Synopsis: I am a mess but determined to get back on track. Read on if you care about any of the details. If not, no hard feelings! This is mostly me trying to get my head together. And besides, I'm sure you've heard the sob story before. Possibly from me.
First off, I have to apologize again for not yet personally getting back to everyone who sent their well wishes for my husband and their support for me -- every single one meant a lot to me, and if I never get to thank each of you personally, I hope you'll understand. He has at least two and half more weeks in the cast; except for the moment, work has been absolutely insanely busy; and my email inbox looks like it exploded. I once had a goal of keeping it under 300 -- and right now I'm well past 2,000! Yeeesh.
Anyway, I was struggling to maintain my fitness level and 75 pounds lost (WOO-HOO!) well before my husband went and landed himself in a wheelchair, and as you can imagine, the 5 weeks at my dear MIL's pretty much unraveled me the rest of the way! I was without my bike, I was often eating dinner at 9 and 10 p.m., I was getting even less sleep than usual, etc. My only exercise was an almost-mile-long walk to the train. Sure, this is better than nothing, but it's a far cry from biking almost 10 miles a day!
So I am feeling completely out of shape. I was teetering between a 10- and 15-pound gain, but now I am solidly at 15. I am back on my bike most workdays, but I haven't stretched properly or picked up a set of weights in what feels like ages, and oh, how it shows.
Muffin top, lumpy-sausage thighs, cottage cheese triceps. I tried on some clearance clothes at Target on Saturday. BAD IDEA. Why didn't anyone tell me I have back fat again? (And really, at 140? Life really isn't fair sometimes.) Plus, the combo of sudden added stress and poof! NO exercise sent my fibro into a tailspin. (Did I mention I was also working on an important freelance job at the time that was already behind schedule when my dear other half called me to take him to the hospital?)
Granted, I am not sure my lowest weight of 125 was gained exactly healthfully -- it MELTED off (from the 138 at which I had been stuck for roughly a year) when I stripped ALL of the potential allergens out of my diet and lived on chicken and rice for days on end. Sugar suddenly hurt my teeth; fruit tasted like candy!
But as soon as I was brave enough to try soy again, with that came CHOCOLATE. (Many, many chocolate makers use soy lecithin as an emulsifier, which sucks, because they are doing it to save money, replacing some of the healthy cocoa butter with cheap -- i.e., government-subsidized -- soy, but that's as far up as I'll get onto THAT soapbox for now.) Oh, how I'd missed regular ol' dark chocolate! And with that came sugar, which I am learning is simply bad-news bears for me.
Also, I had fallen out of the habit of tracking. I felt so limited in what I could eat that it seemed silly at some point to even bother. And then, as I maintained for a while, I figured, hey, I got this thing! But then I also stopped exercising in the morning, because I was running on 5-6 hours of sleep, and my chiropractor/health guru and I decided that had to stop, and so it became more important to focus on that.
Basically, though, I think it all has combined into a perfect of storm of becoming lazy and resistant again (you'd think "tracking" translated into "cut off my left arm"), which has only increased my self-disappointment and my terrible negative self-talk. I just feel so...GROSS...that I can't help it.
(that's the negative-self-talk police!)
But I am starting to see again just how counterproductive all that is. Plus, maybe some of it IS me being too harsh, because I just saw my doctor for the first time in over year, and she said, "You look great!" And she's short like me but a fit, trim runner, so I guess I should take that into account.
Regardless, though, I am unhappy with my current state of affairs. I am, weirdly enough, simultaneously anxious to get back to where I was and yet daunted and almost exhausted by the sheer thought of it. So I guess my best bet is to start slowly. Here's my new get-back-to-basics game plan:
Improve my sleep quality. In bed no later than 11, but 10:30 when possible. (Earlier is NOT possible right now.) Getting up at 5:30 then gives me 7 hours - not perfect, but better. I bought one of those sleep-quality smartphone apps over the weekend. It monitors your sleep and, based on your movement, wakes you at the most optimal time during a 30-minute window ending at the time you set the alarm. It's supposed to prevent you from waking up during a REM phase, which is what theoretically makes you feel like you've been hit by a bus. I decided it was worth a try for $2. (I've been wanting the Fit Bit forever, which does the same and a bunch of other cook stuff, but can't find/justify the $100+ for it right now.)
Re-establish my exercise routines: Get my butt back up in the morning (hopefully easier with the sleep measure above) but START SLOWLY. I tend to jump the proverbial gun so I don't lose my motivation! I'm going to ONLY do the stretching I learned in physical therapy for at least one week to get some range of motion back. Then I'll get back to Leslie Sansone -- first her walking program, then her interval (walking + weights) DVDs, plus maybe a yoga day on the weekends. THEN I can add some of the new stuff I've been amassing on my phone and Pinterest (thanks, PIR8CHIK! LOL).
Get eating under control and track, track, track. I'm been voraciously hungry for some time now. I blame the sugar creep. So it's time to get that back in line and get back to being more accountable. It's mostly elementary math, baby, not rocket science!
Rethink my fibromyalgia approach. Frankly, I am tired of this nonsense. I remain one of the lucky ones in that I am fairly highly functioning, but I am tired of it ALWAYS being part of my day, my approach to nearly everything. I just read a short interview with Carolyn Myss that nudged me about this yet again: I spend sooooooooooo much time and energy and money on trying to treat/fix/beat fibro, but maybe I need to just spend some time with it, listen to what it's trying to tell me. (All pain is a message!) Perhaps learn to co-exist with it and the special challenges and lessons I can learn from it. I find this VERY difficult -- finding the line between that and allowing suffering/giving up. But it seems to be important, because all of my efforts -- even a fibro SPECIALIST -- have gotten me not terribly far.
Start standing up for myself and my needs. This came up after another insanely late family gathering (midnight!), after which I am the only one who has to get up before the sun. I need to start putting my foot down, taking care of me. And this probably needs to apply to other areas of my life as well. It's got to at least contribute to my feeling worn down and stretched way too thin all the time.
I can do this!