Mistakes Are Proof That You Are Trying

I have just made my way up from the belly of the beast.  The beast being the (somewhat) abandoned basement floor of the building and its belly being the gym.  See why it’s abandoned?  However, no matter just how neglected that lower level is, it’s nowhere near as jilted as this blog.

When perusing my past posts this morning, I discovered that in May was the last time in which I wrote.  May!?  How can this possibly be!?  I’ve fallen victim to the “tomorrow” or “I’ll do it later” mentality, all the while, the passing days grew in momentum.

  • I vaguely remember writing that 2017 . . .  this is going to be the year that I make a concentrated effort to take pictures during events.
    • This has not been an entirely successful endeavor, but A for effort?  Do I get half credit?  My lack of photos is mainly due to the several events I have run alone.  However, I do have a handful of photos:
      • A before photo of my best friend, Callie, and I at the Safe Voices 5K to End Domestic Violence
      • A selfie of myself (duh) after Color Me Rad
      • A before and after photo of Callie and I at Tough Mountain.
    • Considering I have ONE before picture, ONE after picture, and ONE before AND after set of photographs, this is clearly a progression in the right direction.  If only I could hone in on and perfect the craft of consistency.  However, that is another battle.
  • When I began this blog, I pledged to lose those pesky last 10lbs., thus leaving me sitting prettily at my goal weight.
    • I still have those pesky 10 lbs. that I would like to lose.  Over the course of the past few months, I’ve been half-assing it fairly regularly.  Half credit for consistency in this scenario?
      • Though I am NOT where I planned to be all of those months ago, I am not beating myself up over my “failure” because it’s not a failure.  My lack of “success” is a mere bump in the road along what has been a long journey.
      • I am simply trying harder and recommitting myself to the following: drink more water, track calories (-1000 deficit), and stay active.
      • I am finally at a place where I do not define myself by that number featured on the scale.  Though I do indeed have a number goal, and though I am disappointed I’m not quite there yet, I measure my successes in other ways . . .
        • . . . I can now run a 5k without stopping / walking.  At one point, running .25 nonstop was an accomplishment exceeding any other.
        • . . . I’ve maintained my weight, and though I’ve experienced fluctuations, I have not gained.
        • . . . My clothes fit properly and are flattering.
        • . . . I’ve adopted habits such as using the gym for half of my lunch hour.  Remember the quip about the belly of the beast?  I’m slaying said beast.

So, why the lengthy absence from Cupcakes and Canter?  Two reasons.  1). I’ve struggled the past few months with making time.  This struggle is not only applicable to writing, but it’s something I’ve faced with just . . . ev-er-y-thing.  2). There is a part of my psyche that did not want to face my lack of triumphs; once written down, said lacks feel more real than when floating around lackadaisically in my brain.

So, what has happened between May and today’s date in August?

  • I’ve run 3 – 5k events, improving my overall time by 5 minutes.
  •  I ran in the Law Enforcement Torch Run, and even though I had to climb into what I have lovingly dubbed as the “struggle bus,” it gave me confidence in my ability to put myself out there and try new things.
    • In my defense, it was more than a 10k, the pace was a 7-8 min. mile, the shirts didn’t breathe, and it was hot. as. balls and humid.  Am I going to participate in the LETR next year?  Why, YES.  Yes, I am . . . because I know that the evidence van struggle bus will be there to pick me up if I fall, or in this case, just slow way, way down.  Furthermore, I felt relieved that no one made fun of me, nor was I the only one who needed the four-wheeled assist.
  • I completed Tough Mountain, a 4 mile obstacle course with 21 obstacles.
  • Most importantly, despite all of my self-perceived failures that are really non-failures, discouragements, and disappointments, I’ve kept trying.  I’ve never given up.
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Safe Voices 5K
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To Do: Tough Mountain
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To Done: Tough Mountain

 

 

 

May Goals

. . . May’s goals . . . 

1). NO pizza. I always give something up each month. The reason I am choosing pizza is because it’s my absolute favorite food, and I want to get it back to a status of being a “treat” now and then instead of eating it often / regularly.

2). I’d like to be down 5-8 lbs toward my goal weight by the end of the month. I only have 13 total left so I think 5-8 is a good chunk without being overwhelming.

3). Actually get the 45 miles in May done for the 45 in May swap 🙂

4). Start and maintain a journal, which I have outlined and made a plan for last night and this morning 🙂

. . . Well, 10 days in, and I am doing decent with my May goals . . . 

1). I have not had any pizza.  This includes take out, homemade, Hot Pockets and / or Lean Pockets, pizza rolls, etc.  NO pizza whatsoever, and you know what?  I am OKay!  I noticed that after my two months sans ALL sweets, that now, I can eat a piece of candy or have a BITE of a sweet, and I am instantly satiated.  I ate a small brownie this past weekend, and it was far too much.  Considering I am off of soda entirely, with the exception of the Kickstart (damn those!), my habit of giving something up for a month at a time is definitely helping me regulate my bad habits and improve upon what “in moderation” means to my lifestyle.

2). Well, I did not weigh myself May 1st, and so, I can only go by my last weigh in, which was on April 24th.  The current number on the scale is higher than the number that was facing me on the 24th, but because I have been working out again, I attribute this “gain” to muscle weight.  I was also bloated for several days, and I know I am holding water.  SO, I am not overly concerned.  I may weight myself this evening and go from there.  If it’s one thing I have learned, it is that I can have a target number in mind, but I should base my progress on how I feel, and I am feeling fantastic!

3). I have thus far completed 19 miles for the Move It! 45 Miles in May swap.  I am also participating in the Pacific Coast Highway virtual race, which is 113.2 miles.  I need to up my daily distances in order to finish the latter within the month, but I am pleased with my 19 miles thus far.  Unless my May mirrors April’s events, I foresee completing the 45 miles without a hitch.  I am definitely pushing myself to get out there, even when it is the last thing I want to do.  Fun shirts and knee socks help; they keep me happy!

Running for bibliophilia

“Running for bibliophilia.”  Image from my Instagram: idiosyncratic_unicorn

4). The journal . . . eh, not so much.  I need to let go of my tendency to be slightly obsessive-compulsive, in regards to my penmanship and style, and just embrace the journal’s contents and love it for what it is.  I had brainstormed a format that I felt will work well for me, but I have not been successful at actually executing it.  I still have time to follow through, even if it’s only writing my stats down, and then, I can improve upon my process (embellishments, etc.) next month.

So far, so good.  I feel like I am finally on the upswing!

 

New May, New Me

Well, it is the 1st of May: a new day, a new month, and new goals!

From one of my forum interactions, in one of my many swap-bot groups, Healthy Journaling . . .

“I am thrilled! I have finally started a journal. Well, by started … I mean that last night I took the time to choose one, put some washi along the edge of page #1 with a matching / complementing sticker (pink flamingos for those who dig details ;D), and I brain stormed what/how I am going to journal.

I decided that to journal should make me happy, which is why I plan to decorate and embellish each page. I decided I don’t want to sit and write, write, write, but I want it to be useful in tracking…

SO, I have decided…

-make a daily goal for myself,

-throw in a motivating quote – I have several applicable Project Life cards I can paste in for that,

-write down my activity (total miles, work outs I have done, etc.), and

-notate cals in vs. cals out (I won’t include the itemized tracking in my journal because I track everything I eat and drink meticulously in my Fitbit).

I may or may not include a short reflection to include how I feel about meeting my daily goal or how I can achieve it if I did not, etc.

The biggest obstacle for me, in regards to journaling, is that I get anxiety when it’s not perfect. If I see my penmanship as sloppy, if the washi tore and isn’t perfectly aligned, etc. It’s something I have always faced – I could get SO many more letters written and be journaling consistently if I could just learn to embrace the imperfections.

Anyways, feeling good about day #1 / page #1!! :)”

I am signed up for / involved in a lot of exercise themed and goal oriented swap-bot swaps this month.  With my first 5K being June 3rd, I am so excited to recommit myself to running and working out.  Though I am signed up for several events, there is something motivating about when that first event becomes impending rather than in the queue for a much later date!  To help me prepare, I have joined the Move It #2! 45 Miles in May swap, AND I am doing the Pacific Coast Highway virtual 5K, which is 113.2 total miles.

So, May is off to a good great start, and it is only 1100 hours!

-First, I have my new journal accompanied by a concrete plan regarding how I will utilize it and a format which will allow me to keep  it consistent and as aesthetically pleasing as it is useful.

-Though it was raining this morning, I still went for a morning walk with a colleague!

-Thus far, I am sticking to my daily goal.

I only have 13 pounds until I reach my goal weight, and I feel that it’s feasible to achieve that goal by Tough Mountain, especially if I can stay on target for a 2lb loss per week.  Tough Mountain is July 29th.  That’s nearly 3 months!  I can do this, and I am more driven than ever to do so.  I have finally turned the corner where I start to support the idea that it is OKay to put myself first by having actions that are aligned with the attitude.

It no longer matters how or why I fell off the wagon, nor does it matter how long it has taken me to get back on it.  I have given myself permission to stop dwelling on my perceived failures.  What IS important is …

I have that fire in my belly again.

 

 

Aversion to April

I may be developing an aversion to the month of April, not the giraffe.  I find giraffes to be particularly delightful.  But I digress . . .

I took April 13th and 14th off from work with the intention of, for lack of better words, getting my shit together.  The getting my shit together umbrella was to include: start running again, get all the housework caught up, catch up on swap-bot swaps, return sendsomething.net mail, catch up on pen pal letters, get the grocery shopping done, etc.  So, what happened?  For the most part, I nailed it!  Thursday the 13th – Easter Sunday I achieved my Fitbit goal each day, the house looked as immaculate as it can during projects season, and I finished the perler portrait I created for my best friend.  I was also a snail mail creating machine.  And then . . . Monday happened . . .  dun dun dun (that is to be read to the tune of ominous music).

During the warmer months, I become far more active.  Therefore, I sweat considerably more.  So, I tried a new facial cleanser that would help combat all the wonderful side effects of sweating heavily.  Well, Nicolas Cage and John Travolta have got nothing on me (this is a Face/Off reference for all of you pop culture gurus).  The purifying cleanser, its accompanying renewing toner, and the repairing lotion caused a severe allergic reaction; my eyes were swollen closed for several days, and it essentially burned my face off.  My face is now as smooth as a brand new baby’s bum, but that is because my original face sloughed off throughout the week.  I missed the entire week of work because not only was I considerably hideous in appearance, my level of discomfort was . . . well, uncomfortable.  Throw in the side effects of a body pumped chock-full of Benadryl and Claritin . . . that was . . . not what I would consider a fantastic experience either.  SO, despite all of my efforts to become and remain physically active and productive, it was short lived.

Today is Sunday the 23rd, and I return to work tomorrow.  I was gung-ho for today because I fully intended to get some raking done and add some miles to my ASICS.  That was until the most recent mishap . . .

Just moments ago, my parents’ boxer, Gracie, got a case of what we have lovingly dubbed “the zoomies.”  Zoomies def: when a boxer runs and runs and runs, at full speed, in circles around you.  It’s what Gracie does, especially during spring, and it is normally quite manageable, but today, she strayed from the circular pattern and tugged so hard on her leash that  I was down before I even knew I was going down.  Nothing on my body is broken, and my face was not harmed, but I do have some lovely parting prizes just for playing.  On my left hand, my palm and pinky and ring fingers are . . . torn open.  My left elbow, right knee, ankles, and toes are scraped and bloody.  The grand prize, however, is my left leg.  From knee to shin is a compilation of scrapes, skinless patches, and bloodiness.  I shall be the proud owner of some bad-ass bruises in a matter of hours.

Now may be an appropriate time to begin concocting a fiblet about a roller derby  match gone awry.  I mean, getting these injuries from one of the gentlest, most loving dogs I have ever known is just the sort of irony that quite accurately depicts what it is like to be me, but let’s be honest . . . it makes for a rather anticlimactic story.  The point of this entire reminiscence with the past week and a half of my life?  No matter how “together” I get myself, and no matter how hard I work toward goals, small and large alike, these sorts of things constantly creep up, or in this case, ZOOM in.  So, I may not end up going running today because . . . well, OW.  But I’m not discouraged.  Once I picked myself up off the pavement and took an inventory of all of my still fully intact bones, I laughed!  I laughed and laughed and laughed . . . because this is what it is like to be me, and after 32 years, it’s better to accept that this is just the way it is and likely always will be.

Life can only knock me down, but it cannot hold me down.  It is up to me to get back up. 🙂

SO, perhaps a slow, gentle walk with my own dog is in the near future.  I can still get out there, I just need to modify my original intentions.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scale Down

From the time I began my journey of weight loss, traveling along the path toward a goal weight, I have tortured myself with the scale.  Perhaps “tortured” is too strong of a word, but there are indeed some days where it has felt as such.

For the month of March, I put my scale away.  I made it the entire month without stepping on that evil number machine!  Well, 28 days to be exact, but that is a month if you round up.  (Hey, math is hard!).

Unfortunately, since I ever so reluctantly placed my feet upon the scale nine days ago, I have succumbed to my former habits, my previous ways.  Old habits being weighing myself in the morning and again at night.  The rational portion of my brain knows that this is completely and utterly counterproductive if not self-defeatist.

The good news is, though I have been lackadaisically counting calories and spent most of February and March nearly sedentary, I maintained my weight.  The bad news is, I clearly have some self-control issues, revolving around my scale, that I need to address.  The mediocre news is that I am now weighing three pounds heavier than I was the day prior.  Again, the rational portion of my brain knows that I did not gain three pounds during the overnight hours so I will not become overly distraught. The bad news is that I have more hard work, far more hard work than I had anticipated, ahead.

The good,  the mediocre, and the bad news: I have 16 pounds until I reach my goal weight.  Why this is good: 16 pounds compared to what I’ve already lost is definitely doable; it’s so feasible!  Why this is mediocre:  16 is a higher number than I wanted to be faced with, especially four months into this year.  However, I know that with some newfound dedication, I can reach my personal finish line.  I just need to tap into my previous level of commitment.  Why this is bad:  I find that I am discouraged, and there is a very real piece of my personality that tends to stop trying, to give up, when I am discouraged and / or disappointed in myself.

Step 1: scale down.  It is time to put my scale away, yet again, and stop defining myself and my progress based on its numbers.  The scale shall not make an appearance for the remainder of April.

Step 2: put myself first.  My most successful months were those when I put myself before all else.  The housework, the cooking, and all other adulting demands waited until after I spent my time in the gym.  I have to reaffirm that putting myself first is indeed OKay.

Step 3: adjust goal.  I originally strove to be at my goal weight by my birthday.  But now?  Now, I will be happy and content if I reach my goal weight by 2017’s Tough Mountain, which is July 29th.

. . . I can do this!

Picture Perfect

Over the course of the past few years, I have become the anti-photograph type.  I am that pesky individual who covers her face with her hands when a camera is around, demands that pictures be reviewed and / or approved before the photographer even thinks about posting the candid on Facebook, Instagram, and whatever other media sharing / social platform exists, but mostly, I just avoid cameras altogether.  I think I experienced one too many shocks when looking at my own photos, that disbelief and utter disgust when faced with my own face.  “That’s me!?”

I run several 5K events, 10K events, and obstacle courses each summer and autumn, but I expend most of my energy worrying about the pictures, spending copious amounts of time avoiding the cameras, the GoPros, and the seemingly endless sea of cell phones and selfies.  I want to resolve to stop this behavior for 2017’s events.  Admittedly, I did far better during my last two events of 2016 (Color Me Rad (5K) and The Dempsey Challenge (10K)).  I am aware that there remain a plethora of pictures floating around on the event websites, but I am moving on from those, and I will no longer worry about their existence.  I am taking control by including a handful of photos I have recently uncovered.

So, from this point forward, it is my goal to be in at least one photo, taken at each event that I do.  After all, I should be proud of my participation, not hiding from the photographic evidence of it.

Head Hunger Games

Probably the biggest battle in my weight war is what I refer to as “head hunger.”  I’m an emotional eater.  I’m a bored eater.  I’m a sad eater and angry eater, which clearly fall most appropriately under the emotional eater umbrella.  I’m a PMS eater, and most of all, I am a STRESS EATER.

So, what exactly is this head hunger?  Head hunger encompasses all of those times when you’re not hungry, yet you find yourself rooting around in the cupboard for a snack or you’re elbow deep in a chip bag before you even realize that you’ve opened the bag.  Eventually, you realize that your body doesn’t need nor want the food you’re consuming, but something drives you to eat it despite a glimmer of rational thinking regarding your snacking.  That is head hunger, and it’s insidious.

When I started: working out, becoming a runner, eating healthier, drinking more water, and sleeping for more than a handful of hours a night, my body began to change.  Although the afore outlined is hard work, the most difficult task has been changing my thinking, especially in regards to this so-called head hunger.

My biggest battle today is against stress eating head hunger.  I do not feel hunger, and therefore, I do not want to eat.  However, I am currently experiencing a lot of stress, and this is what I mean about the HH being insidious – it’s an old habit, yet the urge to “eat my feelings” is prominent, sneaking into my psyche the moment it saw the slightest opportunity.  Tomorrow may prove to be a pivotal moment in my career, my life.  Unfortunately, due to the nature of my field, I cannot expand beyond that, but anyone who has worked hard for something: something BIG, something MEANINGFUL, something IMPORTANT knows the amount of stress, pressure, and self-doubt that accompanies said work.  In my case, this has been a nearly year long process so I am riddled with the aforementioned (stress, pressure, and self-doubt) nearly twelve-fold.

So yeah, I’m engaged today in a battle against the SEHH.  That battle alone is difficult enough, but to make the battle ever more difficult because hey, it’s Monday after all, there are approximately 100 beautiful cupcakes, slathered with vibrantly colored buttercream frosting, upstairs just screaming for consumption.  The cupcakes always call the most loudly to the cupcake connoisseur!  I keep reminding myself that I will feel better for working through the cravings, the head hunger, than I will feel if I succumb.  In my corner: positive thinking, the will to succeed, the drive to overcome self-sabotage, and it’s still Lent.

. . . I’ve got this!