Mr. Judy and the dogs are once again front and center if we were getting together over a hot beverage. Aren’t they always?
Pull up a chair and mug with Cocoand Deborah and me for the ultimate coffee tea date: can we talk? Especially about the damn menopot!
If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . . I would tell you I called my mom on my Dad’s birthday last week. He would have been 94. I didn’t mention it . . . and neither did she. She’s a pretty stoic person in general, although during the months of his decline she was a nervous wreck. Now she’s had time to decompress (now she has too much alone time though!).
If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . . I’d tell you that one of the things that has changed for me is the way I food shop. I was used to going several times a week, never getting more than I can carry in one load — and always using reusable bags.
Now I try to limit it to once a week, which makes the fresh veggies harder to keep stocked, but of course limits my exposure. The irony is that after enforcing a no plastic bag law (fine by me), now they’re saying don’t use reuseable bags. Some stores. Some are okay with it as long as you pack it yourself — fine by me, I actually prefer to pack my own bag, but at the smaller grocery stores they actually make that difficult.
I took cleaning spray to the store and sprayed the bags before I actually left, then again after I unpacked them. I know, I know, I should have been doing that all along.
If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . . I’d tell you that so far I’ve mostly been able to find what I needed. I’d also tell you that I don’t think I’m hoarding, but I have actually been spending more at the food store (I saw a news story that the grocery stores have seen a surge in sales!).
I am buying some things just in case I am unable to find them next time I shop. Although my freezer is now full to bursting, so I guess we’re good!
If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . . I’d tell you I have noticed more runners pretty much everywhere I went in the last couple of weeks. It’s obvious that some of these are relatively new runners. Good coming from bad — there’s always that silver lining!
If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . . I’d tell you I notice what I call the 9/11 effect. We went to NYC after 9/11, after a long absence from the city because Mr. Judy isn’t fond of it and we lived in TX at the time. It was a 40th birthday present to me, so about 6ish months afterward (we didn’t go right on my birthday — NYC in the middle of Winter is not for the faint of heart!).
Even Mr. Judy enjoyed the trip. He noticed that everyone was more courteous, more friendly, just in general nicer. I have noticed people being much nicer after COVID19 really hit.
Are you noticing any difference in people, if you’re out there walking or running?
Are you afraid to grocery shop? I’m not really, but Mr. Judy is beginning to freak out about it.
ICYMI: I took advantage of the one nice day this week to film outside; I talk about Karma vs Dharma here. I’m also going live on Facebook at 4 pm ET hereto share a short-er preview of next week’s longer Yin Yoga video (which was also filmed outside — feels so much better out there!).
I can’t really interact with you while I’m doing the live video, but you can like it and/or comment and I’ll get back to you later! Maybe there will be a new meditation this weekend . . .
Be the first to know when I release new videos: sign up for my newsletter here to find out when I add new videos, and you’ll receive a free Self Love Affirmation PDF and a bonus audio-only version of this self love meditation.
People have been talking so much about 2019 being the close of the decade (or 2020 being the start of a new one). Seems they can’t even agree on when a new decade starts.
So What can Change in a Decade?
A whole lot, it turns out!
There were many losses in the last 10 years: Mr. Judy’s father, my sister’s MIL, 3 furkids (Simba, Chester, Gizmo) –more, of course, but those hit closest to home.
My father had brain surgery, my mother had surgery, and we emptied out my childhood home (and I am still going through their stuff, or my mom is giving me stuff to throw out or donate) . . . then we moved my parents to a senior living community.
Now we’ve moved my Dad into a nursing home. It wasn’t what anyone wanted, but it was just the only option as my Mom could no longer cope with his worsening dementia even with a live in aide.
In the midst of all those losses, we welcomed a new furkid, Bandit, a senior rescue. It got off to an extremely rocky start, and stayed that way for many months, but with time, love, training, and Nutricalm, Bandit found his forever home in our home — his third. Lola had also had multiple homes when we adopted her, but she was still a puppy. She needed a lot of training too, but at least she got along with humans and our other furkids.
The Big Move We thought we’d retire in TX, we really did. Retiring in TX would also have meant Mr. Judy retiring from working. So we sold our home of 15 years, we packed up all our belongings (in one moving truck! — which included both our cars in addition to our furniture and stuff), and we made two plane trips to bring the boys (the cats) and the dogs to our new home in New York.
I became a Runner I still kind of don’t know how it happened, but happen it did. Apparently I had started to experiment a bit with running when we lived in TX, but it wasn’t until I moved to NY that I became a Runner.
But I was never going to be a Racer. Oh no, not me. Not this turtle.
I became a Racer Then I ran my first 5k. It didn’t change my life. I ran another 5k, though. I decided a half marathon for my 50th birthday sounded like a good goal; I ran longer and longer races. Then I ran my first half marathon . . . and I was hooked. The dream of running a half marathon in every state was born. I am still far, far away from that goal, but it’s still a goal that motivates me.
I’ve also gone on to race more 5ks, 4 milers, 5 milers, 10ks, 15ks, and an 18 mile race.
I became an occasional Trail Runner/Racer 2017. It feels so long ago. The year of 4 half PRs, including my first trail race (yes, chocolate was involved — as was my shoe coming apart in the last mile or so), my slowest half ever but hey, an automatic PR. Yup, my first trail race was a half marathon — go big or go home, right?
Since then I’ve done a couple of trail 5ks and one trail 10k. My running buddies were not interested in trails when I was training for my half, but last summer they finally decided trail running was cool, so I had some company on the trails for a change.
I haven’t ruled out a future trail half, but so far I mostly stick to road races.
Racing with the Girls
Somehow most of those half marathons (but not all) have involved running friends, bloggers and non bloggers, local and not local. Even when it wasn’t a girls’ trip, somehow almost all our vacations became racecations.
Bloggers do UT
I remembered how much I love hiking The racecation to UT reminded me that I really love to hike. Moderate day hikes (like not even all day). I’m always looking for hiking wherever we vacation now — and closer to home, too.
I lost the weight
It was the reason I started to run in the first place, to try to get those last 10 pounds off. At first it didn’t help. Eventually, though, after years of plateauing about 10 pounds above my very reasonable goal weight, I lost those 10 lbs. I’ve kept them off, too. At the moment I maintain my weight without even tracking my food, which is something I never thought would happen.
I used good old Weight Watchers. Going to meetings every week. I’ve been a Lifetime member roughly 30 years Although not attending meetings all that time, definitely often not at my goal weight all that time.
I’ve been maintaining that goal weight for about 6 years now. This last time I realized it wasn’t just about what I eat, but what was eating me. I think that’s the difference from all the other times I gained and lost 40 pounds (and yes, there were multiple times in my life that happened).
I became a Yoga Teacher Like so many things in my life, I couldn’t tell you exactly when I started practicing Yoga, but I can tell you I’ve been practicing it a long time. I wanted to take my Yoga Teacher Training for a long time, at first I thought for my own knowledge; YTT is expensive!
Finally I decided to invest in me. I committed to YTT, and I knew that I wanted to teach. We did a specialty Yin Yoga module, and I knew that was what I wanted to teach. I also always knew that I wanted to make my practices meaningful, with mantras, inspiring quotes, meditations.
I started a Youtube Channel
Just squeaked in with that one! I believe that Yoga is so beneficial to everybody, and Youtube is a great way to make it accessible to everybody. I wasn’t going to start it this year, but I had things I wanted to share, so I sucked it up and I got it done.
I started this blog It’s not my first blog. In fact, I’ve been a WordPress user for a very long time. My first blog was in about 2000, although I’m pretty sure that that one at least started with me just coding in HTML. I’ve had previous blogs about my cats, about graphic design, and a really short lived one about cookbooks.
This blog is the first personal blog I’ve had that really found its audience. My previous professional blog about graphic design did quite well, and I managed a large, thriving community of designers and those interested in design.
A decade can definitely change you!
Thank you for walking (or running) down memory lane with me — if you got to the end, you deserve a prize and I thank you for reading!
I can honestly say that I am a different person than I was ten years ago. Some people like to do the same things, year in and year out. Go to the same places for vacations. Live in the same city you were born in. There’s comfort in that, but despite the fact that change can be stressful, I like to change things up.
Jobs, where I live, hobbies, activities, where I travel to — even where I run! I haven’t really worked at one job more than about 10 years, although my stint at About.com (RIP) was a bit more than 10 years, but not by much
Change is the only thing certain in life. Well, death and taxes, I suppose, but aren’t they just changes after all?
Google training plans or eating plans and you’ll have enough choices to choose from to make your head spin. The problem? You are the only you there ever will be, and who knows who those training plans or diets were created for?
Free training plans found on the Internet might work for you, but they’re not going to work for every runner and every runner would have to tweak the same plan to meet their needs.
No one size in training plans That’s why I highly recommend working with a coach, even if it’s only for a short while. A good coach will ask you a lot of questions, and then tailor a training plan to meet your needs. They’ll update it on the fly, because a training plan is a living thing, and it should change as your needs change.
Even if a coach is not in the cards, if you decide to follow a training plan you find online, or in a book, or from a friend, you need to tailor it to your own needs.
Some people do great with high mileage, and that same mileage, for another runner training for the same race, will result in injury. Some runners can run almost every day, and others will benefit from more rest days and cross training. Some runners do best running by time, some by perceived effort, others by pace.
I could go on and on, but you get the idea.
No one size in diet Your best friend gushes about her latest diet, how great she feels, how much weight she’s lost or muscle she’s put on. A trusted coach has a plan that works for all their athletes. That Facebook group you belong to is all atwitter with their newest plan.
No doubt all examples work for those people, but will it work for you? Maybe. Maybe not. No doubt you get frustrated when it seems to work for everyone but you.
That’s the beauty of trying an elimination diet, like the one I followed in Eat, Live Thrive (read the review here), or following the guidelines of Ayurveda (which I talked about a little in this post here).
Both these methods can teach you so much about your body, but they will require more time, effort, and paying attention to your body than you’re probably used to. The payoff is finding what works for your body, at this time. The only thing sure in life is that everything changes, and any woman in her 40s and beyond will probably tell you what used to work for her no longer does.
Ayurveda is a fascinating and difficult subject, and next week I’ll be reviewing another book about it. The good news about Ayurveda is that there are more and more books lately that try to bring that ancient wisdom into our modern lifestyles.
Final Thoughts Mr. Judy often complains about health science: that what was good to eat yesterday is demonized today. It’s a valid complaint.
On the flip side, there’s a certain beauty to knowing you can create a plan that is tailored to your specific needs. You just have to pay attention to your body.
Does change bother you, or do you embrace it?
Do you follow training plans from the Internet to the letter, or adapt them to your needs?
Have you found that you continually have to change up what you eat?
Life changes you, whether you want it to or not. It’s a good thing, though — life changes you for the better. A few more wrinkles but a whole lot more wisdom. A bigger stomach but a bigger capacity to love and laugh. When we’re open to it, change is a good thing.
Or as Deena wrote in “Let Your Mind Run” (Amazon Affiliate link, read my review here):
The flexible tree puts down strong roots — Deena Kastor
Fairytales and Fitness
Aging gracefully is about being flexible, being open, allowing change, enjoying change and loving yourself. — Wendy Whelan
“Dieting” When I was young, it was definitely dieting — can we say Slimfast? 2 tiny bars and then a regular dinner? Did it work? It depends on your definition of working — yeah, I lost the weight I needed to to fit into my sister’s wedding dress, but it didn’t stay off long.
Even my first go round with Weight Watchers (or WW as it’s now known) — I was determined, and I became a lifetime member the first time round — not many people do that. Again, though, I did it in a way that wasn’t sustainable.
The problem back then was that it was all about looking good, and not so much about feeling good. That’s changed. That’s why this time I’ve managed to keep the weight off (which isn’t to say I never struggle with it — it’s still hard).
When I moved to some place where I knew no one for my first job after college, I taught myself to knit and crochet (with help from some coworkers). Back then it was all about finishing. I wanted to get it done, to see how it would turn out. Yes, I enjoyed the process, but it was all about the end result, not so much about the journey.
I was hot and heavy with knitting for a long time, but it kind of petered out when I lived in TX. Oh, I’d pick up my needles now and again, I joined a knitting club at one point, but it was a hobby I’d put away for a long time.
Then some people in my running group decided they wanted to learn to knit. I figured I’d do something simple, but that got me looking through my yarn, looking at patterns . . . knitting . . . and remembering how much I loved it.
The funny thing is, it’s much more about the journey than the end result now. I don’t really need much in the way of hats or scarves or afghans, but I still enjoy simply sitting and knitting. Of course I want to enjoy the finished project, but now it’s much more about the meditative quality of knitting rather than the finished project. Plus I’ve discovered listening to audiobooks while I knit!
It’s different now
Goals, hobbies, jobs . . . they’re always changing. They should be always changing. We should be always changing. That’s what makes life exciting. And scary.
Learning to enjoy the journey, rather than the end result — that’s what ultimately makes us happy.
What has changed for you as you’ve grown older?
What change are you scared to make?
Are you able to enjoy the journey?
Enjoying the journey should always be the goal. The payoff at the end of the journey is short lived, but that journey to get there is long — enjoying the journey will keep you going. — Chocolaterunsjudy
Before you could see pretty much anywhere on earth via Google maps — way before — map makers would write “here be dragons” for unexplored lands/seas. I’ve always loved that phrase!
How far can you go? For many years I’ve wondered what lies beyond 13.1 miles (or maybe 14.1, because sometimes I do a warm up mile before a half). I’ve thought about just going out and running a longer long run after a race, just taking my time, stopping to eat and drink whenever I wanted to, because there’s literally no race (or reason to rush).
Of course I never did. I know some runners just love running long for the sake of running long, but for the sane runners, why would you spend hours running when you didn’t have to?
In every person’s life, there comes a time . . . . . . when they need more: more challenge, more daring, more than the “norm”. Being a cautious runner, I wasn’t ready for a marathon. But I finally decided that I needed to find out what dragons were waiting for me after 13.1 miles.
Maybe I’d become too “comfortable” running halfs (not that it ever feels comfortable, mind you). Maybe I subconsciously knew that my body was ready for something more — or at least I hope it is. My training has gone well, as well as it can in such a humid summer; my longer long runs were definitely challenging, but I bounced back quickly.
As you read this, though, I have not yet tackled that longer race. It’s this Sunday. I know that barring a heatwave or an injury I will run 18.12 miles. There is a time limit for this race, though.
Again, barring an insanely hot day or injury, I know that I should be able to run the race within the time limit. I also know that’s it’s close enough, for me, to be challenging. There are two points during the race that if you are not on track to finish in the allotted time you’ll be swept (and I don’t even know where those are!).
They don’t call it a Challenge for nothing, though.
Some people are comfortable being comfortable I won’t lie — that is me, most of the time. If I really wanted to be uncomfortable? I’d tackle that marathon. I’m not getting any younger. It would have to be a damn good marathon, though — great swag, no time limit (or a very generous one), and especially not during the summer.
I can say without hesitation at the moment that training for a longer race has not whetted my appetite for a marathon. Quite the opposite. I also know that things have a way of changing, sometimes, when we cross that finish line. Sometimes months after we cross that finish line.
It’s funny how doing something harder can plant the seeds of change.
Growth only happens outside our comfort zone
One of the things I know for sure is that we have to continually grow and take risks that scare us — all through our lives. It’s not easy, and it’s definitely not something that comes easily to me. It’s absolutely easier to keep things status quo and not rock the boat (or tackle the unknown distance where the dragons are waiting for you).
I hope that next week I will tell you that I slayed this particular dragon. I know it won’t be easy. I also don’t know what dragon I’ll need to slay next; I just know that there will always be another dragon. It’s what makes life interesting and exciting (and sometimes tiring!).
Talk to me:
Do you feel as though you’ve gotten too comfortable in your life?
When has doing something outside your comfort zone paid off big for you?