People sometimes describe death as a “transition.” Grief is a transition too, from life with the loved one to life without the loved one. Depending on the person, it might or might not take long to learn how to function without the lost loved one, but it might take a very long time indeed to thrive again. We’re simply not the same people we were when our loved ones were alive.
I am nowhere near the point of thriving. I am functioning. I’ve been functioning at different levels for the past three years (including the year Kaz was sick), from very high, to running on fumes, to barely able to get out of bed, and now at a less-than-average level of drudgery. I have indulged much and exercised little, always telling myself I’ll deal with it later, I can only handle so much at once. Well, the time has come to deal with it. The other day I wrote about self-imposed change and trying to accomplish what was on my old vision board. If I am to change anything in my life, first I need to change myself.
Number one on my list is exercise. I need to move more. When Kaz and I were dating we used to cycle up to 30 miles every weekend. I was swimming at one point, hiking and doing yoga. But all activity has dwindled in the past couple of years. These days walking my dog doesn’t really count as exercise. Neither does taking her to the dog park. I need to break a sweat on a regular basis, get my heart rate up, make my lungs work harder, build up my stamina and strength. These shoes are the first step.
I bought them yesterday after doing some research on good running shoes for women. Time will tell how they perform on the road, but when I tried them on they felt like walking on cushioned air. In a strange coincidence, right before I left to go buy them, the person behind the blog milerunner.me started following my blog. His blog is all about running a mile every day, no more, no less, just one mile every day, 365 days a year. I don’ t know if I’ll be doing that, or how long I’ll be running at all, but I’m already finding his blog informative and inspiring.
Number two on my list is alcohol (as in less of it). For the past couple of years, I have been drinking almost every night, not litres of vodka mind you. My preferred poison is wine. I’m also a fan of beer and lately of Jameson, the Irish Whiskey. That stuff is delicious. I don’t have a drinking problem (go ahead, roll your eyes), but I do admit that on the few occasions when I’ve tried to cut back, the longest I lasted was four or five days. It doesn’t help that on my favorite TV shows, Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire, House of Cards, Game of Thrones, everyone’s always drinking. I don’t know how many times I’ve watched Don Draper pour himself a drink and thought, “that looks good, I’m going to join him!” Luckily, three out of four of these shows are going away soon. Then I’ll only have to deal with the show about bootleg gangsters in the Prohibition era (sigh).
No wonder I’ve gained weight in the last few years. I’m not one of those women who puts a whole of stock in weight – I think how you feel is much more important. But I feel shitty, and my weight is a concern. I am 5’3 and, as of this afternoon, weigh 198 lbs fully clothed. If you saw me in person, you probably wouldn’t believe it because my body carries the weight well (I’ve been blessed with hour-glass porportions). Nevertheless, according to this chart, a woman of my height should weigh between 111 and 147 lbs. Even if I were on the higher end, that’s still 50 lbs lighter than now, and therefore a health risk.
As the Ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu famously said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
How are you feeling these days? Do you exercise?