Resolution Checkin: Book Eighteen

Wow, book eighteen already?! Wasn’t my goal thirteen? I honestly don’t remember.

Anyway, I just finished This House is Not for Sale by E.C. Osondu. It was a little tiny book and I think I read it in a week or less. It was one of my favorite types of books: each chapter was an anecdote about a different person and/or situation. He also used gossip quite humorously in almost every chapter. I liked his writing style very much. It was easy to get into, flowed smoothly and held my attention the whole time.

I’ve been rocking and rolling with working out until my ankle recently started burning and stinging again. I had fallen and twisted it a few weeks before my 10k (late August, early September?) and it seems to be acting up again. I’m trying to take it easy and give it some rest to see if that helps.

Why is it so damn hard to lose weight after pregnancy? I read articles nearly daily that say, “You probably won’t lose it all for a year.” Yeah well, Adalynn is almost 16-months and I’m still hanging onto five (or more, depending on the day) pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight; not to mention I’d like to lose even more than that. I was frustrated with tracking calories and took a couple of weeks off so of course now I’m right back where I started. I just don’t want to have to wear my pants up to my ribcage. I don’t want my lower belly to hang over my underwear band. Is that too much to ask? I’m trying to be kind to myself and just slowly work on it, but weight loss is incredibly frustrating and it’s hard work.

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Resolution Checkin: Book Seventeen

I read Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott for my seventeenth book after reading an article in Women’s Health about auras. I thought it would help with the deep-seated fear I have that I come across too strong for most people. In a way, it helped: there are some great things to keep in mind to have more effective – and brave – conversations with family, friends and coworkers. However, I found that the advice given didn’t quite delve deep enough for what I’m dealing with. Also, it’s clearly marketed at the business world and that’s not currently relevant in my life. At any rate, it was a fast read and I got some pointers from it, so no harm done.

I’m digging the run-walk method I’ve been employing. My next race will be a 5k in early December, and I’m actually looking to PR by using this method. We’ll see what happens!

Envy Between Friends

I’m curious about envy between friends.

Most articles I’ve stumbled across (and by “stumbled across,” I mean obsessively researched) call out the envious friend as toxic, deranged, insecure, incomplete, etc. Okay, Internet Articles, I hear you loud and clear: envy isn’t exactly the healthiest emotion, and it should signal you to look inside and find the real source of pain.

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The quintessential Jayne Mansfield photo, with Sophia Loren looking on

Is it always one hundred percent the fault of the envious friend?

Alice and Mitzy have been friends for as long as they can remember – hell, even before they can remember! Sadly, for almost as long, Alice can remember feeling envious of Mitzy’s life. Mitzy always had nice, stylish clothes; Alice had baggy, ragged hand-me-downs. Mitzy’s house was clean and stocked with awesome snacks; Alice had a dirty house with empty cupboards. Mitzy’s parents were nice and loving; Alice’s parents left a lot to be desired and weren’t around that much.

As they got older, it only got worse. Mitzy was so skinny; Alice always had a soft marshmallow tummy and really big arms. Mitzy was super popular; Alice was plagued by social anxiety and was a complete outcast. Mitzy had fun, good-looking boyfriends; Alice dated embarrassing doofuses. Mitzy went to parties and did fun things with friends; Alice didn’t get invited out and sat in her room every night.

Like friends often do, they drifted apart for a little while before reconnecting again as adults, after college. Alice found that the envy game was still strong in her head, but the energy had refocused onto other people, so Mitzy was safe again from her laser beam.

Until one day.

The two women were visiting, and Alice had turned her laser-focus onto her latest obsession: acquiring a puppy. Month after month, she perused shelters and even Craigslist ads, but nothing had panned out. Alice was upset and feeling desperate, and monopolized the visit by talking incessantly about adopting a puppy. She was about to give up hope. You can see where this is going: just as she was about to give up, the perfect puppy appeared at the shelter, and she was able to scoop her up! Life is amazing that way.

Anyway, it appeared that something Alice had talked about triggered a response in Mitzy: just as Alice excitedly told her friend that she had finally found a puppy, Mitzy announced that she had found one too! On the first try! Isn’t that great?!

Alice rolled her eyes a little bit, but she was so excited about her new puppy that it was hard to be too upset about her friend having it so easy.

Now that they were both dog owners, the playing field should have felt level, but it still felt off to Alice. Whenever Alice would reach out to Mitzy with questions about her dog’s behavior, Mitzy made it sound like her dog never acted up. If Alice’s dog pooped on the floor, Mitzy’s dog had never ever done anything like that. If Alice’s dog whimpered all night, Mitzy’s dog never made a peep. If Alice’s dog was learning sit and stay, Mitzy’s dog had already learned sit, stay, shake, and roll over.

About a year after Alice adopted her dog, she decided she was going to become serious about a new career path and train to be a medical assistant. Something inside her cautioned her not to tell Mitzy until studying and exams were well under way. Alice knew she was probably being paranoid, but it felt like the right decision at the time.

One day, she and Mitzy were texting and Alice let it slip that she had been working to become a medical assistant. Mitzy immediately replied that she had always thought about doing that too.

Here is where I start to question the one hundred percent blame model. Is it unreasonable to think that if someone feels like they have the upper hand over a person their entire life, they would be unwilling to relinquish that role? Is it illogical to think that Mitzy is so used to having Alice’s envy that she has to jump in and be better than her at everything? That she needs to acquire whatever it is that Alice wants, even if the thought had never entered her mind before?

Or is Alice just paranoid?

What do you think?

Resolution Checkin: Book Sixteen

Oh man, I loved the sixteenth book! I found it randomly in the library and thought it would be worth checking out, and I was not disappointed. If you want a good, girly laugh, check out The Best of Enemies by Jen Lancaster. It was a well-written yet light and airy read with a lot of humor. I really enjoyed it.

I had my 10k and… it was disappointing. Womp-womp. Here’s the worst thing: it only became disappointing once I crossed the finish line and saw my time. The weather was absolutely perfect; I felt great running it; and hell, I ran over half of it without stopping! I should feel good for those three factors alone and yet… I don’t. I am taunted by not having met my goal.

A friend of mine always says “failing upward,” and this is how I’ve decided to fail upward: I’m going to stick with shorter distances for awhile. Normally I would consider a 10k to be a short distance; however, training with a toddler in tow makes 6.2 miles seem longer than it should. She doesn’t have the patience to sit still for as long as it takes me.

Also, there’s something else I need to admit to myself, and be firm about: I have a really hard time sticking with a training schedule at this point in my life. There are too many crazy factors in motherhood. I’m good about working out, and running, and walking, but adhering to a schedule? Not gonna happen. That’s why sticking to shorter miles is going to be my friend for right now.

I’m employing a walk-run method I read about on Jeff Galloway’s website, and it seems to be a good fit for me. I’m going to see how much I can improve my 5k time and maintain my fitness.

Resolution Checkin: Book Fifteen (and a Half)

Well howdy folks! Here I am, on the other side of a move to a new city. Life has been turned upside down, and I won’t lie: my anxiety has reared its head again.

In the midst of the move, I revisited Boundaries by Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend. It was kismet – the book made its way back to me in July, just as I began mulling over my increasingly painful relationship with my mother. It was a book I had expected never to see again. I had lent it to a friend who I then had a falling-out with. Lo and behold, that relationship was happily repaired, and the book came back. I decided to pick it up as soon as I returned my last book to the library.

One of my first stops in our new city was the library. It is the most beautiful one I’ve ever seen! I picked up Room by Emma Donoghue. It’s the book my moms’ group is reading this month. I tore through it. It was a great book. It didn’t help with my anxiety, though…

For starters, this is the first time I’ve ever been unemployed. I don’t like it. I’ve been interviewing for a job for the past several weeks and am waiting to see if it pans out. If not, I’ll probably end up working retail until I establish my personal training client base. I have mixed feelings about this.

My 10k is next week. I am unprepared and trying not to freak out. It will be what it will be. I am still going to try to beat last race’s time. I have nobody to blame but myself.

Speaking of which, I find myself staring in the face of a massive weight gain. I had no idea. My clothes still fit, but holy cow, I stepped on the scale this morning and it was shocking. I haven’t weighed this much since I can remember. Not good. And definitely not good for my anxiety.

I know my brain will settle down eventually. I know that moving is a source of anxiety for many people. And so I cling on, and survive, waiting to thrive again.

Resolution Checkin: Book Fourteen

Number fourteen was Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney. I liked most of the book, until the very end, where it fell a little flat for me. It was kind of fun to watch someone’s downward spiral; that’s what I said to my husband when he asked me how I liked the book, which was an odd thing for him to ask in the first place. The book had some good characters and definitely some delightful awkwardness that was fun. Overall, I liked it.

I am about six weeks out from my 10k, which I still haven’t officially signed up for, and at this point I feel like I can definitely finish. I want to at least beat my time from the last one, 2.5 years ago (holy cow… really???). For that one I averaged a 10:58/mile time. I’m feeling like this is a doable goal. I’ve been making sure I complete my functional fitness challenge as well and I’m thinking that this kind of training is helping my running endurance for sure. I actually was able to run four miles sub-10 the other week! That has never happened! And I don’t feel like I killed myself doing it, which is the really great news.

And we are just about a week out from our big move, which is a huge contributor to my stress right now. Sometimes I feel like I’m just trying to keep my head above water. As nervous as I am to have so many life changes, I really can’t wait until it’s over and done and I have nothing to do but move forward. Being here right now feels like limbo: more things to pack, but not yet; address changes to file, but not yet; jobs to apply for, but not yet. Moving stinks.

Resolution Checkin: Book Thirteen

Oh. My. GOD!

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Janice from Friends

Hopefully you read that in Janice’s voice. Seriously though, I cannot believe the luck I’m having with first-time novelists. Maybe they’re not jaded by writing yet, or still have a wealth of passion that more experienced novelists have lost. But holy cow.

The Lost Girls by Heather Young was bleepin’ phenomenal. Everything that doesn’t seem quite right throughout the book comes together in a gruesome way at the end. It was one of those books that I had trouble putting down, even when my eyes were blurring and jumping around the page while I fought sleep. It’s going to be a tough act to follow. I’d reach more from Young for sure!

Running has been going a little better since I loosened my grip on a training plan. Sometimes I have aches and pains but I know I’ll be able to do this 10k without issue. I’d like to beat the time I did a couple of years ago, which means I have to do better than a 10:58 mile. I think I can do it!

I’m participating in a functional fitness challenge at work. Progress is measured over six weeks (four for me, since I’m moving), and you complete the same workout twice per week. It’s fun, but it’s a doozy! The muscle soreness was real. Here’s the challenge:
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I was surprised by how difficult the plank pulls were, and the kettlebell swings. I had to Google the difference between American and Russian swings to see what the difference is – it’s all in where the swing stops: chest level for Russian and overhead for American. Who knew!