Category Archives: Tough Stuff

Me Too (or We Need To Stop Normalizing Sexual Assault)

There has been so much in the news lately about sexual assault. A lot of it has to do with Harvey Weinstein and everything that he did over the last few decades. And then there’s talk about what our current president has done. But sexual assault is sadly something so common that it seems like most of us have dealt with. If you were on social media, you might have seen all the “Me Too” posts. Women (and men) who have dealt with sexual assault or harassment posted this so that hopefully others will realize how big of a problem this is. And I was one of those who shared it.

I consider myself extremely lucky. I’ve been in some pretty bad situations and have usually gotten out of them without too much harm. I questioned originally if I should post about it because I know what others have gone through is so much worse than what I’ve dealt with. But then I realized that by downplaying what I went through I was a part of the problem.

My issues have included things from strangers and from men that I knew. They were both physical and verbal situations. And it sadly has happened to me a lot. I’ve had a guy tell me on a date (not recently) that he could do whatever he wanted to me because nobody would believe that a fat girl would be raped. I’ve had a guy who was my friend get into a bed with me when I thought he was going to be sleeping on the couch. I was at a party once and in telling a story to a friend I grabbed my boobs. Someone I had never met at that party saw that, came up to me, and grabbed me while introducing himself. He said that since I touched myself that I was telling others they could do that too.

The verbal stuff has been both in my personal and professional life. I had a day job many years ago where my manager liked to talk about my weight and how all guys must find me disgusting. She questioned how I could be intimate with anyone. And she liked to say this in front of others too. And because we were all scared of losing our jobs (we had seen others get fired for telling her to stop), nobody said anything. I guess I should be happy that at my jobs it’s only been verbal and nothing physical has happened to me.

But there is one thing in common for all of these situations. Even though I might have been disgusted, embarrassed, or wanting to punch someone; I didn’t really do anything. When I’ve been physically threatened, sometimes I am able to fight back and stop it. But in the case of the guy at the party grabbing me, my friend and I were shocked into silence. And we didn’t really think to tell anyone for a bit and we weren’t able to find the guy after that to find out who he is.

Part of the reason I didn’t do anything was because I was too shocked to do anything. But a bigger part of it was because I didn’t think it was a big enough deal to make a fuss about. I’ve had friends who were raped and I feel lucky that my situations have been so minor. And in some situations, I didn’t necessarily think that anything was wrong until years later when sharing the story with someone else. I just assumed that everyone dealt with it and it wasn’t a big deal.

And that thinking is a huge part of the problem. As a friend of mine put it, we have normalized sexual assault. When we are in school and a boy snaps our bra straps or pulls at a skirt, we are told that he’s just teasing because he likes us. When we are catcalled while walking down the street we are told that we should be flattered. And there seems to be an excuse for almost any situation we are in. Even if you are raped, you are told that it happened because you were drinking/wearing a skirt/wearing pants/walking outside/inside your own home at nighttime/dared to exist.

Fortunately, it seems like a majority of people are horrified by what happened. But it makes you wonder what took so long for people to notice. Maybe we did need the “Me Too” campaign so that people who haven’t been affected could see how widespread it is. Unless you are avoiding social media you can’t help but see that a majority of the post in your feed have to do with what others have encountered. Some people think that women are faking their stories and I’m aware that someone might accuse me of that. But I’m willing to take that risk because I know what the truth is in my life

And for anyone who is feeling helpless, you don’t have to be. If you witness something, stop it. If your friend is making jokes that make you uncomfortable, you don’t have to tolerate it. My co-workers were in fear for their jobs when my manager was harassing me, but if one of them had stood up for me I think that would have given me the courage to do something at the time and not waiting until I was planning on leaving the job anyway. And you can believe people when they tell you something happened to them. Don’t blame the victim. The only person at fault for harassment or rape is the one harassing or raping someone. The victim wasn’t asking for it and can’t be held responsible for someone else’s actions. We need to stop this rape culture of victim blaming and normalizing harassment and start standing up for each other.

Not The Workout Week I Was Expecting (or At Least I Made It To My Workouts)

This past week of workouts was a bit crazy for me. I went into the week thinking it would be a 3 workout week. I was supposed to have a minor procedure at the dermatologist on Thursday and that would have prevented me from working out for a few days. But that appointment got moved to next month and that changed things back to my normal workout week. But then I got sick and it got changed back to a 3 workout week but different days that I planned. For someone who likes routine and planning, this wasn’t great. But I did still make my workouts and that’s sometimes all you can hope for.

Monday was the only workout I went into the week knowing I’d be doing that ended up happening. And it was the Everest Challenge workout. I’ve done that before, but this time it was slightly different because it was during a 3 group class and not a 2 group class. So the treadmill time was only 15 minutes and we went up by 2% each minute instead of 1% like you do when you have 30 minutes on the treadmill. But just because we had less time on the treadmill didn’t mean that it was easy for me. I was dealing with the combination of not working out for 5 days plus starting to get sick again. So while I wanted to walk the entire thing at my normal speed, I had to slow way down for most of it.

I was on the rower next. We started with a 100 meter row and then squat presses and woodchoppers. Every round we went up 100 meters and I made it to the 400 meter row. My rowing was slow and not powerful but I knew that the combination of feeling exhausted and sick was pretty much ruining that part of my workout. Then I went over to the floor where we had 2 blocks. The first block had chest presses, hammer curls, and shoulder presses. And the second block had plank rows, triceps, and leg lifts. I used lower weights than I’m used to for all the floor work, but again I was just trying my best when I knew I wasn’t feeling my best.

My original plan was to work out on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. After my dermatologist appointment was canceled, I switched to my normal Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. But on Tuesday I was feeling pretty awful and realized that working out the next day wasn’t going to happen. It’s a good thing I didn’t because I was exhausted just from working and I was feeling just off. But on Thursday I started to feel better so I decided to do my Friday and Saturday workouts.

Friday was a Friday the 13th themed workout. While I was feeling better, I was not totally better and I knew that I was going to be going very easy on myself. And it was a bit sad I had to do that because this would have been an amazing workout to work on my running. Everything in the cardio section was 90 seconds (or 1 minute and 30 seconds). It would have been amazing to work on running for 90 seconds at a time, but there was no way to run and I had to walk. And not only did I have to walk, but I walked pretty slowly. And it wasn’t easy to walk. I was surprised at how difficult it was for me but I did it. And while it was one of the lowest distances I’ve done on the treadmill in a long time, I’m proud for doing it at all.

The floor work was one long block and again it was themed with 13. We had a 130 meter row and then floor work that was all 13 reps. We had jumping jacks, chest presses, skier swings, biceps using the straps, and squats. I had to go slow again with everything and my rowing was pretty pathetic, but I made it through it. And I’m glad that I went to the workout because I was actually feeling a bit better after finishing it all.

Saturday’s workout was an endurance day and even though I was feeling better I knew it was still going to be an easy workout. Especially with it being an endurance day I knew it was going to be a day I had to walk slowly on the treadmill. But I was able to bump up the speed a bit compared to the day before so I was closer to my normal walking speed on the treadmill. And it was a 3 group class so I was only on the treadmill for 15 minutes. It was mainly 2 minute or 90 second push paces and I just kept my speed low and worked on my inclines a bit.

On the floor, we had 2 blocks. The first block was deadlifts, strap work, and plank work. For my deadlifts, I was using 20lb weights which is what I use a lot. And the second block was all Bosu work with hip bridges, back extensions, and crunches. I did those as I normally do. And on the rower, all the rowing was 250 meters. I didn’t do any spectacular times, but they were much better than the day before. And in between the rowing we had lunges, squats, and swings with weights. I had to take it easy with all of those, but it was much closer to normal than I thought it would be.

Overall, I can’t be too disappointed with my workout week. It didn’t go the way I planned at all, but I still managed to get there 3 times this past week and did my best considering the circumstances. I’m not feeling 100% better yet (this cold feels like it will never end!), but I have a feeling that this week of workouts will be much better. And we are coming up on Hell Week so I want to get back to normal as soon as I can!

3 Workouts In A Row (or Using Fitness To Beat A Cold)

This past week of workouts was an interesting one. First, I had only 3 workouts in the week. Plus those 3 workouts were 3 days in a row. I don’t usually do 3 days in a row, but it was the only way I could do 3 workouts this past week. But it also ended up being a week where I was working out while not feeling my best. I was hanging out with a friend on Saturday night who ended up having a cold on Sunday. I think I caught it from them and was fighting a cold all week. But I knew I couldn’t be sick last week because of everything I had, so I was determined to sweat the cold out of me!

Monday’s workout was an endurance 3 group workout. That was the first morning I was feeling a bit sick, but I was mainly contagious and didn’t feel light-headed or anything. So I knew it might be tough to workout, but I could do it. There was no way for me to run, so I walked everything. It was a bit annoying to walk because this endurance workout was actually pretty ideal for me to work on my running. The first block was 1 minute intervals so that’s something I’m used to running. And the second block was all 45 second intervals. But I was just focused on being a good power walker and taking the breaks to catch my breath that I needed to.

Next I was over on the rower. The first block started with a 500 meter row with 20 bicep curls using the rower handles. Then each block the rowing went down 100 meters. I was very focused on keeping my rowing steady and not too fast. It means my rowing doesn’t get as high in wattage as I’m used to, but my form is better. And my coach even noticed that my rowing was improved and commented on how much better it was looking! That made me feel a lot better considering that I was not feeling my best that day. And the second block on the rower followed the treadmill block with 45 second intervals and again I just tried to focus on keeping my rowing speed lower than I used to and steady. The goal was to get 1300 meters in that block, but I only got about 1100 because my wattage was low. But I’m ok with that since my form was better and I was working on what my coach wanted me to work on.

Once I got to the floor, I was feeling better and worse at the same time. My congestion was better, but I was feeling a bit exhausted from all the other work I already had done. But I just told myself to take it easy and do what I can with taking breaks when necessary. The first floor block was rows with weights, squats, strap work, and plank crunches. And the second block was high row on the straps, plank leg lifts, and situps. It was a bit tough to do plank work or work where I was on my back because of the congestion, but I pushed through.

On Tuesday I was feeling a bit better and was thinking that maybe my workouts would help me beat the cold. But I was still not feeling like I had beat it completely so it ended up being another walking day for me. And again I was frustrated because it was a run/row day. I really wanted to try to run, but I knew that if I did that I wouldn’t be able to keep having good form on the rower. The run/row started with a .25 mile walk at 6% incline for me and then a 500 meter row. Next was a .05 mile walk at 10% and a 250 meter row. Then .2 miles at 7% and 400 meters on the rower and .05 miles at 10% and 250 meters on the rower again. I was just working on the .15 mile walk on the treadmill at 8% when time was called. I kept my speed on both the treadmill and rower pretty steady although nothing was as much as I could normally do.

After the run/row we had 4 blocks on the floor. And again I had the same problem I had on Monday with the congestion affecting when I was doing some of the work. The first floor block was squats, row with weights, and plank work. The second block was lunge and tricep work and this was the block I did the best in. Despite feeling off, I was using 25lb weights instead of 20lb weights. It helped that both moves were upright moves so the congestion didn’t bug me as much. The third block was lunges, pullovers on the Bosu, and situps on the Bosu. And we ended with a core blast which was the toughest part because my nose felt so clogged and I was coughing a lot. But again, I was so proud of myself for working out when I didn’t feel great and I was continuing to be optimistic that working out would get the cold out of my system.

I continued to feel a bit better on Wednesday, but I still wasn’t totally back to normal. Plus having it as my third workout in a row made it a tough workout even if I was feeling awesome. So it was another power walking day for me and again I was sad because it was a power day and I really like to work on running those. We had 4 blocks and every block was 4.5 minutes. Every block was a mix of 1 minute and 45 second intervals and I just has to focus on walking. I did all my push paces at 6% and all my all out paces at 8%. I didn’t bump up my speed or incline really at all but to me it was most important to just keep going.

The floor was also 4 blocks that were 4.5 minutes each. The first block was a rowing block. We had 150 meter rows with medicine ball work between each row. I knew I only had 1 good row in me (even though we were encouraged to improve on our time each time we rowed), so I told my coach I was going to go all out on the first one. Because I can be pretty powerful on sprint rows, she stood on the end of my rower to keep it steady and I went for it. I didn’t worry about form, I just wanted to go as quickly and as hard as I could. And it paid off because I got a new 150 meter row PR! I did it in 27.8 seconds which is pretty impressive (you know I wasn’t feeling 100% myself because I forgot to take a photo of my row time with my phone). After that first row, I went pretty easy on all the other times I rowed.

The second block on the floor was shoulder work with weights and push ups. The third block was more 150 meter rowing with squats and plank jacks. I didn’t worry about speed with that row because I knew I was exhausted. And the last block on the floor was pull ups on the straps and more plank work. Even though I was still feeling a bit sick, Wednesday was the day I felt the most like myself and that was an accomplishment.

I went into this past week thinking I would just have an awesome 3 workout week with 3 days in a row. And it ended up being a week that I had to put my mind over what my body was saying and trying to do my best. If I was really sick, I would have skipped the workout. I’ve done that before. But I knew that I could fight this cold and it seems I might have actually done that with this past week of workouts!

Another Monthly Challenge (or What To Do When You Are Crazy Busy)

The beginning of a new month is always exciting for me. But it’s been even more exciting since I started using my Volt Planner last year because it means it’s the beginning for a new monthly challenge! It can be a struggle sometimes to think of a new challenge each month, but once I pick one I really get into it. And knowing that I’ll be doing that again each month is something I look forward to.

Last month, my challenge was to tweet more. Specifically I wanted to tweet more about SAG-AFTRA and union related issues. My role as a SAG-AFTRA delegate is officially just as the convention (which is this week), but I don’t want the end of the convention to be the end of my involvement. And while being on social media isn’t the most active thing, I figure that every little bit helps. And I also got a lot out of doing this because every day I was reviewing tweets that might be ones I wanted to share. So I was learning more every time I reviewed them. I feel so much more educated about union issues (and not just actor union issues) than I ever have.

This month, I struggled a bit with picking something to set as my challenge but it wasn’t for the usual reason. I have a couple of things I want to do, but this month is going to be very crazy for me. I’ve got the SAG-AFTRA convention, lots of doctor appointments, work, podcast stuff, some projects I’m working on, and then trying to have a social life. I know that I will be a bit stressed and I didn’t want to pick something that might add more stress to my life. I’ve picked some challenges that have done that in the past, and it can work when the month isn’t going to be stressful. But I know October will be crazy. I’ve been telling people my life won’t be normal again until after the 16th because that’s when I seem to finally have free time in my calendar.

But there has been one thing that I’ve had on my monthly and weekly planning sheets in my planner that I don’t see to ever get around to. I really need to clean my desk and my closet. I probably need to work on my entire house, but I really see how packed my desk and closet are and I know I don’t need everything I have. I also keep bringing more things in without removing stuff so it gets more and more cluttered. But when I look at it it seems so overwhelming.

So I’ve set my monthly challenge for October to do speed cleaning/organizing every day. I have an alarm set and I want to do maybe 5-10 minutes every day. The idea is that I’d focus on one thing each day. For example, with my clothes I’d look at tops one day and dresses another. I don’t need to look at my closet as a whole since that has been what is looking like too much of a project. With my desk, I might break it down my the drawers or by category but I’m not sure yet. And there are so many other areas in my house that I could organize by breaking it down into chunks like this.

I had read “The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up” a while ago, and while I don’t agree with everything in the book there are some really good points. I only want to have things in my home that make me happy and bring me joy. My definition of those things are a bit different from what the book talks about, but the general idea is the same. There are things in my closet that I look at and get annoyed about because it doesn’t fit anymore (either too big or too small), it doesn’t fit right, or it just is something I never can figure out when I should wear it. I don’t need that taking up space in the tiny closet I have.

But besides decluttering, I just want to have a clean house that makes me happy. It’s never too dirty, but there are times that I have to spend a good amount of time cleaning every room before I have company over. I know that nobody cares if my house is a little messy, but I do. And if I worked on 5-10 minutes of cleaning a day (either by cleaning one room or doing one type of cleaning like vacuuming or dusting), it shouldn’t get too overwhelming before I have company over.

I know that even 5-10 minutes of cleaning might be a bit tough for me to do on the craziest days I have coming up this month, but that’s ok. I understand now that I don’t have to be perfect every single day but instead I want to get into the habit so that it becomes something I don’t even have to think about each day. It would be nice to know that I have a clean house pretty much all the time and not a semi-clean house most of the time and a super clean house occasionally.

Feeling Better About My Progress (or Coming Back From The Dri-Tri)

After my Dri-Tri, I was feeling pretty low about myself. I lost so much confidence in myself and my abilities in the workouts. It’s really a bad place to be in and I know that I need to believe that I can do better. But it’s tough to take myself out of a slump when I’m in it.

Monday’s workout was a strength 3 group class. There was a weird amount of traffic that morning and I ended up starting on the floor, which I never do. We had 2 blocks at each station and we rotated after each block so I didn’t stay on the floor for too long. The first round was all 8 minute blocks for us. On the floor we did goblet lunges, goblet squats, pull overs, and knee tucks. And then on the rower we started with a 200 meter row and 20 lunges and each time we went up 50 meters on the rower and down 2 lunges.

Then it was time for the treadmill. I was pretty grateful that it was a strength day so that I didn’t even try to run. I was still feeling awful about the Dri-Tri and I know I would have pushed myself to try to run even if I shouldn’t. It was all 90 second hills and I was more than happy to walk everything.

Then we had the second round and everything was 5 minute blocks. On the floor we had sumo squats, tricep extensions, and crunches. And then on the rower and treadmill we had the same pattern with a 2 minute push, 1 minute base, 1 minute push, and 1 minute all out. I just tried my best to row for 5 minutes without stopping and on the treadmill I just walked it all even though it wasn’t hill work. I wasn’t feeling so great about myself after the workout, but I knew that I was there and I did the work so I couldn’t be too upset.

Wednesday was the day that I think turned things around for me. It was an endurance day and I was feeling pretty awesome going into the class. I was still a bit down about my workout progress after the Dri-Tri, but I was more optimistic about things. And this ended up being the perfect workout for me when I was feeling like that.

I started on the treadmill and we had 3 blocks. Each block on the treadmill had a similar pattern with a push, a base, a push, an all out. The push paces changed times from block to block, but the pattern was consistent. I decided to see how much I could run of the push and all out paces but wasn’t expecting to be able to run them all. But somehow, I did manage to run all of them with walking my base paces. I noticed toward the end of the 3rd block that I was going to be very close to doing 2 miles in 30 minutes. So for the last all out pace, I ran at 6mph for the entire minute and I was able to hit that goal!

That totally proved to me that my performance at the Dri-Tri was just a bad day and not a real setback. Even though I had been telling myself that, I needed the proof that it was true and this totally proved it to me.

After that awesome running, I was a bit tired when I got to the floor. I took a bunch of breaks during each block, but I was able to get everything done. The first block was lunges with presses, hammer curls, and plank hip dips. The second block was all strap work with Ys and roll outs. And the last block was back extensions, crunches, and squats. It wasn’t the toughest floor work I’ve done, but I needed it to be a bit easier to recover from my cardio.

Friday was a strength day so it was another day of walking for me. I could have tried to run the all out paces because they were on a flat incline, but I ended up walking it all. Most of the inclines for me were at 6 and 8% but I tried doing some of the work at 10%. That’s still a bit too high of an incline for me but I need to keep testing myself and seeing what I can do.

On the floor, we had 2 blocks. The first block was a long one and we did deadlifts, lateral lunges, front raises, and plank rows before going to the rower. The rowing started at 400 meters and then went down 100 meters each time. I didn’t get spectacular times on my rowing, but I was always under the goal time which I was happy with. The second block was pushups to side planks, squat rows, and crunches. By the end of the floor work, I was feeling a bit off but fortunately that was at the end of the workout and not at the beginning.

And even though I didn’t feel like doing a Saturday workout this past week, I made myself do it. The next 2 weeks are going to be 3 workout weeks due to scheduling issues, so I knew I needed to have a 4 workout week this week. It was a power workout with 3 groups.¬†We had 3 rotations around the room and every block was 4 minutes (so 12 blocks total).

On the treadmill, it was mainly push to all out paces. I tried running the first push pace on the first block and realized that running wasn’t going to be happening for me. I was disappointed because I usually am able to run the power days, but my body wasn’t feeling right and I’m working on listening to my body more. I did all my inclines at 6 and 8% and it was ok but I didn’t feel like I worked hard enough.

On the floor, it was tough to keep going for the 4 minutes but I did my best. One block had shoulder and pop jacks. Another block was lunges using the straps with more squats. And the last block had some plank work which was nice for being toward the end of the workout. And the rower was interesting. The first block was a 4 minute row for distance and I did get over 800 meters. The second block was seeing how few pulls you could do to get to 200 meters and I got it down to 16. And the last block was the same pattern as the treadmill with push and all out paces. While I was not feeling like going to the workout before being there, I’m glad I went because I did feel pretty decent when it was all done.

Now I’ve got 2 weeks of weird workouts. I’m still going to fit my workouts in, but it will not be when I’m used to going and I’ll have more time off between workouts from this week to next week than I’m used to. I hope that it doesn’t affect me too much, but at least now I’ve proven to myself that I have made progress and even if I have an off day I can get back there.

Third Time’s Not The Charm (or Being Ok With An Ok Dri-Tri)

This past Saturday was the Dri-Tri at Orangetheory. This would be my 3rd DriTri, but even though I had done it before I was pretty nervous. I might have been more nervous this time because not only did I know what I was in for but I had high expectation of what I could do. But I also was nervous because I knew I didn’t feel as prepared this year as I had in the past.

My week of workouts leading up to the Dri-Tri seemed pretty good, especially with my running. I was really optimistic that while my rowing might not have been where I wanted it to be that I could make up the time for the overall timing with my running. Ideally, I wanted to beat my time on the rower, on the half 5K, and overall; but I would have been happy with just having a best on 2 of those things.

The morning of the Dri-Tri I was feeling a bit concerned, but I was excited to get there and do it. There were multiple heats for it and I got a space in the first one. It was later than I’m used to working out on a Saturday, but not that much later. When I got there, I got a rower and sat down while trying to calm myself down. I tried to focus on taking deep breaths and getting into a relaxed headspace. I knew that I didn’t want to overdo it on the rower and I was just reminding myself that I didn’t have to race anyone and that I could just focus on me.

Before we got started our coaches went over how the entire event would work. This was pretty familiar to me but the floor work always seems overwhelming when they go over everything that we have to do. Once we got back to the rowers to get started, I just kept reminding myself to take it easy because I knew that the row was going to take a while and I didn’t want to have to take breaks.

Once we got started, I tried to zone out. I didn’t look at the rower computer or really focus on anything. I just tried to keep my breathing and rowing to a pattern and steady. I did start a bit harder than I wanted to, but I quickly got into a comfortable rowing speed and was feeling pretty good. By the time that other people were done with their row, I started to focus a bit more again and see how I was doing. In my last Dri-Tri, my row was completed in under 9 minutes. This time, I was hoping to be done in under 8 1/2 minutes but I realized that it wasn’t going to happen.

I didn’t think I was going that slow, but I think that I wasn’t pushing hard enough with my legs. My wattage was lower than it should have been and that made my rowing distance go by slower. I knew I’d be able to get it done in under 10 minutes for sure, but I really wanted to be as close to my last 2,000 meter row time from the last time I did it. When I was done, I was exhausted and ready to move on. I was the last person to finish on the rower, but that was what I figured would happen. But I took almost 9 1/2 minutes to complete my row. It was pretty disappointing and I started to get down on myself. But I was still hopeful that I could make up some time on the floor and on the treadmill so my overall time was still improving.

On the floor, we had 300 body weight exercises. Those included push-ups, squats, step ups (or for me, lunges), hop overs, and plank jacks. We had a certain number of reps to do for each exercise, but to complete 300 reps we did them all twice. This part has been one of the toughest for me in the Dri-Tri because I’m usually so tired after the rower and it’s not easy to do all these exercises. Plus, I’m so competitive with myself so I don’t take all the breaks that I should. I’m not good at planning my breaks when they aren’t built into the workout so I usually go without breaks for the beginning and then take more breaks than I should toward the end.

The floor work was going fine for me until the first set of burpees. My hip popped out during those and I just figured I’d get it to pop back in and keep going. I pushed it back like I normally do and thought I got it done. But it kept coming out. This does happen from time to time and it’s really annoying when it does because it seems like it takes forever to make better. But I didn’t have forever to work on it so I just had to keep going and stopping when I needed to put pressure on my hip to make it feel better. I tried to count in batches so it didn’t seem so overwhelming when I was trying to count to 30 and that helped a bit. And like with the rower, I was the last person to finish on the floor before moving to the treadmill.

The treadmill part of the Dri-Tri is a 5K. If you are a power walker, you do half of a 5K. I originally thought that I’d try to see how far I could get into a 5K before I had to stop, but my official time would be with the half 5K since that’s what I’ve used every other time. I was going to do my treadmill work as a run/walk and since I had some great running earlier in the week with my workouts I was hopeful that it would go well. My big goal was to do the running as either 2 or 3 minute intervals with 1 minute of walking and see how that felt. But because of my hip, I barely made it 1 minute of running at the start before I had to walk.

I thought that maybe I’d just have to do 1 minute intervals even though I didn’t want to be slower than before, but when I tried to run the second time I knew my body just wasn’t having it. It was tough to accept that I would be walking the entire time, but I knew that I had to do it. I kept my speed steady at 3.5mph which is my standard base pace and I kept my incline at 4% which is also what I use for my base pace. I knew I could do it normally, but this wasn’t normal circumstances. My hip wasn’t happy and I had to take lots of breaks to try to make it feel better.

There were plenty of times I felt like giving up on the treadmill. And there were a few times I was close to tears because I was so mad at myself. I questioned if I did too much in my workouts leading up to this and made things harder on myself. I questioned if doing the Dri-Tri in general was the right decision for me. And I wondered where things went wrong and caused all the issues that I had that day. The other problem was that it takes much longer to do the half 5K walking than it does as a run/walk, so it felt like it was taking forever. But when I got close to the end I decided that I had to push myself and ran for the last minute or so until I got to 1.55 miles. This was not the best time I could have gotten on the treadmill, but it’s what ended up happening.

It’s slower than what half of a 5K would have taken me for the past few races, but again there was almost no running this time. And when I do 5K races I didn’t do 2,000 meters of rowing and 300 body weight exercises before my race, so I guess I can’t really compare it.

The first time I did a Dri-Tri, I wanted to finish in under an hour and I finished in just under 53 minutes. My second Dri-Tri I wanted to just do my rowing in under 10 minutes (which I did) and I did the entire thing in under 44 minutes. This time, I thought maybe I could do the entire thing in under 43 minutes and I could beat my rowing time. I didn’t beat my rowing time and my overall time was just over 50 minutes. I’m not happy with myself at all, but I’m trying to be. I know that not everyone can do this fitness event so just getting through it is an accomplishment. But when you have such high hopes for yourself it’s tough to accept something less than what you wanted.

I’ve spent the past few days trying to think about what I could have done better, but I think that things were just not in my favor that day. I don’t know if I could have changed anything and that’s part of what’s tough for me to deal with. But I keep reminding myself that this was just one time doing the Dri-Tri and I should have plenty of chances in the future to do another one. I can work harder on preparing and see what’s possible. But more than anything, I need to just remember that I did it and that’s the most important thing!

 

SaveSave

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.

An Off Workout Week (or Just Trying To Do My Best)

This past week of workouts weren’t that great for me. I seemed to have issues almost every workout day for some reason or another and it was tough to feel happy with what I was able to do. I do just try to keep reminding myself that working out is better than not working out, but that doesn’t work all the time for me.

Monday’s workout was a tornado class. That means that we had very short blocks and switched between each block. This time, every block was only 2 minutes long and we had 5 rounds around the room (15 blocks in total). I started on the rower because everyone seemed to get to class super early with it being a holiday and no traffic. I thought I was there early, but I was wrong.

For the rower and the treadmill, we had the same thing for all 5 blocks. On the rower, we had 45 seconds of a push row, 30 seconds of a base row, and 45 seconds of an all out row. I tried to get 400 meters each block because that would be about what I normally do, but I only ended up averaging about 350 meters each block which surprised me. That’s pretty low for me and I didn’t feel like I wasn’t rowing that different from normal.

On the treadmill, we had 75 second push paces followed by 45 second all out paces. On a normal day, I can totally run for 2 minutes. And knowing that I would be getting off the treadmill after 2 minutes would make running even easier. But I was dealing with some horrible nausea during class and running was making it much worse. So I ended up power walking for those 2 minutes each time. I did 6% and 8% which is pretty standard for me.

And on the floor, while each block was different they all had the same format. It was 2 moves on each block. Move 1 was for 45 seconds, move 2 was for 30 seconds, and then we did move 1 again for 45 seconds. It was interesting having everything as timed segments and not rep numbers and it helped me to keep going because I knew how much longer I’d be doing each move. The floor moves included deadlifts, upright rows, bicep work, plank work, strap work, squats, and lunge. It was a good mix of things and I think the floor was probably my favorite thing for the workout.

Wednesday’s workout was a very difficult one for me. First, again I had to start on the rowers. In some way I’m glad that I had my rowing challenge the week before, but I really don’t like starting on the rower/floor. It will never be my first choice in the workout. But that wasn’t the only difficult part about the workout. That morning I had an appointment with my dermatologist and she had to freeze something on the bottom of my foot. I didn’t think it would hurt too much during the workout, but I was wrong. My foot was pretty tender and I wasn’t able to put my weight on it like normal.

The floor work was 2 blocks. The first block was weighted swings, burpees, plank work, and rowing. For rowing, we started at 400 meters and went down 100 meters each time we got back to the rower. Rowing was a bit tough because you usually put pressure on your heels, so I had to just be gentle with myself. The second block was squat work, skaters, plank work, and more rowing. This time the rowing started at 100 meters and went up 100 meters each round.

When I got to the treadmill, I thought maybe I could just walk really slow and things would be ok. But after less than a minute I knew that the treadmill wasn’t going to be for me that day. I went over to the bike for cardio and it was an interesting change for me. It has been a while since I was on the bike but I’m glad that it’s an option in class because there was no way I could have done the treadmill. There were 3 cardio blocks each with a similar format of a long push pace to an all out pace followed by stand alone all out paces. It’s tough to judge how well I did since it had been so long since I was on the bike, but at least I was able to do it without my foot hurting too much.

Friday’s workout was a mix of endurance, strength, and power and we didn’t switch between blocks. My foot was feeling better but it was still a bit tender. So I ended up walking again even though I really wanted to run. We started with strength which was all incline work. I had to stick to my normal inclines of 6-8% because of my foot, but I did the hill patterns the way we were supposed to. For the endurance block I did all my push paces at 6% and for the power block I did all my all out paces at 8%. I was happy to be back on the treadmill, but not so happy that I couldn’t run again.

For the floor, we had 3 blocks and each block had rowing that was 100 meters to start and then adding 50 meters each round. Each time I only managed to get to 100 and 150 meters and none of them were exceptional times for me. But I was rowing much better since my foot was feeling better. We also had lunges, plank work, side lunges, biceps, squats and abs. But for me, the highlight on the floor was not having my foot hurt as much as it had on Wednesday.

Saturday’s workout was a strength workout so I knew that I’d be walking again on the treadmill. It was a 3 group class and we did switch between the blocks. I started on the treadmill and the first block I kept things pretty similar to how I normally do hills on the treadmill with being between 6-8% inclines. But in the second block I decided to push myself and did most of my incline work at 10% which is higher than I usually do. It was tough, but I’m glad I tried because I’ve realized that I do need to work on making my power walk workouts more of a challenge.

On the floor, the first block had chest presses, pull overs, and a single arm row and I was able to use 20lb weights for all of the moves. That’s pretty normal for me for the chest presses and pull overs, but for single arm moves I usually can’t do 20lb weights. So I was glad I tried and found out that I could do it. For the second block we had triceps, single arm fly, and ab work and for all of those I used 15lb weights. That wasn’t too unusual for me, but for ab work I usually don’t use weights and this time I did. And on the rower the first block was decreasing rows starting at 400 meters and with squats in-between each set of rows. And the second block was 200 meter rows each time with lateral raises in-between each set.

It’s upsetting that I’m upset about not having a great workout week, but in a way that is more motivation for me to try to see what more I can do when I’m having off days to make them better. Hopefully this week of workouts will be better and if it isn’t maybe I can just have a better attitude about it.

Over-scheduled and Bored (or Why Can’t I Find A Happy Medium)

Lately it has seemed like my schedule has had some serious ups and downs. I’ve had days where I’ve had absolutely nothing planned (or nothing planned beyond having to work that day) and then I’ve had days that were so over-scheduled that I was stressed out about how I would manage to do it all without running late. It’s so crazy to me that one day I could be sitting at home bored out of my mind and the next day I could be gone for almost 16 hours from the time I leave my house for the first thing planned until I get home from the last thing planned.

I do like to be busy. First, that gives me something to blog about. If I just sat at home every day after work, this would become a very boring blog. I’d still have some personal and emotional things to write about (like this post), but there would be no adventures. And I also know that when I’m busy I either don’t have the desire to binge or I don’t have the time to. Sometimes when I’m super busy I do still have a binge eating episode, but those are not as often as they are in my normal life.

I know that I can’t depend on my schedule to get me into recovery or to eliminate binges, but it’s almost like a fantasy in my mind that I would love to have come true. I know that there have been things that have happened in my past that have put me in a temporary state of recovery, but when that ended my eating disorder was back. I know that recovery isn’t just being too busy to have an eating disorder because your eating disorder will find a way to become a priority in your schedule again. But I feel good knowing that at least right now in my life, my eating disorder has to work around my schedule and that I’m not cancelling plans to have being episodes.

In an ideal world, I would be able to handle being busy enough most of the time that bingeing doesn’t happen that often, that would get me to recovery, and it would stick even if my schedule got less busy in the future. But I don’t live in an ideal world and being busy most of the week isn’t good for my mental health. I occasionally have mini-breakdowns where I have gotten too overwhelmed by everything and just need to have a day at home where I do nothing. Of course, those days never happen to fall on days that already had nothing scheduled on them. But I try to be flexible with my schedule to allow myself to have a mental health day when I need it.

And I have been trying to find a good happy medium between having too much and having too little to do. I don’t know what that happy medium looks like yet. I thought I had gotten there a few weeks ago, and then I had a moment where I freaked out because I had so many unread emails and tasks I needed to check off. I’ve been trying to make daily checklists to get things done, but on both busy and lazy days sometimes I’m not able to get those done. And then those things that needed to get done just pile up and continue to overwhelm me.

I think that part of the overwhelming feeling is that only some of my schedule is in my control. Many things have to be done at the time they are scheduled (like work) and I can’t get around that. I have to plan my other things around it and sometimes 2 non-flexible things are up against each other and I either have to prioritize and say no to something to ask someone to move their schedule around. I hate asking others to adjust to my schedule because I don’t want to feel like I’m inconveniencing someone. But sometimes I need to have the courage to do that or to say no to something that I know would be at a time that wouldn’t be best for me.

I’m really working on planning out my days better so that on both over-scheduled and lazy days are productive and as stress-free as possible. I’m trying to take travel time in consideration when planning things so that I feel confident that I can make it from one thing to another. And I’m continuing to try to work on figuring out how much stuff in one week is too much and how little is too little. It’s a weird balancing act to try to figure out, but I know that as long as I’m working on it that I will get there eventually.

 

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.