Thursday, January 15, 2009

Trying to Avoid Self-Sabotage

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Over the last 6 weeks or so, I find myself fighting more to stay on track. The Christmas treats at work and I went rounds on several occasions with the fight ending in a split decision in my favor. My last night at work just turned into a flat binge-fest, though. At one point in the shift, I was just eating everything I could find that didn't offer to eat me first. It's been a long time since I've lost it like that.

I've continued my workouts and I am proud of that, but somehow they seem lack-luster. I don't feel that jolt afterward of which I am so fond--endorphin rush maybe?--though I know I am pushing things as well as I need to. I am making slow progress in strength and conditioning, and doing so without injury is all I can really ask for.

I think these problems stem mostly from stress though I honestly feel like a big puss for saying it. Lots of smaller things and a couple of larger ones are piling up, and I feel the weight of them more often than not. I have a patient who has become a friend about whom I worry pretty much all the time. Though I am working to help this person change the situation that causes the majority of the problems, progress is slow and difficult, and in the meantime, people suffer. There are baby showers to be planned and projects to be started. My uncle is back in the hospital with infection after his kidney surgery for cancer. Daddy goes for his heart cath to unstop the blockages that were found in the last one on the 29th. If they can't stent them, he will go for bypass that same day. And there's the ever-present stress of whether his kidneys will tolerate the contrast. The younger of my two brothers is going through some family strife that breaks my heart and for which there is little fix. And then there's the move...

We are officially less than a month away from picking up and starting anew. In many ways, this is exciting, but I can't help but be a little afraid. Above and beyond living 700 miles from my genetic family. I'll leave behind the people I work with now who have become family in their own rite, people on whom I depend to vent my frustrations and temper my moods. When I go to work, I get hugs as we get there and hugs as we leave. I trust my nurses' judgement, and they trust mine. The community trusts me, and I enjoy knowing the people that I care for. I worry that somehow I won't measure up for these people in my new workplace. Medicine is, after all, practiced just a little bit differently in different areas of the country. What if the people I work with aren't very nice? Or worse, if they're stupid? Or even worse, if they think I'm stupid?! I suppose I need not belabor the point, but I worry. I really do.

On top of this, our whole basis for moving down here may be in jeopardy. I've recently found out that I have a patent foramen ovale. For the most part, this is no big deal (although it might very well be part of the reason I have such frequent migraines), but for a technical diver it can be a very big deal. When a person dives, she builds up nitrogen, or helium if she's using trimix, in her body. As she comes to the surface, this nitrogen or helium absorbs into the blood and is slowly "off-gassed." Come to the surface slowly, do some decompression stops if she needs to, no big deal. However, as this happens, there are tiny bubbles that form in the blood. Research is even showing that there are more bubbles than they had originally thought. But the body absorbs them or they go to the lungs and are dissipated. When a person has a patent foramen ovale, though, some of those bubbles can sneak over into the blood that is in the left side of the heart. Sometimes this is no big deal. Sometimes this can cause a stroke. Big, fat, hairy deal. So we are in the process of figuring out numbers and risk percentages for decompression sickness in divers with patent foramena. Then we have to decide if those are acceptable risks. Then there's the possibility of closure by heart cath--which might also fix my migraines (which is a WONDERFUL thing to think about) but take me out of workouts for about 6 weeks. While knowing this now is definitely better than finding it out after I took a major hit, the decision making process surrounding it is no fun at all. Nor is the fact that my technical and cave diving career might have just ended before it began.

Though not as bad as I once was, I am still an emotional eater, so the stress leads to my having less resolve as I make meal decisions and to my having some wicked cravings. This doesn't even begin to address what I think is an already significant cortisol issue. I am working very hard at trying not to let the stress eat at me which results in my giving in to the weaknesses. I really do NOT want to undo all the good I have done in the last 2 years.

YESTERDAY'S WORKOUT: 40 rounds (20 minutes) of 12kg vo2 max protocol/15 sec on-15 sec off.

TUESDAY'S WORKOUT: None...on the road to Fl.

MONDAY'S WORKOUT: 5 4-rung ladders of pull-ups assisted with the green band and push ups. 30 sec b/w rungs and 2 min b/w ladders.
During the 2 min b/w ladders, I did 4 2-rung ladders of assisted pistols. My left knee sounds HORRIBLE when I do this, but I'm not having any pain with it.
Then...20kg TGU's 1/side for 3 rounds. this is the second time I've been able to do three rounds. Just 3 or 4 weeks ago, I was struggling just to get 1,so I'm feeling good about this.

20 squat thrusts, 5 swings
18 squat thrusts, 10 swings...down to 2 squat thrusts and 50 swings.
Took a little longer than the last time at a little over 19 minutes.
Yesterday I did my workout in the 30 degree morning air, and the hubby and I took off for the park to catch the fog. We had a nice walk and got the pictures below.

Because the water in the north central Florida springs is a warm 72 degrees year-round, when temperatures drop at night, a dramatic fog forms over the water. One of my major objectives for this trip was to catch some pics of that fog. These 2 pics are of Ichetucknee Springs, the headwaters to the Ichetucknee River.
The path to the canoe and tube put-in.
We got to the canoe put-in just as a gentleman was lining up canoes for a group to take down the river. It was rather fortunate, really.

We came across these little jewels covered in frost on the boardwalk. I've never seen pink maple seeds like this, but they were fantastic--obviously. The frost covering was just a bonus.
On the way back, the frost was gone.


  1. Jennifer, God bless you for your openness and honesty. You and your family will be in my thoughts.

    You are doing really good by continuing to work-out. Don't do as I have done. Don't let your gaurd down for even a moment.

    I let distraction get in my way and I gained about 35 pounds back of the 70 I had lost. Just keep moving your body until your mind catches up and you will be golden.

    I wish you continued success and good luck on the move!

  2. Gorgeous pictures. Nice place to get in peace with the Universe.

  3. I think something is going around. I was benge eating the other day. Same problem, if it couldn't eat me first, I'd eat it.

    Although not having a lot of ready made food, meant that I didn't eat as much as I wanted too.

  4. you don't grow when it's easy and fun and you're getting all the positivefeedback you could ever want from your body and endorphines.

    you grow when everything fucking SUCKS and you don't even want to breath let alone move heavy things repeatedly for any amount of time AND YOU STILL DO IT ANYWAY. i read your workouts jen. those weren't easy half-ass workouts. that shit was ugly. i know your relationship with the pull up and push up and you are working hard on them. after me being sick for the month of january, you're gonna be out pushing and pulling me if i dont get back in gear! + you got more sets than ever with the TGU- one of the most demanding KB excersises ever.

    re-examine what you said with those thoughts in mind. its ok to FEEL that way but dont THINK that way. feelings are irrational but dont actualize it into thinking.

    you're making more progress b/c you are still doing it even though it doesnt feel like its paying you for it. stick with it. when you get through the other side you will be born again hard.
    hang in there kiddo.