Blog Archives

Home Again Home Again Jiggity-Jig!

I have to say, writing is like exercise:  the more you stay away from it, the harder it is to pick it up again!  And while I’m on the subject of exercise:

I have been plugging along in the fitness department.  I mentioned in a post (The Dreaded Topic)  I wrote about 2 months ago that I embarked on a fitness regime (alright, this is weird, I just went back to that post… June 5, it is now August 5th!).  So how have the last 2 months been?  Let me refresh your memory of my baseline:  walking upstairs to my bedroom was probably the most I exerted myself prior to taking on this challenge.  I wish I could say I am exaggerating for effect.  So my plan going in, for those that did not read:  do something physical every day.  I picked 20 minutes as my start time.  I guest posted early on over at Running On Sober, so I don’t remember the specifics, but for the first probably 5 or 6 weeks I did exactly that… every single day.  I started on the machine with which I was most comfortable (elliptical machine), but then I decided that going with comfort when it comes to exercise has never served me well, so I started mixing it up.  Here are some examples of the progress made within 2 months:

Elliptical Start time/mileage:  20 minutes, 1.25 miles, about 100 calories, Current:  45 minutes, 4 miles, 450 calories burned

Swimming Start:  6 laps, Current:  25 laps

Stationary Bike:  no stats to report, it hurt my knee, but the fact that I did it at all is something

Local Walking Start:  barely a mile, small loop within my development; Current:  I have built up to a 3.1 mile loop that starts in my development but extends beyond it

And, last but not least, the treadmill (or Dreadmill, as I thought of it)…

Start:  probably struggled to walk a mile around 20 minutes (I did not keep track of those early stats), Currently (as of yesterday):  46 minutes, 3.1 miles, interval walking/running

Now, none of these number are going to be making headlines over at ESPN, but the point is the progress in an incredibly short period of time.   There aren’t any major physical changes, but the mental ones are astounding.  Here’s the biggest example:  about 5 weeks into this commitment, I got an email from my unbelievably fitness-minded sister-in-law.  She knows of my new commitment, and has been encouraging me all she can.  She is the type to run in triathlons, half-marathons, mud runs, and other insane things, so she gets emails about local events regularly.  She forwarded one onto me:  a sober 5k walk/run sponsored by the Caron Foundation, and offered to walk it with me if I was interested.

Now, let’s pause and consider the information I gave you earlier:  2 months ago, ZERO exercise daily, never in my life have I been a sports-oriented person, never competed in anything physical… and now I am actually CONSIDERING this?!?!

Yes, I am.  I wanted to reply no, hit the delete button, and never think about it again, but I couldn’t do it.  So, first, I told my husband, who was encouraging and supportive, as always.  Next, I let my recovery-and-fitness-minded blogging friends know of this recent development, and, predictably, all are strongly encouraging me to do it (Bye Bye Beer has graciously offered to walk it with me, bless her soul!).  Finally, I started seeing if I could physically even do it, and to that end found local 3.1 miles loops, did treadmill workouts, in an attempt to get my time down.  My commitment to myself is this (and yes, I know I will be getting yelled at by my “exercise sponsor,” as I like to think of Christy, for not just signing up):  take the month of August and see what progress I can make in increasing running/decreasing walking for the 3.1 mile sessions.  Since it is only August 5, I’ve got some time, I will check back in on this subject in a few weeks!

Final mental breakthrough, and then I’ll stop rambling.  As it turns out, there was a promenade near the house that I stayed in last week that was flat, paved, and exactly 1.5 miles long  (another sign, in my opinion!), so I did that a few times last week.  Still being new to this whole outdoor running/walking gig, while at the same time being technologically handicapped when it comes to ipods, my playlists are disorganized and often interrupted with tween music.  So as I’m doing the “ralk,” as I call it, on the promenade, a song keeps coming up that was popular a year or two ago with the Disney crowd, It’s called “Who Says” by Selena Gomez.  I remember when my daughter listened to it a lot, and I remember thinking it a cute song, but that’s about it.  Now, as I’m regularly exercising, the music is an integral part in the process, and I am listening intently to the songs.  And this one is haunting me, although I don’t know why.  So I’m actually running as I think to myself, “pay closer attention and figure out why this song is bothering you.”  And the chorus comes on:

Who says, who says you’re not perfect?

Who says you’re not worth it?

Who says you’re the only one who’s hurting?

Trust me, that’s the price of beauty!

Who says you’re not pretty?

Who says you’re not beautiful

Who says?

And, just like that, my mind talked back to the questions, and said, “You say it, and you’re the only one who says it.”  And I thought of all the people in my life, and the voice is right… I am the only one saying negative things about me.  Well, immediately I started to cry, and now I am running down an extremely crowded promenade with tears streaming down my face.  I refused to make eye contact, but I can only imagine what the hell those people were thinking!

Even though it is the sappiest song ever, it is staying on my playlist, as a reminder that I only have one critic, and she has a proven spotty track record when it comes to making these judgments!

Today’s Miracle:

12 people at my meeting today, not a record, but a great number!

Using the Recovery Toolbox to Build a Fitness Routine

Since I am in “follow-up” mode this week, I figure I’d follow-up last Wednesday’s post.

I committed, to myself and to a fellow blogger, to start (re-start?  for the gazillionth time?) my fitness routine.  I have languished, and that is putting it mildly, for the past year, and it’s time to get back on the horse again (in this case, the horse is an elliptical machine).

Committing to somebody other than myself, so far, has been a brilliant maneuver:  I have exercised, in some form or another, for 10 days straight.  May not seem like much, but for me it feels like 10 days sober did… a miracle.  I genuinely cannot remember a time that I have exercised 10 days in a row.

And I have seen progress, too, in this short time.  First day:  14 minutes, and I thought I might pass out.  Today:  28 minutes, and I could have gone longer, but I am trying to do the “slow and steady” approach, so no more than one-minute increases each day until I hit 30 minutes, and I will re-assess this weekend.

So here’s my story for today:  I have been fortunate to grab the same machine each day since I started back to the gym.  This helps me because I can use the final numbers as a relatively accurate chart of my progress.  This morning, I was not so lucky.  An older woman was puttering around “my machine” for so long that I decided that I would just use another.

Which meant that, by the end of my time, my miles travelled, and calories burned, were way less than any of the other days.

Now, my logical mind certainly knows that each machine is different, and that the numbers are relative anyway.  But my competitive, instant-gratification senses were fairly disappointed:  how could I go for the longest time yet, and come up with such poor results?

Pre-recovery me would have sulked about this all day, would have held a deep resentment to the puttering old lady, and would have berated myself for such a poor performance, which in all probability would have led to giving up.

Post-recovery me knows that I committed to exercising every day, no matter what, and I went above and beyond my commitment to myself (20 minutes is the minimum).  Further, post-recovery me knows that using a different machine uses different muscles, which in all likelihood was better for me all around.

So, take that, old way of thinking!

Today’s Miracle:

Refraining from shooting the old lady dirty looks definitely constitutes a miracle.  Oh, second miracle… had a conversation at the bus stop about Garanimals, which I had to explain.  We compared ages, and are within a year of each other (which makes me all the more confused as to how Garanimals does not come instantly to mind). There was surprise at my year of birth, the thought was that I was of a younger generation.  Tell me that is not an excellent way to start the day!

Acting As If

Those who do not find time for exercise will have to find time for illness. -Earl of Derby

I really hate exercise.  There, I said it.  I hate dressing for it, fixing my hair for it, planning time in my day for it, driving to it (the gym), and even walking up to the elliptical machine.   About the only part I like about the whole process is getting into my car and driving out of the gym parking lot.

But I have been hearing a lot lately about the idea of “mind, body and spirit,” and I know, in my heart, that I am sadly lacking in the body part of it.  But man, just writing this post makes me sigh.  Yet another stupid mind shift I need to figure out.

So I’ve been thinking about how I can apply recovery to the whole physical fitness gig.  And the first thing that came to mind is the title of this post.  Act as if you are into physical fitness.  Another expression is “fake it ’til you make it.”  So, in that regard, I got up this morning, and even though I looked longingly at my jeans and sweater, I instead dressed in gym attire.  And I told my son to ask me if I went to the gym when he gets home from school.  And I acknowledged to my husband that I have about an hour free in my schedule that I could fill with a trip to the gym.  And I’m writing to all of you now.

Accountability.  I really hope tomorrow I write with a happy update…

Today’s Miracle:

Believe it or not, sharing this inner turmoil is a miracle.  I cannot stand talking about the gym before I actually do it, so hopefully this is the mental rearrangement I need!

losing anonymously

Learning to balance healthy and happy while living a full and busy life!

Oh for the love of...me

Just another 50+ woman trying to get her shit together.

Guitars and Life

Blog about life by a music obsessed middle aged recovering alcoholic from South East England

Off-Dry

I got sober. Life got big.

HealthyJen

From daily wine drinker to alcohol free living...this is my journey.

themessyjessytruth.wordpress.com/

The emotional messy stuff...

Vodka Goggles

No longer seeing the world through vodka colored glasses..

Mindfulbalance

An Irish Mindfulness Meditation Blog: Finding calm, wellness, meaning and a happier life.

viatoday

Today is the first day of the rest of my life. Starting today I am on my way.

ainsobriety

Trying to ace sober living

Emotional Sobriety And Food

"... to be able to Twelfth Step ourselves and others into emotional sobriety" -- living, loving & letting go.

girl gone sober.

a blog about living sober. i didn't always drink beer but when i did i drank a lot of it. stay sober my friends.

The Sober Garden

Jettisoning the heavy stuff...

The Six Year Hangover

A BLOG BY A GAY MAN GETTING SOBER IN NEW YORK CITY.

Process Not An Event

Adventures in Addiction Recovery & Cancer Survival

And Everything Afterwards

How I quit alcohol and discovered the beauty of a sober life