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Moving forward

Monday, September 09, 2013

Hi Sparkies!

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. emoticon

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. emoticon 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?) emoticon

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! emoticon

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. emoticon

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. emoticon (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:

emoticon 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.)

emoticon 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).

emoticon 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!

emoticon 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.

emoticon 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! emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Well you've defined the problem and the steps to get you from there to here... how did it work or did you throw out the map?

    Loved : I just feel so GROSS that I just can't help it. hahahahaha
    Yep, that will keep you stuck.

    Howse the hub?

    And how about an update?
    Lots of demands, here... haha

    : )
    1506 days ago
    No need to apologize. Life happens. It's nice to "see" you though!
    You have 2,000 emails? I would delete them all and start afresh!
    emoticon emoticon
    Sounds like your shopping trip netted unwelcome results.
    All you can do is just keep chipping away at it, right?
    I like your plan. It's solid!
    Solid like a rock!
    1624 days ago
  • GHK1962
    Hey ... I recognize you.

    (Points right below me to Don) it bad form to use someone else's blog post to talk to someone else commenting? Ack!

    1624 days ago
    Great to hear from you and that you are so *focused* on the important steps you need to take to get back on track. Number One, Top of the List (not the last thing you mentioned...) is putting yourself first...everything else is compromised if you don't do this. Being selfish (if you want to think of it this way) is being generous, because the more you put yourself #1, the more you restore yourself and your inner resources and the more you have to offer others when you need to!

    Glad to hear you're back on the bike! :-)

    1624 days ago
    emoticon Sounds like you have a solid game plan laid out and being home again will help with many things - sleep, food, stress, etc. That app sounds interesting too.

    Fibro does suck and I know they've made strides in figuring it out, but definitely not soon enough. Laura has come a long way with hers but has a long way to go too. She has a hard time distinguishing between Fibro pain and other pains. She ignored some pain recently and now has a partial tear of her Achilles tendon - the doc said another week on it and it would have been a full tear. Now it's 6-8 weeks in a boot up to her knee, plus physical therapy. Not sure how that's going to work with her class schedule and her other therapy schedule, but she will figure it out.

    Anyway - take care of you! Everything else will fall into place.
    1624 days ago
    Angie. Sister! You have had alot going on! You have a sound plan with your goals in mind. I know you can do it!!

    Rock on!!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1625 days ago
    I'm sorry that you've been having such a rough time... but so glad that you have a plan to move forward. You can do this... I know it.

    1625 days ago
    Sounds like we need to get lunch again and chat! If you are free, I would love to meet up!
    1625 days ago
    start slowly and take care of you emoticon maybe the next family reunion should be at 6 am emoticon
    1625 days ago
  • GHK1962
    Hey you ... I am super sorry that so much is going on that is making things harder for you.

    But ... a lot of us were away and are coming back now I think. Maybe some rah rah stuffs will help yes? (I was going to use another word instead of ''stuffs", but am trying to keep this fairly PG!)

    So ... the wt loss / we gain ... screw the melting off thingy ... Phase 1 was you initially losing. Break time. Now...Phase 2. Starting again. But this time, you are starting at a better place ok.

    Riding ... or not riding ... you'll get there again. It's biking damn-it ... you LOVE riding. Time may limit your wheel time ... but limit only...NOT erase. (Besides ... one day we just HAVE to go on a ride together ok.) (Another besides ... not riding has kept you from whamming on bastard drivers! I thought some levity was needed here ... heh.)

    Sleep - that is a HUGE one. It sounds like you have a plan ... so I won't nag. (Not a lot anyway ... well, maybe some at times.)

    The fibro - I remember when you were doing a bunch of stuff to figure out food allergies. This is new to me. This was recently diagnosed? I wish you did not have that.

    Bad self-talk: Hmmm ... that is a hard one too. Just know ... you can vent here too ok....and that is okay.
    1625 days ago
    I can totally relate. An extended period of constant stress nearly did me in but I'm determined not to give up. Your plan is good. Ease into it. You will get the results you need.
    1625 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    1626 days ago
  • DEE797
    You can and You will do this! Make yourself and your health a priority along with taking care of dh. Ask for help when you need it....even if its so you can exercise or plan your meals. YOU ARE WORTH IT! emoticon emoticon
    1626 days ago
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