As I have the past few years, I’m declaring a word for the year. I feel like my words have been going along the same theme. In 2015 it was bold. In 2016 it was strong. And for 2017, my word is going to be warrior.
I actually had this word in mind for the last month, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to use it. It almost felt too much for me and too out there. But then I realized that those reasons are exactly why this should be my word for the year. I shouldn’t be scared of what word feels right to me for the year and so I’m going for it even though I’m a bit intimidated to declare it my word for the year.
The main way I want to be a warrior is for my health. Some of the eating disorder resources I follow call people in recovery “recovery warriors”. I love that term and the feeling it gives me to think that I can be inspired by warriors. Eating disorders are a battle and being a warrior is the best way to win a battle. I want to be a warrior for my eating disorder. I want to win this battle. I know that the battle will very likely take more than 2017 to win, but I need to be a warrior this year to set myself up for a win in the future.
I also want to be a warrior for my liver. I’m not scared about my surgery this spring. In fact, I’m excited to have it so I can get through it and prove to myself that I can get through the recovery of having part of a liver removed and then the pain associated with my liver growing back (I have read that this is painful). I want to be a warrior with my recovery from surgery and to prove to myself and the doctors that I can recover better than expected. I did that with my hip, and I don’t see why I can’t do that with my liver as well. I totally want to get this shirt for my surgery recovery, but I laugh because I do see myself as a fighter. I am a warrior for my liver and I can’t wait to use this year to prove that this is true.
I love the word as well when it comes to my fitness. I love that my Orangetheory workouts feel more like I’m training for something and not that I’m just trying to get a workout done. I like the idea of preparing for something and that is a warrior mindset. My workouts are preparing me for surgery, my next race, and to live a healthier life. So being a warrior when I’m working out is perfect.
And I want to be a warrior for my life. I feel like being a warrior for my life goes along with being bold. I want to be a bit forceful in making sure I’m doing what I want to do. I want to push to have more fun and go on more adventures. And I want to make sure that I don’t let myself be walked over by others and that I stand up for myself. All of those things feel like warrior traits. My life should be as amazing as I can make it and I need to be the person responsible for making that happen. I can’t just stand by and let others dictate my life. I need to take control and that is something that I have been slacking on in the past. But I’m not going to let that happen again if I can help it.
I’m excited for my year of being a warrior. I know I already have some battles that I need to fight in 2017, but I’m ready to do that. I am in the mindset that I need to be ready for anything and that is going to help me get through what I need to do this year. And hopefully I still have a more positive year than negative, but being a warrior for myself should help to do that. And even with the negative things, I can make sure that I am doing everything that I can to try to turn them positive. Sitting by and being a victim isn’t working for me, so I need to step up and do something different. And I have a feeling that 2017 will be the perfect year for me to do that.
It’s the beginning of 2017 and I’m ready to make this year so amazing! I have a lot of things happening this year and while they are not all great things I know that I can do incredible things even with the struggles I know the year will bring. As always, I don’t set resolutions because I don’t feel like those have a long-term feeling. I like to set goals for what I can get done in the year and I’m ready to share my 2017 goals with you all.
My first goal is a fitness related one. I didn’t quite make my fitness goal for 2016, but I’m still trying to do better than that goal. This year, I want to do 181 workouts at Orangetheory. This is going to be a huge challenge for me. First, I only did 177 workouts last year so this is 4 more than what I did before. But also, with my liver surgery, I may need to take several weeks off of working out. Because of that, I will have to do more 4 workout weeks before surgery and after I recover. But I’d love to make 4 workout weeks more of the norm so setting a goal of 181 workouts is a great way to push myself to do that.
My next goal is to get through my liver surgery as easily as possible. I know that this will be hard to do since I have no clue how my body will react to surgery and recovery. But I am a big believer in the power of positive thought and that’s what I’ll be doing. When I had my hip surgery, I was in the gym the next day on the recumbent bike working out because I was told that moving would be good for me. So my plan is to think that I will be able to get through surgery with few problems. I will have to spend some time at the hospital after surgery, but with positive thinking I’m hoping the time will be as limited as it can be. I know this will be a painful process, but I still want to focus on the positives and hoping that the pain will be manageable and that I will have a fast recovery.
The next goal is to continue on my journey through recovery and to reduce my binge episodes even more. I know that setting a goal to eliminate binges is setting myself up for failure, but to even reduce the average to be one fewer a week would be awesome! I want to continue to reading my recovery books to be inspired and get my brain in a place where recovery is possible. This isn’t an easy goal, but I’m excited to see what progress I can make this year.
Next are money related goals. I have a number that I want to get my debt below this year. I’m not sharing that publicly because that won’t mean much to everyone else, but it will be a reduction of about 25% of the debt I currently have. I would love it to be lower, but because I am not making a ton of money right now I know that I must have slightly realistic goals. And along with that, I would not only like to pay down my debt but I would also like to have some savings as well. I don’t want to have to use my credit card for unexpected expenses like car problems or wanting to buy things like my Disneyland pass. If I had savings, I could use that for those expenses while still being able to pay down debt.
I also have a goal of hopefully setting a PR again in my 5K race time. I have 2 races planned for this year so hopefully I can PR at one or both of them! I plan on increasing how long my running intervals are so that should hopefully help to make getting a PR easier for me. I’m not as focused on increasing my speed right now, but maybe that will be something I work on toward the end of the year for future PRs.
And my last goal (which I seem to set each year) is to have more fun. I’m even trying to make my liver surgery fun by telling my friends that they will have to come and visit me in the hospital so I can have a good time there. I plan on continuing my adventures to Disneyland and Universal Studios and hopefully having more fun random outings. There is so much stuff in LA that I haven’t done yet even though I’ve lived here for almost 16 years and I want to have more fun in the city I call home.
So that’s it for my goals for 2017. I think I’ve set some really good ones and I’m excited to do my best to accomplish them all! And I hope that at the end of December, I look back at this post and am proud of what I got done. But for now, I’m just happy to start working on all of these and checking things off throughout the year!
I can’t believe that it’s the end of the year! It’s so true that the year flies by and that it seems like it wasn’t that long ago that I was writing what my goals were going to be for 2016. My year didn’t totally go the way I expected (both in good and bad ways), but I’m happy to say that I almost got all the goals I set for the year accomplished.
My first goal for 2016 was to do 180 workouts at Orangetheory. Sadly, this one wasn’t a goal that I accomplished. I will have one more workout for the year tomorrow, and that will bring my total for the year to 177 workouts. I know that 177 workouts for the year is still impressive and better than I did last year, but I really wanted to reach my goal. I had some setbacks that I wasn’t expecting, so that contributed to missing some of the workouts that I thoughts I’d be able to do. It’s not the end of the world that I didn’t hit this goal, and I’m trying to remember that the quality of the workouts that I did this year were so much better than last year.
I was lifting heavier weights than I ever have before. My form on the bodyweight exercises is significantly better. And most importantly I started to run this year! I never thought that was going to happen for me this year and I’m so happy that my coaches pushed me to do it. I still have so much progress to do on my running, but the amount of progress that I’ve had this year already has been incredible!
And that leads me to my next goal I had for 2016 which was to have a PR on my 5K. And because of my running, my most recent 5K was an amazing PR for me! Even with all the running training I had been doing, I had no clue that I could do that fast of a race! I accomplished so many goals I had for my 5K timing with that one race and now I have to figure out what new goals I have for 2017 for my races. My next race should be before my liver surgery and the second one will be after. And I have no clue how the surgery will affect my training so I need to be cautious with the goals I set.
The next goal I set for 2016 was regarding money. I wanted to budget better, reduce my debt, and possibly start saving money. While things haven’t been as great as they could have been with money, I think I’ve been doing a lot better than I have before. My budgeting is going better and part of that budgeting is budgeting money each month to go into saving money for big things like when I have to do car repairs or my new computer. I’ve also brought my debt down this year. And even though it isn’t as low as I hoped it would be, getting it down is tough so any reduction is an accomplishment.
I also set a goal to travel more and go on more adventures with my friends. I really didn’t do a ton of traveling this year, but the trips I did take were really fun. I didn’t get to do the trip with my sister-in-law like we had planned, but we are working on a trip idea for 2017 so at least trip planning happened this year. But I totally did do more adventures this year with my friends. I’ve been going to shows quite a bit and those still make me so happy. I got to go back to Magic Castle and had so much fun with my friends being silly there. And of course I had a ton of outings to Disneyland and Universal Studios.
The one goal that I didn’t really even get close to doing is being in another acting class this year. I debated doing the next level of improv at UCB, but I decided against it for a couple of reasons. I looked into a few other acting classes and I’ve found a couple that do interest me, but there was an issue with scheduling. And with knowing that I have surgery coming up in the spring, I’m very hesitant to try to get a class planned for the new year. I know I need to get back into a class, and I’m a bit upset with myself that I didn’t do any action with this during 2016. But I’m ok with not doing it because I didn’t want to waste money on a class I didn’t really care to do.
And my final goal for 2016 was to be in recovery or on my way into recovery from my eating disorder. I’m not in recovery at all, but I’m working toward it and the steps I’ve made this year have been significant. I think I’ve made more progress this year than I have in the past few years combined. I’m working on recovery every day which is something that I haven’t done before. I’ve had fewer binge episodes a week than before and the binges I have had were not as severe as they were in the past. I still have a lot of work to do, but it’s getting there.
Considering all the craziness of my life this past year, I’m pretty happy with how my goals went for the year. I know that things could have been better, but they also could have been so much worse. And I know that 2017 is just going to be even better!
My goals post for 2017 will be next week (along with the post with my word for 2017). I hope you all have an amazing New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day! Please be responsible and call for a cab/Uber/Lyft if you are out drinking so you get home safely. And here’s to all of us having an incredible start to 2017!
It the last month for my monthly challenges for 2016! I’ve had a lot of amazing monthly challenges and they have really changed me for the better! But before I get into my December challenge, I want to do a quick recap of last month.
Last month, I set the challenge to drink more water. More specifically, I wanted to try to drink 80 oz of water a day. I picked that amount because the cup I use to drink water at home is 20 oz. So it was easy to say I wanted to drink 4 cups a day. I managed to accomplish this almost every single day last month. I was able to get the timing down to where I knew when I needed to finish each cup. The only time I really didn’t meet my goal was when I was out-of-town. This was mainly because I wasn’t focused on how much water I drank (plus I didn’t know how big the cups were at the rental house). But overall, I’d consider the challenge a big success!
I had some really big ideas for my December challenge, but after some consideration I decided to scrap that idea. I’ve already ordered a new planner for 2017, so I can do some of the big ideas next year. And there are some really big ideas (like having a month completely binge-free) that I’m very excited about. But for December, I decided that this monthly challenge is a time to do some reflection.
So I’ve decided that my December challenge is to rededicate time to the challenges I set throughout the year. Most of them have been easy for me, but I’ve totally been slacking on a couple. And being at the end of the year is the perfect time to make sure these challenges become habits and I make sure that I start 2017 in the best place possible.
The ones that I’ve been able to keep with pretty much no effort have been properly tracking my food intake (although there are some improvements I’d like to make), doing daily gratitude lists, not ordering delivery food (although I may get delivery Chinese food for my Christmas dinner), weighing myself every day I’m home, working on self-submitting for acting jobs every day, meditating every day (but there is improvement I can focus on), reading 10 pages of a recovery focused book daily, and my water intake.
While those have come easily to me, I know that I’m not doing them 100% all the time and I have taken notes on steps I want to take to make these new habits even stronger and better for me. I think those steps should be pretty easy since they are small tweaks versus starting from scratch. But I think improvement and progress with habits is a good thing so I’m happy to work on making these better.
The ones I’ve been struggling with have been practicing mindful eating, a yoga class online (or at least a yoga pose) every day, and doing a daily task sheet. The mindful eating one has been very tough. I have an alarm to remind me of it, but because my eating schedule isn’t the same day to day, sometimes the alarm is too early or too late. I need to work on a different system, but I’m not totally sure what that is yet. But I’m happy to be working on it this month. Yoga was working really great for me for a while, and then time just got away from me. It’s another thing that I have an alarm to remind me of, but I need to make it more of a priority in my life again. It was a good thing and I know I need to work on bringing it back. And while the daily task sheet was a challenge I didn’t end up liking, I know that having a daily to-do list is good and I’m seeing how that could be most productive for me.
I think spending the month working on the year’s challenges will put me in a place where I’m ready to take on 2017 head first. I know that 2017 has the potential to be a very rewarding yet very challenging year so I want to be in the best head space possible. And getting back to my challenges will be a great way to accomplish that.
My new planner should be arriving in the next week or so, and I’m so excited for it! Buying this planner really was one of the greatest things I’ve done for myself and I’m so excited to make next year’s planner even better!
And because the team at Ink+Volt know how much I have loved my planner this year, they gave me something to share with you all! This is a link to the entire 2016 planner that you can download and use! Even though 2016 is almost over, you can use the December pages to make sure you also end 2016 the best person ever! And if you love it, you can still buy the 2017 planner and hopefully get it delivered before the new year starts!
I’m really excited for this month’s challenge/reflection/rededication and seeing how I am able to solidify my challenges in my life. My next monthly challenge post will be my first challenge for 2017!
This past Saturday I had the HardRockCafe 5K. I’ve done this race several times in the past and I had been really looking forward to it. It’s a really nice out and back flat course and since I have done the race before I’m very familiar with the course and know when I’m getting close to the turn around. For a while, I had been training hard to make this a run/walk race (for the first time ever!). But after getting sick I wasn’t able to train like I was before and I felt like I lost a lot of progress and endurance. I figured that I would do my best, but I wasn’t expecting too much for this race.
I was able to pick up my race stuff on Friday after work, so I prepped all my stuff Friday night before going to bed. I usually wear a hip pack to carry my phone, keys, and anything else I need before/during/after a race. But I knew that wearing that would make running very difficult, so I had to plan differently. Since my workout pants have a little pocket, I could put my phone in there and I strung my keys through my headphone cord and put those in the pocket too. So I was feeling very free for whatever running I was going to be able to do.
Race morning I woke up at 5am and quickly got ready. I ate a little bit of a banana so I’d have something in my stomach, but my nerves were getting the best of me so I couldn’t eat or drink too much. By 5:30am I was in my car and headed to Hollywood and Highland where the race was. Once I parked, I got ready in my car and in the parking lot since it was nicely lit down there and it was a bit warmer than it was outside. And about an hour before the race was supposed to start, I headed up to street level to stretch and do my best to prep before the start.
I tried to keep moving around so I didn’t get too stiff and was stretching my legs and hips. I really didn’t want pain to be a reason why my race wouldn’t be good, so I was working hard to make sure my body was ready to go. I did find some friends before we started, and seeing them made me feel a bit more relaxed and ready to see what I could do. And before I knew it, we were ready to go (we started right on time at 7am which was nice).
I had my running watch ready to go with 1 minute intervals set. So I was planning on running for 1 minute and then walking for 1 minute for as long as I could. In my training runs on my own, I usually could do that 5 or 6 times and then I would have to start cutting back on the running time. I would do 45 or 30 seconds of the 1 minute run and then walk the rest. I knew this was likely to happen, so I wasn’t thinking ever that I could do the full running minutes for the entire race. I just wanted to try my best and see what I could do. For this race, I really just wanted to finish in under 50 minutes (which would easily be a PR). My long-term goal was to finish in under 45 minutes, but that wasn’t even a though for this race.
Once I started, I started my watch and my music and started to run. The first minute of running went by quickly and very easily. I tried to stay toward the side of the course so that I wouldn’t bother people by walking. Sometimes I had to go around walkers when I was running, but that wasn’t that big of a deal and just tried to not obstruct any other races.
When my running watch is doing intervals, the default screen is showing how much longer is in that interval and how many intervals I’ve done. I keep it on that screen and while I can get an idea of what time it is, I didn’t want to focus on my time while racing. The first mile marker came up and I was still able to do my full minute of running each interval and I was very happy with that. I passed the water station while walking and took a few sips of water before focusing on the second mile.
The second mile is always the tough one for this race for me. The turnaround is in this mile and I know the course probably too much so I’m pretty focused on how many blocks were left before turning back. I just tried to focus on my music and trying to do the best running I could do. I was still able to do my full minute of running each interval, which is significantly better than I’ve ever done during a training run. When I saw the turnaround sign, I was very happy. Normally, I try to tap the sign and I see it as good luck. But there was a slowish walker in my way and I couldn’t touch the sign this time. I tried not to let that get to me and just thought about how I was halfway done!
The second half was a bit tough. There were times where the running minute was feeling like it was taking forever. I would glance at my watch and see that there were less than 15 seconds to go before I could walk and I kept deciding to finish the running minute. I know that I told myself that I didn’t have to run/walk the entire race, but I am so competitive with myself and wanted to test my limits. Once I saw the 2 mile sign, I finally started to realize that I might actually be able to maintain my intervals for the entire race. There is a bit of a downhill going toward the finish line and that is always really nice to get to. I saw the markers for the 10K race and knew I had .2 miles left to go. I just kept saying to myself that I can totally finish at this pace because it was almost done.
My last walking interval was very close to the finish line. I knew I didn’t want to finish knowing I could have done more running. So I cut my walking minute short and decided I would run for the rest of the race. It ended up being about 90 seconds of running and I finished the race sprinting across the finish line.
I stopped my watch as soon as I crossed the finish line. I had seen the official race clock say that it was almost 46 minutes and I knew that I started after the official start since I was toward the middle of the pack. But when I looked at my watch to see what it said, I was so sure that I had screwed something up because I really could not believe it.
My watch was saying that my time was 44:47.8. I really thought that I either started it too late or stopped it too soon and figured I would wait to see what the official time sheets said before I got too excited. I knew I finished in under 46 minutes because of the official clock and that was also unbelievable but I knew it was right.
While I was waiting for the official times to be posted, I found some of my friends. My friend Brenda is a part of the Oscars/Halloween party group. She also had some issues with being able to train recently and was not expecting anything too crazy. But she was able to PR for the race and did amazing!
I also ran into Heather, who is the executive director of My Friend’s Place. My Friend’s Place is the official charity for the race and they always have a team running it. It was great to get to see her again and I’m hoping I can do some more work with My Friend’s Place in the near future.
Finally, the official time sheets were updated so I could check what my time was. And after looking at it, I finally had to believe that I did was well as my watch claimed.
My official time was 44:48 (which is basically the same thing as 44:47.8) Not only did I PR (by over 9 minutes) I actually beat the long-term goal I had of doing a race in under 45 minutes! I really did not expect to do anything close to this and even a few days later I’m still in a bit of shock. After having several disappointing races when I felt like I did really great, I was expecting this to be similar. But I actually did better than I ever could have imagined!
I wasn’t able to drive home right away because I was in such disbelief. I made a couple of phone calls to people who I knew wanted to know how my race went. Each time I said my time, I could barely believe what I was saying. But soon enough hopefully I’ll start to believe that I did it. I’ve got to focus now on some new race goals because I did all of them in a race that I was so stressed out about.
Once I got home, I added my new medal to my medal hanger (I’m looking at buying an extension for it since I’m running out of room).
I spent the rest of my day relaxing and trying to nap since I had gotten up so early that morning. I kept looking online at my race time trying to believe it and not think that I’m dreaming or that some mistake happened. I know that I had trained hard for this race, but my training never got such incredible results. I think a lot of it had to do with race day adrenaline and that helped me to run more than I normally can do.
I never expected to have such an amazing race day. I’m glad that I still pushed myself even though I knew that things might not go the way I was hoping they would. Even though I thought I had given up on myself a little bit, I guess deep down I really hadn’t and this was my mind’s way of telling me to keep pushing it. And I’ll get the chance to test that out again in about 6 months when I have the next 5K happening (unless I find another race I want to do before then). But for now, I’m just so happy and grateful that my hard work paid off and I had the greatest race day I even could have wanted.
I’ve had a really great birthday this year. I loved having dinner on my birthday with my birthday twin and my birthday party was really one of the highlights of the year so far. I feel so loved and I’m so grateful for the amazing friends that I have in my life. I am so lucky.
Normally, I have a ton of smaller birthday adventures leading up to and following my birthday. That usually happens because when I have a birthday party a bunch of people can’t make it. So I end up meeting them for dinner or drinks on another date to celebrate with them.
But this year, my birthday party had such an amazing turnout that I’ve gotten to celebrate with almost everyone who I wanted to celebrate with at once! I’m not used to having everyone in one place (and it was so much fun watching everyone meet each other and make new friends), and it was really just perfect.
But because of that, I’ve realized that my birthday celebrations are basically over. I still have to pick up a couple of the birthday freebies that I love and I might get birthday pie with a friend, but I’m done with planning birthday outings beyond that.
It’s not a bad thing that I’m done celebrating my birthday. I’m totally happy to have just one celebration and have that be that. It’s just weird when for so many years I’ve pretty much planned a birthday month and I feel like I’m missing or forgetting something now. But then I remember how amazing this past weekend was and I feel like I got all the birthday I needed in that one night out.
It is nice to be getting back to normal so quickly. I over ate during my birthday and I want to get the scale moving back in the correct direction. I need to focus on my health and recovery and birthday adventures are not the best time to plan that (I’m aware if I go for birthday pie that I will have to not focus on recovery for that moment).
I’ve been able to really pay attention to what I’m eating and what my behaviors are like. I got into some bad habits last week and it’s tough to break them but I know I can do it again. I’m working on remembering what I was doing earlier this summer when things were working really well for me and doing those again. And hopefully I will be back on track again within the week and if not, I know I’m making steps towards that.
I’ve got some big goals in mind for the next month or so, and I’m glad that I will be able to put my attention toward those. One of my biggest goals is with my next 5K race, which is the first weekend of November. I know that it will be here before I know it, and I want to make sure I take the time to do what I want to do. Things are going well so far, and I want to make sure that continues and things only get better!
While I’ve loved having a birthday month to celebrate my birthday, keeping things short may be the best thing for me right now. I need to focus on “real life” and not celebrating and going out for lots of meals that are splurges. I’m not eliminating the idea of a birthday month again in the future, but for right now this ended up being the perfect thing for me.
With July being over already (it really just flew by!), it’s time to recap my July monthly challenge. This time, my challenge was to read 10 pages of an eating disorder recovery book every day. I set this as a challenge because I’ve been having trouble finishing any recovery books and I thought breaking it into smaller chunks would help.
I’ll admit, this challenge got off to a rocky start. Since I do almost all my reading on my Kindle, I was finding it tough to switch between the recovery book and whatever fun book I happen to be reading at the time. Fortunately I solved this problem pretty quickly. I have my fun book reading on my Kindle, and my recovery book is read every day on my iPhone on the Kindle app. I don’t love reading on my phone for too long, but this works for the 10 pages I read (which usually only takes a few minutes).
There were a couple of days where my 10 pages were done at almost midnight, but I did set an alarm on my phone right around when I go to bed to remind myself to read my pages. Most days, I ended up doing my reading right before of after dinner so I got them done pretty early. And even though I knew I could read more than 10 pages a day, I didn’t want to get myself burned out like I have in the past so I tried to keep myself to that limit (I went over a bit when I was close to the end of a section or chapter).
By reading my 10 pages a day, I got one book finished and I’m about halfway through another one. I have several recovery books that I’ve purchased over the years on my Kindle, so I’ve got a ton of options for future reading. And since it seems to take me about 3 weeks to read a book this way, I could also get Kindle books from the library (the e-book rental period is 3 weeks so it would be cutting it close). I’m not going to worry about my book choices until I read everything I already own, and that’s going to take me a while.
Just like all my previous monthly challenges, I plan on continuing this one. It’s a good habit to be in and I don’t see how I could have anything but positive results. And because of my reading, I was inspired for my August challenge.
This month, I challenge myself to start practicing mindful eating. This is something that I read about in one of the books I read and I know it will be a challenge for me. While many people who practice mindful eating pray or say grace before eating to get into a mindful mentality, since I’m not religious that’s not really going to work for me.
Instead, I’m going to use the self-meditation timer on the meditation app I’ve been using for my daily mediations (my June monthly challenge that I’ve kept up). I can set the self-meditation timer to be as short as 1 minute so I don’t have to worry about it being too long. Eventually I’d like to be at a point where I am practicing mindful eating before every meal, but I know I need to ease into this. So I’m setting a goal to practice mindful eating for at least 1 meal a day.
This isn’t going to be easy for me. For my first day, I struggled to even try to do this before most of my meals. I was able to do it before dinner, but I had to force myself and it felt like the least natural monthly challenge I’ve given myself. I know this will be a good thing and I need to be pushed to do this, but I hate feeling like this is tough. I don’t give up easily that often, but when I’m really struggling it can feel useless. I even debated changing the monthly challenge but that’s the moment I knew I needed to do this. If I wanted to give up, that meant it was a good challenge that was pushing me to a new place and that’s the entire point of this.
I’ve got a couple of ideas for the monthly challenges for the rest of the year, but I also have to see what inspires me along the way to do. I have a lot of things I want to accomplish this year and I feel like I’m making some great strides toward all my goals. I love how successful this year has been so far and I just keep reminding myself in my down days that overall I’ve been doing so much better than before.
I saw my therapist earlier this week. This was the first time that I had seen him in 6 months because he has been feeling like I’ve been doing a pretty good job lately. So he trusted me to be ok with a 6 month gap between appointments but let me know that if anything changed I could see him sooner if I needed to.
I had been feeling pretty good about this appointment lately. After my interview for the audition recently, I have really realized how much progress has been made and I knew that my appointment would be filled with positive news.
I had brought a couple of things with me to my appointment. Usually, I bring my happiness checklist, but I’m now using an app to track that so I made sure my phone was charged so I could show him if he wanted to see it. I also brought my Spark Planner with me. I’ve been tracking so much stuff in there lately and I wanted it to remind myself of anything as well as proof to show him if he wanted to see it.
The first thing discussed in my appointment was how I was feeling about Vyvanse. I think I’m doing pretty well on it and there was only one minor concern about things. I’ve been taking my larger dose in the morning and smaller dose at lunch, but I feel like maybe those should be switched. There is more time between lunch and bedtime than there is between breakfast and lunch. And since I’m not having sleeping issues with Vyvanse, I’m not worried about a slightly larger dose at lunchtime. My therapist agreed with me completely and my new prescription bottles will reflect that (for now, I just take the afternoon medication in the morning and visa versa until I’m using my refill).
After that check in, we discussed how I’ve been doing with my happiness checklist and other things. I told him how I had been using an app for the checklist since it’s easier and I always have it with me, and I think his biggest surprise is that I’ve continued to keep it up. He wrote down the name of the app (HabitBull) so he can tell other patients as well, so that made me feel pretty awesome.
And then we talked about my Spark Planner. I told him how I had been tracking a lot of stuff in there this year and I was showing off the various sections of it. I showed him where I can track my annual goals, monthly goals, and weekly goals and I think he was impressed that there is such a big focus on goal setting. It’s good for me to have goals to reach toward, so the more I can focus and have to think about my goals the better.
But what my therapist was most impressed with were the monthly challenges that are within the Spark Planner.
I showed him the monthly challenges I’ve been doing and let him know that I’ve basically had 100% success with keeping up each challenge even beyond the month that I set the challenge for (the only one that hasn’t been 100% has been weighing myself in because I can only do that at home and I was in Santa Barbara for Rayshell’s wedding without my scale). And I know that I can’t do 100% perfection with all challenges for the rest of my life, but even if I only keep them up part-time these are all good habits that I’ve been building and that’s just awesome.
And habit building is exactly what my therapist wants me to focus on over these next 6 months. The more I build positive habits in my life, the more likely that recovery from my eating disorder will become a positive habit eventually. While the individual habits are sometimes recovery related, even the non-recovery ones are helping me get into a better space in my life and to build my habit building muscles up so that I can use them for whatever I need to.
I knew when I bought my Spark Planner that it was going to be a good thing for me, but to know that my therapist thinks that this is what will help me get to recovery one day is amazing. I’m still figuring out what recovery really means to me (and that’s something I did discuss with my therapist), but I’m feeling even better that recovery is in my future one day.
At the end of my appointment, I felt incredible and on cloud 9. My therapist even said that in some ways, I’m doing better than he is and he needs to get better and doing some things like I’m doing now. For me, so much of my habit work is having something to remind me to do it. I have so many alarms/reminders set on my phone so I know to do something. If I didn’t have that, I would easily forget and that’s what life was like before. There’s no shame in needing to be reminded to do something, but for some reason I was not willing to do that before.
But now that I’m fine with the dozens of alarms on my phone, I’m making sure I’m getting my new habits done and I’m excited to see how I’ll be doing in 6 months when I see my therapist again.
This past week at Orangetheory continued my re-introduction to running. I actually was feeling very scared before this week of workouts because I thought maybe the week before was a fluke and I wouldn’t be able to run again. I thought maybe that was a one week thing and I would be back to struggling during some of my power walking. And I was thinking that maybe the workouts wouldn’t be ones that I could figure out how to run during.
Fortunately, that wasn’t the case for me. I did have to play around a bit with how I added running into my cardio, but it wasn’t too difficult for me. With this past Monday being a holiday, the workout was a 3G class because so many people were signed up. So we only really had about 17 minutes for each block (and one block for the treadmill, one block for the rower, and one block for the floor). The plan for cardio was to do 1.5 miles as fast as possible. I knew there was no way I could do 1.5 miles in the time we had, so I told my coach I was going to try for a mile and he was ok with that. Since I’m still new to running, I didn’t want to go too crazy. But I really wanted to try to do a run/walk mile.
Since I had done a couple of 30 second runs, that seemed like a good plan to me. So I was going with 30 seconds of running followed by a minute of walking. The first few rounds went pretty easily for me. I was feeling really great and I thought that maybe I should try to do a bit more running than 30 seconds. But after I got about half a mile done, I was feeling very tired. I realized after the fact that I did my entire mile at 4% incline (runners only have to be at 1% while power walkers need to be at 4%), so I could have brought my incline down a bit. But once I got halfway done, I knew I was on pace for a great mile PR so I kept going. I kept up the 30 seconds of running/1 minute of walking pretty much the entire time. When I was close to the end, I wanted to try to finish up with about a minute of running so I did about 90 seconds of walking leading up to the last bit I had and I ran for a minute before I completed my mile.
My previous PR was almost exactly a year ago (before the calf tear) and it was 16:30. My dream was to get below a 16 minute mile (so I can do a Disneyland 5K). And while this was the first time I had added running into the mix, I had no idea that I would take an entire minute off of my mile time! I don’t think I could maintain this pace for a 5K yet, but this is such a positive sign to me!
After doing my mile, I still had 2/3 of my workout left. I did struggle a bit with the rest but I tried my best. We had a mile on the rower (1600 meters) and then our floor work was all sets of 100. We did squats, pushups, running men, swimmers, high rows on the straps, hop overs, and triceps dips. I didn’t make it to 100 of each thing, but I got close. But I didn’t really care too much since I killed it on my mile!
Wednesday was an endurance day, so I had to think about how to try to run on the treadmill. A lot of the push paces were between 90 seconds and 3 minutes, and there’s no way I can run that long yet. So I ran for the first 30 seconds of each push pace and then went down to a power walk (and raised my incline) for the rest of it. That seemed to work pretty well for me and I was able to really work on my running form. Because of my hip issues, I have issues walking in a straight line. So on the treadmill, I have to hold on while I walk because I can walk off the belt and if that happened I’m sure I’d fall off. I was holding on while I was running too, but on Wednesday I decided to test myself and I found that I actually can run in a straight line! I’m not sure why I can do that with running if I can’t with walking, but it might have to do with there being less time that my foot is down (and less chance for my hip to slip). While I was running for 30 seconds for my push paces, I did run for the entire minute that we had all-outs.
The floor that day was all arms, abs, and squats. I’m glad the leg work was a bit limited because my legs were feeling a bit weak after all that running. I know that I have to build up my running endurance and while I’ve done lots of walking cardio work, running is a new skill for me to work on. My body isn’t hurting as much as my lungs do when I’m running. But once I’m off the treadmill, I think the adrenaline I’ve got while I’m running goes away and I feel a bit weak. But soon the novelty of running will wear off a bit and I think the floor work will become a bit easier after cardio again.
Friday was a power day, so it was pretty ideal for me for running. We did have some longer push paces (3 minutes and 2 minutes) so I did the same thing I did on Wednesday where I ran for the first 30 seconds and then walked for the rest. That’s a good plan for me so far and I’m pretty happy with it. But after those long push paces, we had a lot of all-outs that were either a minute long or 45 seconds long. So I was trying to do my best to run for the entire time for those all-outs. I didn’t always succeed, but thinking that I ran for 1 minute straight 4 times is crazy considering that it was only about a week ago that I started running. I want to test my limits, but I know I have to take it easy too.
The floor on Friday was a bit tough. The first half was rowing (300 and 200 meters) and a lot of weight work focusing a lot on arms and abs. The second half had the same rowing and a lot of strap and ab roller work. I didn’t get as far in the blocks as I would have wanted to, but my body just wasn’t moving any faster!
Overall, I’m really happy how my running progress has been going. Obviously I wish it was super easy and I could run without having to worry about catching my breath, but that’s not realistic. I’ve got some goals in mind with the running that I think are very feasible such as being able to run for 90 seconds straight by the end of the month. Setting the small goals and milestones is going to be really important for me as I work on running more. I won’t have progress with running like I do with weight work or rowing, but the progress will happen eventually. But for now, I’m just proud of where I am so far and the fact that I’m doing any running at all!
I haven’t really written about food on here lately. Meals used to stress me out so much and I knew I needed to work on it. So many nights I would either forget to go to the store to get groceries or got home so late that I was too lazy to cook. So I’d order delivery food or get some take out from a quick service type place. I know that I wasted a bunch of money (and ate a bunch of calories that I didn’t need) doing that, but I just couldn’t get into cooking.
I tried cooking a bunch of different times and different ways. I thought meal planning would work for me, but I ended up losing inspiration or not feel like eating what I was supposed to eat that night. Bulk cooking worked for a bit, but I got really bored with it and if I didn’t have time to bulk cook I couldn’t seem to get back on track. I would hear about what other people would do, and it would seem so simple. But for so many reasons I just couldn’t get into cooking. A lot of it does have to do with the amount of work and cleanup required to make a meal for just me, but that really is laziness.
I knew something needed to change and I set my monthly challenge in March to be to not get delivery food for the entire month. The last time that I ordered delivery food was actually in the middle of February and I’m happy to say that I haven’t gotten delivery food since. I have gone out of dinners and I’ve gotten take out from places like Chipotle or a salad place, but since delivery food was the bad habit I wanted to break I’m pretty happy that it’s been this long since I’ve gotten it. There have been a few times where I’m feeling super lazy and think it would just be so easy to order something in, but I have been working really hard at keeping easy to put together foods or ok frozen dinners at my house for those nights. While frozen dinners aren’t the best option, they are significantly better than anything I could get delivered to me.
My cooking hasn’t been anything too crazy. Most of my dinners have been a turkey burger and some veggies like broccoli or sweet potatoes.
If I start cooking the potato in the microwave and finish it in the toaster oven, I can put that meal together in less than 20 minutes. I also do make more recipe type dinners from time to time. A lot of time I make meatloaf because it’s pretty basic to put together. The last time I made it, I did about half meat and half chopped veggies so it made a lot of meatloaf for not as many calories.
I make meatloaf in muffin tins so it’s easy to portion out and put some aside for leftovers for the next day or so. After the prep work, there’s not that much cleanup since the muffin tin is a disposable one. So I’m usually able to clean up while the meatloaf is in the oven and I don’t have to worry about cleaning up after I’m done with dinner.
I have no clue what really got me to cook more often. Nothing really has changed in my life, it just happened. But I think a lot of things in my life have happened that way. I would have been trying to kick a habit that I didn’t like for years (like chewing gum or drinking soda) and then one day it stops and I don’t really think about it. I don’t missing chewing gum at all, but there are the rare occasional times that I do miss soda. Fortunately, that craving goes away pretty quickly so I’ve been soda free for several years now.
The same thing happened with cooking. I was trying to force the change to become a home cook for a long time. And while I would get into a habit of it for a bit, it never stuck. This time, it just feels natural and right for some reason so I don’t see any reason for me to stop. I do still have so many changes that need to be made about my food habits, but I’m so glad that I’ve been able to make this change now and hopefully other changes will fall in line too.