Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Just Be Kind.

"Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You"

I wrote an entire blog entry about kindness.  How last year, this community came together as one and helped one another and now that bond had shattered and people are capable of being assholes again.  I wrote about how hateful people are now (the majority of people on every side of every issue) and how people's actions speak a million times louder than their words.  I touched on the amazing and downright worst invention in the history of the world: the internet.

But, I deleted it.  Why?

Because, I would be told I am wrong.  It would only be proving my point but at the same time, I have found that it isn't good to write when you're angry.  Yes, that's their opinion and they are allowed it, because I am human and allow people their feelings. But, it doesn't help anything.

Instead, I shall write this.

Be kind to the people around you. Don't be so quick to judge them based on whatever reason you have decided to judge them.  Acknowledge that we are a planet of billions of people who are different in every way and yet, the same in every way. 

We are human beings at the end of the day.  An amazing creation that can come in many different colors, shapes, sizes, and with this incredible ability to speak and think and create and love and improve on things we do, every single day.  We can create good in this world but, instead, it seems that the world rather ride the waves of hate and hurting people however they can.

Anger and hatred only lead to a dead end.  Nothing good comes from it. Do you know where the good comes from?  Human Kindness. Respect. Acknowledging our differences and realizing that we need those differences to grow.

Your actions to your fellow humans, family members, friends, acquaintances, co-workers ... that speaks louder than your voice.  People remember when you hurt them.  There's a lot of talk in the world today about inclusion.  People get very upset when they are left out of things they feel they should be a part of ... and then do the very same thing to others.

The next time you want to say something mean and hurtful, because you'll feel this rush of superiority if you say it ... stop and think.  Does it do any good in the world beside give you a feeling of superiority? Does purposefully hurting others actually do any good at all?

No.  It doesn't. 

So, please, just be kind to one another.

Monday, October 8, 2018

It began as any other day

One year ago, the people of Sonoma County went about their day like any other.  It was a warm, breezy Sunday. People did what people do without any indication that after the sun set for the night, everything about their lives would change.

I certainly didn't because I made flippant remarks about not coming in any earlier because I was tired of working. Many times in the last year I wish I could go back and not make such a statement.  It wouldn't have changed anything but I feel like it was such a dumb thing to say.  A moment of allowing a temper tantrum to get the best of me.

I am one of the lucky ones.  I emerged on the other side of that month of fires unscathed. I have my home, I have my life still intact, and I am not changed other than the fact that I am a lifelong member of Sonoma County saddened by the devastation and loss that we experienced. My heart broke repeatedly that month but not for the reasons of many others.  My heart broke as a spectator who felt helpless at what was happening all around me. I did all I could do, I hunkered down ... and I worked.

I might be a little more anxious at times as was mentioned in yesterday's post.  But, I've been an anxiety riddled worrywart for my entire 38+ years on this planet.  I have grown as a person in the last year.  I am more patient with people, I am not as quick to anger as I used to be. I embrace the blessings in my life and acknowledge my struggles as blessings as well. I've always had this thought in my head that things could be worse than they are and October 2017 really sent that thought home and cemented it for all eternity.  Things could always be worse.

That being said, there isn't a single part of me that doesn't wish that we could go back and never have that happen. I wish all of the people affected ... weren't. Homes still standing, lives still being lived. Businesses still where they were, continuing on like any other day ... like they were on the afternoon of October 8th, 2017.

It is often said with the grieving process that it isn't until the first anniversary that you can finally start to feel any sort of healing.  Not forgetting, not moving on completely, just that it is the first year  is down.  Not having lost anything, I don't know if that same thing still applies here.  I can only hope for those affected that it is true.

There are homes being rebuilt all over the place, but that doesn't mean that the events of last October will ever be forgotten.  I am merely an observer and won't forget what was observed.  It probably won't be for dozens of years that people feel any sort of normalcy again.  And, who knows if they ever will.  Not to sound like a Debbie Downer but emotional scars take far longer to heal.  People experienced absolute terror and no amount of house rebuilding and regular life living will ever take that away.

I pray for those still facing their personal battles whether it be still sorting through the red tape of having a home rebuilt, putting the pieces of a fractured life back together, or fighting against emotional battles that may not be outwardly visible to those around them but are not any less real to those having to put up the fight.

We learned last year that we are all members of this Sonoma County community.  It seems at times that we have forgotten that lesson.  In honor of those we lost and the events of that night, I hope that we can come together and feel like one community again.

I hope wherever you are today, you can find some tiny moments of peace to get you through the memories of a year ago.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Thoughts can sink ships

Guess whose back .... back again ...

The world that is my life got a little topsy turvy since I last wrote.  Some of you who know me may look at me and go "How do you figure?"

You see, my friend, things are not always as they seem.  It's like the image of an iceberg.  Cute, tiny, little white triangle sticking out of the water ... GINORMOUS trapezoid with sharp edges under the surface.  Now, I am not saying there is anything about me that is cute and tiny. It's just an analogy.  Kind of like a duck on the surface of a pond.  It appears they are floating along but their little feet are rapidly paddling away beneath them.   I may smile and continue working 80 hours a week, but it doesn't mean that all is well within me.

Because, it isn't.  It's better now, but it was very bad there for a bit.

I can't exactly pinpoint what it is.  It could be a mash up of my life experiences and past traumas and emotional dings that I never dealt with finally becoming a roadblock I couldn't just breeze past. All I know was it was one moment, I was normal-ish and then the next, I wasn't.

My mind wouldn't shut the f*** up. I was quite literally in a state of panic about losing my house, my car, my dog, my husband, ... my job ... you name it!  I was fixated on whether or not I was making enough money so that the above losses wouldn't happen.  Even though I work plenty of extra hours (understatement of the year) and was in no danger of losing any of those things.  I believe, in the only logical way I can, that I felt this way because it seemed like money was something I could control.  I could work more if I needed to (please ... not anymore than I am right now!!!) It is the only thing I can control in this world.  Need money?  Work more. 

I wouldn't consider myself a control freak but when I look back on my life, alllllllll the way back to when I was but a wee child, I have worried about things that are out of my realm of control.  My parents being alive.  I freaked out about that on the regular.  It was something I was afraid of and I felt that if I worried enough, it would never happen.  Well ... I guess I didn't worry enough. 

No, I am not so naive that I truly believe I could have saved my parents.  I couldn't have.  What happened to them is a part of my journey and I wouldn't be the person I am if they were still here.  Because I was a bratty-ass teenager.  Could there have been a different life lesson to turn me around?  Sure, but God chose this path for me and that is what happened.

Anyway, I was literally blinded, hobbled, and crippled by my anxiety.  I needed to be at home when i wasn't at work.  I felt safe if I was at home at night.  I was with the husband and dog the house, etc.  But, I lost something in that time.  I wasn't going to the gym. 

Ironically, CrossFit is what pulled me through some of the heavier bouts of depression that would bloom and I wasn't going to do that.  I was going straight home from work and hibernating inside.  Even though, my little voice in my head was telling me what a loser I was for missing the gym AGAIN!  Then, when I'd eat something bad, oooh boy she really liked to lay into me with the fact that I was eating like shit and not working out. 

My inner voice is a bitch.  I hate her. 

Miraculously, during this horrific, self-loathing, self-hatred, anxiety avalanche of struggle and depression, I found a way to fight it head on.  Because we live in a world where people like to attack others for their choices, lifestyle, or anything that people disagree with I will keep what it is to myself.  But, it helped me ... tremendously.  Am I 100% better?  HAHAHA, that's funny.  But, I am able to fight this. 

One of the favorite things I have read in dealing with this was this:

"Just because a thought exists, doesn't make it true." 

It's a thought.  It's like the internet, it can have whatever your little heart imagines up and can make you think it's true beyond a reasonable doubt.  It can make you absolutely lose your ever-lovin' mind ... and for what? Does thinking something make it true? 

No.

I still find myself struggling from time to time with various different things. But, I also think I, and my favorite co-pilot, are getting a better grip on the reins and I am sitting more sure in the saddle. 

I am learning a lot about myself in this battle. I am realizing that I cannot fix what is wrong on the outside of me if the inside of me is jacked up.  I tried that.  I become obsessed and even more judgmental of myself than I should be because I haven't stifled that inner bitch.  She needs to shut her hole before I can have a healthy view of life.

I'm starting to get CrossFit back into my routine.  I've gone once a week for the last two weeks.  I'd like to go 3x this week but I won't beat myself up if I go twice.  I have to allow myself some wiggle room.  I am not a failure if I don't go.  Just don't give up, right?

I have a better perspective on a lot of things but I am not perfect.  I have a LONG way to go and may never be perfect. Is anyone perfect?  No.  Remember, appearances can be deceiving!!

If you are thinking bad things, just remember, the thought isn't exactly true just because it is there.  I know this is easier said than done.  I know this and I know there are people who have entire planets of struggle in their path and it won't just be gone that easily.  It's just something I like to use to help me sort through what I do need to worry about and what I don't. 

There is so much good in my life.  I truly am blessed ... I just get blinded sometimes.  It happens and it will happen again I am sure.

I hope you are well. 


Thursday, July 5, 2018

My own worst enemy.

It is often said that we are our own worst enemies.  We critique ourselves harder and put more pressure on ourselves to succeed than anyone else around us will.

It is this statement that has led me to think I was just riding myself hard for so many years.  I wouldn't allow myself to get too confident in anything, because there is always room for improvement, etc.  Yes, that is still true.  We can always be just a smidge or more better ... HOWEVER, I took it to an entirely new extreme.

I don't think I've ever truly let myself be proud of myself for anything, not for more than a moment.  I might say that I am ... and there have been flashes of things that I have been super proud of.  Alas, that moment of pride quickly dissolves into an inner monologue about being too cocky, and coming across as a braggart.  So, even when I am happy about something, that vicious voice inside me rips me apart.

Healthy? 

I think not.

Here's something I've discovered with the help of an amazing YouTube Channel (Lose It Like Lauren) ... Being healthy isn't just about diet/exercise.  It requires an enormous amount of mental strength as well.   If the mental strength isn't there ... the rest of it is bound to fail. And, I believe that you can follow thousands of positive thinking instagram pages, and hit like on several positive self talk memes but ... unless you believe those words and actively implement it into your own mindset ... it won't work.

How do I know this? 

I struggle with this daily!! Good lord, my mind is horrifically abusive to me. I am admitting it.  I am so terrible to myself.  Some people may already know this just based on being around me. But, it's SO true.  Like ... beyond true!! I need a more powerful word than true. 

I am the first to say I'm fat, or I'm ugly, or I am not good enough, I'm not smart.  I can't do a pull up, I can't run, I can't  .... I can't ... I can't ... or I am not ... I am not ... I am not.  Seriously!  This is like a loop in my head.  It starts first thing in the morning when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror while I am headed to the shower.  *cringe* It continues with a monologue about whatever parts I dislike in the shower.  Then, I try to do my hair and get frustrated because I hate my hair. I need to cut it, I want to dye it again but I don't have the money ... I don't know how to do my hair.  I'll just pull it up again ... blah blah blah.

See where this is headed?  Nowhere good, trust me.

This continues throughout the day, getting worse and worse until I am a wound up ball of negativity.  When this ball of negativity heads off to my favorite place in the whole county (CrossFit) it only implodes even more.  Because there will be something up on the board like ... running.  My mind instantly rages at me for being such a fat ass that can't even run 200m without stopping. 

This cannot be beneficial to me.  And, it certainly hasn't been. 

I lost 80 lbs not that long ago on Kaiser's liquid diet thing.  I didn't eat anything I wasn't supposed to for 6 months!!! Somehow, I managed to do that and was successful.   But, as soon as I was on my own and not too good at the cooking/eating dept and faced with HUGE stress at work and not working out and the weight creeped up ... that voice got louder and louder about how I am such a failure because I gained back so much weight.

How am I supposed to overcome this voice?  I am not 100% sure but I am certainly going to try.  I am making a list of things I want to accomplish (crossfit goals, etc) and I am going to write down my weight loss goals as well with their little mini rewards and you know what?  I am going to celebrate EVERYTHING I DO.  Yes, everything.  I am going to post my workouts ... and how I did.  I am going to post my weight loss, I am going to celebrate when I get through a day without cheating ...

It might be annoying to y'all but I am warning you ahead of time so that you can block me if you need to. 

Because I NEED TO DO THIS TO SAVE MY LIFE.

I have felt my brain go into dark corners that I never imagined it would ... led there by my vicious inner voice.  She's a bitch and I am trying to take my life back.  So, if you have to not follow me ... I am OK with that because I intend on living many more years and I want those years to be happy and productive and healthy.

I can do this. I know I can.  I've been vigilant with things before and now ... I intend to be vigilant with this.  I will do all I can to stay on top of myself, to squash those dark thoughts and negative words with something else.  If that's taking my 500th selfie for the month to post my face to the world because that is my face as it is right now and ... it's perfectly fine to look the way it does.

Wanna come with me on this journey?  Then, follow along!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

It's Just Me Versus Me.

It's Thursday.  Are you kidding me? My competition is THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW!!  

Cue mini-panic attack. Holy Schnikes! 



Am I ready?  About as ready as I can be. Did I lock my nutrition in the way I wanted to before this day?  No. Did I lose, like, 20 lbs?  Also no. But ... can I do the workouts without dying?  Yes.  100% Yes.  That's what matters right? 

I feel every single butterfly that is flying a swirling vortex inside my stomach and try to talk to them and tell them that I made it through the Open.  But then, all those little butterflies remind me that I did the Open in my box, my gym, with my people.  My judges. My environment. My safety net. Saturday I will be in another city, at another box, with strangers doing the judging.  I don't have many movements where I think a No Rep could be called but it could happen.  A few of my wall balls weren't as low on our last practice so that needs to stay in my mind but ... what's a few extra wall balls, right? 

One of the coaches asked me, "What's the worst that could happen?" My answer: Nothing.  

I meant it too. Because, unless I topple off a box and crack my head open ... what is the worst possible thing that could happen?  Not a dang thing.  Am I dreaming of standing up on the podium, placing in my first competition.  No.  I'm not dreaming of that.  Nothing is riding on that.  There's nothing riding on the results of Saturday. 

But what if we place last?  So what?! I don't care if we place all the way at the bottom. I've already talked about the reasoning behind this feeling. 

Last place beats did not finish which will always beat Did Not Even Start!  Now, I am not talking about people who don't do CrossFit. Everyone has their own thing.  This is mine.  I'm talking about the girl I was a year ago when people talked about the Open or competitions.  I said "I will never be able to do that" and for a long time, I actually was fully convinced of that line of thinking.  

Nope.  I'll never be able to compete in this sport. 

Perhaps, not professionally, no. But, does everyone that signs up for a 5K do it as a professional runner? Last I checked, no.  Thank goodness, because I have done 5Ks and we all know how amazing I am as a runner.  

Yes, I'll wait while you get yourselves up off the floor from laughing so hard. 



All better?  Cool. 

This is all about me pushing myself beyond my 'comfort zone'.  I do it every session at CrossFit. I stare at the workout and figure out if I can do it RX (or as prescribed on the board) or if I have to scale part or all of it.  I push myself to do as much of it RX as I can.  And, I don't beat myself up if I can't. I started to last night when I was all over the RX deadlift weight in our WOD but then couldn't do an RX box jump.  But who cares? I honestly feel more exhausted doing step ups than the small little bitty box jumps I can do so in a way, I was happier for the more exhausted feeling. 

Beyond all the nerves and anxiety I am feeling there is something else buzzing around inside me. 

EXCITEMENT




Because I am, quite literally, unbelievably excited. My mind toggles back and forth between fear at the approaching day and wishing it would get here.  There are 21 of us competing and a bunch more coming to cheer us on.  It's going to be a blast.  I feel like the day is going to just fly by and then it will be back home and back to regular ol' workouts and I'll be all sad.  So, I am trying to focus more on the excitement feelings and I will be trying to take pictures and document as much as I can when the day is here. 

And, then I'll be wondering, WHEN IS THE NEXT ONE?! 

Saturday, April 28, 2018

I don't have the keys!

My body loves to remind me constantly that I am not the one in the drivers' seat.  Wegener's took they keys away from me 6 years ago and refuses to give them back. What a tool.

Infusion was done mid-February and beginning of March so I should be rolling great right now and for the most part, I am!  However, for three weeks my voice has played hide and seek and my cough roars out of me like a harbor seal ... sometimes uncontrollably so. Now, I am no stranger to bronchitis since the inception of this here disease and I know that coughs linger for months.  But the way my voice is acting up too and the fact that my cough is getting worse and not better has reminded me that I am not in control of how things go.

I had hoped to be back on the 4x a week CrossFit train by now, but I am holding steady at 3x a week.  Which, let's be honest, is not something to be disappointed in.  That's a pretty good schedule, especially for someone who appears grossly out of shape like me. But, it's not where I wanted my butt to be by now and I blame this friggin' cough and these busted up lungs.

I should have been there at CrossFit last night.  But, I coughed and coughed all day, my chest was tight like someone had wrapped a thick band around it and was squeezing and I was having trouble keeping my eyes open. In short, I felt absolutely terrible.  Knowing that my work schedule spreads out in front of me for eternity, I knew I needed to bow out and lie down.  I was asleep by 7:15 p.m.

Certainly a sign of me needing a break.

Today's not much better.  My lungs hurt pretty badly but ... I am more awake at least.  I am positive and looking forward, learning that this disease is a serious butthole and I sometimes have to just listen to it.  I have known this and have repeated it to myself before but I feel like I am actually believing it now.  I've been reading a lot about how to face certain things, how to deal with negativity, accept it, and not let it get under those super tender layers because ... it isn't about me.  Even if something does seem directed at me, it's not.  It's them, that old adage, yadda yadda.  But, weirdly, I'm starting to get it.  I am starting to understand it.  Because, I see it in myself.  I see when I react at something that it's me doing it.  I am in control of how I react and often times, the negative reaction gives control over to other people and ... I have enough problems with my disease controlling me, I don't need people to be able to do that as well.

Definitely trying to find the balance with that but I am a much happier person at work.  I manage to stay just this side of the swirling vortex of drama and if it touches me, it's just enough to shake it off at the gym.

Do I still get anxious about what I can't control?  Sure, but I also have been better at dealing with it.

Health isn't just physical. Mental Health is just as important as physical health because they affect each other.  Physically unwell, you're going to get depressed, anxious, sad, etc.  Mentally unwell can keep you out of doing active things that you enjoy which could lead to bad physical health with illness, etc.  So you see, the two have to work well together.

I am trying to work on both so that I can be happier.

I use to say that there was no point in doing all this saving for retirement because I'll never make it that far.  Why would I say something so terrible?  Well, historical facts.  My parents never made it out of their 40s. My grandparents (minus one great grandmother and my stepgrand parents who don't share my biology) all died fairly young into their lives.  So ... longevity is not something that runs in my blood so why not live now!?

Except, I did a bit too much of that and am paying off debt for it. And, the living I did wasn't even like grand vacations and what not. Nope, just went to restaurants out of my price range and lived beyond my means. But, every action has a consequence so ... I must pay these things off.  And I will it's just a matter of time. Thankfully, we are beyond short staffed at work so there are plenty of extra hours available.

I got a little off track ... OK, back to my train of thought.  I'm trying to work now on both those health things so that I can enjoy my years ahead because I plan on having them. I plan on getting through the next couple years and being mostly debt-free (that house payment isn't going anywhere for awhile!) and being able to plan what happens after I am done with work.  Because, when I started, 30 years felt much longer than it actually is as I cruise halfway through my 16th year with the department.  Over halfway to 30 years. It's time to start realizing what comes next is something I need to plan for.

And I plan on being alive and healthy for it.  Will I be cured of Wegener's?  No. It's not curable. It's definitely manageable and I plan on having this dumb thing so managed that I don't need medications for awhile. Not there yet but ... maybe after the next infusion?  I also plan on being more physically fit so that I can spend my days off (because I will have more of them someday) hiking or ... going and DOING STUFF!  I must do ALL THE THINGS!

I may not be in the drivers' seat of my life ... but I am at least going to make sure my driver is a reliable one that will get me where I need to go in a somewhat safe manner.

What are you going to do today that helps your health, be it physical or mental? Do something that makes you feel good.  If that's just being cozy and doing nothing?  Well, by all means, do it and enjoy the hell out of it.

Take care!


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Worst liar in the world? THE SCALE!

Before I write this I must give a disclaimer.  I know I don't look fit at all. Like, not even in the slightest bit. But, this squishy body is getting seriously stronger. 

OK, got that out of the way.  Here's a little backstory:

I weigh myself every day. Five out of ten people will say this is not a good idea because the scale fluctuates up and down, blah blah blah. But, the other five people will be in the same camp as me.  This keeps me wholly accountable.  I didn't do this before I was introduced to the horrific, yet effective, drug known as Prednisone. More specifically, high dose prednisone. 60mg a day. To put it in perspective, most doctors prescribe 10mg or so for an infection and you taper off that over a period of time.  People usually gain some weight on just that small taper dose because that drug seriously messes with your body.  So multiply that by 6! Imagine the things I was feeling when that drug was working to stop my immune system from going after whatever it could. On top of that, I had ZERO energy and felt like shit every day so I wasn't doing anything to counteract the EXTREME hunger that came along with it. 


Anyway, I gained a ton of weight and since trying to get that weight off, I've become well attuned to the scale and watching to make sure I never reach numbers that I had in the past.  It also helps me monitor when I've had good sleep or not and the amount of hours because it will go up 1-2 lbs with little or crappy sleep.

On the flip side, it's not going down from the 30lbs I've gained since starting CrossFit. I've already covered how I did that but to sum up: eating like crap and not being consistent with exercise and good healthy foods.  Even working out regularly can't fix that - we've already covered that ... moving on.

So the scale isn't moving.  OK, I lied, it's inching.  But I'd rather it inch and stay away than drop quickly and return just as quickly as it has in the past.

In my head, I know what I weigh and that translates in my messed up brain to being out of shape, etc. Yet, I walk into the gym, I look at the workout which seems IMPOSSIBLE and then somehow ... I finish it. I may have scaled some of the movements but, I finished. And, we do our strength sessions and the weight is going up, and my form is getting better. For instance, we've been doing multiple rounds of high reps (3 sets of 10-15 at 80% of a certain max that we had) and I finish them at a higher number! It's incredibly motivating.

So, somewhere underneath the squishy stuff is muscle and it's growing and getting stronger.



My pants are also bigger than they should be in correlation to the number on the scale.  I feel better.  I have more energy and even though I might moan and groan that something is sore, I know it's sore because whatever I did is working. It means I used those muscles, even the teeny tiny ones somewhere hidden that we don't talk about.

I look at that scale in the morning and want to be angry but I know it's lying to me. It's just a number that doesn't directly translate to me. I know that I am strong. I can deadlift 320lbs (probably more but that was what I hit just before the fires), I can back squat almost 200 lbs.  I was flinging 85 lbs into the air easily last night during the workout.  I think I can do a 100lb thruster (need to try it - last time was 90 and I was certain I could go higher).  My snatch is UGLY but it's getting there.  I can power snatch almost 100 - it's the squat part that throws me.  My squat clean is also getting there.  Thinking of dropping below a heavy barbell makes my brain scream that I am going to hurt my knees so I am hesitant but ... I did 135 lbs last time and dropped under it and was so happy.  I know I could do more.  My power clean is higher than that.

I am strong. It might not look like it but I am.  And I am getting stronger ... and I will eventually look the way that I feel and that ... will just be icing on the cake.

Don't always listen to the scale - it's there to discourage you and make you feel bad about yourself. Listen to how you feel ... listen to what you are able to do. It's easier said than done, believe me, I know! Because I also do the very same thing.  And then, it takes a good night at CrossFit to make me realize that I am capable of a LOT more than what my weight says I am.  I still can't run for shit without having to stop and wheeze terribly to catch my breath.  But I'll get there.  I also can't do a pull up or rope climb because I am a heavy weight and to be able to do that is to be able to get that weight up in the air. It's not there yet, but it will be.

We need to be kinder to ourselves, and each other.  Girls, listen to me, we need to be nicer to each other.  I feel like we are the worst to one another, always judging people for how they look, talk, etc. We can be so vicious to each other and to ourselves. We don't have to look like the model on the cover of the magazine because even she doesn't look like that! Be amazed at what you're capable of doing, of what you've accomplished.  Be proud of yourself for getting up and walking even if it is just to the end of the block and back.  Instead of getting upset that you're winded, look around you and admire the blue of the sky or the green of the grass.  I get upset during running workouts because I'm walking ... but I am doing something and that isn't something to be upset about so I get it.  I do it too.

We are a marvel. We are capable of so much. And, when we are upset that we can't do ______, remember that there are those people who wish they could do what we can. Life is a gift, every single day is a gift. Find the good in each day because there is always something.

You are not a number on a scale. I am not a number on a scale. I am strong.  I am getting better every single day.  Do I wish I could change things about my life currently?  Hell yes, but I have spent far too many days dwelling on what isn't going to change for awhile.  It will change, yes.  But for now, I must put one foot in front of the other, and take my life one day at a time. Tomorrow's going to come anyway ... and I will have wasted today, worrying about tomorrow.

I hope that you have a beautiful day whatever you are doing. Be kind to yourself, be kind to those you know and who you may come across.  Just be kind.



Thursday, April 19, 2018

Abundance

In what ways am I abundant?

I am abundant in so many ways and too often I allow outside influences or anxiety about the unknown or what "could" happen cloud my vision when it comes to seeing that.  I am so beyond blessed and grateful to have the family that I do, first and foremost.  My parents divorced when I was young but remarried and had kids and I ended up with this blended family that remains with me even though my parents have passed away.  If Mom and Dad hadn't remarried, I wouldn't have my stepparents to still be here with me.  I wouldn't have my little brothers, my nephew, the aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents.  I have an abundance of family!! I need to see them more, that's for sure.

I am so lucky to have a hardworking husband. Because he works a lot harder than me.  I might be at work for 12 hours a day, but he works just as long, then comes home and does all the physical work on the house and then side work on the weekends. He busts his ass all the time. Can he be a grump?  Yes, but quite honestly, SO CAN I.  Two people who are exhausted from work ... it can be interesting.  haha.

My job. Because that needs to be mentioned, eh?  Do I work a lot?  YES! Do I enjoy working?  Hell yes I do. It is what makes me able to be here as much as I am.  I have a lot of debt ... and this job keeps me afloat!  Do I stress about money a lot?  I do. But I am an anxious person so that comes with the territory.

I have the most lovable cats and fluffy-butt Corgi that bring my heart joy whenever I need it. Of course, when I am feeling super anxious and worried and those 'abandonment' issues come on strong - I think about losing them and bawl all over them and they frantically try to get away from me.  haha. Seriously, animals are the best. Whenever I am sick, I have both cats snuggled on me.  Yes, I know they are cats and cats are total opportunists when it comes to warm places to sleep.  But I certainly enjoy it.

I also have my CrossFit family.  They have changed my life and I think they saved my sanity.  I love doing it, I love the people, I feel healthier and a heckuva lot happier. It helps me put my head back on straight after far too many bad things at work. There's nothing that CrossFit can't fix ...  I am crazy grateful to have that in my life.

There's just so much. If you step outside whatever is in your face bothering you ... and look at your life from the outside, it might look a lot different than what you are feeling at the moment.  I feel like sometimes, problems become mountains that block our view and we can't see the good things around that mountain. Do I wish it was a few years from now and my debt was lower?  Hell yes I do. But, it isn't and right now I just need to stay the course, eyes forward, and one foot in front of the other ... I will get there because time moves FAST.

I remember how LOOOOOONG school days felt, and it felt as if vacations would never arrive. That is not the case these days. As an adult ... the time just goes so fast. Too fast.  So, if I remember that, and remember that "This, too, shall pass" eventually I will get there.

Life is good.  People are truly good deep down. And, don't forget to remember that this is just a mountain right now and eventually you will get around it.

Have a beautiful day.

This entry was brought to you by Day one of Find Your Happy Daily Mantras by Shannon Kaiser.  I may post some of my other things from that book as they come up.  I'm not sure year.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

You get to do this.

My anger has been spiraling today. I let it get out of control and then ... I looked at my calendar.  Yes, I made it all the way to past 1pm before I realized what day it was. 

It's April 15th.  My cancer went into remission five years ago. It's the day I can officially say I am no longer a 'cancer patient'.  Pay no attention to my bi-annual chemo treatments, that's a chemotherapy drug I take for my autoimmune disease. I don't have cancer anymore, yo. 

It's kind of hard to be mad at anything when you look at something like this.  Yes, I'll get mad all over again later because, let's face it, I am human. But ... it reminded me of a quote I had heard listening to a podcast by Ben Bergeron who coaches Katrin Davidsdottir, who is this phenomenal CrossFit athlete and two time world's fittest on woman.  He says he hears people saying "I have to go pick up the kids from _____" or "I have to go to work" and wishes people would stop and realize that they "get to" because there are countless people in this world, probably even in your own town, who wish they could trade places with you. 

I know that there's a man out there who wishes his wife was still alive to 'have to go to work' but cancer stole her out from under us without hesitation. I know there are people who are disabled and unable to walk who wish they could come to CrossFit and run the 4x400m runs that I complain about.  

It's hard to whine when you look at things from that perspective.  

Now, I know that we can't always remember these things and life is not always sunshine and rainbows but ... it's a nice reminder once in awhile.  No one wants to get up at 3:30 in the morning to go to work every single day.  I certainly don't. But, that early rising brings me to a job that pays me well and affords me the ability to do the things that I want to do.  Would I rather sleep in?  Hell yes I would.   Sometimes, we have to do things that we don't necessarily want to do. It doesn't mean we are any less fortunate to do them. 

Yes, I wish I could hold onto positive outlook forever but I am human. I'm going to get mad at what I was mad about this morning all over again.  It's a human emotion, it happens. 

What will I do about it?  What I love to do to get rid of anxiety, anger, stress, frustration, etc.  I will go to CrossFit and fling my body around, lift heavy things and throw stuff to the point of absolute exhaustion. I will complain about whatever the workout is, make faces, feel like I am going to cry and then ... when that timer beeps that it's over, or I finish all the rounds I am supposed to, I will drop to the floor and feel as if everything is gone.  I am able to look at whatever was upsetting me with a new set of eyes and rationalize certain things and it makes things easier for me to address. 

This is my therapy, it is my happy place, it is  my hobby, it's my life saver. Because it screws my head back on, it tapes my heart back together, and it gives me new perspective. 

As of today, I am officially a cancer survivor.  I still have to deal with the butthole known as Wegener's on a daily basis. I am trying not to focus on how I hate everything about how my disease is acting right now.  But I have no cancer. 

Bye Felicia!!!!!! 

I hope you are having a fabulous day. It's getting dark and blustery out there so I hope you are warm and dry wherever you are! 

Friday, April 13, 2018

I've had enough!

That's it, time to stop pussyfooting around and get serious. 

I have the tools in my wheelhouse to not look or feel this way. My brain is full of knowledge on nutrition, and I have this amazing way of working out that will turn me into the person I want to be. I just have been dabbling in it.  I've allowed so many things to derail me. 

Last night, upon leaving work, I had made a decision to stay home from CrossFit because I couldn't stop coughing, my chest felt tight, I was wheezing.  It just didn't feel like a smart idea.  I got home, I walked the dog down the street because I needed to do something and Loki needed air. When I was halfway, I realized that I should just do it. Get off my ass, change into my clothes, and go to CrossFit. I knew I would feel better afterwards and if I couldn't do the WOD that was up there, I could modify it to something that my breaking body could handle.

I changed, I drove over there.  While driving, it felt hard to breathe but I was determined to go and workout however I was able to.  If I walked laps around the building the entire time, I would have. I just needed to do something. 

Of course, seeing all of the people just lifted my spirits and the workout didn't seem like something that would actually kill me with plenty of room for modification if needed. 

So I did it.  I didn't modify other than my usual scaling down and I finished the whole darn thing.  I was pretty happy with myself, I was also 100% happier. That's what it does. 

I feel motivated to be back on my 3-4x a week. That's the easier part. Now, if I could just get the nutrition dialed in for reals, I would be unstoppable. 

I always say, I am the spokesmodel for the phrase "You cannot out exercise a bad diet." Because on weeks I work out a ton, the scale doesn't budge because I eat like an idiot. 

This has to change. 

This is something I have told myself a hundred times before.  I've also said it in this very blog.  But I do need to change. I've been trying to come up with a tracking plan, outside of my usual MyFitnessPal, etc. I have lots of the packets from the liquid diet I did so it will have some of that mixed in.  You know, in case I didn't bring enough food some day.  That will keep me from wandering to the snack table. 

I have a competition in a month.  There's a huge motivator, I will be 40 in just over a year and a half.  I would like to do something fun for that birthday.  Maybe a cruise, or a trip to Hawaii or somewhere I can wear a bathing suit and relax in a chaise and read a book.  Yes, I definitely need to change the way this body looks before I would feel comfortable doing that.

I need to start blogging every day to keep myself accountable on how I am taking care of myself, both mentally and physically.  I just need to start taking care of myself.  

I hope you are having a wonderful day.  

See you next time!  

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Admitting it.

My name is Nikki, and I suffer from depression.

There.  I said it. I've probably said it before but I am taking a good long look at myself and my health both from the physical and mental standpoints.  Can't just fix the outer packaging if the inner engine parts aren't functioning where they should be.  That includes the brain functions too. 

My life hasn't been easy.  In a lot of ways, it actually was fantastic.  And, in others, it's been a shitshow.  Do I care to share some of those bigger shit-showy moments from being a kid?  No. Not particularly, because there is a total of 2 people who know what they are and that is because those two people also shared some awful things with me.  Do I regret anything from being a kid?  No.  Because there are strengths that I have that came from the adversity those things brought.   I think those things also made it so that I could climb over the mountains that were yet to come.



The first time the word depression was mentioned to me by a doctor was when my dad died.  I was 20 years old and it was strongly suggested that I take an anti-depressant because I had just had a loss, not too long after a previous major loss and there were other things as well.  I agreed and tried it.  What happened next was awful.  Well, that's a bad word used to describe it.  I felt absolutely NOTHING.  This is not how I wanted to feel.  I was a writer, I needed to have emotions and feeling and be able to emote on paper.  I couldn't even emote in life.  So, I gave them up.  I felt I was better dealing with things on my own. And, for the most part .... I was. 

In 2012, I got sick. The regular kind of sick that everyone gets.  Bad cold, sinus pressure, blah blah blah.  It was a 'sinus infection'.  Cool, never had one of those before.  Well, it wasn't.  What followed was 8 months of me trying to find out why this crap wasn't going away until I found myself in an emergency room being told I had pneumonia. Guess what?  It wasn't pneumonia either.  Long story short, I was diagnosed with cancer and an autoimmune thyroid disease almost simultaneously.  Shortly after that, they added the Wegener's Granulomatosis cherry on top.  Really?  I lived a good life, I worked hard, I was kind and a good person and this kept happening.  It felt like every time I went to the doctor, they had a new diagnosis for me.

I told my doctor in an appointment.  "What's the fucking point?" She asked if I was suicidal.  I said "absolutely not".  Because, in everything that has gone on in my life, I have never once wanted to die.  Never.  I actually very much wanted to live and still do.  So it was incredibly frustrating to feel like my body had a different plan.

She prescribed anti depressants again.  Same story as before, it didn't. work.  Not at all.  I felt worse, not.  Once again, I was feeling well enough to get through this darkness on my own.  Because it wasn't always around. It would pop up every now and again, and then it would go away.

Recently, I took a class on Peer Support for First Responders (everyone who does a job like I do: EMTs, dispatchers, police officers, firefighters, paramedics, etc). OK, i say recently when the class ended YESTERDAY.  Anyway, while in that class, a lot of things came up for me while listening to people talk or videos, etc.  I realized that ... yes, I do have depression. It's there.  It might not always hang over me like a dark cloud, but it lingers back there in everything I do.

I am insecure as shit.  I have things that happened in mylife that have taught me that my looks matter in people's opinion of me, that if I do nice things for people - they will like me. I am insecure in that I worry about what I said/did, etc in a day and if they were annoyed by me.  I know that the first rule we try to teach people is that we shouldn't care what people think of us, we need to be happy with ourselves but, I struggle with that probably every single day.

Some days, I am super proud of myself.  I am happy with how far I have come from being sick and sitting on my ass to doing CrossFit and actually doing a competition next month for CrossFit.  I did the Open which I never thought I would do.  So I know I can do things.  I have moments of pride in what I've accomplished ... but more often than not, they are overshadowed by my fear that I am not doing good enough.  I am not enough as I am and I need to be better.

Do I want to try medications?  No.  I don't.  Because when I do my workouts regularly, I am in and incredibly good place. Not only am I setting goals for myself and smashing them, but I am around a group of people that don't make me think about work, are willing to listen if I want to talk about work, but are completely unaffiliated with my job whatsoever.  They are supportive and kind, and I feel like I have something that is 100% not connected to work that makes me happy. 

Anyway, the purpose of this blog was for me to put it out there.  I have depression.  I do.  I may have not openly admitted it before and maybe I have and can't remember.  I just don't think I have ever embraced it like this before and accepted it as part of who I am.  I know that I have anxiety.  That's quite clear with m y worry about what people think, my worry about all the things outside my control that plague me.  But, I am telling the world I have depression.  It's OK.  A lot of people have things they are struggling with mentally.

It's OK to not be OK.  Let's get rid of the stigma surrounding mental health struggles.  Being embarrassed certainly doesn't help people going through it and honestly, there probably isn't a single person walking this earth right now who doesn't have SOMETHING they are dealing with in their life that they may not want to share with anyone else.

I am really going to try and check back in daily because I feel like I need to hold myself accountable.  I want to get back to my 3-4x a week CrossFit.  I want to be tackling my nutrition head on, and I want to be physically healthy as well as mentally healthy and I know there are some other changes that have to occur for that last one to take place.  Baby steps, no?

I hope you will join me in embracing everyone who has their own private struggles and letting them know they aren't alone.  Because if you're talking to me,  you aren't alone ... because I am right there with you.  I just may not want to show it all the time. 

Saturday, February 24, 2018

If the body is a car, I am a jalopy!

What a whirlwind few days it has been. No, this doesn't serve as an excuse for why I am not doing this every day like I am supposed to be doing.  But, whew ... it's all gotten away from me.

So Wednesday, I was back at work and posted about being sick, yadda yadda.  After that, we were surprised by the news that the news media was coming in to take some video footage of us while we worked.  The reporter was told they were not allowed to talk to us.  Cool.  Let's get some awesome dispatchers on the news, eh?

It all went to shit.

The headline that was posted that night was my lovely face (not) sitting at my desk doing dispatchery things, and the headline above was all about how the emergency response to the big fires in October was an "epic failure".

*record scratch* I'm sorry, what?

So I watch the clip, see lots of dispatcher footage and the reporter talking about how Sonoma County didn't activate an emergency notification system that would have alerted people sooner, etc. Hmm, we don't have access to this system that he speaks of.  We used every notification system that we possibly could and got our asses handed to us for weeks on end.

Since it was my face on that horrible headline, I was enraged.  Then, to see the hard work and heartbreaking experiences of my co-workers shamed in such a fashion with some careful editing of a 'fire victim' interview where she calls it an 'epic failure' and even says "Shame on you if that is the best you can do". You better believe I was fired up as shit.

So, I did what I do best when I am angry.  I write.  And, I wrote and wrote.  Several drafts.  I let my co workers look at it, including my friend who was on the air when the fire broke out and worked tirelessly through hell on that channel. Everyone provided input and I handed it to the manager to see if we could post it on the Sheriff's Office Facebook page.  He decided they would go a different direction but I was free to do what I pleased with the paper.

I emailed it directly to the reporter, I sent it to Frank Somerville with a different news station, and I posted it publicly on Facebook.  It has since been shared 2100ish times, has 2500ish likes and 1500ish comments and it is still growing.

My first reply from the reporter was polished and basically accused me of misinterpreting his story, except all the comments from the public show that they also felt it was a slam piece on dispatch and everyone else who was involved that night.  Long story short, he was finally pressured to removed the photo of me and change the headline, because my Sheriff got involved. The new headline isn't as catchy, and everyone has seen that picture he used so it isn't as flashy.  It's no longer 'click bait'.

This is a minor victory against the media who uses careful editing to turn stories around and 'embellish facts'.  Irresponsible journalism needs to be addressed and changed in this internet age where information is available at the click of a button. 

So that was Thursday and into Friday morning.  Friday evening, I tackled my first CrossFit Open workout as the Open began.  18.1, as many rounds as possible of 8 knee-ups, 10 dumbbell hang clean and jerks with a 20lb dumbbell, and a 12 calorie row ... for 20 minutes. I've never 'competed' in CrossFit before so I was petrified.  Combine that with my sporadic attendance to my workouts and I wasn't feeling ready.  But I am SUPER pleased with my performance. 

And today ... ah yes, chemo day. The beast known as Wegener's Granulomatosis got it's major zapping by my miracle drug.

I feel like this, combined with a clean eating diet of foods used as 'fuel' and not comfort, and a regular CrossFit regime will help my disease perhaps get into a remission style that doesn't require chemo every six months.  That is my hope. 

I will use this blog and Instagram to show others with my disease that there are normal lives available to them. Yes, not everyone may be able to achieve the kind of life that I am having.  I understand this, but I want to give them hope that even their circumstances can improve.  I want to show people who might be overweight like me, that CrossFit really is for everyone, and it is incredibly empowering, it is not as intimidating as it looks.  In fact, it's probably this most positive and supportive environment I have ever been in.  Seriously!!!! Dispatchers should especially be a part of a CrossFit box.  We do a disrespected, thankless job ... and when I walk into the box ... I don't feel disrespected and I feel like I am being carried on the shoulders of everyone in there as a champion and I hope I give them the same feeling.

I feel so empowered and inspired right now.  My post has received so much support.  And, I truly feel that I would like to keep this ball rolling to bring more awareness to what it is a dispatcher really does.  Not like that new show on Fox about 911.  I want to show them what a dispatcher REALLY does.  Will I be able to make that happen? 

Right now, I feel like absolutely anything is possible.

However, this jalopy of a body is feeling terribly shitty from the meds so I am going to wrap this up and take a nap.

Have a fantastically beautiful day everyone.  Find something good in your day today.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Holy Sickness, Batman!

Well, blogging daily is off to a terrible start. What the shit. I did, like, two days. Let's get back on the wagon then, shall we?

Where have I been the last couple days? My couch. Or, the easy chair. Or even in my bed. Sick. Sick sick sick.  I felt a little off Wednesday evening when I headed to CrossFit. I was off work earlier than usual that afternoon and had stopped at the store on the way home to get something to make for dinner so there would be food to eat.  The entire time, I felt not right but ... I wasn't going to miss this! So I went and worked out.  It was a hard one, harder still because I felt so terrible.  Afterwards, I felt even more weird but I figured I was just tired.

I woke up in the middle of the night (OK, it was 11:30pm but to someone who gets up at 0330 that is the middle of the damn night).  I felt HORRIBLE.  I was clammy, nauseous, and good lord, I couldn't swallow to save my life. I made myself get back in bed and try to sleep it off but an hour or so later, I was awake again even worse so I called in sick to work.  I was awake until about 5 am when I finally drug myself back down the hall to bed.

I slept most of Thursday, alternating from the chair to the bed. Finally, after no relief, I called the doctor. After a phone appointment he decided it was Strep throat.  He seemed overwhelmed by my disease (I love when I get doctors who don't know what it is ... that's always fun!) and over-reactive.  He told me to get antibiotics to treat it, etc. I called out to work for the next day and got the meds the next morning, etc.  By the end of Friday I was feeling worse.  Long story short: even if I didn't have Strep, the other options are only treatable with rest, fluids, etc.   I waved the white flag for Saturday and stayed home.

Thank goodness for the Winter Olympics because I could sleep and lay miserable around the house and have something to watch that I was OK falling asleep for.  When I am sick like that, I don't like to "binge shows" because I'll miss whole episodes and wake up to Netflix asking me if I am still watching.

Sadly, this brought me to Saturday evening when I had hoped we would be doing something for our anniversary but I was miserable so we didn't. Even all Sunday I wasn't happy.  I ventured out to get a cup of coffee and found myself desperate to get back home.

Our anniversary outing consisted of going to Oliver's to get stuff to make for dinner. Even that wasn't a good idea.  We retreated back to the house and Dan made dinner super early. I wrapped myself up and tried to sit outside to feel better but it wasn't working so ... I had to call in sick again.

Anyway, it's Tuesday, I am back at work ... and I feel a smidge better but not much.  Not much at all.  I can't swallow that great again.  I was doing alright this morning but not now. It's just not fun.

And, I don't even know if it is actually Strep throat, or tonsillitis, or my friendly neighborhood autoimmune disease wreaking havoc on me. Because, when I look in my throat, that right tonsil is still half the size of the opening of my throat.

Will I go to CrossFit tonight?  Probably not.  Coming to work for a 10 hour shift is a big step.  Maybe tomorrow, I will feel more like stepping into the box. Tonight, I need to retreat home, to my pajamas and rest for the rest of the evening.

The CrossFit Open starts Friday.  FRIDAY! I will be there for that ... if my first workout is absolutely abysmal .... so be it.  I get my chemo saturday morning which means that next week's workout will be amazing!!! I truly believe things are only going to get better after next Saturday.

I wasn't exactly fantastic on eating this weekend. I couldn't swallow anything with edges so ... it was a lot of soft foods and not exactly the best of them. Chinese because it was all soft or coated in sauce. Or a taco salad because the guts are soft.

Today, I've been pretty good.  Lots of liquid foods though.  Meal replacement shake for breakfast and for snack (with a cup of frozen berries tossed in for snack).  I am being very aware of what's going in, making sure that I don't consume too little as well. I just need to get to where I can swallow again.  On workout days, I will be eating more ... trust me, I know I will need it.

Only a few more days and, hopefully, I will be putting all of this behind me. Being sick with whatever this is ... and hopefully making Wegener's shut the eff up.

Side note: have you seen Vikings, the TV show?  OMG.  We started watching it one evening (Hubby isn't a sports fan so while he tolerated my Olympic binging the first couple nights ... I gave him a reprieve on Sunday).  We are hooked.  Ragnar is amazing ... so dreamy.  And, I am not usually a blond hair, blue eyed fan.  Except for Jax Teller from Sons of Anarchy.  The two look a lot alike.  That could be what's saving him. 

OK, that's all from me for now. Onward and upward, right?

Pounds lost: not a one!  But ... nothing gained so that's a win!

Have a great Tuesday everyone. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Mind and Body

Good afternoon everyone!

I feel like my mind and body are two completely separate people.  Who doesn't have this issue, right?  It's your mind telling you to stop when it hurts, even though your body is capable of continuing on whatever it is you are doing.  For me?  My body is the one saying I need to stop.  And, I am not even doing anything all that strenuous.

Want to know what I am doing?  Existing.  Yup. Saturday morning, I felt a little twinge in my back as I was backing out of my driveway to go workout.  But, it didn't feel bad after that.  I worked out, lifted some good weights, heavy weights too.  Everything felt good.  Last night, when I was backing out of my parking space at work it came back with a major vengeance. I didn't sleep good, I tossed and turned and felt every bit of my back.

It feels like a rib is out of place, or ... I don't know.  Something else.  It's between my right shoulder blade and my spine and when I take a breath a certain way or move a certain way ... BAM pain.  I gasp. I cry out.  I breathe heavy through my teeth.

But what the frig is it? Do I go to the regular doctor?  Do I just skip the doc and go to the chiropractor? What? Do I wait it out? SO many questions! Like, is this a bone issue?  Did I somehow tweak some tiny ass muscle that's buried in that area?  I don't think it's muscular as when I press on that area with my fingers, it doesn't hurt.  When I have a pulled or sore muscle, it hurts to the touch when I press on it.

Ah, the mysteries of the human body and the many ways it can be a total pain in the ass.

I'm still going to CrossFit today.  I didn't go last night because of my back.  I got home, and Dan was sitting out back with the dog playing in the yard and I was in pain and figured I would rest and go the rest of the week. It still gives me 4 days so I am not beating myself up about it.

I had a wonky eating day.  I waited too long for lunch so I didn't finish what I brought and I ate too much dinner.  I am being more conscious of that today. Made some Kodiak Cakes this morning with the cute little mini waffle maker I bought just so that I could do it successfully ... and then had some cottage cheese and fruit.  Now I am having a salmon burger and some broccoli rice. Feeling pretty good about how things are spaced out.

Last night's sleep was terrible.  Sleep is something I need to prioritize because it helps the body recover, shed pounds, etc. But the wind was insane, and something kept banging somewhere in the area.  Then, don't even get my started on my damn cat and his obsession with trying to climb into the window above my head at 2am EVERY SINGLE MORNING!  I feel slightly like a cast member from The Walking Dead today. The husband brought me coffee so I am feeling a tinge more human-like.

I really would like my body to shut up for awhile.  I have goals and they include doing the Open starting next Friday and not being a total uncoordinated gimp while doing it. I am not missing this!!!!

This is sort of kind of day 2 of being fully focused on my end game, no matter how damn far away it is. I feel invigorated and motivated, like I am on a journey and you are all coming with me. I don't have to do this in silence, I can do it with a team! Even if you're just eating popcorn and watching me from afar.

It's our anniversary this weekend so I may allow myself a tiny sliver of dessert.  I don't know if we will be able to actually do anything because of it also being the weekend after Valentine's Day. It's going to be packed wherever we want to go but ... we'll see.

I'll check back in tomorrow with an update about tonight's workout! Stay tuned!!

No Soda: 3 days (I'd been up to 50 days but then I had a Coke Zero on Saturday)
Eat Clean: 2 days
Pounds Lost: possibly 1 but it usually fluctuates so I am not counting it!!!


Monday, February 12, 2018

Hit the Reset Button and try again

When I was off the last two days, I got this idea in my head that I would start a blog about weight loss, fitness (or my attempts at it), and nutrition. I love to write, have a mad case of writers block when it comes to books, and feel like I need to stretch my writing skills even with the writers block.  People have blogs. Who doesn't have a blog, right? You can find a blog about literally E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.  But, what I did find was a lot of super fit people blogging about eating healthy and working out.

I'm certainly not super fit, skinny, naturally beautiful, etc.  I'm certainly not what would be considered a fitness model or role model in any world but ... I am going to put myself out into the world in the hopes that there is someone out there, like me, who is trying to find some sort of motivation or inspiration to get back on track and get it moving.

So, I will re-direct this blog that was started about my fall into the world of cancer and autoimmune disease to how I am going to get my life back under the careful control of my own two hands. It's going to be an incredibly LONG journey.  It certainly won't be a quick fix. There will be ups and downs.  OK, I'll be upfront right now and say there will be a lot of downs.  I am my own worst enemy sometimes!!!  But, it will be real and honest. I'll be perfectly blunt and upfront with y'all because I am ready for full accountability.

In October of 2016, I started the Kaiser Medical Weight Management program. Fast forward like ... mmm 4ish months and I was down 80 lbs. An even 80lbs exactly. Wow!  What a feat, right? It was fantastic but ... it was also super easy because I was just  drinking fluids.  Liquid diet! While on the surface that sounds terribly hard, I found it super freaking easy. All I had to do was drink six times a day. There was ZERO thought into planning my day.  Grab six packets and head out the door. Bam. Full day planned.

When we started to incorporate food back into our days, I started to wobble. *sigh* I can't cook. I can't! I can do many things ... cooking is certainly not one of them. There is nothing more frustrating than working forever on something, making a massive mess, and then it tastes terrible. I started with a simple meal and that was OK.  But ... it didn't go well beyond that.

In March of  2017, I added CrossFit into my life.  I'd gained probably 5-6 lbs by then and figured with CrossFit 3x a week, I would get that 5-6 back off and then some.  However, doing CrossFit meant I had to eat more than I was because I was doing incredibly hard workouts with not a lot of food going in to fuel my body for those workouts. And, I was picking up dinner for my husband after working out (which was never something healthy!).   I'd leveled everything out pretty well.  I wasn't gaining weight, but I certainly was NOT losing it.

Around August, my body started to revolt. Hello, autoimmune "friend". Wegener's Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis.  Say that 10x fast!  It's my lifelong companion.  My every two months-giving up 8-12 vials of blood-friend. August was about the time to go  get my blood work done so I did. I realized I was struggling through workouts, and sometimes even opting to skip them because I just couldn't move. Sure enough, the B cells that I had killed off six months prior had started to return. So, I was scheduled for another round of Rituxan/Rituximab.  Yay for being happy about shooting chemotherapy medications into my body.  What sounds terrible is my miracle drug and I was happy to know that another few months of heaven were around the corner.

Round 1 went well.  I was back on the working out horse, snagged a 300lb Deadlift PR (personal record) and felt really good. Shortly after that, I was able to yank up a 320lb PR on the same lift. And then it was time for Round 2.  Round 2 did NOT go well.  I did not bounce back from it. I struggled hardcore with it as we rolled through September. I even end up in the ER feeling incredibly dizzy.  Well ... that didn't go as planned.

I had a hard time getting back to the regular workouts. Which would be OK ... except I was still eating like I was working out 4x a week.  Yes, I'd ratcheted those workouts up to 4x a week and was hoping for 5x a week in the future when my chemo treatment didn't go well.  Grrr.  The pounds gradually inched their way up.

And then, the kicker to end all kickers.  October 8th 2017. The North Bay Wildfires exploded onto the scene.  I flew to work in the wee hours of October 9th, and basically worked 12-15 hours a day from there on out for about 3 weeks with about 2 days off spread out in between.  I couldn't sleep, and for the first couple days I couldn't eat but then ... I found my 'stress eating' abilities and ... the food was in abundance both from work bringing us food and the public showering us with edible things! 

Because that is what you do for people going through a hard time, right? Feed them.  Food soothes the soul!!!!

It soothed my soul and padded my ass a bit too much. All the food wouldn't have been an issue but my 4x a week of working out that had already taken a hit was now down to no times a week for like a month. And it's been a battle to get back on the horse ever since.

I have never felt 100% since that last chemo treatment.  Never. I feel like it never really had a chance to really give my disease the 1-2 punch it usually does. And then, the stress from the fires just sent my system into a tailspin and old habits of stuffing my face took control once again.

Altogether, since April, I have gained 40 lbs of my 80 lb weight loss back. Going from a liquid diet to regular life is bound to bring back some poundage. But, I went above and beyond and there isn't a morning that I see that number on the scale that I don't get mad. 

This is no one's fault but my own. Fire or no fire, bad chemo or not, I was the one who put food in  my hand and craned it into my face. I didn't have to. But there's that fat girl voice in my brain that says ... 'you've earned it ... you're going through something terrible.'

I need to stop letting that little voice make decisions for me.  She's going to squawk at me probably a thousand times a day, but I need to let the fed-up girl who wants to be fit and athletic yell louder than her. 

I need to be back in control.  So here I am, facing down my demons. I gained 40 lbs from my liquid diet. I could call myself a failure but that is more negative self talk. I know people talk, and people are saying "i knew this would happen" but that's on them for needing to find comfort for themselves in cheering my failures.  I need to stop having negative self talk.  We all fall down, I need to accept that I will fall, but to not sit there and wail about it.  I need to just get back up on my feet and keep moving forward.

I will be down 100+ by the time I turn 40.  That's just under two years away.  It's not a time limit, I don't HAVE to be down that much by January 14th, 2020.  But, I am determined to be damn close.  Am I going to be 100% perfect the entire time?  No friggin' way.  I know me. I know I will slip up, trip, fall, smash my face into the ground, or a donut, whatever.  It's going to happen.  It's how I react to those falls that is going to change.

Care to join me on this journey?

Follow along in Instagram at @nicolealison  - watch my Instagram stories (clicking on my main picture or on the little circle at the top) and here on this lil bloggy thing.  Find me on Facebook at Nikki Grace.

Anything is possible if we try hard enough.