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In flux: the state of now

6 May

So it occurs to me that my ability to update this blog with any new content is sorely lacking. Even my lame Velocity updates have been missing for two months, which may sadly be giving the impression that as with many things in life I, fell of the wagon long ago.

Not so:

Onederland

And there you have my first, very public, admission of my starting weight and clothing size. They are just numbers, and I am divorcing myself from being attached to them. I am much more than my body. So much more than my weight. Every day I make choices that move me toward a healthier, more athletic body. Just as in the past I made choices that moved me toward a rounder, tired, and unhealthy one.

I still have at least nine more months before I will be at goal, perhaps as long as a year. I am completely okay with that. This is merely a marker for what I’ve done so far. A year, in which I have learned a lot, but have been out of balance. My work is at a standstill and I have lost confidence in my creative eye. I know that will change in time. I can feel it starting to change, now. But, for these last few months my attention has been taken up with tracking what I eat, planning meals, planning exercise, recovering, and pushing forward.

It’s also been filled with me coming face-to-face with some of the beliefs I’ve held about my body and about food. The introspection and the change takes tremendous mental energy. And time. And, sadly, it hasn’t left me much space for anything else. I have stopped reading the blogs I have loved (I miss them, but I just don’t have space for other’s stories right now). I rarely visit Facebook. I pay only mild attention to the news and current events. The news of Osama Bin Laden’s death, barely a blip on my radar.

I feel like I have spent most of my thirties on a different road of introspection. I’m getting tired of it, now. I’m wanting all this much-needed change to be done. I am done with having so much unfinished business in my head. I am done with having so much to fix. Fixing it all is tiring. Change is exhausting.

Wow, didn’t expect to go there when I started writing this piece. On that note, I’m closing it out. More…in the unforeseen future.

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Velocity: Month 1 Update

7 Feb

I’m still not ready to make my scrapbook layouts public. I chose to take pictures with my belly showing, and it makes me feel to vulnerable to know anyone and everyone can see those. It’s different when I know my audience can empathize, because they’re on the same journey; but it’s harder for me to have people who aren’t struggling with their weight (or perhaps never have) see me exposed in that way. So, for now you’ll have to live with this summary of the first month’s work along with copy of my scrapbook journaling, below.

  • Number of workouts: 26
  • Pounds lost: 16
  • Inches lost: 3.5
  • Distance from goal: 74 lbs
  • Favorite workout: Yoga
  • Least favorite workout: Boot Camp
  • Favorite new discovery: mint water
  • Biggest challenge: Eating less than 1500 mg of sodium

Journaling:

So, um. Yeah. That happened.

16 pounds. Half inch off my waist. An inch off my bust and thighs. The hips and arms are being stubborn, but we’ll forgive them. One month. A lot of change.

First months are always big ones. If you make it through (which is FAR from a guarantee), it’s usually the month you lose the most weight. I’ve done this enough times in the past to know that. And while I’ve never lost that much before, I’ve also never had so much to lose.

But what I’ve gained this month has been something else. On January 5th, when I took my first yoga class, I was dripping with sweat within the first minute, collapsing on every downward dog and trembling through every pose. A month later, I find myself bending and stretching in ways I couldn’t have imagined before. And that transformation is as much internal, as it is external. A week ago, when the intensity of a boot camp class brought up all my worst body insecurities—when I actually had to fake wiping sweat, but I was actually wiping tears—I somehow managed to push through. I finished. I claimed the exercise back for myself. I let go of whatever I thought other people were thinking of me, and I finished the best I could.

I am, and almost always will be a recovering perfectionist. And I have allowed myself to be imperfect on this journey. I have eaten cheeseburgers, ice cream, and yes, birthday cake. I have also pounded it out six times a week at the gym. Sweating, panting, and yes, twice, crying. I have done it when I hated every minute of it. I have done it complaining and groaning. But I have done it for me, for my heart and for the life I now believe I deserve to have.

It has taken me so long to get to a place where I believe I deserved better. It has taken me even longer to get o a place where I believed I was strong enough to deliver better to myself. But right now, this is place where I’m living. A place where I believe I am capable. And a place where there are no expectations, no standards I have to live up to. It’s only me—being mindful, and dedicated to delivering my body and mind the things they’ve been begging for: nourishment, movement, and forgiveness.

Small Victory

27 Jan

Today I was angry. And sad. and self-loathing. And probably a bit self-pitying.

Yesterday was my birthday. I turned 35. I felt so grateful to have another year under my belt and a new one to look forward to. I went to yoga in the morning.

I went to the doctor in the afternoon.

I called the doctor because I had another  spell of vertigo on Monday, right at the end of yoga class. I turned on my right side and the whole room flipped. And hour later I was vomiting from the motion sickness. A few weeks of better food choices and exercising was not going to be my panacea. I came face to face—in yoga class of all places—with the fact that I wasn’t going to clear this problem up on my own. I needed medical intervention.

But when I sat in the doctor’s chair, an old problem, one I like to pretend had gone away, came rearing it’s ugly head. The nurse took my blood pressure: 174/121. high. Very high. The doctor prescribed medication. He told me to start treating salt like poison. Ordered labs and referred me to an ENT to further investigate my vertigo.

And there it is. Another reason moving more and reducing my size no longer optional. My life depends on it…

And this morning, after a rough night of child-interrupted sleep, I woke up irritable. Both my daughter and husband were sick with colds and everything I had planned to do today was thrown off. And, I have very high blood pressure. And I need to lose weight.And I was a grouch. And I wanted to eat a pizza covered in french fries and feel better.

But instead, I went to the gym. I stepped on the elliptical. The battery was dead on my ancient iPod. I had to listen to their god-awful early 80’s rock. I jumped on, started to move. I worked hard. Sweat poured down my face and arms. When I wanted to quit, I closed my eyes. I kept going.

20 minutes later, I jumped on the stationary bike. After three minutes, I wanted off. I was done.I closed my eyes again. I stated breathing. I took my glasses off. I thought about being labor. I thought about how I learned to take it one contraction—one  minute—period at a time. I thought,

“You gave birth to a baby without drugs. And you think you can’t do this?!”

20 minutes later, I was done. Drenched in sweat, tired, but done. A small victory. In the face of a major set back, I chose to accelerate. And I left that gym energized, calm, and 100% happier than I was before I arrived.

And tomorrow…I’m doing it again.