Monday, September 14, 2009

Day 16: The headache still dictates my life. Which maybe I should tell you a little bit more about...

No running this morning, as my head was firmly against the idea.  The plan is to either run after work in order to get back on to schedule, or to run tomorrow since I'm not officially cross-training until the end of September when bellydance class starts.  I'll let you know. 

It is disappointing to have had such a great run on Saturday (I RAN.  The WHOLE 5K!!!) and then be basically laid up by that for the next two days.  But I knew that I was risking a headache when I didn't hydrate enough before napping.  I always feel like I can't get enough liquids into me as it is. 

Anyhow, since there isn't much else to talk about in the way of training and I've been getting a bit more traffic these days (hi everyone!) I thought I'd talk about why I got into this crazy thing.  The short answer is:  No freakin' idea.  The long answer involves nasal discharge and allergies and chronic sinus infections and my quads being so much hamburger and becoming a hermit.  Oh, and I turn 40 in 13 months. 

As I mentioned before, I was fairly athletic as a kid although never an athlete.  I went the couch slug route after puberty hit when an abundance of breastage and a thrown-out shoulder pretty much prevented me from doing any sports I actually found interesting.  I hit 154 pounds early in high school and stayed there.  Flash forward to college where I didn't gain the freshman 15, I lost it, thanks to Washington State's many, many hills.  Wazzu girls have the best legs, you know.  I dropped to 145 pounds. 

After freshman year was a different story.  Living on my own, I already knew how to cook but then came the realization that I could make whatever I wanted for myself and eat it.  Or buy whatever I wanted and eat it.  Or drink it; I'm a very good drinker, particularly of the alcohol variety.  The daily hills to and from campus kept it in check but the fact was I was probably eating around 3,000 calories a day.  Upon graduation, I stopped with all the hills but didn't stop with the food.  And it wasn't even necessarily junk food (there were a few weeks involving hot fudge but that was the exception), it was just too much of what I was eating.  Which was heavy on meat and potatos and light on veggies because I don't really like most veggies.  All my friends scattered after grad and, having always had difficulty making friends easily, I started to become isolated.

The weight started to creep on.  I think I've always had a good metabolism, since I held at one weight for so long, but when you're taking in more than you're burning off you will gain weight.  I went to law school and became even more isolated.   At 24, I found out why I'd never had regular menstrual cycles (I had my period every day for a year once); I had poly-cystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS.  You hear a lot about it these days.  In 1994, it wasn't even officially called PCOS; the original name is Stein-Leventhal syndrome.  I had to look it up in a medical reference book.   Among other things, PCOS makes it difficult to lose weight.  And other than staying on the pill to regulate my cycle, my doctor didn't prescribe anything else for me.

I'd join a gym occasionally.  Gyms were still scary places at that time, lots of free weights and big, intimidating guys using them.  Lots of skinny, perky girls using the treadmills and elliptical trainers.  I'd be shown around by someone on how to use the various equipment, although not what I really needed to know.  It was still all very intimidating.  I'd go for a few weeks, pay dues for several months longer, then quit.  On the whole, I don't really like gyms to this day. 

I graduated law school and moved to Cilleyland where I really became isolated.  I started practicing law for Satan and left that job four months later.  I found another job but my days were mostly go to work, go home, to go sleep.  My weight kept inching up.  The economy hit a blip and I left my current job.  In fact, I left law all together for a while to work in a different industry all together.  Unfortunately, I worked for insane people.  Somewhere in the middle of that, I realized that I too was crazy, although in a somewhat more normal way; I had severe chronic depression.  Since about age 7, we figure. 

On to drugs and off to therapy I went.  I'm happy to say that within hours of taking my first antidepressant I felt like someone had turned on the lights and helped me out of a deep, dark hole.  I believe in antidepressants.  I believe depression is a chemical imbalance in your brain and you just can't snap out of it.  I believe I will be on antidepressants for the rest of my life and I'm okay with that.  I don't ever want to go into the dark place again. 

I'm also happy to say that I was deemed too mentally healthy for therapy.  I had one and a half sessions with a therapist, who told me that I had excellent coping skills and to only come back if ever I felt like I couldn't cope any more.  In other words, I recognized the crazy in my life and I knew how to deal with it.  Yay for me.

Life got a lot better with a few more changes (I stopped working for the insane people), or at least I could deal with it better.  I kept sporadically trying at fitness because my weight kept creeping up but nothing ever stuck.  I've got on my sidebar information about my SLOW running times.   You don't have to be fast to be a runner.  You don't have to run the whole distance to be a runner.  You only have to run.  Same goes for weight.  I'm not a skinny minnie runner.  (I often want to knock those people down.  They're light, they fall down easily.)  At my heaviest, which was hmm, about seven years ago, before antidepressants, I weighed 210 lbs.  To put that into perspective, I'm 5'8". 

I manged to lose about 25 pounds thereafter going on eDiets (it was new then).  By changing my eating habits -- portion control, more fruit and veg, etc. -- the weight came off without any exercise.  And it held for about two years.  Then I got involved in a relationship and the weight started creeping back on.  A year and a half of the craziness with the BF and he's gone but the weight remains.  Back up to 200 lbs this time.  And I'm sick all the time.  I get the sniffles, I get a cold, it immediately turns into a sinus infection and I have no energy, can't sleep, have raging headaches constantly.  In the year 2008, I was on antibiotics almost constantly for sinus infections.

So, I said enough is enough.  And it will have to wait until the next post.

The CilleyGirl

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