Thursday
Apr172014

It's not about the race, but the journey. My race is in nine days, my journey never ends.

Today was a down day. A series of small events, that if experienced separately wouldn't have phased me, but all together... It was too much. I let it get the best of me. I started second guessing everything. Second guessing my friends, my abilities, my successes. I started to feel down.

It's funny how that happens. It was a nice gesture from a friend, a couple of deep breaths, and letting it all go that allowed me to feel better. Letting it all go... I began to focus on the things that actually DO matter. Not on the person that I felt let me down, not on the people who angered me, not on the things I want that I won't ever have, but on me. Me. Because, I matter. I began thinking about a lot of things about me, but focused mainly on the fact that I'm doing a half-marathon in nine days. NINE! How could I have let this slip my mind!?!

This isn't my first of this distance. I've done several half marathons, and every time I think about that, I'm astounded. I don't have the body of a runner, I don't have the spirit of the runner. In fact, I'm a run-walker! What I do have is a quest for something more in life. I like to challenge and push myself to new levels, physically. I want to find peace. And sometimes, you have to push beyond your limits to find it.

Losing myself in a long distance run is where I find peace. I needed that peace today. In those long runs, it's where I can be my true self. I can't hide anything and my body feels everything. Everything is a truth. I'm thirsty, my foot hurts, my heart is beating fast, I'm breathing hard. It's all real, and it's all right now. And you can't deny it.

So as I prepare for this half marathon in nine days, I will remember where I started. I accept I may not reach my goal time. I accept I may get injured. I accept I will have down days, like I did today. And, I accept that it isn't about the race, but about the journey.

The journey I'm on got me here where I am today. I can't wait to see where the journey will take me next. If you haven't embarked on your journey yet... what are you waiting for?

Peace.

Monday
Apr142014

Weekly photos

Monday
Mar312014

March Photos

Monday
Mar242014

Spring Break

Sunday
Mar162014

February Photos (late)

Saturday
Mar152014

A fine line between healthy and vain

I totally took a picture of my white flabby belly on the beach. I'm cool with it. Everyone else should be too. I took a photo thinking I was going to share it on this blog, because by exposing myself, I hope I can encourage others to do the same and feel like I do. I saw a quote recently that said "you are not fat, you have fat. You have fingernails, but you aren't a fingernail". I am not fat. I have fat.

There is a fine line between celebrating healthy and being vain. As I look around at people at the beach, in the locker room, at the coffee shop or even at the grocery store, I can't help but wonder how they feel about themselves. Everyone is beautiful in their own way, but do they realize it?

Have you ever heard anyone say they don't like photos of themselves? I have several friends who have said that to me. I didn't understand it, really, until I realized that was how I felt too! I didn't even know it. Today, photos don't bother me, and quite frankly I'm pretty irritated at myself for missing out on years of photos. So if you see me, or anyone else, taking photos of themselves or getting photographed, smile. Know that we, finally in some instances, realized that being healthy, accepting who we are and loving life is far more important than worrying about whether or not we look fat. We only get one life. Spend it with the people you care about, do the things you love, remember you have fat, you aren't fat, and most importantly... smile. It's what I'll be doing.

PS - In full disclosure, I still have 20 lbs to lose to get to my ultimate goal. And this is a goal I plan to get to this year.

Thursday
Feb272014

March 30 day challenge

It's the end of another month, and another busted 30 day challenge. February was once again a complete bust. Kind of... I lost 1% body fat, I wanted to lose more. But I should be happy I lost some. My current clothes are getting too big and I can't wait to buy new ones, but I didn't do the thirty day shred (Jillian Michaels) even once. Work continues to get in the way! But this month, I don't care about a fitness challenge.

Thankfully March is a slow work month. So I'm looking forward to some time off, some time away and some time to exercise again. I'm also looking forward to my March 30 day challenge. This one is a good one. A napping challenge!

I'm semi-serious about this one. I'm always on the go, working wherever I am and I'm really tired. I feel so, so tired. I'm always going somewhere - I need time to sit and do nothing and to just rest. Will I really get up to two hours napping? Probably not. But I'm going to shoot for something each day. And by napping, I don't mean sleeping, I mean a quiet time where my brain is shut off! I mean resting. Not reflecting, not meditation, not reading, not doing yoga. Really just shut down time. I don't know if I even have the time to attempt this, but willing to challenge myself.

Let's see how it goes. I encourage everyone to join me this month. Come on, this is one that everyone can do! It will be fun to do together.

Friday
Feb212014

I'm a 9w1. What are you?

So I'm a 9w1. The Peacemaker. What are you?

Does this sound like me:

"In brief, Nines want to find unity and wholeness, to create harmony in their environment, to feel spacious and at ease, to emphasize the positive, to avoid conflicts and tension, to resist change and preserve things as they are, and to ignore whatever would upset or disturb them. Nines do not want to have conflicts with loved ones, to feel cut off or separated from others, to be angry, to be upset or disturbed, to have their habits or routines interrupted, to arouse themselves or to be emotionally uncomfortable, or to be forced to face unpleasant realities."

I'd say that sums me up pretty well. Have you ever taken an enneagram test to see where you fit? If not, you should because it's interesting to see exactly where you fit. This is different than the Myers-Briggs type indicator tests, but they still seem to be connected. Every time I take a MBTI test, I consistently come back as an INTJ. And when you look at that description, it pretty much fits me as well:

"INTJs dislike rules and artificial limitations – everything should be questionable and open to re-evaluation. They may be idealists (impossible is nothing) and cynics (everybody lies) at the same time. Whatever the circumstances, you can always rely on the INTJ to “fill in” the gaps in the idea – they are most likely to come up with an unorthodox solution"

The thing that I like most about taking the enneagram tests, is that I really do know where my weaknesses are, and what I need to work on myself.

For instance:
"On the surface, Nines appear to be the most easy-going, pleasant people imaginable. They go along with others' wishes, apparently without any desire other than to make sure everyone is at ease and happy. But their hidden side is that they often suppress a huge well of anger that they conceal even from themselves. Nines want to get along with others, but they also want to hold on to their independence and autonomy—they do not want to be "messed with." To the extent that they feel they cannot do the latter without endangering their connections with the important people in their lives, they become resentful and enraged—although they also feel that they can never let this anger out without destroying their relationships. Thus, for Nines to develop themselves and their potentials they must come to grips with their suppressed rage and find constructive outlets for this energy."

So that sums me up as well. I know that as I learn more and more about myself, a whole new box opens and there is more that I need to learn.

I encourage everyone to take the test, and see where you fall. How accurate is it? Do you have something to learn about yourself?

PS - the tests are online and free.


Saturday
Feb082014

A new playlist and some hopeful thinking was all I needed.

I ran/walked 7 miles today.

Yes, I know, what's the big deal? I've done it before, right? I can count on my fingers and toes the total runs at this distance or above. So it still really means a lot to me.

I've been having real trouble focusing on my half marathon training this year. More than ever before. I'm not a runner by nature. My body is a long way from looking like I'm a runner, too. I own that, and I accept that. For once in my entire life though, I am comfortable with my body. Is it perfect? Absolutely not, a long way from it... But it's mine, and it's me, it's who I am. If you judge me based on my physical appearance, it's okay that we're not friends.

To get over this running slump I'm stuck in, I asked around this week, to runner friends, hoping someone could give me advice. Everyone seemed to tell me the same thing, "I'm not sure what I think about while running". Several friends suggested music. A couple friends mentioned speed work (which I might be hitting the track with Mel tomorrow.) One said they think about not thinking. That seems nearly impossible. How can you think about not thinking?!?

Today, I missed my morning group run of 7 miles because MJ had an 8am basketball game. I knew in wouldn't be able to do these miles on the treadmill at the gym or even in my neighborhood. So I bundled up in my cold weather running gear (30 degrees!! Eeek!) and set out to the Big Park. I created a new Spotify playlist (Eminem, DeadMou5, Green Day, Gnarles Barkley, Girl Talk and Modest Mouse), I grabbed the headphones, and I was hopeful.

It worked.

I didn't even consider the time. I just ran. And sometimes I did have to walk, I had to walk up some of the hills. I feel no shame. I also stopped at the porta-potty, took a stretch break, and a break to just enjoy the view at the top of the hill. The music was perfect. It all worked out. And I did it. I didn't even have to force myself. It just all came together today.

My half-marathon goal this year is still slow, but I can't push a knee injury again. I'm shooting for sub 2:45, so my long run training pace is pretty slow. So the fact that I walked up what felt like Mt. Everest at times was okay. When I was finished, I was very close to the pace that I should be at for a long run. And considering how tough the hills of Percy Warner actually are, I'm pleased with how I did.

Here's the thing that always amazes me after I complete a run of this distance... I. Did. It. My 173 pound body just went 7 miles. Think about it for a second. Four years ago I was on insulin, I felt fat and hopeless. Today, I'm not on insulin, my A1C is in non-diabetic ranges, I'm still chubby, but I'm more fit and I have hope.

I have 173 pounds of hope.

That's what I have to remind myself of every single time I struggle. Even though I might struggle daily through workouts or I'm sore after every single time I do a plank or a push-up, I have hope. Even though my weight loss is painfully slow, I have hope. Because I'm not limited by my physical fitness level any more.

I'm not really limited by anything. Going 7 miles might seem like a meaningless or even petty accomplishment. But to me... It's everything, it like going to the moon. So while I go enjoy my runners high for the rest of the day, I hope every single one of you finds hope, and lives life as it should be lived: limitless.

A

Tuesday
Feb042014

Weekly photos