Monday, November 28, 2005


Why am I writing this when I have mountains of work? I need to.

I haven't exercised since Thursday.
I've been making very, very poor food decisions. Not binging. But poor, poor choices. (Somebody say not 1 but 2 grande triple shot vanilla soy lattes! with me.) No, say disturbing heart palpatations instead.
Lack of movement and yucky food are pulling me down into an emotional funk.
Which does not make eating well and exercise any easier.

My shoulder/back still hurts. But I could try to run or walk. I won't lift weights or practice yoga for the rest of the week. But this does not mean that I no longer have to move at all. No it does not.

I am sick, so sick of being injured. First the foot thing and now my back/shoulder thing. All these have me scared, annoyed, and really frustrated. I don't like being pushed into "rest" mode, especially when I have been doing so well. Now I fear I will have to backtrack to re-establish strength, flexibility, and endurance that I already worked for. Argh!

Could I have warded off these injuries with more rest days worked into my routine? I'm ashamed to admit that I don't have planned rest days, I figure that I will get the better of myself and call in sick to the gym anyway, so why plan a day off? But the fact is, I haven't been calling in. I've been doing serious workouts, spinning or running, often coupled with lifting or yoga or both, every single day of the week. I haven't pointed this out before on this blog because I didn't want to be called out on it. Because I know that I shouldn't, and can't, work out with such intensity.

What's up with that? Why haven't I been taking rest days?

I really LIKE working out. I like the way I feel afterwards. It is a quick way to feeling good and accomplished in a life where I rarely feel either.

VJ said something that made me uncomfortable, in a good way:

Part of this is just a sense of futility. Why bother looking for a new job when it'll just be more of the same, and probably a paycut? I'll still be stressed out; I'll still be self-medicating with food or drink or exercise. I think about one cow-orker who quit a few years back because he couldn't stand it any longer... and ended up back here. That could be me. On a treadmill.

Exercise as self-medicating. When I first read this, I thought, "nah." She can't mean that as a bad thing. Surely exercise isn't like over-eating or drinking. Surely it isn't. But now. Now. Why have I been exercising like crazy? Why haven't I been honest about that here? Why do I resist rest? Why does the thought of it make me crazy?

I'm scared, lonely, stressed beyond the realms of reality, lost, unhappy, disconnected, overly-sensitive. Which is the result of my tenuous position in graduate school. Except that this is how it has always been. And will be, I fear, the way I always am. Hence the resonance with VJ's treadmill analogy.

So what does this mean? Am I self-medicating? Is this a bad thing? Does it mean that I need real meds?

I was thinking that I was finally figuring things out. Finally becoming something like the person that I hope to be, in terms of food and exercise. I've significantly curtailed emotional eating and binging! I have it all! But now I wonder if I've just replaced overeating with exercise. This thought is really depressing. What the hell have I been doing? Have I made any real changes or progress in myself?

Honestly, the two things that bring me the most joy lately are exercise and eating. This seems so sad. But it's true. Exercise and eating are times during the day when I can check out and relax and escape expectations and judgment and sit back with myself and fucking let go.

Clearly, I need to work on this attitude. Great, more to work on.


At 5:06 PM, Blogger Mich said...

Liz, hang in there!

Injuries are just a part of life, and the time you lose due to them is not a complete loss, because there's always a. muscle memory, and b. character building. I can think of lots of athletes who come back from injury better and stronger. (My favourite example is Dmitri Bilozerchev.)

No dissing of eating and exercise please; they happen to be two of my most enjoyable activities :-) Seriously, the desire for food could be a direct result of the massive exercising. Your body might just need more fuel. There's nothing wrong with daily exercise (how many hours are we talking here, btw?) as long as you're taking in enough food for it. And are you sleeping enough?

Read over your blog if you don't think you've made real changes in yourself. Give yourself some credit for your successes!

At 12:22 AM, Blogger vj said...

Is exercise in some cases self-medicating -- yes, of course. Is all self-medication bad? I don't think so. And is exercise always self-medication? Of course not. Liz! Eating and exercise are in my top five as well, and for me, I do use them as an escape. That's not always a bad thing though. If something gets out of wack (like my big concern, should I become alcoholic or diabetic), that's another thing altogether, but obviously, we are programmed to enjoy sensual things. So if you're feel addicted, that's another thing altogether. But. If you're dealing with your shit/baggage/whatever, you're probably dealing as fast as you can...


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