Sunday, February 23, 2014

In a Funk

I have been struggling the last few weeks.  There is no sugar coating it or putting a positive spin on things.  My motivation has been non-existent, my self-discpline is gone and I feel like a blob.  I try to stay positive and look on the good side of situations but that has been hard lately.  I'm not sure why.  I have not run, I have eaten crap and I have cried.  None of it good.

I have spent this weekend really examining what my problem is.  Why am I in this funk?  I went to the doctor on the 14th and it was a positive visit.  I have lost some more weight, I am doing well with my blood sugar levels and am less tired than I have been in years.  And yet after that visit I have been discouraged and fighting frustration.  You would think the opposite would be true.

I have been struggling the last few weeks.  I have been grumpy, defensive and in general not a very fun person to be around.

A few days ago I saw this video


I had seen the link several times on Facebook but hadn't watched it.  I was busy, I wasn't in the mood, whatever.  I finally watched it on Thursday.  I have always admired Scott Hamilton.  He was an amazing athlete and because of my love of all things Olympics I loved watching him win the gold medal.  Since then I have admired his kindness and professionalism when covering skating events and the Olympics.   

This video made me cry.  Not because he has had difficulties in his life.  But because of the way he handled them.  About eight minutes into the video is where I began to cry.  Where the nurse comes and asks him about his prayers.  If you haven't watched it, do it now.  :-)

I am a woman of faith.  I believe there is an all powerful Lord who loves me.  He loved me enough to send His only beloved son to die for my sins.  This Lord has been with me through blessings and trials. Through loss and when my cup has runneth over.  Those of you who read this and don't believe in God may laugh and scoff.  But I KNOW that He is real and I KNOW that He loves me!  That doesn't mean that I don't have a hard time and struggle.  It means that I know who to go to for comfort.  I don't expect my God to fix everything but I do know that the is there for me.  Much like my dearest friends.  Many people get angry with God because He doesn't fix things.  We don't get angry with our best friend when they can't fix a problem and all they can do is be there for us.  We are grateful for the fact that they are there and that they care enough to be there for us.  I believe it is the same with God.  How can I be angry that He doesn't fix my problems?  Instead I am thankful that He is a comfort when I am going through a tough time.  He is with me always.  

In the days since I watched the video above I have prayed for comfort.  I have asked for help in dealing with my frustrations.  And I have received much.  A friend that gave me a hug and reminded me that I have people that believe in me.  A husband that actually got angry because I was being so negative.  You wouldn't think anger would be a positive thing but it was for me.  Then this morning on Facebook I saw several posts that spoke to me.  

A friend posted this off the Facebook page "I See Fit People"

Matt's Tip of the Day:
Two steps forward and one step back is still forward progress.  I know this can be hard to remember especially when you are working so hard for something and you get knocked back by one of life's little surprises, but in the big picture, you are still moving toward your goal.  The reality of it is the road toward success is rarely a smooth ride and never a straight line.  There are always twists and turns and you may change direction now and then, but you are still moving forward.  You will feel like you are going backwards at times but as long as you don't give up, you are on the right track.  It's not easy, it's not fun, and sometimes it's not pretty, but it is important to remember, no matter how hard it is to accept, two steps forward and one step back still puts you one step closer to your goal. 
I guess I have been in the step backwards mode.  Kind of nice to know it's normal!  :-)

Then I was this meme on another friend's wall.  She is not a runner and so it has nothing to do with running or exercise at all.  And yet it struck home for me as a runner.    

I have had a hard time remembering that lately.  I haven't felt amazing at all, not even a little bit, not even a teeny tiny bit!

The final thing that helped put things in perspective today was this one!  Another friend, who is not a runner, posted this on her timeline.  

Wow!  Talk about an inspiration!  

I have been wallowing, I admit it.  I have been frustrated that no matter how much I improve everyone around me is better.  Instead of focusing on my own accomplishments I have been comparing myself to others.  I want to be able to BE with my friends during races, not just having them wait for me to finish hours after them.  Every time I make gains so do they so I never can catch up.  Not that I want them to do bad or not make gains just so I can catch up.  So then I start feeling guilty that I'm jealous.  I know that they only way to get better is for me to keep working but sometimes I just feel like I will always be the one everyone is waiting for.  Always.  

I need to get back to remembering that the only one I can truly compete with is myself.  I need to remember that improvements are improvements and are worthy of celebration.  

I ran a trail run this weekend.  It was tough.  I have done it once before.  This time I hadn't been running consistently and hadn't been doing what I needed to do in order to be ready for the hills.  But, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  The two big uphills weren't fun but not as miserable as I remember from three years ago.  I ran most of the down hills, except for the parts that were totally full of slick mud, it wasn't worth getting hurt.  I met a very nice woman at about mile 2.5 and we did the whole rest of the run together and talked and laughed the whole time.  She was young and skinny and beautiful and she was slow, just like me.  lol  Seemed funny to me.  We finished together with a high five.  I love the people I meet on races and it was a good reminder that people aren't thinking "OMG, why is she even trying?"  They most likely thinking "Rock on!  Good job!"  At least that's what I'm betting on.  I improved six minutes on my time from the last time I did this run.  I wish it was more but considering the lack of training I have had I am amazed that I had any improvement at all.  

I've decided to be done with my funk.  I need to get over myself.  I'm going to be happy with how far I've come and look forward to how far I am going to get.  I'm going to quit comparing myself to others and just be happy with my own improvements.  I work hard enough for them so I shouldn't discount them just because they don't compare to someone else's improvements.  

God is my comfort and my strength.  I have received many messages this weekend to remind me to keep at, I can do this!   Tomorrow is a new day.  :)  Boy, am I glad about that!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Taking a Stand

I started this blog a little over a year ago and it was totally for me.  I needed to be able to write down what I was going and how I was feeling about it.  I thought that maybe I would do better by having an outlet for my frustrations and that maybe I would be held a little accountable by the two or three people who might be reading what I was up to.

I know my blog is not one that gets shared and read by millions of people.  But it gets read by more people than I ever anticipated.  As of right now I have had over 6,450 views of my blog.  That's just crazy to me.

When I started this blog I thought maybe, just maybe someone might be a little inspired that they aren't the only one out there struggling to get healthy.  That it hasn't been an easy journey and someone is going down the difficult road too.

Sometimes I have to giggle when people comment on Facebook that I inspire them and they are the people that are already thin and healthy and look fabulous.  How am I an inspiration to people who already look like they have it all figured out?  That part I don't get.  But hey, I'm going to roll with it.

I had a good run last night.  I realized a few things while running.  First thing I realized is that I have been slacking.  Now, I will cut myself a little bit of a break because I have had some things to work through.  The medication that I started taking at Thanksgiving has caused me to have an upset stomach during my runs.  This has contributed to me being slower.  I also have not been very consistent with my training.  I  seem to have caught every cold that came around in January.  That was the pits!  The combination of the nausea and the colds running has been difficult and very slow.  I have had runs where I felt pretty good but was really slow.  At least slower than I had been doing in October and November.  This has been so frustrating because I felt like I was really making improvements in my speed and suddenly I've taken three giant steps backward.

Last night I realized that I have been kind of resting on those issues.  I haven't been pushing myself hard because my stomach was upset or because I had a cold.  I was happy that I had enough energy to get my butt out and actually accomplish a run so I didn't push myself to go faster or longer.  I did just enough.  Just enough isn't cutting it.

Last night I ran three miles on the track.  The first mile was just under 13 minutes.  It was work to get that and I was once again frustrated.  Then I decided I really wanted negative splits because I haven't done that in months so I picked up the pace.  That was even more work.  During mile two is when I realized that I hadn't really pushed myself to the point where it was really difficult in a very long time.  So I decided that I was going to have negative splits for the run and that my last mile would be under 12 minutes.

I had to really work hard to make this happen.  My breathing was difficult and I really had to work at getting it to smooth out.  My legs were tired and hurt and I wanted to stop so many times.  But I know that in order to achieve some of the things I want this year I am going to have to start pushing again.  It is really hard to do this sometimes and I had to do a lot of self-talk to keep moving.

Boy am I glad I kept moving!  This is not my best three miles but it's the best three miles I have had in months.  And because I had pushed myself and decided to get negative splits with my last mile being my fastest mile I was very excited when I looked at my splits.  That is the part I love about running.  When I push and feel crappy, sore and tired.  I can't breathe and I am pretty sure I'm ridiculous for having such silly goals.  Then I get done and realize that I did what I set out to do.  That's the part I love.  I pushed and I got it done.  I don't every time but it sure is a great feeling when I do.

Here is last night's run:

I'm smiling!  
I managed to get negative splits, kept the first two miles under 13 minutes each and got the last one under 12 minutes.  It's been awhile since I ran an 11 anything mile.  I will take it.

Next step is to get back into my training routine.  Between sickness and then snow my motivation to go out and run has been slim to none.  I have too many races coming up to let that continue.  ;-)

I found this on Pinterest today and it summed how I am feeling right now.  I've got no one to look at but myself when I don't achieve what I want.  I am a strong woman and I'm only going to get stronger!

So now I'm making my stand and I'm dealing.  That's a victory.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Pictures are Worth a Thousand Words.

Changes have come slow for me.  This has caused me to be frustrated because when I'm working hard I want to see results.  Whether it is housework, school work or my own body I want to see that what I am doing is creating a difference.  A cleaner house, good grades or smaller size in body.  This past year I have worked very, very, VERY hard at exercising and eating better in order to be healthier and lose weight.  It has been a slow, slow, SLOW process.  Slower than I like and I have found it very frustrating!  My poor family has had listen to me vent about my frustration about how slow this has been and how nothing is happening.   My husband has been saying for months that I look different, that he can see changes.  But when I look in the mirror I still see a fat stomach, saggy arms and a double chin.  I have tried really hard this year to have my picture taken.  Sounds simple but when you are a heavy person the standard operating procedure is to avoid the camera at all costs.  It's better to be behind the camera taking pictures than in front of it so that I have to see how bad things are.

Joe took my picture when we were at the hotel for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon.  It was a pretty good picture and I like it a lot.   When I was working on my blog about the race I was scrolling through my pictures on my computer and saw a picture from last April at the Eugene Half Marathon.  Hmmmmm, I thought, that seems a bit different than the more recent shot.  I pulled both pictures up and looked at them side by side on my computer screen.  Holy Crap!!  There have been some significant changes in the past year.  They had come so slowly that I didn't realize how significant they were.  I was so focused on the slow pace and the fact that the results on the scale weren't what I wanted that I had failed to acknowledge how far I had come.

I pulled up pictures from April and July of 2013 and January 2014.  Pictures are worth a thousand words.

I still have a roly poly tummy and saggy arms.  But they aren't as big as they were.  I could argue it is better tank tops that hid the flaw but I don't think so.  I can really see the differences between April and January.  I am fitter and have more muscle tone.  I can do more than I could a year ago.  I have made progress, almost in spite of myself.  :-)

I got to thinking about how much 38 pounds really is.  I decided to see what I could gather that would total up to that amount and see how it felt to hold it.  Here's the result:

I am holding a 10 pound sack of flour, a 5 pound bad of potatoes, one 15 pound hand weight and four 2 pound hand weights.  I didn't hold them for long, it got heavy fast.  Crap!  I used to lug that around ON ME!!  You won't hear me saying I have "only" lost 38 pounds anymore!  I have lost 38 freaking pounds!!!!  Yay me.  :-)  I need to start giving myself more credit for what I am doing instead of focusing on what I can't do yet.  But then, I think God has been helping with work on that aspect of my personality pretty much my whole life.  I am a work in progress in more ways than one!

I didn't run last week.  It was the end of the semester which I find stressful.  Add that to homework and I just didn't make it happen.  I did go on my first bike ride since last October on Saturday.  That was very fun.  I rode about 13 miles.  The weather was sunny and about 50 degrees, a few clouds.  There wasn't much wind.  I got to ride with three other awesome women and my hubby.  Joe said he was riding with his harem.  Lucky guy. :-)  I did better than I thought I would and my legs feel fine today.  My back has a couple of sore spots and I have a couple of spots that are tender on my sit-down.  I still don't know how Ironman competitors sit on a bike seat for 112 miles!  I'm not sure how I'm going to do it for 50 miles this summer.  We shall see.

This is a short one for a change.  There's been a lot going on so working out has been difficult.  Monday is back at it.  I have a trail run later this month.  I don't know why I sign up for trail runs when I suck at them so bad but I keep doing it.  I will be trying to get at least one hill run a week in this month and next because I also have the Shamrock Run in Portland coming up and that has a very significant hill in it.  It will be fun to see if I can do better than last year.  I sign up for events because if I don't I won't have the motivation to get my ass off the couch.  I have done a race without training and it wasn't pretty.  I HURT after for days!  I do not care to repeat that experience!  I can see doing a 5k without training but for me, anything longer and I better be putting time in on the pavement.

What are you going to sign up for to be your motivation?  If I see you out there I promise to give you a big smile and a high five!!  :-)