Thursday, December 18, 2008

Issue #4 Managing my Stress

*Sigh* I have been doing Weight Watchers since 2005. I know about the importance of portion control, eating until you're satisfied, moving everyday, and managing your mental health. I am aware of these things. What I struggle with STILL, is managing my stress. I know that exercising is supposed to be a great stress relief. I know meditation is supposed to be cleansing for the soul. I know that you shouldn't eat mindlessly when stressed. I KNOW all of these things. I just have a hard time doing what I need to do.

For example, I knew that the beginning of the school year would be stressful for me. So, I made my goal to run my first 1/2 marathon so I would keep running. I did that and completed my race. Since then (Oct. 15) I have exercised a total of 5 (that's number after 4 and not quite 6) times. To give myself one tiny excuse, I did get sick twice within weeks of each other. One a common cold. The other, I had Parvo. "Parvo? Isn't that what dogs get?" Yes I know what you were thinking because I asked my doctor the same thing. I found out the Parvo 19 is the virus that causes 5ths Disease. What's that you ask? It's in the same family as chicken pox and measles. My doc told me most people my age have already had it, but I'm special. I didn't even get chicken pox until I was 21 years old. In young children, they get a rash and their cheeks look red like they've been slapped. In old people like me, you get a low grade fever and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms that can last up to 3 months! I couldn't even pick up my kids. Normally, I can pick them both up with one arm. When I was full blown sick, I couldn't pick up one with both arms. But back to the not exercising, I have had plenty of days when I have been fine and still didn't work out. I just couldn't wake up at 5:00. I could, just didn't want to. The snooze button appealed to me more.

Some friends of mine from work heard about a Jingle Bell run here on Dec. 13. It was just a 5K and even though I had only run a couple of times I thought I could still handle it. Yeah right. I can't believe how quickly I got out of shape. I ran the whole thing but was dragging! And I was super sore the next couple of days. I have never run in snow so that was different. It was also 10 degrees outside! We finished in 32 minutes. Again, I was happy with my time considering. But I finished my last 5K in 26 minutes. Big difference.

Now, I am doing what I knew I would do at the beginning of the year. Choosing sleep over exercise. Choosing laziness over healthiness. Choosing to veg out in front of my TV at night after my boys are asleep rather than blogging. I know I feel better when I blog. It's cathartic and I get great inspiration and advice. I know I feel better when I run. I have a better start to my day and my body looks better. But...I have not been doing it. I just have been spent. I am sorry if you were a regular reader. I am trying to get better. Usually I'm great at juggling multiple things in my life, but lately I suck.

I TRULY want to learn how to meditate. I just can't seem to turn my brain off. I try to just say a phrase over and over, but then my mind starts spinning with things I need to do, should have done, or regret doing. Any meditators out there have any advice? We had a snow day today so I did 5 miles. Yeah. Maybe I'm on a roll...3 times I've run this week including the Jingle Bell Run. I don't want to wait until Jan. 1st to get it together. I want to and will get it together starting now!


N.D. said...

You can do this! Think of how good you felt after your 5k age group award and PRing. You can bring it back!! Don't be too hard on yourself, just start up little by little!

Anonymous said...

I think just taking the time to recognize what you want to change is a big help. My only advice would be to just get out there and start doing some running. Sometimes you just have to force yourself to get back in the swing of things. You can do this. You are strong.

RooBabs said...

Wow, that really sucks about getting sick (especially about the Parvo- that is so crazy!).

Don't feel bad about not exercising when your body was so haggard. Your body needs to expend the energy to heal itself, not to run, or else it will just take longer to heal. So get rest when you need to, don't overdo the exercise (especially as you come back to running regularly), and think of food as fuel. (With all of this great advice, I should follow it myself, LOL).

You did great on the 5k. Running in the snow is hard, because it slows you down (on top of you already not being in top condition).

And I know exactly what you mean about not being able to shut your mind off. I have that same problem. One thing I've read, is to have a place to write things down when you're thinking of them, so that you don't have to keep thinking about them. I have a day planner where I try to keep track of most stuff (instead of stray pieces of paper- that can stress you out more), or you can keep a notebook in your purse or by your bed.

With getting back to running, maybe you could find another race and set a goal. That's the main thing that keeps me going right now is knowing that I have to run a half-marathon next month, and I don't want it to be miserable. So I know I have to get the training done. Good luck and enjoy the break from school!!

Marcie said...

Glad to see you're back and that you beat parvo! How bizarre. lol... Don't beat yourself up about not's not like you were just sitting around on the couch watching tv and taking naps for no reason (like me!). Take it easy and enjoy the Christmas break.