Friday, March 01, 2013
I read a book a few years ago on positive interactions. The author said that everyone has a bucket of goodwill, and that positive interactions fill the bucket. Negative interactions empty it. (Or something along those lines...)
Since becoming an adult, I've always been the one who was always nice, always happy, always cheerful. That's not who I was in high school. I was miserable. I hated my life, I hated myself, and I was pretty self-destructive.
Looking back, most teenagers feel this way a little. For me, though, it was a bit more severe, and I spent my last two years of high school in therapy and on medication that made me feel worse, or detached from the world.
SO...I decided to be different. I wanted to be happy, I wanted to be off the medication, and more than anything I wanted to be NORMAL. Never mind that I couldn't define it, and didn't understand it. It's what I wanted.
It took years of positive reinforcement and cognitive conditioning. It also took years of figuring out my triggers and my warning signs, finding ways to balance nutrition and fitness and meditation, but I've been off medication for over a decade. And I managed to become one of the happiest people in the world.
Well, most of the time.
I realized last night that I'm feeling a little like I did back then.
Not a lot. Not by any means. I'm still a really happy person on the whole. But this time around, I think I literally bit off more than I can chew, I've got some emotional stressors going crazy, and my cycle of nutrition, exercise, and meditation had been off for so long that I'm really struggling to get back to that balanced place.
I hate admitting that I'm not okay. But more than that, I hate feeling like I'm not okay, and I want to be back to where I was a couple of years ago.
What is making me stressed? Well, I'm turning 30 in a week and a half. Which shouldn't be a big deal. Intellectually, I know it's just another set of numbers - age and dates don't matter that much.
And mentally, I'm pretty excited. I'm happy with where I am in so many ways, and even if I'm not okay right now I LIKE the person I'm becoming. The extra stress, rebalancing my lifestyle and my body, it's hard. But I'm not at that place where I hate myself, and I don't foresee a scenario where I would EVER be at that place again. (knock on wood...)
So there's a lot to celebrate! Every year gets better. Every day is a new chance and a new start. I know all of this.
But emotionally, it's still a milestone. And I'm not where I thought I would be in some areas of my life as I'm hitting it. Even though, as an angry teenager, I railed against the shackles of marriage - I still thought I would be with Mr. Right by now.
I'm having fun with the new guy in my life. It just started a couple of weeks ago, and we're still very casual. It works for me now. But it's not where I thought I would be as I hit the big 3-0.
Even though I love my job, I thought that I would have risen higher up the ladder by now. And I've come to the realization that even though I love what I do NOW, it's not where I want to be in 5 years. It's not a forever career for me. Some of my volunteer commitments - particularly writing - are where I want to go in my future career. It gets depressing to have to stop doing something I love because I have to go back to work...and I like what I'll be doing there less.
And I really did bite off a lot. Between working 60 hours a week (legislative session/Earth month events/river clean-ups/etc.) for the next two and a half months, being a board member for the food co-op, chairing their events committee and being responsible for all of the upcoming events (including the big annual meeting next month), writing monthly green living columns for two local progressive publications, organizing the local green drinks, AND school - I feel stretched pretty thin.
Last night, as I sat at my THIRD meeting of the night (yes, I had meetings at 5:30, 6:30, and 8), with my third beer of the night, I realized that yet again I was sabotaging myself. I wasn't going to go home and run, like I wanted to. I was too tired...not just from the time commitments, but from giving my positive energy to everyone around me and not keeping enough for me. I keep emptying my bucket, and the people around me don't refill it.
I can't keep giving everything to these organizations. I have to learn to hold back some positive energy for ME. And even if I do LOVE all of the volunteering, I still can't do it all.
Getting healthy again needs to be my top priority.
I love my job, and I love volunteering. It gives my life a real sense of purpose and accomplishment. And just stopping all of it would probably be just as bad for my mental well-being. But I need to learn to say no. I need to put me first. And while I've gotten better at it on a day to day basis, and skipping one or two events to get some extra rest, I'm not good at doing it for long-term commitments.
So why do I keep doing this to myself? Why can't I just say no?
Is it that pesky old inferiority complex rearing its ugly head? Am I doing it out of guilt, or trying to fill a void in my own life? Do I really think that the work won't get done if I don't do it? Do I think that these organizations can't get along without me, and everything will come crashing down if I take a day off?
It seems like every time I manage to yank the weeds that have been holding me down, I find even more weeds underneath. With deeper roots, that are much harder to pull out.
I need to figure out why I keep doing this to myself if I ever want to balance my life. I had thought I was there, but I just keep over-committing myself. So clearly I haven't hit the real issue yet.
Thursday, February 28, 2013
There are challenges to exercising at home....
Especially when you have fur babies...
And I realized that it has been months since I posted new pictures of Miss Kitty! After Lil' Kitty passed, I got really sad and stopped posting about my fur babies...the frustrations and the joys.
Well, this one is mostly about frustration.
On Tuesday, my parents asked me to join them for yoga. Which was EXCITING!! I gave them yoga DVDs and stability balls for Christmas, and they are USING THEM!!
One of the DVDs was a little too challenging...they wanted help modifying the poses. And as I started to go through it with them, the dogs jumped in.
There have been two times in my life where I actually hurt myself doing yoga. The latest time was when I was with Desi, and her daughter grabbed my leg while I was in Warrior 3 - I fell and sprained my wrist.
The first time...it was the beasts.
The beasts are massive, and they think they're lap dogs. Which I love, when they want to cuddle on a cold night. Not so much when I'm trying to do yoga.
The pictures of THE INCIDENT have been destroyed. Which I regret now, because I can laugh about it now. But here's what happened: I was in downward facing dog, and the little one (almost 80 pounds) crawled underneath me.
Yes, just like this, only she wasn't still. She was body-wagging and frantically licking at my face.
So I giggle a little, and move into plank. And even though I thought she'd move, she didn't. She just kept on licking and wagging.
Which is when the big one (130 pounds at this point, though she's lost some weight since) came over and sat on my back.
A little dog wouldn't have made a difference. My friend's 2-year-old would have just helped me work a little harder.
130 pounds of dog, though? Too much.
I managed to hold the pose for a few seconds, while my family laughed and took pictures. Then I bent my elbows a little more, and they buckled. I fell on the little one, who started squirming and knocked me into the coffee table. I ended up with a bump on my head, bruises on half my body, and badly strained arms!
But this week, they didn't climb on me. Mostly because I didn't get into plank or tabletop. They laid down on either side of me, put their heads in my lap, and started snoring. And were very disinclined to move.
Of course, I don't have dogs at my apartment. Just a cat. The Great and Powerful Miss Kitty:
She is also inclined to sit on my during exercise, but she only weighs about 18 pounds so it's not as hard on my body. In fact, it usually feels good, and deepens the workout in the right way. And she doesn't just limit jumping on me to when I exercise:
She's so cute, I know! Don't be fooled, though. She might look like she's sweet and innocent, but deep down she's ornery and mischievous. I mean, she IS a cat!
And then there's the stalking. Cat mommies and daddies, you know what I mean. She will hide under my bed, waiting for her moment, and as I'm dancing or marching or doing whatever else I might be doing - POUNCE! She grabs my feet and won't let go!
Which keeps me light on my toes. But it gets old, and it gets irritating. Sometimes, it's hard to NOT get mad at her.
And THAT is when I watch this video, to remind myself that she is a cat and this is how she plays. You don't get mad at fish for swimming or birds for flying...well, cats stalk and pounce, so there's not much you can do!
Not only is it true, but the cat looks like Miss Kitty...just a little thinner!
OOPS, old link was bad! Here you go!
Monday, February 25, 2013
After running on Saturday, I overindulged in dinner and nighttime snacking. I suppose that the cravings would be normal after a rough workout, but instead of going for the cottage cheese I made myself a second burrito!
It was a really good run, and the first in a while. I did running/walking intervals - 2 mins walking/6 min running. I figured I would need a slower reintroduction. Still, I made it 4 miles in 50 minutes, so I didn't lose all of the strength and stamina I had built over the last 9 months!
Of course, the burrito binge afterwards meant that I still ate more than I burned!
I need to relearn how to manage food cravings, so my goal this week is to eliminate temptation.
When I went to the grocery store, I bought the staples and skipped the urge to start restocking my pantry. No pasta. No "easy meals" box kits. And certainly no junk foods, like chips and cookies. Just good old fashioned whole foods.
Which will hopefully make me think before I eat!
I stocked the office mini-fridge completely - greek yogurt, berries, and bananas for breakfast, salads and cottage cheese and one packet of tuna for lunch, hummus and veggies and a couple of extra greek yogurts for snacks.
NO TEMPTATION to eat out for lunch!
My danger zone is all of the board meetings and evening events throughout the week. Tuesday's meeting, we moved to a coffeehouse instead of a restaurant or a bar. Wednesday's meeting is early (5:30) and I've already told them I will need to leave by 6:15 - no time to order food, and home at a reasonable hour to cook for myself. Thursday's meeting won't start until 6:30, so I'll have time to go home and make myself something to eat before the meeting.
I have no problem letting myself have a treat every now and then. But eating out and having a drink at three + events a week isn't a treat, it's a habit - and one I need to break!
For dinners this week, I went for a couple of favorites that I haven't made in a while - vegetarian vindaloo and baigan bharta (LOVE Indian food!), and I also made some Lebanese lentils and rice.
No gluten this week. No packaged and processed foods this week. (Except for the cottage cheese and greek yogurt...) Hopefully this will get my food cravings back under control, so I can start moving forward again!
Saturday, February 23, 2013
I woke up EXCITED! Because today is the kick-off of the 5% challenge, and with my motivation still wavering after the holidays I was very ready for the start of this challenge!
The first step is to weigh in and measure, so that you can track your progress. So I stepped on the scale.
I ate out with some friends last night, and had a couple of glasses of wine. So the odds are high that it's water weight...but I weighed in at 166.7 this morning.
Last week, I was at 163.
With the fitness center closed for the past two weeks, I haven't been working out as much, and I haven't been running. So a little weight gain was to be expected...but 3.5 pounds was more than I anticipated!
But that's part of weight loss, and it's a part of being a woman. Your weight fluctuates at certain times of the month. And it's pretty easy to retain water, especially at certain times of the month.
Still, it was a little bit of a buzz-kill!
So I went downstairs to take a quick walk around the trails, and found that the fitness center has reopened!!
So I'm kicking off the 5% challenge with my first run in a while. And while I'm at a higher weight than I had anticipated, I've lost the weight before and I will again. I had a healthy breakfast of cottage cheese, and I'm heading to the grocery store this afternoon to pick up more fresh vegetables and fruit.
Ready to go!!
Thursday, February 21, 2013
A friend of mine posted this to her Facebook page today. I'm a huge fan of Spoken Word poetry, and this one is so very touching! I hope you enjoy!
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