Checking In

Let me start off by saying, this is a way for me to get it out, a way of journaling. By sharing it here I feel like I might help someone else know they aren’t alone in feeling the way that I do. I talked about this last night with my husband and he listened – but I really think he just doesn’t understand all the emotions (or lack there of) that I’m experiencing. So if you aren’t into reading about all my current woes then here’s your chance to bail.

When we started “stay home, stay safe” for COVID back in March, I thought it would be fine – temporary. I figured I was home most of the time anyway. How hard could it be. Then weeks turned into months and shit just kept getting weirder in the world. All of the things I enjoyed doing – grocery shopping, regular shopping, visiting state parks, geocaching- the list goes on, became an unpleasant experience. Grocery Shopping felt like the Hunger Games and only now feel slightly better. Shopping at Target or Walmart is depressing – shelves are bare and everyone looks sad. I haven’t even tried to go to one of my favorite places – IKEA – because I just don’t want to ruin it for myself. I just don’t find it to be an enjoyable experience anymore – now I only go to the store for purpose or necessity. State Parks are busy and limited capacity – when before some of my favorite places were near empty. I haven’t even gone to some of my favorite nearby places to visit for the same reason – not wanting to ruin the memory of it. I miss my summer trips to Newport, Salem and Mystic.

We’ve also had some crazy family stuff happen during all this and there’s all sorts of emotions that happen with that. I only mention them to add to “where I’m at”, but haven’t really shared much outside of my house. There are some things that are meant to stay in house. It’s just been… emotional.

I’ve been trying to keep my boys out of the general public during all of this too. I hate seeing them wearing masks. Yes, I know the importance for wearing a mask – so don’t come at me for that. That’s why I just keep them home as much as possible. I don’t take them out for errands if at all possible and we are keeping them home this fall to continue distance learning for this same reason. I think the mask wearing and social distancing will be more detrimental than keeping them home with me. I am hopeful it’s short term. Most of my friends are sending their kids back in person. I respect them for that. It’s a tough decision either way. I wish I could do it too, but I also think my anxiety would be in high gear all the time. Keeping them home with me if for my mental health too. Hopefully I won’t have to fight with them as much this time around to do the work!

So after all of that, I completely lost my mojo about a month ago. I took a week off from working out, that turned into two and now I’m pushing four. I’m sleeping late and can barely find the motivation to do the simple day to day stuff. Yesterday was the eye opener for me that I am on depression’s doorstep y’all. I’m about to knock to have her let me in to join in her misery. I’ve got all the classic signs. I know them well. I’ve travelled this road a few times, it’s been a while since my last visit and I’m really wanting to bypass this stay. By classic signs – for me – I mean – no joy in the things that used to make me happy, not working at my fun job (my Etsy shop) as much as I would like, feeling empty, stopping working out, getting up late, going to bed early, not wanting to socialize with friends as much, not wanting to leave the house, eating…a lot, but then not wanting to cook dinner. There’s some of the things I’ve noticed. There’s also a lot of negative self talk happening and constant jealousy of anyone experiencing success-in anything- I have no limits on that one. It’s an awful trait that I tend to have. Comparison to others is a toxic trail to take. I need to pull a u-turn and come back to home base on that. It makes me feel ugly and pulls me deeper into where I don’t want to be.

I’m hoping that by writing this and sharing what I’m trying to do will help me climb out and get back to “normal”. I want to workout (weirdo right?) because my awful body issues are also rearing too. I keep thinking – “if I lose 10, 20, blah blah pounds I’ll for sure feel better” – then I eat two snickers ice cream cones – yep that happened yesterday. Here’s the thing, my brain knows that working out provides endorphins. Those endorphins after 30/60 minutes of exercise can be similar to taking an antidepressant. It’s proven to work if you can get your depressed ass moving. BUT THAT’S THE STUPID CRAZY PART! You’re so deep in your head that you talk yourself out of getting those endorphins!

I committed myself to a 18.9 mile virtual race this month. That I told myself I would complete by the last day of September. That means I have to move at least the amount of time it takes me to complete those nearly 19 miles. If I walk for 15 minutes a day I’ll hit my goal. I have to do something to motivate myself because the idea of being uncomfortable in my skin isn’t quite enough right now.

At the same time I’ve been trying to eat a little better. But that’s truly laughable, because who eats right when they’re stressed and feeling miserable. I’m trying to track what I eat and I even signed up for a nutrition webinar in about a week. We’ll see how that goes.

If you’re still with me-thank you. I’d like (to try again) to update more regularly. I mean I pay for this freaking blog, you’d think I’d publish more. (Facepalm) My kids are heading back to school (in my office) on the 10th – so wish me luck. I need to find that “me” time quickly in order to manage having them here all day again. Just sitting in the office with me from 7:30 to 3 every day. At least the first two days are early release?

Be Optimistic and Realistic

disney-inspirational-life-quotes-Favim.com-956876“Don’t Worry, Be Happy”.  It’s a catchy tune, sure, but it’s not the best approach to success!  Overly optimistic thinking goes like this ” I went WAY over my calorie budget today, but I’ll get back on track tomorrow, somehow”.  While it’s helpful to assert good intentions (rather than beating yourself up) being vague about how you’ll recover isn’t helpful.  Thinking things will get better somehow, without having a plan to make it happen, can derail your weight loss efforts because we need to identify what needs to change and than set specific steps to change it.  So for instance the fix for going over your daily calorie budget could be to plan out your day for tomorrow. While most unhelpful thinking styles are negative (example beating yourself up) the don’t worry be happy style feels helpful and positive.  But it too can lead to feelings and actions or more often, inactions that undermine our journey.  Because it masquerades as something positive, this thinking style might demand a little practice and shift.

An example on how to manage this type of thinking was provided by the Weight Watchers Weekly on this subject.  It teaches you a way to “balance your thinking”.

  1. Identify your “don’t worry be happy” thought. (Example: I ate way more than I planned at my lunch date today. I’ll get back on track later.)
  2. Reality check it.  Ask yourself “what needs to happen to make this true?”  Use your answer to shift to a helpful thought that has one ot more back on track solutions. (example: If I make a plan, I will be able to get back on track later.  I could track what I ate.)
  3. Plan what you’ll do.  Choose one action from your ideas above that’s doable.  Make a specific plan for what you’ll do, when you’ll do it and who you’ll do it with (if anyone). (example: I’ll track what I ate at lunch during my 3pm break at my desk by myself.  That’ll help me see how many calories I’ve used and decide what to eat for dinner)

I’m a good one for this kind of thinking.  I am a big “don’t worry, be happy” thinker when it comes to my weight loss journey.  That’s why it’s ben so SLOW!  I’m always saying to myself “it’s ok tomorrow will be better” – spoiler alert- tomorrow is never better.  The action plan above is great and something I am going to give a try!

Cleanse Day One

Well. I’ve decided to give the Standard Process 21 Day Cleanse another shot. My main goal in doing this again is not for weight loss (although I wouldn’t be mad if I lost some weight) but to regain healthy eating habits. Even though I’ve been tracking with weight watchers over the last year or so the scale really hasn’t moved. Basically it’s because I’ve been cheating myself. Either not working out or fooling myself on serving sizes. I snack with my kids and don’t track it or I eat 5 of something but only track one. Sweets. Oh yummy sweets. These are my downfall. This is where I go when I’m stressed. I’ll bake a cake. Eat half. With the promise to myself that I’ll do better the next day. 

So. Day one was yesterday April 7th. I had 3 shakes with varied ingredients. For food I had 1 egg with 3 egg whites and about 3oz of corned beef. It smelled too good to pass up. I also kept my cup of coffee in the morning with fat free half & half. When I came home from a meeting I ate the last piece of cake too. I ate a total of 37 smart points. Not horrible. But not 100% the plan, but better than I was eating before. I feel great. Keeping the coffee in I had no headaches. 
I’m looking forward to keeping this going!

Achieve Your Goals: How to Keep Your Drive Alive

1. Motivation Mistake: Setting the Bar Too Low
“I’ll do my best” sounds like a worthy vow to make, but it can actually suck the motivation right out of you. “This type of vow is vague, making you more likely to procrastinate,” says Gary Latham, Ph.D., a professor of organizational effectiveness at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. The result? A mediocre or disappointing performance.

Solution: To step up your game, set attainable goals that are clear and challenging and give yourself a deadline. “Specific goals help focus your attention and increase your effort, which helps you persist longer,” says Latham. And since you have a plan of action and a time frame, you’re less apt to put things off. Another important point: Concentrate on three to five big goals at a time. “Any more and your eyes glaze over and you burn out,” says Latham.
2. Motivation Mistake: Testing Your Willpower
We spend three to four hours a day resisting the things we desire, says Roy F. Baumeister, Ph.D., coauthor of Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength. That’s why you can turn down that frosted doughnut in the morning but have a harder time resisting the drive-through after work.
Willpower can be exhausted from overuse, research shows, and when this happens, your brain either makes impulsive decisions or stalls out. “You shy away from complicated decision-making when your willpower is depleted,” says Baumeister. “Rather than trying to perform the mental trade-offs to decide what’s best, you look at one factor such as which item on the menu is cheaper, and base your choice on that.” And, he adds, “the more often and the more recently you’ve resisted desires, the more depleted you are and the more likely you’ll give in to the next one.”
Solution: Try to take away some of those temptations—for example, reroute your drive home to bypass your favorite fast-food joint. Also, be sure to clock sufficient sleep and eat well and regularly. “When willpower is low, the brain craves glucose, but it’s better to have something that will stabilize blood glucose over a period of time, such as lean protein,” says Baumeister.
3. Motivation Mistake: Aiming to Please Others
All that energy and determination you have when you first pinpoint a goal? It’ll fade away if your motivation is sparked by the wrong things. For instance: “At the start of a weight-loss program, you’re probably motivated by the desire to be slimmer, not to eat less and exercise more,” says Kelly Webber, Ph.D., R.D., author of a study in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. And that kind of drive tends to be fueled by external reasons (“My class reunion is in two months!”)–and is much less apt to end in success, according to this study. What works is autonomous motivation, when you want to do something for yourself. Webber found that women’s motivation levels in the fourth week of a weight-loss plan predicted whether they’d drop pounds and last all 16 weeks of the program. At the four-week point, you know what it takes to be successful– and if you’re still enthusiastic, chances are you’ll keep at it.

Solution: To get yourself to that magic point, “find a friend, family member, or expert who can help you problem-solve when you struggle,” says Webber.
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SEE IT, BE IT?
Visualizing your success isn’t the best motivator, according to new research in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. You may end up overlooking potential trip-ups and zap your chance to figure out ways to overcome or avoid them, say researchers at New York University. Plus, picturing yourself reaching your goal tricks you into feeling as if you’re already there, so your brain starts to relax, your blood pressure falls, and you slide into complacency. Visualization of success isn’t all bad, though; it can help you chill in stressful situations and determine which goals to tackle next.

Published: January 19, 2012  |  By Brittany Risher
Womens Health Magazine

The Fast-and-Furious Interval Routine

Get a full cardio workout in just 20 minutes with this interval routine. 

When you’re short on time, your best bet for an efficient and effective workout is amping up the intensity of your slow-and-steady pace, which will burn more total calories each minute during your workout—and, some speculate, may also suppress your appetite. Whether you prefer to swim, run, bike, hike, or walk, this cardio intervals workout, created by Todd A. Astorino, Ph.D, an associal professor of kinesiology at California State University at San Marcos, will make sure you get the biggest calorie burnout of 20 minutes.

0:00-5:00
Warm up, moving at a slow pace.

5:00-6:00
Go all out, pushing yourself as hard and fast as possible.

6:00-7:00
Active recovery: Catch your breath.

7:15-18:30
Repeat minutes 5:00 to 7:15 five times.

18:30-20:00
Cool down.