I think this is a super unpredictable answer. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. There are days when I could get my work done even with a gym break but if everyone else in my department is busting it to get work done, I want to be here helping instead of ducking out.

Dangit. I just don’t know. I’m feeling frustrated and a little angry. Of the utmost importance though, I want to thank Bari for her comment. It got me thinking about some big, important parts of this whole journey. If I can think them through, I’ll be able to come to conclusions I’m comfortable with and make decisions from an informed place.

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07/10/14

DoNUT Mess with Me Right Now: Cruller of Deficiency

SALT WATER CURE PRINT – click to get one

Sometimes my feelings hit me hard and deep. They roll over me like ocean waves, the same salty taste on my skin as tears roll down. It happened in Kia‘s FitBloggin yoga class – lying unsuspecting in savasana when I was suddenly hit by tears. Tears of release, of acceptance, of contentment, of body love. The emotional waves always come as tears. Maybe it’s that trope about salt water…

The thing is though, it doesn’t always happen that way. Sometimes I’m so intensely UNaware of my emotions that discovering them (usually in some roundabout way) comes as an unsettling shock. Feeling those feelings (spoiler: these are usually the unpleasant ones) is the only way I can work through then and make sense of them, but how do I feel them when I’m not always aware of them?

Two ways, both of which come down to awareness. The first responsibility I have is simply around being in the moment. I say simply, but it’s probably one of the most difficult things I aim to do on any given day. Being right here, right now is tough for me to manage. I’ve got a lot to manage and I have a hard time not constantly thinking ahead to the next thing I’m responsible for. I’m working hard to change that, though, because it means I’m rarely giving my full 100% to anything I’m doing. Particularly when it comes to my kid, that is wholly unacceptable. The other way I can be aware and accountable is by examining my thoughts and actions even when I’m not feeling vulnerable or stressed out. Because I’m finally acknowledging a sometimes extreme lack of awareness around my emotions, I have to be thinking a little harder about every day.

What helps:

  1. Yoga: Doing yoga is one of the very few times that I can remain successfully in the moment for more than a minute or two at a time. The more time I spend on my mat, the more aware and connected I am overall.  A lot of the time, something will come up on the mat that I haven’t been dealing with at all. When I cried in savasana, it was because I was finally letting go. I was releasing and settling in and feeling something I’d been stoppering up.
  2. Friends: Reaching out to friends when I’m having a hard time, or just maintaining ongoing conversations with friends helps me keep a closer eye on how I’m really feeling. My good friends know me well enough to know when something’s not quite right and they help me see it.
  3. Writing: Writing something down has always been helpful to get me thinking. I usually set out with a particular point or intention, but as I write it nearly always morphs into something else. One sentence sparks another thought, direction changes, and I get out the things I’ve been ignoring.
  4. Meditation: Oh man. This one is so big for me. For a while I was meditating for 5-10 minutes every morning and it was a game changer for me. I’ve fallen out of the habit, but I still turn to it when I’m feeling a little lost. The whole revelation I had around sugar last week was a direct result of meditation. I just sit in a quiet place and listen to relaxing music with my eyes closed and try to let my head settle a little.

Meditating, in fact, is what brought me to the conclusion that most of the time when I crave sugar what I’m craving is comfort. I’m looking for validation. 90% of the time, when I’m reaching for sugar it’s at a point when I’m feeling like I’m not enough. When I feel embarrassed, unqualified, uncertain, or deficient. It led me to the rather interesting realization that a lot of my work snacking is directly centered around worrying that I’m not actually qualified to do this job that I’m loving so much, that somehow I’ve been exceptionally sly in convincing everyone of my amazingness and at any moment they might find out I’m just sort of average. The weird bit is that I don’t actively feel that way. I don’t sit around thinking I’m not good. I do, on most levels, believe earnestly in my skills as a writer…but maybe because I like this job so much, I worry about not being as awesome as I want to be.

imageI had it confirmed yesterday, as I ate my second donut (enter the Cruller of Deficiency) while driving around town trying to find a way to fix a problem I feel responsible for. I don’t want to go into detail here because it’s not just about me, but in the end I felt like I carried blame, so I ate donuts. I don’t know if it goes as far as punishing myself, because as I’m eating the donuts I sure do enjoy them. I still haven’t figured out all the ins and outs of how this thing works, I guess.

So that’s where I’m at right now. Realizing the source of a lot of my sugar addiction. Working on immediacy and presence. Being in the moment. It’s tough stuff, man. As an update on the work snack situation, we’re ordering from NatureBox now and I have input! It’s not perfect, but it’s much better.

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