Friday, December 1, 2017

How to Start Meditating

Hey everyone, thank you so much for your kindness after my last post!  I got a lot of nice comments and messages from people, and it made me feel very loved and supported.  I am so fortunate to be surrounded by a lot of amazing friends and family, and to also live in a progressive area where self care and mental health are not taboo or shameful.  I am very privileged in that sense, and also very grateful.

I got a couple of questions on meditation as well, so I thought I would just do a quick post about what I've been using and just talk a little bit about how the process has been for me.  So I was very skeptical of meditation for the same reason I suspect many are, and that's because I had this perception of it being very...I don't know, granola or something?  Crystals and patchouli?  I don't even know what I thought.  But really, it's just taking time to sit, breathe and train your brain to be quiet for a bit.  No tantric chanting, no woo, it's just training your mind to calm down.  My brain is constantly racing and can get on very anxious or negative loops to the point where I wish I could physically grab it and yell at it to stop.  Meditation is just that, it's just shushing your brain, or at least that's what it's been for me.  I do guided meditations because I'm not at a place yet where I can just sit quietly and zone out on my own, and that's where I recommend starting with if you're new to it.  It does take practice at first to get to a place where you sort of shove your thoughts to the side, but once you do, it is such a welcome relief every day.  It's my 10-15 minutes to absolutely zone out and be at peace.  My brain stops going in what I affectionately call the "cyclone of despair", which is exactly what it feels like.  You can pretty much do it any time, but I love doing it before bed.  It's been a godsend for better sleep, which had been an issue for me for several months.

I got started with the Stop, Breathe & Think app, which is free and what my therapist recommend to me as a starting point.  If you are feeling like I was, which was both skeptical and unsure of how to even begin, I definitely recommend starting with this.  Basically you tell the app how you feel physically, then it asks you to pick 5 emotions you're feeling at that moment.  Once you do that, it spits out 3 or 4 guided meditations to choose from, all ranging from 2 to 10 minutes.  They are all very basic and straightforward and were very helpful in helping me practice how to actually meditate.  Like I said, at first it was very difficult to quiet my mind and the thoughts I had racing constantly.  I really had to work at it, but once I did I was amazed about how it kind of does put you in this weird trance.  It's not a negative experience at all, you just kind of feel like you're in a dark, quiet room a million miles away from it all.  It feels like my negative/anxious thoughts are an object that I am setting down.

Once I kind of got the hang of it, and once I sort of exhausted the list of meditations the app has (I'm too cheap to buy their extra ones), I sought out guided meditations on Youtube.  I just searched "guided meditations" and explored all of the ones in the 10-15 minute range.  This opened up a lot of options and it's been fun kind of exploring different videos and coming up with a list of ones I like and can rotate between depending on my needs that day.  This Guided Meditation: Deep Relaxation & Bliss video is my absolute favorite one and I feel is probably the most approachable one even for beginners.  The lady has a very soothing voice, and really guides you through some deep breathing, and then asks you to picture being in a place where you're happy.  This is probably personal, but the image I use is from this summer when Eric and I were in Bend with Molly.  We would go out every day and read on the front porch for a few hours, which is a luxury that I haven't really afforded myself much this year.  We would drag Molly's bed out so she could be with us, and she absolutely loved sitting and watching all the birds/squirrels and being outside with us.  I just think of that time, just both of us sitting quietly and reading, the dog sleeping peacefully next to us, the smell of the juniper trees in front of the house we rented, and how quiet it was other than the sounds of the birds around the house.  That was such a peaceful, happy time this year, so that's what I think of.  :)  It's prompted me throughout the day to think about that image when I am feeling stressed, which was a benefit I wasn't expecting, but has been very effective.

Another great, approachable type of meditation is progressive muscle relaxation, which is basically the process of contracting your muscles very hard, then releasing them.  You typically start at the top of your body, then work your way down to your feet.  By the time you are done, you feel very relaxed.  I listened to this Squeeze Away Tension video at work this week and liked what I heard, so I will be trying it out in earnest this weekend.

I have also really been utilizing calming music while I'm at work (and sometimes at home if I'm up doing laundry or something), and it's made a huge difference in both my work productivity and my stress levels.  There are times I really like to get riled up and listen to Tupac, Black Flag or the Ramones, but lately I've just needed to try to calm myself rather than escalate my agro ways!  I just started looking up "zen music" on Youtube and have a playlist of the type of music that they play when you're in a spa, that's honestly the best way to describe it.  I've gravitated the most towards the videos from Yellow Brick Cinema, there's a wide variety and they are all super long, so typically one video lasts me a whole work day!  This one with the Native American flutes and thunderstorm is my absolute favorite though.  I love storms and we don't really get heavy ones here in Oregon, so to me the thunder is very relaxing.  I can't play this one around Molly because the thunder in it makes her nervous, that's how high quality the sound is!  I just save it for work.

Anyway, I hope that was all helpful.  I highly encourage anyone, even if you're just feeling a little anxious, angry or stressed, or you're having trouble sleeping, to give meditation a try!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

When You Can't Think of a Title

Oh boy.  I know.

I've been dreading writing this post, truly. 

It was pretty clear from my posts over the summer, but I was struggling then.  I thought it was just normal struggling, but by late August it was pretty clear to me that it was something different and bigger.  By early October, the wave of depression that's been building for months and months suddenly knocked me on my ass and knocked the breath out of me.  The gravity of everything that's happened in two years hit all at once:  the situation with my dad, some work stuff, the flood my family went through, the destruction of my grandmother's house, the election, the Eagle Creek fire, a million little minor things, and a million major things that I'd rather not get into on the internet.  It just suddenly felt like the world was 100% darkness, that something bad was going to happen any second and that I was in a place I couldn't crawl out of.  I was constantly on edge and convinced something negative was waiting around the corner.  Even the most minor thing felt exhausting, and I lost all interest in anything I cared about.  I was insanely anxious while constantly tired at the same time.  This went on for months until one Sunday after a bad shift at the dog shelter, I came home and honestly just snapped.  Not like a dramatic psych hold snap thankfully, but just utterly dissolving while my husband held me and listened to me admit that most days I felt mildly disappointed when I woke up.  I don't like thinking about that day or recalling it really, but there it is.

So that's kind of where I've been.  I've been figuring a lot of shit out, and I needed a break.  I know I don't need to justify it to anyone, but I did want to eventually write a post to anyone who reads this blog just so you don't think I went off and died or abandoned the blog. 

The good news is, it made me reach a point to where I realized that navigating these feelings without a professional just wasn't an option anymore.  I'm about to be 38 years old, and I don't want to white knuckle my way through life anymore.  I want to enjoy it and be present for it.  I want to be thankful for each day.  I want to be stronger and better.  So I've been seeing a very wonderful therapist since the end of September, and I can honestly say it's already made a huge difference in my life.  I was terrified to do it at first, and I'm not saying that spending an hour each week delving into my psyche is always pleasant, but it's been immensely helpful.  It's made me start meditating in the evenings, which I know many might think is a bunch of pansy liberal woo, but I can't sing the praises of it enough.  It's made me feel remarkably calmer, and I'm sleeping better than I have in months.  I don't feel the same level of dread or jumpiness.

I'm definitely picking my way back to a normal life and enjoying myself.  I've been cooking again, which I really missed, and making healthy meals.  I'm kind of doing a half calorie counting/half intuitive eating approach to my nutrition.  Basically I shoot for 1600 calories a day, and if I'm below that but don't feel hungry, I stop eating.  If I hit that and am still a little hungry, I have a snack.  I am finally back on the workout train for the last month or so.  Going back to eating whole foods and working out has of course helped matters.  I haven't weighed because honestly, who cares?  At some point I'll focus on and get to my weight goal, but my priorities are doing things that make me feel good right now.  And I am starting to feel good finally.  And I'm lucky.  I have good insurance, I have a husband who loves me and encourages me no matter what, and I have a lot of support from my friends and family.  A lot of people don't have that, and I couldn't have muddled through this without them.

There's still other stuff I've been avoiding and am not back to normal on.  I've been terrible about my music project and have pretty much abandoned it, which makes me feel like an awful person.  I don't know why I have such a mental block about it, and I'm trying to psyche myself to get back into working on those accounts.  There are times to be honest, I wish I could just drop it entirely, but I feel like that's the depression talking.  And there's this blog.  Admittedly there are times where I don't even know who I'm doing this blog for anymore.  Like is it for me?  Is it for the tiny handful of people who read this?  I don't even know at this point.  When the email came through like a month ago to renew my domain I was kind of like "hmmm".  Maybe it's time to let go.  But then again, I don't want to be hasty.  There's a lot of history and personal growth (and a lot of cringe too, my God I was so whiny) that I'd hate to lose.  So I'll keep it for now.  I may not write often, but there's no harm in keeping it.  And maybe at some point I will feel like blogging a lot more.

So there it all is.  Things are pretty good now and I'm feeling hopeful.  I am mildly anxious of putting my business out there, but at the same time, I hope if someone else is reading this and feeling what I was feeling, that it will encourage you to go talk to someone and that you're not alone. 

Since I'd like to leave off on a happy note, and since I've been abysmal about putting photos in my last few posts, I wanted to show some post therapy photos/activities where I was feeling happy and doing small, positive things to put myself in a better head space. 

In October we went hiking on the Washington side of the Gorge since the Eagle Creek fire pretty much destroyed where we had planned to go.  We had a pretty awesome little adventure/hike to Falls Creek Falls, which was absolutely gorgeous.  Being outside and active definitely helps the happiness levels.

I'm about to out myself as a giant dork, but in November we drove to North Bend so that we could see all of the sites where Twin Peaks was filmed.  I was a huge fan of the original run back in the 90's, and really loved the Season 3 that Showtime just did.  Anyways, it was a pretty amazing and fun trip and I'd like to backtrack and some point and write a post on it.  We both had a blast.  That's me at Twede's Cafe, AKA the Double R Diner.  It was also like 30 degrees, so that's why I'm grin wincing, lol.

  On the same trip we drove to see Snoqualmie Falls, which is something everyone needs to see because it's absolutely incredible.  While we were there, there was a surprise snowfall.  We were utterly unprepared for it, hiked the 2 miles round trip to the falls and back in it anyway and laughed our asses off the entire time at the absurdity of it all.  I also love snow, so I was pretty excited!

Anyway friends, thanks for listening.  I'll definitely be touching base more, even if it's for me.  I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Short Reprieve, Taking Steps

You guys, it's seriously the weather.

This weekend we had a really, really beautiful weekend.  On Saturday it stayed cloudy until well after lunchtime, then it rained for literally like 55 seconds late in the evening.  It was such that Eric yelled at me to come outside, and we were both cackling with joy.  Sunday it was sunny and in the 70's all day with a soft breeze.

It's like a switch got flipped, but back in the good direction.  I can't even explain it, but I got up Sunday feeling rested for the first time in a really long time.  I was able to spend extra time out in the yard with the shelter dogs, and found myself feeling antsy at the thought of spending time inside.  When I got home I told Eric that I didn't want to waste the day, and he was totally on the same page, so we went and walked for probably 45 minutes or so at the nature park by our house.  As soon as we got home I went straight upstairs and did my upper body lifting routine I had planned.  I felt like I had endless energy all day.  I made a normal dinner, with my oven no less, and was so excited to cook.  I also prepped all the meals and snacks for the next day.  It was the first time in a really long time that I was enthusiastic about cooking.  Just overall, I felt like myself.  No anxiety, no worrying, just living.  Things felt easy again and I didn't feel that hopeless feeling that I've just come to accept over the last couple of months.

Yesterday it was hot as blazes again (above 90 degrees if you can believe it), and I felt my energy tank and felt anxious for most of the day.  Again, switch flip.  I did power through a workout and made dinner/prepped for the next day, but it felt a lot more forced and difficult.  At this point I don't know if it's 100% mental or if my body is really having a reverse SAD type reaction, but either way it's clear that the weather is having a horrible effect on me.  I just need to ovary up and talk to my doctor about it, because I don't exactly fancy going through this again next time we have a heat wave.

Regardless, I have been sticking to my plan for the week and getting back on track.  It's felt really good, my stomach already feels so much better physically, and my pants are just the tiniest bit more comfortable.  I haven't weighed yet, I just really don't want to be concerned about the number on the scale, and would rather make feeling good and getting back into good habits the priority.  I'm just going meal by meal, day by day and trying to not stress too hard about things.  Just to give you guys a peek at the workouts for this week, this is my workout schedule (links are not autoplay videos):

Saturday:  Lower Body HIIT and Strength Training  (done)
Sunday:  Upper Body Strength & Cardio  (done)
Monday:  Abs & Lower Back  (done)
Tuesday:  Lower Body Strength Training & Pilates (done)
Wednesday:  Upper Body Strength Training
Thursday:  Dynamic & Static Stretching Challenges
Friday:  Rest Day
Saturday:  Lower Body HIIT, Hike at Hagg Lake
Sunday:  Upper Body Cardio & Strength

Honestly, I don't like HIIT or cardio very much, but acknowledge that I need to mix it up and also focus on burning fat, so I've been trying to make it a point to mix it in.  The workouts are going well so far, I've definitely lost some strength, but not a terrible amount.

As you can see by the schedule, we're going for a hike at Hagg Lake, which is this really beautiful park close to the house.  The wildfire made me really take a hard look at the fact that I don't appreciate the beautiful areas around us nearly as much as they deserve, and I don't take advantage of the amazing hiking opportunities we have either.  I'd really like to start going for hikes more and making sure that I get more time outside.  Hagg Lake is a pretty easy one and fairly flat, so I'm looking forward to it.

The forecast going forward looks like it's going to be in the 70s and we're supposedly getting rain on Sunday and Monday.!!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Awful, No Good Summer

I'm sorry guys, truly.  I feel like all I do is not post for awhile, then when I do it's a bitch sesh.  In fact there is no "feel like", that's 100% what I'm doing.  I know I shouldn't say sorry for posting my feelings/experiences on my own blog.  Honestly like 10 people read it, I don't know why I freak out so much.  I get stuck between hoping I'm not annoying someone, but also hoping me being real helps people?  Like, I hate when you read a profile on someone who has lost weight and it sounds like, "I just started eating chicken salads overnight like the easy switch went on and lost 40 pounds.  No big!" I think we all know it ain't that easy and linear.

This summer has truly been the worst.  I preface this by saying that I have total white girl problems, and acknowledge that.  But yeah, I've struggled and it feels like one hit after another.  The weather, some personal family stuff, work, and a million other little things that I worry about and feel down about.  My list is vague just because some things are private, some things are topics I don't like to discuss on the blog like politics and some things are just difficult to explain in general.  But I feel anxious as a baseline anymore.  And the big hit this week has been the big Eagle Creek fire that's been raging in Oregon.  There hasn't been much national news about it, but we've had this horrible wildfire happening started by snot nosed teenagers with fireworks.  And just oh my GOD don't get me started on how much I despise fireworks as it is but...anyway, it's been so difficult.  It's burned down 30,000+ acres of the Columbia River Gorge, which is one of the most beautiful places in the world and nature's version of church.  I think all of Oregon is in a state of grief right now.

On a health note, it ties in because the smoke has been so bad that not only have we not seen the sun for a week, but you can't breathe basically.  Even in the house and office we've struggled to breathe, and my throat has been killing me.  The sneezing and coughing we've all been doing at work would be comical under any other circumstance.  We had a team meeting yesterday and when any one of us would speak, we'd start losing our voice or coughing.  It's insane and I've never experienced anything like it.  We've skipped our work walk for 2 days because of the air quality, and I haven't worked out at all.

There is a positive note as there always is to these things, but it has been awe inspiring to see the community come together to provide aid to those who had to evacuate.  It's been even more inspiring to watch firefighters go above and beyond to save the Gorge.  I'm sure even outsiders know of Multnomah Falls, which is truly one of the most breathtaking places in Oregon.  At the foot of it there is a historic almost 100 year old lodge, which seemed inevitable to succumb to the fire since the falls were surrounded.  Instead, firefighters stayed overnight with their backs literally against the lodge, fighting off the fire.  They did indeed manage to save it, and even thinking about it makes me emotional all over again.  They saved something beautiful and old that we all enjoyed as children, and now many more generations will be able to fall in love with it too.  It's the little things sometimes.

But anyway, that's kind of been my deal.  It's summer, there's been a parade of depressing stuff and it's miserable.

I don't know if anyone watched the revival of Twin Peaks (it feels like basically Eric and I are the only two people who watched it), but there is a character on there who rants constantly about "shoveling yourself out of the shit".  I was annoyed by the character at first but as the season went on I must of drunk the kool-aid because that phrase has been on repeat in my head.  I just feel stuck.  My pants feel so uncomfortable.  I don't feel good about my body.  My stomach feels utterly awful.  I have zero energy and honestly don't care.  I just find myself going through these cycles.  I know that I need to shovel myself out of the shit but I really don't know how.

For me, the most miserable and difficult part of weight loss and sticking to a healthy lifestyle has never been portion control, exercising or making healthy choices.  It's always, always, always that initial push to get back and stay on track.  I don't know why it's so hard for me.  I know what being healthy feels like.  I know how good it feels.  There is literally NOTHING good that comes out of backsliding into eating like shit and not being active.  I felt on top of the world at the end of spring, and now I look in the mirror and feel disgust, which I haven't really felt about myself in a long time.  The bitch of it is, this isn't even coming from a place of enjoying eating poorly.  Every meal I just feel eh about.  I don't even feel that hungry at meals, I just eat easy, crappy food out of sheer apathy.  

And of course the simple answer is, well bitch, get it together then.  It's not rocket science.  I get and acknowledge that.  Yet here I sit.  I just honestly feel like this summer has broken my brain and my spirit.  I know I need to care.  I know that only I can do that for myself.  I keep clinging to the fact that it's September, and summer officially ends on the 22nd.  I don't know why that seems like the be all end all, other than the fact that summer is just representing misery to me.  I don't mean to be dramatic, it's just what it is.

It is reaching a crisis point though.  My jeans are at a stage where a choice needs to be made.  Either I buy bigger pairs or shovel myself out of the shit and go back down a better path.  As tired and as apathetic as I feel, I brought in one of the weeks I liked the most on our Fitness Blender meal plan and set it up in my calendar.  I'm going to go shopping on Saturday and start trying to white knuckle my way back to where I was.  I've got to at this point, because admitting defeat and buying bigger pants isn't really an option.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Space Oddity

Unless you live under a rock, you know that yesterday was the big fancy solar eclipse!  I hope that you were able to get out and see it in some way, shape or form.  We were incredibly lucky, because Oregon was in the path of totality.  Where I live got about 99% totality as opposed to places like Madras (central Oregon) and the coast, which both got 100%.  Regardless of the 1% difference, it was an incredible, amazing day and I'm so thankful we got to see it!

We requested to work from home since the traffic was predicted to be pretty much apocalyptic, and I'm so glad that we did.  I originally was like 'whatever' about the eclipse, mainly because I just had major fatigue from hearing about it on the news for months on end (as you can imagine, the coverage here was nonstop since last year).  As things drew closer, we both became pretty pumped about it and decided to go whole hog yesterday to celebrate.  I started the day by making us some Eclipse pancakes with Kodiak chocolate pancake mix and Bisquick.

We did have the correct viewing glasses ahead of time, Eric thankfully prompted me over a month ago with some links to the fancy ISO approved glasses so I ordered them from Amazon and we had them ready to go.  Good thing I did, because everywhere around here either sold out of glasses or had to recall faulty glasses.  Yikes!  No one likes a burned eyeball.  The smallest pack I could get was a three pack, so I gave the 3rd pair to my boss.  They are...not fashionable exactly, but eyesight is better than looking cute.

On Saturday we went out around the time the eclipse was supposed to happen so that we could see where the sun was at and if we could view the eclipse from our yard, or if we'd have to move down the street to view it.  We were stoked to see that we'd have a perfect view in our own backyard, so yesterday morning Eric got our chairs all set up and ready for prime time.  And because we are horrible people, we cracked the two eclipse themed beers we bought just for the occasion.  It was really good!

I love making playlists for things, so I set up a really good one for the eclipse viewing.  The track list went as follows:

1.  "Black Hole Sun" by Soundgarden
2.  "Brain Damage/Eclipse" by Pink Floyd
3.  "The Moonbeam Song" by Harry Nilsson
4.  "Moonbeam Levels" by Prince
5.  "Space Oddity" by David Bowie

We got all set up...

And we got a hell of a show.  I seriously have never experienced anything like that in my life, and I can see why people become eclipse chasers.  It was weird, eerie, beautiful and completely surreal.  Since we didn't get 100% totality it didn't go fully dark, but was this weird dusky vibe, as though we were looking at our yard through a greyish blue film or something.  I didn't bother trying to take pictures of the actual eclipse since I wanted to be truly present for it, and since no one wants to see my crappy Android pics of it, lol.  Eric and I held hands and just experienced it for the 20 minutes or so that it took to get to 99%.  It was truly special and something I'll never forget.

The rest of the day was pretty anticlimactic since I had to go back upstairs to my office and work.  For her part, my "coworker" didn't understand the fuss, slept through the eclipse, and was very happy when it was all over so we could go back upstairs and she could supervise me again.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Getting Better

I know that I'm well overdue for an update, especially after my last post!  Things are looking up a little, I know I was really glum last time, but it was just how I was (and somewhat still am) feeling.  I'm kind of starting to pull out of it though thankfully.

I know one should never self diagnose really, but I can pretty much say with confidence after the last month that I think I have reverse seasonal affective disorder.  It's something I've joked about over the years and I've always, always hated heat/summer, but this year really kind of brought home that 1) it's serious and 2) it's a pattern.  I realized that historically during the summer I get depressed, have difficulty coping with the most minor of stuff and experience a lot of lethargy and a feeling of hopelessness.  We had a heatwave the last two weeks that just about did me in (one day it got to 108).  Nothing got done.  I didn't cook, I didn't sleep well, and felt like an utter zombie at work.  The least little thing made me feel overwhelmed and tearful, and the sound of the AC and fans running constantly was beginning to really grate on me.  I could barely pull my shit together to prep for my SIL's visit last week.  (And if I wasn't depressed before, I definitely was after I got my electric bill for July, ouch.)  Inwardly I was screaming at myself to get it together and was so frustrated that I went from being so organized and on top of my health to being whiny bitch Mary from 2007.  And 2008.  And 2009.  You get the picture.

This week the heat broke, and it's like a switch got flipped back again.  I made a weekly menu for us the way I always do, I set up my workout calendar, I've been prepping meals, eating right, I'm sleeping well and feel a bit more like myself.  I've worked out every day and have felt great afterwards. Things haven't felt like such a struggle this week and I feel more level.  Knowing that fall is around the corner is making life bearable again.  It's made me realize the difference in my attitude and that clearly I am affected deeply by the weather.  It's been a bit of a mind f**k and made me have the "maybe this isn't funny" kind of epiphany.

Of course that brings up, what the hell should I do about this long term since I shouldn't just suffer for 3-4 months of the year.  I know the logical answer is "go to the doctor", but I have an almost pathological resistance to this on many levels.  I fought harder than I've ever fought for myself medically over my stomach issues, and no telling how many co-pays, elimination diets and wasted hours away from work later, the doctors never took me seriously and my stomach is still as ridiculous as ever.  And that's something in my mind that's serious, so the thought of walking into a doctor's office and saying that summer makes me sad and having them take me seriously?  Yeah, that'll happen.  I know that's a shitty attitude, but I've been burned by so many doctors over the years that the thought of having to go through some round of trying to get diagnosed with something makes me feel tired and drained.  And then what?  Do I go on medication?  It just all seems crazy and overwhelming to me.

Anyway, I guess that's down the road stuff that I need to figure out.  For the present, I definitely feel like I'm crawling out of a hole.  Between my sporadic workouts and crappy eating, I've lost some of my strength gains, so I've been taking it slow this week and ramping up again.  Instead of doing workouts that are 45 minutes of one thing, I've been doing combinations of short workouts.  For instance on Monday I did 15 minutes of HIIT followed by 10 minutes of lower body strength training.  Yesterday I started with 10 minutes of upper body strength training and ended with 20 minutes of ab work.  Yesterday was 10 minutes of lower body strength training and finishing off with 20 minutes of Pilates.  I've been striking the right balance it seems, because I've been sore after, but not painfully so.  As odd as this sounds, it feels good to be sore.  It just means muscle tears, and when those repair, I'll be stronger.  Rinse and repeat.  I've also found that doing several shorter workouts has somehow been less overwhelming, even though cumulatively I'm still working out the same amount.  It's easy to get through a set of strength training and push yourself when you know it's only 10 minutes.  Then I click the next video and say to myself "Oh this is only 15 minutes, I can get through that."  Cue the song "Head Games" by Foreigner.

I haven't really set a goal for next month (though my ladies and I are talking about a new challenge for September) and I'm not really stressing too hard with  my weight for the moment.  When I weighed this morning I was 182, which is thankfully down from a couple weeks ago.  That's the thing, if I get back into what I know works I don't have to worry about my weight because it will start coming off again.

Anyway, that's kind of the deal with all of that.  I actually have a lot more positive stuff to update with, including my SIL's visit, but this post is already so long!  Will write more soon!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


I've been trying to write this post (or any post really) on and off for two solid weeks.  I've been quietly riding the struggle bus for all of July, and it's been hard to find the motivation for much of anything, much less writing a post.  I'm forcing myself to do it today anyway though.

I don't really know what's up with me this month.  It's not like things are entirely off the rails and I'm binging or laying on the couch in the dark all day, but my spirit and a positive attitude really haven't been there at all.  It's hard to talk about and hard to explain, but things that usually are so easy for me feel like an absolute ordeal lately.  Putting together a simple salad for lunch feels like the equivalent of making a 6 course meal.  My 30 minute workouts that normally fly by and leave me feeling on top of the world have felt like never ending torture.  I wake up from a full 8 hours sleep and feel utterly exhausted.  I have zero interest in the blog, my music project or anything else that normally I'm all about.  It's been so frustrating, because at the end of the day I've got a great life and should be thankful.  But here I am, somehow mentally struggling.  Some days I constantly have a feeling of dread all day long, like something bad is going to happen at any second.  That's probably been the hardest because I feel like I have good instincts and intuition, so in my mind feeling like something bad will happen = 100% something bad will happen.  It's put me on edge and makes me feel like I'm in fight or flight a lot of the time, waiting for a shoe to drop that never does.  Other days its just been the exhaustion thing.  It's frustrating because it's felt so sudden.  Last month I felt like the love child of Wonder Woman and Arya Stark, this month I'm all Eeyore with a major tack in my ass.

It's not like there's some big bombshell horrible thing going on.  I mean, I've got stuff I'm dealing with, but it's things that normal people deal with like annoying work stuff, family stuff etc.  I'm not a special snowflake, it's all standard normal adult bs.  Yet I've just found myself kind of dragged down and feeling a bit defeated about tons a little things, death by a thousand cuts as it were.  I really hate it.  I don't even want to talk to anyone because I just feel like I'm not adding anything to the conversation other than crop dusting my shitty negativity all over the place.  It's why I haven't blogged either.  I did a gross amount of whining when I first started this thing.  Who wants to hear that nonsense?  No one, that's who.

I have tried my best to stay on track, and as I said, I'm not completely off the rails.  I'm like 80% staying with clean eating, so thankfully there's no junk in the house.  If binge eating happened, it would literally have to be with spinach, berries or rice cakes.  Honestly, I haven't even been that hungry and kind of have had to force myself to eat meals, so the danger for a binge hasn't really been there.  But I've gone from working out 6 days a week to maybe managing 2 days.  Too many treat meals, drinking and sweets are creeping back into our life.  None of it is to a crisis point, my weight is stable and maintaining, but I hate the feeling of not caring.  I really do.  Everything I do to stay on track is more out of obligation or faking it until I make it, not out of any enthusiasm or "Yay for health!"  I hate that too, because getting myself together with my workouts and eating was such a source of pride and happiness for me.  I've felt so good about my body the last few months.  I want to be genuinely happy and enthusiastic about it all again and put effort into it.

Anyway, I'm here.  I'm sure it will pass.  I'm still trucking along and doing my thing.  I promise the next post will be more positive!