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Don’t Call It a Comeback

February 12, 2011

Well… yeah, call it a comeback.  I had dinner tonight with a dear friend and we were talking about the things we want to do “better” in 2011.  One of the things I shared was re-ignite my blog, because I really do miss it.  And there’s no time like the present, so here I am!

So why the radio silence?  I told you all about my new job back in September… well it wasn’t all I expected it to be.  Actually, it was horrible.  I mean… really bad.  For the first 3 months, I was so disappointed and discouraged with my new gig- that I couldn’t find joy or pleasure in anything.  By Thanksgiving, I was beginning to scare myself.  I all of a sudden felt like life wasn’t worth living. Yes, all because of a bad job.

I’ve known for awhile that a lot of my happiness and life was wrapped up in my career but it wasn’t until it went south, that I realized how much.  I was drowning emotionally and it was happening fast.  I called Diane.  You remember Diane? I spent most of October and November wallowing in my own self pity.  But when I started thinking about “ending it all”… albeit not seriously, but when those thoughts began creeping into my mind… I knew it was time to bring in reinforcements.  So in late November/early December, I went to see Diane.  I ended up only seeing her for a couple sessions because things started turning around at work by mid December… and of course, because I’m unhealthily attached to my career and success- the depression began to fade.

How was the job horrible?  I felt unnecessary, not needed, like an afterthought.  I didn’t feel valued.  These are all my barometer for success and happiness.  My career has always been that one beacon of light in my life… that place where I shine and have mastered perfection and success.  When that failed me… I felt utterly lost.  The people were lovely, but I was now a small fish in a very big pond and this job was just not feeding my ego!

Fast forward to 2011.  The job has turned around and I have found my stride (for the most part).  I once again feel valued and a necessary component of an operation.  If all that went away tomorrow, I think I’d have the same problem I had last year.  Clearly, there’s work to be done on me.

But alas, I’m here.  Over the last couple months, I’ve been slowly rejoining life and the world.  And it was time to start blogging again… so here I am.  I’ve got a lot more to tell you… so stay tuned.  Hopefully this will be a long and fruitful Second Act of 30something!

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Happy Birthday, Now Find a Man

October 18, 2010

Last week was my birthday.  All in all, it was a pretty good day. I wasn’t all down on myself for being one year older and still waiting for the things I feel like I should have accomplished by now.  I took this bday in stride.

Have I gained back all the weight I lost? Yep. Does it define me? Working on that “no” coming more naturally, but no it doesn’t (or shouldn’t).  Am I still single? Yep. Does it define me? No and that response comes to me naturally now.

Yeah, I still hope to fall in love and get married. Yeah, I still hope I have a family.  But I’m not defined by these hopes and my happiness isn’t either.  Clearly, no one else got the message.

I got many wonderful birthday wishes on my birthday.  I felt the love far and wide.  But you know who else sent me birthday wishes?  eHarmony and Match.com.  Yep, they both emailed me to wish me happy birthday and then to offer me a discount to re-join their site…I’m not getting any younger.

The message was perverse. I can only imagine what these promotional emails would have done to my psyche if I still let my single-ness defined me.  “I’m such a loser that match and eHarmony are willing to give me a discount to try and find a man. Even these sites see how absurd and depressing it is to be single at this age.”  But thankfully, that’s not what I thought.  Far from it.  The emails didn’t even phase me.

Nor did a birthday text from my well meaning aunt: “Happy bday. time for marriage and babies. love you.”

Sigh… I guess not every one is on the marriage and children don’t define me train.  Oh well, better luck next year.

Weight Gain

October 12, 2010

I’ve now officially gained back ALL the weight I lost. And I feel like shit. I know that taking the focus off of weight gain, and listening to my body by honoring my hunger and fullness will lead to weight loss. But you know what else I’ve learned? Listening to my body and honoring my hunger and fullness is much harder than counting calories (for me). 

For some reason, I thought intuitive eating would be…intuitive and therefore easy. At least easier. It’s not.  I can’t seem to keep intuitive eating up.  It’s tiring, time consuming, and quite un-intuitive for me.

The flaw isn’t with what intuitive eating wants me to do, the flaw is with me.  For IE to work, you need to be connected to your body and I’m not.

I’m in physical therapy right now and at the beginning of each appt the physical therapist asks me what my pain level is at and where on my foot do I feel the pain today.  Every appt, I struggle to answer these questions.  I’m just not that self aware of my body and how it feels.

If my connection to my body impedes me from even identifying and qualifying my pain, how am I ever going to do that with hunger and fullness?

So here I am, failing at IE when I know I would succeed at calorie counting (at least in the short run).  There is something comforting in counting your calories in and out. There is something tangible about it. Something I can point to for success.

I consumed 1600 cals today and I burned 400 this morning at the gym.

Good job, Roxy.

I want that sense of accomplishment back. And intellectually, I know calorie counting isn’t the answer but getting that connected to my body for IE to work seems like a daunting task. And whether right or wrong, the weight gain has got to stop.

Best Compliment EVER

September 29, 2010

I was sitting at my desk at my new job. This older gentleman says something to me. I don’t hear what he says but I smile politely. He then says to me, “did you hear what I said? Your hair is very pretty.”  I smile and say thank you cautiously given the fact that I am always weary of older men and compliments. Since its always the older men who flirt with me.

He then proceeds to say that he has been trying to convince his wife to stop the relaxers and cut her hair. I’m relieved…he shakes his head and says she’s not interested but her hair is thinning and he blames the relaxers (rightly so).

I confirmed his theory and shared that’s the reason I decided to go natural (thinning hair).  He seemed surprised as there is no longer ANY evidence of thinning hair on this head of mine!  He then replied, “well, your hair is very beautiful. It suits you.”

I smiled, thanked him and thought: it is beautiful and it does suit me, doesn’t it?!

A simple compliment that will last the ages.  Thank you kind sir.

Monkey See, Monkey Do

September 27, 2010

I’ve been doing really well with honoring my fullness and hunger. I’m still not perfect but there are much fewer incidents of true overeating on my part.

Until last night. It wad my niece’s birthday party. After, the family went out for pizza. I wasn’t really hungry. Hunger was around a 5-6.  But I decided to have a slice because I was nervous that the pizza would be all gone when I did get hungry. So I had a slice.

The rest of my family were eating numerous slices. Four for most, more for some.  I wasn’t hungry for 4 slices. I wasn’t hungry for 1.  But everyone else was gorging on pizza and I wanted in. So I ate and ate and ate.

Sadly, I can’t even tell you how many slices I had. Initially, I felt guilty and was mad at myself. Then I took a breath, and tried to brush off the emotions and learn from what had just happened.

So, what have I learned? That I am not fully ready for tempting situations. I’m still young in my intuitive eating journey and can easily fall prey to my old ways. But not everyone follows intuitive eating and so just because monkey see, doesn’t mean monkey do.

My Commitment to Me

September 22, 2010

Today I start a new job that’s going to be challenging, exciting and probably time consuming. You’ve all heard me talk about how intense 2009 was for me from a job perspective and my 12+  hour days and working weekends. You’ve also listened to me blame my previous job for a lot… why I gained so much weight, my lack of dating, etc. In a nutshell, my life fell apart last year and my job was the culprit.

Wrong. Very wrong. And I am now just realizing this.

My best friend was in town this weekend and I asked her how am I going to keep a healthy balance in my life now that I’m starting another job with crazy hours.  After a long conversation, I realized two things.

First, my life fell apart last year not because of my job but because of me. I gave up. Yeah, I had very little time outside of work but the little time I had, I squandered.  I had no motivation to do the smallest things like go through my mail. Let alone the big things. After time, the small things I allowed to slide became daunting tasks to address.  Like 6 months of mail collecting dust in a large Zappos box. Or my slow but inevitable weight gain.

Second, if I’m going to make this time different- I’m going to have to commit to a routine from the beginning and hold myself accountable. So here’s my commitment list:

  • Will do laundry weekly.
  • Will keep my apartment clean enough for an unexpected visitor.
  • Will floss and wash my face at night before going to bed.
  • Will exercise 4 times a week.
  • Will go to pilates twice a week.
  • Will find time to blog.
  • Will check my mail.
  • Will go to the supermarket weekly.
  • Will pack a lunch and snacks each work day.

A lot of these things seem like small potatoes, but the accumulation of doing none of these things (which was my 2009) creates one depressed Roxy.

Running Shoes

September 19, 2010

Do you see this? I am posting on the weekend. Never thought this day would come, but this phone of mine has revolutionized my life.  🙂 

I mentioned in a previous post about all my foot problems that got totally exacerbated with my triathlon training. (As fancy as my new phone is, linking proves to be more trouble than its worth!)  Well, it was time to get new running shoes and so I went to my local running store.

I told the lady all my problems- flat feet, overpronation, plantar fasciitis, etc. I also told her these running shoes and I never really meshed. Whenever I ran in them, they felt fine… but walking? That was always uncomfortable. It was like the shoe was always pushing my foot out on its outward edges (like an underpronator, which I’m not).  The lady at the store said it was pretty obvious when I walked in that my feet were now underpronating (basically going from one bad gait to another and skipping over the neutral position which is what you’re aiming for).

Turns out my running shoes were the absolute wrong shoe for me and probably caused my current feet problems/injuries. I was floored to learn that these shoes were so bad for me because I got them from the same store I was sitting in!

But here’s the thing… when I bought the shoes a year and a half ago, I didn’t really try them on and run and walk in them like this store makes you do. I (nor the guy working that day) thought I needed to because I was just replacing my old saucony shoes with the newer version.  And my first pair of saucony’s were great and we went through all the steps of fitting the shoe that first time.  And so my second time around, I thought I could shave off some time at the running store, because who really likes to run on display?

And here’s the lesson in this story and the reason for this blog. Every version of a shoe is different from older versions. Yes, the fundamentals of the shoe stay the same, but small changes are always made. And those small changes may have great consequences for you. Like it did for me.

Yesterday, after trying on (and running) in 3 shoes- I found the right match for me. My old running shoes were so bad for my feet, that the lady in the store made me promise to throw them away.

Lesson learned. Shortcuts can bite you in the ass.