Heavy, slow, and stressed

Summer has flown by and school is set to start next week. I have mixed feelings. I’ll miss the kids and I’ve got to admit that being off of work has been fun. Yet, the kids have grown a little tired of one another and I somewhat enjoy the routine of working.

My waistline has been growing all summer. I’ve kept working out 4-5 days a week. I’ve tried to increase running, but it has been much harder than I ever recall. I can’t be sure if the difficulty is related to my health or my fitness. It isn’t just the way I feel that is keeping me from running. I feel like I don’t have time in my schedule. That issue will only be exacerbated by going back to work full time and the kids’ activities through the school year. I’m highly excited to see them do their new activities, though. My son is in tackle football and my younger daughter has started to play an instrument.

Ivisited my ob/gyn because I’ve had 2 instances of menstrual bleeding lasting 3 or more weeks along with frequent lower right abdominal pain. I intended to ask about my weight gain and fatigue as well, but those went unanswered. I’ve been chasing answers for my female anatomy problems for quite a while and worried that my concerns would be met with “It’s nothing,” or “It’s in your head.” This has made me hesitate calling the doctor at all when things occur.

The dr told me that I have adenomyosis, which is endometrial tissue growing in the muscle that surrounds the uterus. The tissue acts the same as if it were inside the uterus, so it swells and bleeds with menstruation. Treatment is pain management and birth control, which is something I’m already taking for something called lichen sclerosus. The only cure is hysterectomy and the dr said the extent of the condition was not severe enough to perform surgery. Also, the right side pain was unlikely to be sourced from that condition. I was given a referral to a gastroenterologist and my ob/gyn said she presumed that something inflammatory was going on in my digestive system and most likely, I will need a colonoscopy. Not fabulous news, but I suppose it’s a start to answers for my pain. We also discussed the possibility of hormonal issues, which she assured me were unlikely. She said that we could try to take a break from the birth control at some time to see how well my body produces hormone on its own. She was pretty clear that the main focus would need to be finding the source of the right side pain.

This week, I started back to keeping track of food to see where I need work. I intend to make an effort to lose weight [again]. I took the scale out of its hiding place and put a new battery in. I discovered that I weighed more than I ever have. I’m not as big as I was at my former heaviest, though. I anticipate needing to change how I plan my lunch when I work and my breakfast before I leave. I’m already craving food like crazy and I wish I hadn’t gotten myself into the situation where I can’t fit into my clothes. I don’t feel confident in my clothes, either. I know some say to just get rid of what doesn’t fit, but this gain would cost me a fortune to replace my clothes. I want to accept myself at a higher weight than I initially intended to lose and I want to realize that once I fit in my clothes, I have to figure out how to live without getting big over and over. If my natural size is this big, I’m not okay with that and I’ll work to keep myself from feeling poorly about my image. Even writing those words makes me sad that I’m abandoning my idea of self acceptance and self love as I am. I’ve become obsessed with not liking how I look when I glance down at my stomach or when I see myself in photos.

I think that running will be easier if I didn’t weigh so much as would many of the activities I do in Crossfit. My crossfit coach told me today that I need to abandon the idea that there is a destination because I’ll never be happy if I don’t. He said there’s always more and better even when the destination is reached. Of course, I was already crying because I can’t run like I used to and I was letting myself feel sad and angry about it despite my progress from the injury.

School is back in next week, so I get back to working and waking up for workouts at 6am. I want to ensure I make progress in eating better. In the back of my mind, I know that what I truly want is to look like I work out instead of like I sit on my butt all day. I don’t do much sitting at all and I wish people didn’t judge laziness by appearance, but here we are.

I still have a half marathon in April. I have a lot of time to get there and probably run/walk interval the race. I have a feeling I won’t be getting a personal best, but finish would be nice at this point. I’m going to be amazed if I finish the 6.6k race I have in a couple of weeks. At least, if I finish without mostly walking the course.

Thanks for reading! I’m feeling a little more optimistic on the day that I’m completing this post than I was a few days ago when I started.

Let’s call this a “before” because I’m box shaped in this picture with fat in the middle.

I’m 15136 days old…

Sometimes, the biggest problem with starting a blog post is coming up with a title. I’ve used place holders and forgotten to change them. I’ve rattled off a sentence. Today, I’ve chosen to share that I’m 15,136 days old. It’s unlikely I’ll write twice today and I’ll never be this age again.

A few days ago, I was feeling extremely pessimistic about myself. The week before Memorial Day, I had the respiratory virus from 2019 [I’m not naming to avoid any weird flags on this post]. It took me down hard. The last time I was that sick for that long, I had influenza 10 years ago. Before the recent illness, I was already feeling the symptoms of declining health. I was more tired, I didn’t feel ‘frisky’ very often, and I just haven’t been feeling like working out. For two weeks after my isolation, I couldn’t make it through a day without needing to lie down for a nap or just some rest. My workouts felt awful. I was certain I’d fallen into poor health that I couldn’t rebound from.

Last week, I started back running. I’ve been going very slow and using a couch to 5k plan from Runner’s World. It is an interval program. I’ve been impatient during the walks feeling like I should be able to do more, but I know that this is the best way to return to running from injury. I realized how much I’ve missed running with my dog, too. She missed me for sure and her feelings were hurt yesterday when I ran without her due to the extreme heat. She followed me around for awhile after I returned from the run.

She was exhausted after the run.

My workouts aren’t what I want them to be. I feel like my endurance isn’t where it was, but I’m more able to push myself than I was immediately after returning from being sick. Today, I actually stacked four 45 pound plates and jumped to them for the workout. I’m still terrified of jumping on a box and have no idea how to get past the mental block that glues my feet to the floor when I’m standing in front of a 16″ box. Yesterday, I did a workout that recurs each year and I got my worst time ever on it. I can’t believe I was ever doing crossfit 6 days a week and running long distance. I feel like I’ve aged 10 years in a few months. Still, I think I can put forth the effort and get back to where I want to be. I just hate that it takes so long.

Post workout selfie.

Today, I feel that I shifted how I felt about myself. I was starting to feel like all of my effort was for nothing. One of my biggest returning negative thoughts was about how so many people were so proud of me on my big weight loss, but that they’ve probably been pretty disappointed that I’m not as small anymore. I know I’m disappointed because it feels like the effort is like me running on a hamster wheel. I think running again and actually being able to do it without pain has instilled a bit more confidence in me. I was going to write about how my stress and lack of self control has affected my self image. I still will not weigh or measure myself. I need to establish with myself that those things aren’t who I am.

Here’s to hoping I’m exiting the slump I’ve been in and that I manage better when the time comes to go back to work. I’m hoping for some peace at home.

Thanks for reading! I will need to check in from time to time on that 5k program. I’m on week 2 of 6 right now. Let me know if you have questions or comments. I would love to hear from you!

I’m not feeling kind to myself…

It’s been a while since I last wrote and some of that had to do with feedback I got in regards to my writing. I realize that things were said in order to hurt me, but it doesn’t really take away the sting. I’m tumbling and I can’t seem to right myself regardless of how hard I try. I’m living in a mental state of constant stress.

Back in March, I started my period a little over a week before it was anticipated to begin. I called the doctor, did what was recommended, and it didn’t stop. I was still bleeding after 17 days, so they called in a medication used for irregular bleeding. It took 10 days, but the bleeding finally stopped on day 28. I was feeling weaker in the gym until a few days after taking an iron supplement. I’m still feeling cramping, but I’m not willing to invest more time into it until summer break has started and I don’t have to work around a work schedule.

I went back to the oral surgeon for a check up and he removed my implant because it didn’t work out. I have to wait until August to have a new one placed. I could have easily found this out earlier, but I assumed that losing the implant meant that I was at a loss for the money I’d paid, which was the reason I’d put off doing the implant in the first place. I was afraid to complain about the pain it was causing me because I assumed the result was having them take it out and losing the opportunity to have an implant where my tooth once had been.

One day at work, in the office at school, a kid asked me if I was pregnant. I noticed my stomach was sticking out, but I assured the kid I wasn’t pregnant. I think that was just a confirmation about how I’d already been feeling about myself. My clothes hadn’t been fitting well. My face looked fat to me. I’ve been embarrassed to see my reflection or myself in photos. I’m willing to bet that I’m as heavy as I was when I started to do crossfit in 2019.

I sent this to my bestie captioned with a pig.

Speaking of crossfit, I did another competition last weekend. This time, it was a team of 3. It was fun, but my teammates held up most of the slack from my shortfalls. I ended that day wondering why I work out if I am not even at a competitive level after 3 years. I hid myself away and cried in shame and pure sadness. I watched my large body in video and photos of the event in disbelief that I’d somehow become this person that I’m ashamed of seeing.

This was actually the most flattering

I went to the gym Monday this week and I haven’t been back since. I’m tired most days and 5am is so early to get up and work out. Especially if I’m not really doing anything for my body or my skills. I haven’t fully given up. There’s just things that really bother me that I’m having trouble getting past. Most of it is the shame I felt walking in there getting fatter instead of fitter.

This means I’m having a lot of trouble sticking with “The Fuck It Diet,” because I don’t want this body. I want one that can run long distances, box jump, win competitions, has a flat stomach, and fits great into much smaller clothes. It seems like no matter how hard I’ve tried to be healthy, I can’t look that way. I also have all the pressures of social media trying to sell me a “healthy lifestyle” with photos of people smaller than they were before they started their “program.”

I might say some things that make it easy for people to negatively judge me or even be cruel to me. Fine, but there is someone out there who has been here and might know how to get through. There’s someone out there who needs to know that someone else has been here so they don’t feel alone like I do. I appreciate those of you who read this because you are supportive and not because you’re looking for a flaw. I appreciate the people who understand why I want to write. Thank you. Please keep on reading.

So many things and so little energy

I have a lot to say and a lack of energy to write about all of the things I want to say. My depression is not too bad lately, but my anxiety has been high. I’m working on body confidence while trying to eat what I want when I want. I still go to the gym most days unless I’m feeling tired. I listen to my body when it comes to resting.

After the oral surgery I had back in February and the subsequent infection that followed me around for 3 weeks, I still struggled to get back into the swing of things in regular life. My husband has continued to pitch in for my everyday chores and still prepared dinner most nights. My energy has been coming back extremely slowly. I feel like my athletic performance has been sub par and declined recently. I’ve missed running, but the podiatrist cautioned me about going back to it too soon. I did the Crossfit open and I’m convinced that competition negatively impacts how I feel about myself and that I should try to avoid it. I’m already signed up for another dose of Festivus as a team in April. I’m just hoping for fun with my teammates and keeping myself motivated to work out by looking forward to this one. I intend to have a few short runs during spring break so I can do at least one 5k this fall.

I’ve been worried about writing anything. When I’ve had conflict with someone in my household, she used things that I wrote here or on my social media as fuel to pick at my insecurities and tried to hurt me. While I understand that’s more about them than me, it still makes me hesitate to share. One day, I will stop feeling trepidation about telling my stories.

I have been working on following “The Fuck It Diet,” and I’m eating more of what I want when I want. I’m learning to listen to my body. The body acceptance part is coming much more slowly. I see my lower abdomen [my pooch] and I think I should ditch the intuitive eating and go back into dieting. I haven’t touched the scale except with the sweeper that goes under my bed.

Post workout selfie

Thanks for reading! I’d love to know if you enjoy my posts or have any suggestions.

Nothing like forced rest, I suppose

I deliberately took a few snow days recently to regroup and rest my body instead of heading to the gym. I took it as a sign to slow down and spend time at home. It was nice to rest and get away and I was right back to it the following week.

Then, I had oral surgery. I scheduled it on a Friday so I could spend the weekend recovering and get back to work and normalcy by Monday. I hadn’t realized when I scheduled that I was doing it on the weekend of the big football game and Valentine’s Day. I just knew that in therapy, I’d agreed to finally stop putting off taking care of myself due to the cost and anticipating other costs being more important than something I actually needed. After all, putting myself last got me into the mess of many of my teeth being beyond repair.

The oral surgeon’s office rescheduled with me twice before calling me the day of surgery asking me to come in early due to a cancellation. So, after I ate a breakfast at McDonald’s that I hadn’t eaten in years, I went. It was supposed to be an extraction of two teeth and a consult on getting an implant in another tooth space they’d extracted in recent years. After they assured me that I could save a little time by having it done on that day, I agreed to have the implant done as well. I prepaid for it all while the novacaine seeped into my face making me feel as if a heavy mask rested upon it. I was anxious because my last extraction, I wasn’t numb enough and I writhed in pain in the chair. This time, I felt nothing while they extracted.

When the surgeon began the implant, he asked assistants for tools and asked me if I was ok. He explained each step. At one point, he started telling me that he had to use a tool on me that would be very loud to me and would feel very odd. He assured me he would show me the purpose after surgery was complete. It sounded like a jackhammer was inside my head and I felt it jar my entire skull a few times briefly. After surgery, I was shaky. I had an xray done for them to look at the work. The surgeon stopped me at the computer screen and showed me the implant. He explained that my sinus had been where they needed the implant, so the tool was used to move my sinus up to make room for the implant. So, it was a sinus lift, bone graft, and implant.

I went home and rested with ice. I thought I’d rest the remainder of Friday and the entire day Saturday. I figured I’d be fine by Sunday morning for volunteering at church. I was wrong. The pain became unmanageable. I took the maximum dose of ibuprofen and a prescription pain pill and it felt like my face was being squeezed in a vice or ran through with a sword. I used [legal] gummy edibles after my 6 prescribed pain pills were nearly gone.

I went to work anyway on Monday and thought the right thing to do was to “tough it out”. I brought some ibuprofen with me and I had smoothies for both breakfast and lunch. The lunch wasn’t planned, but my husband brought it to me. I called the oral surgeon’s office and they said that pain tends to peak around day 3 and call if it was still hurting Wednesday. I went home in so much pain that evening, I used the last bit of my pain medicine and stayed in bed except to have a baked potato for dinner. When I went to work Tuesday, I couldn’t function over the pain. I went home after an hour, climbed into bed, and slept until 2pm. Wednesday, I went back to work feeling slightly less pained, using 2 naproxen every 8 hours, and rubbing Beam CBD on the pained sinus every hour. I called the oral surgeon in the afternoon, and got a last minute appointment. The surgeon changed my antibiotic and gave me a prescription mouthwash to brush directly onto the implant site [ouch]. The antibiotic has made it a little more bearable, but it still aches. I still take ibuprofen every 6-8 hours because I ran out of naproxen. When I’ve eaten anything harder than a potato, it has ached for a while after.

I haven’t been to the gym this entire time. I wasn’t told anything about limiting activity. I haven’t been able to because I’ve been in so much pain already that I’ve used all of my energy on basic human functions. My husband has taken care of everything around the house including feeding me separate meals that I can actually chew.

I know this is only a season and that looking back, this moment in time will seem much shorter. In the thick of it, I’m done. I don’t want to be in so much pain. I started this post meaning to talk about how being part of something like the gym makes me both happy and frustrated. I have friends now that check in on me and care, but I missed my Deka competition today and I’m extremely disappointed. Then, there are the social aspects that are mostly annoying when any people are in a group. I’ll get around to talking about it one day.

Thanks for reading! I’m sure I’ll be back soon to talk about some good stuff. I’m still in the process of eating for my body and not for a body I have in my head. I think it’ll be easier when I can chew.

Here’s some photos from that day:

Turns out ‘screw it’ requires some hard work…

In my last post, I said that my intent for 2022 was to just say ‘screw it.’ I meant it at the time and I still do. It has required some research and some work on my part on how to erase years of diet culture telling me my body isn’t good enough and that I have to quantify every aspect of my life to achieve success and avoid the dreaded failure. This narrative feeds on the fear of failure that many of us have instilled in us from childhood. I mean, how can I be bad at being the ideal me if I’ve always been good at things without really trying?

One thing that has opened my eyes to the reasons behind my “why not me,” issue is the term toxic positivity. Toxic positivity involves¬†dismissing negative emotions and responding to distress with false reassurances¬†rather than empathy. It comes from feeling uncomfortable with negative emotions. It is often well-intentioned but can cause alienation and a feeling of disconnection (Click here for link to source). In a nutshell, I often asserted that the right attitude would get me through injury and mental illness. This is simply not true and potentially harmful advice. It isn’t the example I want to set.

Having the right attitude can help you get through hard things, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t hard. It can help you through the race to get to the end, but it doesn’t make the work less. I’ve often felt guilty for feeling negative emotions because “other people have it harder,” or “I know I can do this,” but the reality of it is that I felt how I felt and allowing myself to feel that is the way through it and how the lesson is learned.

I’m not happy that my clothes are tight again. I know it’s related to my eating habits. I started a book recently to help reset my mind about this, though. I’m reading “The F*ck It Diet,” which isn’t a diet at all, but a book for those of us who have tried everything and then went back to the non diet person afterward. I’m finding that it is really hard to sit and read much in a day, but I’m enjoying the book so far. My next book is a 60 day journal meant to “Un-Diet Your Mind.” I feel good about the prospect of finally loving me for me at any size, but I still want to drag out the scale and hop on it daily to make sure I am the number I think I should be. I still feel ashamed when I eat more than one piece of chocolate or when I’m not full after the lunch I’ve perfectly measured out for myself.

For now, I’m not running because my foot seems to hurt more often with running than any other activity. I’m worried I won’t be able to train for my April half marathon, but I’m getting myself used to the idea that shorter distances will be ok and sometimes taking care of myself means that I can’t do things that I want to so I can still be well enough to do other things. That means I’m focusing on crossfit and lifting and I have a few lofty goals there. I know what I want to lift by the end of this year and I’m doing what I can to get there. I know I want to jump a 20″ box without using a plate to get on top. I also know that if something happens and these things become out of reach, I can feel disappointment before moving forward.

Thanks for reading! I hope you are staying well however you see fit. Questions or comments are always welcome! If you feel uncomfortable with a public comment, please feel free to message me and I’ll try to get back with you within 24 hours.

IG Handle: JennDesi81

Reflecting on 2021 and on to 2022…

I haven’t written on my blog since October 17th. I didn’t think it was that long ago, but I checked to confirm. I’ve kept busy at the gym, started a new job, and went back to running only to sideline myself again for pain. I’ve been regularly going to therapy and I think it has helped somewhat in dealing with the stress and the self image problems.

In October, I had a crossfit competition with a partner and had the divisions been by age, we would have probably been at the very top. We wound up tying for 3rd place and missing the podium because the way the scoring was set up. We still had fun together and I got to say that I did a partner competition once. I don’t know that I would do it again, though. The competition part was really hard on me emotionally and I don’t know that I want to experience it again.

Super focused at the Festivus Games

I also did a Deka fit competition at a different gym as a fundraiser to support causes for a fellow local runner who was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time. The competition was fun and really challenging. I think I would do that again just because there are different styles of the same type of competition.

I started the running streak that goes from Thanksgiving to New Years Day, but I realized that pushing through the foot pain wasn’t going to make me well prepared for my spring half marathon. I’m still not ready and I’m not sure I will be in time to start training. It might be time to retire from the longer distances, which I never thought I’d need to decide upon doing.

My streak miles were getting quick

I’ve been extremely hard on myself for everything related to my body. I associate my value as a person to how I look on the outside and what other people think of me. I see a photo of myself and I am instantly tearing myself apart. I see every imperfection on my face and I ruminate on everything I say and do to find the faults. I’ve pushed myself to tears taking selfies because I couldn’t make my facial features look perfectly symmetrical. I also think I look terrible in every photo I see of myself that other people take. No amount of validation helps it because I see it and nobody else’s vision of me matters in those moments.

I’ve been really down on myself for not losing weight despite my efforts. I’ve even gained some recently because the amount of overwhelm and stress I’ve felt. I see what people say online. “They’re excuses, you’re not trying hard enough, you’re not disciplined, nobody cares, work harder.” It might not be directed at me, but I use those words to cut at myself; To shame myself for not being strong enough or disciplined enough to reach my goals. I’m just not good enough and if I was a better person, I could lose weight and keep it off. I shouldn’t let stress make me gain weight and I should have the time to eat right and the self control to only eat one treat every now and then. I am weak. I shouldn’t enjoy the food that I do and I should be ashamed of it.

All of that leads me to my visions and goals for 2022. I’m calling it: Screw it. The scale is under the bed. There are no goals related to my body. I will not count calories or macros. I have to learn to speak about myself lovingly ,unfollow those who make me feel “less than,” and not focus on what I can’t do. I will ignore the culture of toxic positivity and being too busy. If I can just stop valuing myself based on how round my belly is, I’ll consider it a success.

Best of luck on your endeavors in the coming year! Thank you for reading!

*As I came back through to edit this, I realize I missed a lot of highlights. My job is a little stressful, but it has helped me a little by getting me out of the house and I feel good about the work that I do. I had a great Christmas. I’m in a group online where we do fitness accountability and it is very low pressure and I enjoy it since I’m missing out on the streak miles accountability.

When I was younger, I just wanted to be famous when I grew up…

I’m sure many people born in the 80’s heard the same old thing. The only jobs that were worthy of our time was doctor, lawyer, or a career requiring years of college and a lot of effort in educational or athletic endeavors. The big insult was “you’ll be flipping burgers.” It was such a prevailing idea that you had to become someone rich to be a productive member of society, I’d said I wanted to be an actress for years.

My high school drama teacher would repeatedly crush my hopes to tell me that I was not good at acting even after I was cast in minor roles in school plays by the other drama teacher. I’d move on from hoping I’d be an actress to wanting to be a journalist. I’d always been interested in writing, but I wanted to be on TV. I didn’t care about my writing as much as people knowing my name and my face. I wanted strangers to love me. Some part of me probably originated this blog in hopes of becoming famous or some sort of internet sensation.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that I didn’t want people who don’t matter to me to express their opinions about my looks or my work assuming they have the right to do so to anyone “in the public eye.” I honestly don’t think the people who know me should be discussing those things, either. I appreciate that I’m not famous. I enjoy the people who read my blog and interact with me. I’ve never been particularly overwhelmed by comments or requests. I just like to write and share my experiences. It’s cathartic to get it out and share even if I’m somehow speaking into a void.

I’ve been in a creative slump lately despite wanting to discuss my relay race in Missouri, my upcoming functional fitness team competition, and resignation from my part time job. My brain locked my words inside and each time I’d open my editing page, I’d stare resentfully at the flashing cursor that asked me for words I didn’t have at my fingertips.

I’ve been meaning to starve my social media addiction for the sake of my mental health. I’ve done very little to help whittle down my online time. Just know that I’ve been doing pretty well and I’ve done some things that I’m proud of lately without sharing them on social media to harvest “likes,” for a hit of dopamine. I’ve had some realizations about the behavior of people.

Something I didn’t tell my social media when it happened: I got a new tattoo. I’d been thinking of it for some time. This was my first bit of creativity that I was able to get out of my head lately. Really far into my blog archives, it’ll show I drew an arrow on my left arm to remind myself to keep moving forward when I thought I couldn’t during long runs. I’d wanted it tattooed there prior to my 2017 marathon. Last year, my pastor, Mike Baker said “Faith moves us forward when the way seems impossible.” Immediately, I started to work on the design again trying to incorporate the word “faith” into the design until the word started to look strange and almost alien to me. Recently, I found a compass rose coin in a souvenir store and bought it intending to have that tattooed on my shoulder. I started to see designs incorporating the arrow and compass and I was immediately moved to work on the design again. Here is what I wound up with:

I absolutely love how it turned out.

Anyway, I nixed the word “faith” because I know the meaning and God knows the meaning.

Thanks for reading! I’ll come back this week to write some more about my running and lifting. Like I said, I enjoy writing. At least if writing were to make me famous, people would be less likely to judge my looks over my English usage. Especially the way I abuse past/present tense. Let me know if you have questions or comments.

I’m a thinker. I also am a doer, but my thoughts are what I have to deal with.

Last time I wrote here, I was finally going to see a therapist for my issues. I have been seeing one and spent a few sessions spewing out the highlight and “lowlight” reels. I’d been assigned to recognize my thought patterns when I binge eat and most recently to stop attaching myself to the word “fat” in addition to the negative thoughts that I associate with the word. That one goes way back to my youth and is deeply ingrained into my mind.

I also said that I was more confident about my running in the previous post. I ran the 6.6k with very few stops to walk briefly due to the heat, but not pain. I still get sore in the plantar of my feet, but no heel pain while running has been a step in the right direction. I’ve been trying to train up to at least 6 miles so that when I run MO Cowbell, I can complete my half of the half marathon without much stopping to walk or stretch. I did 5 this weekend, which is the furthest run I’ve completed since my injury early this year. I’m cautiously optimistic that I’ll complete the run.

I am a thinker. I try to interrupt some of the more intrusive thoughts with prayer. I’ve been more aware of my internal dialogue while running and started using positive affirmations like: “I am strong,” “I am fast,” “I am doing the best that I can.” It actually helped. It helped when I remembered to do it. Otherwise, I have thoughts like “I’m really self aware and that’s why it isn’t my anxiety telling me people don’t like me. They don’t.” or “I don’t really work hard enough or I’d be stronger, thinner, faster than I am right now.” or “You were a gifted child in advanced classes and look at you now. A college dropout.” I’ll tell you what. No matter what mean thing you say to me, it couldn’t be meaner than the things I’ve said to myself in private. These thoughts enter unannounced and unwelcomed even when I’m feeling confident or optimistic.

You might be reading and thinking how that took a pretty dark turn quickly. It’s actually ok. I’m dealing with it. I am exploring where the beliefs expressed in those thoughts come from. I pull myself out of the thoughts by exploring my physical surroundings. I tell myself that what I’ve thought was wrong. Like I said, I also pray and remember that those thoughts aren’t who I am, but just passing through.

I think it really made sense when in therapy, I brought up my efforts vs my results and she told me that there were really only two options: 1) Give up/stop trying or 2) Keep going and see what happens. Well, I’m not giving up. I enjoy what I do or I’d find something different. So, I’ll run my training runs over the next 20 days. I’ll keep going to the gym to get ready for the competition I signed up for in October. I’ll keep eating healthy and adjusting to figure out how to feel my best.

I fight my mental illness with my fitness. So it makes sense that sometimes, my mental illness fights back and tries to drag me down. I’m attempting to shed more light into that darkness and it isn’t a foolproof method, but I’ll learn and I’ll get better at recognizing the reasons.

Thanks for reading! I hope you can find a sprinkle of light when the darkness sets in to battle it a little better. Let me know if you have any questions! Comments and shares are always welcome!

Here is me after 5 miles. I don’t look like I’m dead because I actually enjoyed it once I settled in:

I feel like I’ve reached a new level of adulting.

I’m not nearly as down as I was feeling. It took me a few weeks to fully get my courage up, but I made an appointment with a therapist. Like, a for real licensed professional. It took a week after I admitted I needed help to call the company that offered personal healthcare assistance, and then a week for them to find me a list of providers meeting my criteria, another week and a half for me to choose one from my internet research, and I finally made the phone call. I was glad I had the courage to leave a voicemail when there wasn’t an answer. I don’t know if anyone else feels this, but my voicemails have always been terrible. Especially when I’m calling a doctor’s office. I’ve prepared a list of things I need to work through including my body dysmorphia and an eating disorder I have trouble owning.

I feel that my weight gain and my body’s refusal to lose weight are the result of some greater problem, but tests conclude that it is wholly a matter of poor habits. It is difficult to know that despite feeling I’m making my best efforts, I’m not truly working hard enough. My clothes are tight and I’ll be heading back to work this week, which I’m extremely apprehensive about.

My running is improving despite a few setbacks by my plantar fascia. I had to bike for a running workout at the gym last week because my foot was hurting during a warm up run. This weekend, I was able to run about 3 miles pain free . It was faster than any of my recent runs. I made an appointment to help with the plantar fasciitis since what I’ve been doing isn’t enough to fend it off. I’m optimistic I will be able to run the 6.6k I have in less than two weeks without needing to stop or walk more than for water and that I’ll run my leg of the half marathon relay well. I just want to eventually get back to training 3 times a week and running a little further.

Most days, I’m still tired to the point of barely being able to keep my eyes open by late afternoon. Some days, I feel it even earlier. I would say it is my workouts, but rest days are the same even when I take a couple days off.

Despite setbacks and depression making me feel inadequate and like a big fat faker in life, I’ve been feeling like things could possibly change for the better. I feel empowered to actually make some of the changes myself.

Here’s some photos from last week:

Thanks for reading! I hope I haven’t been too negative for you guys lately. I keep thinking I’ll break free of the funk soon, but it keeps lingering. Next time, perhaps? We shall see…