Transformations…

When I was looking up race times for my last post I encountered the photos from last year’s First Day 5k. I shared them on social media on Tuesday, but there was far more to say than I could fit in an Instagram caption. I had a LOT of feelings when I first saw the pics and compared them to the ones from this year.

Not all of them good. My first reaction was admittedly not ‘wow’ and feelings of pride in how far I’ve come. I don’t remember being that big, for one, I was surprised when I saw the pictures. But I do remember how unhappy I was–not so much in or with my body, but just in general. I’m definitely someone who eats their feelings so periods of my life where I’m heavier are generally periods where I am struggling to deal. I was also just running races for the sake of running races at that point. I had fallen out of love with running and it would be another 6 months or so before I started to love it again. The second thought was still not ‘wow’, but more disbelief. ‘Sure, I look good in comparison, but…’ was my reaction as I was very much still spinning my wheels about the progress frustration I’d discussed the Focus entry. Yeah, I look good in comparison, but I’m still not where I think I should be. And that’s very much the headspace I was in when I posted it on Tuesday. I didn’t post it right away, and I was a little uncomfortable when I did. The nag at the back of my head wasn’t ready for compliments and way to go’s, her response was ‘yeah, but…’ and I think that’s what came through in the caption. Still, a part of me knew that I needed to put it out there, so I did.

Today the universe forced my hand–I woke up with pink eye and had to call off of work. Not what I wanted at all, my workaholic side was pretty pissed in fact, and if working from home was an option I would have been doing so today. Which is why the universe forced my hand and made me take a break. I did stuff around the house, went to the doc and the pharmacy (obviously), and I’ll be getting my Insanity workout in because I’m fine besides my eyeball, but I also took a nap and took advantage of the unexpected down time to try on some old clothes. Like I said in my Focus post–I feel tighter and leaner despite the scale and so I needed to see if there was any progress that I could actually see for myself. I didn’t have my hopes up, I wasn’t expecting much of anything, and maybe that’s why I got a pleasant surprise. Most of the things that I haven’t been able to wear for a couple of years were still tight the last time I tried them on. But today way more of them fit than I expected. Not everything, but a lot of things. And I was kind of floored by it.

I wore these shorts on my first date with my now husband. Pretty sure that was the last time I wore them. I’m still about 10 pounds heavier than I was then so I couldn’t believe that they fit. Husband pointed out that I’ve put on a lot of muscle since then. And it finally clicked. My composition is shifting, so I’m heavier but smaller all at the same time. Duh. Still a work in progress–I’m by no means where I want to be, I’m still chasing my optimal racing ‘weight’, though I realized that I need to focus less on the scale and more on other means of measurement as it’s going to be skewed at this point. It also means that in order to progress I need to really tweak my diet because I’m closer to my ‘goal weight’ than I previously believed so I have to strike a more careful balance.

But more important to me in this moment is that for the first time in months I can see progress, and I feel really good about it. (And really disappointed it’s January and too cold to wear most of my reclaimed clothes…)

Happy weekend, friends.

Wake Up Call…

I’ve been holding back, on here, in life, I haven’t quite been myself. It’s taken me awhile to realize it, and to realize that it’s my problem. I’ve lacked direction, I’ve gained weight, I just don’t feel like myself. For the most part I’m happy, positive, cheerful. I give the face of being driven and motivated but underneath I haven’t felt that. I struggle to do things that I know need to be done. I’ve made excuses for things without realizing I was making excuses.

I had a conversation with a friend at the end of last week when I’d slipped into a darker place, and he put things in perspective and snapped me back to reality. It was a kick in the ass that I needed much more than I realized. He called me out on my excuses.

I am not myself. I haven’t been running, at least not much. Not enough. My body isn’t where I want it to be and it doesn’t feel like mine. I felt most like myself when I was running most days of the week. I look at pictures from that phase of my life and that’s me. That’s what I look like, that’s what I feel like. And I miss me. A lot. Running has sucked for me for the past couple of years. I developed IT issues after my second marathon and I haven’t been the same since, and that became an excuse. And then we moved in together and got married and I’ve used that as an excuse. And my job situation sucked for awhile and that became an excuse.

And the conversation with my friend made me wake up and own up to all the excuses I was making, and made me realize that I need to shut up and run. It’s the piece that’s been missing. Ever since I was younger, long before I started running, I’ve envisioned myself as a runner, and that’s still how I see myself in my head. I know what it feels like to be that, and I want it back. And I want it back badly enough to do whatever it takes to get back there. If I can’t manage the IT issues on my own, I’ll go to PT and get help for it. Yeah it sucks and it’s slow going right now–I’m heavier than I should be and out of shape–but that’s not going to change unless I get off my ass and change it. I used to deal with my feelings by running, and that has gradually shifted to using food to deal with them–that has to change back. Now that I’m aware that’s what I’ve been doing I can change it.

The past few days since this conversation and the subsequent realizations have been so different for me. I ran both days. For the first time in ages I wanted to. And I packed my bag to potentially run after work (weather depending). I’ve had fleeting thoughts about missing time with my husband, but the fact of the matter is that girl–the one who ran all the time–is the one he fell in love with in the first place. And I’m missing some of my spark. If running more is what it takes to get it back, he’ll be supportive.

So this journey is finding my way back to myself. As I do that I think the other things I’ve been struggling over will fall back into place.

Out of Sorts…

I’m a little out of sorts at the moment. I’m scattered. All over the place. Nothing to explain why, I’m just having trouble getting and keeping it all together right now. The new position is good. I’m technically supposed to launch and be on my own as of today, but I started taking more of the responsibilities on at the end of last week to help when we were short handed and it seems to be going well. Outside of work, however, I’m having trouble focusing and maintaining forward momentum. Some of it is that I’m still not clear on what my plan is, and I need to spend some quality time with myself to figure some things out. My husband is on days this upcoming weekend, and while I have a few plans I should be able to carve out some much needed quiet time to figure myself out. Life has been a whirlwind for the past few weeks, between the promotion and training, our trip to visit my folks and best friend, the subsequent catch up from that, the holiday weekend, etc.

I recently read Living Forward by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy, which is a book about life-planning and goal-setting. I’m at the point where I’m really ready to sit down and hammer some stuff out. Probably not in exactly the way they intended, but I’m ready to get some focus and direction and figure out where my life needs to be headed. The brilliant part of their plan is that it requires and invites revision and updating so you aren’t stuck with something that may no longer fit your circumstances, but it is meant to keep you from drifting without purpose and to take concrete action towards your goals. And right now I desperately need that direction and a plan to follow, but I know it has to be self-guided.

Last week on the Jillian Michael’s Podcast (which I admittedly have a love-hate relationship with), one segment hit the nail on the head–sometimes you just have to take the chance and put yourself out there. And I think that’s where I’m at. I’m definitely at some kind of crossroads in my life, I’m just not sure what it is yet. I’ll keep you posted…

On the job front…

I recently accepted a promotion at my job. I’ve only been there for about 6 months, but an opportunity arose and despite not being sure about it, I decided to go for it. Worst case scenario they say no and I  try again next time. I was legitimately okay with whatever the outcome. But they offered it to me, and I accepted, and yesterday I started my whirlwind two-week training before I’m sent off on my own.  I’m definitely still nervous about it, but I think I’ll be good at it too, so I’m going with it.

This has just made me ponder what I really want to do career-wise though. I miss non-profit work, but I know myself. When I was full boar into that it was a point when I didn’t want children, because I have no off switch if I’m dedicated to the organization and I knew in my heart I would not be able to juggle the two. Since meeting my husband I’ve decided that I do want a family, so I believe that is not the appropriate route for the time being.

Here’s what I do know: (1) When we have kids I want to be with them as much as possible during the early years especially, so the more flexible the job/schedule the happier I will be. (2) While possible for us to survive on one income, in order for us to have the kind of lifestyle we want I will need to have an income of some sort. (3) I know that I like working, and I want to work even if it is in a less formal setting.

What I’m doing right now is working…for now. But I’m still looking forward and trying to figure out my next steps and what the best path forward is. I’m staying open and exploring my options and ideas and working on action plans. I think the direction I’m headed is toward personal training (I already have a certification that I have not done much of anything with) and health coaching, but I’m having trouble finding a nutrition certification that jives with my personal approach and philosophy. So I’ll continue my research and see what comes of it.