Milestones

“Women can’t do everything at the same time, we need to understand milestones in our lives come in segments.” ~Madeleine Albright

Let me start by saying that during the past few weeks I have hated the scale.  It has not been the friend it once was.  Well, in all honestly, it was never really my friend but it had become friendlier in the past few months.

I have no doubt that this has led to my lack of motivation at the gym and unhealthy eating that has consumed my life (and my blog posts) lately.

But today.  Today I reached a milestone I didn’t know I could.

I am officially down 4 pants sizes since mid-January. FOUR!  A size I haven’t been in since college.

And tomorrow, for the first time in probably 10 years, I will be wearing shorts.  OUT. IN. PUBLIC. Not only because they fit, but also because they actually don’t look that bad.  And while some people may not agree with that last statement, for the first time in that long, it’s my opinion that matters, not anyone else’s.

Four pants sizes, 40 some pounds, 6 inches of hair, one 5K, and a new, more positive attitude.

While the scale hasn’t liked me lately, my gym bag is packed and ready for tomorrow morning.

Because sometimes there are better milestones than the changing numbers on the scale.

(Past), Present, and Future

“The first recipe for happiness is: avoid too lengthy meditations on the past.” ~Andre MauroisI

This post started out in a funny way.  All day I had been thinking about writing something pertaining to my constant focus on the past rather then on the present or future.  As usual, I had trouble starting my post.  I really didn’t know what I wanted to say, or maybe, I knew what I wanted to say, but really had no idea how to say it in a clever way.

So what did I do?  I looked back at past things I wrote trying to find some witty analogy to start with…and it hit me.  I do this constantly when trying to figure out how to solve a problem.  I look to the past hoping that it’s already been solved. That way I don’t actually have to do any work at all.

I seem to have an obsession with the past.  I am always looking back thinking the grass was greener or I was happier then than I am now.  It is really happiness or is it simply nostalgia?  What is it about an event being in the past that makes it seem sweeter or kinder to us than it was before?  For some reason I feel that the present and future can never measure up when, in reality, I’m not really giving them a chance.

What it really boils down to, in the simplest terms, is that I am a giant scaredy cat.  I fear making decisions specifically because I don’t want to be wrong.  I look back at the past and think, “I was happier then so I should do this” or even “I made the wrong decision that time, lets take the other road now.”

I finally got a haircut yesterday after weeks and weeks of saying that I was going to.  Why did it take me so long?  Because I was so scared that once it was done I was going to regret the decision.  Not only was I scared about the amount of regret I would have, but what would other peopler think?  Some people told me not to get my hair cut.  Should I listen to them or do what i want?  I know this is a pretty insignificant example, but if I freak out this much about a hair cut, think about what happens when I have to make real life decisions.

Do I look back to the past and pick decisions based on how receptive they were by my friends and family (and even strangers) and try to repeat the ones that were the most agreeable to others in my life?  Is that why the past is so important to me, because it holds the acceptance of others?

The bigger question is how honest am I being with myself?  Do I make decisions based on what I want, or based on what other people might think about the decisions I am making. I’m constantly joking with one of my friends that I am 32 years old and really don’t have time for drama in my life anymore.  Even as I say those words I realize I am a big, fat hypocrite.  Even when I’m being honest here, I’m not being completely honest.  I have secrets like everyone else.  Things I can’t put in print or even talk about for fear of being judged.

Am I doomed to constantly look towards the past or will I ever be able to just accept my present and future, judgement and all?

Here’s me in the moment.  Judge away.

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A Grand Gesture?

“I think it’s important to do a good job and not feel that you’ve got to make grand gestures, but just get on and deliver.” ~Theresa May

We can recite all the words by heart.  You know, that part of the movie that is filled with a grand gesture from one character to another.  The moment Ducky sings “Tenderness” to Andie in Pretty In Pink.  When Lloyd stands outside Diane’s room playing “In Your Eyes” with the boom box over his head in Say Anything.  When Benjamin shows up at Elaine’s wedding at the end of The Graduate.

While I love these parts of the movie; I always find myself cheering internally for a happy ending, I’ve never been much of a fan of them in real life.  It could be because I am easily embarrassed.  It could be because I’ve never liked all that attention. Part of me thinks those big, grand gestures have lies contained within and they simply need to be grandiose in order to hide something.

Maybe it’s the fact that I always seem to be rooting for the underdog.  The person that doesn’t show off in a flashy way, but is, instead, quiet and understated.  I feel like these people have gone the way of the “knights in shining armor” – they don’t seem to exist anymore.

What ever happened to the small gesture?  The tiny act of love or kindness meant only for the two people involved.  A touch, a look, a small token such as a cookie they know you like or a book they want you to read because it reminds them of you.  Something that shows that they listen to you or remember some small trinket of information you shared.  Something that shows they think what you have to say is important.  They know you.

Sometimes I wonder if people notice my small gestures.

But even if they don’t, I’ll still keep making them.

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Something…anything

“This suspense is terrible.  I hope it will last.” ~Oscar Wilde

Did you ever lose that feeling?

You know the feeling I’m talking about…that “looking forward to something” feeling.

To me, that was always the best feeling in the world and it seems to have disappeared.

Even with something as trivial as a television show or a book, the feeling of yearning, wanting, and delayed gratification is always wonderful.  Here’s an example: I always stop watching a television show when the last season is about to air.  I never realized I did it until someone pointed it out.  I thought it was because maybe I got bored with the show and became too busy.  In reality it’s because I wasn’t ready for it to end; I wasn’t ready to have all the answers yet.  I wasn’t ready for the conflict to be resolved.

I have a friend who is single and has a crush on guy that we see at the gym.  I see the way her face lights up when she thinks about the possibilities of seeing him and how excited she gets.  And I get jealous.  Here I am, the girl with the husband and kids, which is what everyone is apparently striving towards, and I’m jealous of my friend who is trying to obtain what I already have.  What I’m really jealous about is the fact that I feel like she still has opportunities; the opportunity for a new love, the opportunity for a stole glance, the opportunity for excitement and the unknown, the opportunity for her path to change.

Maybe I’ve been feeling this void/emptiness/lack of hope because I feel like my path is set.  Things are going well.  And my stress level is low.  Do I really have no complaints or am I just becoming complacent?

Now, don’t get me wrong…I’m not asking for drama.  Just a little spark, a little glitter, a little pow. Something to make me feel special, or even simply to make me feel like I’ve got somewhere to go.

Something to give me a little hope…

You Can Do Anything for a Minute

“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me lay an invincible summer.” ~Albert Camus

You can do anything for a minute. At least that’s what I told Jane to scream at me when I felt like giving up today. And she did. During that the last minute when she yelled at me from the sidelines I felt as if I could have run forever.

I completed my first 5k today. I use the word “completed” instead of ran because I didn’t run the whole thing. To be honest, I didn’t even run half of it and had a pretty embarrassing time for completion. But today I beat the goal I set for myself and that’s all that matters.

Four months ago and 42 pounds ago I wouldn’t have even considered running a 5k. Well, I probably would have considered it, but would have blown it off. In those days I could barely go up a flight of stairs without feeling like I needed a nap. I actually cried a little on the car ride home because I couldn’t believe how far I’ve come. Today I completed a 5k and being able to use the word completed is an accomplishment in itself.

The whole thing lasted under an hour, but during that short amount of time I felt my entire outlook shifting. My motivation is coming back. My desire to continue my journey of healthy eating for myself and my family is rising again from the ashes of last week. I feel like I’ve been catapulted forward ready to take on new challenges because if I can do this, when I never thought it was possible, what else can I do? Today I signed up for my next 5k in September, ready to try again and this time go even faster, longer and harder.

Today I completed my first 5k and though this is a small feat for some, my world will never be the same.

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It’s time to rediscover my love for this city

“I would never want to live anywhere but Baltimore. You can look far and wide, but you’ll never discover a stranger city with such extreme style. It’s as if every eccentric in the South decided to move north, ran out of gas in Baltimore, and decided to stay.” ~ John Waters

I always thought of Baltimore as the place I was going to live “for now”. The minute I graduated from college I decided to branch out and moved to Charleston, SC. After 9 years, a marriage, two kids and two stints in Charleston, I’m back and settled right outside of the city and I still kind of feel like we’ve gone through a break up and haven’t re-entered “friends territory” yet.

Now, I realize I make fun of Baltimore quite a bit. When you’re from here, it’s ok…but I’ll fight anyone who decided to diss my city. No matter how many times I leave or come back this is always going to be home; the place I seem to gravitate toward without even realizing I’m doing it.

I still keep in touch with some of my Charleston friends through a variety of social media sites. I get jealous when I see them at the beach in March or eating at one of my favorite restaurants. I immediately begin searching for real estate and jobs, seeing these items as signs that we were so much happier there and we should move back immediately. This usually lasts for about two weeks when I finally admit that it’s just not going to happen and this is where I’m “stuck” for the time being.

If I delve further, I realize that my nostalgia about Charleston is not about the people (though I do miss them immensely), it’s the places that I miss the most and the sense of community I felt when living there. I seem to have this idea that there aren’t places I would equally enjoy here. True, there’s no beach, or Poe’s or Bookstore Cafe, but Baltimore has good places too…places I have yet to discover. Restaurants, parks, trails, stores, farmer’s markets etc. are all within reach if I just decide to stop feeling nostalgic over what I used to have and put forth a little effort to see what I could have.

It’s time to go out and become a tourist in my own town and rediscover my love for this crazy, wonderful, kooky, incredible city that I call home and teach my children to love it as much as I know I can.

Now, where to begin?

Where has my motivation gone?

“People often said motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing, that’s why we recommend it daily.” Zig Zigler

I don’t even have the motivation to write today. I’m trying to do it anyway.

I don’t even have the motivation to exercise today. I’m trying to do it anyway.

I don’t even have the motivation to eat healthy today. I’m trying to do it anyway.

I don’t even have the motivation to __________________. Who am I kidding, I’m not even trying.

I don’t know what’s going on with me. I’m in a funk. I’m in a slump. I don’t even know what I’m doing at this point. I keep trying different things to get me going but they’re not working. I’m eating crap and then I feel like crap. I’m too tired or sore to exercise and then I feel like crap because I didn’t. It’s a vicious cycle that I can’t seem to get out of.

I need a pick-me-up. I need a jump start. I need someone to shake me and slap me across the face. I need to reach deep down and remember why I’m doing this…all of this.

Help.