Monday, October 26, 2015

Serendipity

Ever since I got that bad cold weeks ago, even after the cold was pretty much gone, I haven't felt well.  I've been dragging myself through days and nights and jobs and life.  I know darn well this does not bode well for me to be going into Daylight Savings Time with this hovering around me all the time.

Saturday morning, I got up while the house was still quiet and sat down for a cup of coffee prior to my workout.  Once again, I didn't feel like working out and did feel like I was tired of pushing myself to work out when I don't feel like it.  I do feel like I've spent all of 2015 battling it in a vicious cycle of knowing I should do it, thinking I want to do it, doing it, it sucks (my performance, the weather, whatever), I cut my workout short - or suffer through it, berate myself for sucking, skip it the next day because that day was so bad, berate myself for skipping it.  And on and on and on and on... and that's just one of the many things I feel like I've been battling.

I don't know why but for some reason, on Saturday morning, this hit me hard and as I sat sipping my coffee. I decided to really be honest with myself and acknowledge whatever I needed to in order to get myself out of this funk.

In truth, I haven't felt "well" in a long, long time - much longer than just the last few weeks. Pieces of it go all the way back to 2012 when I broke my foot.  Those things have just never been right since.

I actually had the thought, "The choices I'm making overall are not working.  I don't like myself, I don't like the way I look, I don't like the funk I seem to be spiraling further into.  I'm mostly miserable. Something has to change."

So, I sat and I thought and I thought and came up with a plan.

1.  Exercise most days.  It doesn't have to be hard or fast or anything other than a couple mile walk.  No comparing the past to right now.  Just do it and accept it for whatever it is, even if I have to pretend I've never exercised before and I'm starting all over.

2.  Find an exercise class to take a couple times a week over the winter.  Something inside, with other people involved.  To this end, I picked up the Parks and Rec magazine and looked at what they were offering.  My immediate reaction was that nothing worked with my part time job schedule.  But then I said, "Helen, snap out of it, that's an excuse.  Find something that works!"  Well, when I read the fine print, I found out that they have several classes where you can either pay $40 for two nights a week, or $25 for 1 night a week.  I picked up my lap top and signed up to start Amped Up this Thursday.  It's a floor class that starts with a cardio kickboxing element and then goes to the floor for strength training.  Because of my schedule (and the dumb holidays) I can only go 1 day a week for this session but when the January session starts, I can make sure I can do something 2 days a week.

3. Get on the scale and see what is going on from my up and down and all around eating.  Well, yes, it was a gain since the last time I weighed myself - December 31, 2014.  But it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought - 6 pounds.  That's fixable.

4. I don't have to diet but I do have to eat better. This one is interesting because in general I make very healthy, good food for us.  I cook from scratch more than anybody I know and that's the truth. We go through periods where we eat out once a week or so, but we also go through times when we eat all meals in for months.  For me, eating better is going to have to do with choosing more vegetables and choose less snack-type foods like crackers.  I love vegetables, but when I get in a funk like I have been, I choose not to eat them and instead eat crackers, pasta, rice, bread and potatoes. Those things are fine in the correction portions, which is the second part - this is also going to have to do with me eating smaller portions.  The end.

To this end, I have a friend who is doing a 100 days of healthier eating thing via Facebook.  I joined that about two weeks ago (which just goes to show you that some of these thoughts have been swirling around in my brain anyway).  She is also doing a series of mini-challenges within the 100 days.  Our first one was drink more water - easy for me most days since I mostly only drink water. Right now we are in the middle of the eat more fruits and vegetables challenge.  These challenges have been good for me, not only to bring realization to how I am eating, but also because even when I've had days that weren't "perfect" the group is supportive.  My tendency to beat on myself isn't really allowed.  That's good for me.

Also, to keep myself in check - not calorie limited - but to force myself to look at my choices, I am going to start using a food tracker again, at least for a while.

5. Drink less alcohol. There was a time when I only ever had a drink if we went out.  Then I would have a drink on the weekends.  Then it turns into a glass of wine while cooking dinner and the next thing you know, nearly every day some sort of adult beverage is being ingested. Even though it hasn't been like this every week, it's still not necessary any week, at least not for me!!  I'm feeling this is just a habit that has developed and it's stopping.  I'll be helped by the fact that I work two nights a week at my part time job and by adding in the exercise class (I never have any desire to drink anything but water when I exercise in the evenings).  I'm sure my liver will thank me.  I also know that this will help tremendously with my desire to exercise as well as ridding myself of downward spiraling thinking.

6. Be more social.  I told Mr. Helen that my goal was for us not to hibernate (unless snowstorm-bound) this winter.  We need to get out and about and I don't care if it's just to go visit parents or something.  I have a huge tendency to be a loner.  Couple that with the fact that I work all by myself at my full time job and then some nights Mr. Helen isn't home, and I am alone a lot.  I need to be out and about and meeting up with friends more, if at all possible. The new exercise class will certainly help with that.  I suspect this will be one of my hardest tasks.

After I wrote most of this blog, thanks to a Facebook share, I found this blog written by Wil Wheaton, the actor: Seven Things I Did to Reboot My Life.

It was so serendipitous I laughed right out loud.  Thank you universe for the confirmation! Read it, he says it better than I ever could.

As of Saturday, I pushed reset.  I had a phenomenal run and body weight workout.  I ate a veggie filled omelet for brunch and we were out of the house the whole day.  We got to see Little Helen and meet her for dinner because she was at Yale University speaking at a conference.  We ate out but I ate half and took the rest home.  I had one glass of Sangria and drank 12 cups of water.  I slept well Saturday night and got up Sunday and took a nice walk and did some pushups and situps.  I batch cooked food for the week and drank only water all day and night.  I slept like a rock Sunday night and had a great run this morning.  It will be a long day because I'm working both jobs, but I'll get to be social and out and about by being at the mall tonight.

So, we shall see what the next months bring.  I'm only a few days in and I already feel better and more hopeful.  I'm taking that as a good sign.

I am a commitment to refresh, recharge, reboot.

9 comments:

  1. I like your plan. The exercise thing is great - from just doing something AND BEING SATISFIED (talking to myself here a little, too), to trying the class. You get to be social and do something different...two birds right there!

    I bet everything will continue to fall into place as you follow this plan - eating better means less alcohol which means an easier time to get up and exercise...it all flows nicely.

    I read your link - I like his thinking, and forget to read his postings, but Wil Wheaton is always a good read.

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  2. I loved everything about this post - isn't it crazy how we tend to beat ourselves up - we are our own worst enemies sometimes.

    "My tendency to beat on myself isn't really allowed. That's good for me." Love!

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  3. I can really relate to some of these. All the little things that work together to make for better sleep, which essentially leads to a better life--yeah!

    Thanks for your honest sharing.

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  4. Your plan is great. I think the socializing will be important in winter too. It's so easy to become a hernit and turn down all invitations to go out when it is cold. I am definitely a loner, so I get where you are coming from.

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  5. What a great plan of attack you have for the winter duldrums!

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  6. I knew you were an introvert! That's why I like you so much. The sentence "I tend to be a loner" indicates you're probably an introvert, and you fight it because the world wants more extroverts. I'm an introvert too and I'm listening to the best book, and it's a must read for all introverts (and extroverts too if they want to understand us). The book is "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking" by Susan Cain. I love your self-reflection and your plan sounds great!

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  7. Helen, it feels like I could have written this post myself. Especially the exercise part, 2015 hasn't been a good year for that for me either.

    And the alcohol thing: I hear you!
    Eat better: I hear you. Like you I cook healthy enough but it's the snacks (and the wine of course) that can be better.

    Thank you for sharing, I am going to use some of your ideas and wish you a happier healthier you.

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  8. Love. :) Changing it up is definitely the way forward.

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