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My Willpower/Energy Tanks are Low

Monday, February 10, 2014

This is probably going to be a really disconnected update, apologies in advance…

Friday I went to my first ever eye doctor appointment. I’ve been having some random issues (and truth be told, wanted an excuse to get out of work a bit early) so I went. Turns out I have better than 20/20 vision but I have slow reflexes with adjusting between light and dark. They said it could just be a side effect of my meds (go figure) and I’m going to get a pair of glasses to use at my desk to reduce strain from the lights of my many electronics. Getting ready for a new look over here!

Friday night my bf and I went out to dinner to get snow crab legs and baked potatoes. This pretty harmless meal left me with terrible tummy pain Friday night. This is getting worse each day - tummy pain every time I eat, no matter what I eat, no matter how little I eat. I’m not really sure what is going on but this has been building since I started my new meds three weeks ago. I know it can take upwards of 60-90 days for meds to level out so I’m trying not to call the doctor just yet, but man is this annoying!

Ladies… I also have a new development where I feel crampy if I push my workouts to a moderate or above level. Cramps, working out?! What is that?!

Saturday I failed to plan so… I ended up eating snack foods where I could get them. I spent a few hours at the hospital with my grandma. She’s still not doing so hot. I think what gets me the most is that I saw her two weeks ago for my birthday dinner and now she is drastically worse. I am having a hard time understanding how that happens. I have also never seen her in a state like this, I can’t even remember seeing my grandma with a cold let alone this sick in a hospital, so it left me rattled. There is a good chance that when she leaves the hospital she’ll be going into a nursing home. My grandma has always been one of the busiest, most independent women I have ever known. She’s outlived two husbands, cancer, wars, etc. The thought of her going into a nursing home just doesn’t click. Crazy.

Yesterday my bf and I went grocery shopping, brought home tons of veggies, and I did 2 hours of meal prep. I made veggie soup for my lunches, cut up fresh raw veggies for my snacks, made egg muffins for breakfasts, and prepped a lean pork roast that is in the slow cooker today. The egg muffins have changed my life – they keep me MUCH fuller during the day and are super easy in the mornings. I did 20 mins of pilates, shoveled the latest round of snow (side note: SO OVER WINTER) and did some cleaning. I was on my feet so much yesterday that they hurt all night! Hopefully that counted for something.

I also got some surprising insight into life from a book I am reading on creativity. It was talking about two things that I tied back to my Spark Journey:

1) Willpower or “Doing Right” is a finite resource. If we constantly force ourselves to stretch to “do what’s right”, we run out of willpower. Our tanks run empty. Apparently they have done lots of studies and have proven this to be true. So I’m not crazy! I do run out of willpower. They said balance is helpful – allowing yourself a treat, or a doing something purely for yourself.

2) Our ENERGY is a finite resource as well and we don’t realize how much stuff sucks it dry every day. I am going to follow their suggestion in the book and really take a look at the full picture of what is draining me. This can be ANYTHING but includes the thoughts that occupy your head. Right now I know I have a lot going on with my grandma and health issues, so I should strive for balance by minimizing outside obligations and trying to keep my work hours lower. I should make sure I’m taking that 20 minutes for pilates, an hour to read before bed, etc… so that I help my tanks refill. What is draining your energy tank every day? What are you doing to keep it fuller?

Blogging about all of this stuff is helping me refill my tank right now. I also know that I haven’t been exercising enough but I’m sensing it is because my energy and willpower levels are draining before I can get home to do it. Now I just need to figure out how to get them up!

I have food prepped for every day this week. I am going to strive to get as many steps in as possible and keep up my gentle workouts at night. Our friends are coming in for a long weekend and hopefully I don’t go too crazy with food, but my tummy pain has surprisingly helped to keep bad eating in check (but I will be sad if I feel bad the whole time they are here. I want to eat and have fun with them too!) Sometimes trying to see the scale go down feels like such an uphill battle, but I’m going to do what I can and hopefully these meds level out soon and I can figure out how to find better energy and willpower levels balance. I’m not giving up, I am going to stick with this one way or another!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Read this yesterday but didn't comment because as soon as I read "What is draining your energy tank every day? What are you doing to keep it fuller?" I got up and went for a jog outside because my tank was running low. Thank you for the reminder!

    I get cramps sometimes when my workout isn't at an easy intensity. Usually it's got to do with chugging water or eating too soon before starting. But sometimes you don't have the time to fit a workout in several hours after your last meal/snack!
    1471 days ago
  • SLEE103
    I definitely hope for your sake the meds will level out soon--maybe they are part of the tummy troubles too?

    And as someone who's bf has a background in social psychology and human behavior, I can absolutely confirm that willpower/self-control is not an indefinite resource! It's like a muscle, you can stretch it and make it stronger through practice, but it will still snap if stretched too far. And self-control carries over or doesn't discriminate, that is, if you are exercising a lot of willpower, say, dealing with a difficult boss or work, your self-control may be diminished in other areas, like eating right. Totally sucks right? That's why they say when the going gets rough, focus on small things or one aspect on a time. Like you said, relieving stress can help strengthen your willpower too.

    I'm so sorry about your grandma. I've been there myself, its not easy emoticon
    1472 days ago
  • RAINA413
    You are doing so well!! Keep it up!
    I totally know what you mean about willpower being finite. It really makes a lot of sense if you think about it. I guess we just have to keep an eye on the gauge to make sure we don't fully deplete the tanks.

    I've made those egg muffins for my husband before and he loves them! I stick them in the fridge at the beginning of the week and he just pops them in the micro as needed. He is thin but is making a real effort to be healthy/sparky along with me to keep me on track.

    I am so sorry to hear about your Grandma being worse off than she was before. I hope that she is able to get through this and get enough strength so that she is able to leave the hospital. (((hugs)))

    I also used to get when I would push my workouts to a moderate or above level. I found that using an electrolyte enhancer in addition to my water (like Nuuns) really helped me. Apparently it wasn't just a hydration issue but the need for lactic acid and electrolytes as well. I like the Nuuns because they come in all natural or regular but there are no calories or sugar and they taste much better than gatorade.
    1472 days ago
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