Wednesday, April 03, 2013
I'd been sort of slacking on my Spark commitment -- I'd been getting my login points, but not always tracking food rigorously. But I'm back with a new commitment. Happy April!
Passover ended this evening, so starting tomorrow it will be easier to eat healthy since I can have my morning oatmeal, granola on my yogurt, beans in my salad, etc., etc. And at the same time harder, since I love bread :)
I also realized that I'm quite stressed out. I actually turned down one freelance assignment this weekend, because even though I'd like to take every job that comes my way, I just don't have the bandwidth. With my main project, my secondary project, my teaching, and then extra stuff that comes up (like a guest lecture I am giving on Monday), plus being a mom and running my household, I just don't have time for a tertiary project. I've been having stress dreams: on Sunday night I dreamed I had no friends, and last night I dreamed I was taking a class and just could not grasp the material, no matter how hard I tried.
That was a sign for me -- so today I took a yoga class, my first in a few months. Aaaahhhhh! Wonderful! This is what my body had been crying out for!
So my resolution for April is to be easier on myself in terms of expectations. I plan to track my food, but be easier on myself if I go over my calories. I plan to exercise, but allow myself to do what I want to do rather than to lift weights or go for a run because today's the day for it. If I do go for a run (or even enter a race, which is planned for April 20), I want to be kind to myself and allow walk breaks when I need them -- achieving, I hope, a comfortable balance of exercise benefit (as measured by my heart rate monitor) and sanity. And I want to do more yoga -- goal is 1x a week. I know it's not strength or resistance training, but it's got plenty of benefits for both my body and my mind.
Happy April, everyone! And here's to a new month of refreshed living and being kind to ourselves.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
I recently fell in love with my kitchen scale. OK, love/hate. I love that it tells me accurately how much I am eating. I hate that what I used to think was a single serving of cereal, now I know is actually 2 servings by weight!
It was very eye opening to weigh my food for the past few mornings. I wish more foods had weights on them in the Spark nutrition counter. For example, a "medium" baked potato is so confusing -- but if you had a weight in grams, I would know exactly how big that potato is supposed to be.
When I weighed my food, I learned that I'm probably WAY overeating, which would explain my plateau of the past few weeks. Sigh. I did lose 1.4 at my last weigh in, but it still feels like a plateau because I am still above my recent lowest weight. But I should still give myself credit for moving in the right direction!
In happier news, I just finished Couch 2 5k week 6 day 1 (8 min run, 3 min walk, 8 min run). It wasn't too bad, though I still need to be better about slowing down so that I can keep running without a break for longer periods of time. Oh, and I also need to be better about getting out of the house to RUN!
I was disappointed to find that the race I was planning to do, the Redondo Beach St. Patrick's Day 5k, is actually this weekend (March 3, 2 weeks early). I'm not going to be ready then, so I need to find another race in my local area -- hoping for something in early April. And then I guess I'll have to do a race every month or two just for motivation to keep on training. There are worse things than having a collection of race finisher T-shirts! Unfortunately I don't think 5ks give you medals the way marathons do.
Hope you all are having a great week -- we're over the hump now, and coasting toward the weekend!
Thursday, February 21, 2013
I have noticed that some people on Spark make an effort to respond to every comment that's written on their blog. They'll send a goodie, or leave a comment on that user's page. I prefer to do it a different way. I try to keep track of what's going on with my friends, leave comments on their blogs, and send goodies when they're down -- and I expect them to do the same for me. So if I don't acknowledge each comment individually, it's not that I don't care. I just see it as part of the exchange of Spark friendship.
As for me -- I've had a week off of work, so as a consequence I've been having trouble focusing on getting stuff done, even though of course I have a list a mile long of all the little odds and ends that should get done when I have a week off of the urgent stuff. And my knee has been bothering me, so I took yesterday off of running. It's feeling better, and I was able to finish c25k week 5 day 1 today, which was great, but I think I'll make an appointment with the therapist guy because I already have a partial ACL tear and I sure wouldn't want it to get worse. I haven't specifically done therapy or knee strengthening exercises in several years, but now that I'm stepping up my general exercising and running, maybe it's time to take better care of known weak spots.
My last weigh in was disappointing -- exactly the same as the previous weigh in, which was up. So I'm plateauing 2 lbs up from my lowest weight. Very frustrating. But I've been slacking off a little bit in the Spark department, eating slightly less well than I should, and clearly it is time to be conscientious. In NSVs, it's also time to buy new jeans, since mine are sagging, and plumber's crack just isn't a good look.
We had been hoping to go to the snow this weekend, but unfortunately both my son and my husband are sick. So instead we'll be staying here. Fortunately, we do have some Purim-related events and other fun things to keep us interested over the weekend.
Hope you are all well, and rest assured, I am indeed grateful for each and every one of my spark friends. Even if I'm frustrated by my current plateau, I've lost 15 lbs, and I couldn't have done it without all of you. And I'm sure that with your encouragement, I will lose the rest of the weight as well!
Saturday, February 16, 2013
Since I was an adult, I've spent some time on antidepressants. The first time was when I was at a point in my life where I didn't know where my career was going, where my relationship was going, where my life was going ... I fixed my career problems, and my boyfriend proposed, and I was able to get off the antidepressants with no negative effects.
More recently, when my baby was 5 months old I was diagnosed with postpartum depression. I cried a lot, worried incessantly about whether I was a good mother, and felt like I was trapped in the role of caregiver rather than enjoying my new baby. With the medication (and all the other usual help from a caring husband, good friends, and healthy habits) I was able to find joy in my new life.
A few weeks ago, my prescription for the antidepressants ran out. I thought to myself, maybe I'm cured! My son is now 12 months old; I'm not technically postpartum anymore, and it would be nice to enjoy life without medication.
However, as they've worn off I've found myself more and more in a funk. I find myself feeling overwhelmed but unable to concentrate on the tasks I need to get done; I feel more and more insecure about myself; I feel fatigued more easily; I feel hopeless and helpless. It has affected my sex drive. And it's been harder for me to eat well and easier for me to turn to chocolate and other junk foods to make myself happy from an external source, since the happiness is coming from outside. This has affected all areas of my life, including my parenting skills, but also my eating and my exercising.
The thing about depression is, it's insidious. It's a mental disorder, so when you have it, one of the symptoms is that it's hard for you to realize that this isn't the way your mind normally works. So even knowing what depression is like, it took some time to realize that this funk that I'm in isn't the real me, it's what happens when the chemicals in my brain are in disarray. We don't know why they don't always work correctly, but body and brain chemistry are mysterious. It's tempting for everyone, including myself, to say that I should just snap out of it, but that's not what depression is all about it -- it's not about maintaining happiness by force of will, but about correcting an imbalance that allows me to live life as I should be living it. I don't feel bad about taking a thyroid supplement to correct an underactive thyroid, and I shouldn't feel bad about taking an antidepressant to correct a brain chemistry problem.
I'm sharing this here in part to remind myself that the depressed me isn't the *real* me. The real me can accomplish great things without feeling distracted, out of focus, fatigued, and overwhelmed by life. The real me is lots of fun, is someone I enjoy being, and soon, I will get her back.
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