Archive for the ‘Sleep’ Category

Again, no morning walk.

August 19, 2010

Once again I slept poorly, visited by a myriad of anxieties. Once again the alarm went off at 5:30. Once again I went back to bed.

This cycle is frustrating. How can I break out of it? Well, I can’t prevent my last few weeks at work from being difficult. I’m already drawing emotional strength from sticking to my diet in the face of the stress. But I’m not dealing with my other sources of anxiety: budgeting, bills, DMV paperwork, etc. I’ve been letting it all slide as I focus on making it through my final days at Goldman Sachs.

Well, if I ever benefitted from the procrastination, I’ve long since passed the point of diminishing returns. Tonight I’m going to focus on getting some of these tasks done, and maybe then I’ll sleep a little sounder. I’ve got to get up for a walk tomorrow morning!

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Day Sixty-Six

June 24, 2010

For the second day in a row, I got up at 5:30 and took a walk. It cost me an hour of sleep that I could have used, but boy am I glad I did it. I was rewarded with various flora and fauna sightings, the pride of having gotten myself moving, and of course the physical benefits of the exercise.

I was much more relaxed at work because I finally knew which way the ball was rolling. Since yesterday I’ve known that my boss won’t allow me to switch departments, so I know that I’ll be leaving. So I can stop anticipating, stop sweating and stop scrambling to feed his pathology. I don’t need to own the pressure he shovels on, especially now that he has no stick to beat me with.

I was exhausted when I got home, but I knew that I needed strenuous exercise in order to fight the stress and exhaustion of the last few weeks. My crotchetiness alone proved how much I needed to work off some bad energy and make room for some good stuff to come in. So I grabbed my jump rope and gloves, and did a solid calisthenics routine. It wasn’t quite what I did two weeks ago, but almost.

As I helped Grace with laundry I noticed that my arms were achy from the calisthenics. It was a sweet ache — a welcome reminder that I haven’t exercised enough during the last few weeks. I’m going to get back into my evening habit, and soon I will surpass those recent workouts.

And I actually got to bed on time for once. Boy, that felt good.

Day Fifty-Eight

June 16, 2010

Again I didn’t sleep well. Again I didn’t get up for a walk. Going back to work was not a pleasing prospect. But back to work I went. This can’t last.

I was immensely productive at work, yet for all the gratitude it earned me I might as well have been twiddling my thumbs. In other words, it was par for the course of the last few months. This won’t last.

I forgot to eat my 4:00 meal because I was running to catch the ferry to the Manhattan office. Just to show you that I’m not the type to starve myself, I’d like to point out that this is very unusual for me. I’m not eating much these days, but I’m eating regular meals and getting proper nutrition. From now on I’m going to keep a Zone Bar in my bag at all times for ferry-grabbing situations. Anorexia ain’t me.

When I got home I did calisthenics. My reaction was the opposite of what it was a week or two ago, when I surprised myself at how much I could do despite feeling tired. This time I surprised myself with how *little* I could do. I’m exhausted — partially from the weekend, but I think mostly from frustration at work. This can’t last.

I was happy to get some work done on my Link Trail blog. The latest entry tells about the thirty-mile hike in much more detail. Once I post the videos from the following day’s hike with my niece and nephew, I’ll be caught up.

For dinner I had my standard egg fried in olive oil with a half ounce of cheese on one slice of dry whole wheat toast. Then I had a big helping of Haricots Verts green beans from Trader Joe’s. I even splurged and melted a mozzarella stick over it. Yummy vitamin A and protein!

I kept telling myself that I’d get to bed early, but that didn’t quite happen. Still, I left myself well over seven hours, which should have been plenty. Alas, as you’ll see from the next entry, it wasn’t quite enough given the circumstances.

Day Fifty-Three

June 11, 2010

I got up at 5:30 and walked, even though I’d been struggling with a cold and I’d been out drinking the night before! Yeah! It’s always a balancing act to try to judge when to follow the axiom “exercise is good for me” and when to recognize that my body needs sleep, but I seem to be making the right choices. I think that getting up to walk has helped me fight off this cold.

Work was a nightmare of farce. I’m part of a pathologically dysfunctional and abusive working relationship. I won’t be there much longer.

Wednesday was my friend Dan’s birthday. We had separate plans for that night, so we decided to meet in Jersey City after work on Thursday. Dan was very kindly attentive to my eating and drinking restrictions, though I told him not to worry about me.

For dinner we went to Baja, a Mexican place that Dan likes. I was pleased to find a reasonably-priced, reasonably-portioned veggie quesadilla, which I ordered sans mushrooms. Mmmmmm. I don’t think I’ve ever had spinach in a quesadilla before.

I would have been completely happy with my eating performance if not for one thing: the chips. I ate them compulsively, even after the salsa was gone. It wasn’t a huge amount, but the point is that I ate them because they were in front of me, and I ate them until they were gone. I can’t afford to do that any more.

I went home and collapsed, which was not unexpected given my work stress and the fact that I’m fighting off a cold. That’s why I’m again pulling a Pepys and writing this on Friday morning. Good morning!

Hitting the trail

June 5, 2010
Me at the beginning of a thirty-mile hike, just past the Canastota trailhead

Me at the beginning of a thirty-mile hike, just past the Canastota trailhead

I’ve had four hours of seep and I’m about to attempt a thirty-mile hike. Wish me luck.

Day Forty-Seven

June 5, 2010

I’d stayed up late with Don on Thursday night so I didn’t manage to take a walk along the Hudson in the morning. Darn. Well, I knew that I’d be doing a thirty-mile hike on Saturday, so it wasn’t so bad.

Work was farcical, which kept me occupied. I was proud to resist the cakes at the office event.

I wasn’t able to exercise because Grace and I were slated to put in an appearance at her dinner dance at work, and then I drove four hours to Oneida, getting to bed a little after 2:00.

I won’t say “Good night” because it’s 7:27 AM and I’m at the trailhead. I’m borrowing a page from Samuel Pepys, doing my diary entry the next day.

226

June 2, 2010

Actually more like 225.5 but again with the conservative. I’m happy with this because I needed the sleep that I’ve soaked up since Sunday night. Tonight I’ll do my calisthenics, tomorrow I’ll get up and walk, and that old needle will move counterclockwise again.

I’ll tell you another reason why I’m happy: Right now I’m wearing pants that I couldn’t have worn a month ago. I’m also wearing the size 42 belt that I bought after buying a size 40 and realizing that I couldn’t wear it, but I’ve tightened it so that now I’m on the second notch. Yet since yesterday those pants and that belt have been loose enough to slide partway down my hips.

This morning I tried on that size 40 belt and found that it’s ready to wear: certainly not loose, but no longer overly snug. I’ve lost two or three inches off my waist in the twenty-three days since I bought it. Tonight I’m going to get pictures as I hang this size 42 somewhere prominent.

My kung fu is strong.

Day Forty-Four

June 1, 2010

Oh MAN I was exhausted today. The commute is seriously depressing me, plus all the exercise I got during the previous three days fell on me like a ton of bricks. I haven’t fallen asleep at my chair at work like that in a long time.

This day was notable in that there were no new temptations laid out on the turrets. Of course there were some Indian sweets left from Friday, and I managed to bring myself to temptation by attending a Pride Month event with a tray of cookies outside the room. I never flinched.

I, um, also didn’t get up to exercise this morning. And I was so sleepy when I got home that calisthenics were out of the question. That’s OK, though — I went above and beyond for three solid days, so it’s right that this should be a day of rest.

Speaking of which… off to bed. Good night!

229

May 27, 2010

Wow again. Down another pound today! And I didn’t even walk this morning!

The main reason why I let myself go between September and March was that I was sick. That’s why I’m heeding my body’s need for sleep these days. If that line on my weight loss chart drops slowly, I can handle it. If I get sick again, I don’t know if I can handle it. That scares me.

The last three days were stuffed with a surprising mix of worry, joy and bustle that didn’t allow for too much sleep. So this morning, when my body said that it needed more sleep, I listened. I was worried that I’d pay for the lack of exercise, but it looks like all that walking I did with Morgan amounted to more than I realized.

I’m full of pleasant shock at having shifted my body so firmly into fat-burning mode that I can lose weight just by following my diet and being active. I guarantee that it won’t continue to be this easy — as a matter of fact I’m expecting a plateau somewhere in the 220s. But for now I’m just overjoyed to have gotten a lovely visit from my daughter, stuck to my diet through it all, and lost weight despite not obsessing over exercise.

No weigh-in today

May 25, 2010

Yesterday I was: overwhelmed at the new commute; dejected about the new commute; happy with the noticeable improvement in my appearance; overcome with sour rage at the food being stuffed in my face; happy to connect with a friend who lives near my new office; overwhelmed to the point of despair with the hellish homeward commute; surprised and concerned at my daughter’s predicament at JFK; sheathed in perfect calm during the drive to JFK because I knew I had to be for my daughter’s sake; aggravated by the airport employees who couldn’t even seem to tell her where she was; relieved to finally pick her up; happy at the opportunity to spend time with her; and utterly exhausted by the day’s tumult.

So it will come as no surprise that, when my alarm went off at 5:30, I chose to get an extra hour of sleep on top of the measley five I’d had, rather than taking my morning walk. I didn’t have the opportunity to weigh myself as we were running for the train, but I’m confident that I’m moving in the right direction this week: I’m eating right and feeling strong in my resolve not to use my daughter’s visit as an excuse to break my diet.