Tag Archives: Motivation

A million things I haven’t done

Hello, again. It’s been too long, again.

Last post, I was trying to start a meetup. There wasn’t good attendance for the first two meetups, and that discouraged me from scheduling another one. But just now, between writing “It’s been too long, again” and “last post…”, I decided, what the f, just try again and scheduled a repeating meetup every Saturday at 9 am. Wish me better success this time! I’m hoping that every week will pick up more people. I’m super nervous, tbh.

My dog, Hobbit, died, but I don’t want to talk about that. My parents already got a new dog, which took some getting used to.

I’ve been really struggling to maintain motivation. I have very little trouble getting motivated, but it doesn’t seem to last the full day, so that’s minimally useful.

I took the leap of buying my friend a bikram pass so that I have someone to go with, so that I actually go. I figure it’s better to pay double but get the benefits than it would be to pay the normal price and get nothing because I lack motivation. This friend is good at getting going, unlike me, so it is a lot easier to just tag along with her than to get myself moving all alone.

In other news, the Warriors lost and my husband and I had a bet going. Had they won, he would have had to listen to the whole Hamilton soundtrack with me. But they lost, so now I have to go to the gym 5 times a week for a year, starting tomorrow. Can you tell he drives a harder bargain than I do? Sigh. I think I’ll try the workouts recommended in the book Strong. I made tables in word with the first set of workouts, here’s what that looks like.Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 11.21.56 AM

Maybe that’s all I have to say today, but I’m going to commit right now to posting again on… Tuesday. Why not? See you then!

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Anxious, tied in knots

My dog has a very large tumor in her tummy. The vet thinks it could be a cyst or stage 4 cancer. If it’s cancer, they expect her to live only up to three months. If it’s a cyst, she might be ok for a while, but it could rupture any time and she would die of internal bleeding. For a couple days, she wouldn’t eat and barely moved. My heart is in knots.

My contract is up on the 15th, so I need to be looking for a job. That scares me very much, because I don’t know that I’m qualified to do anything. I look at myself and see only incompetence. Possibly it’s “imposter syndrome,” but it’s extremely real to me. My stomach is in knots.

Meantime, a tiny, two person start up that I did some visual work for back in the autumn has contacted me because they are in an accelerator program and need more work. My husband is convinced that this is my opportunity to get in on the ground floor of something that could be big. My parents think it’s an opportunity to never be paid and waste time that I could otherwise spend looking for a proper job. I think nothing. I have never felt less bold or decisive, and my entire life has been a litany of timidity and indecision. My mind is in knots.

The only things that seem to make me feel temporarily better is my facebook group and when I go out for my run/walks and can immerse myself in audiobooks, physical discomfort and beautiful nature. Today, I saw a hawk perch in a tree, take flight, and land–unexpectedly clumsily–on the other side of the path, then fly away on strong wings. I heard a chorus of frogs. I saw the Golden Gate bridge looking blue in the distance. I saw a man on a horse. I saw three orange and black butterflies spiraling up a sunbeam under the shady trees. Last week, I heard a pack of coyotes yelping and wailing, echoing across the hills.

I have been eating not quite so triumphantly well for the past 4 days. I don’t think I did terribly today, although I was sloppy with tracking so it’s hard to be certain. I’m so worried about my good dog. Sometimes, I just lay on the floor, staring at her, trying to be as close to her as possible, to appreciate her as much as I possibly can.

I just want everything to be ok again, to stop hurting. Eating doesn’t help, it just begets more and more eating, but it’s still my first thought when I feel this bad.

Post workout

January 7

I just finished day 2 on my “get running” app on a treadmill at planet fitness. I just want to write down how I’m feeling so I don’t forget how good it feels.

I feel warm. My legs feel especially warm, and they remember motion the same way my body used to remember the waves on the night after a day at the beach. My breath feels easy and clear. My heart feels alive. I feel fully awake for the first time today. My head feels a bit light, but not unpleasantly so.

Most of all, I feel content, again for the first time today. I feel “in the moment,” in my body, but not in the noisy gym where I’m waiting for my husband to finish up. I’m listening to my current favorite piece, (link here).

I’m beginning to feel the cold. It’s not unpleasant. It moves over me in chills, seemingly synced to the music.

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January 8

I tried to do my another day of Get Running today, but I think I needed a break from it. I made it through 7 of the 8 one minute runs. Still felt good, just not as good as yesterday.

My goal is to love running. So many people do, including people who never thought they could. It seems at least possible that if I’m careful, patient and positive, I might cultivate a love of running too. Then I could run with my husband, and we would have something that we would enjoy doing together outside of the house.

Part of the reason why I think it’s possible to love running is because I’ve been listening to the Half Size Me podcast, and there are some stories of people who have lost impressive amounts of weight, and discovered that they love running. If they can do it, why shouldn’t I give it a shot?

That podcast (I may have mentioned it in 2014, but I’m going to go out on a limb and guess no one remembers me doing so) is doing a lot to keep my spirits up. The host/creator/master mind behind it lost 170 lbs–and maintained the loss for 4 years this month–herself, and seems to have made it her mission to spread the gospel of possibilities. She does it through interviews with other awesome losers.

I love it because I need inspiration as much as anyone, but I find the motivational poster/quote with picture medium hard to swallow. If it has to be dressed up that much, how can I be sure it’s really deep and not just glamorous? But I find my own incidental inspirational quotes in the podcast, and I write them down if I can (often I’m driving).

Here are four of my favorites. Sadly, I don’t have any idea which episodes these come from, I’ve been binge listening (lol) for over a week.

I decide what happens to my body

 

How would I treat myself, how would I act, if I loved myself? What would I say when I talk to myself?

 

I choose to run happy!

 

You have to walk each step to be ready for the next one.

I could probably write a post about what each of these mean to me, and maybe I should, but for now I’ll let you make of them what you will.

In other news, I’m trying to be more positive…. actually, I guess the more positive way to say that is I have decided to BE more positive. There is no try, and all that. We’ll see.

It’s not easy, though I seem to have others fooled. I can still feel the darkness of how I am if I’m not careful, just under the surface of positive thoughts. But that’s ok, I just have to believe that the positive will seep through into the core of my being.

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For long-term positivity and appreciation of all that is good in my life, I am stealing an idea that I read about a few days ago on the Damn girl, that’s a lot of fattitude blog. The good jar. In my case, it’s the good box, because I have a love of boxes that borders on the ridiculous, so I had a beautiful box I felt would be perfect. It’s also A great way to use the tiny pad of lovely peacock paper I got years ago. Nothing ever seemed right to write on it until now. It’s just a shame my handwriting is such garbage.

For the whole year, I will write down whenever something especially good happens to me. I want to fill it, so I am also including good decision. At the end of the year, I can look back on my year of goodness and be glad I kept track. The trick will be to not forget. I often forget things. I’ll keep it visible, even in the way, as much as possible.

In my last post I forgot to mention how I chose to mark the dawn of the new year.

Very literal. I watched the sun rise. It was lovely… a little cold. I noticed that the frost didn’t form until the sun was rising, and I wondered about that. If you know anything regarding frost, let me know. It’s hilly where I live, so it was light for a while before the sun managed to clear the hill.

That’s all for now, I think.

 

Not a New Years Resolution

I determined I would not have a New Years Resolution. I would not start my new life on the first day of the new year. I would not.

No, I would jump the gun. I have seen my mother get excited, year after year, about her resolution, only to let them slip. I have become superstitious. My resolution has nothing to do with the New Year. My resolution is about life, not about timekeeping.

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Really though, it is about life, my life and the lives of my as yet unconceived children, our shared health and the quality of my life with my husband.

So I started a few days early, a bumpy start, but solid enough as a place to start. I’m trying to come in under calorie budget as much as I can, within reason, and get exercise regularly. I have been scheduling my days, starting at 5 am (though I haven’t managed that wake up in a week or so) for a while now, and it seems to make everything easier. I put everything into the calendar on my phone, and then it gives me reminders on my apple watch, and that way I can stay on track. Sort of. Driving my husband around at unpredictable hours sort of has ripple effects throughout the day.

IMG_7244Today, I’m somehow 600 calories under budget, despite chocolates and coffee with half a cup of irish cream creamer. I did accidentally skip breakfast, so perhaps that helped me stay under. I also went to personal training this morning. So. Many. Squats. Sumo squats, jump squats, etc. ad nauseam. But I love finishing and knowing my exercise is done for the day, that I’ve accomplished that much before 10 am. It feels good (afterwards).

Those of you who read my last post may be wondering about the bird situation. No, my old bird has not returned. But I’m slowly making progress with Raindrop. I can put my hand in her (I don’t actually know the sex, but it’s easier this way) cage and she doesn’t freak out unless I get too close or move too much. She will eat spray millet tied to a stick that I hold. She chirps at me and fluffs her feathers. I say her name when she looks at me so that the sound of her name and of my voice become familiar. She has such big black eyes, so much more innocent than the golden eyes of Jasmine.

Some of the feathers on her back are slightly yellow. Sadly, when I first saw that I thought it was some kind of stain, but one of the feathers was laying on the table the next day, and I realized that she has yellow and grey stripped feathers. It reminds me of a pale sun breaking out of the clouds. Like a real raindrop, Raindrop holds many colors if you look closely.

Kale is becoming a staple food again. I can eat a whole bag of kale on my own, cooked with onion and dressed with soy sauce. I’ve discovered that a large amount of whipped cream is not very high in calories, and is delicious on raspberries, so that has become something of a staple treat, if that makes sense. Sometimes I go overboard and eat too much whipped cream, but it’s so much air that it’s not easy to really do a huge amount of damage like it would be with, say, chocolates, or all of the other things I might reach for.

I seem to have run out of things to say for tonight, so here are my favorite christmas tree ornaments

New Year, Same Goals

Happy New Year everyone!

I’m keeping my goals from October, only redoubling my efforts in light of the new year. IMG_4408I was very slack in November, and outright counter-productive in the last week of December. To be fair, my birthday is the day before Christmas, so those two days it made sense to be off. What was a less good idea was continuing to gorge myself for the rest of 2014. I ate so much I felt I could hear the stretch marks forming. I’m back up to 256 lbs, 8 pounds up from where I was at the beginning of November. C’est la vie. No point in dwelling on it.

What I need to do is re-establish the aversion I had to going off plan. When you first start a diet Lifestyle change. you really feel bad about the idea of straying. Once you make your first big mistake though, suddenly it seems like a less big deal and you are more likely to keep slipping up. There is a two-word phrase that sums that up perfectly, but I can’t remember it. I can’t even figure out how to google for it. I saw it on someone’s blog, but I can’t remember which blog it was, let alone what post it was. I knew I would want to remember it, but didn’t take the necessary steps. Please, if anyone knows what I’m talking about, and/or can figure it out, please please comment. I need that phrase in my life. I want to name the problem superstitiously because I believe that once it’s well defined, it will be easier to avoid.

My biggest problem is when I don’t know what to eat. So I think what I have to do is start pre-planning, and attempting to pre-prepare my meals. I know that seems obvious to some, but I’ve really struggled with it. The reason I haven’t been able to manage it is because I tend to eat everything I make pretty quickly (especially with the help of my husband), and I’m terrible at knowing how much food I need to make. I go from thinking “this is an absurd amount of food” to “where did it all go?” Also, the fridge is a mess and packed full. I may have to deal with that before I can store any food.

I also want to start planning my life better, wasting less time. I want to seriously take up art again, because if I hadn’t given up as a teen, I would be pretty good by now.  Likewise, I want to either start again with violin, or try to learn some piano, or guitar. Obviously, I want need to go to the gym more often, and want to take up running with my hubby. We’ve been trying to do our running concurrently and around the same field, but he keeps trying to push me to do more than I’m comfortable with and more than my app tells me to do. I find this encouragement very frustrating. I know that I don’t want to push myself to the point where I give up. I want to succeed at small things and progress slowly, not keep trying to do more and more until I fail and get disheartened. I wish he could respect that a bit more, but he’s very enthusiastic.

So I’ve got a planner, and each day I will plan the next day such that I work towards my goals.

Running Shoes!

We went shoe shopping today. My mother agreed to get me running shoes for my birthday/christmas (my birthday is the 24th, so the presents aren’t always clearly delineated in my mind). My husband came along because he is good and kind.. Or possibly it was because he wanted to get socks. We went to Sports Authority.

Oh my goodness, there were so many shoes!

We found a sales associate, and I announced my intentions:

“I want to take up running. I need motion control running shoes because I overpronate.” Unspoken: find me miracle shoes. I need to feel as though the earth is a marshmallow under my feet. I need to feel as though my ankles couldn’t buckle if I tried. I need the stability of skyscraper foundations every time I set my foot on the ground. Make it so. Fix me.

And just like that, the shopping began! He brought in some arch supports, because my overpronation hasn’t killed my high arches, yet, And I started trying on shoes. It came down to two pairs, some electric blue asics, and some black and green shoes, the maker of which I have forgotten. My husband has asics and loves them, but the black and green ones were more strongly recommended by the sales guy.  I loved the asics while I was wearing them, and they were an attractive color, but once I got used to the snugger fit of the green and blacks, the sapphire shoes suddenly felt too loose. I fear wobbling. I don’t want to be able to blame my shoes if I run poorly. I picked the green and blacks. I want to run on my treadmill and see if I love them as much as I think I do. I will report back after.

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They were Great! They had their Maiden Voyage on the treadmill and it was lovely. I am calling them the Happy Shoes, because of how excited I was to try running in them. I think I made the right call. My feet did fall asleep, but I think that has little to do with the shoes, it’s just something that happens to me. I watched Brooklyn Nine-Nine and did the last day of week one on Get Running. I breezed through it (it’s true, what my husband tells me, that running on a treadmill is less challenging than running outdoors. I will try to repeat the experiment outside tomorrow, or possibly I’ll just walk. I haven’t decided).

Fighting, Vainly, the Old Ennui

Eeek. I’m really not doing great these past few days. I keep making exception after exception, and it will add up really quickly if I’m not careful. I’m becoming my same old self again, and I can’t be that anymore. That self is honestly horrible and I hate being around her. That self can’t stay awake. That self never gets anything done. That self cries too much and is too angry. That self needs to be put down, six feet down, so that the new self I’m working on can grow.

Some history. I was diagnosed as bipolar around 5th grade, mostly because my sister was clearly and undeniably bipolar and my mother was scared for me. I was put on meds before puberty. To this day, I can’t figure out if I was rightly diagnosed. It’s possible that the symptoms I displayed were actually just childish/pubescent follies. But I think even if I was correctly diagnosed, it would have been better not to tell me until I was more mature. Because I used it as an excuse to really wallow in every passing mood. I felt that my feelings must be more intense than other people’s and that I needed to be more dramatic, so that everyone would understand just how artistically damaged I was, and how I suffered. I also felt I had to prove to myself that the diagnosis was correct. I became quite melodramatic. And lazy. All I ever had to do if I wanted something done for me was tell my mother I was too depressed to do it myself. I indulged my every stupid, lazy whim. I always excused myself because of my disorder.

New therapist/psychiatrist now. He thinks I may just be dysthymic. Laziness and self indulgence are habits I still struggle with, having never learned any other way to be. I got a lot of the “everyone is special” message, and not enough of the “even special people need to work hard” side of the story. I never noticed that this was a problem until I met my husband. His upbringing was different. For example, one of his math teachers in childhood used to administer corporal punishment to the lowest performing students. My husband says he really improved his math skills during that teacher’s reign. Flopping around complaining about emotions would not have been an effective strategy. If you look at us now, he is able to focus on anything that he needs to focus on, and stay focused for a very long time, while I have roughly the attention (and memory) span of a goldfish.

Back to the present. I’m having feelings, not related to anything, and it’s making it hard to keep on track. My sudden interest in getting healthy followed close on the heels of being given Abilify to improve the effects of my antidepressants. I’m not saying that’s why I was able to start so strong, but it does make me wonder. So now I’m wondering if I’ve been forgetting to take my meds, or the I’ve gotten used to the abilify and it no longer works, or whether none of it has anything to do with the pills. It’s a weird feeling to not be able to separate your own personality, drive and emotions from a handful of pills.

So I need to focus on staying positive, and act as though I have no emotional instability. If I dwell on being bipolar or dysthymic, I just get more and more severely depressive. I’m absolutely not saying that that is true of anyone else, just me.

So I’ve had a few iffy days, and not really exercised the hardest I’ve ever tried. I will do better tomorrow. I need to work on pre-planning my 21 day fix meals, because I haven’t been successful at making myself measure everything out in the moments before I eat it. Also, I need to log things on lose it before I eat, not after.

I need to listen to more music that makes me happy  and keep my spirits up. Most of all, I think I need to blog more regularly, to make sure I do all the things I say I’ll do!

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Workouts for me

I’m not inherently good at pushing myself. Shocking, I know. I’m not quite like my husband in that way (or any way at all, we are the archetypal opposites that attract). While he can just see a thing that needs doing and do it without complaint, I struggle mulishly against my own better judgement, and finally give up much of the time. I am changing though, because I’ve married a good influence. Not that I’m doing this for him or at his request, but simply seeing how good and strong he is makes me want to try a bit harder. I’m so glad to have him.

Anyhow, I really have to try hard to think of ways to get myself to keep trying. So as of Thursday, I’ve begun the 30 Day Plank challenge.

This one

I’ve also coerced my gym buddy into the challenge. And by “coerce” I mean “meekly suggested.” She was enthusiastic. We will also do Crunch challenge in November, and an arms challenge in December. I will, of course, be making things which I can color in to keep track of my progress. Coloring is essential to weight loss and life.

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Starting point for 7 minute workout

I’m also doing the “7 minute workout” (there’s an app), and steadily upping the intensity by first decreasing the time between exercises, then doing the exercises for longer, then starting to do more than one 7 minute workout in a row.

And I’ve made a playlist of songs that make me happy enough that I don’t hate working out to them. I’ve decided on exercises for each song, and I shall recount them here incase I (inevitably) misplace the card I wrote it down on. At this point I can’t do the exercises the whole way through each song, but someday I will. You are welcome to join me, and let me know how you are doing.

1. Big Girl You Are Beautiful–Squat into shoulder press

2. Kasepiki (Bebe Cool)–Curl and Twist (I don’t remember how I came to know this, so consider the info suspect, but I heard that this song was the artist’s response to being shot in the leg over a girl–a girl who is also in the video. Again, I don’t know if that’s true, but I hope it is, because he looks like one of the sesame street muppets dancing around in his chair, and “mind your business” is such a cute response to being shot)

3. All About That Bass (Megan Trainor)–Squats

4. Interlude MC Pikachou (Disiz)– High Knees (I recommend this song for short intervals of cardio, because the way it speeds up forces you to keep going faster and faster. Also, how cute is it? So cute. He has more serious sounding raps too, though I can’t tell you what any of them are about. I think I heard that this one is about Pikachou versus King Kong)

5. One of Those Days (Joy Williams)– Side bends

6. Price Tag (Jessie J)– Alternating curls w/ twist

7. All About that (upright) Bass (Postmodern Jukebox)–Whatever stretches feel good in the moment