I need sleep and some goddamn salad

I really need to find my focus for exercise. I did 5 weeks of regular strength training 2-3 days/week and continuing all my walking and hiking. My 6th week was interrupted by my chronic back problems. I returned to physical therapy for a little while and have been cleared now for almost two(?) weeks… but the motivational damage seems to have been done. Big time.

Then I went on a mini-vacation this past weekend and ate and drank all that Charleston, SC had to offer.

Listen, I know fat is not a feeling… but I am feeling very fat today. And really what that means is:

  • I’m very bloated because I’ve just started my period
  • I drank a lot of alcohol over the last few days and this is contributing to both my current mental state and water retention
  • I ate something over the last couple days that isn’t sitting quite right and that’s also making me feel kind of puffy and generally gross
  • I ate very few fruits and veggies over the last few days
  • I didn’t sleep well while out of town
  • It was incredibly hot and humid in SC – more water retention
  • I probably could have drank more water than I did
  • Some really inconvenient and potentially expensive issues popped up with my house while I was gone which has tanked my ability to be bright and positive about anything at this point in time

(PS – f*ck home ownership)

I don’t know how to get back on-track with daily exercise other than just talk about it a whole bunch until it results in some action. I’ve been thinking a lot about re-joining my local gym and actually shelling out some money for personal training sessions. I want to overhaul my diet a bit, too. I think I have a tendency to hide a little bit behind “moderation” – I could stand to eat a lot more fruits and veggies and a helluva lot less pizza and fried food than I currently do. These things are more long-term-type goals, but putting them out into the ether is good. The foundations are being laid for implementing some change.


Impostor No More

I mentioned last post that I had a story to tell about physical therapy – so here we go!

Ironic that I one of the last regular blog posts I wrote was about being a runner, feeling like an impostor runner, etc. etc. …so, turns out, I probably shouldn’t run ever again! tenor

For my back health…. but, also, funny enough, my knees. Apparently my knees are not doing so great. Even though I’m not having any pain (yet), they make this really nasty crackling noise, which means my cartilage is wearing away and if I continue with high-impact exercise (LIKE RUNNING!) I could very easily end up arthritic down the road. In the words of my physical therapist, “If running isn’t your source of income, you probably shouldn’t do it.”

Okay, then.

The good news is, I can still walk, hike, bike, swim, and goof off on an elliptical. My main source of exercise for the last several months has been walking and hiking anyhow. I’d like to give biking a shot, too.

Nonetheless, this information was a little devastating. I’ve recently been really looking forward to returning to running. Now I just need to look forward to discovering new cardio outlets!

Real Talk

I am having a I Feel Disgusted With My Body day.

This feeling, I realized, is most-often brought on my seeing candid or quickly-posed photos of myself and, occasionally, weighing myself.

Well, I haven’t weighed myself in probably two months, so there could be only one other culprit…

If you follow my Instagram, you’ll see one of the two photos that put me in this mental place. Here’s the second one (which is the worst offender):File_000

Logically I know that most of what I dislike about this photo is just weird shadowing on my thighs and lower abdomen. And let me just add: even if there wasn’t this weird shadowing adding what looks to be weird fat-foldy-ness to these areas of my body and, say, my body actually did look like this, THAT IS OKAY AND I AM STILL A WORTHY PERSON WITH SASS AND GRACE AND BEAUTY. …nonetheless, I hate my body shape today and feel kind of gross and disgusting.

I’ve spent far too much mental energy trying to come up with some way to effectively starve myself small and somehow not feel starving… which, y’know, doesn’t actually exist. One can eat in a caloric deficit and gradually lose fat, but the fact of the matter is you will still have times when you’re hungry because being in a deficit is exactly that: being hungry sometimes. Not starving, but… I’m getting off track. Most of you know this shit.

Using my CBT tools that I’ve spent lots of money acquiring over the last several years, I’ve been doing my best to shut down these negative thoughts, to negotiate around, to offer positive affirmation, and, finally, to put together a solution.

Where does this body dissatisfaction come from? Part of it is: the body in that picture is not the body I see when I look in the mirror each morning. It’s not the body I see when I catch my reflection in a window. But, most importantly, it’s not the body I see in my mind’s eye. All these things I just mentioned? These are the perceptions of my body that should matter. An unflattering picture does not.

Back to that solution, though… The first is the one I’ve been working so hard on for the last few years, and that is: loving my body no matter what shape or size it is and thinking positively about my present body while being grateful for all the cool shit it does for me. The second solution is to get back to regularly lifting some heavy weight. I got 5 weeks in recently, but some of those workouts were derailed by back issues. I just recently got clearance from my physical therapist (this is a whole other story I’ve been meaning to write about, too, so stay tuned for that at some point before too long) as well as some good exercises to do to make sure I’m firing my glutes properly to protect my problem areas and I’m super stoked to take this knowledge with me into the weight room.

Returning to weight lifting is what’s going to help me the most to change my body composition and get me closer to the aesthetic I want without a super restrictive diet. The fact of the matter is, I don’t give a flying f*ck if I stay a size 18/20 if I have a bunch of bad-ass, strong, visible muscles that power all the things I love to do most.

To wrap things up, a reminder for me and for anyone else struggling with this same stuff:

Eat like you love yourself
Move like you love yourself
Speak like you love yourself
Act like you love yourself