Category Archives: Health

What Will Be Sobriety (or A Friend Making Me Think About What I Want)

I was in the car recently with a friend of mine. This friend and I can have some pretty serious and deep conversations and we are pretty honest with each other. While in the car, we started talking about books which led into me talking about how I read 10 pages of a recovery based book every day. And that discussion led into talking about my eating disorder.

We talked about how I feel pretty certain that this is something that I was born with because I remember episodes from when I was a toddler. I doubt it is learned behavior when it starts that young. And we talked about the progress that I’ve been making and trying to make to get myself into recovery. And then we got into a pretty interesting discussion about recovery means.

I’ve said in the past that having an eating disorder/food addiction is so different from any other addiction. This is something that you will have to confront multiple times a day for the rest of your life. When you are an alcoholic, you can go the rest of your life without alcohol. But you cannot survive without food. And I know I’ve had some feelings of almost jealously over friends who have recovered from other addictions because they can just avoid whatever they were addicted to. It seems so much easier than what I’m going through (although I know that it’s not the case).

When I attended the OA meeting with my friend, they talked about the idea of sobriety. Sobriety is a personal thing for anyone, but in OA it becomes even more personal since everyone has their own idea of sobriety. Obviously, you can’t be sober from food. So you have to pick the things around food that you want to avoid and doing that creates your sobriety. For some of my friends, that has meant no eating after a certain time, not eating a certain food, or only eating when it is on a plate and not out of a container.

When I was telling my friend about that idea, he asked me what sobriety/recovery would mean for me. And honestly, I don’t know. I know what I’d like to have my relationship with food be like but many of the things I want are not realistic. For example, I’d love to never have a binge or overeating episode again and to always be in the right calorie range. But everyone has a time every so often when they overeat. When you go out to a restaurant you can easily overeat.

But maybe I can change how I view those episodes. If I don’t let them bring me down and just view them as a normal part of life and can move on, that could be good. I don’t want them to affect me the way that they do now and if that happens maybe it could become a rare occasion instead of something that sets me off.

Beyond the idea of never having a binge episode again, I’ve never really thought too much about what sobriety would mean for me. That’s all I’ve wanted. But because of my conversation with my friend I did start thinking about habits I have or had and what I can change. And one of the biggest ones that I thought of was how I have not ordered delivery food in over a year and a half. Well, technically occasionally I order Chipotle from Postmates, but I don’t consider that delivery food as I can order exactly what I would have gotten if I went to get it myself (unlike when you order Chinese food or pizza and have to order more than what you know you can eat).

For a long time, I thought I’d never be able to be delivery food free and I have managed to do it much longer than I ever have as an adult. And I don’t really even think of getting delivery food when I’m hungry and don’t know what I want to eat. It’s nice having that out of my head and not an issue any more. So in some way, I think that since I’m able to get over delivery food (which felt like it could never happen) that I could also get over binge episodes. But at the same time I don’t want to put that pressure on myself.

I still really don’t know what my version of sobriety means to me. But realizing that I don’t know this has made me understand that I can’t get into recovery until I really figure this out. I need to sit down, set some goals, and make some more concrete plans. Even though I have been working on this, having this idea in mind is an entirely different game and I think it can only benefit me by working on it.

Back To Focusing On Health (or Back To Back Doctor Appointments)

In some ways, it seems like I took the summer off from my health. The last big doctor appointment I had been not really an appointment at all but my MRI for my liver back in April. I never saw my liver surgeon after the MRI, we just had a phone call that went over most things plus some follow-up emails with some blood work instructions. And I did get my eyes checked this summer, but that was something I had been putting off and wasn’t that big of a deal.

But now, it seems like doctor appointments are coming quickly for me. Some of them have been normal things. I had an appointment with a dermatologist recently and will be going back for a follow-up in a week. That’s something I pretty much do every year. And yesterday was my annual appointment with my OB/GYN, which is another pretty normal appointment. Although it does seem like I’ve seen her a lot lately since I had my IUD appointment and follow-up for that not too long ago. Again, seeing my doctor every year for my annual appointment is very routine for me.

And I’m assuming I’ll be going in for a mammogram again this year, which isn’t the most fun thing but I know I need to do it. It’s funny how a year ago I was so stressed about having a breast MRI because I hate IVs and don’t love MRIs. But since that MRI, I’ve had so many with IVs so now that seems like the easier option. But it’s much more expensive and not necessary for me to do every year. I don’t know how often I’ll be alternating the mammograms with the MRIs, but that’s something that will be worked out for me by my doctor and a geneticist that my doctor consults with.

But even though it seems like all the routine doctor appointments are coming at me quickly, I also have to add in my liver stuff too. I will be doing my next liver MRI in the next month or so and then I’ll have the follow-up that goes along with that. Obviously, my hope is that the tumors have continued to shrink so that I can just keep doing what I’m doing and hopefully I’ll just have to do another follow-up MRI in 6 months. If they keep shrinking or disappear completely, there’s a chance I’ll still have to do semi-annual or annual MRIs, but that’s not that bad. I could deal with MRIs every month if that meant I didn’t need to have surgery.

But of course, there is always the worry that the tumors have grown or stayed the same. If they are the same, I’m in a weird spot because I still could benefit from surgery but I could also wait longer to see if they shrink again. To me, having them stay the same is the worst case because there’s no clear answer on what I should do. And if the tumors have grown, I need to have surgery and that’s that. I don’t want surgery, but I also don’t want tumors in me that are growing because that can turn life threatening.

I’ve been doing my tumor visualization every day and I haven’t really changed much in my routine since I found out my tumors have shrunk. So I’m really hopeful that the tumors have shrunk. But I’m back to feeling a bit disconnected to my body since there is no way for me to know what’s happening until I have the MRI. I’m not going to stress about it because there is nothing I can do beyond what I’m doing. And if my MRI ends up being in October, I don’t want to spend all of September stressed about it.

It’s interesting how the timing of things worked out where it was pretty much a summer off of medical stuff. Considering how much medical craziness I’ve had lately, it was nice to have a break so I could focus more on my life and not on the what ifs with my body. But it’s time to buckle down and get back to making sure that I’m doing everything I can for my health and to make sure that I’m on top of all the things I need to concern myself about.

My Version Of Back To School (or I Need To Get Out Of My Summer Mindset)

Most of the schools in LA went back this past week. It was cute to see all the first day of school photos from my friends with kids and most of my friends are pretty excited to have some free time back in their lives. It’s crazy to see some of my friends’ kids in school when it seems like it wasn’t that long ago that they were born. Especially since I don’t feel like I’ve aged as much as those kids have!

Back to school time used to mean so much to me. When I was in school it was a great way to reset things in my life and get them back on schedule. Even when I was working as a substitute teacher it had that effect on me. There’s something about knowing that school is back that triggered a sense of seriousness in me and I’ve realized that I don’t have that anymore.

I don’t miss school. I do a lot of learning through various things on my own every day so I don’t need a set class that is fall to summer. But I do miss the feeling of resetting things and getting back on track. And getting back on track is something that I do struggle with at times and yet again I’m going through that.

I have to feel lucky that I have my fitness stuff down and that doesn’t need to much work. I think things would be so much worse for me if I didn’t have that in place. But food is still a struggle and I know that things have gotten a bit out of control again. It’s a combination of my schedule being crazy, having lots of adventures and outings, and just being lazy because of the heat.

I’ve said this so many times before, but I really need to get back to my meal planning. Or at least having better options in my house to choose from. There have been far too many days where it’s 3pm and I’m done with work and I’m going to the grocery store because I’ve got nothing to have for dinner. And unfortunately, when I do that I will sometimes buy things I don’t need because they seem good to me in the moment.

I’m working on getting back to the way I was meal planning earlier this year, but it’s not exactly what I think I need right now. So I’m back to experimenting with what things will work and what will help to make me as successful as possible with not having problems with having the right food in my house. I know that my schedule is still a bit crazy and will continue to be a bit crazy, but that can’t be an excuse for me anymore. Life will always have moments of craziness and that can’t be stopping me.

I also need to refocus on work and time management. For the next month things are extra crazy for me because I’m doing the temporary job for an old boss of mine. I have to manage when each day I’m doing each job and I really need to focus on it because I need to get it done when I plan on getting it done. It would be so easy to let time fly by and not have the chance to do what I need to do a certain day. I make sure that it doesn’t happen, but I also see where there are cracks in my plan and where I can improve things.

It will be so nice when one day I don’t have to stress about these things as much. Maybe one day food will come as easy to me as the workouts do now. And maybe one day I’ll only have one job (or one job with a few side jobs that are related to that job) so I don’t have to color coordinate my schedule to know when I need to work each job each day. Fortunately with work, I am an organized person so it’s not too horrible to manage things. But I do look forward to when things are simpler in life and that I can focus on one thing at a time instead of multitasking every single hour and day.

Taking Back A Medical Miracle (or Getting My Eyes Checked Again)

I wrote recently about how I got my eyes checked and how I had another medical miracle. It was so crazy to be told that my eyes were getting better, especially since my prescription hasn’t changed in about a decade. But after talking to my mom, we figured that maybe when I went off hormonal birth control something might have changed with my eyes. When I was looking into it, your vision can get worse when you start birth control. When I started it, my eyes were getting worse every year so I wouldn’t have noticed it.

I was so excited and ordered new contacts and lenses for my glasses right away. I had a slight issue when the lenses for my new glasses came in, but I was able to resolve it (and get a partial refund because I was able to go with a cheaper option). I didn’t notice how my vision was in the glasses because I was wearing my contacts while I was there. I didn’t want to take out my contacts and just figured it would be fine. But because of the issue, I had to get my old lenses back in my glasses while they ordered the second set.

Then my new contact lenses arrived at my house. The day after they arrived, I tossed my old lenses (with my old prescription) and put in a pair of the new lenses. And everything seemed fine for the first few minutes. New contacts always feel nice when you put them in, so I was getting used to that feeling fora minute. But then I sat down on my couch to watch the news that morning and realized that things weren’t right. There is a clock on my cable box and I wasn’t able to read the time on it clearly. Then I started to look around my house and noticed that things were blurry that never have been blurry for me before.

I knew that something was up and I immediately put the new lenses in a spare case and put the last pair of contacts with my old prescription in and everything stopped being blurry. I was told my vision had been overcorrected, but I knew that I should be able to see things within my house without them being blurry. So I called the appointment call center to see what could be done. They agreed that I should come in to get my eyes checked again, but I wouldn’t be able to be seen for a few weeks.

So I waited patiently and this week I went in to get my eyes checked again to see what was happening. Long story short, while my vision is slightly better than what it was 5 years ago, it’s not improved enough to change my prescription. I could go to a slightly weaker prescription, but in my case it’s better to overcorrect things a bit (it becomes a problem in 6 years when I’ll be 40). The doctor I saw the second time was so nice to me and explained that so many things could have caused my eyes to be weird and to make it seem like I had improved vision. But in the end, I’m keeping everything the same.

I was able to get a straight exchange of the contacts I bought (I’m just waiting for the new ones with the old prescription to be shipped to me) and I was able to cancel and get a refund for the new lenses for my glasses that I ordered. And since this appointment was a re-check of my eyes, I didn’t have to pay for the appointment. Basically I walked out with everything being the same as it was before I walked in for my first appointment.

I know that some people would probably be a bit disappointed to not have another medical miracle. But honestly for me, I’m actually a bit relieved that my vision didn’t get better. I’ve felt so disconnected from my body with the entire tumor situation and to not realize that my vision got better would make me feel that way even more. When the eye doctor told me my vision was better, I was actually a bit disturbed that I didn’t notice anything. And I tried to let that feeling go because I thought that I was just being crazy.

So to know that I shouldn’t have noticed any differenced helped to make that feeling go away. I also like knowing my vision is still the same because it gives me the option to get laser eye surgery if I chose to do so. It was a bit annoying to have to go through 2 different doctor appointments and some complications with ordering contacts and glasses, but that’s a minor inconvenience compared to how disconnected I was feeling.

I still have the medical miracle going on with my liver and my tumors, so that’s pretty awesome. But I’m ok with only having one miracle going on at once.

Rethinking Being A Warrior (or Refocusing On My Word For The Year)

I’ve talked about how my word for the year this year is “Warrior“. It’s a strong and powerful word and I’m very glad that I chose it this year. It meant a lot to me to have it as my word at the beginning of the year when I was preparing to have a major surgery. When the surgery was cancelled, I didn’t immediately think about how the word warrior was going to change in my mindset. But recently someone asked me about my warrior bracelet and why I had it.

I explained how it was my word for the year and how I was planning on being a warrior through my surgery, but that was cancelled. They asked me if it was still my word for the year and I told them yes. But later I was thinking about how I want to be a warrior for the rest of this year since I’m not focused on recovering from surgery.

I guess I never really thought about how I should readjust my thoughts for being a warrior. It wasn’t all about my liver, but honestly a majority was about it. And that’s not really something I’m focused on anymore.

I’m still being a warrior for my liver. I’ve got my next scan in the fall and I want my tumors to be even smaller! That’s the best thing I could ask for and I’m doing everything I can (which really isn’t much) to try to make that happen. I’m working on my visualization every day, I’m not drinking since that puts stress on your liver, and I’m now taking some supplements that help with liver health. I know I can’t really fight for my liver to get better, but I think that I’m doing the best that I can to be as close to fighting for my liver now.

And I’m still a warrior in my workouts. I’m trying to run more, but I’ve been having some setbacks lately. I’m lifting heavier weights when I can and I’m trying to not let my mind tell me that my body can’t do something. It’s tough not to be frustrated when I don’t make the progress I think I should be making, but maybe being kind to myself is also being a warrior for myself in a way. But I’m still hoping that this year will be a good year for me making progress in my workouts.

I guess you can also say that I’m being a warrior in online dating. Part of me being a warrior with dating is catching cheaters and calling them out on it (and telling their wives/girlfriends so at least they can find out). That’s not something I would have done before this year. I’ve been the other woman before and I didn’t tell his girlfriend that he was dating me too. I didn’t feel like it was my place to do that and I kind of regret it. But I’m also being a warrior by putting myself out there and trying online dating again when I’ve been burned in the past. It’s not easy doing it, but I do want to find someone and this is one of the few ways I know I can do that.

But all this reflection has made me think about where I’m lacking in trying to be a warrior. As much progress as I’ve made with my eating disorder, I haven’t been fighting as hard as I should have toward recovery. I’ve made some great steps and I know that they are helping me build good habits that I need to make recovery a possibility for me. But I also know where I’ve been slacking and ignoring some warning signs that I need to work harder. I don’t need to get into specifics, but just know that I know I’ve been doing things that aren’t helping me and I haven’t cared enough to try to change those. It isn’t something that I can just turn on or off, but hopefully awareness and admitting that I haven’t been doing great will help get me a bit more on track.

And the other thing that has been less than warrior like is related to something that is a warrior thing. Because I’ve been going full force into online dating, I’ve been prioritizing others over myself. If I’m chatting with a guy and he wants to meet up for a drink or coffee, I’ll rearrange my schedule to make myself available because I’m scared that if I can’t meet him then that he will move on and I will miss my chance. That has happened to me before, but I shouldn’t be in fear of that. If a guy can’t wait a little longer to meet me because I have a busy schedule, then I shouldn’t want to meet him. But I’m still in fear that whoever I meet will be the last person who will like me and I need to get over that.

Every time that I’ve been scared that I will never find someone who wants to go out with me, I meet another guy and that cycle happens again. I don’t get dates as often as I probably would like, but going out with someone every other week or so isn’t that bad. It’s significantly better than what I was doing before I put myself out there. And I need to be more focused on fitting someone into my life instead of rearranging my life to fit someone else.

I don’t know how to phrase it properly, but in essence I need to be a warrior for myself first and foremost. That’s the most important thing. I can be a warrior for myself in fitness and health but I also need to be a warrior for my emotional wellbeing and my life. I don’t have to let someone else’s schedule dictate mine or wait for a text or phone call to find out what the plans will be that night. I don’t want to be the girl sitting at home waiting for the guy to let her know what’s going on. I need to put my life and what I want to do first and hope that I can find someone who will either join me or will fit in. Or at least someone who makes plans with me in advance so I can schedule around it.

It’s going to be tough for me not to prioritize others, but I know that doing that will make me happier. And if I’m happier and doing more of what I want to do instead of waiting for others to make plans with me, that will make me a better person and hopefully someone more fun for a guy to date.

I usually don’t focus this much on if I want to alter how I think of my word of the year in the middle of the year, but I think it was necessary this year. It’s not that the word of the year took a backseat after my surgery cancelled, but I didn’t take the energy I was focusing on getting through the surgery and put it toward other things once that wasn’t needed anymore. Hopefully now I can make the second half of this year even more powerful and more warrior like.

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My Eyes Had A Miracle Too (or I Wish I Knew What I Was Doing Right)

I had a doctor appointment to get my eyes checked this week. Originally, I had no plan of blogging about this. Eye appointments for me are pretty uneventful.

I’ve worn glasses or contacts my entire life. I think my first pair of glasses were when I was 3 or 4. I am pretty nearsighted (so I can only see things clearly that are close to my face) with a slight astigmatism. Nothing too fancy about my eyes other than my vision is pretty horrible and I have a strong correction in my contacts and glasses.

Honestly, the most exciting thing that happened regarding my vision in the recent past was when I broke my glasses. And even that story is pretty low-key. So when I knew I had my eye appointment this week I figured I’d go in, have them tell me everything this the same, and get some more contacts. I had been told that the brand of contacts I wear might have been discontinued, so that was the only thing that seemed like it might be interesting. Getting fitted for new contacts can be a pain and finding some that I like can take time. And the ones I have no are not tinted (I used to wear colored contacts) but have a slight tint to them so it doesn’t affect my eye color but allows me to find them if I drop them.

When I got to my appointment, everything started off pretty normally. They took my blood pressure (which was a bit higher than normal like it always is before a doctor appointment), the nurse took me back where I had to read the letters from the projection with my contact lenses in, and then I had to wait for the doctor. Once the doctor came in, she testing one eye and then the other before having my take out my contacts.

Next was the glaucoma test where they puff air into your eyes and then back to the exam room where the doctor tested different prescription strengths to see what made the letters on the wall look better. I always feel like it’s a trick when they ask you if version one or two look better. Sometimes they look equally as good and bad. And I don’t want to feel like I’m saying the wrong thing so I do take my time. But I know that there isn’t a right or wrong answer, just what I honestly see. And I tried to be honest, even when that means saying they both look good and bad.

When all the vision tests were done, I was expecting her to say that everything was still the same. That’s what I want because I’m hoping that in the future I can get laser eye surgery so I don’t need contacts forever. And you must have the same vision prescription for a bit of time before you can have laser eye surgery. But to my surprise, my vision is actually better now than it was the last time it was checked!

Both eyes are about 10% better now than they were before. And my old prescription is one that I’ve had for about a decade! I was used to my vision getting worse every year growing up, but it has been stable for so long. So to have my vision improve is not something I ever would have guessed.

My first question to the doctor was to find out what could have done this. I wanted to make sure that whatever I did is something that I keep doing. Maybe I can keep improving my vision! But she said that there isn’t really a reason that it could be getting better. She asked if I was using a computer less, but I’m actually using a computer more now. That was the only thing she could think of that would potentially help my vision.

I did talk to my mom after my appointment and she mentioned that maybe going off hormonal birth control improved my vision. Hormones can do funny things to you and I wouldn’t have really noticed my vision getting worse when I started the pill because I was used to my vision being worse every year at that time. I’ve done some research and that can sometimes be the case, but that seems to be a rare thing to have happen. But I’ve been getting all the rare and one-in-a-million medical scenarios lately so many this is just another one!

Because my vision is so significantly different, I had to get new contacts plus change my glasses prescription. They didn’t have any samples of the contacts for me to take home with me, so until the new ones get delivered I’ll be wearing the ones that overcorrect my eyes. It doesn’t feel too blurry, but after seeing how much clearer everything was with a weaker prescription I can’t wait until the new contacts get here.

And while I usually don’t update my glasses that often, because of how drastic this change is it was recommended that I change my glasses too. The day of the appointment, you get a discount on glasses. You get a better discount if you get new frames and lenses compared to just lenses, but even with the bigger discount it was still $20 to get the new frames. So I just decided to update my lenses. I placed an order for those and when they come in I just bring my glasses in and they will change out the lenses for me that day. I’m glad I don’t have to leave my glasses there since I do use them at nighttime.

With all the bad luck I had with medical stuff last year, it’s really nice that the good luck is continuing this year. I never thought my eyes could get better, but now that I know it’s possible I want to see if there is something I can do to try to help make this continue. I know that I will not be able to fully correct my vision on my own, but it’s always a good thing to have my vision better than it was before.

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.