Read This: 180DegreeHealth

Adrenal Fatigue: Getting Back to Basics

This could also be titled: Why Even Pre-Tax Season Slays Sabrina
Besides physical stress, we humans have a unique capacity to not only perceive imaginary stress, but to hold onto stressors long since dispensed of. Through the magic of brooding, we can relive any tense or painful moment of our past we so choose- and our body reacts like it’s happening all over again. Of course, that means activation of the adrenal glands. Lots of advice for folks with adrenal fatigue reads “eliminate all stressors,” which makes me laugh. In my particular case, I was stressed out by situations I had no control over, such as the responsibilities of caring for an aging family member, a nasty court case and the death of a favorite pet. I couldn’t eliminate them if I tried, besides maybe dropping my aging grandma like a hot potato…but that in and of itself would be stressful, unless I was a heartless baboon. I wasn’t. Life was just gonna be rocky. The real difficulty though, was learning to process that stress rather than dwell on it, and that is a skill worth learning.
Life is stressful, life has always been stressful, life will always be stressful. No doubt, some shit we need not put ourselves through. Learn how to say no and mean it, that’s useful. Don’t take on everyone else’s problems when you’ve got your own, that’s important, too. Don’t work at a job you hate if you can help it, these are all good pieces of advice. But for those of us whose stress is caused by things we’re not game to cut and run from, things like massage, walking, therapy, acupuncture, meditation, prayer, even picking up a hobby like wood crafting or gardening, all of these things can be so helpful. Anything you can do to get your mind off your worries and let your stress response take a breather is crucial for real healing.

Saturday, March 30

Nutrition: GOTD is no pop. That was easy, but...felt pretty damned snacky all day. Poor sleep, frustrations at NSS, stupid handy Larabars, family holiday supper, and cravings for post-supper sweetness. Oh, well.

Consumed: dates; egg white scramble w PB2, coconut oil, apple jelly; coconut flakes & Sunbutter; Larabar; omelet, coffee; jerky, Larabar; smoked ribs, prime rib, sweet potato, cole slaw, raw veg, fruit; fudge bar, Sunbutter w/ coconut flakes, protein, & syrup, senna tea
1575cal P, 525cal C, 900cal F = 3000cal total

Average for the week is 1796cal = pretty much right where I should be!

Sleep: 8.25 hours in bed. 945p-6a, 63% quality. Didn't feel that bad, but close. Woke at 1a, whether due to cats or thunderstorm or blood sugar or all of the above, it sucked. For some reason my brain went to visualizing an intruder so it took a while to rein in that crazy horse. Though it did reinforce my need for a pooch! Ate dates to fall back.

Body: Angry digestion, otherwise good. 5.72m run was intervals just because that's what I felt like doing. The idea of a steady-state run was de-motivating, but when I wondered if I could do intervals for an hour, I got excited to do it! I am pumped to be able to return to running how I feel like running.

Post-run, went to the Well to be a buddy and played with accessory versions of the big 5. Happy lifting!

Pulls during workout, 5x3, mixed pulls, chins, NG. Joints feeling a bit happier, but kept it to bare minimum. Smart, because my right upper back/shoulder tightened up some later in the day. (Extra computer time surely isn't helping, either.)

Brain: A great day. Chores, run, workout with buds, brunch with Amy, work at NSS, supper with the fam. Too much stuff I didn't get done, but I'm getting used to that.

Grateful: For fun data, like this, from today's run:

Friday, March 29

Nutrition: Today's goal was probably to skip a meal, I think? So no snacking, just 3 meals.

Consumed: egg, chicken sausage, Brussels sprouts, kraut, side pork, coffee w/ SFS; DCP; omelet w/ bacon, onions, shrooms, hash browns; pistachios, jerky, apple, DA&W;coconut flakes & Sunbutter, senna tea, supps
800cal P + 425cal C + 675cal F = 1900cal Total

Felt: Once again, I felt like I had downed a ton of food. Added the late snack when I got home because I didn't want another 1600-cal day, aiming to get a solid night of sleep so I can hit everything on tomorrow's giant to-do list.

Sleep: 9 hours in bed, 930p-630a, 93% quality - felt quite a bit worse than that. Woke at 3a or so, and felt like I was tossing & turning the entire time after that. BLEAH.

So, what the hell: why didn't 2100 calories give me better sleep??

Body: Quite good other than tired.

Pulls: AM 4, 3; PM, 4, 3 - both elbow & shoulder joints felt just a leettle pissy today so I kept them low-volume, at my bare daily minimum. This is 100% Dustin's fault, as just yesterday we were talking about pull-up-related tendinitis for the first time since I set this goal!

Brain: Really good. Tired but enjoyed a day at DBB where everyone is so delighted to see me. AND I got another free lunch out of my papa. Sweetness!

Grateful: For Tastefully Simple's Kids in the Community group. I would never be this close to Emma without it. Next week is the kick-off event for 2013, and when her mom confirmed she'll make it, she included this:
Also.....she has to interview an athlete for a badge [for Girl Scouts]...just a quick interview, could probably get it done on the car ride there or something. You are the perfect athlete!! My mom gave us the article from the paper and my oh my woman you look BEAUTIFUL!!

Thursday, March 28

Nutrition: Today's goal is to drink a gallon of water. No problemo!

Consumed: eggs, chicken sausage, asparagus, kraut, carby micro cake, coffee w/ coconut milk & SF syrup, supps; Americano w/ SFS; coffee w/ SFS; egg bake, hot dog; workout; hot dogs, roast veg, choco chips & SB, Zevia; apple; salad w/ pepitas, & ham, strawberry-banana smoothie, apple & choco-PB-protein-coco dip, senna tea, supps
Totals: 875 cal P, 600 cal C, 550 cal F = 2025.

High day to get sleep back on track. I feel like I ate a freaking ton, but only got up to 2025 calories? Amazing how much I can eat when I'm only on whole-food goodness. Amazing how very little I miss the junk. (Let's ignore my fake sweeteners for now, m'kay?)

Sleep: 7 hours in bed, 930p-430a, 84% quality. Feels about right. Mostly awake from 330a onward, but felt like I was resting, not quite a wired mind. But this is going to hit me hard soon if I don't get back on track.

Body: Feeling pretty much amazing. I guess rest days can do a body good? Golly gee, I'm learning all sorts of helpful stuff lately! Session felt fantastic.

Pulls in session, 4x5. Up to a sweet 1250, 25% of the year's goal, and a few days ahead of schedule. Rock on, lats!

Brain: Doing well

Met with Steve today and told him that I am doing well with my eating but am not enjoying the return to tracking and the time spent crunching numbers. What?! WHO AM I.

I feel like I could get away with NOT tracking, just keep all nuts & junk food & recipes out of my daily life, ensure food prep on weekends, and I'll be fine. However, I do need to stay conscious of a need for re-feed days. If I can add indulgences like a Larabar & banana ice cream on Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday, I think I'll be fine.

Nuts: I can't resist anything but almonds, and the nutrition I get is not really worth the calories.

Junk food: Same as nuts, really. No ability to resist, and no nutrition.

Recipes: They never taste as good as the real thing, and never fully satisfy. Real whole food works better for me. An apple with my choco-PB-proto-coco dip (PB2 + chocolate protein + coconut oil) is far more satisfying than my micro cakes. While they can be delicious, most of the time they just taste like a sad version of what everyone else gets to eat. So why wouldn't I stick with the apple & dip and be satisfied? 

And this actually goes for whole-food-based recipes, too. I seem to do best at proper intake if I stick to my basics: breakfast of eggs, sausage, veg; snack of egg bake; lunch of seasoned meat, seasoned veg, fruit; supper of salad; snack of apple & dip...and, scene. I love these foods, they are satisfying, they don't leave me feeling deprived, and that level of intake is pretty much exactly what I need.

Also, it seems that allowing for a couple servings of fruit each day helps eliminate my cravings for junk. Yeah, it's nature's candy, but why not make that allowance if it keeps me satisfied? Fruit does provide plenty of nutrition after all.

So that is my plan: stick to the great working template, don't over-analyze or -think it.

Grateful: For the ease of eating healthy. I don't know where it went or why it's returned, but it makes my life so. much. easier.

Actually, I do know why it's returned: I've had a massive perspective shift where I no longer feel deprived because I can't eat what everyone else eats, no longer seeking food for comfort - I'm mainly just treating food as fuel again.

But I can't explain what finally pushed me back to this happy place. If I knew, maybe I could stop sinking to the cray cray place.

Wednesday, March 27

Nutrition: Goal of "no fake carbs," range of 1500-1800. Went high end since last night's sleep was poor, impacted by low calories over the last 3 days: 725+1500+1650=1291 average. Way too low; I should've bumped up yesterday already.

Once again I was satisfied at supper and had to re-verify the numbers...when I can't mindlessly nosh on Larabars, it takes a lot more food quantity to hit 200 calories. (Who knew!) I was only at 1500 calories and scrounging for something more that sounded to micro cake, no to fudge bar, no to protein pudding, finally a yes to apple & PB. Now, where the hell has this feeling been for the last 6 months?!

Consumed: dates; carnitas, kraut, apple, coffee w/ coconut milk; Americano w/ SF syrup; almonds, hot dog, can Zevia; salad w/ HB egg, coffee, supps; egg bake, DCC; salad w/ avocado, pepitas, & ham, apple & choco-PB-protein-coco dip, senna tea, supps
Totals: 475 cal P, 475 cal C, 825 cal F = 1775.

Sleep: 8 hours in bed, 9p-5a, 83% quality, felt worse. Solid until I woke at 1230a, hit bathroom, couldn't fall back, got up (marveled at the brightness of the full moon on the glowing snow), ate 4 dates, back to bed and then fell asleep rather easily. Some tossing & turning after ~4a though.

Body: Feeling really good. Typically after squat day, the class warm-up tells me I'm tight all over the place, but today I felt great! Took a rest day anyway. LAPW meeting over lunch, was going to run in eve, but lost my motivation. Was lazy instead.

Pulls before/after class: 5x3.

Brain: Doing well. Late work day but was doing something "leady" and really truly enjoying it so I just plain did not want to stop. How awesome is that?!

Wary of the sleep issue, but not focusing on it, not dwelling.

Thought about this instead:

Last night's LAPW speaker kept talking about being careful of the story you tell yourself, because the story becomes your thoughts become your actions become your habits become your results. You can imagine why this hit home. So. Hard.

Do you think that perhaps telling myself "I can't train for a marathon, through the winter, during tax season! I'm going to get injured, I'm going to gain weight, it's not going to work," had anything to do with the results I've had? Gosh no, that can't be!

I knew it was a bad story. But telling myself otherwise felt like it would be wasted time & energy, pure fluff, really, what can filling my head with such bullshit truly accomplish? I know that my sleep goes to shit during tax season. I know that I always fall apart during tax season. I know that I always gain weight during tax season.  I know that long winter runs suck. I know that I'm going to face an injury again. These are beliefs, certainties, faith, and you can't simply decide to believe otherwise.

Can I tell a nun that Jesus never existed and change her faith? No. She believes. And did she decide to believe in Jesus? No. Just like I can't decide to believe in Jesus! It's not a decision. Something(s) happens to prove to you that this belief is valid, or invalid, and so you march forward in that belief (or non-belief).

But, foolish girl, what would be the harm with filling your head with a bullshit story? Even if you don't believe it, why not tell yourself that story? Maybe if I had told myself every day (even the down-in-the-dumps days) that I was capable of this, I would have marched forth into the winter determined to do my best to prove it. Instead, I folded like a bad poker hand and meekly submitted to the expected failure.

Well, fuck that. It needs to end. Meek is for pussies. I'm tired of feeling like a failure, a victim, a whining annoying chump who brings everyone down. I'm determined to rediscover the Sabrina who sought out giant challenges, believed in her abilities, had confidence, liked herself.

She's gotta be around here somewhere; after all, the silly broad can't run too fast anymore!

Grateful: For this instinct: while talking to Monica yesterday about the Train & Stay, and hearing her say she needed just needed to make the commitment and then figure out the training, my gut reaction was to tell her "Okay, so let's make a weekly running date on the trails. Let me help you do this."

I did not offer, because I'm learning to avoid over-committing myself, but I like that my brain instantly visualized a regular Saturday morning group trail run, that my automatic instinct still is to help others run.

I like that about me. And I want to do something with that someday. But right now I need to work on helping ME run.

Tuesday, March 26

Nutrition: Today's goal was fish-as-snack (failed, forgot) and up to 1800 calories. Which is the new "high day" but does not quite allow for "whatever you like" eating. Still have to be conscious.

Oh, and get this: no junk in house = no junk in body. Crazy concept! I'm even thinking of running out of almonds. An easy portable snack, yes, but the tiny portion for the calories is not really worth it. I could eat a big hearty slice of egg bake for a handful of almonds, AND get better nutrition besides. Another victory? I had the calories for a micro cake in eve, but just plain didn't want one.

Consumed: eggs, chicken sausage, Brussels sprouts, side pork, strawberries, supps, coffee w SF syrup & coconut milk; Americano w/ SF syrup; coffee, apple, almonds; workout; carnitas, roasted root veg, orange, apple, Zevia, supps; SF candy; almonds, strawberry, hot dog; raw veg & fruit, coffee; egg, chicken sausage, side pork, Brussels sprouts, supps, senna tea; coconut fudge bar
Total: 600 cal P, 475 cal C, 575 cal F = 1650. I ate a ton of food and had to quadruple-check these numbers because I just couldn't believe it! (a) Awesome work, but also (b) super annoying to spend the time tallying.

Sleep: 8 hours in bed, 915p-515a, 83%. Felt pretty solid, though lots of flipping and flopping for the last hour. Well-rested though.

Body: Feeling pretty good. Session went really well!

Chins in session, 5x3.

Brain: Good. Chatted with Holea about her doggie-to-be, visited with Jeremy, chatted with Drea during workout, nice LAPW event where I chatted with Monica, work stuff all good.

Only sad spot is the hubster ditching me for a weekend of racing. Lucky SOB!

Grateful: That despite all my whining and complaining and bitching and moaning and woe-is-me-ing, my people still love me. Luckiest. Girl. Ever.

Monday, March 25

Nutrition: Today's goal was 1500 calories as well as 5s vegetables. Easy!

Consumed: egg bake, carnitas, coffee w/ coconut milk, supps; more coffee; almonds; SF candy; almonds; (run); beef hot dog, 2 sl egg bake, almonds, Zevia, supps; almonds; salad w/ balsamic, pepitas, ham, apple w/ PB2, senna tea, supps.
Total 525 cal P, 175 cal C, 800 cal F = 1500 on the nose!

Felt: Hungry & a bit depleted at 1030a. Otherwise mostly good. Snacky in afternoon, wanted to eat All The Almonds due to work frustrations. Saved myself by leaving at 5 on the dot, to-do list be damned!

Sleep: 7.75 hours in bed, 9p-445a, 91% quality. Woke naturally, dozing in/out last half hour or so. Got up feeling rested.

Body: Quite good. Knees a bit stiff, oddly. Right knee a bit "off" from the get-go on the 3.89m run, but went away on the trip over to the PO. It was tough, but because I had a sweet-ass 8:21 pace!* However, return run angered the right knee. Blargh. I want this motherfucking snow GONE so I can go traipse through the woods please. Foot was not taped, forgot, and it felt fine. So at least there's that!

*Side note to evil voice in head: yeah, yeah, I know my marathon was at 8:24 and felt like cake, but you can go back to hell now, thankyouverymuch.

Lobster-grip dead-hang pulls after class, 6, 5; eve, 3 - to put me at an even 1200 YTD.

Biked 20 min / 4.6 m.

Brain: Surprisingly good. Like I am past the daunting 20-miler, and even though I completely failed at it, whatever, it's no longer hanging out there looming and waiting for me to fail. Disappointed, but moving on. Now, need to focus on mental toughness. Starting with nutrition - and I am actually feeling strong & ready to tackle this.

Run sorta brought me back down a peg. Damn this Taurus body!

Grateful: For funny pictures like this:

Read This: Paleo for Women

I wish to carry Stefani around on my shoulder and let her whisper into my ear all day long.

You are a creature, worthy of life and love and beauty. You may stumble and you may be sad and you may not believe in yourself at all. But that is only a matter of your own mind, your own troubles. It doesn’t change the fact that you have an inherent radiance, a beauty, a power. You may deliberately manifest it or you may not. But it is there. It lives and breathes inside of you, it thrums in your veins. You think you’re not beautiful? Check again. There is so much to you, so much inside of you, so much in the fabric of your cells and the arches of your mind. Still think you’re not beautiful? Fine. Give it time. But start paying attention. It’s there, woman. You’ve just got to let it’s voice be heard. You’ve got to let the music of your vibrance find it’s key.

And so so so much more, here:

Share it with all of your favorite ladies. I just did!

Sunday, March 24

Nutrition: Today's goal was to track and put numbers to it. 1500-1800 intake range from Steve. It seemed easier to deal with it by fasting! (Moderation is for sissies, yo.)

Tracking: few coffees w/ SF syrup, 2 DCP, tea, water, supps (added back Natural Calm); salad w/ ham, pepitas, avocado, balsamic; egg bake w/ avocado; dates, apple.
Very rough estimate: 125 cal P, 200 cal C, 400 cal F, 725 cal total. Win!

Felt: hungry at 10a, and chilly at 11a, right on cue for one hour later. Interesting how that works. Stayed chilly after that. energy solid. Very hungry on drive home so I decided to eat supper.

Sleep: 7.75 hours in bed, 1015p-6a, 81% quality. Lot of dozing in/out final 2 hours, but felt rested.

Body: Tight hip flexors, otherwise good. Little bit fatigued.

Pulls forgotten in AM so I did pushups throughout the day at tax firm, every hour or two as I remembered: 10x6. Eve lobster-grip pulls, 3x4. Walked on treadmill for 20 minutes when I got home, just to log some forward motion. Will run tomorrow at lunch, though I will be solo while my Timmy enjoys the warmth of Texas. I hope she has a fantastic time, but I sure do wish she could pop back to join me on the lunch cruise.

Brain: Spent some lazy time at home with coffee & a book before heading to tax firm. Lovely brain indulgence. And tax firm was fun today, very laid-back; even knocked out two personal tax returns and cut out after 8.5 total hours. Enjoyed the sunshine all the way home.

Grateful: For a bright, bright, bright, bright sunshiney day!

Saturday, March 23

Nutrition: Today's goal is no pop. Easy enough when you don't have any at home and don't leave.

Tracking: eggs, roasted root veg, carnitas, side pork, micro cake, coffee w/ coconut milk; Sunbutter, coconut flakes, chocolate chips, & dates, coffee; Larabar & Ultima during run; roasted root veg, carnitas, Larabar, Uberbar & PB2, decaf w/ coconut milk; sm apple; side pork, kraut, carnitas, micro cake, decaf; senna tea.

Sleep: 7.75 hours in bed, 10p-545a, 95%. Could have used more, but it was very solid. Napped post-run, 2-430p. Also solid.

Body: Felt good but the run, MEH: 10.13m - half of the planned 20. Fuck. Tight hip flexors post-run, all else pretty decent.

Lobster-grip pulls, AM 3x3.

Brain: Okay in AM but crap post-run, due to crapping out halfway through the planned run. Just had no mental strength to push through fatigue. Tried not to dwell on it rest of day, but was mopey/tired.

Grateful: For friends who know just what to say.

Friday, March 22

Nutrition: Today's goal, I think, was skip a meal, but I changed it to: track intake. See below. Fought cravings all afternoon, not sure why.

No numbers yet, just food: egg, chicken sausage, Brussels sprouts, sauerkraut, side pork, coffee w/ coconut milk; Uberbar, more coffee w/ SF syrup; bottle DCP; 2 eggs, ham, more coffee; can DDP; sweet chili pistachios, grapefruit; egg bake, banana, apple; micro cake.

Sleep: 9 hours in bed, 9p-6a, 90% quality. Yeah! Woke h/s/g at 130a for bathroom and ate some deli ham, fell back fairly easily. The wake-up is definitely due to my late "ice cream" of banana & sweet potato - too big of a portion. Plus the texture didn't work as well as I'd hoped, not worth it.

Body: Quite good. Very little soreness. Kinda wanted to run today, hopefully that helps the brain get excited tomorrow!

Pulls, lobstah grip, AM 2x3; PM 2x3.

Brain: Good! Bright sunshine helps. Doing something different helps - at the tax firm...but, for 11.2 hours. Glad I took a real lunch break, but my eyes were GLUE when I left. Yuck.

Grateful: For chilly weather that makes tax season tolerable.

Thursday, March 21

Nutrition: Happy deadlift day! Today's goal was to drink a gallon of water. 1 quart down before I even left home, another quart down before going to NSS, that made it easy.

Sleep: 7.5 hours in bed, 915p-445a, 80% quality. Woke naturally and couldn't fall back. Expected to see at least 90%, though, it was damned solid. I suppose just not long enough.

Body: Feeling great! Tiniest bit sore all-over yet, but no big.

Session with my Buddy felt fantastic! Pulls in session, 2x8.

Acne: A list of suspects for the current breakout:
  • alcohol - now out for a while
  • Diet Dr Pepper - nothing suspicious in the ingredient list, but I bought a 12-pack a couple weeks ago, last can consumed today
  • gum - will avoid for a while then test once things clear up
  • SF coffee syrup - have had a higher intake lately (daily Americano indulgence) but that's been going on for months; I wouldn't have even put it here but I re-read the label and it says that it contains dairy allergens, despite nothing in this list:
    • Purified water, natural flavors, acesulfame potassium, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (to preserve freshness), xanthan gum, sucralose, (SPLENDA Brand), citric acid, caramel color
    • (it's that GD "natural flavors" nonsense!!)

Brain: Doing well. At meeting with Steve we decided to have me start tracking again and to hit some calorie targets after Saturday's run. I am okay with this. I need to log a win, however small. Interesting note: as I told him this next run will be my hardest, mentally, I started to tear up. No idea why. Guess I am afraid of failing. So sick of this weak, pathetic brain! But it will be fine. No stupid eating tomorrow night should get me good sleep, and that is all I need to have a success.

Grateful: For my strong Buddy. It was fun to see her deadlift my PR with ease and still be unsatisfied. Beast!

Wednesday, March 20

Nutrition: No fake carbs. If Larabars count, I failed...poor planning again today, even forgot supps.

Sleep: 8.25 hours in bed, 9p-515a, 90% quality. Up at 3a for bathroom and had a bit of monkey mind trying to fall back. Thinking about work, but not TS for once - was thinking about NSS! Sheesh.

Body: Sore all over. Did the second half of my class to get fluids moving and to keep Travis company. Spartacus-like: tough/fun. Justified by last night's giant supper - but that's the last bit of such foolishness this week. Time to focus on the upcoming long run. Noon 3.75 miles: ran to post office, mostly walked back because I felt the need to soak up the peace and quiet. (I want need to get out in the woods, and SOON. Go away, Winter. You were never welcome to start with!) Taped foot for run, removed it afterward as the foot was red & puffy. Both feet stayed a little puffy.

Pulls in class, 5x2, plus some decels when the muscles died.

Brain: Pretty good. Early-morning dose of perspective after reading about a severely-injured former coworker.

My life is pretty wonderful. I'm healthy. You're healthy. Hooray!

My annual review went well, but while walking I kept replaying the 2 minor unfavorable comments I got and used some strong Carolla-like language telling that awful internal voice to shut the eff up. This happened even after seeing the super awesome Echo Press article. My internal voice just needs to be killed right dead.

My hubs had a great response when I texted a picture of the article:
Awesome! Did you get a couple copies? And you are the best looking one with your NSS stuff on. Sponsorship for Boston??
Unfortunately, Dustin says I get advertising bonuses for a tattoo only. I say, give me free training for life and I am IN!

Grateful: For Brett, who made the article happen, and for Dustin, who made it possible.

Tuesday, March 19

Nutrition: GOTD was to eat tuna as a snack. Ate at lunch instead, and also caught up on yesterday's 5s vegetables. Supper was a great big indulgence, very tasty.

Sleep: 8 hours in bed, 9p-5a, no sleep app but it was GD solid for once. Felt like 100% or so! Woke about 445a without alarm, dozed a bit, got up feeling very rested.

Body: Sore hams/glutes from Spartacus, tight hip flexors from yesterday's anxiety-packed driving, otherwise quite good. Session was bomb dig. I plugged my 95x8 bench into the 1RM max calculator I've used for my class's weights, and it gave me 120.55. Eep! Next up: actually doing it, of course. But a similar dealio is what told me I could qualify for Boston, and that was accurate!

Chins in session, 3x4.

Acne: Worsening. Now I'm suspecting Mangria again, even though it contains no grains, dairy, or soy (I emailed). Perhaps it's just the alcohol. Gah.

Brain: Decent. Finally finished & submitted my self-review - and with plenty of spare time, as my review with TC is tomorrow morning at 9a.

One of the questions was "My long term goals are"...and my answer was this:
Keep learning, keep collecting new experiences, keep finding the things I enjoy doing and am good at, keep helping others.
Two things that smacked me when I wrote that:

(1) "Keep helping others" is an interesting concept to flow into an answer about long-term career goals. If asked to clarify that exactly, I'd say it means: I share knowledge that lets others to do their job faster, better, smarter (as a Lead); I motivate my peeps down in the Well; I take on tasks that free up others to do THEIR thing faster, better (like NSS & DBB); and, literally, I just HELP PEOPLE because I'm a human being oozing with empathy who wants to fix the world's problems.

(2) Allathat led me to spend a bit of time seriously considering the possibility of doing my "pie in the sky" perfect job. That would be this: taking what I do for NSS, which is bookkeeping & admin tasks, and doing it for 9 other business as well. New place each morning, new place each afternoon, every week. Let the small business do what it loves & does best, let me do what I love & do best.

There are tons of owners whose business reaches this size and they either struggle to continue doing it all (thus either stretch themself too thin or trade off their income producing-time), or pay an accounting firm to do it at a higher cost than I would. However, the idea of ditching out on a secure full-time job like TS is very, very daunting. And who knows, once things settle down I might freaking adore this leadership position. So perhaps it's more of a 5-10-year plan...but if it is 5 years, that actually means taking the first steps of action soon. Again: very, very daunting.

Grateful: For my many future options. Glad I'm a smarty pants.

Monday, March 18

Nutrition: Today's goal was 5s vegetables. Failed.

Sleep: 8.5 hours in bed, 9p-530a, 70% quality. Woke h/s/g at 330a, hit bathroom, drink of water, took a while to fall back but got in one more sleep cycle. Alarm woke me, though. Ugh.

Body: Pretty decent. Right Achilles still tight but improved from yesterday. No one showed up to class so I biked 15 minutes & did some pulls. Noon did 1.5 rounds of Spartacus.

Pulls througout day 4, 4, 4, 5.

Brain: Overwhelmed with my to-dos, but choosing to be "up" today. Tried to go home early and be productive but got stuck, drove to Westport, followed the hubs home from the other direction and encountered no drifts at all. Gah.

Grateful: For my patient husband, and wonderfully helpful strangers who did not hesitate to grab shovels and tow straps and drag my sorry ass outta the snow.

Sunday, March 17

Nutrition: Today's habit goal was to drink some tea so I had some senna tea in the eve in an effort to reset my digestion. Had sort of a snacky morning but moderated afternoon - because I was out of snacks. I really wanted to nosh on some crackers for a happier belly, but crispy veggies and an apple kinda sorta almost filled that void.

Sleep: I am guessing 6.5 hours in round 1 - I probably crawled into bed about 8p (after throwing up my Mangria) - and I'd call it 100%. I woke at 230a and very tentatively drank some water & ate a Larabar. Went back to bed but turned on bathroom light in case my body rejected all sustenance! Luckily it stayed down.

Got in 3.5 more hours, 245a-615a, 31%, one legit sleep cycle then dozing for the last hour or so. 

Body: Strangely tight right Achilles. Tired but actually feel better than I did last Sunday - more sleep. Or, rather: "sleep." Dehydrated for sure, but probably doing much better than I'd be if I had kept the Mangria down. It's delicious, but I'm not sure it's worth it. Going to shelve it until after tax season/Boston...I just can't afford to lose that much productive time!

3 pulls in AM, 3 in PM.

Brain: Tax day fun times. Logged a long day for the first time in a couple weeks; felt good to write down 9+ hours and cross several returns off my to-do list. It is still incredibly long, though...and I only have 4 work days left.

Grateful: For my insurance agent, with whom I had a genuinely enjoyable conversation this morning. What luck to actually like the people you do business with! And how sad to be so surprised by this.

Saturday, March 16

Nutrition: Today's goal was no pop, but I had two cans. See "sleep." Also definitely overate post-run, very snacky. ARGH. I even dove into some Mangria for an afternoon movie while I shirked all of my chores, even though I really don't have the time or ability to do that. Fuck it. I desperately needed an irresponsible afternoon. Luckily my body got rid of most of it before bed...did not feel good at the time, but made the next day much easier.

Sleep: Worst. 4.75 hours, 9p-145a, 36% quality. Got up at 1245a for bathroom and ate an energy bite but couldn't fall back. So I got up and ate normal breakfast.

Back to bed 4 hours, 230a-630a, 37% quality. Awful.

Body: Felt decent, just tired. Attempted run but cut it short at 8.15m due to fatigue. Various aches but no real pains, just too damned tired to keep pushing and figured I'll benefit more by saving the body for a long run next weekend. Just a wee bit worried that it might need to be my last long one. Not that I'd then doubt my ability to finish Boston, just leaves me anxious about how much it might hurt.

Brain: Tired and groggy but very boosted by the energy of the day: NSS work, breakfast with Joy & Holea, NBB powerlifting meet, so much lifting talk, it was a total blast. Fully committed to doing it next year. Really think I can accept a yearly cycle of 6 months prioritizing trail running (spring/summer to Wild Duluth), and 6 months focused on lifting good 'n' heavy.

Grateful: For today's sunshine, lest I'd have attempted zero miles at all.

Friday, March 15

Nutrition: Way off. Super snacky afternoon.

Sleep: 8 hours in bed, 930p-530a, 76% quality. Got up feeling good, no alarm!

Body: Good. Only snuck in a few sets of pulls 4x3.

Brain: Great! Better sleep, fun day at NSS, Echo Press interview, TS retreat. All good.

Grateful: For a great employer. Great employerS.

Thursday, March 14

Nutrition: Today's goal was to drink a gallon of water. Fell behind in morning, was living on coffee, but caught up. Easy when I'm conscious of it.

Sleep: 8.75 hours in bed, 9p-545a, 87% quality. Big improvement! Feeling better.

Body: Decent. Session was great other than pulls.

Pulls in session 10, 6, 3, 2x3. My arms simply died on that third set. Weird.

Acne: Having reactions to something. Since I'm not keeping a detailed log anymore, I've been struggling to figure this one out, but I found it: jerky. I bought the same flavor as always but in stick form...which has soy. Fuckers!

Brain: Still overwhelmed at work, but had a meeting with TC that went well - came out feeling a little bit better about my to-do list. And session helped a lot.

Grateful: For the friends that fitness has given me.

Wednesday, March 13

Nutrition: Today's goal was to avoid fake carbs. Easy peasy - except for the 4 Reese's Pieces (3 of which FELL off Hop's cookie, poor guy).

Sleep: 8 hours in bed, 915p-515a, 75% quality. Woke ~230a, hit bathroom, took a while to fall back. I am so tired of being tired. Next year, someone please remind me to start going to bed earlier at least one week before DST starts.

Body: Did class warm-up and could feel tight hams from yesterday. Noon run went well - not easy, but we did 3.42 miles in 30 minutes with NO WALKING. Sadly, my freaking heart rate was 175 to maintain a 8:47 pace.

Foot was taped for the run, stayed taped afterward (1.5hrs sitting in meeting) - until 430p when I noticed how very PUFFY it was. Since I did not feel any inkling of anything, I removed the tape. Still good! If I weren't working on a long run this Friday, I would have chanced today's run without tape to see how it felt. But, priorities. Tape is cheap.

Rest day from pulls - not wanted, but I'm hoping it will help tomorrow's max pull effort to be more rested. Plus, very tight upper body.

Brain: Started out tired & annoyed, but class was fun (made 'em do Spartacus!), and then at my desk I was delighted by a dozen daffodils that had opened overnight. DELIGHTED!

Grateful: For signs of Spring, oh so welcome. Except for signs like March blizzards. They need to go to hell along with DST.

Tuesday, March 12

Nutrition: Today's goal was to eat fish as a snack, so I was going to have my can of tuna mid morning. Failed. I had almonds instead, because I was In A Mood, too frustrated and tired to take on the challenge of eating plain tuna. I ate the tuna at lunch instead, so maybe not an "F" but only a "D"?

Sleep: 9.5 hours in bed, 9p-630a, but only 62% quality, and unfortunately, that sounds very accurate. Woke at 445a & hit bathroom, felt like maybe I should just stay up, but was SO TIRED and wanted another sleep cycle. I got it, but it still didn't feel like enough. Ugh.

Body: Decent other than tired. Session felt pretty good, better than last week, though mentally not up to par at all. Swapping Mike for Dustin didn't help.

Chins in session 10, 6, 6. Disappointing - I could not catch my breath for some reason.

Brain: Tired and overwhelmed by work. Feeling like that lame friend who does nothing but whine & complain, especially given all the great things in my life, but I'm drowning here.

I worked on my self-review today - enjoy these exerpts:
What was your greatest victory at Tastefully Simple during the past year? Promotion.

What has been your greatest challenge? Promotion.
The promotion didn't even happen in 2012, so those can't be my answers - but it is first & foremost what is killing me these days.

So I performed a random act of kindness - to myself - and left at 4pm. After showing up at 8am! And taking a 2-hour lunch! Who do I think I am?! (I am someone who put in 11 hours yesterday and will do so again tomorrow, that's who!)

Grateful: That I can afford to give little gifties to my besties, and that I managed to do so when one of them was having a Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day involving death of a pet. Sadness.

Monday, March 11

Nutrition: Today's goal is 5s vegetables. All at supper due to terrible planning - I basically subsisted on protein & fat all day. Oh, and an apple. Hooray for fruit day! I balanced myself out by also having tea.

Sleep: 8.25 hours in bed, 9p-515a, 86% quality. There is NO WAY that's accurate. More like 70%. Took ages to fall asleep (thanks, DST!), woke to a cat fight at 11p, and struggled to wake up.

Body: Tired. Right foot a little strained.

Pulls during class, 3x5; before/after yoga, 3x3.

Brain: Tired and easily annoyed. Skipped out of LAPW meeting over lunch because it was giving me anxiety - always a VERY long meeting and often feels unproductive and social. Sometimes that's nice, but not when I'm still feeling swamped with close and transition.

Work day was swampy and frustrating and LONG, felt just like audit times.

Grateful: For funny friends.

Sunday, March 10

Nutrition: Today's goal was tea. Brought peppermint tea to tax firm for the afternoon. Other than that I pretty much subsisted on pop & coffee, because I was desperately in need of caffeination.

Sleep: Awful. 5 hours in bed, 945p-245a (old time), 48% quality. That is the result of drinking a whopping 3oz of Mangria (which is about 10oz less than I wanted to!) alongside a big ol' pork choppy supper. My body is just awesome. I was too wide awake to go back to bed, so I went ahead and started my day stupidly early.

About 7a I was crashing already, so I finally earned my DBB-employee stripes and bedded down in the break room for a nap! Didn't truly sleep, but dozed a solid 45 minutes.

Took a nap after work, a solid 1.25 hours. Groggy after that.

Body: Some stiffness in right foot, pinch has returned in left hip flexor, and all-over fatigue...given the ginormous jump in miles yesterday, very impressive! Digestion seems very angry about the Mangria. I fear this also indicates impending acne. Lack of sleep started to beat me up pretty good by mid-afternoon.

No pulls.

Brain: Poor sleep was NOT a good start to my taxy day, but I made it work.

Grateful: For flexible hours.

Saturday, March 9

Nutrition: Ate breakfast & run snacks like an athlete, but PWO snack & lunch like an addict, and supper like a Saturday night, complete with Mangria. (But I paid for it, big time.)

Today's goal was no pop. Had a bit more coffee than usual instead, but not out of line.

Sleep: 7.75 hours in bed, 10p-545a, 87%. Felt very solid. Had planned a post-run nap, but didn't feel I needed it.

Body: Solid! 16.28m run was a great experiment. 2/1 run/walk ratio until fatigue set in at 14m. Goal was 18m, but I shut down early to avoid feeling utter exhaustion, as directed by the bossy little Dustin inside my head, who told me to finish feeling good, a little left in the tank, satisfied.

At home, 15-minute soak in the hot tub, then lunch, then slacking with TV & chores. No nap. Tired around 530p, but not dead.

Long-run aches were better than expected. Knee was fine. Right foot was not that well-taped during run, due to soaked feet, and I did feel a little soreness more on the inner part in the last couple miles, but nothing sharp enough to worry about. At home I did NOT re-tape and I felt nothing.

Pulls throughout day, lobstah-grip dead-leg, 2x5.

Brain: Solid. Wasn't too anxious before run because I knew it would feel easy and felt confident the knee would cooperate with the speed "fixed." And I was right!

And obviously, post-run, I felt good. Not awesome, but content. As the day went on and I continued to feel pretty good physically, the better I felt mentally.

Grateful: For the knowledge that this crazy weather is nearing its end.

Come on, Spring!

Bring your green grass and fragrant dirt and chirping birds and warm sun over here. I'm waiting with open arms!

Friday, March 8

Nutrition: Today's goal is no snacks. So three good well-rounded meals, and I was fine. Also NCP goal of eating slowly and stopping when 80% full...I'm not really sure how to gauge that, but I kept breakfast and lunch light. Failed at supper.

Sleep: 9 (!) hours in bed, 9p-6a, 82% quality. Felt better, it was 8 solid hours then dozing in/out the last hour.

Body: Feels good, but wearing boots/sitting all day. Resting up for tomorrow's long run.

Pulls throughout day, 3x8. Stopped when I started feeling a hint of impending tweak in right shoulder/neck.

Brain: Close day, which usually brings a sense of relief, but not this month. I still feel overwhelmed with how to transition things to my people.

Grateful: For a peaceful home.

Read This: eliteFTS

For the women...
The whole female side of the fitness industry has historically been built upon “getting rid” of everything about their bodies that makes them unhappy, which is generally everything
This has to fucking STOP.  
[ . . . ] 
Your body is not something you are in battle against. It’s not a war that you fight and say, “I won” on the day you’ve dieted down to nothing. Nobody truly “wins” a war. One side just dies more than the other side. Your body is not something you are supposed to set out and kill. You construct something greater out of what you have, not destroy and lessen what you are. 
Go forth and read:

Thursday, March 7

Nutrition: Today's goal: drink a quart of water. Easy peasy!

Met with Steve and he liked the daily "habit" goals I've set for myself. He said to do those and then add in 4 days a week eating my meals slowly and to 80% full. Leaves me three days to indulge (within reason, of course), which means Tuesdays, Thursdays, & Saturdays (lifting & long run). I'm hoping that if I'm feeling down and out, knowing that there is a high day coming soon will prevent any foolishness.

Sleep: 8 hours in bed, 915p-515a, 65% quality. Felt MUCH better than that, though I was wide awake ~1-2a. I hit the bathroom but otherwise stayed in bed and felt I was resting.

Body: Upper back a touch tight from awesome bench session on Tuesday. And 30 pull-ups yesterday, maybe? (Nah...) Foot is a little angry from yesterday's run (WTF?) as is front inside of right shin. Two days to get over yourself, body.

Today's session was awesome. Little disappointed at doing such light deadlift singles (185), but Chief knows what he's doing: Boston + month-end close + woe-is-me thinking = not the time to max out.

Pulls in session, 2x8.

Brain: Start the day by getting stuck in your own driveway (AGAIN) and see how YOU feel! Actually, it was fine. Able to laugh at myself. And too busy at work to think.

Grateful: That my husband didn't give the slightest complaint or hint of annoyance when I woke him up to get me out of the snowbank. Seriously the most patient man in the world. How did I get so lucky?

Wednesday, March 6

Nutrition: Today's goal is low-carb. Easily done. Also, today I made up for yesterday's goal and ate tilapia as my morning snack. Fish at 930am - this is what healthy looks like, I guess?

Sleep: 7.75 hours in bed, 915p-5a, 87%. Very solid, though it took ages to fall asleep ("woe is me" thinking).

Body: Really good, considering yesterday's heavy swings. Was a little worried I might feel more from them. Lunch run with Lisa felt incredible. Not even a hint of difficulty. We walked a bit for her lungs, otherwise it was perfect.

Pulls during class 4x5. Pulls after run, 5x2. All dead legs.

Brain: Improved again. Time, perspective, running with Lisa. All good things.

Grateful: For my people.

Tuesday, March 5

Nutritional GOTD: fish as a snack. Except I completely skipped my morning snack because I was too busy and not hungry. Ate fish w/ salad at noon instead. Rest of the day was solid, but it's lifting day, so super easy to eat according to my guidelines. Nice big filling yummy carby supper. Too big, really, but I was in real need of some kind of boost.

Sleep: 8.5 hours in bed, 915p-545a, 85% quality. Really super solid. Set the alarm for 7a and didn't look at it when I woke around 345a, only checked it at 515a thinking perhaps it might be time to get moving because the cats were being obnoxious. I managed to keep dozing for another half hour, woot!

Body: Feeling good. Initially my session didn't go so well because my fellow trainees were asking me about running and the brain tanked - hard to do front squats & chins when you're near tears. I even DID produce tears for Dustin. But things turned around because Dustin is a genius who got me back up out of it with distracting talk and heavy swings.

Chins in session 8, 7, 5.

Brain: Much better than yesterday. One thing I am trying, gleaned from the book I read (The Highly Sensitive Person), is to keep the podcasts OFF while getting ready for bed/the day. I don't know how I'll possibly keep up with all the podcasts I was listening to, but returning to the long pockets of silence, especially in the morning, might be very helpful in keeping me sane each day. It also helps me realize that relocating to the cube farm might be a little tough on me, with all the noise out there. No solution for that one.

Earning gold stars:
- I told the LAPW peeps I do not want to be on the Leadership Team next year...unless they can't find which case I am then off the Philanthropic Committee. So, one or the other. Not both. And indicated I'd prefer the Philanthropic Committee.
- I also gave away my ticket to an LAPW-related event in the Cities on the 14th because I think it will work best to do my long run that Friday morning (as Saturday is the meet). Which means I can NOT stay out late the night before.

Post-session I was pretty low again, though, really pissed at myself for crying over Boston so easily. I really don't like the person I've become: I don't like being this over-emotional and weak and negative and downright depressing. I wouldn't want to be friends with me.

I miss liking myself, liking my body, feeling strong & confident & unstoppable, looking forward to the future. I desperately miss this version of me.

Grateful: For a past where I did kick ass...because surely there is a way to get back there...right?

Monday, March 4

Nutrition: Going back to my randomly-generated goal of the day. Baby steps to rebuild momentum. Magically I am not even thinking in regards to fat loss, but rather about consuming vegetables + meat + fruit, lay off the Larabars & almonds & other such shortcuts.

So, today's goal: 5s vegetables. Skipped them at breakfast because I didn't feel I had time to slice any up. (Solution for next time: open the can of kraut!) Giant salad at lunch = 4s (carrots, celery, cauliflower, tomatoes, spinach). Supper = shrooms w/ chunky artichoke topper in my scramble.

Sleep: 8 hours in bed, 9p-5a, 75% quality. Felt quite solid, though happily could have gotten more. Afternoon nap, 230-345p.

Body: Pinchier hips today than yesterday. Foot fine, still kept blisters bandaged, as they were oozing last night when I unwrapped them. Gross. Taught class, movement felt good but I am definitely not feeling 100%, all-over blah-ness. Biked for 30 minutes at noon, then off my feet rest of day.

Pulls during class 3x4; before/after biking 3x3; at home in eve 3x3.

Brain: Not well. Run fears.

I tried to help myself out by planning some PTO: all March Fridays after this Friday I will be MIA from TSI. Well, except for the one that's the evening all-team retreat. Or the fact that every single one will be spent working elsewhere.

I did try to schedule a real and true day off for the last weekend in March: long run & NSS Friday, tax firm on Saturday, then Sunday off to do nothing what-so-fucking-ever. Well, guess what: that's Easter, so I am obligated to go hang out with my family. I can't win! (At least there will be slabs of meat, I guess.)

I do have a vacation coming in mid-April, but it's to Boston, and either it will be fucking awesome or it will be fucking horrible. Right now, today, I obviously fear the horrible option, so I can't even find a light at the end of this stupid tunnel.

My next option is to try sliding in some work-from-home days or afternoons. I will see what I can do about that.

I was in a pretty low mental state, and started feeling kind of gross physically, so I went home shortly after 1. Napped, worked a bit, read a lot. Felt better in the eve.

Grateful: That I can actually say "I don't need this job," - now if only I could actually ditch the job itself without feeling like an asshole, or missing the people.

Sunday, March 3

Nutrition: Okay. Low-carb, high-protein, but also high-caffeine. That's what 11.4 hours at the tax firm does to me.

Sleep: 8 hours in bed, 10p-6a, 86%. SOLID. Should've turned in earlier but we were fetching the bike from parents, finishing laundry, etc. Yet I still didn't get all my chores done.

Body: Pretty good. Foot feels nearly normal, but have blisters bandaged. Knee feels fine, though it always does even after a pissy run. Left hip is pinchy. Bit of all-over fatigue, but of course a lot of that is mental as well.

Brain: Tired of everything & everyone. I need a true day off: no work, no long run, an actual fucking day to do nothing.

I should be able to schedule that in another 2 months, perhaps? It's no wonder I 'm dying. I've got to figure out how to stop doing this to myself.

Not helpful: friendly tax firm peeps cheerfully asking how yesterday's run went.

Grateful: This stuff is delicious AND Paleo AND Whole30! Better than plain ol' hot sauce on my breakfast scramble. Probably good on anything hot-sauce-able. Maybe even my tilapia?

Snapped a pic of the last few bites.

Saturday, March 2

Nutrition: Overate my junk food. See long run attempt.

Sleep: 7 hours in bed, 930p-430a, 78% quality. Felt pretty solid, but definitely should've gone to bed earlier. Was vegging on couch so was at least taking it easy, being a slug.

Body: Felt excellent getting up this morning, but this body seems to be determined to make me quit running. Foot felt fine, new tape job effort gave me more blisters than before, but was not an issue during run. Stupid fucking right knee was, though. Go read here. Hot tub afterward.

Brain: Sucks. Run killed me, that stupid knee pain sends me down a spiral of depression every time.

Fetched my stationary bike...will see if logging time on that helps with endurance.

Remembered pulls at very end of day...2x2.

Grateful: For my husband. Today he was pretty much perfect.

Friday, March 1

Nutrition: I feel gross today. Low-carb until supper, since tomorrow is long-run day.

Sleep: 8.25 hours in bed, 915p-530a, 87% quality. Tried to sleep longer but cats were annoyingly active. Feeling okay but would've loved more.

Body: Quite good, actually. Zero soreness from deadlifts (I think my body loves 3 week), and foot is feeling better than yesterday. Wearing boots w/ 1-inch heel, so sitting all day.

Today I routed all trips to the Squirrel's Nest this way: to Well, do pull-ups, to SN, back to Well for pull-ups, back to desk. Time-consuming, but effective if the goal is pulls! Throughout the day, all completely dead-hang: 3x2, 3x2, 3x3, 3x2, and there I stopped at a frustrating 27 (wanted at least 30) because my right neck/shoulder was feeling off and ready to tweak. Damn!

Brain: Good. Happy for Friday!

I had a solid realization today about my overcommitments...they are making me fat. Too much to do > stress > inability to use willpower on food > food shortcuts > overeating > fat. So, more incentive to JUST SAY NO.

Grateful: For the running group.

Thursday, February 28

Nutrition: Four meals thanks to 3am breakfast. Being super tired also led to eating too much & drinking way too much caffeine. I also had deadlift-day over-eating excuses.

Actually, while it was high calorie, the food quality was spot-on, and most importantly it wasn't bingey because I let myself snack as I felt the need (almonds, cuties, etc - like I said, nothing wild).

BUT I also burned my tongue on coffee from my brand new coffee-maker. Damn you, Keurig!

Acne: Yesterday's pork rind test already prompted a cyst. Damn you, maltodextrin!! (Derived from corn.)

Sleep: TERRIBLE. In bed 8.5 hours, but 9p-245a, then 415a-7a; a little math has me estimating pathetic 63% quality. First chunk was solid but then I was wide effing awake, and trying to figure out WHY I was awake gave me a monkey mind. So I got up and ate my usual breakfast, read for a while, then went back to bed. Got an hour of deep & wonderful sleep, then fought with the alarm, not wanting to get up at all. Headache, dry mouth, tired, major crank upon waking.

Body: Right foot outside is now hurting, not so much bottom. Feels like a spot that connects up to peroneals. Weird pinching in left hip again as well, but felt fine in session. Pulls in session, 7x2.

Brain: Decent. Tired but upbeat.

Grateful: For orange kitties.

Clyde is my favorite.

Don't tell Oscar.