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Everything posted by Harihead

  1. Ugh. 4 hours sleep last night. I hope my anxiety will ease off now that I've actually applied for a job. You darned betcha. I was ill all January, which is part of the reason I'm so far behind now. It took me a while to recover, but now I'm in Death March trim. Gah. I'll be so happy when it's over. Mon: Super-duper clean diet Aerobics: walk + Tai Chi (class) MFP projection = -0.75 pounds/week Renew: Applied for a job! I'm fading fast. I fall asleep quickly, but I tend to wake up between 2 and 5 and stay awake. Please, oh please, Morpheus, let me sleep in!
  2. Here's hoping you feel better. You've been a support and kindness to me. Thanks for all you do, and wishing you a speedy return to vitality.
  3. Harihead

    Shaeon Sleeps

    Hi, Shaeon. You and I seem to be in the same boat. I'm a technical writer (well, that's been my background; in elearning now) and I'm now looking for a new situation. My problem is a little different; I'm isolated and demeaned at work (I understand how discouraging a remote office can be). The company is happy to use my energy against impossible odds while not giving me the support I need. I'm going to see if I can find something a little less painful. What do you have in terms of tech writing networking in your area? Denver's a very active place. We have a pretty good chapter of the Society for Technical Communication. Are you a member? Even if not, you can look on the national website and see if you can dig up some job-switching aids. (The website is pretty horrible since they outsourced it and stopped using technical communicators to do it, but they have some resources if you dig.) Best wishes to you. Hang in there.
  4. Week 1 Roundup: This has been an AWESOME week, and I have Nerd Fitness to thank. I have been under tremendous pressure at work, and the twin combo of clean diet and regular exercise have got me through in astoundingly good shape. The sleep is not working out so well, but I have been actively working to enable good habits. I went to bed super early last night. Still woke up too early today, but I have all sorts of good enabling habits like tea and wind-down time and (an attempt at) regular hours. I believe this will straighten itself out next week as the work situation cools. Exercise: Cardio = A+. I have already exceeded my weekly goal per MFP, and I haven't done my hike yet. Pounds down = 2 for the week (right on projected target) Diet: A for the week. I exceeded my goals for clean diet, even less dairy than could be allotted and right on target for alcohol. I intentionally ate a dessert instead of dinner last night as a special treat (after eating super clean all day). This was an intentional choice. My goals are working just the way I want them to. Refresh:B for the week. I did Tai Chi or meditation every day except one, and tried my level best to sleep. I expect as I get the immediate crisis behind me, I'll actually return to sleeping 7.5 hours per night. Write My Way Out of a Paper Office:GOAL CHANGE: Considering the recent meltdown, I am expanding this goal to include activities related to finding a new job. I won't be able to stick out my current situation for 3 years (which is the time I've allowed my new business to take off). Therefore, to get out of this particular office, I'm going to permit job-seeking activities in addition to fiction-writing activities. The ideal is 2 of each per week, but I'm allowing myself some flexibility as events dictate. New challenge is called Renew:A = 4/week WIS +3B = 3/week WIS +2C = 2/week WIS +1 Here's what I did this week to earn an A:Fiction: 12 stories in mail, Updated Twitter & LI profiles, tweeted new storyJob: Consulted with local job maven, sent updated resume to 3 reviewers, read 3 books and devised plan for managing work crisis First order of business is to calm the work crisis. I'm developing an action plan today. Next is to get the job ball rolling. I'll be filling in fiction goals around my other new-job activities. Sun: clean diet Aerobics: hike (3 miles, steep) + meditation MFP projection = -3 pounds/week Renew: read 3 books (workplace bullying, conflict resolution, legal rights) and developed work action plan
  5. Saturday, last day of week 1. Today is the "final roundup". My work situation meant I got 5 hours of sleep or so again. Got to sleep late (intentionally), but woke at 4 AM again. I've been up reading about climbing Everest ever since. The book seems oddly appropriate. Yesterday after more consultation I finalized the decision to look for a new job. I sent my resume to 3 trusted friends for comment. It's going to be a long road-- I expect it will be 4 months before landing something new. I'm highly experienced, so landing something suitable might be a challenge, despite the market for technical communicators being brisk. We shall see how it goes. I had hoped that making the decision would calm me down, but I'm obviously still highly adrenalized. I think I need to meditate more; Tai Chi alone isn't cutting the added stress. Tested bp again yesterday: 130/87. That's work, folks. I'm looking forward to either a bike ride or mountain climb today to swing the balance back. Sat: clean diet Aerobics: walk only MFP projection = 0.5 pounds/week
  6. Rurik, you're very wise. Alas, I have not been calm or mature. It seems every 2 years at this job I have a meltdown. The underlying problems remain. I'll continue working through options with friends. > they seem smaller than all of the overthinking we're capable of. Guilty. Thanks for the encouragement! I'm meeting a friend to discuss work options tomorrow. Since she likes to drink, I'm meeting her for lunch. I'm having too much success with my clean diet to want to break it now. Preparing for tomorrow: Fri: Very clean diet + fried chicken (1 processed food= Done for week) Aerobics: walk + Tai Chi MFP projection = 0.75 pounds/week Friday morning update: I FINALLY SLEPT LAST NIGHT. Such a relief.
  7. Work continues to be stressful post-meltdown. The very strict diet is helping. I met a coworker for drinks after work, and while it was a great talk, my head doesn't like me this morning. I want to keep away from alcohol. Sleep is another problem. I have been getting to bed fairly regularly, but I wake up around 2-4 and start going over the work problems. I'm trying various tactics such as getting up and reading elsewhere for a while (drugged with tea and valerian). Tonight I'll bring a notepad to write down thoughts. I think I'll feel better once I plot my exit strategy. I'd like to have something new lined up by July. Weds: Super clean diet, + 2 red wine (Done for week) Aerobics: walk + Tai Chi MFP projection = 1.2 pounds/week Thurs: Very clean diet (some butter) Aerobics: bodyweight workout + walk + slow Tai Chi MFP projection = 2 pounds/week
  8. Thank you! I was hoping for a clear win, and I think I got it. I'm suspicious of health-care companies. They had that flag on their records; who knows what they'll try to get out of paying?
  9. Tank, your words are like cool water. I appreciate the vote of confidence. I had a chat with the boss by phone and they're making some changes (getting me a replacement contact is top of the list-- he's already outshined this bozo in just 2 emails). I'm going to head back in tomorrow and keep working on my deadline, but my plan will be to wait for any pay adjustment and possible bonuses, awarded in early May, and then move on to my next gig. 2 months should be plenty of time to scare up a more suitable billet. And I won't jump at the first thing that comes along (we can hope). Oddly enough, the restricted diet has really been helping me to cope with this stress. I think it's giving me extra strength. Tues: Super clean diet, lots of tea Aerobics: (bike 5 miles) + Tai Chi MFP projection = 2 pounds/week Fiction:
  10. LOL. At least you know all you have to do is watch your diet for 4 months. I get retested in 6 mos. I want my LDLs below 100 for that. Ah, goals.
  11. Indeed. *bounces* Let's hear it for 4-month intentional dietary changes. It seems as if my hunches for what would work are supported. They posted my full lipid panel. The results are even better than I expected. F CHOLESTEROL, SERUM 217 H 125-200 (MG/DL) - High due to "good" cholesterol F TRIGLYCERIDES, SERUM 89 <150 (MG/DL) - Down from 131 F HDL CHOLESTEROL 81 >=46 (MG/DL) - Up from 51 F LDL 118 <130 (MG/DL) - Down from 139 F CHOL/HDL RATIO 2.7 <=5.0 (RATIO) - Down from 4.2 Here's a defense off the web of my numbers. They suggest I'm actually in the "optimum" range now, although I'd still like to get those LDLs lower. People with high good cholesterol levels (60 mg/dL or more) and low levels of triglycerides (less than 100 mg/dL) may actually be at a lower risk for heart disease than people with normal cholesterol levels who have lower levels of good cholesterol and higher levels of bad cholesterol. "There are many individuals with high total cholesterol who have 'squeaky clean' blood vessels," says Arthur Agatston, MD, of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. "I even see women with total cholesterol over 300 who are not accumulating plaque. They usually have high levels of good cholesterol and low levels of triglycerides." "The total cholesterol to HDL ratio is a better predictor of heart attack and stroke than total cholesterol or total bad cholesterol alone." Dr. Agatston says the average ratio Americans is about 5, a ratio lower than 4 is considered normal and one lower than 3.5 is considered optimal.
  12. drum roll.... It worked! I passed my cholesterol test! Congratulations! You dropped your LDL from 139 to 118. Continue to work on healthy diet and exercise to maintain. I'm thinking the major factor here was diet, because my weight and exercise are about the same as they were 4 months ago. I'm tremendously relieved that the numbers are going in the right direction. I look forward to seeing the whole report so I can geek out on all the numbers. (the message above was from the doctor's email.) I'd like to thank everyone on this thread for their support. It really meant a lot to me, and I appreciate it. Have a terrific day, all!
  13. Thank you! First, the good news. I passed my cholesterol test! Congratulations! You dropped your LDL from 139 to 118. Continue to work on healthy diet and exercise to maintain. I'm going to say the only factor here was diet, because my weight and exercise are about the same as they were 4 months ago. I'm tremendously relieved that the numbers are going in the right direction. I look forward to seeing the whole report so I can geek out on all the numbers. (the message above was from the doctor's email.) The not-so-good news is that I had a meltdown at work. I work with a fair number of jerks, and the jerkiest of the jerks came out swinging at me yesterday because I reported to a coworker that his server wasn't working (it wasn't). He's the kind of person who is incompetent and likes to use bullying and misdirection to keep everyone else from seeing how incompetent he is. (A normal person would just reboot the server.) Anyway, with all the OT I've been putting in, this RAGE just took me over and I can't shake it. I confided in one coworker, kept it to myself, but my intuitive boss saw the inflammatory email string this bozo had been bombarding me with, and called me to check in. I didn't have enough emotional reserves to handle her kind call, and started to really yell about this guy with shaking voice et all. Not my proudest moment. She said she'd take it to the director, and then _he_ called. I was still wound up and he got an earful. I never want to be a problem at work, I want to be a solution. Normally I can carry it off. But the long OT has worn me down, and this guy hurling unfounded accusations just took the cake. He's a VP in charge of my project, so I can't escape him. He's been a problem for a long time, but the blow-up yesterday helped crystalize a real problem I have with this company. I'm lonely. I'm the sole eLearning developer in this company of 5000+. My courses came out of nowhere to, within 3 years, providing 85% of the company's revenue from training. So all the classroom trainers hate me, because people would rather take my courses than theirs (and a couple have been let go). The engineering group hates me because they feel stupid in comparison (they are; this defensive bozo above is their chief). The developers just ignore me because we're understaffed and no one is allotted time to review or work on my courses. I'm exceptionally good at my job so I can produce top-quality product with a minimum of input, but this constant fighting for the tiniest smidge of someone's time makes the job a drain. This is what I tactfully call "a conservative company" but really means a lot of sexism and marginalization of women. I can go toe-to-toe with most people; I'm clever and cheerful and they don't get a chance to dig in. But this pervasive company culture that continually undervalues my contribution really bothers me. Anyway, to cheer myself up I cleaned out my desk and took all my stuff home. I just have a bare cube there. I took home the computer and I'm going to make sure there's no personal info on there and copy over some samples I can use for interviewing. My boss is supportive, and who knows what the director is? He wants to "talk to" me this morning. Sigh. But even if he comes out in my corner, he's one man. The company culture is not supportive of what I do. If any of you have read "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People", one of the things Covey states (which I believe is true) is you can't change the culture. If they're crisis adrenalin junkies and you're not, you won't ever change them. I miss Bell Labs! That was the best job. I worked side-by-side with really smart developers as a true team, and we produced some neat products. The one I'm proudest of sparked an email campaign when the company tried to retire it, so they had to upgrade it to the new OS's. I have worked in good teams where I was respected and valued. This place... I'm not sure I want to give them my hard work any longer. I'm still very unsettled. Not sure what the day will bring. Poor DJtrippyT is wondering what the heck he wandered into. Sorry, this is my first-ever Rebel rant! Here's what's interesting about it: - I wasn't even tempted to eat. In fact, I haven't eaten dinner or breakfast since the kerfuffle. In this situation, food is not a comfort! Lots of tea, though. - and no alcohol. Interestingly, I didn't even want it. Tea, my friends. - Tai Chi is a magic pill. I went to class last night and it really helped.
  14. Okay, preparing for another "Death March" week. In keeping with that, I'll be tracking my weeks Sunday through Saturday. Sunday (today): Super clean diet, lots of water Aerobics: (bike 11 miles) + yoga + meditation MFP projection = 1.5 pounds/week Fiction: Updated Twitter & LI profiles, tweeted new story Mon: Bodyweight workout, cholesterol test Super clean diet, lots of water Aerobics: walk + Tai Chi MFP projection = 3 pounds/week Fiction: sent out 8 stories to mags Very upsetting day at work today due to a long-time jerk. Too upset to eat dinner. I cleaned out my desk. The director wants to talk to me tomorrow. I hate meltdowns.
  15. Today is cholesterol prep day. I have no idea if this last-minute (1 week's worth) adjustment to my bad habits will make any difference, but I feel as if it can't hurt. Next 24 hours: - no meat or diary - pure paleo - pound water Yesterday I climbed the mountain and skipped the feast. After all my hard work, I didn't want to put myself in the way of sugary/starchy foods and alcohol. Just not worth it. The feast was counter to my goals, and climbing supported them. Quod imaginatur, unum facit. I'm in desperately poor shape. Yes, the Flatirons are roughly shaped like an A, but only 1/4 mile of up left me breathless with quivering muscles. My 2 "off" months really show. I took my blood pressure about 45 mins after the hike: 93/67. Normally when I take my bp after work, it's around 130/84. Something tells me exercise is good for stress. I took my measurements today. While I've held my weight, I've succeeded in becoming much wider. This is sobering. It's time to get back on the horse. My target is 45 minutes of exercise/day average. I did that last week, and should easily continue it. Saturday: Very clean diet (one dab of mayonnaise) + Aerobics (2 mile hike) + Tai Chi. A+ for the day! MFP projection = 2 pounds/week Sunday: Super clean diet + Aerobics (bike 11 miles) + yoga. A+ for the day! Mon: Bodyweight workout, cholesterol test
  16. I'm in the publishing biz. That means deadlines. When wrapping up a major (months long) project, I first get really busy days. Then I start working longer days. Then all I do is work basically 8 to 8, after a restless night's sleep that is consumed by fretting over how much I can get done the following day. Some of my peeps call this phase The Death March. It's the nature of the beast; you gotta hit the deadline. One of my fellow managers measures success in how few days her team actually has to do the Death March. (She's gotten it as low as 6.) The problem, you can tell, is that fitness goes all wibbly during a death march. I get overtired and overeat, then I eat junk, and exercise goes out the window. I can plot my periodic weight spikes all last year against deadlines. No more! Thanks to my fellow Rebels, primarily Tanktimus the Encourager, Swampling, and Sloth the Slow and Steady, I have learned that I can get through 1 week of a Death March while doing a super clean diet and increasing exercise. No one was more surprised than I. I want more of this! So, Harihead is going to punch the Death March right in the nose! This is a bane of my life; it happens 3 or 4 times a year. This challenge is going to be all about surviving a Death March without giving myself a health setback. (We'll worry over the fact that I have no life in some other challenge.) Life Goal: Return to the weight and fitness I had when I worked from home, instead of someone else's office. 3 Month Goal: Lose 15 pounds before I go to France this June. 4 Week Challenge Goals: Prove that I can cope with a Death March and lose weight at the same time. That's just crazy talk! But what are challenges for? Exercise: Cardio = elevate heart rate at least 25 minutes 5x weekly. (This is another bump from last challenge, easy to track in MFP.)A = >5/week, STA +3, STR +2B = >4/week, STA +2, STR +1C = >3/week, STA +1F = fewer than this, take away 1 earned point! Diet: Put all that diet prep from the last few months used to lower my cholesterol to good use. For this challenge, I'm going to focus on my 2 worst stress-handling fails: processed food and alcohol. - <=1 processed food/week- <=2 drinks/week totalBy processed, I mean anything that isn't a fruit, vegetable, or natural protein. That includes all breads and all junk foods (like paleo organic potato chips-- just, no).A = 0 fails/week, CON +3, DEX +1B = 2 fails/week, CON +2, DEX +1C = 4 fails/week, CON +1, DEX +1F = fewer than this, take away 1 earned point! Refresh:I am seriously tired. I need to make sleep and stress reduction a priority. Here are my coping methods:- regular bedtime (tracked by my Jawbone UP)- Tai Chi or meditation every single day A = 0 fails/week, CHA +3B = 2 fails/week, CHA +2C = 4 fails/week, CHA +1F = fail to comply, take away 1 earned point! Write My Way Out of a Paper Office:With all the writing I'm doing at work, writing extra hours at home simply isn't healthy. I'm going to modify this challenge to do 1 supportive activity that will help me become independent/week (tracked on spreadsheet 181). We'll get back to writing in April. GOAL CHANGE week 1: Considering the recent meltdown at work, I am expanding this goal to include activities related to finding a new job. Therefore, to get out of this particular office, I'm going to permit job-seeking activities in addition to fiction-writing activities. The ideal is 2 of each per week, but I'm allowing myself some flexibility as events dictate. New challenge is called Renew:A = 4/week WIS +3B = 3/week WIS +2C = 2/week WIS +1 I have a feeling I'll be investigating work/life balance in April. Happy March challenge, everyone!
  17. Swampling, you're so sweet! Thanks so much for the happy talk. It's not surprising, but I can look over my weight records in MFP and it goes up every deadline. My work involves several major deliveries a year, and each one of those is a peak of stress and long hours. As one lady calls it in the biz, "The death march." I'm doing a death march now, and it's pretty amazing that I'm actually eating good food and working out more. I'm desperately tired, however, and not sure how much longer I can keep it up. The answer is to reduce the OT, not the fitness. I need to just get this monster off my back! I'm feeling some soreness because I haven't been working out. Ill all January, and then right into OT catch-up does not make for a happy body. But I'm going for it. I have a big trip planned in June. I want to lose 15 pounds before I go, so I don't embarrass myself overseas. Americans are always so much more plump than the average person. That's my next challenge. Thanks everyone for the encouragement! I'll report my cholesterol results here when I get them. Happy weekend!
  18. Friday: Clean diet + Aerobics + yoga + long walk. A+ for the day! MFP projection = 1.5 pounds/week Tomorrow I have a Tai Chi feast planned. I'm only allowed to attend if I hike a mountain first.
  19. I never understand it-- this transition from "This is impossible" to "I got this, no problem!" Not only am I eating better, I'm more active and bringing back my regular workout and yoga routine. The only thing I'm slipping on these last 2 nights is sleep. I get to bed in time, but I'm so adrenalized from work it's a very restless sleep. 12 hour days have their toll. Thanks for the encouragement, everyone!
  20. Thursday: Super clean diet + Aerobics + body weight workout. A+ for the day! MFP projection = 2 pounds/week
  21. Thank you all so much! Tuesday: Very clean diet (just 1/2 oz of cheese), + slightly less Aerobics. A- for the day MFP projection = 2 pounds/week Wednesday: Very clean diet (2 Tbps half/half), better Aerobics. A for the day MFP projection = 1.5 pounds/week Down 1 pound this morning, yay. I moved my bloodwork appt to Monday to force myself to keep on the super-clean diet all weekend. It will also give me 3 more days of non-junk food to prepare. I feel better and have more energy-- who'd a thunk? 4 more days of being super, coming up. This feels awesome.
  22. Monday: Super clean diet + Aerobics. A for the day! MFP projection = 2 pounds/week
  23. Week 3 roundup: Exercise: Warm weather made for great workouts. A = >4/week, STA +2, STR +2 Diet: Overtime is having its usual effect. Some processed food almost every day. F = <50% compliance Pound Down the Pounds: Too many calories. No change. F = fail to lose Write My Way Out of a Paper Office: I'm starting to get caught up. "Dreamed" 2 stories which is great, but no writing. F = only 3x this week This is moment of truth week for the cholesterol, and thanks to the OT and cold I've already decided I'm going to fail. I'll be glad to get it out of the way, because it's having way too much freak-out power in my brain. What I will do this week is the following: Exercise: Keep up the great walks and Tai Chi Diet: Eat absolutely clean every single day until the test Friday. That's only 4 days. I've never accomplished this during an overtime period, so that's a whole challenge all in itself. Pounds have nothing to do with me. They will do what they do. I'm writing OT at work and that has me occupied. I need to get over my work hump before I have mindshare for stories. That said, if I have less than a 10-hour day sometime, I want to write down the outlines for those stories. Doesn't sound like much fun, and OT isn't. It's a cycle though; when I feed the beast, I'll get my life back for a few weeks. Good luck, Rebels, on your own quests!
  24. Thanks, Swampling. I appreciate it! On top of everything else, when I'm this stressed, I don't sleep well. I'm going to bring back daily meditation to help. It's actually "roll up the sleeves" time. I'm taking it one meal at a time, one bedtime at a time. The deadline will pass, and I'd like to not have gained 5 pounds during it (which is my past pattern).
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