4. Whomp Whomp

I love me a good pity party. Generally, these affairs tend to fall on days after something's been done to me -- an email attack from a client or coworker, a bout of bad Karma from the universe, a medically necessary but painful procedure, etc. Yesterday I endured the latter. I'm not much of a ninny, and can generally handle physical pain and medical torture. What I have trouble coping with is the emotion behind the visits.

Without boring you to death, I'll give you the abridged version: Girl starts seeing spots, girl is diagnosed with blood clot in eye, no underlying cause determined. Girl develops unrelated but alarming inflammation in same eye, again, no underlying cause can be determined. Girl goes on low-dose chemo and steroids for four months, becomes walking nightmare. Girl goes into remission. Girl develops new treatable problem, endures eye injections, is given clean bill of health.

Fast forward to yesterday: girl has relapsed, only 3 short weeks from being told that "everything looks perfect."

Even though the injections are no walk in the park, they're not as terrible as they sound. {Needles in eyes are never pleasant, regardless of numbing drops.} The worst part for me is the anxiety of never knowing if/when this condition will reappear. Due to the magical ability for the body to continually regenerate cells, both good and bad, I will always be dealing with this problem and subsequent injections for the rest of my life. {Or until they start creating new eyes in test tubes.} Logically, I know this could be worse. In fact, it was much worse last year. Emotionally, however, there's still a big chasm I need to cross before I feel comfortable saying "I'm grateful for this." I really vacillate between handling the situation with strength and grace, or being a complete brat and complaining about such rotten luck. {Think Nancy Kerrigan.}

From what I can gather, I seem to get these "relapses" about every 4-5 months. My hope moving forward is that I can start to bridge my pity gap and move towards an outlook that is one of realism, positivity, and grace, because no one likes a Debbie Downer. I want to remove the anxiety of waiting "for the other shoe to drop" and live in the present, being grateful that my treatment is quick and effective, and that the problem is not more widespread and damaging. Does this mean that I can sit on the couch after my treatments with a pint of Haagen-Daaz coffee ice cream? {Shhhhh. I like to pretend that it's vegan.}


3. Analyze This

My brain never shuts off. I'm not the type that is constantly having brilliant, groundbreaking academic thoughts, nor am I inundated with witty one-liners. Instead, my brain is just always on, typically filled with worries, over-analysis, or negative thoughts. The problem is so pervasive that I have trouble falling asleep and concentrating on tasks, even of the most mundane nature.

I've grown up thinking this was normal. {Really, it's all I've ever known.} Even as a baby, my mother confirmed that I rarely slept, but instead, would just sit in my crib and stare. {Awesome, the freak genes started early.}

Part of my problem when preparing to attack a goal, be it something simple like "Clean out the front closet" or more intense, such as "Lose the body weight equivalent to two husky toddlers," I over-analyze the task beforehand, making it that much harder to begin. So on Sunday, I did something extraordinary. I stopped thinking. Another barrier to me attacking a problem {weight loss, for example} is not being prepared. So Sunday morning, I asked my husband to create an intense workout program for me. Directions were simple: write it down in a notebook where I had to check off workouts and make notes on progress, weights, etc., and bug the shit out of me if I'm not following it. And he did. Then the remarkable happened. I didn't think about the workout ahead of time, I didn't make excuses why I should instead just rest on the couch and zone out with crappy reality tv {Have they made a Real Housewives of Cook County, yet? Why not}. I just did the workout. And let me tell you: I did the workout like a boss.

Tom supervised, offering tips on my form, miscounting my reps, etc. He told me that he was so impressed by my squat form. Me! I have an impressive squat form. {Yes, I know there's a possibility he's complimenting me because we share a bed, but whatever. I'm taking it.} Last night, I took a look at the holy grail workout notebook, determined I could workout in our garage {weightlifting chamber of doom}, put my shoes on, and got it done.

Isn't it funny how our defense mechanisms can sometimes be our own worst enemy? Lesson learned.


2. Can You Dig It?

I hate exercising.

I do. I know it's a terrible thing to say and that I should be all "yay! exercise! my body is awesome!" but I'm not. I have {as diagnosed by Dr. Google} exercise lazyitis with a side case of boredom. If I'm on a treadmill, I can't wait to get off. If I'm in an exercise class, I can't wait to leave. I've been known to stop workout DVDs halfway through becausing I'm "not feeling it." I can't seem to find an activity or sport that holds my attention long enough to kick my ass.

Well, one exception: I've been doing Cross-fit workouts, as supervised by my husband, a personal trainer. {Record screech: Yes, my husband is a personal trainer. Yes, despite this I am still fat. No, it's not as convenient as you think.} Whether it's his eagle-eye ability to spot me being lazy, or just the fact that he practically shoves me to the gym, these workouts engage me, and dare I say it, make me feel strong. Who knew deadlifting could actually be fun? {Well, my husband, but he doesn't count.}

But here's my beef with Cross-fit. I don't always feel that the workouts are enough. Some days, they really do kill me. Some days, I feel like I could workout for another thirty minutes after I finish {no, of course I don't actually continue working out. I'm not crazy.}* I know that if I enrolled in a Cross-fit gym, I'd get more effective, kick my ass to Timbuktu and back workouts. {Cue the whine:} But I don't want to pay for it.

I feel like if I could find a type of cardio workout that I don't find to be so boring I'd rather pull my eyelashes out than continue doing, the Cross-fit workouts would be a perfect supplement. So, any suggestions?

*Yes, I realize that a major portion of my inability to commit to exercise is the negativity and excuses I've spent the last ten minutes writing about.


1. Oy Vey

Most people turn to the internet for distraction, affirmation, or porn. I'm turning to the blogosphere for some good old fashioned accountability, something that is completely lacking in my current life. {and I'm hoping in yours, too. Nothing like a little schadenfreude.}

What in the world is possessing me to turn to a blog to kick my ass? Knowing better should equal doing better, right? {Not exactly.} Somewhere in-between the knowing and the doing, I get lost. I could sit here and preach about how to lose weight, how to get rid of debt and save thousands of dollars, how to run a multi-million dollar empire, because I KNOW. But I've never DONE. {Name the book, I've read it; suggest the diet, I've tried it.}

In a last ditch effort to save my sanity, here I am. This is it, millions of {potential} anonymous readers. I am yours for the compliments, the crucifixions, the advertising revenue.

I'm sure we'll all get to be best friends sooner or later, but in the meantime, here's the Idiot's Guide to Facts About Beth:

  • I pink puffy heart polka-dots. {Why yes, I was in a sorority, why do you ask?}

  • Even though you least expect it, I practice veganism.

  • Burritos are my jam! {In a manner of speaking.}

  • I suck at running.

  • I'm Web 2.0 {follow me on Twitter! @BethSroka}

  • My memory is crap. I'm lucky I remember my own name.

  • I'm obsessed with matroshyka dolls, yet don't own a single one.

  • I'm waiting to just wake up one morning and have accomplished all of my goals on the right sidebar. {I think it's a foolproof strategy.}

  • My parents raised me in a house where "crap" and "fart" were swear words. This might explain my current penchant for the F word. {It's very versatile!}