Back in the fitness game!

I’ve been working on my health plan for weight loss and realized nutrition is a huge part of it, more than I’d like to admit. But eating healthy feels better; Not going to lie: It’s not as much fun sometimes. Saying no to brownies and mostly salty food, like nachos and wings.  Smaller numbers on the  scale makes it all worth it. I am getting ready to leave the plan that I have been on and go in a different direction. We will see what happens. I failed at the transition plan miserably the first time and gained ten pounds, thinking one brownie or one order of wings wouldn’t matter. They do matter. A lot. I need to be on my game.  I felt that to be more on top of things, I would add fitness to the recipe for success.

So after last year of trying a personal trainer, I thought I would try a different approach. A different gym. And wow, is it different! I’d be more likely to call this a health club, not just a gym.  The philosophy is different and the fitness coaches/trainers appear to be more educated, or at least mine is. My old trainer was good, don’t get me wrong. This trainer just has a lot more information and education for me. There is so much to know about working out to maximize my metabolism. I went through some metabolic assessments and learned a lot about how my body specifically responds to oxygen demands and how it burns fats v. carbs compared with  typical and optimal burn patterns. No doubt, I have put some money into this. It makes me accountable and sometimes I need that, if i am being totally honest. I just can’t always do it without a little kick in the ass.  A firm kick in the ass was definitely in order when my trainer asked me how often I plan to work out. Accountability, hello!  “Three times a week is something I can commit to” rolled somewhat easily off my tongue. Wow, okay Alyssa.  I guess I am working out three times  a week. At least I can pick my own days. So we created a program for me which I think will really set me up for success. This is one step further than I took at the other gym; today,  I am making a commitment for Tuesday, Friday and Saturday each week. I never committed to specific days last year,  just a vague promise of “I”ll be here”. Tuesday will be my recovery day and I will take yoga. It will definitely get my breathing and heart rate in gear, but it won’t  be as intense as the metabolic conditioning/strength training that I will be doing the other days.  I have a feeling, however, that yoga will be hard work for me. At least in the beginning. It’s been years since I worked on my yoga practice at an actual yoga studio. I have signed up for my first class for this Tuesday evening. It’s great, because they have yoga classes in the morning and evening, so whatever my shift I can get in yoga as their morning class starts at 5:30AM!!

I’m excited to really show my commitment to my trainer and most of all, myself.  But I am actually slightly scared. I am in fear of failing. In fear of succeeding. No, not that…definitely a fear of failing. I’ve failed in sticking with a fitness regimen post -training (and all the money that went with that). I want to succeed, both in fitness health (efficiency in oxygen demands and cardiovascular health) as well as in weight loss. Which I guess is another branch of fitness health. Whatever it may be, I want it all.

I’m hoping I can pull off all of it, the healthy eating transition and the fitness plan.  I have been definitely giving this all some attention in past posts. Next to blogging, it’s what I want to improve upon the most in my life. That’s basically it, writing and my health are my primary priorities. Sure, I write about relationships, and while that is a goal, maybe I should just focus on the things I am in more control of. Like writing and self-care /self-improvement. I think that will in turn make me relationship ready.

IF you have any tips for the balancing act of healthy eating and healthy fitness, drop me a comment or contact me on my contact page!! Thank you in advance.

Music I’m listening to: a playlist called Sexy. It’s got some really good songs and its great for working out!

Healing power

via Daily Prompt: Heal

So I remember a long time ago, back when I had my other blog, I wrote about the healing process because it is something any honest person can relate to. I say honest because it really takes someone who can be true to themselves, and less importantly to others, to admit she (or he) is healing from something, that there was something broken to begin with. That’s ego. If the ego can make way for healing, then we have half a chance, don’t we.

Physical illness is a process, but a sympathetic process. People can get behind that. There are those who have the disease of addiction and healing from that. Who’s supporting them, encouraging the healing and sobering process (although it is ultimately up to the addict).  People seem  slightly little less  sympathetic. “Oh you’re clean and sober? That’s great”… Healing from  years of the disease of addiction is not easy. I am not an addict, but I know those who have died from the disease. I even heard someone say of those having difficulty of the healing process: “if they die from overdosing its just natural selection” . It was a bit shocking to hear this. I guess I am naive to think that the general public could have sympathy for  those with addiction. From my experience with people close to me, it is probably one of the hardest diseases to recover from  and heal successfully from the ravages of addiction. I was slightly more shocked at the statement about natural selection as my stepbrother died from an overdose and the person who said this may or may not have known this. It really doesn’t matter whether he knew it or not.

Everyone is trying to heal from something. You never know who is working on some path to recovery, Whether someone is healing from a physical injury, a broken heart,  or depression, it really doesn’t matter does it?

Have some compassion people and let us heal ourselves in the best way we can. We are not infallible; we are mere mortals.

 

Music pairing: Hold on by Sarah McLachlan

Weighing in

So if you recall, last month, I posted about actually exercising when I say I will and the whole nine. Since then, I have been actually walking. Mind you, not to the extent I used to. No 5-7 miles daily for me (although I would love to). Slowly, but surel , I am getting there. The catalyst (publishing a post and saying it out loud, so to speak) to actually walking more than a quick ’round the block’ with my dog was strongly reinforced last weekend. It was amazing!

Last weekend I spent much needed time with family in California.  I told my aunt I wanted to really walk ….and eat well. Did she fulfill my request? Hell, yeah! I had some amazing walks and got to catch up and talk. It was fantastic. We walked all over her neighborhood, CoD, and Sunnylands, not to mention some other great places. I kept my Apple watch on all day,  accumulating extra  miles through out the day. I was racking up 4-7 miles a day. Fantastic, I thought. This is the way to go! I was absolutely excited to be back in the game. I could go on and on about how amazing the weekend was with my aunt and uncle, but  I mustn’t digress.  This is about exercise….so I left California kicking and screaming. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it there!!

So here I am on a Sunday, back home. About a week and what have I done since California? I definitely have not done 4-7 mile days. However, I have been able to get daily 1-4 mile walks in. Sometimes slow walks with my puggle Max. Sometimes at a faster clip. I wish I could say I have already gotten  back to my power walks with 14 minute miles. Damn! That’s the most frustrating part. I can’t seem to walk faster than a 15 or 16 minute mile. Maddening! Perhaps I need to mix my exercise with better food from the diet I achieved so much success from last year.

I realize what I remember to be true. I am going to really have to curb my eating habits as well as really amp up my power walks. They can’t be leisurely strolls. I need to kick ass. Kiss ass and just STOP with the cookies and anything that may tempt me at the office.

Little by little, I will chip away and be ready for my spring dresses. This post makes me want to go out and buy salad ingredients! Yay me!!

What do you guys do daily to watch what you put in your body and get that daily calorie burn?? I would love some  hints. I did well last year, but could refresh with some new ideas!! Please comment and I’ll read each one!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone!

When I say I exercise, I want to mean it

I started an incredible diet last year. Right around this time as a matter of fact. I lost 30 pounds. I was serious. For many months. Around the holidays, I denied that I was being sucked in by the whole food thing. I can’t deny it anymore. I hate that I have gained some of the weight back. The good thing is how quickly my body made me aware of it. I got headaches when I splurged on my Valentine’s conversation hearts (you know the ones that taste like chalk? Yeah, I am pretty much addicted to them). I felt like crap after the recent doses of fast food. Thank you body for doing me right. For giving me a signal. The cool thing is I did so much good last year, that I only lost two months really, December and January. Interesting how fast weight can come back and bite you in the ass. I think I have gained at least 10 pounds and I will lose it. Back to the 5 mile walks and the grilled chicken. At least my dinners are still healthy. I make the time to ensure my dinners are not crap. It’s the day at work sitting at a cubicle that gets to me. I need to get back to my carrots and mustard dip and cucumbers. Back to early morning protein shakes. Bye bye Moe’s bagels. You were so yummy, but oh so naughty with your carbs and more carbs. Hasta la vista bagel!

So today, I rededicate my exercise initiative. There is no time like the present. I am not needing to start at square one again, but I just need to get back on the lake path at my complex.  I will be reasonable. I will not expect 14 minute mile walks. I will be happy with 15-16 minute miles. For a week. Then I will step it up.

As far as food and diet, I have been faithful to my nutritional needs and diet in the evenings, but its the day at work I am struggling with at the moment. Along with the bagels, the Doritos and the conversation hearts, the diet soda must go as well.

Ready.Set.Go!

See you on the track!

Me, Myself & I: my relationship with alone time

So, I have to confess that quite some time ago, the notion of having a weekend of no plans was terrifying. A 48 hour plus period of time where I need to spend time just with myself would have forced me into a tizzy of “What do I do, where can I go? Who should I call?” and a most uncomfortable, unsettling feeling of not being comfortable in my own skin would set in a self-imposed sense of doom. Maybe it brought back memories of being unpopular, alone, and scared.  Back in the day, I went out all the time, even by myself  to clubs etc….just to be with others and NOT all by myself. Because what could I possibly do on my own that could have value?

Turns out I LOVE alone time. I love the freedom of no accountability for 48 hours. Well, that’s not completely true. I don’t totally disconnect these days. I just merely love the idea of not making plans or feeling like I have to do any specific thing. Today, I am blessed with a few friends.  I don’t feel the need to make a ton of superficial contacts just so I have someone to do something with.  Being comfortable being alone does not mean I like to isolate. It does not. It means I walk confidently into a restaurant and say “Table for one please” or go to the movies: “One for Manchester By The Sea please” (that was my most recent solo venture)…..I’ve done this for a long time and it feels  uttlery grafiying and supremely fantastic.

Being comfortable in my own skin to stay home or go out and do when I want when I want is  freedom that I did not previously allow myself until I entered my  early 30’s. My first solo vacation (not family oriented) was when I was about 30 and traveled to Mexico on my own. That liberated me. It was the turning point. “If I can travel to Mexico alone, I can do anything in Denver alone,” was my thinking. And damn. That was just the beginning. After countless restaurants and movies and trips alone to Mexico since, I can safely say I can’t imagine being restricted by having a mate to travel with or see movies with. I can be alone at home and watch what I want or go out to the movies solo and not wait for someone to want to see the exact same thing. I don’t have to go to bar just to be near people. I am fine. On my own. Any time of the day.  Whether my friend travels with me to Paris this year (which would be the best girl’s trip ever) or not, I know I am good on my own, which liberates me and my friend at the same time. Paris is possible all on my own.

Now, I’m not going to pretend I don’t need people, period. OF COURSE I DO. I think it’s more of a question of wanting people in my life. To an extent, I need people for normal socialization. I generally just feel I want certain people in my life. I don’t per se, need them to have my own value as a person. I value myself as myself, solo. People I choose to have in my life are there because I want them. Whether they are family, different female friends, work friends or relationships of a romantic nature.  I choose them and I hope they choose me. Last year, I unfriended and blocked a lot of people on Facebook because I realized they really chose to not be friends with me or I didn’t have a genuine relationship with them. It was so liberating to know that Facebook is now  full of people I want in my life. There are more to add and more to subtract, but its liberating to know I choose what I want in my life and don’t need to have someone in my life for whatever reason.

So what to do this weekend? Besides blogging, I think I would like to catch up on a movie or two. Hanging out with my puggle on the couch with popcorn rewatching “Amy” sounds  cool also. I have so many options!

 

Have a fantastic weekend, whether you are flying solo or with great friends and family!

What my marriage taught me: about myself and relationships

I know I made some people wait quite a bit for this last installment of my three-part series of “What my marriage taught me”. I apologize for the delay. This took a bit of time for obvious reasons. It was the hardest to compose. It is the hardest because being teachable alludes a bit of humility, does it not? Yes, money and fear are big topics and there is a lot to learn. Always. But when we are talking about ourselves in our 40’s, aren’t we supposed to be experts on ourselves? On our relationships?

In my  mid 20’s and I became single after a long six-year first-love kind of thing, I thought it would be “so exciting” and how I am going to find someone better than who I had left out of impatience and drifting apart. For the record, I never did find someone better right after leaving. That’s far and away a different story. Anyway, back then it was 1995 and I was hopelessly devoted to Alanis Morissette. Jagged Little Pill was my anthem back then. Damn! I had a lot to learn.This was when I thought I knew something about something. I had a 20-something sized ego and my bumper sticker on my Honda CRX said “Whatever”. That should say someting.

Since then I had traipsed through flings, AOL chat room encounters, short relationships, being cheated on, and mostly just being single. So much, yet really not  SO much. I learned to trust less, have  too much fun and I  believed sincerely that I would sleep when I die. I was a bit of a party girl. With out the drugs. A little alcohol, but really just guys….and more of the same nightclub/bar type existence.

Advance to 2006: I had just broken up with my boyfriend (as you know, the one that would be my husband in 2009). I thought I had learned that his bit of expressed anger and rage was too much for me. I guess not. I guess his charm and his ….everything….got to me AGAIN. I just didn’t learn. Not then. Not yet.

Advance to 2010: I returned to Denver with my tail between my legs. This relationship was done. I failed. Again. This time with lessons. Oh, there were lessons. I realized what dignity was. I realized what it meant to feel I had none. I knew what rock bottom really meant. I had no idea; I was completely naive to how rock bottom would feel exactly. For me: my life reduced to boxes packed in three hours, a rented car filled with some clothes, my dog and me. I was a grown adult who only had a ring on my finger that I would need to pawn at some point, my precious puggle Max and my mom’s  American Express. I had what little cash I took out (originally $200 a week before leaving Florida) before our accounts were frozen by him.

I got home. I cried it out. Every fucking day. There were tears. Yes, tears for him. Tears when he swore me out with horrible names the night I told him I got my old job back back in Denver. Tears of loss. Tears of failure. You get the idea. I went into therapy and saw a wonderful lady who really got me through the pawning of the wedding ring (I had to eat and pay a little rent), the paperwork after being served  divorce papers at my door step by a process-server, the trauma of being such a failure. But she helped me realize that what I went through was unique, but not unique.  Not everyone gets divorced after rage, post throwing  dangerous objects, post verbal abuse and “silent treatment” episodes (to teach me lessons about talking too much). Not everyone suffers unpredictable rage that has absolutely nothing to do with what the non abuser may have actually done or not done.  But those who have been through that know what that looks like. And feels like.  Even if they didn’t know back then. The first time I had a clue that there is something beside physical abuse that counts as some type of abuse was when I called the police the second time at the encouragement of my  father. My ex hadn’t actually hurt me, but for the first and last time, he did put his hands on me in a forceful way (to extract car keys). My father said I need to report that in light of what had happened the previous nights (ex trying to kick me out of my own place). This is the first time I learned first hand of something other than physical/sexual abuse. The police officer who took my report that day gave me a list of numbers on a card that described all types of abuse. This card was given to me by a male police officer. I dont know why that’s relevant, but it was to me at that time. It was a comfort that another male would recongnize the treatment was not right. I was extremely grateful, but more grateful long after I had left Florida. I was still shell-shocked having to even make a report at the time.

So, the aftermath: 2010-2016: I survived an awful divorce and monetary losses, loss of dignity, trust, and developed a necessity for  hyper-analysis of every infraction against me that I had perceived . I think I resented what he had done  to me in the divorce and aftermath more than the crimes of the actual marital discord.  I had a few relationships in 2016 and some online adventures up to then which I posted about previously.

What I learned about everything, including 2016, the birth of my blog!

  1. Humility is being teachable and allows me to progress to better and more healthy relationships.
  2. Admitting regrets: I can regret something and recognize I made a mistake, I had a lapse of judgement. I would love to say I live with out regrets. I don’t think I can say that right now. I think that sounds a bit righteous and a little ignorant. Can’t we all admit we didn’t do something perfectly, something we would like to do a little differently?
  3. Honesty:  What do I want? What can I handle and what can’t I handle in my future relationships? What are my red flags? Can I hold up to my own side of the bargain-for the sake of my dignity, can I walk away from those red flags?
  4. Don’t write about people in current relationships with out their consent. I learned this in my last relationship after trying to get him to read my blog after every entry that mentioned him. After getting into a heated discussion, he read one and felt blindsided.  I recognize that I will preserve people’s privacy until they are comfortable with being mentioned in a most anonymous sense.
  5. I learned  that what I really have after all this is anxiety: Still. After all these years from the series of unpredictability and rage in my uber-brief marriage. I may have had it before I was even married; however, it spiraled  out of control in the years since, includng the first few  years of my recovery from the divorce. Now I can admit it is something I have to, and want to work on, something that I seek help for to make these relationships work.  So I don’t sabotage the really awesome opportunities and people who come into my life.

 

SO… some of you may be asking about #3: What are my red flags in the aftermath? What can I handle? What did I learn that I really need and got honest about it? Why don’t I write that as a part two of this third installment.

Please leave me a comment if you would like to hear more of this detail in #3 and I’d be happy to include a part two!

 

Music pairing: If I need to say it: Okay! I was inspired by Alanis, because when I am not in the old space, I need to be reminded of how it felt. Jagged Little Pill does that wonderfully.

Careless Whisper: Summer of 1986

Yes, I know, Wham! came out with Make It Big in 1984. But when I was in England in 1986, Wham! was still enjoying its success with Careless Whisper. I was coming of age. I was 16 going on 17 and other than a horrible spin the bottle incident at summer camp, I had never really been kissed.  Thank you George Michael. This is for you!

It was the summer and I was staying with a homestay family while I learned about small town living in south England, in Chandler’s Ford, Hampshire, England specifically.  I came for three weeks and immediately befriended a British teen (maybe older, can’t remember at all, but she had a car and drove us everywhere). J. took me to places I had only dreamt about, places that I never went, night clubs. Night clubs with thumping 80’s music from the speakers and tall Englishmen with gorgeous accents. We were in the south of England and it was magnificent. My homestay mum told me gin and tonics were the way to go for selecting a beverage of choice when I went out to the clubs. She tended bar; I naturally figured she was an expert in these matters.  How would she ever guess that would be my drink for the next 20 years?! But I digress….

So one night in Winchester, J. drove to a club and confidently just walked in with me. As I am new to this whole “having friends, drinking alcohol, and talking to cute blokes” thing, I hid in the corner till I had successfully downed two gin and tonics, as advised.  J. told me I was going to have to learn how to do this club thing if she was going to keep taking me out (this was pretty new in the summer weeks I was in Chandler’s Ford).  I took a deep breath, a final swig that burned going down, and took a look around.  I am pretty sure I was the only American there that night. One particular bloke walked up and asked me to dance. I was so frightened and absolutely paralyzed. But then, I heard something  familiar: Careless Whisper by Wham!. Yes! I can do this! I’ve got this. I can merge paralysis and nerves and familiarity and survive this dance.  Somehow, I made it through the song and honestly? I only have George Michael to thank. His gentle voice, his melody for the song (I don’t know music terms, I could have this all wrong), and the seductive way it spoke to me got me through a first dance with a British bloke who was completely adorable. He could have been royalty and it wouldn’t have mattered.  My experience with dancing with guys and the attention given me was virgin territory for this barely been kissed girl who nothing really mattered and I only cared that Wham! was blaring from the speakers ONLY FOR ME. “Tonight the music seems so loud,  I wish we could lose this crowd” was all I was hearing.  Much later after I had time to digest a bit more of the 80’s, I would realize this was such a sad song. For now, I was seeking undue comfort in this and I had only this to get me through the most nerve-wracking first real dance. Needless to say, this was a practice dance; I didn’t talk much to him after, but he definitely  gave me the opportunity  to become slightly unstuck.

I don’t remember what that bloke’s name was or even really what he looked like, but I will NEVER forgot that dance and I certainly can’t forget Wham! Never. Ever. And I can’t even remember if he kissed me.

If any song, much less a Wham! song did this to you, gave you courage and familiarity in an unfamiliar situation, please leave a comment. I’m not the only one?!

Song pairing: Need I say more?