A Long and Narrow Road

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


New Kicks: Starting Up Again

New Kicks
It’s been so long since I’ve walked that I’ve lost count of the weeks. It’s been months and if you count the fall down the stairs and the recovery needed for that, then it’s probably been about three months. Hang on… according to Runkeeper it’s been two and a half months! Not quite as long as I thought but it sure felt like I’ve been away from it forever.

It’s the same old story. I got bored and lost my motivation. When I hurt both legs, I had an “out” but with both legs injured, you sure appreciate the mere act of walking and so while I was recovering, I was also slowly trying to build-up the mental part of it so I’d be ready to start walking as soon as I could.

Was I ready? No. So I purchased some new shoes and still, this morning I looked at them and thought I might even take them back. I seriously thought that. Sometimes, I frustrate even myself. I put ’em on and headed out the door and most of it was okay. I limped a tiny bit at the end but I expected that. I kept a normal pace but didn’t go as far as I had hoped. But I went!

I am not much of a goal maker, as you might know by now but I do hope to do it again tomorrow.

Oh and I can’t lie, the shoes did help.


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Still Breathing

I have a friend who blogs about her struggles with activity too, and she posted today which reminded me that I have not posted in a really long time.

I am still here but not currently walking or doing much of anything. On May 2nd, I pulled a muscle in my leg while SITTING at a track meet. I know, how does such a thing happen? But because my leg was all gimpy and useless, the very next day, I fell down some stairs and injured my other leg. We all thought it was broken but it wasn’t. The doctor said it will take about eight weeks total to heal so I am down for at least another four weeks.

Yep, this is a good excuse and all but before the injury I was already doing battle with myself about my lack of activity. I swear. It is a constant struggle for me. I know that people who are fit often work their asses off to be that way and I know if they read my blog they’d just be frustrated with me but it’s the best I can do.

I make good choices on the eating front but once you get past the age of forty, eating well isn’t enough. Right now, I am letting the legs heal and then I will start over again and maybe I will have a little more success this time. Even with my patchy history, I’ve had good periods sometimes lasting a year or more. Just not this year!


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Still Skipping Along

It’s not Friday, but I want it to be.

So far this week, I have walked every day. I am not going very fast and still have a bad attitude about it but hey, I’ve been walking. I think the weather is helping. The mornings are pleasantly cool. I really love all of the smells I encounter on my morning walks. The orange grove smells delicious in the morning so I always try to work my way through it whenever possible. This entire week, I have just picked a direction and taken off. Normally, I stick to a certain route but I am so bored with that route and with GPS tracking, it really doesn’t matter where I go because my app keeps track of it.

I went up, down, left and right and today, my app glitched out when I walked through a building and didn’t catch-up when I came out. Distance wise, I think it did but the map displayed, shows me never coming back! It’s as if I fell off the planet. Pretty funny actually.

Since Monday, I have lost 5lbs. All bloat, I’m sure. I packed sensible lunches all week and have been trying to drink water again. I usually have no problem drinking water but I get side-tracked with work and forget to drink it. I am making a conscious effort to stop and drink.

Here is my reminder for you, drink some water now. Go ahead, I’ll wait.




There, did you have some? So did I.

I probably won’t be back until next week so have a great weekend and try to get out! I will be at an all-day track meet on Saturday. Watching my ten-year-old run her pants off is very motivating to me. I really wish I had been more active as a child.



Back in the Saddle

After a long break, I decided to hit the road again. I didn’t really feel like doing it and mentally, I am not 100% sure I can stick to it, but I donned the clothes and shoes this morning and headed out. At least I LOOKED serious. Honestly though, I felt horrible. I took my normal route but ended up cutting it short a little because of  a slight limp. It amazes me how much you lose when you take a break:

Stamina. I didn’t push myself all that hard and yet, I felt sluggish and my stride was awkward. Even by the end of the loop, I felt as if I was staggering along.

Motivation. I lost my motivation right around the half mile mark. I think I was just disappointed in myself. Taking that break felt good at the time but it didn’t feel good this morning as I struggled through what should have been a super easy walk.

Flexibility. Whatever flexibility I gained last fall was lost by taking the break that I did. I sort of felt like the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz. I could have used a squirt of oil to get  my limbs moving.

This is a lesson that I’ve learned before but for whatever reason, I tend to return to my bad habits. It’s easier to give up. In fact, it takes no effort to just stop what you are doing. But the “getting back on the horse” thing is brutal! You’d think I’d just keep going to avoid it. After all, I am a sensible person and don’t always take the easy way out, but when it comes to exercise, I seem to have other plans.

All I can do is try. So, that is what I am doing. Trying. Again.

And, I am okay with it.


Motivation – Where Did It Go?

I can’t blame Thanksgiving. It’s an eating and cooking frenzy but to be honest, this year I wasn’t into the food. I cooked it but I didn’t eat much of it. Not nearly as much as I normally do. I tend to really look forward to holidays that center around food because I love food. Or, I used to. Being gluten-free has really killed my taste buds. The plus side? I didn’t go overboard and I was walking to offset anything I did eat (or drink).

However, since then… nothing has been happening on the exercise front. My motivation is not entirely gone but it’s waning. Much of it has to do with the weather. It’s been very cold for Southern California and extremely windy. Really, if I bundled up, it wouldn’t be too cold to walk in, but with everything flying around it’s not been good walking weather.

Ironically, my body tends to lose weight when I stop exercising so even though I haven’t walked for ten days, I have lost an additional five lbs. That REALLY makes it hard. I mean, I lose weight when doing nothing? Wha??

So I am not the pillar of perfection today. Was I ever? But I wanted to stop by and tell you all that I have been a useless slug and that I am allowing this behavior through the end of this week, and then will transition to some other activity if the weather continues like this. I really hate the gym and I am not fond of people in general so group stuff bugs me. Anyway, I’ll post an update soon.

What have you all been doing? It’s been freezing cold all over the country. How do you manage exercise when it’s so cold outside?


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?


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.