The Rolling Stones sang an appropriate song to where I am writing this blog…
“You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes, you might find
You get what you need.”
That song is on my heart this morning as I write this blog… Last week, I was on target to have month two end with a bang. I was focused, feeling great, making mostly good nutritional choices. To quote my husband, “I’m not a robot” and I was still finding time to enjoy life and get back on track after such “enjoyments,” with minimal issues. I even had the perfect plan to end the month well. The end of my first month involved a two day fast, which is how I ended so strongly. The timing was perfect to end month two with another two day fast for consistency. It was going to be perfect – those two days were going to be exactly what I needed to achieve a good monthly weight loss, and I had a goal of fitting into a dress that I bought years ago on a clearance rack, but it never fit me. It was so close… I just needed an inch in the chest at the end of month 1, and I was almost there as of last week. I was convinced that motivation would fuel me as the month came to a close. All I had to do was stick to my plan and I would be successful.
But, then…. life….
As I think I’ve mentioned on here, I am taking 12 hours at the community college on top of work and everything else. My anatomy and physiology classes is two 8-week intensives and then the biology II class is a full semester. Somehow, we lost a week of material in A&P because of the midterm. So, the very end of the semester was catchup for the prof. He posted the two additional chapters that were missed, their corresponding quizzes, and then the cumulative final covering all 15 chapters was right on the heels of all of this. It was so much material that there was no one time watch all of the videos, which is how I really learn. I think I maybe was able to watch half of the chapter 11 videos, a couple of the chapter 12 and 13, and then nothing from chapter 14 and 15. I sincerely hope the video links don’t go away when the course is done because I really want to take the time to go back and study all of the videos I skipped.
Additionally, the late chapter quizzes were supercharged compared to the earlier chapter ones. My breaking point was last Saturday when I had a little time after finishing the lab, so I decided to do the week 6 quiz… The quizzes had been around 30 questions, so no problem. This one was 105! I thought I was going to lose it….
That day, I had intentions to practice piano for church on Sunday and then plans to shower and go on a well needed date with my husband. I made the date (un-showered), but I was unkept and the practicing got pushed back. Food choices that night, not so good. Emotionally, I was just shot. I already felt like my coursework is hindering my relationship with my husband because full-time work and full-time school is a huge commitment. I hate the idea that I am neglecting him.
I began to question my sanity for desiring to go to medical school. I would love the learning aspect, but is it the right thing for my marriage? And, do I need it to be able to help people with metabolic syndrome? Maybe I can partner with a doctor and be the more “hands-on” type to focus on the daily, where the doctor oversees the medical aspects. Something more to pray about.
On Sunday, church went okay, but I wasn’t as confident as I have been recently because I know I didn’t prepare enough. It’s hard for me to make mistakes especially when I know it’s because I didn’t do everything I could.
I had jury duty on Monday and hoped that would be a good day off of work to study – nope, criminal case, jury selection lasted all day in the court room. Thankfully I was not chosen, as I did not have the time to commit to a multi-day case. Monday was a fast day, so I had hoped to stay focused, but I collapsed as soon as I was released and made a slew of poor nutritional decisions. I don’t know if it was an emotional reaction to the type of case (it was a sexual assault case, which would be overwhelming to listen to, but I do believe I could have been an impartial juror) it was or just the buildup that I could have been selected when I knew I didn’t have time.
Back to studying… Two of the final three A&P quizzes were also long, but thankfully the prof made the final chapter a bonus. Then, I just happened to look to see when my next biology test was (poor biology is seriously neglected in my study time because A&P is so much work)… It’s this weekend – of course!
Oh, did I mention my parents are in town for my son’s varsity baseball tournament and my husband is turning 50 on Monday. And, work is well…. work, that’s what I get paid the big bucks to do.
Calgon, take me away….
I am thankful for some amazing friends, who have been supportive during this time and are helping me with some things that wouldn’t fit in my schedule. There are a couple other things that are causing me serious stress and anxiety during this time, but they’re more personal, so this probably isn’t the right venue to share.
Since last Saturday, I have collapsed nutritionally four times: Saturday, Monday, Wednesday, and yesterday. So much for finishing out the month with a bang and impressing the world (and myself) with my progress….
What I can say about month two is this…. I am right where I ended up month one. I basically maintained, even though life is really hectic. That is something to be proud of, I suppose! It could have been a lot worse; I could have (or, I guess I still could) let my self-sabotage get the better of me and completely fall off of the wagon. One of my goals is a derailment plan and this has given me an opportunity to really study that and see if it’s working. It’s been good, but I think I need to add a stress caveat for life situations that become overwhelming, and that’s what I get to work on right now.
My weight is +1.2lbs from the end of month one, but that’s only because of what I ate last night, otherwise, it would have been perfectly in line. My measurements were down from last month as of last Saturday morning, and while I didn’t take them today (tomorrow is measurement day), they’re probably basically on par with where I was (maybe a little short-term bloating).
My blood work was in line with last month. My insulin was still low, at 3.4mIU/mL, as compared to 3.2mIU/mL last month – and I had it drawn on Wednesday after my Saturday and Monday poor choices. This morning is the lowest my ketones have been, but they’re still measurable at 0.2mmol/L, which isn’t great, but with four days of carb and/or sugar city, the fact I haven’t completely gone to 0 is pretty amazing. My blood sugar has been running a little high these past few days (duh) and has been 90-110mg/dL the past few mornings (duh again).
My exercise commitment and enjoyment has improved greatly this month. I have been regularly going to yoga and body flow and I’ve been enjoying it and it’s definitely helping me manage my stress. I have even continued to attend this week with everything that’s been going on, and that’s huge for me!
Sugar cravings this week have been off the charts. I attribute a lot of that to stress levels, but I also have been allowed myself to have some diet Coke (although no where near as much as previously), which I have written about as a Black Listed “Food”. I am happy to see that it hasn’t effected my insulin levels, but it definitely has affected my cravings. Commitment to abstinence in this area, during periods of stress, may have to become part of my derailment plan.
Another positive about month two is that my husband and two of my friends have joined me in pursuing this lifestyle. Also, a work colleague is starting her own variation to get off of her diabetes medication, and it’s starting out strong for her. I am so happy to see my friends so successful in improving their health! This is what’s important to me… and I’m sure my struggles will be instrumental in helping other people when they find themselves in the same situations. When encouraging others, it’s always helpful to have been there so you truly understand what they’re going through. If this was easy for me, I wouldn’t have anything to offer them.
I am trying to show myself some grace during this time. I feel like when life is overwhelming, trying to be too focused on perfection nutritionally is not the best solution. A two-day fast in the midst of chaos is likely not realistic, and that’s okay. While I have made bad decisions and certainly didn’t follow my “plan”, I haven’t gone completely crazy. I’ve basically moved on from each poor decisions with a little extra fasting and it’s kept me basically in line.
My emotions have been pretty rough. Yesterday, I just started crying at work. I literally had to go somewhere private because I couldn’t stop it. I’m usually not an emotional sap, but I had to let it out. I don’t even really know what exactly I was crying about. I prayed until I was able to pull myself together, but I was still struggling with my focus. I asked a colleague to pray with me as well, and then I was able to get back on track.
I actually decided to go in late to work to write this blog because I felt it was important for me to get this all out to continue healing. My emotions remain completely on edge this morning. I even took a Xanax last night because I was struggling that much. In fact, I’ve taken three this month, which is so unusual because I can’t remember the last time before this month that I’ve needed one. It’s maybe been a year! I took one for a painful medical procedure, but the other two were for periods of significant situational anxiety.
My emotional struggles this month definitely open up the thoughts of whether medical school would be practical for me. It’s totally my passion and I love learning the material, and yes, I wouldn’t have work stress on top of everything else, but it would be a significant sacrifice for my family (financially through my lost income, even though the tuition would be free; as well as time away, and I would hate to neglect my husband more than I already have). Maybe there are other ways to do what I want to do without being a medical doctor. I am a PhD and I have an MBA, and I’m great at teaching myself, so there may be other roads I haven’t considered. At least I don’t have to decide now… and maybe this isn’t God’s plan for me, after all. I might not even be accepted.
Right now, the goal is to just hold it together through Monday without the pressure of perfection. By Monday, I will be finished by final and my biology test, and will be celebrating 50 years of life with my husband at an intimate dinner for two. Monday is the start of spring break at my college… I look forward to using that time to catch up on other tasks I have been neglecting, and hopefully slowly starting to catch up on the A&P videos I have had to skip due to my time constraints.
And, tomorrow starts month 3 – the final month of my 90-day challenge for myself. Here’s to month three going well and me continuing on my part of growth!!