More Progress And Steps Back (or Trying My Hardest)

I had a long 4 workout week this week. It was long because there were 4 workouts (the 4th workout is still a tough one for me) and it was long because it was a difficult week for me. A majority of the week didn’t have us switching between blocks, so I was spending 30 minutes straight on the treadmill. I was hoping for a run/row day, and never really got one.

Monday was one of those 30 minute treadmill days. I’m still testing myself with my push paces, but I’m really most comfortable at 3.5 miles an hour for my pushes (and 3.4 miles an hour for my base pace). I’d really love it if before my next 5K I could bump both of those paces up .1 miles an hour, but it’s so tough for me to do it. I think I’ve hit a wall with my speed training, and I need to figure out something that will help me get out of that rut.

Besides the long treadmill time, we had some rowing that I didn’t do too much speed one. I wanted to work on my form so I kept things pretty slow. So often I’m the last person getting off the rower when we have rowing, so it doesn’t bother me at all to be much slower than everyone else. We also had a ton of TRX strap work which is starting to be something I’m enjoying more and more. I’m finding that I can push myself a lot more with squats and other leg work because I’m holding on to something that helps me balance. I’ve been scared to push myself too hard because I know when I’m doing bodyweight work my hips hurt. But I’m starting to see that as long as I’m holding on to the straps really tightly and with very little slack in the straps, I can do more than I thought.

Wednesday was another 30 minute treadmill day. The blocks were all 5 minutes long and it really felt more like a 30 minute block and not 4 blocks that were 5 minutes each. Since we only had a minute of walking between blocks and long push paces, it felt like we would never get off the treadmill. But I think I did really great on the treadmill and took pretty limited breaks during the blocks (I look forward to the day that I don’t need to take breaks during the blocks because of pain). Since I was kind of on a high from doing so well on the treadmill, I kept things going with using 20 pound weights on the floor work. Those 20 pound weights are something I’m using a lot more often and I think that it’s a great thing that I’m more and more comfortable using them.

Friday was a pretty tough day. Again, it was another 30 minutes on the treadmill day. I was doing ok for the first few minutes and then my shin splints came back really strong. I have no idea what set them off (I’m doing research on what I’m doing that might be triggering them) but I know that once I feel them I probably won’t get rid of them during the workout. I tried to do my best, but I was doing more like 1 minute on the treadmill and then close to a minute break after. It was on and off like that. My Friday coach, Bruce, encouraged me to lower my incline to help so I spent a good portion of the workout at 2% incline (instead of 4%) and at 3.3 miles an hour. I didn’t feel too great about my work, but I know that doing something is better than nothing. Fortunately, the shin splints didn’t bother me during the floor work and I was feeling better that night.

Just like I have planned, my Saturday workout was done on the bike since it was my 4th workout of the week. I think that was smart anyway because of the shin splints the day before. Of course, this was the day that was closest to the run/run I had been hoping to have all week. It was a run/bodyweight workout. We had short cardio segments (I think the longest I was on the bike was about 3 minutes) and then we jumped off of the cardio equipment and did bodyweight work like squats or calf raises. It was nice to have the workout broken up and I think that I probably could have done the treadmill if I wanted to. There was also rowing before each of the cardio blocks and I was able to get my wattage on the rower pretty high since everything was a sprint.

On the floor, we had a lot of squats, lunges, and crunches. All of these things are pretty fine with me, but I usually don’t push myself too hard because I know for squats and lunges I can get a lot of pain in my hips. One of the lunges we had were lunges where your back leg was on the weight bench and then you did the lunge. I rarely do these because it is so difficult to balance, but I took my time and was able to do them all that way! I’m pretty happy with myself.

So this past week wasn’t really any great progress but wasn’t too much of a set back either. It was more like 1 step forward and 1 step back. But the consistency is paying off and the little improvements I’m making really are making a difference.

This coming week is a 3 workout week, and I’m glad to have a short workout week. Hopefully the shin splints won’t come back and I’ll be able to do my treadmill work. I did just order new calf sleeves to wear because I was feeling my others were a bit stretched out (I’ve had them about 6 months). So think that those might help me this week keep the shin splints away.

Another Year Of Disneyland (or No More Ink Money)

I just renewed my Disneyland pass for another year! I’m so happy because I think you all know how much I love Disneyland. And because I have a double grandfathered pass (my pass level is only available if you are a renewal now and I have the parking add-on that doesn’t exist anymore), I have to make sure I renew before the pass expires each year. I don’t mind having to do that each year, but I do make sure to get to Disneyland before the expiration date because of this.

I knew my pass was expiring soon, but I didn’t have a Disneyland day planned before the expiration date. And since paying for my pass is complicated (more on that in a minute), I can’t renew over the phone. So on Monday after my workout, I drove down to Disneyland with the only purpose to renew the pass.

I’m glad that the drive was super easy this time. I was on the tram from the parking lot to the parks in under an hour after leaving my house. It was so empty at Disneyland that I was a bit sad that I really didn’t have time to stay and go on rides (I had errands to do at home that afternoon).

Once I got to the ticket counter, it was time to deal with the complications of paying for my pass. Because I recycle ink for my mom, I was able to get a bunch of Visa gift cards and Disney gift cards from Staples. I also had gotten some gift cards for my birthday from friends. All together, my parking add-on was totally paid for by the cards plus about $50 of my pass. It’s a bit weird to pay this way because the cast member helping me has to set up the payments to be as if it was on a payment plan so they don’t accidentally charge one of the Visa gift cards the full amount of the pass (since they are each only worth about $25). It took a little bit of time, but I got everything taken care of and I was on my way.

I was super tempted to go into the parks because of how ridiculously empty it was, but I figured that if I did that, I would stay there too long. So I just took a photo at the gates and headed back toward the parking lot tram.

Disneyland

I made a stop at the Disney store since I never really go in there and of course I got distracted by all the really awesome Disney stuff. There were some kitchen things I was super tempted to buy, but I didn’t have the money to spend $60 on something. Then, I was intrigued by the dog toys and found the perfect thing to get for Tucker!

Disney Dog Ties

They only had the ties in XS/S, but I saw that all the girl dog things also came in M/L (which was the size Tucker needs), so I grabbed the ties and brought them to the register to have them order the larger size for me (Disney is usually awesome like that). Sadly, they only make the boy dog things in XS/S and there is no way that our 70 pound dog could fit in something that tiny. So I left Disneyland empty-handed (well, I guess I did have my renewed pass to bring home with me).

While I’m super excited for another full year of Disneyland adventures, I’m a bit sad because this looks like it will be the last year I can use my ink recycling money to help pay for my pass. You used to be able to use Staples Rewards for gift cards online (but not in stores), so that’s how I got my gift cards. But sometime recently they changed the rules (or started enforcing rules) and you can no longer get gift cards with Staples Rewards money. I understand the reasoning behind it now that I’ve done some research on how gift cards sold from third-party retailers work, but it still stinks for me.

Having a few hundred dollars in gift cards really helps to make my pass affordable. I have no plan on letting my pass expire in a year. There are other options for me to pay for my pass. I can use the Disneyland payment plan which doesn’t have interest and can be paid off in advance if you have the money. Or I can figure out other ways to save for it (or just ask for only Disney gift cards for my birthday or Hanukkah). I’ve got a year to figure it out.

But I can’t let the end of the ink money bring me down. I’ve got an entire year to make more Disneyland memories and I have a feeling that my park adventures are going to keep getting more and more amazing!

Grease Live (or A Fun Night In With Friends)

Since almost all of us use a DVR or watch tv online now, it’s so rare for me to watch something live. Unless it’s an awards show, I’m usually watching a recording of it. I know that most people also watch sports live, but I rarely watch sports (I do watch the Super Bowl for the commercials).

But when NBC started to do live musicals (even though they are taped delayed for the west coast), I got really excited to watch them. While I didn’t love The Sound Of Music or Peter Pan, it was still really excited to live-tweet along with others about what was happening and feel like I was a part of something special. And when The Wiz ended up being so great, I got really enthusiastic about live musicals on TV.

FOX did Grease Live this past weekend and for the first time I decided to have a viewing party at my house. I figured it could be really fun whether the musical was amazing or was a bit of a disappointment. So I invited a bunch of my friends and said that I would provide the drinks if they wanted to bring snacks.

My friends Rayshell, June, and Amanda (who I know from Orangetheory) came over to watch on Sunday. And even though none of my friends had met each before, it ended up being the perfect group (and all of them ended up bringing dessert treats to share!).

As soon as Grease Live started, I made a joke about how the green screen wasn’t that realistic looking. But as soon as the camera pulled away and I saw that they were acknowledging that this was a live event happening all over the Warner Bros. backlot, I knew that this was going to be something special. For all the other live musicals, they never really seemed to treat it any differently than having a play being taped. But Grease Live really did seem to want to show off all the hard work that they did.

After that initial joke about the green screen, there wasn’t much joking among the group. We did joke about funny moments and character choices, but it was all in a very positive way and more enjoyment than snark. I didn’t even end up live-tweeting because I was so enthralled by the show.

I loved seeing them all over the backlot (I know it well from working there as an actor and back in 2005 as a tour guide and being there for the SAG-AFTRA Gala) and shared fun facts about the backlot with my friends. And I loved seeing them use the tour guide golf carts to get from one stage to another (they even drove my favorite cart, #9)! I did have a moment where my heart felt like it would stop when the golf cart started to tip in the end of the show (I know how unstable those golf carts are), but fortunately the cart didn’t tip over.

It didn’t feel like a live production because of all the hard work the cast and crew had done over the past few weeks. They had everything perfectly choreographed and timed out so that the audience only saw what they wanted us to see and nothing was delayed. I mean, look at how perfectly the associate director did the camera moves for just part of a song! I know that every cast and crew of a live production work hard, but this one just took things to another level. And since the sets were full rooms (not just the set facing a wall of cameras) it felt so different from all the other live musicals (although I did say that in a way that made it feel less like a live production at times)

My friends all agreed with me that this was the best live musical that we’ve seen on TV. There was very little that we would have changed about the show and we all had a great time watching it. And I think that getting together to watch the live musicals will be a new tradition (another adventure with friends to add to my goals list!) and we are already planning on trying to be together for the one happening in March.

I really went into watching Grease Live thinking I wouldn’t love it, but I’m so happy that I was wrong and it ended up being such a fun thing to watch and experience with everyone.

SAG Awards (or Watching After Knowing The Winners)

I really love the SAG Awards. All awards shows are amazing and I love watching them, but this one is so special. Part of it is that it is the only awards show that I get to vote for (at least, the only one I can vote for so far). And part of it is because these are my peers being nominated and one day I could be too. I take my voting seriously and work as hard as I can to see everything nominated (I don’t always succeed, but I make a big effort to see them all).

I usually watch the show live on TV and try to live-tweet my excitement over the winners. It’s fun to live tweet those sort of events and see what everyone else has to say about things. Even if I can’t watch with my friends, I still get to be connected with them while watching.

But when the show happened this past Saturday, I was babysitting. So I didn’t get to watch live this time. I don’t mind babysitting, but I was a bit sad that I wouldn’t get to watch the show when it happened. But I needed to babysit and I had my DVR set to record the show (plus an extra hour in case they ran late). So it wasn’t that horrible that I didn’t get to watch live.

Fortunately for me, twitter and various news sites online kept me posted on who the winners were throughout the evening. I was finally able to see who all the winners were when the kids were asleep at the babysitting job and was pretty happy with who won (a majority of the people/shows I voted for won) and I was anxious to hear all the speeches.

I got home from babysitting super late, so I didn’t get a chance to watch the awards until Sunday morning. Since I knew who all the winners were, I was able to fast forward a bit on my DVR. I watched all the introductions and speeches, but I skipped when they announced the nominees and the moment the announced the winner. But even with skipping those parts, there was so much good stuff to watch.

I loved all the speeches. Everyone seemed so grateful and gracious when they won. I knew that some of the winners were people who had almost given up on acting or had been trying to make it for years and seeing them win gave me hope that I will be there one day. And of course there were some random funny moments and I loved those as well.

Plus, I loved getting to see my friend Woody’s name in the credits at the end.

SAG Awards

All in all, it was a really great show. It did feel a bit weird not watching it live and not being interactive with people while watching. It was almost like it was my own awards show viewing and not something that everyone else watched. But even without being online and tweeting with people while it was happening, it still made me have so much pride to be a union member.

How My Goal Setting Is Going (or A Spark Planner Update)

I’ve officially been using my Spark Planner for a full month now and I have to say that I’m loving what I’m getting done with it! While I still use my phone/computer for my scheduling (things overlap and change too often to handwrite everything), I’m using the goal setting sections of the Spark Planner and finding my own ways to customize it to work for me the best that I can. So I figured that a month in would be a great time to do an update!

First of all, I’m still using the weekly calendar feature for blog scheduling. Since the weekly planner has 3 sections for each weekday (morning/noon/night), I use the morning section to write what I want to write about here for that day. It’s so helpful for my Monday posts about Orangetheory because now I write down what I did for each workout after I get home so I don’t forget about the workout (I hope that you’ve noticed that change on here!). It also helps me see where I’m missing an idea or where I have too many posts scheduled for that week so I need to move something to the next week. I’m hoping to make Finding My Inner Bombshell bigger and better this year and planning out my posts will be a big part of that!

For the beginning of January, I didn’t really do much else with the weekly planning section. I sometimes put a to-do list in the noon section so I had it there to check off, but that’s not a daily thing. Then, about a week ago I saw something about making gratitude lists each day to help stay in a positive mindset. So I decided to put a list of at least 5 things I’m grateful for in the night section of the weekly planner now. I’m loving this routine but I need to create an alarm for my phone to remind me to do this in the evening (sometimes I get in bed and realize I forgot to do it, so I have to get up and write them out quickly). I’ve actually made my gratitude lists my 29 day challenge for February!

Speaking of the monthly challenge, I’m so excited to share that I was very successful in my 31 day challenge for January! I decided to challenge myself to do 100% accurate food tracking for the month and I did it! This may be the first time that I did 100% tracking for an entire month and I know that I will be able to keep it up now. The big change I found while doing this challenge is that I’m not loving My Fitness Pal as much as I have in the past.

While I have loved seeing the exact numbers for my calories and knowing I’m under my calorie goal, that also created anxiety when I was over my calorie goal. So I stopped tracking on days where I was going over or when I had a binge. I didn’t want to see what I had done and the number of calories I ate. And that was creating avoidance for me. So I’ve been using Recovery Record now and I love it! There are no numbers on the tracker. You just write what you wrote and how you feel. That’s all. And there are meal reminders so even though I don’t always remember to eat lunch, I at least have the alert that I should eat then.

I’m also loving the monthly/weekly goal setting pages. I don’t hit all my goals at the time, but it gives me something to work toward and each day I look at what the goals are so I can make sure that I’m on track to check off as many of them as I can. It also has made me think more about what goals I want to track and what is really important to me. I never thought that maybe I had some bad goals in mind, but I’m now reconsidering some of them (don’t worry, I’m happy with my 2016 goals I announced on here).

I’m still not sure what I want to do with the monthly calendar or if there is something I want to do regularly with the noon section of the weekly planning pages, but the beauty of this planner is that there isn’t something that I feel has to be there. It’s freeform and I can do what I want. I’m thinking about some ideas with meal planning or maybe workout tracking. I’ve been seeing some awesome inspiration on the Spark Planner instagram page. I know I’ll think of something soon and then that will be what I keep up for whatever time remains in the year.

No matter what else I do with my Spark Planner, I can’t believe how much this planner has influenced and changed my life in the first month. I’m so excited to see how amazing it helps to make my year and how much I’ll be able to get done.

A Full Workout Week (or Sticking With My Plan)

I had a 4 workout week this past week and I feel really great about what I did in my classes! This was my second workout week after making the decision to use the bike on the 4th workout of the week and I’m glad that I made that choice. This week was tough, but I don’t feel totally exhausted from it.

Monday was a bit of an odd day. After the warmup (which was about 5 minutes) we all gathered on the floor and did a core blast for our abs. It was partnered work and used regular sit-ups and some with the medicine ball. It was tough and my abs were so tired after it was done, but that was only the beginning of the workout. After the core blast, we all stood around while our coach Brendon counted us off and split up the group. I almost always do my cardio work first, but this time I didn’t have a choice and I had to do my floor work first. I wasn’t too happy about that, but it is what it is and I got through it the best way that I could.

Once I did get to the treadmill, we had some speed training blocks. Normally during speed training the power walkers just work on incline training. But since I’m still struggling to get past 8 or 10% incline, I didn’t want to push the incline work too much. So I decided to try the speed training with the runners. For the runners, they were supposed to increase their speed by .3 or .5 miles an hour each time, but I knew that it would be too much for me. So I did my increases by .1 miles an hour and got pretty fast (at least pretty fast for me). I know that I can’t do the really fast speeds for more than a minute at a time, but just proving to myself that I can do little sprints made me feel awesome!

On Wednesday, the treadmill block was a solid 30 minutes without floor work in between the blocks. Each block was 5 minutes long (which felt long when we were in the blocks) and I kept all my push paces at 3.6 miles per hour because they weren’t too long. That’s still feeling almost too fast for me, but I know that the more that I do them in short bursts the more normal they will feel. So I’m glad that I was able to push myself a little bit more this time. And I felt even better about my work because I was exhausted that day! I know that going to the Pantages the night before didn’t let me sleep as much as I’m used to. But those Tuesday night shows are a rare thing for me so I’m not too worried about them.

Friday was another 30 minute treadmill block day (I really don’t love those but I’m working on tolerating them more). We had a bunch of pushes that were 3 minutes long which are a big challenge for me. I kept my speed at 3.5 miles an hour for those. And while I did have to take some breaks during the pushes, I tried to go as long as I could before taking a break. 3 minutes is a long time to do a push and having multiple pushes like that really tested my limits. I think I was pretty tired from the workout by the time that I got to the floor. I think I could have used 20 pound weights for a lot of my work, but I just couldn’t lift them so I stuck with 15 pound weights. I regret not trying the 20 pound weights more, but at the time it just didn’t seem possible.

And finally on Saturday I did my cardio on the bike. My heart rate really can’t get that high on the bike (I’m not sure if it’s because of the bike or because my heart rate monitor doesn’t work as well when I’m hunched over on the handlebars), so I don’t stress about what the heart rate screen shows (unlike how I am on the treadmill). Our blocks were about 6 minutes each and we switched between cardio and the floor between the blocks. My legs did get tired on the bike because I was pushing it with the resistance, but I know that my legs and hips were grateful for the break from the treadmill. And getting that break helped my floor work because I was doing a lot of work with the 20 pound weights this time! Those 20 pound weights felt like 100 pounds weights at times, but I pushed through and am so glad that my body doesn’t hurt as much as I would expect after working so hard.

I’ve got another 4 workout week coming up this week and I’m really happy about the plan that I’ve made for myself for that 4th workout of the week. I’m still pushing my limits, but I’m pushing them safely and not hurting my hips as much as I have been in the past. And that’s good because my hip pain has been increasing lately. I have no idea if it’s random or if I have done some additional damage lately (which is expected and I’m almost waiting to have happen before my next surgery), so I want to be cautious. But I think with the mixture of the bike and the treadmill I’m protecting my body while pushing myself at the same time. And that’s exactly what I need to do right now.

I Support Depression Screenings (or Why Must People Shame Others?)

There was an announcement made the other day about the idea that pregnant women and new mothers should be screened for depression. When I read this, I loved the idea right away. 10% of new moms will have some sort of depression and I know that there isn’t always a lot of help that is offered right away. My friends who have had babies have said that the first few weeks after birth can be lonely because they are in their own bubble with the new baby. And if they are depressed and in that isolation, it can be a horrible combination.

I think we are all familiar with some of the horrible stories of when postpartum depression is undiagnosed and new mothers do something drastic like hurt themselves or their children. While screenings can’t prevent all of these incidents, they can help limit them. And knowing that everyone is being screened for depression may help take some of the stigma off of it for new moms.

I don’t have any children, but the idea of postpartum depression has been something I’ve thought about. I have been diagnosed in the past with depression (I still debate if that was the correct diagnosis or if it was really my panic/anxiety disorder being misdiagnosed). While I was being treated for depression my doctor asked me if I was on birth control. When I told her that I was she seemed relieved. I was told that the hormonal changes that come with pregnancy could be pretty bad for me and could make my depression worse. I did some research on postpartum depression and it seems like it’s manageable if diagnosed and treated. Now that I’m not sure if I’ve ever had depression I’m not as worried about it as I was before. But it will be something I bring up when I have kids in the future.

But if people aren’t too familiar with depression and have postpartum depression, they might not know that this is something that can be helped or fixed. And having this screening for new moms will help make sure that everyone is ok.

But after this new announcement, an author shared on Facebook her thoughts about it and it made me pretty mad.

PPD

This is a horrible statement to make. Being diagnosed with depression doesn’t automatically mean getting medication. When I was diagnosed with depression I didn’t get medication. I only got medication after I was diagnosed with panic/anxiety disorder and then it’s only medication that I take when I need it (which isn’t often). Medication is not the only way to treat depression and in fact it’s rarely the first option.

Saying that all hormonal changes are normal will make women who are suffering from postpartum depression think that they can’t get help or that doctors will ignore their symptoms. Saying that meditation, prayer, nutrition, or love will fix it will make women who don’t see results from those things feel even worse about their depression. Sometimes you need to see a doctor, sometimes you need talk therapy, and yes sometimes you need medication.

As far as I know, none of my friends with kids have had postpartum depression. But if they did, I would have supported them in any way I can. I know that mental illness is not something that you can just wish to go way. You need to get help and there’s nothing wrong with that. And hopefully anyone affected gets the help they need and get through this. Depression is something you can overcome, even if sometimes it feels like you can never get out of the hole you feel trapped in.

If you or someone you know has postpartum depression or is struggling, please reach out and get help. Help is out there for you.

Mamma Mia (or The Best Black Friday Deal Ever!)

I loved having season tickets for the Pantages last year and getting to see a bunch of amazing musicals. It was the best thing I splurged on and it brought me so much happiness. But when the season for this year was announced, I couldn’t justify splurging on the full season when there were only a few shows I really wanted to see. So I figured that I’d try to catch a show or two if I found a good deal.

Then, right before Thanksgiving I got an email from Pantages saying that they were running a Black Friday deal! You could get tickets for 4 shows on Tuesdays for $99! That’s basically $25 a show (it’s usually about $100 per show on average). I emailed my friend Dani about it and asked if she wanted to get 4 shows. I’m so glad that not only did she say yes, but she said that she could do the ticket order (the deal started at midnight and I knew I’d be at a movie with my cousin then).

We got the 4 shows we wanted and Dani said that she just chose to have the best seats available. When I took a look at our order, I realized that we were almost always exactly centered in the theater and only a few rows farther back than our season tickets had been! That’s pretty amazing and I know that we scored on that deal.

Our first show of 4 was this week and it was Mamma Mia. I’ve seen the movie before and had enjoyed the plot and the music. So I was pretty happy that we were going to see the musical. Two of our other friends, Sarah and Ali, got tickets for that show (they didn’t want to do the 4 show deal) so we all got a quick dinner at the W Hotel (across the street from the theater) before it was showtime.

I know that Sarah and Ali tried to get tickets near us, but it wasn’t possible. So we split up in the lobby (Ali and Sarah went to the balcony and Dani and I went to the orchestra), but it was ok with us that we weren’t sitting together. We were all just glad that we were getting to see the show!

Mamma Mia

I really enjoyed the show! It was similar to the movie, but there were a couple of songs that weren’t in the movie or were in different places in the play. It was fun and you could tell that the actors were having a great time performing! There was no way you couldn’t smile during the show (and in Dani’s case, there was no way not to sing and dance by the end of the show).

In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I told my parents about it and they decided to get tickets for when the show will be touring near them this summer! My parents don’t go to a lot of musicals, but they seem to have similar tastes for shows that I do. So I have a good feeling that they will love it (and I helped them find some really great seats!).

Of our 4 shows that we got in our Black Friday deal, the rest of them are in the summer so we’ve got a few months before the next one (although there is one show not in our deal that I might try to see if I can find a random deal for). But I’m ok waiting because I will have a lot of musicals to see this year and next year!

On Tuesday morning the Pantages announced their 2016-2017 season and it looks incredible! As soon as I saw it, I checked to see if Dani wanted to get season tickets. I knew I’d be seeing her that night for Mamma Mia, but I wanted to arrange our season tickets ASAP. She did, and same with a few other friends (including my Disneyland buddy June!). So yesterday we got our season tickets arranged for the season and we will be seeing 7 shows between November this year and August next year! We couldn’t get the exact seats that we wanted, but we got 6th and 7th row seats off to the side and we have the opportunity to move them in another month or two if we’d like.

It is another splurge and I’m taking money from what I’ve been saving to get a new computer to afford it. But it’s so worth it to me. I said that I want to go on more adventures with my friends, and going to shows are always adventures!

Less Panic At The Dentist (or Am I Finally Over This?)

I had to go in for one of my regular cleanings at the dentist on Monday. I’ve talked about my issues with the dentist before and I hate that I’ve had this problem for so many years. I wish I could be someone who doesn’t think twice about going to the dentist and just shows up and gets the cleaning done with.

But instead, I get horrible nightmares relating to my teeth for the week or so leading up to the appointment (usually they are about my teeth falling out or having massive holes in them). And the morning of the appointment my stomach is horribly upset and my heart is racing. I feel sick until after the hygienist (who is awesome and knows how to deal with my panic attacks) tells me that there is nothing that concerns her. Then I just deal with minor stress through the rest of the appointment (she could always change her mind and see something bad with my teeth) and don’t feel stress free until I’m paying the bill (which I think is what most people get stressed about).

This appointment had to be rescheduled from earlier this month and the only time they could fit me in was in the afternoon. I usually like morning appointments so I can get it over with, but it wasn’t going to work that way for me. So I did my best to get through my day (including a morning workout at Orangetheory) and tried to not freak out too much.

Because I’m on Vyvanse (which is a stimulant), my panic medication (which is a depressant) isn’t as effective as it could be. If I was smart that day, I would have used that day as a day off of Vyvanse and just taken my panic meds. But I didn’t think things through. I took both my morning and lunchtime Vyvanse before my appointment and made sure that I was properly panic medication medicated before going to the dentist.

On a random note, I found out that one of the dental assistants at my dentist’s office isn’t there anymore. She was the one who would always call me before an appointment and remind me to take my medication. She saw me before I started taking it and she joked that she never wanted to see that crazy side of me again. I was pretty out of control at one major appointment and I know it isn’t fair for anyone there to have to deal with me when I’m in the middle of a horrible attack. But I’ve always properly medicated myself since then so I saw her reminders as just something funny and a joke between us.

When I got to the office, my heart was racing and I was shaking and sweating. It wasn’t pretty. And I had to wait a bit for my appointment which seemed to make things worse. Thankfully, when I sat in the chair I was able to relax a bit.

It does help that the hygienist changed the order of the cleaning so that it’s easier on me and my panic attacks. It’s all minor stuff she did, but it’s made a major difference for me.

And I’m shocked to report that even with the higher dosage of Vyvanse plus having taken both pill prior to my appointment that this was the easiest appointment I’ve had in years! I don’t know what changed, but I stopped panicking within a few minutes of the cleaning starting. I usually have bruises on my wrists or arms from where I pinch myself to not focus on the cleaning, but I’m bruise-free! And I’ve had appointments where after I’m done my body aches from shaking through the entire appointment. But this time I don’t know if I was shaking at all!

I don’t get why things are easier on me now. It really should be the opposite. And I’m not over my issues with the dentist because my morning was just as bad as it’s ever been. I just was able to feel normal again much sooner than I usually can.

I really hope that this is a new trend for me. If I can get to the point where I’m only panicking before arriving at the appointment, that would be a huge victory for me! I know that if I need major dental work again in the future that the panic attacks may come back stronger than ever (it was a major dental work appointment that started the attacks). And because genetically I have bad teeth it is very unlikely that I won’t need major work in the future.

But for now, I’m thrilled with the progress I’ve made so far and I’m glad that I don’t have to be back at the dentist for 4 months!

Another Try At The Fit Expo (or Finding My Place)

I’ve written about the Fit Expo that I went to over the summer. I think it was pretty well understood that I felt so out-of-place while I was there and I didn’t really have a great time. I know that there were a lot of things working against me at that event. It was a bit of a drive to get there. Parking was not cheap. I had the torn calf and was in a lot of pain. And I’m sure that all of those things combined put me in a pretty bad mood.

So when I was given the opportunity to go to the Fit Expo and Evolution Fitness Conference in Los Angeles, I knew I had to give it another chance. I actually knew a lot of people who were going to be going. The women behind Tone It Up were going to be leading a class and a lot of the friends I’ve met through that workout program were going to see them. But since I had worked out with Tone It Up before, I decided to see what else I could try.

I went through all the class offerings and while there were a lot of things that sounded awesome, only a couple of things worked around my work schedule. So I decided to pick the 2 classes that sounded the best to me. One of those two classes was a POUND workout class. And my Disneyland buddy June happens to be working toward becoming a POUND instructor! So I sent her a message to see if she wanted to come with me, and she bought a ticket so she could join me for the classes!

Since the event was downtown, June and I took the light rail there. It was so much better than the drive I had to do to Anaheim before (and it was much cheaper than the parking near the convention center). June and I were at the check in table less than 30 minutes after we left!

The first thing we did was walk around the expo. It was just as crowded and overwhelming as it was last time. I think that I’m just not an expo type person. We did walk around and check out a bunch of different booths (I found some of my favorite water bottles there!) and we got a couple of food samples. We even ran into the Tone It Up trainers as we were walking in (they were hurrying over to take photos at their booth so we didn’t say hello). I really wanted to learn lots of stuff at the expo, but the noise and crowds didn’t make that easy for us.

So after doing a lap or so around the expo, it was time for us to take our POUND class. We actually saw 2 of the POUND instructors heading over to the class area, so we followed them so we wouldn’t get lost. It was nice walking over to the class area with them because they got to know us a bit (and find out that it would be my first POUND class and that June is in training for becoming an instructor), so by the time we were at the room for the class I was feeling better and less nervous.

They handed us our Ripstix and we had to wait for the class to start. Of course, we took a pre-class non-sweaty photo.

Pound Class

The class was really great! It had some elements that reminded me of SoulCycle (like how all the movements were to the beats in the music). June was next to me in class, so she was there in case I needed her. But fortunately, we got spots toward the front of the room so I was able to see the instructors really easily (there aren’t verbal cues in class, just visual).

It was a great workout, but it was a bit tough on my hips for me. There were a lot of sustained squats and lunges, and those aren’t the easiest for me. But I was sweating, having fun, and time flew by! I’m so glad that we went to that class because to be honest, I wasn’t sure I was going to like it. But now I know that I want to take some classes from time to time. There is a class near my house, but I am thinking about maybe getting the at-home kit so that I can do the workout when it’s a good time for me.

After the POUND class, June and I got some lunch (nothing too healthy because we stayed inside the convention center) and then headed to our next class: The Roll Model. I had signed up for this class because I used to do foam rolling, but I’ve definitely fallen off the foam rolling wagon. This class wasn’t necessarily foam rolling, but it had a lot of the same benefits and I was curious what would be said.

We all got a set of the rubber balls that we were going to use in the class when we walked in.

The Roll Model

Of course in my head, I said that I wouldn’t be buying them but that was before we took the class. The class was definitely designed for trainers and coaches, so some of the technical things were a bit confusing. But I don’t need to know the muscular system and the technical benefits to rolling to be able to do it.

The instructor guided us through the different ways we can use the balls and the reasons why some of them are better than others. And within the first few minutes of the class, I turned to June and said that I knew that I had to buy these because my body was feeling so great after using them! We did some work on our gluten as an example and then were told to walk around. I was shocked to find out that my hips felt more aligned than they had in a long time and my stride was much more normal! I couldn’t believe that doing this made that much of a difference, but there was no denying it!

After the class was done (it was about 90 minutes so we got a lot of rolling work done), I got in line to buy the set of balls we used so that I could do this work at home. I’ve already been doing it at home and I wish I had known about this sooner! My pain is not gone, but it’s different in a good way. Hopefully over time things will just keep improving!

After The Roll Model class, we were ready to head home. We had been at the event for several hours and we were both tired and relaxed after the classes we took. So we walked back to the light rail station and headed back to our side of town.

I’m so glad that I was offered the chance to go to the Fit Expo and Evolution Fitness Conference again! Clearly, my second experience was significantly better than my first! I’ve learned that while I might not be an expo type person, the classes were so wonderful and I wish that my schedule would have allowed me to do more of them. Maybe next year, I’ll be able to go both days and do 4 or 5 classes over the weekend!

Thanks again to the Evolution Fitness Conference for inviting me to the Los Angeles event. You have changed my mind on what these events are all about and how so many people can benefit from attending!