Category Archives: Health

Mixing Up The Workout Week (or Still Working On Being Easy On Myself)

This past week of workouts was another 3 workout week. I originally planned for it to be a 4 workout week, but some plans for Saturday changed that (more on that later this week). But honestly, having it be a 3 workout week was probably for the best since it was another tough workout week. I hate when my body isn’t willing to do what I know it can do and I struggle with not pushing myself to do more than I’m able to do. But this week allowed me to practice being easy on myself and hopefully that will get me ready for this week since it’s Peak Performance Week again!

Monday’s workout was not what I was expecting. First, I arrived at the same time I usually get there at but all the treadmill cards were already gone! It’s pretty rare for me to not get a treadmill card (maybe under 5 times in the 3 years I’ve been working out) so to have to start on a rower was very weird. But while I was preparing for that weirdness, we also found out that the workout was going to be a 3G workout too. That time on Monday may be 3G from now on so that will be different. But maybe that will be a nice since then in a 4 workout week I’ll pretty much have 2 3G and 2 2G workouts each week.

With the 3G workout we had 2 blocks at each station and we switched between each block. On the rower we started with increasing row distances and had squats with medicine balls between each row. And on the second block we had decreasing row distances with shoulder work with the medicine ball between each row. That went pretty well for me even though I wasn’t going that fast and didn’t have times that were close to my PRs. On the floor, it was a mix of upper and lower body work. Between the 2 blocks we had bicep curls, lunges, deadlifts, hip bridges, shoulder work, and back extensions.

But the treadmill is where I really struggled. I can do fine in switch or partner classes so I thought maybe started on the rower would have been ok for me. But I think I’ve realized that the problem comes from not warming up no the treadmill. Maybe my hips need that walking time to get ready to run? I’m not sure but whatever the reason the treadmill was not my friend during class. When I got to the treadmill for the first time, we started with a 2 minute push. I started by running but had to stop within the first 30 seconds. My hips were hurting so badly and I was scared that I would hurt myself if I kept running.

It’s frustrating to not be able to run and it seems like this is happening more and more often. I need to look into more stretching and hip strengthening work because there is something happening that I need to work on. I did everything in that first block as a walk and just tried to think about it as something I had to do to stay healthy and safe. But fortunately the second block had 30 second all out paces so I did run those and felt a bit better about myself. But for this class, I had my lowest calorie burn ever (even lower than when I was on the bike or just starting out). That’s tough to see since I know I worked hard, but again I also know that I tried my best given the pain I was in.

Wednesday ended up being my best workout of the week. It was an endurance day and we didn’t switch between blocks. What we had were 2 different 11 minute distance challenges. Lately when we’ve been doing distance challenges, I just try to run for the entire distance. But I’ve been feeling like I’ve been burning myself out lately and I haven’t been doing a lot of speed training. So I decided to follow the coached program and run for the push paces and walk for the base paces.

The first challenge was decreasing push paces so I tried to bump my push pace up .1 mph each time. And for the second challenge it was increasing push paces. But since I knew what I was able to do with the decreasing push paces, I went even faster than I had with the same time in the first attempt. It wasn’t my fastest running ever, but it was pretty good. My distances aren’t records for me, but I’m still happy that I went further on the second attempt than I did on the first and that I did get my speed training done.

Once I got to the floor, I was a bit tired from the running, but nothing too horrible. The first block on the floor had squats, abs, and lunges and then we had a 2 minute row for distance at the end of the block. The second block was strap lunges/squats, pull ups on the straps, and more lunges. And again a 2 minute row for distance at the end of the block. I was feeling a bit off (my period was starting and I’m still having issues with feeling sick when I have my period) by the end of the floor, but again it was nothing too horrible.

Friday was another off day for me. I knew it was going to be a strength day so I assumed I’d be doing a lot of walking. But within the first 2 minutes of the warm up in class, my nausea took over and I was feeling like I needed to throw up right away. This is exactly how my period was for me as a teenager (and the reason I went on birth control originally to stop my periods) and it’s annoying that I still have the same problems now. Fortunately I didn’t get sick, but I did step out of class to take one of my anti-nausea pills. Most of the time those pills kick in right away, but I don’t know what happened because I never felt better in class. I tried to focus on walking on the inclines the best I could, but I was taking breaks every few minutes to put my head down because I was pretty much dry heaving. I wasn’t feeling so horrible that I didn’t think I could continue with class, but it was pretty bad.

Once I was on the floor, I decided that I was going to take it easy and just do what I could. There were 3 blocks on the floor and the first block was triceps, chest, and squats with burpees. Fortunately most of that didn’t seem to make me feel that nauseous. The next block was squats with shoulder work and then rowing. I wasn’t focused on making my rowing fast or strong, just good form. I did the 400 meter row in just under 2 minutes which really impressed me. I wasn’t expecting to be even close to what I can normally do. The last floor block had arms, strap rowing, and running man work. During that last block I was finally feeling a bit better although still not 100%. I was pretty happy that the workout was done since I knew I just needed to get home to rest.

It’s weird to me how much having my period back affects my workouts. But I guess I should just consider myself lucky that I got a 15 year break from this and only started to have my period again at the end of last year. But I do need to think up a better plan on how to handle the issues I have in my workouts during that time. I don’t want to have to take a week off each month because I feel horrible.

I was originally going to work out on Saturday, but I had some plans change and ended up cancelling that workout (more on that later this week). But it was probably better that I skipped the workout since I was feeling so off. And I know I needed the rest and break time so that I could do the best I can during Peak Performance Week! I’m excited to see what I’m able to do now and can’t wait to report back to you all next week!

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Surgery Anniversary (or I Guess It’s Good I Almost Forgot)

Last week was the 11th anniversary of my hip surgery. In some ways, it feels like this was a lifetime ago. In other ways, it feels like it was only maybe a year or two ago. I still think all the time about my surgery and what else I might need to have coming up, but it’s not as huge of a focus of my life as it’s been before. That could be because I have other medical issues that are a bit more important right now. But whatever the reason, I was thinking so little about my hip surgery that I almost completely forgot the anniversary of the surgery.

I actually ended up remembering on the day of. Usually, I think about it leading up to the day and then acknowledge it the day of. This time, I was working and all of a sudden looked at the calendar with a shock thinking I had totally forgotten about my surgery anniversary. It was almost a sense of relief that I didn’t totally forget and could still say something about it being 11 years later. But it’s crazy to think that I easily could have had the entire day go by without remembering it.

I’m no longer thinking of milestones the same way with my hips. Before, it was just trying to do better than my surgeon’s predictions. There are still potentially 3 more surgeries I could need, and he felt like I would not be able to make it this long without having another surgery. I’ve completely surpassed that prediction so I’m not thinking too much about it. Now, it’s the goal that he got in my head that it would be ideal if I could avoid getting a hip replacement until I’m 40.

The problem with hip replacements are that they don’t last forever. You do need to replace the replacement, and sometimes that can be every 10 years. Each time you replace them, that’s another pretty major surgery. So to wait until I’m 40 would limit how many times they would have to replace them. Ideally, I’d like to avoid hip replacements completely but I’m aware that it’s not necessarily the most realistic goal. So I just want to stay on the plan to not need a replacement for at least another 6 years.

I’m still doing most of the things my surgeon told me to do to keep my hips as healthy as possible for as long as possible. I’m not doing things that are risky for me falling and potentially breaking my hip like skiing or skating. But I am running now and I know that it’s not the best thing for me to do. But I’ve come to a place where I’ve realized that maybe I need to be a bit riskier with my hip health to keep me happy and healthy. I can go without skiing forever if I have to, although I have been wishing I could do it again. But now that I’ve started to run, I’ve realized that I can’t drop it like I dropped other stuff. I haven’t been feeling any extra pain with running and until I know that it’s causing harm I don’t feel like I need to stop.

I’ve also realized that if I want to live in a protected little bubble to prevent future surgeries, I could do that. But I’ve lived in fear of needing my next hip surgery soon for too long and I don’t want to have it hold me back anymore. I think that I’ve grown so much as a person over the past year or two and I don’t want to stop making that progress. So if I have to take a few extra chances in my life with my hip, so be it. Also, worst case scenario is that I need to get a hip replacement before I’m 40. That’s not the end of the world and I’m still doing much better than my surgeon expected me to do.

Even though I almost forgot my surgery anniversary this year, I think that I’m going to think of it every year and remember how far I’ve come in that time. 11 years is a long time (1/3 of my lifetime!) and I know that there was no way for me to know that I would be in the place that I am now back then. I was in so much pain before surgery and I’m so grateful that I haven’t had to experience that again since waking up after the surgery was done. I was looking back at the photos my parents took of me right after I got out of the hospital (which was only about an hour or so after surgery) and the smile on my face is just so huge. I know the smile then represented getting through surgery and not being in pain anymore. But now, it represents a new beginning to my life and being able to do things that I never dreamed I’d be able to do.

A Goal Setting Experience (or Mindfulness Seems To Be A Theme)

I’ve been pretty good about setting goals for myself. I set goals each year that I want to be able to accomplish in a year. I also set weekly and monthly goals in my Volt Planner. While goal setting is relatively new to me, I feel like I’ve gone in head first and really have embraced it. I like to have things to try to achieve and while it is frustrating when I don’t make a goal I’m learning how to be ok with that.

So when the podcast I work for was going to do a goal setting workshop, I was so excited to be able to participate! I ended up hosting the event at my house because it is a pretty central location and my living room is a good space to hold events like this. It ended up being a pretty small group, but I think that allowed everyone to get more out of this workshop than they would have if we had more people.

The workshop was based around the idea of the 4 Tendencies that Gretchen Rubin created. There was a quiz to take to help us figure out what type of person we are. Of the 4 Tendencies, I was a pretty even mix of 3 of them (Upholder, Questioner, and Obliger). I don’t know what I was expecting, but I knew that I wasn’t going to be the other type (Rebel). But to be a mix of the other ones was interesting.

I know that some of the reasons I’m a mix is because of my OCD and panic/anxiety disorder along with me wanting to be a perfectionist. But I totally want to look more into these things so I can learn more about each type and see if there is a way I can maximize knowing this to help me do better with my habits and goals for the future. I haven’t really thought about how I could adjust my goal setting process to benefit me so this was really educational for me.

After learning about what type of person we were, the next step was to work on our goals. I’ve already got so many goals for the year and I really didn’t want to cover something that I already am working on. We were advised to try to only set goals for parts of our lives that we need to work on. If we have a goal but are making good progress, we shouldn’t be writing it down since that goal is working.

So for me, the first thing I wanted to do was to write what is working in my life so I can remove my focus from that. The main things that are working for me right now are my day jobs and my exercise. I do have goals for both of those things right now, but I’m doing really great with them so I didn’t need to brainstorm more about it. And once I had that written down I worked on focusing on what I wanted to do.

I got it narrowed down to 3 aspects of my life that I know I want to set goals in. I want to have new goals in my personal relationships, financial life, and my recovery effort. I wrote down several things within each aspect that I know I want to accomplish in the long-term. Most of them are pretty basic, but again it’s always good to write stuff down. I don’t have a lot of variety in what I want to set goals to do, but those few things that I’m focused on aren’t necessarily the easiest.

For personal relationships, that’s about dating and friendships. I want to be more active on both sides. I need to set more plans and not have my relationships just be virtual (FB with my friends and online dating with dating). I want to be ok with being bossy or forceful with trying to make plans. I’ve been ok with being wishy-washy and not trying to get something scheduled. But I don’t want to be ok with that anymore. That’s how I can go months without seeing a friend or spend weeks messaging back and forth with a guy online. I want to be more aware of the relationships that I’m focusing on and not getting as distracted.

For finances, I want to stay aware as well. I’m doing pretty great with that so far but I want to make sure that it continues for a long time. Mindless spending is easy to do (especially with online shopping) and I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to use shopping as a distraction for something else. And hopefully by doing that I will reduce my spending, get my debt more in control, and be in a better place financially.

And for my recovery, it’s a very similar thing. I want to work on being more aware. I want to use what I’ve learned recently in therapy and really work hard and seriously on taking those steps. I don’t want to make excuses for myself and to take responsibility for whatever I chose to do. I don’t want to let my eating disorder rule me. I want to be making choices, even if those choices are bad ones.

After writing down these ideas and 90 day and 6 month goals for each one, I totally noticed a theme. Everything is about being mindful and aware. I don’t know why this has become such an important thing to me now, but clearly it’s something I need to focus on. I don’t feel like I’ve been on auto-pilot, but maybe I have and I just didn’t realize it. Maybe I needed to combination of my appointment with my therapist and this goal setting workshop in the same week to come to this realization.

Whatever brought this realization to me, I’m glad that it’s more obvious than ever on what I want to focus on and what I think I really need to do. Saying that I’ll be more mindful is easy to say but hard to do. But I think that having some action steps and ideas is going to help me get closer to accomplishing this mindfulness now and hopefully things will snowball from there in the right direction.

A New/Old Challenge (or Using An Idea From Therapy This Month)

A new month brings the end to one monthly challenge and the beginning of another. Although technically my last monthly challenge is still going.

I set it to be my challenge last month to track all spending including cash. This is something that I’m doing for the 12 week journey for The Prosperous Heart. I had already started the tracking before the beginning of June, but I wanted to work really hard at it during the month. We are about halfway through the book’s plan so even though my monthly challenge has ended for it I’m still going to be tracking for another 6 weeks. It’s usually pretty easy for me to do my tracking since I do that for all credit card spending. But to remember to track cash was a bit tougher.

Most of the time with cash spending, I’m just keeping my receipts in my wallet and then writing them down later. But I’ve realized that I don’t always get receipts or I throw them out because of habit. I’ve been making a big effort to remember every time I get my wallet out to spend money. If I don’t get a receipt, I text what I spent to myself so I have it in my phone for when I get home to write it down. It took about a week to get used to it, but I’m now remembering to track everything including putting quarters in a meter or giving a friend money to pay for parking. I don’t know if I’ll keep up this cash tracking after I’m done with The Prosperous Heart, but it is good now for me to be hyperaware of all my spending.

When it came to my challenge for July, I was stumped for a while on what I wanted it to be. It’s not that I’m feeling unmotivated, it’s just that I don’t know what else I want to change in my life. The things I want to change are all big things and not right for a monthly challenge just yet. But as it seems each time, I got inspired just before the month started on what I wanted my challenge to be.

When I saw my therapist, a lot of what we discussed was me becoming even more mindful in life. I can be on autopilot at times and that is not a safe place for me to be. I need to stay aware and it’s not easy to remember that if I’m daydreaming or off thinking about something. I have that problem with a lot of things in my life, and what keeps me on track is to set alarms and reminders on my phone. I have so many reminders on my phone throughout the day that sometimes it’s laughable. But it really has helped me stay on track.

One of the ways my therapist has told me I can work on being more mindful is to work on my breathing. I was telling him that at times I can almost zone out while running and he said that it’s because of the rhythmic breathing. That’s the basis of meditation. So by working on more mindful breathing, I can get into that meditative state and hopefully be more mindful while doing it.

This challenge is very similar to the mindfulness one that I did last year. But it is good to repeat monthly challenges especially when I have new tools or ideas that can make that challenge better. I did pick up some ideas from my therapist that might work to make this mindfulness thing stick for me. I also have a new motivation because I have experienced this mindfulness/meditative state in other times in my day and just didn’t have the words to connect that that’s what I was doing. Now that I’m more aware of what it feels like when I get into that state, I think it will be easier to get into it when I try.

I’m doing a similar thing to my other challenges by setting a reminder for myself for this. This time, I picked a few times that I know can be tough for me and set a reminder to take a breathing break. My goal is to take that time and take about 10 rhythmic breaths to recenter myself and hopefully get myself more focused and aware of what I’m doing and what I want to do. I’m aware that this won’t stop me from binging, but that’s not the goal my therapist has for me. He wants me to be aware of when I am binging and accept that is what I am doing. If I’m going to do it, it has to be because I chose to do so and not that I’m unaware that I’m doing so.

I don’t know if this awareness will come within this month. It’s actually probably pretty unlikely that it will happen that quickly. But even if it makes some of my binges aware instead of feeling like I’m in a trance, I will consider that a huge step in the right direction for me. And I know that this challenge isn’t really just for this month. This challenge starts this month but it will likely be something that I will have to try to do for years if not the rest of my life. I want to work on mindfulness and I’ve tried to do it before, but this time feels different and I hope that the results are different too.

A Planned 3 Workout Week (or Medication and Workouts)

2 weeks ago, I had an unplanned 3 workout week. It wasn’t easy on me because I’m getting so used to 4 workout weeks. And I knew this past week was going to be a 3 workout week so having 2 of those in a row was a bit frustrating to me. But this 3 workout week was so much better than the week before because this one was planned for and I knew what I needed to do. Of course, when I plan it doesn’t always go that way and that’s exactly what happened.

Monday’s workout was totally my best one of the week. It was an endurance day and pretty much all the work was 90 second push paces with varying base paces. The base paces were either 60, 45, or 30 seconds so it did make the 90 second push paces a bit harder. But I’ve said it before that I’ve been testing the idea of shortening my walking during my run/walk 5Ks and this was the perfect way to test out my endurance for that. I think that 30 seconds was a bit too short for me, but it’s always good to push myself and see what I can do.

The floor had 2 blocks and each block started on the rower. The first block was 500 meters and the second block was 1000 meters. I managed to somehow PR on the 1000 meter row which shocked me. It was toward the end of the workout and I was tired so I didn’t think I could do it. But I must have pulled strength from somewhere (or just was really mad I didn’t PR on the 500 meter row) and managed to get a new best time. The rest of the floor work was pretty mixed between upper body, lower body, and abs.

Wednesday was a tough day for me. I didn’t realize it until almost the end of class, but this was my first workout with the increase in medication my therapist set for me. Vyvanse raises your heart rate so it’s no surprise that I was having issues with my heart rate being super high. But because I wasn’t thinking about that during the workout and I was getting a bit frustrated. I was struggling and couldn’t figure out why. And it should have been a workout that I really excelled in.

It was a power run/row day which meant all the segments were on the shorter side. But it was a unique format that was not the normal run/row. First, we had 3 rounds of running .25 miles (I ran it each time) and between each round we had 2 different arm exercises. After that we had 3 rounds of 150 meter rows with the same 2 arm exercises in between each round. After that, it was a more traditional run/row. For the running, I started at my normal speed but our coach set goals for us to hit on the treadmill. She wanted me to get to at least 7mph at some point. I knew I would need that to be during my last round and I did 7.2mph for the last .05 of my last round.

On the rower, I kept my 150 meter rows between 28-30 seconds which isn’t a record but isn’t that bad either. But I only made it through the rowing and weights by the time we had to switch. I never made it to the last segment that was the more traditional run/row format. That was tough for me, but I know that I worked really hard.

Once I was on the floor, we had 2 blocks with a good variety. The first block was squats, shoulder swings, planks, and sit-ups. But we also had a few different times that we were told to stop what we were doing and hold a plank for 30 seconds. Those 30 second plank breaks almost did feel like breaks to me since we’ve had so much plank work and I had my plank challenge in May. In the second block, we had power jacks which I was able to do with a weight, skaters, rowing with the straps, and more plank work. I was taking a lot of breaks during that second block because of my heart rate, and I was trying to not be upset with myself. It was then that I remembered about my medication being increased so I knew that it was something beyond my control. But it still doesn’t make it easier on me when I always want to do better than I have before.

Friday’s workout was another endurance day. And even though I struggled on Wednesday with my heart rate, I had forgotten about it by Friday and struggled with heart rate issues again. But fortunately, I remembered it much sooner this time and was able to go a bit easier on myself and not beat myself up over those struggles. It also helped that I had an amazing group of friends at the workout on Friday that were next to me and keeping me motivated!

I do totally notice a difference when I’m working out in a class with friends versus a class that only has acquaintances or people I don’t know as well. I’m so lucky that I usually will have at least 1 friend in class, but to have 4 friends in class is a rare treat!

There were 3 blocks on each side and I started on the treadmill. Every treadmill block was a similar pattern. It started with a 3 minute push pace followed by a 90 second base pace. Then it went to a push pace to all out pace, but the time of the push pace changed each block. I ran all the pushes and all outs, but it wasn’t easy. Even though I know I can run longer than 3 minutes, there was something about those 3 minutes each time that seemed longer and longer. I just tried to get into a zone and not think about the time passing by. And in the 28 minutes I was on the treadmill before switching to the floor, I did about 1.9 miles which isn’t that bad!

On the floor the first block was squats to rows with weights and plank work. The second block was bicep work on the straps, plank work, and abs. And the last block was 300 meter rows with tricep work. 300 meter rows are something that I usually use to measure my progress, but these weren’t that great for me. I was tired, dealing with my heart rate issues, and ready for the workout to be done. Normally I strive to get my 300 meter row under a minute, but I wasn’t even close this time. I don’t remember my exact times, but I was around 1:12 each time. I was trying to not be upset and frustrated, but again it’s tough for me to be easy and kind to myself.

I’m glad that this past week of workouts was a 3 workout week. While this was not my worst workout week, it was a tough one and I think my mental state made it more difficult on me. I needed to take some time off so I could get back into a better head space to start this week of workouts. It had been so long since my medication had been changed and I forgot how tough that adjustment could be on my workouts. I’m glad that I remembered it but I wish that I had remembered it sooner so I wouldn’t have felt as bad in the moment. But I guess I needed this past week as a reminder and hopefully this week I can be easier with myself and happier with what I am able to do in a workout.

Another Therapy Check In (or Someone Sees Progress)

I only see my therapist every six months now, and my visit with him was this week. So much has happened in six months and I was trying to think about what I wanted to talk about with him before I went in for my appointment. I know that my time there is limited and I wanted to maximize my time. I knew that not everything was relevant to talk about, but I still took some mental notes on what I wanted to make sure we go over.

A lot of my appointments with my therapist are pretty basic check ins. He wants to make sure that I’m still making progress and doing ok on my medication. But there isn’t a lot for me to work through in therapy anymore. Coming to the realization that I just have bad luck genetically with getting an eating disorder has helped me a lot. I know that I didn’t do anything (or have something happen to me) that caused this and I just have to work on getting through it and figuring out good recovery tools for myself. Sometimes knowing that is tough, but it does make my therapy appointments easier.

The first update we discussed in my appointment was me not having the liver surgery. Even though my therapist has access to all my medical records, I knew he wouldn’t have reviewed everything that has happened lately. He was very excited about me not needing surgery and was asking what might have caused the tumors to shrink. There is really no medical explanation for it, but he agrees that my tumor visualization might have been a big part of it. Our minds are really powerful and can do miracles. He agrees that I should keep that up and see what happens when I have my next MRI in a few months.

We also talked about how I was struggling a bit with the idea of preparing for surgery for so long and then that just stopping. I told him how the unknowns unnerve me a bit and that I was finding it tough to reconnect to myself. I still struggle with a bit of disconnection with my body and I don’t know if that will ever be resolved because even if the tumors go away they could come back another time. My therapist understood why this is so tough for me, but he was encouraging me to work really hard to get through it.

He was talking about how we cannot set expectations for life and then fall apart when they don’t happen. Things can change and we have to be ok with going with the flow. And when something doesn’t go our way, we have to let go of the idea of what we thought would be and start thinking about what is. Obviously, those things are easier said than done, but I do need to work a lot on that idea. And to have him tell me that it’s ok that I struggle with this idea made me feel better because sometimes I wonder if it’s just me who seems so rigid in these ideas.

Even though there are things that I’m struggling with, the main things that my therapist was saying to me were all positive things. He said that he can really sense a change in me and sees that I’m so much happier. He can see that I’m figuring things out and I am making progress. I don’t always see the progress, but I know it’s easier for someone on the outside to see it. He knows that even if my eating disorder isn’t getting better right now, I’m building the skills and gaining the tools I’ll need to be in recovery. So eventually it will all connect and come together and I’ll be better equipped to be in recovery.

We also started to talk about the future and when I will be going off of Vyvanse. I cannot be on this medication my entire life (nor do I want to be on it forever). I am not in a place to be off of it just yet, and in fact we actually made a small increase to my dosage. But we went over how this is just a temporary tool and how I need to be preparing myself to eventually not have the crutch of the medication to help me through the day. It’s a bit scary to think about going off of it because when I don’t take it for a random day off, I notice that things aren’t as great. But to start working through an end plan is something that I know I need to do.

The biggest takeaway I had from this appointment was that I am making progress and improving even if I can’t see it yet. Getting to see myself through someone else’s eyes (and someone who has a critical viewpoint) is pretty powerful and really helped me feel more settled in what has been happening. My therapist wants me to focus on being more in the moment and accepting things as they come. If I am going to have a binge episode, he wants me to do it because I chose to do so and not because my eating disorder is putting me on auto-pilot. I’m getting much closer to that point so it’s good to know that that’s actually progress.

I won’t have my next appointment until December (6 months from now) unless something crazy happens and I feel like I need to be seen sooner. But I’m feeling much better about where things are now after this appointment. Some of the doubts I’ve been having have been reassured as good things and I’ve been given homework to try to work on over these next 6 months. Hopefully when I go back to see him again, he will continue to see progress and be happy with the steps I’ve made toward recovery.

Being Patient With Myself (or Being Ok With A 3 Workout Week)

I originally planned this past week to be a 4 workout week because I knew that this week was likely to be a 3 workout week. I’m now having 4 workout weeks be the norm and 3 workout weeks to be rarer instead of how it used to be the other way around. But this week was another one where my body was telling me stuff and I just had to listen. So I had 3 workouts and they weren’t all up to my normal abilities.

Monday was a strength day. I knew I’d be going to Disneyland that day, plus I was dealing with some hip pain and nausea, so I decided to walk the entire workout. It was probably a smart choice for me because a lot of the work was longer segments on the hills. I can do running on hills for short bursts, but I definitely can’t really do longer running on hills just yet. Most of my walking was at 6, 8, or 10% and it was tough to feel like I was getting a good workout in because I’m so used to running.

We also had one cardio block on the rower and it was a pretty fun challenge. The goal was doing 100 meters in as few pulls on the rower as possible. Doing as few pulls is tough because your brain is telling you to go super fast to get it done. But really you have to take your time and take long pauses at the beginning and end of each stroke. It’s an exercise in patience and I’m getting better at it. The goal was to be able to do 100 meters in under 10 pulls and I knew I could do that since on these pull challenges I usually average 10 meters a pull. In the time we had on the rower, I had time to do 4 attempts. 2 of those attempts were at 8 pulls and the other 2 were at 7 pulls. I’m pretty happy with myself with that effort.

Once on the floor, I focuses on heavier weights since my cardio wasn’t as good as normal. We did have rowing on the first block with 200 meter rows (I did them between 40-42 seconds each time). The second and third block on the floor was mainly arm work like pull overs, triceps, upper cuts, and raises. And the last block was all ab work like planks, crunches, and toe reaches. Even though I felt disappointed with my cardio, I knew I’d be doing a ton of steps at Disneyland and I feel pretty happy with what I was able to do on the floor.

Wednesday was a run/row day and I was pretty excited about it. I knew it was going to be a very difficult run/row, but it was a great opportunity for me to prove to myself that I’ve made some really great progress. On the running part, it started with .25 miles, then .5 miles, then 1 mile. And the rowing was 1600 meters, 800 meters, and 400 meters. I had a feeling I wouldn’t get through the mile so I put my energy toward the first 2 segments. I was able to run the .25 mile run pretty easily (it’s still so crazy to me that running that has become easy to me now) and then I headed to the rower.

I checked my records, and my previous PR for 1600 meters was almost 2 years ago and it was 8:15.2. I had a feeling I could do it in under 8 minutes flat and set that as my goal. Distance rowing is still tough, but I’m getting better at it since we’ve had some more opportunities for it. And I think the endurance I’ve been building with my running is helping my rowing too. I tried to not focus on the rower while I was rowing because I knew I’d be on there for a while. I finally looked down at around 6 minutes thinking I would be close and I was much closer than I thought I could be to being done! So I decided my new goal would be to go all out for the end and maybe be able to take a full minute off my 1600 meter row. I think I was in a bit of shock when I was done.

I did just over 1:02 faster than my old PR! That’s pretty insane and I think that it was a really great time for me. I knew I’d PR on my row, but to think I could PR by that much is mind-boggling. I was pretty exhausted after that row, but I still wanted to do my best on the next running segment. I’m not sure how I did it, but I managed to run the entire .5 mile run too. I did the 800 meter row in 3:27.5 which is less than half the time it took me to do double the distance so that was pretty great too. And I only got started on the mile run by the time it was time to switch.

The floor work had an interesting set up. There were 4 blocks and the first 3 blocks all started with a minute of timed work like squats, pushups, and rowing on the straps). After that, we had about 4 minutes to do 2 different moves. The moves after the timed work was mainly arm work and a lot of it was rowing (which seemed mean after doing so much rowing during the run/row). The very last block on the floor was timed ab work like crunches and leg lifts. We also had a 90 second plank hold to finish which felt pretty easy considering all the plank work I did in my challenge last month. I’m happy that planks have gotten so much easier for me and I’m excited to see what other plank progress I’m going to make soon.

Friday was another run/row day but it was also a strength day so that meant hills. I originally planned to do all the running as running and it started off great with a .5 mile run which was at a flat road treadmill (which is 1%). I actually was able to get my speed up and did it at 4.7 mph instead of my usual 4.5 mph. Next was a 450 meter row which I wasn’t too worried about since I was focusing on the next run segment.

Next was supposed to be .4 miles at 2% and I assumed I’d be able to do it. But my body was saying otherwise and after less than a minute I had to switch to power walking. It was disappointing because I was so set on running, but I’m really learning to be patient with myself and knew it would be best to not run. My body was hurting from some hip pain plus I had eaten too much the night before (more on that in a future post), but I was hoping that I could overcome that. But once I started walking I was feeling better so I know I made the right choice. I did the 350 meter row, the next run segment (as a walk again), and just had enough time to finish a 250 meter row when time was called. I didn’t get all the way down the run/row assignment, but I got almost done which is pretty good for me.

Once on the floor, I again wanted to do heavier weights because I felt like I had to make up for what I didn’t do on the treadmill. We started with lateral lunges and I was able to use 20 pound weights in each hand. It wasn’t easy and I had to take breaks, but I got through the entire set. I did my front raises with 15 pound weights (usually I use 12 pounds) and I even used weights for my hip bridges and scissor kicks which I usually do without weights. In the second block, I wasn’t using much heavier weights than normal, but I didn’t go easy on myself either. And we ended with a core blast with a medicine ball and I went for the 10 pound one instead of 8 pounds. I felt like I really made up for my lack of running with weights.

Leaving Friday’s workout, I had every intention of making it on Saturday. So I probably didn’t go as hard for that workout than I would have if I had known I was going to skip Saturday. But Saturday morning things changed and I knew it would be best for me to not work out that day. It’s not easy for me to listen to my body because I’m always trying to push myself, but I’m trying and I’m seeing the results when I do pay attention.

I’m a bit paranoid about not hitting my workout goal for the year, so I might try to see if I can fit in another workout this week. It might not be possible and I might have to be ok with 3 workouts for 2 weeks in a row. It’s not the end of the world, but I’m so set in my plan that it can be hard to deviate from it. But this is all a lesson in patience, listening to my body, and not being too hard on myself. It’s just tough for me to do that sometimes.

Finding Some More Control (or How Medical Stuff and Dating Stuff Are Alike)

So many times in my life, things feel out of control. Even when it seems like it’s in control, there is always something that throws me off. Most of the time, it’s my food that is out of control and trying to control it seems to make it worse. And recently, it’s been my medical stuff that feels out of control and I can’t seem to get a handle on it. Even when I think that I know the plan, it seems like things are changing and I have to keep planning again.

One of the reasons many people have eating disorders is to find an element of control. I used to think this was crazy because I feel so out of control within my eating disorder. But it does make more sense the more I’ve researched eating disorders and have thought more about my situation. Eating what I want is an element of control. What is so horrible for me is having that control feel so out of control at the same time. I don’t like that I am subconsciously using food to control my life and I’m really trying to take a step back and think more than react.

I don’t find that my eating disorder is necessarily worse during times of feeling out of control, but I’m going to try to start tracking that now. Maybe I don’t realize that I am feeling that way when I have my binges because I am using food to mask it. It’s been interesting to reevaluate this lately because I’ve felt like I’ve known so much about my eating disorder in the past year or so. But I guess there is always more to rediscover and perhaps having this realization is a sign that recovery is on the way for me.

There’s not a ton I can do about feeling out of control with my medical stuff. There’s nothing I can do until my next MRI to see what is going on with my tumors. I’m still doing my daily visualizations and that’s pretty much all I can do. Whatever is going on inside my body is happening and I will have to wait a few months to see the results. It’s frustrating to not be able to know what’s happening inside of my body and it does make me feel a bit disconnected. But I am just trying to remind myself that I had no clue that the tumors were shrinking so maybe they are shrinking again now.

I am taking the few steps I can take with my medical stuff to feel more in control. I’m scheduling other doctor appointments that I know that I’ve needed to schedule but was putting off because I thought I’d be having surgery. I need to have some of the regular maintenance appointments like getting my eyes checked, seeing my dermatologist, and going for my annual exam. I can schedule all those and that at least gives me a bit of a sense of control in my life.

The other thing that is feeling so out of control is my dating life. I’m sure that everyone who is dating feels this way, but it’s been very different lately for me. I don’t know why all of a sudden I have more luck online and am finding more guys to meet. I don’t know what changed in my life, but I’m not complaining. But with dating more, there are more unknowns for me. I’ve been ghosted and stood up quite a bit lately. I’m not too upset but it does make me wonder why it’s happening to me. I know it happens to everyone, but of course my brain wants to tell me that it’s just me. And when I do go out with someone who I would like to see again, it can be frustrating to find out if I will see them again. I’m always on top of responding to texts and phone calls, but I know that everyone else isn’t like that. Again, I’m trying to not take it personally.

It’s so weird how my medical uncertainty and dating uncertainty seem to be so similar. But I guess when anything is out of control it can feel the same. And these are the two main things in my life that seem to be out of control right now and are taking up my thoughts quite a bit. And of course when I try to not think about them I only think about them more. I can only hope that even though these things are totally out of my control, I can go with the flow a bit more and enjoy whatever journey comes my way.

Running And Walking (or Accepting My Limits)

It was an interesting week of workouts this past week. I had some really great stuff, but again I’ve been having to understand what my limits are and how to work the best with them. I’m still in such a mindset of trying to improve by huge leaps every workout, but that’s not a realistic mindset. So I need to just focus on doing what I am able to do and do the best I can with that.

Monday’s workout was a power day and we did a bit of switching. We had a total of 4 blocks on the treadmill and 4 blocks on the floor and we switched after 2 blocks. For the first half of the treadmill time (so the first 2 blocks), it was mainly push to all out paces. I was able to run all of them and feel totally fine. But when we got back to the treadmill for the last 2 blocks, I started to run and it just wasn’t feeling right. It was tough since I was doing so great with my running at the beginning, but I knew not to push myself too much. So I ended up walking those 2 blocks (which were mainly 45 or 30 second intervals).

On the floor, the first block was weight and strap work. The second block was pushups and crunches with rowing. The rows went pretty well for me, but I didn’t get any records. I was able to do 200 meters in 38.3 seconds and 150 meters in 28.3 seconds. The third block was more weights and straps work and the last block was timed work. We had 30 second intervals of pushups, squats, and running men and I figured it couldn’t be too bad. But those 30 seconds seemed to take forever to go by and by the end of that block I was exhausted.

Wednesday’s workout was a fun one. It was split in 2 and the first half was a pretty normal endurance, strength, and power workout. We had 10 minutes on the treadmill with a mix of longer push paces, short push paces, and push to all out paces. Then there was 10 minutes on the floor with biceps, froggers, plank work, and situps. And after that, we came together as a class and partnered up for a 23 minute partner challenge.

The way the partner challenge worked was the person on the floor and treadmill set the pace. We started with floor work with a medicine ball and then we went to the treadmill for a short run (.2, .15, and .1 miles). The other partner was on the rower just rowing until they were tagged and then you’d switch. I partnered up with Helena (who I’ve seen in class a ton but we’ve never partnered up together for a workout) and I started on the floor and treadmill. I did feel a bit bad because she was able to do way more rowing than I could do and I felt a bit slow, but she never made me feel bad about not doing my fair share.

There were goals in hit on the rower for that challenge. The minimum was 3,000 meters and I honestly questioned if we would be able to do that. I know we should have been able to do it, but my rowing wasn’t nearly as good as I know it can be. But I just made sure that I kept rowing and didn’t stop. I didn’t want to let Helena down and I wanted to make sure that we hit the goal. And I guess I didn’t really need to worry because we did way more than 3,000 meters!

Friday’s workout was a crazy one! It was a power workout but it was tornado style. Tornado style means that you are switching between each block and going in a circle around the room. But not only was this a tornado workout, the blocks were all only 2 minutes long! 2 minutes on the treadmill, 2 minutes on the floor, 2 minutes on the rower for 5 rotations (a total of 15 blocks). For the 5 times I was on the treadmill, I ran the entire time. Since each block was only 2 minutes, I knew I could do them as a run. Most of the time it was a push to all out pace (there wasn’t much time to do more than that).

On the floor, 4 of the 5 block was a block of 2 moves. We had squats, lunges, and plank work. But on the last block, we had a set of 30 second intervals with abs. The ab work usually isn’t too bad for me, but this time it was a bit tough. I think it had to do with how tired I already was and pushing myself to do some ab work that I know can be tough on my hip. And on the rower we had a few different things. 2 of the blocks were 2 minute rows for distance (I got about 440 meters each time), 1 block was all 30 second intervals, and 2 blocks were 200 meter rows for time with squats after. I don’t remember what I did for my 200 meter rows, but they weren’t records. I did like switching things up every 2 minutes, but it was much harder than I was expecting!

Saturday’s workout was the normal 3G workout. I was able to start on the treadmill but I knew that running just wasn’t going to be an option for me. I really wanted to run, but again I had to listen to my body and know that if I did try to run that it wasn’t going to be good for me. Instead, I worked on trying to get my inclines up a bit higher. The treadmill time was split into 2 small blocks. In the first block, there were a few different distances to do with recovery in-between. I decided that the way I was going to push myself was to not do the recovery. So I did all 3 distances without a break in-between and increasing my inclines during it. It felt pretty good and I felt pretty proud of myself. The second block was more incline work and I was able to get my incline up to 12% which is usually a bit too much for me.

Next was the floor where again it was 2 shorter blocks. The first block was strap rows and chest presses along with ab work. And the second block was chest press and hammer curls with weights and more ab work. The ab work was some of the stuff that is tough on my hips, but I was feeling like I was kicking butt at it this time. I wasn’t hurting but I did have to take breaks in the middle of the sets. And finally, I was on the rower. The beginning of the row block was to do 3 sets of 200 meter rows where the goal was to do it in as few pulls as possible. I was able to get it down to 16 pulls which is pretty good (the goal was 25-15 pulls). After doing those 3 rounds, it was rowing and squats. I was feeling pretty tired from the 200 meter rows, but I wasn’t too bad at my other rowing. I wasn’t fast, but I wasn’t slow either.

I’m almost halfway through the year and I’m more than on pace to hit my workout goal for the year. I have to focus on that and the other positives I’m having in my workouts and not what limits I might be hitting. I’m sure at the end of the year I’ll be doing better than I’m doing now, so the slow progress will be worth it.

Heat and Hormones (or Not Letting Cravings Take Over)

I’ve written about the heat from time to time on here. I don’t know why each year when it gets hot I seem surprised by it and how my body reacts. I know that my body swelling is a reaction to the heat and I understand that I shouldn’t be stressed about it. But knowing about something and feeling that way are totally different things. So of course, as soon as my body starts swelling (and my clothes stop fitting as nicely), I start to stress out.

And knowing that I’ve gained a little weight lately doesn’t help me stay rational about this. I’m working on getting my weight loss back on track, but it’s not easy to do. There are so many things that feel like they are working against me and sometimes I forget that it’s not always all my fault. There are things beyond my control at times and I have to try to manage them the best that I can.

I do have air conditioning now, but I do limit how often I use it. It’s not too expensive to run, but I also don’t want to feel dependent on it. I use it when it gets really hot and stuffy inside my house and once it feels cool and comfortable again I’ll either turn it off or adjust the temperature setting. But I really don’t need to limit it as much as I do and I have to tell myself that it’s ok if I get a bit spoiled with the air conditioning. I’m hoping that I will never feel like I always need it on and end up spending a ton of money on electricity (which is unlikely to happen with my current energy-efficient a/c), but there is a lot of middle ground between how little I’m using it now and using it all the time.

The other thing that I’m dealing with (and is probably being made worse with the heat) are the food cravings I’ve been having lately. I’m still adjusting to having hormone fluctuations and haven’t had to deal with cravings this way since I was in high school. Since I was on continuous birth control pills, I didn’t get a period and didn’t have PMS. The cravings are so weird to me and I’m working on trying to distinguish the difference between cravings because of hormones and cravings because of my eating disorder. I need to treat each type of craving differently and it’s not easy to know what to do.

I’m working on finding good and healthy options for when I do have hormonal cravings. It’s not easy when you want something that you know isn’t good for you, but hopefully I can figure out what will satisfy my body when I feel like I need something. This is all new to me, but hopefully once I’ve been birth control pill free for a year it will normalize. It’s only been 6 months and I know a lot of people told me it could take a year or two for things to be stable. While some things stabilized right away, I have to keep reminding myself that other things might not have normalized as quickly and I have to allow myself for an adjustment period.

I hate that I feel like I have these issues every single time that it gets hot and I wonder when it will stop feeling so crazy. I’m letting myself have these feelings because I know that things aren’t always in my control and I shouldn’t try to avoid feeling however I’m feeling. But it does annoy me that it feels like the heat and the cravings have ganged up on me right now and are making my life extra difficult.

But as all the other struggles I’ve written about on here, I know this is temporary. I have things in place to help me out this time. I’m in a better mental space to deal with the issues and I know what I can do to work on them. It’s not easy and I have to accept that it might never become easy. It’s all about getting through the tough times so that the next time they happen you are better prepared. I haven’t had to deal with the heat and hormone fluctuations together yet, so this time it might be a bit tougher. But that just means that next year should be better and that is what is helping me deal this time.