Tag Archives: struggle

Routine Time Again (or Getting Back On Track)

After the incident my oven breaking, things got a little weird for me. The routine that I had been in for a while was stopped because I couldn’t do my meal planning the same way. I had been given multiple dates that my oven was supposed to be fixed where the repair people never showed up, so I stopped trying to plan things out. It just got frustrating getting food thinking I’d be able to make it, waiting hours for the repair guy to show up, and then having to go to the store to get something else to eat because I couldn’t cook what I had just bought.

Finally this week, after waiting more than a week to get my oven fixed someone came by. I’m grateful to have my oven back, but I’m a little annoyed that it took over a week for someone to come by for a repair that was completed in less than 10 minutes (I’m serious). I finally started to try to eat the foods that I couldn’t make because they needed to be cooked in the oven to get things back on track. I had been living off of a lot of microwaved meals while my oven was broken and I know they aren’t always the best choice for me. There are worst choices like getting delivery food, but the best stuff is usually things that I’m making in my oven.

When my meal planning stops like it did this time, it’s a bit tough for me to get back on pace. The way the meal planning was successful for me last month was to do all the planning and shopping one day and then just work through that food doing the week. And with the timing of the oven issue, it disrupted 2 meal planning weeks with last week and this week not being the way I wanted. And I’m struggling a bit to get back to it now.

I don’t want to sound like I’m putting things off until the weekend (that sounds like people who put off dieting or exercise until Monday or the next month). But I haven’t been able to take the time out to plan like I normally do or go to the store to get what I need. Fortunately, this week is almost done and I should be able to do my normal meal planning on Sunday like I like to.

With my food being thrown off, a few other things in my life got weird too. With work, I’m so used to having my lunch planned out in advance so it was easy to grab what I was going to eat in the middle of working (funny how it only took a month for this to feel normal to me). With the lack of meal planning, I was spending too much time thinking about food. And with thinking about food a lot, there were some not so great food days.

I’ve said this so many times before, but each time I have a setback like this I have to be grateful that I recognize it as a setback sooner rather than later. I can focus on getting things back to how they have been instead of waiting until I’m very uncomfortable or have gained back a ton of weight to do so. I can easily remember what I was doing a week or two ago that was working instead of struggling to remember what I was doing a month or a year ago.

I’m glad that I’ll be able to get things back quickly so I can focus on all the other things I need to focus on in my life. I can do some great meal planning for the week coming up so that all my other time can be focused on work, going to Orangetheory, having fun, and getting things ready for surgery. Time is much better spent on those things than trying to figure out what I want to eat for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

I feel like a broken record sharing a similar story over and over again. But I feel it’s important to do this. I don’t remember reading any bloggers who talked about the ups and downs and the random struggles that they had that set them back a few days. But when I talked to people, it seems like this is the norm. It’s especially the norm when you are recovering from an eating disorder. But people don’t seem to blog about it because it’s not interesting or attention getting. But it’s the truth and that’s exactly why I wanted to share it. Hopefully sharing my struggles will help someone else realize that things are hopeless and they can get back on track too.

Not What I Want To Weigh (or About A Month To Go)

As soon as I knew I’d need liver surgery, the first thing I thought about was wanting to lose weight before surgery. I know that at a lower weight the surgery will be easier and I’ll have a smoother recovery. Needing to be at a lower weight for surgery is why 11 years ago I did the RFO diet at UCLA. It was more important then because I was having joint surgery, but it is just as important now.

When I got sick, I dropped weight super fast. It was almost scary how fast it was going down and for a while I thought that trend would stick. In a matter of a week or so, I was down over 20 pounds. And even when I started to add more normal food into my diet, my weight seemed to be steady. I wasn’t necessarily losing weight, but I wasn’t gaining it either which I was expecting. And for a while, that was how it was and I thought it would be.

With the idea of surgery coming up, I had a number in mind that I wanted to get to in my weight loss. At the rate I had been losing weight, it was going to be a super easy goal. At the weight I was at, if I was losing 1-2 pounds a week it was a very possible goal. So I had no reason to expect that it would be an issue to get to the number I wanted to be at by April.

Now that I’m just over a month away from surgery, I’m not close to that number at all. In fact, I’ve gained a bit of weight back from that big weight loss back in the fall. It’s not a lot of the weight (only about 6 pounds), but it’s still so frustrating. I’m so mad at myself because I know this is my fault and that I have only made things more difficult on me and the surgery. I had no reason why this had to happen, but of course my eating disorder had other things in mind.

At this point, the number I had in mind is pretty much impossible unless I take unhealthy measures to lose weight. I will not do unhealthy things because I know they will backfire on me and I’m not willing to do that to myself. I can only try to do my best to get back on track and to be at the lowest weight I can safely get down to by surgery.

I’m trying to be hopefully that I can get closer to the number I had in mind than I am right now over the next few weeks. Realistically, I think the most I could safely lose would be 15 pounds. But I think that will be a stretch and difficult. I am doing what I can to keep my eating under control, but sometimes it feels like my food is the only thing that I can control in my life. And when I can control it how I want it to be, it’s not always the best choices. I’m trying to keep my health in my mind first over my eating disorder’s desires, but I don’t always win.

I’m lucky that my surgeon did not put pressure on me to lose weight before surgery. I know that I need to do it, but I don’t feel like he is expecting me to do so. Any weight loss I have will be a good thing and there is no feeling that I might be disappointing him with whatever the number will be on the scale when I weigh in before the surgery. I think if I had that pressure on me, I would be resorting more to unhealthy things and would probably still not lose as much as I should before surgery.

I really do want to buckle down and refocus for these next 5 weeks. I know that I can accomplish some really great things with my weight loss even if I do have the occasional setback. I don’t want to keep thinking of new goals to get to by surgery because I know that will be setting myself up to fail. Instead, I just want to make sure that whatever effort I am able to do that I feel good about it and know that I worked really hard to get to where I am.

I’m hopeful that I will probably have a decent weight loss after surgery because I’ll be on a restricted diet for a while. I don’t want to depend on that for weight loss because I know that it can be temporary. But it will be a nice time that I know the scale should be going in the right direction that will allow me to refocus my plan and to hopefully continue the momentum after I start to eat normal food again.

It’s so frustrating when I was doing so great for a while and then something happens that makes me feel like I’ve ruined all of my progress. I know that recognizing that I’m struggling is a sign that things are getting better because I am not allowing myself to ignore the fact that everything isn’t ok. I just wish that things were easier for me because I really do want to not have to worry about food like I am now. I want food thoughts to not dominate my mind. And I want my efforts to show physically instead of being hidden by the occasional destruction of my eating disorder.

Great Days And Not-So-Great Days (or Overcoming Workout Struggles)

This past week of workouts was a series of ups and downs. I’ve been working on doing more 4 workout weeks lately because I know I will be taking a break when I have surgery (and I don’t want that to affect how many workouts I do this year), but I’ll admit that this week I was really debating cancelling my 4th workout in the week. I’m glad I stuck with it, but it was really testing myself if I could do it.

Monday was probably the best and easiest workout I had. It was a power day and we were switching between each block which always makes things a bit easier for me. There were 2 main blocks on the treadmill, 2 main blocks on the floor, and then a partner challenge to end out the class. On the treadmill, the first block started with 30 second intervals and I ran everything even the base paces! I’ve never done that before and I felt on top of the world! The second half of the first block was 45 second intervals but I wasn’t able to run everything so I did my usual plan of walking all the base paces. The second treadmill block was 6 minutes long with 1 minute intervals and I walked the base paces again.

On the floor, the first block was sprint rows with squats and arm work. And the second block was timed work like burpees, medicine ball jacks, and ab work. But then we got to spend the last 12 minutes of class partnered up and that was awesome! We were rowing for distance as a team and we rotated between the floor and rower. The person on the floor had arm work and plank jacks and controlled the pace of the switching. It was a long 12 minutes but I knew my partner was counting on me so I worked really hard. And after 12 minutes, we got pretty far on the rower!

I’m not sure I did my fair share on the rowing distance, but my partner didn’t seem to mind and we were both very proud of what we were able to accomplish together.

Wednesday’s workout was just bad for me. It started out fine but then at the beginning of the class my hip popped out (like it does all the time) but I couldn’t get it to go back. It was causing me some very intense pain and I didn’t want to step out of class to take a painkiller since it usually takes time for them to kick in. So I just did what I could and sucked it up. On the treadmill, I walked everything. It was a strength day so I was able to work on walking hills, but I really was upset that I couldn’t do any running. I’m so stubborn so it’s tough to let myself take it easy when I know I could do better. But my body just wasn’t having it so I had to go with the flow.

The floor work that day was one long block where we did a lot of arm work. I was pretty grateful for that since I could do my usual stuff even with my hip hurting. The arm work was one sided work so that added some extra difficulty in things. But I think that I was still able to keep good form with the heavier weights I was using that day. We also had some spring rows that were 200 meters each. I really wanted to get it under 40 seconds but I did them in 41 and 40 seconds. That’s still pretty fast for me, but again it’s tough when I have a goal and I just fall short of it.

Friday’s workout was much better than Wednesday’s. I wasn’t really hurting that much that day so I was able to do running. I did take it easy because I didn’t want to overdo it, so all my push paces were at 4.5 mph and all my all out paces were at 5 mph. We were switching between blocks but all the treadmill blocks were all the same with intervals starting at 1 minute, then going to 45 seconds, and ending at 30 seconds. It was good to be able to run again and even though it wasn’t my hardest running it was still better than not running at all.

The floor that day had blocks that were all pretty similar. Each block at 3 moves in it and they were all mixed up between arms, lower body, and core work. The only bad thing was that because I was still feeling a bit low from my workout on Wednesday, I might have overdone it a bit with the weights because I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it.

And since I overdid it a bit on Friday, when I went on Saturday I was a bit sore. It was mainly in my hamstrings, so that was a nice change from being sore in my hips. And it was a 3G class so I knew I wasn’t going to spend that much time in any part of the room. But I didn’t get to Orangetheory as early as I normally do so I had to start on the rower instead of the treadmill. The rowing started with rowing plus medicine ball jacks. And the second half was rowing sprints with recovery in between.

Next I went to the floor where the beginning of the floor work was all straps. We did triceps, shoulders, and squats on the straps and that wasn’t too bad. But the second half of the floor was timed work and that was crazy. Everything was in 45 second intervals and we rotated between chest presses, shoulder presses, and crunches. We did that rotation 3 times without any breaks and it was so much tougher than I expected. I was pretty tired after that but I still had the treadmill to do.

The beginning of the treadmill was pretty easy for me with 45 second intervals all on 1% incline. I did my usual with walking the base paces but running everything else. Then for the second half of the treadmill time (which was the last 7 minutes of class) we did incline work. We did push to all out paces at 5% and 4% and I did manage to run those. Running at 5% feels so tough, but it’s not feeling impossible like it did before so I know there is improvement. We ended with 2 all out paces, one at 3% and one at 2% which pretty much felt like a flat incline to me after the higher inclines. I really hate doing my treadmill work last because I feel like I’m so tired, but it’s also good to mix things up from time to time.

There were some totally amazing moments in my workouts this past week and some seriously depressing ones. It’s so easy for me to work out when everything is going great, but it’s good to have a challenge to get through to know that I can push through it and still get it done. I’m continuing to do a mental countdown of how many workouts I can do before surgery. The number is getting smaller and smaller so I’m starting to feel like surgery will be here before I know it. But I’m also now trying to think of surgery as just another challenge for me to get through.

Getting Back To Normal Workouts (or Balancing Hard Work And Taking It Easy)

After Peak Performance Week, I was pretty tired from all the hard work. I knew I’d still be doing my 3 workouts for the week, but I didn’t feel like I needed to push myself as hard as I had the week before. Having a recovery day (or a recovery week) is a totally normal thing to do. But I usually am so competitive with myself that I don’t want to do that. But this week, I knew that I needed to. So I tried to find a good balance between working really hard and taking the recovery I needed.

Monday was a power day that didn’t switch between blocks. But even though we didn’t switch between blocks it almost flew like we did because the first 3 blocks were only 4 minutes each. For those short blocks, I was able to run all the pushes that were 2 minutes or under and all of the all out paces. We had a 3 minute push pace followed by a 1 minute all out. I did run for 2 minutes and then took a quick 1 minute walk break before running my all out. The last block on the treadmill was 7 minutes which was a mix of push and all out paces. I tried to follow the paces perfectly (only walking during walking or base paces). And by doing that, I ended up doing 3 minutes of running at the end which felt pretty good for me!

The floor work that day was a similar pattern with 3 short blocks and 1 long one. Each of the short blocks was 2 different things we had to do and I was able to get through 2 rounds most of the time. And for the longer block, we mainly did squats followed by rowing. I didn’t take it too easy while on the floor since the blocks were so short. I was using 20 pound weights for my squats and 25 pounds for the deadlifts we had to do. Even in my recovery weeks, I’m finding that sometimes I can use heavier weights (especially doing lower body work), so I’m glad I still did that.

Wednesday was an endurance day, but fortunately we did switch between blocks. For the treadmill blocks, on the first one I ran for 2 minutes, walked for 1, and ran for 2 again. I was really happy to see that I felt fine doing that but then after that first block my body decided that it was done. I was feeling pretty light-headed (I didn’t have the best food day before my workout) and was dealing with a bit of pain all over. So for all the other blocks, I ended up walking even during the all out paces. I ended up keeping my speeds and inclines lower than I normally do on a walking day because of all the issues I was having. But I was trying to keep focusing on remembering that this was now a recovery day and that was ok.

On the floor, I used some medium to heavy weights when we had our squat work. In the last floor block, we also had a 400 meter row which I did get done in under 2 minutes. But the light-headedness and pain were affecting me on the floor too and I was taking quite a few breaks. I thought that the toughness of the workout was just because of my personal issues, but after class everyone else seemed to agree that for some reason it was an exceptionally hard class. That did make me feel a bit better about all the struggles I was having in class.

Friday’s class was a power day without switching. I was still dealing with a bit of pain (all the rain we’ve been getting in LA makes my hips hurt so much), but fortunately my workout didn’t suffer too much from the pain. All of the blocks we had were 5 minutes or under and that was helpful. We had a lot of all out paces (I think it might have been 8 or 9 of them, but I lost count). We had 1 minute pushes to all outs, 90 second pushes to all outs, and 2 minute pushes to all outs. And I managed to run all of it. I did walk during the base paces and walking recoveries, but it felt really good to run as much as I did. I still want to push my running more, and I feel like this workout was a good way to do it.

The floor was similar with the short blocks. We had a lot of squat work, a lot of ab work with the ab roller, and I even attempted doing knee tucks on the ab roller on my toes instead of my knees for the first time (that only lasted for 2 knee tucks, but it was the first time I ever did that!). But one of the floor blocks was all rowing for 5 minutes. We had base, push, and all out paces on the rower; but basically it was rowing constantly for 5 minutes. I know I could have done better than I did, but I think I didn’t do too shabby.

For this being a bit of a recovery week and a bit of a challenge week, I think I found a great mix. I listened to my body when I needed to and adjusted when necessary instead of trying to overcome the issues. Hopefully this will be a pattern that I’ll be able to continue doing for a long time!

An Off Week (or Being Ok Being Weak)

I had a weird week of workouts this past week. When I started the week, I had no idea that I would be getting so sick on Wednesday. But even though I was in the hospital that day, I still managed to get 3 workouts in (it was originally going to be a 4 workout week, but I’m proud of my 3).

Monday obviously was my best workout day. This was before I got sick and I was pushing myself quite a bit. It was a strength day and we didn’t switch between blocks, so I had a long time on the treadmill. I still am not running hills, but I decided to run the flat parts that I could and get my inclines as high as possible. We started the workout with a 2 minute push pace that I ran in full and we ended the treadmill time with a 1 minute push and 1 minute all out (both minutes were run). And in the middle we had 2 30 second all outs that I was able to run.

But besides those parts, I was walking the rest of the treadmill time. Hills are tough in general for me, so running hills is not a priority for me right now. I was keeping my inclines pretty high most of the time by averaging between 8-12% incline with my usual walking pace. The hills are starting to feel more like they did before I hurt my calf, so I was very happy with that. It’s been a long time since the hills felt like that, so I saw that as a huge improvement and something to be proud of.

The floor work was a bit tough for me. My abs were hurting (I thought it was because of the MRI, but I’m now wondering if it was something related to my current issue). When we were doing ab work, I was able to do it but things were tougher for me than normal. I wasn’t able to get up from being on the floor as easily as I usually can and I decided to be a bit careful with my weights for the rest of the floor work. I wasn’t going with really light weights, but I took it a bit easier than I probably would do on a strength day.

Wednesday’s workout didn’t happen because I was still in the hospital at that time and there was no way that I could go anywhere once I was done. I honestly thought that there was going to be a chance that I couldn’t do any more workouts for the week, but I decided that since the doctor I saw said I could work out once I was getting better I figured it was worth trying. I told myself that if I could only make it 10 minutes into the workout before I had to leave, that would be ok. So I kept my already scheduled Friday and Saturday workouts.

Friday was really a challenge for me. I know I must have been getting better, but it was hard to believe that. I was still hurting so much and there were only so many positions that my body could be in that made the pain go away. There was no way I was going to walk on the treadmill (even if I kept it really slow, I would be tempted to push myself more), so I went onto the bike. I kept the resistance very low and didn’t pedal too fast the entire time I was on there. It wasn’t easy, but I made it through.

Friday was a run/row day, and I think that was the best thing I could have had. I didn’t spend too long on the bike for a stretch and the rower had the ability to be a good way for me to stretch a bit. My bike time wasn’t fast, but I wasn’t pushing myself at all. I just wanted to make it through what I could. The rower wasn’t that great for me (crunching my body up was hurting my stomach), but I just did a bit of a lazy row and got all the meters in that I needed to. My coach knew I was dealing with health stuff, so he wasn’t pushing me that hard and kept checking in to make sure I was doing ok.

When we moved to the floor, I decided there was no point in me trying to use my normal weights. I needed to keep things easy, and that means easy weights too. So when I usually would use 15 or 20 pound weights, I was using 10. I felt a bit pathetic and weak, but I had to keep telling myself that I was feeling like crap and wasn’t letting that keep me from the gym. Most of the floor work was focused on arms, but there was some ab work as well. I knew the ab work wasn’t going to happen, so I just skipped that part and did more arm stuff. I ended up leaving class a bit early because the last 3 minutes was a core blast, and I knew I couldn’t do any of it. Plus, I was feeling a bit exhausted since that was my first real workout or movement since I got sick.

I went into Saturday a bit more optimistic. I knew I could do the bike and make it through a workout with significant modifications. It helped the nerves go away since I knew I could do it. I got on the bike again and even though it was a power day (my favorite) and there were a bunch of push and all out paces, I didn’t do any of that. I just tried to ride the bike at a steady resistance and cadence for the entire time. I did have to take some breaks (my stomach would hurt or I needed to stretch out a bit), but I did ride for a good amount of time. The computer on the bike stops when I stop, and in the end it said I was on it for 25 minutes. Not too shabby at all.

The floor work was a bit tougher for me, but I stuck with my Friday plan and used 10 pound weights again. We had a bit of squat work to do and I was modifying those and doing what I could. I was feeling my muscles working so even if I felt like I wasn’t doing much, I was doing something. We had some ab work that I skipped (like toe touches) and some ab work that I tried (mountain climbers which were very difficult but doable) and we had a bit of rowing as well. My stomach wasn’t hurting more at the end of the workout than it did in the beginning, so I consider that a victory.

This was not the workout week I was expecting to have. But I did my best to make it the best I could. I’m not disappointed in myself since I know that it would have been so easy to decide not to go at all. But I still wish I wasn’t hurting so I could have done more.

With Hell Week starting this week (and going through the beginning of next week), I’m still planning on doing all the workouts I have signed up for. I’m hoping that I won’t be in pain for all of the workouts and can really push myself to see what I can do, but if I have to be on restricted exercises I’m going to try to make the most of it. I want to earn my Hell Week shirt and I know what I need to get it!

Being Hard On Myself (or Pushing Myself To Not Be Sick)

Even though I was starting to feel better this past week, I was still feeling some of the effects of the cold I caught. The only thing really bothering me was feeling congested, and I really wanted to get over that. Since I wasn’t feeling too sick, I pushed myself pretty hard in my workouts and sometimes that worked and sometimes it didn’t.

Monday’s workout was the one where I was feeling the sickest, but it was still so much better than how I was feeling before. Mornings are also the toughest time for me feeling congested. I knew it was going to be a hard workout but I had to try my best and see what I could do.

It was an endurance day, which is always a tough one for me. When we had 2 minute pushes, I ran for 1 minute of it. When we had a 90 second push, I ran the entire thing. It wasn’t easy at all and I had some trouble catching my breath at times, but I got it done. And since we didn’t switch between blocks, I managed to do a decent distance on the treadmill between my running and walking.

monday

I was so exhausted after the treadmill, but I knew I had to get through the floor work too. We had 350 meter rows to do and they felt really long to me. 350 isn’t usually too tough for me, but they felt more like 1,000 meters after being so tired. The rest of the floor work was arm focused and we had core work during each block. The core work was plank focused and because of my congestion I was really struggling. I had to take a bunch of breaks with my planks, but I was just glad to get through the workout after being so horribly sick the few days before.

Wednesday’s workout was a real interesting one. It was another endurance day and we started with a 10 minute block. My 10 minutes on the treadmill went better than I could have expected. We had to do 2 minute push paces twice and I was able to run for the entire 2 minutes each time. We also had a 90 second push that I ran and a 1 minute push to all out that I ran. That was more running than I usually do, but it felt really good and I didn’t feel too sick at that point.

We then had a 10 minute block on the floor that was arm focused before we switched to doing a partner run/row for the remainder of the class. One person was on the rower and rowed until they were tagged. The other person had some floor work to do like pushups, side planks, and weight work and then went over to the treadmill. The treadmill segments ranged from .2 miles to .1 miles. I wanted to run for all of them, but I had overdone it a bit during that first 10 minutes so I ran for 1 minute and then walked the rest of finish the distance. Then the treadmill person tagged the rower person and they switched.

When I was on the rower, I usually spent about 4.5 minutes on it and I was rowing almost the entire time. I did take a bit of a break before rowing each time to drink some water because I didn’t want to do that when the switch was depending on me being fast. I didn’t want my partner to have to wait for me so I only took breaks when I was on the rower. We got through a bunch of rounds of the run/row and at the end of the class I was feeling a little light-headed but much less congested than I had earlier that day.

Friday was another endurance day (I guess I lucked out with all the endurance days I had this past week). There were 2 long blocks on the treadmill and we had some really long push paces. I pretty much stuck with running for 1 minute and walking the rest. The exception was the 3 minute push pace where I ran for the first minute, walked the second, and ran the third. I was feeling a bit more congested that day so I was keeping my running a bit slower. I didn’t want to try to up my speed and I really did just want to focus on my endurance.

I’ve had my new goal of being able to do 2 miles in class when we don’t switch between blocks, and I thought my distance on Monday was pretty incredible. But after doing the warm-up and both blocks, I got super close to my goal but not quite there.

friday

I have a feeling that soon I’ll be at that 2 mile mark in class and that’s going to be an awesome day!

The floor was one really long block, which really did test my endurance. We had rowing to do before each set followed by a series of strength moves. Each round we added more strength moves on so the rounds got longer and longer. The one strength move we had to do every round was doing ground to press, which I’m usually great at. But again, the congestion caught up with me and I struggled. I ended up not making it through 4 of the 5 rounds we were supposed to try to get through. I know if I didn’t have to keep taking breaks to catch my breath I could have done it. And it’s tough not to push myself to do more. But I know that this cold might still take another week or so to completely get over so I’m working on my patience.

This week of workouts will hopefully continue on the great momentum I build this past week. My schedule will be a bit off since I have to miss my workout today because I’m out-of-town (more on that soon), but I’ll still get in my 3 workouts for the week. And I’ve realized that I need to start getting a 4th workout in again more often, so I’m seeing if I can fit in 4 this week. If I can’t do it this week, I know I’ll be doing it soon.

Being Sick (or Feeling Off)

As I mentioned in Monday’s post, I was having some trouble with my workouts because I was feeling off one day and sick another day. Fortunately, I’m finally feeling more like myself now but this bug that I caught just took it out of me like I wasn’t expecting.

This all started on Wednesday when I was feeling fine except for a weird sensation in my throat. It’s almost like a feeling of insatiable thirst. Whenever I get this, I’m usually about to get sick so I was trying my best to take care of myself. I was drinking lots of water, eating as healthy as I could, and making sure I got extra sleep.

Thursday morning, I woke up at 4am feeling like I had daggers in my throat. That’s never a good feeling and I was on my phone right away to see how early urgent care opened at Kaiser (urgent care is a $45 co-pay for me but the ER is a $500 co-pay). It wasn’t going to open until an hour before I had to start working and I didn’t want to ask for time off, so I decided I was going to make it through the work day the best I could.

I did let my manager know that I was feeling sick, but since it was only my throat hurting and no other symptoms, I was guessing that I had strep throat and figured I would go straight to urgent care after work and get whatever prescription I needed. My throat continued to feel worse and worse as I worked and I finally asked my manager if I could end work an hour early to get to the hospital. I promised I’d make up the hour and she let me log out.

I had an interesting adventure at Kaiser. I was starting to feel a bit more sick than before and I got really confused on where to go to check in for urgent care. Somehow, I ended up signing up for a nurse’s visit to get a strep test without confirming that I didn’t need a regular appointment. It was all corrected in the end, but I was so confused and my head was starting to hurt.

Before I had my tonsils out almost 8 years ago, I got strep throat pretty regularly. I was used to doing throat cultures and just assumed things would be easy for me this time as well.

kaiser

It wasn’t easy this time and it hurt so much that I almost punched the nurse helping me! I felt so horrible after that and kept apologizing, but she was really nice about it all and said that it happens all the time.

After being at urgent care for almost 3 hours, it was figured out that I didn’t have strep and was sent home with instructions to get rest and drink plenty of fluids. I thought maybe I’d only have a really bad sore throat for a few days and would be done with it.

Turns out, I was pretty sick with a cold. The entire weekend was spent on my couch trying to catch up on sleep (since I wasn’t sleeping well at night), drinking lots of water, taking decongestants, and just getting through the day. I hate being sick like this because I really wanted to get stuff done and was supposed to be working over the weekend. But the best thing for me was to lay low and just let this bug get out of me.

Even though I’m finally feeling a bit better now, I’m still feeling off. Being sick with a cold is usually a longer recovery process than any of us would like to put up with and I’m trying to be patient with my body. I know that I might not be totally better for another week or so and I’m trying to be easy on myself. Sleeping is getting better so my mornings are better than they were over the weekend, but I’m still getting really exhausted by the end of the day.

It’s been almost a year since I was sick like this. If I get sick once a year, that’s not too bad. And once I’m feeling better, I’ll be getting my flu shot so I can do my best not to catch the flu this year. Hopefully I won’t have to be doing another sick day post for another year and I can remind myself that sometimes we don’t get to control how we feel and we just have to get through it.

Taking It Easy (or Trying Not To Be Hard On Myself)

This past week of workouts were a bit off for me. Part of the problem was that during the second half of the week I wasn’t feeling ok (more on that tomorrow), but the workouts just didn’t seem to mesh well with me for some reason.

Monday was a strength day so I didn’t get to do much running, but it was still a pretty good workout for me. I walked all of the hill work for the push paces, but we also had some flat incline pushes. So I was able to run those plus the all outs which were on a flat incline as well. I was even able to do 6.5 miles an hour for one of my 30 second all out paces. That’s a little too fast still for me, but I can handle it for 30 seconds especially since the treadmill takes a bit of time to get up to speed.

The floor work on Monday was a lot of arm work and for some reason when I started I had some weird shoulder pain. I’m not sure what caused it because it’s gone now (maybe I slept funny?), but it made me a bit concerned so I did lighter weights than I normally do. I didn’t want to hurt myself so I knew I had to take it easy. I was also having that same pain for some of the body weight work that we did (walkouts were the main one that hurt), so I did my best but also wasn’t able to do as many of each thing as we were supposed to do. I didn’t feel great about my workout, but I also didn’t know that I would have a worse workout later in the week.

On Wednesday, I was feeling a bit off. I thought I might be getting sick, but I didn’t feel too bad so I figured I’d be able to do a pretty tough workout. This day was endurance, strength, and power so there were more opportunities for me to get some running done. For the endurance section, we had a couple of 1 minute push paces followed by 30 second base paces. I’ve been doing a lot of 1 minute run/1 minute walk things, so this was pretty good for me. I think that 30 seconds to walk between running is a bit short for me, but it was nice to try and hopefully will make future runs a bit easier. During the strength section, I walked since it was hills. I thought about trying to run on hills again, but since I was feeling off I didn’t want to push it. And for the power section we had some 1 minute push paces followed by 30 second all out paces. I was able to run for all of that which was awesome and I finished with a 1 minute all out pace at 6.3 miles an hour.

On the floor, we had rowing for each block. The first block was 200 meters (I forgot to track my time), the second block was 300 meters (I did it in 1:09), and the third block was 600 meters (I did it in 2:41 which shocked me!). The rowing didn’t feel as awkward as it has in the past which may explain how I did some really great times on my rows. It was another day focused on arms and I was able to use some heavier weights than on Monday since I wasn’t having that weird shoulder pain. Even though I was still feeling off at the end of the workout, I was feeling great about how I did in class.

Friday was not a good day for me. I’ll explain more about what happened to me on Thursday, but I decided to stick it out and do my Friday workout. But I knew I had to take it easy no matter what I did. So I skipped the treadmill and went on the bike. It’s been a while since I’ve used the bike and it was a bit weird at first. But I got back into the groove pretty quickly. I didn’t focus a ton on what the workout was that day (sorry Bruce), but I tried to increase the gears on the bike when we had push paces or all outs. I wasn’t doing as much as I used to during my 4th workouts of the week on the bike, but it was better than doing nothing.

For the floor work, we had 300 meter rows (I did them in 1:24, 1:19, and 1:13 which is weird because I usually don’t get faster throughout the workout) and some arm work where we were either in a plank position or on our backs on the weight bench. It was tough to do those things because I was feeling dizzy in those positions, but I did better for things where we were sitting down or standing up. I had to use some lighter weights again and they felt really heavy to me that day. But I just had to keep reminding myself that I wasn’t hurting myself by doing a workout and it was better to do this than to not come to class.

I don’t have the highest hopes that this week of workouts will be better. As I’m writing this post (on Sunday), I’m still feeling off. I’m sure my Monday workout will be affected by it but I’m hoping by the end of the week I’m back to normal again. I don’t like to take it easy because I’ve been making such huge improvements lately, but I also know that it’s better to take it easy than to overdo it and not be able to work out the next time.

Not Letting Stuff Define Me (or Controlling My Emotions)

I’ve realized lately that I’ve been having some serious up and down swings in my emotions. I don’t like having such wild swings in my emotions because it really takes a lot of time and effort to calm down when I’m feeling depressed or anxious and when I’m super excited I crash really hard later. I’m not sure if this has been going on for a while and I didn’t notice it, or if it just started. But either way, I want to get some things under control.

I’ve been making some really great strides in my eating disorder recovery lately. The number of binge episodes per week has been down the past few weeks and I’m steadily losing weight. I’m finding new ways to distract myself when I’m having a tough time and I’ve added in extra physical activity into my day (yoga plus the extra running) which not only is a distraction but helps to balance out the calories on my bad days.

I’m really happy with the steps I’ve made and I know that the results are showing by the number on the scale and a few friends noticing as well. Seeing things going the right way is extra motivation for me to keep going and the momentum has been really nice. This wasn’t something that I set out to start, but it happened naturally and I think that is one of the reasons that it has been working well.

But then the other day I was doing a weigh-in for a fat loss challenge that is going on at Orangetheory. I know that I won’t be winning because it is tough to make drastic fat loss happen at the weight I’m at. But since it was free to enter the challenge, I figured why not go ahead and do it.

For the initial weigh-in, I told the person who was running the scale that I want to do blind weight. I do this for all doctors appointments and any time I have to weigh-in somewhere that is not my controlled environment. I know how crazy my weight can fluctuate through the day plus every scale is a little different. So I only weigh myself on my scale at home (which I do first thing in the morning) and I don’t look at the weight on any other scale.

The person running the scale looked at me like I was a bit crazy, but I explained that I’m working toward recovery from an eating disorder and this is how things are best for me. He covered up my weight but since I wanted to see what my fat percentage was he didn’t block that with his hand. It was a number that is lower than I know it has been in the past, but still higher than it should be.

When I did my second weigh-in this week (for the mid-point of the challenge), I did blind weight again. My fat percentage went up even though my weight and the pounds of fat I have went down. This is part of the issue with losing weight when you are as heavy as I am. You don’t always lose it the way you want to. I did lose some muscle as well (but that has to happen because the pounds of muscle I have now is not a number I can have at my goal weight) and that’s why the percentage went up.

Before I stepped on that scale, I was feeling pretty amazing about myself. After stepping on it, I was feeling miserable and like I wanted to go eat a bunch of crap food since I didn’t feel like my efforts were paying off. It made me feel like I’ve been wasting my time with all the work I’ve put in (which isn’t true in the least) and that I might as well not try.

It’s not just weight issues that are making me have such crazy swings in my emotions. Someone I respect said something pretty hurtful to me. I don’t think they meant to say it or put it the way that they did because they apologized soon after, but it still upset me. I was obsessed about thinking what I did to deserve it or why they wanted to say that to me. Even though they said they didn’t mean it, I still felt like what they said must have been the truth and that stuck in my head.

Unfortunately, having that happen to me did cause me to binge. It sucks, I feel awful, and I wish I could go in time to change it. But what’s done is done and now I’ve been working back toward where I was before and getting on track again. I know that setbacks are a part of recovery, but somehow they are easier to accept when I don’t know what causes them versus when something I can pinpoint triggers it.

I need to find a way to let go of having such strong reactions to things that may or may not be in my control. I can’t control what a scale other than mine might say or that my weight loss might not be happening in the most ideal way (which would be only losing fat but gaining or maintaining muscle). But I can control how I react to it and that’s what I’m trying to work on now. And hopefully whatever is making my emotions swing so much will be under control again soon and I’ll be back on track and kicking butt!

A Few Setbacks (or Not Being Hard On Myself)

This week was a tough week of workouts. But they weren’t tough because the workouts were hard. They were tough because I was struggling. I know that having off days is a part of making progress, but knowing it doesn’t make things easier when I’m having an off week.

I knew Monday might be tough because I was still recovering from my night shoot over the weekend. But I got a lot of sleep on Sunday night, so I was feeling pretty good waking up on Monday morning. So I thought that maybe I wasn’t going to have a bad day and my exhaustion was done. And when I got to Orangetheory and saw that it was a run/row day, I was pretty excited because I knew that those days are easier on me with keeping the treadmill time to short bursts.

But it was also a strength day which meant hills on the treadmill. I tried to run the first segment on the treadmill (with incline), and it just wasn’t going to happen. After trying to run for that first segment, I realized that there just wasn’t going to be any more running that day. I did power walk everything else and it wasn’t my best speed or incline but I got it done. And we did have to do calf raises after each row segment so I was able to catch my breath a bit between rowing and the treadmill. Fortunately, I did a bit better on the floor that day. We did a lot of shoulder work and also had some rollouts on the straps (which I felt great because my body needed that stretch). We also had a 6 minute block on the floor that was just ab work using the Bosu ball, which also was less taxing on my body.

Wednesday I was finally feeling more like myself. I’m shocked how long it took me to recover from the night shoot, but I also think I pushed myself too hard the 2 days after the shoot so I wasn’t able to recover as fast as I could have. The workout was endurance, strength, and power and we were switching between blocks so the class seemed to go by pretty quickly for me. For the endurance and strength treadmill blocks, I walked the base and push paced but I did run for the all-outs. But on the power section we had 30 second all-outs followed by 30 second walking recoveries and I was able to run for all of those all-outs. I was going pretty quickly for those 30 second segments, typically staying above 5 mph.

The floor work was focused a lot on arms and abs. I was doing ok with that until the very end of class where we had a short buddy challenge. My friend Dani was in class with me so she and I partnered up. We had to be in a plank and alternate bringing one hand up to high-five each other while staying in the plank. At the beginning I was doing ok, but my body was so ready to be done by then. I tried to keep up my part of the partner work and to bring my hand up every time so Dani always had a buddy to high-five, but I wasn’t able to keep my plank the entire time and was feeling pretty out of breath while trying. Again, I was frustrated that I had to give up during the workout, but I was trying to remind myself that I had just done a big workout and did some pretty fast run sprints.

Friday was the day that I was back to my usual workout self. We had a strength day that did switch between the blocks. Since I’m really not ready to work on running on hills, I stayed with power walking for almost all of the treadmill work. I was keeping my inclines up around 6-10% and my speed was usually between 3.5 and 3.7 mph during all the push paces. One of the all-outs was on an incline so I walked that one too. But we did have 2 all-outs that were at a flat road and I ran those. For the 1 minute all-out, I ran for a minute at 5 mph which felt really fast that day but it was great not having to be at an incline! And for the 30 second all-out, I was going at 5.5 mph which felt like flying to me! I really love doing those sprints because I’m able to go really fast and I love feeling that. I just really need to work on my endurance so I can start running more often in the workouts.

The floor work on Friday was a good mix of rowing and arms. We had a bunch of 200 meter rows which I was able to do in under 55 seconds every time. The rows were tough toward the end of the workout, but since they were short they weren’t too bad. We also had to do ultimate burpees in the first block which were much easier for me than they have been in a while. I was able to include the push up with each burpee and I was using some pretty heavy weights for them as well. All of my arm work was done with 15 pound weights, which aren’t the best I’ve used but since there was so much arm work I was happy with that.

Friday’s class also marked the last class I’ll get to take with my friend Dani for a while. She’s leaving next week to go to Africa where she will be hiking up Mt. Kilimanjaro! While I’m sad I’ll be missing my workout buddy for a few weeks, I’m super excited for her! This is going to be a huge hike and I know she’s been working really hard on getting ready for the trip and making sure that she’s in the best shape possible. She’s been using super high inclines for all of her treadmill work and she’s been doing really long hikes every weekend to make sure her endurance is there. She got an Orangetheory hat as a gift from the studio we go to and I’m so excited to see the picture of her on the top of the mountain wearing it! So since this was our last class together for a while, I figured we had to get a post-workout sweaty selfie together.

Dani's Off To Africa!

The next two weeks of workouts will be working around my trip next weekend, but I’ve finally got it all figured out! I might not be hitting all of my workout goals this month (like wanting to try to run for 5 minutes), but at least I’m not giving up!