A new type of Self Sabotage…

18 12 2010

I knew when I wrote my last post I should have waited just a little longer…

As I began to write it, I could feel all the negativity pouring out of me. One of the most important parts of this LCJ that I’ve learned is negativity has very little room in my life. I’ve worked hard to stay in the moment and remind myself that bad feelings are usually temporary. In the past I would have let negativity fester like an infected wound. I would have picked at it until it bled and then pulled the scab off of it until all that remained was a scar to continue to remind myself how much I hated myself.

I didn’t like the words coming off of my fingers:




Those are no longer words that I allow myself to define who I am. They don’t belong. I was in a lot of pain and in that pain I allowed negativity to creep into my emotional state of well-being. I stopped writing because I didn’t want to continue to validate how I was feeling about myself. I watched a movie, iced my foot and spent some much needed time inside my head.

“I am a runner”

“Pain does not define me”

“I will recover”

“I deserve to heal”


I deserve to heal? It never occurred to me that taking the much needed time to heal my foot was not because I was weak and didn’t know how to be successful in my journey but was because I deserved to heal. Then it hit me: I was self sabotaging myself just as much as if I was eating a gallon of ice cream because I was mad. I was mad because at 40 I decided to do something about my weight (physical and emotional) instead of when I was in my 20’s or 30’s. I was mad because I’m still trying to figure out this whole running thing and I got hurt in the process. I was mad because for the first time in my life I’m really moving physically and here I am too hurt to even put my foot on the floor.

Forcing myself to run when it’s not comfortable was (and is) just another way of letting the negativity fester. Thinking that I deserved to feel pain because it proved that I don’t know how to be successful was (and is) another way of pulling off the proverbial scab over and over again until an emotional scar appears.

Well that’s not who I am.

Not Today.

Not Ever.


By the end of Thursday night I was feeling 100% better (both emotionally and with my achilles). I got to talk with Michael and learn first hand that I shouldn’t be scared to tell someone that I might not be able to run a race. I had decided to step up to the starting line for the upcoming 10k with the mutual understanding that this was not a race for time but rather a race to finish: even if that meant I walked for most of it. It was more important for my emotional well being to at least try to do the race then not try at all.

I stepped up to the starting line this morning knowing I might feel some pain, knowing I might walk more than normal and knowing I might be slower than I would like to be. I also stepped up knowing that my awesome running partner was not going to be mad, disgusted or disappointed if I needed to adjust what I was doing. That negative thinking was all EFT and she hadn’t been invited to this party.

I ran.

I felt very little pain.

So many awesome things came out of this race. I ran my fastest 10k (56:55). I ran a consistent 9:11 mile (my goal for 2010 was to run a consistent 10 min mile). I placed 5th out of my age division (I’ve NEVER placed in anything). More importantly I crossed that finish line knowing I deserve to heal not because I am weak…

But because I AM STRONG!




Post run blues / food

4 12 2010

I had no idea there was such a thing as “Post Run Blues”

Now what?

However, after finishing my first half marathon: I have them. I feel sad and lost and not sure what to do with myself. I haven’t run since Sunday (though that will change in a few hours) and when I do get out there in a few hours with my friend Michael, I’m not sure how long I want to run for or where I even want to go. For the last four months of my life, I’ve been preparing to earn my 13.1 wings. Every time I ran (whether it was a mile on the treadmill or for 2 hours outside) the thought of crossing that finish line was always in the forefront of my mind. Last weekend I put all my hard work, thought processes and just plain old sweat into action and came away feeling elated and more in power than I ever had in my entire life.


Now I just feel like blah.

I’ve been doing some reading on PRB (post run blues) and am not so shocked to see it’s a common occurrence. I didn’t experience it after any of my shorter races so I wasn’t really prepared for the initial let down of finishing the race on Sunday. When I crossed the finish line I felt like a strong runner and now I’m worried that I won’t even go a mile once I step out my front door in a few hours. I wish someone had told me to expect this feeling of “okay now what”. I guess I experienced it a little when I finished my first triathlon back in September but even then I was thinking about the half marathon. At this point of the adventure, the biggest challenge I had was earning my first 13.1 and now that’s over.

I’ve picked a few “short” races to get to through the rest of the year. Funny how six months ago those “short” races seemed so long in distance. 5k’s and 10k’s seem short to me now. Fun runs. Something to do for 30 – 60 minutes. I’ve got some great challenges picked out for 2011 (including RAGNAR for July) and hopefully finding an Olympic distance triathlon to shoot for (why everything wants to happen the same time as Ragnar, I can’t figure out), but for now I’m just going to sit with my PRB, get through the holidays and keep reminding myself that now that I know I can run 13.1 miles, the race world is my oyster.


I’ve been wanting to blog about my relationship with food and what I’ve learned about myself over the last 11 months (more so in the last month since hitting goal weight). I get nervous writing about food. You’ll notice I don’t blog too much about what I eat, or  what my daily caloric intake is was or take pictures of my food. While food intake was is a big part of my LCJ it’s a more private affair. This isn’t about turning down an extra piece of cake at a birthday party, or sneaking in some fast food before heading home to cook dinner for the family. It goes much deeper as I’m sure many others out there experience.

I think about food even more so now that I’ve reached goal weight and have gone into what the world of weight loss calls “maintenance”. I’ve decided I can’t rely on counting calories for the rest of my life. It’s not conducive for me. It works for some but it’s too emotionally binding for me to do it at this point of the journey. Counting calories was a safe haven for me while losing the weight. Now it’s become bothersome and counter productive. I’ve been reading about Intuitive Eating and for the last month have been giving it my best shot.

I’ve learned a lot about myself over the last month.

Well let me rephrase that. I’ve lived with my behaviors for 35+ years so I’m not really “learning” about myself. It’s more of a “ohhhhhhh so that’s what they call it” type of epiphany. Funny thing about life: you really think you’re the only one. That is until you read something and go “oh wow, so other people do this too?”.

That’s sort of where I am at this point of the IEJ (Intuitive Eating Journey) – discovering that my relationship with food (while private) is not so uncommon in its behavior. I want to delve into it more but for now I’m just figuring out how to go through the day without counting a single calorie and giving myself permission to eat (what a concept!). The last 30 days post goal weight have been successful. I’m weighing in at 169 consistently and have not had one panic attack over food (been stressed out almost to the maximum yes – but no panic attacks).

While the each behavior alone could easily have a blog post dedicated to it, there are some things I’d like to point out about my relationship with food just so I can start to make sense of all the information I’m taking in.

  • I eat almost consistently in survival mode
  • I am afraid food will not be available to me
  • When I eat, I often think about what it was like for me to eat as a child
  • Bulimia while it gave me a sense of control it also allowed me to eat more food and feel safe
  • I eat competitively when other people are involved
  • The eating behaviors forced on me as a child, have evolved to eating behaviors I force on myself as an adult
  • I don’t trust myself around food or my ability to have a healthy relationship with food
  • I live my life meal to meal and think about food more than anything else (except money)

So there you have it, my relationship with food in a very very small nutshell. As the weeks go by I’ll blog more about each of these behaviors as they make themselves known to me. For now, I’d like to know what your relationship with food looks like. Under control? Out of control? WTF? Counting calories? Eating Intuitively? Reading any good books about this shit?

Time for oatmeal.



Ashley’s Story…

14 08 2010

I’ve never met Ashley face to face but we share two things in common: We’re fighting to regain control of our lives by making healthier choices and we’ve both lost our moms. I chose Ashley to be my first story and to be the first dedicated run because she has so much love for the people around her including myself with all her words of support and encouragement. I imagine that if we ever did meet face to face, she’s light up the room with that beautiful smile.

I run today for Ashley, and her mom.

Thank you for sharing your story.


Hi, Tara– I had forgotten that I wrote a blog entry about my mom on Mother’s Day.  I think it’s a pretty good story about my mom.  I think about those who run, walk, bike, swim for people like her.  I complain ALL the time about running out in the heat.  Mom endured countless procedures, including bone marrow biopsies (the equivalent of getting a pencil lead shoved in your back), numerous hospital stays, and a lifetime of chemotherapy (her withdrawal off of one made her develop sores on her ankles like you see on diabetics.  She had to have part of her tendons removed).

Anyway, thanks for letting me  ramble on and on about my mom.  I just miss her so much and the wounds are still fresh, sometimes.  This opportunity has been therapeutic, and I forget that I need to remember the pain and joy of her life.  Here’s the blog:

Getting my ears pierced at age nine is still a vivid memory for me. I can still remember the layout of the jewelry store in the mall, the tall chair I sat on, and the sound of the piercing gun right next to my ear. Perhaps the most poignant of memories was knowing that I wasn’t yet a teenager, but there I sat at age nine, getting my ears pierced, a rite of passage specifically reserved for a thirteen year old.

A few years before her passing, mom told me that when she was diagnosed with leukemia, she wanted to experience all of the milestones in my adolescent journey, and getting my ears pierced was one of those steps along the way. I was in third grade, just nine years old, when she was given six months to three years to live. It was then that mom decided that her rule of “only teenagers should have their ears pierced” was meant to be broken.

A funny thing happened along the way, though. She beat the odds… big time. It wasn’t until 22 years later that she succumbed to her disease.

She witnessed things that she was pretty much guaranteed to miss in her children’s lives… summer vacations at the beach, first dates (well, at least for my brother), high school graduations, college graduations, weddings, and the birth of her first grandchild.

Of course, her survival could merely be her placement along the bell curve. But, I also think her zeal and desire for just one more moment gave her the impetus to hang on through some serious complications of leukemia for just one more minute, hour, day, week, year.

Of course I miss my mom. She had a gift of making everyone laugh. We argued A LOT, but nothing more than what is expected from moms and daughters. Now that I have two children of my own, I want to try and keep her memory alive by truly living not just for those years or weeks, but for the days, hours, and seconds. None of us is guaranteed our next breath. Goodness knows, I don’t advocate carelessness. If you know me at all, I am nothing but cautious. But, I should try and take stock of things that matter… playing outside with my boys, when I’d much rather be inside reading a book… spending money at the zoo when I really need (okay “want”) a new pair of shoes.

I know that I will be successful as a mom if my kids love me only half as much as I loved my mom. And as much as I miss just picking up the phone and hearing her voice, I am so thankful for the time I had with her. I always think of the line, “better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all.” I was very fortunate to have such a healthy parent-child relationship, and although our time together was cut short, it was full of wonderful, loving memories. What better legacy to leave your children?

Tara’s Team in Training Page

So Many Changes…

1 07 2010

I’ve got so many thoughts going through my head I had to actually make a bullet list on paper to make sure I kept the scrambled mess in some sort of cohesive order. I’m using the computer at the library and have about 50 minutes to get all this out onto this blog before some crazy ass flashing light comes up on the screen and tells me to vacate the premises. I’m here for two reasons: One to get used to taking advantages of the free services my local library offers and two because I owed a $.20 fine from the last books I checked out. Go me for making sure my fines are paid!

Okay so first train of thought: I am ready to make the switch from Superman to Coach Chuck. It was a hard decision to come to but I feel okay with the process. I still don’t know what is going on with Superman but I’ve gotten word that he is alive (I did have my doubts) and since no one knows when he is coming back, I’ve decided it’s time I move on. I didn’t make the decision purely based on Superman disappearance  but also on what I think Coach Chuck can offer me over the course of the next three months. I’ve trained with him twice and how he talks to me is a big factor in making the final decision. He uses words I need to hear now. Words that I’ve used since the beginning of  journey. He says things like “Your body wants this”, “this is all a mental game, don’t let the mind control what the body wants”, “You want this? You work for it”. In just the two times we’ve worked together he has pushed me to what I thought were my limits and then he pushed me past them. Both Superman and Coach Chuck are all business but there is something else in Coach Chuck that I didn’t find in Superman and that’s a desire to push as hard as possible and then push again because everything is possible.

I seriously wanted to throw up after 10 minutes of our 60 minute session. It’s a series of what I can only describede as some crazy form of crossfit stations that go something like this:

(all 45 seconds each station)

  • Bench Press
  • Bench Squats
  • Kettle Ball Throw
  • Core Knee Pulls (push up position, feet in suspension straps off the ground and then pull your knees into stomach)
  • Vertical Jumps (alternating left/right position) onto step
  • Hopscotch Ladder
  • Forward Bench Press with Suspension Straps
  • Row with Suspension Straps
  • Full Squats with Suspension Strap
  • Core Alternating Knee Pulls with Suspension Straps (push up position, feet in suspension straps off the ground and then pull your knees into stomach alternating left/right – kind of like riding a bike)
  • Vertical Forward Jumps onto step
  • Criss Cross jumps on Hopscotch Ladder

That is one round. Repeat for three rounds then curl up on the floor like a baby and that is what we did today. He’s all about endurance training and I am all about building that endurance. I’ll take the necessary steps to transfer my trainings over and forge a new relationship with a new trainer. Now to come up with a superhero name…

Train of thought number two: I ran for six miles yesterday. A new distance record for me as I work to run longer and faster. It took me 1:19:00. It’s the first run I’ve actually been disappointed with since the start of my running adventures. I was disappointed because half way through the run (and the farther point away from my destination I hit a rock right in the middle of my heel while wearing my vibrams. It made for a painful situation. One where I had to stop and consider how I was going to get back to where I was going. I had to walk for a little bit but it’s not what I wanted to do. I wanted to run. the entire time I was walking that damn recorder was playing in my mind. Telling me I’ll never be a runner. Telling me I’ll never run fast. Telling me I’ll never make it to a half-marathon let alone a full marathon. It took a lot of effort to get my feet to move faster than a walking pace. Eventually it happened and I finished the route. I shouldn’t be disappointed. I should be jumping up and down for joy at having surpassed my last run by a mile. I should be patting myself on the back for mustering up the willpower to keep running. All these “I should” and yet I still walked away disappointed. I’m not sure if this ties in with my recent employment situation but it has been a depressing conversation in my head. One that just shouldn’t be allowed to exist. I remember crying and hugging myself after running for 5 minutes straight (and maybe 1/4 of a mile) and thinking how awesome it was and yet yesterday I wasn’t good enough after running for almost 55 minutes straight and clearing close to 4.5 miles before stopping due to an injury to my heel.

I have a lot of emotional work still.

Train of thought number three: I have seen 199 enough this week that I am confident it will happen on OWiS #27. Barring a massive salt intake or TOM it will happen and I am ready to enter a new phase of this journey. I’ve lost almost 65 pounds since January and for the first time in my adult life I like the way my body looks. I am moving away from this being a weight loss journey and moving towards this becoming a journey of strength. I am confident in this new phase the weight will continue to come off my body but it won’t be the focus any longer. I’m going to move away from stable exercises like the elliptical and stationary bikes and move toward less stable exercises (swimming, weight training, outside biking, spin class, running and endurance training). The stable exercises helped me lose the first 65 pounds. Unstable exercises will not only help me lose the next 35 pounds but will also make me leaner, stronger and much more fit.

That’s what I want.

That’s what I’m going to get.

Seeing 199 on the scale has been monumental. I don’t feel fat anymore. I don’t see myself as fat either. I see the small pudge in my stomach or the under arm flabbiness and I think “it’s only a matter of time” because while I look in the mirror and see my stomach/under arms I also see the  muscles in my thighs. I see my biceps and I see new part of my body one: my collar-bone. I didn’t see those things 6 months ago, but I see them today.  Hard work, sweat and a gazillion tears are paying off by giving me the body that I was born to have. The body I abused for the last 25 years has accepted my apology and is moving forward business as usual. If I can do this in six months…

Think what can be accomplished in a year.

Fourth train of thought: All is okay in my world. Last Wednesday everything came crashing down around me as I joined the ranks of the unemployed. I’ve had a few panic moments and one fight with my husband (as to be expected I guess) but a week later, I am doing okay. My interpreter friends have helped me tremendously in giving me contact information for various opportunities. I thank them and the universe for looking out for me. There isn’t much work out there (Summer is always slow) but there is work and I will find it.

There are some plans being jostled around in my head that while I want to share with the world, I need to just sit on them for a bit longer before making any sort of commitment. These ideas include leaving the profession of interpreting and venturing off into a new career. One that would require me to go back to school after 10 years. I am building a stronger body, now I also need to think about building a stronger brain. I see the change that can happen in people and I want to be a part of the change. I want to be the catalyst to that change. No not want, need. It’s time to refocus what I thought I wanted to be when I grew up and it’s time I make it a reality.

This is one crazy ride and I’m glad I got on!

Pre OWiS #25 week in review!

18 06 2010

It’s that time again.

Time where I review my week in anticipation of tomorrow OWiS. This will be #25 since starting this journey. This week has seen some great accomplishments and yet tonight I feel out of sorts. I was supposed to meet with Superman today but he had to cancel at the last minute. With the both of us being on vacation we’ve not been able to get together for just under three weeks. I was really looking forward to today but understand his need to cancel. So tonight I’m feeling a little let down and trying not to get all bummed out and what not.

Lets get to the good stuff!

Saturday: I ran my second 5k and got a personal best time of 37:00. Here are some of the pictures from the race!

Sunday: I started breaking in my Vibrams with a short one mile run on the treadmill (fastest mile thus far). I also signed up for a 10k that was scheduled to happen July 17th but as with all new runners we have to remember to double-check our schedules and NOT just willy nilly sign up for races. I did, and then realized I have prior work engagements. CRAP! No worries though, that 10k will happen and it will happen soon!

Monday: Ran two miles in my vibrams!

Tuesday: Found out I have a bounce in my step and can unequivocally declare I am no longer a “functioning depressed” person. I also ran 2.8 miles in my vibrams.

Wednesday: Was the first of two cancellations by Superman this week. Big bummer on my side. I took it as a sign from the Universe to take a rest day and catch up on my sleep. 11 hours worth of zzz’s was totally worth it.

Thursday: Took my vibrams out and ran a personal 5k. From Saturday to Thursday I ran a total of 12 miles. Not bad for a fat chick that couldn’t run a block to save her life back in January. Oh I also got some swag and had a kick ass N(on) S(cale) V(ictory).

Today: I got the second cancellation from Superman. He left me a really nice message apologizing profusely and to not give up on him. Funny, I never would have thought working out with me meant that much to him. I feel sad that he has to keep canceling because I know he feels bad and I know it’s for medical reasons. This is the kind of guy I would go out and drink beers with, talk about fishing or go to monster trucks with so I won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.  Barring some horrific medical problem (I hope I didn’t just jinx him) I’m sure he’s not going anywhere either.

So there is my week in review. Ten-toed Charlie hasn’t really moved that much for me this week. I can’t say for sure whether there will be a loss or not. Up until this morning there wasn’t enough of a change to write home about.  Regardless of what TTC says I’m thrilled with the running mileage and even more thrilled to be wearing my sock monkey Christmas pajamas (which I will probably wear every day until I turn 50)

See you all in the morning!