Saturday, April 21, 2012

I am not a pretty face runner

Okay guys I am back. It's been awhile, I know. Life has just been so very hectic lately. Sometimes I even have trouble remembering what day it is. They all seem to run together now. Anyway.... I am quickly approaching my first 5K ever. I am so excited and yet utterly terrified at the same time! A friend ( one who I have neglected to call lately in the midst of chaos... Sorry) suggested that I start running at the track some instead of the elliptical machine at the gym. I truely wish I had taken his advice sooner. I also let this task set on the backburner for a awhile. This week ( two weeks prior to the 5K) I began to train at the track. For those of you that got just a little cocky while excelling on the elliptical... Pavement is way harder than it looks. I have promoted myself as a runner- Ha! I give major props to those people I know who run- for real! You know in that place we call nature or the great outdoors. Everything hurts! My back, my legs, my butt cheeks.... Heck even my eyelashes hurt! I strongly suspect that I should be strapping an oxygen tank to my back while attempting to jog. I am not a "pretty face" runner either. Oh no folks! For those of you the that can multitask and smile and run at the same time... Much props from me! No sir, I think I more closely resemble that of an emphysema patient attempting to jog. Apparently my brain and body are in shock by my notion that I want to take on this activity that it can't quite grasp the idea that I must run and breathe at the same time. I know that you are laughing but it is the honest truth!! So next time you are out for a jog and you pass someone who's face resembles the elephant man and who also appears to be hyperventalating, don't worry it's just me... Refusing to let the exercise beat me!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Fire Within

   I killed it at the gym today! The elliptical trainer has become my obsession. When I get on it and begin to run, it's like I get lost within myself. Usually I turn the TV on and find something to distract my attention from the clock that is counting down the seconds left on my daily work out, but not today. Today is a different beast. As I run today, one of the greatest men I ever knew is dieing. He lays upon his death bed and struggles with each drawing breath. So today I turned the music on and I focused on my reflection on the blank television screen. I stare at face that is struggling within with her thoughts and memories. I don't look away. I stare into my own eyes, my own soul. My speed increases and I can feel the thumping of my heart intensify. I can hear the thumps grow louder and louder. I am crying on the inside, while the sweat drops from my brow. I don't even pause to wipe it away. I think of this man so dear to me. Does he hear his heart thump? Is it growing louder and louder for him as well? Is he crying on the inside, unable to express his pain? My focus is intense and I noticed my reflection once again and as if I see another person I half way smile. I see the sterness and determination upon my face. Today is very different. I've reached deep down to somewhere inside of me that I didn't even know existed. I stand face to face with what I can only describe as a warrior. There are some young guys there today and they draw my attention for only a moment. One says to the other " Look at that big girl over there. She's running like somethings chasing her!" I return to my reflection and smile again. That's right. You're impressed. You won't say that but I know you are. You didn't think a big girl like me could keep this pace for so long, did you? Neither did I at one time.  I notice my time and distance. I'm running a mile every 13 to 14 minutes. I've not even so much as paused a single moment. Driven! Unstoppable! Fearless! The music is playing but I'm really not even listening. It's initial purpose was only to drown out my thoughts of what was sure to come later in the day. Just then I do hear a moment of a song. "Click Click Boom" and then back to the chaos within. I hear my breath sounds become more labored , almost panting and again the thump of my heart. I can feel the pain from pushing my limits but onward I press. As my body diligently works to keep up with my ever increasing pace I become very aware of what my loved one is unable to do. I want to scream. I am screaming on the inside but on the outside I am focused and unwavering. I notice that there are several people standing near me now and as I realize they are watching me I begin to slow. Then I hear the voice of one of the class instructors from behind, " Push yourself ! Finish. Don't quit now!" I picked up the speed determined to finish strong! And that I did. I finished in the name of my loved one that couldn't, and will never be able to again for his time here is over. For the first time today I found myself looking at someone that I really wanted to know- ME! The work out is done and I check the distance. 5 miles in an hour ain't to shabby. I found a glimpse of myself today and Friends I like what I see. There is nothing like a little fire within to fuel your purpose. Find your fire and see where it takes you!

Acceptance is your worst ememy

    Acceptance is a crutch. I remember once upon a time not so very long ago I used this very thing to make excuses not to make any hard changes in my life. It's quite disgusting now, looking back at my past behaviors and excuses that I used to stay in the same rut I was in. Stuck if you will for what seemed an eternity. Stuck in trap of self pity and doubt, I allowed myself to assign blame upon anything but myself for the condition that I had created. Let me run down a list of a few of them and let's see if you recognize any of them.

1. I'll never be skinny because my body and bone structure aren't made that way.
2. I can't prevent diabetes and high blood pressure because I have a strong genetic link.
3. I've tried all the diets and they just don't work. Maybe God meant for me to be this way.
4. I don't have time to exercise because I have children and a job.
5. I feel so bad I just can't exercise.
6. I really don't eat that much!!!
7. My job hours prevent me from eating healthy because I eat on the go a lot.

    The list could go on and on. The truth is I made excuses in every aspect of my life as to why I couldn't make changes. It was going to be hard and I knew that. I think that sometimes when we are faced with situations that we know are going to be difficult, we as a whole tend to turn to avoidence. Who really wants to feel bad or be miserable? No one, that's who. Nothing worth having is ever going to be easy or convenient. If it was there would be no fulfillment within. No joy. No sense of accomplishment. No drive to progress and better one's self.

    One day I just decided I was sick and tired of loathing myself. I was tired of shoving my mouth full of things that essentially represented sorrow, regrets, and disappointment. I was ready to get up and take a long hard look at myself in the mirror. Ready to be brutally honest about the chains that held me where I was standing. Ready to brake free of my self inflicted silent prison. Ready to disassemble my inner ticking time bomb. It was an awakening if you will, and it was the moment that I took the first step from the quicksand I was sinking in. That very moment fuels my drive today. Here I stand before you not just 46 pounds lighter than I was 10 weeks ago, but also with a new found joy. A joy that came from not being content with a lesser version of myself. A joy from the knowledge that because of my choices right now I am prolonging my time with my family and children. The knowledge that the time I will spend with them from this day forward will be utilized to the fullest of possibilities. I will no longer be a bystander but rather a participant. A participant because I can be and because I choose to be rather than accepting self inflicted limitations. I WILL NOT BE DEFEATED! Will you? The choice is yours my friend. What will you be, a bystander or a participant? I sincerely hope that you join me in this race of life. See you there.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Failure - The new motivation

     Today I weighed in for my two month results! I had hoped to lose at least 12 pounds in the month of February So that I could account for an even 40 pounds but that just wasn't the case. I failed my monthly goal. Well sort of anyway. I have lost a whopping 37 pounds since January 1st. No small feat if I say so myself. When I started I wanted to continually lose 2 pounds a week for 1 year. Technically I am way ahead of the game at this point. With a total of 9.5 pounds for the month, Success truly is in the eye of the beholder. 37 pounds is by no means a failure and that not even factoring in how good I feel physically. I am doing thing now that I haven't done since I was a teenager. I am running and I love it. With each passing day I feel more alive than ever! I guess that is really the true measurement of success right? So I will take those measly 2.5 pounds and add it to this months goal! I'm gonna kick their butt at the gym and leave them there panting as I continue to run off into the distance! Onward I press because failure is not an option.

Not Giving Up Is Half The Battle!!!!!!!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Who hides from the camera?

      I do! I do! For the past... well I'm not really sure when this started but I am going to guess about 5-6 years I stay hidden from the camera. I am the proverbial picture taker. Always hiding behind the camera. I've become quite good at my photography craft. I've been published several times and I have even photographed friends and their families for family portraits. What most people dont realize is that this has a deeper reason than just my love of taking pictures. You see, photos are a captured moment in time.. and they don't lie. How many of you have done this? You are getting ready for a night out or a significant event where you go all out. You get your hair "did", you put your make up on, and you put your best clothes on. Now I realize this happens more to women than men but still you get my point. You make faces in the mirror and you think, "Damn I'm hot. I'd do me!" Deny if you want but we all do it- short, tall, skinny, and fat, we all do this at some time or another. Then you get to where ever you may be going and without fail someone snaps a picture of you. Now this can either be posed or completely off guard but usually the same result occurs! You realize very quickly upon observing the photo that the hot outfit you picked out is in fact not that flattering. Your hair never looks the same as it did in the mirror and as for the total image- often you find yourself totally unrecognizable. In fact, if it weren't for the tell tell outfit you may even be inclined to  say the photo victim was someone else entirely. But you can't! It is YOU!!! What happened between the mirror and the photo. I mean you were prancing around at the event as if you were the hottest thing there but the pictures reveal a complete and total hot mess!! The reality is the mirror often times is a liar. It gives us the illusion of perfection in just the right lighting but my friends the camera is the truth teller. It doesn't lie. It doesn't cover. It only shows a true image in time and yes that is really what you look like to everyone else. So for this reason I have forbidden anyone from photographing me until recently. While I still don't really like to see myself in pictures I know that part of transforming into this better me also means that i must learn to look at myself again. The weight continues to slowly come off and I want to document my progress. I can't see it myself in the mirror ( she's a liar anyway) but I can see it in the photos. So here goes... This is my most recent photo. Please be kind.

What doesn't kill you...

     This my friends is by far my new favorite song. I listen to it at the gym. I listen to it in the car. I sing it at the top of my lungs by myself and with my daughters. It is so powerful and in my own personal opinion should be every woman's theme song. What better person to present this song to the world than Kelly Clarkson? Even though I would love to say I knew her personally, I can not... But her persona is fantastic. She comes off as real, what you see is what you get. That is a huge part of what makes her so fantastic. Though I am sure she has her own inner struggles just like the rest of us, she exudes confidence! So today i will strive to be more like that. Confident, daring, and self assured. Harder than what you might think.

     What doesn't kill you makes you stronger..... words to live by and the absolute truth. Through every struggle and adversity we learn something about ourselves. Sometimes it is pleasing and sometimes it isn't so pretty. Regardless, however, it changes who we are. It is up to us to make that a positive revelation or a negative one. As someone who has voluntarily entered into every type of abusive relationship you can imagine, I  can honestly say that each and every time i took something away that made me stronger and wiser for the most part. Abuse is never condonable, I am just saying I chose to learn something about myself from it rather than  wallow in all the negative. I learned that I chose certain types of people as a result of my own insecurities. Somewhere within me I settled for less than I deserved. It doesn't make any of the things they did right but it also doesn't excuse my part as their enabler either. Ownership of the part that I did play was probably one of the most important things I did to start healing from that. No one can grow while in denial. So I owned up to it and moved on. All of those experiences made me stronger and wiser! They also made me less naive to what the real world holds for us. Our choices do matter, big and small. Choices effect everyone, not just the abused or neglected, but everyone. They make us fighters, teachers, and role models to the generations behind us. And I believe that it is our responsibility to show our children mistakes we make in life don't ruin us. In fact, they build us, make us stronger, and allow us to be more well rounded individuals if we chose to learn from them.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Ghosts from the past

OK I know that it has been a while since I last checked in. I've been going through some emotional stuff and I did what I do best. I was has hiding- from myself and from everything else. See that is what I do! I seclude myself or shut everyone out. I used to also stuff my face with whatever sinful treat I could find but thank goodness I no longer inflict that pain upon myself! Baby steps right? During this self inflicted solitude I have been fortunate enough to reconnect with a couple of friends from my long ago youth. You know how "they" say your past always comes back to haunt you? Well my friend that is the gospel truth! But ghosts from the past don't have to be a bad thing. They remind you who you once were and what you really wanted out of life before your vision became clouded with complications. Trust me at 18 I thought I knew exactly where I'd be standing at 34. HA! Let me say that again- Ha! No where near my pristine vision of what my future held! Sad really when you think about it! However misguided I may have been in the expectation of what life was to be, somewhere along the way I lost sight of simply who I was. I mean eventually we all become someone's mom or someone's dad and we get lost in the chaos we call life. I mean think about it... Who are you if you aren't so and so's parent or so and so's wife/ husband? It's like society forgets you were given a name at birth. But ghosts from the past don't have to be a bad thing or a reminder of endeavors that failed. Sometimes they are just what you need to push forward in the game of life. One of these friends reminded me of the difference I make to those around me despite my imperfections and that it was time for me to check out of the Pity Party Hotel and get back to life. So what, I'm not a size 8 - neither is half the women on the planet! A perfect silhouette does not guarantee anything in life- not success, not financial fortune, not love, and certainly not peace of mind. So what, I don't have that life long companion that is supposed to "complete" me! I don't want to be completed thank you. I would much rather have an addition to my already superb completeness. I will find that addition or rather it will find me one day but today is not that day. Today is about ME! Yes I said it, you heard me correctly! It is all about ME. Those of you that know me realize how hard that statement is for me. Really! Who makes the absurd rules about what happiness is? Is it "they"? Well "they" can shove it. I'm not buying into that anymore. The other friend helped to remind me of my inner strength how important it is that I be a positive example of that for my three angels! To teach them that life is not without obstacles. It's gives you plenty of time and opportunity to learn to overcome those obstacles with grace and dignity. To teach them that they deserve no less than the absolute best. Who sets out in life to settle? Not me and I am quite sure you didn't either, so don't! I had to really assess myself with honesty and complete truth. Why do I seem to choose the same destructive path time and time again? Who am I really? Well, honestly, I just don't know anymore. So here is what I purpose.... I'm going to throw away the past mistakes and disappointments. Not forget them but rather leave them where they belong. I can't change them so I will set them down and push forward. I am going to start a new day, a new tomorrow, a new forever! How about you my friend? Where will your new forever begin?