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    KITSPARROW   9,181
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Exhaustion


Saturday, May 18, 2013

This week has been hard. I've been very busy at work, and every day I've been sore and exhausted afterward. I've managed to continue on with my workouts every day, but I've also been much more tempted by sweets this week. Particularly chocolate chip cookies.

I haven't actually talked about what I do at work, partly because I don't want to put in too many identifiers. I'll try to be vague, but clear at the same time. I'm a stagehand for a show at an amusement park. In the mornings I get the costumes from wardrobe and put them in a cart which I push halfway across the park to the show venue. Then I spend twenty minutes to half an hour setting the props and set pieces for the show. I don't do anything during the show, but I come back and reset for the next one, and repeat depending on how many shows we have that day. Because of the nature of our park and show, there are times when I can't always reset at a careful pace. Ideally I'd have it done before house opens half an hour before showtime; I've had to finish up to fifteen minutes after house opened on occasion. If I take my time it can take up to half an hour to set, but I have done it in ten minutes in a pinch. At the end of the day I take the costumes back to wardrobe. At intervals throughout the day or week I clean props and organize the prop closet. It doesn't seem like particularly difficult work while I'm doing it, but at the end of the day i'm sore and exhausted, and in some cases bruised. (The other day my boyfriend noticed bruises on the back of my leg, around the knee area. I hadn't realized they were there and figured I'd somehow acquired them at work, though I wasn't sure how. The next day, as I was setting one of three fifty pound set pieces, I realized they were the source. I drag them into position behind me and they hit my legs sometimes.) This week I did two shows Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, three shows yesterday, and one on Tuesday plus that night we had a three hour rehearsal for our upcoming summer night show, which I do have tasks to perform during the show. Thursday there was also construction in the parking lot, so I had to park on the other side of the park from our office and wardrobe and sprint across the park, passing the venue, to get the costumes.

All this time I've been diligently keeping up with my Wii Active workouts and pilates dvd, as well as working in my usual walks around the neighborhood and an occasional swim. Yesterday I rode my bike to work, and what an ordeal that was (my back tire has a leak, so it was getting progressively lower, and had already been lower than it should have been when I started out). So the past few days I've been sore and tired and my lower back and knees have been hurting. And I've been thinking about this article I read a few weeks ago, "7 Hidden Signs of Overtraining" by Jennifer Walters ( www.sparkpeople.com/reso
urce/fitness_articles.asp?
id=1793
). And I'm identifying with a lot of what she's talking about. Even going up stairs hurts sometimes. I haven't been sleeping well. I found the low intensity band I was using with Wii Active was too easy, but I switched to the medium intensity band and it is just awful. I'm snapping at my boyfriend a lot. At work I prefer to hide in the dark, quiet breakroom rather than join my coworkers in the lounge. I started thinking about all this yesterday, as I was stretched out eating a chocolate chip cookie.

When I restarted my program seven weeks ago I wasn't working (seasonal employee, remember), so I had a fairly sedentary lifestyle from a few months off. My calorie goals were set at 1200-1550, and my workout goals to 1300. And that was really easy to maintain while I wasn't working much. Even after I got back to work, it was kind of a slow reintroduction with orientations and retrainings. At about the same time I hit a point where I felt like I needed to up the intensity of my workouts, I started to get busy at work. Suddenly no more sedentary lifestyle. But now I can't figure out how to adjust my program settings to match my actual activity level. I did some estimated calculations and between work and workouts I did over 3600 calories of work this week. Which leads me back to the chocolate chip cookies. More work, more hunger. This week I was trying to stay below 1550 and failing miserably. I hoped I was still losing, but I wasn't seeing any evidence, and this morning I found I had neither lost nor gained, simply managed to maintain 152 lbs.

I searched all over the website for a way to change my recommended caloric intake, but the only thing I could find was to do it manually. I went looking for a way to estimate what I'd need and found WebMD's BMI Calculator ( www.webmd.com/diet/calc-
bmi-plus
), which did give me a thing to celebrate this week: my BMI is down from 30 (obese) to 28.7 (overweight). So there's that. It said I should aim for 1360 calories a day, which feels a little low for me. I adjusted my SparkPeople goals to 1300-1650 for a little wiggle room and to make sure I don't eat too little (1200). On the other hand, it also said a healthy weight for my height would be 98 to 132 lbs, and um, no. I don't intend to ever go lower than 120. 98 just sounds way too low to me.

Finally, on the advice of "No Pain = BIG Gain" by Jen Mueller ( www.sparkpeople.com/reso
urce/fitness_articles.asp?
id=508
), I intend to take it easy today and tomorrow. I can't take the recommended three to five days because I have to go back to work on Monday, but I figure two days is better than nothing. It is kind of difficult for me to do because, as I mentioned in my last post, I'm over halfway through the Wii Active 30 day challenge and I've never gotten this far in it. Unfortunately, today and tomorrow are scheduled workout days. I don't know if there's a way to adjust it.

Thinking through all this has definitely helped me adjust my attitude to my results this morning. As usual, I have to remember that this is a process and a journey and not something that can be done over night or predictably. At least I didn't gain back any weight this week. And I can take this week as a learning experience and try not to repeat it.
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