Traffic jam downtown thanks to the JW regional meeting. Already late to work. All I can do is smile and turn up my music a little louder.
I’ve never been officially diagnosed with depression. As a teen, I wanted help, and I even asked for help — but in retrospect, I’ve chalked it up to hormones and typical teen drama. As a young adult, I put the blame on myself for allowing my days and nights to get turned around in college, causing a spiral of oversleeping and poor academic performance. Now, in middle age (*shudder*), I throw the blame on myself yet again for fostering poor sleeping habits and just having a boring life in general.
I find myself writing about this quasi-depression often enough, though, that I wonder — is this normal? Do other people find that every few months, there’s a stretch of a few days to a week or longer where they really just don’t give a shit?
I’m overtired, unable to concentrate (except on writing this, so I think that’s irony?), and have no interest in doing things that would normally be exciting for me — today’s yoga class, for instance, or mailing exposed rolls of film off to be developed. My sense of responsibility is strong enough (thanks to parenthood) to get me out of bed, get my kid up, get myself to work, cook meals, and do all the necessary things… so I’m not really depressed, right? Depressed people spend all day in bed because they can’t bring themselves to get up. That’s not my M.O., so I’m not depressed. Right?
At my last visit with my GP, the nurse asked me something much more epic — something along the lines of “Do you ever feel hopeless?” Hopeless? No, tired and apathetic and disinterested are definitely different from hopeless — and it’s not all the time.
My brain tells me that the correct solution to all this is, “Suck it up, Buttercup.” Therapy might help, or meds might help, but maybe I ought to see if I can help myself first. You know, eat right, exercise, meditate (zazen, walking, writing, etc).
If I can help myself, then I’m not really depressed. Right?
It’s never good when I reach the middle of the month and realize it’s already time to take my monthly body fat percentage measurements. In that moment, I feel like I’ve squandered the last four weeks, and I’m no better off than I was at the last measurement.
It also sucks when I look at my meal breakdown graph for that mid-month week and realize I didn’t learn anything from the previous month, apparently. Snacking — especially evening binge snacking — is a major problem.
Every Tuesday, before my weekly Weight Watchers weigh-in, I mentally check in with myself. Lately, I feel like I’m running up the down escalator when it comes to weight loss — not only that, but I get distracted midstream, so I’ll stop trying for just a moment and lose so much ground.
The question is how to keep myself focused. Granted, I’m pretty sick of being in constant weight-loss mode (hence why I let myself go off the rails sometimes), but that’s no reason to sit down and eat a fourth meal and two more desserts after my son goes to bed.
Since my obvious problem is after-dinner snacking, perhaps it’s time to reinstate The Closing Of The Kitchen ritual. The status quo earlier in the month had been to plod downstairs after the nightly bedtime ritual and beeline for the pantry to feed my emotions, and put off loading or unloading the dishwasher and cleaning the counters and whatnot until time for me to go up to bed myself. Instead of hanging out in the living room, munching on something and watching Good Eats on Netflix and waiting for my son to call me upstairs for whatever reason, how about I go immediately into the kitchen (where I can still hear him if he calls) and clean up?
Another focusing tactic that’s worked for me in the past is the daily photo-journaling of my meals, so that was an option. Then, in addition to Closing the Kitchen and photo-journaling, one thing I hadn’t tried up until this point was actually planning my meals ahead and pre-tracking them.
So, on my mid-month weigh-and-measure day, I started all of these. I sat down and planned out my meals from Tuesday through Friday, I photographed each of the day’s meals and snacks just before eating, I cleaned up the kitchen after my son went down for the night, I made a low-cal dessert (individual pudding cups, 5SP each), and I calmly enjoyed one in the sunroom after I was sure my son wasn’t going to get up again.
I also opted not to turn on any lights or watch any TV, although I did play on my phone in the sunroom until it got dark. Once it got too dark to see, it was time for me to get up to bed, anyway. I did a little yoga (although it was mostly stretchy and not strengthy, as I was too tired for proper form at that point), played on my phone for a little while, and went to bed a half hour earlier than normal (but still later than would be ideal).
The word “holistic” has a hippy-dippy connotation for me, but I really do need to take a holistic approach to my health. Everything’s related — mood, food, sleep — and I would be well-served to take care of all of them, instead of working on one at the exclusion of the others. (more…)
First yoga class with Reggie at Majestic Fitness downtown. Attended with Jenny, a fellow yoga practitioner from the Fitness Center at work.
I went in expecting a basic-level yoga session, perhaps not as polished as I was used to getting from Doug, our former yoga instructor at work. That’s basically what we got: good poses, some good flow in places, basic balancing poses, and breathing exercises. Transitions were choppy or non-existent in most cases.
Nothing strained or hurt except holding a double-leg raise, keeping our feet a mere twelve inches off the floor. That kind of hurt my back. Nothing else was even really mildly challenging — which I think was what Jenny and I both wanted. Stretchy goodness.
We agreed that we’d be back, although we weren’t exactly positive how often. We’ll text him beforehand to let him know how many participants (if any) will be in attendance each Thursday.
We’ll see if anyone else is interested in traipsing down with me/us in a couple of weeks…
Local peeps? Reggie at Majestic Fitness in downtown Toledo teaches a quite passable and affordable yoga class. This may be a regular thing.
Getting ready to try a new yoga class downtown. Kind of nervous since a) it’s a new situation and b) an independent trainer owns the joint.