• Current Reading List

    Peaceful Action, Open Heart - Thich Nhat Hanh*** Eat, Pray, Love*** Peaceful Living - Mary Mackenzie(daily reader)*** The Vein of Gold - Julia Cameron (this is a read a chapter a week type book)*** Dubliners - James Joyce*** Nursing: The Philosophy and Science of Caring - Jean Watson*** The Diary of Virginia Woolf. Volume I***
  • Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and I, I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.
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Catching UP: the running and weight loss journey

There really is no way to do that. Not fully. So much has been going on. I decided a few days after my last post that I wanted to write a book. I even came up with a title. Since then, I have been unable to write a single word. Writer’s block I suppose. Whatever, I am scared to death about the venture, but I keep formulating paragraphs in my head. Here’s to the hopes that I will at some point, get those paragraphs to paper.

For now, catching up on my life. I just emerged out of hell. Seriously, hell. This hell occurred over a period of 60 hours and involved 4 airplanes, much money I didn’t need to part with, 3 trips to the ED and a reduction in weight of 10lbs in three days. Oh, and two of those ED visits were in a rinky dink (well not really it was actually very nice for a community hospital) jip-joint hospital in NM.Damn them to hell. Oh wait, that was hell. So this sick puppy had to fly back to TN and cut short my visit to my mom and grandparents (well, since I was sick, the visit never started, so I technically just called the whole thing off).  And one more visit to the  ED (damn DFW and their delays which made me get home too late to go to my regular doctor) upon return to TN. Anyhoo, I am fine and better and all is well. I am pleased about the new number on the scale of course, but I will be damned if I ever want to go through something like that again to have those results again.  Notice I am purposefully being vague about details. It is enough to know that it was hell, and that I still feel as weak as a kitten.

 I am worried about what this convalescence will do to my running. Today I started to feel like I might just be an eentsy bit better (no extreme dizziness upon standing), so I decided to go for a run. Now, you must understand that when I am sick I always doubt the reality of my symptoms. I don’t think I have a proclivity for somatization, but like a good psych nurse I do worry about the possibility, because the doubt is always there. “Do I really feel this bad or am I just imagining?”, “Wouldn’t I feel better if I just got moving?”, “Am I just pretending so I can stay in bed?” “Am I just being lazy?”….these are some of the questions I ask myself, and plus I am worried about “getting behind” on my training schedule. So I ignored the fact that my legs felt like quivering jelly and out the door I stepped. I did run one mile and walk 2/3 of another mile before I decided that I truly don’t feel very well and back to semi-convalescense I head.

So anyhoo, even though I am worried at the moment about the possibility of lost muscle mass and lost training time, I overall think I am doing pretty good in my running. The going has been bumpy and I have had to overcome a lot of self-doubting, but I am everyday learning that I am indeed, officially a runner. Sunday before last, I ran 10 miles outside. I had been running on the treadmill, so this is quite an accomplishment. Also, last Sat (before full onset of above hell scenario) I ran a 5k with a friend. This was my 3rd race, and it felt amazing. I ran the entire way AND I was no where near the last of the runners. Okay, so I was also no where near the beginning runners either, but I am very content to be happily in the middle. My time was 37 minutes (by the race clock which is including the initial walking time as everyone gets moving). Oh, and this made 18 miles total for the week. The 1/2 marathon is just a little over 1 month away. i am going to be ready.

I am changing and I am learning more and more about who I am. Sometimes the changes are happening so fast that when I walk by a mirror I have to do a double take. “Who was that?….Oh yeah, its me…I like that girl.”


Further thoughts on Body Image

Time once again to chronicle my life as the “fat girl” – ugh, that really sounds horrible – learning to change that into “the girl who has had issues with obesity”.

Excuse me while I seem to veer a bit.

I grew up near the water. Practically in the water.  The beginning of summer for me was marked by the first time I could jump in the river.  Just a mile (give or take a bit – me and spatial relations don’t gel) down the road in either direction would lead us to a variety of favorite swimming holes. Creeks were within walking distance. As I grew a little older, summer meant camping by the river, pool parties and canoe trips.  A little older still and there were trips to the beach. I have always loved being near the water. Unfortunately, from adolescence onward, this love was marred with threads of unpleasant emotions that all arose in regards to the shame, fear, disgust, self-derision etc that  I would feel upon donning a bathing suit.  As I have grown (not in age but in size) the negative feelings largely outweighed the positive and such waterly excursions were for the most part avoided.

This past Sunday I had a twinge of feeling what it must be like to feel comfortable in a skin tight swatch of clothing that exposed me to the world. Hubby and I were staying in a hotel, and the vacant whirlpool called to my stuffy head with promised of relief through heat and steam. I had packed a bathing suit for “just in cases” and so donned said stretchy skin-tight swatch whilst searching for the largest towel possible to cover as much as possible. This has been my routine for years. Cover as much as possible until the last second, then dash into the water hoping it would cover me once again.  So then my husband came up and viewed me in my suit and said: “you look pretty good”…..*gasp*. Never, never in my life do I recall hearing those words and relating them to myself in a swimsuit. Now mind you, I have lost a good little bit of weight, but I am still a very healthy size 18. I must admit, I thought he was patronizing me, but he insisted otherwise.  I turned around to look in the full-sized mirror and saw myself with different eyes for a few minutes. My training for a 5k is paying off in more ways than one. The lumpy bumples of cellulite were not prominent. My legs looked smooth. My ass is firmer. And the suit scrunched up all my belly-fat to look kind of okay. I didn’t look as horrible as I usually feared!

Now, I am aware that a great deal of this has to do with perception. If my husband had not said those words to me, I would have shamefully hidden myself under layers and done my usual ‘strip and run’ for the water. The important thing is that I felt very very different. A little more confident,  quite a bit less ashamed. And for a little while, I felt pretty comfortable in my own skin – and in a bathing suit no less! What are these little swatches of spandex that have previously struck me with such terror and caused such anguish! Nothing so terrifying at all! Perhaps someday in the future we can even be friends. And maybe one day my summers will once again be filled with water.