No good words

I haven’t written in a while.

Honestly, I haven’t felt like writing.

That’s a really big thing for me to admit, because no matter what’s going on in my life, good or bad, happy or stressful, I’ve almost always been able to turn to the page. Even if I couldn’t verbalize it in person — and I’ve never been good with public speaking in that way — I could always write it out.

But lately I just haven’t been able to find the words. I don’t know why.

I’ve been blaming it on school. I’ve finally graduated with my new degree — yay! — and for a while I felt myself avoiding writing because it reminded me of school and projects and homework, words said with a heavy sigh. Though school was for the most part rewarding and good, it was also a huge mental drain. It took a lot of intense focus. So when I finished, I think I felt like I needed to take a break for a while. Rest. Rejuvenate. Recharge. All those good ‘r’ words.  🙂

However, it’s been over 6 months since I finished school. So why am I still searching to find the words?

It’s been 6 years since I got laid off from my job and (after searching for a long time) made the choice to go back to school. Six years since I moved out of my beloved apartment, boxed up all my things and moved in with relatives so that I could save some money while I figured out what to do. Six years of living out of boxes and feeling like a nomad.

I feel like I’ve been boxed up all that time. And now that I’m done with school, I feel this intense desire to get back out there, to find a way to afford a place of my own, so that I can break out of the box, you know what I mean?

There’s this amazing episode called “Hush,” from a show called Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and during that episode the main characters (and all the people in the entire town of Sunnydale) suddenly lose their voices and ability to verbally communicate with one another. Their voices are literally stolen by a very creepy group of creatures called the Gentlemen. Everyone’s voices are boxed up so that they can’t scream when the Gentlemen come to get them. (Seriously creepy, but such a powerful episode about finding ways to communicate with one another when you can’t seem to find the words. And you’ve got to be impressed with an episode that is almost completely without verbal dialogue but still holds your rapt attention from start to finish.)

In the end — spoiler alert! — the only way everyone can get their voices back is if Buffy can break in to their lair, find the box of voices, and smash it to bits, releasing everyone’s voices and her own in a massive scream at the top of her lungs.

This may be a silly comparison, but… sometimes I feel like that. Like I’ve been packed away in a box for the past six years, and I need to break free so that I can find my voice again and — like Buffy and her primal scream — let it out.

Then, like the title of my blog, move FORWARD in some positive fashion.

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Not the kind of retreat I had planned

This entry was going to come a good few months ago. I had it all outlined, talking about the latest progress in my workout experiment, what I’d achieved so far, and what would happen next.

If you’ve read any of my entries, you know the workout was to be done backwards (DVD months 9, 8 and 7, then months 1 through 6). Though I only wrote about months 9, 8, 7 and 1, I actually made it through up to part of month 3.

A few notes from that time:

I incorporated some cardio (not much, just started small, about 10 minutes each day). I struggled with some neck and lower back issues (which I blame on stress and an uncomfortable, crooked mattress). I also noticed a difference in my temperament when I didn’t get to work out, when internship and life ‘stuff’ got in the way and I made the choice not to exercise — I felt like the stresses got to me easier, I felt crabby, and my body wouldn’t loosen up.

I recognize that I will always need to work out because it lifts my mood and gives me energy. Food issues are a whole other topic and I have so much more work to do in order to fix that part of my life, but over the last 10 years or so I have come to need workouts. They are a constant in my life now. Even when I have to take some days off from it, unless I’m physically incapable I know I will always go back to it.

Despite my revelations about exercise, I continue to struggle with the emotional eating aspect. As the summer went on and the stresses increased, it felt like my brain shut down and the anxiety kicked in. I ate terribly. Too much, and not healthy foods. We’re talking fast food, here. Greasy, bad-for-you fast food.

And that is my huge issue. When I’m stressed, or upset, or super-anxious, my first thought is not, “How can I handle this stress and work through it in a smart, healthy manner?” I’m not sure my mind ever goes to that kind of thought process (though I need it to).

Instead, my brain’s immediate impulse is “What can I eat?” and the choices I run to are not always good. And it doesn’t matter if it makes me feel lousy — and that I know it makes me feel lousy — because my brain doesn’t stop to think about it; I just go there like autopilot.

Some days I don’t know how I’ll ever be free of that. Is it too fully ingrained in me? I don’t know. I sure the hell hope not! But it’s my biggest struggle.

The only positive thing I can say about it is that after the bad stuff, I go right back to my healthier patterns. The next day is a new day and I start out healthy again.

But the problem is, it’s not good to go back and forth like that. It doesn’t make for a balanced life, healthy body or mind.

Anyway, by that point I had made it halfway through month 3. I had 3 1/2 more months to go in my experiment, and lots I wanted to achieve.

And then it all fell apart.

Struggles, Realizations and Decisions (click to read more)

Catching Up, A Bonus Post!

See, this is what happens when school takes over one’s life. Or, I let school take over my life. I end up not having time or energy to post regularly. I need to work on that!

In the meantime, how can I catch up? Let me cram in some details.

Last time I talked about having a wacky allergic reaction (eyes swelled up, yikes), going in for a follow-up diagnostic mammogram appointment (good news, everything’s okay so far!), and dealing with the stress of school and finals and final projects until I felt ready to cry or scream.

Except for taking a week off during finals, I kept up with my workouts. However, I didn’t do so well with my eating habits, which fell apart during the most stressful times of the semester. That is a red flag area in my life that still needs a lot of work.

I made it through “Month 7” of the workout, struggled, gained back 3.5 pounds and lost an additional 1 inch from various areas of my body.

That covered mid-April through May.

What happened after that?

An Update on My Progress, still trying to catch up to current day! (click to read more)

Catching Up, Part 3

Where did I leave off in this endless ‘catching up’ saga?

Ah yes… in my last post, I talked a little bit about some emotional struggles (exhaustion from overwork and life stresses) and some physical struggles (neck pain! neck pain! OWWW!), and tackled the next phase in my experiment.

I made it through “Month 8” of the workout, lost 5 pounds and an additional 4.5 inches from various areas of my body. Small though it may be, I’ll take that progress, thank you.

That covered late February to the start of April.

What happened in month 3?

Yet Another Update on My Progress. (click to read more)

Catching Up, Part 2

In my last post, I talked about the physical and emotional challenges faced during the first month of my new workout experiment.

Amidst grief over the loss of a close friend, stress from taking three classes, and the struggle in returning to exercise after a 6-month break, I made it through “Month 9” of the workout and lost 5.5 inches from various areas of my body. Not a bad start.

That covered late January to late February.

What happened in month 2?

Another Update on My Progress. (click to read more)

Catching Up, Part 1

Part of the problem with being a perfectionist — and I am, no matter how I try not to be — is that I like to be orderly about my posts. I feel like I shouldn’t just dive into writing about current stuff without mentioning what happened in the past 3 months (when I wanted to be writing about my progress but didn’t have time). Maybe no one else cares about that kind of detail but me, it’s hard to say, but that’s how I am and I’m unlikely to change that part of me at this point.

If I were simply talking about general life stuff, I could probably skip it and not worry about it. But because I’m trying to express myself during an experiment in fitness, I feel like I should at least ‘sum up’ what’s been going on since I started at the end of January.

Just a little quirk that makes me special, I suppose. No idea if that’s ‘special’ as in ‘delightful,’ or ‘special’ as in ‘let’s reserve her the next available white room and notify the authorities.’ *GRIN*

Nevertheless…

An Update on My Progress. (click to read more)

Now that my brain isn’t melting out of my ears…

In life, there are so many questions one could ask.

The deep: What is the meaning of it all?

The trivial: Exactly how much milk can I add to my cereal without making it all soggy?

And most importantly, the insane: Where the hell have I been for the past 2 months?

I know, I know! I had plans to write every week, but there’s only so much you can do when you’re taking 3 classes and in trying to balance it all and get your homework done, your brain starts oozing out of your ears.

Messy.

And does not make for coherent posts about health and fitness. Not when all you want to do is tear your hair out and scream, “How did I ever think this was a good idea, going back to school? How did I do all this without losing my mind when I was 20?!?”

However…

I made it through! And I shouldn’t have to take 3 classes at once ever again.

(Whew. I mean, don’t get me wrong, they were interesting classes, but it’s tough to get it all done and have any semblance of a life, is what I’m saying.)

The main point is, now that my brain isn’t melting out of my ears, I can return to this place and write more frequently and thoroughly. For whatever it’s worth. 😀

Stay tuned!