The Adventures of Now

exploring the mix of fun, fitness & health…as a diabetic


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Monday Motivation: Vision

I’m going to preface this with the fact that since it is still January I’m justifying that I’m going to talk about my plan for the new year, 2013. 

Last year I ditched the resolutions and went for a verb to describe 2012, I picked structure. Oh the irony. While I may have found structure in a marathon training plan, pretty much everything else was tossed up in the air. It was liberating, it was challenging, it was full of opportunity, struggles and new adventures. I knew I needed a change, I just wasn’t sure what exactly and in what way. I found my change, in a few different ways.

This year I think I’ve pinpointed it a little better, this year I’m picking VISION.

I’m going off two definitions of vision:

vi·sion

[vizh-uhn]

noun

1.
the act or power of sensing with the eyes; sight.
2.

the act or power of anticipating that whichwill or may come to be:

dictionary.com

Let’s look at the straight forward one first : eyes; sight. With Diabetes you tend to be more sensitive / at higher risk / more susceptible to various health concerns. Vision healthcare being one of those. I once had a doctor tell me I should get my A1C level under control if I ever wanted to consider Lasik, sure Doc, it’s not like I’ve been trying or anything. Anyways, this past fall an eye infection (PSA: Daily contacts are just that, dailies, don’t turn them into weeklies) led to a new best friend relationship with my eye doctor. It was tough love at first but it worked. She got me to step away from the contacts (threats of blindness works pretty well) and I even ran my 18 miler in glasses. It’s been a few months of work and some serious vision attention as I was also diagnosed with chronic dry eyes which led to a few more prescriptions, a lot more glasses wearing and a more extended bedtime ritual (there’s eye drops and pill and needles – it’s a sexy time).  But yay for getting a job well done on my last visit!

Now for the other vision(s):

As much as I’m addicted to Pinterest, I’ve often had a hard time in laying out my visions. I am much better at repining something, ripping it out of a magazine (oh you should see the piles) or just generally liking it, rather than creating a vision.

But 2013 brings the year of vision – and I’ve got a lot of them.

First up : Boston.

March 1st I’m heading north to Boston to reunite with some of my best friends and start a new path. There are still many (major) details to be worked out but given my current state of life, there couldn’t be a better time for a change of course and new beginnings. I hesitated towards Boston for quite some time but I couldn’t be more ready for it now.

I’m already envisioning decorating my new (yet to be found) apartment. I have moved around a lot growing up. I believe I counted 27 places up to this point – and no one was in the army and many of those were all in the same school district (thank you parents). I’ve had a handful of apartments in NYC – all with their own charm and quirks. I’m ready to play house in a place of my own. Since housing in Boston is um shall I say a bit more selective than NYC, given that most listings don’t open up until September, I’m looking into a sublease until then which will give me enough time to get steady on my feet up there and hopefully find a place to myself. So I have a growing wish list of home items and decorating ideas – finally a full vision to pull it all together.

Second : Job

Boston provides many new opportunities. It was realizing that Boston has a growing sector of my interested industries that reassured me that this was the right move. Since my role was eliminated back in April I’ve really been able to evaluate and analyze and re-evaluate and re-analyze what interests me, what motivates me, what I excel at, what I’m passionate about and how they all intertwine.  At first I freaked out that it wasn’t this one giant picture in front of me. I’m determined and hard-working, shouldn’t I know?  Then I realized that it is ok to have a few different interests. It doesn’t make me scattered or unfocused. So at the beginning of the month I finally broke it down, in acceptance, appreciation and passion.

Design&Events || Marketing&Consumer Behavior || Health&Wellness                                                                                                                                      

And if you look at it, all three of those can connect, or collaboration could be created by two, or each can stand alone. The fun is exploring all of those options.

So while it may not be as defined as which book ends I want or what throw pillows would go nice with a navy couch, I’m creating a different kind of moodboard when it comes to building a career.

Three : Fitness

ooaf.  This is equal parts of a vision for my physical future and remembering the vision of health from this summer.

This vision is still being shaped but one major step was selecting a refund from NYRR rather than running next year (or 2014, 2015). How is that a step forward you ask? It frees up some much needed funds, prevents unwisely spending at the moment and frees me up to look forward and discover new goals and races. While I can’t start whipping out my credit card for every race out there, or really any still at this moment, I do have my eyes on one important one : the Chicago Marathon. Heading to Boston, I’m excited to discover new running opportunities. I have been touched by so many TFK’ers that will always be with me and have so many memories in Central Park but it’s revitalizing to look forward to new things.  While I should be able to maintain my same gym membership when I move, I get to explore new classes and teachers.

Finally, fourth: Health

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Oh, so true. And I’ve never questioned it otherwise. I’ve grown up knowing it was my responsibility. I faced new challenges in 2012, questioning my attention and decision-making, all the while digging down to show my strength and trust in my body – inside and out. I’m actually really looking forward to building a new network of doctors. Lots of them. Boston offers some major opportunities in healthcare and while I can’t say for sure I’ll be knocking on the Joslin Clinc’s door, I’m ready to take an even more proactive approach and really find the doctors who can help me achieve my optimum health. I want to find doctors that take a collaborative approach and can appreciate my health for all that there’s to be grateful for while helping me to manage the many small challenges it throws at me.


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Monday Motivation : stop giving up

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Last winter I stepped up my physical activity after struggling to find the balance and freedom with a time intensive job. I started going to the gym before work, stuck with AM running – training for my first half marathon and the biggest leap – joined a soccer league. Spring saw a more committed yoga practice which had been neglected since teaching kids … years ago. Summer was in full force with my first marathon training.

Then fall came.

And as it had last September / October …. suddenly the snooze button got a little more play. With more flexibility in time, it made it even harder to commit because there was this voice in my head telling me I had plenty of time to fit in a workout later and that sleep was good. Silly little voice.

But I was still dedicated, I had a plan to stick to and a goal to reach.

End of October and November saw some new curveballs in health challenges, a lot of little things, nothing super serious / unmanageable but enough to feel like I couldn’t hold it together. But I had to push through it, there was a finish line to cross.

And then there wasn’t.

And I was exhausted of trying to figure out my body, keep everything in “balance” and plan. Oh the planning. The calculating.

So I stopped.

It all.

For MONTHS.

Some from neglect, some from bloodsugars going haywire.

And now as my shoulder starts to remind me of the fall I took a few years ago and the physical therapy I never finished. As my knee reminds me that it’s connected to my intensely tight hamstrings, wound up IT Bands and hip flexors that seem to be permanently frozen in a 90 degree angle …from my permanent sitting position…

….I’m reminded where I once stood, how far I’ve come and how I’ve taken several  steps back.

I can’t commit to a race at the moment – at any level – though I’ll have to make that decision about NYC within the next few days.

So I’m working on the smaller steps right now.
Like meeting all my Gympact. Even if it’s not my most impressive workouts.

And slowly but surely I’m picking it back up.

But.

I don’t see this as “starting over”

I’m thinking of it as “picking it back up

Hopefully a little bit wiser this time. Like working on injury prevention. And eventually becoming a stronger and smarter runner.

So it’s true, I’ve had a set back, I’ve lost some of what I’ve gained but I still hold on to what I’ve learned and I’m ready to reset and see what I’m capable of.

To not give up on my health and my strengths … and to find the fun again in challenging oneself.

Bring on the adventure. 


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The need to reset

Where is that girl who would get up at 5am to walk 15 blocks in the February cold to go to the gym? Or the one that would get in a few (struggling) miles before a draining day at the office, breaking it up with a lunchtime yoga session & rushing out to make it to a soccer game? Or who would collapse in a drenched neon heap at yoga, straight from a training run this summer? Occasionally after another yoga class earlier that morning. Or more simply, went to yoga several days a week or sweated up a storm on the elliptical for 30 minutes?

I want her back.

Maybe not to the extent of 3-a-day or making it the focus of my schedule – that luxury is over. But this trade off of being glued to my chair all day is not working. I’ve had the “too much time at the office, no energy left” excuse – this isn’t that. Worse. I do have time to go to the gym, I’m finally getting 8-9 hours of sleep (unheard of in this city).

So what’s my deal?

I lost my goal, I lost my focus.

Without digging up drama and focusing too much on the past, short & sweet: November 2011 I set a goal – to run the NYC marathon. The very next NYC marathon. I won’t deny it – part of me liked the fact that it fell on 2012 (duh, the very next year). I have a thing for even numbers and have even appreciated all my graduations falling on an even year, plus it marked 4 years post college and 26(.2) miles while 26 yro. So began a year planning. Everything became “for the marathon.” I loved joining a soccer team this past winter & spring but left when training started to avoid injury. But as much “sacrificing”, I think deep down it became a bit of a scapegoat too – blood sugar battles and nutrition fights were in vain of the marathon.

And money? Ha! They say running is cheap – they lied. MRIs, physical therapy co-pays, compression sleeves (worth it), more strips for bloodtests, increased groceries for hunger, nutrition and low blood sugars. And yes, the self justified items like a garmin. Not really what severance packages are suppose to be for.

This makes me sound bitter, regretful – I’m not. It’s been an amazing journey and I’m so grateful for it.

It’s about goals. Something that’s discussed a lot in the upcoming weeks.

Since I can remember (age 3&1/2) I’ve always had one major goal : A1c of 5 or 6. I didn’t pick this goal. I didn’t set the perimeters for it. I didn’t outline the consequences for failing or straying. It was all laid out for me. …… Except for the part on how to realistically achieve it – for my lifestyle & health. See, I’m not the only one with this goal – ask any Diabetic. Many even achieve it.

I have never gotten even close. On a scale of 5-12, I often sit at a 9, it’s a achievement if I get it to 8.x. Do you know what it’s like to do a check-in every 6 months (ideally) and each time fail at reaching your goal? Since you were a kid? Maybe you do, there are a lot of different goals out there. The funny thing is, I often hear many people tell me how “in control” I am, how well I manage the Diabetes. Deciding not to drink doesn’t give me a free pass to perfect A1c – especially if chocolate is involved. So while I don’t often address this issue (aside from every bite and shot where I’m calculating perfection vs consequence), it lingers.

The marathon gave me a tangible goal of sorts – I would get a shiny pretty medal for it – which would justify everything (gained & given) “for the marathon.”

But still, why the pity party? It’s been WEEKS since that goal date has come and gone. I may not be at my highest moment currently but I have been so lucky during recent events and there are soooo many people who sacrifice, battle and overcome during training. Yet, pity party it has been.

It’s true, I wasn’t my strongest on November 4th. In fact the 4 miles I managed with some teammates that day were not easy (though tremendously moving). My immune system was kicking my butt.

So I took a break.

Apparently a month+ long break (with one very sad exception of 2 miles in early November). I wasn’t with my team, the negativity around the marathon which I apparently took very personally weighed me down, and I was just thrown some new elements in what felt like my never ending fight with my body. Running just wasn’t fun. At the same time I was being zapped of my energy with no direct reason so the extra push was harder to find (of course when you need it most…).

But the thing was – it wasn’t just a break from running , it was a break from everything.

To be fair – part of it was the immune battle. While nothing overly serious, it had me dreading the gym. So I started slacking, failing my GymPacts, skipping my favorite yoga classes and opting for newly acquired cable over apartment workouts ( roommates mom staying with us for 10 days may have something to do with that).

It’s not just the exercise. When I was home for a wedding the second weekend of November I discovered Nutella & cookie dough. And consumed them both. Yep that’s right. A whole jar of Nutella and a roll of cookie dough. Don’t judge. That is not ok for anyone, let alone a diabetic (see part about A1c). Like really not ok. No wonder those 2 miles felt awful – they were fueled by cookie dough. I really should stop looking at the desserts on Pinterest that shoot up my bloodsugar just by repinning. And while most of my teammates are rejoicing about being able to skip the PB & bagel, I’ve turned to it for one too many meals.

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So no exercise & binges …. You can imagine I’m feeling pretty good right about now. I was feeling sick going into Thanksgiving let alone no Turkey Trot this year (not my fault) and tacking on those few extra calories.

Don’t even get me started on all the holiday talk.

I know, you want to shake me by my shoulders and tell me to snap out of it – to quite my whining. I do too. While I’ve gained intentions to get back on track it’s been all (whispered) talk and no action – my pet peeve. Kind of like how they tell you to just set your alarm an hour earlier to fit in a morning workout, only it just produces an extra hour of hitting the snooze button – not really the arm workout I’m aiming for.

Excuses, justifications, embracing and fighting. Yada yada yada. Eventually something needs to break you out of that trance many call a rut.

Many of my teammates & the running community threw out race options and alternative marathons. Florida in January – perfect, mom could actually watch me run it now instead of being my biggest supporter from a distance….

Oh right, that whole mounting medical bills and babysitting while looking for a new job thing. So I’m out for that. Even local races – race fees add up. I have so much love & appreciation for the running community and its organizations & it sucks to say it but $50 for a 5k was not happening – I’m sitting out for winter racing.

But that doesn’t mean I have to sit out of running. And definitely not out of the gym (as I wuss out from the cold).

I went from being in full force to a dead stop – and it hurts my body way more than a 18 miler.

Time to set some new goals – and equally important, some new commitments.

{to be continued…}