On a Completely Unrelated Note…

Lately I’ve been feeling a bit down. I’m not saying this to elicit sympathy, but there are a lot of things on my mind and I may as well talk about it here. I’ve shared pretty much everything else!

My self-esteem has taken a few hits in the last couple weeks. I’m pretty good at shaking stuff like that off but the combination of stress, worry, and sleepless nights isn’t helping me in the fight. Things are fine, at least I think they are fine, so I am not complaining. The problem centres around me. Sometimes I deal really well with pressure and sometimes I let the little things build until I just want to run away from it all. Unfortunately, I think this time I am leaning toward the latter.

Shiva helps to give me some perspective. With her, everything is simple. She wakes up, goes for a run in the forest, eats her breakfast, and then settles in for a nap on the chair. Even when things don’t go her way, when she can’t sniff a fire hydrant as long as she’d like or gobble down a chunk of mud before I take it away from her, after the moment is over she has already moved on to the next thing. Shiva doesn’t let anything keep her down. And it’s reassuring to know that no matter how much I fail, she will always be by my side. 

It’s wonderful to have someone in my life with absolutely no expectations.

It is also time to admit I am not as healthy as I should be. I’m not talking about weight. Long ago I threw away the bathroom scale. I don’t believe in losing weight for the sake of losing weight. (A brief stint in the diet industry was enough to prove to me how misleading the obesity myth is.) While I certainly don’t judge anyone else for under-taking a weight loss program, that line of thinking is so dangerous for me and I refuse to ever think about it again. What I am talking about is my health in general. I don’t feel as strong and energetic as I should for someone my age. It doesn’t help that I eat like a teenage boy.

I don’t know how to fix this problem. Other than eating more fruits and vegetables, I don’t have a whole lot of time for more exercise. I already wake up at five-thirty every morning to walk the dog. I can’t see forcing myself out of bed any earlier. With work, the website, walking Shiva, training Shiva, and trying to spend time with my husband, I don’t see how I could fit in a visit to the gym. Not only that but I leave the puppy alone long enough as it is, I can’t justify leaving her again at night, no matter what the reason.

Blargh. Perhaps I just need to wait it out and hope these feelings pass. I will try to spend more time outside and maybe check in with that life list of mine. Eventually I know I will feel inspired again. As the cheesy phrase goes, everything is always okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.

37 thoughts on “On a Completely Unrelated Note…

  1. We could take a leaf off from our doggies life and observe how they deal with things sometimes. If that don’t work, you could take a hiatus of sorts… and take a break from blogging and just enjoy the evening away from the web. Sometimes blogging could be overwhelming but if you enjoy it, that’s another thing.

    About the weight issues… no one’s quite perfect to their own eyes. We are our own worst critic. You are beautiful as you are. You have a loving hubby and a wonderful Shiva.

    Hope you feel better soon!

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    • Thanks for your very thoughtful comments.

      I am not interested in taking a break from blogging, not at this time. It’s something I look forward to every day and it helps me sort out my brain. I like the discipline it has instilled as well. If I take a break, I worry I wouldn’t be able to come back in the same way.

      I didn’t mean to make it seem like I feel I have weight issues. I don’t even know how much I weigh! I just don’t feel as healthy as I used to and I think that feeling is contributing to my ennui.

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  2. I hear you. I usually have that little bug in the back of my head telling me things I should be working on, and being healthier is one of them. But I too have a hard time figuring out how to incoorperate more exercise when I am already so exhausted from work. Sometimes the best way to do more is by actually incorporating the dog. You had mentioned the roller blades, I know Luna loves them. it had been years since I was on any when I purchased the pair I have now to use with Luna. I finally just bit the bullet and quit practicing alone and took her with me. She did well, and has continued to, granted I did purchase a helmet just for rollerblading (which i now use for biking as well) but who is to say you can’t buy some knee and elbow pads too? Speaking of the bike, that’s another way to run her while getting yourself some exercise, again luna has loved it so I have no doubt Shiva would. It’s a great way to build up cardio too, and sometimes can be more interesting than walking.

    I know you have probably thought of all of these things already, but I just wanted to let you know they are possible. It may take some getting used to for the both of you, but it might greatly benefit Shiva as she won’t have time to eat as many things when she is moving faster ;-). If you do try these new ways of exercising, pick a time that is usually quiet and less populated on the trails, that’s what I have done. Or pick a parking lot that’s empty to practice with her.

    OOOOrrrr find a walking buddy in your neighborhood? Accountability is a big thing for me when it comes to creating healthy habits. What about your honey? Maybe he could help.

    Anyway, long story short, you are not alone in all this. I go through these phases a well, and to be honest it’s kinda the same vicious cycle over and over as I am horrible at starting healthy habits let alone sticking to them. Let me know if there is any way I can help, if you want to start some sort of exercise challenge I will try and join you.

    Happy Wednesday
    Anna
    http://www.akginspiration.com

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    • Exactly! When I am already tired, it’s hard to convince myself to do any more. I can’t get up any earlier and I go to bed late enough as it is.

      Shiva has gone rollerblading with my husband but even though I have a gorgeous pair I have never been out with her. Mostly because I am a total klutz and can barely stay upright on my own, let alone with a dog. But I agree it’s a great idea and would be a lot more fun than the walking we already do for 2 or 3 hours a day. It would add a new element for sure.

      Maybe I’ll give it a shot this weekend, bring the boy along in case I fall and break an ankle. 😉

      Thanks so much for your great ideas! Do you think a challenge would be fun? Because it definitely has to be fun otherwise there is no way I am going to do it.

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  3. I always eat more fruits and veggies this time of year, because I can buy local and it is so much better tasting than the stuff imported from Mexico! Of course, then I top it off with ice cream….hmmm, well I need to get my calcium somewhere, right?

    Maybe it’s just me, but I’d say that walking Shiva is exercise. We all have our “blah” times now and then.I hope yours passes quickly.

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    • Nothing wrong with ice cream, I say! It’s summer; it’s practically law that you eat it.

      Walking Shiva is definitely exercise, don’t get me wrong. Sitting here in the hear is exercise by the amount I am sweating! 😛 Thanks for your kind thoughts.

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  4. You are not alone my friend. Many times I feel the same way, there is so much to do and it seems like there is never enough time. One of the reasons I walk the dogs in the woods is because I felt guilty of working all day then coming home and ignoring them while I exercised, this way I incorporate something they love with something that helps me.

    As for the healthy eating, try this http://www.mccombplan.com his theory is processed foods are bad for us, while his plan is designed to eliminate candida force, if you follow the food plan without the sweating, you will lose weight. I did it January of 2010 loved what I was eating, lost 20 pounds.

    I think we all get down sometimes, you will get thru it. 🙂

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    • That’s it exactly. So often I feel like I am trying to catch up, like there is never enough time to do everything I want to do. Recent set-backs don’t help.

      I think I spend a lot of time walking Shiva. Sometimes it’s why I don’t have time to do anything else. I’m not saying I regret this – it’s how I need it to be – but it does prevent me from participating in other activities. It’s all part of the (willing) sacrifices we make.

      I am glad you were able to find something you enjoy. Thanks for sharing your support!

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  5. i don’t ever remember seeing a pic of you being overweight. so, que??? why do you feel unhealthy? have you had it checked out?

    you sound like you really have too much on your plate. sometimes, we just need to be quiet and still. maybe you could share Shiva training and walktimes with PH [if you don’t already]? every other day works pretty well, i find.

    i’m pretty sure i’ve said this before, but blogging should be fun and not something you have to do because you’re on a daily posting schedule. remember the “bullied by blog” post? 🙂 you know we’ll love you even if you post 2 times a week. so why not take a break?

    take care my friend. oh and hey, meditation and yoga work a treat for stressed bodies and minds. meditation – you can do on the bus to work or even while walking Shivs. you see, i don’t just do capoeira!

    xox

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    • It’s not about being overweight. I didn’t mean to make it sound like I was worrying about that. In fact, it’s not even really on my radar. I just have a knee-jerk reaction when other people start talking about bettering their health. And so I brought the w word up because I wanted to be clear my concerns have absolutely nothing to do with the number on the scale. Obviously I made it sound like the opposite!

      My PH works a lot more than I do. He often walks the Shivster on the weekend and if I have a work event but during the week it falls to me. I am not complaining about this; I knew I would be taking on the bulk of the work before we even decided to get a dog.

      Blogging is still definitely fun! I look forward to writing and thinking of different topics. It’s actually a mental break, in a way. What I wish I could take a break from is work, and sleep. 😛

      Thanks for the wonderful support. I have tried yoga in the past but I didn’t enjoy the way the instructor ran the class. It stressed me out much more than it ever relaxed me. I’d like to give it a shot again but with all the dog classes we take… Can you recommend any books or videos?

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  6. I think you’ll find at least a few of us really understand how you feel. I recently burst into tears because I lost my internet connection (for the fifth time in 5 minutes) and realized that I was way out of balance.

    Your blog is wonderful. I really enjoy reading your thoughts on life, Shiva, and everything. But it’s many hours of hard work to keep up with all it takes. And yes, it takes us out of balance–with our health and our time.

    You might just start feeling a little better soon and realize that feeling down isn’t a message from the universe but just a hormonal or brain chemistry swing.

    Or you might need to look deep and figure out what you need to do in your life to help you feel better.

    For my part, I’ll say that if you need to take more time for yourself and post less frequently as a result, I’ll miss your posts. But I’ll be thankful for the ones that come.

    And I’ll invite you here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=239946529350921.

    One of my neighbors is encouraging folks to post something they’re grateful for 100 days in a row. I find gratitude uplifting. And, when I’m feeling bad about what I see in the mirror, it’s good to remember to be thankful for my body that is strong and supports me–even if I don’t look like a model (even the “before” model in a weight loss ad). 🙂

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    • Oh man, I can relate to that all too well! I have cried over smaller things than that. *sigh* On Monday I found out after I got to work that my pants had a hole in them… It was almost all over.

      I don’t want to take a break from blogging. As I mentioned above, it’s one of the few times of day I feel the most relaxed and the most like myself. If only I could do it all day. 😛

      Thanks for the link to the Facebook page. Projects like that are always uplifting. If you can find one thing every day to be grateful for, and you always can, the world seems a little less bleak.

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  7. I second the roller-blading option… and that trail that was flat and straight and rather dull would be a great place to do some rollerblading with Shiva.
    Other things you can do with Shiva – swimming (lake or ocean), canoeing (lake or river… and that’d kind of be best with a paddling buddy, if at all possible), running/jogging, trail-running (also jogging, but on uneven ground), hiking (though I think you already do this a fair bit with her.
    Don’t stress too much, though – you aren’t as unhealthy as you feel right now, there is no way you could keep up with Shiva if that were the case.

    Hope you feel better soon, but I won’t be concerned if you decide to cut back on blogginess – better that you find a bit more relaxation than that you keep up with your schedule of blogs.

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  8. Hang in there Kristine. You are definitely not alone… sometimes life catches up with all the little thigns and makes you a little raw, makes everything sting a little more, and makes everything feel more extreme.

    Have you ever thought of trying Doga (dog yoga) with the Shivster? It’s not really strenuous exercise but it may give you some time to do some thinking/relaxing while also getting move and stretch your body WITH Shiva since she is so important to you? Some places offer classes but there is a decent DVD set out there or so i’ve heard. You may want to check your local listings but i know “fit with fido” classes are becoming more and more popular in this area… you may find a weekly fitness class that you can do w/ shiva.

    Not that this will help for this year, but have you ever thought about a vegetable garden? This is the first year that we’ve had a REAL garden and it’s been great… it’s strangely relaxing, im’ always getting little “pick-me-ups” when I see new fruits/veggies growing (it’s GREAT positive reinforcement), it’s an activity that includes the dogs and it definitely has had me eating lots more fruits/veggies. Overall something that I’VE found really relaxing, uplifting, and yummmy!

    Although you have lots of responsibilities… lots of people/creatures to share yourself with… sometimes you need to take time for YOU. Sometimes it feels like it…but the world won’t fall apart if you give yourself a break and some personal attention.

    Hang in there!

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  9. I say, screw the gym. I can’t think of a single more depressing place to be.

    Shiva’s probably going to be your best workout buddy – maybe take an extra walk occasionally and make it a brisk one? Or even a jog? (coming from someone who never runs, works out, etc so take my advice with a grain of salt).

    I love grilling out during summer months. It’s totally easy to a) cook quickly when grilling and b) eat healthy.

    Lastly, take some time for yourself. I highly recommend a glass of wine while taking in a gorgeous sunset or an afternoon ice cream cone just because. My best stress buster? Taking a camping trip. Something about being out in nature without anyone around without any technology is highly relaxing. I call it my soul-rejuvenation.

    And most importantly – know that you are NOT alone! We all get down, more often than most will admit.

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  10. Not that I have any special insight, but I think that it’s part of who you are to push yourself to/past the limit. You set very high expectations, and sometimes you find yourself falling short. Just look at all you ahve accomplished with the Shivster since you’ve had her– so much more than most people ever would have with a crazy dog like her– and yet, I bet you’re always looking at what you *haven’t* yet done. I know it’s hard to look at the bright side of the coin.
    As for feeling healthy. Are you eating enough iron? I always find that my energy is lower and I get out of breath faster if I haven’t been diligent about eating plenty of foods that are stocked with iron (and vitamin Bs, too). Just a thought.
    And about exercise– maybe this could be just the challenge for you: incorporating Shiva into your workouts. Could you teach her to do a pushup when you do a pushup? Teach her to do a crouch when you do a squat? Teach her to do some other move when you do a situp? It could be kind of fun, it would tire you both out, and you would certainly get stronger and feel better. Just an idea.
    Sending lots of love and positive thoughts,
    A & the pups

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  11. (((Kristine))) As several of the others have said, you aren’t alone hun. I think it’s part of life to learn what way is best for each of us to deal with life. The main thing is not to let life rule you.

    As to not feeling healthy. Fruit, veg and maybe some multi vits & mins are in order. Also maybe a quick check up at your doctors, just to rule out anything else.

    Think if you aren’t feeling right, that can make life seem even harder. Do you do anything to de-stress? What do you like to do to just chill out?

    As to exercise, how about a Nintendo Wii. Once you have it you don’t have to keep paying out for gym subs.

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  12. We all have some down times – remember you are loved – you are respected – and my personal motto – if things don’t happen the way you expected – lower your expectations. If I am on the right side of the grass and it is not snowing – it’s a good day.

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  13. I can only somewhat understand what you are going through, so I can only give some all purpose advice: When in doubt, pray it out. Turning over your troublesome thoughts to God always works for me. Or if you don’t have a god to turn to, try talking it out with your self. See if you can pinpoint whats stressing you out.

    As for not feeling healthy, your food might not be the problem. I mean, a little more Iron or VitB couldn’t hurt, nor could more excercise, but you that doesn’t seem to be an issue. I’m sorry though, I can’t help here.

    Listen to the others and know that, online for sure, there are many many people who care about you.

    ~B~

    PS: You are a gorgeous woman.

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  14. I feel this way a lot of the time too. My puppies have helped because they get me out the door – they’re happy to run, walk or jog as long as they get to be outside.

    It helps that it’s summertime – eat what’s in season! There are lots of fruits and veggies that go great on the grill, and you can run through the produce department and throw everything you like in one giant bowl, top it with some cheesy dressing and consider it a salad 🙂

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  15. You have the same problem as many of us, never enough time or energy. By the way, you look
    just fine!
    Some thoughts, give up a couple days a week of blogging and do something more active?
    lean away from processed foods and eat more fresh foods and fish. I love roasted vegi’s tossed in a little olive oil and herbs. You can add meat or fish too and roast it all on a cookie sheet in the oven. Fresh fruit salads…
    I like the Springer attachment for my bike so I can run Ryker and really give him a workout along with me.

    One of the reasons I got a high activity dog was to force me to get up and be more active with my buddy. Those begging eye are so hard to say no to!
    I have my mood swings. Getting over my mothers death has been difficult but I am doing much better now. I have Ryker enrolled in one class and working on another. We are doing street smarts and hope to take introduction to dog sports to give him a taste of several different sports to try out.

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  16. I’ve been where you are, if it makes you feel better. I am currently trying to do better about losing weight. I went on a diet a few years ago that was more of a lifestyle change than really doing without things. One of the best things I think I ever did for myself was to quit drinking soda. I think giving up caffeine has made a huge difference in my life and I feel much better and more energetic since I did. Another favor I’ve done for myself is getting enough sleep and not having a TV or other distractions in the bedroom. I don’t know if that’s possible for you, but it’s helped me a lot!

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  17. I totally understand where you are coming from. Food is my weakness. I’m not overweight, but I sure could be eating healthier. Dairy and pasta are so yummy though! My exercise is only walking too.

    I’m sorry, I didn’t read all the comments, just the first few, but the rollerblading idea sounded great. Or, not sure if these were mentioned, but even jogging instead of walking. And adding more fruits and veggies is always a good thing. Maybe put the fruits on the ice cream? Best of both worlds!

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  18. I don’t know you very well, and I don’t remember very well what I felt like at your age, but it seems to me that you are already pretty active. If you’re fatigued, it could very well be a a vitamin deficiency (possibly D – very common in women), or something else out of balance. You would be amazed at how rotten something like that can make you feel.

    I have no advice for getting in more fruits and veggies (if that’s really the problem, I’m sure you can prioritize it).

    The most important thing is to take good care of yourself – and not just by eating healthy and exercising – that means saying “no” when you need to and not feeling guilty about putting yourself first. (Easier said than done – I know.) Go do something F.U.N. – just for you.

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  19. Someone may have mentioned this already, but is it possible that you are depressed? I recently discovered that I, someone who has never had a depressed moment in her whole life, was depressed. It started much longer ago than I recognized (it’s probably why I let my business go, even though I loved it), but I can recognize the signs now. I was often overwhelmed, and still am to some degree, I cried over the silliest things and would have sudden over-reactions to little things and made them out to be much bigger than they were. I avoided dealing with everything (bills, calling people back, connecting with friends) beause it was too much effort. Something as simple as a hole in my pants would have made me really upset – all day.

    I think that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed Kristine. We all feel it. I think that sometimes we spend too much time thinking about what we “ought” to be doing vs. what we love doing or “choose” to do. If you really want to eat healthy, do it because you want to do it. Not because you “ought to”. If you want to get more exercise, then choose to do it because it’s something you have made a conscious decision to do.
    But, if this is about more than that, then consider whether you are indeed feeling overwhelmed or depressed or just trying to measure up to some unattainable perfection that you envision in your mind. Personally, I like you just the way you are. I like your posts. I always come away from them thinking (although, I do agree with Pamela that posting less and taking time for yourself is totally okay and worthy of doing if it’s making you feel overwhelmed). Either way, my friend, I wish you well. Know that you are not alone.

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  20. Wow! As you can see . . Most of us feel like we should do more, feel better, and look fabulous doing it 🙂 you have gotten tons of great advice and I think it is great that you are aware of these feelings. Just be sure to take some time to do something good for you! I always laugh because I make sure that my dog eats right, takes her vitamins and gets plenty of exercise, but I’m not quite as good as doing the same for myself. It’s so much easier to take care of everyone else :). Go easy on yourself – and just take some time to be quiet and relax!

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  21. I think we’ve all been where you are. Sometimes things just get a little off-kilter. That part will pass.

    There are little ways you can add exercise into your day – usually by doing things the hard way: take the stairs when they’re available; walk instead of drive if possible; get enough sleep (so hard!); cut out processed foods and find time to prepare proper meals – then eat them at the table; get rid of as much sugar as you can from your diet; etc. You have some good ideas for incorporating Shiva into an enhanced routine, as well.

    Hope you feel better soon!

    – Formerly T2 – My life with pit bulls

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  22. I can totally feel where you’re coming from… I get that way sometimes too. Life can get really overwhelming… but it’s good to talk about it and get it off your chest. Everyone’s made a lot of good suggestions and thoughts here, so I won’t repeat… I will send you hugs though!

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  23. I am still trying to catch up after vacation (which btw did us a world of good after the stress of Thunder’s surgery). Doesn’t walking the dog and training the dog count as exercise? My dr said it does. 😉 It sounds like you are a very busy person and I expect you will be a bit tired from time to time (and I am sure the lack of sun you were having probably wasn’t helping). But maybe a trip to the dr is in order to rule out that there is not a medical reason to your lack of energy and mood? Otherwise, as you say, more fruits, veggies, and protein and less carbs and sugar, might boost your energy and mood. Hope you are feeling better soon. 🙂

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  24. Pingback: Exercise and Dogs: Making it Fun | Rescued Insanity

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