Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Disappointment and a silver lining

I have a love of running. I used to dream about running. I never thought I could be a runner because I'm heavier than the lithe little runners you see bounding about. That was a lie. I can run. I can run for an hour. I'm not fast, it may not be pretty and there's a lot of sweating going on, but I can continuously run for 60 minutes, if not more.

My ultimate goal is to do a 1/2 marathon this fall. My first goal is to run a 5k. I can run that distance, plus some, but I've never done a race. My race is scheduled for this Saturday, March 27, 2010. I signed up more than six weeks ago. I paid my fee, picked out my shirt size and ordered some wicking socks (a little remembrance for me), only I won't be there.

I sprained my ankle. Yesterday. Picking up free hockey tickets I won at work. I was checking out the tickets, walking back to my car to go home after work and a 2-foot-square piece of concrete, 3 inches deep, was suddenly missing from the parking lot. Down I went. I picked myself up and dusted off my pant legs and hobbled to my car, grateful in that second that I was even able to put pressure on my foot. Once I sat down I just started bawling. Not the silent tears working their way down my face to drip off my chin, but gasping breaths, shaking shoulders, runny nose crying that is never pretty to look at or hear.

My race was five days away. I had been training for this particular race for six weeks. I had seen my miles drop from 15 minutes a mile to start, then 13 1/2 minutes a mile at the beginning of this year, to one time, 11 minutes a mile, and on average 12 minute miles. My breathing had improved, my turnover was getting better and my posture felt easy, relaxed. I could run, stopping for one or two one-minute-walk breaks, for an hour, even more. The SO was going to be there, taking a picture as I crossed the line of my first 5k. Not anymore.

I pulled myself together long enough to drive home. Crying intermittently at stoplights. I got home. Grabbed an ice pack out of the freezer, made myself comfortable in bed with my foot up on two pillows and settled in. I pretty much stayed there for the rest of the night. Knowing my race would go on without me, hoping that in the morning I would wake up thinking 'What sprained ankle?' The SO took care of me. He knew how important the race was. He told me how proud of me he was that I had worked so far of it. He went as far as to suggest I call in to work the following day to give myself the biggest chance of still being in the race on Saturday if that's what I really wanted. I thought about it, but I didn't.

So my ankle hurts. I will not be able to run this Saturday, I won't be able to play the double header in volleyball scheduled for tomorrow night. But I still will be able to run my first 5k. I just have to wait a little bit. I actually already had one scheduled for May 15 near my hometown before I went all klutzo on the parking lot. I'm pretty excited about that one, too.

To make the most out of my bad situation I contacted the person putting on the race this Saturday. I told him I knew my money could not be refunded, but since it was to be my first 5k and I could no longer run it, I was wondering if he knew of anyone who could run the race, but maybe couldn't afford it, or wasn't planning on it but might enjoy it anyway. Lo and behold, he offered to hold my registration fee and transfer it to another race! Oh yes you can!

I learned in the last 24 hours that I want to be a runner. I didn't want to just run a race, I didn't want to just put everything into 40 minutes and be done with it. I want to run. I want to be healthy enough to run next week. I want to continue to run next month, and by the end of this year I'd like to say I'm a half-marathon runner. My running days are not over. In fact, they're just beginning.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Life can be so very sad

Someone I do not know has died and my heart is heavy. That sounds odd, right? Someone I've never met, someone I probably would never meet died. I heard of her death through a Web site I visit Her death right now is on the forefront of my mind and I can't get it out. I fixed on the meaningless of her death. I wonder if she had to die. I wonder if I would end up like her if I don't keep on this path I've set out for myself.

Her name was Bethany and apparently she died from a heart attack. Bethany, from the last blog I read of hers written March 18,, was over 300 lbs. She had a heart condition, peripartum cardiomyopathy, and she was trying to change her life.

When I heard about her death all I could think, selfishly enough, is that I hope that will never be me. And I wonder, what could have been done in her life so she would not have died from a heart attack? So she would still be with her family, her children, her husband. Could anything have changed when she died and what she would have died from? And I felt so sad. Sad for a life that has been cut short. Sad for a woman who was trying. Sad for her family that misses her and is in pain right now.

I cannot change Bethany's life. I cannot make everything better for her or her family. As much as I wish I could, the only thing I can do from this is learn.

I can learn to make each day count. I can learn that my life matters, to me and to others, and I should make it the best that I can. Though I never knew Bethany I can learn from her and remember her. That's the least I can do. Is it less sad? No. Nothing can really make it better. But as for right now I'm just thinking of Bethany and praying for her family.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Shame and tears

The other day I ate some Riese's Pieces. And by some I mean half the bag. Not one of those little itty bitty bags either. Half a BAG. Let's just say I had a bad day. I had a lot of people at my workplace - who are very vocal - on my case because they did not agree with a decision that had been made. So my day was pretty much hell.

I tried not to let it show at work, but when I left the office I called the SO and talked to him for a few minutes. Now, he was still at work so he had to cut the conversation shorter (I probably would have talked for hours anyway) than I would have liked and while I was sad I wasn't mad at him or anything. I understood. He was at work. Anyway, so I get home and then a couple of tears came. Rather than just cry I hopped into bed, popped in "Funny People," which I've wanted to watch since it came on Netflix last week and grabbed some Rieces Pieces bought the previous day in a fit of happiness and sat down to a munch fest.

I poured out about half a portion size and munched on that. Then, because I wanted to eat more I went and got a class of water. I wanted something to do with my mouth so I wouldn't put more of those pieces of peanut butter goodness into my face again. I drank some water. Then I had another half portion. Then some water. The cycle continued. I stopped every now and then, trying to reason with myself, trying to pry my hand away from the bag. At one time I threw it on the floor. Pretty soon I went back and got it. Then they were gone. And I wasn't any happier.

The movie was done. My 'treat' was gone and now it was time for me to face what had happened that day. To add to this already long blog what happened was that I belong to a committee at work that uses funds from our vending machines to sponsor activities or events at the company. We put on food days every month, last year we got people shirts. We have grill outs, give prizes and we used to sponsor athletic teams. I say used to because at our annual - everyone from the building is invited - meeting it was brought up that the sports teams we sponsor cost $1,000 dollars a year. Now, normally we spend about $200-$250 for an event for the ENTIRE BUILDING, about 100 people. Now, approximately 25 people (or less) were eating up 1/3 of what we paid out in an entire year. While we feel sports are worthwhile, it was decided that for the small amount of people that were benefiting, and because it seemed like only one section of the entire building was even invited to be a part of these teams (including me, I'm on our volleyball and softball teams) it wasn't necessarily good stewardship to continue to fund these teams 100%. The motion was raised, it was voted on, and it carried. We sent out an e-mail the following day saying that this would be carried out. And then oh, that's when the drama started.

So, onto my notsohealthy eating. Yes people were mad. Were they mad at me? Maybe a little. Were they mad at what had happened? Yes. Would they get over it? Probably. Did I still believe I had made the best choice and would I do it again? Yes. This is what I should have done in the first place: Thought through what had happened and if it was still worth it to me. I still feel I did what I thought was best for the committee and for the rest of the people in our building. My lack of trust in myself basically led to me binging.

Now come the shame and the tears. So the SO came home and we talked, we watched some TV, we were just chilling together. Then came the topic of supper. Chicken. Ok. chicken to go with the eggplant we had leftover from the night before. Barbecue chicken? Then I told the SO that I didn't really feel like barbecue chicken because my stomach was slightly upset due to all the rieces pieces I had eaten. "That's silly," he said. I started crying.

I knew it was silly. I know I shouldn't eat to try to get through my problems and I've been trying so hard, and doing so well. I know I shouldn't run to food for a solution, that I should work through it so I can be healthy. I know I was wrong for binging like I did. I know. I know. I know. I also know the SO didn't say it to be mean. He didn't say it to make me sad. He said it because he was thinking it was silly that I pushed myself to eat until I was so full that I didn't feel good. I explained that I didn't push myself to the point of gorging. I ate, and then because of all the sugar (and the fact that I'm not used to eating like that anymore) I felt a little ill. And he told me not to beat myself up.

He went on to tell me that I didn't eat like that any more. Sure I had something here or something there if I wanted a sweet, but I worked it into my calories. I didn't sit down and eat a whole pan (or two) of monster cookies anymore. It's not like I polished off a whole package of oreos (I did that one time too) and it's not like this was a habit. But I cried anyway because I felt helpless. I cried because I couldn't stop myself from reaching for that candy again and again and again. I cried because I didn't want to be like this again. I didn't want food to be my all. To be my end all. I wanted to believe my life was different now.

I cried because of the shame that rose in me when I was trying to tell someone else that chocolate and peanut butter was more important to me at that moment in time than my own physical and mental health. I got up, went into the bathroom and cried some more in private. How could I explain my shame to a man who didn't have the same issues I did? He understands what I feel, he understands and fully supports what I'm trying to do, but how could I make him understand the pain I was feeling? I went on with our evening without trying. I made supper, we talked some more, we watched our show on TV (GO LOST!) and we made it through the night. He didn't bug me, he didn't push me. He knew I just needed some time to sort some things out in my mind.

I made it through my binge, and now I think that the SO may have understood me more than I was understanding him. I don't live that way anymore. I don't normally binge. I've gained so much health and lost many pounds and my life is different. One setback, one bad does does not define my health and it does not undermine all the good choices I have made since choosing health. It's just a day. It's just candy. I have so many days and weeks and years in front of me to continue making great choices, and 500 calories from Rieces Pieces are not going to destroy all I've accomplished.

There will be days I cry. There will be days I turn to chocolate for support and find out all it does is melt away. But this does not define me. The choices I made will continue to define me, and those choices will be for my health.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Never going back

I couldn't walk up a flight of stairs without being out of breath.
I didn't want to play with the cats because it meant I had to move.
I couldn't run around with my nephew, especially when he can kick a ball now.
I didn't want to go out on the weekend. Nothing looked cute on me and I might not be able to sit down at the bar. There was no way I would stand all night.
I kept buying bigger and bigger sizes.
I kept feeling worse and worse.
I didn't like myself much anymore.

I'm not going back to that. I'm not going back to mindless eating when I had issues I really needed to deal with. I won't go back to the hate I spoke about myself when I needed to love myself more than ever. I refuse to give up on myself like I gave up on myself then, without even realizing it. I cannot let this bright and bubbly person go into hiding again. I missed me. I never realized how much I missed me, but I am so glad to have myself back.

I am vibrant. I am cheerful, I am happy and now it's not a facade. I love my life. I love that the SO and I talk about going kayaking and hiking and choosing meals and foods that compliment our lives. I love that my family is getting healthy all on their own, one step at a time. I love that my life is changing, constantly evolving. I cannot explain how I feel inside. The energy and love the bubbles when I think about the health that awaits us. I cannot wait, but I will never rush it. So much is ahead of us, just around the bend. Right in front of us. Right now.