Taking Back My Life…

misty mountainsFor the last couple of days, I have felt like utter crap. Vaguely queasy stomach upset, a chronic never-goes-away-entirely headache, neck muscles seized up like rebar (which leaves me alternating between hot and cold compresses, whichever feels better at the moment), and to add insult to injury, the plantar fasciitis I developed during my misguided efforts at completing a triathlon, has flared up again. For the past few mornings, I’ve crawled out of bed, ignoring the excited spinning and barking of the German Shepherd, and hobbled down the hallway like an old woman. The excitement level of the dog, in anticipation of breakfast, is almost too much to bear and I frequently end up bellowing at him to shut up. Meanwhile, he thunders down the hall herding the cats into the laundry room, where he knows they eat breakfast. He does this because this is how things are done at my house. This is the routine.

Recently, however, there have been some mornings when I haven’t wanted to get up at all. Fortunately, animals don’t allow you to curl up in bed and say ‘screw it, I’m done.’

Terrified Eggs from flickr commons

Terrified Eggs from flickr commons

I know that a good bit of why I am feeling crummy at the moment is because I haven’t been very strict with watching what I eat. As in, I haven’t made an effort at all. Work has been very stressful and I’ve resorted to eating on the fly–food that usually disagrees with me, and far too much candy. Yes, I know that women resort to candy when stressed. If I planned my meals a bit better, and packed more nutritious things to take with me, I’d probably have a little more willpower to resist the pounds of bite-sized candy my co-workers have tucked all over the building. However, when you are working flat out, putting out fires left and right all morning, never a moment to sit down at the computer and check out LOL Cats or George Takei (Hey, they are my mood boosters! I *need* them at work), eating a sandwich standing up while you return phone calls or check the IV fluid rate on the sick puppy…yeah, candy seems like the way to keep going. When every place I work has its version of the candy/snack stash, then eating that apple instead of the candy is hard to do. Especially, as a friend recently pointed out, since carbs are portable and have a long shelf life without spoilage.

Broken window from flickr commons

Broken window from flickr commons

The broken window on the car hasn’t helped. I can drive it short distances, but the exhaust comes in so badly, even with all the windows down, that I don’t think it is very safe. So, given the fact that the funky odor in the fridge stemmed from the rotting bag of greens in the salad drawer, I think it is safe to say that for the last couple of days, I’ve been living off tiny boxes of Fruit Loops purchased from the local Mini-Mart within walking distance.

This morning, after I took a handful of aspirin and walked out the fasciitis to the point that it wasn’t killing me anymore, I found myself semi-seriously making plans not to see the boyfriend for the next six weeks–time in which I would drag my ass back to the pool, the hiking trials, the stable, and get this damned 20 pounds off of me. When I realized I was not entirely kidding, it was a bit of a shock. Was I really contemplating putting my life on hold until I got my weight down to a level I could tolerate? That is how bad I feel about myself right now. So bad that I don’t want to be around the person I love most in this world until I’m not so disgusting to myself anymore.

While waiting for the glass guys to come and repair the window on my car this morning, I spent a little time on the internet.  I came across two articles that made me sit up and take notice. The first was titled The Only Advice A Writer Needs. You should read it–it’s an excellent article that addresses some things I’ve been feeling for a while now–that my compulsion to check out/subscribe to/purchase information to help me become noticed as a writer is not nearly as important as writing the next story. I’ve even blogged on this subject before, but somehow in the last year, it has become easier to focus on the smaller tasks of self-promotion (which I still loathe) and networking (which can be fun but distracting) than on writing. Spinning the next tale has gotten hard lately. It used to be easy. It used to be fun. Now it is something I have to pull from within me.  I think the solution lies within me as well. Let go of the idea that maybe, just maybe, writing stories will make my life easier. Go back to doing it because it was the best part of the day.

Shortly after that, I read this post by Kristen Lamb. What struck me the most (aside from the airline travel horror stories) was the the story she related about a stranger asking what kind of people lived in a certain town. Read it on her website–but the gist of the story is that you’ll find people to be the way you believe them to be–and this made me blink and think about the kinds of things I’ve been posting lately. ‘Gloom, despair, and agony on me’ kinds of things. Deep, dark depression, excessive misery.

“You reap what you shall sow” never made more sense to me.

Sure, I’ve never been one for quantum mysticism. That ‘believe and it will come’ stuff of Field of Dreams, or The Secret, or The Power of Positive Thinking.  I’ve always thought that people had taken a certain amount of truth (that you tend to create the reality that supports your mind-world-view) and filled it with a lot of crap to sell  books and movies. But Lamb’s post made me wonder if I haven’t been peopling my little corner of the world with Eeyore viewpoints just like mine. So yeah, something else to work on.

Muddy laneWhich made me realize that I’m the only one that can fix these problems. The weight gain, the feeling crappy because I don’t take care of myself, the lack of energy to enjoy my life and the things that I love. It won’t be easy, either. For far too long, I’ve been pointing to the stress of my daily life as my excuse for not addressing these issues, but in fact, indulging myself even further. Realizing that you’re on the wrong road doesn’t get better by staying on it. Continuing down the same road, even when you know you need to turn around, is stupid. You shouldn’t keep going in the wrong direction in the hopes you’ll eventually find the way home. So yeah, I have my work cut out for me.

It means that while I will still post and promote and network, I will have to get smarter about it. Set a timer–allot myself so much time to check Facebook and my other social feeds and then move on to the main business of the day–the current/next story. Engage in conversations but remember most of them will keep until the next time slot available–I don’t have to answer every email when it hits my in-box. Go through my digests and feeds and eliminate the ones I never read. Pare everything down to the core and get back to work. Stop comparing myself to others. There is only one me. No one else can tell the story I have to tell in the exact same manner.

Write the next story.

Shut up and write.

Do it for myself and no one else because the stories are clamoring to be told.

Just do it.

I’ve got book reviews, blog hops, and promotional tours coming up in the next few weeks. But today, I have a story to write.

 

There’s currently a “Broken Glass” sale going on for A Summer Fling, two stories for just 0.99 cents! My latest novel, The Boys of Summer, is available on Amazon, Smashwords, and other outlets.

 

8 thoughts on “Taking Back My Life…

  1. Yep, I certainly don’t buy into “woo woo” ideas of mysticism, but I do think that what we put out, and what we surround ourselves with, affects us deeply — in a cause/effect kind of way, you know? I don’t think it’s mystical or anything, it’s just a simple fact that how we think affects the choices we make, even unconsciously.

    So, I’m proud of you. As your friend, I’m here to help as much as I can! And to not-actually-lecture you about food. Eat better! It WILL make a difference! Okay, that’s all the nagging I’ll do. 😉

    I have to be honest, I’ve actively cut out of my life some people we both know because of the constant eyeore-ism of their lives. It’s not healthy, for them or for me, but I can’t change them, I can only change myself. It was hard but doing so — on facebook, on twitter, on blogs — has made a difference. Which isn’t advice or anything, just saying: been there, and yeah, I will confirm that it makes life better to purposefully surround yourself with supportive, postive people. Like, you know, the guy you love? *wink*

    This is something I found last year that really helped me a LOT. I read it every morning when I get up, and I have it posted by my computer at work (I printed it out, obvs.): http://www.positivelypositive.com/2012/02/07/principles-of-success

    Maybe it will fall flat for you but I always suggest it as a good way to help change our negative, cynical perspectives about life…of which I am FAR to prone to. *sigh*

    Hang in there, my talented, hard working friend! And keep writing!

    <3 <3 <3
    Cooper West recently posted..Space, time, and joggingMy Profile

    • Aw, thank you–I checked out that website and found it very useful and appealing indeed–and as you can probably tell, I don’t normally go in for that sort of thing. 🙂 I thought it worth following, so we’ll see if a daily dose of ‘kick your ass in gear’ can keep me motivated!

      As you know, the food is the hardest thing for me to change–because of the family history of eating disorders and because good genes allowed me to skate by on junk food my entire life until just these last few years. I do feel better when I stick to eliminating certain things from my diet these days. I’m just going to have to persist on that front and not cave in when the day gets too bad.

      I also need to start charging for what my services are worth. When someone asks me for the extra 120% now, I am slowly learning to say, “Fine, but it will cost you ‘x’.” If they still want me to knock myself out for them, well, then they need to pay me. Only the fact that the economy is slowly improving allows me to say that now. Before, I was so desperate I’d take any work at any price.

      Hang in there, my talented, hard working friend! And keep writing!

      Aw, thanks for the encouragement!
      Sarah Madison recently posted..Taking Back My Life…My Profile

  2. Yes, I know that women resort to candy when stressed…
    Yes. Confort ‘junk’ food. Lately I have a frequent and intimate relationship with it! ;P

    • *grins* I know what you mean. Yesterday was so busy, so overbooked, that I kept stuffing myself with mini candy bars all day long. I was horrified when I looked up the calorie count! Worse, when I eat sugar like that, my own blood sugar rockets up and down as a result, and I find myself shaky and starving when I get home and then I make MORE bad food choices. It’s got to stop.

      Hope the stress lightens up on your end soon!
      Sarah Madison recently posted..Taking Back My Life…My Profile

  3. Several months ago I started paying 2 people to torture me, since I couldn’t motivate myself to eat healthy, or get even the most basic exercise. It’ll take a year or so to pay off, but has been worth it to me. The biggest thing I’ve learned is that low-fat string cheese and hard-boiled eggs are my friends. The cheese was no problem. I whined about the eggs. My trainer pointed how cheap they were, it takes very little time and effort to make them, and if you boil them a dozen at a time, you’re set for a few days.

    The first week was hell, but now they’re both my go-to snacks. The protein is more filling, they (the eggs) don’t need to be refrigerated if you take what only what you’ll eat that day, and if you’re starving, can be supplemented with 1 mini-candy bar. The cheese is, well, healthy cheese, which I’ve been addicted to for years. It’s the good stuff, but it’s enough. I have food allergies and sensitivities like crazy, so, in a different way, I understand your worries about food issues. I personally will never be able t eat and uncooked apple, nuts, or any stonefruit again. You know, all the things we’re encouraged to eat to be healthy.

    I’m not thrilled about the egg situation, but did discover that eating something you don’t love, or hate, makes me eat less. Couple that with it helping me feel full, being portable, and low maintenance, I fell better,and lost a few pounds without trying. Getting rid off the sugar highs and lows also made a huge difference in my moods. I still miss cheese, though.

    Not trying to preach, just offering the advice a nutritionist gave me that helped. That said, if you decide to avoid your boyfriend until you lose 20 lbs, can I have his number? You’re what in your 30s? Your metabolism going to be a bitch from now on.

    Also, for the plantar fasciitis, New Balance makes an ugly grey sneaker that helped cure mine in under a month. They’re close to $200, which made me cry, but I’m on my second pair. I just figure I’ll never be out of debt. Turns out, if you have Medicare, you can get prescriptions for them, which is why they’re so pricey.

    • I had to giggle at the idea of being thirty again. No, I am not, and my metabolism didn’t get bitchy with me until a few years ago (hormones, not money, is the root of all evil in my book!) You *are* right that I will struggle with this from here on out though.

      I order some fasciitis sandals today–if they don’t work I will definitely look into the New Balance shoes. The one thing I *will* spend money on is shoes because if your aren’t right nothing else is either.

      Hard-boiled eggs I can do, I love ’em. Hah, I should go cook some now for work tomorrow–thanks for the idea! Dairy, however, the great love of my life, is probably one of my biggest problems. And cheese is just so portable and satisfying! But I definitely do better if I avoid all dairy. The last time I completely gave up all dairy (even cheese-flavored things, like crackers) I lost 20 pounds without trying. But alas, that was a long time ago.

      That’s the thing I’ve noticed with me though. It’s not necessarily how much I eat or how much exercise I get–those things stay relatively stable–it’s the what. And as you pointed out, when you get on the blood sugar rollercoaster, it is easier to resist temptation. When you eat something sweet and your body responds by pumping out insulin, then your dropping blood sugar *drives* you to eat again. Protein for breakfast definitely works much better for me than the recommended cereal. In fact, I do better grain-free, which certainly puts paid to the whole “11 servings of whole grains every day” advice.

      The problem is I *know* what to do. Making myself do it is another story. I’m pretty good on my days off, but I have to plan for work-days in order to keep from failing so miserably. 🙂
      Sarah Madison recently posted..Taking Back My Life…My Profile

  4. I hear you. Sighs.

    I can’t even wear adorable shoes right now, which is why I’m wearing ugly NB sneakers whenever I can. I want them BACK! I’m NOT OLD!

    • The plantar fasciitis is no joke. I am really pissed that I developed it on the very first day I joined a training group for a triathlon. I really feel their methods of training were not suited to beginners, the way they had advertised it. After the first session, I couldn’t run again. 🙁
      Sarah Madison recently posted..Why We Need HeroesMy Profile

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