Thursday, September 30, 2004

And then the most amazing thing happened ...

I went to the gym and everything became ok. As soon as I hopped on the treadmill and got myself warm and the endorphins started flowing then it was all alright. It didn't matter what was happening in my life outside of the gym, all that was important at that moment in time was me and my feet and the strange twinging soreness in my right hip and working on figuring out my breathing pattern. All my internal voices (guilt, self-deprication, sadness, pain, exhaustion, anxiety) just disappeared. I guess I always knew, somewhere deep down inside, why people run. But now I know for me. Good god it felt amazing. I want to do it again, right now.

I figured out my breathing! In for four steps through the nose, our for four steps through the mouth. The only times that I felt at all out of breath were when I was walking, but that's just because it was interrupting my breathing flow.

Right now I'm feeling a strange combination of drained and elated.

I feel drained in that I have no idea what I'm going to do about my relationship with J. I have no idea where this is going to go. I have no idea where it can go! Daniel (my therapist) says that I tend to think of everything in black and white, so it's either stay with J for the rest of my life or get rid of him now. He says there are other options, you know, and that it would be good if I could figure some of them out and try to keep them in mind. But it all just seems so black and white to me. I obviously need to spend some time figure out what those other options are.

I feel elated because for the first time in a really long time I have a good handle on who I am. I have a direction and a purpose and some passions and I'm full of ideas and thoughts and plans. And I know who I want to be! That's the biggest deal for me. I have this unbelievably clear picture in my mind of who I want to be. Truth be told, I'm not far off. I have some stuff I still need to work on. I have some time that still needs to be spent. But believe you me, I'm well on my way.

You can all uncross your fingers. Feel free to no longer worry about whether or not my stupid boyfriend can quit smoking. Easy answer ... he can't.

I just don't know what to do. Look, I'm not going to marry him if he keeps smoking. And there's not a chance in hell I'm ever going to have kids with him if he keeps smoking. I'm just so sick and fucking tired of being disappointed in him. He says he's going to do something and he never does. I don't know what to do. I don't know how to feel about all of this. I don't know how to be the person I feel I'm turning into when I have nobody else there with me. I feel like I'm constantly struggling to improve myself and he's content to just be J and not worry about changing himself. And, for the life of me, I can't figure out how to explain this so that he understands.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Shit ... it's raining out. I was actually thinking about going running by the river today instead of at the gym (because A suggested it), but now that's down the tube. I don't feel comfortable enough yet that running by the river in the rain would seem ok to me. That comes later. But what this means is that I'm going to go get in my wet car and drive to the gym.

What? You say I haven't told you about my wet car yet? It's such a hassle. The first window that went was the driver's side. At some point J was rolling it down and he kept on rolling and the window just stopped moving. It's stuck about an inch down from being all the way up. Not so bad, but when it rains the insidious little drops make their way in and soak the driver's seat. Aargh. And then went the passenger's side window. And yes, it was J again. Hmmm ... very mysterious. This time he was rolling it up and it didn't go anywhere. And really, I mean NOWHERE. It's stuck permanently in the down position, so you can imagine what that does in the rain. And all of this means that I end up with one hell of a wet car. Ah, the joys.

Anyway. I started week 2 of the run/walk yesterday and it was hard. I'm running pretty slowly (I can walk that fast, which is a serious bummer) but I'm still having a hard time with breath. It's hard getting a rhythm down when I'm constantly changing pace. But I've been paying attention to my stride a whole bunch and trying to correct things that I think I'm doing wrong.

I've really been getting into this. It's a lot of fun to go to the gym and spend half an hour on the treadmill, then do weights, stretch, and (my totally awesome newest addition to my fitness routine) do my cruches. I really would like to have a seriously buff stomach at some point, so I figure adding crunches in to me routine can only help. I've been doing 130 of them: 20 with legs straight up in the air, 20 with legs straight up in the air but like I'm pulling a rope up towards them, 20 oblique crunches on each side, and then a 30 count of bicycles. I feel like this really could have good results, especially if I'm doing them every single day that I go to the gym (5 days/week).

And in other news, had an interesting conversation with J last night after he came home from his class.

J: I feel like shit.
Me: What kind of shit? (This is my response because, for me, "I feel like shit" means that I'm nauseous. It can mean all sorts of things from other people, so I always have to ask.)
J: My lungs hurt, my heart is pounding, and I feel like shit.
Me: Uhbuh...
J: I think it's time to quit smoking.
Me: Great. When do you want to do it?
J: Now.

So, as far as I know, he didn't smoke at all last night after we had that conversation. I'm hoping that he's really ready for it this time, that it's not like all the other times he's told me he was going to do it. I know that the only way you can really do it is to be determined that you're really going to do it. I'm working on not getting too excited. Everytime he tells me he's going to do something like this I get totally excited and then, when he changes his mind, I'm heartbroken. It happens all the time and I have to stop it. I guess the important thing for me to realize is that it doesn't really have anything to do with me, that if he wants to do this he'll do it, and that in the meantime all I can do is be supportive.

But, nonetheless, please keep your fingers crossed. It actually does mean a lot to me.

Monday, September 27, 2004

I've started reading and enjoying poetry again. And it all started with the poem below so I figured I should include it here. Most people know it from "G.I. Jane". As I was flipping channels the other day, I managed to catch the last minute or so of the movie, when the poem plays an active role. Upon hearing it I found myself sobbing like a baby. It's like the best words of advice anyone could give me in the form of this beautiful poem, and it just touches something deep inside of me. Amazing. So the first line has become my running mantra. It just repeats in my head, "I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself ... I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself ... etc." It's helpful, keeps in my mind the important parts of what I'm doing.

Speaking of which, today starts week two of the run/walk program. I have to admit that I'm fairly nervous to see how it's going to go. Today I start doing run one minute, walk one minute over and over and over again. Seems pretty daunting. I just don't think that walking for one minute is really going to give me enough time to catch my breath. Crap. I have so many questions that I need to ask! How about if I post them here and if any of y'all know the answers then just let me know, ok?

1. If I'm thinking that one minute isn't going to be enough time to catch my breath between minutes running, does that mean I'm going too fast?

2. How do I protect myself from shin splints? Especially because the slower I run, the more my shins hurt. Someone recently told me that's because I'm running up on my toes (like a sprinter does) so I'm going to check out my stride today and then figure out if that's the truth.

3. Why do my knees hurt when I run slower? The difference in knee pain between running 5 miles/hour and running 4.8 miles/hour is most definitely noticeable.

I think that the absolute best thing for me right now would be to get some sessions with a personal trainer. I've got so many questions related to fitness and nobody to ask them to. I need someone who's right there with me, you know? And, especially right now, it's just so super important that I don't hurt myself. Hmmmm ... maybe that's something I'll look into. See how much it costs.


I never saw a wild thing
sorry for itself.
A small bird will drop frozen dead from the bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself.

--D.H. Lawrence

Saturday, September 25, 2004

I've made a couple of changed on my blog. First off, I changed my little tagline thingy. See, when I started this it was really just a blog for helping me figure out all my weight stuff, but now I need it to turn into something else. I guess I realized this yesterday when I was looking at it and saw the fact that I had my weight sitting right there in the tagline. My initial thought was, "How inappropriate!" So I guess I've moved past the place where those numbers were so important to me. I still weigh myself on a regular basis, but I think it's more out of habit now. I am interested to see if anything is changing, but I don't REALLY care. I'm only 5 (or so) pounds off of what my initial goal weight was, so honestly, that's good enough for me. Don't get me wrong here, I'm not done in my fitness quest. It's just that the numbers don't matter so much anymore. Now I'm much more interested in learning how to run, getting better at lifting weights, continuing in my yoga practice, and feeling more strong than thin.

And I'm going to start using this for talking about other things as well, not just weight-loss. This may mean that some of you lose interest in reading. It may also mean that I'll get more visits from random strangers. Who knows ... All that matters to me right now is that I need a place to write down all sorts of random shit, and this should be the place that I do it.

So prepare yourselves to accompany me through the next year and a half of my life with school, my quest to become a runner, my struggles with my darling boyfriend, and my desire to learn as much about myself as I possibly can ... issues, strengths, shortcomings, talents, and all. I can't promise it'll be the most interesting thing ever, but it'll be me, straight up. I'm taking off my "public mask" and working hard on just being me.

I'm learning to love myself inside and out.

Smooches to all of y'all.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

I had this crazy thought in regards to this morning, which totally didn't work out, but it's one of my goals so I'm going to tell you guys about it. I decided last night that I wasn't really willing to give up my morning's exercise just because I have to go to school at the crack of fucking dawn. So I set my alarm for 5:45 this morning. 5:45 ... do you hear me? What, have I gone completely insane? Nobody in their right mind should ever wake up at 5:45, let alone do it by their own free will.

The honest truth is that the only reason I feel bad at the end of a school day (other than that whole pesky exhaustion thing) is because I didn't exercise that day. If I'm going to get up and do stuff all day long, I want exercise to be included in it. So I have to figure out how to incorporate that into my school life.

The other thing that I have to work on, which is immediately apparent, is sleep. I have a virtually impossible time going to sleep before midnight, but I keep on trying to get up earlier and earlier. Of course, all this means is that I'm just getting less and less sleep as time goes on ... definitely not what I want and not what's good for me.

It's funny all the ways that school is changing my life ... the little ways that nobody else would notice. Like yesterday I was at CVS and I went over to look at the nail polish section until I realized that I don't have any nails left, so there isn't much point. And like cutting my nails off in the first place. I'm a jewelry shopper and when I do shop for the stuff, it's mostly rings and bracelets that I'm looking for. But now, since we're supposed to remove any jewelry from our hands and arms whenever we're working on anyone, I've had to stop shopping for rings and bracelets. And I've started eating only organic food again, because it just makes me feel SO MUCH BETTER and that's really important right now.

I am so excited about all of this. Can you tell? (giant grin)

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Yesterday is a dream. Tomorrow is a vision. But today, well lived, makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope.
- Sanskrit Proverb

Monday, September 20, 2004

Well I went to the gym and did the correct run/walk program this morning. It's much harder than what I was doing before, which is probably good. What I was doing before actually seemed absurdly easy, so it's definitely nicer to have a challenge.

And if I'm at the gym at 10am then I get to watch Dawson's Creek. I've never had any interest in this show and, to tell the truth, I still don't. But it makes absolutely perfect background noise/visuals while I'm running. I have no idea what's going on with the plot and I don't care, so I don't have to pay very much attention. But then again, it also keeps my mind at least semi-occupied so I'm not just thinking about how stupid I look in my new running shorts that ride all the way up to where the sun don't shine.

I'm so excited about the prospect of some day really turning into a runner. That's really what's keeping me going back. Well, that and that I can tell my body is really going to love this. Shit man, it already is.
So I was looking at the run/walk program that I'm supposed to be doing today and I found something kind of strange. Turns out that I'm making up my own! Who knew? I thought that I was supposed to be walking for 9 minutes and then running for one, repeating this three times for a half an hour total. And then each week adding in another minute of running. But then I look at the actual program and it's nothing even vaguely like that. Where the hell did I get that idea? So now I've got to figure out if I should start again or what. Or maybe incorporate their plan and my plan and come up with a new plan? Good lord. Now this is totally complicated.

How silly...

Sunday, September 19, 2004

I'm on my third day in a row of not running, and it's making me feel guilty. I have school at 8:30 am on Fridays, which means I don't run then. And then yesterday it was pouring rain and I just wanted a day to hang out by myself around the house, so I didn't go. And then this morning I forgot to set the alarm, so I didn't go again. I suppose it's really ok because for the run/walk program you're just supposed to do 3-4 days of it per week. But I was thinking that it would probably be a good idea to go 4-5 days of it instead. Like, every day that I'm not going to school. Oh well, there is always next week.

And it's going quite well! I realized (after spending a lot of time on the runner's world beginners forum) that probably one of the reasons I was having so much trouble running before was because I was trying to go too fast. Everybody kept on saying JUST SLOW DOWN. So I decided to grit my teeth and ignore what I thought everybody else in the gym was saying about me and run at the speed where I felt comfortable. I keep in mind, the entire time, what A says about always running at a speed where she doesn't have to breathe through her mouth. So that's what I've been working on. What that basically amounts to is 5 miles/hour, but I ain't complaining. I figure that if I can run 5 miles/hour for an entire half hour straight then that means I've run 2.5 miles, right? And that will be a personal best for me. And besides, speed work can come later.

So week 2 starts tomorrow! I'll definitely keep everyone informed about my progress.

Monday, September 13, 2004

I hate my body. This isn't an emotion that I often carry around with me anymore. Truth be told, I've actually become pretty damn comfortable in my skin. But oh lord there are times when I just want to shoot myself.

Today I went to the gym, did some running and some weights, and then went out to do a little shopping. I only own two bras and they're both starting to run out of elastic in the straps and just get generally worn down. So it's time to go and get some more. Huge failure. Can someone tell me, do lingerie manufacterers actually design bras that fit people? Anybody? Because they sure as shit don't fit me. I tried on about 10 different bras from at least 4 manufacterers and NONE of them fit. I walked out of the store without purchasing a single one. Not a single one!

Is it just because I'm shaped funny? I know that my breasts aren't the typical model shape ... round and perky. And I know that they're small for my frame. But is that really that unusual? I mean, do they really just not make bras for people who are shaped the way that I am? Or do I need to go and start spending extravagant amounts of money on these things? Will that help the situation?

I'm pissed.

But other than that, life is actually going quite well. Last week was my first week at a new school. For those of you who don't know, I'm now attending massage school (see MTI in my links). I'm super excited about it. I'm learning things that I know nothing about. And I'm learning about things that I have recently become interested in because of my body journey. Soon, when I've got a new sore muscle, I'll just know what it is instead of having to ask everyone around me what it is! That's awesome! And also, learning the actual technique is amazing. I never knew how much the MTs have to concentrate on what they're doing with their bodies. Now that I'm learning about it, I don't think I'll ever feel the same about getting a massage. People who can do this and not hurt themselves are amazing! Hopefully that'll be me.

It's an amazing new journey! I'm so excited by all of it!

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

It's 6:30 in the morning and I'm awake. Massage school had better be worth it, because this is too damn early.

Monday, September 06, 2004

What an absolutely kick-ass day I am having so far! Woo hoo!

Went to the gym where I actually started the run/walk program. So that's 35 minutes on the treadmill: 9 walking, 1 running, 9 walking, 1 running, 9 walking, 1 running, and then 5 walking to cool down. Then on to the elliptical, where I worked up a nice sweat with 15 HARD minutes. Then weight lifting, which left my muscles weak and shaky. Awesome. And I finished it all off with some stretching (which I never do, but know that I should all the time).

And then I walked out of the gym and remembered that Mondays is the farmer's market day right next to my gym! So I went over and got some corn, peppers, apples, and honey comb as a present for J.

I feel fantastic. It's such a nice feeling to be active and happy. I am loving life right now.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

And I did it. Went to the gym. Not for too long, but just enough to get my feet wet again. And then to Saucony outlet to get myself a good pair of running shoes.

I can do this. I totally can.

Elliptical - 20 min.
Hip adductor - 20 lbs, 20 reps, 3 sets
Hip abductor - 20 lbs, 20 reps, 3 sets
Lat pulldown - 50 lbs, 10 reps, 3 sets
Seated row - 30 lbs, 10 reps, 3 sets
Chest press - 20 lbs, 10 reps, 3 sets
Overhead press - 20 lbs, 10 reps, 3 sets
I am sick of this shit. I'm pissed off at myself all the time for being a lazy ass, but I'm not doing anything about it which pisses me off even more and makes me do even less. Aargh. What a pointless shitty cycle.

That's it. I can't take it anymore. I'm sick of all this crap and I'm on my way to the gym. And I think on my way back from the gym (well, it's a little bit of a detour) I'm going to stop by the saucony outlet and get fitted for a pair of running shoes. I told myself that I was going to start my run/walk program like 2 months ago and it didn't happen. So instead of being pissed off at myself for not doing it then, I'm just going to do it now.

See, I'm heading off in a completely new direction. Next week I'm starting massage therapy school (look at MTI in my links) and in order for me to really be the best MT that I can be, I need to really take care of myself. I can't just wander around making everyone else feel good all the time and not care for myself at all. I have to be serious about putting myself first.

So as of today, I am putting myself back on track. I am going to start eating well again, exercising, and making sure that I take time to pay attention to myself. I'm going to work on incorperating some kind of meditation into my daily life. I'm going to make sure that I go to yoga at the very least once a week. I'm going to start entering all my food into FitDay again (because it seems to be the only thing that really keeps me accountable). I'm going to go to the gym. I'm going to start my run/walk program. I'm going to find some martial art or dance or tai chi classes to take. I'm going to start taking risks again. I'm going to stop being a lazy person and instead turn back into someone who I like.

Y'all are my witnesses. If I don't do it then please, I'm begging you, find some way to help me.