Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Cheating on my blog...shame, shame, shame

I'm 2 weeks into my forced sabbatical from running. It is almost physically painful for me not to run in this beautiful weather. Walking just isn't doing it for me. I feel like I'm in running withdrawal. I've thrown myself into strength training, making myself do that for the same amount of time I used to invest in running. I'm trying to like it, but it's never going to have the same enjoyment factor as running does for me. I'm kind of just getting through it and hoping I have some hard-core guns (or maybe at least like small pistols) to show for it in a few months. Also, strength training kind of muddies the waters of terms of weight loss. I am proud that I'm still losing at all not doing any cardio, but it's not much and I'm not sure how much of that is due to decreased activity and how much is due to increased muscle. Who knows? I guess we'll see when I do my measurements in a few weeks.

Also, I have to confess that I have been cheating on my blog. Yes, there is another blog in my life. And let me tell you, it's hard to keep up with 2 blogs (it's why I've been slightly slack with this one lately)! It's worth every minute though. I applied to be a contributor on another healthy living blog a couple of months ago and was selected. So for the next 5 months, in addition to this blog, I will also be posting on I'mperfect Life. There are 8 of us contributors, and I really like it because we have different ways we lost weight and we are all at different stages of our weight loss. There's someone that everyone can relate to. I'm pretty excited to get to share my story with an even wider audience and connect with even more like-minded people. The whole philosophy at I'mperfect Life is "Real food. Real fitness. Real life." That lines up perfectly with what I have tried to do this entire time. I hope you guys will check out some of my posts there and some of the other posts too!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

There's a dead horse here and I am weirdly insisting on beating it

Who made up that saying about a dead horse anyway? It's really weird if you stop and think about it. Anyway, I know you guys are probably sick of hearing about my sickness (haha), but I promise you're not as sick as I am of having it. I had fully planned on writing about something else, but then I went back to the doctor this past week. And what happened there was so bad that I had to share. My breathing was terrible when I tried to "run." I use the word "run" here very loosely because it was really more like me starting to run, wheezing like I had just run 100 miles, and then having to walk. Somewhere in the back of my mind I wondered if I was actually harming myself by running as opposed to just making myself uncomfortable, but I quickly shoved that thought away in favor of my favorite form of cardio. I figured I was already resting as much as I was willing to by doing 4 miles instead of my usual 8. I was also really, really tired. Like so tired I needed a nap every day. I felt like I should be better than that after finishing my course of antibiotics and steroids. So back to the doctor I went, though I put it off as long as possible because I was kind of scared of what he would say.

I was right to be scared. My chest x-ray showed that I still had pneumonia. But the worst part, the absolute scariest part, is that I am not supposed to run for AN ENTIRE MONTH. 30 days, no running, no cardio of any kind. I am limited to a mile slow walk per day, and I had to talk the doctor into that because he thought I would overdo it (me, overdo things?!?). He said after a month I could slowly work my way back into running. This completely freaked me out. I've already been pretty limited in my running for the better part of a month while being sick, and now I hear it's going to end up being a total of at least 3 MONTHS by the time I get back to normal? Since I started losing weight I have never gone longer than 2 or 3 days without doing some form of cardio, and 99% of the time I do cardio every single day. Between that and the stupid steroids making me want to eat like a truck driver, I really don't feel in control. Before I always felt like if I had a bad week weight loss-wise, it wasn't a huge deal because I could always just buckle down and work harder. And now I'm limited to buckling down and...slowly walking a mile? I was all pumped up and ready to literally work my ass off now to get to my goal weight too.

Sometimes I wonder if I use my runs at least partially as a way to literally run away from who I used to be. Honestly, I'm not sure if that's healthy or not. I just don't know. What I do know is that when I wake up at 4:30 and get out there and run mile after mile, it's like an affirmation that I am no longer that sad, unhealthy girl who wanted to sleep as much as possible because life was just too hard to be awake for. I think that's why I find it so hard to rest, because it brings back some of those feelings even now, years later.

So I spent a couple days feeling sorry for myself. I gave myself permission to do that because there was no use pretending this wasn't a pretty big blow. And then I happened to read a quote that was exactly what I needed to hear, when I needed to hear it, as has happened so many times before to me (really, it's kind of eerie).

How fortunate are those among us who have the ability to turn things around - to transform liabilities into assets. Life deals them lemons: they make lemonade, lemon pie, candied lemon peel. They seem to be able to assess the needs of the moment accurately and turn them to advantage.

I am determined to be one of those people. No, I have no control over my running right now, but I do have control over how I respond to this situation. I can do my 1 mile of walking. I can focus on strength training, which I always seem to place on the back burner. I can do yoga, which I have thought would be good for me many times, but never seemed to find the time for. I can get the rest my body needs right now, even if it makes me feel lazy. I can make sure I stay on track with my nutrition and not use this set-back as an excuse for emotional eating. This is probably going to sound like it belongs as a monologue in an inspirational sports movie or something (probably because I have an inexplicable fascination with that genre of movie), but I really do believe it is when things are not going perfectly that you show what you are truly made of. Anyone can maintain a positive attitude when things are going their way, but it's much harder to keep that positive attitude when things start to fall apart. I'm trying to rise above my present circumstances. 

Okay, enough of the sappy, motivational crap. I know a person can only stand so much of it before they want to hurl. So yeah, I hope you see why I had to address this topic yet again in my blog. I just couldn't bring myself to write about some random topic and then at the end be like, "Oh by the way, I can't do any form of aerobic exercise for a month. Not that that's a big deal to me or anything. Not like it didn't almost literally cut my heart out hearing that news." This next month should be, if nothing else, at least very interesting. Really, if for no other reason than me looking hilarious trying to attempt yoga poses. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Seriously, nurses really do make the worst patients

I am terrible at being sick. Ask anyone who knows me. Not only do I stubbornly refuse to do things that would be in my own best interest, but I am also (I'm sorry for the language, but there's really no other way to phrase this) a stone cold bitch when I am sick. It's terrible because I know that I shouldn't expose my bitchiness to others and I would honestly just prefer being left alone with no one but my cats to verbally abuse, but when you have asthma issues like I do and also have pneumonia, being alone is not a smart option. Even I will admit to that much.

It's weird because I would never tell any patient of mine to do the things I do when I'm sick, but I somehow rationalize it to myself. Like telling myself that one day off work is sufficient for pneumonia and an asthma exacerbation. Or that I don't need to use my nebulizer every 4 hours because it makes me feel like I'm about to jump out of my skin. Or the biggest one of all: that I can still work out when I'm wheezing like someone's chain-smoking uncle. Not smart. Really not smart. I tried to work out on Thursday, just 2 days after I went to the doctor. That ended quite badly. I did indeed demonstrate some modicum of good sense and stuck to walking and the elliptical after that disaster, until today. Then I decided I needed to get back to running 8 miles right this second. Yes, it would have been much wiser to slowly build back up to 8 miles. But I think the combination of not really working out at all (or at least not anywhere even close to what I normally do) and feeling like I've eaten way too much because of the steroids (even though looking back at my food log, I've actually done pretty well) caused me to panic a little bit. About my weight obviously (although weirdly enough I actually lost a little weight this body continues to remain a mystery to me), but also just how it felt to sit on the couch a lot and rest. Rationally, I know this does not mean I am doomed to slip back into my old ways. But emotionally, it's a whole different story. How I "lived" before is so frightening and just downright unacceptable to me now that I completely flip out over anything that reminds me of that life or anything I think would lead me down that road again. It makes me act a little cray-cray (yes, I did say cray-cray) sometimes.

Running 8 miles this morning was stupid. Not only was it pretty much the crappiest and slowest run ever, but my lungs have been paying for it all day. I lost my perspective somewhat. I guess I still have a bit of that "all or nothing" mentality, but at least I'm calling myself out on it. Running 2 or 3 miles instead of 8 for a little while is not going to kill me, or even start me back on a bad path. Likewise, resting more than normal does not mean that I am a lazy couch potato. I am definitely on the mend (thank goodness!), but I have got to give my body a chance to get back to normal. And I have got to learn to give myself a break! Sometimes it's not all about pushing beyond your limits. Sometimes it's just about knowing and respecting your limits.