goodness gracious…

Good gravy-Tuesday was a doozy.  The air was thick with anxiety!  Unfortunately, not kidding.

The morning was kind of an odd frenzy of activity in the office that seemed to breed angst.  Per my MO, I soaked up all of the stress & anxiety like a sponge.  I thought I was going to vomit at one point since this is also part of my MO when it comes to being overwrought with nerves.

it’s even a dino puking a rainbow – big win! I’m working on being positive so this sort of counts

BUT!  After I calmed down a bit (leaving for lunch can help with this) I realized something.  A few months ago I felt like this EVERY FREAKIN’ DAY!  I can’t believe it.  I mean, I recognized that I felt less shaky/panicked on the inside but somehow I pushed aside how it felt physically.  So while yesterday morning was unpleasant, I am happy at the strides I have made.  Yes, chemicals are part of the equation but so are some behavior modification & more exercise.  This feels good.

The rest of the day was busy.  I had a doctor’s appointment at 2pm & I was really proud of myself, as I got there 15 mins before my appt time.  I got to the front & said my name & appt time.  The clerk:  “umm, your appt. was at 1:15”.  Nooo!

I apologized profusely, felt like a jerk & apologized again.  They took pity on me & still fit me in between other patients.  I was very grateful.  Oh & they were kind about the whole thing as well.

I was relieved to see the end of the day.  Some quality time on the couch was necessary along with some deep breathing and meditation.  I’m not so hot on the meditation piece but I’m practicing.  Also, letting go of the stress of the day – the animal section of pinterest is always helpful with this.

so much adorableness!  this is a big year for sloths - I wonder if they realize?!
so much adorableness! this is a big year for sloths – I wonder if they realize?

races can change lives, you know

At mile 11ish, I started thinking about how I never wanted to do anything longer than the 1/2 marathon distance again.  Granted, I have already signed up for Dopey but in that moment, that was it.

Naturally, 24 hours later, I was looking up fun marathons to do in the spring.  Isn’t this always the case?!  In the heat of the pain, exhaustion, wanting to stop and sit down for a bit, I was thinking, “WHYYYY???”.  When I finished I was thinking, “WHEN AGAIN??”.

While I have already talked about my pride in pace and finish time, I want to talk a bit more about how I felt during the race.  Aside from the “please carry me now” minutes, the rest of the race was amazing.  I felt strong and capable.  I felt ready to tackle the miles.  I felt confident.

You know those training runs where you start to doubt you should have ever started the run journey in the first place?  Each mile seems to weigh heavier and heavier on your spirit and your legs?  This was not the case.  I’m not bragging, rather I want to reiterate how thrilled I am with this turn of events.

super amyYou see, I haven’t felt this good in a race or simply running in general for a year now.  I felt fairly great in my first marathon last year, although I knew I could have trained better.  But still, I felt confident and had those moments of sheer awe that I was running a marathon in San Fran!  But then this dwindled.  Between sickness, physical and emotional, complete lack of motivation and determination my running spirit and muscles atrophied.  It was sad for me to see/feel this happening but I felt powerless to stop it.

Now I am taking the power back!  This in itself feels both empowering and incredible.  I am rediscovering my running spirit and along with it putting back the slightly broken pieces of myself.  It may sound dramatic but running has become part of my soul and it was difficult when I didn’t enjoy it or find any momentum to get my legs moving.  It was completely indicative of how I felt about myself and where I was in life and I knew it.

So, the Grand Rapids 1/2 marathon was an incredible experience for me.  I know not every race will hold such weighty enlightenment and this is a-okay with me.  What’s next?  Small festive races for this fall.  A local turkey trot and some kind of Christmas race just for fun.  Then off to Disney World to test my endurance, my determination and my training.  Oh and to just have a sh*t ton of fun!  Ultimately, I’m recognizing (again) this is what it’s all about.

felt this was an appropriate “joyful” pic considering my impending future

taking a step back to heal

Happy Saturday folks!
Yesterday was day 2 of the RW run streak and let me tell you… it was tough getting out there.  “But Amy, it was only DAY 2!”  Yes, this is correct, however, it was also the first snow and it was chilly outside!  I was very happy with myself for getting up and going.  While I love to run, I’ve noticed this last year that I have a hard time getting motivated to do anything I love – baking, running, working – lots of things.
mother nature tried to convince me to stay inside with the first snowfall!
This brings me to the topic of healing.  I’ve thought a lot about this recently.  I read a great post on the blog “For the Glow” and it talked about healing.  I’ve been really frustrated with myself.  Why can’t I stay motivated?  Why can’t I lose weight?  Why can’t I stay on track?  Why am I not better, faster, healthier?
Well, that all stops.  Putting this pressure on myself is not helping and it’s taken me some time to figure this out.  For those of you new to this blog, last Dec my mom passed away suddenly and unexpectedly.  A month before that my boyfriend broke up with me (didn’t see that coming either) and then Jan was also chaotic.  It was a whirlwind of woe to say the least.
notice there is nothing in there about putting pressure on yourself to “return to normal”??
I’ve been frustrated that I didn’t bounce back as  quickly as I had hoped.  But I didn’t have a bout of the flu – my life has changed permanently and it takes time for the mind, body and spirit to adjust.  It’s time to cut myself some slack.  As the year anniversary approaches (not to mention the holidays – whew!) I’m realizing more and more that grief  is a process and  influences all aspects of my life.  In some ways, the changes have proven to make me a better person.  In other ways, I’m not sure what the outcome will be, it seems to be on-going.  These last few days, I’ve been mindful to take a deep breath and allow myself to accept that I am not “healed” but I am healing.  Slowly.  I’ve also realized I need to take some different steps toward this… I found a life coach who specializes in grief, which sounds pretty perfect for me!
Why am I putting this all out there?  Because sometimes I feel that healthy living blogs (and yes, I use this term loosely in reference to my own blog but you get the idea!  Especially when you see the recipe I posted below!) focus on how life is so pretty and there are no problems that eating healthy and exercising can’t fix.  While I admit this has had a tremendous POSITIVE effect on my healing, more is needed.  And this is okay.  I’m not a failure – haha, yes, that was for my own benefit!  Not to mention, I want to be open with my struggles with this because maybe it will help others.  “Depression” is a scary word and feels like I am admitting something to be ashamed of.  While I am weary about saying it, I know it’s true.  Being healthy is more than a physical state…
I hope it’s evident that I am feeling more optimistic.  I think simply removing the pressure “to be the old Amy” has taken a huge weight off my shoulders.  I also feel validated in feeling this way.  Self-acceptance is essential at any point in our lives and also seems to be a major jumping off point for me.  I remember when I first started losing weight the catalyst to my success was when I accepted my body and stopped constantly hating it.  It seems strange that once I decided my “curves” weren’t the worst thing in the world I made things change!  But self-love seems to bring me hope and helps make me motivated in my life.  I strongly recommend taking some time today to be thankful for yourself too!!
And because I’ve been pinterest-ing this weekend, I found this recipe.  I might add them to my holiday cookie exchange!
*Vanilla Oatmeal No Bake Cookies
2 c. sugar
3/4 c. butter
2/3 c. milk
1 (3.4 oz.) box instant vanilla flavor pudding mix
3 1/2 c. quick cooking oats
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

In a large pan, mix together the sugar, butter and the milk. Bring to a boil. Boil 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, add in the pudding mix, oats and vanilla. Let stand 5 minutes. Drop by tablespoon onto wax paper and let cool. Store in an airtight container.

*This recipe is from the blog  aunt peg’s recipe box