On a Journey to Wellness

Come with me on my journey to losing weight, getting healthy and going out to meet the world head-on!

LilySlim - Weight loss

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Dissecting the Cause of my Irritability

 Disclamer: This post is not meant to instill sympathy, pity, or guilt. I understand that everyone has problems and their own opinions. This post is meant to help me deal with mine.

In other words, I think I'm stressed out. I've mentioned before that I don't know I'm stressed out until I start getting dreams about rotting teeth or I start to notice my irritability and hermit-ness. I also think it's been building up and these last couple of weeks have kind of pushed me to the edge. It could be a combination of things. I felt it would be easier for me to dissect these by writing them down.

What's gone wrong:
1. My finances aren't getting better. I would have thought that by the time I reached my late 20's I wouldn't have to live paycheck to paycheck, but I feel more poor now than when I was in college.

2. My food in take isn't improving. I still have trouble finding the best way to control my overeating and food choices but I haven't been able to stay consistent. I self sabotage all the time and I'm feeling hopeless in that department.

I'm very, very tired...
3. My training isn't getting any better. I continue to lose drive while I'm running. I'm running SLOWER than before. My cycling isn't getting easier. I get frustrated because my poor old, cheap bike has issues with the gears and I sometimes can't change gears at all. Because of my car trouble I've missed at least 3 swimming sessions and the whole reason I decided to do this triathlon was to force myself to return to the pool.

4. Until recently my car had been out of commission. Three weeks without a car, especially when it's your source of escape and sanity, has been causing me stress.

5. I've lost patience and tolerance for some aspects of my living situation. I get irritated easier and have less clemency for other peoples mood swings. The fact that I live and work with my housemates, and the fact that I didn't have a car these last few weeks, assured me that I was stuck with dealing with my own emotions over my co-workers and therefore made me explode and become overly emotional more than once.

6. Romantic relationships are a new concept for me and they're confusing. Enough said.

7. I'm not losing weight. Not as much as I'd hoped anyway.

8. My health and my skin condition started acting up again. I'm tired of having chronic conditions that cause pain and discomfort.


Now, believe it or not, I'm not one to wallow in my own sadness and I don't believe in acting like a victim. I try my best to be responsible for my own problems and after years of resisting it, I have learned to confront my emotions and ask for help when I need it. It's still hard to ask though.

Thankfully a recent conversation with one of my co-workers opened my eyes on how affected, emotional and stressed I've become. It opened my eyes to what was actually going on with me and not until this moment did I finally take the time to really stop and reflect on what I need to do to get better.

I admit a part of it might have to do with my training. I suddenly jumped from not doing much to training 6 days a week and trying new things like trail running, cycling, and conquering hills. I'm getting tired faster and I feel like I need more coaching and support but don't know how and where to get it.

Another thing has to do with my life being in transition.... again. I'm attempting to change and advance my career. Which means another move and new work territory... again. I feel like I'm meant to be a leader but having to change career paths and jobs forces me to start from the bottom over and over again. I sometimes feel like I'm doomed to be in a beginner position forever. I'm exaggerating of course but sometimes it really feels that way.

Feeling like a penny in the land of quarters.
Being a person of color in a 'white' world is sometimes exhausting. Listening to other people's backgrounds and privileges (which most of them do or don't realize are privileges) and having to explain my background over and over again sometimes causes me discomfort and uneasiness. Not only that but I've been working with this group for years that I now also feel out of place when I'm back home. It's like I'm a centaur. Neither the humans or horses accept me and I feel out of place no matter where I go. The fact that I'm also working class and my possessions aren't always of the highest quality I get irritated when I see people mistreat or not value their own possessions. I am happy that I have a car and a bike and I don't need to hear about how they're both crap. I have what I have and I'm thankful for it.

So I've decided to something about my situation. Now that I wrote them all down it's time to see what's going well. Because things ARE getting better.

How things are getting better:

1. Finances: I'm working out a budget. I've done my taxes and am expecting a return that will help me. I have awesome parents that are helping me in any way they can. My credit score has actually gone up and that will help me a lot in the near future.

2. Food: I know my trigger foods and I know what calorie range I can be in that will help me lose weight but not make me feel like I'm starving. I just have to take it in small steps.

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3. Training: I went to the bookstore today. I counted out my pennies and decided to buy The Triathlete's Training Bible by Joe Friel. I feel like this will give some sort of ground and help to continue with my training. When I read the introduction it explained how it's normal for athletes to suddenly feel very tired and how they require a lot of sleep. I no longer feel bad that I'm ready for bed at 8:45pm.

4. Car: I have the most amazing father in the world. He came up the mountain during the week specifically to repair my car. I owe him love, devotion, gratitude and money and I plan to give him all of this with interest!

5. House: After addressing my concerns to the house, and then having individual conversations with other people I have better insight on people's situations and the house dynamic. I think I now have an idea on how to address my own issues with the house without getting so worked up again.

...but not all is lost and things are getting better.
6. Relationship: I adore the man I'm with and he doesn't think too badly of me either. That is a fact that I remind myself often. It helps me when I get confused or frustrated and feel like I'm 15 years old.

7. Weight loss: I have lost some weight. I also notice that the person in the mirror stands up straight more often. I also no longer wake up in the morning feeling sluggish. I feel pretty alert and ready to go. If that's not a sign of fitness I'm not sure what is.

8.Health:  BECAUSE my skin condition is a chronic one, not only do I know exactly what I need to do to treat myself but I have all the tools to do it. My skin looks much better than it did two weeks ago.

I know this was a long and not so happy post but these are the things that happen and I need to address them. The best ways I address things are by writing them down. The best way I can own up to them is by making them public and taking responsibility for my actions. It's the reason for this blog. It's the reason why I haven't given up on myself yet. I am strong even though I don't really feel it today. This is the best way I know how to move on from struggle.

I'm excited for my new book and hope it'll help me to get back in to gear with my training. I like the fact that it addresses the reader as an "athlete". I've never considered myself an athlete or even a fit person, but I like the idea that I can become one.

I hope everyone is having a good weekend. Take care of yourselves and I hope you're reaching your goals.


Monday, February 4, 2013

Triathlon Training: Week FOUR and Weigh In

The first week of February and things are getting interesting. I wasn't able to swim last week due to car trouble and I was hoping to get it fixed last weekend. Sadly my car needs more work than I first thought and I was incredibly frustrated to learn I wouldn't be swimming again.

Luckily a friend let me borrow their car this morning, so I got to go to a quick swim session. I got 25 minutes in the pool and I used it to work on my form and speed. Hopefully my car will be up and running soon and I can catch up that part of my training.

 I used my free time this weekend to start working on trail rides and runs. I have to say that the trails around here are loose soil and I nearly fell off my bike multiple times trying to cycle through them. My frustrations over my car, my loss of training, my finances and etc seemed to loom over that ride. I felt like every step I took led me to another stop, another failure, another false start. I started crying at some point. Anger over took me. I didn't allow it to stop me though. I refused to give up and kept going until I finished the short trail.

Trail running through this awesomeness
After that I took a quick, five minute break and decided to go for a run. What I didn't anticipate was that I would take a right turn instead of my usual left, and I ended up going for an hour long trail run/walk. I refused to believe that my earlier failed bike ride would break me like this. So I kept going. Walk or run it didn't matter. I didn't time it or track it. I kept going until I made the huge loop through the trails in the National Forest. The run kept me focused and convinced me that things were going to be ok. The more I sweated the faster my frustrations went away. By the time I got back to the house I felt a lot better about everything. You can't stay too mad when you remind yourself what your backyard looks like. LOL I took a shower and stretched and when I left my room I rewarded myself by going out to the community and join in in a 3 year old's birthday party. Pinata and all. Things are going to be ok. I know it!
So I weighed myself this morning, unsure of what the number would be, since I ate more icing than I should have during that birthday party. The number made me incredibly happy and gave me even more hope to continue.

Current Weight: 212.8 lbs

I am 1.8 lbs away from re-reaching my 40 pound loss mark! That's huge, especially when you've been stuck in the late 2-teens for over a year. I'm hoping that by Valentine's day I'll have reached that mark again.

So, it was a frustrating week. But in the end it's turning out ok. Let's see what this week brings!


Saturday, February 2, 2013

How I re-find my drive and motivation

I've been tired this week. We're talking I'm yawning by 6pm and going to bed by 9:30 pm, 9 pm, 8:30 pm. I've been keeping up with my training. Waking up early and putting on my layers and running shoes and/or bike helmet. But the whole point of me becoming incredibly tired by dinner is getting me a little annoyed, emotional and down right cranky.

I started wondering why I was doing this in the first place. Not the actual triathlon, but why was I going out of my way to wake up in the morning, work out, write in a blog and stop myself from eating a second helping of.. everything? So I decided to scrounge around for my copy of The Spark.

I first heard about sparkpeople.com from a friend when I first started this blog. Soon after I heard about the book and decided to get it. It was January 2010 and it was on the front shelves of Barnes n Nobles because of New Year resolutions. I remember reading the introduction and Chris Downe's personal story and getting incredibly inspired. What I love about this book is the fact that the program deals with learning how to set goals and taking small steps in order to change your lifestyle, not just lose weight. I've been dying to recommend this book to friends of mine who are stuck in a rut somewhere in their lives, and the only reason why I haven't is because the book is centered on weight loss and body transformation and some of my friends don't need to change their bodies although it also talks about your job, your self confidence and your family. I would still recommend it.

I started re-reading it this week and again I felt inspired and driven. It was a strong reminder of the reason I run my life through goals and it is re-explaining to me the best way to reach my goals, which is something I seem to have forgotten. So although I'm tired and sad that my car still isn't working so I can't go to the pool, I am reminding myself why it's important to keep fighting for a better me. Not just a thinner me, but a BETTER me in all aspects of my life.

The other thing I like to do is check my blog stats. I like to see who has visited my blog but more importantly I like to see which entries people are reading. I sometimes see that someone looked at an entry I made a year and a half ago. Or one of my very first entries when I was still afraid of the gym. Reading back at my own entries and thoughts inspire me too. I look back at what I was struggling with then, how hard I worked or what exactly caused me to lose motivation that time. In other words the old me inspires me as much as reading other people's success stories.

Finally the last thing I do that really inspires me are all the websites and online forums I sign up for that give me pointers, success stories, and ideas on how to better my life, my work outs and my diet. I get daily emails from sparkpeople.com. I get Couch-2-5k pointers and success stories in my facebook newsfeed multiple times a day. I get emails from active.com after I signed up for a couple of 5k races last year. I, of course, go to blogger and read the updates of all of my fellow weight loss bloggers for inspiration. All of these have helped me and guided me and have reminded me to keep going and not give up even when I'm stuck in my own rut.

In reality I have an arsenal of things to help me. One thing I need to work on is being better at connecting with that social network and spending more time interacting with the people that inspire me. My blogger follow-ees and followers. My old friends that have asked me for advise or a cheerleader. Motivating others gives me as much drive as receiving it. That's the next step. That and re-learning how to say no to baked goods. LOL

Weigh In and training update in a couple of days. Have a good weekend everyone!