Tag Archives: tough

Working On Self Care (or Going Back To My Checklist)

I think it’s been a bit obvious from my past posts that I’m in a bit of a funk right now. I wouldn’t say that I’m depressed, but I’m not my usual happy-go-lucky self. I get this way from time to time and I know that I just have to suck it up and wait it out. Sometimes these funks are for a certain reason and sometimes they are random. I think this one is a combination of both.

While I know that I need to wait out these funks, that doesn’t mean that I don’t make an effort to get out of them quicker. Sometimes, what I need it to be out and about. I need to be around other people and remember to have fun in my life again. But in this case, I’ve had a pretty busy social life lately. I feel like I have to fit in all my social life into these next few weeks before I’m out of things for a while. While there is a chance that I won’t be recovering as long as I’m afraid I will be, I still feel like I have to be out and getting things done.

I think that I’m experiencing a bit of burn out right now. My calendar has been packed lately and I’m working hard to do everything that I tell my friends I will go and do. I don’t want to let others down and I’m probably putting other people ahead of myself recently. So I’ve spent the past few days trying to slow down and focus on myself.

I’ve been sitting and home and just been lazy and that has been really good for me. I’m catching up on podcasts that I’ve been meaning to listen to and watching shows on my DVR that I’ve been meaning to watch. Sometimes all I’m doing in a day is work (or work and then going to Orangetheory) and that’s been perfect for me. It’s weird to think how much I needed to have some alone time, but it seems like that has been doing the trick into getting my mood back up.

I’ve also gone back to my happiness checklist to focus on those tasks. It’s pretty easy for me to do most of those tasks but because they are easy I don’t work on them that much. One of the things on my checklist is reading, and that is something I do every day. At the very least, I read in bed before going to sleep. But that has not been enough for me lately and I have been trying to carve out time in my life to read more. I’ve been re-reading a lot of books that I’ve loved in the past and that has been bringing me so much happiness. I know many people don’t read books more than once, but I love going back to a book that I’ve enjoyed and seem to always find something new in the book.

I’m also just ok with being alone in my house just being quiet and doing nothing. I hate to waste time and it’s a luxury that I don’t have that often, but when I can be lazy and not worry about what I’m trying to get done I do that. It’s a way for me to recharge myself and try to refocus on what I really do want to do versus have to do.

I’m still not 100% back to my usual self, but I’ve definitely made steps into getting out of this funk. I know that being sad isn’t really helping me and that there isn’t a real reason for me to feel that way now. But I’ve been acknowledging my feelings and letting them sit with me. Doing that can help me understand why I’m feeling this way and what I should do to take care of myself. I never would have expected that being too social could be the problem, but from doing some reflection I figured out that it could be the case and I think that I was right.

I’m going to keep working on self-care and working on myself over the next few days and I’m sure I’ll be back to normal before I know it. It’s not fun to feel this way and I want to get back to feeling like me. Sometimes it takes time and while I’m working on being patient, I don’t have all the time in the world so I’m doing what I can to get myself back.

Trusting It Will Be Ok (or Dealing With Stress In A Healthy Way)

Even though a lot of recent events should have added a ton of extra stress in my life, I’ve been doing ok. I’m not letting any of my health issues get me down since I know that having a bad attitude won’t change anything for me. Money issues are still toward the front of my mind, but I’m also trying to not stress about those. I have had some things get better for me financially recently, but I think understanding my financial status by budgeting has been really great at keeping the stress down. But in the past week, things just have taken a crazy turn for me.

First, my weight loss is going a bit haywire. I know I should be losing weight, but it’s not showing up on the scale. In fact, the scale has been going up a lot recently. I don’t know what’s happening or why things aren’t going my way, but I’m trying to figure out what I can do to control the situation. This is stressing me out because I’m worried about trying different things when other things have worked for me in the past. But I also know that I need to get this under control and going the right way again sooner rather than later. But I also know that stressing about it is not going to help (and telling myself to relax just stressed me out more).

I’ve been stressing a lot about time management lately too. I don’t know why my days seem to be going so quickly and that I don’t have time to do everything, but that’s how I feel. I have a huge list of things to get done every day and I’m not making a huge dent on them each day. I’ve been tracking my time and there isn’t a ton of wasted time each day. Maybe I’m just taking on too much, but I feel like it shouldn’t be too tough to get all the things done each day that I set out to do. I know that going on Disney adventures doesn’t help, but those were on days where it seemed like my week was going to be super calm. But as the week goes on, things start piling up. I’m just trying to keep up with my to-do lists and hoping that something clicks soon.

And the thing that is causing me the most stress, especially in the last week, is the film festival that I run. The festival is happening this weekend, and everything was perfectly in place until last week. We discovered that our contact at the venue was no longer working with that venue and there was no record of our festival being scheduled to be there. Fortunately, the owner of that venue has another venue that we are going to use. But it is causing a lot of unknowns with the festival. I’ve never run it at any other location than our old one so I’m worried that things won’t be ok. I went to the venue for a site walk through earlier this week and that helped. But until Sunday is done, I think this will be causing me a ton of stress.

I hate that things are causing me so much stress, but it is also a good thing for me. In the past, I haven’t always had the best coping skills. Having a binge episode was a common way for me to deal. And when I found out about the venue for the film festival not having us scheduled, the first thought into my head was what I wanted to go eat for dinner that night. Even though I had planned out my meals for the week, I wanted to go get something that wasn’t a part of my plan for dinner. I wanted to eat something that would distract me from worrying about things. But I didn’t do that. I drove home and while I didn’t eat exactly how I had planned to do so that day, I didn’t do anything too extreme. I had to deal with my feelings the way a healthy person does and it wasn’t easy. But I did it and I got through it.

I hate feeling so stressed out about so many things, but this is just how my life is right now. I’m trying to trust that things will turn out ok, and in most cases I can see how things can get better. But until they do get better, it isn’t easy for me. All I can do is trying to get through these issues and know that when it is done I will have better coping skills to get through things in the future.

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.

More Eating Disorder Research (or Reading About HDE)

I’ve been keeping up with my monthly challenge to read a book about recovery every day. I’m pretty much doing the 10 pages a day (sometimes a few extra pages in a day) so that I’m not overwhelmed or feeling like I need to do a ton of reading each day. I think this was a really great challenge to set for myself and I’m happy that I’m not finding it too difficult to continue doing it each day. I think that it can only be a positive thing for me and I’m excited to see what I’ll learn with each book I read.

At the rate that I’m reading, each book takes a little more than a month to finish. So I’m getting close to finishing my second recovery book now and I’ve been learning quite a bit. The book I’m reading now is called “How To Have Your Cake And Your Skinny Jeans Too”.

hde

I’ll admit that I didn’t love the title when I saw it the first time (I’m not a fan of gimmicky books), but there was something about it that caught my attention and it was on sale as a Kindle book so I got it. Since each book is taking me so long to read, I have to buy them instead of getting them from the library (I only get 3 weeks with library books), but I’ve got quite a few that I’ve already bought and I’m sure that buying 1 book a month or so won’t be too expensive.

When I started to read the book, I wasn’t quite sure where it was going with how it was going to discuss achieving recovery. But after a few days of reading and getting into it I discovered that it is all about hunger directed eating (or HDE). The idea of HDE is that you will eat what you want because if you don’t it may turn into a binge later. If you deprive yourself of something for too long you will go crazy when you have a chance to eat it.

The idea of depriving myself and then going crazy with the food is not a foreign concept to me. I’ve had that happen and it’s not fun at all. But the idea of eating everything that I crave and want is terrifying because I know that when I do that in the short-term it ends badly for me. But the idea of HDE is that while the short-term may be a lot of “bad” foods, eventually you will get sick of just eating those and your body will start to crave the foods that you should eat and your diet will have more variety in it.

Following HDE does seem like it could be something for me, but like I said the idea scares me so much. All of my fears are things that are written about in the book, so that does make me feel a bit better. Nothing I’m afraid of isn’t discussed in one of the chapters with a solution or explanation of how it will work out. So since it seems like I have totally normal fears of HDE I’ve been testing it out a little bit.

I’m not going 100% with HDE yet because I don’t want to have the days of endless eating of foods that I crave. Those will cause my workouts (and probably my work at my day jobs) to suffer and I can’t afford that right now. But I’m trying to follow my cravings more than I normally do and see where it takes me. Along with those cravings, I try to meal plan around it so that I can get my 3 meals in for the day but staying as close to my calorie goals as possible.

It’s not going too badly. Once I started to plan around the cravings I have, I’m starting to see how they can fit into my every day life. The issue I’m still having is the volume of the foods I’m craving that I eat. This is something discussed in the book and it is similar to the mindful eating that I’ve been working on. I need to start paying attention to how I feel while eating things (and not going into a trance) and see when my body is saying that it is ready to be done with the food I’m craving.

This is something that is going to take time and I don’t know if HDE is going to work for me in the long run. What I do know is what I’ve been doing hasn’t been working and I need to start trying other things (even if they scare me or seem like it could never work) to see what will work and what will be right for me. I’m just glad that I’m at a point in my recovery that I can try things out like this and not feel hopefully when I have a set back and just view it as a learning experience.

Getting Out Of A Funk (or Focusing On Happiness)

I think you could all tell from yesterday’s post that I’m in a low point right now. I hate when I have bad days like that, and I think the way that I get into a funk is why I was diagnosed with severe depression in the past (recently it was decided that it was a misdiagnosis because it’s not very severe or often). I’m still working on getting myself back to where I was before, but at least I’m working on it now.

Food is still a huge issue. I’m hoping it gets better soon and I’m working on some new ideas to make things easier on me and not requiring as much thought. When I have to think about food, it makes things worse. Meal planning should be best, but then I end up not wanting to eat what I plan. I’ve got some ideas from friends that I’m testing out and it’s really just trial and error right now. I’m trying to focus on the idea that at least I’m working on this instead of giving up like I have in the past.

I’m also working on focusing on my happiness checklist. I do fill that out every single day still and it’s a good reminder that even on days where I isolate myself from everyone there are things I can do that make me happy. My happiness checklist is an app now (it’s easier to do that than to always carry around paper to fill it out) and I do try to look at it midday to see what I’ve done and what I will be doing to make sure that at least a few things will be checked off every day.

Fortunately with the checklist, some of the things are pretty much a guarantee for me. Writing these posts (or other blogs I freelance on) are a part of that checklist. And reading is one that I get done every single day without fail. I’ve been reading a lot lately because it is an escape for me and it takes my mind off of things that are stressing me out or making me upset. Thank goodness for my library card to get e-books because I’m going through more books a week than ever and I don’t want to spend thousands of dollars a year on books!

I read a pretty big variety of books. Right now, I am reading 10 pages of an eating disorder recovery book every day, but that’s not my main reading. I read a lot of fiction and I try to get some non-fiction in there from time to time. If you want to see what I’m reading, I’m trying to stay up to date with my Goodreads account and tracking what I’ve been enjoying. Books have always made me happy and I’m glad that they continue to do so.

And I’m letting myself be lazy and watch tv and movies after work. It’s not the best thing to do all the time, but sometimes you have to just do it and not worry about the lack of movement and activity after work. I finally caught up on all the Olympics and ceremonies so I’m moving on to other things. Most recently, I watched “Stranger Things” on Netflix. Everyone has been talking about it since it came out last month, and I’m finally catching up.

Stranger Things

I’m happy to say that it is just as good as everyone has said it was and I wasn’t disappointed at all. I had to break up my viewing since it was 8 hours of a show and I didn’t have 8 hours without needing to work or sleep. But I think the way I broke it up (2 episodes one day and the last 6 the next) worked out well. It is a bit scary at times, so I don’t recommend watching it right before going to bed unless you have something happy to watch right after this and before needing to sleep (which is exactly what I did).

I am feeling my mood getting better, I’m not feeling as sick as I was earlier in the week, and the food is still not ideal but it is better. Overall, I think I’m on an upswing to things and I’m just hoping that it will be back to normal soon. I’ve got some fun things coming up next week so I think if I’m not back to normal by then, those fun things will improve my mood right away!

Having Bad Days (or Did I Make Myself Sick)

This week, I was supposed to attend the book launch for “Tacocity”. I was so excited to go and I really do love Rob’s book! I haven’t seen Rob in person for a while so this book launch was going to be my opportunity to see him in person and catch up somewhere else than online.

But of course, things don’t always go as planned and the night of the party I got sick. I’ve been pretty lucky with not getting sick too often. I was much worse off before my tonsils came out about 8 years ago (I was getting strep throat 2-3 times a year) and I’m grateful that my health is doing much better now. But when I get sick, it seems to take me down quickly and harshly.

I ended up skipping the party and I know that Rob totally understood. Nobody wants me to be there when I’m sniffling like crazy and look like I should be in an insolation room. But it still made me a bit mad because I was wondering if it was my fault that I got sick.

The few days leading up to the party were some pretty horrible food days for me. It was a bit out of control and I was trying to find a way out of the eating disorder hole that I felt like I fell down. I was trying everything I could, but I couldn’t stop it. I gained back all the weight that I lost last month (although I’m still hoping some of that weight gain is water weight and will go away quickly) and I’m just feeling really horrible about myself.

The sick feeling I get when I’m in an endless cycle of my eating disorder is completely different from the sick feeling I was feeling when I had to skip the party. On the day of the party, I felt like I had a summer cold and just couldn’t shake it. The sick feeling I get with the eating disorder is more about nausea and feeling shaky. But even though those feelings are different, I still wondered if my eating disorder incidents caused me to come down with the cold.

I know that when you are eating better your health is better. When you are getting in the nutrients you need, your body can fight off bugs better. So by eating crap (and I was eating crap), your body doesn’t have what it needs to fight off things. So there is a chance that because of my poor eating I did cause my body to come down with this cold.

And I know that there is a chance that it’s just coincidence that these things happened back to back. I’m not sure if thinking that the eating disorder caused me to be sick would help me in any way in my recovery. The day after missing the party I was feeling really down on myself and having horrible guilt about what I did. I know those feelings aren’t helpful in recovery so I tried to focus on just having a better day than the days I had before. It’s not easy when you feel so awful about yourself, but all I can do is try.

I know that recovery is going to be difficult. Most people don’t have to encounter their issue 3-5 times a day to stay alive and that’s what I’m forced to do in order to live. I have to find a way to create a healthy relationship with food and I’m struggling with it today. Maybe tomorrow will be better, and I hope it will be. But so much of recovery is me learning how to get through the bad days, stop blaming myself, and moving forward.

Another Peak Performance Week (or Working Extra Hard)

This past week was Peak Performance Week at Orangetheory. I actually have come to love Peak Performance Week. It’s a great way for me to check my how I’m doing compared to how I’ve done in the past. It’s the same way with Hell Week. It’s nice to have workout benchmarks to compare to because I know I make improvements in my workouts even if the scale isn’t going down.

I would have loved to have done 4 workouts during Peak Performance Week this time, but with my 5K race on Saturday I knew I wasn’t going to work out on Friday. I added a Thursday workout in, but since I didn’t want to do 4 days in a row I had to keep it at 3 days.

Since I was pretty stuck with what days I could go, I’m glad that the workouts on the days I went were pretty much the ones I would have wanted to go to anyway.

Peak Performance Week

Monday was the 1 mile challenge. This one is the one I have the most feelings about. I feel like my mile time means so much to me and I know what times I want to get to. So since this is the most important one in my mind, I’m glad it was first so I could get it over with.

Our last Peak Performance Week was about 4 months ago and I was able to do a 16:58 mile then. My PR is 16:30 and as much as I want to get back down to that, I knew my body wasn’t there yet. I really had hope that I could at least do better than what I did 4 months ago. When we started the treadmill, I was at 3.5 miles an hour and 6% incline. I pretty much stayed there until I was 3/4 of the way done. By then, everyone around me was already done with the mile challenge and on to the next cardio block (thankfully my coach let me finish it even though power walkers only have to do a half mile).

I was really hurting toward the end of my mile and I kept bumping up the speed because I could see that I was going to be really close to my last mile time. And when I was done, I was a little bit slower than last time.

1 Mile Challenge

It makes me so mad how close I was because all it would have taken was a little more speed for a such a short amount of time to get to where I was last time. There’s nothing I can do about it now, but it was making me feel a bit off about how my 5K would go on Saturday.

After the mile challenge, we had a run/row to finish out the cardio block. Since I had taken so long, I really only had time for a little bit before we moved onto the floor (where we were doing a ton of lunges and my legs felt like jello).

Wednesday’s challenge was a 1000 meter row. I had looked at my past records and couldn’t find what my PR was when I went to class (I now know that it is 4:58.9). So I just sent my goal time at 4:50 thinking it sounded good to me. I had warmed up on the treadmill first before getting on the rower and then when it was my group’s turn to row I got strapped in. I really didn’t focus on the computer on my rower at all. Since I had set it for distance I knew that the timer would stop when I reached 1000 meters and chances were that I would know when I was close. So I just tried to look straight ahead at the treadmills and not think about the rowing at all.

By the time I was halfway, I was exhausted. I really thought about taking a few second break to stretch and catch my breath, but I decided against it and kept going. Somehow, I did my 1000 meters without taking a break once. Honestly, no matter what my time was, I would have been happy just knowing that. But my time was pretty awesome too.

1000 Meter Row

I made it 1/10 of a second under my goal time! I just barely made it under my goal time, but it still counts! After I got of the rower, I was a bit wobbly. I know I really pushed myself hard on that and my body was feeling it. It ended up being  run/row day on the treadmill so I still had more rowing to do, but they were all pretty short compared to the challenge. On the floor we did a bunch of upper body work, especially on the TRX straps. I know my arms were done because by the end of class my form had gotten really sloppy and I was needing a bunch of corrections.

Thursday was my last day of Peak Performance Week. I knew it was going to be another treadmill challenge involving hills, but before I got to class I didn’t know much more than that. What it ended up being was a 13 minute run for distance. Runners and joggers had to be at 2% incline (normally they are at 1%) and power walkers had to be at 6% incline. So basically for me, this was going to be a 13 minute push pace (normally the longest push pace is 3 minutes).

There was a white board on the side of the room that showed how far you should be able to go in 13 minutes. For power walkers, it was at least .8 miles so I assumed that was based on being at 3.5 miles an hour (the slowest power walkers are supposed to be) for the entire time. So my goal was to beat .8 miles. I did 3.5 miles an hour for the first 10 minutes (that was a challenge in itself!). Then the next minute was at 3.6 and the following minute at 3.7. For the last minute I bumped up the speed every 20 seconds (so 3.8, 3.9, and 4.0 miles an hour). Clearly the chart showing how far we should be able to go wasn’t correct for power walkers because for all the extra speed I did at the end I wasn’t able to get to my goal distance.

13 Minute Hill Challenge

I actually don’t know how fast I would have had to go to get to .8 miles, but I only set that as my goal because I assumed that it was based on 3.5 miles an hour. I still did 13 minutes at 6% incline and did the entire thing at 3.5 miles an hour or faster! I think I might need to start playing around with my base pace again because I think I might be ready to be back at 3.5 miles an hour very soon.

For Thursday’s floor work there was some rowing (500 meters) and a lot of heavy weights for me. I was using a lot of 20 pound weights for squats, lunges, and deadlifts. After working so hard on the treadmill the 20 pound weights felt like 50 pound weights, but I stuck with it (and just took breaks to help me catch my breath).

Even though I didn’t always beat my past Peak Performance Week records, I think that this week went really well. I struggled from time to time, but I kept going and I know that whenever the next Peak Performance Week comes up, I’ll be ready to see if I can beat these records or my other ones.