Clearly it’s been a while since I’ve carved out the time to write regularly. For a while I had been at least journaling every morning, getting a half hour of writing time in. And then, when work and stress and whatnot picked up, that whole plan went to hell.
Writing is like a spigot for me. I need to do it regularly in order to keep the water clear and ideas flowing. If I shut it off, then all of a sudden I feel like I have nothing to write about.
So, yeah. That’s probably a long explanation for why this post might not be the best constructed piece of writing.
But it’s been a while, and I have lots of things I want to say, though!
First of all, I want to thank you for the comments and emails and Facebook discussions about my body image post. I didn’t actually realize until Turia commented that I DO have issues with disordered eating under stress.
Which makes a whole lot of sense. When I feel overwhelmed, it’s the thing I have the most control over – what goes in my mouth.
And I’m realizing that I’m a control freak.
Because controlling shit largely helps me cope with my anxiety.
I’m not going to lie to you, the revelation that I am an anxious person took me by surprise. I mean, I have had bouts of anxiety here and there throughout my life, but I assumed that it was situational, and pretty much anyone would be anxious in the same circumstances. And I had a hard time reconciling the idea that a person could be anxious and strong at the same time. (Truth be told, I’m still working my way through that.)
But I am actually anxious a LOT. I used cope with it by controlling as much as possible; researching the hell out of ALL options to figure out my plan for all iterations of those options – including the worst case.
It was exhausting, and I discovered with our infertility that it didn’t actually WORK to help me cope when my worst case scenarios came true.
So I stopped. Mostly.
Except once a control freak, always a control freak.
The whole thing over controlling what goes into my mouth and how much I weigh totally makes sense if you look at it through that lens. And it’s a HARD thing to let go of, too. Finding happiness in the woman who is looking at you from the mirror today is almost impossible. There are billion dollar industries out there who are based on the simple fact that the majority of women have a hard time with that.
At least I’m aware of it. That’s something.
Right now I’m not certain how to change it, other than recognizing it and trying to keep track of whatever my triggers are.
Work is a huge trigger.
As is parenting.
I have been having a tough go of it lately as it relates to parenting. With me, O seems prickly, and argumentative, and negotiates for EVERYTHING, and everything is a fight. Not only that, but he tells me as much as he possibly can that I do everything wrong. If I use the wrong word on something, he picks it out and corrects me. He nails me on details of his behavior, and when I DO have my facts straight, he’ll straight out deny it.
So on top of the argumentative bit, he’s dabbling in lying and hiding things from us as well.
(All of this is totally developmentally normal, by the way.)
But in a lot of ways, he’s basically me as a kid, and it’s really, really hard to parent me. And this age also brings back memories of BEING a kid which I would have preferred to forget. His insistence and enthusiasm for math problems, for example. I hated math pretty much from the get-go because I just didn’t GET it. And so his love of it puts me right back in that place where I feel completely inadequate.
He’ll ask why, for example, you have to add a zero to a three digit number to line it up with a four digit number to add, and I have no answer.
Uh, because that’s the way it works?
Bottom line: parenting right now makes me feel, well, inadequate.
(Seriously, I really, really, REALLY miss the toddler years.)
What IS going well, though, is my training.
I’ve thought for a while now – maybe the past year or so – that running 6 days a week would get me into trouble eventually, physically-speaking, unless I managed to carve out time for regular strength work.
I haven’t managed to carve out regular time for strength work. Largely related to time, but also, motivation. Running is so freaking CONVENIENT. I have limited time most days, and being able to thrown on my sneakers and run means I can wring EVERY second of free time I have to exercise, versus the 30-40 minutes round trip it takes me to get to the gym.
But. In 2014 I had some nagging, tweaky, not-really-injuries-but-not-100%-either which made me feel like I was on borrowed time unless something changed. My achilles was acting up for the first half of the year. Then I had some naggy pain in my left IT Band. Then, around Christmas, I threw out my back (which was oddly related to tight hip flexors).
So yeah, it was time to start crosstraining. And per my usual, I kind of needed a goal to get me to do other things.
I decided to sign up for an off-road sprint triathlon – my first! – to get me doing other activities.
And so I’ve spent this winter scaling back on my running days and mileage, running 3-4 days a week. On my off days, I swim or spin instead.
I LOVE it.
I can’t overstate that sentence enough.
Seriously, I haven’t felt this good – and fit – in what feels like a long time.
I love my long swims.
I mostly love spin class, though I’m kind of having a hard time lately with how loud the music is. (Shit, does that make me old?)
I love the change of pace and the flexibility.
I love that in a winter where we logged the most snow ever, I don’t feel like I NEED to get out and get my miles in, because I have an alternative – the pool or spin studio.
I love the challenge of something new; getting outside my comfort zone and doing something I wouldn’t normally do and leaving what’s comfortable.
And I love how it makes me feel: I can swim a mile and a half without a break now – the day after a 14-mile run.
You guys, 5 years ago, I was the girl who looked at running my first 5k and thought, OMG, can I even run 3.1 miles all in a row?
It’s just silly and ridiculous and awesome and amazing to be in this place. And I love it. I love everything about it.
And plus, regular exercise helps take the edge off my anxiety.
Which is good, apparently, since anxiety seems to be, well, my thing these days.
So there’s my update. I have some more stuff in my head, about the rest of my year training-wise, and how crazy the kid-doing-sports thing is THIS early and I’m nervous about the spring, and summer camp decision-making, and what I’ve decided to do this year with work in the hopes I can carve out some more time for my family.
But I’ll save that for future posts. 🙂