You sure do cry a lot

Lately I’ve been learning a lot about myself…some good, some great, and some down right embarrassing stuff…but I’m using these as opportunities to better myself instead of remaining at a stand still.

One thing that has stood out is that I cry a lot. I mean, I kinda already knew this, but it’s become less about the emotions that others have brought out in me and more so to do with the pressure I put on myself to meet my expectations and the determination to overcome my past.

Case in point…this weekend I celebrated my 39th birthday. I woke up early the morning of my birthday and walked to the beach and watched the sun rise. It was spectacular.

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I stood there watching this amazing sight and I cried. I cried because I’m finally beginning to feel happy in my life. I cried because I had felt so much pain in my past. I cried because I was grateful for my parents who gave me life. I cried because I felt blessed enough to witness mother nature at it’s best.

I then cried when my dad, the best dad in the whole world in my opinion, called me at 10:10 a.m; as he does each year because that’s what time I was born. 

Later, after posing practice with a group of girls in their mid-twenties who appeared muuuuuuch leaner than me, I cried because I felt old and because I was feeling unsure about whether or not I’d be ready for the April 25th show.

I cried again when a sweet, sweet friend gave me a birthday present.

I cried yet again later that night when I tried to fall asleep. No explanation. I just did.

When I woke up the next day, I cried because, again, I felt old. 39 is almost 40. How did I become almost 40? I have nothing to show for all this time on Earth. No children. No husband. No home. What a failure…at least that’s how I felt for a few moments.

I cried later that morning when I went beast mode on my workout…it was SO very, very hard and the tears welled up in my eyes as I fought to hold them back.  I made myself proud of my hard work. The feeling of proving to myself that I was strong and determined was awesome.

Yep, I sure do cry a lot. That’s a ton for just one weekend, and I don’t even have PMS. I could make an excuse for myself and blame the new lower carb diet my coach put me on, but truth be told, I cheated quite a bit this weekend.

I’m not sure how long it will take to overcome this little idiosyncrasy or if it will ever change. I suppose the important part is that I’ve become aware of this and I don’t deny that it’s part of my personality. I don’t want to consider myself an emotional wreak, nor do I want to appear to be a basket case, but maybe I am. And maybe that’s ok. I’d rather feel than to be cold-hearted. It’s who I am, and I should embrace it.

 

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Changes in Latitudes. Changes in Attitudes.

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Today marks one week since I’ve started serious training and dieting towards my goal to compete in my first bikini competition. Quite honestly, I’m extremely impressed with myself. I have not once cheated, unless of course you count the apple I ate last Wednesday or the scoops of almond butter I had over the weekend. I haven’t had a pretzel in a week. Or pineapple (my faaaaavorite). Or wine. Or cheese. And trust me, I want pizza.

There have been plenty of times that I have wanted to cheat, but I’d only be cheating myself out of the money that I’ve already spent to hire a trainer and I’d be cheating myself out of my commitment. And that is, finally, enough for me to stay focused.

It wasn’t until yesterday that I started to notice a change in my stomach. Not only do I not have a constant bloated feeling, but it’s flatter and I can already see more definition. I suppose that, and my arms, will be the easiest, quickest places to see a change. My backside, however, will take a lot more time and effort. As will my inner and outer thighs.

When I think of how, just twenty days ago, I was a mess. How I was held captive by my emotions. How I was paralyzed by my personal situation. How I had no desire to live. How I felt I had no purpose. It’s amazing and I am relieved that I have found something that I can focus full force on. I have no time to be depressed. I have no one to worry about other than me.

This is taking time. This is taking discipline. This is taking dedication. This is proving to me that I can finally do something for myself. And I love it. My body is sore, everywhere. I’m tired. Oh, so tired. I’m overwhelmed by the food prep. I’m always doing dishes. It’s expensive. I’m hungry more often than I used to be. I have over cooked my rice and burnt my chicken (seriously, it could’ve been mistaken for sawdust when I finally managed to cut it open), but I ate it anyway. The workouts suck and are fun all at the same time. And… I. Am. Happy.

All excuses aside…my umbrella is too small for the rain

I have, over the past 10 years, used a variety of excuses as to why I haven’t met my fitness goals. Including, but not limited to the list below:

  1. I work a lot.
  2. My husband and I just got separated.
  3. I wasn’t athletic as a child.
  4. I never played sports.
  5. My hips are tight.
  6. I’m going through a divorce.
  7. I have an injury.

However, I’ve never been one to say:

  • It’s too hard.
  • I’m too tired.
  • I’ll start tomorrow.
  • I don’t have the time.

I’ve always considered my excuses legit…but, really, isn’t that what everyone thinks of their own excuses? Thinking back, I wonder if the above excuses actually were legit, or if I was just being lazy, or scared. I wonder this today not because I don’t want to go to the gym because the workout is hard or because I don’t have the time; it’s because the number one Stressor I have in my life right now is making me want to run home straight after work, take a Tylenol PM, jump in the shower, and hide under the covers. Which, by the way, is how I spent most of October, November, and December 2014.

That’s the thing about suffering from depression; sometimes you don’t have a choice no matter how hard you try. Years ago, when my ex husband was diagnosed with bipolar depression, I thought that he was just lazy and that he lacked proper coping skills. He was an introvert as it was and I thought that this was all just part of his personality. Now, however, as I force myself to figure out how I ended up this way, I now understand that, depression is debilitating.

When I started taking antidepressants in December, I was reluctant. I don’t like to put chemicals in my body. I suffered from some major side effects and decided to go off of them. Yesterday was my first full day with out them and I felt just fine…great even. I felt strong after my workout and had accomplished all my fitness and nutrition goals for the day. I went to bed, in my bed instead of the on the couch, at a reasonable time and slept through most of the night. I even woke up early today and had extra time to enjoy drinking my coffee. Things were looking up.

But then something happened…

I couldn’t figure out what to wear. Not really a big deal. Most women have this problem, so I should be used to it.

But I couldn’t figure out what to wear because I felt fat.

I felt fat because I haven’t been able to stick to my routine because of my depression.

I got mad at myself for not sticking with my routine..and then I remembered I needed gas…and then, as a result, I was late to work.

As I drove frantically to work, I thought of the reason for my depression and it made me want to take the steps towards eliminating that factor in my life.

Which made me want to contact my Stressor so that I could tell him that we can’t continue to have the relationship that we currently do.

And then I did.

He agreed to meet with me, but said he wasn’t free until “sometime next week”.

And that I took personally…as if I’m not important.

And all of this makes me want to hide in my bed until I hear from him that he is available.

So, that one little thing caused me to spiral into the state that I’m currently in. And that’s the thing about depression. It’s like having an umbrella that is too small in the middle of a thunderstorm. All of these things are pouring down around you and you don’t have the tools to help yourself survive.

I will go to the gym today. I might not make it to my second workout, but I will do something. Even though I don’t want to.

But, I don’t want to stand in the rain either.

Something stinks

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” ~John Lennon

One of my favorite quotes…and oh so true. On January 2nd, my sister was admitted to the hospital to be induced with her first child. The first child in the family…so of course there was a dire need for all immediate family members to stay put in the waiting room until this child was born. All other responsibilities went out the window as we all awaited his arrival. And of course, what does one do when one waits…or is bored…or is anxious? One eats. Crap.

As I munched on cookies, pretzels, and various other unfortunate things, I thought to myself that I was never going to escape the dreadful thing called ‘life’. That in which makes us unable to accomplish our goals. That in which makes us choose one thing over another thing. But, when will I ever get the chance again to welcome the first baby into our family? Never. And so, let them eat cake…and popcorn, and chips, and whatever else the vending machine has to offer.

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During the moments that I first held my nephew, I didn’t once think about stronger quads or defined biceps, or how many bad carbs I had consumed in the past 24 hours. I instead thought of all the possibilities that lay ahead for this little one. How, at that moment, life was perfect for him. If we’re lucky, we come into the world this way…and then ‘life’ happens. So it got me thinking more…

When did I start thinking that I needed to be better?

When did I decide that I had to be perfect?

When did it become ok for me to settle for less?

When did I put aside my priorities to appease others?

It’s so confusing…on one end I want to build a stronger body and prove to myself that I can do this, but on the other hand who really cares? I guess the reason lays in why I’m doing this? And that is what I need to figure out. If the driving force behind this is to be perfect, then I shouldn’t be doing it. Perfection only comes in those first days of existence when we’re all bundled up with a knitted hat on. At this point in my life, I am far from perfect…just like everyone else.

And so today I struggle with spending the precious few hours after work, before the dust hits my eyes and I’m down for the count, at the hospital visiting the only person I know who is perfect at the moment or do I go to the gym, as I planned, and work out for two and a half hours? How do you make a choice like that? Is it selfish if I don’t go? Am I being lazy if I do go? Could I force myself to do both and cut my gym time in half?

Right now I’d just prefer to go home and get in my comfy pjs and sleep until tomorrow morning…but it’s only 2:30 in the afternoon. I can smell avoidance in the air…and it stinks.