A Long and Narrow Road

Here, the struggle begins, one step at a time.


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Tie It Up With a Bow, or a Good Fitting Belt

I have had the same leather belt for I don’t know how long. It’s good quality leather and has taken the brunt of my on again, off again diet and exercise escapades. Escapades. A great word. Must use it more often. Anyway, this belt has seen better days and guess what folks? It’s on the last notch and my pants are fighting gravity daily.

I just bought a new belt but I haven’t used it yet. It’s one of those belts that will work with me no matter what my waist does. Its design has holes around the entire thing, but I got a medium so if I wear it today, it will be a little on the tight side as the first possible slot for me to use is a smidge short of being comfortable. I am waiting to drop another half-inch before I put it on but in the mean time, I am hiking up my pants every two seconds.

It’s aggravating but at the same time, satisfying. Yes, my pants are too big, my belt is too big and for now, I like it. I know you know what I mean because as soon as I get pants in a smaller size, they will be a smidge tight. And then I’ll feel fat, blah blah. That’s why so many people hang on  to their fat clothes. Comfort.

At the same time though, I risk looking frumpy and you can only tighten up loose pants so much before you achieve the paper bag look. I hate buying clothes though. When I was thin, I bought from a catalog. It was easy and fast and no one had to look at me and I didn’t have to look at myself. These days, I HAVE to try stuff on and usually whatever I try on looks hideous. It’s the truth. Maybe that won’t be my reality for long but for now it is, and that is what propels me forward.

That leads me to the exercise part. Today’s walk was a jog/walk and to be honest, it wasn’t too bad. These days I am fueled by frustration. You use what you can to get you out of bed and on the road and so I am grateful that I have plenty of shit to pull from. My thighs rub. Hate that. Use it as fuel. Everything jiggles. Hate that even more. Use it as fuel. I’ve got loads of stuff to burn. Seriously.

What fuels you?


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They See Me

Have you ever noticed that the heavier you are, the more invisible you tend to be? I’ve never understood this logic. If you are heavy, there is more of you to see, right? So how can one be invisible? That is how I feel sometimes when I am around other people. Invisible.

I have been walking since, I don’t know, the second week of September, and no one has noticed me that I am aware of. But this week, the same people that I have seen on my morning walks since September, have started to notice me, or perhaps they feel more comfortable saying something since they see me nearly every day. Twice. Twice this happened and it’s only Wednesday. In both cases, they asked me how I was doing with my workouts and declared, quietly, that when they see me, they feel motivated to try the same thing.

This made me incredibly happy.

It didn’t matter that I was all sweaty and my hair looked like a bird’s nest. What I have been doing is putting one foot in front of the other in an attempt to become fit. It involves limping on some days and lots of lurching around. Since the walks have gotten easier, I have taken to bursts (I like to call them bursts) of jogging here and there. I don’t even want to know what I look like when I ‘burst’ into jog mode because I know it’s bad and everything jiggles a little too much and for those brief moments, I feel as if parts of me will break off and fall to the ground but I do it.

The fact that these people expect me to be out there daily, is yet another way to hold me accountable. This blog does the job admirably even though hardly anyone comments. Thanks, Karen! But knowing that those people are out there and expect to catch a glimpse of me at some point, also holds me accountable. It certainly can’t hurt and maybe one of those people will actually throw some shoes on and walk. Maybe.

I got frustrated this morning when at the end of my walk, I noticed that I selected the wrong activity for my Runkeeper app. I chose Cycling instead of walking and my calorie count was off and there was no way for me to fix it. At first, it felt like I was cheated or something but after a few moments I just said “whatever!” and moved on. What can you do? I was still on a high from people actually thinking that I was working out for real and not just lurching around.

They see me, and that’s okay.

A long time ago when I first started this walking thing, because there have been lots of starts and stops, there was this guy that walked at the same time I did. He was very heavy. I’d say around 380 lbs. He walked very slowly, but he was out there every single day, rain or shine. After a few months, I fell off my walking wagon and then started up over a year later and guess who I saw? THAT guy! He was skinny! I mean, well over 100 lbs less than when I had seen him last. He was still walking at a slow pace. Maybe health issues prevented him from increasing his speed but man, he looked good and the only way I recognized him was because he was wearing the same outfit! Albeit, huge. But, the same. He kept going. I didn’t. It was a hard lesson but a good one.

So, I will keep going and maybe in a year I will be in a different place too.


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The Wall

I say it, like I am some major athlete or something but I have hit a wall. I either need to up my game, or do something a bit more drastic on the food side because nothing has changed in over two weeks.

The food that I put in my body is usually the good stuff. I do stray every now and then but because of my numerous reactions to food these days, if I find something I CAN eat, I eat it for a long period of time and then get bored with it.  This week, I have been battling something. It’s either a sinus infection or a reaction to food. I can’t quite tell and I don’t see the doctor until Friday With auto-immune diseases like Lupus, a simple sinus infection can turn into something horrible once the body goes into overdrive, and I believe that is what my body has done. Perhaps, that is why I feel as if I have hit a wall this week.

Maybe.

I have been stuck in a rut with the walking though. I feel as if I need to add an extra walk in or increase the distance a little. Oh, don’t get me wrong! It’s still not EASY and I gripe about it every chance I get but I have been doing the same thing for too long, I think.  I said something to this effect last week, huh? I guess I just need to do it and stop talking about it. I feel like I am a kid on the “little” playground and now I want to play with the big kids. I am in no shape to throw myself into a marathon though. Even a 5k. I am too out-of-shape to even attempt it and yes, I am scared to even try.  I am a big baby.

You know how my goal is to outrun zombies? Well, I threw World War Z (audiobook) onto my iPod this morning so it sort of felt as if I was running from zombies. But at this rate, I will be eaten alive ’cause even a one-legged zombie would catch me! Fast, I am not.

One step at a time. That’s what I keep telling myself.


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In Reverse

Today was one of those days where I just didn’t want to get out of bed. I stayed up late last night to watch Halloween and when the alarm went off at 4 a.m., I felt the unmistakable tickle of a sore throat. Oh man, how I groaned. BUT, I tossed myself into the shower and managed to get myself on the road.

The walk from the car to my office was frigid! I mean, we are talking 39 degrees and by California standards, that is damn near freezing. I got it into my head that I couldn’t possibly walk in this cold. I already had a throat tickle and walking in the cold air would just make it worse. By the time I got to my office, I had convinced myself to skip the walk. I mean, it’s so easy to do. Just skip it. No one would know and I’d save myself from getting a nasty cold.

With all of this going on in my head, I decided to change my clothes “just in case” I changed my mind about the walk. I added a scarf for warmth and did some stretches, telling myself that I will stretch first and then decide. Then, I set my fitness app and decided that if it didn’t get a good signal right off the bat, then that would be a sign to stay in today. The signal registered as POOR so then I took a few more steps out into the frigid weather and then got a FAIR. I took a few more steps and got a GOOD so I kept walking.

I decided to take my normal route, but in reverse.

Taking my normal route, in reverse, should not be a problem. It’s the same distance but normally I start off up hill and this of course meant I started off down hill and within 10 minutes, I had shin splints.

Plus, I had a horrific wedgie because guess what? I put my pants on backwards. Tagless clothing is the ultimate in comfort, but not when you can’t tell which way your damn pants go.

So there I was, limping WITH a wedgie. It did not make for a comfortable walk and in fact, I think I bitched the entire way. It was HARD. I felt weak and uncoordinated and could not wait for the darn thing to be over. How could it get any worse?

I’ll tell you how. I almost got run over by the ROTC guys that blew past me. I see them regularly but with this being a reverse route and all, I don’t think they expected to see me as they rounded a turn, so I quickly jumped out of the way and slipped in the mud. I didn’t fall, but my shoes were soaked and the next few steps afforded me ZERO traction so it was one of those floundering, “I am gonna fall” moments.

It wasn’t pretty.

Of course, I was really limping after that so when the end of the route loomed, happiness flooded over me in waves. I could take these wet shoes off, take my backward pants off, have coffee and be WARM. Happiness. Pure happiness. As sucky as the morning was, I am glad that it happened this way because looking back, I have had a lot of really good mornings and now I will appreciate them just a little bit more.


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Progress

I never took a “before” pic so I can’t show you a before and after when this is all said and done but I did that on purpose because I set out to do this as simply as possible. The “this” that I am referring to is my decision to make better choices, and that’s it. That is the only thing I committed to, and so far, I have done that about 85% of the time.

The walking has steadily increased and has become easier (most days). I still have one or two days a week that seem to give me more trouble than others. Chalk it up to stress or lack of sleep or some ache or pain taking my mind off the prize. Whatever it is, THAT is still there but yes, the walking as a whole seems to be getting easier.

I’ve lost a solid 10 lbs but now it’s fluctuating between 10-12 so I am thinking I may have dropped another pound which of course would be fabulous.

I have gone down two sizes. Yes! TWO sizes! Apparently, all of the weight that I have lost seems to have come off of my stomach and waist so my pants are huge in the waist and tight everywhere else. I am on the last notch of my belt (the tightest notch) and will have to look for a smaller belt soon.

Someone asked me if I had lost weight! Why yes, I have, thank you very much! It was dark and I was standing next to a huge tree so I probably looked smaller, but I’ll take it.

It’s surprising to me that a little activity, and a new found awareness for what goes in my body, can produce such results in such a short amount of time. This is encouraging, no? I mean, if I can do it with all of my complaining and drama, than anyone can. I seriously believe that.

I’d like to go for a nice long walk this weekend. So far, I have not been able to do squat over the weekend. Kids, Hub, Dog… they all call to me and I didn’t mention the laundry, the house, and everything else that goes with it. I took the Otter Pup for a walk once and she pooped out in just a mile and I had to carry her! She’s a tiny pup, but she isn’t up for long walks.  She prefers her short jaunts around the neighborhood. BUT, I am going to try to get a walk in. We’ll see how that goes.

And if I haven’t mentioned it before, my goal is to be able to run away from a Zombie, should a Zombie apocalypse take place. I am not there yet, but that is the goal. BTW, I have been watching The Walking Dead, Season 2 so now you know where the zombie stuff is coming from. Just in case you were wondering.


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Conversations

I cannot lie. This morning was quite possibly the toughest morning yet.

Last week was a great week for a lot of reasons. I hit a lot of personal goals with my walking. Speed increased, distance increased and I am down a solid 10 lbs since I began this journey a little over a month ago.  But this morning was awful! It was one of those mornings where your body forgets HOW to walk. Do you know what I mean? Last week, I really hit my stride but this morning, it was as if my arms and legs were not in sync with one another. I felt it right away and within ten minutes I had full-blown shin splints.

I attribute this to a couple of things:

  • I was a complete slug this weekend.
  • I ate a rich meal last night and I seriously do not think I have digested it yet.
  • I had a little more wine than I normally do.
  • Too much salt.

When you start to do things right, it doesn’t take much to wreak havoc on your system and because of the things I noted above. my morning routine was much more difficult. Oh, and of course, it’s Monday too and we all know how Monday plays tricks with our heads.

So, the conversations started. The ones that I continually have with myself when I am in massive amounts of pain or experiencing buckets of frustration and in this case, both. Shin splints, as simple as they are to get, can be so incredibly painful. You just don’t know if you can continue on without causing further damage. They hit me early on and I hobbled along as best as I could, but although I was sympathetic to my body’s needs I was also terribly frustrated. After a weekend of sloth, I REALLY needed to get a good walk in.

Why did I eat such a rich meal last night? Why didn’t I get a walk in over the weekend? Why didn’t I stretch a bit more before I started?

When I go walking, the last person I want to hear is myself. I think I even told myself to shut-up a couple of times.

A person can make herself miserable with all the self-defeating cross talk. I know this, and yet it comes so easily to me. I suppose that is why I am battling the bulge in the first place. There’s so much more than just losing weight when you are trying to make yourself healthy. Long practiced habits have to be broken for sure but the mind-set, that is REALLY hard to get a grasp of. I mean, what makes you do the things you do? That’s a tough question. I think a lot of people know the answer but then why do we keep repeating the bad behavior?

I am the queen of making poor decisions when it comes to health. I’ll take a morning on the couch with my book over a perfect walk in the park. I know this about myself and it’s something I am trying to deal with each and every day. That’s why this walking blog is so valuable to me. It holds me accountable for my actions, This bad morning of mine is a direct result of my actions over the weekend. If I can bottle up this feeling for later use, I’d never make the same mistake twice but that isn’t how it works. I will make the same mistake many more times before it finally sinks in, and that’s okay. I have to believe that each time it happens, something is rubbing off on me in a good way. I have to believe, or I’d never put the shoes on again.

So, I believe.

With a cup of Pumpkin Spice coffee, I think I will believe more so off I go to make some. Happy Monday to you. It will be over soon.


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Hate. It.

Walking Path

Has it really been five days since my last post? I guess with the weekend and all, it has been.

Well, it hasn’t all been good. Last Friday, I made a discovery that really knocked me for a loop. It’s personal stuff but it affects my family and when my family is affected, it brings me down. I didn’t turn to food though which is what I normally do but man, the craving was there. All I had in the house was fruit, kale, yogurt and oatmeal. You can’t really go to town with those items so I was safe. Who wants to binge on oatmeal or yogurt? No one! Yeah, and a pear binge did not sound appealing either.

So, I walked. I did that “angry” walk that you sometimes see people do. My arms were swinging, my hips where sashaying and my feet were landing in thuds. A pleasant sound when you are working off anger and frustration. Thud. Thud. Thud. Graceful, I am not. Boy, did it feel good though! I can’t say that getting out the door was an easy task, but once I was out, I was flying.

But today, oh man, today was a bear! I just didn’t want to go! The weather was breezy and warm and I had absolutely no aches or pains but all I wanted to do was pull out that yoga mat and take a nap. Yes, the yoga mat again! I really need to get rid of it. It’s too tempting sometimes. Even with all the bitching, I didn’t allow myself time to do anything but get dressed. And then I took off on an uphill path. Gripe.

Needless to say, it was one of those mornings where my heart wasn’t in it, but I still got it done. That’s saying something, right? I do get bored, and the audio book I was listening too practically put me to sleep so I started up another one and it really pulled me through the walk. I sort of forgot how miserable I was after the first mile. I think with walking, it’s important to switch it up or you will bore yourself to death. Pick out some different music or change your route just a tiny bit. With all of these fitness apps these days, you can take off in any direction and know how far you’ve gone. I like that aspect of the app because sometimes I will head out for a certain path and then all of a sudden change directions and that’s okay, because I can still see how far I am walking. Do you use an app? I highly recommend them.

That’s it from me. I am crossing my fingers that the week goes by quickly because I really do need a nap.