12.1.2017

So this daily posting thing is really a challenge! I quite seriously thought about it every single night this week. But I just haven’t done it. Last night, I almost wrote a blog post, but my computer was low on batteries, and what little energy I had to write was just defeated by the prospect of having to get out of bed to plug my computer in.

I did, however, resolve to go to bed early, even though there were lots of things that could have held my attention, and honestly, they did hold my attention longer than I’d like to admit.

But here I am, at 7:06am, writing a blog post!

There are a few things I could write about today, considering I haven’t written a post since Sunday. Here’s what on my mind:

  1. I exercised today!
  2. I remembered that I signed up for a 5K today!
  3. I learned how someone else prioritizes sleep, and she’s a lot like me!

I exercised today!

I have been traveling for work Tuesday through Friday, and the past two days it would have been so easy to exercise. Yesterday morning, I almost exercised. I got up early enough, but I really just didn’t use my time wisely. I was googling things on the internet and just distracted. If I dig a little bit deeper, I can recognize that I just didn’t FEEL LIKE exercising yesterday, so I avoided the opportunity by wasting time. Then last night, I could have exercised, but I was really tired, and I just wanted to go to bed. I could have fallen asleep earlier, but instead I watched a story about domestic violence on Investigation Discovery. I don’t have cable, so it was hard to pass up the opportunity.

But this morning, I felt great! I definitely get a mood boost on Fridays. I slept well, and even though I woke up at 4am, I decided to sleep until 5:00am because I will be providing a challenging training today, and we will be traveling home until 9:00pm tonight, so I didn’t want to get prematurely tired.

Anyway, I got up and did my journaling, which felt amazing – I didn’t struggle with it like I did yesterday. Yesterday, I would write a sentence, and then I would want to look something up on the internet, or write down a task I needed to complete. I couldn’t just keep writing.

Today, though, I set a timer for 30 minutes so that I wouldn’t have an excuse to look at my phone to check the time, but I didn’t have that urge or that distraction problem today anyway. Then I had no problem just changing my clothes and getting on a treadmill. I did about 20 minutes on the treadmill, and in the process, I remembered that I signed up for a 5K.

Oh yeah, I signed up for a 5K.

I set goals, and then I forget I ever had them. I believe this is a trait of people who have ADHD. I find that I have to have daily cues to remind myself of the path that I’m on. So, being on the road made it really easy to forget that goal.

I wish I could explain how completely I forget about plans or goals. I only signed up for the 5K November 15. I wrote it down on my calendar and counted the weeks I had to start running and prepare for it. Less than a week later, I forgot. I was reminded by looking at my calendar. I even put reminders in my phone!  Appointments to run!

On Sunday, I literally made appointments for myself EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK until December 31 for what my workouts should look like. I literally forgot I even had a goal, so it is a given that I would forget I also had a plan.

But now I wonder if I set myself up to forget it. Setting up the reminders meant that my phone would remind me, so I didn’t need to remember. Unfortunately, I just looked through my phone to find out why it didn’t remind me, and it turns out, alerts/alarms are not the default setting on my phone. So, I would have needed to set an alert for every single appointment as well.  I suppose I could fix that. It is just a time sink.

It dawned on me that I had a goal while I was on the treadmill.  I was walking at a slow pace but intermittently doing things like walking lunges, and walking sideways to get my heartrate up. I thought, “Should I try running just a little bit?” and then, “WHY?!? That sounds awful compared to the comfortable little bursts you’re doing right now” and then it hit me: OMG I’m supposed to be preparing to run a 5K. SHIT. I have lost a whole week where I could have been improving my cardiovascular function.

Well, now I remember. So I will change those appointments to have an alert and maybe even set an additional alarm.

Prioritizing Sleep

I do my best to get up at 4am every day because it is a time of day that I enjoy the most. It’s quiet, I can do whatever I want.

However, I struggled with feeling like not quite an adult about it. I would skip all kinds of chores to get in bed. If I planned to do laundry, but I didn’t do it by the time I wanted to be in bed, I would just let it go. Sometimes, this even meant the smallest of tasks.  Sometimes, I just got to a point where I ended the day, no matter if my face was washed or my teeth were brushed. I just decided I would absolutely not delay it for one more minute.

I’d like to be more like the people who have certain habits that they carry out religiously, regardless of how tired, drunk, or uncomfortable they are doing it. I’ve heard that this is the difference between “messies” (that’s me) and “cleanies”. I got those terms from a book about organizing and cleaning that I should probably check out again.

But I felt better when I saw a friend’s Facebook Live video where she talked about how she prioritized sleep because she doesn’t perform well on less than 7.5 hours (hello that’s me!). And she said things like, “I PRIORITIZE IT. That means, if when 8:00pm rolls around, if there are toys on the floor and dishes in the sink, I leave them there.”  BAM! I now realized I wasn’t just a “messy” who isn’t consistent with a routine (although that is true).  I also was PRIORITIZING SLEEP.

This was a revelation that gave me permission to KEEP DOING WHAT WORKS FOR ME. I would love to be a person who DOES IT ALL and HAS IT ALL, but for now, it felt great to know that other people in the world make the same choices I do, and I don’t think any less of them for it. In fact, I already admire that person. This really gave me the freedom to TRUST MYSELF.

Ok that’s all for today.

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11.26.2017

This daily blogging habit is really slippery. I sat down last night and wrote about a revelation I had yesterday, but it literally never crossed my mind to write my daily blog.

So as a recap of yesterday, my whole body hurt from doing Power Yoga the day before. I was exceptionally tired, which I can only guess was from doing power yoga.

So I managed to do some writing for pleasure, and some deep practice writing. And then I ate lunch and tried to buy groceries, but man, I was so tired I couldn’t keep a train of thought.

Even late at night, I knew I should do things like laundry or make a list of things to pack for the trip I’m taking this week – but no. I actually took a bath and stayed in there for 45 minutes, fully undecided on what to do next. I even had a hard time deciding to even wash my hair. This should not have been a hard decision.

I got in bed around 8:00pm, and you’d think that I would fall right asleep, but I didn’t. I scrolled for almost two hours on social media. I got up at 4:20am this morning, so hopefully I’ll still fall asleep easily tonight, although I will be at work until 9:00pm at the least.

I need an alarm to remind me to blog!

As far as food goes, I tried to make good choices for lunch. I went to Wegmans, thinking I would get a salad – the lies I tell myself! I ended up getting some Chinese, which I didn’t even enjoy, to tell you the truth. I also got some mac and cheese. Which I also didn’t enjoy – that is unheard of. I’m not sure why, but that’s what happened.

For dinner, Matt and I cooked a Blue Apron meal – seared chicken with sweet potatoes and kale.

Daily Blogging and Accountability

So I forgot to blog at the end of the day yesterday – again! I did have an eventful day, but I’m trying not to let my evening routine be destroyed by the feeling of being tired. That’s ok, I’ll try again today/tonight!

So yesterday, I DID make it to Power Yoga!  And I was anxious, but I realized that so were a lot of other people. It was interesting to watch. I did my very best to do everything that I could – to really push myself, and I did. In fact, I started to feel sick – and again, this is where I had to toe the line between pushing myself and not having to tap out of the class early because I pushed myself to the point of being sick.

One thing that I find remarkable is that I will think I am in the pose as much as I can be, and Kerry will come by and help me “find it” a little better. It’s really incredible, if you ask me. So here I was, in triangle (I think), and I am doing my damn best (in my mind, at least).  But Kerry came by, and helped me twist a little more, reach a little more, and then REPEAT – and WHOA!  I didn’t know I could do that! It was incredible, and I was so glad I came.

For the day, I tried to track what I ate – and who knew that Wegmans has bar codes on their food items in their buffet line?  I was waffling between a big fat turkey sub (I was HUNGRY!), and the second Thanksgiving dinner they had on the buffet.  I knew I should not have the sub. At least if I had the Thanksgiving dinner, I could have real turkey.  So I did that, and I had stuffing, potatoes, and gravy. My goal is not YET to necessarily CHANGE what I’m eating, but just to get into the habit of TRACKING IT.  I thought I ate like 800 calories, which should have sufficed, but I was still hungry afterward. So I decided to just be hungry. I ate SO MUCH around Thanksgiving, that my guess is, my body is just expecting me to gorge for every meal, and I don’t want to do that.

So then I came home tried to do some work, but eventually I had to take a nap because Power Yoga really wipes me out. When Matt came home we went out to eat at this Mexican place, and I realized that it would be REALLY HARD to track those calories. I had guacamole and chips – but how much of either? I don’t know. I had some of Matt’s meal of three different enchiladas, with rice and some kind of chipotle sauce – but how much? I have no idea.

So I guess another lesson learned is to be MINDFUL of what I’m eating and how much. That’s a different habit to get into with eating well and tracking food.

Today 11/26/2017, my goal is to go for a little walk/run to start training for this 5K on December 31. I guess I should look up that plan!

Season of Self-Care: Take Two

It’s been a month since I decided to blog every day and put my own self-care first.

BIG FAT FAIL.

But here I am blogging.  And all I’m going to say is that I’m experimenting with repeatedly asking myself “Does this move me toward or away from my goal?” with every decision I make.  Really, I’m trying to make it a refrain.

I learned that I fall prey to a very common pattern of behavior: I’ll do something good, like go to the gym or eat on plan for a day (ok let’s be real, for ONE MEAL).  And then my brain decides that because it took effort to “be good” I now have the right or permission to “be bad”. It’s almost as if I automatically frame choices that would change my behavior, habits, and ultimately my health and productivity as a COST THAT NEEDS TO BE OFFSET by equal but opposite spending.  Eat a salad for lunch?  Have ice cream!  Balance, right?  Wrong.

So, I think if I keep the refrain “Does this move me toward or away from my goal” I can stop framing my choices as “good” or “bad” and maybe actually make some progress.  Here goes!

Self-Care Starters

My PUSH goal for my Season of Self-Care is to blog every day.  It is my PUSH goal because it will help my other self-care goals come to fruition.

Right now, I’m writing in the morning, but I am working toward making it a habit to blog at night, after the day is over.

I am happy to report that I’ve been to the gym every day this week except for today!  Today my schedule is a little bit different.  If I’m honest with myself, I planned to get up and go for a run, but I didn’t do that.

So I am making a commitment to get some exercise in later today.  Ugh.  That feels insurmountable. But it would be really pleasing to go to a walk/run after work today. It’s 61 degrees of a high today, so I can actually ride my bike home from work, and maybe just KEEP RIDING.  There’s an awesome trailhead near the Arboretum on campus, and I bet Matt would be willing to go with me.

Otherwise, I made poor choices for food yesterday.  I have been eating a very healthy and gluten-free breakfast – sautéed peppers, onions, and kale with sweet potato hash browns and three eggs over easy, and sometimes I also have a Shakeology shake. For lunch this week, I’ve had a delicious chicken ceasar salad with arugula – and for some reason, I’ve been having a slice of pizza too.  I’m trying to clean that up.

But yesterday, I decided to have a slice of white pizza and chicken parm with spaghetti.  Whoa.  Oh I remember why.  I was super tired.  I fell asleep at 11:00pm and woke up at 3:30am.

Anyway, today, I’m going to try the arugula salad again, and probably finish the spaghetti. Let’s be honest. I have brussel sprouts with pancetta and sweet potatoes – I can eat that for dinner with some salmon.

Goal:  blog later tonight too.

Little Allowances

For some reason this past week, I’ve started to allow little things to sneak through my nutrition plan. It was a little chips and guacamole here, some Girl Scout cookies there, but I know better! 

Today, I went to an event at night on campus, and while being tired can inhibit your ability to stay disciplined, I did not help myself out. I entertained the thoughts of the buffalo mac and cheese, the breaded chicken tenders, the veggie won tons, and the homemade chips. Then I ate it all. 

Now here’s the thing. I enjoy my meal plan for the most part, but what I really like is that I have even energy all day long and I’m seeing changes like better sleep, better focus, and a stronger sense of control in my life. Eating off plan means I lose some of those amazing benefits, so I’ve got to do some soul-searching tomorrow to find out what program is running in my head that is making it ok to stray. 

My strategy for not straying is simple. Do not even entertain the thought. Every time you want to eat something off plan, recognize that as a red flag that your brain is about to take you roughshod straight to the burgers and ice cream. The entertaining weakens your resolve (at least it does for me). Recognizing the red flag creates a little space between me and it, and that space allows me time to make a conscious decision to stay on track, and that usually means abstaining. 

I had a treat if some kind every day this week, so I can expect not to see much change in my measurements this week.