Monday, January 31, 2011
This whole past year has been an exercise in frustration and I am really seriously considering how these high levels of prolonged stress are affecting me physically. I was doin well, seemed to be slowly losing weight and getting in better shape, then everything seemed to stall and stay there - right along side all the bs going on in my life.
The past year or more has felt like every move I make to improve my life, improve myself, has been met with so many road blocks they are more like mountains. My job search that continually yielded no results, the move to the middle of nowhere with no work no friends no life, the bs in my relationship finally coming to such a level of incredible hurt, that I was forced to leave it and start completely over - with nothing but what little I owned, a dumb dog, and a silly cat. And the insane struggle to try and keep a roof over my head with a grossly inadequate income.
Something's gotta give dammit. Bout the only positive in this past year has been that I have indeed dropped a few pounds - but not in a good way. The pounds have come off from simply not eating (can't eat when I'm mega stressed or when there simply is no food). This is not a good way to lose weight and I know it - all I'm losing is lean muscle mass, I'm sure, as my body tries to get it's protein needs met at all costs.
I'm beyond frustrated with life in general - I'm so unmotivated to do anything, that the idea of getting my butt up and working out seems ludicrous - and I'm thoroughly depressed.
I need a Do-Over button... one that, when pressed, let's me go back and make wiser choices, so my life doesn't end up where it is... on the cusp of disintegrating, leaving me totally lost...
Friday, June 11, 2010
Sometimes I feel like I've been assigned my own personal gremlin, whose sole mission in life is to make my world as complicated and drama filled as possible - UGH - between kids in crisis, court battles, unexpected moves, unemployment, and a serious struggle to avoid all this pushing me into the depression funnel, I'm exhausted inside and out.
So now the kids crisis seems to have passed, the court battle is finally over, and the move is finally done - and I feel better.
For a while there I felt like I was literally being suffocated under the weight of all the crap that was going on. I'm normally a resilient person, so finding myself beyond fed up in record quick times was a surprise - maybe it's age - seems the older you get the less bullcrap you're willing to tolerate and the less patience you have for people smearing their drama all over your life. Hmmmm...
Anyway - I feel like I fell off the wagon hard - not just on here, but with everything - and am having to force myself to refocus my attention on myself. I've spent so much time lately devoting all my mental and emotional energy on others that I have little left now for myself and it feels like I have to learn how to do it again.
Well at least now that mpst of the drama has passed I feel like I can breath again. We'll see if that translates into action or just a lot of bitchin with no action. LOL
Monday, March 15, 2010
Every have one of those weeks where ya just feel like total crap and can't explain why? and to make matters worse, you're so sapped of energy that it's all ya can do to get outta bed, let alone get to the gym?
Welcome to the past week (sigh)
I was doin awesome - For 5 weeks I was a workout saint. I rode my bike every day, doing either the 5 mile loop, or sometimes doubling it and doing 10 miles. I was going to the gym at a minimum of 4 days a week, usually 5. I was eating right, feeling great. This is my new routine and I was loving it...
Then I woke up last Monday morn and I was so friggin tired I felt like I would fall over if I tried to dump the trash, let alone work out. But, being sworn to my mission, I got on my bike and headed out - determined to keep with the program.
I didn't go a flippin mile before I felt horrible. I was so shakey I had to walk the bike to the gym, didn't even try to finish the other 4 miles, just counted myself lucky to make it to the gym. I did a very lame workout, the whole time feeling like I could fall over. Common sense kicked in and I said forget this, I'm obviously sick with something, so stop - and I went home.
Problem is, I wasn't sick, not that I could tell at least. I didn't have the flu, or a cold, and other than the usual allergy stuffiness, I was fine. So what the flamin heck happened? This kept up for the whole week. No energy, so sapped I felt shakey just goin for a walk, and exhausted.
It's Monday now - a week since this started - and I still have no clue whats goin on here. I feel slightly better today, but still felt too fraggin shakey to ride. And (this made me laugh) I'm missin my torturous bike rides and workouts. I'm upset that I've missed a week of both, and angry at myself for breaking the routine - especially for a mystery illness I can't fathom.
Bout the only significant thing going on with me right this minute is the incredible level of stress I'm under as I look for a job (no unemploy avail to me unfortunately). Him and I have been short tempered with each other as the stress level of his being laid off and me not being able to find work eats at both of us. And while all this is goin on I feel absolutely mentally tapped out and overwhelmed by all of it and ticked off that I can't find work and anxious bout where our life and relationship is gonna go if this lack of work keeps up.
Could this case of the physical blahs be a physical manifestation of my emotional maxed-out state? I dunno... I just know I NEED to workout out and ride, it's bout the only thing that's giving me a sense of accomplishment lately, so feeling so sapped with this mystery blahs thing is cuttin the feet out from under me.
Not sure what to do, what to think... just know right now I'm needing to get back to it but feeling like someone emptied my tank and I don't got the gas to do it...
Thursday, March 04, 2010
I dunno bout anyone else, but I am the world's worst tracker on here. Gimme a work project, or something for someone else, and I am the tracking queen LOL. But when it comes to tracking my own things (food, fitness, goals, etc) I am very inconsistent.
When I first started, I tracked my nutrition religiously. Was an eye-opener to see how many hidden fats I was taking in, and to realize where I was wasting calories. Once I modified a few things in my eating habits, my tracking seemed to get less and less regular. Am I the only one who does this? My fitness tracking, however, I seem to track regularly (not religiously, but way better than I do my nutrition, for sure).
Wondering if the tracking is what keeps me focused, or if not being focused enough is why I don't track...
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Where There's a Spark, You Can Make Fire
As many a New Year's resolution will demonstrate, it's easy to be inspired to make change. What's hard is turning that inspiration into the motivation needed to take action. For inspiration to become motivation that works, you need three key ingredients: achievable goals, a plan, and support.
* Achievable Goals
One of the biggest mistakes people make when they decide to get fit is setting impossible goals for themselves. Examples of impossible goals would be things like trying to losing a significant amount of weight in a very short time or running a marathon in two weeks after being sedentary for years. Goals such as these are impossible to achieve and setting them is asking for disappointment and discouragement. There is nothing wrong with setting major goals like these, as long as there are realistic expectations of the time it will take to achieve them.
When setting any major goal, staying motivated can be difficult. The trick to staying motivated with a major goal like this is to set smaller mini-goals. Breaking the bigger goal down into smaller, more immediate goals makes it seem less daunting. It also gives you a measure of immediate gratification, which is a key factor in staying motivated.
For example, if the major goal is to lose 50 lbs, set mini-goals to lose 8-10 lbs in 30 days. That's very achievable, as healthy weight loss is an average of 1-3 lbs per week with proper diet and exercise. Imagine how encouraging it would be to come to your 30 day mini-goal and find you've achieved that stepping stone, maybe even surpassed it. Over time, these mini-goals add up, and before you know it, you're at the major goal.
* Plan Ahead
Nothing is more discouraging than feeling like a failure - and expecting to change your lifestyle overnight is setting yourself up to feel like a failure. If you've been sedentary for years and are in poor physical condition, jumping into hour long workouts five days a week is admirable, but it's setting yourself up to quit before you've even begun. Of course you're supposed to push yourself, that's part of the process, but pushing too hard will leave you so sore you'll come to dread the gym and begin finding ways to avoid it. If you start avoiding the gym, you'll never reach your goal.
The best way to avoid this kind of unintentional self-sabotage is to have a plan. Take a realistic look at your current physical condition and schedule, then map out a progressive plan for yourself. Perhaps your plan starts with the simplest exercise available - walking. You schedule yourself to walk a minimum of 30 minutes, three times a week. Even if you're not able to complete the 30 minutes, do as much as you can. Keep this date with yourself, even if you have to reschedule as life events occur. If you follow through on this very simple thing, before you know it, you've developed a new, healthier habit, and you will feel a sense of pride in having met your commitment.
As you develop your plan, give yourself milestones. Perhaps your plan starts with two weeks of just walking, to give yourself time to adjust to a new routine and build up your breathing and cardio stamina. The next stage of the plan could be to add strength training to the already established days, increasing your workout training from 30 minutes to an hour. The next stage of the plan could be to substitute a bike (stationary or regular) for the walk.
The object is to create milestones designed to challenge without discouraging. It also helps you develop the habit of making time for taking care of your health. Imagine how encouraging it would be to look back at your plan and see where you started and how far you've come, even in a matter of weeks. Remember, you don't need to become an Olympic athlete to be a success. Simply meeting your commitment to yourself and accomplishing something is motivating in itself.
As important as goals and planning are for staying motivated, support is equally essential for success. Support provides positive reinforcement and keeps you from feeling isolated in your struggles. It also gives you an outside perspective on your progress, which is essential for beginners, who are the most likely to quit or lose motivation when things discourage them. This is where having support tools will save you every time.
To create a support system that works for you, you've got to be honest without yourself about what things are likely to discourage you. Support tools are supposed to help you overcome the things that damage your motivation. By being honest and realistic about your fears, worries, or bad habits, you can set up a tool for countering it.
For example, if you're self conscious about going to the gym and working out with the hard-bodies and you know this will make you dread going to the gym, then schedule to go at times when it's very empty or switch to a gym more in tune with you. If you feel changing your diet is going to be a serious stumbling block, then set up a weekly cook-off with your friends where the object is to cook healthy versions of your favorite foods. This is fun and social, while learning new healthy habits.
There are also many very useful support resources on-line. Websites like sparkspeople.com and weightlossbuddy.com are free and offer very useful tools, as well as having a wide variety of communities to find like-minded people. Fee sites, such as biggestloser.com and jillianmichaels.com, offer many of the same features, plus customizable options that free sites do not. Whatever support tools you establish, remember their purpose is to help you stay motivated by providing positive experiences associated with your new plan and goals.
In a nutshell, the key to getting and staying motivated is to think ahead. Determine what changes you want to make, set achievable goals and mini-goals, develop a realistic plan, and establish support tools that address your personal needs. Being inspired to make change is only the first step. By doing these things, you fan the spark and turn it into the flame of motivation, and like any flame, if you don't feed it fresh material, it will smolder and die. Take your spark and use it to light a fire under your own butt, and before you know it, you'll be looking at the old you in the rear view mirror, wondering "why didn't I do this eons ago?"
(originally published by me on helium.com)
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