Monday, August 8, 2011


I have been shocked at how hard it has been to have an effective reentry into real life since our vacation.  I don't know if it is because this vacation was so overdue that we really needed 2 weeks to feel completely rested and ready to go again, or if it's just me not wanting to face the music be it work, eating, or exercise.

I struggled, struggled, struggled to stop the extra eating that I had allowed on vacation.  As usual it was easy to stick to more reasonable eating while at work because I ate what I brought.  I've never been one to be tempted by office treats whether they be from the vending machine or goodies sitting in the kitchenette.  When I got home though, the battle began... a daily glass of wine, a handful of Cheez-Its, a slice of cheese on a cracker.  All tasty but unnecessary!

In addition, Mr. Helen also continued vacation mode throughout last week culminating with me finding cupcakes in the refrigerator when I got home Friday night.  And yes, I ate one (per day until they were gone.) 

Shelley, was a great cheerleader throughout my many whining emails and texts but I think perhaps I really needed her to be here in person to threaten me.  Or watch me.  Because it's amazing how much I won't eat if I think someone is watching.

I felt the same reluctance with exercise, which is odd for me.  Though I was quite rested and many of the nagging aches were gone by the time we got home, I literally had to just make myself do it.  But I did the bare minimum that I felt was acceptable and I did not exercise joyfully like I normally do.  It all felt like a great big boring chore that I had to get done before I'd be allowed to move on to anything else.

Of course too, lately I have not been finding the joy that I usually do with my running.  I am down to running only around 15 miles a week which is the least I've run in years. Not that I need to run great amounts as I am not training for any racing, but I've always WANTED to run more than that.  Right now, I just don't. 

Perhaps some of this is due to the fact that with the various injuries I've had off and on since January (the SI joint, the calf muscle pull, the nerve compression) it has been hard to run consistently.  Another thing that has been going on that I haven't mentioned is that I have struggled since the spring with breathing.  I have never been allergy sufferer but there is definitely something in the air that is aggravating my respiratory system.  One run prior to our vacation, I struggled all the way through it and had to stop many time to walk simply because I could not take a breath in.  When I got home, Mr. Helen said I sounded like I was wheezing and about to get bronchitis. 

Since then I have been using an inhaler about 15 minutes before I run and that has helped some, but not completely resolved the issue.  It will be interesting to see if this clears up as Autumn arrives or if perhaps 14 years of smoking has finally caught up with me even though I quit 19 years ago (COPD is one my biggest fears).

And in the never-ending circle of a Catch-22, losing some weight would help running and Muay Thai not feel so darn hard, but losing weight means I need to cut out some of the stupid eating.

Charlie Hills of Back to the Fridge, had a thought-provoking post last week, Do You Want What You Want?  that has been percolating in my brain ever since I read it. Possibly because I was saying that I wanted to be back on track yet that's not what I was doing at all.  I think it's about time to figure this out. It's fine and dandy to run around spouting and blog, "I want to be a size 8," but when the actions don't match the words coming out of my mouth I have to question my want. 

Do I really want what I want badly enough to actually act as if I do?


  1. I, too, have the COPD fear. It's not that I forget what I want ALL the time - I just seem to forget it between 3:30 pm and 7:00pm, but by then, the damage is done. I can't train or exercise away what I can do in just those few hours. My efforts are concentrating on keeping me distracted through those times because I know that "white-knickling it" doesn't work for me. I KNOW me.

    And I think it does take time to come back into routine after a really good vacation. So be gentle with yourself and this week will be better.

  2. I can't answer the question for you Helen but I do understand your struggle at getting back at regular routines as eating healthy, exercising after holidays. I always struggle with that too. I still haven't found the answer to getting back on track after a holiday, it always takes a few weeks for me.

    I don't think that 14 years of smoking catches up on one after 19 years. After quitting for 19 years you have the same chances at diseases as someone who has never smoked. Although I'm not sure who that works with COPD. I wouldn't worry too much about it but if it continues visit a doctor just to be sure.

  3. I have not gotten back into exercise mode since vacation. I exercised more on vacation than I have this past few days. Hoping/planning on the day to get back at it.

    Gonna go check out Charlie's blog.

  4. I can very much relate to how you feel about that question: "Do I really want what I want badly enough to actually act as if I do?" Some weeks, there's no question about it...I am out there working up a joyful sweat and food is something I use to fuel my body. And then there are other weeks when all bets are off...for the most part, it seems like the latter are not as frequent as the former, so I try to remind myself that it's what happens most of the time that body has been tired and hurting this past week so there hasn't been as much joyful sweating...but I know myself well enough to know that the fatigue and pain are about to ease up for a couple of weeks...

  5. Glad you thought Charlie's post was thought provoking too - it has helped me focus this last week, even with a gain on the scale (which I am still blaming on Chinese food!).

    The true test for me will be when I go on vacation this weekend - my Mom and I are going to a family reunion (read: fried chicken, pork bbq!) and then all the women relatives are going to my Aunt's lake house (read: eating, talking, floating).

    I tell myself that I can exercise while on vacation, but we'll see if that will happen! I do want to stay on track though.

    Happy Monday Helen!

  6. Yikes, stop getting inside my brain. LOL I feel ya. I seriously understand everything there. I could go into detail but let's just say I've had some munching issues lately. And we had cupcakes in the house over the weekend too and I had one or two. Finally invited my son's friends over so they'd eat them all. LOL

    Do I really wnat to be a size 8? Then I need to act like it.

    We can do this. Let's do it. No more bad snacking. Put a picture of Shelley on the fridge to stare at you. ;-) Think how good you're going to look in that swimsuit next year on vacation. It's worth the sacrifice. Not only for the looks but for health.

  7. OK, Kelly's idea made me laugh - shall I pose with a stern look and a wagging finger? ;)

    Honestly, I'm not surprised that you struggled to get back on track. You have had one hell of a year, and that week of vacation did you so much good, but yeah, you probably needed more time to stay decompressed, if that makes sense. So you're easing back into things. That's ok! Just ease a little more each day; it will be painless, and you'll hopefully keep the relaxed good feelings that you gained from your vacation. No need to stress, no need to rush - this will always be here.

    P.S. You are my first blog commented on today! <3

  8. It is so hard to get back on track after a vacation!!

    I liked my brother's post too. All I can say is you can do it Helen!!! Maybe set a few new mini goals, like getting a manicure if you stay on track food wise for a week, or buy a new top (or shoes!)

  9. Getting back to normal after a vacation really can be brutal. You can do it Helen!! And be kind to yourself while you are re-entering!!! Take care.

  10. Helen - I so hear you! I keep talking about that last bit of weight and it is just the food that keeps me from getting there. I have all other things in place. Why I have trouble walking that talk is beyond me (inner 4 year old, maybe?)

    I had to set a pretty unusual challenge to really shake myself up. Complacency is not necessarily a bad place, but it doesn't get you anywhere.

    Just take one meal at a time and string a lot of those together.

  11. Coming back to reality is always hard. Especially after a vacation in paradise. You'll get there Helen, just give yourself some time to ease back into it. :)

  12. Re-entry back into routines can be so hard, especially when like you and Mr. Helen, you live and die by your routines. Don't beat yourself up to hard, but get back into that routine! It works for you.