Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Update & Thanks

I was looking through my old posts and shocked to see such nice comments many of you have dropped by and left for me. What a nice surprise to know my words and research and thoughts may have helped someone out there. I am quite a novice at this so you can imagine this was truly a pat on the back for me. It has inspired me to write some more and keep everyone up to date with my new thoughts inside my head- I never stop trying to help myself improve, whether this is a blessing or a curse, I haven't figured out yet.

Lately I have been seeing a counselor again, and also a psychiatrist. For those of you who don't know, a psychiatrist is the one able to prescribe medication for depression, anxiety, all sorts of mental health conditions. A therapist is not usually the same thing as a psychiatrist, and in most U.S. states cannot prescribe medication. What they can do though, is work on the problems while you are taking medication, so that one day you can have the mental tools to come off the medication slowly and live a life medication free but changed. I also have my counselor talk to my psychiatrist over the phone periodically. Let me tell you about what happened a few weeks ago. I felt awful one night and was very teary. When I talked this over with my boyfriend, I realized I was not being completely, 100% truthful to my therapist about how awful I can feel at the worst of times. I mean at times I can wish I was dead. Not that I would kill myself or have a plan or anything of the sort. Wishing you were dead is entirely different from wanting to kill yourself. (If you want to kill yourself, PLEASE call a hot-line or visit an emergency room). But I realized this was not normal and I did not have to live like that, feeling so bad that I could wish I was dead. SO anyway, I realized that I had been embarrassed to tell my therapist how bad I can feel sometimes. I didn't want her to think I was "crazy". Well what's the point of that?

So, my boyfriend convinced me that the only way I would ever truly get any genuinely needed help for myself would be to stop being afraid the therapist would think I was crazy. (Here is a funny similar question someone asked)Or not good enough. Or not capable of ever amount to anything. These were all the fears running through my head, that a medical professional would find me inferior or inadequate or defective. If I were truly in need of help, I didn't think I could also amount to anything in life. But really, this all creates a vicious circle. So I decided at our next appointment (we are in couples counseling where I talk about all these issues) he would help me be completely honest. I recommend this style of counseling because it has really worked for us. In this case my boyfriend helped me get straight with my counselor so she could really know what was going on when she wasn't around. If you aren't in couples counseling, I recommend once in a while bringing a close friend into the session so they can tell your counselor what is really going on.

So, since then, I have since been a lot more honest in therapy and, as a consequence, decided to go on some medication to help me finally get some of these same old problems under control. I want some new problems to contend with! I have been sick of struggling over the same old situations year after year.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Constructive Living

Last week I was doing a lot of research on self-help books. I knew I wanted a new one, but at the same time, I felt pretty discouraged because I have bought plenty of them where I stopped reading halfway through or did not put the book into action into my life. So I researched for quite a while, looking for one that I felt would inspire me. I focused mostly on Amazon, reading the books in the previews they give, scrutinizing the reviews readers have left for which ones seemed authentic and not just the authors friends. I was originally looking for a workbook I could progress through incrementally (although I already have some workbooks at home). There were some really good ones I found that I will mention later in this post, but I settled on one because it seemed really original. I am a big fan of Japanese etiquette rules, for example I often will hear about an aspect of Japanese etiquette that I never knew about but I already practice the principle anyway, just naturally. For example they are big on not saying "No" directly and I find myself naturally shying away from being very blunt with people, I would prefer they can read the implications of other things I am saying. But I degress- I was interested in this one book based on the beliefs about psychotherapy in Japan- it is called "Constructive Living".
From what I gather about this form of therapy, it focuses on the here-and-now, not on family history or personal background. Therapists in Japan encourage people to learn how to do certain behaviors no matter their current mood or how they are feeling. I feel learning about this would be extremely beneficial to me as I am constantly changing my plans or losing my motivation because of being in a "bad mood" or having a bad day, not feeling well, being tired, etc. The book stresses the importance of doing things towards your goal anyway, no matter how you feel. Now I certainly hope and expect they will tell me some tricks on HOW to do that, because my mind is sometimes my very worst enemy and I can convince myself to pursue pleasure/relaxation just about all the time.

Here is a link to the book: Constructive Living

Maybe I will even review it when I am done reading it or along the way.

Here are some other books I was interested in and may purchase soon (oh how I wish my local library had a better collection!!)
The Practicing Mind
Procrastination and Task Avoidance: Theory, Research, and Treatment This seems to be a textbook but hey- I guess its one good reason I am in social work school!
Fat, Broke & Lonely No More: Your Personal Solution to Overeating, Overspending, and Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places
The Binge Eating & Compulsive Overeating Workbook: An Integrated Approach to Overcoming Disordered Eating
The Procrastination Workbook: Your Personalized Program for Breaking Free from the Patterns That Hold You Back
The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Progress report

I have been doing really well yesterday and today. Yesterday I ate pretty well, only slipped up by eating a bunch of pasta after work. Today I had a protein shake for breakfast and half a can of yucky lentil soup for lunch (I like lentil soup but evidently not this particular brand). I am thinking of getting a veggie delite sub from subway. Not sure if I will be able to withstand the craving. I am pondering it (I should probably try to take my mind off food all together). I exercised for an hour and fifteen minutes yesterday when I didn't really want to go to the gym in the first place. I had a healthy dinner (fake chicken patty with barbecue dipping sauce, frozen butternut squash, broccoli) and lots of water.

I was reading a lot of articles on diet and physical activity for a school project and for fun. One thing I learned about deciding among healthy and unhealthy changes: if you think you are making an isolated choice and that you will make better choices in the future, you will probably continue to pick crappy choices. If you view your current choice as a series of choices that you will continue to make into the future, you are more likely to go with the healthier option. This is very relevant to my interests. I always say well I will eat this crap now because I know I am almost ready to start making healthy choices, or I will start tomorrow with the consistently healthy choices, or, I feel it in my heart that I will live healthy 'one day'. I will keep this new concept I learned in mind going forward when I am tempted to make the same old destructive choices.

I also learned that scholars really don't think 'diets' work, that is, attempting to significantly restrict calories. They say that it doesn't work because sooner or later the mental anguish you are putting yourself through is too much and you will typically eat even more than you would have if you ate moderately all along. Also even if you do lose, people tend to regain and whats worse is, their metabolism has changed such that new weight is typically fat rather than muscle or whatnot. The article I read stressed working on overeating, rather than trying to undereat. So focus on times when you know you over do it, instead of trying to eat way under. Also, the article talked about working on emotional eating, eating when you are bored or tired or stressed. for instance, I know I am doing that right now. I am not even really that hungry, since I had my shake and soup, but I am craving that happiness I know I would feel by biting into a delicious mayonaisse-ey sandwich with crunchy veggies and soft bread (I don't even know why I am indulging myself by describing the deliciousness of it!).

So anyway, that is what i learned today. I hope this helps someone out there.


What I learned today

I was researching dieting and exercise on some scholarly journals, which I tend to trust a lot more than most sources, and came across this great information on how to develop self-control:

"Self-control is fostered by being in a long-term positive relationship with a dependable person who communicates the value of this goal; working at self-control challenges carefully chosen to be at the correct level of difficulty for present skill; getting many positive models of the successful exercise of self-control; logging in many hours of practice where valued rewards are contingent upon greater and greater exercise of effort; learning that valued rewards can be obtained by effort, and thereby learning to enjoy effort; using fantasy rehearsal; learning compliance skills; learning verbal concepts (including a term for self-control itself) that affect the world view in ways conducive to this skill; learning the art of self -instruction; learning to remove oneself from tempting stimuli, physically and mentally; and learning self -monitoring."
Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. Vol.41(1), Jan 2002, pp. 17-27.
[Journal; Peer Reviewed Journal]

I was really impressed, I will break this down further into how I can apply these strategies to my daily life.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Its been a while...

Wow it has been so long since I have written anything in any of my blogs. If I had any followers, sorry for that. I had all but given up on maintaining my blogs. But looking back on what I had written more than 2 years, I am amazed to see I am practically having the same conversations with myself. Waking up too late, eating wrong, not cleaning my house enough. Holy crap.

These problems have never gotten fixed, and also, I am still trying the same old techniques and thinking the same old things about myself and how I will fix them. What does this all mean? Will they ever be fixed then? I really don't know, but looking at my old entries has been such an eye opener.

I feel rather distraught and so confused. Am I not looking at my problems with the right perspective? Am I missing some piece of the puzzle? And if so, what is it?

Am I missing the motivation to turn what I think about problems into action? I tried baby steps. I try total transformation. I try not even thinking about it and just accepting the problem about myself. This is so strange. I mean, I knew I have continued to struggle with my problems. In fact, they have gotten worse. I weigh more than I did 2 years ago, and I am in more debt. I am really at a loss here.


Monday, March 5, 2007

Update on Me

Hello, sorry it has been so long since I have written last. I was not sure if I should keep updating these blogs cause they don't seem like the healthiest thing. I do not want to put too much time into something on the computer that might not help me in the long run. I already spend too much time on the internet, know what I mean?

I started taking the Paxil, and although it has only been about 8 days, I feel like it is starting to help ever so slightly. I feel enthusiastic about things. I dyed my hair over the weekend and plucked my eyebrows and it made a big difference in my appearance. I started taking Hoodia and even though its only been 12 hours I feel skinnier already! I think it has more to do with how I feel than how I look. I also did all my Flylady stuff yesterday AND all my laundry and THEN I just relaxed and watched tv and was asleep by 11:30! Can you believe it? I also woke up at 8:30. Go me AHHH!

In other news, this is whats fluttering through my mind:
- so busy at work today and time is flying by!
- my mom and I have been civil and no fights all weekend!
- I went out and bought a pair of earrings and 2 headbands!
- next week I am going to get a manicure and hair trimmed even if it is at Supercuts
- I feel like watching a foreign language channel on tv until I learn a few new words in another language.
- I spoke to this sweet woman from England today and I loved her english accent and I want to travel more when I start making money!
- I love all of our bloggers that I work with.

Am I manic or what??


Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Treadmill Routine Change

Well I decided to change my morning treadmill routine. I had felt really bad about it for a while, as I think I have mentioned here before. I started out strong and went about 3 weeks going 1.5 miles a morning. Then something happened, I think I started waking up a lot later, and I couldn't get it all done in time. I never seem to be able to get it done anymore. Maybe it doesn't seem as great to wake up for anymore, I don't know. So finally a couple of days ago I decided to change my routine so I only walk 1.0 miles instead of 1.5. I figured there was a reason I could not make that goal, and maybe I was reaching too high and could not sustain that much. So now at least I have been able to walk 1.0 miles for the last 3 days instead of not at all. I have some accomplishments I can achieve now. It will be a while before I increase how far I walk, and I think when I do increase the distance it will be a much shorter increment like .05 mile or something.

I also have been managing to wake up at about 9, give or take a few minutes. I usually set the alarm for 9:15 then fill with anxiety over that I won't be able to get everything done and be in to work by 10 am now that my boss has put his foot down. So what time should I strive to wake up for? I think for the next 2 weeks I will just try to wake up at 9 consistently. What stinks is for 3 weeks I will have to be at my new class by 8 am so that will help me in the short-term but not help my long-range goals, unless I handle the change correctly.