Runs for Cookies: Avoidance?

I have totally been avoiding blogging this week. And counting calories, like I’d said I was going to. And deliberate exercise, another promise. And even going out, other than for cross country.

It’s not even that I’m going through a depressive episode. I was just feeling so overwhelmed that I put myself in a little bubble of avoidance. I feel like I need a time out–stop the clock, chill for a few days without worrying about all the things I’m NOT doing–and then resume life without the consequences of having fallen behind.

Does that make any sense?

On my last post, I wrote about feeling like I need to count calories again to drop some of this extra weight and feel better. I think that the extra weight is contributing to the recent avoidance. A couple of days ago, Jerry asked me to go to his softball game, and I was too embarrassed to go. The last time I went I was in great shape.

I think one of the, if not the biggest, drawbacks to being so public about my weight loss/gain/loss/gain cycle is that I know people notice it. They may not say anything, but of course they are going to notice. Ten pounds over my goal weight, I can handle. Everybody’s weight fluctuates now and then. But being thirty pounds over my original goal weight makes a very big difference.

I need some new workout clothes. Mine are too small and since I haven’t been running, I haven’t bought anything that fits. Even getting dressed for cross country is challenging. So, I think I’ll go to Salvation Army today and find a few things (mainly tops) to wear. Maybe that will help motivate me to want to exercise.

Changing the way I eat has been the hardest. I’ve gotten so used to not counting calories over the last few years that I find it so difficult to get back into it. I don’t mind the idea of counting; I just forget how I used to take the time to plan things out. And few of the foods I used to eat appeal to me anymore. I planned out two weeks worth of dinners and their shopping lists, so that isn’t the problem. It’s breakfast, lunch, and a snack/treat that challenge me.

With the exercise (specifically running, which I would really love to get back into), I just can’t find motivation to do it. I know that once I get in a solid routine, I’ll be able to get used to it. It’s the first couple of months of runs that suck, because it feels so much harder than it used to. It feels like I’ll never get in shape again! When I was losing the weight nearly a decade ago, I was running faster and easier than I am now, even being thinner now than I was back then. I know that I need to be patient, put in the work, and just get it over with already.

I actually really do miss running. I never know what to say when people ask me if I still run. Sure I do… about once or twice a month. I’ve now taken a full two-year hiatus, and I know I want to get back to it–the desire is there–but I truly am a beginner again. There is nothing wrong with walking instead of running, but I miss the way that running made me feel. I felt strong, fit, determined and proud of myself.

I decided on a fun idea for the kids at cross country on our “long run” practices. I’m going to tell the kids that whoever can run longer than I do without stopping or walking will be able to choose a prize from my bag. I have such a hard time getting them to do even one 0.25-mile lap without stopping or walking! They are ALL capable of doing it. They will have to do it at their races. They just run too fast from the start, and teaching them to pace themselves is so difficult.

So, when they see me running painfully slow, maybe they’ll see that they can keep going. I know that I can do about 3 miles (which is about 38 minutes or so for me right now) and it’ll be interesting to see if any of them can match that with the motivation of a prize at the end.

Anyway, this whole post is not meant to be one giant complaint or lots of excuses. I know what I need to do and I’ve done it before. Like everyone else, I wish I could just blink and be back to feeling and looking my best. Since that isn’t going to happen, I have to make a plan and put the blinders on. I need to go through the motions until it feels natural again. Once I start seeing results, I’ll feel the determination that I need to see it through.

I do get the motivation doses several times a week, especially after each cross country practice. But it’s the determination that I’m lacking. (Here is a post I wrote about the difference between the two and why motivation doesn’t get you to reach your goal for weight loss.) My biggest obstacle that I have now that wasn’t there before is chronic pain. The carpal tunnel, my back issue, knots in my shoulders, and an odd pain when I bend my elbows (the muscles in my forearm and upper arm just above and below my elbow). I’m also older.

When I was running regularly, I didn’t have any of these physical problems except for the back pain, but that was there since I was a kid. I’ve been to numerous specialists about that and tried all sorts of treatments, but nothing works. However, I can deal with that as I always have. I’m just hoping that the other problems will resolve by taking better care of myself.

So, like I said, this post isn’t to complain, but rather to just sort my thoughts about this avoidance that is going on. I’ve done it before and I KNOW that I can do it again. I would love to be able to document it here as I make progress, so another goal that I have is to write more frequently and stop avoiding it. I just never know what to write when I haven’t worked on my goals.

Thank you to those of you that have said you are in the same boat. I am sorry that you are going through it, too, but it really helps to know that I’m not the only one feeling this way! I appreciate the support and kind words more than I can even express. I wish you the best as you work on this with me!

I was hoping to find some photos to share of the past week, but I really don’t have much! But here are a few…

These are some of the foods I’ve been eating lately. I’ve been eating a lot of fruit (I’m obsessed with cherries right now–they are so expensive, so I rarely buy them, but they’ve been on sale for $1.99/pound this week.

These are my Banana Oat Bran Muffins with added blueberries, topped with Cinnamon Raisin Swirl peanut butter by Peanut Butter & Co.:

This is a chicken fajita bowl that I made when peppers were on sale:

I had a huge craving for roasted cauliflower with parmesan cheese, something I used to make when I was losing weight. I love this! (Just cut cauliflower into florets and toss with a little olive oil, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Then roast at 425℉ until it gets little brown bits on it.)

And I love watermelon season! Watermelon is one of my very favorite fruits. I am horrible and choosing good ones (they are either mushy or they are horribly underripe) so I don’t buy them often. But Jerry usually has good luck, and he bought this one. It lasted all of two days in my house 😉

I went to visit my friend Spencer, who is now in hospice care at home. If you don’t remember, he has stage IV brain cancer. I wanted to bring him something, but I had no idea what to bring. I ended up choosing a Red Wings Tervis tumbler (he’s a big Red Wings fan) and a couple of pairs of cool socks. I thought they looked rather hipster, and since we share a love of Portland… 😉

There is a new squirrel coming around, who we’ve named Chip (as in Chip Matthews, from Friends) because he has a little chip in his ear (not “chip” as in microchip, but rather a little tear). He’s not quite as bold as Tuck, but he is getting braver now that he knows we give him nuts.

If you remember, Eli bought me a bird feeder for Mother’s Day so that the birds would quit stealing the squirrels’ peanuts. Well, since we got the bird feeder, the squirrels do everything they can to eat the food from the bird feeder–including dangling by the very tips of their toes to reach the feeder. It’s hilarious! So, when I saw this shirt on Amazon I just HAD to buy it for Eli. It’s too perfect 😉

The squirrels are getting quite spoiled now–I recently spent about $60 on nuts for them! I got walnuts, pecans, and hazelnuts all in-shell (healthier than peanuts for squirrels). We have a big jar sitting by the back door for when they come begging.

Right now, I’m going to head out to Salvation Army for some workout tops. I hope that my next post will show a little better progress!

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