Not bad for 36 hours…

In the last… oh, lets say 36 hours, I’ve logged 9.6 miles in a combination of walking and running…

I went for a run on Sunday… I woke up to find it raining and very cool outside and as I had languished in bed and on the sofa in an attempt to get rid of a ripping multiple day headache to no avail, I figured that going for a run in the rain, as suggested on Twitter by Tara was the next remedy to try… I also figured that if it didn’t make me feel better, it wouldn’t make me feel worse so I wasn’t in a position to lose anything by going.

I don’t think I broke any land speed records for my time… I ended up accidentally turning off the timer halfway through… I was ticked that I turned the timer off… and then I realized that altho I like to know my time and I like to improve on it, sometimes being out there, running in a downpour with a ripping headache isn’t about the time, it’s about the effort. 

Yesterday I headed downtown and went for a long walk with a friend.  We took a cab into Stanley Park and then headed out toward the Lion’s Gate Bridge. The plan was originally to walk to the bridge and then turn around and walk back as we were hoping to stay on the shady side. By the time we got to the bridge the sun was going down and altho it was still incredibly hot, we decided to walk on the sunny side for a while… Friend isn’t crazy about being so warm so we were both very surprised that we managed to keep going… We were glad we did because we happened upon the Brahm Tam’s Stanley Park drum circle.  It was kind of cool and we stood and watched for a bit before continuing on…(the video is someone else’s but that was exactly when we were there) and then happened upon the bit of beach that the rock stacker guy does his magic… and then on past the ‘In the Park After Dark’ location where they were showing Dirty Dancing.  I LOVE that movie… we didn’t stop tho… we kept going, stopped for a bottle of water and a snack of a slice of pizza and the icing off the top of a cupcake (It worked out perfectly… I like the icing and he likes the cake…)

We strolled through the residential areas of the West End on the way back to my bus stop and ended up logging a total of 7.1 miles.  It took us about four hours all told between walking, stopping to gawk around and take a pic or two, eating and then wandering back. Next week we’re going to start further back in the park so we go around the entire thing… Should end up adding a couple miles to the total, which is fine by me! 

Besides having just a really nice time, I couldn’t help but think to myself that this was my reward.  All my hard work and sacrifice (hello, running in the rain isn’t as romantic as you think!) thus far has paid off and a 7 mile walk isn’t really all that big of a deal… I mean it’s not a ‘deal’ at all… it’s a nothing… the thoughts going through my head when the idea was proposed to me was ‘what cute top should I wear’ and ‘should I bring a hoodie’.  It wasn’t ‘can I make it’, ‘will I be sweaty or out of breath’ or anything of that nature… All my cognitive effort the entire time was on laughing and telling/listening to stories and being silly.  I acted out a whole portion of the Friends episode where Rachel and Phoebe go running (linked here for you… v funny!) 

As I continue on in my journey for health and wellbeing, both for my mind and my body, I’m enjoying taking more ownership of who I am…

I’ve found myself thinking a lot about the excuses that I’ve made for myself in the past… in a probably useless effort to try and convince people around me that I wasn’t a train wreck.  (Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think every overweight person is a train wreck… but my weight issues came from trainwreck worthy things and this is my blog and I’m talking about me.) 

Ownership of who you are means that you don’t make excuses… you’re just who you are, both good and bad.  It’s difficult to explain and I don’t think I’m having an eloquent enough day to try and explain it but it’s a very freeing feeling. 

So, to sum up.  I’ve logged almost 10 intentional exercise miles in 36 hours, walking on the seawall is fun, I like my friend and I own who I am, both good and not so good.  Not bad for 36 hours!

Here’s a pic from about halfway… just to the left out of frame would be Siwash Rock (for those in the know).

Siwash Rock

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Just let go

Last week we went to the lake in Squamish.  It was amazing… I swam and sunned and ate and laughed… really an amazing time.  And yet the one thing that has stuck out more than any of that is a moment that didn’t even happen.  There was a rope swing on the shore… way high up in the trees and I believe I declared as we were discussing the swing that there was no way on this earth I would ever partake in that activity.  No.  Nope.  Nu uh! 

I did picture myself doing it tho… I pictured climbing up to the top, grabbing on to the rope swing and in some feat of heroism, actually jumping off the platform and swinging out over the water.  And then swinging back, too frozen by fear to let go and smashing back into the platform… Once you jump, you just HAVE to let go of the rope… you have no choice… because not letting go of that rope means certain and epic injury. 

If you were holding a million dollars in your hands and someone said if you gave it up and trusted that they’d replace it with two million, would you do it?  What if you trusted the person with your life?  Would you give up the million and your control to momentarily have nothing before they provided for you and came through on their promise? 

I used to wonder what it sounded like when God spoke to you… is it a voice?  A feeling?  How do you know?  Maybe for everyone it’s different… I assume so.  I’ve realized that for me, it’s the sound of my own voice… but wise and impactful. It’s in my own head, saying the things I need to hear… I argue with it… It makes me cry… because that voice… that sounds like me but smarter and wiser and divinely blessed… that’s God.  And He’s telling me to let go…Let go of that which I know is holding me back from something better.  I need to let go of something… of someone.  

This voice in my head… this divine message from God… 

Just let go.  I promise I’ll give you something better to hold on to.

You can’t have what I want to give you while your hands are full.

Just let go… I promise it won’t hurt…

Just.  Let.  Go. 

I’m standing on the platform… arguing… saying I can’t.  Knowing I have to… It’s so obvious that what I’m holding on to is not right… not meant for me… not the plan… It’s so obvious… and yet, I’m standing on the platform, refusing to make the jump because the second you jump… the second you trust that the rope will hold you, you HAVE to let go… 

I’m moved to tears grateful that my God is patient.  Oh boy, am I ever.  I know that this is important… to let go of what I’m holding on to and trust that something better is in store for me.  My fear, keeping me on the platform… keeping me from letting go is that that better thing is still a ways off… and I’m so weary of being alone.  To be honest, I’m mostly alone now… Just to mix analogies… instead of being covered by a big thick and fluffy blanket to keep me warm… I’m holding on to a threadbare tatter of a blanket that is doing nothing for me but getting in the way of the big thick fluffy one.  I’m still as cold as if I had nothing… 

As I’m writing this… I can hear the Voice of God… in my own head… in my own voice… Stand up there for as long as you need to… hold on to that threadbare tatter for as long as you need to.  I’m patient… but you’ll eventually have to let go… you know you do.  And when you do, I promise there’s something better for you. 

I’m not a trusting person… I’ve known this about myself for a long time now… I used to be… I’d put my trust in anyone that even hinted around at it… but I’ve been burned here in this mortal world and it’s hampered my ability to trust at all… 

As I sit here… with tears in my eyes and the most giant lump of what can only be grief in my chest, these are the words repeating in my head… 

Just let go.  I promise I won’t let you fall. 

I’m going to have to find a way to trust that.  Soon.

How do you push back the fear, let go of your own control and trust?

What it looks like

I think it’s time for the before and after pictures.

Prior to now I didn’t want to put them up… the internal, mental and emotional changes going on in my journey right now were far more important to me than the way that I looked.  But like with everything that is going on for me right now, change and perspective and lessons are happening at an incredibly rapid pace and things literally change from day to day.  I’m confident with the knowledge that the internal changes will always be the most important and they’re always the first thing I tell people when they ask me why/how I am doing what I’m doing.  I always say I didn’t get into this as a diet.  And that’s always truthful!

Now, all that aside, here’s my thoughts on the past few days… and then the pictures.

I got all dressed up on Saturday night to go to a party.  There’s a lot in that sentence that is a big deal for me.

  • I got all dressed up.  I haven’t gotten ‘dressed up’ in about 7 years… when I was with my ex we never really went and did anything that required being ‘fancy’ and then as I gained weight, it was harder to find clothes that fit and made me feel confident enough to go out with other dressed up pretty people.
  • I went to a party.  Where I knew exactly one person.  That one person was the belle of the ball tho so it wasn’t like I was going to get to sit and chat with her for the whole night.  My friend told me a few weeks ago to put myself in uncomfortable situations to learn more about myself.  I’d mentioned at that time that I knew a lot about myself and I didn’t need to feel uncomfortable to know what I did and didn’t like.  However, about 30 min in to the party I wanted to leave.  I didn’t know anyone, all the girls were so beautiful and they all knew eachother.  Recipe for uncomfortable city extraordinaire!  But my friend’s words quietly whispered in my ear and I decided to at least give it an hour.  At just the time when I wanted to leave, more people showed up at the party and came and sat where I was sitting.  They were nothing short of spectacular and I had an amazing time!  I laughed till my stomach hurt and I had tears in my eyes (which is not unusual for me in general but is for being in a group of people I don’t know).  I stayed for four hours, laughing and getting to know my new friends.  We had some crazy conversations and I told some silly stories that made them laugh too.  I went home and sent a message to my friend mentioning that it was his words of wisdom that kept me there that long and that I was glad that I’d stayed.  His response?  “I’m always right”.  How modest!
  • Here’s a grainy photo of what I wore on Saturday night.  And you can’t see it, but I wore heels… I was VERY tall!

Outfit

 

  • I know I shouldn’t care what the scale says… lots of people who have Whole30’d and gone on to keep it as a lifestyle have given up their scales.  Which eventually I will too.  However, while I’m still in the active weightloss stage of my journey, it’s nice to step on and see the number go down occasionally.  I don’t live and die by what the scale says… I’ve said from the beginning and it remains true that I’m not doing this for the purpose of losing weight.  I started and will continue to do this for the goal of feeling better, healing myself mentally and emotionally and all the side effects, including weight loss are just extra perks. But it’s still nice to know where you came from and where you’re going.
  • I told my weight lifting coach on Saturday that I turn 35 in 6 months… and that I wanted the best forearms money could buy for my birthday.  He thinks it’s a completely reasonable goal and I think so too.  My favorite muscle in my entire body is my Brachloradialis.  It’s the muscle that runs along the top of your forearm that you can see (maybe) and feel if you hold your arm out in front of you and then flex your wrist backward toward your elbow.  I originally said in March when I started my first W30 that I would give myself 6 months with no concrete goals to just work at feeling better and I would end up where I would end up.  Three and a half (ish) months in, I think I need to set some actual goals.  I didn’t realize until the conversation with Al that I turn 35 in exactly 6 months and one day.  It seems like figuring out goals for a new six month stretch is meant to be.  The problem is that I don’t know what the goals should be.  I don’t want it to be a number on the scale because that’s just a recipe for obsession and disappointment.  Should it be wearing a certain outfit on my birthday?  Lifting a certain amount of weight by then?  Running a specified distance?  I don’t know.  But I do know that I’m all about goals and writing down journey plans so this is right up my alley… if I can figure it out.

So, all that being said, here are two pictures…

Left Photo was taken on New Years Eve.  Right photo was taken May 31st.

Left Photo was taken on New Years Eve. Right photo was taken May 31st.

Left Photo was taken March 15th.  Right photo was taken June 13th.

Left Photo was taken March 15th. Right photo was taken June 13th.

 

Before and During

The best way to do a ‘Before’ and ‘After’ is to post a picture… which I will spend the entire time I write this post contemplating whether or not I will post one… I have it… it’s just a matter of whether I want some people I know in real life to see it…

But there are some less visual indicators of change. And I would argue heartily that they are the most important ones and the physical changes in a person are merely the side effect of this. I retweeted the following yesterday…

Don’t expect external changes if you’re not committed to internal change.

My sister once said that the extra weight I was carrying was my pain on the outside. At the time it seemed reasonable but I filed it away, as I’m wont to do and only now has it come back to me, in a more processed and understandable state.

Only once you are no longer in the painful situation is it possible to understand the magnitude of that pain. My mind never processed it as a whole… bits and pieces were given to me in dribs and drabs… I do believe that God doesn’t give you more than you can handle and part of the way that manifests is that for someone like me, who is an uber processor… I didn’t process it all… it would have killed me… the sheer volume of pain would have done me in.

So slowly, as things came up they were either put on a shelf for a later time or processed… thought about, ruminated on. I don’t think it was a conscious effort… I didn’t sit down and pick a moment in time or an experience and intentionally… the thoughts and feelings just happened…

And then, one day I found myself feeling something I hadn’t felt in years… I felt happy and calm. I didn’t recognize it at first… it was a somewhat foreign feeling… I didn’t feel like yelling at people when I was driving… I was kinder to people around me and I handed out more benefit of the doubt than you could shake a stick at. I smiled at people. And the incredible thing was that as I explored this new feeling of calm and happy and let it lead the way for me, the response I got from the world changed… the world became more calm and happy around me. People smiled back. I laughed with strangers. I felt centered in my body…

The part about the internal change creating external change that creates the most problems is that it looks easy. People only see the physical changes. They only see that it looks like you just decided to be happy one day. They only see the results of fitting into smaller clothes and none of the immensely hard work that you’ve undertaken to get to that place. Which means that when you make these internal changes of which the side effect is physical change, the resistance from your friends and family can be overwhelming and they can sometimes really work at you to get you to ‘change back’. It’s understandable really… if you think about it. I was a comfortable place to land…I was consistently available to be used and mistreated because I was already in a vulnerable place… I was easy to control… I wasn’t a viable threat…

I’m not a super competitive person… at all. I’m a live and let live, do your own thing and let me do mine, kind of person. I’ve always been that way and a change in my mental status or my physical status isn’t going to change that. However, I do know that people will, without me knowing it, engage in competition with me. And now that I’m changing… becoming the next chapter of my life, there are no longer ‘easy wins’ for those that choose to secretly compete with me. I’m okay with that. I understand it and I understand that it can be so uncomfortable for those close to me that they react in a less than graceful way…

I often want to say ‘I’m the same person I’ve always been’. That’s easy to say for me because I’m here, in me… I know that the way I am has always been here… deep inside. But the way I present myself to other people now… that IS different. I’m not the same anymore and I wouldn’t want to be.

I’ve decided through the writing of this that I’m not ready to show the before and after picture. The external changes in me are not as important to me as the internal changes. And the only way to stand by that statement is to leave the visuals out of it for now. (note I said for now…)

Boxes be Damned!

I have an ongoing aversion to things in boxes.  (unless you’re planning on getting me presents, in which case I don’t mind those types of things in boxes… especially things in those really pretty Tiffany blue boxes… )

Anyway, since that’s unlikely to happen, I think it’s safe to say that I have an aversion to things in boxes.  I don’t like the looks of boxes stacked up anywhere…. I know that’s what a lot of people use their basements or garages for but even then, I think that things in boxes just invites critters, bugs and anxiety.

Around last August, my friend and I went through some boxes that I had packed before I moved of clothes that didn’t fit… we looked at them, threw some definitely ugly things away and then packed it all up and put it in boxes in my spare room closet.  And ever since that day, the spare room closet has bugged me.  My toolbox (which won’t close anymore, but that’s another story) has sat precariously perched on a pile of clothes… which sat on a lidless Rubbermaid tote with all manner of miscellanea in it… which sat on an empty cardboard box.

Needless to say, anytime I needed my screwdriver or a hammer, it was a nightmare going into that closet.

On Sunday, after sleeping late and then making breakfast and putting a load of laundry in, I happened to stumble across a pair of jeans in my closet that I tried on.  They were almost two sizes too big and after a little dance of joy (I’m not a good dancer… please don’t try and picture it!) I remembered the pile.  Since the size of me is going down and the size of my irritation at the boxes of stuff in that closet is most certainly going up, I decided that the best place for those clothes to be is in my closet.  Hung up, folded nicely and waiting for wear. Why would I, a woman who hates boxes, keep beautiful clothes in boxes just because they don’t fit yet?  Good question and one I couldn’t come up with a decent answer for yesterday, so I took on a little project.  Hundreds of articles of clothing, some with the tags on were picked out of the boxes, unfolded, examined and then hung or folded up, based on the size.  I thought it would bug me to see tiny sizes of clothes that I most certainly don’t fit right now but obviously used to.  You know what?  It didn’t bug me at all.  Because every day is a journey to where you are and every day is a journey to move from that spot.  I’m moving.  I’m getting healthier and stronger with each growing minute and while I don’t particularly care to be the size and shape I am now, I don’t cower at pictures of myself or the fact that I don’t fit into my old clothes.  I’m getting there, one step at a time!

The thing about these clothes that are now hanging and folded neatly in my closet is that if I’m not careful, some of them aren’t going to get any wear.  I already see items that are the next size on my journey that will be too warm and bulky for summer and by the time winter rolls around it will be unlikely they will fit me.  I found some articles that were already too big and those have been put in a bag for the donation pile.  I have a lot of beautiful clothes… clothes with great memories, clothes that made me feel strong and empowered and the appropriate place for those is in the closet, not in a box hidden away somewhere. They need to be tried on in a somewhat regular fashion and they need to be respected, just as I am starting to respect myself.

New Home!

I’m just unpacking my bags here right now in my new WordPress home and hope to get things all straightened out and as neat and tidy as I like them by the end of the evening!

I’m on a journey of sorts lately and even tho I moved over here for practical reasons, it seems that a new home and a new outlook may be just what I needed!

My last post on Blogger, which I brought over here with me just below here was about flailing around in the dirt and generally making a fool out of myself.  Now, at least no one saw that mess but me, but I’m not really interested in making that sort of mistake again.

I would tell anyone that I talked to that fear is no reason to stay in one place, getting stagnant and old… it’s true, I’m scared… terrified I think is the word I used yesterday. I wouldn’t say that this is a won battle, but I gained some power toward it today from some rather unlikely sources and a good internet friend (Hi StrongbyChoice!) I will keep fighting, keep trying and keep going… because there is really no alternative. And lucky for me, I have God on my side… I mean, really, what’s fear when you have God….

Thanks for joining me over here on WordPress… I think I like my new home 🙂

Bad Girl

Okay, it’s confession time… I ate ice cream yesterday.

I know, I know… not exactly W30 and my 2nd W30 starts again today… I had 8 days in and now I have zero days in.

If I look at it practically, it’s not really the end of the world. Everyone makes a misstep and the more important thing that the failure is how you recover from it. Whether you fall completely, laying in the dirt and flailing about, or whether you just get up, take it as a lesson and move on.
I flailed about in the dirt yesterday. I ate about four spoonfuls of the ice cream and then decided I didn’t want anymore and put it away. And then I flailed around calling myself all sorts of names and berating what a weak and useless idiot I am. Of course being a weak and useless idiot requires punishment, so to punish myself, I ate the entire rest of the pint.
The worst part was that I knew exactly what it would do to me physically… It would cause me to crave more sugar, it would set me back in my quest for another 30 days of clean living and then, it would make me tired, lethargic and chemically stoned. I slept through four alarms this morning… My stomach was hard and distended and uncomfortable and I was starving. These are all things that I have grown to not miss about poor eating habits and while I was punishing myself for my misstep, I knew these were the consequences and I did it anyway.

The guilt and self-loathing that I felt this morning was equivalent to having committed some sort of catastrophic crime and I’m afraid someone is going to find out that I’m a fraud…

I knew it, they’ll say! I knew you couldn’t do this long term! I knew that you were just putting on a show! Your ‘fringe’ (to steal my sisters word) way of eating is a sham and I knew you went home every night and ate candy and cookies and ICE CREAM!
It’s not true… it’s not true, I’d have to say back… This was just a mistake… Everyone can’t be 100% all the time… it’s not possible… I did 40 days clean! I had half a glass of wine on my vacation and then started again the next day! ON MY VACATION! Everyone deserves a break when they make a mistake, I would say…
So how come when it’s me saying those loathsome things to myself, I don’t defend myself in the same way… instead of defending myself, I agree… yes, you are weak. Yes, you are a fraud! What made you think you would be strong enough to go against society and its prescribed eating habits? Why would you do this to yourself otherwise?
Well, I know the answer… we all know the answer if we look deep inside ourselves…

My answer is that I’m terrified. I’m very happy to eat healthy and I love the results… my skin is amazing, I sleep well, my mood is stable and positive and I’m in a club of people that appreciate that kind of effort. And the physical side effects of treating my body nicely are that I’m losing weight and things are re-adjusting in my body… I’m close to having to go down another pant size and now I’m sabotaging myself because I’m terrified. The things I’m terrified of are too difficult to write here, so I won’t… I think it’s enough that I’ve opened my wounds this much today… I just know that the things I’m terrified of are real, but in order to move forward in life, I’m going to have to find a way to live in peace with them…

So today I will start new and I will get up out of the dirt and stop flailing about. I will take this as a lesson instead of a crime… I will try and quiet the voice that is calling me a bad girl in the back of my head and start reminding myself that I have abnormally beautiful skin, strong legs, a great laugh and that terrified or not, I refuse to wallow in the not so praise worthy parts of myself… and sabotaging to prevent the fear doesn’t work… I know that because less than 18 hours after the sabotage, I’m no less terrified so I’ll just have to figure out something else!