Focus schmocus

I feel like an over-caffeinated border collie lately. I need coffee to help me focus, but then I’m unable to wind down, so I need a glass of wine to get to sleep, then I need more coffee to help me wake up. It’s a seriously vicious cycle.

Not really sure how the whole “tracking all of money” thing is going. Oh wait, yeah I do. It’s not. But I had fun this weekend with my kiddo, so I know it was money well spent. It was pretty cheap, too. I know some people go on pricey vacations. My kid and I drive around and take in the beauty that is living in one of the most scenic places on earth.

So what am I doing right now? I don’t know. I have piles of old bills (paid) that were in a folder that just kind of cascaded down like a landslide. You know that opening scene from Idiocracy where the landfill fails? Yeah, kind of feeling like that right now. LOL

Money money money

Yesterday I ate out twice, even though I have food to eat at home. I’m trying to think of how I should start tracking this. Maybe track how much I’m spending on food for a week and then try to beat it with a new low number each week? Make it a game?

Why do I lose steam so easily? I feel like I have the chutzpah to get things going, so why I can’t I stick with something. I guess I can’t say that I fail every single time. Maybe a 50/50 sort of thing. I was able to stop drinking in January and February, and I’m back on the wagon after only one month off. I was able to journal here for an entire month, kept it up mostly for the month of January, and then fell off the wagon for March. I was doing okay with my weight loss efforts in January and February and then…fell off the wagon in March. Okay, I’m sensing a theme here. What did I do differently in March that I didn’t do otherwise? Was it the journaling?

Or maybe I shouldn’t see all these supposed failures as failures. (Yes, I used “shouldn’t”, I know, but here I think it’s okay.) Maybe this is gray area talking instead of black and white thinking. Kind of a two steps forward one step back, which is what’s really needed for long term success at any major life overhaul?

I do feel like I’m struggling, but am far better off and far healthier than I was last year or even three or five years ago. Maybe even ten years ago. I have the mental maturity to be dealing with this stuff that was just too hard a few years ago. Sadly, I don’t feel any less anxious than I did. Maybe that’s just part of being human.

Feeling better

Back to my mostly sober life. It’s getting that first night of not having a glass of wine that gets me. After that, it’s surprisingly easy. My two glasses of wine every night really is a solid, relaxing habit. Man, dopamine sure is a bitch.

I ate entirely at home yesterday. Made those little egg and cheese muffins I like to eat in the mornings, made a giant pot of soup from one chicken (and still have a chicken breast leftover). I have a whole week of meals planned. Just hope I can stick to it. The pull of tasty fast food really gets me sometimes. It’s not that I can’t eat healthy, it’s that it always seems so much tastier than what I can make at home. Probably because it’s chock full of MSG and other crap. But man, I looked at my credit card bill recently, and holy shit is it expensive to eat out. Just one person every now and then isn’t so bad, but every single day/meal with two or more…ugh. I hate the lack of variety and getting out of the house that eating at home entails, but it’s better for me, better for my wallet, and gives me more time to socialize at work.

So far so good.

Flailing

I did such a kick ass job journaling for most of January and February. March started and I just flailed. I got one post in during the entire month of March. I’m not going to beat myself up over it, but I am going to recalibrate and figure out what went wrong.

I was sober all of January and February. Then I went to New Orleans for a half marathon. It was an awesome experience and I enjoyed myself, but two things happened: 1) I got disenchanted with some friends of mine and 2) I drank. Once I had some beverages, I told myself, “Oh, I’ll only do this on the weekends”. That lasted about a week. Then I was having a half bottle of wine four days a week. And just this last week, I switched it up to everyday.

You can guess what the result was: Weight gain. I think I started out this year at 229. As of yesterday, i was at 231.2. Drinking and I do not mix. Drinking makes me gain weight. And not the kind of overall, “healthy” (if you can call it that) weight, but abdominal fat.

One good thing about March, my goal was to move more. I got really good with that, but not every day. A goal is to keep doing that. Maybe go to the gym three days a week, get some actually classes in (I’m thinking spin, for some cross training to give certain muscles a rest), and walking the rest of the time. I even got a walk in with the hubby this weekend. I enjoyed it even though it was miserably wet and kind of cold.

So here we are, in April. My goal, at the start of the year, was money.

120 day goal: Money. I need to seriously start saving and planning for retirement. Hopefully, I’ll be working enough to finally make that happen.

This is more important right now because I need to save money to go back to school. The great thing about this goal is that I’ll need to do meal planning, which will help with my weight, and money. Planning has always been a weak spot for me…the only way to get better at it is to practice!

Long time no write

I was pretty busy for the last few weeks of February and first week of March. I did a bunch of work, working out, and traveling for a half marathon (New Orleans Rock n’ Roll). My goal of getting off of social media in February did not work out at all. I’m solidly addicted. I swear, I have no idea what to do there.

At least I recognize I have a problem and need to do something else. Maybe it’s just a matter of doing it one step at a time. Maybe set a timer for 15 minutes a few times a day as a cue that I’ve done more than I need, and then when it goes off, I just need to stop and get other stuff done. Oh well. When I work a full day, I don’t use the social media at all except at night to wind down. Maybe that’s all there is to it. Work, do stuff, get out of the house.

In other news, this month’s goal isdrumroll, please…

90 day goal: March will come in like a lion, right? Break a sweat for 30 minutes every damn day. Right now, I have some slight mobility issues going on – screwed up over-firing hip flexors and extremely weak glutes – that I’m doing PT for. I’m hoping by March my PT gives me the okay to start trying to run. He seemed hopeful that we’d get me there (or at least mostly there) by March. I’m kind of terrified about this one.

Yes! I’ve been totally thinking about this the last couple of days. I really want to run! I’m getting stronger but I don’t think I’m quite ready yet. I need to focus on my core/stability/glute work, and I’m thinking I might do some intense, focused massage therapy to “fix” my imbalances. I sooooo want to run. I don’t want to run endurance distances, just 5K type stuff.

My goal is to do a mile every day. I’m calling it “move in March”. Just focus on that short distance, gradually getting faster and fitter. Maybe do more than that if I’m getting faster. But nothing more than 30 minutes of intense stuff a day. It’s doable if I replace some of my social media time with running. Because God knows I do social media enough. If I get to a point that I want to do another half marathon, I will, but I know I’m not really built for endurance. I’m fast when I want to be, though.

Other, semi-related (but not really) thoughts. During my trip this weekend, I went to New Orleans. I ended up drinking, and probably a bit too much. I had two drinks the night of my half marathon, and two drinks in the city my last day, followed by two drinks on the airplane. Tuesday and Wednesday, I had one can of cider (about a pint) each night and last night I didn’t drink at all. I don’t know if I’m ready to drink again, or if I need to stay totally dry. Sober January had a huge impact on my health, though, and I know I can’t drink every night. I do enjoy having a little when I’m out celebrating. It’s hard. I Just don’t know. For now, I’m going to keep it to the rare weekend celebration, and not in excess. Easier to say than to do.

My weight is still stuck. Other than my usual strict gluten free, I’m not doing anything else. I think I’ll make a minor goal of trying to get one salad in a day. That should do wonders. Other than that…I’m not going to be hard on myself. I wish I cared enough to really push it, but I apparently don’t. Something’s holding me back. Life is hard, people.

And with that, I’m off.

Blah

I think I’ve used this as a journal entry title several times. I really am feeling pretty blah today, though.

I’m not really getting anywhere on my social media detox. I really want to quit some of this stuff and use it a bit less, but then I feel isolated and blah.

I don’t really know what to do. I guess noting that I have a problem is an important step, isn’t it?

One good thing, though. I haven’t had a drink in 43 days. My little “quit that” tracker tells me that I’ve saved approximately $172. That’s awesome!

Slacker

I’ve been stressing out about food and exercise and everything. I have terrible allergies. It’s tree sex season and I just don’t feel great. Apparently, when you give up an alcohol habit that you were using for anxiety, all of your body neurotransmitters ramp back up, including one that releases histamine. So my allergies are like 20 times worse than normal and it is AWFUL.

But here I am.

I’ve been tracking my phone use with an app called Mirror. So far so good. It’s easy to get around it and shut it down, even though I’m not trying to. It kind of shocking, but not super shocking, how much time I spend on my phone. Right now I’m in the “track” stage before it starts getting all draconian and shit on me. LOL

My latest exercise goal is to go to the gym twice a week to work out, doing strength training. I picked up a program from Steph Gadreau (Harder to Kill), and I’m hopeful to build some serious strength, particularly core strength. Today is going to be day one!

Gotta write something

Okay, so I have to write something today. I don’t know what to say other than I worked yesterday and didn’t really check my social media most of the day. Last night, I spent a lot of time on the phone checking stuff, but at least when I work and am socially engaged, using my brain, etc., I don’t feel like I need to do that stuff. Maybe that is really the ticket for me.

I do remember reading some years ago that some researchers could easily get mice/rats addicted to some hard drug by keeping them in normal cages without their friends. The moment they gave most of those guys access to others like them, in a bigger cage, with more things to do, they mostly rejected the addictive stuff. People are the same, mostly. It makes sense that being with others and doing fun stuff would make you uninterested in the bad stuff.

Social Media Detox

I’m finding lots of lists with great strategies. I think the best approach has been to treat it how I treat alcohol. The original list was alcohol. The alcohol specific things have been crossed out in red, social media specific things are in blue. The overlap is black.

Pros:

  • It tastes good
  • It is a lot of fun
  • It helps me relax
  • Sometimes it helps my libido
  • It helps me fall asleep
  • It has some (very slightly) modest health benefits (and only for, say, 12% of the population)
  • Where alcohol social media is, friends and fun usually are
  • It keeps me up to date on the news and events that my friends are doing
  • I can send pictures to my family

Cons:

  • It’s expensive
  • It causes anxiety long term even if it helps me relax short term
  • I may fall asleep quicker, but my sleep is less restful and I often wake in the middle of the night
  • It has many many MANY some small health risks (like death from DUI, high blood pressure, kills your liver, inactivity, obesity, depression from FOMO, etc)
  • It gives me migraines
  • It makes me have to poop a lot more
  • It makes my periods worse
  • It makes me eat more
  • It makes me less present with my family
  • It makes me less connected with my spouse so that I’m less likely to want to use that libido
  • I can’t drive after I’ve been drinking, while using it which means where my friends and fun are, I have to make special accommodations to get home or be stuck where I am, sometimes unsafely
  • I can’t respond to an emergency situation (medical or, say, to help my spouse if his truck breaks down, etc)
  • It’s isolating but cheaper to drink stay at home and use social media than go out
  • It makes me feel guilty
  • When I’m drinking using social media, I don’t want to do responsible things (chores, cooking, work)

Okay, so it’s obvious that social media isn’t anywhere near as bad as alcohol. Whew! But the big ones: anxiety, makes me less present, it’s distracting, isolating, and makes my ADHD way worse.

I hate anxiety. It SUCKS. So how to get past this? Here’s one article…

This first line is AWESOME:

Understand That You’re Being Played

Whoa. Seriously. Social media has been designed to be wicked addictive. If you have an addictive tendency at all (and boy, do I!), then you’re fucked. I think the interesting bit is people who aren’t addicted, who never check Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/Snapchat.

How. Do. They. Do. It.

More from the link…

  1. Implement Rules
  2. Buy an Alarm Clock
  3. Sign Off for a Weekend
  4. Check With Purpose
  5. Be a Tough Editor
  6. Respond Off-Line
  7. Alter Your Settings

Out of all of these, let’s see what I can start with.

I think Implement Rules is a good one. Go from 8 hours a day (seriously, some days it’s probably close to 16 hours…how the fuck did it get this bad?!) to say, 1. Mornings are the worst for me. I get my coffee, Facebook for a few hours, journal, Facebook a little more, then go grab lunch. Then I might run some errands, come home and Facebook, pick up my kid from school, Facebook MORE. Do some small chores (dishes, laundry, meal prep), eat dinner, then more Facebook. Starting tomorrow, I could give myself 1 hour to Facebook in the morning (8:15 to 9:15), journal for 30 minutes, do other stuff until noon. Grab lunch, allow myself to take 20-30 minutes to eat without distraction (OMG), then the next 30 can be social media. After that, no Facebooking until after dinner. Give myself another one hour and that’s it. Be done before 9. Lights out by 10. This is SO DOABLE.

If I can get through tomorrow with that kind of reduced use, I’ll be shocked. LOL

It really is AWFUL, people. I’m extraordinarily addicted and am already freaking out. Maybe I’ll get some exercise in…

 

Anxiety

Ok, my social media addiction is really starting to give me anxiety. I’ve been online since 8:15. It’s now 11:45. That’s 3.5 hours that I haven’t done anything particularly useful. Let’s see what my activity has been. Scroll through and feel the time waste!

3

4

5

5a

6

7

8

9

10

It gives me anxiety just LOOKING at it. So much freaking wasted time.

So what to do about it? I think that will have to be the next post because this is just so massive with all of the pictures.