I have a sort of complex multi-faceted question and I'm not even sure where to begin, so I'll give you my background first. I started Crossfit this past February and was immediately hooked. Begin eating paleo shortly after and was about 80/20. I couldn't believe how good I felt. Fast forward to the summer. Was Crossfitting 5 times a week in addition to swimming, running, hiking, and biking. I'm a teacher so I had all the time in the world to play outside. Did a Whole 30 in July that went pretty well and then school started again.
Since August I've been in a weird funk that I've never experienced before. Every day I pack a variety of paleo options that I used to enjoy eating for lunch, but most day I graze on it and then wander over to the staff room for candy or cookies. I also haven't been making it to Crossfit more than once or twice a week. I have become very slothlike. Last week I went to a conference with a group of colleagues. We went to a place with tons of healthy paleo friendly options for lunch, but I got the most unhealthy thing on the menu, added chips to it, and stopped for a cookie on the way out.
On top of that, my work has been suffering. I've always been very dedicated to my work, but lately the ambivalence is overwhelming. I'm behind in every way a teacher can be behind; grading, planning, parent correspondence, etc. So work is constantly hanging over my head. I stay late almost every night and take it home with me, but once I'm home I can't bring myself to do it. On top of it all, at work on Friday I was feeling frustrated with myself and mumbled something under my breath. A student overheard, thought it was directed at her and filed a complaint. It feels someone cut my elevator cable and it came crashing down.
I don't think I'm depressed because I still enjoy going out with friends and just today I organized a New Years Eve run for a group. My question isn't so much what do I do, but how do I do it. The intellectual side knows what to do, but the emotional side seems to be struggling. Any thoughts or suggestions? And I can't help but wonder if the Whole 30 I did over the summer is the root of the problem. The end of that corresponded with school beginning and for about a week I just couldn't get enough junk food. It literally felt like my body had been in starvation mode.
Sorry that this is long and hard to follow. Any thoughts and feedback is greatly appreciated.
asked byJill_2 (456)
Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!
on October 29, 2012
at 01:18 PM
I could have written this post, with the exception of the work concerns. Here is what I am learning from the situation as I am digging my way out of it...
- Whole30 is a great concept, but actually sent me off the deep end. I was eating probably 90% approved before, but something about striving for perfection in diet just made me shut down. You don't have to be perfect.
- Seasonal depression issues for me started way early this year- like mid August. Find a SAD light, and use it in the morning. The early stages of depression for me feel like I'm functioning in jello for air- everything is hard and I start feeling frustrated that things are hard when I'm happy. I know what to do, just cant make myself do it. It progresses from there. It's a brain chemistry thing. (Read up on SAD and serotonin.) You sound like a light might really help. Depression doesn't always feel 'typical' and your issue timing straight up says SAD.
- Stocking your pantry is really important in getting back on track. Before I was even ready to start eating well again, I plunked down money at several stores to have all the stuff I needed ready. Then, it was much easier to make those choices spontaneously.you don't have to purge all the crap, just make one step by making it easier to choose well.
- Dropping exercise is hard because it just contributes to the SAD stuff. What is it that you need in order up to find joy in exercise again? For me, it is people and a plan where I am making progress, not feeling like I'm failing. As I am ramping back up, I'm using Mark Sisson's Primal Fitness plan because it is no stress or guilt or "I could do this Crossfit move no problem 6 months ago". You might want to start small and rebuild.
As you get things spinning again, try to pick ONE thing to focus on at a time. Lots of expectations can send you right back. Be gentle with yourself. You have done this before, and you'll be surprised how it can come together as easily as it fell apart.
And next year? I'm unpacking my SAD light (happy lamp) and using it starting in August. I hope that will stop the cycle from starting. :)
on October 29, 2012
at 11:35 AM
Well, I think that having cleaned up your diet & your fitness regime you feel fit and healthy and are now just way more aware of the stress involved in your job. Years of eating "normal" food, not working out and doing a job with other people had you jogging along in a rut that most people spend their whole lives in.
Is it possible that you don't love teaching any more? Is it possible that the stress of it is getting to you and that you prefer being fit and healthy and now can see the contrast between rut and a healthy lifestyle?
Is it time to get passionate about some other career?
on October 29, 2012
at 06:59 AM
Sounds like you may have just let a bad food day turn into a bad food week and it just spiraled from there.
I had a similar experience when I got sick with a really bad flu a while back. I stopped gym and I started eating SAD again.
I understand the struggle to get back into it but I think you just need to readjust you view to where your goals are and find your motivation just to get started. This may not work for you but it worked for me.
I just thought about how great I felt when I was going to the gym and eating proper whole foods, and that was enough motivation to get me started. Once you get started it is easier to keep yourself going.
Start out small if you have to, maybe eat 50% Paleo for a while and ramp it up over a week or 2. You WILL feel better once you are back on track :)