Posted by: Judy | April 25, 2016

Personal “BUDs” starting at the beginning 3…


Of the five points I’m addressing, exercise is the easiest. Either you do it or you don’t. It’s measurable.

So what’s my problem? I know I feel better when I exercise. I know what I need to do, so why don’t I do it? It’s easy for me to overdo and hurt myself.

There’s that voice I don’t often think about. It’s the same negative voice, but it deals with sports and exercise. I wasn’t encouraged to participate in sports. In our family, sports like football, basketball, baseball, were stupid. We never watched sports on television, except the Olympics. Watching the Olympics, the only sports watched were gymnastics, track and field, and ice skating.

For the record, I now watch pro football and NASCAR. Maybe because I’m contrary, but I don’t think so. Those were the sports most often maligned. I gave the others a try, but don’t enjoy them as much.

When I expressed an interest in gymnastics, ice skating, dance, I was always told it was too expensive. I wasn’t encouraged in running because that sport belonged to my brothers.

My goal was to fly under the radar. Don’t be noticed. Sports required being noticed.

I was more active before hormones kicked in. In many ways, I became a slug. I didn’t worry about gaining weight because of the insanity revolving around food.

At 18, I misstepped and tore all the ligaments in my ankle. I was expected to continue like nothing happened. I obeyed. Two months later, I took myself to the doctor. He apologized, telling me there was nothing he could do. It was too late. He also informed me I would have trouble the rest of my life, not only with my ankle but with my back. I would never be able to wear high heels again and dancing was over. I accepted it and moved on.

As much as I worked to not be noticed, sooner or later I was.

If my eating wasn’t being questioned, then my exercise was, by NM and EF and others. “Are you exercising enough?” “You need to exercise more.” “Why don’t you…” “Why haven’t you…” “You should…” “You could…”

No matter what I did, it was never enough.

The doctor was right. I eventually herniated a disc in my back, over ten years ago. It required an epidural and physical therapy. The frustrating part was learning from my physical therapist that it could have been avoided. All those years, I’d walked with my injured foot turned out. It threw off my alignment. A herniated disc was inevitable. My therapist gave me an exercise that turned my foot forward. He also gave me a number of exercises that were tailored for me. I’m married to them for life. Whenever I became lazy or thought I was doing fine, I re-injured my back. I rarely miss a day.

There was a time when I was biking 90 miles a week. All it netted me was NM’s glee that I biked more than my brother. She encouraged me to needle him, knowing it would humiliate him and he would find a way to humiliate me, a familiar pattern. I was only beginning to see how she pitted us against each other that way. Never directly, so it always looked like it came from one of the other siblings. Insidious.

I quit the biking when I noticed my hands were going numb within a half mile of leaving the house. I figured it wasn’t a good sign.

What is my 3,000-7,000 times a day?

Walking is a must to keep the scar tissue in my ankle malleable. I walk 3 days a week. The pain if I skip walking is excruciating. I don’t skip. I have to be careful to not overdo. I used to walk six days a week when I was walking my dog. I’m not in the same shape. I want to work back to that level, but it needs to wait for now.

Physical therapy is six days a week.

I take Sunday off.

How I sabotage myself: I overdo or increase what I’m doing too fast. I often push the exercise as a way of proving to myself I’m doing something. Pride. Dangerous kind of pride.

What I need to do instead: Allow my exercise to be my constant while I work on the other 5 aspects of my BUDs. Exercise will be one thing I don’t have to think about, except to make sure I keep doing it.

It’s easy for me to overwhelm myself with the changes I want to make. Sabotage.

My 3,000-7,000 times a day is to maintain consistency. It will be easy for me to become bored and want to ratchet things up. I need to do the hard work of doing the same thing every day, day after day. I can do this.

*Sleep updates: Night Four: Went to sleep to program 2. Woke at 1:00 a.m., too warm to sleep. Took longer for the A/C to kick on and cool the room off. More racing thoughts than Night Three, but not severe like Night One and Two. It’s been almost a week. I go to sleep better with the program. I still wake up in the middle of the night. I do go back to sleep more easily. I do not wake up feeling rejuvenated. However, I’ve been so deep in sleep deprivation for so long I’m guessing it will take more than a week to restore my sleep. Just a guess. 🙄 Saturday nights I’m allowed to sleep until I wake up. Granted, I wake every two or three hours. I stay in bed. It usually works out to be 11-13 hours. Not normal.

*Eating updates: I don’t like the prepared tuna. It tastes metallic. Plastic water bottles make great milk bottles. Slip in the kitchen and grab one; in and out before anyone knows. I managed to go a couple days with little interaction with NM. It’s doable, and I don’t feel hungry or deprived.

*I sat at P.croissant writing: “I’m stronger than I know. God is more powerful than I believe. Food is a gift to be enjoyed not abused.” Two pages worth. I never wrote sentences in school. This wasn’t a punishment, this was an attempt to etch these truths in my brain.

*Insight: I’m a little surprised by the peace accompanying admitting I’m afraid of NM. I understand my rage starts in fear. My sister and I talked about the possibility that NM is afraid of the rage. I repeat: I’ve never hurt either of my parents. I’ve never lifted a hand or threatened either one. I have shouted. I learned from the best. Both my parents have yelled, spanked, and smacked, though I don’t remember either of them ever hitting my face. I know other siblings have been, so it isn’t that the parents were averse to the idea. I had severe acne from before I was eleven. Touching my face, even lightly, caused severe pain. NM did demand the right to kiss me all over my face, no matter how painful it was. I use the rage now as a shield, a forcefield, a giant bubble to keep them at a distance. The more I think about it, though, I don’t think NM is afraid of the rage or she wouldn’t push boundaries so hard to provoke it. If she manages to push me to the point I lose my temper, then she exploits it by making me the unreasonable one, the one who is out of control, the one who is at fault. I think what she fears most is losing control. Her uncertainty with me is that her old methods no longer produce the same results. I refuse to return to the status quo. Incentive to find the humor in the insanity. Contrast: Those days when she talked about how worried she was about me having time in the kitchen, having enough to eat. Funny, she hasn’t been so worried as to allow me the alone time I asked for.




  1. Believe it or not, my parents made fun of how un-athletic I was. My mother was especially mean about how bad I was a sports. I hated gym class.

    My hands often fall asleep when I’m running on the treadmill or if I ride a bike. I just ignore it for the most part. I find if I stretch out my shoulders a little (sometimes just by laying on my back with my arms out to the sides with a pillow under my back), the issue is much less.

    I kind of feel like you need second opinions from doctors. I’m always suspect of doctors who say “never” or “don’t do this” because it tends to be the easiest option for them in terms of treatment. I can’t tell you how many doctors tell runners to “just stop running” at the hint of any discomfort. It’s much healthier to get exercise and do other rehab stuff to continue running. You just have to fins doctors who are interested in the whole person, not just what problem is presenting itself that day. (Sorry for the soapbox on this but I’ve seen it often and a lot of people use this bad doctor advice as a reason to not help themselves get healthy out of fear).

    I soooooo relate to being afraid of my NM. My dad was shocked when I told him that many years ago. I thought it was obvious that she terrified me. Apparently she read it (and told my father) as me thinking she is stupid. Such projection from her! I also think my mother is afraid of other peoples’ rages because the last time she hit me when I was 16, I hit her back. If she’d come back at me again that day, I don’t know what I’d have done. I just snapped. Of course, then the narrative became that I was dangerous if I lost control. I avoided drinking at all until I was 21 because my parents convinced me I would become psychotic if I drank. Hilarious that I went on to be a non-violent alcoholic, no?

    Yikes! I wrote a book here! I also want to add that it’s awesome that you’ve taken steps towards changes and evaluated (like the prepared tuna). Soon, things you thought impossible might start happening for you 🙂

    • I wasn’t worried about the hand numbness until it started working its way up my arms and into my shoulders. I was also having the same creeping problem from my feet up my legs. I don’t have that problem with walking and physical therapy.

      I actually didn’t take my first doctor’s advice, at first, but paid every time. I ended up seeing a pain specialist several years later… the whole thing was handled badly. After I herniated the disc, I had a pain specialist who did the epidural injection. He told me that if he’d seen my MRI sooner (I brought it the day of the EI), he would have recommended surgery. When I returned for my follow up and they discovered I remember everything he told me to avoid surgery at all cost and God willing they’d have a better way of handling it than surgery. 🙂 My physical therapist explained why he didn’t want me running or doing anything jarring: Because the disc is gone, it’s bone on bone. Over time, the rubbing will cause inflammation, which will develop into arthritis.

      I appreciate your knowledge on not giving up because it hurts. My therapist’s concern, like forbidding me to ever do yoga again, was because I wouldn’t feel the pain until years later. He banned the yoga only because he’d watched me work out. He knew I give everything I have to what is asked of me, and he worried I’d hyperextend without realizing it, until it was too late. He actually created exercises for me that he’d never prescribed for anyone else. I confess. I really miss seeing him, but I have to have a doctor’s Rx to see him. If I could have him as a personal trainer, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

      • Could you maybe find a doctor that would give you that Rx? Ugh, I sound pushy. I’m sorry. I just want you to feel good 🙂

        • You want to help. I don’t mind. I asked him. He said, “no,” nicely. 🙂 I’d have to be back in pain therapy. He did let me come back a couple of times when I overdid. He only treats injuries, not maintenance.

          • Life would be so much better if we could be preventative and not just reactive. 😦 I guess doctors have their hands full with injuries and illness as it is…


            • I think my doctors considered the preventative being a cast right after I tore the ligaments in my ankle. 😀 Now it’s all reactive. I confess: I also know what my therapist would say first, if I walked in the door again: Why did you put on more weight? A lot of my problems would disappear if I lost the weight. Working on it. {{{{{Judith}}}}}

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