RACINGSLUG's SparkPeople Blog RACINGSLUG's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Simplification It's been a terrible year. It's also a hard year to summarize. To make a long story short, I lost two jobs and a baby, nearly lost my marriage and definitely lost my mind. In one year I moved from New Jersey to Florida to Illiinois to Michigan, and have been living halfway across the country from my husband for 5 months. <BR> <BR> This move to Michigan is the final move, though. We bought a really nice manufactured home in a good community. After 7 agonizing years, Dom is finally finished wi... Mon, 6 Jul 2015 15:21:10 EST I haven't updated since last July Okay, so it's been a while. <BR> <BR> What has been going on? Well, I'm still working with my Coach and I've only maybe missed a handful of workouts since July. I am getting stronger. Right now I am working my way toward a real pull up. I started with a small, medium and large resistance band for assisted pull ups and I have worked my way from the large to the medium band. Sadly the cold has resulted in me staying indoors most of the time. I've been trying to get out and walk more. I miss hi... Thu, 13 Feb 2014 13:19:24 EST Fun With Pedometers I got a new FitBit Zip pedometer, and it's loads of fun. It tracks steps, distance, and estimated calories burned. I love that it estimates my basal metabolic rate, so I get a reasonably accurate picture of exactly how much of a calorie deficit I have at the end of the day. The best part is the software it comes with - their online system gives you so much detailed information, like what parts of your day were the most active down to 15-minute increments! Lots of colorful charts and graphs, a... Fri, 19 Jul 2013 12:56:00 EST I Love Hiking, Volume I I love hiking. I really, really, really love it. I finally got out on the trail today. It was supposed to rain, but it only ever sprinkled. Everything was nice and wet and vibrant, but not too much mud. It was humid though. I was expecting only a few hills but it turned out to be pretty much constant hills, so I got a better workout than expected. And we were out there a good 2.5 hours, which is the longest hike, time-wise, for us so far. <BR> <BR> It's like I could feel myself healing psyc... Sat, 13 Jul 2013 17:09:57 EST Arthritis of the Knees I went to the doctor today about my knees, and apparently I have arthritis. He said it's common about 10-15 years after a knee surgery to develop this. He also sort of implied that it was really more delaying the inevitable and 10 years down the road it could be a lot worse. I told him I've been really active over the last 7 months, and he said all the high-impact activity was probably accelerating the process. So, for now I'm not allowed to do high impact stuff, like jumping/plyometrics, bur... Fri, 12 Jul 2013 20:59:36 EST 7 months and counting... I'm grateful I seem to have been able to turn this week around. It's been a rough couple of weeks. I've been struggling to be back to clean eating following vacation, dealing with depression and stressing out about the job hunt (I was offered a really good job and i had to turn it down because they wanted a 2 year commitment and we are probably moving next year due to my husband's internship... everyone says I should have taken it any way and just left but I'm not like that, and I know my nex... Thu, 11 Jul 2013 09:22:38 EST Not About the Weight Just came back from my vacation home, which was a mixed bag in the health department. I managed to maintain my weight, but nutritionally I bombed. Physically, however, I was on fire. I had great daily workouts and two really good hikes. The most recent one, with Dom's Dad and MIL, was a BMX trail with very steep slopes and, at one point, 187 steps! That was Friday and I'm still feeling it. <BR> <BR> I still get frustrated with my fat from time to time, but man, I just don't care about weight... Mon, 1 Jul 2013 19:39:12 EST Day 85 of Clean Eating - The Other Side I feel pretty good today, which is nice, because I haven't been feeling so hot this week. I've had extreme fatigue and stomach ache and haven't been able to eat much. I think it might be because, in eliminating wheat from my diet, I cut way down on carbs suddenly. I'm not sure if eliminating wheat will make a difference or not, but I'm going to try it for a month and see. It has been about 7 days. <BR> <BR> Last weekend I went to a movie theater with my friend, the kind that serves pizza and... Fri, 7 Jun 2013 10:26:56 EST Day 70 - Digging the Well Day 70 of clean eating, about 5.5 months of fitness. I've been eating a ton of fruits and vegetables lately, but I haven't exactly seen the weight fly off so I'm going to start tracking my calories and get a sense of how much I am actually eating. I'm shooting for 1500 a day. This morning's breakfast was 600 calories, so yeah, it appears I'm eating too much, particularly dairy. It shouldn't be too hard to tweak my diet a little and ensure I'm eating the proper amount of calories. Tracking foo... Thu, 23 May 2013 09:00:08 EST Day 58 of Clean Eating - Habit Man, my Coach hasn't given me a rest day in forever, and my assignment tomorrow is to run 2 miles. I'm not physically hurting or anything, I just feel like I've been hitting it hard every day. On top of that I'm already planning on going to Eagle Rock Reservation or South Mountain Conservancy to hike with Dom. I've got a new Camelbak and I'm anxious to try it out. <BR> <BR> All of this is becoming habit now. I usually work out in the evening around 6pm. Coach told me to do it when i feel str... Sat, 11 May 2013 21:05:30 EST Day 54 of Clean Eating, and a 5-month fitness anniversary I started working out with my Coach in December. It's been daily since then - even on sick days, and chronic illness days, and depressed days. 5 months and 4 days of relentless hard work. I can't imagine being that other person ever again. I'm not sure who I am becoming, but I know who I am now. I know that my place in the world has changed. <BR> <BR> This weekend I did 40 burpees on the beach. Yesterday I did 100 flutter-kicks without stopping once to rest, which was a challenge for me tha... Tue, 7 May 2013 13:55:05 EST Day 45 of Clean Eating... Bouncing Back I recovered pretty quickly from my hospital stay, and my Coach says it's because I worked hard on my fitness and it has helped me heal faster. That's pretty cool. <BR> <BR> The big drama of the moment is that I'm having trouble finding the right hiking shoes. It's a long story, but I currently have three different pair and have to decide which two to return. The ones I wore yesterday almost gave me blisters and I think they're too narrow. The first pair I bought have to be returned because ... Sun, 28 Apr 2013 10:05:58 EST Day 40 of Clean Eating... Knockout Surprise! Big adventures this weekend. I went on that hike I was so excited about, with a bunch of new people from the South Mountain Conservancy. Made it about .25 miles and was nearing the top of a big set of granite slab ''stairs'' when I suddenly lost consciousness. I've never fully lost consciousness like that before and Dom said I was completely non-responsive for at least 30 seconds. I was shaking so everyone thought I was having a seizure and they called 911. I got a little banged up with bru... Tue, 23 Apr 2013 15:25:20 EST Day 34 of Clean Eating... Perseverance. Sometimes I get caught up in old, bad habits. That happened to me this week, when I got caught up in some online negativity related to personal issues I have. Before I knew it, full-fledged depression with a side of PTSD. I mean I was really in rough shape. Ugh. Yesterday was SO HARD. I was supposed to be working from home but I didn't touch it. <BR> <BR> Nevertheless, I went to the park, walked around a bit, sat by the river to relax, did my workout and fixed myself a healthy pasta sala... Wed, 17 Apr 2013 19:02:26 EST Day 29 of Clean Eating I haven't touched junk food or food with a lot of added sugar for 29 days. Yeah, I feel amazing.I now eat predominantly fruits and vegetables. I haven't been depressed and have woken up every morning with energy. I'm not tracking my weight, but this morning I was able to button my pants without sucking in my gut. <BR> <BR> My appetite is also shrinking. I'm not hungry near as often as I used to be. I can eat a pepper or carrot for a snack and still feel satisfied (though my home-made trail m... Fri, 12 Apr 2013 13:15:51 EST Day 12 of Clean Eating... HAPPY! Good day. I feel pretty good. <BR> <BR> Interesting. I put some honey on my Greek yogurt, and I think I actually am feeling the sugar's effects on me. I've been eating very low sugar, limiting to 30g a day as is the recommended allowance. Vegetables are starting to taste sweeter. In fact, I'm experiencing a lot of new tastes as I discover foods that are not buried under all that sugar. <BR> <BR> I'm continuing to read this fascinating book about the Food Industry, ''Salt, Sugar, Fat'' an... Thu, 28 Mar 2013 16:10:13 EST O hai withdrawal Day 8 of clean eating and I think the sugar withdrawal is starting to kick in. I feel achy all over, sudden mood swings of depression/irritability, and headaches. Not to mention the sugar cravings - yikes! Yesterday I had a lot of pain in my legs - soreness from the 300 jumping jacks but also creaky knees and ankles. I still did my half hour of jump rope, which I dreaded but which actually wasn't so bad. I turned it into a game to see how long I could go without tripping (the answer is: not ... Sun, 24 Mar 2013 11:39:39 EST You Win Some Even When You Lose Some I'm incredibly tired right now. I've felt kind of out of it all day, and my workout was less than stellar. I'm terrified about tomorrow's workout because Coach assigned me 30 minutes of jump rope! I'm still sore from the 300 jumping jacks I did yesterday (yes, 300. Unreal.) And my knees hurt, but that's a whole other issue. <BR> <BR> Have almost finished my first week of clean eating. I didn't give myself enough options for healthy fats this week so I've been pretty hungry and today was eve... Fri, 22 Mar 2013 21:00:05 EST I'm Standing Up and Letting Go Right now, as I type this, I'm standing up. The pain in my lower back has gotten so bad from all the constant sitting that I have decided to reduce the number of hours I sit. I read an article that said people who sit longer than 11 hours a day are at twice the risk of dying in the next 1-3 years. So yesterday I took a plastic bin, put it on top of the kitchen table, and put my laptop on top of that. It is the perfect height to work standing up. I'm still not used to it enough to write gr... Tue, 12 Mar 2013 17:34:07 EST Bad News on the Internship Front Well, yesterday morning my husband got his results back for internship matching. The outcome is the worst thing that could have happened. He didn't match at all. This is the 2nd year in a row that he didn't match for internship. We were completely and utterly shocked. He had so many interviews that went so well, we never saw this coming at all. We thought he might match in an undesirable location, but we never imagined he wouldn't match at all. This is the one single thing he has left befor... Sat, 23 Feb 2013 16:35:18 EST Strength I'm finding mine. When I started physical conditioning two months ago, I couldn't do any more than 12 ground-release push-ups until I reached failure and had to switch to my knees. The other day, I did 40. I couldn't do lunges without losing my balance. Today, I did 50 at a nice, steady rhythm. <BR> <BR> I've got a long way to go to really be fit, but I've noticed a change in how I feel from day to day. My back pain has diminished significantly and I can reach things at a low height by... Mon, 18 Feb 2013 18:19:52 EST Doing All The Things - With Depression I spent the entire day writing grants and yet here I am, writing some more. I must love writing. <BR> <BR> I haven't been the most productive person lately. I work from home two days a week, and my track record for actually doing work has not been good - even at work I've been too easily distracted. I bought this book, ''Getting It Done When You're Depressed.'' I just love the fact that this book exists. It is all about productivity for depressed people - how to get work done when it fee... Fri, 25 Jan 2013 19:06:03 EST Possibility Where to begin? Christmas break was wonderful; I got to spend time with Dominic for the first time in months. This month he is gone completely due to his clinical psychology internship interviews. Due to the committee rules I can't tell you where we want to end up, but I will say it looks like there's a very good chance we'll end up there. I didn't take the first week without him very well - was quite depressed and the house sort of fell apart (because I'm not really that clean on my own ... Sun, 20 Jan 2013 19:25:19 EST Bigotry This week has been quite a struggle. Remember how I said there was a really fit guy on Facebook helping me with my fitness? Well, Friday morning he posted something making fun of fat people. He actually has a photo album on Facebook of random fat people he took pictures of. I was aware it existed from the beginning and I almost defriended him when I saw it months ago, but it is just so completely out of character for him that like my brain is still having a hard time accepting it. But wh... Tue, 18 Dec 2012 18:10:13 EST Now O'Clock I've been dealing so much better with stress lately. I attribute it to a number of factors. I decided to stop arguing with people about politics and other heated issues, and I've decreased my exposure to news media as well. I'm learning to accept that I'm not responsible and cannot change what other people do or don't believe. If I am angered by something someone says, no matter how outrageous, I have learned just not to engage. I'm learning to see beyond differences of opinion and reall... Tue, 11 Dec 2012 13:11:46 EST Some People Are Really Nice I have a friend on Facebook. We've actually known one another since we were young (we ''dated'' in 4th grade.) He was smart like me and fun to talk to. We drifted apart after elementary school because he began to get really active in sports and became rather popular, and I didn't talk to him much after that. <BR> <BR> Anyway, he's my FB friend now, and we like to have friendly arguments. He lives in Texas and he's a personal trainer and I think working for the Department of Defense. Top... Thu, 6 Dec 2012 09:02:06 EST Lazy Day Depression strikes today. I was supposed to work from home and I got 25 minutes of work accomplished today. I spent the day starting at the internet, getting stuck in a kind of trance. <BR> <BR> Oh, and I picked out my new glasses at the eye doctor. They should be in next week. These ones make me nauseated when I look at a computer screen. <BR> <BR> I've been hungry today. I didn't feel like cleaning the kitchen, so I didn't cook any healthy meals. I had two sodas. I went 13 calories... Tue, 27 Nov 2012 17:56:03 EST Time Off It looks like I survived Thanksgiving without going overboard. I decided to track everything but not limit my calories that day. I ate 2400 calories. Totally reasonable for a holiday. Then yesterday we went to the movies, and there were no healthy options there. I really wanted pretzels with cheese but they were 1600 calories! I couldn't justify that, so I got 530 calorie chicken strips instead, and a water. (It was a wonderful, uplifting movie, by the way - Silver Linings Playbook. G... Sun, 25 Nov 2012 08:39:20 EST Fill 'Er Up Wooh, just had a big breakfast full of whole grains and protein. That should get me through the day! <BR> <BR> I'm going on a self-imposed retreat soon. Tomorrow I'm going to spend about half the day in silence and meditation. I'll light some incense and read some of my best Buddhist books. I have to or I am going to lose my mind. I've gotten so wrapped up in my own thoughts I'm driving myself nuts. I feel hyper-stimulated. Honestly, a lot of it is politics and arguing with other peop... Fri, 16 Nov 2012 10:29:41 EST Starting Over So, we had a hurricane (or superstorm, or whatever.) No loss of property but the damage to our town was pretty extensive - enormous trees down and almost everything without power for days. We ended up in a hotel and of course my poor husband was freaking out because internship applications were due November 1st and he had no internet! Some of his sites did not grant extensions even when asked to by the governing board. It was a very stressful week on top of an already very stressful month... Mon, 12 Nov 2012 18:22:54 EST Autumn Arrives, and With it, Hope. A few things. I've been at my new job for about two months now, and I L-O-V-E it. I work with wonderful people and get to do all kinds of development work, from grant writing and strategic planning to re-designing our website (AHH!) So much has happened I feel like I've been there forever, and I am developing so many new skills that will aid in my career. My boss, amazing person that he is, is helping me to get more professional development training in fundraising and arranging for me to ... Sat, 6 Oct 2012 14:07:56 EST A Long Overdue Happy Update I don't know why I stay away from this wonderful place for so long. I always feel like I'm coming home when I return. It has been four months since I have last updated, and my last update was not so positive. Unemployment had taken its toll and I was beginning to doubt I would ever find a job. <BR> <BR> Well, I found a job. At the same time as I was writing about how I should kill myself because I'd never find work, I had a job and didn't know it. I took the job working as a case manage... Mon, 23 Jul 2012 18:30:24 EST Update I'm not really sure what to say, but I feel like I have to say something. Things took a major downturn this week and I started planning to kill myself. I told Dom and I'm going to see my psychiatrist tomorrow, and Dom is with me, so I'm safe right now, there's no need to worry about that. And I guess I'm feeling a little better. <BR> <BR> The real problem is that this isn't just my usual random run-of-the-mill depression. I'm depressed because I'm very unhappy with my current situation. ... Mon, 19 Mar 2012 18:27:52 EST The Walk = Crawl Oof. Ten day slump, courtesy of miscellaneous health problems and a handful of other setbacks (internet problems and now my mouse won't work for more than 30 minutes at a time.) <BR> <BR> I am so depressed today, but I'm trying to get into the habit of going to fitness center right after breakfast. My husband had to kinda shove me out the door, but I made it. It was a pretty good workout and I felt better for a while. In general the Wellbutrin has helped a lot. Just today, nothing I do ... Thu, 15 Mar 2012 17:45:24 EST Listen to Me Whine You ever have one of those days, where you wake up in the morning and just feel bad about everything? Today I've felt bad about pretty much everything. I've pretty much been casting aspersions on every decision I've ever made, thinking maybe it was a terrible idea to get a Master's degree, and an even more terrible to get it at a school as expensive as Penn. I'm thinking I'm never going to find a job... <BR> <BR> Being married to a Ph.D. student utterly sucks. We were supposed to move th... Fri, 2 Mar 2012 17:12:14 EST Cue-Process-Reward I have so much on my mind today. I had a job interview first thing this morning. I flubbed one part of it, but the rest went well, and I'm still feeling pretty good about my chances. I am really getting tired of interviews, because every single one is a new, stressful experience. But I am grateful that I am getting called in - it really helps to keep me motivated. <BR> <BR> Dom is handling his stress a little better, too. I haven't gotten to spend much time with him this week, but he wa... Wed, 29 Feb 2012 15:50:04 EST Crazy Bad Interview Oh, man, I had the most epically bad job interview on Monday. It wasn't me, either. It was the guy, the president - he was so obnoxious that my skin was crawling within ten minutes of having met him, and he kept me there for 3.5 hours. Every minute was torture. He was a big-shot attorney who started his own nonprofit - he's doing good work, but he was clearly obsessed with himself. <BR> <BR> At one point he asked, <BR> <BR> ''Do you get migraines?'' <BR> ''Um, no." <BR> ''I'll give you ... Wed, 22 Feb 2012 15:20:53 EST Back to No S I've decided to go back to the No S Diet. Even though my trainer didn't like it, it was really a no-stress way to deal with the nutrition question. Lately I've been so confused about what to eat, and feel like I'm eating constantly. I just want to go back to simple. <BR> <BR> So it will be standard No S with some mods. Instead of S-Days, there will be 5 S-Events per week. Also, I am allowed to have a post-workout nutrition shake or alternative recovery snack as I deem necessary. <BR> <... Fri, 17 Feb 2012 16:20:17 EST It's Working! I can't believe how good I feel these last few days. Could it be, after ten years of trying everything under the sun, I finally found a medication that helps with depression? I can't even believe the difference it seems to be making - already, and it's not even supposed to reach full effectiveness for 6-8 weeks. <BR> <BR> Is this what it's like to not be depressed? It's wonderful. It's totally different. I don't feel heavy. Everything seems clearer. I have so much energy. I was up a... Thu, 16 Feb 2012 11:35:40 EST Expansion Week 1 of the Fitness Center Challenge is complete. I spent most of this week sore, but now that the soreness has started to go away, I feel great. I tried a BodyCombat class that killed my calves, but it was so good for my heart! <BR> <BR> I started Wellbutrin on Sunday, and I think it's actually working. I tried it years ago and I remember having bad side effects, but I was willing to give it another shot. So far, no major side effects and an overall pleasant mood. Even yesterday, whe... Tue, 14 Feb 2012 12:48:26 EST Soreasaurus Y-I-K-E-S. It's been two days since my first visit with the Trainer and I am still so sore. It hurts to sit, or really move in any meaningful way. Must mean the program is working. I made myself go to the gym today, just to do some light cardio. It hurt some, but it wasn't the end of the world. I got in a good 40 minute workout and then sat in the hot tub for a few minutes... that was refreshing. <BR> <BR> Now that I'm home, though, I just want to curl myself into a little ball and ref... Tue, 7 Feb 2012 12:58:15 EST It's ON! Today I saw the nurse for my initial fitness evaluation. I was so certain I was knocking on death's door with my health, but according to the nurse my overall fitness is good. She was so nice! She told me to drop in every Sunday to say hello. My blood pressure was excellent, my strength above average, my flexibility below average, and my waist to hip ratio is pretty much in the healthy range (just a tad over.) The major and obvious issue is my body fat percentage is 35.3% where healthy i... Sun, 5 Feb 2012 16:46:36 EST Intervention I've got some personal spending money saved up from Christmas, and I decided I'm going to try to find a fitness center. I realized if I am going to get up to go to a 9am fitness class, it would help get me out of bed in the morning (lately, with nothing to do but look for work, I've been sleeping in til 10 or 11am, and then vulnerable to depression the rest of the day.) <BR> <BR> I found one that sounds wonderful, it's a Fitness and Wellness Center and a regular membership includes a health... Sat, 4 Feb 2012 12:57:58 EST The Mind is a Squawking Baby Bird My husband just about had a nervous breakdown when I mentioned getting him something for Valentine's Day. He was overwhelmed by the thought of having to find something for me. Methinks he's a little overstressed right now. He took off early to get a change of scenery to buckle down on his dissertation. My poor little pumpernickel loaf. He works so hard. I'm totally fine with forgoing gifts on V-Day - it's not like we need to spend the money anyway. But I do want to do something special... Wed, 1 Feb 2012 15:10:19 EST Getting There As of yesterday I'm on a new medication. So far no side-effects. Dom came into therapy with me and we had a long talk about some of the challenges that have come up between us as a result of my depression. I am in the process of wrapping up therapy with the best therapist I've ever had. I'm not so naive as to think he will be my last, but I do hope I will at least get an extended break... I'm hoping years, not months. There was a time when all that mattered to me was ''curing'' my depres... Tue, 17 Jan 2012 11:06:28 EST UpSwing I feel like life is finally on the upswing. I wanted my focus this year to be self-discipline, but I wanted to learn self-discipline in a way that fit with my Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. I found this book called The Practiced Mind (which I read on my new KINDLE!) which talks about self-discipline as a process-oriented concept. So instead of focusing on the outcome or comparing yourself to some ideal, you focus on the present and being completely committed to the process of practice.... Tue, 10 Jan 2012 18:21:25 EST Better Than Today Today is Day 5 of ''No S.'' (No Sweets, No Seconds, No Snacks except on days that start with S.) I had one failure day and three success days, which is not bad for such a radical shift in my eating habits. I'm actually glad I failed on the second day. It got the fear of failure out of the way. <BR> <BR> Today is my first ''S'' day which means I can eat whatever I want in whatever way I want. I thought I was going to go on a total binge but I don't feel much different today than on Norm... Sat, 7 Jan 2012 10:54:39 EST Toward a Values-Driven Life My work with ACT has continued and I am really opening up in new ways. I'm learning there are plenty of things in my life that just take up space and crowd out the things I really care about. I had written a list of values earlier for therapy but something still felt like it was missing. One day I got up, picked up a blank piece of paper and wrote down everything I could think of that I valued. The first word I wrote was CREATIVITY. <BR> <BR> It's funny, when you're depressed and living ... Tue, 3 Jan 2012 19:26:04 EST Mixed Bag Yet another health issue trying to beat me down. This time it looks like gall bladder, but since I was diagnosed with high cholesterol earlier this year I need to make sure it's not my heart. I've been having intense stomach pain in a new location and sometimes it spreads to my lower back. The pain is ungodly and can last for hours. <BR> <BR> After a month of not exercising I finally got out there again and did some weightlifting today. It sucks that I fell off the wagon, but one thing I... Mon, 28 Nov 2011 13:44:51 EST Working ACT is still changing me. I have moved on to the advanced course for depression. It used to be, every morning when I woke up, the key question was, ''How do I feel?'' The new question is, ''How can I give my life meaning today?'' <BR> <BR> Progress has been slow, but the changes are profound and real. My social life has been utterly transformed. Whereas I once used to hide in my house all weekend, I've now been engaging in social activities 1-2 times a week without the fatigue that I us... Wed, 9 Nov 2011 15:39:29 EST