2012 Savannah Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon

So I took the plunge and registered. (FYI Registration goes up after the 28th)

As you may know, I fractured my heel Labor Day weekend. For those of you who aren’t runners, that kind of thing wrecks a training schedule – especially when the event you are training for is only nine weeks out. The silver lining – I hadn’t paid for it yet. The elephant in the room – that was the perfect excuse not to try.

I have spent the last 6 1/2 weeks hemming and hawing about whether or not I was going to register for this race. Why? Because I was coming off of an injury?

No. The truth is I hadn’t committed because the dumb bitch in my brain still has some sway when she whispers “you can’t do it.”

Screw her.

One of the best things about running longish distances is the time you get to spend alone with yourself. It seriously clears out the cobwebs. It is for sure cheaper than therapy. Today, I decided it was time to work through why I wouldn’t sign up for the Savannah Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon.

1. I couldn’t finish due to my jacked up training schedule. Truth – I could walk the damn thing and still finish under the 7 hour course time limit. That is a 16 minute/mile pace. I currently average about 9. I can finish.

2. Well, I CAN finish, but my time would be embarrassing. Truth – ego is a dream killer. Embarrassing? To who? People who will ridicule me for not finishing 26.2 miles(!) in a time they deem appropriate? Why on earth would I even care about those people? Nope, I mean embarrassing to me. And that my friends, is just stupid.

3. I will seriously re-injure myself and I won’t be able to run in Savannah’s first Ultra Marathon, the Rails to Trails 50k. The truth is, I could do that anyway. My last injury happened on a training run. I have a sweet friend who is recovering from an injury that happened via car wreck caused by a texting driver. Anything can happen. People have been telling me for 14 months that I am on the verge of killing my knees, hips, back, ankles, feet, baby unicorn – whatever. And the truth is my body will not be able to do these things forever. But it can do them now. It can do it on November 3rd.

So, I ran up the drive, fired up the computer, and I registered. For 2 seconds I considered the half (which, by the way, is an amazing respectable feat for all those brave enough to try it).

Then I remembered that I wrote this. And I sure as hell don’t want to write it again…

Diet ~ Reclaiming (or Deep-sixing) the word

If you have not read this, (I will tell you…but we have to talk about this first) please do that first. Seriously. Thanks 🙂

Yeah, that will be at the beginning of all these posts. I am kinda serious about it. I realize I can be kinda snarky, this topic is kinda sensitive, and we all beat ourselves up enough. It is important to me that you know that is NOT happening here.

Definition of DIET

  • food and drink regularly provided or consumed
  • habitual nourishment
  • the kind and amount of food prescribed for a person or animal for a special reason
  • a regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one’s weight 
  • something provided or experienced repeatedly

Origin of DIET

Middle English diete, from Anglo-French, from Latin diaeta, from Greek diaita, literally, manner of living, from diaitasthai to lead one’s life

The above edits and emphasis to the definition are mine. And while I do not purport to have the authority to just change the English language, I do think that taking into consideration the origin of the word justifies a reclaiming of the idea.

The word diet is not bad or good. It is amoral. It is just a word. Unless it pisses you off. Then it has to be dealt with.

It pissed me off and and so I am dealing with it.

Lesson – you gotta be ready for you. There is no outside force that will do this for you. There is no knowledge, no article, no lesson learned, nothing cerebral that will make this happen. If you have a habit you want to change, you have to want to change it.

Lesson – Just saying you “really need to do” something. Doesn’t mean you really need to. It means you really want to need to. I wanted to need. When I actually needed, I did. It is all about choices.

The truth is, I wanted things to work the way I wanted them to work. I wanted to do what I wanted to do AND get the results I wanted to get. I wanted to feel strong, look strong and be strong while eating all the things I used to eat. Essentially, I wanted to be a ferrari that ran at an optimal level off of whipped cream…is that really to much to ask?

Truth:

 

Notice the word “diet” needed the descriptive “bad.” And there is no time qualifier. “Diet” is not a program – it is a lifestyle. Diet is not a rigid set of unbreakable pass or fails. It is an evolving, daily practice of choices. These choices are not independent of each other. They are big picture choices, “if/then” choices. And they are widely personal. What works for one may not work for another. Food may not be an issue for you. This may be easier or harder. For me, it was, and continues to be, an amazing battle of the wills.

I LOVE FOOD. It was one of the biggest jokes when the Husband and I were dating. He couldn’t figure out where it all went! I am an amazing cook. I appreciate great meals. I eat for pleasure and not purpose. If I am hungry and the food is not great, I won’t eat. If it is wonderful, I will eat…and eat…and eat.

Simply put, I quit smoking before I changed my diet because it was easier.

I needed a full reset. Not a permanent change (I had tried Atkins years ago, and while it worked, it was not sustainable), but a serious “control-alt-delete” reset. I looked into a few things. I knew what I didn’t want

  • fad diets that require long term usage to maintain
  • shakes, powders, pills
  • artificial
  • expensive

I opted for The Daniel Fast. It is 21 days of over achieving veganism with some spiritual help. Why it appealed to me

  • I can do nearly anything for 21 days
  • it did not require me to buy anything but food
  • it was completely natural
  • it is super easy to follow

In a nutshell

DON’T

  • consume anything with or from a face (meat, cheese, seafood, dairy, butter – nada)
  • consume anything processed
  • no sweetners (no sugar, no honey, nada)
  • drink anything but water (no coffee, no tea, no booze, nada – water!)

DO

  • drink LOTS of water
  • eat anything from the ground (beans, nuts, whole grains, fruits, veggies)
  • start on a slow day – you may feel a bit tired/cranky the first day or so. Lots of water helps

Side note – I tried to limit grains, beans, etc. to breakfast and lunch. Almost full veggie dinners. Some folks have done this and go heavier on the the starches and grains. Their weight loss isn’t as great. I was really heavy produce (high bulk/low calorie). And I exercised throughout – the energy level bounces back quick.

AFTER

  • Be super careful what you reintroduce and how. I had a steak on day 22. I was sick for four days after.
  • Be mindful what what you reintroduce and why. I had successfully cut out processed, artificial foods with ingredients I couldn’t pronounce. Could not think of one good reason to go back to that. Except for Jalapeno Cheetos…I miss those things…
  • Figure out what works and keep it simple. I basically figure if it comes out of the dirt or the ocean, it is fair game. Everything else has to be considered on the “if/then” scale.
  • Pay attention to your body during and after. I have found that my skin is one of the first things to gauge the quality of my choices.
  • Be kind to yourself. You are doing this to be a healthier you. Guilt, stress, self-beratement does not equal good health

Me now

  • I almost never eat red meat. It makes me feel physically bad. Occasionally I will. So far in the last 7 months I think I have had red meat 3 times.
  • I LOVE pork. Bacon is the main reason I reject vegetarianism. I limit my pork to very rarely. Maybe once a month. It is a treat – not a staple.
  • I have eliminated most dairy for the same reason as red meat. I can tell a difference when I eat too much of it. I use an almond creamer for my coffee as that is the only major adjustment that I needed to make for daily use. I still love cheese on my sandwich – but it too is a treat.
  • I eat some fowl. Not often. Once or twice a week.
  • I love whole grains, beans, legumes, etc. This has replaced the meat products and provides the calorie count I need for long run days. I tend to stay away from them late in the evening, but they make a great breakfast!
  • I love my juicer. I use it for those veggies I probably would normally eat. I hardly ever put fruit in it as I would just assume eat that. I have found that I can throw nearly anything into it. As long as I top it off with apples, it tastes good.
  • I won’t eat out just anywhere. And I won’t eat just anything. And I am not tacky about either. Staying focused AND positive are important.

In all this, please remember, I am not stuck up about any of it. I treat myself to frozen yogurt. I have had a burger with cheese off the grill. But I did opt to NOT have cake on my birthday. I have indulged and I enjoy it. But it has its limits and consequences. I don’t do it like everyone else and I don’t expect folks to do it like me. But I am appreciative of what I have learned, and continue to learn from others. And I hope I have been helpful here.

Enjoy your lunch!

 

…But I am not stuck up about it

If you have not read this, (I will tell you…but we have to talk about this first) please do that first. Seriously. Thanks 🙂

Yeah, that will be at the beginning of all these posts. I am kinda serious about it. I realize I can be kinda snarky, this topic is kinda sensitive, and we all beat ourselves up enough. It is important to me that you know that is NOT happening here.

If you missed my First Steps
…or Some Excuses

This is not supposed to be the next step…this revelation actually didn’t hit me until my Daniel Fast. But, with it being the Nation’s Birthday tomorrow, I figured we should talk about cake.

This is a beautiful, nearly ready to give birth, 210 pound April Groves. And 210 may not be so bad…except I started at 130. 80 pounds ladies and gentleman (look at that neck!)  And while my Savannah was a respectable 8lbs 15ozs, that is still little better than 10% of my total weight gained.

Since I was in the Navy, I had to go back to work 6 weeks after her birth. While you can wear your maternity uniform for a while after that, who in world does that? In my 11 years in the Navy, I NEVER saw one woman come back from maternity leave in their maternity uniform. We maybe should have, but we did not.

The Cliff Note’s version is I got down to 160 before I had to go back to work. Yeah, that uniform was a sight. I had a job conducive to regular and extended gym time and a great workout buddy (not as great as you, Mel!) Next thing you know, my post pregnancy body was doing some crazy stuff. So I egged it on. Atkins was king and the gym was my friend. I got down to a lean 120 pounds with muscles to boot.

I learned a lot on that journey. I learned that ~

  • water was the absolute best thing I could put in my body – ever.
  • Weight training is the key to all shape issues.
  • Weights can be heavy, and that is good.
  • Food matters.
  • You can get your body back.

But, what I didn’t learn was the importance of sustainable change. My health and wellness was not in a GNC store or a diet book or a fitness magazine. I thought that it was and I loved them all. But, as we all know, over the course of the years to come, I would put back on 40 of those pounds – and I ain’t knocked up.

I say ALL of that for a few reasons

  • If you have taken off and put on, you are not alone
  • If you have started, quit, started again, you are not alone
  • If you have tried stuff that worked and then didn’t, you are not alone
  • If you have huge goals to make, you are not alone

Basically, you are not alone.

I chose to do a hard reset with my eating at the beginning of the year. I will get into the hows and the whys later, but for now I will just say that the Daniel Fast was one of the best choices I ever made. I read most of the book. In it was my “Damn it!” moment. Face palm included.

Susan Gregory said something that should be obvious. Obviously, it wasn’t. She discussed a situation that occurred during one of her fast times. Her daughter in law had prepared a special meal. In that meal were foods not appropriate for the fast. Do you know what Susan did? She enjoyed the meal with her family.

She cheated. She gave her self some breathing room. She enjoyed her life. She practiced moderation. She was not stuck up about it!

And that’s what I had been. Totally stuck up. Either all or nothing. Militant or complacent. That isn’t a lifestyle – it is a life sentence. And that mentality only leaves you looking for parole!

I came to understand that there are times when strict discipline is necessary, especially during the beginning stages of a particularly difficult habit change. But, while many of us believe that grace and forgiveness are wonderful gifts to give to others, we rarely find it appropriate to gift it to ourselves.

Now, I gauge myself.

  • Have I been allowing too much “moderation?” It is easy to tell – I feel bad. I call them food hangovers or endorphin withdraws.
  • Am I about to partake in something for which I know I have very little control? I try very hard not to eat donuts. I love them. I will eat the whole box. Moderation be damned. Yeah, I need a 12 step. I probably won’t eat even one because I just can’t.
  • Am I going to enjoy this or feel guilty about it? If it is just going to make you sad, leave it alone.

So tomorrow I will probably not have any cake (it is kinda like the donut thing). But I will most likely eat a burger. I may even put cheese on it! Of course, I will probably log some miles before the festivities too.

Because it isn’t about quick fixes – it is about living my best life.

Enjoy the holiday!

 

 

A few more excuses…

If you have not read this, (I will tell you…but we have to talk about this first) please do that first. Seriously. Thanks 🙂

Yeah, that will be at the beginning of all these posts. I am kinda serious about it. I realize I can be kinda snarky, this topic is kinda sensitive, and we all beat ourselves up enough. It is important to me that you know that is NOT happening here.

If you missed my First Steps

Just a few more things to get in place, then I will be ready. Tomorrow, Monday, the beginning of the month, the beginning of the quarter, after this season, at the New Year…whatever. If you are anything like me. That time will just keep pushing itself backwards to a new milestone. I have heard of this phenomenon somewhere. I think it has a name…oh yeah, procrastination. (Don’t you like how I pretend I don’t know this cat amazingly well?)

First, I am not a fan of the word “excuse.” I think, by definition, it conveys the appropriate idea. By connotation, it sucks. When we say “excuse”, we assume lazy, non committed, unable, failure, lack of discipline, untruthfulness, and general full of shitness.

We are not any of those things. I am not any of those things.

What I am is a married mother of four children with a demanding profession. I am active with my family, friends, parish, and community. What I am is what you probably are – challenged to do one more thing in your non-forgiving 24 hour day.

I prefer “challenges” to “excuses”. And if you are one who thinks that is little more than a cop-out or feel good semantics, just keep going with what ever works for you. But most people I know already have more than enough self hate speech going on in their heads. If that kind of motivation works for you, go with it. Seriously, I am for whatever helps you achieve your goals. But for me, it is paralyzing and defeating. Then, not only do I have real challenges to contend with, but I have to move past the mental sewage that just stink piled in my brain. No thanks.

Second, I found no point in morally sorting my challenges. Do I lack time because I watch too much TV or because I have four kids that need homework help? Do I eat fast food because it was the only option or because I just really wanted that cheeseburger? Did I make this choice because I am a good, upright super citizen of the world, or a big, fat piece of crap? See, how it doesn’t matter? Just more brain sewage.

But, I DO have challenges. The most pressing one is time. And there are a ton of reasons this is a challenge. Some could be classified as legitimate and some not. Not the point. The point was not beating myself up over choices I had made with my past time, but making this new thing a priority…making new choices in spite of, and without carrying the baggage of, the previous choices.

I am always thinking about how to answer your question. “April, how did you do it?”

The answer is I haven’t done it. I am doing it. And it is a process of waking up every morning, identifying the specific challenges to my priorities for this specific day and making it my mission in the next 24 hours to successfully navigate those challenges. Not yesterday’s challenges. Not maybe unforeseen challenges of tomorrow. Not cranked up brain sewage shitness. But honest to goodness logistics of Friday, June 29, 2012 “To Do” list.

There is no better day 🙂

Gearing Up and Walking the Dog

If you have not read this, (I will tell you…but we have to talk about this first) please do that first. Seriously. Thanks 🙂

It is true that I should have been writing about this all along. When Lisa says it, it is almost always true. But I didn’t. And I know why.

I didn’t know how it would turn out. Truth be told, I still don’t. Who in the world wants to embark on a journey of such a personal nature in a public way without knowing the end? Well, I don’t know who would, but I can tell you who wouldn’t. This girl.

Fear is a funky thing. And we will talk about that maybe. Not now I don’t think. I don’t really feel like giving it any play right now. But, just know, if you are fearful, frustrated, failed before – you are not alone.

In 2010, I looked like this ~ and that ain’t so bad. 30 something Momma of four. Busy woman, limited schedule. A little extra weight, a little soft. But my clothes fit poorly. My energy was down. My blood pressure was up. And Karen Handel still looks great.

However, in the middle of the summer (swimsuit season!!) this happened. And you can read all about that “AH Shit” moment here.

And I was over it. Sort of…this picture was taken in May…it will take me THREE more months before I actually DO anything.

Battling self-esteem issues, depression, stress, and general mental and physical pissed offedness (<< should SO be a real term), I needed to get to where I loved to be – outside. But the phone and the kids and the chores and the world follow you outside. The dog needs a walk…so that’s what I did…

On August 12, 2011 at 6:41 a.m., I laced up my shoes, leashed up my dog, turned on my Nike+ app and walked. Ka’nani and I covered 6 miles in an hour and a half. It was amazing. So I walked some more. (I switched trackers a few times…I don’t use Nike+ anymore. I am on Endomondo and you can friend me here.)

And I just walked…nothing too serious. And don’t let the high mileage fool you. I was poking along pretty good. There were walks where I averaged more than 17 minutes a mile. Towards the end of the month I had picked up some speed and started jogging. But that was only because my body said it was time and it was okay. Even then, I never broke the 11 minute mark. That 8 mile stint that you see on the 24th took me nearly 2 hours. And what a mind clearing two hours it was!

By the end of the month, these were the numbers I had accumulated. But let me tell you a few things about them.

I had lost NO weight. None. Nada. Read that again…the scale DID NOT move.

And that pissed me off a bit. And I had to do some soul-searching about that for a minute. Because while the scale reflected nothing, my personal well-being was starting to reflect a lot.

I felt stronger. I felt stronger. Yep, I typed that twice. Why? Because that one change changed everything. It wasn’t about being skinny or fast ~ it was about being better today than I was yesterday. It was about mental fortitude and physical ability. I didn’t have to compete against anything but my own challenges. And I was winning!

And I was just walking the dog…

Ka’nani August 12, 2011

I will tell you…but we have to talk about this first

So a really cool thing happened on my Facebook page a few days ago. I posted this

After 5 pregnancies, 4 deliveries, nearly 36 birthdays, I NEVER thought I would look this way again. Stronger than I have been since I was in my early 20’s and my washboard is back (although with some new tiger stripes). Melissa, Tanisha, Marc, Victoria, Dan, Shannon, Tony & Allison, Lisa, Sabine ~ and a host of others I can’t tag because of facebook’s stupid tag limit ~ Thanks…the hard work, attention to food and body, focus and spirit connection, is not only paying off now, but is proving to be a shift in lifestyle and not another tangle with fad diets and sporadic exercise activity. I really appreciate y’all. My future grandchildren thank you as well!!

And my friends showed out to the tune of 117 notifications!

**Are most of the comments made by folks that liked thus not actually resulting in 117 individual people? Yes. Did that change the number of notifications that came through and actual instances of encouraging moments to me? Not on your life.

Almost immediately my friends came to my side, encouraging and congratulating. The amount of happy conveyed was immeasurable. I hoped one day to return the favor. I quickly discovered how.

There are a bunch of folks out there just like me who want to make different choices. They want the results I am getting. They want me to tell my story. And I will. In a minute. This conversation has to happen first.

I hit a ton of roadblocks in my journey. I am still hitting them. I do not do everything “right”. Quite frankly, I don’t even know what that means. In all honesty, if I did, I probably still wouldn’t do it.

While researching, talking, and listening, I encountered quite a few folks who obviously did know “right.” And if it didn’t feel right to me, conflicted with a different piece of research I found, or just didn’t factor high onto my personal priority list, well, I was obviously the uneducated dolt who just didn’t care enough about my well being to hear what they had to say.

I can’t function that way. Good on folks who can. That ain’t me.

I am going to go back to last year and tell you my story thus far. Please know that I made no decisions haphazardly and my choices may or may not fit for you. That’s okay. We are all different. We all have different perspectives, resources, priorities, desires, and lives.

Here is what I can tell you.

  1. We aren’t talking real estate, so I am not trying to sell you anything 😉
  2. Every word of that Facebook post is true.
  3. I am happier than I have been in years.
  4. Your choices are not my choices and vice versa. So there is no judgement here. You do you, I do me, and maybe we can help support and encourage each other in the process.
  5. I am not a professional dietitian, nutritionist, sport medicine, whatever ~ I know some, but I ain’t one. All the information I give you will be solely anecdotal with references that stand on their own.
  6. Thanks for everything. I can use all the help I can get.
  7. In appreciation for that help, I offer all the help that I can.

So, that being said, I will post about my health choices. But you have to know, you are probably already mostly awesome 🙂 Your path may have different things in store for you. I can’t wait to hear what they are!

Little Bit of Accountability and Hopefully Some Fitness Fun

I love new stuff…and the 1st of the month is like getting new stuff. Kinda gives you some mental permission for a mulligan. At the very least, I can feel justified taking a deep breath, pulling in all the new and breathing out all the past (with a little does of kiss my ass for good measure).

March was BANANAS! April was a bit wild. May will probably be the same. But today, she isn’t. She is a calm and good girl with tons of potential and so I will treat her that way. My calendar is up to date, my to do list is sparkling clean, my goals are set.

While all of this is good, i am going to shock some you (ok, none of you) when I reiterate that I am, in fact, a pretty social creature. While it is true that, as I get older, I find more value in my time alone, I am still, by my hard wiring, and extrovert. I like to do stuff with people. These kinds of things are no different.

I started running walking in August. It was good. It became great when I picked up the pace and met folks like Marc, Dan, and Victoria and discovered the #runsav hashtag on twitter (which is a bit dead right now until RnR training kicks in). It was fun and social (and it made my butt look fantastic!) I have run a half marathon since and have plans for a full in November.

I started eating better. Motivating messages and tips came from folks I know on facebook and twitter. It was easier to do when you knew there were other folks out there doing it to.

I got a workout buddy…life changed. (that’s her at the beginning :))

Now it is May…and what is more fun than winning? I don’t know (there goes my Type A). So we are going to try to put my competitive, love to win, ain’t gonna punk out in front of you, not afraid to die on a treadmill tendencies to good use.

It is May 1st. The brand new start of a Health Month. And I joined a team (courtesy of the wonderful Lyman Reed) of Fitocracy users. So now there are 2 point keeping systems tracking my progress and showing me that progress in light of other people while promoting an amazing atmosphere or grace and support.

Oh yeah, this is Momma’s game 🙂

So, I have seven rules for May

  1. Exercise for at least 60 minutes at least 5 times a week
  2. List things that I am grateful for at least 2 times a week
  3. Drink at least 42 glasses of water a week
  4. No fried foods
  5. No red meat or pork
  6. No soda or energy drinks
  7. Limit dairy to 2 times a week

There are a whole bunch of other rules you can adjust for your own situation. And you only have to have 3 to play.

So this could be fun. I am looking forward to it. I invite you to join me. Text me if you feel like it. If you are a group kinda person, we could all use a little more support 🙂

Super Pissed at Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Savannah 2011

Ok, so maybe I am not pissed at them…maybe I am super pissed at me.

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in Savannah was this past weekend. However, it has been sold out since August. I didn’t even run my first under 10 minute mile until mid September. It wasn’t on my radar.

Ok, so maybe it was on my radar. I get lofty like that. I had a bunch of friends that were running it. Some were doing the full and lots were doing the half. I can do a half. 13.1? Sure, why not? I had already scored a 10 mile run (it was slow, but I finished). Yeah, too bad it’s sold out. Because I could so do that. Yeah.

Then came the day I logged an 11 mile run at a 9:43/mile average. That was cool. Then came the tweet from Bigbie (one of the best running buddies. Ever.) saying there were some spots that had opened up. As in not sold out. As in Cinderella can go to the ball. As in me. As in 13.1. In front of people…really, behind people.

Yeah, no. Quick brush off about registration fee and work and volunteerism…blah, blah, blah. End of subject.

I mean really, those things are a big deal. And who wants to run a race they have never even seen before, right? And really, isn’t it more responsible to not hurry these kinds of things and just make sure you are super prepared? Right?

Whatever. I chickened. Worse – I self sabotaged. I worked so hard to convince myself that this was a great decision that I had almost convinced myself I wasn’t really a runner. My run log last week was seriously lacking. Why? Because maybe I would never be prepared and maybe I started too late and maybe there are all those folks out there who really are runners and won’t that be embarrassing…

Now it was Saturday afternoon…Sunday…reports, stories, pictures are coming in. It was great, it was fun, it was wonderful. And none of them got handcuffed by the imposter police because they didn’t score a 6 minute pace.

And I missed it. Worse than missing it. I chose not to do it. I allowed my brain to jack up yet another wondrous capability that is mine.

So this morning I said screw it. I laced up my shoes and went for a run. Some where around mile 2 I felt better. Somewhere around mile 5 I thought about when I would turn around. Right around mile 6 I realized – I am going to run 13.1 todaybecause I can!

And that is exactly what I did. In under two hours.

I didn’t get a medal or a picture to post on facebook. But I did get a front row seat at life lesson reminder number…well, it’s a big one.

Forget fear. Forget brain jacks. Forget made up lies about inability and substandard fortitude.

Guess who will be there November 3, 2012 ready to eat 26.2 for breakfast. Until then, I have some new words to remember.

“Do it for fun…even if it is Monday.”

New Year’s is Overrated!

<<<This is what I woke up to this morning. But I am not an idiot. I knew this was happening. I have ignored it for quite sometime. But during my morning meditation (which is really prayer time, but I understand this practice is different for everyone), I knew that I had to confront it. And everything that went with it. And I knew I had to pull back the curtains as well.

Curtain pulling is important. I have been watching the confessions on Scary Mommy and it is easy to see the biggest problems are not the actual things confessed, but the feeling of isolation and aloneness. So many folks feel like their demons are special only to them and they are a failure in some way. The truth is, we all have them. Fear prevents us from naming them, refusing to name hinders support, lack of support hinders the battle, lack luster battle hinders victory. To me this says that we have to take out fear first. I am not afraid.

I am particular about my physical appearance. I make no excuses or apologies for that. I accept no judgement for it either. It is the way I am wired and I appreciate the barometer that it provides for other aspects of my life (we will get to that in a moment). Therefore, as it is beneficial to me and it is not a quality I require in others, I own it and value it.

I have gained 15 pounds in 6 months. For my height, this puts me on the outer limits of “normal” on the BMI scale. Not that I have ever put a whole lot of stock in “normal” but in this instance, the value refers to scientific guidelines on “healthy.” In that regards, “normal” is pretty important.

Understand, I am not a person that believes there is a certain dream weight or size that we should all strive to attain. There isn’t. I have been a gym rat size 2 in my late 20’s. The husband didn’t like it and good thing – the regime was so strict, I would have never been able to maintain it. Interestingly enough, I have come to the conclusion that if it is that hard, maybe it’s not my right fit. Don’t get me wrong – I appreciate hard work and dedication to the science of healthy – it just shouldn’t be a near impossible feat.

I am a person that believes that most things are consequences and symptoms – not necessarily the main issue. My weight gain is not the issue – it is the barometer speaking to the issues.

Since my bout with postpartum depression after the birth of my second child, mania and manic have been my demons to contend with. I am fortunate. They have been named, there is support and the battles – so far – have always resulted in my victory.

Since forever I have feared failure. In my family, in my social circles, in my professional life – this fear can be paralyzing. But it is named, there is support, and there is victory.

There are obviously other nuances in my self talk that create issues, but I think you get the point. I do not find glory in brokenness. There are no kudos for having the most demons. I do not believe that one person’s accomplishments are more heroic simply because the adversity was more great. I do not believe that a person must be in a gutter for us to appreciate their ability to climb to the apex. So I will not wallow – I will simply provide example so that you will be assured – you are not alone.

While I am fortunate to have victories, many demons take many victories to be completely conquered. And those battles can be exhausting. It is easy for one to become lazy and complacent. It is easy for one to justify lazy and complacent in the light of “don’t I deserve a break?” Of course I deserve a break…but breaks are uplifting and supportive. Lazy and complacent is sabotaging and enslaving. Obviously not the same thing. I have obviously allowed myself to slip into the latter.

Forget New Years…time to engage in this battle today…