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Chris starts the new temp job tomorrow, which is a good thing. It’s not quite as much money as we’d like, and a bit less than the last job, but it’ll do. It covers the cost of gas and a decent chunk of our living expenses, which means fewer bills we have to choose not to pay. Also a good thing. Maybe it will even last the promised three weeks, who knows? I can’t think past that at this point. I know they hired several temps at once, just like the last job. I hope it doesn’t end up being another battle for hours. At least they came in saying 30-40 hours, so if he doesn’t work a full 40-hour week there won’t be any surprises.

I walked again tonight, another 3.69 miles chalked up. I always feel better after I’ve done it, but it’s also always a rough beginning. My body grumbles in protest, and I start telling myself I can go a shorter distance if I want to, just to move myself along. Why I can trick my own brain is anyone’s guess. Way back several years ago when I started walking for exercise, I walked the entire path (from my house to the end and back) on my first go. This was ill-advised for any number of reasons. I hadn’t had any exercise in aeons and I was at one of my heaviest weights ever. Walking almost four miles is a crazy starting place for an overweight sedentary girl, but I’m an all or nothing kind of person. I came back from that first walk red-faced and looking like I might just have a heart attack. I didn’t, clearly, and that was the first of many trips up and down that path.

I’m at an in-between place now. Not as heavy as the girl who first trudged her way down that path, but nowhere near as light as I’d like to be, physically or emotionally. Still, it felt really good to make myself do it, to walk even when a part of me didn’t want to. It was only my second walk, but it felt like progress. It made me feel better just to be trying again. When I was walking tonight, I had the feeling that I was in exactly the right place, doing just what I needed to be doing. It’s similar to how I feel when I write, or even blog. It’s not that all of the answers magically arrive, but I feel like I’m gripping on tightly to an important piece of the puzzle. Blogging puts me on the figurative path to becoming the person I would like to be, and walking puts me on a literal path to a healthier me. Both are crucial. In all honesty, I wish I loved to walk as much as I love to blog, but as I remember, my attitude about walking improves with time.

The thing is, walking does make me feel better immediately. I know it’s all in my head, but still. Putting forth the effort makes me feel stronger, healthier and yes, smaller. If I’m walking regularly, what I see in the mirror changes long before the number on the scale moves. It makes me see myself differently. There were tons of people out there tonight, of all sizes and ability levels. I remember back when I first started walking I was rather relieved when I realized that not everyone on the path was an über-fit athlete. Even now I relish seeing all kinds of people out there. It reminds me that anyone can do this, and of how far I’ve come, as well as how far I have to go. Also, there’s a sense of comraderie I really like. People out exercising acknowledge each other, sometimes with just a smile and a nod, and others with a simple “hello.” When I first started getting faster way back when, I remember one nice-looking guy giving me a “looking good” comment as I went by, and it really motivated me.

Tonight, a different nice-looking guy smiled at me again, but it was less of a “You go, girl!” smile and more of a “Hey there!” smile. Those are nice, too. They remind me that some of what I see when I look in the mirror is a lie. I have no interest in anyone but Chris, but I’m still human. A cute guy smiling at me in a way that signifies he thinks I’m cute is a nice thing, and I can certainly use the ego boost. I spend most days in the house with the kids. I often stay in whatever I slept in half the day, unless we have somewhere to be. When Chris is working and I am playing solo parent to Avery, showers are definitely optional. Bottom line, I do not spend my days feeling particularly attractive. Mostly I feel frazzled. I will take a compliment from anywhere I can get it, however random or brief.

Tomorrow is another day… a day of solo parenting. I hope Chris has a good first day at his temp job. I also hope I am able to walk again. Stringing the walks together gives me a sense of accomplishment. I even mark them on my calendar so I have a visual reminder of my progress. Two walks down, many to go. Here I go again.

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