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.

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!

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.

Mommy bloggers, redux

I just posted about how I wasn’t really into dooce back in the day. I just googled her and this was one of the first things that came up. Thought it was interesting.

Armstrong makes an interesting point, especially in the genre she’s associated with. One complaint about ‘mommyblogging’, in its early days, was that it was too confessional, too loud, insufficiently respectful of children’s privacy. The airing of so much personal material bothered people – but many mothers needed such an outlet.

They needed to be able to talk, in an undisciplined fashion, about the challenges of motherhood, about the work involved in raising kids, with a glaringly honest approach.

“That kind of stuff that doesn’t look good on an Instagram feed,” Armstrong said.

“Back then, we talked about everything, about all of it. We opened it up and we examined it. And I just don’t see that going on anywhere anymore.”

It’s true. A quick perusal of most of the more successful parenting blogs will reveal beautiful homes stocked with artisanal toys and spotless outfits.

That obsessiveness about everything in their lives is what made the mommy bloggers both so annoying and so irresistible. I could never go there. I had a blog. I posted a ton on it. I followed a parenting blog aggregator (that also had it’s own content), called Blogging Baby. It was awesome, but then it became huge and my favorites stopped posting and I stopped following. But the bloggers who were pretty prolific there (Stefania, Melissa, Heather, Sweet Juniper, Sarah Gilbert) have all become pretty prolific elsewhere, so it was a great jumping off point for them all. But, interestingly enough, most of the famous ones got divorced (actually, all of them except for Sweet Juniper) Was it because they were all women who became successful and that sudden fame broke their lives apart even though they were “just” stay at home moms? Was it because of the exposure? The stress and intrusiveness of blogging about your family and children? Because those were the only ones who became successful…the ones who opened all doors to their lives and showed us beautiful pictures of their kids. I don’t know. It’s crazy, though.

Also, holy fucking shit. I’m still on the damned computer. *sigh*

Trying different stuff

I spent a lot of time social media-ing yesterday. Not happy about that. This morning, I didn’t spend so much time on social media, but I did spend a lot of time on the internet, in general.

I was reading up on a bunch of old “mommy bloggers” I used to follow back in the day. I was a huge fan of a blog called Suburban Bliss. Another blog I followed, dooce, is still going.

Melissa Summers of Suburban Bliss moved to Instagram at some point, and her website got snatched up by someone trying to capitalize on the name, so she doesn’t blog anymore. She does post on Instagram and it’s engaging and I like it, so I spent at least an hour looking at her photos and reading about her. Kind of cool to see pics of her kids who were so little at one point and one is now in college. Blows my mind.

Heather Armstrong of dooce was never one of my favorites, but I would binge read her blog every now and then when another blogger would post about it. I think my big problem with her was how obsessive she seemed to be about most things. Exercise. Diet. Parenting. Decorating. Marriage. Divorce. Travel. Marathons. Outfits. Pets. Everything was so intense for her, and I just didn’t relate to that. Melissa was obsessive about her mental health, but somehow that came across more as endearing to me, less “I have to be perfect”, more “I’m just trying to survive”. Heather’s quest for perfection is what made her so interesting but also so polarizing, I think. In reading her blog this morning, I realized that even the “pathologically trying to be perfect” folks are fucked up. I can see myself in her, just as I see myself in Melissa. I guess the takeaway is that we’re all just human, folks. My interest is piqued that she is now podcasting…I guess podcasts are the new blog, eh?

It was a delightful bit of internet research this morning. I don’t regret it, because it’s Saturday morning and we’re just hanging out anyway. Come later tonight, I’m going to be all “I can’t believe I wasted that time”, though. That and all of the social media between when I was done with reading up on the bloggers and trying to compose this post. Edit: I’m STILL ARGUING ON THE INTERNET. MAKE IT STOP! MAKE IT STAHHHHHHHPPPP!!!

Awareness is part of the problem right?

One of the things I’m hoping to try is a combo of L-tyrosine, B-vitamins, and fish oil. I already take B vitamins most days, and about half of the days I take fish oil. The tyrosine is new. Supposedly, it helps your thyroid work better (weight loss, I’ll take it!). But it also is supposedly a precursor to dopamine. Dopamine is that great focus neurotransmitter, right? So supposedly more tyrosine = more dopamine = less trying to find interesting stuff to keep my focus. Soooo…who knows?

Edit: OMG I ALREADY WROTE ABOUT THE TYROSINE YESTERDAY. I AM SOOO ADHD OMG LOL BBQ

 

 

Feeling feelings

Haha, kind of a silly title because I’m not really deep in thought or anything. I was just trying to come up with something for today. Anyway…

Trying to figure out ways to curb my social media addiction. This morning, I’ve been online since 8:15 AM. So the current tally is about 3 hours. Yikes. That is SO MUCH WASTED TIME. BLAH!!!

I went down the rabbit hole of Wikipedia, trying to help me figure out this whole ADHD thing. I wrote this on Facebook this morning:

Apparently, ADHD brains break down dopamine (the feel-good neurotransmitter your brain releases when you feel like you’ve done something satisfying) way too quickly.

The precursor to dopamine is protein, specifically an amino acid found in protein called tyrosine. Tyrosine was named from the Greek root “tyros” which means cheese. Some ADHD researchers seem to think that a high protein/low carb diet can alleviate ADHD in many folks. I wonder if just eating meat and cheese all day long would help me curb my social media addiction? LOL

Pretty funny, isn’t it? Hmmm…

Seeing as I feel pretty amazing when all I eat is meat and cheese, I think it’s time to give this theory a whirl.

In other plans, I think the first week (maybe just the first few days, because honestly, how much time do I need) of February is going to be all about awareness of how much time I spend online. Right now, it’s pretty abysmal and I’m depressed about it. But I do want to change because I think it will help me do great things. I’m motivated by…dopamine! HAHAHAHA

Meesee gets…unplugged

Or something. Unwired? Untethered? How about just…sane?

It’s February and I’m staying strong with the journaling! Go me!

I’m not sure where to go first with this whole digital detox thing. I know I can’t stop 100% right away (or ever). Thinking of logging how much time I spend on Facebook and Twitter everyday. There are apps just for this, but not sure how good or bad they’ll be for me.

I’ll start with techniques I already know. Maybe setting a timer for 30 minutes and then giving myself a 5 minute break? Or 60 minutes with 10 break minutes? Or for baby steps, 20 minute breaks? Hmmm…Just something so I can keep track of how much I’m screwing around.