Tag Archives: motivation

Foot Flashback

So this is new…

20130426_190926

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yep. That’s my left foot. Except no, it’s not new. Not really…because this has happened before. Because my feet hate me. Or I have sucky DNA. Probably both.

I was 13 years old the first time I heard the word “podiatrist”. Dr. Russell. He was kind of cute for an “old” guy (he was probably 35). I had been walking around Sea World all day with my family, wearing a pair of super cute sandals with daisies on them, and by the time we were ready to leave for the day my two older sisters had to carry me to the car. It wasn’t the first time I was hurt by fashion, but it was the first time I was hurt bad.

I was diagnosed with tendonitis – which is really interesting because you don’t have any tendons in your arches, but whatever. I would later learn that I had plantar fasciitis, which is very common but still altogether painful and extremely unpleasant.

Hunky Dr. Russell explained that my tootsie woes were due to the fact that I was a growing teenager and a dancer. He would slap some stretchy athletic tape up on my arch and send me on my way, so that’s what I learned to do. My dance bag was never without a roll of that tape. Every time I had foot pain, I slapped that tape up on my arch and kept on going. I had arch supports in all my shoes. Later, I had special inserts made that were molded to my foot. Still no relief…and I only weighed 125 pounds back then.

By the time I was in my late twenties, I was getting steroid injections in my heels. Yes, it’s as painful as it sounds. First, because cortisone stings like a mother…and second, because there’s an effing needle in your foot – but at that point, I had run the gamut from tape to inserts to physical therapy…and none of it was working anymore. So I would wait until the pain got so bad I couldn’t take it anymore and then I’d go in for injections. Thank God I had a good doctor with a sense of humor who never openly made fun of the fact that I started crying as soon as he walked in the room.

When you have plantar fasciitis, the mornings are the worst. It was nothing for me to roll out of bed and crawl to the bathroom to pee in the morning. It hurts like hell to flatten out your feet or put any weight on your heels. After you stretch out the ligament, normalcy returns except for the occasional jab. If you’re using your head and listening to your doctor, you should wear shoes that are comfortable and supportive, which is fashion code for “1970’s spinster librarian clod-hoppers.”

I was not a good listener. Besides, black leather lace-up grandma shoes with crepe soles just don’t go with a Dooney & Bourke handbag.

After a while, I’d had enough. One afternoon as my podiatrist was stabbing me in the heels with more cortisone and I was biting my wallet to stifle the screaming, I looked longingly into his eyes and said “Give me the surgery, doc. Give me the damn surgery.” And he did. And it was goooooood. Except for one really, really embarrassing moment – but that’s a blog post unto itself, so it’ll have to keep for now.

After surgery, I was joyously pain free…until I got my first stress fracture. I was training with a group at work because we were going to walk one of those breast cancer 3 day walks. I ignored the pain at first, but eventually I was limping all the time. Everything hurt.

Imagine my chagrin when I went to my regular doctor and he told me there was nothing wrong with my foot. What?

See, I didn’t think I needed a podiatrist anymore because I’d had the surgery to relieve my plantar fasciitis. Bwahahahahaha!  Wrong!

I went to see my podiatrist. He walks in, squeezes my foot in just the right place and sends me through the roof in pain, then he smiles and says “Yeah, well…stress fractures don’t show up on xrays until they start healing. That’s why you’re supposed to come to me.”

Ass.

Since then, I’ve had quite a few…and always in my left foot. In fact, I expect my left foot to just fall off by the time I’m 80. It’s always had a sucky attitude. It just can’t hang with the rest of my body.

So here I sit with my foot in this damn soft cast. Stress fracture #6. For the next four weeks, I’ll be lurching around Texas like a giant fat Frankenstein. Awesome.

The Buffalo Boogie 5K is in two weeks. I did ask my podiatrist if that was even feasible. Of course, he said no. From my own experience, I know he’s probably right – because you have to stay off your feet for these to heal. I would have argued…or at least asked more questions…but this particular podiatrist is a creep. I only went to see him today because he was the last one I saw and he had an available appointment this afternoon – but every time I go and see him I end up feeling like I need a long hot shower. You know, the kind in Silkwood or The Crying Game.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do about the 5K yet. This has all just happened and I need time to think logically. Right now, I’m too busy cursing my DNA/weak feet genes to make any real decisions.

Ironically, this brings to light the discussion I’ve been having with Hot Mess Hubby over the past several weeks about joining a gym again. I’ve been having foot pain (now we know why) and trying to figure out a way to get access to an elliptical trainer. We just can’t afford to buy one and I’ve been considering a venture back into gym membership for a few weeks. Elliptical is much lower impact than a treadmill.

Sometimes you have to dance with the devil even when you don’t want to. Maybe it’s time for me to join a gym. It’s either that or take water aerobics. I’d rather face the muscle-bound fitness dicks than let anyone see my in a bathing suit. Ever.

Do you belong to a gym? Which one…and what do you like/dislike about it? Help me work this out, peeps.

And don’t worry: I may be temporarily knocked down, but I’m most definitely not out.

Not moving in all the important ways

This has been on my mind for days and days and I haven’t been able to put it into words. I keep noticing that I’m angry without having an obvious reason. This is the reason: my own lack of motion.

The scale is stuck. Actually, that’s not an accurate statement. The number on the scale is not moving…because I am not moving. There is no one to blame but me.

I recently had a conversation with a fitness writer whom I really respect. I was absolutely infuriated by the lack of quality, reliable information out there for obese people when it comes to any kind of resistance training. She confirmed for me that cardio is the best thing I can do to take off the pounds (which I knew, I just needed to hear it again…because sometimes I get all wrapped up in unimportant details). I walked away from the conversation knowing what I needed to do, but not doing it. Again.

clueless

Overall, my feelings are of outrage and frustration…at myself. It’s April. I truly thought I would be farther along in my efforts to make exercise a habit by now. It’s 4 months into the year and all I have to show for it is a longer list of what doesn’t work for me.

Training for the 5K in May? Not motivating me. (Don’t worry, I’m still doing it…so if you’re signed up, you’re still stuck with me!)

Zumba or other group fitness classes? Doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest. I’m already pissed off that I have to exercise, I don’t want to be around happy people – or worse, the kind who shriek and make “yippy!” noises while they exercise. I really hate that shit.

Watching tv or reading on the treadmill?  I can’t focus and I actually can’t breathe right. I’m all uneven and funky. I need to walk to music or silence. But hey…at least that’s one thing I know I like, right? Out of all this negativity…at least there’s that.

And that’s what’s getting me: the negativity. And the self-loathing. And the absolute spoiled brat mentality that seems to be hard-wired into my DNA.

Do you know what I did today? I woke up early, ready to start the day and get some serious shit done…and I ended up sitting on the couch all day. Reading. Watching tv. Snuggling the dog. Talking to the hubby. Actually, my day looked more like this:

Made breakfast.

Watched news, channel surfed.

Started a load of laundry.

Realized I recorded “Prometheus” on cable the other day & hadn’t watched it.

Watched it, then resisted the urge to fly to California and kick the producer in the crotch. (As my mother would say, it was dryer than a cat’s ass!)

Started sorting out the crap on the coffee table.

Thought about putting my shoes on and walking The Path. Didn’t.

Watched more tv.

Read my Kindle.

Snuggled with Kirby. Snuggled with Dyson.

Greeted hubby when he woke up. Thought about getting on the treadmill. Didn’t.

Thought about cleaning the laundry room. Didn’t.

Played a computer game for an hour.

Chatted with hubby. Thought about going for a walk again. Didn’t.

Felt guilty about it.

You get the idea, right?

The path
The path

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think about working out, but I don’t. I’m so overwhelmed by everything I have to do in my life…and so I do nothing. I preach to the world that you have to take things as you can handle them…slowly & deliberately…and yet here I sit: paralyzed.

I’m physically neglecting myself more, not less. As if not moving wasn’t bad enough, there’s still make-up on my face when my head hits the pillow most nights. I don’t wash my face or take care of my skin. Not necessarily because I’m too busy, but because I’m angry at myself and I don’t care. I’m not drinking enough water. The skin on my shins looks like the Sahara after a 100 year drought. When I get up in the morning, I pass my bathroom scale and feel a horrible sense of dread. The number isn’t going down. Why? Because I’m not moving. It will move when I move. And still I sit here…not moving.

I just re-read all of this and it sounds so very depressing…and whiny. I want to cheer it up for all of you who are good enough to read my blog, email me, and support me every day. I feel like I shouldn’t be where I am – which is wrong, because we’re all where we are and there is no right or wrong. And I just said I was wrong in the same sentence where I said there is no right or wrong. It’s quite possible that I’m going insane.

All of this is true – but it’s also true that the 7 Dwarfs of the Menstrual Apocalypse are getting closer every day and I’m extremely emotional/hormonal/fantastically pissy right now. I’m sure this all seems much worse to me than it really is if I think about it logically…if I just strip it back down to what I know and what is true.

Here’s what I know and what is true:

I haven’t quit. I feel like I’m on the verge of a nasty backslide if I don’t move my ass – but that’s only true if I let it happen. I am not a quitter. I may take a lot longer than the average girl to get my shit figured out, but I’m not a quitter. I don’t like myself right now – which is distressing when I consider how many years I spent in therapy just learning how to like myself. I know I need to dumb it down for myself again. I know I need to make myself move more and that I need to make it the highest priority before anything else. Every day.

And so that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to walk. I’m going to get up from my desk and move more at work. I’m going to dance around the house. Joyously. And when I hear myself get negative and I start talking smack to myself, I’m going to tell myself to shut it.

Every damn day.

I refuse to look back one day and see that the only person who failed me…was me.

What demons have you faced down and lived through? Share your stories with me now…I need to hear from my peeps.

 

 

Tree of Life Journal (Diary, Notebook)

Chobani 10 for 10

So Chobani (the kick ass yogurt people) has come up with an interesting campaign that inspired me to participate: “10 for 10”. Basically, you come up 10 goals to accomplish for the next 10 months. Their blog shows examples of several of their own people and their goals. You can check it out here.

I totally came across this by accident one day. I had just recovered from the foodgasm I had when I ate a Chobani Bite. Raspberry yogurt with dark chocolate flecks in it. I’m normally not a big yogurt person, but there aren’t words for how awesome this stuff is. So I looked them up on Twitter, where I saw the 10 for 10 idea. I also tweeted them my compliments on the foodgasmic raspberry and chocolate combination. I’m pretty sure I told them I wanted to hump someone’s leg. I expect the restraining order any day.

On their blog, I really enjoyed reading through all the goals their folks shared with the world. When it came down to setting my own goals, I went for a mixture of healthy and fun. (Hey, I have to be honest…sometimes healthy and fun do not coincide for a fat girl embracing change…at least not at first.) Here’s what I’ve decided to challenge myself with:

March: Be a better snacker. Done!

(How did I do it? Check out the details in my Me First! post.)

100 calories of healthy yogurt or cookie dough? It's easy. Me (and my health) FIRST!
100 calories of healthy yogurt or cookie dough? It’s easy. Me (and my health) FIRST!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April: Exercise 3 times a week, every week.

May: Finally get my passport.

June:  Plant a pumpkin patch in the garden.

July:  Complete my needlework project in time to enter it in the State Fair of Texas needlework competition.

The needlework project I've been trying to finish for years!
The needlework project I’ve been trying to finish for years!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August:  Throw out my Frankenpants.

(My workout pants that have been used so much that I’ve had to repeatedly patch the inner thighs. By August, I want to be able to fit into the new ones hanging in my closet.)

September:  Learn how to knit.

October:  Harvest the pumpkin patch and give pumpkins to all the neighbors.

November:  Finally have some wedding cake.

(Hot Mess Hubby and I couldn’t afford a wedding cake when we got married, so we’re throwing a 10th anniversary party this November…and I would love to finally get my wedding cake!)

December:  Fight all the crazy Christmas shoppers in order to get a hold of the hottest toy of the year…and then hand it over to a Marine for “Toys for Tots”.

What about you? Can you come up with 10 goals in 10 months? Since there are only two days left in March, how about making it a goal to do something you’ve never done before? I know you can find something simple, yet rewarding. After that, the sky’s the limit.

So…what are your 10 for 10? Thrill me!

Me First!

Last year I cancelled my lap band surgery and lost 45 pounds all on my own just through dietary changes – which is totally badass, especially when you consider that I didn’t even incorporate regular exercise into that. I had a major paradigm shift in my outlook on food. My daily regime no longer consists of processed or sugary foods and I can’t tell you the last time I went through a fast food drive-thru for myself. I do still suffer the occasional temptation, but it’s amazing what you can accomplish when you cut the crud from your life. Your taste buds change. Be patient, stick with it, and you’ll see what I mean.

This year is all about making exercise a healthy habit, which is infinitely more challenging for me. I’m walking my first 5K in May. Go me! Some of you are going with me and I’m really looking forward to saying thanks in person for all the support and love I get from my loyal readers – so if you’re going, I’m excited to meet you!

Trying to make exercise a habit takes a lot of my energy because I’m such a whiny butt about it – and I’ve noticed lately that my snacky habits are slipping. No, I’m not throwing $30 worth of Little Debbies in my cart at the grocery store or anything, but if I’m hungry between meals I get a little lazy about what to nibble on. I used to eat balanced snacks consistently – like an apple, a lowfat chocolate milk and a handful of almonds. A good healthy snack keeps your metabolism going strong. I’ve noticed lately that I’m not taking the trouble to snack right anymore. Now it’s more like I grab a tortilla…or another cup of coffee…or even a piece of hubby’s leftover pizza. Yowch. Anything to plug up the “hungry hole” and keep moving. I can see that I’m starting to make less time for myself…and that’s going to bite me in right in the fat pants if I don’t watch it.

This brings me to the latest installation of Big Fat Crafts. (Except this isn’t really a craft since it just involves printing something out, but I’m giving myself permission to get all fancy with the wording.)

I wanted to create something that would remind me of my commitment to myself when I’m at my most vulnerable: standing in front of the open refrigerator and/or pantry…cruising for a snack. So I created these “Me First” labels and smacked them on a couple plastic bins from the discount store. Now when I open the fridge or the pantry, my eyes are drawn straight to a visual reminder of my most important health goal: Me First!

Take THAT, temptation!
Take THAT, temptation!

Whether hubby’s tempting snacks are there or not, when I see that “Me First” sign I’m instantly reminded why I’m doing this. Suddenly I feel like I’m hurting myself if I grab for the Crunch ‘n Munch (and DUH, I am…but this makes it harder to ignore my conscience). It puts things in immediate perspective for me. I made two bins: one for the fridge, and one for the pantry.

So that’s one “danger point” I’ve got resolved. I feel so much better about where I am food-wise, but this was a vulnerable spot that needed to be addressed. And I addressed it. Like a boss.

100 calories of healthy yogurt or cookie dough? It's easy. Me (and my health) FIRST!
100 calories of healthy yogurt or cookie dough? It’s easy. Me (and my health) FIRST!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’d like to make your own “Me First” snack bins, I’ll make it easy for you. You’ll find free printable versions here…and I even made them in different colors in case you don’t like the teal one shown here. (I printed mine on cardstock paper since regular paper gets a little warped from refrigerator moisture.) Printed design is 4 x 6.

What creative solutions have you come up with to control your own vulnerable spots? Share your ideas here.

Click here to download the Me First printable in teal!

Click here to download the Me First printable in green!

Click here to download the Me First printable in royal blue!

Click here to download the Me First printable in red!

Click here to download the Me First printable in pumpkin!

Click here to download the Me First printable in purple!

 

The Path: Someone Else’s Legs

This morning I got up and sat around the house for a while, not really motivated to do anything in particular. Do you ever get so overwhelmed by the sheer volume of things on your “to do” list that you end up just sitting in the living room and staring at the wall?  That’s what happens to me…and I hate it.

The 5K training schedule I’m following says I need to do 35 – 60 minutes of walking today. Wasn’t motivated to do that either. Knew I would regret it if I flaked. Still didn’t want to do it. I wanted to sit on the couch and watch “Friends” reruns with the dogs. Instead, I decided to ask all the Hot Mess fans on Facebook to vote if I should turn right or left when I got to the path behind our house. The results?  Right.

I really wasn’t motivated in any way to walk today. The only thing that made me even think about it was knowing that I’m committed to walking the Buffalo Boogie 5K in May and that some of you will be there.

I don’t want to let you down.

Still, I sat here. Staring. And then my legs made me stand up…and they walked me out the door. My brain was still saying no, yet out the door I went…like I was propelled by someone else’s legs.

Storm clouds brewing over the path
Storm clouds brewing over the path

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sky was gray and angry like my mood. I do this to myself every time I make myself exercise, but if I don’t make myself do it…I never will. I get angry. I get bitchy. I curse myself for not being born waifish and perfect like Keira Knightly or Gwyneth Paltrow – even though I know no one is actually perfect. I wish I could hide my imperfections from the world whenever I step out the door but my giant body screams for all the wrong kind of attention. And I’m angry at it. And I’m angry at myself for letting it happen.

It started raining. Immediately, I told myself that I should turn back and go home before it got worse. I love convenient excuses. Instead, I checked the weather app on my phone and saw that it was just an ugly sky and the rain would be fleeting.

Just like my crappy attitude. It’s only fleeting.

I feel like a floundering fitness noob with a pissy attitude…but I know in my heart that by the end of the year I’ll be a total badass. So as long as I realize the negativity is only temporary, the important thing is to keep pushing forward.

And so down the path I go…