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.  I...am...so...excited!!

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.