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Since You’ve Been Gone

20 Apr

aaron-burden-363695-unsplash


I can breathe for the first time…Just kidding.

After about a year’s absence I kinda just have to start over here. Here are the major highlights:

  • I started a new job! 🙂
  • Our dog died. 😦
  • I restarted and then quit grad school. Again. 😦
  • I’ve gained about 20 pounds. 😦

One out of four is not great, I realize. But the steady stream of good stuff that has continued through 2017 and into this year serves to even it out I think. We’re calling it break even anyway.

First, the job. Y’all know I have complained ad nauseam about Cubicle Nation for-freakin’-ever. I have been at the new gig for over six months now and I’ll be honest, barring being a kept woman or a travel writer, this is about the ideal job for me at this time and place in my life. I’m doing fun social media, communication, writing things at a non-profit. The commute is still outrageous, but I do get to work one day a week from home. The other negative was that I took a god-awful huge pay cut, but the trade-off was worth it to do worthwhile, fulfilling, and creative work. So yay happiness!

Second, the dog. Our chocolate lab, Cooper was ten and a half, and after a couple of weeks of obvious illness, we found out he had cancer throughout his liver. We had to put him peacefully to sleep. I’ve never had to experience that before and it was heartbreaking. But there was no way I was going to see him not be able to get around and in pain. This was the right choice. One day (if I can convince hubs) maybe we’ll get another dog. For now, we’re adjusting to life without our Big Brown.

Third, grad school. I continued work on a graduate degree in Liberal Arts, did a few classes, then a major bout of depression hit me, and I quit. Plain and simple. It sucked, and I kind of hate myself for it. But then the new job came along and it doesn’t have the tuition benefit anyway, so I suppose it was meant to be – if you believe in all that Fate crap. Anyway, maybe anything past a Bachelor’s degree just isn’t for me. Or maybe I’ll go back someday. Time will tell.

Lastly, weight gain. What’s there to really say about that? I still struggle mightily with depression and all the food issues that go along with that. And I like my sweets and junk food, sue me. Living healthier is constantly on my mind; it’s the doing it that hinders me.

So there you have it. A year’s absence caught up in a few paragraphs. Here’s to reviving Finnspace.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

2016 so far

24 Jan

…has already had quite a few ups and downs.

The Ups

My dad’s store moved to a new location and it is pretty amazing. Nicer and newer with better parking and facilities. It’s been a stressful time for him but I think things are finally settling down and falling into place.

Hubs had some big/positive things happen at his work that are in his/our favor. I’m sure it means more work and stress on his part but that comes with it.

Kiddo is happy and healthy and had a great Christmas and is doing well in school and dance. She has a lot of friends and loves her teacher. Pretty well-adjusted so far. I may pay for this in the teen years but so far so good.

I am officially a graduate student! Classes started last week and I’m pretty excited. This deserves it’s own post.

I’ve grown a lot closer to and have developed some great friendships with some amazing women at work. They have really been a wonderful support to me lately. It’s interesting because I’ve worked there for a couple of years now and have known these ladies the whole time but just in the past several months have really connected and started hanging out with them regularly.

I have been doing a ton of cross-stitching lately, for gifts and otherwise. I’ll have to post some photos. I find it very relaxing and just plain fun. My mom taught me how as a kid and it’s one of those hobbies I start and stop and eventually come back to.

The Downs

I am trying to find employment closer to home to eliminate the craptastic commute. I had a first and then second interview for a fantastic, exciting job and was really feeling good about it. I didn’t get it and I was crushed. That was/is a hard mental hit and I’m still struggling with it.

In that vein, depression is a real thing already this year. I’m dealing but it is a constant cloud that hangs over me.

I’ve already been to one funeral this year. My sweet sister-in-law’s father passed away.

I can’t seem to get in control of my weight. I’m trying and have friends who are in this with me and are a great help, but no one but me can do it. It can be so discouraging and I just want to sit in bed and eat cake. Yada yada. It’s such a weird thing. The whole body positive movement that seems to be popular these days is great. Loving the body you have now and all that jazz. I’m totally on board with OTHER people loving the body that they have…but not so much me; I don’t love the one I have and I’m not sure how to get there. You can say “I’m happy with my body, it’s beautiful, does all these great things, etc”…but to actually BELIEVE it. Not happening.

The plantar fasciitis is still bothering me. My own damn fault because I didn’t continue with PT like I was supposed to. I have a very self sabotaging mindset and this is a prime example. I do have an appointment for PT this week to start over however. Back on the horse and all that.

So there you have it!

Peas ‘n carrots,
Finn

miscellany

11 Dec

Sick. I really wish someone would bring me some warm gooey chocolate chip cookies today. I’m home sick with a fever, cough, etc etc and I say screw the chicken noodle soup, cookies are where its at. Anyway, mutter mutter growl. At least I should be over it in plenty of time to enjoy the holidays. Bright spot.

Ugly. The news these days y’all. People are so inScreen Shot 2014-12-11 at 1.14.13 PMcredibly evil. Of course, the media skews things like crazy but there is no denying that people are asshats to the extreme. The girl in MS who was burned alive…I can’t even. The parole hearing that recently brought the horrific kidnapping, torture, and murders of a Knoxville couple back into the news. And so many other things that happen every day. Racism, riots, chaos. People are so very angry. 😦 It is so easy to get consumed by it all if you let it. Countering all of this with the positive/good/beautiful things in life is a must.

Kid. Alright, on to happier topics. My kid of course. Heh. She has a Christmas dance recital this weekend which should be fun. I have no idea what her costumes are or what songs she’s dancing to so this will be a nice surprise for momma. Speaking of surprises, I thought we were going to escape it but kiddo mournfully asked The Accountant the other day why the Elf on the Shelf hadn’t visited her house yet. Apparently ALL her friends have elves and even her classroom at school. Grrrrr. I have an unreasonable hatred for that thing but she was SO bummed and we were at risk of having the whole Santa thing come crashing down, so I caved and we have now been invaded by Snowy the Elf. I am not proud of this. But kiddo thinks it fabulous and so here we are. I have put my foot down somewhat and am just moving it around the house. None of this time consuming clever elf scenario crap or posting its antics on social media. Ok ok, the first night I DID make an elf snow angel on the counter in sugar, but that is IT. So there.

Friends. I had a really good friend back in high school and college who I’d lost touch with over the past few years. We went to different high schools but attended the same church and would have sleepovers at each others houses and go on shopping trips, lots of teenage cruising around town, scoping out boys…all of that fun stuff. I moved away and we each got married. We kept in touch until the babies came and then life got busy. I sent her a Christmas card last year which got returned, so this year I made a point to hunt her down. I found her via some internet stalking research and we’ve been emailing this week! Its so great to reconnect! Keep your friends close and make them a priority because they are one of the best things in life and it sucks to lose them. I’m SO happy I found her again! Totally made my week.

Books. I’m reading some really good books lately. I have a list going on Goodreads of ones recommended by friends and some I just want to read for myself. Apparently I am missing out by not reading Neil Gaiman, according to a few friends. I’m not too far into The Ocean at the End of the Lane but so far I am really liking it. Also throwing in some Buddhism, some self help, some health related, and lots more fiction. Reading is good for the soul I say.

Bed. Ok, its back to bed for this sick girl.

being kind to self

27 Oct

CaptureThe question of the day is why is it easier to be kind to others (to an extent, ha-ha) but more difficult to treat yourself as kindly? My therapist has used the example of comparing how I talk to my child vs. how I talk to myself. I can’t fault her point because I would never dream of speaking to my kid like I speak to myself in my mind. It would be verbal abuse to be quite honest because I say some really nasty, demeaning, horrible things to myself. Why?

I think when I look at my struggles with food and weight in the past months, the big picture comes down to simply not feeling like I am good enough to be worthy of treating myself well. We can beat ourselves up all day about eating crap food or skipping the gym and then moan about our weight or the jeans we can no longer fit into and why is this so hard, etc etc. But the overarching theme is that we don’t make healthy choices because we aren’t being nice to ourselves.

This is my new theory anyway.  Maybe I just ate some bad tuna and am completely off base and delusional. But we’re going to go with it, at least for today. I’m just wondering if I can somehow re-frame this whole struggle into a story about being kind to Finn, and less about that specific box of Little Debbie’s I ate for lunch (yes I said “box”) or the miles I didn’t jog. I wonder if that change in mindset will help at all. I figure it can’t hurt, right?

I walked three miles this morning before work and that felt good; like I was being nice to me. Then I got on the scale after weeks of avoidance and that did NOT feel good so there we went with the beating myself up thing again. I am well aware that I have steadily been gaining weight over the past year and not eating healthily. There’s been an overall sense of just not caring anymore. Sure, there have been short spurts of trying to do better but they were attempts born of guilt and shame and definitely not because I was trying to be nicer to myself.

I’d like to begin again but this time with a different (and kinder) focus. If the weight comes off and I get healthier, that will be a bonus, but if I can be nicer to myself more often than not in my own mind, that will be some measure of winning.

Of course being kind to yourself encompasses much more than diet and exercise, but those seem to be tangible things more visibly measured. Trust me, I’m working on the other stuff, too.

moving…

5 Jan

…my body that is. And brain too, I suppose. Feeling good lately with better food choices and consistent work outs at the gym and walking/jogging outside. The weather is supposed to be icky this week so I’ve tried to take advantage of the good stuff while I can and have been getting my walks done outside before I have to resort to the treadmill. My lower back has been aching a bit but I’m blaming it on old age and hoping its nothing.

outside

In other news, I’m doing a lot more reading and personal writing these days. I read an article the other day about self-hate and doing what’s good for YOU. I’ll find it and link it maybe. Anyway, it made me think about things and re-prioritizing and yada yada. This week, at some point, I hope to get back into a bit of a routine and do some planning on a few things I want to accomplish this year. I feel like I’ve been in stagnant mode for the past few months. I think this paragraph is more of a placeholder for a future post when I can really think about it without a squirmy kiddo and the movie UP distracting me. 🙂

Hubs and I scored a babysitter for Saturday night. Next weekend will be the last one before tax season starts and that is always a difficult time of year for us. Hubs works crazy long hours and its just a stressful time all around. So one last hurrah before he buckles down into serious work mode. That “hurrah” may only involve dinner and a movie but I’ll take it.

A friend posted one of those meme thing-a-mah-jigs the other day. Simple and to the point. “Miserable people focus on what they hate about their life. Happy people focus on what they love about their life.” So, be happy and love more yo.

Ciao.

the 1/2 marathon that almost wasn’t

13 Oct

MiddleHalfCollageSometimes I think too much. I almost talked myself out of doing this race for a couple of reasons. My running partner was benched and my training had fallen apart over the last few weeks. I was disappointed in myself that I hadn’t stuck with my training plan and knew I wouldn’t be able to run most of it like I’d wanted to. But I also knew that I was in better shape than I had been for the 1/2 in 2012 and so I decided to pick up my bib the day before and make it a last minute decision. The scale finally tipped in the direction of going for it since I knew in my heart that I would feel worse about myself if I bailed completely for no good reason. Sometimes I take some serious convincing.

I’m so glad I did. Well, I mean, I’m glad NOW, but at 4:30am that morning I was cursing myself for committing to it. Ha. But I got out of bed, dressed, choked down 4 scrambled eggs and a granola bar, then battled mad traffic and porta-potty lines and settled into a spot in the very back with the walkers.  My goal was basically to go fast enough to not get thrown off the course by mile 6 (you had to pass mile 6 in 1.5 hours/15:00 pace) and not to pass out. I’m an overachiever, I know. Shut up. I wore my trusty Garmin and kept the walking pacer person well behind me and a close eye on my watch. I decided to just go a mile at a time and keep pace below 15:00 even if my feet fell off and I was walking on stubs. Which didn’t happen literally, but it sure felt like it. I walked and jogged the entire race and maintained a sub 15:00 pace throughout. Yay!

I was feeling good through about mile 8 and then I’m pretty sure my entire body from the waist down started hating me. My bum foot was getting pretty sore and my hips felt like they needed a serious dousing with WD-40. I saw The Accountant at mile 7.5 and that gave me an extra boost of energy that lasted until about mile 10. I was dying inside again but really, who’s gonna stop when you’ve already tortured yourself that far? I saw a couple of friends at various points on the course and that was super nice, plus all the people cheering and yelling from the sidelines. It was a very supportive crowd! My favorite sign…”You’re running faster than our government”. And 2nd favorite…”Run like you hear banjos”. One water station was handing out slices of oranges and it was for real the best food I have ever tasted in my life.

I noticed that I had maintained a consistent pace and starting thinking that I was going to hit the finish line around 3 hours and some change. Official time 3:12:08, much better than I’d hoped for given that I was mostly walking and better than my last half (at least I think so, but I cannot find those results online to save my life). Anyway, I’ll take it as that time is better than it would’ve been if I’d stayed home and sat on my couch. Now granted, a day later and I’m hobbling around like a 95 year old, especially if I sit still for too long. Even my toes hurt. But its a good pain.

What this race gave me is something I thought I’d lost. The desire to run again. It was a reset for my brain in other ways as well. Regrets, if there are any, are that I dropped the ball on training those last weeks. Because I know that I can run more and break into the 2+ hour time at my next attempt. Which will be soon. As in, as soon as I can move again without groaning and get back out there. 🙂

 

i should be sleeping

21 Aug

Its after midnight and I should be sleeping. But its a full blue moon and my brain is whirling. Today was busy and somewhat annoying but it ended better than it began I guess. I started off weepy and weird and missing a friend and worrying about some very serious family health issues. I’m still all of those things but I don’t have control over much of anything it seems.

Workouts are still happening, I just haven’t been posting about them. And this is not one of those “if it didn’t go on the blog, it didn’t happen” kind of things. I’ve gotten in a couple of great rides on the bike, a couple of runs, and a couple of gym times. I’m loving the Trekster. I just need to get some bike shorts because my butt y’all…sore. The Accountant has taken nicely to it as well and has taken it out on the road for a couple of 12 milers. So far, I’ve stuck to the neighborhood and the greenways and those are good enough for me for now. I’m also taking the motorcycle out on weekends to practice and not lose my mad biker chick skilz. I’m sticking to the neighborhood streets so far and getting some good practice in on turns and clutch control. Being on it is such a great feeling.

trekster1Kiddo is doing ok with the school thing but it is such a hard adjustment. She is so very exhausted at the end of the day and is practically begging to go to bed. Ok, that’s a slight exaggeration but not by much; its a huge change for all of us. The Accountant has been taking her to school in the morning this week and I’m picking her up from her after school program. I will admit that I like having my mornings to myself and enjoying a quiet house and the freedom to walk the dog or work out in the AM. The solo commute is still strange but nice. I think I might be a hermit at heart. The fundraising crap is already annoying me though. Two already that we are supposed to be doing. Can’t they just charge me a “public school users fee” at the beginning of the year and just be done with it?

If you are into praying, my family could use some big ones right now. Otherwise, good vibes and positive thoughts are appreciated.

I have the itch to plan a trip. #random

To bed for me.

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