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Using the gym to blow off steam...great option!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Yesterday was a very random day for me. I was very productive at work, but was just feeling a little "off" have you ever had one of those days? I'm trying to get everything done so I can be away this weekend, which means prepping for the course I teach, doing homework for the class I'm taking and planning for healthy foods and travel arrangements. I was starting to feel a little overwhelmed. Then I get a call from a boss at work with some frustrating news. After that I get a call from my new trainer telling me to back off my workouts a little, but it came across as her doubting my ability to listen to my body and my back in particular. I can do more than people think I can do.

So, after deciding that I couldn't concentrate on my homework any longer, I went to the gym. What I really wanted to do was go home and have a good cry, which is how I normally handle being overwhelmed. I would normally shut down, hide in my apartment with a bag of dark chocolate and feel bad about everything. I know, not the best way to handle things! But I'm trying to change.

I went to the gym, even though I wanted to go home, and I got on the elliptical and just started "running" or whatever you call the activity when you are on the elliptical. I was so angry and frustrated and overwhelmed and I was just hoping that if I worked hard enough the feelings would all work themselves out too. I didn't watch tv, I turned on some "Me First and the Gimme Gimmes" and just ran. The first mile was in 14 minutes and I thought that if I can do the next one in 15 minutes that would be amazing and I could go home. I did the second mile in 14 minutes again and decided that I would stop after the third mile. The third mile was done in 15 minutes and then I decided I should just keep going for the full hour. I went 4.12 miles in an hour and was exhausted. A good exhausted, but exhausted. I was dripping sweat, my light grey shirt was dark grey and although I was still feeling upset about work stuff, I was feeling better, I can admit that.

I found myself thinking through things while working out last night, so that I didn't have to think about them later. I went home took a shower and made baked chicken and steamed broccoli for dinner. I didn't sleep well last night, but I don't think it was because of my work out, just me struggling to turn off my brain and relax.

Today I'm feeling a little better. I'm also a little sore from maybe over-doing it at the gym, although I will never admit that to my family (who worry about me) or my trainer (who is concerned that I can't do what I've been doing). This is not just something I'm doing for fun, this healthy lifestyle is permanent, and it's important to me. But I don't want to slow down or take it down a notch. I want to improve on what I've been doing, continue to lose weight and do strength training. I accept that losing a pound or two a week is what I should be aiming for, and I am doing my best to eat in my calorie ranges, but don't doubt that I can do this.

I think the reason Spark People has been working for me so well is that there is a competition side to this site, but mostly it is competing against myself. Can I earn more points this month than last month? Can I get more exercise minutes? These are the kinds of challenges that keep me motivated, while also being able to support and encourage everyone else who is going through the same thing. Healthy competition I think!

I guess I was pretty talkative today, and I have so many other thoughts in my brain today, but most aren't about weight loss or living a healthy lifestyle, so I should probably get back to work and start sorting out what needs to be done so that the feeling of being overwhelmed doesn't come back later today.

Have a great Thursday everyone! It's my Friday as I'm going to see a naturopathic doctor tomorrow and have the day off work. Yippee for me!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    This is a wonderful blog. You have so much momentum and are doing so well!!!
    1917 days ago
    WOW!!! As serious as I am about this whole thing, and as good as I've been doing, you are that much more! I recently wrote a blog (that was slightly controversial) about why (sometimes) thinking negative works for me. Your blog is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. Sometimes you take the negative in your life and you use it as fuel to excersize. You relieve stress with the excersize. It works. Like I said in my blog, you should definitely stay positive and the positive is awesome, but the negative keeps me fighting. Do be careful with your body, but you know your body better than anyone else, and if you know you can do it....DO IT!!!! You are such an inspiration to me. I can't tell you. I agree about being competitive. I also am like that, and like you, I am also competing against my own self. Girl, you just keep doing what you're doing. Keep fighting!!! emoticon
    1924 days ago
    Wow! Thank you so much for this post. It's so motivating and inspirational! emoticon

    You're right about the power of channeling your frustrations into a great workout. Great stuff.
    1925 days ago
    I once read an article about "comfort exercise" as opposed to "comfort food". I really liked that idea because I've found that, for me, a really good workout can absolutely help relieve stress and put me into a much better mindset. While there certainly is a danger in overdoing it, you know your body and it's capabilities better than anyone. As long as *you* are feeling good, don't let anyone else tell you what you cannot do!
    1925 days ago
    I think you did awesome with the choice you made going to the Gym rather than wallow at home. I had to go buy me a Bob Century punching bag for my bad days. I love him. I can beat him up, get my frustrations out, and no one else has to get hurt, lol!!! It's taken awhile but I do believe exercise is the key to alleviate stress. Keep on keeping on and stay strong. You got this. Hope your day ends better today than yesterday. And good luck at the doctors tomorrow.
    1925 days ago
    Um...OMG, you did terrific with the exercise! I think you hit the nail on the head with going through with it, and then using the momentum of your "brain activity" to fuel your body activity. Awesome awesome job! An off day became and on day just from that one action.

    I have the hardest time shutting my brain off. I tend to run on the manic side most days of the month, and while I'm getting a lot done, it really is hard to quiet down and just "be".

    Anyway, you have motivated me to try my new DVD later today that I have been putting off. I want to sweat that hard and feel that good, too!

    So... emoticon

    1925 days ago
    I have off days too. Congrats to you for running thru your mood!! Just remember to take one day at a time, one day at a time.

    emoticon emoticon
    1925 days ago
  • DALID414
    Happy Friday!
    I had an 'off' day yesterday too! And I too hit the gym, but it didn't get me out of my funky mood. At least I didn't turn to food, whew!!
    1925 days ago
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