Wednesday, November 30, 2005

check

I am scattered into a million mindless pieces thrown all over my desk. Which is to say, I am not focused. But I want to say,

Today, I ran. 40ish mins, with walking breaks.
Today, I practiced yoga! And it was painfully good.
Today, I did not lift. Friday I might.
Today, right now in fact, I am heating my back/shoulder thing.
Today I had a latte for lunch.
There is always tomorrow.

My legs are jello after getting back into running. And this after only a week off! I am so sore, it hurts to go down stairs.

I taught my neighbor how to knit last night. She's learning so fast. And while we knitted we watched the Biggest Loser finale. And I told her that I've lost around 30 pounds over the course of, gulp, a year. But she didn't laugh and think that was ridiculous. She looked at me and told me how great that was and congratulated me on making a significant lifestyle change.

Knitting and reality checks make for one happy evening.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

start

Mainly it's that I am full of shit.

I ran today. 6 miles. Felt good. Legs were real tight near the end. Damn, I want to practice yoga. Soon enough. I ran today.

Back/shoulder feels ok, kind of sore. I need to do more research to find out what's wrong. I also need to find a kick-ass massage therapist. The massage last week helped tremendously.

Food choices started off, but ended strong:

Breakfast: muffin and triple shot latte (large!)
"lunch": generous "slice" of poundcake, see above latte
snack: L@ra Bar
Dinner: amazing big salad piled high with veggies, tofu, cashews. cherries.

Mich, thanks for the support. I need it. The injuries are a reminder that I need balance. We aren't talking massive exercise at all. We are talking daily sessions of hard cardio--running or spinning (between 45 min-1.5 hours (long runs), lifting (30 mins), and yoga (between 1 to 1.5 hours) pretty much every day. The yoga needs to be cut back to twice a week. Max, three times. I need to build up to a more consistent practice. I need at least one day a week of recovery movement, walking, to give the legs a break. I just don't want to let go of my spinning classes. I love them. But maybe this isn't too much? I read tales of running, spinning, and swimming all in the same day on other blogs. Maybe this is where dropping some weight would help me becomes a stronger athlete? Maybe my body could withstand more strenuous activity if it had to haul around 10 less pounds?

Also, Mich, good point on the sleep issue. I don't sleep enough. I've worked myself into a mindset where anything more than 6 hours seems excessive and indulgent. I am, afterall, a student. Tonight I'm looking at 5 hours, if I'm lucky. I need to change this attitude, but it is hard to let it go. Sleeping more would probably let me cut back on the caffeine consumption a bit.

Did I mention? I ran today!

Monday, November 28, 2005

rest

Why am I writing this when I have mountains of work? I need to.

I haven't exercised since Thursday.
I've been making very, very poor food decisions. Not binging. But poor, poor choices. (Somebody say not 1 but 2 grande triple shot vanilla soy lattes! with me.) No, say disturbing heart palpatations instead.
Lack of movement and yucky food are pulling me down into an emotional funk.
Which does not make eating well and exercise any easier.

My shoulder/back still hurts. But I could try to run or walk. I won't lift weights or practice yoga for the rest of the week. But this does not mean that I no longer have to move at all. No it does not.

I am sick, so sick of being injured. First the foot thing and now my back/shoulder thing. All these have me scared, annoyed, and really frustrated. I don't like being pushed into "rest" mode, especially when I have been doing so well. Now I fear I will have to backtrack to re-establish strength, flexibility, and endurance that I already worked for. Argh!

Could I have warded off these injuries with more rest days worked into my routine? I'm ashamed to admit that I don't have planned rest days, I figure that I will get the better of myself and call in sick to the gym anyway, so why plan a day off? But the fact is, I haven't been calling in. I've been doing serious workouts, spinning or running, often coupled with lifting or yoga or both, every single day of the week. I haven't pointed this out before on this blog because I didn't want to be called out on it. Because I know that I shouldn't, and can't, work out with such intensity.

What's up with that? Why haven't I been taking rest days?

I really LIKE working out. I like the way I feel afterwards. It is a quick way to feeling good and accomplished in a life where I rarely feel either.

VJ said something that made me uncomfortable, in a good way:

Part of this is just a sense of futility. Why bother looking for a new job when it'll just be more of the same, and probably a paycut? I'll still be stressed out; I'll still be self-medicating with food or drink or exercise. I think about one cow-orker who quit a few years back because he couldn't stand it any longer... and ended up back here. That could be me. On a treadmill.

Exercise as self-medicating. When I first read this, I thought, "nah." She can't mean that as a bad thing. Surely exercise isn't like over-eating or drinking. Surely it isn't. But now. Now. Why have I been exercising like crazy? Why haven't I been honest about that here? Why do I resist rest? Why does the thought of it make me crazy?

I'm scared, lonely, stressed beyond the realms of reality, lost, unhappy, disconnected, overly-sensitive. Which is the result of my tenuous position in graduate school. Except that this is how it has always been. And will be, I fear, the way I always am. Hence the resonance with VJ's treadmill analogy.

So what does this mean? Am I self-medicating? Is this a bad thing? Does it mean that I need real meds?

I was thinking that I was finally figuring things out. Finally becoming something like the person that I hope to be, in terms of food and exercise. I've significantly curtailed emotional eating and binging! I have it all! But now I wonder if I've just replaced overeating with exercise. This thought is really depressing. What the hell have I been doing? Have I made any real changes or progress in myself?

Honestly, the two things that bring me the most joy lately are exercise and eating. This seems so sad. But it's true. Exercise and eating are times during the day when I can check out and relax and escape expectations and judgment and sit back with myself and fucking let go.

Clearly, I need to work on this attitude. Great, more to work on.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

this

It caught me. Fatigue and stress. Ran over me when I was with the parents over Thanksgiving. Fatigue and stress coupled with a night on my mother's stoic, hard-as-a-rock, we-can't-allow-pleasure-of-any-kind bed. Which is to say that my back/shoulder is out of wack. "Out of wack" like it hurt to breathe on Thursday. I am feeling much, much better. The food-processor like "massage" on Friday helped a whole lot to break down some significant knots (feet also feel wonderful post-massage). But I'm still sore. And I haven't run in two days. I ran Thursday morning. Thinking, foolishly, that a run would "loosen me up." It did not. So I am resting. Until further notice. Which will hopefully be tomorrow because I am going out of my mind.

Rest assured that I am, however, still eating to keep up my strength.

That's a joke. Because of course I'm still eating. Of course I haven't eaten a salad in days. Because I've been in small town America.

My mother is on an all liquid diet. I am worried for her. She said that it is doctor supervised. But, still. This can't be healthy. Can it? I'm worried and sad for her. I hope that I work through my weight issues by the time I'm a grown-up. I hope I accept myself and grow some self-esteem, fast.

That's a goal. Because I'm not those things now.

I had a dream last night that my bother and sister, both younger, got engaged on the same day. I was, am, single. I do, however, have a crush on a strange boy.

That's hope. This is sarcasm.

And I think I just saw a(nother) mouse. What? Where are you getting in? I sealed up every nook and cranny of this place with steel wool. Why are you here? Why do you return? There is no food here for you. The kitchen isn't done yet. There are much nicer apartments all around us. Go hang out in one of them.
**Edited: I DID for sure just see another mouse. In my freaking toaster. The one I cleaned out right before I left. Why are you back? And how do I get rid of you? The mouse, not the toaster. The toaster is as good as gone. I just need to get up the courage to walk back into the kitchen again.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

place

1. I've got the bug. The marathon bug. The Philly marathon was today and it was lots of fun cheering for the runners. Oh man, I want that. Should I? Could I? To see average people turn athletes. To push the body to the beyond. I saw lots of folks that I see out on long runs around the river on the weekend. There is one group of women in particular that is always so friendly to me and they were all running together. I watched them cross the finish line. I watched them hold hands, in the air, huge smiles across their beautiful faces, and cross the finish line, together. I watched walkers finish. Something like 5 hours after the start. They are still walking. Those people are, in my opinion, the stars of the day. Anybody can run for a couple of hours. Not everybody can keep at it for 5-6 hours.

*Edited: I started this post Sunday, right after watching the marathon. Now, two days out, I no longer have the marathon bug. My body couldn't handle that kind of running, I'm sure I would get injured. And my goal is to be running when I'm 60. In other words, maintaining my health, form, and strength for a long time is more important to me than running a race.

2. With my goal "accomplished," I'm thinking of what should come next. I weigh 160 lbs. I wear a size 12 comfortably. I am physically strong. I eat, generally, well. I've been at this weight for 9 or 10 months. My body, obviously, is really happy here.

BUT. My goal is to weigh 145. To wear a size 10. I am still in the "overweight" category of BMI. I could run a lot faster if I dropped some weight. I could get into deeper yoga poses without the flab. But maybe weighing 165 just isn't an option anymore. For one thing, I'm older. For another, I have a lot more muscle now than I did then. Nonetheless, I am still overweight.

BUT. I like living this way. I like eating dessert (shock, I know). I enjoy cheap beer and whiskey shots during a queer DJ show (Saturday night). And sometimes it feels so fantastic to sit in front of the TV, watch a good movie, and snack on cashews and raisins (Friday night). I don't want to count calories or seriously restrict the amount of food that I eat. I want to challenge overeating and break bingeing cycles. When I was a size 10 I did not eat dessert. I didn't drink cheap beer. I certainly did not snack. And look at where that got me! To 190 lbs. I think I started binging in earnest when I just couldn't maintain that kind of restricted diet anymore. I felt deprived when everybody else could eat something that I couldn't.

3. Thus begins the holidays? A bad sign to begin without a goal. I need to fix this, fast. I work best when I have a vision of where I am going. My plan for the week:

Wednesday: spin, lift, head to parent's house. Ack! Several days with my size 0 sister, mother, and grandmother are enough to send anybody to her closet to devour a bag of candy. Right? The plan: bring food. Run. Breathe.
Thursday: run. enjoy dinner. I'll have the vegan turkey and salad, thank you
Friday: run
Saturday: run. Come Home!
Sunday: yoga!

4. I did a full wheel last night while practicing yoga. My first full wheel in years. I am very cautious when it comes to yoga. I don't push myself into poses unless I can almost "fall" into them. The alignment is too tricky to "push," for me. So after years of not being strong enough for wheel I suddenly, effortless, lifted myself up. I feel great this morning. My back released a lot of tension.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

restore

Somewhere between running, yoga poses, huge hulking shoulders, cupcakes, chocolate bars, and several days of "toast and banana diet" I found the "who gives a shit" attitude I need to step on the scale.

159

I'm a little confused. And indifferent. I don't put much stock in the number, what I really want is to drop another size. But this does offer validation that I am, in fact, finding a groove and challenging my binge-eating behavior.

Or not at all. This is the first time I've gotten on a scale since...April, I think. But, still, mini-goal (see sidebar)--achieved.

Yoga tonight. My legs are very sore. I hope we do a restorative practice. I think that we should, seeing as the full moon was a couple days ago.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

beauty

Yesterday was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, to paraphrase Judith Viorst. I won’t go into details here. I left campus feeling completely defeated, alone, stupid, exhausted, angry, angry, angry, depressed, stupid, angry, stupid, angry, stupid.... What I did not do: I did not eat away my rage. I did not seek companionship in food. I did not deny tears by stuffing myself. What I did: I did rush home and change into yoga clothes. I did practice yoga. I did open myself up to my practice. I did cry. I did let corpse melt away my need to always, always be better, smarter, sharper. If only for a moment. I did eat a healthy dinner at home. I did walk down to the coffee shop for a vegan treat. I did discover they were closed. I did call a friend.

This is to remind myself that it can be done. Despite the pain of the moment.

Even if that moment lops over into this morning. I still ran this morning (with some wicked tired legs, thanks, yoga!)

When does this get easier? When will this not be so hard? Everything feels like a constant uphill battle. I’m looking for solace and comfort. Things I never thought I would want. I am, after all, fierce, difficult and always challenging. But sometimes I want to be easy. Why do I put myself through this? Why do I make it harder than it has to be?

**********
My foot feels great today, pre-, during, and post- run. Beatte, the alphabet game feels like butter, thank you! I hope the PF will be a question of management and not debilitation. I can manage the potential injury. Been doing it with my knees since day one.

Muscles asked what my PF is saying to me, which is a great question. I agree that bodily injuries are usually related to something else going on in my life. For instance, I get into bike accidents two times a year: the start of summer and around the holidays. Not incidentally, these are also emotionally stressful times in my life. So I need to think more about what the PF is telling me. But my gut response to reading her comment was, “love me.” I’m a softy, I know.

***********
Marla, thanks for suggestions as to why no phone call. I think it has to be option one—she can’t handle the love that she sees us having. Well, that or she is intimated by my awesomeness now that she isn’t drunk. I also considered that she is questioning my awesomeness now that she isn’t drunk, but….if I considered this seriously I would have to give $$ to GW and this just isn’t an option.

**********

I heart yoga. One of my teachers told me that I had a “beautiful” practice and that she’s noticed my getting stronger in my poses. And then she told some new students to watch me if they didn’t understand what to do. I am making progress. Even if the jeans don’t get smaller.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

please

It's been a doosy of a week. Some kind of knock me on my ass stomach bug. Yuck. Diet of toast and bananas for a couple of days. In the midst of the bug, I was preparing to lecture, for my first time, to 100 undergrads. Which was done, successfully, on Friday. In the midst of the bug, preparing, and lecturing, my closet case of plantar fasciitis decided to come roaring out of the closet. Enter depressive thoughts of numbing my pain and stress by eating. Exit those same thoughts, run off by habit and hindsight.

Let's take this point by point. First, the bug. Not much to say about that but yuck. And I'm glad it's gone. And I am so thankful for having a working gut. And I hope this inspires me to keep this gut happy by feeding it appropriate food.

Second, the lecture. I'll be honest. I slam dunked that lecture. And I looked equally fabulous in my size 12 suit. I love teaching and I miss it. It felt so good to be back up there, walking students through some really interesting theory. What I am proud of that relates to this blog: part of my lecture was about Sartre's understanding of the body. And I talked about the body and referenced myself standing in front of them as an example. The cool thing: I wasn't embarrassed by referencing my body. Part of it was the way that I lose myself to teaching. But the other part was that I felt really good and comfortable with myself and my body.

Third, the foot, the plantar fasciitis. Oh, crap. My worst fear realized. I ran Wednesday and Thursday even though I was sick. Well, let me back up a bit. For the past couple of months, I've been waking up with sore feet. Didn't give it much thought because it wasn't that bad. I didn't really take care of myself after running this week. Meaning: little to no stretching. Then Thursday evening after sitting through a entire afternoon and evening of classes (about 7 hours of sitting), I got up to walk to my car and was in so much pain that "walking" was more like "hobbling." Friday morning: pain, real bad. Hobbled to the gym. Spinning. Hobbled around lifting weights. I *had* to wear heels for Friday's lecture because it hurt too much to wear flats. Yesterday: continued pain. Tried to run. Unsuccessful. Obsessive internet searching on plantar fasciitis. Ice and stretching. Much stress. What if I never run again? Maybe the answer is to eat myself out of this funk? It was not. And I did not.

Sunday morning: no pain in the morning. 9 miles, run. My feet are sore and tight and my right heel hurts now. But I'm taking ibuprofen, icing, and stretching. I don't know what this is. And I'm stressed out. So I will take it day by day. I will slow down. I will go to yoga. I won't exercise while sick. If it still hurts in a week, I will see a doctor. Plantar fasciitis is degenerative. Which means that I can't "run through it."

And most of all. Most of all, I will take time and appreciate my working body and all that I can do. Because I can. And I love to. And it, and all that it can do, is this amazing.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

wave

There will be no running. No lifting. No yo-gaing. Sick. Hot, then cold. Waves of time lost to the bathroom floor. A message. I think. Feeling sorry is over. Appreciation is back.

Monday, November 07, 2005

need

I don't know why I haven't posted in a week. I don't know why. Because nothing is changing. I'm still moving a lot. I still love to run, lift, spin, and yo-ga. Can yoga spelled "yo-ga" be a verb? Kinda sounds like one with the pause. Anyway. After a week of clean eating and feeling great, I'm back to overeating and feeling crappy. Actually, feeling crappy is of my mantra of late. It's my theme. I'm in a bad mood. And, ignoring the fact that I've pretty much been in a bad mood since birth, I've been in a really bad mood since last weekend when friends made it clear that they don't like "changes" they see in me. It's these supposed "changes," and the negative reception of them, that gnaws on my brain most days. And I don't think that discussion of that is relevant here. I'm sure that I *could* work it back to body politics...but it would be a stretch.

I need to change my mind. Get out of this funk. Uplift and see possibility. Running usually does it for me. And I still get a great feeling from exercise, but it's not good enough this time. Which, incidentally, is a criticism I received: nothing is ever good enough for me. But that's because, you know, most things could be better. I'm just saying. Body politic: I'm a perfectionist. And I sabotage everything by saying that it is all nothing. Case in point: not losing these last 15 pounds. I could. But I "can't." Because I'm not perfect. Because the world isn't perfect. And nothing is ever good enough. See how that works?

************

Wednesday: 1 hour run; lift at home; no yoga due to home repair people working late
Thursday: 45 min run
Friday: lift and spin; bike downtown to drink and eat; bike home
Saturday: 9 mile run; lots of shopping and work on apartment
Sunday: 9 mile run, with more walking than usual; yoga
Monday: lift; 30 min walk

************

I just ate so much and it feels gross and I feel gross and I have the hiccups and I feel so sick. Why do I do this? Let's run down today's food choices: apple, 4 thick slices of amazing bread with almond butter, coffee with shot of espresso on top, food bar, salad with tofu and steamed veggies, soy vanilla latte, food bar, brown rice veggie roll, soybeans, 2 vegan cupcakes, bar of dark chocolate, 2 slices toast with vegan margarine, dried cherries....I think that's "it." Ugh. Most of it consumed within the last hour, after getting home from class. Was I hungry? No. Did I need to eat? No. Am I annoyed with myself? Yes.

************

Plus. I have a crush on a boy. This is always disconcerting. This boy is not attractive. I can't stand his personality. And I can't stop thinking about him. Plus. Girl who asked for my phone number Saturday night has not called me. She asked for my number. And has not called. What's up? Don't ask. Or pick up the phone. But don't pretend. Morale of the story: I'm feeling unattractive and need external validation. And it's not coming.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

easy

theory slut
You are a Theory Slut. The true elite of the
postmodernists, you collect avant-garde
Indonesian hiphop compilations and eat journal
articles for breakfast. You positively live
for theory. It really doesn't matter what
kind, as long as the words are big and the
paragraph breaks few and far between.


What kind of postmodernist are you!?
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little

It's been a while. Last week was all kinds of business, mainly school related, though construction on the new apartment connected as well. I also went away this weekend.

Both exercise and food were great last week. My eating habits felt healthy and reasonable with lots of power up hearty food interspersed with dessert. Exercise was great, with running Wednesday and Thursday, spinning on Friday, and lifting on Wednesday and Friday. I think that food over the weekend was fine. I ate food that I normally don't (Indian, Thai, and french toast) but nothing was in excess. I had a great runs Saturday and Sunday morning. Yesterday morning found me lifting and spinning. This morning I was back to pounding the pavement. This evening I will probably wind up in the yoga studio. Saturday afternoon I went for a bike ride with my friends. And I was in the best shape by far. Far, far. That felt good. OK, it felt awesome. Perhaps the fact that I am the 'biggest' amongst them influenced my excitement? Perhaps.

Up:

-I've been adding "speed" work at the end of a couple of my runs. It is really challenging and taxing, but really good for me too. Plus, it feels great to open my stride a little

-My emphasis on moderation seems to be paying off. My face looks thinner and my jeans are fitting better

Down:

Since returning home, I've been eating the world. I've been really hungry and I also get a little crazy after spending a lot of time with other people negotiating food. No binging. I'm just hungry all the time.

This weekend was tough in a lot of ways and I'm feeling pretty down as a result. It (old friends) held a mirror up to me and I'm not sure what I think of the reflection. But what concerns me isn't what I write about here. It's not the physical reflection but the emotional, personal one. So I'm not sure what to do. Do I change? Are they right? Is this really the way that I am? If I do change, how? Change into what?

Middle:

For the purposes of this space, my goal is not to let the events of this weekend spiral me down into that depressed, over-eating, under-exercising place I was in a month or so ago. Big goal, little clues.