Thursday, May 13, 2010
After school got out (ie I was released from captivity) I just bottomed out. Burnt. Burned. Bummed. It really is strange- I thought for sure, as I sat eking out another paper- that finishing the semester would feel like sheer bliss. On the contrary, I finished and felt like doom, a great billowing storm, had rolled over me and sucked the hope from the air around me. What WAS that? I feel like I have changed so much over the past semester and I am not sure if it was for the better. I became more irritable and moody, I was less confident in my classes to speak, and I experienced major increases in episodes of emotional eating. I hear that for many people grad school is very very trying and wearing, but surely there are ways t survive, keep your cool, and keep yourself well. I certainly did not discover what those are for myself. Tips welcome for all you pro stress handlers. Maybe I needed to go easier on myself (but I feel like I slacked enough). Maybe I needed to spend more time with people (what time?). Maybe I needed to pamper my worn self more so I would feel more chipper (sometimes taking a bath seemed tiresome!). I need to figure out something for next semester (and the ones after) since this is no way to live. On some level theology is my passion but it hardly seems worth it when I come out the other end feeling horrible about myself, berated, and overwhelmed by the 'constructive criticisms' of professors (too sensitive maybe?)
Maybe this summer I should spend some time thinking out ways that next semester can be more humane but I am sapped of ideas, and tired of self-reflection. Not to mention how discouraging gaining seven pounds can be :(
I lost time for hobbies and other interests, so that I'm not sure what they are. I barely had time to exercise, clean the house etc.. you're probably getting the picture and I probably sound like such a whiner. Le sigh.
At any rate, my motivation to try at school, working out, and cleaning house is lost. I admire so many of you Sparkers for your motivation and vigor and long for some of that. But I feel dry and burnt out. There is nothing left in this well. Needy needy needy yikes. Motivation, where you at?
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Yesterday I ate 5,000 calories. Yes I did. I feel a whole lot of shame about it as you can probably imagine. I am still not sure where it came from or what I was feeling, and I am mostly in shock. Anyway, I have been startled into looking into getting some (more) serious help.
Whoa, that's nearly a pound gained in a day!
I feel very discouraged and frightened and hope that it will all be ok.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
What I learned today is that if it ain't working', change tack.
Tacking is a sailing maneuver. The aim is to turn the bow through the wind so that the direction from which the wind blows against the sail changes from one side to the other. It's a tricky move if you've never tried it before (like me), if you are in choppy waters (like me), and if you are not in a boat but wind surfing (like me...).
No I wasn't windsurfing today. Well, I was typing 'like the wind' and 'web surfing,' and the two together certainly don't make anything close to a windsurfing adventure (I had the extreme pleasure a few summers ago of windsurfing- would have never tried without my sister pushing me out there). Anyway- I have been charging away on a paper, one of many, when I found that the wind had died and my sail had capsized. Nothing was coming to my head, no creative flair, and my research, instead of looking pulled together, looked like a pile of words and letters. I was 'stuck'.
I was 'stuck' earlier this week as well, but not in my research/writing. I was stuck in my eating habits. Stress had reached such a peak that I caved to comfort and ate. And ate. And when I had a quiet moment to stop... I ate. I was stuck again in a cycle of eating and recommitting to healthy habits I would break the next day.
But that's when I had my epiphany. My tack wasn't working. I was going nowhere with these same old thoughts.
So I decided to change tack, to 'come about,' and try something new (I promised myself I could go back as long as I tried for a little while). First, I wrote down all the kind words and compliments people had 'gifted' me over the week on their respective calendar days. I would look at them on my calendar in the mornings to amo-up in case any meanie-thoughts would dare show their face.
Next, I gave myself a break. Loosing a pound a week might work for some, but for me, with that giant stack of words that needed organizing and processing, I would be more than happy at .5 lbs/week or at least steady maintenance.
Two weeks ago I made it a point to start getting 8hrs + of sleep- when I tell my fellow students this their mouthes drop open. (Oh, and some of the kind words I mentioned before have included: 'you don't look so tired today! are you less stressed?')
Finally, I stuck my neck out farther than I am used to and actively connected with people- strangers! And it was fun!
Well guess what happened: I felt free. The wind caught in my sail and I feel like I am easily gliding across the water. I have been alone at home for 3 hrs and have not even wanted to comfort myself with food. I am stressed up to my ears with 6 papers begging to be finished, and all I want to do is keep trying. I know this change has not been overnight, but the sense of peace is ringing louder than it has in a long time. So while it may have been there for a while, I think that my 'bow' is turned enough so that I am noticing the wind catch in the sails.
Regarding my paper: tonight I was 'stuck' at a certain point in the paper, and when I decided to try something different (maybe read a bit further down in an area that was still hazy to me) I realized that the skill I had learned from working on my healthy/fitness/eating skills had crossed over to help me with my student/research skills!
In short: when it ain't workin' change tack.
Thanks everyone for your kind words, encouragement and prayers!
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Thank you, all of you, who encouraged me the past few days when I was struggling.
Thank you those who wrote me notes.
Thank you those who responded to my message board pleas.
Thank you those who took the time to read my blogs and posts.
Thank you those who took the time to blog and post to let me and others read them.
Thank you those who received me and my notes.
Thank you those who encouraged me to be kind to myself.
Thank you those who are trying to be kind to yourselves.
Thank you for knowing I can meet my goals.
Thank you for believing you can meet your own.
Thank you for kind words.
To me and to yourself.
Thank you those who encouraged me to get out there and run.
In a note, in a post, in your own examples of fitness and trying.
Thank you for conquering your fears so I can learn how to conquer mine.
Thank you for being so bold as to be here, sharing working trying, so I that I have a little help along the way.
Thank you for your pages, posts, tracking, blogging, writing, reading, sharing, leading.
Thank you, all of you. All of you Sparkers, thank you.
Friday, April 23, 2010
5 thoughts I could do without:
'It's too late'
How many times have I stuffed my face because I felt I had already 'messed up'? How many dreams have I let slip by because I felt it was 'too late'? I remember thinking in 3rd grade that I could never be a dancer since other girls had started way earlier... I still tell myself that it's too late for other dreams and goals. There's a thought I could do without.
How many times have I pulled back from sharing my thoughts, trying something new, or just being me because I believe that everyone noticed my mistake, or the two pounds I gained from a binge? There's a thought I could do without.
'What's the point?'
I often loose track of my dreams and goals in the moment, and so I forsake those dreams and goals and choose to wallow prematurely in defeat. I end up focusing on the hard work without the promise of reward and success. So I say, 'what's the point?' There's a thought I could do without.
'It's not good enough'
Too often I tell myself 'that effort was just not good enough!' 'So what if you got in 30 minutes of exercise, you could have done 60!' I say. 'So what if you tried, it wasn't perfect!' I tell myself. And the worst: 'You could NEVER be good enough.' There's a thought I could do without.
'You're not worth it.'
I tell myself in small ways that I am not worth the effort, the hard work, the kind words and the care. I tell myself I am not worth the time, the perspiration, and that failing is the best I can expect. There's a thought I could do without.
5 thoughts I'll keep:
'Everyday Is a New Day'
Every day is a new opportunity, a gift, to be the person I really am meant to be. Like St. Augustine had written, what matters is your orientation in the right direction and not so much where you are on the path.
'Remember all those kind words...'
While I fill in people's thoughts as negative, what people actually express is positive and affirming on the most part- I keep a memory of all the kind loving words and encouragement from people and start using them for myself.
'Dreams are possible'
Sometimes I convince myself dreams aren't possible, so it is hard to stay motivated, but in reality I have reached many goals and dreams and so have so many other people. What's the point? To live a life! A full, happy life!
'The Good is greater than perfect'
To do a good job regularly is a much better goal than to do a few things perfect when it comes to making life changes. It's a way to live and not just something to achieve.
'You ARE worth it!'
It's just true. No explanation is necessary- I just am.
And so are you.
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