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The One Where Everstorm Tricks Herself into Working Out


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Yes, this is the artist formerly known as Phoenix Burning returning after a rather extended absence.  In our last episode, I was preparing for competition in the World Championships of Taekwondo.  That never happened.  I ended up getting seriously ill, having a surgery, and spending the next year and a half feeling sorry for myself, avoiding fitness, and eating my feelings.  I am still in a place where my willpower is pretty beaten up (and largely being used by my latest adventure: grad school!), but I know I need to do something to get out of this funk and get back to my best self.  In view of my limited motivation, my plan is to trick myself into exercising (or at least getting off the couch) for this challenge, while also reducing the sweets.

 

Goal  1:  Got Eem

This  one is combination self-care and sneaky fitness goal.  I love the outdoors.  You have never seen bigger grin than the one I had while neck-deep in mud on my favorite obstacle course.  I am not ready to start running again, and since moving, making it to the trails is a lot harder.  However, I do have a fairly large property with woods and a little stream -- that I never use.  I love being outside, but somehow I have gotten a sort of mental block that it's too much bother to get my shoes on and do something that might require extensive hair washing and laundry afterward.  The dirty work doesn't bother me, just having to clean up after 🤦‍♀️.  But it does amazing things for my mental health (and not bad things for my physical health) to get outside and play.  So, to get myself past the mental block, I have told myself I have to go outside at least an hour a week.  Per week, you say?  Yep.  You see, once I get myself out the door, I am virtually guaranteed to stay out there an hour or more, but it helps to get myself out there if I tell myself I only have to do it for less than 10 minutes.  And when I get outside, fitness-y things tend to happen.  Bike rides, badminton, gardening, chopping wood, or like today, repeated heavy carries as I moved some logs around from a fallen tree on my property.  Just don't tell me I am exercising 🤫

 

Goal 2:  There's Always Tomorrow

This one is also a bit of a mind game.  I eat far too many sweets, but again...willpower....  So for this challenge, I am planning to cut my sweets in half by only having some every other day.  That way, when I want something, I can tell myself "I can have that tomorrow", which feels less stressful than an indeterminate amount of time without my sugary crutch.

 

So that's me.  Wish me luck!

 

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16 hours ago, Harriet said:

It sounds like you have some good insights into what you need and how to get there. Good luck with the sneaky fitness and half sweet schedule!

 

Thank you!  So far so good. 😆 

 

2 hours ago, Chesire said:

Just for 10 minutes outside, and snacks tomorrow?  Sounds like you have a great plan. 

 

Thanks!  Baby steps, but I am realistic about where I am at.

 

I went outside for my "10 minutes" today, and spent the better part of an hour finishing the climbing wall for my boys' tree fort.  Not super physical work, just hammering and drilling, but it was outside.  Win!  I wanted to go a little easy today, since I was still kind of stiff and tired from hauling logs yesterday.  Plus, I had kind of smashed my finger between 2 logs and it's a little tender.  It was still good to get out in nature, though, so I am happy I did it. 

 

Yesterday was my no sweets day, and it went about as well as expected.  It felt like my brain was giving a low-level whine in the background all evening, but I didn't cave. Success!  M&Ms happened this evening, which is fine, but I am trying to focus on how disappointing they were (and they were) so I can get to a point where I realize I don't need (or even want) the sweets as much as I think I do.

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KER-FOLLOW! 

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Right, I've had time to actually read this now. God, what a pain that you were on the threshold of something so exciting and it went wrong. 😕 As I said on my thread though, you know you've had huge successes in the past, that you have it in you, and can get back there, so I think your method of gently luring yourself back onto healthier habits is a good one. You're lucky to have an outdoors space you can run around in too. At a time like this when we need to keep away from crowded gyms, that's perfect. 

The climbing wall tree fort thing sounds amazing too, and I guess your boys will be getting outdoors plenty too!

Enjoy the M&Ms (but not too much) 

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Just reread that and I've really used the word "too" too, too many times too. 

Tootoo for now. 

EightoonCK

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9 hours ago, 18ck said:

 You're lucky to have an outdoors space you can run around in too. At a time like this when we need to keep away from crowded gyms, that's perfect. 

The climbing wall tree fort thing sounds amazing too, and I guess your boys will be getting outdoors plenty too!

Having outdoor space was one of my requirements when we left apartment life for home ownership.  I need trees.  I think boys do, too, even if they don't realize it.  They have far too much screen time.  This was a big reason why I am working hard making them a place out there, too.  Hopefully it works; they are like me in having trouble putting feet to floor, but they love playing outside once they get there.

 

Some gratuitous photos of stage one of their fort:

Spoiler

20210111_101930.thumb.jpg.88be4f245b9cb318b00fdf9b84e707b1.jpg20210111_102153.thumb.jpg.812f75550ee9243ddb8c75adfd2cea1a.jpg

 

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So yesterday was pretty stressful.  I tried to get outside, but it didn't really go to plan.  The Monkey's biggest complaint since moving out of our apartment is that, even though we have more trees, none of them are particularly suitable for climbing.  I finally found a good climbing tree for him, but it has tons of underbrush and dead limbs piled up under it.  So my plan for yesterday was to get that cleared out.  That did not happen.  Apparently, the ideal tree is surrounded by poison ivy.

20210112_132948.thumb.jpg.9753db499dd9474c0e69036606c67691.jpg

 

I had some errands to run, so I picked up a treatment to get rid of it, but of course it was raining by the time I returned, so I couldn't apply it.  Boo.

 

Errands included an annual follow-up with my gastronenterologist, who OF COURSE said the words I didn't want to hear, which is that I need to have another (non-surgical) procedure to screen for stomach cancer.  So that is scheduled for tomorrow.  I have been dreading having another endoscopy, so I was super stressed after the appointment and wanted to drown my sorrows in food  (or maybe liquor) but I did neither.  It made me question the wisdom of scheduling a non-sweet day on the same day as that appointment,  but on the other hand, it's good to learn other ways to deal with stress.

 

Today is already going better.  Everything is super wet from all the rain, but I got outside an and spent an hour dealing with a compost pile formed by lawn waste that had gotten out of hand.  It definitely improved my mood to be out there.

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Impressive! That's great mumming. I would have absolutely loved somewhere like that when I was a young 'un - and I'm sure my daughter would have (im sure she'd love it even now, actually) 

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12 hours ago, Everstorm said:

Errands included an annual follow-up with my gastronenterologist, who OF COURSE said the words I didn't want to hear, which is that I need to have another (non-surgical) procedure to screen for stomach cancer.  So that is scheduled for tomorrow.  I have been dreading having another endoscopy, so I was super stressed after the appointment and wanted to drown my sorrows in food  (or maybe liquor) but I did neither.  It made me question the wisdom of scheduling a non-sweet day on the same day as that appointment,  but on the other hand, it's good to learn other ways to deal with stress.

 

Oh shoot, I'm sorry you have to go through another screening. I hope it goes as smoothly as possible.

It's awesome that you're making a tree fort! Everyone needs a tree fort and yours already looks neato with the climbing grips. So excellent, I'm envious.

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Oh, sorry to hear you have another screening and I guess by the time you read this that'll be today. Well done for not letting the stress deflect you into bad eating/drinking habits. That's mental strength, right there!

I hope it goes well, and without undue hassle. 

 

It sounds like your outdoor life is really doing you a lot of good. Fantastic!

We don't have poison Ivy here. Is it really bad? I did once see a group of Americans who had just followed their dog into a patch of nettles. Those are probably our closest equivalent. They sting and leave a sort of warm, tingly rash that lasts a few hours, but I think PI is worse than that, right? Anyway, a passer-by was reassuring them that it wasn't so bad and advising them to rub the area with dock leaves (which is completely ineffective, but gives you something to do while waiting for nature to take its course). How sure are you that the treatment you bought to kill it off won't leave some sort of toxic residue in the area for a while? Be sure and read the instructions before letting him loose to climb, won't you? Or at least wait for a decent day of rain to wash the area out. 

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Hi. How's it going? Hope everything's OK with you. 

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On 1/13/2021 at 1:48 AM, Harriet said:

 

Oh shoot, I'm sorry you have to go through another screening. I hope it goes as smoothly as possible.

It's awesome that you're making a tree fort! Everyone needs a tree fort and yours already looks neato with the climbing grips. So excellent, I'm envious.

 

It was every bit as uncomfortable as I remembered,  but at least I got it over with.

 

I agree, everyone needs one.  I might be living vicariously a bit by building one....

 

On 1/13/2021 at 2:08 AM, 18ck said:

We don't have poison Ivy here. Is it really bad? I did once see a group of Americans who had just followed their dog into a patch of nettles. Those are probably our closest equivalent. They sting and leave a sort of warm, tingly rash that lasts a few hours, but I think PI is worse than that, right? Anyway, a passer-by was reassuring them that it wasn't so bad and advising them to rub the area with dock leaves (which is completely ineffective, but gives you something to do while waiting for nature to take its course). How sure are you that the treatment you bought to kill it off won't leave some sort of toxic residue in the area for a while? Be sure and read the instructions before letting him loose to climb, won't you? Or at least wait for a decent day of rain to wash the area out. 

 

Poison ivy is insidious.  It secretes an oil that most people are highly allergic to, causing a blistering, oozing, maddeningly itchy rash that can last for weeks.  It is also possible to self-spread the oils to all kinds of uncomfortable places since symptoms can take days to appear after exposure, and you may not know you touched it.  I have heard that each exposure actually increases a person's allergic response, so it gets worse each time if you have repeated run-ins with the stuff.  Nasty.

 

No fear that my kids will get into the treatment, either.  It takes 1-6 weeks for it to kill the ivy, and then the dead ivy must be removed while wearing rubber gloves --did I say it was insidious?  It will be spring before the climbing tree may be climbed.  They will have to stick to the relatively safer area of the tree house for now.

 

14 hours ago, 18ck said:

Hi. How's it going? Hope everything's OK with you. 

 

I did the turtle thing yesterday because the endoscopy stressed me out. 

 

Depressing medical info, blah blah blah

Spoiler

The doctor tried to tell me the biopsies were just routine, but I guess he assumed I couldn't read, because my discharge papers noted several "irregularities".  These could be more incidents of my diagnosed condition, which is relatively harmless.  (Some of my cells are having an identity crisis which should put my application on the fast track with Professor Xavier. )  It does, however, put me at higher risk for cancer, which is why I have to have these screenings.

 

But there was also a new finding, in that I apparently am not digesting food properly since there was still food in my stomach after 12+ hours of fasting, so that was upsetting.  Dr. Google and the Mayo Clinic suggest the condition is best treated with a diet of more pancakes and less broccoli.  While part of me feels these are rules I could get behind, the part of me that was starting to think about being healthier again is really discouraged.  

 

Tl;dr not great news, although it will be weeks before I get the test results.  Turtle mode meant I did not get outside yesterday,  either, but I did eschew sweets by not chewing sweets.

 

I got outside and at least dealt with the poison ivy this morning, and then wandered around in the woods for a bit, not accomplishing much except some mental respite.  I am really glad I started this challenge.  Getting outside is really good for me right now.

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Oof, well its good that you recognised the poison Ivy then. That really does sound nasty. Make sure you get all the roots out. 

And I'm sorry to hear about the concerns you spotted in the notes. That seems like it needs some thinking through: like you, I find the all-pancake-and-no-broccoli diet appealing, but there must be healthier food that's easier to digest. Or maybe preparing it differently would help (cut up smaller to have more surface area?) hm... Sorry, not sure why I'm even speculating since I have no knowledge and it sounds like you've already started your research with people who have. 😕

Anyway, yeah, I'm glad the non-poisonous parts of the woods are there to soothe your spirit, and well done for not chewing sweets . Have a good Friday. 

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9 hours ago, Everstorm said:

 

 

 

Depressing medical info, blah blah blah

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The doctor tried to tell me the biopsies were just routine, but I guess he assumed I couldn't read, because my discharge papers noted several "irregularities".  These could be more incidents of my diagnosed condition, which is relatively harmless.  (Some of my cells are having an identity crisis which should put my application on the fast track with Professor Xavier. )  It does, however, put me at higher risk for cancer, which is why I have to have these screenings.

 

But there was also a new finding, in that I apparently am not digesting food properly since there was still food in my stomach after 12+ hours of fasting, so that was upsetting.  Dr. Google and the Mayo Clinic suggest the condition is best treated with a diet of more pancakes and less broccoli.  While part of me feels these are rules I could get behind, the part of me that was starting to think about being healthier again is really discouraged.  

 

Tl;dr not great news, although it will be weeks before I get the test results.  Turtle mode meant I did not get outside yesterday,  either, but I did eschew sweets by not chewing sweets.

 

 

Ah, sorry about the medical stuff. Does the diet just have to be low fibre? Are you allowed to eat fat and protein?


Good job with the (es)chewing, lol.

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6 hours ago, 18ck said:

That seems like it needs some thinking through: like you, I find the all-pancake-and-no-broccoli diet appealing, but there must be healthier food that's easier to digest. Or maybe preparing it differently would help (cut up smaller to have more surface area?)

 

I have since found some more helpful lists that suggest a few low-fiber vegetables and fruits that may be safer to eat, like peeled potatoes, asparagus, squash, peaches, and pineapple.  In general, the further from raw the better (think canned peaches), and if I can manage a puree, even better.

 

4 hours ago, Harriet said:

 

Ah, sorry about the medical stuff. Does the diet just have to be low fibre? Are you allowed to eat fat and protein?

 

 

Protein, yes, if well chewed and not fried.  Softer meats or ground meats are better.  Fats, not so much, unless they are combined in a liquid (like whole milk).

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On 1/15/2021 at 2:34 PM, Everstorm said:

Protein, yes, if well chewed and not fried.  Softer meats or ground meats are better.  Fats, not so much, unless they are combined in a liquid (like whole milk).

 

Gosh, that sounds restrictive. Sorry to hear it.

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On 1/15/2021 at 1:34 PM, Everstorm said:

have since found some more helpful lists that suggest a few low-fiber vegetables and fruits that may be safer to eat, like peeled potatoes, asparagus, squash, peaches, and pineapple.  In general, the further from raw the better (think canned peaches), and if I can manage a puree, even better.

Well, there are some good options there, but a shame that so much is off the list. Puree, eh? So smoothies are in then? 

PS, what is meant by "safer" there? I thought you were saying the food hadn't been digested properly, meaning that you weren't getting the full nutritional benefit from some things. Is there an actual _danger_ of them being there as well? I guess important because that's the difference between "i can eat kale but I can't rely on it for iron/vitamins, and I need to have something else as well" and "i positively can't eat kale". I hope it's more the former than the latter since life without kale would be empty indeed. 

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17 hours ago, 18ck said:

Well, there are some good options there, but a shame that so much is off the list. Puree, eh? So smoothies are in then? 

PS, what is meant by "safer" there? I thought you were saying the food hadn't been digested properly, meaning that you weren't getting the full nutritional benefit from some things. Is there an actual _danger_ of them being there as well? I guess important because that's the difference between "i can eat kale but I can't rely on it for iron/vitamins, and I need to have something else as well" and "i positively can't eat kale". I hope it's more the former than the latter since life without kale would be empty indeed. 

 

Smoothies are possible, depending on what I put in it, but the things I am reading online (even from semi-reputable sources like the Mayo Clinic or University websites) are somewhat conflicting about what foods are okay.  One had pineapple on the okay list, another said no pineapple.  One says instant oatmeal is fine; another says no oatmeal at all, etc, etc.

 

Some of the things, like milk, say "if tolerated", which implies that I have some of the more uncomfortable possible effects of the disorder like stomach pain and nausea, which I don't.   My primary symptom is loss of appetite.  I rarely feel hungry, and now I guess I know why.

 

As for the safety issue, it's a bit of both.  I should take a multivitamin because I am at risk of not getting the nutrients from kale.  I would think if that were an issue, I would also be experiencing the "unexpected weight loss", and I am certainly not.  I mean, I have lost weight, but I thought it was because I had cut down on the volume of food I eat.  (I completed a 20 week Eating Skills program and lost 16 pounds).  Anyway, the other issue is that kale and other high fiber foods, when undigested, can form into a bezoar and cause a blockage somewhere.

 

Ugh.  I think I need to see a nutritionist to sort all this out:  see if I need to do the restrictive diet, how restrictive,  for how long, etc.  The gastro doc is useless for actually dealing with the stuff he diagnoses.  He just throws medical terms at me with a minimal description and says see you next year. 

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In other news, I have consistently gone outside for the past 3 days.  Two days were spent turning brush piles into firewood and trying to keep my husband from getting killed trying to be a lumberjack.  There was a dead tree near the boys' fort that needed to be removed.  He cut it down easily enough, but the top caught in the canopy of a neighboring tree, causing it to land upright inside the fort area instead of falling to tile ground.  *facepalm*  The Monkey all too accurately put it, "It's more dangerous now than it was before!"  The Lumberjack decided the best solution was to also cut down the second tree.  When he cut that one, both trees fell onto a third tree, which bent under the weight, but also did not fall.  You guessed it:  that one had to go, too.  Finally, all three trees came crashing down, and in his haste to avoid being crushed, my husband ran into another innocent bystanding tree, injuring his shoulder.  *double facepalm*  Nothing more serious than a bruise and a few scrapes, but we are taking a break from lumberjack work for a few days.  In the meantime, I did some garden work today instead.

 

Friday was a no-sweet fail, so I skipped sweets on Saturday instead.  Total sweet-free days for last week was 3/7, so good progress from 0/7.

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4 hours ago, Everstorm said:

Ugh.  I think I need to see a nutritionist to sort all this out:  see if I need to do the restrictive diet, how restrictive,  for how long, etc.  The gastro doc is useless for actually dealing with the stuff he diagnoses.  He just throws medical terms at me with a minimal description and says see you next year. 

Yeah, that doesn't sound too helpful, and you're right, it sounds like you need to see someone who knows what they're doing so that you can start getting a grip on this thing. Be careful though: "nutritionist" isn't always the person to ask. Here in the UK "dietitian" is the protected term that you can only use if you have proper accreditation, whereas any yahoo with an opinion can call themselves a nutritionist, tell you all your problems are due to being allergic to wheat and charge you a hundred quid for the privilege. 

I gather from extensive research (ie, I googled it) that it varies state by state in the US, but make sure whoever you see has a qualification from a real university that isn't just an online diploma mill. 

Sorry if I'm telling you stuff you already know. 

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9 hours ago, 18ck said:

Be careful though: "nutritionist" isn't always the person to ask. Here in the UK "dietitian" is the protected term that you can only use if you have proper accreditation, whereas any yahoo with an opinion can call themselves a nutritionist, tell you all your problems are due to being allergic to wheat and charge you a hundred quid for the privilege. 

 

Good point.  The way it works here (at least for me), I would have to go to my primary care manager and ask for an official referral to a nutritionist/dietician (so my insurance will pay for it).  Last time I did so, I was able to go to someone employed directly by the naval hospital, so presumably reputable?

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1 hour ago, Everstorm said:

 

Good point.  The way it works here (at least for me), I would have to go to my primary care manager and ask for an official referral to a nutritionist/dietician (so my insurance will pay for it).  Last time I did so, I was able to go to someone employed directly by the naval hospital, so presumably reputable?

Yeah, should be OK, by the sound of it! Glad to hear you're in good hands! 

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Update:  I spoke to my doctor today about the diagnosis.  He basically said I don't need to worry about the whole low-fiber diet bit unless I start having pain, nausea, or other symptoms.  It may be beneficial to track what I eat on days that I don't feel well (if I have any of those).  Otherwise,  the dietary changes I have already implemented (waiting for hunger before eating...a.k.a. emptying the stomach and eating smaller meals so as not to overtax the stomach) are sufficient for now.  Just in case, he ran a few blood panels to make sure my blood sugars, lipids, and nutrient levels are all in-line.   It's a big relief to hear I don't need to change my whole lifestyle for this!

 

I am on track with my sugar-free days, but getting in my outdoor time has been much harder this week now that classes have restarted both for me and my boys.  I have taken a couple of walks, so I will likely hit my minimum goal, but not sure how much I fooled myself this week.

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