Thursday, April 28, 2011

Viva Las Vegas!

So, our Vegas trip was everything I'd hoped it'd be.  Relaxing, indulgent, entertaining, relationship strengthening, exciting.  I decompressed from all the madness of the last few months (so much so that I missed the whole first afternoon and evening.)  I got a break from being a responsible mom, even though I missed my pumpkin terribly every single day.  I got my Zen on, floating around in the lazy river soaking up the summer-like sun.  We spent many hours and many dollars dining on amazing, often famous chef created food.  We drank all we could of champagne when given the opportunity.  We bonded as a couple and created great memories with two of our dearest friends.  I wore higher than usual heels (other than for pole classes) and shorter than usual skirts.  We learned how to play Craps (which I am sure I will promptly forget.)  We watched a LOT of people.  Rich people, obnoxious people, bitchy people, tacky people.  We saw amazing things at the pawn shop featured on "Pawn Stars" and got kicked out so they could film an episode.  We met some crazy cabbies.  We renewed our vows at the Little White Wedding Chapel, wedding place of a number of celebrities, which is cheezy as hell and the epitome of Vegas weddings, but it was also serious enough to be meaningful for us.  We also enjoyed some later evening entertainment.  I feel fully refreshed, rejuvenated, and revived, and I loved every second of it, with the possible exception of the 5 hour flight with no tv screens (damn you, US Airways!)

We extended the vacation by only being home for 36 hours and then heading to the beach with the family to celebrate Easter weekend.  As such, Monday and the early part of this week were pretty brutal on the re-entry.  But it is worth it to shake up your life once in a while, even (and especially) for someone as into having a regular routine as me!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Miles, Choices

A little over two years ago, I posted that I had run a whole mile after having worked my way up to it.  Recently I posted that I had run 5 miles without having run all winter.  On some level this is progress, but I actually weigh a few pounds more today than when I started this blog.  Over the last couple of years, I've debated with myself on how best to tackle a diet program, how best to tackle an exercise plan, how many calories to eat, how many calories to burn.  I've also talked about repeated starts and stops, the "light switch" being on or off, progress, and setbacks.  I've had deadlines, planned milestones, rewards, and goals.  I've started and stopped a business, worked part and full time, and I've aged.  I've reached my breaking point, I've found peace, I've been every place in between.  I've wanted the weight loss and all the perks that come with it so desperately, and yet I've also wondered why I haven't wanted it enough, or why I haven't been "able" to give myself what I want.

Somehow in the last few days I've come to a very simple and glaring conclusion.  I may have reached it before in passing, but I must not have ever understood it fully until now.  I get frustrated when I read about weight loss success stories either completed or in progress, because although inspiring, it doesn't tell me about the catalyst.  People in magazine article success stories always "reached their breaking point for x reason or when x happened", and then decided to fix it without looking back (much), and even if they struggled along the way, they always get there (because those are the only ones you get to read about.)  On The Biggest Loser, the contestants always get so inspired to spread the message to the rest of the world that you can do it yourself without the show, but it's hard to imagine being able to be your own Jillian, it seems like they are usually cowed into the first rounds of success which gradually then start to feed on themselves and allow for the inner healing to occur and the success to snowball.

My conclusion is this:  making good food decisions, eating modest portions of healthful foods, being active and working out consistently and aggressively, taking better care of one's body, and ultimately losing weight, gaining energy, and recovering health are all options for any of us.  It is simply something you, me, or anyone else can CHOOSE to do.  I can choose to make myself a priority without overly shorting the important people in my life.  I can decide to plan ahead better with having and sticking with food, resisting the inertia and fitting in the workout, make feeling good about myself a constant occurrence.  I can do those things AT ANY TIME, and the results will follow.  I can do it if I believe I can do it, if I decide it is worth the sacrifice and effort to do it, and if I find the reasons to drive me to make the right choice to simply do it.  Life on the healthier side of the fence is waiting.  It can wait a lifetime, or it can wait a day. The choice is always there, always available.

Has the years of blogging helped me come to this conclusion?  I don't know, maybe.  Does coming to this conclusion free up some of the fears of not being in control of the situation?  A little bit.  I'm not overweight because I "can't" stop eating, but rather because I don't want to stop eating.  I'm not out of shape because I "can't" find the time-motivation-energy-resources-weather to get in a good workout on a regular basis, but because I've chosen not to, repeatedly.  There's no longer a need to wait for the switch to come on, no need for a pressure filled deadline for a particular event to be slender for, the big ones have all come and gone, and there will always be others, and frankly that's a bit of a relief.  It's not about a timeline for self-denial, it's about a choice to change a lifestyle.  Permanently.  Wisely.  Maybe not comfortably, but manage-ably.  A choice.  A simple choice.  Black and white.  Do I want to be healthy enough to do this, for myself, and for my family?  Can I overcome a lifetime of preferring the short term payoff to the long term reward for sacrifice?  Can I continuously remain in the present and in the moment long enough to break a pattern of indulgence?  Can I do these things without pulling too much of my self away from others who matter to me?  I can if I choose to, and if I choose to continue choosing to from minute to minute, until those minutes translate into days, weeks, months, and ultimately a healthy new lifestyle with the corresponding healthy body weight.  I can.  I absolutely know it is possible, I simply must choose to make it  happen.

Do you agree with the simplicity of the solution?  Have you made this (or a similar) choice in your life?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Running is Relative

Today I went for what I'd hoped would be a run.  I'm using the app "RunKeeper" on my iPhone, and it keeps track via GPS of where/how far you've gone, time, pace, topography, etc., it's awesome.  I've run or walked (or a combo) 5 times since March 26.  A slow start, but already far more than I worked out all winter.

The problem is, my body is not up to speed, and it's so hard to be patient with it.  My plan was to run today, but it was a slow, hobbling walk with super tight ankles.  I trudged uphill, and threw in a slow shuffling jog on the downhill here and there.  I've had this kind of chronic ankle tightness before, and the only fix was to work through it gradually and improve my fitness, but unfortunately I tend to be as impatient as I am inconsistent.  I only went 2.7 miles is 42 and a half minutes.  Ouch.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Run from the Chocolate Madness

It gives me subtle comfort, with great ease and no exertion.  It soothes my grated nerves and anxious psyche, if only for a few minutes at a time.  The taste is exquisite, the texture creamy, leaving my tongue feeling velvety just for a moment.  The sum of these sweet sensations is nagging, leaving me wanting more like a seedling leaning in search of the sun.  Yet this seduction by my cocoa mistress is a dark and destructive one.  It shields me from the challenges of fully experiencing emotion, protects me from living fully, hides me from having a real presence in the room unless I choose to.  Slowly it settles its excesses onto my body, weighing it down, lessening its efficiency, robbing it of vigor.  Clearly the brief reward does not justify this level of self-sabotage.  Surely there are other ways to seek sensory satisfaction, to direct excess energies, to heal longing, to indulge, without such collateral damage.  
I need to run from this demon, run from the negativity and the angst that fuels it, run until my blood pumps harder and my lungs gasp for air.  I want to run ‘til until my muscles cry out in a mixture of pain and delight, run until the endorphins surge, run until all traces of destruction are corrected.  Run until the smile can’t be wiped off my face.  Run until I’m proud, run until I’m healthy; run until I collapse into a peaceful slumber.  Run to inner peace.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Vows Renewal

A week from Monday my husband and I are renewing our vows in Las Vegas. We're making it cheesy and fun, but on some level there is a seriousness to it. We have been happily married for 11 years, but this is essentially an agreement to get married all over again.

And it got me to thinking. Our marriage is solid, this is just a fun way to celebrate that. It's my relationship with myself that could use a little work. Maybe it's getting to be time to reexamine my goals, refresh my outlook on what is important to me, and renew my vows to start taking better care of myself and my body.