No one here except me.

I started this particular blog to document a journey to healthier living.  A training plan to a 1/2 marathon.  I started this blog because I wanted it to be a different focus than my other blog – which is me rambling about my life in St. Louis. Also, I don’t publicize this blog site to any friends or family. And I needed an anonymous space.  I could get an old fashioned pen and paper journal, but it’s 2012.  And also, perhaps there’s someone I can help with a story, or more likely, someone who can help me with mine.

I had such good intentions but there was really something holding me back.  I wan’t motivated and I wasn’t losing any weight.  And if I’m very honest, which I’d like to be, I was overeating.  A lot.  And intentionally.

A  year ago the man I was dating called to attention that I had gained a considerable amount of weight.  It was a fact and I make it a rule not to be insulted by facts.  He did not bring this to my attention to let me know he was concerned about my health.  He told me I embarrassed him.  His exact words were, “Everyday I have to reconcile the fact that my girlfriend weights more than me.”  Yikes.  Ouch.  Pow.  He and I broke up a couple months later.  But a few months after that we got back together.  He called and said he was ready to be there for me in a way he hadn’t in the past.  I had always appreciated who he was and missed him so we tried again.  And the elephant in the room that no one talked about was how much I weighed. I hadn’t lost any of the weight.  I knew how he felt and that hadn’t changed.  I knew he didn’t want to see me naked that way and I was so self conscious that I didn’t want him to see me that way.  This put a damper on our sex life, which is a bummer because I’m a big fan of having sex.  I wondered what he thought if I ate a cookie or talked about going out to dinner.

But I stayed chubby.  I was binge eating.  Never around him.  But I would stop at McDonald’s after leaving his house in the morning and get an Egg McMuffin and a McGriddle meals.  I would eat donuts.  I would order pizza form Domino’s and eat all of it plus some of those new parmesan bites (which are so warm and cheesy and comforting).  And I would hate myself.  It didn’t even feel good doing it.  Did I want to spite him?  Show him that I can look however I want, it doesn’t define me.

I finally could vocalize what the primary cause was just a couple of days ago.  I needed to overeat to stay sad.  Because I needed to be sad to be with him.  I feel diminished and unappreciated around him.  I feel it’s not okay to let my light shine with his negative view of the world overshadowing everything.  He has an overly defensive personality, so any suggestion on how to improve our relationship was met with choruses of, “I’m not doing anything wrong,” which left only the option that I was.  You can imagine how this then discouraged me from sharing things with him.  But then he would get frustrated that I didn’t tell him what I was feeling or thinking.

Through a good therapist I finally got a hold on the binge eating.  I signed up for a 1/2 marathon training team with a higher purpose – the Team in Training raising funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  And I was making healthier choices.  And my body is changing.  And weight is coming off.  And I feel better.  And then I asked the boyfriend if he could stop making dinner while he was on the phone with me as I was driving to the airport after a grad school weekend because he seemed distracted and what I was saying was important to me and I wanted his full attention.  And this led to World War III.

In my head the logical solution is to not fight over silly stuff like this.  Had I been asked this, I would have put the fucking knife down and turned my attention to my boyfriend.  Boyfriend gets snippy and petty and says things like, “I guess I shouldn’t drive and talk to you either because that’s doing two things at once.”  And on, and on.  I wanted his attention.  I wanted him to be part of a conversation with me and it turns into how I have unrealistic expectations.  And on, and on.  And I think we put that fight to bed Monday night.  To make amends I got to his house Tuesday night.  I make dinner.  I bring interesting beer.  He seems fine.  He tells me we’ll be okay.

But something seems funny.  I don’t believe it’s just women who have intuition, but something was different.  And after he went to sleep I did something I’m not proud of, but I admit it.  I looked at his text messages.  And there it is.  He dated a woman for a month or so while we were broken up last year.  He told me he ended it with her because he realized he still had feelings for me and for the first time ever he had casual sex and he didn’t want that.  I knew that she texted him every now and then making sure he was still not interested and he never responded to her.  I told him I would have difficulty with him being friends with a person who still clearly had feelings for him.

He initiated the text conversation with, “I’ve been thinking about you.”  He started this Sunday just after our argument began.  I say again, I’m not proud of this, but I read the whole conversation.  Some old private jokes, a quick update on school and work, and then a date being made.  Boyfriend was going to leave work on a Wednesday at 4pm to meet her for a drink.  Boyfriend who doesn’t have time for socializing on school nights.  Boyfriend, who I have  standing Wednesday night dinner at his place date with.  Boyfriend made a date.

I woke boyfriend up.  I told him I was leaving.  I did so calmly.  I wasn’t yelling, I wasn’t crying.  I said I got it.  It’s her.  I admitted what I did and said if you want to be with her, go right on ahead.  He tells me he needs a friend.  That she has interesting stories.  (Might I remind you that this argument originated because I wanted him to listen to me more.  This was not helping the case.)  He says I’m over reacting.  Talks about his right to privacy.   It’s one of those fights that goes on and covers everything.  It always comes back to I’m not keeping up my end of bargains by not keeping my house cleaner.  I feel he’s deflecting right and left.  I don’t know that he’s ever offered to leave school early and meet me for a beer anywhere, even though I have often said what a nice night it would be for an outdoor glass of wine, or something.  He claims he would be thinking about the dog being cooped up in the house if he did that.  He told me the conversation I wanted to have the other day while I was on the phone and he wasn’t giving me his undivided attention wasn’t that interesting to him.  I was talking about my classmates and our night out on Saturday.  He wants to (and I’m quoting) only be part of conversations about things he deems interesting.  This other woman works in the ER and that’s more interesting to him.

No one wants him to have friends more than me.  That is a true statement.  But I don’t believe that after 8 months of radio silence, you text a girl with, “I’ve been thinking of you”, disclose that you and your girlfriend have “good days and bad days” and make a date to get a drink as a first step to friendship.

He claims I’m reading into this.  Blames me for being so insecure.

I had to be sad to be with him.

His automatic defense systems make everything my fault.

He doesn’t synthesize discussions for how we can get better as a couple.

He doesn’t own his part of wrongdoings.  He tells me he’s tired of feeling guilty all the time.  I feel this is his way of demonstrating that he just doesn’t want to try hard enough to be with me.

He accused me of not doing enough stuff to try and understand him when we first started dating.  Which means he’s forgotten the time I showed up to his racing series, the vegetarian cookbooks I bought, the biology terms I would look up, the local events I would recommend doing together, the 20 to 1 ratio of nights I spend at his house to nights he spends here…

He is so quick to point out all of my shortcomings, yet seems to have such a limited acceptance of his own.  He tells me all the time how good he is, what a catch he is and how I don’t appreciate him enough.

He made a date with another woman on our standard date night.  When I asked him about that specifically he said I never would have known.  He would have been home at his regular time.

I don’t think great couples keep secrets like that.  I think I’ve done all the work I can do.

It devastates me to think that after this is over, and it will be over, he’ll really believe I’m the crazy one and he didn’t do anything wrong.  That I over reacted.  And he’ll move on, I’m assuming right back to this woman.  She’ll tell him I was controlling and didn’t get him.   He’ll go on not examining what makes him so defensive and how to overcome it.

And I had to keep myself sad to be with him.

 

Random stuff

As I begin this blog, I suppose it’s important to know a few things about me.  Outside of I’m trying to run.  Outside of I have almost 50 lbs to lose.  I should talk about me.

Something about me is that I like the blog Meals and Miles.  Meghann has run the half marathon I want to run and posts often so I always have something to look forward to reading.  Today Meghann posted 11 random questions and I thought it seemed like a nice ramp to getting to know me.

1. If you could live anywhere in the world for just a year – where would you live?

While I originally thought the answer was Paris, I’m rethinking.  Maybe it’s Morocco.  Or Costa Rica.  I want to do something really different if it’s only for a year.  A small place, not very cosmopolitan.  A village really.  But it better be warm and there better be palm trees.

2. What were you like in high school?

I was a total goody goody two shoes.  I didn’t drink, didn’t have sex, barely dated, and didn’t use profanity.  But you know what – I had plenty of fun.  I had great friends and we were always laughing and having a good time.  My mom knew that when I didn’t come home until 2am it was because I was playing Pictionary in a friend’s basement, not out doing something that would lead to trouble.  I was heavily involved in theatre, but more behind the scenes than on stage.  I was president of the Thespians and National Honor Society and co-editor of the newspaper.  I should find a picture…

3. How old were you when you had your first kiss?

I was 16.  I drove a ridiculous pick up truck in high school and I had given a boy I had a mad crush on a ride home and we kissed in the cab of the truck.  It was such a huge pick up truck that we had to really lean into it.  My crush was captain of the football team and 2nd in his class – I refer to him as my All American Crush.  Nothing real ever happened there, but it’s a good first kiss memory.

4. What is your go-to coffee or tea order?

Sugar free vanilla soy latte.

5. How many states have you lived in?

Four.  St. Louis, MO. Chicago & Carbondale, IL. Orlando, FL.  Shreveport, LA.

6. When was the last time you told someone you loved them?

About half an hour ago.  My boyfriend and I were on the phone and told each other about our days.  I think he’s so adorable.  He’s a high school science teacher, but before that he was an actual research scientist and I always think that is so sexy.  All he has to do is say things like “neuro-pathy” and I melt.  He’s so passionate about working with high school students and he’s so smart and I’m so happy he’s mine.

7. What is your favorite color?

I love so many shades of green.  Olive and sage and celery and apple…maybe I just love food…

8. Favorite cartoon character?

Tinkerbell!  She’s spirited and fun and sassy.  Can’t wait to pick up some fun Tinkerbell half marathon merchandise at the princess half in a year!

9. What were you doing a year ago today?

Great question!!  What was I doing?  I was still dating current boyfriend, we had only been together about 7 months at that point.  We spent last Valentine’s Day making souffles for the first time.  This year we made an awesome risotto.  We like the classics.  Boyfriend and I were preparing for our first trip together – which was a big one – Europe!  We didn’t go until mid-March, but we were in full on planning stages.  I was plotting to bring boyfriend’s mom here for his birthday in early March.  I was still working at the casino – the happiest change year over year is that I’m not there any longer!

10. What do you want to be when you grow up?

I’m in the process of getting my Master’s degree and I’m hoping I learn more about what I want to do as I complete the program.  I’m getting a Master’s in Organization Development.  I think a career in Human Resources is in my future, but I also think about a life in higher education.  Dean of Admissions or Director of Career Services are careers I’ve thought about for a long time.

11. Today is going to be a great day because…

I choose to see it that way.  I have a great home, 2 spunky and loving cats, a best friend who also works in the same building I do, a boyfriend who is patient with my crazy ways, the perseverance to go to grad school on top of everything else and I went to Zumba and Chipotle today.

 

There you have it.  More about me.  Sorry about lack of pictures.  I wanted to both complete this and move on to do homework.  Something had to give.

S

Tuesday Tracking

Today’s weight: 191.8

Last week: same

Total weight loss: 3.3

I am not surprised at this.  It was a week full of plans that left little time for exercise or eating properly.  Scheduling my days is clearly such a priority.  Making non negotiable me time is going to have to become a real thing.

Tonight, boyfriend and I are staying in, making butternut squash risotto and spinach salad with pomegranate seeds.  He says he has something special for dessert.  Yum!

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

The case of Road v. Treadmill

I ran a race yesterday.  My second timed 5K since I’ve been dedicated to training.  I did okay.  My last 5K was 34:30.  That was back in December.  Yesterday morning (in 20 degree weather, might I add!) I ran another one.  I was feeling really good prior to the race.  I had some great treadmill runs in, was feeling very confident and capable.  I was proud I was going to run with the weather so chilly, old less dedicated Sarah would not have done that.  I had my sparkly headband on to remind me of why I’m doing all of this – Disney Princess half marathon.  I also had something else with me yesterday morning.  My boyfriend.

Race shirt and rhinestone headband!

My boyfriend is a skilled and knowledgable runner.  He is the cross country and track coach at the school where he teaches.

I have been too intimidated to run with him until yesterday.  I thought it would be a nice morning – a Valentine’s Day themed run where couples were encouraged.  And he could start to see the progress I was making.  But I was stressed about it.  Runners are sexy and boyfriend is no exception.  I’m a recovering chubs who is a total beginner runner.

My running looks like this right now: YMCA, treadmill, 5 minute warm up, run 20 minutes at 6 mph, walk 3 minutes, Tabata drills at 7.5 or 8.0 mph, cool down.  Few stretches.  Done.

Boyfriend’s running is of course, much different.  There is warm up running measured in meters, stretching, drills, and then there’s the run and then there’s the post stretching.

I kind of freaked out.  I am not a confident runner.  I’m scared of looking like the least sexy fool ever in front of the man I want to see me as a sexy, confident person.  I did not feel like if I ran the mile warm up (or approximately 1600 meters) I would be able to finish the race. Which would be humiliating.

Boyfriend can’t understand why I’m freaking about warming up his way.  I can’t understand why he can’t soften his approach and just have fun with me that morning.  All of a sudden, my fun V Day race sucks.

High stress, high anxiety and then frustrated about this situation that both of us seem to be losing led to an only okay race.  I finished in 34:21.  9 seconds faster than my December race.  Boyfriend ended up running ahead of me.  I’m too slow for him.  Sigh.  No holding hands as we crossed the finish line.  Just a total yuck morning.  And I know I’m a part of this – my stubbornness was high to mask my insecurity.  I didn’t mean to diminish his knowledge, I just wasn’t ready for it in that situation.  Yuck, I say again.

So – here’s what I need.  I need to clearly learn a better warm up strategy.  I need to run with him more often and not only in race situations.  I need to trust that he won’t dump me because I’m a lousy runner.  I need to train outside more.

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There are things I want…

On my path of becoming the most fabulous – it’s important to clarify goals.  I have talked about the running goal – I have other wants.

I want to be as quirky and glamorous and beautiful as Debra Messing in Smash…

I want to wear a kind of slutty Halloween costume just once…

I want to fit into my favorite clothes…

I want it to be second nature to get up at 5am if that is the only time I have to work out…

I want to feel beautiful in a ponytail and a sweatshirt…

I want to focus on what’s best for me…

 

 

 

Baby steps.  Tonight, the thing I wanted was a pizza.  But I didn’t do it.  Now, I didn’t do much else to lead to positive change, BUT, I didn’t order the pizza.

 

week one

I am a terrible blogger.  I am trying to be a good employee, grad student, runner and blogger.  I’m getting there.

I did want to post updates!  One week ago I started Weight Watchers and had a good week!  Dinner with a friend Saturday night stretched my points limits as far as they could go, but that’s what they’re for, right!

So, stat updates:

Last week’s weight: 195.1

This week’s weight: 192.3

Weight loss this week: 2.8

Things I love this week that helped with this loss: Trader Joe’s white bean pesto dip, almond-chocolate chip-raisin trail mix for dessert and making homemade pizza instead of giving in to the desire for delivery or even a frozen pizza.  I can control the portion and toppings on a homemade one!

Things not helping this week: a weekend away at grad school, boyfriend stress and closing shifts at work.  Balance.  Must find balance.

Good news? My schedule evens out for the month of February.  I do need to get better at utilizing my down time better.  Relaxing or decompressing is going to become a luxury, not a requirement.

Let the tracking and the running begin

Today…

I joined Weight Watchers Online.  I am tired of being so chubby!  And my regular calorie tracker just wasn’t enough analysis and support.  And Jennifer Hudson is just everywhere!  And she looks good!

And I went for a run.  I knocked 8 seconds off my previous 5K time, which was 34:30.  I had been up to 3 miles prior to the New Year and a harrowing sinus infection.  My next 5K race is February 12 and my plan is to get back in increments.  If I run 3 times a week I just need to add a quarter or half a mile each run until then.  Then I’ll get back into the 5K to 10K bridge program.  Today’s plan was 1.25 miles of running at 5.8 or 6.0 mph and then finish the 3 miles at a walking pace of 4.4.  I felt so good running!  I sailed past 1.25 miles and still felt really good.  I got to 1.5 and felt good.  I made it to 2.0 miles and slowed down to a walk feeling great.  I walked for a few minutes and then wanted to run again.  At that point I realized I could possibly beat my last 5K time, but I had to kick it into high gear the last couple of minutes, revving the treadmill up to 7.0.  I just barely beat the time, but I’m proud to say I did!  I did a few sprints after that, running at 7.5 for 20 seconds and then jumping on the rails for 10 seconds.  Repeat that 4 times.  The goal is to repeat it 8 times.

I don’t think I’ll get to a strength workout in tomorrow.  I need to finish my paper for grad school that is due this weekend.  Plus, I have a 12 hour work day scheduled for tomorrow.  Yikes.

I’m trying to find a widget that will keep track of miles run.  Until that time, I’ll keep posting it.  Tuesdays are weigh in days and I’ll post that too. Becoming the Fairest of Them All means there’s som accountability.  Posting what I weigh is part of it.

Jan 24, 2012 – Starting weight

195.1 lbs

Today’s running totals 4.0 miles total//5K in 34.22

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Two steps back…

I don’t know why I believe I need to go back to the beginning of training when I get knocked back one step.  I’ve been off my running training program for two weeks – one due to holidays and one due to a sinus infection.   I’m eager to get back in the park or to the Y.  But when I get there, I feel like I’ll need to start at Week 1 of my Couch to 5K program.  Why is that?  A couple of weeks ago I ran a 5K in 34:30.  I thought that was a respectable time.  I may need to go back a little to rebuild my endurance, but probably not back to the beginning.

I watched a documentary on marathon runners last night.  The thing I take away from it the most is how they talk about the mental game.  I have no doubt my body can run.  I have a million doubts in my head though.  As cliche as it sounds, I need to learn to eliminate “I can’t” from my vocabulary.  I need to eliminate excuses.

That’s my resolution for this year.  Mind over matter.  Mental game.

Welcoming 2012

I’m out of running commission for a week or so as my body battles a sinus infection.  This may be the first sinus infection I’ve ever had.  A cold, sure.  Flu? I’ve had that.  But this thing where there is so much pressure in my head? This is new.  It hurt to put on make up.  It is impossible to walk from room to room without sitting down and taking a 5 minute rest.  I’m dizzy and tired and blowing my nose constantly, which is gross.

But of course, the running goals are never far away from me.  So if I can’t physically train this week, I will mentally train.  More blogs on running, I subscribed to Runner’s World magazine and I’m still working through my book.

On this first day of 2012 I refuse to make resolutions.  Resolutions seem to be something people make and are all somehow okay with dropping shortly into the new year.  I have a plan.  I have a goal.  I’m going to become a runner.

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Creating more accountability

I come from a large family.  My dad is one of 7, my mom one of 4, 3 out of 4 grandparents are still alive and no one lives more than 20 miles away.  We’re not just close, we’re close, like, geographically unescapable.

I had a cousin, named Rachel, who passed away in 2009.  She was engaged to be married, I had thrown her bridal shower.  She wanted to be an event planner, just as I had wanted to be.  She was also diagnosed with a form of leukemia as an adult.  She died before she got married, before she got to plan an event and before a lifetime of happy and exciting things could happen to her.

I can’t lie, I didn’t pick the Disney Princess half marathon because it benefitted the Leukemia & Lymphoma society.  But now that I know it does, that helps my dedication to the cause.

As I mentioned, I’m reading The Non Runner’s Marathon Guide for Women by Dawn Dais, and she tells the tale of picking a race that benefitted a cause close to her heart.  She wanted to support an organization that was relevant to her grandfather and Ms. Dais says that created more accountability, that she would think of her grandfather who could not be there to run and that helped.

I’m so fortunate to be here and to be healthy and I can’t help but think I’ve wasted days and years becoming unhealthy and unhappy.  So I’ll think of Rachel when I want to stop or when I think I’ll just skip a day or when it’s too hard.

 

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