Friday, February 8, 2013

Be Brave.

I have not blogged in several days.  What does that mean?  This might be a somewhat long post.  I'll number things in case you want to skip stuff.

1.  Weigh-in today.  137.8 pounds.  Up one pound from last week, which makes sense given I was still recovering from the stomach flu last week.  Seems my weight is stabilizing, I like that.  Also, 25.5% body fat.  Woot!

2. San Francisco Rock 'n' Roll Half-Marathon:  I registered for this inaugural race without knowing the race course.  This is San Francisco people, a city FAMOUS for hills.  But I took the risk because I was so excited a Rock 'n' Roll half was coming to the city of my birth.  And good thing I did because as of a few weeks ago...

Clearly I'm not the only one nutty enough to register for a 13.1 mile run in SF without seeing the route.  So today they finally released the course information.

And all I can say is...whew!  And, yes!!  No crazy SF hills and the Golden Gate Bridge.  What's not to love?  I ran part of this course when I did my 11 mile Kaiser training run in late January.  I debated that day whether to include the Golden Gate on my route... I guess next time I run it, I will.  So, so, so excited to see this course!  Me being me I had to map it on for the elevation profile.

Would ya look at that?  That, I can do.  In fact, I love that.  Love, love, love. 

3.  Workouts.  They've been steady.  It's been over a week but I finally got back into my gym yesterday (Thursday).  I had plenty of time and decided go wild with it.  I started with a 2 mile run on the treadmill at 6.3mph with a couple 7.3mph 2-min intervals thrown in for fun.  Then I did strength training, back/biceps/core and then I took a spin class.  I told you I went wild.  Glenn was out so we had Ken, who I now know is insane on a spin bike.  He 'bout killed us!  There were many times in which he told us to increase the resistance, "Give it another full turn," to which I just laughed.  Ha!  My quads are screaming now and you want me to make it harder?!  Negative my good man, ain't happenin'.  That's one thing I'm liking about spin class, highly customizable.  When I left the gym 2hr and 21 minutes later my heart rate monitor told me I'd burned 1,038 calories.  Wild indeed!

I'm staying at a friend's for a few nights (more on that in a bit) so I came back here and made myself dinner, meat loaf and brussels sprouts.  Then I took a long, hot bath.  And then I ate a Reese's peanut butter egg, later followed by a Häagen Dazs bar (chocolate covered with almonds, yum!).  And I was in bed by 9pm reading and enjoying a bit of peace and quiet.

Today, Friday, I returned to my gym and decided to again do a run/bike combo.  I ran for 1.52 miles (in 14 min) with intervals as above and then rode the upright bike for 11 minutes to make 25 minutes of cardio.  While I was running a fellow gym-goer came up to me and said, "Is that you in the window?" (referring to my ad).  I actually felt a bit shy!  He shook my hand (yes, while I was running at 7.3mph!), congratulated me and said what an accomplishment it was.  That was so cool.  Which reminds me, in spin class yesterday the guy next to me said, "You look a lot like that woman in the poster".  It was a bit weird to then have to tell him it is me.

So after my run/bike I did legs/shoulders/core for strength training.  My legs surprised me by being up for the task.  My core on the other hand...ouch!  Crunches on the decline bench with 15 lbs were outright painful.  But you know I did them anyway, which I will likely pay for tomorrow.  I had been feeling like it was time to up it to 20 lbs...guess that's not happening for a while.  

I came back here to eat dinner.  I was still hungry so I had a small granola bar.  Then I had the other Häagen Dazs bar that was in the freezer.  Thankfully there were only two.  So tomorrow will be a rest day and then I'm hoping to go mountain bike riding with Miguel on Sunday.  If we can't swing that I'll go alone.  Which brings me to the next thing...

4.  Change.  I've been alluding to going through a stressful personal time without ever saying what it is.  Well, Miguel and I are going through what I'll call a rough patch in our relationship.  We've been together for 11 years and this is a first for us.  And it's not easy.  In fact, it's one of the biggest challenges I've ever faced.  You can't go through the kind of physical and mental transformation I've gone through over the past 6 years without it reverberating through everything.  I am just not the same person I was when Miguel and I got married.  Of course, physically that's obvious.

These changes alone bring up issues but it's the mental change, the change in my attitude and my confidence, the change in my expectations from myself and others and in what I bring to the table, all those changes have had an impact on our relationship. It's been hard for me to tease out how to handle those changes and I haven't always been at my best in navigating this.  But I'm trying, I'm asking myself a lot of hard questions, doing a lot of thinking, and striving to be open to the new us.  Thank goodness for my friend Kristy for being the best consigliere a woman could ask for.  I've spent the last couple days at the house of a friend who is out of town.  I really need a retreat in the woods but that's not in the cards so this will do.  What kind of man supports his wife going off by herself to think for a few days? The kind I married.  He's really doing his best to face the existential crisis that is our marriage right now.  I can see that, despite my head being clouded, and I'm grateful for his clarity and his singular focus on making everything better.

So with all this time to think I realized something today.  I like myself.  I truly do. I don't think I liked myself much in years past.  I used to subconsciously wonder why anyone would like me, now I feel why wouldn't they like me?  I'm a great person.  I enjoy my own company, think well of myself, and I don't judge myself like I used to.  That's a profound change. The old me would have seen those as the traits of a conceited person.  The new me can see the difference between that and self-love.  I used to see others through the veil of my own insecurities, their actions and words were often a reflection of me.  Imagine.  Now I feel I am seeing with more clear eyes, and let me tell you, it's a whole new world.  The old me didn't expect much from life; that's changed.  I expect to get a lot more out of life than I used to.  And I know I can, I know I can go all Carpe Diem on life.  Though obviously it's not all skinny jeans and tank tops over here.

So what does this mean?  As far as what's relevant here (on my blog), Miguel and I need to start having some outdoor fun together.  We used to cycle together all the time.  And we'd run together sometimes too, though I think it was a bit tedious for him because he was SO much faster than me back then (now he's just much faster than me).  We used to do other things too but truth be told with the limited time we have I'd rather be on the move - hiking, cycling, dancing.  I'd like us to do more exploring together too, discovering new places and things, and with hope, also discovering the new us along the way.

I shared all this because it's clearly a big part of this weight loss/maintenance journey so it feels right to include it here.  Plus, I'll be writing about our attempts to get out on life's road together, even with two young kids at home, and now you'll know why.  Finally, if I write about feeling overwhelmed, confused, scared or unsure, you'll know what that's about too.  Someone recently told me, "Be brave in pursuit of your truth."  I've been thinking about that a lot.  There were times in my life when I didn't have the option to be brave.  Now I can, and I will do my best to keep my chin up and lead with my heart.


  1. Michelle, I found your blog a month or so ago, and have been reading daily since. I am so inspired by you, and I wish you all the best in everything. I know that lots of thoughts and prayers will be with you during the days, weeks , and months ahead. Thank you for being an inspiration to so many of us!!

  2. I'm so glad you decided to share your entire journey! I saw this pin on PinterestYes I'm quoting Pinterest but it says "the struggle is part of the story".

  3. I will be thinking you in the coming weeks and months as you and Miguel work to figure out your marriage with the New You. I will be honest, as I've been reading your journal over the past year, I had noticed how much you guys did separately, but I also understood that a lot of that had to do with having very small children. I also wished that my husband was that amenable to me being away so much to pursue my dreams. But as time goes on you should be able to do more together and then do more with the children as they get bigger.

  4. I second jessebell, you cannot discount the amount of stress that kids add to a relationship. When they are young it's often one parent at a time so the other can get some stuff done. You have to put some focus on the relationship or it does whither away. With work, fitness, activities, parenting and personal needs, of course some things get on the back burner. Good luck learning to manage your new life. We don't know much a out Miguel, but he sure sounds like a keeper!

  5. I've often told people that in relationships, the struggle is real. Meaning that it's not always going to be roses and chocolates. You will have your down days, you just have to take it one day at a time and deal with it. I love that you know what they issues are and are addressing them rather than giving up. You certainly inspire me in more ways than just fitness. I really hope that you & Miguel get this behind you sooner rather than later...and I agree, being outdoors as a couple does help the relationship. That's why I looove workouts and hiking with the honey. It brings us closer.

    Have a beautiful weekend sugar.


  6. I have no words of wisdom or insight to share but THANK YOU once again for sharing. I know you struggle with what to share and what should stay private in your blog, and I'm sure that was a hard post to write. You'll figure out this part, just like you've tackled the previous legs of this journey! Take care of yourself and know that so many people are supporting you in spirit!

  7. Thanks for being so honest. I have no doubt that issues in my marriage led to my weight gain, and as we worked through them, I was able to let go of most of the weight. It doesn't seem like this element comes up much in the typical health-and-fitness discussion.

  8. I am so glad you shared about this, Michelle. I kind of suspected that was what was going on. Miguel sounds like a wonderful man and you sound like you know that. From the way you describe him, I cannot imagine a husband being more supportive. I think you are on the right track, making time for the two of you. I can imagine a lot of adjustments have to be made when you become a whole new person. I pray all the best for you and your family.

  9. Big hugs to you for being so raw and honest on here. Having read your blog for ages, now that I think back you guys did do so much together way back when.... Sounds like you figured it out there was a real problem soon enough...and it also sounds like you are on the right track!

    Once again, your blog made me think about where I'm at with my journey and my marriage. Thank you!

  10. Hi Michelle, I had been wondering if it was your relationship causing so much stress...and I think another big part of course is having kids! It sounds like you guys really care for each other and it's great you are thinking about doing more of what got you together in the first place, i think it's easy to lose yourself amongst the "trees" when life changes so much and gets so much busier? Anyway, I wish you and Miguel the very best in re-connecting and re-establishing a good, re-vamped write very eloquently about it all, thankyou.

  11. Hi Michelle -- came back to read this after reading your most recent post and realizing I must have missed something! I can relate to the rough patch -- my husband and I just came through one of the most harrowing years in our marriage. We tried to tough it out on our own and later decided to go to a therapist. Long story short, last year I thought I was headed for divorce, this year I feel more strong and confident in my 10 year relationship than I ever have. I think sometimes a crisis makes you shed old notions, old beliefs -- sometimes it means the end of a relationship. I feel like my husband and I faced the abyss separately, and then learned a little bit of what it means to face the abyss together. It wasn't a happy-joy-joy moment, it was a wow, this is life, it can be terrifying to be vulnerable, but I'm willing to be here with you moment. I also felt lucky that like you say of Miguel, my husband was willing to let me do what I needed to do to figure out things. I hope you come through to a place where your life feels whole and integrated. I'll be thinking of you.


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