Time To Get Personal: Body stuff (AGAIN)

I’ve written in the past about my body image issues and how they’re kind of difficult for me to navigate and my since puberty and kind of before even weight and fitness yo-yo-ing has been tough for me.

I had a major keeping control of my body victory last year when I ran my half marathon. I was so proud of myself. The problem was I didn’t sustain it. This was for very good reasons. (They were only OK reasons) but I quickly found, that with my depression and comfort eating, the [redacted] (numbers aren’t the point for anyone who isn’t me and my doctor) pounds I lost came rushing back, along with [redacted] more.

I was officially the heaviest I’d been in my life, wearing a clothing size I swore I never would, and generally unhappy about the food habits I’d developed. This was for both health and financial reasons. I’d become a “takeout every night” person, which is both BAD FOR YOU and EXPENSIVE.

I was frustrated, and as the cloud of depression lifted, I realized that I needed to get back on the horse. I didn’t want to go back to the “training for a big race and on Weight Watchers” days, but changes needed to happen.

I put my fit bit back on, I began paying close attention to what food I was putting in my body. (And cooking! So much cooking!) And suddenly I found something had changed in me.

I didn’t like sitting around and not moving, it made me anxious. I was craving fresh raw veggies as I walked in the door rather than starch and fat. I was saying “oh no thank you,” when servers asked if I wanted to see a desert menu. And it wasn’t even a struggle, I just really for the most part wasn’t interested in whatever brownie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream was up for grabs.

When something was too sweet I bristled at it, starting to prefer salty and savory flavors, that mixed well with veggies and chicken.

What was happening to me?

Well, I guess I’m getting more healthy. This is good, for the most part but also kind of odd. Even just this past Monday, when after a weekend at the shore, I knew it would be a takeout night, mostly because my apartment was actually 100 degrees due to four days of shut up with no AC, I decided to order some fresh healthy sushi rather than pizza. (I did wind up with pizza last night, again, because too hot to cook…)

I have a clear goal in mind. Mary and Joe are engaged (YAY!) and I’ve decided that I’m not going to have to pay the extra $50 for a plus size bridesmaid dress, as I’ve had to each other time I was a bridesmaid. Granted, these dresses run small and consider double digits a plus size, but it’s a completely achievable goal, based on how I’ve been doing lately.

But mostly I’m just really psyched that I’ve turned a corner in my habits. It’s been a long road to get here, and I still treat myself occasionally, but this is a big deal.

I’ve got a year to go and a good amount of road to travel but it doesn’t feel impossible. YAY!

Time To Get Personal: Let’s Talk About 2017

I feel like 2017 needs to be subtitles, “the year I undid a bunch of work I’d done the year before.”

But that isn’t totally fair because I had some pretty big wins. But I want to start with the not so great stuff.

My day job fell apart, which lead to things here sort of falling apart too. This is because it was taking every scrap of my will and sanity to keep from falling off a cliff into the toxic sludge of that place. And just when I thought it was just me, I was quickly validated by several other coworkers. (One of whom took extended medical leave just to tend to the mental health issues brought on by the stress of this place. Seriously, it was nightmare) In the end, it turned out they were getting ready to sell the company and the stress and tension of that was trickling down to everyone.

Because of that stress I stopped dieting, I stopped running and I drank wayyy too much. So a lot of the progress I’d made in 2016 and the first half of 2017 went down the tubes. My weight is up, my habits are bad, I’m gonna do my best to repair that damage now, but oof, it’s been rough.

In addition to that, Mary moved to Colorado. This is awesome for her. I’m so so proud of my little sister, but I miss her all the time, and I never realized how much I rely on her for just like, helping me keep my life in perspective. And I decided not to do a show, so for the first time since I was fourteen I wasn’t in a theater all summer. Both of these things would be fine on their own, but in addition to the job stress and put together, it left me feeling unmoored.

Luckily, I recognized what was going on and began a job search in earnest in September and by Thanksgiving I was someplace new, which is lower stress, higher pay, and most of all, my boss does not appear to be a psychopath who calls me stupid when I ask questions and then when I try to figure things out on my own yells at me for doing things wrong. (It was really really bad, you guys).  I also knew enough to get into therapy, and practice basic self care, but it was really really hard.

So, aside from that, let’s talk about the good things:

I ran my half marathon! And I’ve decided to train for a full. (I haven’t chosen yet, it may be Disney, or I may do another destination city…) This will be a tremendous commitment, but I’m ready for it!

I moved out of my parents’ place and into my own. I love my apartment, and frankly, during the really rough moments with work, it was really great to be able to go home to a place that was mine and sit quietly, or cry, or huddle up and watch Gossip Girl without worrying how this would effect my family. Or call in for a mental health day without it also causing my mom to spiral into anxiety. We feed each other’s dysfunction that way. This move has been GREAT for our relationship.

I kept my resolution to be more social (AND HOW). Even if my weekends were sometimes more solitary than I’d originally planned, I did something with friends pretty much every week this year. MAJOR Shout outs to Katie, Aless and Crystan, but not forgetting Juli and Chrissy, for whom lack of proximity forces less interaction. I should note that getting in the habit of being social also helped my mental health A LOT. When on any given evening Aless will text and say, “I’m coming to your place tonight” I’ve gotta keep the place clean, or Crystan pointing out that we have tickets for something means that regular bathing is a necessity. And, I really missed Katie. Adulthood makes maintaining friendships from when you were younger hard, but as our friendship prepares for it’s Sweet 16 (We’ve now been friends for over 50% of our lives. It’s terrifying. We’re old.) I’m so glad we’ve managed to spend a bunch of time together. And a bonus of all of our hanging out, I discovered how much I love $9 wine, and as I understand it, she discovered a love of Jarlsberg. HUZZAH!

And, I’m keeping this very vague…I liked liked someone for the first time in a while, and they liked me back. We’re still not sure where it’s going, but it’s good, and even if it’s just friendship, I’m glad my depression didn’t stamp out that part of myself.

So, 2018 personal resolutions:

Start running again. 4 days a week. No excuses.

NO DRINKING ON WEEKNIGHTS AT MY HOUSE. Period. End of sentence. If I’m in my apartment, and I have work the next day, NYET. Even when out, limited to 1 glass of wine.

Seriously cook once a week. Crock Pot dumps and “reheat type” cooking more often, but my Uncles gave me a cook book for Christmas and I want to experiment with my kitchen a bit.

Take dating seriously. Seriously. This means apps and websites and speed dating and all kinds of nightmares that I hate, but with my mental health in check and no more “I live with my parents” as an excuse, I want to get into this. Having gotten into the habit of being more social last year, I think this is a good extension of that.

Things I’m Obsessed With Right Now: SPOOOKY

Still sick, but I’m back at work! (Have been for a few days). But Halloween is coming. (Not Hallo-Reenie, I mean, that’s coming too, but Halloween first…) So, I’ve got my stuff together for Halloween and Hallo-Reenie (kind of), and here’s some other stuff that’s fixated me lately, through my cold medicine and coughy haze.

  • I’m running in my first 10K on Saturday! I hope I don’t have an asthma attack from the coughing. But really, I’m excited, I’m excited to run, I’m excited to get my time in to Disney for the big run in February, I bought new shoes. (Well, my parents bought them for me, as a Birthday present. I can’t afford good running shoes.
  • Westworld, but we covered that. But seriously, IT’S SO GOOD!
  • A thing I can’t really write about here because of jinxing and also life, but seriously it could be a big deal for me and cause huge changes around here. (Or possibly not, I know I sound vague but I mean, it’s complicated.)
  • My usual podcasts deciding to talk about Ghosts! Seriously y’all, I love ghost stories. I believe in ghosts, and I love hearing people talk about ghosts. The past few weeks both This Is Rad and We Got This covered ghost things. Kyle, Matt, Natalie and frenemy Adam Murray chatted about the paranormal and Mark and Hal debated whether ghosts were real, Mark, for sure, Hal, not ruling it out but probably not. (I’m with Mark.)
  • My Halloween costume. I’d initially planned on wearing the dress version of my Poe costume, but then one thing led to another and I’m dressing as a ghost. This is the first time I’m not leaning cute or badass for Halloween and I’m pretty excited about it. I mean, it’s still a cute ghost, but it’s new territory for me. I can’t wait to share pics.

So that’s what I’ve got. I feel like this year has snuck up on me in a lot of ways, but also, I’ve been very organized? It’s complicated, I guess, but overall, I have a lot going on and I’m very excited for the things that are coming up.

 

Ready To Run: I DID IT! (Also Airplane Stuff)

OK, everyone, on last week, I went for my first off a treadmill out in the real world, 5K run. AND I made it within my time parameters of 13:30 per mile. Actually I made it in 13:09.

And I’d done a nearly 5 mile run a few weeks ago, but that was with my dad and he kept me on pace. (Oh boy did he…)

The good news about this is that I’m definitely able to run without the treadmill, which I was getting nervous about. Now I just need to start doing longer runs and keeping up that pace. On Thursday, I went for 4.7 miles, and of course immediately caught a terrible cold and now I can barely walk ten steps without hacking up a lung, so running is just right out.

But, I run my first official 10K a week from Saturday, so I have to get back to it. I’m a good deal less worried than I once was.

Planning Update!

I’m going to book my flights this week, complete with an early morning take off on Thursday and possibly an evening flight on Tuesday so that I can get some park time in on Tuesday as well…I dunno, we’ll see.

The Unofficial Guide To Walt Disney World 2017 came out this week and I’m reading it now. Granted, this book doesn’t change that much year to year, and I’ve read every edition since 2012, but I love spotting the little differences…

Ready To Run: Back To Work & Food Stuff

Running Work:

This past few months have been both busy and plagued by a low level of depression. (I did however keep going to work, AND being productive at said work…plus socializing. I walked around in a funk and only have some memories from the time, but hey! I didn’t self destruct, soo…progress!) I wasn’t exactly…training for the big race that I’m supposed to run in February. Anyway, that changed this week. I’m back on the treadmill 6 days a week. (Tuesdays are shaping up to be my rest day.) I’m also not drinking on weeknights, so as to sleep better and possibly be able to shift my runs from evening to morning.

Anyway, I’ve lost some momentum, but I’m doing much better than I thought I would be. I’m running an hour per run, five minute intervals, 2 walk, 3 run. My pace is at 15:30 now, I’m hoping to get back down to 13 by November.

So, that’s what’s happening there.

Disney Planning:

We got all of our dining reservations! We’ve got 2 Be Our Guest picks (one dinner, one breakfast…that way anyone who wants to can get into the castle…) California Grill on Sunday night, Tiffins on Saturday and Spice Road Table on Friday. I’m trying not to dictate too much of what other people should be doing, but also everytime I ask what people want I get the “I don’t care, you pick!” So, we’re doing things my way, at least for now…(That said I left a lot of open space so people can fill in as they will.)

My newest obsession is special occasion cakes. They all look amazing, and I feel like it would be a fun thing for the big family dinner at California Grill on Sunday…on the other hand…those cakes are mad expensive, and that dinner is gonna be expensive anyway…I dunno, I’m thinking about it most of the blogs and things suggest that you can wait until a few weeks before your trip to order a cake…I don’t know. I do think that the idea of a couple of mini cakes to celebrate Kristi and I doing the race (Maybe one Cinderella Themed, one Aurora themed…) I don’t know, but I’m loving looking at pictures of the cakes. So gorgeous!

Planning on booking flights and getting on the phone to Magical Express and getting that all worked out sometimes this week. I’m pretty excited about that.

Ready To Run: Training Speeds and AK Drink-A-Thon

So here’s what’s going on. I run a lot now. And I’m working on National Novel Writing Month, and (as I said before) I had some personal stuff going on.

So we’re going to talk about running. I’m using the Couch to 13.1 Ap on my phone, because I am a useless human who can’t do anything without technology.

Not like, I’m incapable, just like, I’m lazy? We’ve established how lazy I am in the past so let’s just move on.

Anyway, the way the ap works is that it tracks your training intervals for you and gets you on a running program. This week, I’m doing 5 minute warm up, and the 7 5 minute intervals of 3 minutes of running, 2 minutes of walking. It’s killer, I’m dead by the end of these runs, but the good kind of dead. I’ve set a training pace of about 13 minutes per mile. (Disney requires 16 minute miles. I had those at the beginning of the year, so I’m not worried about that.)

Also, as the planning process kicks into high gear, I think of my family. We’re big drinkers, and “Drinking Around The World” is going to be a center piece of this vacation, I can assure you. But one thing I want, is to explore The Animal Kingdom a little bit more. And, knowing my family the best way to do that is with some kind of alcoholic boost. So I scanned google for Animal Kingdom bar crawls, and nothing popped up, so I made my own!

Drink Through The Jungle

This is an idea that I have. It may not work for this trip, but I can’t seem to find a “drink around the world” style bar crawl for Animal Kingdom, which seemd CRAZY because there are so many weird little watering holes in that park. So I’ve put together a little list of how I think an Animal Kingdom bar crawl should look.

Disney World, for the most part doesn’t start serving alcohol until after 11AM (I think you can get breakfast drinks for sit down breakfasts and at La Halles Boulangerie in France but that’s about it.) What’s good about that is that if you go on a early extra magic hours day (Reccomended) you can get all of your rides in except Kali River Rapids, which also doesn’t open until around 10.

So let’s say that’s it’s Saturday or Monday, when there are AM EMH’s at Animal Kingdom. You got there for opening, got right on Kilamanjaro Safaris, then everest, and headed over to Dino-Land, and went on Dinosaur, if you’re so inclined. (I will never go on that ride again. Unless I someday have children who demand it.) Maybe you’ve even wandered the Animal Trails, and you’re ready to do yourself some drinking.

First Stop:

Africa – Dawa Bar

I should disclose that I haven’t been to many of these places. When Juli and I went, we were quite hungover on our Animal Kingdom day, and when I went on my own, I had a couple of drinks, but left early in the day to take a nap. But Dawa Bar seems really cool.

Second Stop:

Africa – Harambe Market

I did grab a beer there. The Market is probably the coolest non Be Our Guest atmosphere place to eat. It looks like a town square in a Kenyan village, and each window has different foods. It’s really cool. Highly reccomend.

Third Stop:

Asia – Yak And Yeti

Last trip I did lunch here, which I would reccomend for this also, but if you can’t do that, just go to the bar, or to the “Quality Beverages” window at the Local Foods Cafe if that’s even too crowded. But great Daquiris here!

Fourth Stop:

Asia – Thirsty River Bar & Trek Snacks

This just looks like a cart outside of Expedition Everest. It’s not. It’s a fully stocked bar, where the friendly and smiley tenders will mix you up some strong mixed drinks, if that’s your bag. And while you’re in this area, you might as well hop on the Everest single riders line.

Then don’t get a drink but see Finding Nemo: The Musical, and if you are me, cry.

Fifth Stop:

Dinoland USA – Anywhere

There isn’t actually a bar in Dinoland, but you can get Bud Lite at most of the counter service spots. So if you’re feeling it, pick one up there.

Sixth Stop:

Discovery Island – Nomad Lounge

The bar attached to Tiffins and it was supposed to be open when I went in May, but all the new Animal Kingdom stuff got delayed because of STUPID, but we’re definitely planning on going here, and eating at Tiffins on our trip.

Seventh (Optional) Stop:

Entrance – Rainforest Cafe

I mean, if you want to, pop into the Rainforest Cafe on your way out. Why not?

The thing that makes this tricky is that unlike Epcot, where the bars open at 11, and keep serving until 9 or 9:30, unless the “Animal Kingdom Nights” become permanent. (Doesn’t look like it right now, and I’m PISSED) everything finishes up between 5 and 7 PM, which gives you a lot less time. But, there are only 6 stops on this crawl, which is totally managable. Especially if it’s an Extra Magic Hour day and you get your rides in early, there’s plenty of time to get them in and wander with your drinks. I really want to spend more time exploring Animal Kingdom

 

Ready To Run: Registration And First Steps

Run Disney

This week in Crazy Disney Person News and 2016 Self Improvement News,  I registered to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February of 2017.

Kristi is doing it too. I’m getting back on a regular running schedule, since I’ve now paid money and there’s no backing out of this whole situation. I’m equal parts excited and terrified.

For the record, this was really the only way to motivate me to get my act together when it came to my physical fitness. I’ve tried for years to find the right X factor, but the only thing that ever did it in the past was a vintage dress.

That no longer does it for me. I can buy more clothes, and I’m over needing real deal vintage. (Do you know how many adorable vintage style dresses there are one Amazon that I don’t have to give up beer to wear comfortably?) So I decided to do this. I get to run in a race, have a new experience, and go to Disney World again, it’s a like a quadruple win.

It gets bumped up even higher now that I know my family is coming. I didn’t expect them to, but as we dive into planning my mom, sister, brother and dad are really excited about it. I know Kristi is also excited as is her husband Sean, you know, my actual cousin, who she’s married to. (They go to Disney with her family every year, I think he’s just psyched to switch the dynamic…) We’re looking at a six day trip, Thursday to Tuesday and we’re hoping to stay in a Disney Vacation Club 2 bedroom villa. Right now it’s looking the Contemporary, which score, because MONORAIL BAR CRAWL!

Anyway, to keep myself even more accountable, I intend to document when I hit milestones over the next 7 months of training. I’ll be running 4 times a week (minimum) now, starting in September, I’ll be running a 5K or 10K every weekend. (Registered for several of these races).

I’ll also update on the Disney Trip planning aspects. This is the third trip I’m planning inside of a year, and I think I’ve got the process down now. The thing that’s going to be different this time, is that I’m not planning just for me/someone who likes all the same things as me (Hi Juli!). So it’s going to be a little different.

The benefit of having done my two recent trips is that I know which things I can skip and which things I really want to do. Example, I could probably never see Fantasmic again, but I’ll go if that’s what everyone wants to do (or just ride Tower of Terror or Rockin Roller Coaster while they’re at the show). I would like to spend more time (perhaps even an entire evening) at Trader Sam’s, and I’ll do that by myself if no one else wants to. (Though getting my siblings to a Tiki Bar is not likely to be difficult.) So that’s all going to get documented her.

Lastly, because this is me and Kristi, and costumes are a big part of Disney Races, you’ll also be updated on my attempts to create a Cinderella running costume.

There’s plenty to document in this process, and I hope you all don’t mind coming with me on the journey.

Running To Stand Still

Hey everyone! Hope you all had a great New Year’s and that if you’re the resolution type you’ve gotten a good start on yours.

I have a couple but the most important one is that I’m starting running again. In my second senior year I ran nearly everyday and didn’t eat between meals and didn’t drink beer and lost 30 pounds. I’m hoping to do that again, because I actually need to lose 40 pounds to be where I was at that time, but I can live with having 10 more pounds on me than I did when I was 22. Seriously. I’m OK with it.

But I’m running again, every other day I head to Retro Fitness get on a treadmill and run for about 40 minutes (including cooldown.) Now, for me the most important part of running is my playlist, because if it isn’t right I’ll get bored and slow down instinctively. My current running playlist is increasingly epic and completely embarrassing. I should note that I don’t listen to it in this order. I put it on shuffle:

  • Stronger – Britney Spears: Because you know what, I am stronger, than yesterday. It’s nothing but my way. Honestly Britney is great running music because it’s like 30% bass.
  • The Edge of Glory – Lady Gaga: Again with that bass. I am all about it. (Not on the playlist)
  • Roar – Katy Perry: The white girl work out anthem! We require this song to exercise. I also sometimes start punching the air when this comes on. Like I said this is embarrassing.
  • Straight Outta Compton – NWA: Sometimes I’ll be getting ready to quit and go right into cool down because I am very lazy and I’ll hear simply “You are not about to witness the strength of street knowledge.” And I go. I keep going, because I am also a crazy mutha fucka from the streets (I am absolutely not that at all.)
  • Brand New You – The Broadway Cast of 13: This song isn’t even in the show, it was cut and then sung as an encore. But it’s wonderful. And I put it on most playlists because of how much fun it is.
  • American Girl – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: Another White Kid motivational song. We like this one. Mostly for driving but it works for running too.
  • The Call – Backstreet Boys: This is their best song and also it just moves, and has no weird slow breakdown like most of their songs, thus making it great for running.
  • No Surrender – Bruce Springsteen: NO RETREAT  BABY!
  • No Apologies – Empire Cast: Uhhh…how did that get here…no just kidding. In case you need to feel motivated ever having Jussie Smollet shout-sing “I’m a loose canon!” will do it. Also, you can just blame it on Tiana!
  • Song For The Lonely – Cher: Look, you’re standing on the edge of nowhere, there’s only one way out and your heart’s gotta go there. I just love this song a lot.
  • The Bitch Is Back – Elton John: Another good come back song. And while I am not “stone cold sober as a matter of fact” all of the other lyrics pertain quite well to me.
  • Ease on Down The Road – Shanice Williams & Elijah Kelley: Oh come on, I’m trying to motivate myself and there are definitely times when I wish I wasn’t born, and I KNOW the Shanice and Elijah version being here instead of Diana and Michael is kind of a terrible blasphemy , but I adore the purity of Shanice’s voice.
  • The Schuyler Sisters – Hamilton: Look, I could probably just run to the Hamilton Cast Album (and when I start doing longer outdoor runs in the spring I have every intention of it) but when I had to choose just one song for the short runs, well, it had to be this one. Among other things it literally reminds you to “work” every third line about.
  • Main Title and Attack On the Jakku Village – John Willaims Star Wars: The Force Awakens: I picked this opening so I can think about Oscar Isaacs being adorable while I run. That is the only reason it isn’t the version from Episode III which is actually the most motivating post opening theme piece.

So that’s what I’m listening too while I run! For now, I’ll be shifting things into and out of the list. I want to keep it at about 50 minutes, which is why “Mercy” by Duffy is already gone (I also just kind of got sick of it.)

And I’m not running for no reason. I’ve decided that the only way to keep myself motivated is to give myself a final goal. And that goal???? I’m doing a RunDisney event either late this year or in 2017. Depending on how my training goes I may go for the full marathon, but I’m more likely to do one of the half marathons or 10ks. Whether I do Disney World or Disneyland will depend on timing. I figured this was a good way to get myself motivated and to get my ass back to Disney! (or to California for the first time ever!)