So, it's been a little over a month since my online nervous breakdown, but I'm back from the land of hysteria.
I was not playing around when I said I would turn things around, and with that I got my butt in gear to make new and good things happen.
I continued with my weekend jogging, now up to a steady 3 miles per excursion (with the exception of last weekend when I was sick and only did 2 miles on Sunday). If I have a day off, I'm at the track. If it's raining, I'm on the track. Now, don't get it twisted, - I have not turned into one of those people obsessed with running per say, I've become obsessed with ME TIME. The running is great physically for me - I have shrunk overall in ways that I have NEVER done before (at least healthily - there was a stressed induced summer that had me losing 30 lbs over the summer - NOT a good look at all). But back to the ME TIME. I'm a single mother. Have been since the moment I knew I was going to become a mother. Over the years, I've never gotten into any relationships that offered any kind of relief or support to that of my parenting responsibilities. The support that I moved back near family for, well, whatever, and I had my baby when I was in my mid 20s, the time when my peers were still out partying, so it's been mostly me. So for me to be able to tell my almost-11 year old "I'm going to the track, I'll be back in an hour" and do that, all by myself, and not have to worry about his snack bag and making sure he has things to occupy himself with and making sure he'll have a good time so that I'll have a good time, and on and on - I just never realized how much freedom taking on a hobby, just for myself, would afford me. And I love my son like crazy, but in doing that, I always forget about me. And going to the track, to jog, is all about me!
Jogging has allowed me to quiet my mind in ways that I have not been able to do in years. Just after the first quarter mile lap, I'm in or approaching a zone. There have been a few times when I have been distracted, but I eventually have gotten there. In the beginning, I listened to the book The Secret, and I have to say, I think that was a MAJOR motivating factor in me really getting into the emotional relaxation part of what jogging has done for me. Listening to that book also helped me to adjust the ways in which I talk to myself, motivating myself to get through something or another. Instead of thinking I have to do 12 laps, I have to do 12 laps, every lap is lucky number (fill in the blank). Every lap is great. Every lap is an achievement. Every lap makes me proud to take on. The book and jogging also allowed me to THINK about the goings on in my life versus STRESS about them. I really don't know how else to explain the mental transformation that has taken place - and that doesn't mean I don't have rough moments, but I get through them better than before.
I've also made adjustments to my food intake. I'd already started counting calories with My Fitness Pal for a while now, but still, I wasn't seeing the kinds of results I thought I should by just counting all of my calories, so I made some small adjustments that have rendered big results. My snack during the day is a green smoothie that I make every morning at home. So instead of chomping on low calorie crackers, of peanut butter on pita bread, or whatever snacks I thought were pretty healthy, I sip on a green smoothie throughout the day. I also started making my own salads, incorporating poultry or fish and light oil-based dressing (only 2 tablespoons of it too!). My salads are very filling and never boring, and if I eat something else with the meal I make sure the salad is bigger than the "hot meal".
In addition, during the week, when I can't get to the track, I do a series of strength training moves, and have recently incorporated calesthetics like burpees into the mix to really "work it out."
And guess what! I have since loss 12 pounds, my belly has shrunken, my pants are baggy, and I sure don't look 5 months pregnant! In addition, my mind feels good. I am not exhausted all the damn time (though it was a rough week at the office and I will be lounging this weekend). Aside from those physical and mental achievements, most importantly, this whole process is showing me that I can induce change. I can turn things around, because for a long time I've been feeling like I'm not living life, it's just happening and I'm a passenger. Right now, I definitely feel like a driver, and even though there may be traffic and I may have to take a detour or two to get to my destination, I'm operating that wheel, and that feels damn good!