Sunday, March 10, 2013
but I just have been.
Some of my Spark buds were worried. I did comment on a few of your blogs and updated status... so some of y'all know I'd been under the weather. But it has been more than that. It's been fatigue, and discouragement, and fear, and many roiling emotions (grief among them), and just landing after having been so tightly wound for so long.
The problem with having decades of experience in the battle of the roller coaster pounds is that you remember the drops from the heights of success to abject failure... sometimes very rapid drops. It was the fear of that starting a couple of years back that got me started on my streak of near-daily blogging. If you have a fear of heights (as I do)... yep, this teetering on the brink (or slipping over, as I have several times since the first of the year) is scary.
Now let's mix in the illness side of things. The major fear that accompanies not too specific symptoms "at my age" is the most basic fear of all: mortality. Sprinkle in recent deaths of folks you care about or anniversaries of such deaths in your calendar with symptoms like "dizziness, fatigue" and the solid knowledge that you are within a few years of the age at which a parent passed... and you come up with a soup you just don't want to write about... even if you had the energy.
Yet, here I am, typing this. Sorry for the potential downer, folks. Yesterday would have been both my paternal grandmother's and my nephew's birthdays. Both are now gone from the plane. Reality is, one day I will be gone from it, too. So will you. We may not want to think about it, but our time in these bodies is "boxed".
The essential question is: what do we want the quality of that time to be like? I want to feel as good as I can for as long as I can. I know at this point in time (even if I don't always act like it) that it is the behavior: good solid nutrition, hydration, activity, stress management, and sleep... that support feeling good.
Now that I'm about back to feeling human, I have a few "to do" items for the week: schedule a chat with my doctor and get my thyroid levels checked again. Climb back on the nutrition wagon and apply some of that infamous "mental toughness" / "kindness" to helping me feel better. Add back in gentle amounts of activity, as I can handle them. Oh, and allow myself to cry over the loved ones who no longer share space on the planet.
Spark friends, thanks so much for being there, for being consistent, for accepting wherever each of us is on the journey... for knowing we're in this together is part of what keeps me going!
Saturday, March 02, 2013
Today started out with sleeping in... all the way 'til after 7 a.m. Felt good.
Then my JCC consultation... my attitude has been a whole lot better this week, and while I'm still angst-y and venting, at least I'm more verbal about it than stuffing over it... and I'm looking Polly Perfectionist and Precious People Pleaser in the eye and challenging their opinions of me!
So, this morning? After my appointment and my healthy breakfast, I popped one of the DVD's son brought over last weekend into the player... Batman: The Dark Knight Rises. And resolved to treadmill the entire movie or until I hit 12 miles, whichever came first. Guess what? I hit 12 miles first. Action / fight movies are great running material for me... not a whole lot of meaningful dialog I need to slow down to hear... but a whole lot of "run" motivation. I did those 12 miles in 2:23:45, which is on track for my half marathon pace last November and last May. And I probably could have gone longer, but I called a stop at that point.
Now I'm showered and in my warm fuzzy sweats on a cold day, and there is bright sunshine out there. Still need to go do my grocery shopping. And my laundry... but life is good, and believe me, those endorphins? Really help chase those stressors away.
Not that this isn't preaching to the choir... LOL! Spark on, my friends.
Friday, March 01, 2013
Figured THAT title would pull a few folks in. I pulled it, in fact, from a phrase the weatherman used back when I lived in New York State one year when we were under an icy freeze one day, then melt-induced flooding the next, rinse and repeat. He reference that as a "high amplitude weather pattern", wild swings in temperatures.
This week has my philosophical side stepping back and watching the variation in my image of myself as things change around me and as I respond wisely or unwisely. As I recognize the things I can control and the things I cannot control. And as I mentally, sanely process the factors, and re-discover what I really, really want, and keep working toward it.
Eat badly? Beat up on yourself? Or nurture yourself? Get anxious that you can't please everyone? Eat over it? Or step back and reason it through?
People pleasing is a habit from childhood, when one's survival depended on it. Even in adulthood, one has to practice a certain level of social / professional conduct for survival. It is a skill. A very necessary one. What gets out of hand is when one feels crushed by not being able to make everyone happy... i.e. when people pleasing and Polly Perfectionist start sitting in the same room and giving your self-image a going over!
So... here's to a balanced practice of people pleasing... yes, striving for excellence... yes, recognizing the position I am in... and communicating honestly with those who need to hear the message: i.e. speaking the truth to power? Ladies and Gentlemen, whatever you expect, this is what in my professional opinion you can get.
Life is good. And it continues. Spark on!
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Because of course locking me away from my coat was just ONE argument. I stayed married to that man for 14 more years. And he really, really *did* like the end result of my getting healthier. He was proud of my running and was at the finish line of my first 5K, all the way through the last race I ran in that section of the country... which if I recall rightly, was an 8K in 1992.
Marriages are complex things, but the story does illustrate the need to put that oxygen mask on first before helping others. I never have been able to "help" him... and I still care deeply about him, while recognizing that the relationship in the end was not only not helping him, it was killing me, one pint of Ben & Jerry's or one bag of Lay's at a time.
Actually, this work project has made me feel a lot like that marriage made me feel: a paralysis, and as though everything I try to do is going to be slapped down by someone or another. Some folks are a lot tougher than me in the workplace.
I am a self-admitted people-pleaser: I want everyone to be happy. This project has a lot of nuances and strong personalities and missing decisions that aren't mine to make. In short, no control... responsibility without authority? You get the general idea. I won't do specifics, because face it, we all can relate to the generalities and fill in our own details.
So my mantra is to breathe, acknowledge the nasty ugly emotions that it all stirs up, and release them... let them fade... and get on that treadmill in judicious amounts, hopefully paying attention should a knee or an ankle require extra rest.
Draw that old line in the sand, and don't let my people-pleasing tendencies make me feel like a failure when not everybody is happy. Because when folks are diametrically opposed in their desires, chances are good that nobody is going to be thrilled with the end product. Hopefully, some compromise is possible, and I can stop myself from going to the extremes of being either crushed or apathetic... keep my resilience, keep up hope, a positive attitude, and keep my balance! Ah, yes! That's the ticket.
Keep my balance, remember that I am worth taking care of, whether people around me are happy with me or not. I'll never stop caring what folks think, in all likelihood... but I can stop beating up on myself if I am truly in an impossible position and have given it my best shot.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
24 years ago this evening, my then husband locked me out of my room so I would not have access to my coat. This was because I proposed to go to a Weight Watchers at Work meeting to "do something" about my weight. I was so desperate that despite his disapproval at this "desertion" beyond my working all day... I swiped HIS coat from the closet and went to my first meeting.
My hair hung in greasy clumps. I weighed in at 224.5 pounds. Oh, Em, Gee! Talk about discouragement. But they gave me a program to follow, and I was determined to give it a fair try. I followed it to the letter for months and months, and managed to drop 80 pounds. Partway through the weight loss I knew I would need to add activity to keep losing. And in the time I was trying to maintain that loss, I discovered running.
Folks, I would like to say I stayed consistent for that whole 24 years. But NOT! Like folks who have tried to quit smoking multiple times, I fell backwards several times, even regained the whole lot once... BUT... I had learned what it felt like, and I had learned the process... and I never stopped wanting this active lifestyle.
Here I sit, on the 24th anniversary of deciding to "do something about it" and starting. I am at a healthy BMI. I am active nearly every day, even if it's "just a brisk walk". I am eating healthier, and while I still have my slips... I have been catching them sooner, and rejoicing on each return to what I now consider "normal" healthy behavior.
Here's to NEVER giving up hope, even during those slips. Life is too good to miss out: Spark on! Spark people didn't exist 24 years ago, but a spark did light inside me then.
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