Making Lemonade

Today was a rough one. Not for any particular reason…just weepy, over-emotional, overwhelmed, missing my Hawaii peeps, missing the hubbs, church this morning was spot on, and oh yeah, I’m a woman! Ha!

After church and braving the grocery store for ONLY FIVE items that inevitably turned into 25 – I felt a little blah despite the sun making a seemingly rare appearance. The kiddos and I puttered around the yard, picking some weeds, Hannah picking some radishes that weren’t quite ready yet, me fixing my little garden “fence” after Hannah tore it out, digging the wormy strawberries out of Hannah’s mouth – you know, the usual! Jake was riding his “monster truck” (aka – the Dora quad):

and while not an unproductive day…I just felt antsy and kind of blue. Last weekend’s half marathon was one of the worst races for me as far as my mental self talk was concerned. The time was fine, especially considering the conditions, the fact that the hubbs left 2 days later, etc. It just was a tough one mentally. Usually my races like that start out great – lots of race energy and adrenaline. The first 2-3 miles usually FLY by. And while some miles are tougher than others, you muddle through those until you come to the miles that bring the endorphin high where you feel you are soaring and don’t ever want to stop. It’s like body and mind and spirit are completely peaceful even while thinking all kinds of thoughts. I feel on top of the world, making eye contact with another runner, encouraging each other with a simple smile and a wave and all is right with the world.
None of this really happened last weekend. The rain kept running into my hat and down my face. Looking at other runners I saw the same trudging-on-but-I’m-really-not-into-it-today looks. After the first mile I was asking myself, “Why the heck do I do this again?” Oh yeah, cause it helps me stay sane and it’s cheaper than anti-depressants according to my friend Nina!! 🙂 And she’s right! There is a “losing myself” and clearing my mind that I don’t get any other way.

I felt defeated with the race. I have been working out, but I know I can go harder. And my cardio days have been virtually non-existent, due to a sprained toe in part, but mostly laziness. I get caught up with the kids, they don’t want to ride in the stroller or the weather is crap blah blah excuse excuse blah blah blah.

What would my Hawaii self tell my Washington self? Probably something like this:

“Stop being such a whiney baby. If you don’t like the way it’s going – DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. You know what to do. Don’t gain a bunch of weight back and use the damn deployment as an excuse!! (yeah, I swear at myself sometimes! 😉 Seriously! People you know do this with 4 and 5 kids. Get a grip! And get moving!”

So I got on my treadmill and ran a couple of miles. It felt SO good to sweat and just run without thinking about time or distance. Sure, I had to stop and break up a couple of kid fights, and peel Jake out from under the treadmill because he “just wanted to look at how it works”. But I got my sweat on and that’s what I needed to do to make my sour lemon attitude into some refreshing lemonade!

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The Funk Has Left the Building!

Over the last year different friends have encouraged me through my weight loss/fitness journey, and a few even telling me that by witnessing my transition, they’ve in turn been inspired to get more fit.

Wow.

While I wouldn’t call it a burden (seriously?! I’m the one that posts about it for everyone to read!) but I do feel like its a bit of an obligation or responsibility to continue to be inspiring, continue to achieve new goals, continue to set the bar to the next level.

Lately I have not been feeling very inspired. And anyone on a fitness journey has off days/bad days/days that they just aren’t feeling it. I am certainly no exception. With the responsibility and honor I feel in sharing my successes, I feel it only appropriate to also share when I’m struggling. I’m working out, but not at the level I was. I’m running and doing races here and there, but I want to do more. I’m struggling with food. I’m just not as motivated as I once was.

Part of it is due to the upcoming deployment, traveling and just trying to pack in as much time with Eric as we can. A friend pointed out that my “selective eater” hubby and son can make meal planning difficult. (So true!) Eric also enjoys eating out (and I do too, but it’s easier to point fingers!) I’m tired, I’m stressed, blah, blah, blah. I hate excuses. I have tons of them.

Ultimately it’s up to me. It’s always been up to me.

I choose to “nibble here and there” (HOOVER) off of the kids’ plate so as to “not waste food”.
I choose to have more than a small handful some dark chocolate almonds (half a bag).
I choose to eat the things I know I shouldn’t, that make me feel yucky and that do not fuel the workout level I want to achieve.

I choose.

So before, a weight gain would have completely derailed me. I would have lost 10 lbs, be on the right track, and then slip a bit, and then fall completely off the wagon and say “screw it!”. Then gorge and gain it all back and then some. That’s the cycle of the past decade. That is what got me to over 200 lbs.

My mom asked me just today if it was hard when Eric eats crappy food in front of me. I stopped and realized that it used to not be. When we were in Hawaii and I was feeling so focused, the weight was coming off left and right – I wouldn’t have touched the junk food to save my life. But ever so slowly, it’s getting harder and harder to say “no thank you”. (And much easier to say, “Yes please. Whatever. I lost 50 lbs. One bite can’t hurt. Then it’s a plate later and I’m regretting it.)

So I popped on the scale this morning and I’m back up 8 lbs. No, 8 lbs may not be a big deal in the larger picture. I lost 50 and gained 8. But it’s a slippery slope. If I ignore this and don’t get back on track – that remaining 42 lbs will come back faster than I can blink. So I CHOOSE to stop this now.

It’s time to get back at it. Refocused and re-energized.

Now – Time to kick this funk to the curb!!

Excuses

I love The Biggest Loser, and while not a fan of this particular cast, I do love the theme of “No Excuses”. It really is mind over matter. You make a choice and you follow through. And each day is made up of a million little choices – workout or not? Eat crap or  eat good fuel for my body? Go out to eat or stay home and cook? (The answer is of course stay home!)
With all of our household goods currently packed up and headed for an extended ocean cruise, it is so tempting to just give up, throw my hands in the air and say any and all of the following:
“Ah screw it! I’m in the process of moving!”
“I DESERVE to take it easy for a couple of weeks.”
“I’m moving and stressed! Let’s just eat out.” 
“If I go grocery shopping, I know half of it will probably go to waste, so I might as well just get take out.”
“I’m so exhausted. I just don’t have it in me to go running.”
“Jake doesn’t fit in the double stroller anymore, I CAN’T go running.”
“I can’t cook in these pans – they are stainless and everything will stick to them!” (Talk about a first world problem! Sheesh!)
And on and on it goes….
And this lasted for a couple of days in my head – going back and forth trying unsuccessfully to justify not doing what I know that I should.
I did workout when Eric was home (2 of the last three days) and I will work out tomorrow, even though it will be in the evening – it will get done. Because I make the choice – and then follow through.
We also got some temporary household/kitchen items including some pots and pans, (those dang stainless steel ones!) dishes and silverware. There really isn’t any excuse. So I went to the grocery store and got supplies for the next week or so. I will be eating at home. I made chicken soup today (which was SO YUMMY!) and the hubbs and I had french dip sandwiches tonight with big green salads. Tomorrow will be chicken fajitas and spaghetti will be thrown in there at some point. 
A choice has to be made. Am I going to make an excuse to not exercise and eat out, or am I just going to buck up and do what I know in the long run will not only be the right choice, but I will FEEL better physically? And during a stressful time (such as moving with small children) shouldn’t I WANT to feel better and at my strongest?! I think yes. Oh and yeah, there’s that biathlon this Sunday too….I DEFINITELY need to be at my best! I have a record to beat! 
There is always an excuse. For me it’s getting past the “I can’t because….” and getting back to the “Here’s why I need to….” 
And I have yet to regret doing what I know I should.