How do you pace yourself?

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This is what I look like relaxed.

Do you schedule rest time? Also, do you feel like there isn’t enough time in the day to do what you need to get done? Do you feel like you don’t do enough to accomplish your goals? I am struggling with goal setting, and when to work on those goals and how to overcome the limitations of my body. If I can’t overcome those limitations, how do I feel good about taking the appropriate breaks?

Last night my husband and I were talking about how I didn’t do anything that day which put me in a very foul mood. It wasn’t anything I could point to and say was wrong.  As Brad put it “You’re grouchy.” I didn’t know why except that I didn’t do anything.  I took the day off because my leg was hurting from my walking the day before.  Brad gave me this really funny look and said “Oh, okay, that’s because you’re all go, go, go all the time.”

He was teasing me but at the same time he was being honest. He said you need to give yourself permission to just rest. I replied accusingly, “I did! I sat there all day and did nothing but Netflix!”  It isn’t my fault that guilt just keeps creeping back in. I just sat there all day ignoring other responsibilities that I needed to take care of. I sat there in bed thinking I should have been writing or cleaning the kitchen. It doesn’t matter that I wouldn’t have been good at any of those things because I was in a lot of pain. I felt I should have been doing something other than watching Medium.

I have friends who are athletes and I’ve read a lot of magazines where athletes state that they schedule rest time. I guess I haven’t figured out how to do that guilt free. Is this another “talk to myself” moment?  Do I need therapy to give myself a day of rest by myself? I have no problem resting when my husband is there as if I have permission to slack off when he is. I don’t know why.

I really hate it when people say I don’t know why I feel this way, I just do. It is as if my feelings control me. They shouldn’t and I am struggling with how to make my rational mind take over in all my efforts.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to schedule rest time? Do you know any way to unwind guilt free?

Have you heard of the phenomenon where people set a goal so high that they burn out because they are doing too much?  It is a January trend where chubby people everywhere get into the gym and push themselves.  As if all the physical fitness can be done in the first month of the year, we all lace up our sneakers and sweat more in that first week than we have the entire year before and then wonder why we hate exercise.  My husband feels I do that with everything.

Usually I have unpacked everything, hung pictures, and organized the entire home by the third day in my new house. I push myself to get things done as soon as possible when I really want them done. Goal setting is good but if I burn myself out, that’s not good for anyone. I have to think of my body, my mind, and my marriage. I am open to any suggestions. I could truly use any possible help you could give me.

Please Excuse Me While I Write a Love Letter to my Husband

 

This is us on our honeymoon.
This is us on our honeymoon.

The past few days have been a respite from the pain I have been going through. I even made a lovely breakfast for my husband this weekend. I swam and spent time with family and friends. I was limber and energetic. This lasted about four days. This morning, when the alarm went off it felt like I had been boxing all night instead of sleeping. My joints were frozen in place, and my muscles were in pain. I was supposed to go swimming but when the alarm went off, I told my Brad, please I think my body needs the hour sleep more than the swimming. (I don’t know if that is true or not) He agreed, but he was awake already so he left me, and then came back in an hour to massage me awake. Yes, you read that right. Lying down next to me in bed, he very tenderly massaged my shoulders, my back, and even my hands that were stiff and unable to move. He patiently listened to my groans and whispered protests, and softly told me he loved me. I finally was loose enough to move myself into the bathtub so that I could soak my muscles in the hot water. As I bathed and my body loosened I said to myself, do better, be better, because I want to get better not just for me but for him.

In my life, I have been surrounded by people who have chronic pain, people I love greatly and I have been at a loss on how to be of comfort, until now. My youth minister when I was in high school said something that has stayed with me all these years, “Love is not a feeling, it is a commitment.” This is so true. I have been trying to learn how to express my empathy and my concern for my loved ones, Brad has taught me how. It isn’t the words. It isn’t even the tone, it is the consistent presence. It is the habitual exchange of care and warmth. Brad wakes me up everyday gently, and he is never impatient because he knows mornings are hard. He understands when I need to spend my break refueling and calming down instead of calling him. He has been so good natured about the eating no carbs when his favorite food is pizza, he got a gym membership with me even though he hates being around other humans (especially the athletic types), he went to said gym in his pajama pants because he didn’t own any athletic ones, he eats Kale, makes sure I remember my medication and vitamins, and rubs my feet when the neuropathy hits them as it so often does. He holds my hand when I am on the floor crying.

So handsome
So handsome

It isn’t just what he does; it is the consistency with which he does it. A man who is usually only patient with computers is infinitely patient with me and my pain. He is a miracle in my life and I hope it never ends. He loves me unconditionally and because of that I feel that I need to step up and be better for him. I need to work through the pain, show him at every opportunity that I am okay and that he is the most amazing wonderful husband in the world. So not only does he comfort me this way, he engages me and inspires me to get better, and handle things better for him.

 

When he laughs, he lights up my heart. It is the truth. I promise.
When he laughs, he lights up my heart. It is the truth. I promise.

Think of all the Unsaid Compliments…

I got my hair cut. I did it mostly because I am frustrated with the heat. I felt like I was wearing a long hairy blanket on my head. While sweating is my summer normal, I didn’t feel I should encourage it any further. I hate sweating. I also felt like a change was in order. You know, the wild thought that starts in your gut that says, change yourself and the easiest way is always your hair. It is a cultural phenomenon. I don’t know if the reasons are consistent. Could it be: I am bored, let’s shake my life up a little; I will get a haircut? Or: Here I am everyday looking fabulous and no one notices; I will get a haircut, that’ll shock em? OR: All this “changing my life stuff” takes too long; I will get a haircut.

I cut my hair for probably all those reasons.  In my earlier blog I explained that I have been feeling stuck in a rut, so there you go. I went to my trusted Hair Queen, Shannon, and told her I wanted something short- as short as I could go. With my fat face I can’t really go pixie, if you know what I mean. In this heat though, I was thinking about a full on Sinead O’Connor. It isn’t just the pasted-to-my-neck hair of this heat, it is the maintenance. So I went before work one day and consulted Shannon, and this is what she came up with.

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I am never very good at the selfie

Cute right? I had a vision of walking into work with an imaginary fan running in the background and some sort of techno music over the top. People would wave and give a thumbs up in my direction. Looks of bright eyed surprise and then smiles in slow motion, and maybe even pats on the back would be in order.

Did any of that happen? Of course not. First off, I work in chat technical support. Not only is that mostly men, but most of us don’t really talk that much anyways. Secondly, we are all busy doing stuff. About an hour after I got to work, I got a text from a coworker who knew I was going to get my hair done. “Turn around, let me see your hair.” She said then said it was nice. Another coworker stopped me in the bathroom and told me it was pretty. Two compliments are still not too shabby, but I was hoping for more. I know as a thirty-something woman I shouldn’t be needy for compliments, and in a way I am not. I love my hair, it is my favorite feature. I am a confident woman who is super cute and got the good hair combination of my mom and dad. It does what I want, but I want adoration too. I am greedy.

Talking with my best friend, after she saw it and complimented me right away, I told her how everyone was underwhelmed. She said, “I don’t think Idahoans give compliments.” I thought that might be true because she and I are both Midwesterners, who, I have to say give more weight to outward appearance which is a double-edged sword. The people here who have been most complimentary to me here have been from the East Coast, take that as you may.

I don’t think it is the only reason people don’t complement each other.

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It even looks cute curly!!!

I think it is how overwhelmingly awful we are at taking compliments. I mean I’m not, I am awesome, but most people are really hesitant to hear something nice. I was in the elevator with a young, lovely, olive-skinned beauty. I said in open-eyed wonder, “You have beautiful skin.”

Her immediate curt reaction, “No, it’s just the make-up.”

We argued about this the whole elevator ride up with me explaining to her skin like that doesn’t come out of a jar, and her telling me how hideous she was. Finally I stopped the whole thing and said as if speaking to a four year old, “Wait a minute, let’s start this over. You have beautiful skin, now what do you say?”

I mean seriously, children. If someone tells you how awesome you are, say thank you already! I don’t know how your momma didn’t teach you that, but I am now. Also, I don’t take time out of my busy day to bullshit you. I am an adult with things to do. Soak in the nice words; believe them, because I mean them. For goodness sakes, stop arguing with whoever complimented you, for my sake as well as yours. I mean, if you are a bitch when someone compliments you, they might not want to compliment me for fear of the worst.

 

Come to my Pity Party

wedding week 158There are so many people in pain in my life, it feels selfish and morally weak to talk about my pain. I have a Facebook friend who is in constant pain, and my mom has fibromyalgia, in pain almost every day. These are only two examples of the many people who have it worse than I do. I think quantifying how much pain a person is in, it sort of an odd conversation, but I know I am not the only one who thinks this way. It is the same with emotional pain. For instance, I would never think of going to talk to my best friend about a small argument I had with my husband when she was crying over a break up. That’s just mean. I wouldn’t blame her if she looked at me like, “REALLY? THIS SHIT?”
Being a bystander to chronic pain, I know how helpless it feels when a loved one is going through it. My mother has so much pain it’s unbelievable, and Mom’s a tough woman so I know she isn’t just complaining. To be honest she just doesn’t complain enough probably. After so long complaining seems fruitless I am sure. I used to try to help. Those with chronic pain will giggle at that. It is like trying to tell a fat person how to lose weight. No one has researched how to lose weight more than a fat person. I can account for that. It is the same for chronic pain. My buddy on Facebook goes to a new doctor it seems once a week. So while I am saying why don’t you try yoga, how bout acupuncture etc. my mom is just rolling her eyes. Finally she says to me, “I have tried these things. When I tell you about my pain, I just want you to listen, maybe say you are sorry I am going through this.”
Oh, hmmm. I don’t know how to be outwardly empathetic very well. I am…trying. I think I sort of sound like a recorded message sometimes but again I try. I much prefer to try to solve problems, but if there is no solving something the only thing I can do is submit. I think God is trying to teach me to submit to things that are out of my control. I am not a fast learner this way.
When it comes to my pain, I am lucky in that it is only about a week every couple of months as my medicine wears off and I wait until my insurance deems me worthy of another dose. I lay around taking my Aleve, in the fetal position with a heating pad on my shoulders, or legs or whatever part of my body hurts the most and getting nothing done except a lot of diarrhea. I think that is what pisses me off the most. I feel worthless. A week before my MONSTER PMS I was so productive. I wrote, edited, scrapbooked, exercised, and spent time with loved ones. One day I am feeling amazing, next day, don’t want to walk to the fucking bathroom. I have to slowly hobble to the bathroom.
There is nothing they can do. I have been to four doctors. My PCOS polycystic ovarian syndrome, isn’t going away unless I lose all this weight, and you know, the irony isn’t lost on me. I have a disease that requires me to lose weight, but makes it so that for weeks at a time I can barely walk. Just like Diabetes, you have trouble monitoring how much food is healthy for your body, so let me give you a disease where you have to monitor it more and more strictly. These may be the only questions I ask God when I meet him. Why is that logic so messed up?
My mom doesn’t complain enough. I want to complain for her. I want to go to doctors offices with her and be her advocate. I want someone to do something! I want someone to do something for my friend and for me. My mom still takes care of her family and sometimes even builds houses with my Uncle. If she can get through every day in pain, then I can get through a week every two months. I know I will live, and I will thrive. Sometimes I just need to bitch. Why do I feel so guilty about that?

Plagued with Self Doubt

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My Momma praying for me

Self doubt is my worst enemy. I seem like a very confident strong woman. For the most part I am but there are days and those days sometimes turn into weeks in which I don’t believe in myself. Keep in mind that I am an Oklahoman. I am one of the proud people of the plains who believe that with enough elbow grease you can get anything done. If you don’t get it done, you must not have wanted it bad enough. I do to a point believe that. I do believe that the fact I am not at my goal weight is because I didn’t want it early enough or have enough gumption to get the ball rolling. I also believe I haven’t had enough passion to keep it rolling. I know that seems simplistic. There are so many factors in achieving a goal: environment, personal health, and support etc. However, isn’t desire the most important part?

I would say desire, confidence, and hope. I mean these are the only things that I can bring to the situation, no matter the goal. Want and confidence I guess factor into hope. I feel like hope makes the time go faster when you are working on something. Hope makes the minutes on the elliptical machine speed by, and hope for a better future makes toiling away listening to a customer screaming at me now more pleasant or I at least more tolerable.

When I doubt myself, it is the coldest place in my heart. It’s like I have no confidence, and therefore no hope, except for prayer. My momma says, “Give it to God.” Now she says that, but she used to say, “Got helps those who help themselves.” I mean I can pray all the day long while eating pizza and my goal of losing weight will still go out the window. I do pray for strength, but I think my mother’s first thought was the correct one. I have to also help myself.

I have to believe that God gave me the strength and the fortitude to accomplish my goals. So where does that come from. I know that some days I feel it, but sometimes I just don’t. Inner strength seems to come and go, but I don’t know what causes it to go. More importantly, it seems so hard to dig myself out. Not only that but it seems like I store self doubt in my closet and when I pull out one box, all the other boxes come out and clobber me. When I am knocked out under the boxes and boxes of doubt, I think, I can’t do anything right. What’s the point? Why apply myself with anything if I always fail? How do I stop this thinking? How do I slowly pick box after box off the floor and clean them out and return them to the closet. Because by the time I recognize it is happening it is always to the point where I am down there on the floor.

Well, there is prayer. I ask God for strength and to help me get back my gumption. The second thing that I usually do is try to do something small I know I am good at. My go to move is to make a dinner I know I cook well. I personally believe I make the best chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes and gravy in the upper northwest. The practice of making this meal makes me feel capable and smart. I know that too seems simple a task but sometimes I have to go back to step one. Okay I can do this. Not only is this meal special in that I make it very delicious. It is the meal that most reminds me of and makes me proud of my home. Don’t get me wrong, if I could make a decent pie that is what I would do. Pies are also what make me proud of the Midwest. I can’t do that, but I make a mean gravy. It is not good for my waist line but boy is making that meal good for my soul. I feel competent, I get compliments, and I am transported home. Then I can move onto bigger things like getting onto that elliptical again, not eating after a certain time of night, or editing that book I have been working on. I have to go back to walking before I can run.

Mountains of issues

I have had boobies since the fourth grade. I remember very vividly the boys teasing me because they thought I stuffed. It wasn’t until high school that I began to think of these developments as a blessing, and in college, well, I knew they were. As I have gained over the years, a great deal of the weight has hit my chest. I am the proud wearer of much cleavage. I had a woman complain about it at my old job, to which my best friend replied, “You’d have cleavage in a turtleneck.”

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My cleavage out on the town, with some handsome men.

This is true, and my identity has always in some way been tied to my cleavage. I don’t wear t-shirts usually because then I just end up looking like a large egg, the boobs take over. They have been marveled at in many venues as I am sure all busty girls understand. I have seen eyes get big at their arrival, notice I didn’t say my arrival. My boobs arrive first. My breasts literally get a reaction all on their own.

I have always sort of been in a big booby euphoria too. I am an attention whore of sorts so the fact people have been drawn to them has been a plus. When I say people I mean women too. I think women talk about my breasts more than men. At a party, people want to touch them: male, female, gay or straight it doesn’t matter. That I can do without, but it always made me feel special to be the busty woman. I mean, at least I got that going for me.

I never understood the women who have had breast reduction surgery. Why would I get rid of the gloriousness that is my chest? The thing is that my body has always been pretty proportional. In high school and college I was an hourglass and really didn’t know what I had. I had a rockin’ body that if I knew what I knew now I would have shown off a lot better. Now, I am an hour glass still but pushing forty and pushing #@$@%$ pounds, the boobs are getting too big. (My friends and family reading this will be surprised I am saying this)

Everyone says when you lose weight the first thing to go is the boobs. Of course these complaints are told to me as a backwards way of bragging. Oh no, I lost all this weight, but first in my boobs. I don’t mean to sound bitter, but sometimes I am when people are bragging about it. I have heard this from no less than twenty people in my life, you lose first from the boobs.

For me that is not true. I have not lost an ounce in that department. I was finally looking forward to it. I am tired of paying so much money for bras. I have to special order, because the ones at Lane Bryant are too tight. I spill over in a very uncomfortable way.

Sleeping with gigantic boobs is not comfortable. Husband gets upset that I move so much trying to get “adjusted.” Then there are those times when you wake up aching because you’ve rolled over on them in the middle of the night, and that’s with a sports bra on. Yeah, these babies only get fresh air if I am in the bath, or in the mood. Even so, I am sadly proud that they still point forward…barely.

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Even fully covered they make an impression at the lake

I have day dreams of going into Victoria’s Secret and buying a delicately cute pink and black lace bra to elegantly display my smaller breasts. I also imagine bedtime where they don’t cause problems because I don’t have to maneuver them around to get comfortable. Then there are the nightmares I have that I will lose the weight and then they will look like two deflated balloons, lying down to my belly. At night I will swing them over my shoulders for comfort.

I hope that doesn’t happen because this is a place I NEED to lose weight for my health and my sanity. Sadly the era of the bust is over. This woman wants to get her some smaller cleavage.

Another Reason to Lose Weight: No More Farmer Tans for Me

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That’s the arm shot! You get a small glimpse of my wings there. You could float with those puppies. It isn’t just the boobs that make me buoyant!

I have useless arms. I mean I of course can type, feed myself, and do the various day to day things that any toddler can do. However, I can’t do a single push up, or open the pickle jar on my own. My poor husband gets massaged only fifteen minutes, tops. One of the reasons I want to work out and lose weight is to fix my puny arms.

I have this case for my phone called an Otter box. I can’t take it off my phone without my husband’s help. I didn’t think about it when I bought it. I just thought, I drop this phone a lot. My husband almost insisted on it because I am a menace on phones, but I can’t take this darn case off if I need to. I spilled coffee on the phone, and couldn’t take the case off to see if I got coffee on the inside. I had to wait until I got home.

It is slightly disturbing how weak my arms are, but what is worse is they must usually be covered. I don’t pay attention to social norms much, but I don’t like to wave my arm flaps around. I am like a bat with these wings. I mean truly it is one of the things I don’t like about myself. I just want my arms to be all the same surface level. I have little bags drooping under each pit. Not trying to disgust you, but be realistic. The last time my upper arms saw sunlight was my wedding day. Only because, I wasn’t going to let my ugly arms keep me away from my dream wedding dress.

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These clothes are all made with sleeves. I have no tanks or sleeveless in here….only in the pajama basket.

So another reason for me to lose weight is buff arms. I don’t know if I will ever get to Madonna arms. But I want to wear sleeveless dresses, and lacy sleeved shirts. I want to open the pickle jar without my husband’s help. He shouldn’t control my pickles. Someday my arms will be free. I want a tan to reach my shoulders.  I want to reach up with fists victorious without being afraid my sleeves will fall down and show my webbed under pits. Mark my words, that day will come.

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This is my first goal shirt. I used to wear this all the time and had many romantic outings with the hubby in this. I will return it into the rotation one day.