Confessions of a Wannabe Runner

 

I want to run a 5 K. Sounds like a pretty simple task, huh? Right now, it is my Everest. Of course, I won’t need a parka but there could be danger from lack of oxygen lol. This not simply a matter of go forth, wear a tutu and run. Let’s go back in history on a little tour of how this became a monumental task.

Once upon a time, I was in very good shape. I did gymnastics. I did cross-country and track. As an adult, I went to the gym and worked out everyday no less than two hours a day. Then I got sick. It took them a year and a half to figure out what was wrong with me. Please take note that this was almost 20 years ago. In that year and a half, I gained 100 lbs.  I went through many tests several times a week, medication and even a doctor who told me it was all in my head(he wasn’t my doctor after that) . So picture where not only my physical health went but also my mental health which wasn’t too stellar from the get-go. Needless to say what I have affects both physical and mental health and it has been a rough road. It affects my autoimmune system and basically cause havoc when it feels the need to flare up. Needless, to say it has been a serious up and down roller coaster for the last 20 years. Last year, I had some pretty intense issues with it. Meanwhile, what health and fitness I did have basically went down the toilet. Life stress, medical, etc…. had really left me at a low point with my depression and I have to admit thinking some pretty dark thoughts. I am not a talker. When it is extremely difficult or personal I clam up. So my family (even those who live with me) really didn’t know or understand what was going on. That is not their fault. I wasn’t ready to talk about it when I can’t even deal with it myself.

I wasn’t sure what to do or how to fix this but I knew I had to do something. Oddly enough it was a simple game that got me going. I started playing Pokemon Go with some of my family. I was thinking “This will be fun. We can do it as a family and get a little exercise.” I am kind of laughing about this now because it sounds like a ridiculous way to get started on fitness. Especially as an adult. I found that I could actually go much farther than I thought I was capable of. Plus, it was kind of fun catching the pokemon and collecting things, etc…. I distracted myself right into exercise and proper nutrition. (I was not eating enough.I was barely eating 800 calories and definitely not making my goals on nutrients.) Soon, I found myself doing it everyday. It got me away from the house, gave me some self time and I felt good that I was accomplishing something . I then started to think bigger. I looked at the fitness bands but wasn’t sure I wanted to commit to it. I did the research and finally found  a good one for a decent price. It also came with an added app that tracks my food and nutrition intake.  It really helped me find more motivation to get out there as well as eat properly. I had even gotten up to walking 6 miles a day. That is no easy task where I live considering that in the summer 95 degrees with 98% humidity is a regular occurrence. Then my family and I were out on  a simple trail(which we picked because it was easier for the youngest of our group) I did not see a hole that had been dug by feral hogs(nope, not making that up) and had been covered over and severely sprained my ankle. I was on crutches for weeks before I could walk. It still isn’t totally healed but I can exercise on it, just not run yet.

So after months of hard work, I basically had to start over. That bit my pride A LOT. It has taken a long time but I am getting back to where I started. Yesterday, I went the longest distance I have ever gone since starting this whole fiasco. I went 8.14 miles.  As, I was sitting here last night mentally praising myself for kicking butt, I started wondering what I could do. My next thought was how the hell did I get on the fitness train? When did that happen? See, walking and yoga are Gateway drugs. Next thing you know, I will be running a marathon. Then I had a sudden thought. Why can’t I do that? It doesn’t have to be now or even in the next year or two.  Why can I not have that goal? I may not be the fastest or the best but what if I could finish one? The problem isn’t whether I can or not. I need to give myself permission to think that big, to give myself the okay to make a goal like that. The rest is logistics.

I have made a 5 K my goal. I don’t know how long it is going to take but it is a start and I am determined to do it. I understand that I am a plus size girl. I am aware that I have chronic health issues and my doctor doesn’t want me running. However, there are people who are blind, have medical issues, are amputees, that are plus sized, have cancer, etc…. that have accomplished far greater tasks than a 5k so if they can do it, I can too.

Exercising has given me something back that I didn’t think was possible. It has given me the hope that I will feel better and be able to have a long and healthy life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks, Hindsight (Daily Prompt)

flowing stream

A Thank you to The Daily Post for today’s writing prompt, Thanks, Hindsight.

 

How is this year shaping up for you so far?

 

I truly feel that even though this year is just in its beginning phases, that there are positive things on the horizon. Last year was very tough. I am not going to post it all and rehash it. Frankly, no one needs a night of Jack Daniels and sad R.E. M. music. I found myself last year questioning a lifestyle choice that I had desired so long. I no longer knew why I was there and could no longer identify what the benefits of it were. There was a loss for one of my partners of  his parent, chronic health issues(me), and just some serious life issues. Truth be told, I felt I was stagnant in a lot of areas, up to and including my spiritual path. We were reeling from one issue to another and it just was hard to stop, take a breath, view something clearly and move forward.

I know this sounds cliche, but when it became 2016, it felt like there was finally a change in the wind. I wouldn’t go right to the assumption that it is all going to be a bed of roses. I know there are going to be issues and struggles, but for the first time in a long time I feel like there is forward momentum in several directions.

I have been able to take an extended time out from a lifestyle that I really wanted but was feeling jaded by. I was able to identify this issue, decide what I wanted and didn’t want from it, and what direction I wanted to head with it. This year has given me the clarity and will give me the respite I need to find my happiness in it.

There was a loss in the family for one of my partners. It was very difficult and devastating for him. Hopefully, this year will be able to heal some of the hurt and he will be able to feel comfortable stepping into new things and reconnecting with life.

The family issues are still there but we are making headway on all fronts. The schooling, therapy and medical with my little one is going pretty well. With continued effort, I have some really good feelings about this year. There are always going to be challenges when you have family but we will handle them as they come along.

As far as my spiritual path, I am slowly getting back on track. I am reexamining what I want, need, desire, etc…. I have been exploring some different paths and philosophies to see what I can incorporate into my life and my practices. For me, a spiritual path and philosophy are something that I want to be able to use in my everyday life. I want to be happy in it and make others happy. I am feeling deeper sense of calm and a stronger sense of direction. The baby steps I am taking have made a huge difference. I used to have a joyous and happy pagan household. I think that we are on the path to do that again.

I have been blessed to make a very good friend this year. Other than my partners, I do not have many people that I am close to. For various reasons, I am careful who I am close to. This person is warm-hearted, kind, funny and trustworthy and I am so grateful that she is in my life. I look forward to many years of friendship.

 

Have your predictions come true, or did you have to face a curve ball or two?

 

There are always going to be curve balls. That is just a given. We are finding a different way to view them, deal with them, and handle stress. I wish we could dance all day in our fairy wings and pagan skirts but the fact of the matter is that you can’t live in a fantasy world forever. Instead of fighting the wind, there are times when you need to follow it. You may not be able to change the circumstances but you can change your views and actions towards the issues at hand. In other words, be the stream. Go around the rocks in the stream. Don’t try to go through them.

 

 

Vanderbilt Ball – how a costume ball changed New York elite society

MCNY Blog: New York Stories

In the spring of 1883, the solemnity of Lent didn’t stand a chance against the social event on the mind of all of New York’s elite society:  Mrs. W. K. Vanderbilt’s fancy dress ball. The invitations had been hand delivered by servants in livery, young socialites had been practicing quadrilles (dances performed with four couples in a rectangular formation) for weeks, and “amid the rush and excitement of business, men have found their minds haunted by uncontrollable thoughts as to whether they should appear as Robert Le Diable, Cardinal Richelieu, Otho the Barbarian, or the Count of Monte Cristo, while the ladies have been driven to the verge of distraction in the effort to settle the comparative advantages of ancient, medieval, and modern costumes” (New York Times). The best dressmakers and cobblers had spent months poring over old books making costumes — which were already being breathlessly described…

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Teen Age Idol

 

 

 

Did I have teen idols? I wouldn’t go right with idols because I am not much of a follower but I did have some bands that I followed pretty heavily. I was and am a big Led Zepplin music fan. I loved and still love the Doors, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, Bush, Metallica(the original stuff, not the egotistical bullshit), Guns N’Roses(I did try to ignore the Spaghetti Incident for my own well being), Red Hot Chili Peppers, and a few others.

At the time, I was not really all that aware of the negative aspects of their lives and frankly, I probably didn’t give a shit because I was a pretty messed up kid. I related to the music. It matched my thoughts, emotions and life at the time. Maybe on some level I related to them as people because they were singing about what I was feeling.

It is funny how the shiny things you see in people often come from the ignorance of information. There are quite a few people on this list of music that did some pretty negative and harmful things to themselves as well as others. Now I listen to the music because I like it, but I understand that although there was some great music in there,I definitely wouldn’t want to idolize or emulate some of these artists.

 

Writing Prompt # 61

Today’s writing prompt was brought to us by vexingpoint.  If you haven’t checked out his prompts, you should really give them a go. If you are struggling for a topic or just like a new challenge, it can help you get motivated to write.

The topic today is do you prefer to read or write? I would like to say that I like to both equally, but time does not always allow for me to write. I like to write when I am inspired to do so or I have time to do so. Many times my writing is inspired by what I am reading. Often my thoughts dovetail off of things that happen in my life or in the novels  and articles I read.  What is one to do when the inspiration hits but you don’t have time to write? I jot notes down and come back to them. This is not like when you are asleep’ having a dream and make random notations that absolutely do not make sense when one wakes in the morning.(like pink bunny zombie shops for groceries) This is more like when you research and suddenly you stumble upon an epiphany. You must write it down then or risk forgetting your train of thought, thus ruining your chances for a stellar writing at a later date.

However, I digress from the original topic. I like writing but I find that I spend quite a bit of time reading. I am a very avid reader and I like to explore different genres. I get some great ideas and thoughts from reading. Authors very often put their perspectives in a book even if it is subtle. I like to find their perspective and thought process. I also like to find out why they write what they do. Anytime I can find a backstory on an author, it is similar to connecting the pieces of a puzzle. Suddenly, I can see the book I just read in an entirely different light.

Is that really a preference? I am not entirely sure. I do know that they seem to be interconnected for me so maybe it doesn’t matter. Which came first? The chicken or the egg?

Here’s the thing…. I really want to write. I want to blog. I enjoy reading other people’s writing. I get a lot from it and an immense amount of enjoyment from view different perspectives.  I would like to have more time to dedicate to writing. Hell, I would like to just have time to dedicate to the things I have to do.

These last few weeks have NOT been a picnic. My health took a serious left turn. After multiple doctor visits and weeks of antibiotics because the first one’s didn’t work, I am finally catching up to all the things that I did not get done while I was waiting for my body to stop fucking with me. My doc has adjusted some medication and has me on a new regiment of things to take.

The bottom line is that what I have will never go away. This is something that will progressively get worse. All I can really do is take care of myself and try to maintain by making healthy choices. I will not lie. It makes me angry. It makes me sad. Every negative emotion I could have about this, I have been dealing with. I understand that all of this emotion is part of the grieving process for me to adjust to dealing with this but it would be nice to not go through it. While I am feeling physically better, the mental issues just do not heal as fast.

Between the above mentioned fun, my family has had a lot of things to deal with and it just keeps coming. We finish one task and there are 10 more in line waiting to take its place. Work, therapy, docs, homeschool, serious family issues, car issues, car accidents(our oldest son), etc… Right now, we are all burnt out physically and emotionally and we could use a serious break.

I digress from the original subject. Yes, I took a left turn but because of all the above mentioned things and a few others I didn’t are the reason I have not be able to write the way I would like. I am only now realizing that this will be a continual issue for a long time.

I have been beating myself up over this issue and others because there is just not enough of me to get everything done and especially those things I would like to do. (NOT just those I have to) It took me a little while to remember that this blog is about me and for me. It is not a race. I am writing this because I want to, because I enjoy it, because I want to share, and because it makes me happy.

What I fail to realize while I am in that “train of thought” is that I am cheating myself and by proxy, those who read my writings.  I am so focused and worried about the deadline that I am missing the point. Maybe it just me, but if I am not enjoying myself and not allowing myself a little freedom in this, won’t that reflect in my writing? I want this to blog to be genuine and not another generic writing lost in the crowd.

Moral of the Story:

I need to change the way I think. I need to allow for my illness and restrictions. This not only applies to writing but to other things in my life. I need to understand that I can’t finish everything all at once and that what I do accomplish in a day matters.  I can’t always help or be there all the time when I would like to help others but I am thankful when I am able.  I am able to help someone this upcoming weekend and I am so glad I am able to do that. We will call her Ms. Sparkle Llama. I get to spend time with her  and she is one of the few people in my life that actually understands me and what is going on . I am so glad that she is my friend.

The Daily Post’s writing Prompt: Decisions,Decisions

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Decisions, Decisions.”

I think it is important to use both your “gut” feeling and logical reason. It is kind of like hedging your bets. Anytime, that I have not followed my intuition, it has gone badly for me. It has put me in some difficult and (in my past) dangerous and stupid situations. That little voice in your head is there for a reason. It is often the sum of all of our experiences and it can give us a warning signal that all is not right.

We should also make sure that we have looked at the situation logically, calmly, and asked for an opinion(if we are out of element) if we are to make the healthiest choices for us. I am a firm believer in using all the tools we are provided as human beings. If they are there, then use them to weigh your choices and make the best decisions one can.  That doesn’t mean we always hit a home run, but  in my opinion, one has a better chance of doing so by using what is available to them.

Writing Prompt # 32 Create a Potion

Today’s writing prompt is brought to us by vexingpoint

The prompt is as follows- Create a potion.

What are the ingredients?

What does it do?

How long does it last?

I thought it would be harder to think of what I would like as a potion. The answer came quickly. I would really like to eliminate ” Ignorance”. Or to put it correctly, willful ignorance. It is something that really bothers me. Turning a blind eye is often harmful to people and the world we live in. Yet, so many people are very comfortable with this particular behavior.  It isn’t that they don’t know the difference, it is that they are willing to close their eyes and do nothing. I truly wish that I could put a stop to that.

What are the ingredients?

  1. Access to a proper education.
  2. Having open, honest conversations
  3. Heavy emphasis on books and reading
  4. Curiosity
  5. Self-censoring. Stop allowing others to dictate what you are exposed to or not exposed to.
  6. Not allowing traditions and old rules stand simply because “That is the way it has always been done.”
  7. The ability to question

What does it do?

With all of the above ingredients the subject (person or people) who are willfully ignorant would no longer be able to shut their eyes and turn the other cheek. It would force them to go through life with their eyes wide open and not stand by and do nothing. They would not be able to pretend that the bad and hurtful things don’t exists. They would no longer have an excuse for their choice to ignore the sufferings of others, the damage of our planet and society. Maybe it would mean that they would actually think about how to help with the issues instead of just worrying about “me and mine” all the time. Maybe it would mean eliminating truly harmful behavior towards others. There might be more tolerance and understanding. We might actually get something accomplished in our government besides our politicians lining their pockets at our expense.  Could we possibly stop group think? No more “Sheeple”. No more “mob mentality”.  I would truly like to have this potion take away the thoughts of one becoming the thoughts of the whole group. Maybe it would produce more individuality.

How long would it last?

As long as it was doing good, it would last. If it ever became the very thing it was trying to combat, it would have a self-destruct built in. Yeah, we might be back at square one but we can always build over from there.

Daily Prompt :Red Pill, Blue Pill

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Red Pill, Blue Pill.”

I am a little behind in my writings but I thought I would answer this one.  Red Pill, Blue Pill. It sounds so easy, so convenient. No thinking involved. One could just pop a pill and go along their merry way. No fuss, no mess. It sounds a bit sterile to me.

I haven’t always had a good relationship with food. I think there are many of us that could say that in one way or another. When I first started cooking when I was a late teenager, I was not really interested in it for myself. I did the whole domestic thing for my family because that is what I was taught was right. I didn’t do it out of some deep, emotional bond to cooking or food. I had a husband, and children. I came from a very traditional family background so that is what was done. You have a meal every night on the table for your family. At first, I was okay with that. Blissfully ignorant, one might say. I proudly got dinner on. Here’s where it got fun. Husband #1 would be late. Not twenty or thirty minutes late. He was hours late and no phone call. We would wait for a bit but after a while the children were hungry and they really like that whole sustenance thing. We ended up eating and saving a plate for Dad. Sometimes he would come home and not eat it at all or complain. After years of that, I just got sick of it. When someone doesn’t appreciate the work you are putting into something and you aren’t doing it for yourself you tend to lose the joy of it. I cooked for the kids and then would grab dinner for myself after they were asleep.

Why I am divulging this? I am sharing this because I now realize that the problem wasn’t really about him. The problem was about my reasoning and my motivation to cook. Yes, I felt disrespected and unappreciated. Don’t get me wrong. It really pissed me off. What I realize now is that I had no connection to cooking. I had no connection to food. I had no passion for what I was doing or why. I think on some level, his not showing up gave me the excuse(for lack of a better term) to just not bother.

For many years, it stayed this way for one reason or another. Things were not good. (That is probably like saying Hurricane Katrina was just a little rain and wind) My life did fall apart. I lost everything I loved and I lost myself.  All the while, food and cooking took a back seat except for what was needed for the little ones.

I really don’t want to get into how I lost everything but I did. I also gave up everything that gave me joy and happiness in my life.  Some things in life are taken and some are given away.

When I finally started getting things back together, it took me a long time to get back in the kitchen. What truly motivated me was my health. I have several major health issues that are chronic. I have several allergies and food intolerances that are caused by my health issues. I had to make some changes in order to function through my day and not be sick 24/7.

My quest to feel better led me to start researching. I researched recipes, food info, labeling, different styles of diets(Paleo, Vegan, GF, Clean Eating, etc…), organic eating and gardening vs. GMO and pesticides. I found that some foods are inflammatory to my conditions. Before I realized it, I was interested in food. (It may have been an evil plot by food to suck me in all along) I was trying new recipes. I was trying them out on family. Better to experiment on those you love 🙂 Husband #2, Partner, and kids were all loving the new stuff. I felt a sense of accomplishment and dare I say, excitement about cooking.

I was and am seeing food in a whole new light now. This is how we fuel our bodies. They run well when we are properly nourished and we are consuming things that are healthy for our particular bodily needs.  Healthy food can taste good. (Still don’t like Tofu no matter how it is prepared) I have learned to explore different cultures through their cuisine. I know where the traditions come from. I have learned how food can bring people together for real conversation and bonding. As hokey as it may sound,  food can bring you happiness and help you create or have happy memories.

Most of all, it is something that brings me peace. Everything can be going badly, things can be loud and chaotic but cooking helps me find focus and a moment of meditation. The cutting, sauteing, blanching, baking, simmering, adding herbs here or a dash of salt there helps shut everything just for a moment.

I may have been caught unaware by this love of cooking but it seems to be just what the doctor ordered. I have a much healthier relationship with food now. I feel better physically and mentally. I am able to share something with those I love and they share their love right back because of food and cooking.

No red pill or blue pill for me. Those pills will not compare to what I have gained through food.