The Tug of Me

I have taken quite a bit of time off from this journal as well as working out. Although I have been going to the gym three to four times a week, the intensity, motivation and purpose have been missing from my workouts. Some of this is due to gut problems. The constant worry of being able to make it to a bathroom, or the pain of running through relentless constipation. These are the fun and gross facts of IBD. But mostly I have been sort of feeling sorry for myself, because even though I try to get out the door I am flat out exhausted often. The four o’clock regimen that I once enjoyed has grown tiresome and I miss spending time with my family.

The challenge of trying to be healthy is that there are so many little threads to track. Food, sleep, and work out programs. Trying to figure out why I am so, so tired all of the time.  It can be a full time job. Hell, for some people that is how they make their living. But I don’t want to walk away, and I hate feeling fat. That is the cold honest truth. I want to be more positive and say it is all about being healthy but that would be a lie. It is all about pretending that I can go back to twenty three. Which, if I think about it I smoked like chimney and drank like a fish, so nothing really healthy about that. But I worked out like a champ. Okay, maybe it is not all about that. Because I couldn’t run when I was twenty three, so in that way, hell I am there. I can’t seem to run now on the street.

But I am working on turning all of this around. That is in my nature, it is a large part of who I am. I can only wallow for so long before it bores me. I am a bit of a control freak, so I try to create an action plan. In that vein, I have been reading a lot about nutrition, and novice work outs. I know I am not exactly a novice, but I have lost a lot of my strength and my endurance.  I don’t think I realized until just right now that it isn’t that I can’t run, I just can’t run the way I did before. Some of that is due to IBD and some of that is me being ridiculous, trying to run through it. Playing to some voice in my head or the soul of someone on my phone that drives me. You know, how you let an app dictate your workouts, and decide your successes as opposed to your own body.

In the book Switch: How to Change When Change is Hard by the Heath Brothers, which I highly recommend, it says to study success. What was successful before? For me, part of it was the fact that I had no real baseline, there was no healthy athletic me to live up to so everything was more or less a positive movement. I can’t realistically go back to that. I can’t pretend that I am just starting out. I’ve thought about stopping for a while and then actually going from square one, but I don’t really want to. So, I scour plans and try to find one that suits me. What I’ve realized is that I will have to adapt my own plan. Also, I didn’t start out with just running. Originally, I was preparing for an event that had three different components, running, biking and kayaking. I want to do this again. Focusing solely on running has caused burn out. I am tired of just running all the time and I dread my work outs. I am happy that I was able to amp up my milage but the truth is that may be a thing of the past. I can’t be in constant pain just so I can say I ran so many miles. Biking is a safer work out for me right now. Maybe things will change someday but for now, the running has to be done intelligently so I don’t get sidelined.

So, I have a plan. And I am sort of excited about it, but feeling a little pessimistic as well. The next adventure will be in food. Finding a way to fuel and hopefully help out my gut. All in all, I am grateful that I am blessed with the ability to be mobile, to run, bike and work out. I know that I am lucky.