The Note

I keep an ongoing note in my cellphone which tracks my runs. It traces more than the dates, times, and miles. Reading between the lines shows achievement, pride, and strength. It also bears witness to difficult days, or illness. And while I cannot pinpoint where or when it happened, I slowly lost my dedication to this journey.

My friends, the days of the three miler warmups are long gone. And is it just me, or is it hard to  swallow pride and realize you aren’t where you once were? Can’t I go Dorothy on this running thing, click my heels, and voila- run a 10k for fun?  Not because I must be a masochist? This ongoing list which once fulfilled a void began to claw its way into my ego, making me feel as though I failed myself. I scrolled back further, wallowing in my losses and I became transported to my past.

And then it happened. I was delivered to a place where the sun rose up and kissed the boardwalk as I ran my first mile. A place where I sat crying by myself not in sadness, but in awe. I cradled my knees against my chest as they moved rapidly up and down against the pressure of my breath. I listened to the deafening white noise of the ocean as it mixed with my inhalations and exhalations. Having grappled with chronic illness and its effects, I felt more alive in that moment than I had in years. I needed this.

Running was never easy for me. It was always a frustrating, exhilarating, endorphin releasing blessing. Being back to square one can only temporarily derail me. Plus, now I have a new note in my phone that says “5k Training: Times for One Mile.” I have given myself a goal, and it’s small, but it’s better than no goal at all. And yes, at my core I won’t lie and pretend I was not dispirited, but I’m less disappointed in myself now than when I felt like quitting altogether. Here I am, clocking in another one miler at 10:49.

Tomorrow I’m cracking 10:30.

No one actually likes the gym

There are multiple me’s- sometimes I’m pretty cool and relaxed, sometimes I suck. I’m like a box of chocolates. Delicious. (See what I did there, you may have assumed I would say: you never know what you’re gonna get. But I didn’t.)

This magical list of who I am on any given day is long and I’m sure you have a list of your own because none of us are one dimensional people. Now, my least favorite versions of myself includes days I haven’t had coffee yet, when I’m hangry, and when I’m driving. Yesterday around noon I had just bleached my whole kitchen and started folding laundry to find a whole other stack that, I swear, appeared out of thin air. Damn you, laundry. The minutes ticked and I knew I wanted to get to the gym, but I also knew the hunger was coming on strong.

It was now or never and I found myself threatening and manipulating my friend to come to the gym with me.

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She actually called me mean, but I know that we all need tough love sometimes and eventually she would appreciate my cruelty. And she did. So off to the gym we went, in the early stages of hangry, only to find a packed house of resolutioners.

Pause in my story: I need to give credit where credit is due and tell you that Sass and Balderdash, great name by the way inspired this post, so do yourself a favor and check out her page and post here.

Back to yesterday. We enter the gym to a line for the treadmills- no available machines. AND I forgot my headphones. Clearly I can only blame all of these problems on the phony gym rats. Alison questioned, when are they going to stop coming, February? We both hoped our gym would be cleared and went on to find any machine without a wait list.

One great thing about our gym, and there isn’t much, is they purchased a separate space in another building. This building is the red headed step black sheep child of the gym and therefore, no one pays any attention to it. Let’s call a spade a spade, it’s a weirdo. But we found ourselves in an empty back room, used by only one woman that was eyeing us and clearly thinking to herself: I wish these phony gym rats would go away. Probably because we spent a considerable amount of time sitting on mats and talking about how heavy the weights we chose were.

When she finally left we found ourselves actually working out- lunges with weights, abs, squats. And I felt like a newbie at the gym because of that woman’s judgy eyes- seriously, she made us move our mats over for her! I gained a new sense of respect for the resolution goers. We all started somewhere. For me, it was August 2013- because naturally I would start as bikini season is over and no one is going to the gym because it’s too damn hot. But if I walked into a room full of judgmental people, grilling my intentions, it’s possible I would have quit.

My hope is that if your resolution was to change your habits and get fit, that you stick to it. Even when you want to quit or life seems busy. Because if as Americans we spend nearly three hours a day watching television, at least manage to find 30 minutes of leisure in front of a machine with a tv! Compromise… It’s what life is all about.

So to every resolutioner, welcome to the gym.

As for my friend and I, this was our conversation today:

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See. We love it.

Life of a Mogwai

I hate showering.

TMI?

Well that’s what blogs are for: Too much information for the good of humanity. How else would you find out that other people hate cleaning themselves as much as you do? Don’t worry. You’re normal. Says the person that hates showering… And apparently this piece of work too:

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If you’re wondering to yourself who is that you’re a better person than I am. Kudos.

Anywho!

Despite my aversion to water that’s comparable to a mogwai, I always manage to bathe myself after a workout. Mostly because I believe in overcoming obstacles in life. It makes you a better person.

Wednesday I had a choice to:

A) blog about my kickass workout

or

B) shower

Good for me, I chose the latter. So, three days later and I’m finding some time to indulge you in my progress in life. Here we go!

I, Talia Timberlake* am the heaviest I have ever been in my whole entire life. Maybe it’s because part of my resolution this year was to have no resolutions. Screw the man! Maybe it’s because Maslow had it so right when he wrote about the significance of food. Maybe it’s because Meghan Trainor sang an inspiring song about having all the right curves in all the right places.

And I may or may not have sent this gem out to a few people on New Year’s Eve:

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Ugh, I’m such a jerk! Granted, there are a lot of topics of conversation that could come up when looking at that picture again. For instance, I’m wearing a romper. Normally, rompers are a welcome addition into my clothing family- not on a night where bathrooms are sparse and the streets are flooded with drunken humans. The romper on New Years Eve was single handedly my worst decision of 2014.

So after I came home from a fabulous vacation in Key West, help take me back! I weighed myself and had a life sized (literally) reality check. Remember that one time I wrote a whole post dedicated to my hatred of the scale (see here). As much as I hate the scale sometimes it’s necessary to reflect. Especially when you’re consistently opting for stretch pants because unbuttoning the top button on your jeans all of the time is looking increasingly obvious under your now tight shirt. Then again, you can always just buy a moo moo.

It hurts to see a number you have never seen before. I swore that working out was not about weight loss- until I gained weight. And it doesn’t matter what size you wear, it isn’t fun. I have many opinions on my current insecurities, for example, shut up, you’re being so annoying right now. But whatever, on a rainy day I’ll blog about how photoshop, magazines, and the porn industry have destroyed us all. So back to my recent destiny: As groupon would have it, a local cycling studio was offering up a deal, and I’m a sucker for deals so I bought into it with a few friends, thus scoring our workout classes for $5 a pop. Unheard of!

That was in December.

I procrastinated going. I got sick. I was tired. I had a really long day at work. I had a longer than usual week at work. Oh yeah, and I was afraid!

There it was! The root in my procrastination. I was terrified of going because the last time I cycled I swear I saw Jesus through beads of sweat blinding my eyeballs- and I’m Jewish. But that was over one year ago, before I realized that it’s ok to feel like death may be closer to 30 than you imagined- because it’s not. Because you’re going to walk out of your workout feeling like … Things that release endorphins. Which p.s., feels sensational.

So I took a class with my girl, Sarah, which always makes going to workout easier. Forget the fact that you won’t even be close to each other or recognize the other person exists once the workout begins, the sheer accountability is the perk. We signed up for the one hour class which is the longest class they offer. My immediate thought was: fuck. The class was also the one that incorporates weights so naturally my second thought was: why didn’t I read the description of the classes before I blindly signed up. Damn you, Sarah!

Since I have a tendency to vacillate between diligence and laziness, clearly I chose the one pound weights over the two pound weights. Like I said, I love challenging myself. Actually I always feel ashamed in weight classes because without fail I will choose the lowest weight option. One pounders are less challenging to hold than a baby rattle. Literally, a baby could lift this with ease. I don’t care. It make me happy.

My fears aside, the class was wonderful, the instructor was helpful, and I got a great workout in. I love looking around a room and seeing people of all ages, genders, abilities, sizes- it’s a beautiful thing. If you are a near the Long Beach area check out Ocean Ride. The first “ride” (they call it that, aw, so cute) is free. My intention is to go once a week minimum as a supplement to running. And maybe to fit into my pants again. Dream big, folks, dream big.

*name changed for privacy. And because Justin asked me to take his name. I know, I know, I’m a feminist… I should have hyphenated.

One of those times I was judgmental

Gym outfits- I treat them more like that awkward school uniform that you hate so much because it’s so ugly, but you appreciate it at the same exact time because it makes your life that much easier. My gym prep is even better than my gym uniform- I wash my face and put on some deodorant. 

No, I am not part of the Lululemon movement of sexy wardrobes and beautifully done hair and makeup. The reason is simple- I sweat a lot and I’m too poor to afford adorable gym wear. Let’s not ignore the fact that I barely have time to make myself look socially acceptable when I go to work so please don’t expect me to try for the gym. A psychologist would say this disdain for adorableness is rooted in some deep childhood trauma of being picked last for kickball. And dodgeball. And soccer. And every other sport I ever played… but I think it’s mostly because I’m lazy. I mean, why should I put myself together for one hour of sweating?

I bring this up because the other day I found myself being extraordinarily judgmental of a woman at the gym. Her hair was tied back in a flawless pony tail, her makeup was exquisite, and her belly shirt was on point. I stared at her for not enough time for her to think I’m a stalker, but enough time for her to maybe think I would ask her out on a date. I then found myself checking out my own mix and match of an old shirt with yellow stains around the neck, shorts with built in granny-panties*, and two socks that not only came above my sneaker, but do not even go together. And in that moment I was in awe of this woman and I hated her for her effort. 

I found myself creating a hypothetical situation in which she was judging me in return and wondering how difficult it would be to match a pair of socks after I do laundry. In my day-dream I would then tell her that I lost the other sock a long time ago and none of my socks have a partner. And then I snapped out of it. I snapped out of it because maybe she wasn’t thinking anything at all because she does not go to the gym to judge others, she goes for herself. And in this simple few minutes of my day it made me think about who I am. I try so hard not to be that girl. You know. The girl that says what. the. _____. But there I was, being that girl. Shame on me. And in those few extremely weird moments I decided never to judge a gym outfit again. Because who cares what you look like- it’s the gym. 

 

*yes, I know the word panties is gross, but when you add the granny in front the rules no longer apply

The Road Less Traveled

Tonight I’m writing for accountability because my sole enjoyment at the moment is coming from my couch and chocolate.

On Sunday I attended a chocolate expo and confession I can’t stop eating my purchases. This is only problematic because I’m pretty sure I’m eating my emotions- eating feels so good. It makes me happy. Somehow, if I can only focus on the sweet and salty taste of the gourmet chocolate treat I’ve been binging on, I can temporarily think about nothing else. Until I’m done with the piece of chocolate and I’m left feeling disappointment- where’d it all go?

To clarify, there is nothing wrong with eating chocolate. If anything, power to you! The issue is that since last week I have been trapped in a hole of nothingness. This blog was created with the intent to spread positivity, so I hate to turn this into a snooze fest, but I have to be real. Since last week life has been emotional to say the least. I am still struggling to rationalize David’s passing and working with teenagers complicates these feelings. Ultimately, I want to fix them. I want to help them. I want to let them know life is beautiful, and wonderful, but full of challenges. I don’t fully understand why I feel this overwhelming sense of needing to help others- the truth is, I feel powerless.

This deep rooted reflective state that I’m in is not helping my health- I can feel the exhaustion from the lupus and I feel my energy and excitement in training waning as a result. I bring this up because all I want to do is eat garbage food. Somehow in my life I have allowed food to be a thing of comfort. Tonight I needed to write that down. This is my post of accountability. Tonight my goal is to turn it around. My favorite things to do when I’m upset are close people off and eat food. Neither of those options seem like the path I should take given how far I have gotten up to this point. So I’m going to take my road less traveled and I’m going to run. Not away from problems like I have done in the past. I’m literally going to go for a run. And I hope in my run I can find solace in the fact that there is only one controllable thing in my life- it’s the choices I make. And that’s why I pay it forward. I want to put happiness back into the world. I believe in saying hello to people, and smiling, and asking people how they are. Not because it’s what’s “right” but because I genuinely care. And maybe, just maybe, if I keep doing it, it will help even one person.

Oh, and thanks google for the inspiration.

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That Time I had Acid Reflux

This past week I have felt like a true lupus girl- sick. Constantly. As soon as I begin to feel better the cycle of weakness began again. This week consisted of attempts to workout and now that I’m reflecting on the week, the result aren’t too bad, but none of it was my best.

Monday: an excellent yoga class.

Tuesday: a horrific run- I could only do 2 miles and it was HELL!

Wednesday: 8:15 yoga class that was bittersweet. I did a semi-acceptable crow but felt mediocre throughout class.

Thursday: In bed by 7:30 p.m. contemplating calling out of work.

Friday: woke up and felt better. Work was a go. Gym when I got home and I did a 5K in 29 minutes. Not my best time, definitely not my worst time.

So what’s going on immune system? You scallywag! After being convinced through self diagnosis that I have acid reflux (pretty sure I totally made that one up in my head) I decided to cut out all things associated with it. No more red sauce, goodbye Frank’s Red Hot my one true love, sayonara beer my other one true love. I did take up popping tums like candy- why aren’t tums candy?

By Wednesday I eliminated coffee from my breakfast. Webmd told me it was a good idea due to my probably fictional case of heartburn- Hello… I have a shirt… with a gun… that says MAKE ME COFFEE. And sometimes I think I actually have that kind of relationship with my coffee- highly aggressive. By 12:00 p.m. I was light sensitive, mean, and I had a pounding headache. Hey, webmd said nothing about these symptoms with acid reflux. It turns out that I’m just a coffee addict with a cold, and the symptoms I was going through more closely resemble withdrawal. One IV injected into my veins cup later and I was once again human.

And on that note, I will leave you with a wise a quote I frequently sang in 1997:

I get knocked down, but I get up again, you’re never gonna keep me down…pissing the night away –Chumbawamba

Happy Hour

Friday: The Best and Worst Day of the Week.

I have a love/hate relationship with the gym on Friday. Why? I love it because for once, I can actually find parking. Also, NO ONE IS THERE. Because the truth is- who wants to go to the gym on a Friday? 

Interestingly, that’s also the reason I dislike the gym on a Friday- who wants to go to the gym on a Friday?  

Tonight I forced myself to go gracefully left my house, did three solid miles in under thirty minutes, and went home. Now I can have my happy hour.

Also, while at the gym I realized that in my rush to get out the door, I put on pants with a hole on the butt. So yes, tonight I ran at the gym with a big hole on my buttocks. How big was this hole? This big-Image

And yes, that is my nail. And yes, I am throwing these out.