By suggestion of a fellow Sparker, I have been trying to remain focused on small, attainable goals geared towards a long term, healthy lifestyle.
I first tackled the idea of conscious eating - being aware of what I was putting in my mouth, when, and why. It was an eye opening process. I eventually reached a point where I could identify the difference between eating for nutrition and eating for emotions. This transitioned me towards an SP goal for healthy eating, which brought attention to the quality of foods I was selecting. This too was very telling; I reaffirmed my vegetable choices and became more aware of my protein intake. I now aim for at least 5 servings of vegetables a day. I feel I have worked towards these goals and now am maintaining a consistent lifestyle utilizing these tools.
So I moved into exercise. I began with the 10 minutes a day of movement. This worked my confidence to 3 days of 30 minutes cardio in the gym and eventually to a consistent 4 days in the gym and one day of the great outdoors. My confidence is building in this area, but I have by no means attained this goal completely. I am moving into the C25K program, but did not exactly succeed on day one...
And while I am still in the midst of my exercise goals, I have decided the mental is something worth exploring (again, another Sparker pointed out that if we have more than 60 pounds to lose there is a lot more going on than I ate too much last weekend). That being said, I have embarked on the stress busting challenge, which brings me to the purpose of this blog: the stress journal.
I THINK I have been using this blog as its own stress journal already, but here goes my official first entry.
I am extremely high strung. I am type A super planner, just-give-me-a-little-longer-a
nd-it-WILL-be-perfect, high strung. I often describe it as though everything is going extremely well with a precise level of balance, like holding a set of plates. The plates are delicate and plentiful, but with absolute concentration, they do not fall. The problem is that they eventually fall. And I feel like a failure. The issue is that those moments where everything feels perfect feels SO AWESOME; this, of course, makes the sense of failure that much worse.
I am trying to work on this despite the overwhelming number of variables. And that fact that having it under control is its own sense of reward and failure because I, again, feel like I am straining to attain an unconventional sense of balance.
This is the kind of stress I have.
Not I have too much to do, not there isn't enough time, not I procrastinate - it's sheer fear of failing so horrifically that I can't breath.
This leads to a tremendous - and complicated - level of anxiety. Not medicated anxiety, but panic attacks and sometimes paralyzing fear. Nothing in particular triggers this though lately socializing seems to be an issue at times. There are moments where I sit in the car and explain to myself the need to get out of the car (my first gym trip was one of these). There are moments when I lose the ability to concentrate in a store because I start to get panicky and then forget half the items I went for. There are moments when a work email - for no particular reason - leaves me crying in the shower hours after reading it. This is not consistent, or even a pattern, but when I allow the anxiety to take control it is so hard to recover.
My stress feels very much self-imposed and I'm sure it is, which is why I am hoping that addressing this head on will allow me to continue my journey in a healthy, successful, and long term way. I know this probably isn't the appropriate use of a stress journal, but I need to think things out and this is my opportunity to do so. So while my stress levels are fairly low today, I'm already thinking about how the rest of the week pans out.