Rest, Nutrition, and Fighting Depression

I haven’t worked out in more than 7 days – I believe today makes Day 9, actually. No energy, no motivation, no desire, and a full blown case of exhaustion.

As part of my pre-appointment questionnaire with my new Naturopath, I have to track ALL my food for 7 days. Now, I use My Fitness Pal to track, but I do it rather half heartedly. I have no doubt my eating is part of my problem – the amount of processed crap and sugar I’ve eaten in the last week is appalling. And last week has been typical of the last 6 weeks or so. Direct correlation? I have no doubt.

As for rest, well, that has been in short supply. I have tried very hard to avoid taking the sleeping pills that have been prescribed, as I really don’t want to depend on drugs. But when on an average night I get six very restless hours of sleep, and even on weekends I get less than 8 hours of dream filled, tortured sleep, it becomes very tempting.

Being exhausted makes it super challenging to try to get up in the morning to work out; then if I don’t work out in the morning, by the time I get home from work, feed the kids, etc. well…. it’s just not happening. On top of all that I’ve picked up a part time position (more on that in another post), which means on my weekends I have fewer hours to work out, or get anything else done either.

Not eating right, not working out, not sleeping, plus Bruce’s illness… yup, I’m fighting depression/anxiety right now. So now I have to come up with a plan to slowly put all the pieces back together so that once I’m ready to start training for our next race, I’m not up 20 (more!) pounds, and haven’t done anything for three months!

Step 1: Force myself to get some activity back into my schedule. There are a million excuses, and this week coming up is already packed with work related stuff, but… here goes. Tentatively, I plan to swim Tuesday, Thursday, and possibly Friday. Normally I would swim on the weekend, but there is a swim meet this weekend coming up and so Masters swimming is cancelled. I want to run Wednesday, ride Thursday evening after work, and run Friday after work too. Then ride Saturday and run Sunday. That is seven or eight workouts – now that I write it down, I realize that might be a little ambitious considering how I’ve been feeling. I’d be happy to get five complete workouts done, at least one of each discipline.

Step 2: Work on cleaning up my diet. I have multiple meals out this week (conference food) so I don’t have control over my whole week, but I spent some time Sunday cooking some potatoes (both sweet and regular) and I have frozen vegetable soup and frozen vegetable rice. My biggest goal is to stay away from the Halloween candy! The chocolate and sugar is the biggest struggle right now.

Step 3: Rest. This is the toughest one – I have no control over it. I can control when I go to bed, but once I’m there, how much rest I get is the problem. I did take a sleeping pill last night, and if required I will take one at least one other night this week. I’m afraid this is the key – without rest, everything else is that much more difficult.

So that’s the plan. Try to reclaim my life – my spirit! one step at a time.

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4 Responses to Rest, Nutrition, and Fighting Depression

  1. PlumPetals says:

    I’m so glad you’re working on reclaiming your life. Rest is definitely the most important. I hope things start to fall into place soon x

    • Kris says:

      One night down, and I managed to sleep well. Felt positive and rested for the first time in weeks. Off to a good start.

  2. Carina says:

    Honestly, and obviously I’m not a med doctor and you know yourself best, I’d consider setting a time period (say 3 weeks) and using the sleeping pills daily or every other day or something. If you get more restful sleep, I bet a lot of other things will fall into place more easily. Just my thoughts, for what it’s worth.

    • Kris says:

      Actually Carina, I think that’s very good advice. I had been trying to keep it to no more than 1-2 pills per week, but right now rest is the most important piece of the puzzle. I know I felt way better today after sleeping well last night!

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