653 Days

New name. New goal. New Plan? Old Plan, ammended?

Who the hell knows.

In typical me fashion, I’m reinventing myself. I crave change like I crave Ben and Jerry’s. I get bored, things feel stale and I start deleting accounts and changing names and making lists, all in the name of starting over.

But, you know what? I like starting over.

I like clean notebooks.

I like plans.

I like blank pages, just waiting to be filled.

I like this.

So, take in the new name. Under Two (Hundred) by 40.  Pounds, that is. I’ve got 653 days to get there. And I’ve got more pounds than I care to number to shed in order to achieve that goal.

I’ve got a lot of something else, too.

More than I ever give myself credit for, really. I am strong. I am persistent. I am dedicated (that is, until I dedicate myself to being undedicated, and then I’m only dedicated to my couch).

I can do this. It will not be easy. It will not be pretty. It will not be without whining.

And this.

And this.

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And I will fuck up. Probably a lot. Because fucking up is what I know. And that doesn’t go away overnight.

Maybe it doesn’t go away ever.

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And maybe you just learn to fuck up less often.

So, how am I going to get there?

I’m going to run. Again.

I’m going to shake my ass at Zumba. Again.

I’m going to get back to clean, healthy eating. Again.

I’m not going to Weight Watchers. Ever again. (I have no formal plan as of now. 80/20 rule, perhaps?)

I’m going to write blogs. Again. And again. And again.

And I’m going to keep reinventing parts of myself until I’m the best overall me. Because that’s how I do.

❤ Bec

 

 

Dear Future Me

Three and a half months ago,  I sat and wrote out an email to my future self using DearFutureMe.com. This was mid June and I was still feeling incredibly motivated. I promptly forgot I had written it and got lost in a place I like to call Summer Lazytown.

Today, the email came.

Dear FutureMe,

Look at you. Can you believe you’re here? Just three months left in 2012 and look how far you’ve come.

Last year at this time, you took the kids to Wompatuck and could barely walk half a mile. No judgement, just a realistic picture of where you were. Unhappy, unhealthy, tired and sick.

Now? You’re a different person. Not only did you complete a 5K at Wompatuck, you completed three others as well, and a 7K. You’ve reduced your pace by well over four minutes.

You did the DIVA DASH! You did that. Just you.

You’re a runner. Let that sink in for a minute. You. Are. A. Runner.

You’re an athlete. You. That same girl who sat out high school gym all the time and loathed exercise. You’re an athlete now.

And look at your health. You’ve lost over 100 pounds in the last year and a half. You’re more than halfway there.

Remember how you used to feel at nearly 400 pounds. Remember what it was like to walk up stairs, to do anything physical, to just BREATHE. Those are things you do with ease now.

You changed your life, just by sheer determination.

And writing. You’re done writing Grey. One way or another, you’re done. Maybe you’re thinking publication, maybe not. But you finished a novel because it was something on your bucket list. You stopped being willing to settle. You stopped being willing to quit.

You’re a better mom and wife than you were last year. You’re a better friend, a better daughter. You’re happier than you’ve been in… maybe forever.

You love yourself. You finally figured out what it meant when people said ‘you have to love yourself as is.’ And you do.

You inspire people to get healthy, be better, do more. You changed more lives than just your own.

And you’re not done. Not by a long shot. You’ve got so much left to do. Another novel, maybe an adult contemp like you’ve been thinking. You’re still training. You’re still making this body the best it can be.

In just over a year’s time, you will be a triathalete.

LET THAT SINK IN.

You’re amazing. But at this point, you already know that, don’t you.

I’m happy for you. I’m proud of you. I love you.

❤ Bec

I’m sad, and more than a little pissed at myself, at how many of the things in here are no longer true or never got accomplished. I remember how I felt when I wrote this. I remember really believing as I typed it that it was all going to be reality. I remember thinking ‘I’m going to get this and smile.’

Not so much.

SIGH.

❤ Bec

Things I Forgot to Remember

Today, I did this.

Pat my fucking head, would you?

It was awesome. It was hard. It was torture in some places. It was fun. It was challenging. It was an experience that I’m glad to have had, and I got to have it with Heather, who rocked it.

On this hilly, sweaty, humid run, I had time to think. A lot of time. 1:17:56.94, to be exact. (That’s 25:59 per mile, my worst race pace ever, and I’m proud as fuck of it. And, I didn’t take the bail out on a single obstacle, not even the ones that scared the shit out of me.)

I kept something in my head all day.

“I know that slow and steady isn’t always as much fun but apparently it wins races. Or something.” – Meridith

I may not have finished first, but I finished, and that’s a win in my book. Thanks, Mer.

But, all this thinking, and walking (there was minimal running), helped me to remember some things I’d forgotten, things I desperately needed to remember.

Scary accurate. I almost talked myself out of going a hundred times. More. I was convinced I couldn’t do this. I haven’t run, or even trained much at all, since June. But once I was on my way, I chilled. A little.

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My little voice is huge. And she talks to me through the entirety of each run. She’s a bitch. But, as long as I don’t listen to what she’s saying enough to stop, I win.

It has to start here. It’s not reasonable to blow off running for months and expect to be able to just jump back in where you left off. (For what it’s worth, I didn’t. I knew today would be trying, to say the least. I went anyway. That’s what athletes do.)

I am a runner. Even when I fuck up.

I do. I really do. I hate it because it hurts and it breaks me down. But the way it builds me back up is incomparable and the hurt is a good hurt.

I do. I did it this year. I did it today. I’ll do it again. And then, I’ll keep doing it.

This is why I started this whole journey. I want better. I want more.

The running community is awesome. When you are dragging ass, breathing like it’s your last, ready to quit, someone who is in much better shape than you, some totally fit, asskicking chick, runs by and says ‘Good job! You can do it!’. And it helps. Runners don’t judge each other for being fatter or slower or for struggling. They buoy each other up. The encourage. They are your running family, and they are amazing. And they help. I don’t know why words from some stranger help, but they do. They make me keep going. They make me want to try harder. They make me want to work hard enough to someday be the one running by someone who is struggling and say ‘Good job! You can do it!’ so that they know someone is cheering for them.

I forgot about all of these things. And today’s race reminded me. It was exactly what I needed.

❤ Bec

Today

*blows dust off blog*

So, yeah. It’s September.

And bye summer, while we’re at it.

To say that this summer was nothing that I expected it to be would be incredibly accurate.

In May, I was all ‘I have a bunch of runs booked and look at all this produce and let’s plan a million things for the family and who cares if it’s hot’.

As of right now, we’re about here.

Uncool. But accurate. Because since May, it’s been a steady downward motion and now I’m all ‘run, what run, let’s get ice cream, i’m tired, i’m going to watch eleven episodes of gossip girl in a row, when the fuck is this heat going to end’.

It’s not awesome. And I’m not happy.

But it’s a new month and almost a new season and I woke up today (feeling like shit… ice cream hangovers are real, yo) and just thought ‘FOR FUCK’S SAKE, will you DO something?’

So, I’m going to. Do something. I don’t know what, but something.

Because when I look at where I’m at, and how I feel, and compare that to where I was and how I felt five months ago, it’s just no contest.

I want happy. I want healthy. I want better than this.

Now, I’ve just got to go get it. Today.

Why today? Why the Saturday of Labor Day Weekend? Why at the start of three days of cookouts and ‘end of summer celebrating’?

That’s why.

❤ Bec

Where I Find Myself (a blog post of a much more personal nature)

Oscar Wilde said “Everything in moderation, including moderation.”

Wise, wise words. But his usually are.

I find myself in unfamiliar territory lately. Not bad, just not what I’m used to.

2012 has been a really great year in a lot of ways, but the past few months, I’ve been struggling.

I’ve come a long way in terms of getting real with my food issues, and in dealing with them, but now I find myself backsliding and returning to old habits.

I became a runner and then forgot that I was one.

I’ve gone from Weight Watchers to Weight Watchers defector, from flexitarian to vegetarian to wannabe vegan and back again.

I’ve traveled from Nearly Completed Novel-Land to Blank White Screen of Death-ville and stopped at a dozen scenic vistas in between.

After a lifetime of existing as a person who sees so many things in black and white, I finally find myself seeing the grey areas.

My father passed away earlier this year, and since we had been estranged for 20 years, I didn’t really think it would have much of an impact on me. And in many ways, it didn’t. I don’t sit around crying. Most days, I don’t think about him. Because that became the habit over the last 20 years, not thinking about him, and his death didn’t change that.

But it did change me and the way I look a life.

It’s short. Shorter for some. But beyond it’s length, it’s fleeting. Days flow into each other. So do years. Time slips by every time you blink. We move, and move on. People move in and out of ours lives and we don’t always notice when they leave, but we notice when they’re gone. One day, you wake up and you are exactly where you’ve brought yourself, even if it’s nowhere you ever thought you’d be.

And that’s where you are. Live there. Or move, if you’re in the wrong spot. Make time, take time, for the people that matter and the people you want to matter. Do the things you love. Connect with people in a way that is meaningful (this can be done outside of the internet…shocking, I know).  Go outside. Play. Breathe. Dream, and then chase those dreams. Say you’re sorry. Be the bigger person. Let it go. Be happy. Smile.

I’ve spent too many years try to achieve perfection, and then beating myself up when I can’t. I don’t have to be perfect. I can fuck up and fix it. I can do my best and have that be good enough.

I’ve always been a survivor, but here’s the thing about survivors. We know how to rally when shit it bad. We excel in a crisis. We know how to survive.

Living is harder, but I’m working on it.

It won’t be perfect, but fuck, I’m going to make it good. There is nothing more tragic than a wasted life.

This isn’t to say that I think my father’s life was wasted. I don’t know what his life was, because I wasn’t in it. I hope he was left with more than he lost. I hope he had love.  I hope he found his peace.

I’m working on finding mine.

❤ Bec

Food, Glorious (Cooked) Food

It’s COOL in my house.

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You guys, I can’t even talk about how happy this makes me. I CAN COOK AGAIN.

It’s been a hot summer. A loooooong, hot summer. And our almost 100 year old house does not have the bliss of central air. So, there has been a distinctive lack of cooking going on. I mean, we’ve had the random cool day here and there, and sometimes, I’ve just sucked it up and cooked in the disgusting humidity that accompanies most July nights, but mostly…

Okay, well, I make the sandwiches, but you catch my drift.

And cold food is great!! I love it. Sandwiches, salads, potato salad (OMG). But I have missed me some food of the hot variety. And I’ve missed cooking.

Yesterday morning, I threw some quinoa on the stove while I was getting ready for work. I had a few recipes in mind, but I figured I’d get the ‘hot’ part out of the way before the temperature went up outside. IT DIDN’T. I mean, it did, but not to a horrible number and the humidity was not bad. So, when I got home, I set to cooking.

VOILA.

Photo: I have such a thing for colorful food :) http://instagr.am/p/OARLRmE5hN/

Asian Quinoa Salad. YUM. Seriously, so good.

I got the recipe here. But, since I’m me, I had to monkey with it. I added green beans, skipped the cilantro, doubled the amounts on all the veggies and made more dressing. I served it cold and it was just really good. Amazing flavor. I was going to pair it with a sesame ginger salmon recipe I had, but honestly, it looked a little (a lot) labor intensive for a work night. So, I made chicken thighs glazed with pineapple juice, fresh ginger, marmalade, soy sauce, sesame oil and canola. Salt, too. I don’t measure, you know this.

Photo: Get. In. My. Face. http://instagr.am/p/OAVc1tk5kJ/

The chicken was GOOD. A lot of flavor, not dry at all. Heck, even the super picky nine year old ate three pieces! GO ME.

So, now it’s 6:45 in the morning, I’ve already made muffins and I’m in the process of making fat free brownies (not from scratch) and a Farro salad with herbs and tomatoes (this could get ‘dicey’, I’ve never worked with farro before.)

And I’m remembering what my goal was at the beginning of this year, or one of them anyway. To find a way, and if I couldn’t find one to make one, to be okay with food. To find balance between this…

and this…

I’m getting there.

❤ Bec

How is it August already?

I’m blown away by this, truly. I swear, the kids got out of school last week. And what have I done with my summer?

#accurate

Okay, that’s not totally true. I mean, I’ve kept up with walking with the girls a few nights a week. I’ve done a couple 5Ks. I’ve made a few new healthy recipes. But overall…

… there’s been a consistent theme of slack.

Maybe that’s summer mentality, harkening back to childhood when summer meant weeks of doing nothing, all strung together, in perfect lazy succession.

Maybe it’s that it’s hot, and running in the heat… well, it sucks.

Maybe it’s that sticking to any one thing for a duration of more than six months is difficult for me.

Maybe it’s all of these things, but the end result is decidedly this.

So now it’s August, and while it has been a good summer in many ways, I didn’t get what I wanted out of it.

(I did get out of it what I put into it, so there’s that).

BUT, summer isn’t over. Technically, it’s not over until mid September, but that is a lame way of tracking seasons because as far as I’m concerned, summer is over at 11:59 on Labor Day. The next day officially starts the ‘school year’, and thus summer ceases.

I’m always sad, too, even though summer is my least favorite season. I hate humidity, I am the furthest thing from a sun worshiper and I love Fall so much, I can never wait for it to get here.

Seriously, I am so ready for this, I can taste it. For the record, it tastes like pumpkin.

And I’ve got a great fall ahead of me. I’ve got more 5Ks scheduled (including the superhero run at the end of October, for which some of my best girls are coming to stay the weekend with me!). My modified work schedule starts, which means getting home earlier and being able to eat dinner at a reasonable hour. My single favorite holiday is coming, Thanksgiving, which means a house full of food and people. Kay starts high school soccer and Jonah starts afterschool day care and my life is just changing, in so many good ways.

It’s almost here!

But until then, I want to try and make this last month count. I want to end the summer better than I started it. So, I’m setting some goals. I’m putting them in the form of a list, which as many of you know (my bffl is laughing at me right now), I love. So here goes.

Goals for August

1. Tracking. Every day (except yesterday because I already flaked). I know that this is a key to success for me, so every day for the rest of the month, I’m tracking my food and exercise.

2. Push myself. This is what I have not been doing, at all. While I still walk, I do the minimum. And when I was feeling really amazing last spring, I was pushing myself and surprising myself with what I could do.

3. Cook. The hottest days are behind us here in New England, so no more nights of take out. I like cooking, and I’ll be mourning the loss of summer vegetables soon, so while they are still in season, I’m going to get back in my kitchen. Plus, homemade, unprocessed food is my happy place. Little Debbie just deludes me into thinking it’s my happy place with it’s chemical-y badness.

4. Gym. I have a membership. A rather expensive one, at that. With air conditioning. Which sort of does away with my ‘I can’t work out because it’s hot’ bullshit. So, I’m going to go there, and for more than just laying by the outdoor pool. I’ve got the Diva Dash to train for in just over a month, so it’s time to get on that.

5. Family activities. We’ve got a week’s vacation coming up, and while it’s looking more and more like it’s going to be a staycation this year, there are still plenty of fun, active things we can do right here. Hiking, walking, swimming, etc. This is what summer is all about.

6. 100 miles. I set a goal on June 1st of walking/running 100 miles over the summer. I’m a little under half, and if I pick it up, I can still make it.

And in a month, I hope to be in a better place physically than I am today. If that means one pound less or ten, that’s fine. If it means being ready to run Diva Dash instead of walking, great. If it just means that I’m ready to usher in a fall that continues the trend toward better health, instead of welcoming in bulky sweaters and all the manner of sins they hide, that’s more than enough.

❤ Bec

What’s your favorite season?