my stomach is on strike

16 Jul

For the last few weeks, my stomach has decided to take a trip down memory lane & revert to its ultra troublesome state.  This past week was the worst so far & I almost had to go home early from work on Thursday & then did have to call in sick on Friday.  I have some special meds to take when it gets bad, but they make me a little blurry, which isn’t a helpful side effect when working with patients!

I’m in the midst of a bad IBS flare up & it completely sucks.  There are some variations in the types of IBS and mine includes an epic stabby feeling inside my stomach, nausea, & bloating.  It’s quite painful & unpleasant.  Since mine is combined with an ulcer, Pepto Bismal tabs are my bestie.

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I like the taste of these now.

My diet has played a role.  Since I started working at the office, I’ve eaten more gluten than I have since I went to France for my brother’s wedding two years ago.  There are a lot of office treats & I’ve had to grab some lunch out when I’ve forgotten mine at home.  Way, way, too much for this gluten sensitive gal.  I’ve been eating way too legumes, a no-no on the approved FODMAPs list also.  Then there’s been sooooo much popcorn!  I’ve never had problems with popcorn in the past but it’s been extreme as of late.  I just finished my last 1/2 a bag of Skinny Pop & I won’t be buying any more for as long as I can hold out. This one is going to be TOUGH.

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Skinny Pop – it’s my true (addictive) love!

Next up, the stress.  Ugh.  Starting a new career is challenging and I get frustrated with myself as it feels like my progress is slow.  Money is tight – what is this rent & utilities nonsense?!  It doesn’t help that WA is in the top 10 for most expensive states to reside.  I love LuLaRoe but I’m finding it difficult to forward this income source as my business person skills don’t seem to come second nature to me.  There are some other loose ends as well, so consequently, my anxiety is playing a key role in my Pepto popping madness.  My insides are basically downing pint size shots of cortisol, or at least this is how it feels.  Bad dreams, constant fretting, and I was having at least one panic attack daily for a month.  It’s no wonder it feels like Wolverine lives in my stomach & is trying to find freedom from the confines of my stomach lining!

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I’m guessing this is why Wolverine wants out (source)

Then there is the lack of exercise.  I’m quite the couch potato.  This isn’t good on a couple of levels.  1.  The New York Marathon is in 4 months – eeeeek!  I have downloaded a 16 week training plan which looks doable for a successful finish.  But there is that whole thing of ACTUALLY GETTING OUTSIDE!  2.  I’m finding I’m quite fatigued when I get home in the evenings.  9.5 hour days are long & I just want to be in sweat pants, sitting, & zoning out in front of the tv.  Productive, eh?  My former stomach doc told me working out helps with the stomach pains, & that I have to get up even if I feel really crummy.  Of course it’s easier for him to say than for me to do.

my goal

When I was speaking with my sister about some of the above, she asked me to think about things I can control so I don’t feel so helpless.  And there are a few if I convince myself that it’s within my reach.  There is an optimistic part of me that while currently being drowned in stomach acid, is hoping feeling more in control helps calm this flare up as missing work isn’t an option and my stomach hurts!  The stomach issues are also aiding in my lackluster LuLaRoe sales since my energy levels are tapped by the time I get home.  But it means I really do need to take this control back.  I’ve already jumped back on the gluten-free train – I need it out of my system.  I’ve started down the path of dealing with my student loans dilemma, & I went for a run today.  I advertised for a couple of in-house LuLaRoe Open Houses for the week & reread my last post on motivation – turns out I can give myself decent advice.  These aren’t giant steps but they are steps nonetheless.  I mean, starting somewhere is better than not starting at all, right?

get motivated – tips from a lazy-ish person

7 May

Every time I see an article that says “running motivation tips and tricks” I immediately start reading it.  I’ve read countless articles like this.  I appreciate what they have to say, I really do.  The advice is quality but doesn’t always address my motivational dilemmas.

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Most of the authors seem to be people who can’t sit still.  Me?  More than capable!  Or it seems the days they aren’t motivated are few and far between.  I seem to struggle with the motivation to get up and get out more often.  So, I decided to write a piece myself.  Perhaps it might resonate with you too.  I can’t be the only person out there who needs a slightly different take on the “how to go for a run (work out) when you really don’t want to” … at least I hope not.

Problem #1: The couch is too comfy.  The thing of it is, I can be lazy when it comes time to working out (as you might’ve guess by the title!).  Once I get too cozy, all bets are off and there is a higher chance of me staying where I’m at rather than hitting the streets in my trainers.

 

The Fix: I hate to say it, but I can’t sit down when I get home.  I have to change into my work out clothes immediately and can’t do any of the  “I’m going to sit for a moment” business.  Don’t sit down!  Ride the wave of adrenaline from getting home from work (or wherever), or the alarm clock, do the little things that need to be done, change, and get out the door.  As fast as possible.  Before the couch’s siren calls or the snooze button become too loud and convincing!

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this is essentially where the couch comes into play

Problem #2: Sabotaging my workout time.  There are way too many times where I’ve decided on a time for a run when deep down I knew I wouldn’t be able to fit it into my schedule.  I’ve picked a time during a really busy day when I knew it was going to be massively crunched and it could be sacrificed.  But I felt all noble & accomplished that I was planning for it.  When it doesn’t happen, because my timetable was ridiculous, I get down on myself for not making the workout happen.  At the same time I can blame not going on not having enough time.  Built in excuse that isn’t based on being a lazy buns!

The Fix: There are going to be days when a run simply can’t happen.  I need to be honest with myself regarding these days.  This is the way of training.  BUT some time management needs to happen here.  I can keep the days where my agenda items are stacked miles high to a minimum by planning ahead.  This means doing as much prep for the day as possible and looking for more efficient routes to accomplish tasks <— a constant work in progress.  I know people suggest scheduling a work out time and viewing it as an appt you can’t possibly miss.  My brain is onto this game though, and if we are on the same wave length, so is yours.  This is where getting out the door by sheer force of grit and will come into play until it becomes more habitual.

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I need to work harder on making good habits … bad habits are just so much easier to establish!

Problem #3: Overhyping the start of training.  This is a classic motivation killer because it becomes this MASSIVE event.  I recognize some suggest to announce your training start date to the world to garner support.  However, for procrastinators like myself, it turns the start date into a scary impending opportunity for defeat.  Suddenly there is this monumental task sitting there and it’s much easier to shy away then risk falling flat on my face in front of an audience.

The Fix: Don’t make the sweeping announcement.  Pretty simple, yeah?  I do want to share with the world, but these declarations can too overwhelming.  An element of procrastination is fear of failure, so the build up can be too much.  Begin training and get a more established routine down, & then yell it from the rooftops!  I’ve done it both ways, and when I went ahead and waited until I was a couple of weeks into my training to spread the good news, I still got support and it was of the “keep up the great work” variety.  When I declared my start date, I got lots of “good lucks!” which are just as nice, of course, although the latter works better for me.

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Problem #4: Getting frustrated & losing focus.  This runs parallel to my conundrum of setting my expectations too high.  Train for a marathon in 6 weeks when my running fitness is in the gutter?  Of course I can!  I tend to get frustrated when I don’t make progress as quick as I want or expect of myself.  This is a common theme in every area of my life, so it naturally carries over to my running.  Hope is a wonderful thing, nevertheless, when it comes to expecting our bodies to perform physical miracles they aren’t possibly prepped for, they rebel.  In all kinds of painful ways!  With regards to losing focus, marathon training seems to last FOR-E-VER, so what is one missed run here or there?  Most likely nothing terrible, but for us motivationally challenged folk, the “here or there” can derail a great established routine quickly.

The Fix: Take a good look at the expectations.  Expectations really do get us in trouble – I find we tend to either set them too high or too low without taking all of variables into consideration.  Not to mention, the need to check the good ol’ ego.  Any type of training takes hard work, and focusing on small chunks at a time helps turn goals into realities.  The frustration piece … well, this could just be me.  I don’t mind hard work but I want results entirely too quickly.  I’m a bit ridiculous!  I also need to remind myself, A LOT, of just how easy it is for me to slip back into the cushy bad habits and crush those “it won’t be so bad” thoughts with a stomp from my Brooks.

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I’m hoping I’m not the only person who struggles with motivation and isn’t always helped by the pearls of wisdom that are commonly offered.  Again, I don’t think the advice is bad and I do utilize it, nonetheless, the above tips are what I fall back to when I’m in need of that boost.  I love running, I really do.  I love the feeling of a healthy routine of running when I get home from work.  Not to mention giving myself multiple high-fives when I’m done working out and all cleaned up from a good sweat session.  Getting started though … or fighting exhaustion after a long day … or simply a “I don’t wanna” can jeopardize success and be a challenge to fight.

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Oh, and watch some inspirational running documentaries.  I love the one about the Barkley Marathons – these are always really helpful in the motivational category!

“any german”

12 Mar

In college, I was the stop on a scavenger hunt.  The participants had to “find Amy German and take a picture with her”.  There was a typo so it read, “find Any German and take a picture with her”.  The contestants went around asking random people if they were German and took a picture.  We had a whole group of students pictured with people with German heritage!  Hahahaha – I still laugh at this!  I told it to my dad the other day and he cracked up!  One little typo and my name has a whole new meaning.  I love it!

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I know, random.  I was thinking about it on my drive to an important meeting (the story and the above quote) and it helped me relax.  In fact, it’s a story I often remind myself of because when life gets complicated, it’s so simple.  Not to mention, I love my name so any kind of quirk with it makes me happy.

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Last post,  I swore I was going to work on getting healthy.  I’ve been sick for a month and a half now, and I’m thinking the laws of physics say after this amount of time, good health is bestowed.  Fingers crossed I’m almost there!  This cough loves to linger and I’m not sure how to shake it.  I adore my sweet baby niece.  My little cutie gets sickly though from being around other kiddos and both times I babysat her this last month and a half, I got a sneeze in the face.  Yesterday I watched her again and yep, another full sneeze in the face!

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How can I be crankypants with this little one though?  Fingers crossed she isn’t incubating any germs at the moment and I can relish in some sweet, sweet good health!  I also claimed I would get more sleep – eh, this is iffy.  I’m a fairly restless sleeper anyway and stress doesn’t help.  Not to mention, I restarted Criminal Minds from the beginning.  Let’s just say happy dreams this does not make!  I’m a silly goose.

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I also said I would get outside.  Get this – it FREAKIN’ SNOWED here last Sunday!  What the hay?!  It is so out of the norm for the Pacific Northwest and it hasn’t snowed in Michigan for a few weeks.  I think I’m a snow magnet.  I find this humorous.  Although, it did keep customers away from my LuLaRoe open house, which was unfortunate!  I am airing out my house – cold weather be damned.  I’m inviting as much fresh air as possible, in hopes of getting rid of any germs.  I’ve decided going for a walk should make some of this tightness in my chest go away.  Tomorrow I’m going to put this hypothesis to a test and maybe if I believe it hard enough, it will come to fruition.

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I recognize this post is essentially a brain dump – it happens.  The other day I asked my LuLaRoe group members to post some of their favorite memes.  These are a few of the goodies.  Last but certainly not least, because I can’t tell you how many times I took an out of the way road for this very reason:

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now what?

4 Mar

I got into the New York City Marathon.  Now what?  Seriously, I still can’t believe it.  I’ll be sitting here or cleaning or trying to fall asleep and it will pop into my mind.  “I can’t believe it!” jumps up and down in my brain.  Yay!

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I’ve already decided on a few things.  First and foremost, I’m going to do my best to get and stay healthy.  February and currently bestowed on me some influenza and a bad cold/cough.  Part of this is due to my sleep patterns not supporting a healthy body!  I’ll go to bed in the wee hours and then get up early.  I’m probably averaging 4 hours of sleep per night.  It’s no wonder my immune system is susceptible to the invasion of opportunistic germs.

I already started to evaluate my eating habits.  To be fair, I’m not bingeing on junk food.  I also haven’t been eating enough quality foods.  Or enough food in general.  My berry obsession is still going strong and I’ve started actually cooking dinner rather than eating Skinny Pop and whatever else I could scavenge from my cupboards.  Again, perhaps the reason my immune system hasn’t been rocking out some virus-fighting warriors?!

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it’s a good plan

Getting out and about for fresh air and exercise.  I’m a natural homebody and because I work from home, I sometimes forget to get outside.  This certainly isn’t the case for everyone who works from home, it’s simply true for me.  I think my body will appreciate some vitamin D, a cold breeze, and a little exercise.

Last and key to what I plan to be a solid training cycle, I’m going to drop down to the 10k from the 1/2 in the North Olympic Marathon weekend.  In the past, I would throw caution to the wind and push my body to complete a race I set my sights on, no matter if I was ready or not.  I’ve chronicled such experiences in the past right here.  Ummm … many times!  My plan was to do the 1/2 but this would mean crunching training and not taking enough time to build a decent base.  I REALLY don’t want to drop down – I was/am super excited to participate in this local race.  Nevertheless, I need to consider the long game.  I did a doozy on my knee in the Detroit Marathon and getting myself thrown out of the training/end game because of my pride is silly.

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pull it together Amy-girl!

 

Another part of this training plan, is to build a fitness base that is more than running.  I know, I know – I’ve talked about this before and failed miserably.  It truly is something I want to do.  I know I’m capable.  Now it means putting it into action <– this is typically where I fall short!  So how will I accomplish this?  I want to be transparent here, I don’t know.  I always wanted to kick some booty in past races, so this was never the problem.  The only thing I can think of is jump in, but I’m open to advice here.  In fact, I would really appreciate advice!  How do you create and follow through on a well-rounded training cycle?

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I’m super ready to hear your tips and tricks!

***If you can’t tell, I adore Emma Stone!

I’M IN!

2 Mar

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I can’t even believe it!  The entertaining part was I was sitting in the free clinic as I’ve managed to get sick again and they made me wear this:

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yes, apparently they thought I was contagious – could’ve been my nasty cough.

I was laughing at this piece.  Then I almost started crying happy tears.  I am SO FREAKIN’ THRILLED!!  I am still in shock – I mean, I don’t know the odds of getting in, all I know is I’ve tried before with no luck.  I’m positively over the moon.  And I have this huge, gigantic urge to make the most of my training cycle so I can make this epic race even more incredible.

Oh my gosh – can you even believe it?!  THIS IS HAPPENING!

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Oh, and the dramatic mask?  The doc did a (very quick – too quick?) listen to my lungs and they are clear.  I’ve managed to catch a nasty cold.  But guess what?  I only partially care at this moment!

happenings ’round these parts

21 Feb

While there hasn’t been a lot going on for me lately, there have been a few key big ticket items that packed a punch.  Without further ado, I shall elaborate:

1. I put my name in the lottery for the New York City Marathon!  Yay!  I’m beyond hopeful this becomes my reality.  I know it’s a long shot but the thought of it is too dreamy for words.  It’s on my bucket list of races, along with the Flying Pig Marathon.  I’ve talked about this one before because it’s so fantastic.  My optimistic plan is I will do the Flying Pig and then spend the week hanging out with my Michigan family and then wrap up the vaca with the Kalamazoo Marathon.  It will happen.

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please, oh please!

2. I decided I am going to do the 1/2 marathon of the North Olympic Discovery marathon weekend.  In a prior post I said I was going to do the full, but I haven’t started any kind of training yet.  While in the past this wouldn’t have stopped me from jumping in feet first (so to speak), however, after putting my poor knee through the wringer during the Detroit 26.2 I am going to play it smarter this time around.  I know, who am I?!  Not to mention, it’s even cutting it close to be starting a 1/2 marathon training plan.  I live on the edge.

3. I caught the plague (only slightly exaggerating here).  It was that nasty influenza that seems to be running rampant.  It hit our town – I swear, every other facebook post was about families being down and out with the flu.  I didn’t/couldn’t get off of the couch for 6 days.  I did have to make one trip to the post office for work and I came home and napped for a few hours, I was so exhausted.  And it’s still lingering a bit.  So, if at all possible, stay healthy!  A fellow LuLaRoe consultant in town and I were talking and her family caught it.  Her hubby walked around the house with a mask, haha!  I laughed, yet now I think he was brilliant as he didn’t get sick.

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my sweet baby niece – poor little sicky!  she is the one who passed along the illness.  this is also my “I don’t do mornings” face!

4. I turned 39.  I love aspects of my birthday; the numbers are sequential, I love being an Aquarius, I love having a winter birthday, and I don’t shy away from the attention.  I do have troubles with the aging piece.  It’s a surreal experience for me.  My niece and I were talking the week before and she said, “aren’t you going to be 40?”.  I paused and my heart skipped a beat.  Was I going to be 40?!!  For a moment, I wasn’t sure – did I mention at my doc visit before I moved back from MI I thought I was 37?  I told the nurse she was wrong when she was trying to confirm my 38 status.  Her response, “the computer does the math” when we were talking about what year I was born.  I felt like I lost a year of my life!  Then when my niece said 40, I panicked that I lost yet ANOTHER year!  I’m not ready to be 40.

5. Now, the Sunday before my birthday, I was babysitting my sweet baby niece (this was also the day of my contamination).  I walked into my sister’s kitchen and my feet went out from under me – their floor was like a freakin’ ice rink (and apparently walking is dangerous for me) and I went down.  HARD.  I was holding an unlit jar candle that came crashing down as well, (I think) crushing my pinky finger, and bouncing up to smack me in the face.  I laid on the floor for a moment, in shock.  Then I almost threw up and passed out.  I got up and moved to the couch where I spent about 10 minutes trying to stay conscious and vomit free.  My poor pinky turned purple immediately and blew up.  I was convinced it was broken.  I no longer think this, I think I smashed it.  It still messed up and have a feeling the healing will continue to be slow.

6. Did I mention I caught my bout of influenza the day before my birthday?  Instead of enjoying some festivities, I was on the couch.  Some perks were, my dad made me pancakes in the morning and then later brought me my favorite dinner from a local place, my sister dropped off two cupcakes, and my grandma made me a lemon pie-like dessert.  It was quite sweet of them.  I also started watching Justified.  I dig it.  What this does mean is the week leading up to my birthday (my poor hand was a disaster) and the 2 weeks after it were a rude beginning to this upcoming year.  I’ve decided it’s the universe’s way of purging the toxins from my life to ready me for an epic year ahead.  Probably starting around March 1st.

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a tall cool drink of water – perfect for those sick days!

Please agree with me with regards to the universe’s plan for me.  Much obliged.

 

a running plan is a’brewin’

21 Jan

I’ve wanted to get back to running.  The Turkey Trot went surprisingly well.  I thought I would barely huff and puff my way through it.  So, a happy girl I was, when things went smoother than my pessimistic premonition.

It’s also been a year since my last marathon.  The Dopey/Disney Marathon weekend was two weekends ago and my facebook Timehop-ped me back to those days and memories.  I am starting to get restless without a race on my calendar to look forward to.  Trust me, this is still an odd thing for me to say considering 8 or 9 years I would have scoffed at this type of statement about running.  Or any statment involving my name and running really.  This is calling my name:

I love that it’s local, the weather is amazingly cool, and it’s a beautiful course.  Oh!  And family can come cheer me on – yay!  I talked to a woman at one of my LuLaRoe pop-up boutiques this past week and she has only missed a couple of years of this race.  She raved about it.  Not to mention, she was very nice and told me to contact her if I had any questions regarding the race/course.  I love my fellow runners!

This nailed it.  I’m signing up soon.  For the full 26.2.  I’m a little behind in training, but seriously, when has that EVER stopped me?!

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this is a dynamic example of how I like to spend my free time  

Of course the lottery for the New York marathon is also currently open.  Yet another marathon call!  It stays open until February 17th.  I put my name in the year before last, but no such luck.  I’ll submit my entry soon for this one, too.  I’m thinking of signing up for it on the 3rd since this is my birthday.  Maybe it will be good luck?

I had visions of starting to run about a week and half ago.  In my mind’s eye, I was doing a great job of getting up and being outside pronto.  Mother Nature likes to mess with my brain and motivation.  The scene of my small town …

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this was my backyard. it makes me giddy to say “my backyard”!

The snow is finally rained out and the streets are clear enough for me to be up and off my bum.  I saw a few other dedicated individuals running when there was snow/ice on the ground but grace, agility, and balance are not adjectives used to describe yours truly.  Now the excuses are gone and the race is a day closer.

I haven’t thought about a training plan.  My best adherence to a training plan was 87% and it was when I was part of a training group.  My best training cycle when I was on my own resulted in a 68% plan follow through.  I would like to do slightly better this go around.  Any suggestions or “I swear by” training plans?  Do you create your own or follow a more established one?

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okay, I’m teasing – I really do want your advice!  awesome quote though, yeah?!

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