Progress and changes

I’ve officially been off Prozac for a little over a month now.  

Weaning off (this time) wasn’t bad as I did it extremely slowly.  I had the spins for a few weeks but that’s about it.

But now that I’m back to my baseline I’m noticing things that I don’t like.

First and foremost, I can’t focus.  My mind is constantly wandering and I grow bored with things far too easily.  Trying to keep up with my work has been a struggle, and even though I have a second bedroom that I can turn into an office, I’m trying to find an external place where I can go to shut out all distractions.

Secondly, my emotions are just below the surface these days.  The smallest things can fill me with rage or bring me to tears.  I feel… not unstable, but like I have an uneven surface.  Prozac smoothed out those bumps and made me feel like everything was going to be fine all the time.  Ironically, it’s what I used to say I hated about Prozac — that I felt sort of like a mood-less zombie.  Right now I miss Zombie Me.

I also stopped taking all supplements except Magnesium and Vit D.  Before, I was taking all sorts of homeopathic animal organ pills that propped up my energy levels throughout the day (which worked for sure), but were really expensive and reaching ridiculous levels, quantity-wise.  So my body is back to making its own energy, and that’s also an adjustment.

I’m basically having to re-learn how to be an unaltered human and it’s hard.

Also, I went (mostly) vegan.

It’s been three weeks since I watched a documentary that scared the pants off me for health reasons (“The Game Changers”, on Netflix) and caused me to get rid of any and all animal products in my apartment.  I had literally just gone grocery shopping to make a big pot of beef chili, and I ended up returning everything to the store.

The “mostly” part is built in because I know myself.  I’m human, I mess up (a lot) and I don’t want to count it as a failure if I slip up here and there.  I have slipped up a handful of times in the past three weeks and I got right back on the wagon afterward.  I think that knowing I have some wiggle room built in will help me succeed in the long term.

I already feel better and my fingers are slimming out.  I always notice that my fingers get bloated when I’m eating crap, which is weird, but it’s kind of my gauge.  Also, my sense of smell is better than ever, which isn’t always a good thing 😉  And my face used to be really oily all the time, but now it’s so dry that I have to moisturize it.  It’s a good problem to have.

I joined a strength-training program.

This week I went to the local gym and got weighed, measured, interviewed and evaluated so I could join their strength-training program.  It’s three classes per week of mostly weights with a little bit of cardio.  I’m going to try it for a bit and see if I want to stick with it or go for personal training.  I really like the trainer, and I think that’s important.  In my mind, personal training sessions were super scary and intimidating, but the trainer guy was super friendly and personable, and the gym was fairly non-threatening.  The last time I did a program like this, I saw results almost immediately, so I’m pretty excited to start.

I’m starting to plan the vacation of a lifetime.

I turn 40 next summer and my gift to myself is to vacation in South Korea for 2-3 weeks.  I was born there, adopted as a baby, and I’ve never been back.  This is a blog post for another time, but I’ll just say that it’s top of mind lately.  I’m frantically trying to learn the language and get my shit together before then.

More updates later.  Things are starting to gain traction and hopefully I’ll have more to say in the upcoming days, weeks and months.

xo.

 

Rainy day thoughts

 

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Photo by Nick Cooper on Unsplash

 

I haven’t updated in a bit because nothing has really happened.

I’ve been feeling in a rut lately, going about the same habits, revisiting failed attempts at changing my eating (low carb, no dairy, etc.). I’m realizing just how much harder it is to a) lose weight and b) change your habits, the older you get.

My sister and I often talk about the “all or nothing” mentality, which is definitely part of what’s holding me back. If I can’t hike up a 4000+ footer, what’s the point? If I can’t be 100% vegan, I’m not just going to cut back on dairy. If I can’t do everything, I’ll just do nothing.

In this age of technology, we all want instant gratification. Not seeing results immediately must mean it’s not working, right? The reality is that it’s the smaller changes that are most effective, and even though I know this, I’m still getting in my own way.

I’m going to focus on starting out tiny and plan for the long term. Going for a 10-minute walk every day is far better than doing nothing all week and struggling through a hike on the weekends. It’s like when I told my friend 20 years ago to put a couple dollars into savings every month. She automated the process and now has a much bigger savings account than me!

Baby steps. A little bit is better than nothing and will create lasting lifestyle changes.  Hell, there’s a little old lady with a walker that I see walking around outside every single day.  If she can do it, I should be able to!

I’m going to keep this top of mind going forward.

In the meantime, what do y’all do to get yourself out of a rut? I could use some motivation on this rainy day.

Sunday thoughts

Today I finished reading a book that I started in February.  It gives me great satisfaction to finish something, as it seems so rare these days.  Not just personal projects, but even finishing a bag of frozen vegetables or a jar of mustard makes me happy.  It means nothing was wasted and that bag of veggies/jar of mustard/book lived a full and purposeful life.

One of my many goals during my time in Vermont is to read 12 books.  My love of books has never diminished, but my attention span sure has.  I want to try to get it back.

Other things I’ve done in the past few days include seeing Abominable in the theaters and driving to the top of the highest mountain in the state.

Abominable was a really cute movie with major bonus points for Asian representation.  I continue to be blown away by just how far digital animation has come.

Mt. Mansfield was beautiful, especially decorated with the Fall foliage.  Sadly there wasn’t enough time to hike along the ridge as I had planned, and seeing as the top was already covered in ice, it looks like the next chance won’t be until Spring.  I’d recommend the drive up via the toll road, although getting there when it first opens is a must.  We spent most of the time in the car waiting to ascend, as they only let one car up when one car comes down.

Today, along with battling a cold, I’m also feeling the effects of the lower dose of Prozac.  I hope to be completely weaned off in a week or so, and no matter how slowly I go, the mild sadness and irritability always seem to creep in somehow.

It’s funny, but right about now I’m longing for a more regimented routine.  I want to go into an office every day, which is hilarious because just a few years ago I was longing for a 100% remote job, which I now have.  The grass is always greener, isn’t it?  Just a few weeks ago I could have been going into the office, but I realize now that it wasn’t distance or time that discouraged me; It was being self-conscious.  Even if I had lived next door to the office, I would still have stayed home if I was feeling fat (which was/is almost every day).  The loneliness is starting to sink in up here, and I just need to adjust.

I’ve lost a couple pounds since the last weigh-in, and I plan to ramp things up this week, as long as my cold improves.  Staying in and reading is good for feeling accomplished, but physically makes me feel like shit.  I’m at 204.2 pounds and I’m trying really hard to cut back on dairy, and eventually meat.  I can’t zip up my winter jacket from last year anymore, and it’s already winter jacket weather.  I need to hurry up and lose more weight.

Until next time.  xo.

One week

I’ve been in Vermont for exactly a week.  So far so good, although it still doesn’t feel like home yet.  Going back to work has helped, but it’ll take time.

I’ve definitely been more active in the past week.  My sister lives close enough to walk/bike but far enough away where it’s a decent walk/bike ride.  This morning before work I met someone for coffee, which I walked 20 minutes to get to.  Then I walked to a restaurant for lunch.  It’s so nice to be outside walking around without feeling self-conscious.

I definitely need to work on eating healthier now that I’m starting to get settled.  But at the same time I’m looking forward to having food adventures downtown.  My goal is to stay active enough where I don’t have to regulate my eating as closely as I feel like I should be, which is why I’m loving the cooler weather these days.  I can’t wait to start hiking again, and conquering some of the big mountains up here.

Everyone up here is nice, too.  It’s weird, and it catches me off guard.  Coming from Boston, I’m used to people minding their own business and not making eye-contact.  I wouldn’t say people from Boston are rude, they’re just… efficient.  Up here I have to remind myself to slow down, look up, and smile at people.

I’ll be doing weekly weigh-ins from now until my birthday in June, and I’ll post them here for accountability.  The last weigh-in was 206.4 lbs, which is close to my all-time high.  For reference, I’m 5’2″.  My feet and ankles hurt almost all the time.  I’m confident that I have the means and motivation to lose some weight, but getting to my goal seems like a daunting challenge right now.

All I know is how upset I’ll be if nothing has changed by my 40th.

Settling in, and 40 before 40

Moving is hard.  But for some reason it was extra hard this time, and I can’t figure out why.

Compared to most people, I don’t have a lot of “stuff”, but compared to my ideal self I have way too much.  I spent a lot of time packing, unpacking to purge stuff, and repacking during the past week.  I still have a long way to go, though.

The past two days I’ve been settling in and trying to figure out my new routine.  I can’t stock my kitchen yet because there isn’t much cabinet space, so I’ve been eating takeout so far.  I know this will change, so I’m not sweating it too much.

I feel like my cats are happier here already.  They’ve been running around and playing again, which I haven’t seen them do in a long time.

Walking to the store at 7am the other day was my favorite thing so far.  The sun was just coming up and the mountains were in the background.  There were very few cars on the road and it was just quiet.  I can’t wait for it to start snowing.

But today, my fourth day here, as I’m finally starting to feel like this is my home, I’m also feeling like I don’t want to get off the couch.  I’m way less self-conscious here but it still takes effort to put my face on and get dressed, especially when my comfortable pants are in the laundry basket and I no longer have in-unit laundry.

I have a lot of challenges to overcome, and I have to start making changes now, before my old ways dominate the new chapter of my life.

I’ve made a TODO list of things I want to accomplish during my time here in Vermont.  Some of it is fun but most of it is self-improvement.  My main goal is “40 before 40”, meaning, lose at least 40lbs before I turn 40.  That’s totally within my reach, so it’s up to me and me alone to make that happen.

Cheers.

Habits

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I would bet money that I have the weirdest eating habits out of anyone else I know.

Ever since I was a wee little skinny kid, I was eating the weirdest shit.  While other people craved ice cream and chips, I craved things like salad dressing and sour cream.  I would eat cream cheese with a spoon.  I never ate cereal, pancakes, waffles or even eggs for breakfast.  I’d eat kielbasa with cheese or canned mac n cheese.

I told you it was weird.  But I was a teeny, tiny little thing and no one ever told me that I should stop eating this or that.

As much as I’d like to believe that I’m an adult who makes better decisions, I’m not.  Habits that have been ingrained since childhood are so hard to break, and this is just one of the many struggles I now face.

I definitely attribute my weight gain to the various medications I’ve been on in my lifetime.  Back when I started SSRIs about 20 years ago, no one knew how they interacted with our gut microbiomes.  Even now it’s not widespread information.  But if you look back, my weight gains and losses absolutely correlate with going on and off meds.  I started Prozac again in January 2018 and since then I’ve gained 25lbs.

But I also fully realize that my disgusting food habits don’t carry over very well to adulthood, as metabolism slows down and life gets in the way of daily exercise.

I’ve been daydreaming about how when I move to Vermont the weight will just fall off and all will be well in the world.  Of course, I know that’s not the case, but I do think that being in a different setting with new surroundings and a chance to wipe the slate clean will kickstart new habits and a healthier lifestyle.  I’ve already started weaning off the Prozac, so fingers are crossed that that helps as well.

If I can get through the stress of packing and moving without dying of a cheese overdose, I think I might just be OK.

10 more days.

Turning the page

It’s been a while since I’ve updated this blog.  But since a chapter of my life is ending and another one is beginning, I thought it fitting to resurrect my logs.

Here’s the deal.

I’m still where I was when I started this blog.  Far too overweight, not exercising, and spending too much time in front of screens.  But as I get even older it hits me harder.  I’m not living my life, I’m hiding from it.  And it’s never going to change unless I change something myself.

I just ate a calzone and I’m feeling disgusting and wondering when I’m going to learn that eating shit makes me feel like shit.  I _know_ what I need to do to change my life, I’m just not doing it.

I never thought I’d be here at age 39.  When I was younger, 39 seemed so old.  I thought I’d be smart and mature and successful, not whining about not having my shit together.  In June I turn 40, and I’m truly determined to be living a different life by then.  I have roughly 10 months.

I’m moving from Massachusetts to Vermont in a couple weeks, and I’m hopeful that the change of scenery will enable me to get out more.  The challenge is that I’m a remote worker, which means I have very little contact with other humans on a daily basis.  It’s so easy to sink into a slothful state of being makeup-less and unshowered for days on end.  But I’m also moving down the street from family, and I think/hope that my sister and nephews will be reason for me to leave the house more often.  Plus, Vermont is beautiful and there’s plenty to do outdoors during every season (except some of summer, because I don’t do hot weather).

I don’t know where this next chapter leads, but I want it to lead somewhere.  I’m so mad at myself for getting into such a bad situation, but I’m ready to put the work in to reverse it.  I will log my wins, challenges, failures, goals, hopes and dreams in this blog.  I hope it’ll hold me accountable, but at the very least it’ll be an interesting journey.

Bye for now.