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.

Revamping my routine

We’re all creatures of habit, but I seem to be especially so. I like structure and routine. I like planning and checking things off the list. I’m an early riser, not sure if that’s by nature from years of not having a choice as a kid, but at any rate I get up far earlier than most would deem normal or necessary. I also go to bed far earlier than most would find normal. But that’s my life and I like it. Though┬álately I’ve been feeling stuck in my routine and like it’s just not serving me.

I’m big into listening to podcasts on my commutes, I find them more stimulating than music and far more appealing than talk radio because I control the subject matter. One of my regular podcasts is the 5 AM Miracle podcast with Jeff Sanders. It’s all about productivity and geared toward getting the most out of your day by getting up early and hitting the ground running. He talks a lot about routines and your ‘ideal’ morning. Although frequently I’m not into the actual advice given, the spirit of the show is motivating to me. And this week in particular he was discussing 7 things to do before 7 AM. The big one for him is to exercise in the morning, and that resonated with me.

I’m an early riser, but I don’t always use my morning time well. I’m not an early morning exerciser. I’m just not. I wish I could be, but when I’ve tried I don’t get a good workout because I am literally just going through the motions. And while I can get up and go when the situation calls for it, I much prefer a more gradual wake up–I like my coffee and kitty snuggles. Still, I want to use my time well, I want to be productive and go into my day feeling accomplished. So I’ve realized morning is a good time for me to write, to get focused on the day and what I really want before I head to what pays the bills. I can do that with a cup of coffee on one side and a cat on the other.

That said, I’m also an avid exerciser. I love fitness. But even my habits in that realm have slipped. When I was single and my time was purely my own I had a regular routine that I was very diligent about. Flash forward to new marriage with a husband to work around, new day job, new home in a different area (with a substantial commute), and I’ve struggled to create a new routine–in part because I’ve tried unsuccessfully to make it happen in the morning. I take a kettlebell class twice a week after work and most of the time that seems to be an ideal time for me to work out, I have energy, I can get out frustration from the day, and I feel good when I’m done. While many will say the best time to work out is in the morning, and I hear their points, I’m a firm believer that the best time to work out is when you will do it (and the best workout is the one you will do). Doing beats not doing. So for now, post-work workouts will be the plan.

I’m working to accomplish two goals–to write more and to work out more consistently–by flipping my schedule and being intentional. I’m hoping that making my goals and plans public will also encourage consistency by keeping me accountable. Let’s see how this works, shall we?