Category Archives: Tough Stuff

One More San Diego Day (or I Don’t Know When I’ll Be Doing This Again)

This past weekend I did a day trip to San Diego for what will possibly be the last time for a while. My grandma is moving from San Diego to up north where she will be close to my aunt, uncle, and my parents. I’m super excited for my grandma because I think this move will be a really great thing for her. But it’s still a weird feeling that I won’t have any more family in San Diego anymore.

My entire life my grandparents lived in San Diego. They bought their house a year or two before I was born. Then a few years ago they moved to their apartment which was only a few freeway exits further from their house. When my grandpa died, my grandma moved to assisted living but it was in the same building as their apartment. So that move didn’t really feel like a big move. But now she’s doing the biggest move in my lifetime.

On my drive down I was trying to not think about how this was probably the last time I’d be doing this drive for a long time. I’ve been going to San Diego my entire life. And once I moved to LA, I started to do the drive on my own for visits with my grandparents and for Thanksgiving. I would guess that I probably did the drive 3 times a year on average for the last 16 1/2 years. So that’s about 50 times that I’ve done that drive. I have so many random landmarks that I look out for on that drive to help pass the time. And I’ve had a lot of random driving adventures on that drive as well.

I probably won’t be driving to where my grandma is moving to (it’s about a 7 hour drive for me) so I’ll be flying to visit her and for Thanksgiving. In some ways it’s nice to know that I won’t be doing that drive again because it is a bit tiring, but it’s sad to know that I can’t do a day trip to see my grandma and that I will have to do more planning when I want to see her.

For this last trip to San Diego, I went down to help with the prep for my grandma to move. 2 of my aunts where there as well as my parents (and the dog). There were so many people in my grandma’s place that it did get a little crazy in there, but I was just trying to help wherever I could. My dad and I put together boxes and got artwork off the wall. I didn’t really do any of the packing, but I also wasn’t going to be the person unpacking so I wanted to let others do that job. They would know what was in each box so I didn’t want to ruin their planning.

And the main job that I knew that I would have that day would be to be a distraction. While I think my grandma is excited to be closer to family, I think this move is a bit scary and overwhelming for her. We are doing everything we can to make it as easy as possible, but it’s still an unknown for her and I think she still sometimes struggles knowing that it’s just her and not her and my grandpa. But I made sure that my grandma was feeling ok throughout the day. And I joked to her how her only job was to sit back and enjoy us doing all the work.

We got a lot of stuff packed up while I was there. I went back home that evening but there were movers to help move all the heavy stuff the next morning (and there will be movers at the new place to help unload all the heavy stuff). Fortunately, my grandma’s new place will be just about the same size as her current one so we didn’t have to worry about downsizing her things. We’ve done that when they moved from their house to their apartment and then again when my grandma moved from the apartment to where she was living. It was stressful trying to do that and I know it made my grandma emotional deciding what to keep. So I’m glad that we didn’t have to do that part again.

On my drive home, I was a bit sad. I’m so happy for my grandma and I am so glad she won’t be as isolated as she has been in San Diego. But this is the end of something that has been a part of my life for my entire life. I am not someone who moves that often (it’s almost been 8 years since I moved into my house) and my parents still have the house that they got before I was born. So maybe I’m just not used to transitions like this. I do still have some friends who live in San Diego (although normally they come to LA to see me) so I know I’ll be back down there eventually. But for now, I’m saying goodbye to San Diego and closing the chapter of my life that has family living there.

Managing My Setbacks (or Taking My Time With Adjustments)

This past week of workouts were a bit tough for me. I had a few things that were preventing me from doing my best, but I knew that was going to happen ahead of time. I think knowing the week was going to be a bit of struggle before getting to each workout was actually an advantage because I set my expectations lower than normal and didn’t have to worry about reaching goals that probably wouldn’t be possible.

Monday’s workout was a 3G power class. Normally this would be an amazing workout to work on running, but that wasn’t the plan this time. First, this was my first class with taking my Vyvanse all in the morning instead of splitting it up between the morning and lunchtime. Also, this was my 4th class in a row because I had my normal classes the week before plus the special 500 class on Sunday. Because of those factors, I didn’t try to run at all. We had 3 blocks on each section and we switched between the blocks.

The treadmill was all the same pattern for all 3 blocks. We had a push pace, a base pace, a push pace, and an all out pace. I managed to use my normal walking speed and the inclines I’ve been using for a while so that seemed like a victory to me. On the rower, the first block was doing 15 pulls and seeing what distance we got. Then we tried to get to that distance in fewer pulls. The second block was the same idea but with 300 meters. And the last block was just rowing for distance. My rower was acting funny and it wasn’t doing the meters correctly so I just tried to row straight through each block. And on the floor we had 2 moves for each block. And those moves included lunges, push-ups, hop overs, lateral raises, pop jacks, and upright rows using weights.

Wednesday’s workout had its own struggle. It was the first day on a new dosage of Vyvanse. Fortunately since it was an afternoon workout it didn’t affect me as much as it did in the morning, but I still have to make sure my heart rate doesn’t get too high. It was an endurance day and I did start trying to run but realized that I couldn’t do my running intervals. So I stuck with walking with my normal walking speed and was able to do my inclines. The goal for the class was to get ourselves back to base pace (instead of increasing push or all out paces) so I tried really hard not to jump the rails on the treadmill during the workout. I did have to do it when my heart rate got a bit too high, but I was doing better than expected. On the floor, the first block was squats, hamstring work, and knee tucks. The second block was rounds of 200 meter rows with hammer curls in-between. And the last block was sumo squats, half squat swings, and plank jacks.

And just when I thought things would be a bit more normal, I had a new issue on Friday. This time, I had a minor freezing procedure on my foot so it was a bit tender. It wasn’t as bad as it’s been in the past, but again I knew I needed to stick with walking. This time it was a power day and all the blocks had rounds of push to all out paces. I stuck with my normal speed and inclines, but since I was on the treadmill I still felt pretty good. I debated about using the bike, but I know my treadmill workouts are better and I’m glad I was able to do that. And the floor had skaters, plank twists, deadlifts, alligators on the straps, mountain climbers, and plank dips. And the last block on the floor was the same pattern as the treadmills with push to all out paces.

Saturday’s workout was a bit better than the rest of the week. But of course when I was debating if I could run it ended up being a strength day so I didn’t want to run inclines. It was a 3 group class and I’m pretty glad that it was because this was a tough one! On the treadmill, we had rounds of 3 minute or 90 second hills. I wanted to try to get my inclines higher, but I was feeling a little light-headed so I stuck with my usual inclines. On the floor we had lunges, upright rows with weights, lateral raises, chest flys, and weighted ab work. And on the rower we had decreasing rows starting at 500 meters and between each row we had squats and push-ups.

This week I will be increasing my medication again so I have a feeling I will have a similar week to the past week. I need to be careful with my heart rate and I’m glad that I go to a workout that makes it easy to monitor it. This week should be the last medication increase and then it might take another week or two to have this dosage feel normal. I’m just going to keep focusing on trying to do my best and realize that I have setbacks that might not be allowing me to do everything I’d like to do.

Figuring Out Some Self-Care (or Working On My Physical And Mental Health)

I’ve been a bit too stressed out lately. A lot of it had to do with just being overwhelmed and trying to schedule myself, but that didn’t explain all of it. Reflecting back on it, I think that it’s possible that my panic and anxiety disorder came back. It wasn’t enough for me to feel like I needed to take medication or call my new therapist, but it was something I was aware of.

Like with so many other things in my life, being aware is a huge step for me and I consider that to be a win. But of course I wanted to make the stressed out feelings go away and not just be aware of it. Part of what I’ve been working on is related to my monthly challenge this month. I’m being a bit selfish and turning down invitations to things I don’t want to go to. I’m not committing myself to things that aren’t what I want to do socially and I’m not going insane when there is an event I want to go to but it doesn’t fit into my schedule. I’ve had to miss some fun things like birthday parties and baby showers because of work, but I’m not feeling guilty that I have to work because my friends understand.

Being selfish is a bit of self-care and I never really thought of that before. I think it has been a big step in my mental health although it isn’t fixing everything. But giving time to myself does allow me to think through the stress I’m feeling and figuring out what is causing it and what I can do to make it a bit better. And I know I’ve said this probably a million times, but I am also working on time management to work on my stress. I hate when I get to the end of the day and I still have so much to get done. I’m trying to work on doing stuff throughout the day and not just after work or after my workout.

But this time, I’m also working on my physical self-care too. I love to look at different beauty products, but I’m not always someone who uses them. But I decided to get a set of sheet masks from Amazon (they were pretty cheap) so I could work on my skin care. They are nice, but I look pretty creepy when I’m using them!

I’ve only used one so far so I don’t see a huge difference in my skin, but I think the mental break I get when I use those masks help too. It is time that I have to be still and relax, which I probably don’t do enough. I also found a nice new body cream at CVS on sale that I got that feels a lot more luxurious than my normal body lotion. Sometimes, it’s the little things like those that make a big difference.

I’ve been working a lot of doing these self-care things this week and I really have noticed my stress levels go down. I still need it to go down a bit more before I feel totally like myself, but I’m glad it’s getting better. I didn’t need to turn to medication (which I’d rather not use since it will make my Vyvanse less effective) and I’m not waiting it out and suffering. I’m taking action and figuring out what works. Or at least what works for me right now. I know that things will change all the time and what is working now might not work later this year. But at least I was productive in figuring out what I needed to do.

I know that this self-care is a positive step, but I still am working on how to stop the stress from getting to this level. I want to be able to stop it before it gets this bad and I start feeling overwhelmed. But as I’ve learned I have to look at the baby steps I take and not get frustrated. I can’t be expected to figure out everything right away so I need to appreciate that I figured out one small step toward figuring it all out. And hopefully next time, I’ll figure out the next small step.

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New Year New Therapist (or Not Starting At Square One)

I’ve been seeing my therapist for a little while. At first I was going more often, but more recently it was only twice a year. In therapy, I talked about some of the issues that may have helped to lead to my eating disorder, but in the end we really came to the conclusion that I just had the genetic code that made me extra susceptible to having some sort of addiction issue and that food ended up being what I turned to. I do have some self-confidence issues with people being verbally abusive to me in my past, but I know that what they said about me isn’t true and I just have to work on reminding myself that.

It was nice that I had gotten to that point with my therapist. It’s not too common that someone prescribing you medication wouldn’t make you do as much talk therapy, but he knew that I really wasn’t needing it anymore. While I’m not totally in recovery, I’m probably in the best mental state I’ve ever been in for my entire life. I’m so happy that I’ve had the breakthroughs that I have had and I know that my therapist was proud of me as well.

But before my most recent appointment, I found out that my therapist was no longer working for the medical offices (and he may not be working at all in LA anymore). I was originally randomly assigned a new therapist, but I ended up calling and making sure that I was set to see someone who works with those with eating disorders. I knew that this appointment was more of just a meeting and if I didn’t like the therapist I could ask for another appointment with another doctor, but I also nervous. I know that not all doctors would be as relaxed about things as my previous therapist was, but I hoped for the best. I went into my appointment with as open of a mind as possible.

And I have to say that I really lucked out. My new therapist really did take the time to review the notes my previous therapist made in my chart (I’m seriously so curious what he had written about me). She knew my progress in therapy and with medication and was pretty educated on my medical history. And I was blunt and honest with her about how I wasn’t really seeking as much talk therapy as I was when I started because I felt like I had reached the pinpoint of my issues. I knew that telling her that was a risky move because the medications I take are a controlled substance and I didn’t want to sound like a drug seeker.

But she completely understood where I was in therapy and why I didn’t feel the need to talk things out the way I did in the beginning. Of course she gave me the option to talk things out if I felt like I needed to, but I told her that my only fears were about if she was going to change my entire treatment plan. She is going to make some changes in my medication. She actually thinks my dosage is too low and we will be making increases to how much I take over the next few weeks. And we will be doing a follow-up phone call in a month so she can know how I’m doing. That’s much easier than me coming in again and I appreciate that she is giving me that option. And if everything goes as well as she thinks it will, most likely I will go back to twice a year appointments.

As my therapy appointment ended, my therapist noticed that the rainstorm that had been happening earlier that day had ended and that there was an amazing double rainbow right outside. I took it as a good sign that this new therapist is going to be a great member of my medical team and that good things are on their way for me.

While switching therapists wasn’t what I was planning on doing, I’m so happy that it went as well as it did. In the past, I had some therapists that I didn’t feel connected with me and that I wasn’t getting anything out of the appointments. It’s not easy to find someone who you want to work with and I’ve been lucky enough to get two therapists back to back that seem to be the right people for me. And hopefully with the new medication plan I will see more progress in my recovery. But if I don’t, I know that this therapist will be able to work with me and we will figure out what I need to do.

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A Boring Visit At The Dentist (or Getting Ready For A Future Bad Appointment)

This week I had a dentist visit. It wasn’t that long ago that an appointment would be a pretty huge thing for me because I would have a horrible panic attack. I’ve had panic attacks at the dentist pretty much my entire adult life until not too long ago. I still wonder when the panic will come back, but I’m trying to stay optimistic about it.

I was a bit worried this time because I had some weird issues that turned out to be related to hurting my gums randomly. Everything will be fine and back to normal soon. It’s always so reassuring when the hygienist tells me that things are fine because then all the worst case scenarios can finally go away in my head. I still always worry that there is something that is missed and it will come back to haunt me at the next appointment, but I try to not think about that. I don’t want to spend the months between appointments worried. It’s bad enough to be worried the week or two before going in.

I’m still a bit boggled by how my panic issues have gone away. I know that my medications were supposed to make them worse and not better. But I’m such a medical weirdo in so many other ways so I guess it makes sense that I would have the opposite side effect. I try not to think about it too much and just try to stay grateful that I can finally have somewhat normal dentist appointments. For most people, going to the dentist is so routine and not something that they fear. I am trying to get back to that mindset.

I am lucky that the hygienist I see is pretty awesome. She and I chat and gossip during my appointment so that makes it a bit more fun. We are always updating each other on our lives and sharing crazy stories that have happened. She may be doing that just to distract me from everything, but I think she enjoys making my appointment a bit more fun too. She’s so used to seeing the bits of panic that still happen at appointments and she really does so much to try to make everything easier on me. And that includes giving me a heads up on anything she sees right at the beginning of the appointment.

This time, I mentioned to her the issues I was having and she took a look and told me that everything was fine. That’s better than all the horrible things that went through my head and were making me freak out a bit. But while she was doing the first glance at all my teeth, she did notice something that isn’t great. I’ve had a ton of dental work done. I genetically have bad teeth and have had to deal with issues for a long time. I’ve got lots of fillings, a couple of crowns, and some general issues. But all that dental work isn’t a permanent fix.

I haven’t had to have a crown replaced yet (I have had one fall off and need to be re-glued, but that’s different), but I’ve had pretty much all the fillings replaced at least once. Fillings usually last about 10 years and I think I’ve got a few that are older than that. Since I take good care of my teeth and go to the dentist 3 times a year, maybe I make mine last longer. But I know that they aren’t forever and eventually they need to be worked on again. I just had a filling replaced last year and fortunately it wasn’t that bad.

So while the hygienist was taking a look at everything, she noticed another filling of mine was looking darker which could be a sign that it was getting worn down. This isn’t as urgent as the replacement of the filling was last time, so nothing is planned to be done yet. It was just marked down as something to watch and see what happens. And the next time I’m at the dentist, it’s the big appointment where I get my x-rays and see the dentist. So at that appointment, I think the dentist will probably say that it needs to be replaced since he likes to take care of things early to prevent them from getting worse (like making this end up needing to be a crown).

I am grateful that I didn’t get bad news at my appointment this time, but now I’m just trying to forget that I’m probably going to get bad news next time. I’m sure that I will be having the work done after my next appointment and hopefully it goes as easily as it did last year. I know I’m getting better with shots so that does help make things easier on me. And I just have to keep reminding myself that fixing this now with an easy appointment means avoiding a really bad one later. I’ve had too many of those bad appointments and I don’t want to deal with another one.

But for now, I’m focusing on the good of my lack of panicking at the dentist and ignoring the potential for the bad appointment coming up in a few months.

Ringing In 2018 (or Being Festive While Being Lazy On The Couch)

I had been looking forward to New Year’s Eve for a while. It’s always a great party and I knew that I’d be seeing a bunch of my friends there. And I was hoping for a much easier time getting home after the party compared to the year before (that’s when my car died). Everything seemed to be going my way until the week of New Year’s Eve.

That’s when I started dealing with the nausea and pain from hormones and I started to question if I was even going to make it to the party. I felt so horrible and wasn’t sure if I’d be a good party guest. But then I realized that not going to the party wasn’t going to make me feel better and I wanted to see my friends no matter what. So I took all my medications to try to help me get through the evening and headed to the party.

I did accessorize with my bracelets with my words of 2017 and 2018 on them because it felt like a fun way to celebrate a new year.

When I got to the party, I wasn’t feeling too bad. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to eat anything, but I was able to hang out outside and be social with my friends. It was a smaller party than it has been in the past so it was easier to talk to people and catch up.

But after about an hour, I felt like my medications weren’t working anymore and the pain and nausea were getting to me again. I wasn’t going to leave the party, but I decided to go lay down on a couch in their living room to try to feel better. For a little while, I was by myself in there and that was fine with me. But slowly people started joining me in the living room to hang out and dance. I stayed on the couch being lazy and trying to feel better but it was nice to feel like I was still involved a bit.

Pretty much everyone at the party knew the situation with how I was feeling, so nobody was making a big deal out of me not doing much at the party. And people seemed to be making a bit of an effort to come over to hang out with me since they knew I wasn’t going to be getting up from the couch. And while I was feeling bad most of the time, there were moments that I felt like myself again and I managed to take a fun photo with some of my friends.

I was at the party for a few hours, and for a majority of that time I was on the couch not feeling so great. It was nice to have the distractions of my friends, but it was a bit frustrating to not feel like myself and to not be participating as much as I would have liked. Everyone seemed so happy and at times I worried that I was being a downer and bringing the party down (I know in reality I wasn’t, I just felt that way).

Right before midnight we turned on the tv to watch the ball drop (even though it was technically a 3 hour delay from when it happened in New York). I fortunately was feeling slightly better as midnight approached so I got off the couch and joined everyone to celebrate the new year. Even though I don’t drink that much now, I would have had some of the champagne if I was feeling ok. But I didn’t think mixing pain and anti-nausea meds with even a little bit of alcohol was a smart idea. So I toasted the new year with water instead.

I was happy that I made it to midnight with my friends, but right after I decided it was time to head home and get to bed. The party was going strong when I was leaving, but everyone knows that I like to leave before it gets too late because I don’t want to have to deal with crazy drivers on the road. I was also a bit paranoid that something would happen on my drive back like last year. Fortunately, I got home without any issues and was in bed before 1am.

While this wasn’t the New Year’s Eve that I had been looking forward to, it still ended up being a fun time. I think that just being around my friends is what makes these parties so great for me. The next party will be the Oscar party and I’ve already started to work on my costume for it. I’ve got a fun idea for the costume and I think it shouldn’t be too tough for me to do!

First Monthly Challenge Of 2018 (or Time To Be A Bit Selfish)

With the new year I’ve also got a new Volt Planner! They did some minor redesign work on the planner and I love how it looks! It’s so clean with lots of room to write things and decorate. But the redesign didn’t change a lot of the important stuff like the monthly challenges. So since it’s the beginning of a month it’s time for a new monthly challenge!

First, a quick recap on December’s challenge. I set that challenge to be to work on my handwriting. And for the first half of the month, that went really well! I got some new nice pens to use and found lots of free printable handwriting guides to use. I think my handwriting did get a bit better and I learned some new style ideas with writing. But for the second half of the month, I just didn’t work on it. There wasn’t really a good reason, I just didn’t. But I still worked on making my handwriting nice when I was writing anything. So I still want to work on this and I know I will. But I don’t know if it will be something I work on every day.

For my first challenge of this year, I really wanted to think about something that connected to my goals for the year and word of the year. I kept coming back to an idea for a challenge but then rejected it because it didn’t seem right. I felt a bit embarrassed that it would be my challenge and wouldn’t want to share it. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this should be my challenge. I shouldn’t be fearful about what others think and that’s kind of exactly what this month’s challenge is all about.

This month, my challenge is to allow myself to be a bit selfish.

I know this sounds a bit weird, but I’ll explain myself. This does not mean that I’m only going to think of myself. I’m still going to consider others and be selfless more often than not. But I’m not going to be scared to be selfish and do what I know is the best thing for me even if someone else thinks that something else is better for me.

A perfect example of this was this past weekend. My brother and sister-in-law were going to be in LA visiting friends and wanted to know if I wanted to meet them for lunch. I of course said yes and was very excited to see them. But the day I was supposed to meet them, I was dealing with horrible nausea and pain because of my hormones. This was the worst I had ever felt and none of the medications I have were taking the edge off. But I was thinking I should still go to lunch because I told them that I would and I didn’t want to disappoint them. I knew I wouldn’t be able to eat and I would probably be in a lot of pain, but somehow I was more worried about bailing on plans than my health.

But then I realized how crazy that sounded. My brother and sister-in-law would totally understand if I couldn’t see them. It would have been so much better for me to stay home and try to take care of myself than to push myself and maybe make things worse for me. It felt like a selfish choice because I was putting myself first, but I knew I needed to do it. And it was fine. I texted them to let them know what was happening, they totally understood, and we figured we’d see each other another time. It wasn’t a big deal at all and they weren’t mad or upset with me. It’s silly how worried I was about it when it was fine.

After that, I realized that allowing myself to be a bit selfish is exactly what I need to challenge myself to do. I am very much a people pleaser and sometimes I do that to the point that it makes me unhappy. I want to focus on my happiness and sometimes that does mean being a bit selfish. If someone invites me to a party and I really feel like staying home, then I should stay home instead of going to a party and being miserable. If I want to prioritize myself, then I shouldn’t feel guilty about it.

It seems so weird to make being selfish a challenge for the month, but at the same time it seems so perfect. There really isn’t a good way for me to judge if I’m successful in this challenge or not compared to some challenges in the past, but I think that I just want to give myself permission to be selfish and not feel bad about it. I know that if I’m selfish and feel bad that I can think about it and realize that most likely I’m not hurting anyone with my decision. And taking away that guilty feeling would be the biggest win in this challenge that I can think of.

My Word For 2018 (or Time To Be Fearless)

Most of my posts this week will be all about new year stuff. A new year brings a lot of new beginnings, and this is another one. This is all about my word for 2018! I’ve been doing a word of the year for a few years now and I always try to pick something that seems really positive and powerful. Those are attributes that I know I need to work on and the words I pick seems to be things that I feel like I was lacking the year before.

Last year, after I had picked my word for the year, I found a bracelet from MantraBand that had the word on it. This year, I knew I’d want a bracelet so I decided to use the MantraBand website as my inspiration for what words I wanted to consider. I had a few different ones that seemed to be really perfect for me and I took time to think about what they all meant to me and what seemed to represent what I wanted to accomplish in 2018. And I finally decided on one just before NYE.

There is so much that I am scared about and I want to work past that. And the word fearless works so well for so many different aspects of my life. I know that being fearful can hold me back so I want to make sure that I don’t use that as an excuse to not try. This is for sure something I struggle with and I know that working to get beyond it really will be life-changing for me.

I love the idea of being fearless and just going for what I want or what I love. I love the idea that I won’t be second guessing myself or worried that I might do something that can ruin something for the rest of my life. I don’t want to be scared to see what would happen if I take chances in my career, my recovery, or my life.

I know that this isn’t as easy as being a warrior or being strong, but that’s one of the reasons I picked this word. This not only means making a positive change but changing a negative one that I already have in my life. But because it is going to be more difficult to do, I think that means the results are going to be so much more powerful in the end for me. I have the little voices in the back of my head telling me I should be fearful of something or to hold back from trying something new and I need to find a way to make them be quiet. And once my fearlessness is louder than the voices telling me to be fearful, I think that so much will be possible.

I think that I have made a lot of steps in 2017 to being a bit more fearless already. Getting back into the dating word is a huge step and I put myself out there so much. I allowed myself to be hurt which is something I avoided for a long time. It’s tough for me to be fearless with dating and take chances since in my past someone told me that I would never be loved by anyone. I always have a fear that the date that I’m on might be the last date I have the rest of my life. I know that the chances of that happening are pretty slim, but it’s very tough to believe it when someone told me otherwise for so much of my life.

But if I didn’t put myself out there, I wouldn’t have had the positive things as well. And I know that I want more of that feeling in my life. It’s scary to have faith in yourself and believe that you are going to get good things to come your way, but I’ve finally started to experience that and I know that I am worthy of the good and that the bad are the rare things I have to deal with. I don’t deserve the bad, but sometimes I have to weed through those to find the good. And I’m no longer as fearful of the bad because I know the good is out there.

When I got my MantraBand bracelet, the packaging has a little blurb about what the word means. And I love the one that they have for fearless.

To be fearless is to do what scares you, to take a chance, to make a change. To love again. And to get back up after you fall. To be fearless is to know your fears, but never let them stop you.

This is so perfect. I know what scares me. It’s getting beyond that and doing things anyway that I need to work on. I’m really hoping that this year I can learn how to become more fearless so I can see what possibilities are really out there for me.

So here’s to what will hopefully be my year of being fearless and seeing what amazing things can happen to me when I stop being scared and start living without fear!

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The End Of My 2017 Workouts (or Finishing With A Whimper And Not A Bang)

This post isn’t going to be like my typical workout recaps. It was an interesting week of workouts for sure, but not at all what I thought it would be. But I am still proud on how I finished out my workouts for 2017!

My first workout of the week was Wednesday. Monday was Christmas so the studio was closed. And Tuesday they had a limited schedule and all the classes were during times that I worked that day. So Wednesday was my first workout since the Saturday before. That was a long break between workouts and I didn’t like it. I know that I’m going to work on not letting that happen again if I can help it.

Wednesday’s workout was a power day and we had 4 blocks on the treadmill and 4 blocks on the floor, with all blocks being 5 minutes. All the treadmill blocks were a similar format starting with a push to all out, then a walking recovery, and ending with a push, base, all out pace. For the first two blocks, I was able to run the push and all out paces and was very happy with that. But I got a bit tired and wasn’t feeling my best (a preview of things to come) and ended up walking the last two blocks.

On the floor we had 3 blocks on the floor and one block on the rower. For all the floor blocks we had 2 moves. The first block was power jacks with shoulder work and knee tucks. The next block was low rows on straps and knee tucks (technically they were supposed to be pikes but I can’t do those). And the last block was power pull ups on the straps and rotation sit ups. And when we went to the rowers we had the same pattern of what was done on the treadmill.

My other workouts this past week were on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (I’m also doing a workout today which will make 4 workouts in a row). But none of those 3 workouts went the way I thought they would. On Thursday, I started to experience some pretty horrible PMS symptoms. My body does not react well to hormone fluctuations and that is why I went on birth control when I was 18. But since I can’t have any hormonal birth control now, I have to deal with my natural cycles and the issues that come with them.

While I do have medications to take to manage these symptoms, those don’t always work. And from Thursday evening through now I have been dealing with some extreme nausea and debilitating cramps. I am so lucky I work from home because I don’t think I could go to a job right now. I’m going to keep working with my doctors to see what new medications I can take or what other options we can try, but I also know that this may be my reality from now on and I need to learn to deal with it. I can’t let 25% of my life be wasted.

So even though I was feeling pretty awful on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I still went to work out. I couldn’t walk on the treadmill because that made my nausea worse, so I stuck to the bike. Rowing was difficult and I couldn’t even work half as hard as I normally can. And the floor work was sometimes ok, but if I had to lay down or do something in a plank pose I couldn’t always do it.

I don’t really have a recap for any of these workouts because I don’t exactly remember what I did and I didn’t really do anything that great. I didn’t even really sweat at all on my workout on Sunday. But what I’m trying to focus on is that I was consistent and went to class. If this is what things will always be like each month (and I hope that isn’t the case), I need to learn how to deal with it.

But even though my workouts for most of this past week weren’t that great, I still ended 2017 on a great note! I managed to do 196 workouts for the year!

I love that I went beyond my goal for the year because I feel like things weren’t as good this year as they have been in the past. I dealt with a few different injuries plus all the hormonal issues I’ve been having. But this is proof that I did put hard work into my workouts! And even if my last workout of 2017 was not my best one, I’m glad that I was able to work out with some amazing coaches and other class members! Have great people in class with me helps me focus on something better than how I’m feeling and keeps me motivated.

And now I feel ready to start my 2018 workouts and see what those may bring!

I Have To Be Political (or Hoping My Healthcare Stays The Same)

If you follow me on social media, you probably have seen that I tweet a lot about politics. I’m a Democrat, and I don’t always agree 100% with what Democrats say. But in a political climate like what we are in now, I feel more in line with my political party than ever.

It seems like politics are in the news more than ever now. That may be because things seem to be crazier than they ever have been. Also, the president seems to like to tweet out ridiculous things every now and then to make sure that he’s still in the news. Some of these tweets I feel are just to cover up something else that isn’t going to be reported, but I also feel like he just wants to make sure that there isn’t a lag in his press coverage.

I’ve become more politically active in the past year. Partially this is due to the last election, but I also feel more involved to the issues that are being discussed. I think some of feeling more involved is just being more educated by listening to a lot of political podcasts. But also it seems like so many things are personally affecting me in a way that they haven’t before.

When Republicans tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act, I was terrified. It’s because of the ACA that I have health insurance that is 1/3 of the cost that it was before. Before the ACA, I was only eligible for insurance that was created for people with pre-existed conditions. Now that pre-existing conditions can’t be used to turn you away from insurance, I’m getting normal insurance that has better benefits and lower monthly premiums. I do still miss when I was on my dad’s insurance because everything was free then, but what I have now is much better than what I had when I started to have to pay for it.

I was so relieved when the repeal of the ACA didn’t pass. I know how important my health insurance is for me. I don’t have the simplest health issues and I need insurance. If I didn’t have insurance, I can’t imagine where I’d be now. If I hadn’t found out about my tumors and continued to take hormonal birth control, the tumors would have continued to grow and they could have ruptured. And I know I wouldn’t have gone to the doctor when I did if I had to pay thousands of dollars to be seen. But because I had insurance, it was $50 for that appointment.

I’m aware that there are problems in the healthcare system and I’m not denying it. But so many problems were solved when the ACA passed and I’m so grateful for that. But with the recent tax bill that will likely be signed by the president, the ACA might not exist the way it has. The president seemed pretty pleased to announce that the tax bill pretty much ended the ACA. And that’s not false. They removed the mandate that required people to have health insurance in this bill. And if people aren’t required to have insurance, healthy people won’t necessarily get it. And that only leaves sicker people (like me) using it and that makes everything more expensive. If there aren’t people paying monthly premiums who don’t use their insurance that often, there’s nobody to offset the costs of those who use it a lot.

As far as healthcare goes for next year, I think I should be ok. I already have the letter from my insurance saying what my monthly premium will be and my benefits are pretty similar as they were this year. Some of my benefits are actually going to be better. But I’m worried about what will happen in 2019 when there is a chance that fewer people will have insurance. I don’t want to think about how expensive things can get. I’m lucky because my parents help me pay my insurance (it’s still too expensive for me to afford on my own right now) so if the price goes up they will still help me. But it still is making me think about trying to prepare for having worse insurance again.

Fortunately, my IUD is still good for another 9 years so I don’t have to worry about that for a while. And hopefully my tumors will continue to shrink so I don’t need surgery. But the idea of having bad insurance again has made me wonder if I should have surgery to remove the tumors next year. I don’t think I would do that because I’d rather not have surgery, but it’s still a thought in my head. If I needed it no matter what, I would do it without thinking too much about it. But since it’s still a gray area, I don’t know what the right move would be for me. I won’t be making a decision until I see my surgeon again in October unless something crazy happens to me, but I know I’ll be thinking about it until then.

I’m really hoping that my fears about my health insurance don’t come true. Maybe a lot of people are going to be so happy that they have any insurance when they didn’t have it before that they will keep it. The enrollment numbers are showing that healthcare enrollment is close to what it was last time despite the enrollment period being cut in half and almost all the advertising money to tell people to sign up was taken away. People have been pretty good about sharing online to remind others to sign up and that seems to be working. I don’t know if the president really wanted people to forget to sign up so he could say that people don’t like insurance or what, but if the numbers are almost the same as the last year they won’t be able to say that people are unhappy.

I know that this is a bit of a rambling post. I think I’m still in shock about a lot of what is happening in politics now. There are some people who didn’t understand that there was something in the new tax bill designed to take down the ACA until the president was sharing how happy he was about that. The new tax bill hasn’t been signed by the president so maybe there is still hope that things can change. But no matter what happens, I know that I have to continue to be political and to share my voice. If someone wants to tell me that healthcare doesn’t matter, I want them to know my story and why it matters to me. I won’t stay silent on an issue that I feel is important. I know I have done that for far too long and I can’t keep doing it.