I’ve been mean lately. Like, nasty, snarky and rude. The person on the other end of my meanness should probably unfriend me on Facebook and basically cut me out of her life. The things that have popped up and have been communicated are hard to hear, probably not true and borderline insane.
I can’t, however, unfriend myself. I can’t turn and walk away from my inner voice. I can’t yell and scream and tell her to “SHUT UP” and expect it to stop. My brain, my inner voice and inner self talk has been crude and awful for the past week.

You’re so anti-social.
You should have gone for a longer run.
Why did you eat that?
What are you doing with your life?
How are you paying rent this month?
You’re really not good at anything, just quit.
Why are you like her?

I sit here and type some of the things that run through my head, think other things and can’t bring myself to share everything. It’s that bad.


Doesn’t work. Damnit. I’m truly, in general, a happy person here in Chicago. Happier than I have been in the past, but this voice… who is she and how do we silence her? Sometimes I go for a run and listen to her, try and reason and argue. Other times I convince people to meet me at the bar and I shut her up with a few beverages, she’s quiet while I’m surrounded by friends, but she gets angry when I’m home alone in bed–Why did you have that last glass of wine? You spent too much money. Are those people really even your friends? This voice makes me cancel Skype dates with my best friends, she pulls me down onto the couch, turns on Netflix and says “Tomorrow, tomorrow will be clearer and sunnier, and better. Tomorrow.”

Tomorrow is bullshit. What if there is no tomorrow? You can’t just turn a voice off. I’m trying to end this post on a positive note without sounding cheesy and I’m not sure how to do that. Cheese might be the only answer. Since we can’t shut our inner voices up, maybe take what they say with a grain of salt–work as hard as you have been, and also acknowledge “at least I WENT for a run today…” Being kinder to ourselves can be hard, we’re all our own worse critic and have the tendency to just be mean. So I guess it comes down to treating yourself with respect, realizing that the things that pop into my head I would NEVER say aloud to another person–so why am I treating myself like that.

Not cool Sloan, not cool.

So on that cheese filled note, a new goal is set in place for myself and I challenge you all to join, be nice. Be nice to yourself, take note and acknowledge your accomplishments as well as the path you are on. I’m writing this to pump myself up for it–it’s a daily struggle and I’m on that bus trying to be happy and live a life full of learning and moving forward. Because forward is the only way to go.

Ten Days

Ten days ago I embarked on a detox. No, not lemon water and cayenne smoothies, not some Shakeology diet bullshit–but a detox. A commitment to eat clean, cut out some of the foods that can bother your digestive system, and develop a better relationship with food in general.
The list of items I cannot eat is way shorter than the foods I can enjoy.
Do not eat:
-Grains of any kind
-Dairy (I know… for the love of cheese!)
-Fruit (Unless it’s in a smoothie in the morning, half a banana at most.)
-Artificial sweetener
-Red meat
-Legumes (this includes peanuts and peanut butter)
-Caffeine and booze

-Everything else.

I’ve been tracking my meals and snacks and exercise via My Fitness Pal, consulting with my friend/personal trainer about how much and what I should be eating, my exercise routine, my fat to carb to protein ratio–wow, this is sounding a lot harder than it really was.

In short–I’ve become conscious of what I’m putting in my mouth. Just because there is banana bread that someone made does not mean I need to try a piece of it. I’ll feel better if I don’t. The guilt of food has lessened, our relationship has grown stronger, I’ve begun cooking more and spending more time with the veggies that I’m going to consume. I won’t lie, I talk to them as I chop, sautéed and add spices. My co-worker said that cooking is like dating before you have sex. You have to really get to know the ins and the outs of the food, the nutrients. Ask: What are you going to do for me? Are you going to hurt me or help me in the long run? And the listening for an answer. Savoring each bite and really letting the food support and nurture you.

The detox ends after tonight. I’m not sure if physically anything has changed, but my peace of mind and thought process about food has definitely developed and become stronger. I will absolutely continue this way of eating–perhaps with a glass of wine or a cocktail thrown in every once and a while.

Keep Your Lady Balls In Check

My bed has sucked my morning mojo out of me. My OkCupid profile claims that I’m an extreme morning person, I’ve always said I’d rather wake at 5am rather than stay up until the wee hours of the morning. I love enjoying a cup of coffee or tea alone with a book, my journal or my computer. I love the alone time of the early AM and savor every minute I’m up before my roommates are. But since I bought the bed that I wanted, the firm mattress my back craves, the cozy down comforter I stole from my mother’s house when I moved, the pillows that support my neck just right–I have a really hard time getting up. The bed swallows me up and hugs me tight so I am unable to leave when, in the past, I would normally wake.
Things I enjoy doing in the morning: running, reading, writing, researching, cooking, journaling… my basic brain function is best between the hours of 6am and about 2pm. After that I can’t promise my best self, my best attitude, or my best effort to care about anything. So in an effort to be a better human being I’m trying to get up earlier again.
Yesterday the alarm went off at 5:16, yes, a Sunday alarm set for 5:16. By 5:42 I had laced my running shoes, buddled up as much as possible and set off to run five miles before the sun was set to rise at 6:49am. I’m determined to run all winter long and train for a January half-marathon. In college I did, why not now? So Sunday morning was to prove to myself that I still have the lady balls to get out there and log the miles–no matter how far below freezing Chicago gets!
The still morning reminded me how quiet the streets of Thailand were when I began my training there. However the temperature difference, the idea of quiet alone time was still the same. Morning mediation on my feet. Discovering what the city looks like, smells like, feels like, early in the morning is something I’ve done every place I’ve lived and visited. This was a first for me in Chicago–I’ve walked the streets late at night after a night out with friends, exploring new bars, parks and taken bus rides to avoid the cold or heat. But nothing compares to being on foot, alone on streets you’ve walked or rode a bunch of times before the sun peaks above the skyline.
Everything looks different in the morning. Stores are asleep, coffee shops are just blinking an eye to be awake and get the day started–running past them shut down and dark the city looks so different, it looks at peace.
I am at peace when I’m out there. My run yesterday cleared my head for the day to come, set my schedule and tired my legs. At my turn around point there was a bank clock and thermometer that read “6:04am 14 degrees”. Now I KNOW I can run that far, in that cold, that early. Every time I do that I have mixed emotions; now I know I can do it, so that means I can’t wuss out–and now I have to one up myself, I have to go further, earlier and when it’s colder just to prove to myself I can.

This morning I wussed out so I could spend the early moments reading and writing. But tomorrow, tomorrow is a new day and winter is only getting colder.