Re-Igniting the Spark

I randomly decided to re-join SparkPeople today, and it was so worth it!

One of the first things I did was join “teams” focused on dealing with depression and anxiety, which I’m hoping might provide some additional information and social support. I also joined 7 other teams, set a plethora of goals, and proceeded to track everything I ate. And guess what – it’s telling me I need to eat more – calories and protein, to be exact.

Fox and I made an epic grocery shopping trip, during which we spent way too much money and – by conservative estimates – walked for at least an hour! Boom! That’s 1/3 of my exercise goal for the week! Booyah!

We came home with plethora of fresh fruits and veggies, yogurt, frozen veggies, and minimally-processed meat. I had a delicious apple (“Oh Spock! This is amazing! Why don’t I eat apples every day?”), and a little bit later, we cooked.

Namely, we made delicious tacos: ground beef, cheese, and bell peppers in spinach wraps. And Fox made a huge Caesar salad, which we enjoyed before the tacos. It was actually too much food – I doubt I’ll be hungry again in time to eat that last bit the tracker is saying I need. I loved every bite and felt really good eating it – in part because it was fresh and in part because I’d done half the work to make it. (When we cook, we cook as a team.)

I’d forgotten how much I love cooking. It’s so much fun, and so rewarding. šŸ˜€

Best of all, we have leftovers, so we get to enjoy our delicious cooking again!

And something about getting points for doing basic things I should do anyway (such as taking a few minutes for relaxation) makes them seem so much easier. “Yeah, sure, I can do that. It’ll only take a few minutes, and it will feel good.” That’s what I really like about SparkPeople – it’s not just about losing weight. You don’t have to make it about weight at all (though the weight-loss ads are kind of overwhelming). My goals are to get at least 8 hours of sleep a night and listen to music at least once per day and actually go tend to my garden each day and cook at least 3 times a week (and so on …).

And if it kicks my butt to exercise, all the better. If it inspires me to make healthier food choices, all the better. I’m feeling really good about this decision, really hopeful. Today felt wonderful – and it was just an ordinary day in which we ran some errands. Nothing special.

I know from experience that I’m high from starting something new. Over time – probably before long – my enthusiasm will wane. I wasn’t planning to get too involved in the community aspect of the site, but maybe I will. If I make friends, then they can encourage me to stick with it when I don’t want to be bothered, and I can do the same for them.

You’re welcome to visit my Sparkpage – and friend me, if you’re on SparkPeople. Let’s see where this rabbit hole goes!

Maybe Sleeping 8 Hours a Night is My Key to Success

Today (Thursday) was a good day. I turned off my computer around 1:00 am and started reading Codependent No More by Melody Beattie. After reading a couple chapters and doing the first written activity, I went to bed around 2:30 am. I didn’t sleep particularly well, but I did sleep until about 11:00 am – over 8 hours. Then I got up and started my day, including: feeding rats, having breakfast, emailing the instructor for the class I missed on Tuesday, defining “codependency” for myself, and calling on-campus psychological services.

I was even able to juggle baking stuffed Cornish hens for the first time ever (stuffing them was kind of awesome!) with getting ready for class. I took a very quick shower and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. The water hitting my skin felt more amazing than it ever has before!

I was on task, cleaning up after my cooking and getting dressed more quickly and easily than usual. I devoured about a third of a stuffed Cornish hen, savoring even the white meat! I usually find white meat to be too dry, but this was glorious, tender and moist. I was exceedingly pleased.

I packed up the hens in the fridge and ran out, hoping that I might still manage to be on time for class despite the traffic I anticipated hitting. As I drove I reflected on the day and all the awesome things I had accomplished – and how much I enjoyed doing it! I even found pleasure in handling something as gross as raw poultry!

I was just thinking that, after everything I’d done, maybe being late for class wouldn’t be so bad …

When my car suddenly started making a very strange and ominous noise. It was loud and low pitched and kept repeating, like a wide heavy leather flap on a conveyor belt kept hitting something. It became louder and more frequent when I accelerated.

At first I thought I had hit a nail or something and damaged a tire, but when I checked my tires were fine. I looked under the car but didn’t see anything hanging down. If I opened my hood I’d be proud of myself for finding the place where you put windshield wiper fluid; the only way I’d be able to tell what was wrong with the engine is if a fuzzy purple creature hissed at me from atop its nest and eggs. Then, I think I’d have more problems with my car than an ominous noise! (And I’d probably still need to ask someone else for help.)

Ziya's Understanding of Car Engines

Ziya’s Understanding of Car Engines

So I called a tow truck and proceeded to WAIT. I called Mom and Fox. I alternated between running the car for warmth and sitting in the cold to preserve gas. Of course, my phone took that opportunity to complain about low battery, so I took the opportunity to charge it when the car was running. And I wrote this blog post by hand in my school notebook.

When the tow truck finally came and I sat in its passenger seat, watching my car get hooked up onto the bed, that is when I felt sad about what was happening. I was disappointed from the moment I realized I was going to miss class, but I accepted it very quickly. It was a little bit harder to accept and allow myself to feel my sadness about my car needing to be towed somewhere. The Dark Horse (images; explanation) whinnied and shook its head and reared and stomped in the dirt. And snorted. Visualizing the Dark Horse doing those things gave me a safe outlet for my feelings.

Finally, over three hours after first hearing the noise, I arrived at Mom’s house safe and sound; the car is at a shop nearby. The person at the shop said they’d look at the car first thing in the morning. There is a plastic piece hanging down in front that I hadn’t seen when I’d first checked. I hope that’s the (only) problem, and that it can be fixed easily, inexpensively, and quickly!

I was inconvenienced, but suffered no harm. In the realm of what could happen on the road, I consider myself fortunate.

And I handled the whole situation very well. There were brief moments when I doubted my decision to get a tow truck; I thought I was “making a big deal out of nothing” and using the first opportunity that presented itself to avoid having to go to class. But I reminded myself that I didn’t know what was going on and I would rather be safe than risk doing catastrophic damage to my car! I made a decision and defended my right to stick to it despite the doubts that arose; it might not have been the best decision, but that’s okay too. I made it, I followed through, and I am safe. No disasters.

I really think getting the amount of sleep I need, even if it wasn’t the best quality, set me up to have a good day. I was able to direct and focus my energy, accomplish most of my goals, and handle a very stressful situation with grace. I wasn’t dependent on the events of the day or others’ behavior to feel good about myself – at least, not to the degree that has been my norm. This is definitely a habit worth developing.