I have tried to steer clear of spreading negativity on this blog, thus far. As addictive as it is to read everyone’s negative comments on Facebook, it really is a pet peeve of mine. Especially when those comments end up being very personal and way TMI! For example, I have one friend who repetitively announces when her “aunt flo” is visiting! First of all, yuck. Second of all, why would anyone else on your feed care about or need to know that?
That being said… this blog also serves a purpose of self discovery. Lately, I have been doing a lot of self discovery, and I have discovered that I have definitely been in a funk. I have been depressed, lazy, unmotivated, and foggy. The reason for this funk is not a mystery and I am certain I know exactly where it has came from. There have been a combination of changes in my life over the last several months. There have definitely been a lot of ups and downs.
One big change I have not yet mentioned on the blog, as I still have felt very apprehensive about whether or not I want to disclose this information. But here goes… I got a new promotion at work about a month ago! I am now a Drug Treatment Specialist for the Bureau of Prisons! Yes, it is very good news and something I have been working towards for a while. I am very proud of myself. However, with a new job comes lots of new responsibilities and the addition of work related stress. I have not had the pleasure of dealing with work related stress in quite a while. Yes, my previous position had a certain amount of stress, but not to the degree my new position has.
With the addition of this stress, I have felt very tired and sluggish in the afternoons. My willpower has been running on empty and I have succumbed to many overindulgences in food. I have also experienced a significant lack of interest in working out and keeping up with any sort of normal routine. Of course, these things have also taken a hit to my self-esteem.
Well, no more. This past weekend I took the time to really sit down and reevaluate my circumstances and goals, and why I keep having setbacks. I realized a lot of my setbacks have simply involved giving up too easy. I consistently fall into the negative self-talk, telling myself, “Well, I’ve already eaten over my calories for the day, I guess eating 5 MORE BROWNIES won’t matter.” I confess, that really DID happen one day recently. I know it’s ridiculous. For heaven’s sake, I’m an addictions counselor now! “I know how this self-talk has affected me and the goals I’m hoping to achieve!” I say this while looking in the mirror and in my best and most professional counseling voice I can muster.
Yesterday I sat down with a plain notebook and outlined a meal plan for myself this week. I counted calories for each item and ensured that every meal was full of nutritious, clean foods. (As I type this at lunchtime, I’m having a spinach salad with broccoli, snap peas, and tuna. Paired with baby carrots and one thin cinnamon raison bagel. I will finish the meal with a hot, steamy cup of Sugar Cookie tea.) I already know by the end of the week I will be craving a break from the structure, therefore I planned ahead of time for a “cheat meal” on Sunday. Sunday works best for me because this is the day I usually go out to dinner with my Mom and we almost always split a dessert afterwards. I know many are completely against counting calories, and in no way am I suggesting this is the only way to stay balanced successfully. However, this is what I have found works best for me. Hard, cold, factual numbers keep me honest with myself.
In addition to a meal plan, I also outlined an exercise routine. Because I have basically been down to 0 exercise in the last few weeks, I thought starting out small would be best. For now, I have included 3 days of exercise per week and a “bonus” day if I decide to do a fun activity, such as going for a walk. As of right now, I am planning on getting my exercise through running, elliptical workouts, gym classes, and strength training circuits.
I am more than excited to start on this plan. My body and mind have felt completely out of control lately. I am happy to be able to get back to some sort of routine. I crave the structure and depend on my feelings of accomplisment to keep me motivated.
P.S. So sorry for the explosion of motivational quotes and lack of real life pictures. These are some of my favorites that have kept me motivated, and I wanted to share.
Q’s for the day:
What motivates you to continue through your routine?
What type of stress can completely unravel you from your routine?