Little Sherry

little me

This is my favorite picture of myself of all time.  Even as a child I loved it. I loved the smile and the happiness the picture conveyed.  It still makes me happy.

One of the suggestions from the therapist to help me deal with, well, everything we’ve tackled thus far, has been to nurture or parent “Little Sherry”.  To bring to mind myself as a child and speak to her in the way and manner that I would speak to my own children.  I’m not sure why this has not only proven to be effective but has also been successful in touching my heart which, as long time readers know, is not an easy thing to do.

It’s allowed me to begin to love and forgive myself without looking in the mirror and saying, “I love you Sherry.  You are kind and beautiful and gosh darn it, you deserve it,”  (That’s a very old Saturday Night Live bit…sorry.) which feels disingenuous and downright silly to me.  I’ve been able to embrace this exercise I guess because I’m dealing with a child and not a fully grown adult who shouldn’t need this kind of care (in my screwed up head anyway).   The only word that comes to mind for me is profound.

When I began, Little Sherry always came to me with her head bowed and her hands over her face in shame.  I didn’t fight it.  I pictured us, side by side on the porch steps of a beach cottage, staring out at the ocean early in the morning.  No words were exchanged.  We just sat, together, watching the waves.  Eventually she would drop her hands to her lap and occasionally let me hold her little hand.

Now and then I’m able to offer kind words like, “It’s okay.  You’re a wonderful little girl and you deserve all the kindness and love the world has to give.”  I’m not sure how much I believe it yet but I think I might be getting through to her.  Hopefully I’m not too far behind.

On thing is certain, every time we sit together I cry.  Not boo-hoo with snot and an ugly face, but tears in my eyes that sometimes slide down my cheeks.  There’s just a deep sense of sadness that overwhelms me.  In fact, it feels exactly the same as when my children are in pain from one of life’s bumps and I can no longer fix it with a Buzz Lightyear Band-Aid and a kiss.  I have to just be there for them, guide the a little, and hope the scars don’t run too deep.  Life on life’s terms.

She still won’t look me in the eye and I haven’t been able to hold her yet but I think we’re getting there.  Sometimes I think I’ve lost my fucking mind imagining all of this…until I sit down to do it or it just comes over me.  Then I know that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.

Namaste

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There Are No Coincidences

Sometimes things just come together and leave you scratching your head and thinking, “Well fuck me naked!  That could never happen again in a million years!”

That happened to me this weekend.

As you are well aware, I’m trying to get my shit together this year in some old (nutrition and exercise) and new (therapy) ways.  That means there’s a lot of work to do in the inside as well as the outside.  In fact, the longer I’m into this navel gazing, the more I realize that if I don’t get the inside right the outside will never be right no matter what it looks like.

I know I know…DUH.

Anyway, I was getting ready to take the dogs on a long walk Sunday so I decided to find a podcast to listen to during our journey.  I wanted one by Brene’ Brown but it turns out Brene’ doesn’t do her own podcasts.  However, while looking I found this woman Koren Motekaitis who does a regular podcast called “How She Really Does It”.  I scrolled down the hundreds of recordings until my eyes landed on one that said “Weight Loss After Menopause”.  Well, well, well I thought…this is right up my alley.

I had no idea.

I swear to you this woman being interviewed could have been me.  Seems that Koren is a life coach who conducts a “circle” on weight loss from time to time (www.howshereallydoesit.com ) and this woman she was interviewing was part of one of her former circles.  Everything that came out of that woman’s mouth felt like my words.  From her struggles with typical “diets” (they don’t work) to her conclusion that she had to get in touch with why she ate her emotions (therapy) to her preferred form of movement (walking).  It was really kind of spooky.

As I listened to her discuss how she took off 30 pounds I realized that my gut has been right all along (pun intended).  If I can learn to listen to what my body wants and needs I can work toward recognizing and then making peace with the emotions and feelings that send me to the pantry in search of salt or sugar, and then maybe I can find my body’s natural weight and perhaps, along the way, make peace with food.

Huge run on sentence and even huge-er goal.

Of course all of the above assumes that I can cut through all the crap I tell myself on a regular basis and create a kinder and more compassionate dialog with myself.

That’s where the second half of my day kicks in…

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m doing Brene’ Brown’s e-course that accompanies her book, “The Gifts of Imperfection” (www.oprah.com/brenebrowncourse).  I’m on week three of six and its been extraordinary thus far.  This week did not disappoint.  I don’t want to give anything away in case you’re thinking of going through the course but suffice to say my biggest takeaway from week three was this…

“I will talk to myself the same way I talk to the people I love.” ~Brene’ Brown

Just another version of what one of my good friends once said to me when I was using my patented self-deprecating humor.

“Never say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to your best friend.” ~Sherry’s Friend Patricia

Hear that?

That’s the sound of the brick God threw landing upside my head.

“There are no coincidences.  Only Divine bricks chucked from above.” ~Sherry

Hear that?  No?

That’s the sound of quiet determination.

Namaste

54 at 54 Weekly Update

Went to the doctor today to consult for an endoscopy I have to have done next week (yet another one of the wonderful benefits of drinking….acid reflux and heartburn enough to alarm the primary care doctor) and, of course, they weighed me.

Son of a bitch if I’m not down by 6 pounds!!!!!

That might not seem like a lot if you’re under 40 but anyone who’s over 40 or has been through menopause knows how hard it is to take off any weight when your metabolism has slowed to a snail’s pace.  Not only that but my blood pressure was lower than it’s been in years!!!  110/60!!!!

Wow!  This healthy lifestyle shit must work!  Who knew?

I did.  I just had to get out of my own way long enough to begin the journey.

Quiet determination.

So…last week.  Well, I ate some crap I shouldn’t have (damn chocolate and kettle cooked potato chips – not together mind you) but I didn’t lose my mind AND I got up every morning (so freaking EARLY) and worked out so you know…it’s all good.  Plus, Downton Abbey is really a great show and there are lots of seasons!!!  Yay!

Here are this week’s stats…

80,542 steps and 33.64 miles for the week which equates to an average of 11,506 steps per day and 4.81 miles.

I’ve also made a few changes to the overall plan.

I take one day a week off from exercise.

I don’t track my calories on the weekends (I don’t lose my mind but I don’t track.)

I have one treat day.  Usually Fridays but this week my husband’s birthday is Saturday so that will be my treat day.  Again, nothing crazy but if I have a small piece of cake I’m not going to spend the rest of the weekend beating myself up.

Quiet determination.

Namaste

 

542 33.64 11,506 4.81

 

54 at 54 Weekly Update – Week 8

Walking

First, and most importantly, today I am wearing a pair of jeans that, two weeks ago, were incredibly uncomfortable.  So much so that I had to wear a big flowing top and do the “rubber band trick” on the button.  (You know what that is right?  It’s when you loop a rubber band through the button-hole of your pants and then around the button itself.  Depending on the rubber band it can give you an extra 1/2″ to 1″.  Those rubber bands that come on broccoli at the supermarket are perfect for this.)  Today they are not only comfortable but a little baggy.  Yesterday I had to tighten my belt twice because the pants I was wearing were threatening to leave my body – and not in a good way.

I’ve also started working out in…wait for it…the morning.  GASP!  I know…I’ve tried before and given up but the fact that this treadmill is right in my bedroom and that basically all I have to do is put on a bra and shoes is definitely a bonus.  Plus, I just get home too late at night to do the nightly workout that’s been my staple all of my adult life.

But things change.

When I was 16 I wanted to take off some weight (well – since puberty I’ve wanted to “take off some weight”) so I bought a record album of exercises that came with a wall chart so you could see how to do them (yes…I’m old…don’t judge).  I fell in love with it.  Over the years that morphed into gyms and aerobics classes (Jazzercise anyone?) and personal trainers and lots and lots of VHS tapes and then later, DVD’s.  My library was extensive and for a while I belonged to a kind of “club” where you could trade videos you’d grown tired of or that were not a good fit for you.  Working out at home to videos with Kathy Smith, Karen Voight and Petra Kolber (to name a few) became my fitness routine and lasted for about 20 years.

After I got sober and started thinking about getting back into shape (one other than the one I’m currently in) I dusted off those old tapes and DVD’s and got to work.  The problem was that where they once energized me and made me happy, they now bored me and made me feel bad about myself.  So I stopped using them and started my search for my next fitness path.

One thing that has never changed in all my life is that I love to walk.  I will walk anywhere for ridiculous amounts of time.  My normal gait is at about 2.7 mph (yeah…it’s hard for people to keep up) but I’ve been known to walk as fast as 4.2 mph if I’m really pushing it.  I prefer walking outside but when I’m out there I tend to walk slower and just enjoy the outdoors.  I can listen to some “beat” music and match the pace – but for me, having earbuds in takes the joy out of my walk.  (Plus if I’m in an unfamiliar city it’s dangerous because I need to be aware of my surroundings at all times…you can take the girl out of the hood but you can’t take the hood out of the girl.)

Which is why this treadmill is such a godsend.  Last weekend, after my run-in with my compassionate boss (yes…that WAS sarcasm) I feeling pretty low so I did what I love to do – I walked.  First on the treadmill and then outside with the dogs.  Saturday and Sunday I exercised self-care and just…walked.  I didn’t try to run or match any pace or even care if I sweat.  I just moved my feet.

And it was glorious.

So this week I’ve been getting up early and walking first thing in the morning which sets the “pace” (HA!) for my day.  I’ve decided that if I never learn to run that’s okay…I can walk.  If I never run another race (5K, 4-miler, half marathon) that’s okay…I can walk it.  If I never fire up my c25K app again that’s okay…I can walk while binge watching TV series and let the iFit application on my treadmill do the work (and make ME work in the process).

I’m happy with this program.  I logged food all week and did pretty damn well I think.  I walked and walked and walked…with my own unique brand of quiet determination.

And that is perfectly imperfect…and just enough.

Stats:  74, 442 steps for 30.9 miles – 10,635 daily average steps – 4.41 daily average miles.

Namaste

54 at 54 Weekly Update – Week 7

 

This week has been…um…interesting.

I’ve been in a much better frame of mind.  I’d love to give you a count of steps and miles but my fairly new FitBit is acting up and many of my days last week have a big fat “0” where the steps should be.  I had my old FitBit for over a year and it worked perfectly.  When my company gave us new ones (for free) I got a new one.

I gave the old one to a friend.  That one is still working just fine thank you VERY much.

*sigh*

But overall I’ve had a much better attitude this week.  Still not getting on the scale.  Clothing still feels good – maybe even a little looser – okay definitely looser.  Planning when to add weight training to my fitness routine.  Really, really good.

Until today.

I’ve been known to be a little thin-skinned when it comes to my looks.  It’s no secret that I don’t have a very high opinion of how I look and the extra weight makes that even worse.  I PROMISE that this is something I’m working very hard to correct and I am NOT fishing for compliments.  I’m just stating facts.  I work very, very hard to convince myself that I am more than a number on a box on the floor or on the back of my jeans.  That my worth lies in the size of my heart rather than the size of my ass.

And then this happens…

I’m eating lunch, at my desk, again.  I have my salad which consists of lettuce, 3 oz of chicken, tomatoes, olives, cucumbers, goat cheese and three tablespoons of low calorie Cesar dressing.  It’s my everyday lunch (which is my largest meal) and packs a whopping 450 calories of healthy, whole food.  With that, I also have exactly two Diet Pepsi’s.

Boss (seeing me pour my soda):  You know you’d be a lot healthier if you didn’t drink that crap.

Me:  I know but it’s the only crap I have in life! (kidding)

Boss:  I’m sure you have a lot more crap….(trailing off when she realizes what she’s saying). 

Me:  Really?  Like what?

Boss:  *crickets* 

Me:  Look, I don’t drink.  I don’t smoke.  I try to limit sugar.  I don’t eat a lot of fatty food.  I never eat fast food.  I get two sodas a day.  I’m fine.

Boss:  Well…at least tell me it’s diet.

Me:  Of course it’s diet.

Boss:  *Walks away*

At first I laughed it off but the more I let it stew, the more it bothered me.  I know my boss has an aversion to “fat” people which she states on a regular basis.  I often have thought, “Lord what she must think of me.”

I guess now I know.

This has me feeling pretty low right now but, if anything, it’s added to my resolve.  Not so she won’t think I’m fat any more (because once I get through these feelings I really won’t give a flying fuck what she thinks) but because I need to rebuild my confidence and I can’t do that if I’m unhealthy.

Unhealthy Sherry takes a conversation like that and just rolls her eyes, pretending it doesn’t hurt as much as it really does.

Healthy Sherry says, “Fuck you and the horse you rode in on.”

I like healthy Sherry’s attitude.  She’s got balls.  😉

Happy weekend everyone. Stay safe.  Stay sober.  Stay healthy.

Namaste

 

Befriending Myself

 

 

Thanks to all who commented, encouraged and kicked my ass on Friday.  I truly did not realize how negative I was being which is amazing to me since I’m always the most positive person in the room!  I’m the one that you want to punch in the throat because, no matter what, I can find the good in any situation.

Apparently except when it applies to me…then I go all bad ass on myself.

But I heard what you said and I’ve pulled myself up by my bootstraps and come up with a new plan for these next six weeks.

Food

Clearly I need to be accountable so I will continue to track my calories.  My Fitness Pal really works for me so I will continue to use it.  I will also pledge to track EVERYTHING I eat.  It seems that I sometimes “forget” to enter things and then stand back in wonderment when I haven’t lost any weight or when my pants feel snug.  Not acceptable.  If I bite it, lick it or drink it I will log it.  (I should put that shit on a t-shirt yo…nah…now that I read it again…oh never mind.)

My goal is to stay between 1200-1500 calories a day.  It really is plenty of food for me BUT, if I find I’m hungry I will ask myself, “Could I eat an apple?”  If the answer is no, then I know I’m not hungry.  If the answer is yes…well then I’ll eat a damn apple!  I’m not a big fan of fruit so the “apple test” is one that works for me.

Exercise

As Paige so beautifully pointed out in the comments on Friday, I love my treadmill.  I really, really do.  I’m going to get on it every day except Saturday and Sunday unless the weather is ugly.  Here’s how…

  • Increase my daily steps to 12,000 per day.  I’ve exceeded 10,000 a day for the last 6 weeks so it’s time to up the ante.
  • M-W-F:  Walk at 3.3 mph (I’m at about 3.2 mph walking now so taking it up a little is warranted – I may even play with the incline) for at least 60 minutes or until I hit 12,000 steps.
  • T-Th:  Run on the treadmill using my C25K app.  I’m starting it over now that I have new shoes and after the 30 minute run I’ll continue by walking until I’ve hit 60 minutes or 12,000 steps.
  • Saturday:  Run outside with my second c25K app and the dogs (adds a bit of drama to the run).  I’m not worried about speed as much as I am endurance.
  • Sunday:  Yoga.  I’ve not been very good about “hitting the mat” for a while now.  My subconscious knows it doesn’t burn calories so I tend to shy away.  In addition, I hate the way my body feels in certain poses.  However, yoga is vital to my sanity and well being, so I’m going to do it at least once a week.  If I know me, I’ll be craving it by week two and by week four I’ll have to get up early to do sun salutations before dawn.  Just typing that out loud makes my body relax.

Spirit

The negativity in me has to end.  Several years ago, I was having lunch with a very sweet friend.  She heard me saying something negative about myself and she stopped me and said, “It hurts me when I hear you say things like that.  You should never say anything about yourself that you wouldn’t say to your best friend.  ”

So I’m going to make an effort to be my own best friend for the next six weeks.  That means treating myself with kindness, compassion, forgiveness and love – something I’m not very good at but that I know is essential to the success of this journey to health that I’m on.

Oh, the scale?  Motherfucker is in the trash (metaphorically speaking – hubs wouldn’t let me toss it so I’m putting it in the garage where the men go to play).  It lies and makes me feel bad about myself and I am more than a number.  Period.

As I said to my friend today, this is too important to give up on.

And so…with every fiber of my being I say to you this evening…

Namaste

A Running Update on Fitness

See what I did with that title.  Aren’t I clever?  Hey…it’s Monday.  Give me a break.

Since running the 4 miler in the wrong shoes didn’t seem to convince me that running outside is MUCH DIFFERENT than running inside on a treadmill, I thought I’d test the theory again this weekend.  I haven’t been running outside much due to the weather and the fact that I get home after dark and there are no sidewalks in my neighborhood.  The dogs and I only venture out on the weekends when the weather cooperates.  Fortunately using my C25K app means that at least one day of the weekend is dedicated to running.

Ahem…

Week 3 day one should not be run outside when the rest of your program has been run on the treadmill.

Just sayin’.

So now I have two, separate c25K apps.  One that I will use when running outside (that will obviously progress at a slower rate), and my current app that I will continue to use on the treadmill.

How to Train for a 5K Without Killing Yourself, Ruining Your Knees or Exploding Your Lungs 101

I should cross-stich shit that on a pillow.

I watched my co-worker cross the finish line of the Disney Princess Half Marathon (via live feed) on Sunday.  Her partner dropped out so by the time I started texting her she was alone but still had a mile and a half to go.  I coached her via text until she crossed the line.

“Stop texting and RUN!”  How in the hell does anyone run and text.  I can’t even run and breathe much less text!

I was SO EXCITED for her.  She finished and she wasn’t swept by the balloon ladies so she’s a very happy runner today.  Now she gets to enjoy a week of vacation in Disney World.  I’m officially jealous.

Happy Monday everyone (that’s is truly the queen of oxymoron’s).

Namaste

54 at 54 Update – Week 5

Running shoes

My son is a genius.  Okay, all of my children are geniuses (as well as my grandchildren…duh) but this particular son is an Athletic Training genius.

My youngest at home (by 21 minutes thank you very much) is an Athletic Training major in college.  He’s very passionate about it and it shows in his accolades and grades.  What’s the old adage?  Do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.  I think this is it for him…at least for now.

I’ve been texting and calling him for weeks now to help me diagnose what in the hell was wrong with my right knee/leg that had me in pain as I walk/run and then limping the next day.  The pain started on the inside of my knee and ran down my leg.  It was really beginning to bother me because it was keeping me from running AT ALL and I could only walk at a speed of 2.5 mph (which, let’s face it, is barely a stroll).  I was watching all my hard earned dollars spent on that treadmill going down the drain.  More importantly, I was watching all my dreams for this year going down with it.

I was really depressed…old…out of shape…no hope.

out of shape

I asked him to come home and take a look at my leg as well as help me find words to explain to a doctor (if necessary) what was happening.  I needed to determine if this was pain or injury and if I should be resting/icing or working through the pain.

He came home last Friday.  He sat me up on the kitchen table and began palpating, twisting, pushing and pulling on my leg.  He asked me what kind of shoes I wore and whether they were neutral or correcting for something.  I told him that a couple of years ago I was fitted by a local running store to correct for under-pronation or supination.  I could see that this confused him.

Then he told me to stand in front of him, barefoot, and march in place.

“Mom.  Not only are you almost flat footed, but you pronate…not supinate.”

Wait.  What?

Holy screw-up Batman!  Are you fucking kidding me?  We spoke for a while longer and although I was still skeptical (I mean seriously – he’s a kid in his second year of college for god’s sake) I agreed to return the shoes that had just arrived and order a new pair with arch support and mild pronation correction.

I didn’t work out on Friday, Saturday or Sunday and iced my knee all three days.  On Monday I wore a pair of really, really old running shoes to walk, albeit slowly, through my workout.  There was no pain.  Just from switching shoes.  My new shoes arrived on Tuesday and I ran on the treadmill through my c25K program and then walked another 30 minutes at 3.2 mph.

No pain.  Not on the treadmill.  Not that evening and, most importantly, not the next day.  I’ve continued to work out hard the rest of the week and there is no pain in my knee.  My arches are sore but I need to work those muscles so I expected that (he gave me some exercises to do).

So you see?  My son really IS a genius!  Okay, okay – but he’s really good at this shit and I’m really proud.

Moving on…(Literally!  Get it?  Ha!  I slay me!)

My co-worker is off to Disney today to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon on Sunday morning.  She wants me to run it with her next year.

I think I just found my next goal.

disney-princess-half-logo
2016 here I come!

 

Also, I’m back to tracking my food.  I just seem to lose my mind when I’m not paying attention to what, how much and when I eat.  I tried to use the Weight Watcher app again but I just don’t like that point system plus it’s 20 bucks a month.  I’m much more comfortable with My Fitness Pal which sync’s to my FitBit and has every single food under the sun in it.

Still no significant weight loss.  Whatevs.

This week’s stats:  64, 111 Steps/21.29 miles

Namaste

54 at 54 Friday Update – Week 4

8 weeks

Here we are at week 4!  Here are my stats…

82,875 steps and 34.76 miles (walk/run)

This is my best week yet and I can feel it.  I bumped the treadmill speed up from 2.8 mph to 3.2 mph (on my way to 4 mph) when walking.  My runs are still at or a little over 4 mph.  I’ve done something to the muscle that runs down the inside of my leg (not the adductors…this one goes from the hip, crosses over the quad and then down the inside of my knee and shin).  I think it’s just overuse and likely will require compression when I run but my Athletic Trainer son is coming home tonight to check it out and recommend some therapy.

So per my little meme up there, it’s week 4 so I should be seeing some changes.  The scale still isn’t cooperating – I got on this morning but won’t again until week 12 – but I have to say…my body is changing.  My jeans fit better (we have casual Friday around here), my breath control is much better and I just generally feel better.  Some days I’m still bloated (all those veggies) so I feel fat but I think I am shrinking.  Guess its time to break out the tape measurer.

Oh chocolate how you mock me!!!  I’m still struggling with the chocolate and the chips but I’m limiting any junk food to that – no matter what my emotions tell me they want.  No cheeseburgers or French fries or ice cream for this chick.  I mean seriously…I have to draw the line somewhere right?

All in all its been a good week – especially if you factor in all the emotional stuff.  It feels like progress and I like that.  It feels like quiet determination.

Happy Valentine’s Day weekend everyone!

Namaste

A Winning Weekend

So Brian didn’t win the contest to get a face to face audition for The Voice, but we had a blast, saw some amazing talent (including his rendition of Colder Weather by Zac Brown Band…which made me cry) and spent the day together.  He might not have won…but I sure did.

Oh…and he forgave me for entering him in the contest without telling him.   He tried to make me promise that I’d never do it again but…well…kid’s got talent so I couldn’t promise – but I did say I’d try.  He’s a theatre tech major (which means he does lighting and designs and builds sets) so my greatest hope is that one day someone in a production will hear him singing in the shop and convince him to be onstage.  Yeah…I know…a mom can dream right?

As I said, I bailed on the triathlon but did set some new goals.  I want to run a 5K by March and a 10K by June.  I ordered new shoes to correct for my supination (under pronation) which means I roll my feet to the outside when I walk, run, jog…whatever.  I also ordered some more compression socks because they are AWESOME!  I could really tell the difference in my feet last week on my four mile “run” as well as this week.  Definitely worth the price.

My pups ran with me on Sunday.  I walk them all the time, fairly fast but this was the first time for a run.  The Brittany was fine – I run pretty slow right now so all he has to do is lengthen his stride a little and he keeps pace with me.  The Beagle however?  She was not a happy puppy.  She has short legs and has put on quite a bit of weight as she’s gotten older.  We’re trying to manage her weight but unless she smells a rabbit – she’s a lazy girl.  Every time my C25K app told me to run, she would pull back on the leash and look at me like, “Really?  Do you really expect me to run?”  And I would look down at her and say, “Let’s go girl – you need this as much as I do.”  She’ll thank me later.

And finally, allow me to share the wit of my offspring.

My oldest at home was talking to me the other evening when I suddenly began to tidy the bonus room in which we were standing.  As he spoke, I began to straighten the loose pillows on the back of the sectional sofa.  There are 10 large pillows, five brown and five black.  As I began to turn them all the right way and alternate brown/black/brown/black the room got quiet.  Then, from behind me I hear, “The OCD is strong in this one.”

Every time I think about it I crack up.

So to you my son, “Strong sarcasm is in you.”  Proud I am so.

Namaste