Tag Archives: wellness

now what?

4 Mar

I got into the New York City Marathon.  Now what?  Seriously, I still can’t believe it.  I’ll be sitting here or cleaning or trying to fall asleep and it will pop into my mind.  “I can’t believe it!” jumps up and down in my brain.  Yay!

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I’ve already decided on a few things.  First and foremost, I’m going to do my best to get and stay healthy.  February and currently bestowed on me some influenza and a bad cold/cough.  Part of this is due to my sleep patterns not supporting a healthy body!  I’ll go to bed in the wee hours and then get up early.  I’m probably averaging 4 hours of sleep per night.  It’s no wonder my immune system is susceptible to the invasion of opportunistic germs.

I already started to evaluate my eating habits.  To be fair, I’m not bingeing on junk food.  I also haven’t been eating enough quality foods.  Or enough food in general.  My berry obsession is still going strong and I’ve started actually cooking dinner rather than eating Skinny Pop and whatever else I could scavenge from my cupboards.  Again, perhaps the reason my immune system hasn’t been rocking out some virus-fighting warriors?!

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it’s a good plan

Getting out and about for fresh air and exercise.  I’m a natural homebody and because I work from home, I sometimes forget to get outside.  This certainly isn’t the case for everyone who works from home, it’s simply true for me.  I think my body will appreciate some vitamin D, a cold breeze, and a little exercise.

Last and key to what I plan to be a solid training cycle, I’m going to drop down to the 10k from the 1/2 in the North Olympic Marathon weekend.  In the past, I would throw caution to the wind and push my body to complete a race I set my sights on, no matter if I was ready or not.  I’ve chronicled such experiences in the past right here.  Ummm … many times!  My plan was to do the 1/2 but this would mean crunching training and not taking enough time to build a decent base.  I REALLY don’t want to drop down – I was/am super excited to participate in this local race.  Nevertheless, I need to consider the long game.  I did a doozy on my knee in the Detroit Marathon and getting myself thrown out of the training/end game because of my pride is silly.

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pull it together Amy-girl!

 

Another part of this training plan, is to build a fitness base that is more than running.  I know, I know – I’ve talked about this before and failed miserably.  It truly is something I want to do.  I know I’m capable.  Now it means putting it into action <– this is typically where I fall short!  So how will I accomplish this?  I want to be transparent here, I don’t know.  I always wanted to kick some booty in past races, so this was never the problem.  The only thing I can think of is jump in, but I’m open to advice here.  In fact, I would really appreciate advice!  How do you create and follow through on a well-rounded training cycle?

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I’m super ready to hear your tips and tricks!

***If you can’t tell, I adore Emma Stone!

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wellness update wk 3

9 Feb

I considered not writing this post as I didn’t make a whole lot of progress with my wellness mission this past week.  But set-backs are normal and I want to make sure I’m being honest with myself more than anything.

Mind:

Yesterday I had some serious anxiety.  I didn’t jump back into my experiment and sat around for a long while.  During this time, I checked out prices for airline tickets to Paris, considered and debated some thoughts for my future and then tried to imagine the details of said thoughts and possible plans.  For instance, what if I decide to move back to WA?  Do you know how much coordination this would take?  The details of getting Simon there alone started making me feel all panicky.  It didn’t help that I was doing nothing but watching tv so my mind was kind of numb and had plenty of room for anxiety.

he is a beast in the car but a cutie

he is a beast in the car but a cutie

Last week did have some perks.  I really thought my birthday would throw a major wrinkle into my week but aside from some eating overdoses, mentally, I felt pretty good.  I mentioned this last week and even a few days later, I’m not experiencing any “I’m so old, what am I going to do?!” thoughts and feelings.  Well, minus some of the ones listed above but those have been around for a while now.

I need to work on getting more sleep this week because I know this played a role in the days when I was more nervous than necessary.

Body

Ummm… fell off the wagon a bit with regards to working out.  Okay, I fell off the wagon pretty hard.  This is one area where I REALLY didn’t want to come clean because I feel some guilt – which is silly but I felt it all the same.  I know it happens but I only worked out 3 days.  Monday (again, a yay!), Friday and Sunday.  None of these even felt very productive or all that great.  And again, no swimming.

yeah, I didn’t get anywhere with my fitness this week

My eating also jumped the tracks.  Birthday dinner and a couple of treats, which I don’t really count.  But I had enough Red Robin to last me two more days and I certainly took advantage of this.  I didn’t really cook anything either so as I’m typing this I am not even sure of what I ate.  I did find a couple of ready-made meals I can turn to in a pinch made by Blake’s (such a tasty pot pie!) and Udis.  I find this helpful even though I need to make sure I don’t turn to these all that often.  It’s pricey!

I mentioned the lack of sleep deal, which was probably also influenced by my lack of working out.  The thing is, I had an unexpected day off (Snow day!) and then I was sick in the middle of the week and had the afternoon off.  I don’t know, my health felt all kinds of messed up this past week.

Typically, I like to include some ways in which I was successful but with regards to my physical health I can’t remember a whole lot of redeeming moments. Oh well, maybe that’s why Mondays roll around.  Wait!  I salad for lunch three days last week!  I do realize I can’t/won’t make the best choices all of the time so I’m not beating myself up all that much, just stating the truth.

So here’s to the start of a new week!  I’m traveling to Chicago for a work event on Tuesday and we are eating at The Cheesecake Factory.  I’ve found a couple of items I can eat but I PROMISE you I will bring back a piece of cheesecake.  I will consider it a “win” if I only bring back one piece!

must stay strong in the realm of all that is cheesecake deliciousness!

wellness update week 2

1 Feb

Snow day!  It was called last night at 7 pm.  This is huge.  Usually, if there is a snow day called I get the notification at 5 am because they wait to make sure there is no possible way to stay open.  That should give you a hint of the giant chunk of snow that fell.  As my dear friend said, “it’s the universe gift to you for your birthday!”  Good omen for a good year?

Anyway, we are here to talk wellness from this past week.

Mind

The first part of last week was pretty stressful.  I did some tapping & was pleased to see it helped.  The days went by quickly as I had twice the number of meetings during the week as before.  I also felt really productive this week, which is always nice.

check this out - an empty to do list!

check this out – an empty to do list!

Friday was an anxious morning.  I had bad dreams the night before & didn’t get to see some of my usual suspects who help ease some of it.  Instead, I broke down to office mate within 5 minutes of him coming to the office.  Don’t you wish you could share an office with me?!

A big mood booster mid-week was a yummy dinner with a dear friend!  Nothing like good food & good talk.

Last, the whole birthday thing… It’s looming (tomorrow!!) & filling my mind with all kinds of doubts, big plans, angst, & being grateful to be around to see this day again.  However, it dawned on me that I’m now officially old enough to have a midlife crisis.  An actual MID-LIFE crisis-whaaa?!?!

Body

I worked out 5 days last week! I have no idea when the last time this happened.  Years?!  Monday was 3.5 miles-3 on the treadmill & a 1/2 mile around campus.  Tuesday was the same scenario/mileage.  Remember?  I don’t do Monday work outs.  Eww-gross.  So, my actions were worthy of these honorable mentions.  Wed, dinner & Thursday was another rest day.  I had no juice in the tank.  Friday looked to be the same-I was even in my running skirt but the couch was so inviting & Simon so snuggly.  BUT I made it, for 2 miles.

Science experiment: see the details here.  I followed through.  Announcing it to you all was a big help, office mate knew & wanted an update & my sister called to get some details.  Saturday-5 miles & most of those were running.  I put 1/2 of my running clothes on straight-away, only drank 1/2 of my coffee & then magically enough was on the tready.  My stomach seemed to do pretty well with this plan.  I was hungry afterward & downed 2 hard-boiled eggs quickly.  Too much for the ol’tum for a couple of hours.  I was really productive for the rest of the day, too.  Laundry, dishes, kitchen cleaning, energy bite making, Old Navy run & vacuuming.

Sunday.  I definitely had less enthusiasm for the experiment & I drew out my 1/2 cup of coffee for longer than I should’ve!  Nevertheless, as I was in 1/2 of my running gear, I got on the treadmill.  I wasn’t feeling good enough for running, so I walked 5 miles instead.  I did feel better after the walking session. And it made 19 miles for the week!  Wahoo!  I’ve made some good progress the last 3 weeks: 7 miles, 10 & now 19. I’m pleased.  31 miles for January!

The experiment was a success.  I’m going to give it a go for the next few wkends to see if this is real change and a real help to my health.  Yep, I did learn something in those bio classes – repeat those experiments.

No swimming though, as I’d hoped.  Part of it was I just too cold to want to get all wet in a pool.  Then there is this 8k on Saturday.  So I concentrated on running.  I also did better with following my combo diets so while I don’t feel excellent it was much better than the week prior.  Progress?  Better follow-through?  I’m playing it safe for a while in regards to food-apparently gut healing takes some time.  Must heal the tummy!!

weekly wellness recap

26 Jan

I’ve decided to do a weekly wellness check in – maybe I can help others who are struggling with similar issues?  Also, I want to write out what I am doing to help avoid making the same mistakes and repeat some of the successes.

Mind Arena:

As mentioned, this was an emotional week.  I soak up the emotions of others – especially those I really care about.  I’m slowly learning to turn down my emotional permeability to detrimental or unnecessary emotions but I’m a work in progress on that front.  With regards to people who are dear to me though, all bets are off.  This definitely created some angst to my physical and emotional self.

A good point though was during one or two days when regular work stress was hitting the fan, I was able to utilize tapping to ease it in the moment along with working out in the evenings (more on this in a moment).  Both of these gave me a boost of confidence that in time, I might be able ease more of my current and future physical pain/symptoms.

Oh and I continued to ease my troubled mood with some Parks and Rec each evening – seriously helped.  Not to mention satisfying my craving for waffles (thanks to Leslie Knope for initiating that craving!).  And a wonderful gift from a friend – Trex socks!  I know, how lucky am I?!

when I look at my feet I get happy

when I look at my feet I get happy

Body Arena:

Last week was a three day work out week.  Not as good as the week before, however, I did have 4 work outs, so that’s something!  But I really shouldn’t write about work outs until AFTER they happen.  Thursday night I was all set for a swim.  Unfortunately there was another swim meet.  Instead, I hit 4 miles on the treadmill friends.  It was a struggle.  I REALLY wanted to give up at mile 3 but hung until the end.  Friday was a really bad stomach day but still hit 3 miles – walking, you know, to make sure I didn’t vomit on my cat.  Always a good thing, eh?

ha!

So, a brief recap: Tuesday night, 30 min swim, followed by 3 miles on the treadmill.  Thursday, 4 miles, and Friday 3 more.  This past weekend was a ROUGH one.  The doc did say exercise helps with both the acid issues and IBS but even after stuffing a ton of meds down my throat during the day, I wasn’t able to even slowly walk on my friend, the tready.  The weekend before was bad too and I’m beginning to wonder if my being a lazy-bones during the day has something to do with it.  Or maybe because I push it during the week to make sure I hit my obligations and then once I can let my guard down, my body goes into full attack mode.  On itself.  Hmm… I’m going to brainstorm an action plan and some experiments to see what I can do about this.

In the food realm, I totally laxed on my low-FODMAP diet.  I tried to eat some foods on the no-no list with lousy results.  I did better with the GERD diet, although my stomach didn’t seem to appreciate my efforts.  I do this thing where once I’ve been diagnosed and received my marching orders, my expectations are an IMMEDIATE “I feel better!”.  Perhaps I should give things time to work?  What can I say?  I’m a delusional optimist!

thanks to Kara at It’s a Dog Lick Baby World for tweeting me this! Sorry it’s hard to read but fruit is kinda off the table at the moment.

This week I’m striving for a more concerted effort with eating low-FODMAPs (I think I’ve found a couple of fruits I can eat, smoothie style – got to avoid some scurvy!), swimming at least 2x – it relieves stress/anxiety better than running and more miles on the treadmill.  Also, I will employ some more tapping sessions to head off some of the aforementioned stress/anxiety.

Welcome week!

I have thoughts – hear me roar!

7 Aug

*Maybe just talking excitedly is a better description

On Sunday I woke up and knew instantly that not only was I not feeling well, it might result in having to see my doc.  I was disappointed and started stuffing pills down my throat in hopes these natural “cures” would take of it.

Nope

I called my doc on Monday to beg for antibiotics… over the phone.  Yep, apparently they don’t do that.  But she did work with me so I did some quickie testing and antibiotics were be in my system Tuesday evening.  I am eternally grateful.

yep – I ate lots of them

On Saturday I was frolicking in the grass with some friends’ little tykes.  All was well.  I started breaking out in hives all over my legs Sunday night and they culminated into a blotchy disaster.  They are getting better but are still driving me bonkers! today.  It’s been a bleak start to the week!

It got me thinking though… As I will mention a few hundred times, August is a BUSY month with work.  We are prepping for the students to come back and it seems like my to-do list is five miles long.  What led to my sickness (in part) was being super occupied with work and not taking care of myself.  Why?  Because I felt like I was to busy and placed my health on the back burner.  I looked around at my colleagues and you can see by their faces, they are doing the same.  (Droopy eyes, dark circles, yawning – just the whole sluggish look about them.)

tru dat’

This isn’t simply my department/job.  In my opinion this is common in most professions.  When we get busy with work or family or other obligations we put our health last.  It’s completely whackadoodle!  If we did pay more attention to our health, all of these other areas would BENEFIT!  All too often I hear people say (along with the voice in my own head) “I don’t have time to eat well, exercise, sleep, or relax (and not in front of the tv, actual real relaxation) because X, Y, and Z get in the way”.  All of which seem to take a higher priority over our health and well-being.

As you might be able to tell, these thoughts (and what I consider my own epiphanies) are what has led me to wanting to take the holistic health classes.  However, while I feel I will be able to help people, the help will only be to treat the symptoms, not necessarily impact the actual problem.  I get that our society has a “pull yourself up from your bootstraps” mentality along with a work, work, work coming first.  So, recognizing that working from home or flexible schedules or breaks for exercise/meditation may not be embraced by the workforce world.  But we need to do something.  Or try harder to bring attention to this important issue!

I will concede we are making baby step size progress.  Many businesses and companies hire outside wellness companies to come in and work with employees on overall wellness.  But as I stated above this is only treating the symptom and not getting to the root of the issue.  I don’t have all of the answers.  I am not exactly a role model of balance although I do want to get better!  So folks – how do you do it?  Heck, I don’t have a family and I still struggle!  I would love to hear the different ways you work to fit things in!

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