Thursday, October 30, 2008

Be Positive.... Me?

I haven't posted in a week, mostly because nothing exciting has happened to me this week, not sure if that's good or bad... I've eaten more or less "normally", you know some indulgences like pizza & chips on one night and a biscuit or three with a cup of tea (ooh that rhymes!), but I haven't had any crazy bingeing urges and I'm also not feeling deprived. I started back training last week, just easing myself into it gradually so I didn't take part in the sparring part of class last night, preferring to just work on my II Dan Patterns. They're really coming along, I can pretty much say that I know 2 of the 3 required, I just need to work on my kicking now... (I've been saying that for 2 years, someday I'll actually genuinely work on it!) I'm still pudgy, with extremely curvaceous cellulite-ridden thighs but I'm not hating myself so that must be a positive step of sorts.
So training is going ok, and my diet, although not exactly clean is not harmful, and I'm finding a sort of temporary acceptance of my chubbiness. How boring!! Where's the harrowing tale of angst, shame and despair which I seem to thrive on?! This really isn't right at all... I'd better find something to be miserable about quickly!! :o)
Seriously though, I am looking for balance, but not like this. Not some form of acceptance, like I'm settling for less. At least I'm back in TKD with some new-found enthusiasm, that is an extremely positive and encouraging thing for me. TKD is such a part of my identity, I really felt lost without it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Goal!!! Life ones, not soccer!

I'm a little bit inspired by Trisha's Goal Checklist, and I may add something to my page along that vein, but first I need to come up with some. Now if I start with the old S.M.A.R.T. principles it's not gonna be easy for me to come up with a list worth publishing, so I'm gonna just throw some ideas out there, and maybe find a way to tidy it up later. Suggestions for refinement would be much appreciated!
Short-term Goals:
  • Start using the gym at work again - varying between my personal TKD training, cardio and strength training.
  • Start running on the weekends (when it's actually daylight rather than the darkness at 7am nowadays!)
  • Drink 2 litres of water a day - I can do this!
  • Try and limit my treats to once a day so that I really appreciate them rather than using them as a food source.
  • Learn my II Dan patterns. (It's a TKD thing!)

Medium-term Goals:

  • Lose at least 5lbs before Christmas, if not more to allow for seasonal excesses.
  • Run 5 miles comfortably in under 40mins, ie. not in a race setting, just at a conversational pace.

Gotta go, but will definitely be adding to these later.

Ok, I think perhaps some of these are resolutions rather than goals, but if I can implement them then they'll help me on my path to my goals. Perhaps a new post is required... yay, I love posting! :o)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Newsflash: I am normal!

I had an emotional time in Italy, that's not to say it wasn't worthwhile, I'm definitely glad I was there, but it wasn't exactly an experience I'd repeat in a hurry. Though I experienced a few important lessons I think the most important, and yet the simplest one was that I am actually fairly normal. Yes, that's right, after years of coming to terms with all my differences which set me apart from everyone, all the reasons that I came up with for my interpreted sense of exclusion, I finally realise that almost everyone experiences a sense of isolation at some stage. I might even go so far as to say that everyone makes mistakes, or feels that they've lost control of their life in some way, even to the extent where they feel out of sync or misplaced in the world. Could this be true?

As I opened up my heart and soul to my room-mate over in Italy, the last thing I expected to hear was her not only understanding, but sharing similar experiences with me. Feeling de-motivated, feeling lost and out of place, feeling 'fat', ugly, stupid etc. Apparently these are normal feelings! I almost laughed at the notion that I've spent my adolescent/adult life trying to pretend to be perfect, trying to disguise any shortcomings, and then learning that a lot of other people are doing the same thing! Who was I trying to kid?! Life is not perfect. My life isn't anyway. My life is a great big mess. I could try and sweep all that under a proverbial carpet, or I could accept it for the way it is, and embrace its normalcy.

I am so glad that's over...

So I went to Italy. I managed to not cry when I put on my team tracksuit on the morning of our flight and realised that it was tight around my hips. I managed to not cry when a friend of mine playfully punched me in the stomach and said "58 kilo my arse..." I even managed to control myself when another friend commented on my currently curvaceous bottom. But I nearly lost it when I was standing next to my skinny little sister and someone made a distinct comparison along the lines of "I'd take your sister, she looks fitter". I know these were intended as jokes. And were said by incredibly light people who had been starving themselves for weeks to make weight for this competition. I'm not going to take it personally. But it was tough. Being there was tough. Watching everyone compete whilst I explained repeatedly why I wasn't taking part. But I'm hoping, really hoping that this horrible experience will help give me the hunger and motivation to start training again properly. I want the gold. I want the glory. And it would be nice to have my body back too.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ciao Mi Amici!

I'm off to Italia in the morning, my bags are packed and the taxi arrives at the painful hour of 5am! My previously agonising back pain has been temporary alleviated by the healing hands of my Physio. I think I love her in a way that is more than is required for a professional relationship!

I collected my baby sister from the train station earlier (she's 18, but still a baby to me!), and listened to her gleeful description of how her healthy diet in the build up to this competition has eliminated the hint of cellulite that she'd found on her thighs... I managed to restrain myself from kicking her out of the car on the motorway...

Honestly though, I'm ok with my chub. Well for now at least. I know no one can see it. It's like my own little private joke or something. It's a sick and twisted joke but I always did have a strange sense of humour!

You guys have been great for support through this seemingly overwhelmingly depressing time, but hopefully I'll soon get past all this whingeing about my body, and get on to complaining about something else!

Ciao for now!

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Bigger Picture

I saw a photograph of myself yesterday that horrified me; I was refereeing at a TKD competition and was dressed in the appropriate attire of a black suit, shirt, tie & a pair of adidas TKD shoes, my hair was done nicely, and my make up was flattering, but all I could see was the shadow of a double chin!! I know I gain weight on my face first, and even at my skinniest I still had rosy cheeks that contrasted sharply with my protruding ribs and concave stomach, so I was dreading seeing this photograph. Just as I am dreading seeing the 100s & 1000s of photos that will be taken at the World Cup.

I fly out on Wednesday to Lake Garda in Northern Italy, to spend 5 days watching my fellow athletes compete, whilst I try to avoid comparing myself to them, or feeling their judgement for my recent weight gain. I am contemplating leaving the swimsuit at home, for fear I'd be forced to wear it over there and show people what I'll be hiding under a tracksuit for the duration of the competition. I'm even worrying about the after party, and how to hide my chub and still look reasonably well-dressed. I have only gained about 5lbs and it has taken over my life.

I sat down yesterday and took stock of all the improvements I have made on my life in the last few years, and they are plentiful. Never before have I had the combination of a Good Job, Nice Home & a New Car, all at once. I don't remember a time when I didn't worry about my weight, even at my lightest I was never happy with my thighs or my cheeks with their genetic pre-disposition to hold fat cells. But even now with all of these other wonderful things happening in my life, they are all overshadowed by that hint of a double chin.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Breaking the Fast

In case the title didn't make it painfully obvious I am, of course, referring to that all-important first (and my favourite!) meal of the day; Breakfast. It was on the tip of my proverbial tongue to post on the topic yesterday, and after checking in on Charlotte today, I decided to use my own blog for my verbal meanderings, rather than hijacking hers! :o)

You see, I love breakfast, and every kind of breakfast food item, with a passion that belies the simplicity of the meal. I heart Pancakes - fluffy American ones, or skinny Crepes; I adore French Toast drizzled in maple syrup; I'm partial to the Irish breakfast of bacon, sausages, eggs and pudding, and the Continental options of croissants and pain au chocolat. Apart from my clearly dangerous sugar/fat addiction, I love the healthy stuff too; the varieties of fruit; a big bowl of oatmeal with wheatgerm and honey; the numerous types of breakfast cereal; yoghurt in all its wonderful forms from greek-style to fat free. And those are just the American/European options, I'm not gonna even start on the Asian breakfasts, ok maybe just mention Roti Canai cos I used to love that in Malaysia with a big glass of Lime Juice. Yum!

Ok, so clearly I like my food. Preferably breakfast food. I even eat toast and breakfast cereal at night, craving them over everything else, partly for their simplicity and partly for their implied healthy attributes. I mean a bowl of All-Bran has got to be better than eating that pack of Pringles, right?! :o)

But there's more to it that just my nutritional preferences, it feels like the morning is a time I'm supposed to be hungry and I'm allowed to eat. After years of starvation & crash diets my signals are so screwed up that I can't tell what my body needs most of the time. But mornings are clear: I haven't eaten since last night so that feeling is hunger. I should eat now.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Growing Up is...

...doing things you don't want to do, because you know they should be done, and because you know you'll feel better when you've done them.
Example no. 1: Spending your Wednesday evening vacuuming and mopping your apartment, NOT because the immeasurable enjoyment derived from housework, but because of the indescribable sense of pride and pleasure in the finished result.
Now I haven't suddenly converted into a zealous, house-proud character reminiscent of Bree from Desperate Housewives, but I can certainly see the merit in the old adage that housework is good for the soul, as there was a certain sense of spiritual calm in my freshly-cleaned home last night.

Monday, October 6, 2008

You can't see it, but I'm smiling....

After a week of hideous weather, going running in the cold and rain with long sleeved t-shirts, tracksuit pants and even contemplating gloves at one stage, I was entirely unprepared for what hit us yesterday on the 7km(4.3m) Race - Sunshine. Yes, it was an unnaturally warm day in Ireland, the sun was beaming down on us, it was beautiful. Not exactly ideal race conditions though, I realised this as I licked my drying lips at the Start line. The route was also a lot hillier than I'd anticipated, which left my quads quite heavy before I'd even reached the half-way mark. I also mis-timed my last burst, meaning I only sprinted for about 10yards before the finish line when I could have given much more. Now that I have enough excuses to warrant a dreadful time I can proudly admit that I finished it in 34m10s, a respectable time of just under 8mins a mile. Oh and I forgot to mention that back injury too, that's gotta be worth some sympathy seconds! :o)
I was on such a high after the race, there's nothing like it, except perhaps winning the race! That honour went to a girl with a time of circa 23mins, she was so far ahead I didn't even see her! Trust my competitive nature to always be comparing myself with the best, no wonder I get injuries so often when I put myself under so much pressure. I rested this morning, but only because my back was screaming for a break and I suppose it was well-deserved! So I'll take it easy for a while, and I'm going back to my Pilates class this week, I find the core exercises are great for alleviating back pain.
Something has shifted in the past few days, I think it began with all that glowing warmth of last week, but my attitude is infinitely more positive this week. I spent the weekend clearing out clutter and organising my bedroom/apartment. I caught up with various tasks that I'd been putting off for a while (procrastinate? moi? so unusual.... ;o), AND I ate healthily, without even trying to! My tummy was super flat today, and I'm back down a couple of lbs.
So there is a great big smile on my face, and it looks set to stay for a while. :o)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Warm Glow of Appreciation

This is for all you guys out there in the Fitosphere; Thank You. I've been pretty down lately, but your blogs, and your comments on my meagre offerings, have really cheered me up and kept me going. You've all helped to put a great big smile on my face.

Today really has been a good day all round. My contract was renewed at work for 2 more years, with a raise (it's small but good in light of the recent economic downturn), and after a crazy busy afternoon my supervisor sent an email to our team telling everyone how much I'd helped her out. It was one of those warm-glow days where you really feel appreciated, and I wanted to share that with you all. :o)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Love Thy Self!

Someone commented recently on a blog (I think it was TA) that we seem to take better care of ourselves when we are working out a lot; we cleanse/tone/moisturise, we brush our teeth vigorously, and generally treat our bodies a bit better. I suppose it's all part of the same basic wish to keep our bodies in good working order, but it's also a very caring thing to do for ourselves. The idea of eating healthily and working out often gets side-tracked by the idea of improving body image and the fact that it's actually a nice thing to do for ourselves can get forgotten.
As a direct contrast, binge eating or "comfort" eating is a distinctly unhealthy and potentially a damaging thing to do our bodies, and is usually born out of fear rather than love. Our society seems to be all about how we're "worth it", all about pampering ourselves and having exactly what we want, when we want it. But even when I'm "treating" myself, I know that I'm not actually doing the right thing for my body, and that I will pay the price later whether it's emotional or physical.
So, I am going to take care of myself, not because I am suffering with serious body image issues at the moment, but because I deserve to be taken care of. I deserve good things.