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A new month, a new challenge

Monday, March 01, 2010

I'm participating in the improve your emotional health challenge for March, and this week our challenge is to write in a journal every day this week. I thought I might as well publish it as a blog so I'll always have access to it. I used to keep a journal when I was younger, but all that handwriting became a chore, so I quit. Mid-sentence even. Anyway, this will be public, but not all of it will make sense because it's mostly my stream of thought whenever I decide to sit down and write. End disclaimer.

So far today I have tracked my food, and by the end of the day, I should have burned slightly more calories than the daily recommendation. This makes me feels good, like I am accomplishing something and staying on track with my goals. It frustrates me too much when I become too distracted with unimportant things to complete these simple daily steps. Watching TV is not a good substitute for not reaching these goals.

I wish I could stop all these angry and negative thoughts in the morning. Why is it when itís quiet and Iím alone that my mind turns to negative things? Chris has never once argued with me when Iíve asked him to do something. In fact, heís always more than happy and seems to want me to ask him to do more. Yet, I still create an alternate version in my head where we fight. Itís almost as if I wish we had conflict, but because we donít I have to create one in my head. This negative energy flows into whatever I am doing, even if it is as mundane as making breakfast, and then the whole process becomes a chore.

What could I think of instead? When I was younger I would always create fantasies involving people I knew in completely different situations. Maybe I need to return to this? Or maybe I need to stop living in my head, and reach out to people more. It would help if there were people around me. Iím really tired of being alone so much.

The email from Carole this morning made me feel pretty stressed. Almost likes sheís caught me not working. I feel too bad charging time I spend playing on the Internet to a project budget. What if the budget runs out and Iíve nothing to show for it? Today, I will work on the linear resource forms and the photographic record. I also need to create a photographic record for the shipwreck photos. I should probably work on that first because I like filling out charts.

I really canít wait to go home and make pizza for dinner. I think I like journaling a lot more when I can type it. It feels like less of a chore.

Midday and feeling pretty productive. I feel happier about this because I donít feel like Iím wasting time or space. Plus, this work isnít going to finish itself. Listening to Internet radio helps.

End of day, and I feel like I accomplished a lot at work, although it's a bit lonely being the only one there most of the time.

I can't believe how much Chris got done today at home. It makes me feel a little worried that I'm not doing enough to keep the household running. Making pizzas was great though, and not too many calories either. I still have enough room to eat a Girl Scout cookie, yay!

On the walk home from work, I ran into a woman who was being nice enough to stand to the side with her large dog. I told her that I wasn't afraid of big dogs, and gave him a big pat. He was just a big sweetie really.

To wrap up, I've tracked all my calories, stayed in my nutrition ranges, exercised, and packed my lunch. Now I just have to set out my workout clothes for tomorrow, and I will have the rest of the evening to enjoy myself. What a great start. I hope it continues.



Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I've been using SparkPeople to track my calories burned and eaten on and off for about three and half years now. I really like the calorie and fitness trackers, and when I've been consistent, it shows. I've yo-yoed a bit on my journey to 150 pounds, but the good thing is that I've had a net loss of seven pounds since January 2008. I enjoy the articles and exercise videos on this website, and have been surprised to learn a few things. Before I found SparkPeople, it felt like I was reading the same healthy advice over and over again.

But my main frustration lately is the feeling that all of this tracking, exercise, and measuring is consuming my life. True, I probably don't have to exercise for 90 minutes everyday, but it's the only amount that seems to provide results. It's also the amount recommended by the USDA for people who want to lose weight.

So every morning I wake up at 6am, strength train for 20 minutes, and then jump on the treadmill for 40 minutes. I've begun to enjoy this time because I watch my favorite movies everyday. Weather permitting, I walk to work, which is 50 minutes round trip, leaving me with a grand total of 90 minutes of exercise. I really like the fact that I can get so much exercise by doing things I already have to do, like transport myself to work.

I arrive home around 5:30pm, stretch for 10 minutes, and by 7pm, I'm usually sitting down for dinner. I really have about 30-45 minutes to relax, before I spend another 30 minutes making my lunch. This is the part that seems to take forever, because before I pack everything, I measure it and track it on my nutrition page. I do copy meals from day to day, so I'm not re-entering everything, but it still feels like a long process. Once the lunch is packed, I get my workout clothes ready for the next day. By now it's close to 9:30pm, when I start to wind down my body and prepare it to fall asleep so I can get close to eight hours of sleep before waking up at 6am to do it all over again.

The frustration comes from the fact that I would like to accomplish more during my day than exercise and tracking my food. Most days I'm so exhausted, it can take most of my motivation to make my lunch. I've thought about ways to rearrange my schedule, like switching the lunch making to the morning, but I already barely have enough time to do everything else, and I really don't want to wake up any earlier than 6am. I also realize that I need to ask for more help from my boyfriend to help make dinner (and he is always more than willing to help), but I can never think of something for him to do, or don't realize it until it's all done.

I'm really not looking for a solution, I would just like to know if other people have this same problem? Or maybe, this same feeling that a majority of their day is committed to tracking food and exercising? It's almost enough to make you think, "I'd rather live my life a little unhealthy than be a slave to the healthy lifestyle."

Any comments would be appreciated.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MUSYCLAU 1/20/2010 12:27PM

    I think you are being hard on yourself. You've got great plan and you're exercising. And I think you'd admit that being a slave to a healthy lifestyle, is better than being a slave to food and weight gain. You're doing great! Keep up the good work!

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MARYBETHBIBLE 1/20/2010 12:25PM

    sorry your frustrated. It does take a lot of time to track. But when I saw what you do everyday. I was like WOW, that is dedication. I hope that you can come up with a solution that you can be happy with.

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RUGGER611 1/20/2010 12:24PM

    I'm right there with you. Sometimes I feel like my whole life is excercising, eating right and tracking food. When am I to do laundry, shop, hang out with friends or do things that need to be done like clean the house or watch a movie every once in a while? It can all be overwhelming but you seem to be very motivated and determined and are doing a great job!

Here's an idea. Is there any way you can make your meals for dinner for the week and freeze them? Perhaps make your meals on a weekend when you have a little extra time and pull them out during the week to heat up, this will save you time and energy. While they are cooking you can pack your lunch and kill two birds with one stone.

I usually track most of my food at work because I have the ability to do so. If you know what you are going to have though for the week for breakfast and lunch why not track for future days instead of doing it every single day? That may save some time too!

Keep up the great work...90 minutes a day of excercise is great!!

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MUGZY8ME 1/20/2010 12:18PM

    emoticon sorry your have a hard of it. You sound very committed to your healthy life style and that is huge. Stay strong.

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TERRI40 1/20/2010 12:14PM

    Yes I do. It seems like it takes FOREVER to track everything, but I think it is worth it when I see the results.

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