My Daily Struggle

A lot of people in my life may not even realize what I struggle with every day. I know my husband doesn’t get it, even though he got a really good dose of it the other day.

I manage my anxiety and depression pretty well most of the time. I love to help others because it makes me happy. I have people in my life who keep me busy and moving which also helps.

This week I’m on vacation with my hubby and we have lots of projects to keep us busy, but for some reason my symptoms are on high alert. It’s been a rough week and it’s only half done. But I won’t give up on it. I’m ready to have some fun.

I had a full blown panic attack the other day. I don’t need to go into what brought it on, truly it’s all such petty stuff that it’s embarrassing, but that’s what anxiety does sometimes. It takes a piece of nothing and blows it into a full blown volcano of emotion.

I’m telling you all this because as embarrassing as it is sometimes, I just feel like it’s important that people understand that ANYONE can suffer from mental illness. I’m someone who thinks she can handle things and does so pretty well most of the time. Then something happens and triggers my anxiety and BANG! I’m a basket case. I know it’s probably past time that I need to find a new psychologist or whatever, but that’s never a fun process.

I had seen someone in the past, but haven’t been for a while. I’ve been handling my symptoms for years, but with all the medical issues and menopause crap I’m dealing with, it’s really no wonder I’m feeling like falling apart at times.

Dealing with these issues instead of hiding them is really the point of this post. I’ve told my doctor that my depression is pretty bad, but until the other night I didn’t realize how much my anxiety was bothering me. I had a panic attack like I’ve never had before and it’s still effecting me a few days later.

I’m not embarrassed that it happened, I want you to understand that. I’m not ashamed to say I have this problem. It’s part of me. It’s who I am. Sure, there are times when it really messes with my life. I’d love to turn it off, but it doesn’t work like that.

Even when it’s managed, I will always have it. I get that. I’d just like to not repeat that particular episode anytime soon. Or ever. That would be good.

I need to go get my workout done. I need to get in a good mood today. I need to help my husband finish the projects so we can enjoy the remaining few days of our vacation.

Honestly, all of that just gives me anxiety.

I want to just stay in bed and hide from the world.

What could possibly go wrong with that???

My anxiety already answered me….

It’s a Trap

Today is a pretty special day in my family. My niece turns 19 today! But I have this advice for her and the rest of the kiddos…. don’t grow up, it’s a trap!

Of course, I’m sort of kidding. She’s an amazing young woman with a lot of amazing things in her future. I’m completely sure of that. She’s a student at the University of Michigan, where her mother (my sister) also attended. She’s studying things like biology, chemistry, calculus…. things that are WAY over my head!

She’s going to be helping with research starting next semester which is what she’s hoping to do for a career, so I’m excited for her that she will get some experience this early in her studies.

While I’m sure there is nothing she can’t do, I also want to warn her and others her age that getting old isn’t always pretty! It’s not all fun and games, that’s for sure!

Sure, there are freedoms we can enjoy when we are adults. But there are also things like bills, jobs, mortgages, car payments… stuff that is truly not very glamorous. My advice to most kids is to enjoy their youth!

I know Emily is going to be just fine. She’s not only brilliant, she’s funny, kind, generous, and beautiful. She’s got great friends, a cute boyfriend and a family who supports her no matter what. She’s also got a great work ethic. This is her fourth summer at the same job and her straight A’s came to her because of her own drive, nobody pushed her… she did that all on her own!

But what I wouldn’t give to help her enjoy a few more years of being a kid. I feel that way for my kids too, who also are growing up way too fast.

I wouldn’t go back to being in high school for anything… those years weren’t easy for me. But being an adult is hard. So when I see kids trying to grow up too fast this is the best advice I can give them….

Don’t grow up. It’s a trap!

You Are Significant

Each of us has a worth that is more than we think. I didn’t used to think this way, but as I get older I see value in so many different ways!

I have a friend from my running group who has this amazing job where she helps coach young boys to run, but it’s so much more than that. She teaches them that they are worth more than they can imagine. That they can accomplish more than they thought they could. It’s inspiring!

Part of her program is coaching the boys to run a 5k. Since it’s the end of the school year, it’s time to round them up and run that race! She was asking our group for some volunteers to help out and either run with the kids or just help in some way, so tomorrow morning I’m joining in the fun!

I don’t often get a chance to help out in this type of way, but I think it’s important to help when we can. Helping kids believe in themselves and reach a goal is a pretty awesome thing to do on a Saturday morning!

We have significance in so many other ways too. Our family and friends can attest to that, but finding ways we can be valuable members of our community is definitely important.

Donating time is in some ways more important than any amount of money or material goods, in my opinion. Sure, financial donations are needed for so many amazing causes, but donating an hour of your time now and then can make such a difference in the life of some kids.

The children are our future, after all!

So, stay tuned for my adventures. I’m hoping I can get at least a picture or two, but at least I can tell you about it once it’s over!

Oh, and I’ll be on vacation after today! Hubby and I are taking a week off from work to spend time together, get some projects done around the house and just relax!

You are capable of amazing things. Don’t ever forget that! Take a chance and try something new! You never know how amazing you can make others feel until you try!

Everything Hurts

Day four of my program and I’m reminded of two things:

  1. I’m really out of shape.
  2. This won’t last forever!

For real, every program I’ve ever done has made me sore as it concentrated on muscles I’d been neglecting. This is no different except that I’ve been neglecting EVERYTHING!

So I know I just need to keep going which is my plan. I just need to do the work and not give up on myself. I can do this!

I think anytime you make a change in your life there’s a little bit of discomfort. For this one I feel it in my muscles, but sometimes it’s evident in other parts of your life. Discomfort doesn’t mean you’re dying!

Right now with my son off at school it’s a discomfort. I don’t see him on a regular basis. I miss him and of course a mom worries. But I know it will have a big pay off at the end! Life is changing for him and our whole family, but this discomfort will lead to some amazing things, so it’s best to push through.

My goal of running the 907 miles from Michigan to South Carolina is pretty much on the back burner right now. Not being able to run for over a month means I won’t likely make it all the way there, but that’s OK. I’m going to keep my mapping going and see where I end up anyway!

There’s always next year!

I’m not going to let a setback throw me completely off the rails. I just need to adjust my focus and go for it.

That’s one of the reasons I chose Focus T25 to start over with. Number one, it’s by Shaun T who I adore…. number two, it’s 25 minutes a day which I can fit in… number three, it’s all about focus.

There’s no reason anyone can’t make a change in their life, in their health, in their fitness. Some people like to go all in at once an change their daily schedule to add in gym time while also changing every eating habit they have. That’s not me. I’m a baby step kind of person.

This discomfort is going to lead to some amazing things. I know this. I can feel it already! I just need to keep going and that’s exactly what I plan to do.

When I went for my run on Tuesday with my group I got to talk to a young lady who describes herself as a sporadic runner. She was liking the pace I set for myself so we ran together. I did need a couple of walk breaks because I’m just that out of shape but you know what? She walked with me because she loved that I was not being hard on myself about where I was in my ability!

Sometimes we need grace in how we talk to ourselves! That’s where I’m at right now. Yes, I need to work hard and do my best, but it’s about MY best…. not yours. You have to find your best! The more we do that, the better we all will get!

It hurts now, but one day it’ll be your warm up. No matter what new muscles we use today, they will get stronger as long as we keep using them and stop letting fear or laziness get in the way!

Let’s do this!

First Things First

I have a lots of changes to make in my life…. again. Seven years ago I started basically from scratch and I’d like to think I’m not THAT far back again, but I have a long way to go to be where I want to be in regards to my fitness.

Yesterday I did day one of Focus T25. It’s one of those programs that when it came out I was already “beyond” it in my fitness level and never found the time to play around with it, let alone dedicate a block of weeks to finishing it.

Thanks to the Beachbody On Demand streaming service (which is a crazy good deal) it’s in my library and I figured I could make 25 minutes a day work in my schedule!

So yesterday was day one and while I was humbled even following the modifier most of the time, it felt great to push myself again. Today was no different! I followed the modifier again because I’m not sure I’m up to jumping just yet, and I’m also planning to try and run again this evening. Should be interesting as I haven’t run in over a month.

But it’s time to challenge myself. I’ll start slowly and work on my attitude and mood first with some healthy exercise, even though I know darn well that what I put in my face matters even more than working out when it comes to losing weight. I’ll get there too, very soon.

For me it’s first things first. I started this way last time and I know that for me personally, I have to make a mental shift before I can do the hard work of changing my eating habits. It’s always been the hardest part for me and likely always will be.

I’m thankful that I’ve done this before. Because I’ve been down this road before and have found success I know what works for me. My body is changing, aging isn’t being very kind to me, but at least I have an idea of where and how I need to start. I’m all about baby steps. Committing to my workouts is my first baby step.

Might not seem like a lot to some people, but I know myself well enough to know it’s all I can handle for the moment. Yes, I’m going to eat a little better, but I don’t think I’ll start tracking again this week at least. Yes, I know that means my changes will come slower than they should and I’m OK with that. I have the tools. Baby steps means I won’t overwhelm my system! It’s more mental than anything else, I know this!

So I’m proud of myself for getting up and moving today. I pressed play. I worked up a sweat.

And I’ll do it again tomorrow.

Memorial Day

I’ve been going back and forth all day wondering if I should write this post, but in the end I figure this is the place I lay it all out. Hope you all like what I have to say!

Memorial Day has never been a real happy occasion for my family. Before I was born, my uncle was killed in a car accident on that day. Never fun to have that sort of tragedy on what should be a holiday weekend, but I do believe it’s fitting as this isn’t really a celebratory type of holiday anyway.

Memorial Day is, for most of us, a long weekend away from work and a chance to spend time with family. Many of us participate in parades and flag ceremonies to honor our fallen veterans. Barbecues and picnics are common. All of this is wonderful, but to be honest, growing up this was all just a sad weekend.

My grandfather was in the Army during WWII. He was in Germany and although he never really talked about it, I know that he drove trucks and transported wounded soldiers off the front lines. I’m sure he saw things that scarred him for life, but he was the best grandpa ever! He definitely was my hero.

Since he never would talk about his experience, he certainly didn’t want to celebrate on Memorial Day. He would be very quiet, I assume because he was remembering all those fallen soldiers he witnessed first hand, and then also because his son was gone. So much heartache, but it didn’t stop his patriotic spirit.

Grandpa didn’t always agree with every change he saw in the country, but he was always proud to be free. He instilled his pride in each of us and was proud to fly the flag and display his poppy on his rear view mirror in the car. He was definitely a proud veteran and I was humbled when they performed the ceremony at his funeral. Nothing like a 21 gun salute to honor a soldier, even one who had been out of the service more than 50 years.

Grandpa served in the Army, my Dad and his brothers served in the Navy. Dad never got to serve overseas, but that was because his brothers were over there by Vietnam and they wouldn’t let all the boys from the same family be near the fighting. I’m glad for that, even though I bet part of him wished he could have been there. I’m still super proud of his service and for that of my uncles. Brave men, patriots, and men I’m proud to call my heroes.

My father-in-law served in the Army as well, and my step-dad in the Navy. I think you could say that military values came at me from all angles growing up. My dad tried to get me to enlist, but I fought him on that. Looking back I think I should have listened, but I was just a kid. I didn’t know what I was talking about!

I guess my point in telling you all this is just that while I’m not a veteran, I honor our military. I am humbled that so many soldiers fought and died for our freedom, continue to fight for us. There are no words I can find to express my deepest sympathies to the families of those fallen heroes, so I try and honor them with my actions.

I have passed on the lessons taught to me by my father and grandfather to my sons. I always honor soldiers and veterans whenever I can. We may be in one of those times in history with a lot of turmoil among us, but I believe when you really think about what matters, those who have fought or are fighting for us should be top on the list.

I won’t say “Happy” Memorial Day, because it’s not necessarily a happy occasion. It can be a happy time with your family, but I urge you to remember WHY we have this day off. Remembering our heroes. Those who gave up their lives for us.

Later this summer we have plenty of time to celebrate our nation’s independence, our heroes who are still with us, just party because can are free to do so! But for today, let’s remember our fallen heroes.

For all who fought and died…. I thank you. I thank your families for your sacrifice. I am humbled to be blessed to live in this amazing country.

God bless the USA!

Mantra Shift

Seven years ago was when I started what I call my health and fitness journey, I made a little progress each day. A little that added up to a lot after just a couple short years.

When I started, I was heavy, out of shape and sick of myself. Two years after I started running and making small changes I trained for a marathon and completed P90X for the first time! I’d say I had huge results!

Fast forward to this year and I’m not quite as heavy as when I started, and not even quite that out of shape, but my mindset has me doubting my abilities again. It’s time to change that. Gaining 30 pounds back is not what I expected to happen.

Ten days ago I saw a doctor who is going to help me get through peri-menopause, but it’s time for me to help myself enjoy my life again. I’ve put it off about as long as I can. I’m sick of my chubbiness!

So, starting tomorrow, I’m dedicating the next few months to completing the program Focus T25 for the first time. I’ve done other Shaun T plans and I love his style! I love that this one is only 25 minutes per day, no excuses that I don’t have time. I’m GOING to finish this!

I’m sure I’ll have to modify a lot at the beginning, and that’s OK. I’ve let myself get this out of shape, it won’t be easy, but I know it’s worth trying!

If you’re in a similar situation, what I want you to learn from my story is just that you need to believe in yourself. Work hard for what you want. Don’t give up because it’s hard.

I’m going to give myself some grace, but not about missing workouts. It’s time to kick my own butt once again. Sunday’s are for rest, but Monday the work begins.

My goal for this particular program is simple… get back to regular workouts five to six days per week. Sure, I’d love to lose 10 pounds as well, but it’s not necessarily about that for me. I have no idea how my body will react. That’s where the self-grace comes in.

I’ll look back on this post when things get hard. They will get hard, I’m absolutely sure of that. Working out isn’t supposed to be easy… that’s why it’s called WORK! But I need it. I need to feel my muscles again. I need to have the energy it gives me, even when I completely exhaust myself.

Tomorrow the progress begins. I’m ready to take my life back!