Tag Archives: exercise

Verbing the Crap Out of Hope

Stay tuned for my next post in which I quit with this serious crap, but as soon as I finished rambling on the obligatory“Hope” post last week, I already knew there was more that I wanted to say.

So I started writing about my situation and realized the post was quite personal. Nothing weird or anything, in fact I’ve probably written about it before, but it just had some details about things that I’ve done in the past and sounded too “journaly.”

I read it over. I deleted it.

emerson

What’s happened in the past is done, and while I can certainly learn from mistakes that I’ve made, I often find myself stuck on what still hasn’t worked to justify where I am now. That’s not very hopeful, and needless to say, it won’t give me the strength to actually gain back my health.

But after reading a few of the other “Hope” posts, I realized a couple of things.

First, I don’t like hoping for things. With hope comes expectation, and with expectation comes the possibility of disappointment. Through the years my optimism has taken hits from reality, and I’ve let myself become jaded in more ways than one.

quotablepast

But this lead me to my second point in that hope doesn’t have to be the unicorns crapping confetti cheesiness that I roll my eyes at. The definition of hope is quite fluid, and for me I think it includes giving up the expectation that the past should’ve been different and that the future is screwed up from that.

Rather insightful, no?

Well, crap on that, as I also realized that although being insightful and aware and hopeful and all those pretty adjectives are admirable and important, “hoping” is never enough. It takes action—verbs—for the work to be done, as uncomfortable as that work is.

And despite being (relatively) rational, educated and informed, I can’t think myself out of every situation. To be honest, I really have to put the emotional stuff on hold until my brain and body are better physically healed.

quotablewalk

In other words, do the work.

So the first step is hope and the next one is action, and although I usually agree that baby steps are fine and beneficial, sometimes I have to call bullshit. With me, baby steps can often be crutches, the “at least I’m doing a little of something” to justify still staying stuck.

Sometimes I just have to “leap and the net will appear” and all those other clichés, even if that means falling on my flat ass, cursing, getting up again, falling, taking another step forward and hoping I’m doing the right thing.

Ahh…there’s that “hope” word again.

However, when backed up with action at least I have proof that I tried—I am trying. It’s 100 percent hour-to-hour with the food and exercise stuff. It sucks, it’s feels foreign and I’m still not totally leaping.

frost

But I’m trying.

And  I (and you) can still verb the crap out of hope.

Like the blog? Buy the book.

Advertisements

I Hope So

No offense to anyone, but I hate being tagged for things in the blogging world, mostly because it feels chain letter-y and those things creep me out.

But Jerrod tagged me in this Hope Blog Relay and threatened very mean things if I refused to participate , mostly because Melanie threatened very mean things if he dropped the blogging baton. I just couldn’t live with the guilt.

hope

Okay, I probably could, but I’ll give this a shot anyway.

The gist is you write about hope and then pass it along. Snark aside, this was hard. Like, “I don’t want to do this and I’m going to throw a great big tantrum” hard. Why? Because most days I feel there is there is no hope for me, so writing about it feels like an exercise in futility.

Well, I’ve written about depression multiple times, so it’s not like I don’t have much to say. I have a lot to say, but I’ve already said it before. For those who don’t want to click on the links, here’s a recap:

I don’t choose to be depressed.

I don’t wake up and conscientiously make a decision to already wish I could go back to bed. I don’t isolate and choose not to just “snap out of it” or to be so OCD that now my body has gone from whispering warnings to screaming satanic-like shouts.

While I could go on about the health things as of late, I’m not sure this is the place or the post. I’ll simply say that they add to the whole “absence of hope” thing.

But this relay isn’t about that—it’s about having hope.

So I thought about writing a funny or inspirational piece using other people’s stories and the choices they’ve made that have inspired hope in others. Then I called bullshit on myself.

Because while I’m sure that would be lovely, it would also be a bit of a cop out.  And as comfortable as feeling like crap can become, I’m tired of ignoring the fact that hope can exist for me too and that every day I have a choice. 

I can choose to own it.

I can choose to quit acting like hope is this foreign concept that applies to the whole world except me.

I can choose to admit that while there are physical barriers, I don’t help myself like I should.

I can choose to reach out to friends, family and doctors again without feeling like it makes me weak.

I can choose not to wait for something or someone to come and do all the work for me, to change the course of my sometimes tumultuous path.

Will I choose all these things? I don’t know. 

I’ve said it all before and it still kind of feels like a crap shoot. If I was reading this I would probably be rolling my eyes and saying, “Good lord, woman. How is this hopeful? Eat more, quit exercising, smile and get yourself some serious drugs.”

OK. I probably wouldn’t think that about anyone else, but that’s how I feel. In fact, I didn’t even want to write this at all. It sounds whiny and like I’m rambling on when all I want to do is delete this and post something funny.

But I choose to be honest today.

I choose to admit that I want to have hope and deserve to be healthy again. 

And I choose to pass that along.


For those of you who actually stuck around until the end of this thing, gold star for you today! I promise more “normal” ramblings next time, but today I was passed the baton, and as part of the relay I’m required to pass it along.

While many bloggers have already been tagged, there are a couple that I want to feel forced to participate (but no obligation, of course.)

Nichole at MichonMichon

Dana at The Kitchen Witch

Cara at Fork and Beans

Lance at My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

Jen at When Pigs Fly

If anyone else wants to join in, please feel free and continue this thread with anything about hope. You can even add that fun little graphic up there (not me smoking a piece of asparagus, but the relay button thing.)

And in my final act as freaking Pollyanna, tell me one thing about hope in the comments. What does the word mean to you?

Go With the Flow

I’ve been doing yoga since I was 15 years old in some way, shape or form. While I admit that the physical part of things is what always brought me back, the combination of physical and mental with yoga does help to slow some things down with my head sometimes.

If I don’t focus, I fall.

I can’t always just go through the motions.

yoga

But through the years there have been short stretches where I just didn’t feel like doing it. My theory was that yoga was something that I had to be in the mood for to reap the benefits from, and since I didn’t depend on it as my sole form of exercise I hated feeling like I “had” to go through the motions.

 That would completely defeat the purpose, and each time I returned to the mat revitalized and ready to go.

Recently I had one of those stretches and completely stopped for a couple of months. While I was still working out—that’s never an issue—I just wasn’t feeling the yoga.

The truth of the matter is that I have no focus lately—not just for yoga, but for anything (but yay Twitter!) I’m flighty and flitting between this and that with a scattered attention span of about 30 seconds, and that’s not an exaggeration.

If I can’t focus, I fall—in more ways than one.

But I finally had the urge to do yoga again this weekend, so I popped in a DVD, got my “Om” on and came to the realization that with so many things:

“When I have to, it’s hard. When I want to, it’s easy.”

For example, sometimes I sit and stare at my computer screen, the blinking cursor on a blank white page either inviting me in or mocking me with metronomic consistency. When the words flow and my fingers find it hard to keep up with my brain, I’m left feeling like what I wrote was what I was supposed to write.

Other times there’s nothing, so I fill that space with frustration and pressure, two things that aren’t exactly conducive to productivity. But nothing can be forced that I’ll be satisfied with, and unless it’s work-related and mandatory, trying too hard defeats the purpose.

So while I was getting my “Om” on with my head tucked under my leg, my arm bent at an awkward angle and “REMEMBERING TO BREATHE AND RELAX,” I also remembered that I have to accept those times when things don’t flow.

That’s not to say I shouldn’t do the things I have to do—we all have obligations and it’s called being an adult. More times than not I have to just put on my big girl panties and do what needs to be done.

The fact I can’t focus on what I want to do or what needs to be done is frustrating and affecting things both online and off, so I’m looking into it. Probably maybe.

But I also know the things I enjoy should never become just something to cross off a list, done out of guilt or obligation. After all, motivation and creativity ebb and flow and usually happen spontaneously, not just because they were planned.

Remembering that—and TO BREATHE AND RELAX even though I’m either literally or metaphorically twisted up more than a Gumby doll— helps to bring me some peace.

When I have to, it’s hard. When I want to, it’s easy.

In other words, go with the flow.

Like the blog? Buy the book.

Cheaper Than Therapy

I have another post I was going to put up, but then I started verbally vomiting on screen and had the whole internal debate about letting you in on my crazy or not. But in the end I forgot what I was debating and accidentally hit “publish” instead of refreshing the screen on Maru the cat videos.

It happens.

Anyway, although people who check the stove two times before leaving or straighten a crooked picture often claim to have OCD—something I am not dismissing, mind you—most really have no idea about the mental marathon that others (ahem, me) run every day.

These things are why when I  try and write something funny about a bird shitting on my glass door, for example, my thoughts skip like a broken record and I’m too distracted to write anything other than a few tweets and a Post-It note with helpful things like, “write a to-do list.”

This happens when life happens, when a major or seemingly minor thing leaves me feeling out of control.

I think I’m focusing on something and then jarringly realize that my thoughts have shifted back to counting in my head over and over. Then a minute later I try and focus again, but then my mind reminds me, “Shit. Where the hell were you?” and then it’s back to obsessing about my serious things and kind of about the fact that I have nothing in me to write a real post, which is basically the most insignificant thing I should worry about.

It’s instinctive. It’s survival. It’s my default.

While I know these bizarre things I do for self-preservation are technically making my life more complicated, it’s a “comfortable” complicated. I pretend I can deal with that better than I can deal with reality without them. So I reassure myself that I can do “X” or “Y” and everything will be okay, that if I do everything the way I’ve always done it, discomfort from all those external things can be (temporarily) avoided.

I can survive.

But when something crimps that routine—even just having to do something for one hour out of my week that interrupts that constant—I often default into panic mode. I might appear calm and collected, but inside I’m either grasping at control with my rituals to keep myself afloat or wishing someone would come in and wave a magic wand, telling me exactly what I should be doing and how to do it, relieving me of the burden of thinking.

Because if this post proves anything, it’s that I don’t always make the smartest decisions. Well, this post and that time I cut my own hair.

Where was I? Oh yes. Sometimes more than anything all I want is someone to tell me to do nothing at all, to give me permission to take a break from my life and myself and recover and heal before the next punch is thrown.

However,  that’s not reality.

Reality is a lot of crappy things that happen without your permission mixed in with those small pleasures that make your heart happy and give you the strength to put on your big girl panties and deal with it the best way that you know how.

So sometimes I internalize everything and take all the weight on myself.

And sometimes I don’t make the healthiest choices or write the funniest posts or say the most helpful things—to myself and to others.

But that is reality, and at the end of the day—even when I’m laying in bed trying to stop the freaking automatic tape that won’t quit running through my head—all I can do is vow to try again tomorrow.

And if all else fails, watch more of Maru and finish my post about bird poop. 

Like the blog? Buy the book.

Chipping Away at Change

It’s said you have to hit rock bottom in order for something to change.

But just when I thought I might have been close, I would get out my chisel and start chipping away at the ground, refusing to believe I had hit a new low. So even though the chisel felt heavy and my body felt tired, I ignored it. I continued to chip, chip away, always pushing myself just a little bit more, always challenging my body to keep up with my mind.

I was my birthday seven years ago. I had finally came home for a visit, the first after moving away for a six-month internship across the state. There was cake I didn’t eat, concerned looks I didn’t see, things said I don’t remember.

Any pleasure I’d once found in food had been lost, yet it still felt like a drug, one I literally tried to run away from as I ran myself into the ground. I needed it, I wanted it, I hated it, I loved it, I was bored, I was stubborn, I was stuck.

Instead my thoughts were consumed as they usually were with the next chance I’d have to destruct, to push my broken body a little bit more in an effort to calm down my mind, to use my body to show a pain I couldn’t put into words. It was a pain I had chose to ignore.

But what I couldn’t ignore was the pain in her eyes when my mom broke down sobbing that day.

We were sitting on the deck talking about nothing of note, or at least nothing I can recall now. What I can recall is the hard wooden chair digging into my back and the scent of the freshly cut grass, a smell I had missed living in a concrete city for the past few months.

I rested my eyes on the view from the deck, but the weight of her gaze drew me back.  She was crying, and then she was sobbing.

She let it all out, a flood of emotion, a mother both scared and confused. I had no clue what I had done, what had caused this sudden outburst of words and tears, concerns and fears. Not sure what to do I just kind of stood by, still numb to the fact I was sick.

But I listened.

I acknowledged the fact that things weren’t quite right, that my pain was no longer just mine. I acknowledged that something was wrong. My 5’ 8” frame suddenly held more than just my double-digit weight; it held the weight of the worry she felt, the gravity of a situation I had tried to ignore.

That chisel I used to keep digging the hole was put away just for that night. It wasn’t a fix and it wasn’t the end, but it would be the start of a very long journey.

It would be the start of some change.

This post was in response to this week’s RemebeRED prompt:

rememberedbutton

This week we’d like you to write about a moment in your life when you knew something had to change drastically. Really explore the moment.

Even though I’m not ashamed of where I’ve been, this post was still hard to publish. I feel weird, like it’s something I just want to forget, but it’s the first thing that came to my mind.

However, my next post will be day one of the 30 Days of Shamelessness. Let the freak flag fly!

Reflections

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

An image of hope, maybe eyes tinged with fear?

When I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror,

I’m often surprised at what tends to appear.

The image reflected looks nothing like me,

At least not the me that I want you to see.

The angles are sharp and the features jut out,

The eyes appear tired and full of self-doubt.

Hair that once shone is now showing the wear,

Of numerous struggles  I’ve forced it to bear.

I feel like an outsider just looking in,

At somebody else who is fragile and thin.

While I know who I am and that inside I’m strong,

This foreign reflection I feel proves me wrong.

The kicker it seems is I couldn’t care less,

how others might look or how others might dress.

Yet I always assume that I’m judged by my size,

by my clothes that don’t fit and the size of my thighs.

Even if inside I know I don’t care,

what somebody thinks of my body or hair,

Part of me wants them to see me as more,

as someone with talents and thoughts to explore.

If I never caught sight of the external me,

of this physical presence I’ve since come to be,

Would I do more with friends and not doubt their intent,

or wonder again what that last comment meant?

If this image stayed hidden and out of my sight,

would I think I should stay home for not looking right?

Of course, there’s that small part of me that is vain,

that wants a real ass and toned legs back again.

Who doesn’t like compliments on how they look,

when others take notice of steps that you took?

But the image reflected and what causes pain,

has nothing to do with ideals to obtain.

It’s not about pleasing the eyes of some guys,

or having somebody approve of my size.

Despite what is thought it has never been that,

I’ve never seen myself as pudgy or fat.

If I could dig out of this hole that I’ve created,

and drop all these habits I’ve long since berated,

I feel like my outside could match what’s within,

a spirit that’s light and not one who’s just thin.

I’m confident things will get better some day,

but my actions speak louder than words that I say.

Each day I try but some days I slip back,

turning to exercise, skipping a snack.

We all have our habits and vices to break,

smoking or drinking or risks that we take.

Things that we hope will distract us appeal,

more than things that we know we just don’t want to feel.  

There’s much more to everyone else than the look,

reflected in mirrors or in pictures they took.

I just want my outside to match what’s inside,

a sense of contentment, occasional pride.

A strong ear that hears and does actually care,

shoulders that help hold the burdens you share.

Sarcastic yet willing to give you my heart,

(But often reluctant to show off that part.)

The scars will prove how many battles I’ve owned,

not just with myself but with all that life’s thrown. 

What do you see when you see me today,

A girl who’s too skinny and wasting away?

Or someone who might just be dealing with more,

than she lets on each day or just hopes you ignore?

It’s not about looks or how things may appear,

as we open the page on another new year,

My goal for the year is the same that it’s been,

each hour and day all through 2010.

Deal with the struggles I face every day,

with courage and strength that I will be okay.

Reflect on the things that can bring me a smile,

a talk with a friend or just writing awhile.

The simplest things make me happy—that’s clear,

and I wish that for others this upcoming year. 

But I also reflect on my health and that look,

that I saw in the mirror with each glance that I took.

I want my reflections to match up at last,

not feeling regret for the time that has passed.

So when I catch a glimpse of myself  here next year,

I want to be proud of what person appears.

The image reflected will still look like me,

But this time the me that I want you to see.

This time the me that I know I can be.

FYIs again…part 4?

Lentils are a delightful alternative to beans in my usual rice bowl creations.

“Lentil” is also easier to say than garbanzo.

Forgetting that there are fireworks planned nearby on a Friday night can freak the crap out of you when the booms and bangs begin.

Sometimes you shouldn’t feel guilty for liking the same exact thing every day (or using the same picture numerous times.)

After all, food is weird, but so are people.

Wearing clicky shoes makes me feel important.

Wearing running shoes makes me feel more comfortable.

Some people will accept your unhealthy behavior if it benefits them in some way. This doesn’t make it OK.

School buses evidently stop at each individual child’s driveway now instead of at a bus “stop.”

I walked to a bus stop down the street every morning when I was little, and we had more fun before the bus came than we did the whole day at school.

Numbers, comments and opinions are only as strong as the power you assign to them.

Typos are unfortunate, especially if they involve the words “public,” “exotic” or pens…I’ll give you a minute.

There is nothing wrong with doctoring up an organic frozen meal…

and then taking over a real chef’s blog and pretending to know how to cook.

Even when I’m going the speed limit, my heart still jumps into my throat when I drive by a cop running radar. After that passes, I get arrogant and feel like I deserve extra credit or something for obeying the law.

Most people are looking for an excuse, not a solution. Do not be one of these people. (This annoys me, even if it’s me.)

I get freaked out when I feel my pulse in weird places.

It’s Astrid’s birthday next week, but she’s giving a present to you! Stop by her blog and wish her a happy day, as she makes me smile (and hungry) each time I do.

I wanted to include my usual video that excites and amazes, but I couldn’t get it embedded because I’m stupid technologically (not technically stupid, mind you.) So, if you want some recommendations of books NOT to read this year, Jimmy Fallon has a few suggestions.

As always, share your FYIs!