Weighty Matters

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Finally Friday

on September 6, 2013

For an allegedly shorter work week, it felt like Friday would never arrive. Lots of challenges, stress on projects, additional commitments after work and general emotional upheaval. All of these things were made more difficult by a constant desire to eat over them. To be honest, I won some of those food fights and lost others. However, I must have compensated enough for the occasional foray into chocolate by keeping my actual meals light and healthy. I obviously didn’t do as badly as my diseased brain tried to make me think I did because I lost a little weight nearly every day and ended up with a good number at week’s end.

I also did my best to hold onto the idea that exercise is a great anti-depressant. It’s not that I was depressed, I was more emotionally exhausted but both conditions need a boost so exercise really helped. I got in two Zumba classes, did my Tai Chi, got the dogs and myself out for good walks and looked for other ways to incorporate movement into my days.

Here’s a really strong reminder. No matter what life, work and other commitments demand from us, we absolutely have to stay true to the things we need. Before I went out for a day on the water Monday, I made sure to go to Zumba class in the morning, which I normally can’t do because of work. I had to go to a meeting after work on Tuesday, but expressed the need to finish up so that I could get to Zumba by 6 p.m. Wednesday, there was a fundraising committee meeting scheduled. I gave it a good 45 minutes and then excused myself so that I could rush home, feed and let out the dogs, change and get to Tai Chi class.

Did all of this extra rushing around add to my stress? I’m sure it did to some extent, but the negative was adequately countered by the positive of the exercise. Even earlier this evening, when it would have been incredibly easy to sprawl in my recliner like a stranded starfish, I took Nat and Pyxi out for a walk. I have a responsibility to their health and well-being too. I neglected their exercise for too long when I was my fattest. So these days, even when I’m tired and ready to neglect myself, their need helps to motivate me to get moving.

I didn’t blog for a couple of days because after work, commitments, walks and everything else, I was often so tired at night, that I couldn’t string my thoughts together. I tried to treat myself well and go to bed early. I’m sure it was helpful for me to be in bed before 10 p.m. Yes, that’s early for me.

Unfortunately, the plan didn’t achieve what I needed. Apparently, me going to bed early threw off Nat and Pyxi’s schedule. (They sleep in my bedroom on their beds or the floor.) Either that or the neighborhood doesn’t settle completely down by that hour either. Whatever the case, the first night after I’d slept solidly for about 90 minutes, something disturbed Nat, which he signaled by letting out a mournful howl. I then had to let them both out into the backyard so they could investigate. Once awake, I started to think about some of the stressful situations I was sorting through and that kept me up for a couple of hours. Grrr.

I’ve never been a parent, but I’ve heard friends say that they can be fast sleep and the slightest sound from their children will wake them up. I feel that way sometimes with my dogs. Last night I again went to sleep before 10. At 12:05, Pyxi uttered the smallest whimper by my bedside. Up I rose to let them out. This time I was able to fall right back to sleep but three hours later, Nat cried. Yes, I could have let him cry but that wasn’t going to get me back snoozing any sooner so we repeated the process. I swear the two of them tag-teamed me and decided it was Pyxi’s turn again at 5. I don’t care that I kept falling back to sleep, these many interruptions do not make for a restful, restorative night.

I hereby declare that tonight will be different. For one thing, I’ll go to bed at my more accustomed time of 11:00 p.m. That will help me achieve 7 1/2 hours. It also sets the pups back on the right schedule. At least that’s the plan.

Tomorrow we have a Tai Chi open house and then lunch with friends. I have no other definite plans or responsibilities for the rest of Saturday. There are always things that I need to do around the house, but I’m not on a deadline so there’s no pressure. Sunday, I’m going to swim with dolphins at work as an uplifting treat to myself. After that, it all depends on the weather. I might go out on the boat, or I might just relax somewhere with a good book and take it easy. It’s been a rough week. The weekend needs to be my way to smooth myself out mentally and emotionally.

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2 responses to “Finally Friday

  1. Hope says:

    To quote one of my all-time favorite movies (Legally Blonde, shhh don’t tell anyone): “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don’t kill their husbands.”

    Ok, that last line is maybe not so relevant, but exercise endorphins are pretty awesome.

  2. Skye says:

    Wow, what a crazy-busy week! But you did great, getting in your exercise and taking care of yourself. It seems like you are doing great on the self-care front in general.

    Broken sleep is not good sleep. How weird that your dogs kept waking you up. As the housemates’ cat has gotten more comfortable about being here, he’s been taking to more and more annoying behaviors, such as crying to get someone to wake up and feed him (way early) or recently, scratching on doors (even mine). It’s like “where the hell did that come from?”

    I hope you have a greatly restful and restorative weekend!

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