Friday, November 1, 2019
Another week down...
I really feel like I'm starting to find a good balance and relationship with the exercising. My leg is feeling better, and I've slowly started to do some running again. Mostly on the treadmill, but have done a few runs outside which has felt nice.
One of the biggest things to have helped here was a recommendation to make my Strava activities private, so that only I can see them get logged. This has actually been a tremendous help. As it turns out, Strava is a great tool if used properly, but for me only added to the external pressure that I would put on myself. By removing this, if I only run 2 miles or run at a slow pace, I don't feel as though I will be judged for it. Even though I KNOW that nobody really cares and I would never actually be judged for it, it was always something that would go through my mind and push me to run further and faster. That pressure is now gone.
So for now I'm just running a few miles every other day and just walking mixed in, feeling my leg out to make sure I'm not going to re-aggravate things. And I'm running because it feels good, not because I feel like it's something I have to do. I set hard limits in my mind before I start the run and have committed to ending the run at (or before, if anything starts to hurt) those limits regardless of how good I'm feeling. That way I don't start pushing too hard again.
One of the coolest exercise items that we've found this week has to be Nintendo's "Ring fit adventure" for Evan's switch. As it turns out, it can really be a pretty intense workout and is fun at the same time. And Evan loves playing it too!
I really find this hard to explain. This has probably been one of the most difficult challenges I've ever faced. I feel like I have made some progress, but never expected it to be so difficult.
Last Thursday, a coworker organized a Pot Luck lunch for everyone in our department to take part in on the upcoming Monday. I agreed to participate as I do enjoy cooking and baking. I decided to make a rhubarb cake that I love and hadn't made in quite a while. From Thursday afternoon on, all I could focus on was the Monday pot luck... "What's going to be there? What will I be 'allowed' to eat? What if I eat too much? etc". As Monday got closer, my anxiety continued to increase. As I drove to work on Monday, I almost turned around to go home and call in sick. I really feel like I would have if it wasn't for having the cake sitting on the backseat of my truck. The good news, I actually ended up eating a really good lunch, and actually felt good about it after I was done. In the long run, I feel like forcing myself into participating was a healthy move and pushed me in the right direction.
Being the technical people that we are, Sarah and I have done a bit of our own research into it are pretty sure that what I am dealing with would be referred to as "Orthorexia". It's worth googling, and I bought and blasted through a great book on it called "Orthorexia: When healthy eating goes bad". I've also read various blogs, watched some really good TED talks on eating disorders, etc.
I think what makes this really difficult for me personally, is I'm used to being able to thoroughly research a topic, understand it, and acquire the related skills. This is something that comes in really handy with such a technical mindset. Unfortunately with this, it seems as though I can research and know everything there is to know about eating disorders, recovery, etc, but my mind just won't LET me do what I know is right.
I KNOW that eating that cookie won't make me gain weight... I KNOW I can sit down and enjoy a good meal... I even KNOW that regardless of those last two statements, I should be trying to gain back 10 to 20 pounds and will still be perfectly healthy. There is no question in my mind that these statements are correct. BUT, it's still a constant battle.
One of the TED talks that I watched described it something like this, and I can completely relate: "When most people sit down for dinner, they see a nice meal that they are about to enjoy... When I sit down for dinner, my mind is racing doing any number of mathematical calculations trying to decide what I'm 'allowed' to eat". The preoccupation with food is mentally exhausting.
I have been re-introducing foods that I had cut out before, and trying to re-teach myself that if my body says that it's hungry, it's ok to eat. It's just much more difficult and taking longer to get there than I ever would have expected.
I know that with time I'll get there, and once again cannot say enough how much I appreciate everyone's prayers and encouragement.
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