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Severine

Severine's Post-Cancer Comeback Part 2

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This challenge is a continuation of the one I started late during the last round

 

I'm down one thyroid, but also down one cancerous tumour, and the infection and bronchitis I developed post-surgery are almost completely gone and I am SO FUCKING READY to not be held back by health shit anymore. I can't even tell you.

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I have a long list of problems/challenges that I want to work on going forward. I know I can't deal with everything all at once, but it's good to keep them in mind, because even if I'm not tackling something right now I have to at least prevent it from derailing me. So here's a list of things I want to change:

 

  • My cardiovascular fitness is currently pretty bad, especially after the bronchitis
  • My stamina is lower than I want it to be
  • I am probably nutritionally deficient ATM because I have been skipping a lot of meals, eating at irregular times, and not getting a good balance of food
  • I weigh more than I want to weigh
  • I have lost a lot of strength over the past couple years
  • I'm drinking caffeine again (after giving it up and seeing huge benefits from doing so)
  • I am eating too much sugar and junk
  • I am sleeping better than I used to, but I've been going to bed too late
  • I stopped meditating despite seeing concrete benefits when I was doing it
  • I have some maladaptive patterns, mentally and emotionally, from bad experiences in my past, and they tend to make me anxious and sometimes sabotage my efforts to improve things (thankfully I have an awesome therapist and am working through this stuff as best I can)
  • I am recovering from an eating disorder (again, got treatment for this which really helped, but it's a lifelong recovery thing)
  • I often feel like I'm not making good enough use of my time, and I would like to change that
  • I want to get outside more than I have been recently
  • When things are stressful I tend to draw back from socializing, which is a mistake because then I feel isolated. I need to stay engaged with humans
  • Budgeting - I want to spend less money on convenience food and takeout than we currently spend. Obviously related to the nutrition issues
  • The possibility of the cancer coming back stresses me the fuck out, and I have to find a way to live with it for the rest of my life

 

And this is an overall thing: I want to get out of survival mode and start making decisions about my life direction in an active way. I always seem to have a lot of obligations and commitments and stuff going on, and it can be so easy for me to get hung up on things like due dates or problems that need solving that I just flow from putting out one fire to another, never stopping to ask myself if I'm living according to my priorities. And then before I know it, I'm spending most of my time at my desk despite the fact that being outside is one of the things that makes me happiest. Or several years goes by without me travelling anywhere, despite travel being one of the things that makes me feel most like my real self, because "I'm too busy for a trip right now." As I'm sure you can imagine, a brush with cancer was a huge wakeup call that unless I actively steer my life in the direction I want it to go, I'm likely to just end up in whatever random place the currents of chance take me feeling vaguely dissatisfied. Nobody wants that.

 

Okay, haha...that's a pretty long fucking list.

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Making the list is helpful in figuring out what I want to focus on now, though, and reminding me how interrelated shit is. So even if I just choose three or four things, they'll improve the other things.

 

So without further ado, my things:

 

1. GO OUTSIDE AND WALK AROUND - I want to spend at least 20 minutes every day walking outside. This is a fitness thing (low level obviously, but still) and also helps with stress and wellbeing and all that squishy stuff.

2. INGEST PLANTS - I want to eat a plant with every meal. I've found that when it comes to food, making action-focused goals ('do X') is better for me than making restriction-focused goals ('don't do Y') so that's why I'm setting it up this way.

3. UNFUCK SLEEP SCHEDULE - I would like to wake up consistently at 7:00am every morning and go to bed no later than 12:00am. I need to be up to take my fake thyroid hormone at 7am anyway, and the thing I do now where I sometimes go back to bed for an hour (or sometimes more) after that is just stupid because I never actually get quality sleep during that time, so it's just wasted time and then I'm tired anyway. So bedtime goal is midnight.

 

All right...it's time. 

 

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Excellent goals. Getting in sleep for me has become really important. I know I just don't make the best decisions when I am too tired to deal with anything.

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5 hours ago, Severine said:

2. INGEST PLANTS - I want to eat a plant with every meal. I've found that when it comes to food, making action-focused goals ('do X') is better for me than making restriction-focused goals ('don't do Y') so that's why I'm setting it up this way.

 

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I had a really weird experience tonight concerning an orange (hear me out). I hadn't really eaten dinner because I skipped breakfast and then ate a late lunch, so I was hungry at about 9pm, and then I was in the kitchen getting some cottage cheese because I wanted protein, and then I saw the oranges in the fruit basket on the counter and my first thought was "mmmm an orange sounds good" but then another part of my brain was like "ugh, oppressive healthy food directives" but like...I wanted to eat it? Apparently it being my own idea was not enough to stop the stupid sabotage part of my brain from automatically rejecting any suggestion to eat something healthy. UGH. Yes, growing up I was subject to a lot of fucked up food and body policing, and I have struggled with eating disorders, but really...it's insane that I am still at the point where one part of my brain is like "oooh an orange, that sounds yummy and good" and another part of my brain is all "SOMEONE IS TRYING TO FORCE US TO EAT HEALTHY, MUSTER THE ROHIRRIM!"

 

Anyway, so my brain was an asshole, but I ate the orange and it was tasty.

 

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DUDE - I've had stuff like that happen! Sometimes I'll be eating out and deciding between two foods that sound equally good and one of them is healthier, so I think I might as well get the healthier one. But then some other part of my brain is so wired against healthy food decisions that it takes over and is like "ughhh no not the healthy one don't make me do that again" and I pick the less healthy one (and almost immediately regret it)... even when I thought the healthier option sounded tasty in the first place so there's no restriction or force involved???

 

Good job resisting that voice and having the orange anyway! 

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I totally get the brain being dumb. I am glad you ignored it and the orange was tasty. I think you got a good plan this challenge and I am here to cheer you on.

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4 hours ago, NeverThatBored said:

DUDE - I've had stuff like that happen! Sometimes I'll be eating out and deciding between two foods that sound equally good and one of them is healthier, so I think I might as well get the healthier one. But then some other part of my brain is so wired against healthy food decisions that it takes over and is like "ughhh no not the healthy one don't make me do that again" and I pick the less healthy one (and almost immediately regret it)... even when I thought the healthier option sounded tasty in the first place so there's no restriction or force involved???

 

Maybe you've mentioned that before, or something, but ISTG when I was writing the post I was thinking "NTB will definitely understand this." You described it really well. It's so annoying! I sometimes think I would make healthier choices overall if I could wipe my brain of any knowledge of what was healthy or not. Like, it doesn't make sense that a lot of my favourite foods taste-wise are fruits and veggies and I still need to make it a goal to eat them.

 

Also, I had a dream that someone posted on my thread that since I had such a long list of things I needed to work on and I chose three really easy goals, I should probably add a fourth one. And when my alarm went off and I looked at my phone and I saw Tapatalk notifications about new forum posts my first thought was, "ugh I don't want to deal with replying to that" but a few minutes later when I was more awake I realized I was pretty sure it wasn't real. So I checked the forums and yeah, sure enough, I got pranked by myself.

 

My question for my brain: 

 

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12 hours ago, Severine said:

Went for a 25 minute walk tonight outside! Felt great.

 

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Please tell me you walked like that down the street.

Glad you got a walk in. I know getting out there and walking is very freeing right now.

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20 minutes ago, Bean Sidhe said:

Please tell me you walked like that down the street.

 

Haha, sadly, no....my neighbourhood is full of easily alarmed suburbanites, and they would probably assume I was on drugs and call the police.

 

Sometimes I miss living in the city proper, but we don't have the million-plus dollars it would take to buy a condo downtown, or a house in Cambridge. We're only a 15-20 minute drive from downtown (or like 30-40 with traffic) so it's not like we're far...but the atmosphere is just so different.

 

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Glad you got a walk in. I know getting out there and walking is very freeing right now.

 

Yeah, that's one nice thing. I'm still so grateful for simple stuff like that.

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9 hours ago, Severine said:

 

Haha, sadly, no....my neighbourhood is full of easily alarmed suburbanites, and they would probably assume I was on drugs and call the police.

 

This I understand completely. Mine neighborhood is similar and there are days I just want to go "what, I am not allowed to be weird?"

 

9 hours ago, Severine said:

Sometimes I miss living in the city proper, but we don't have the million-plus dollars it would take to buy a condo downtown, or a house in Cambridge. We're only a 15-20 minute drive from downtown (or like 30-40 with traffic) so it's not like we're far...but the atmosphere is just so different.

 

This is something I don't know if I would ever want. I mean it could be cool, but I think the amount of people alone would make me go "nope, I need to be alone" granted, there are days I would take a 1/2 acre with proof of no rodents ever in the house and snow removal on the road in a heartbeat.

 

9 hours ago, Severine said:

 

Yeah, that's one nice thing. I'm still so grateful for simple stuff like that.

 

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On 4/19/2019 at 11:54 AM, Arkania said:

Hi lovely

 

On 4/20/2019 at 3:51 PM, Butternut said:

Ah! Severine!  Crazyness dude!

 

Following with peeled eyes and an open heart! 

 

So good to see both of you!

 

This is just an update to say that I had a kind of nice moment today. I was in the shower and my mind was wandering and I was thinking about all the stuff I need to do today (mostly for the classes I'm taking, but some other random stuff too) and some voice somewhere in my head reminded me that in the past four months, despite being diagnosed with cancer, having surgery, and then having to deal with infection and bronchitis during my recovery, I've still managed to travel internationally, not burn the house down, and I'm getting A's in both the classes I'm taking despite both being a lot of work. I don't know where that voice came from (normally I'm so focused on all the time I misspend or all the things I haven't done) but it was a very welcome moment of gratitude or optimism or whatever you want to call it.

 

There's also a huge, huge list of stuff I haven't done during the past four months, stuff I've had to let slide or goals I've missed...but for just a moment, I wasn't thinking about those things are it was nice.

 

I'm taking it as a good omen.

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19 hours ago, Severine said:

This is just an update to say that I had a kind of nice moment today. I was in the shower and my mind was wandering and I was thinking about all the stuff I need to do today (mostly for the classes I'm taking, but some other random stuff too) and some voice somewhere in my head reminded me that in the past four months, despite being diagnosed with cancer, having surgery, and then having to deal with infection and bronchitis during my recovery, I've still managed to travel internationally, not burn the house down, and I'm getting A's in both the classes I'm taking despite both being a lot of work. I don't know where that voice came from (normally I'm so focused on all the time I misspend or all the things I haven't done) but it was a very welcome moment of gratitude or optimism or whatever you want to call it.

 

Sounds kind of like a super hero.....  

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No walk today because Boston is just a giant umbrella commercial at the moment. Mildly worried about the crappy drainage on one side of our property, but trying not to stress out before an actual problem happens. "Don't borrow trouble" as my grandmother would say.

 

Which reminds me: I was talking to my grandmother the other night and she was telling me how my sister got her ex to agree to changing their son's last name to her last name (since she's the one who does all the stuff with the school, takes him to doctor's appointments etc, so it makes it easier) and I expressed my surprise that he agreed to it, since they don't exactly have a cordial relationship. My grandmother, wanting to convey that my sister had some leverage over him because he was missing support payments and my sister could report him to the court, said, "well, she had him by the short and nasties, so he didn't have much choice." And that is one of many examples of how my grandmother has all the best euphemisms even if they only make sense to me half the time.

 

I missed plants on one meal today and skipped another meal entirely. So not a great food day and I'm a little stressed out about that because I meet with my nutritionist (ED specialist) tomorrow and she's going to ask if I'm skipping meals  <_<

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19 hours ago, Severine said:

I missed plants on one meal today and skipped another meal entirely. So not a great food day and I'm a little stressed out about that because I meet with my nutritionist (ED specialist) tomorrow and she's going to ask if I'm skipping meals  <_<

I'm sorry you are stressed about it. Are you skipping because you genuinely forgot or got too busy? Or did you skip because your ED told you to? Also, that's a super personal question and feel 100% free to ignore it. I'm just being a mom.

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23 hours ago, Countess D'If said:

I'm sorry you are stressed about it. Are you skipping because you genuinely forgot or got too busy? Or did you skip because your ED told you to?

 

It's kind of a mix honestly? I ended up talking about it with her a bunch yesterday. Part of it is busyness but a lot of it is just placing a really low priority on eating and generally not wanting to eat unless it's an emergency, i.e. if I'm "hungry enough for eating to be worth it." Which often, lately, means one meal a day. So I am probably somewhat malnourished at this point which obviously, not good. 

 

But yeah we talked about it a lot and it turns out I just have SO MANY negative associations with eating food. Like everything from feelings about weight, to anxiety responses about whether I'm eating the right things, to perfectionist tendencies about food, to emotional baggage about food monitoring and food judgement from when I was a kid/teen and my mother was insane about it, so fears about how I'm going to ruin my health if I eat X or Y...just ends up in a situation where my ultimate fantasy is not having to eat food ever again. Like, if I could just be a robot or something instead that would be amazing. Which is obviously not a good or healthy thing to be thinking. But yeah I basically associate eating with feeling bad in a myriad of different ways which makes it really hard to motivate myself to do it even though I know I should.

 

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Also, that's a super personal question and feel 100% free to ignore it. I'm just being a mom.

 

This is a very thoughtful thing to be sensitive about, but it's totally cool - I wouldn't post about it if I weren't okay talking about it.

 

23 hours ago, fleaball said:

Goddamn. I didn't realize it was actually that bad. 

 

Haha yeah, behold my dysfunction!

 

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