L-I-V-I-N: How I manage my mental and physical health

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snakeyjane

Joined: Apr 17
Posts: 8

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Posted: 06 Jul 2017, 11:20
Hi, all. This is my first post. I thought I'd introduce myself by sharing challenges I faced last year, my motivation for joining fatsecret, and a success I've had since. Last year included a lot of stressful events that led to some weigh gain. I graduated college in December 2015, sunk into a seasonal depression while out of school and unemployed, started a new job in February 2016, and bought a house in May 2016. Most of the events were positive, but the cumulative effect was very hard on my body. I'd been in my best shape ever during the summer 2015 (I was running 5-10 miles a week, lifting heavy twice a week, and doing yoga 6 days a week). My stress was low, because I was doing research at school that I loved. Then classes started and it was crunch time to graduation, so I cut way back on exercise (read: quit) and focused on school. Between August and February I gained 20 pounds.

I knew something had to change, but I wasn't willing to go back to spending 2 hours exercising a day now that I held a full time job. After a health assessment at work, I realized my stress levels were making me feel sluggish, eat emotionally, and gain weight around my middle. I decided to get back into yoga, eat better, and cut back on alcohol consumption. These things are helping me with my weight loss, but I wanted more. Long term stress, poor diet, and depression don't only affect your physical fitness, but your mental wellness. I was cycling through periods of depression and acute anxiety this spring, and I couldn't focus on anything -- my brain was total fog. To address this, I cut refined sugar and grains all the way out of my diet and added a lot of vegetables, prebiotics, and probiotics. It may seem strange that the culture of yeast and bacteria in your gut can directly impact your mood, unless you've learned about the microbiome and the brain-gut axis (I'm happy to point to further reading/listening if anyone is interested). I also decided that I could benefit from daily meditation.

I'd been practicing yoga for years, but I've never had a meditation practice. They say it takes three weeks to form a habit, and I've successfully sat for meditation every morning for about a month. I accidentally skipped a morning last week, and it felt weird, so I think it's going to stick! I'm up from 5 min to 10, and I want to work my way up to 20 min of meditation every morning. My stress levels are way down, and some of that stubborn weight around the middle is beginning to come off. Furthermore, my mind is more clear and I can focus (I wrote this whole post in one sitting, haha), just not on work. I haven't felt depressed lately, although that could be because it's summer. I'm hoping that together all these lifestyle changes will help me this winter when the great grey beast looms over me.

How do you manage stress? Do you meditate or have some other mindfulness or reflective practice? I'd love to hear how other people cope with this thing we call Life.
"What the patient takes beyond [her] ability to digest does harm." Samuel Jones Gee
SLLockhart

Joined: Jul 17
Posts: 41

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Posted: 07 Jul 2017, 19:54
Snakeyjane,
I commend you for working on reducing your stress and Meditation seems to be helping you, that is wonderful.
I have found out that since I gave up eating sugar, only about 2 weeks, I don't feel the same and I chalk it up to not eating any.
I do Yoga daily, with one day off a week.
I also do Pilates, before doing my Yoga, to help speed up my metabolism and as I keep doing them, I find that I sweat a lot, and it does helps me to stay motivated too.
You seem to be onto something and keep on telling us how it is going, OK?
"DO, DO NOT, THERE IS NO TRY" YODA
snakeyjane

Joined: Apr 17
Posts: 8

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Posted: 10 Jul 2017, 14:04
Thank you for your feedback, SLLockhart. Isn't yoga wonderful? I'd like to try pilates, too, but they don't offer it at my home studio. And of course I will keep updating. Smile I like your quote, btw. I've used that one before, too.
"What the patient takes beyond [her] ability to digest does harm." Samuel Jones Gee
SLLockhart

Joined: Jul 17
Posts: 41

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Posted: 10 Jul 2017, 17:28
Thanks snakeyjane!! My "home" studio is just that, at home. I have a book that shows a lot of different moves/poses and that is what I go by. It works very well, and as long as I do them regularly I can see results fairly quickly.
I do LOVE Yoga it is very rewarding when I finish doing a set of poses. I sweat like a... I don't know what, but I sure do sweat. So I figure it is working! That is my goal.
I first saw the quote on the mall where I used to walk in the winter. I never knew who Yoda was, had to ask the "sisters" (I have two) the younger explained to me who Yoda was and I thought it was a great saying, so I like using it when I am working on ME.
Have a great week.
"DO, DO NOT, THERE IS NO TRY" YODA
snakeyjane

Joined: Apr 17
Posts: 8

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Posted: 11 Jul 2017, 04:37
That's funny! I found my quote on a wall, too! Yes, I also sweat during yoga. Sometimes more than others. It's funny how holding a pose can be so much work, but to a spectator, it looks easy. I go to my studio once or twice a week and practice at least 20 min at home each day. I think I have a pilates DVD somewhere... Maybe I should dig it out.
"What the patient takes beyond [her] ability to digest does harm." Samuel Jones Gee
SLLockhart

Joined: Jul 17
Posts: 41

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Posted: 11 Jul 2017, 08:04
Yep SnakeyJane, you should dig it out, and try it. I like Pilates too, almost as much as Yoga, but I do sweat more with Yoga, must be the fact you stated, holding that pose, which you don't do in Pilates. LOL
We must be "wall readers"? LOL
Have a great day!!!
"DO, DO NOT, THERE IS NO TRY" YODA



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