On this episode of #DaniDishes, I'm talking about a realization I had this week about my battle with depression.
Monday night is Spin night. I attend the 7:30pm class at the BSC (Boston Sports Club) near my house (Wellington Circle location) with my friends Lindsey and Beth. I look forward to it each week. The instructor Kim is amazing and has become a friend. Plus, she plays Willow Smith's Whip My Hair Back And Forth whenever I request it. I love that song and make sure to wear the hair in a ponytail rather than a bun for those classes.
Yesterday was Monday, which means last night was Monday night ... and Spin.
I counted down the hours til Spin all day long.
I clipped into the bike at 7:30pm and was ready to rock. Class started and the legs felt dead. You know you have those days, right?
Well it got into my head. As we are pushing through some jumps on a hill (thanks Kim! :P), I sat down from a jump, cranked the resistance up, put my head down and just pushed my legs as steady as I could.
The mind was wondering so I needed to work through what was happening.
As the legs felt heavy, this question popped into my head:
Can I Do It?
You may be wondering: was it the royal it or something specific?
In that moment in time, it was that little Half Ironman in September I signed up for - The Pumpkinman Half Ironman on September 7.
If I was having trouble focusing and pushing through a Spin class, how could I expect myself to get through that athletic feat.
It sets off a domino effect of questions:
*Why did you sign up for it?
*Why did you think you were strong enough to even consider attempting it?
*How could you waste so much hard earned money?
*Why does it feel like your friends have such an easier time with the training than you?
*If you are having a hard time waking up for runs now, how will you feel when the workouts double?
*Do you really expect to complete the feat?
So this inner turmoil/debate is happening in my head during Spin class, the sweat from the intense intervals is mixing with tears. Was I seriously crying in Spin class? Why yes yes I was.
Cool kid award can be sent right here!
Now I wish this inner turmoil could just go away! Clearly me writing about it is my way to try and work through it. Since hey it rears its ugly head every time I sign up for my next big fitness goal.
But I own the fact that I am working on this and that it won't go away over night. It has been around for as long as I can remember.
That bugger named
When this little voice creeps in I just wanna yell: you're wrong!
It is a liar. I know I am nervous and anxious about tackling something so outside my comfort zone, but here's the thing - my comfort zone keeps expanding! I HAVE to keep looking outward or I will get stuck and complacent.
It's like the "old me" mindset is battling the "new me" mindset.
My $$$ is on the latter.
But in the meantime, I have to recognize the voice, allow the self doubt, but not let it take down my spirit or my drive.
There must be something in my subconscious that knows I will tackle any hurdle since I hit the "submit" button on the entry. :P
It is the same little voice that:
*pushed me through the door at Weight Watchers in November 2009
*understand I was worth happiness
*told me I needed to start this little slice of the internet
*I needed to share my story
*I could poke through the balloon that was my original comfort zone and keep expanding it
*moved my hand to sign up for 4 marathons (almost 5), half marathons, Dopey Challenge and my first triathlon
The little voice is there and getting louder. I just need to recognize that it is a process and I will have times where the little voice freaks out and the tears flow in the middle of a Spin class.
But in the end, the little voice won't lead me astray. It will lead me to the Finish Line ... and beyond!
On this episode of Dani Dishes, I talk about emotional eating and when food is not the answer. Find out the new question I ask myself before I grab for the emotionally-driven snack...
For some reason today was a tough day. I really don't know why. I woke up and felt like a truck ran me over. My wife thinks it was a "second day hangover" from an exceptionally long day on Sunday, which included over 4 hours in the car.
Maybe that was it.
Or maybe it was something else.
I just felt off all day.
I made a comment how I wish I could just hide in my bed all day snuggling with the pups. How could I not - look at those faces!
Okay old pic, but still.
They can brighten any day.
But I didn't have time. I had three Weight Watchers meetings today and if I don't show up 1) members are upset and 2) I don't get paid.
I truly think at the heart of the matter is that I am tired.
I am trying to make the best of my life, but wearing myself out at the same time.
It is very very hard to take a day off from Weight Watchers since 1) I lead so many meetings finding coverage is usually impossible, 2) I feel bad if I have to reschedule a meeting and 2) I lose out on money if I take a day off.
So taking a day off during the week is nearly impossible.
Now I am not complaining - even though it sounds like I am. I like my job and am lucky with the flexibility, but sometimes I miss being in an office and having sick days/reasonable number of vacation days that were easy to use.
Which leaves the weekends for me to relax.
Wellll not so much if I am always on the go for races and training runs.
Again, not complaining. Most of the time I am signing myself up for these things, but I love doing them. I love lacing up the sneakers, meeting new people and pushing my body to a level it doesn't thin it can go to.
But either way it is taxing.
I honestly can't remember the last time I had an entire day off from work or training.
I need to learn how to build those in, but for now I need to make the most of the little downtime I do have.
I must force myself to go to bed earlier - even though I have blogging/emails/tweets/etc to respond back to.
Those can wait.
I need to start putting myself first.
I am the best at asking how others are doing. My members. My readers. My friends. My family.
But I forget to check in with me.
It isn't until I get pushed past the point of exhaustion that I realize "Wow I need a break."
Before my blog I wouldn't have allowed myself to own these feelings.
I mean I do not work long hours anymore. I do not work 100 days straight anymore. I left that lifestyle behind.
But it's like I am making up for it now. I am trying to jam as much fun as possible into my schedule.
I may be paying the price now.
It may not happen until November, but I promise that as soon as I can I will take 1 day completely to myself.
In the meantime, I will keep pushing to figure out where I need to make a change...
On this episode of Dani Dishes, I celebrate a week of "Progress Not Perfection" when it comes to my getting #Back2Basics challenge and I'm happy about it! :) I also mention one of my favorite local brews - Slumbrew - check 'em out. Product Of The Week Fiber One 90 Calorie Cinnamon Coffee Cake - http://www.fiberone.com/products/brownies/new-90-calorie-cinnamon-coffee-cake
Normally when running, I just sing along to the musica internally since well ... I can't sing to save my life. It is painful for the people around me so I usually allow the inner voice - which of course sounds like Jennifer Hudson - to belt it out. However, there are those rare times when the path is empty, I'm in either a really BAD or really GOOD mood and I let myself BELT the music out outside of my head.
This generally only occurs when I am in a particularly horrible mood ... which unfortunately has been happening a lot lately.
SO what happened?
I've only put three albums (are they still called that?) on my iPod shuffle inside the X-1 headset so far: Wicked, P!nk and Adele. Can you tell I was emotional when I selected these? ;)
Midway through the run one of my favorite songs from Wicked came on - Defying Gravity!
The song came on, the path was clear and I started BELTING this song at the top of my lungs. If anyone drove by me, I apologize for the noise. ;) Especially since I had the headphones in so I had NO IDEA how loud I was probably singing. :P
No matter my mood this song empowers me and it worked its magic again that day.
I'm through with playing by the rules Of someone else's game Too late for second-guessing Too late to go back to sleep It's time to trust my instincts Close my eyes: and leap!
It's time to try Defying gravity I think I'll try Defying gravity And you can't pull me down!
THIS! 1,000 times this. Singing this out loud reminded me why I started this crazy journey four years ago. This journey of shedding the weight, trying new things, starting to run ... it was all to break the rules OF MY OWN GAME.
It was time to take the leap and try! It was time to prove people wrong - that I could lose the weight, that I could become a runner, that I could change my life.
So when these moments of self-doubt or self-hatred creep into my mind, this lyrics are on a constant loop inside my head. And as always I'm singing them just as well as Kristin Chenoweth - obviously!
But, for me. The main person I am singing to is not a social media hater or an unsupportive friend ... but myself! I am the one that is constantly doubting my abilities.
So if you care to find me Look to the western sky! As someone told me lately: "Ev'ryone deserves the chance to fly!" And if I'm flying solo At least I'm flying free To those who'd ground me Take a message back from me Tell them how I am Defying gravity I'm flying high Defying gravity
And the accomplishments I have started flooding through me: shedding 60+ lbs, completing 10 half marathons, running 3 marathons, trying classes like Hip Hop, Zumba or Yoga, putting myself out there through my blog, sharing experiences I never thought I would and constantly pushing myself out of my comfort zone.
So this week my goal is every time a negative thought about myself creeps in - I'm combating it with an accomplishment.
Nixing the negative baby!
I've made this promise before and attempt for awhile then fall back into old habits. But, the win is? At least I keep trying. At some point it has to stick, right?
Can you relate? Do you have an empowerment song?
Dear Former Self, You are 30 and more importantly alive.
I know there were many times in High School, College and even after graduation where you thought about ending it all. Just slipping away because you thought no one would ever notice.
Well, people would have.
So thank you.
Thank you for not taking away the time I now have with the wife, friends, family and the world.
YOU are making a difference.
YOU are now brave enough to share your journey, your happiness, your sadness, your self doubts and your strengths with the masses.
And people appreciate that.
They appreciate you.
And you know what?
You are staring to appreciate yourself as well.
Now, I'm not going to tell you it is all rainbows and unicorns.
Okay - there are some rainbows - I mean you are gay after all. :)
But, seriously ... there is actual joy in your life. There are smiles that aren't forced. There are some serious kick ass accomplishments you are achieving.
Hello! Running The Boston Marathon in less than two weeks. I think we can classify that under Bad Ass and something we NEVER thought would happen.
But it is.
None of this could be happening if you hadn't made that decision in 2009 to walk through the doors of Weight Watchers and change your life forever.
Over the past four years, layers and layers of fat, insecurity, pain, self-doubt and self-loathing have slowly but surely been stripped away. There are little chunks lying around here and there, but they too will be shed over time.
You didn't have to think for all those years that you weren't worthy of true happiness because you were.
Why did you doubt yourself? Why did you put yourself down SO much? Why did you think you were so unworthy of being alive?
I don't know the answers. Maybe over time we will figure them out. But for now, we are happy to be moving past those.
The self-deprecating humor you used for so long as a shield is still here ... but now more out of habit. A habit that we are working on changing. The hatred behind it is lessening.
Someday it will go away completely, but we save that for a letter from our Future Self.
For now, in the current state, things are pretty awesome. Just know that all the pain you went through and held on to for so long is clearing ... it is being released and freed.
The heart is opening to the love of family, friends and even complete strangers you have come to meet - and love - online. The world is embracing you flaws and all and you are FINALLY embracing it back. You are sharing things with people you never thought you would.
And I have to say it feels GOOD.
So former self, thank you again for allowing me to be here ... for allowing me to feel ... for allowing me to live!
Your Current Self
Whenever asked what my longest relationship is I usually answer: 8+ years. That is how long my car, Jinxie, and I have been together. BUT, then I think of one confidant ... one friend ... one support that has been with me since the beginning.
No not my parents or my family, but the one and only Curious George.
Curious George and I were united when I was just 6 months old. My mom always says it was love at first sight.
Yes, at one point in time he was about my size if not slightly bigger than me (even though I was a hefty little kid).
I am an only child so growing I didn't always have people around to hang out with, but George was always there.
I remember crying into his face when I would sleep at night if I was upset.
If I was out of town at my grandparents and missed home, I would make sure to smell George whenever I needed to get that "home smell."
I think you all know what I mean by the "home smell."
Even when I went away to college, George came with me. I didn't care if anyone saw that I was the girl that still kept a stuffed animal with me.
I studied abroad during the summer of my Junior Year of college in Ireland ... and you guessed it - George was the first thing I packed.
He is a world traveler you know. :)
Whenever I need a sense of comfort, George is the first thing I grab.
My friends have nicknamed him "Crusty Monkey" due to his poor ability to age well. :P
I can say at the age of 30, I still sleep with George on my pillow every night.
Just like this!
George has clearly weathered the storm of being with me for 29.5 years, but I am thankful for him. He may not answer my questions. The conversations may be one-sided.
But, when I have felt completely alone, George has been there ... when I was depressed and feeling like I wanted to end it all, George was there to catch the tears ... when I am away from home, he still brings me back to the safe place of my bedroom.
I will continue to patch and sew George up for as long as I can because he deserves to see where I am headed since he has been there since the beginning.
Do you have anything that you have kept with you for years? Something that you use as a security blanket?
Being surrounded by such awesomeness this last weekend at Fitbloggin' should've made me feel stronger but it just reopened my pit of insecurities that I've been trying - failing at attempting - to fill with self love for so long. *Why did I deserve to be there?
*How could I have thought I was a good enough blogger to attend this conference?
*Self said: No one knows who you are or reads your blog any way - this will just confirm that.
*Self said: You won't be anyone's Rock Star moment.
*What was I thinking signing up for this conference?
And at one point, I even got up during a session and shared. As soon as I stepped away from the mic, I thought "What the hell was I thinking?" I didn't say what I really wanted to (forgot from nerves) and then thought what I did say was pointless.
Insecure. Fraud. Lame. Unworthy. Poser.
All thoughts that were going through my head during this past weekend.
Inside I just wondered if Roni, the organizer, would tap on my shoulder and tell me to peace on out.
Someone would just walk up to me and find some big zipper that started at my head and went to my feet on the body I have, take it off like a jacket, reveal the 217.4 lb me from 2009 and make me leave.
When someone told me I was awesome, I just wondered if they felt obligated to say that. You know, since I had spent the money to get to the conference I clearly thought I deserved to be there so let me think that to.
I am wicked good at spiraling these emotions out of control rather quickly, huh?
And with all that said, I did feel genuine love. The hugs were needed. The feeling of acceptance - being surrounded by people that have gone through similar life experiences - made me feel normal.
But, I need to continue to work on that whole self acceptance thing and know that I do deserve the opportunities I have right now in life.
I deserve to be happy.
Now if I can just get a shovel and start filling that pit of insecurities from this weekend with - the hugs ... the Love Yous ... and the Pride from stepping, no leaping, out of my own comfort zone - I will be a-okay!
Motivation ... the topic of this week at a Weight Watchers meeting near you! Throughout my journey, I've had any different motivators and still do today. Like I said with anchors, there is no one motivator that can work in EVERY situation (in my opinion).
I was sitting in my Weight Watchers meeting this morning when my Leader asked "What brought you in to Weight Watchers?"
You know the day I walked into WW seems like a lifetime ago with how much has changed in that time.
But, I can remember the day like it was yesterday...
I was SOOO miserable in my own body. I had no idea how my wife (girlfriend at the time) saw in me. I didn't see any of it in myself.
I walked through the doors of the church (the meeting was held in their big hall area) just before 6pm on Monday, November 2, 2009. (How about that for details? ;))
I remember meeting the wicked nice receptionist Sharon, who I still keep in touch with now, and seeing the big words in front of me:
Wah? How could I have any idea what I would want to be at the end of this journey?
But, I knew. I wanted to be healthy. So I picked the absolute highest spot of the BMI for my height and made 164 my Goal Weight.
For two years, I used that thought to push me through the good times and the bad, the gains and the losses, the challenges and the easy days...
Someday I WILL be healthy I would tell myself. Someday!
And it worked. I did it. On November 8, 2011 (almost 2 years to the day from joining, I hit it: GOAL.
For the first time that I could remember, I was in the healthy weight range. Wow! What a feeling.
The dream that motivated me for so long was finally a reality.
But along the way additional motivators always came along for different situations:
*To head to the gym - desire to FINALLY fit into Lululemon clothing
*To go out for a training run - looking at my hanger full of race medals on my wall
*To avoid a certain fast food craving - remembering the last time I ate it and how it didn't taste good/wasn't worth the PointsPlus
*To stay on plan during a rough week - setting challenges on Twitter (#7daychip, #plankaday, etc)
After hitting Lifetime, goals change and here are some thoughts I had on that subject back in March.
What pushes you to keep going on this journey of weight loss?