Mental reset

My usual exercise routine on Sundays is to walk outside, I live near several lakes with trails and I enjoy being out there. I wasn’t able to get out last weekend due to the snowstorm and I missed it. Being that NC gets all four seasons in a week, today was 60 degrees and sunny. I made sure to make time to get out there.

I’ve been walking these trails for the past six years on a regular basis. It was my main form of exercise when I started this health journey and still an important part of my routine. With a new job and working M-F, it’s been reduced to weekends. When I walk on Sundays, I think about what’s coming up this week, work demands, appointments, obstacles I need to face, etc. Today there were several trees downed from the snow, blocking the path and I thought about how these were also obstacles in my way, but I was able to go around them – and in one case, through one by going under it. I’ve worked out a lot of solutions to issues on these walks. To me it’s a symbolic way to kick off the upcoming week and get ready to face it head on. Today really reinforced that.

Last week kicked my butt a bit, mostly work related. I think not being able to walk last weekend hurt my mindset. The snowstorm and the change in schedules didn’t help, most of that due to the gym (my happy place) being closed or opening later on in the day all the way through Tuesday. I missed Boot Camp and my personal training, I missed seeing my friends and the fun we have. It’s always a joy to me, even when I have to do burpees. I did a Dexa scan last weekend before the snow, I do them every four months and this one showed a muscle loss I’m not happy with. My attempts to hit my goal weight and build muscle took a hit, and so did my brain. It doesn’t take much when you’re on this journey.

I saw my dietitian yesterday to go over those numbers and see how to fix things. She’s part therapist and looking at the numbers and talking about recent increases in work stress made us see that my difficulties are most likely related to increases in my cortisol levels, which doesn’t help my PCOS. I’ve had some shifts where it’s been all stress and noticeable in feeling like my heart is racing and I’m trying to stay afloat. This was similar to the feelings I often had in my last job. We came up with a game plan on how to manage my food on those days where stress is going to be high and I’m burning too many calories. We also, with the help of my trainer (who generously fit me in on a different day), came up with a clearer plan on exercise days and types and more importantly, rest days.

I’m excited by the new ideas and as always, grateful for the support I get. I need to change a few other things as well and that walk today gave me a clearer head.

Bring on Monday!

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