I tried to start a sing-a-long with my fellow runners at the gym this morning. Surprisingly, it did not catch on. Hurts So Good seemed like the perfect song to me, but alas they must not have known that one.
Truthfully, I was flying this morning and felt so dang good the whole time I almost fist bumped everyone in the gym on my way.
Needing to escape the office today, I took a little trip to Le Target. What I found was the Mecca of Clearance! I spied some cute trousers straight away; one problem, they were a size smaller than my usual. I thought it over and decided to buy them. I knew I had to be awfully close to being down a size; even if my nemesis,The Scale, refuses to reduce, I know I’m losing inches.
Then I got ballsy and picked up some clearance skinny jeans, also a size smaller.
I didn’t try either on as I didn’t want to go back to the office crabby if they didn’t fit. So, while dinner was simmering on the stove I decided to unpack my new treasures.
I put on my game face, stood in front of the mirror, closed my eyes, and stepped in to the trousers. They pulled up easily. Huh, they buttoned easily. Holy crap my ass looks amazing. Holy shit my waist looks small. My word it makes a difference when you wear pants that fit.
Next up: skinny jeans! And I’ll be damned if they didn’t slide right on like a second set of skin.
The scale hasn’t moved this week. I’m technically still up about 5 pounds since I started with my trainer. And I couldn’t care less!
So today was my long run. Twelve miles. Two hours. One hundred and twenty minutes. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, that’s A LOT of time to be alone with your thoughts. Especially when you’re pounding it out on a treadmill, because your town hardly believes in plowing the streets let alone shoveling the walks and trails.
Today was different though. The run was GREAT. Half way in my legs felt as fresh as when I first stepped on the belt. It was really, really great. And I really needed it because my last two long runs were complete crap. I think I have a mental block once I reach 10 miles. The last two miles weren’t completely miserable, but the first ten were so easy that the last two seemed much worse than they really were.
Anyway, that’s not what I’m here to talk about.
I like control. My whole life has been a series of checklists to achieve my goals.
Graduate top of my class, check.
Go to college, check.
Get a BSBA, check.
Pass the CPA exam, check.
Go in to public accounting, check.
When your soul feels near depletion get out, check.
Work on climbing the corporate ladder, check.
Heck even weight loss is a series of checklists. You count the calories, you eat the good stuff, you burn the calories, and you will lose weight. It’s a fact.
This gives a person a mighty sense of control. Actions have consequences, so make the right choices and you get the desired results.
But there is one arena of life where there is not a damn checklist to be found. You have absolutely no control. It’s terrifying. It’s leaves you feeling exposed and vulnerable.
Yes, it’s the dreaded, feared, even loathed world of dating.
And it sucks.
When I was an obese teen I’d come to terms with the fact that I would likely never marry. I actually didn’t even entertain the idea (how sad is that?!?). I set off to get a good degree, a good job, and always be financially secure and able to take care of myself. Once I started losing weight and getting attention, my mindset shifted. Maybe dating and marriage WEREN’T unobtainable for me. I mean I already knew I was smart (I am!) and funny (I am!) and a caring, loyal person (yes and yes!). But now I was prettier. And suddenly that seemed to make society think I was more worthy, which made ME think I was more worthy.
Entering the dating game late sure as shit didn’t make it any easier. At first I actually dated any guy that would show interest in me. It didn’t matter if I wasn’t interested in them. I mean I was the chubby girl, who was I to be picky! Of course it would always get to the point where I had nowhere near the feelings they did, if any at all, and the sheer amount of guilt I felt would lead me to an emotional breakdown and I’d break things off. I’m sure you can imagine what lovely scenes those were. To do this day I only remain ‘cordial’ with one ex; the rest would be more likely to stab me than say hello.
As I’ve gotten older, lost more weight, come to Christ, I’ve become much more confident. I don’t just date any guy that shows interest. I have “standards” as people would say. So when you meet a guy who meets all your “checklist” requirements, you have amazing chemistry, you’re attracted to both their physical appearance and personality, and you have the same belief set….but the timing is completely impossible, it SUCKS. It kills actually. And if your psyche (and by your, I mean mine) is not rock solid, you start to find yourself sliding back to the negative thoughts that you AREN’T worthy and you won’t ever be the lucky-in-love girl.
I met with my biblical counselor on Saturday night. The term biblical counselor is a pretty heavy title for a woman whom I already counted as a friend, but she has agreed to counsel me and push my spiritual growth. She knows the biggest area of struggle for me is dating and the emotions surrounding it.
So she suggested a 6 month freeze on dating. Absolutely no dating. No even thinking about dating. And the idea is strangely freeing to me. And I can easily tell you why. Because it gives me the illusion that I’M in control. I’M the one not dating. It doesn’t matter if I can’t GET dates because I’m not dating! How freeing is that?!?
But is it effective?
I understand why she wants me to do it; to strengthen my focus on healing myself and growing with the Lord. An obsession with dating tends to distract from those things.
But…I still haven’t come to terms with the idea. Andy my biggest fear is that it’s because I have a lack of faith in His timing.
So, while it might not be six months, I’m going to take the challenge at least for a while. And certainly to create some distance on the aforementioned situation. Will it be effective? I don’t know. But I really hope it will be a time for healing on some of the wounds that seem to surround my thought process about dating.
Hell if nothing else, doesn’t the old adage say love always finds you when you’re not looking for it?
The plan last night was to go meet up with friends for ONE drink to celebrate a birthday. One. Singular. Before we knew it, the best and I were a bottle of wine in and the night was just getting started. It was one of those perfect nights where you scroll back through your iPhone photos the next day and end up in hysterics all over again. A truly great night with my best friends. BUT, I was supposed to run 12 miles today. Given the fact that I was not feeling my best all day, that did not happen. It absolutely will tomorrow.
But, I let the negative thoughts creep in. I told myself that I’d purposely sabotaged myself because I was dreading the thought of 12 miles on the treadmill. And I absolutely am. (We got 10” of snow this week and have approximately zero clear areas to run outdoors.) I told myself that I’d never actually run a half, I’d never actually get to my goal weight, I’d never actually achieve my dreams because I was a slacker and thus didn’t even deserve it.
This is life. Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed. I don’t WANT to get to goal by locking myself away in either my house or the gym day in and day out. I want to go out and sing and dance and drink with my friends. I want to enjoy every minute of it.
What does it matter if I run the 12 today or tomorrow as long as it gets done? Especially if it means I spent a wonderful time with people I love.
It doesn’t matter.
And I have realized I need to be MUCH more forgiving with myself. That old saying - if you talked to your friends the way you talked to yourself, you wouldn’t have any….that shit’s true.
Is it the ability to run double digit miles? (That happened Saturday!) Is it running a sub 28 minute 5K? (That totally happened today, pardon my SQUEEL!!!!) Is it your personal trainer asking you to join her on the local news to discuss runner’s safety issues? (That also happened today, SQUEEL!!!!)
It’s none of these things.
It’s getting off your ass, strapping on your sneakers, and running. The speed doesn’t matter, the distance doesn’t matter, recognition from others doesn’t matter. The heartfelt effort that goes in to the cause is what matters.
The other things are nice; and with effort we can all run longer, run faster, look more like society’s image of a runner. But really do these things matter? I’m never going to be Kara Goucher. Chances are, neither are you. But that sure as hell does NOT mean we aren’t runners.
I let myself buy in to personal labels for far too long. I’m sure we all have. And I think it’s high time we stop.
Yahoo for Federal holidays turning my Sunday in to Saturday! Today’s agenda: church, blood donation, errands, gym, and cooking another culinary delight for dinner. 4 of those 5 things happened. My iron was too low for donation. I’m blaming the 10.5 miler yesterday for that as I haven’t had problems with my iron levels in ages.
The culinary delight was courtesy of Jenna at Eat Live Run:
The workout was a 45 minute leg shake-out on the elliptical. What kind of fresh hell is that machine? It was sheer torture.
I’ve discovered the single issue, the one and ONLY issue, with my half marathon training: my own fear. I haven’t yet figured out how to block the constant nagging voice in my head that says I can’t do it. When I was training for a half last spring, before my IT band threw a revolt, the longest run I accomplished was 10 miles. It was fantastic. I felt like a million bucks. Of course, two days later on a recovery 3 miler I realized something was majorly wrong.
I don’t know if I have a subconscious fear that I’ll end up re-injuring myself, or just a serious case of self doubt. But it’s really starting to piss me off. I was 10 miles in yesterday. I only had one DAMN mile to go. And I didn’t make it. I quit on myself with HALF A MILE left. All I had to do was run for 5 more minutes. But I didn’t, I quit.
I have two months before the Run to the Pub half marathon on St. Patrick’s Day. This is MORE than enough time when I’m already capable of running over 10 miles. I just don’t know how to get myself to STFU!
Eleven miles coming up today. I’ve already been to bible study and feel so amazingly refreshed and renewed. The weather could not be more perfect: a cool 37 degrees but NO wind, no ice, no snow. Coffee, water, and oatmeal have been consumed. The only thing standing in the way is my own thoughts of self doubt and fear. Let’s prove them wrong.
I decided in the interest of keeping my body in a somewhat routine schedule, I’d get up and run my 5 miles this morning, even though I didn’t have a training session today. Then I remembered tonight is kettlebells. So off to the gym I trek for the second time today.
I already have a pumpkin pie protein shake prepped and ready for the blender when I get home!
Ten miles of running gives a person a lot of time to think. Too much time to think probably. I’m the type of person that needs to be constantly busy because I overthink. I create problems where none exist. All. The. Time. So 100 minutes of “alone time” leads to a reeling brain; and the creeping thoughts of, “oh you can NOT do this” have ample time to settle in and make themselves cozy.
I foolishly chose a course that was ALL hills. And lucky for me the wind just so happened to be blowing in the direction to create a lovely headwind EVERY time I ran uphill. It was challenging to say the least.
And I let it get to me.
Looking back at my splits I can SEE that the only times I really slowed down were when I was climbing hills. And even then, my “slow” times were the pace that I used to run at consistently. But at the time I felt completed defeated. I wasn’t able to mentally cut myself slack for the hills, for the headwind, and for the fact that it was 30 degrees out without wind chill. This run had a purpose. To gauge whether or not I should sign up for a St. Patrick’s Day Run to the Pub half marathon. I ended the run in tears with the full belief that I’m not ready for a half, even if it’s two months away.
I know I can’t be alone in this habit, in the habit of nothing EVER being good enough. I can end every positive sentence about myself with, “yeah but”.
So, added to my 2012 Resolutions is owning my accomplishments. I ran 10 miles today. I maintained my pace goal of 10:00/mile flat. I am proud. And exhausted. Bring on the food.
And I’m still debating that half, I haven’t written it off.
My coworker just waltzed in my office and said, “you’re looking really skinny today, must be that black jacket”. WTF?!? No. It’s the fact that I busted my ass doing three miles of speedwork at the gym this morning followed by an intense upper body session with my trainer. THAT’S why I look skinny today.
Sidenote: I seriously contemplated laying on the floor of my shower to wash my hair today so my arms would be supported. The thought of lifting them to my head was unthinkable.
I had to force myself to take a rest day today. Force. What the WTF? Honestly, my legs are shot after two days of running and a day of cross training and leg-focused personal training. But, as I stepped out the door of my office I wasn’t bitch-slapped in the face with an arctic blast. No, it was actually….pleasant. We reached record highs here today in my normally frozen tundra of a home-state. It would have been a glorious night for a run. And I really wanted to go. I felt anxious about NOT going.
And then I smiled. And then I laughed. Because this is me now. My first desire was to go for a run. Not to go for a it’s-almost-Friday cocktail. Not to go to the weekly improv comedy skit-show at the local bar with the best martinis in town.
I did force myself to rest tonight as I’ll run and do upper body training with my personal ass-kicker tomorrow at the break of dawn.
And I’m forcing myself to not pour myself a glass of wine as I saunter to the bath tub to relax with my kindle. Wino for the winner? No? Ok.
So, I drug my tired ass to the gym at 5 this morning to squeeze in a nice little elliptical session before I met my trainer, Lisa-The-Ass-Kicker. That’s her designated title. I should have bought her an official name tag for Christmas. That would have been thoughtful.
Anyways. I cranked out a not-too-hard/not-too-soft 45 minutes on the elliptical before shuffling (I do it everyday) to her office. And there she stood, with a smile and a tape measure. Picture this Vanna White style, but brunette. One month measurement check-in. Seen as how the scale still has me up a few pounds, I was a little apprehensive, to say the least. Scared shitless, to say the most. Joke was sort of on her though because I sweat like it’s my JOB when I workout.
So the damage?
Eight inches gone in four weeks. EIGHT INCHES. The experts are right. The scale lies. It’s a lying whore, actually. Along with the voices in our heads that tell us “we can’t, we never will, we’re not good enough, it won’t matter anyway, we’ll never succeed”. Lying. Whores. And I for one refuse to listen to them any more. While those screams may always be there, I am focused intently on the quiet whisper that says “you have, you can, every bit counts, you’ve got this, you’re worth it, keep it up”.
One of my biggest goals for 2012 is becoming completely debt free, which means most all but basic spending will be cut. With the exception of personal training. Because it works. And because I’m worth it.
On top of all this word-vomit I’ve already put out, I’m working hard on increasing the amount of calories I consume daily. This seems like a ridiculous statement for someone who used to weigh nearly 300 pounds, but the mental battle of eating more is rough. To put myself slightly at ease I’m going to do a Weigh A Day for the month of January. I’ve drafted up a lovely spreadsheet (yes, I’m an accountant, say somethin) with daily weigh-ins and a break down of the previous day’s workouts, total and net calories. I’m hoping this helps me to be less anxious about increasing my intake. I can already tell what a huge difference it’s made in my energy levels.
So, in the spirit of total body wellness that I want to focus on this year, I gladly flip the bird at the scale tonight. It doesn’t have the power to tell my whole story, not even close.
I fear running 4 miles of hills AND attending kettlebell class until 8:30 tonight may have been a titch excessive given that I meet my trainer at 6:30 tomorrow morning. There’s atoning for holiday sins and there’s pure tomfoolery. I fear this decision was the latter.
Despite recent arguments to support this article, I was kind of hoping that this wasn’t the truth.
“Research to be published this week in a leading academic journal confirms what many female comics - and funny women - have long suspected: men are frightened by their brand of humour. While men might chuckle at the odd gag, when it comes to finding a long-term companion they do not want a partner who will fire a stream of witty repartee at them, according to the study carried out by academics at some of the world’s top universities.”
The common thread in every single “Why men don’t like [some quality in women]” article/”study” in the history of ever is male dominance. Humor = power. Men want to be the ones with the power. The end.
lol k well forever alone with my wonderful sense of humor then
I’d rather be funny and alone than dull and attached, I suppose.
The trouble I have with New Years Resolutions is how seemingly overwhelming they are. A year’s worth of goals and action plans is daunting, to say the least. The other issue I have is that the task often forces us to reflect on the things we find ourselves particularly crappy at. Not exactly fun times. It’s no surprise suicides soar this time of year. So, I’ve decided to take a look at a few things I rocked at this past year.
I maintained my weight but decreased in total inches; losing a pant size in fact.
I rocked the running despite an IT band flare up in May. I didn’t give up and have now taken a full minute off my conversational running pace.
I signed up with a personal trainer, something I’ve always wanted to do.
I started kettlebell classes.
I continued to grow and learn in my faith.
I passed the CIA exam.
I became serious about purchasing a house.
I put myself out there in the dating world. I got hurt and I hurt people, but I kept chugging along.
I took two Vegas vacations! If that ain’t rockin I don’t know what is.
I strengthened and diversified nearly all of my friendships.
I let go of the guilt surrounding several of my relationships with family members.
I said no a lot more.
So, what to do for the coming year? I have a few thoughts.
Clean up my language. Fer real.
Continue to grow in my faith through personal study, study groups, and teaching.
Start PCBS. Make good connections at school - be outgoing. Make the honor roll.
Improve my follow-up and wrap-up with work jobs.
Focus on total health, not just the number on the scale while losing weight.
Keep running, get faster, run longer.
Run a half marathon. This was a goal in the prior year but got put off due to the IT injury.
Continue personal training. My health and wellness is worth the cost.
Focus on minimizing sugar intake and increasing protein intake.
Continue being a diligent food tracker.
Forgive - myself and others.
Try not to project my insecurities in to assumptions of others.
Get financially fit.
Don’t compare myself to others.
Get debt free.
Vacation with my mama and sister.
Significantly limit my drinking. For multi-faceted health benefits and financial benefits.
Keep putting myself out there. Be confident, be outgoing, be myself, be true.
Never. Give. Up.
This is a big list; however, most of it is a continuation of the way I’m doing life now. There’s some big ones in there - run a half, get debt free, clean up my language (oy that one’s gonna be tough), but it’s all doable. I am entering this year thinner, stronger, healthier, and more confident than I ever have. I AM rockin it, and I’m going to keep it up.