Category Archives: Tough Stuff

I Hate Complaining About The Heat (or Can It Be Fall Now?)

If you don’t live in LA, you might not know we are going through a pretty bad heat wave right now. It’s hopefully going to end soon, but it’s been miserable. I know that we have had some heat waves in October in the past, but this is much worse than normal. It has been hotter now than it was over the summer when we had heat waves. Just the other day, this was the temperature by my house (where it rarely gets to 100 degrees).

I know that I’m luckier than others. I do have a little window a/c unit that I can use. And my a/c is pretty energy-efficient so when I use it my electricity bill doesn’t double or triple like some a/c units do for my friends. But even though it isn’t expensive to run, I try to limit how often I run it because I don’t want to get dependent on it and use it more than I can afford. But it’s nice to now that I have it there so that I’m not dealing with nights where it is still over 90 degrees inside my house when I’m trying to sleep.

Over the past few days, I’ve had just fans on for the first part of the day and then when I get home from a workout or whatever I did that afternoon I have to run my a/c until I go to bed. Then I can usually get my house down to a reasonable temperature to sleep in. But it’s still not fun to be stuck in the heat, especially when it heats up my computer while I’m working too. I haven’t resorted to sitting on ice packs like I did in the past, but I’m getting pretty close to that. I also got these cooling towels over the summer to help me sleep when it was too hot inside my house at nighttime. I have been using those around my neck or on my back while working to keep things more comfortable.

I really hope that it cools down soon. I want to feel more comfortable in my house and I hate what the heat does to my body. I’ve been working hard at getting things back on track but now it’s tough to tell if it’s working or not. All of my clothes feel way too tight on me but I know that my body is swollen from heat because nothing fits including shoes (which isn’t affected by weight loss or gain for me). Fortunately, workout clothes have a lot of stretch in them so I’ve been wearing those a lot. But I want to know that my efforts to get things back to how they should be are working and the best way to tell that is how my clothes feel on me. And having everything feel too tight does mess with my head a bit.

I’m sure it’s annoying to complain about the heat. But honestly that is occupying a lot of my mind right now. There are other things that have been bugging or annoying me, and having it be ridiculously hot doesn’t make things any better. But I am trying to make the best of things right now. I’m grateful for my workouts because there is really great a/c at Orangetheory. And it does motivate me to get out of my house more to relax somewhere else. It’s nice to have something breaking up the day when I have been working from home for 7 hours. I hate staying home all day so a post-work errand or adventure is good and now it has the added bonus of hopefully being a place that is cooler than my house.

I do wonder if the heat is really that bad or my negative attitude about other things is making is worse. Either way, it’s not fun and I keep checking the weather report to see when things will be getting better. If things are accurate, today will be about 20 degrees cooler than yesterday (but it will still be warm) and it will drop another 20 degrees by next week. To have it go down 40 degrees in a week is proof on how hot it is right now!

So for now, I’m just going to keep working and doing what I’m doing since there really isn’t anything that I can do to fix this. And before I know it, I hope that I’ll be complaining about how cold it is. Although I do prefer that sometimes since I can always add more clothes to warm up.

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This Might Be A Breakthrough For Me (or Trying To Believe I’m Not Unloveable)

I’ve talked about how in my past I’ve had someone who told me how I was unloveable. They tried to convince me that nobody would ever want to be with me and that anyone who claims to love me is lying to get something out of me. They tried to tell me how my friends didn’t love me and that my family was embarrassed by me. They told me the only way to change this was to stop being fat because being fat was being a 3rd class citizen. This didn’t cause my eating disorder (I had that for years before this conversation) but it didn’t help either.

As much as I wanted to not believe what they told me, I couldn’t get the idea of being unloveable out of my head. And the fact that I had really bad luck dating reinforced this and made me believe it more. I have been cheated on several times and that made me think that I wasn’t worthy of being the only person that someone wants to be with. I have tolerated not being treated the way I should be treated. And I allowed this to happy to me because I really did think that I wasn’t worthy of something better.

I know that I am worthy and lovable but it’s tough to believe that sometimes. Even with all the luck I’ve had lately with online dating, I still don’t believe that maybe someone will like me for me right now. And because of that, I have noticed that I am putting up with things that I shouldn’t have to. I am trying to be more open-minded about things, but being open-minded doesn’t have to mean lowering my standards. And I have noticed lately that I’ve been tolerating things I shouldn’t have to and I don’t want to put up with that anymore.

There is one particular guy that I’ve been seeing very casually for a little while. I hadn’t mentioned it really on here because we weren’t serious and I was still going out with other guys since I didn’t know where this would be going. I’m not a fan of casual dating because I like to know what is happening, but again I’ve been trying to be open-minded and didn’t feel like I needed to rush or push things. So we had been seeing each other on and off for a little while and it was going fine for a while.

But then things changed. He seemed to be flaking on me and then reappearing like nothing happened. I think if you are texting someone every day for a while and then you don’t text for a week or two you should probably apologize. But he didn’t and I didn’t want to push anything so I never really asked about it. I gave him another chance and he did it again. And again I thought that maybe I would give him another chance because I didn’t want to end something that was fun.

I’ve never been the person to end a relationship. Even when I was cheated on, it was more of a mutual decision than me ending things. And I’m sure that a part of the reason why I’ve never been the person to end things is because I’m terrified that the person I’m going to end things with is the last person who would want me. I don’t want to end something and risk being alone the rest of my life. I know how crazy that sounds, but that’s really how I was thinking.

But with this guy, I knew that I was pretty much done with him. I understand casual dating doesn’t mean you hear from them every day, but that doesn’t mean you can be a flake or fail to follow through with plans you have been making. So I decided to end things with him. But even though I knew that is what I wanted to do, I couldn’t get the courage to do it. I didn’t want to just send a random text to him saying that I thought we should both move on. So I waited for him to send me another text so I would have something to reply to.

It took about a week between when I had decided I wanted to text him and when he texted me next. And he texted me to ask what I was up to for the weekend and I was honest. I told him that I had fun seeing him but that I thought that this thing had run its course and ended. I was shaking when I sent the text because I couldn’t get the voices out of my head. But when he texted me back, I knew it was the right choice. Because his text back to me was something about how he was busy watching football. Not really the response I was expecting and I don’t think he actually looked at what I sent to him. About 3 hours after he responded, he responded again asking what I was doing for the weekend. And I sent my text back to him saying how I thought we shouldn’t see each other again. That was a few days ago and I haven’t gotten another text from him.

I still feel terrified that I will never find another guy to go out with, but I’m trying to keep those thoughts quiet compared to what I know is true. I am lovable and I will find someone who treats me the way I deserve to be treated. I don’t have to tolerate something that isn’t right because of a fear of being alone.

I really feel like this was a huge breakthrough in my life to prove that I am worthy of things that I want. I don’t have to settle in any sense of my life. And I’m hoping that this breakthrough will have the potential to lead to more breakthroughs in other parts of my life where I know that I haven’t felt worthy before. I need to get that voice out of my head telling me that I don’t deserve things because that was just one person’s opinion of me and not the truth.

Making It Through A Tough Week (or I’m Glad I’m Scheduling Some Fun)

While I was finally feeling a bit better this week, it was a tough week for me. I’m still working on getting things back on track. The convention throws me off a bit and then being sick made things worse. I set my monthly challenge this month to be working on cleaning, but things got so much worse when I wasn’t able to do it. It’s been getting overwhelming and I’m trying to not let it get to me.

And this week was a week where I guess some people decided to be extra mean to me. I don’t know what I did to deserve it or if it was deserved, but I take it personally. Usually when customers get angry at me at my day job for not doing something I can’t do, I don’t stress. I can’t override company policies or give out information that I don’t have access to. So when people get upset with me for not doing them, I don’t mind because I know I’m not doing anything wrong. But this week, a customer decided that she was unhappy about something I did (which is a normal thing for us to do) and make a complaint on social media. Fortunately my manager knows what we go through and knows that I didn’t do the things she said I did, but it’s still tough to deal with it. Even though I’ve been working this job for a few years, I’m still in fear of being fired for something. I doubt that will happen, but my mind still goes to that place.

I also dealt with some online dating meanness. One guy did something that isn’t bugging me, but I’ve decided I don’t want to go out with him again so I’m working up my courage to tell him that. But another guy accused me of something that I know I didn’t do and was pretty horrible to me. I talked to a friend after it happened and we both think that I didn’t do anything wrong, but the words this guy screamed at me are still going through my head and I wish that I didn’t have a tiny bit of fear that they are true. I know they aren’t and that this guy has issues that I didn’t know about, but I still hate that I believe that what others say about me is true.

I am focusing on the positives with all the negativity I’ve dealt with. My work situation has been dealt with and I am going to rephrase how I say some things so customers aren’t misunderstanding me. I can see how someone could get the wrong idea if they don’t hear everything that I’m saying so I’m going to make it a bit simpler so that there is not that risk. And with the guys who have treated me badly, I’m just not going to tolerate it. I’m not going to give them another chance because I’m done with dealing with things like what they did. And I know that not putting up with stuff like that is progress. I still deal with low self-esteem, especially when it comes to dating. But I’m starting to believe that I’m worth better than what I have tolerated and that’s good (I bet my therapist would be so proud of me!).

Because this week was a bit of a low point, I’ve been making an effort to add more fun stuff into my life for the next few weeks. I’ve got some fun friend hangouts planned and a few things that I want to do. And I’m making an effort to focus on my happiness checklist stuff to add more happy things into my life. There are a few places where I’ve been slacking that I know will make me feel better and I need to work on doing those more. I’m not going to let this negative week affect me any longer. I’ve dealt with it, I’ve gotten mad about it, and I’m ready to move on. I don’t plan on dwelling on it, which is part of the reason I’m writing about it.

I’ve said that this blog is a bit of therapy for me and that’s exactly what this post is. I’m mad and I can feel my body relax and my mind calm down as I’ve been typing each word. I also like to be honest about my life on here and I don’t want to put up a front. Everything hasn’t been good for me this week and I’m not going to pretend like it was awesome. It kind of sucked, but that’s life. And I’m moving on to what I hope will be an amazing and awesome week next week.

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!

 

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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.