Commemorating my health

A few years ago, we had a load of mulch brought to our yard by All About Trees. It was around 7-8 cubic yards and I struggled to spread it to the flower beds. I could do 5-8 wheelbarrow loads in a session and I’d be wiped out. Filling the wheelbarrow was hard. Pushing it was hard. Dumping and spreading mulch was hard. I could handle 20-30 minutes at a time and then have to be done doing anything for the rest of the day.

Last month, we had 7 cubic yards of mulch delivered by McMullen and I’ve been shifting a lot of it. Some evenings, I’d do it between 7 and 8 pm and be done, but that was after a long day. On a weekend, I’d shift 20+ barrows in a day and continue being active. On Monday of this week, I:

  • Finished distributing the mulch (around 12 wheelbarrow loads I think).
  • Painted our metal outdoor furniture.
  • Spread grass seed and watered it.
  • (Mostly) finished deep-cleaning our house because we’re moving the cats outside because Isaac is allergic to them.

All told, it was around 7 hours of work after two days of doing a lot of other work. I was hitting my 10,000 steps by 10 or 11 am each day of the long (Memorial Day) weekend.

And then today, I had a stressful morning and decided to take a break to row. I haven’t rowed in weeks because I’ve been so busy with other stuff, and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to resume the Pete Plan where I left off. But I rowed 7000 meters in 31 minutes with my heart rate in zone 5 for the majority of the time. I rocked it.

My weight has been up since Willow got really sick. Food is my comfort in the midst of stress, and I’m up around 15 lbs. right now and have been for months. I don’t like how I look and I’ve been wearing larger, looser shirts because I’m insecure about the extra couple of inches I have right now. But I think I’m more fit than I’ve ever been. I’ve got stamina and strength that I didn’t have years ago when I weighed more. And I’m cautiously optimistic that I’m pulling out of this period and will be able to start getting my weight and eating back under control again.

When meeting with my counselor last week, she advised that I focus on gratitude and start writing about it. This was in regards to some people we were talking about, but I’ve also been thinking about it in regards to my body. Rather than eat to feel better, maybe I could think about how I’m grateful for my body and what I can do, and focus on how I want to feel physically and what I want to be capable of doing in the future.

This morning was pretty stressful, and I was very tempted to go to the bakery. If it hadn’t been raining, I would have walked there and gotten coffee and a scone. But since it was raining and I didn’t want to go outside, it made me pause and think, and I decided to exercise instead. I need to start doing that more. I hope continuing to try and focus on gratitude will help me make that decision more frequently.