Sunday, May 27, 2012

Getting off the Merry-Go-Round

When I was a kid, one of my favorite things in the playground was the merry-go-round. Not the type with the horses. No, the ones that were just the flat surface with bars to hang on to. I remember the rush of being on it while it was being spun - faster, faster, faster -- and then of course it would come to a stop and we'd jump off ... only to be hit by dizziness that threw us off balance but exhilarated us at the same time.



I think that's the best way to describe how I've been feeling for the past 2 weeks. I feel like I've been on a whirlwind journey for almost 5 years - working, writing, researching, analyzing - and now it's over. I hardly remember life before my PhD. Even though I did have fun, socialize, and hit the gym regularly over those years, it was on a different timeline. I remember there were many, many times when I'd be out with my friends and I'd have my alarm set, reminding me that I had to get home and back to work. It was a completely change in lifestyle ... and now I've gotten off the merry-go-round and I'm struggling with that dizziness - feeling exhilarated because of what I've accomplished yet dizzy and lost because I forgot what it's like to have a non-PhD life! I feel relieved that I'm not alone in this (I found a few links like this online), but I am eager for me to find the next phase of 'normal' in my life.

I think the consequences of this 'dizziness' is evident in the way I've been eating and exercising over the past 2 weeks. I'm making an effort, but it really does feel like it's been more of a superficial one. I thought I had lost my drive for exercise, but I know it's not the case. I think I was just exhausted and in need of a change. Catching up on sleep and actually taking some time to just rest has been good for me. I am eager, though, to get back into the swing of things. However, I don't think it's likely to happen until after I return from Mexico -- which is one more thing standing in the way of things getting back to normal. Don't get me wrong, I am totally excited about the trip. I'm just also eager to see how life will be once I'm back.

So, this is the final week of the Ready for Summer Challenge. My goals for the final week are pretty much the same as last week. Here's my review of week 9:

1. Weight loss goal: To lose a total of 15 lbs by June 3
Weight loss to date is 9.5 lbs. I have no weigh in to post today. I doubt that I'll have reached my 15 lbs mark by the 3rd, but we'll see. I'll weigh in next week.


2. Non-scale goal: Get through my list of 'things to do'; work on my Mexico paper and my Italian
I accomplished quite a few errands, but I'm sure I could have done more. One thing I definitely did was catch up on some sleep and that's a huge NSV for me! I've started working on my conference paper and spent about 2 hours studying my Italian. I need to put in more time as I've forgotten a lot more than I realized.

Since I'll be traveling on Saturday I've made a very concise list of errands that need to be tackled before I travel. I hope to make it through the list by the end of Friday.

3. Exercise: Complete workouts 3 & 4 for NROL4W, swim once, 4 hrs. of cardio, start CrossFit
I completed the two weights workouts. I didn't swim. I did, however, start the C25K program. I only finished Week 1 Day 1, but at least I got started. I've started a separate page to keep track of my progress. My cardio was pathetic this week. I think I only managed an hour of focused cardio.

I'm happy to say that I started CrossFit. It's intense, and I love it! I did two sessions this week.

Exercise goals for Week 10:
Finish NROL4W (workouts 5 & 6)
Complete 2 CrossFit sessions
Finish Week 1 of C25K (days 2 & 3)

I've kept it simple because I think that's all I can realistically manage. I did workout 5 of NROL4W today, so I've just got one more workout left :)


4. Nutrition: Eat as clean as possible
My eating could definitely have been cleaner! This week - refocus. Be sensible!


Basically for this week - I've got to get a handle on that dizziness and find my footing. There are several things that I need to get done -- and I think the poster below says it perfectly.





Have a great week everyone! 

18 comments:

  1. Sounds like you had a lot going on. First I recommend taking a few days to decompress even if its just talking a walk, reading a book (not school related), etc. Sounds like you are on your way to meet your goals. Hang in there and get some rest! :)

    Maria
    http://www.fitnessgirlkitchen.com/

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    1. I'm slowly starting to get used to the idea of relaxing and taking it easy. That must sound strange ... but it really is something new for me!

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  2. I love the C25k program! I am so not a runner, and before I started the C25k, I thought I would NEVER be able to run a 5k. Now I am running a Color Run in Kansas City at the end of June! My first 5k! You will be amazed at the progress you make, and how your body adapts to running. It's such a great feeling!! Looking forward to reading about your progress!

    Hang in there friend! You got alot on your plate right now! Get some rest somewhere in there! ;)

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    1. I love hearing C25K success stories. I'm starting slow, but I am determined not to make any judgments or get frustrated with how I'm doing until I finish the whole program.

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  3. Sounds like some 'down' time is well deserved!!
    And somewhere I missed it, PHD in? COngratulations!! That takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and determination!!!

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    1. Thanks :) I'm definitely relieved it's over!

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  4. A PhD? Whoot!!! Sometimes REST really is what is needed. We can only go so far, cram so much into our schedules, think about x number of things at a time before the body (and mind!) call out STOP! There is nothing wrong with taking a week or so to catch up on sleep, to just sit still and breathe. Enjoy your time while you wait for the world to stop spinning. :)

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    1. It's taking some getting used to, but I'm definitely coming around to the idea of slowing down and enjoying what's happening around me (and to me)!

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  5. OMG! You really are going through the same thing as I am! That is EXACTLY how I feel! Just as you describe above!

    We just finished a federal appeal, which pushed me intellectually further than I really wanted to go. I honestly think I'm good at analyzing constitutional law, but it never feels like that when I'm figuring out the argument. More demoralizing than anything.

    And all of the procedural rules made me want to bang my head on the wall! And then the craziness abruptly stopped, except the persistent dreams/nightmares of reviewing all that I had written to resolve that I did my best! I try to scrub off the "thought grime" in the bathtub, but I can't get "clean" in my mind. All that works is t.v. episode marathons and--going to the gym made me feel more human too. Doggy helps--he's an excellent psychiatrist. :D

    Hope you feel better soon. But you'd hate to be a person who never tried this crazy hard that you'd never get this type of emotional/intellectual jet lag. So us smart chicks just have to live with it.

    :-) Marion

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    1. I knew you'd understand Marion! I've watched several back-to-back episodes of Private Practice, but all while I was still at my desk sorting through papers or doing other things. I definitely plan on doing some major vegging in front of the TV with a Grey's Anatomy marathon. I'm so behind!!

      You're absolutely right ... I wouldn't be able to live my life any other way :)

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  6. Best wishes for a great last week of the challenge. Love the poster!

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  7. Oops, forgot to say my sister went through a similar thing when she got her first degree. She was so used to the routine of school and work that she decided she would go for her Master's degree just to stay in that happy groove. She did that and finally was able to say "enough" on the double duty life. She is happy and doing well. :)

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    1. I can't wait to get to the point where I feel like it's 'enough.' I'm glad I'm not alone in this frantic feeling!

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  8. Super congrats on the doctorate! I am always a bit regretful I didn't continue with education, but the health crisis sort of took me off track and I never proceeded. It's wonderful you accomplished this fine goal.

    Now, you can focus more on your other goals, including the weight. It will come. It will happen..YOU will make it happen.

    Happy final challenge week!

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    1. Thanks :) I am so happy that I can now focus on my next biggest goal which is to finally hit my target weight!

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  9. I think a 9.5 pound loss is fabulous, especially being that you were finishing up your thesis and all. You have high expectations for yourself which is good, but a little slack can be okay, too. I hope you find your footing this week.

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    1. I am trying to take it a little easier and enjoy the fact that I finally have some time to relax.

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Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! I can use all the support I can get :)