So the previous post was mainly just to outline where i’ve been for almost two months, and what i’ve been up to. However, I was so busy ranting and raving about my knitting prowess (not) that I didn’t mention how my health is going at all… so that’s what this post is aimed at, though no doubt I’ll swerve a bit off track like always.
Lets start with physical health. I’m doing okay. I started the Ketogenic Diet, or Keto for short, exactly 12 months ago today. I have dropped two sizes in my upper body, and i’m working towards my goal of being a size 12 AUS in my lower body as well (which is the hard bit for us pear shaped types). I’m super keen for this, as being a size 12 is one of my goals! Unfortunately, I am apparently not keen enough!! After my last weigh in (and a super awful cheat day) I resolved that I would need to get back into exercising now that uni was well and truly finished. That did not go to plan. The first day I kept my resolution and went to the gym. My muscles then hurt so much the next WEEK that I couldn’t do anything else! Then this past week we’ve had my kind-of not quite sister-in-law (My partner’s little sister) to stay with us for a week and I just could not muster the enthusiasm to get up and out while she was here.
I’ve also become slightly addicted to sugar free soft drinks and chocolate. I discovered them about a week and a bit ago, and I can’t seem to stop eating them! It’s getting to the point I’ll need to ask someone for help, it’s ridiculous!
I had a weigh-in today, and though I’ve lost a cm or two in some places I also gained a cm or two in some places and I know I can do better…from tomorrow on i’m going running!! Every day. In the morning. Hand on Heart.
Regarding my Mental health… I was doing really well!! Looking back, I was much less stressed and anxious during exams than I have ever been before. Unfortunately, I seem to be slipping back into the cracks, being pulled gently back by my shadows and demons. Several nights ago I had an extremely bad panic attack two nights in a row, culminating in me whispering (while in floods of tears) “Please help me” because I was so afraid. Kudos to my sleeping partner, he immediately woke to that whisper and held me while I sobbed. What gets me though is that I dont know why. I dont know why I was so afraid! I dont know why I was panicking so much… It’s incredibly frustrating. However, I have a suspicion that it may be linked to the surprising amounts of sugar-free chocolate and coke Zero i’ve managed to consume recently.
SO. What is my plan to deal with these things? Well on Saturday I am heading down the coast to stay with my parents for two weeks. I plan to use these two weeks to detox off my ‘sugar-free snacks’. I also plan to run every morning (hopefully with my mum) around their suburb and really burn as much fat off as I can by my next weigh-in.
I must be honest. I am proud when I look in the mirror (for the most part). I look much healthier and fitter than I have in a long, long time. However, I must recognise that my weightloss is plateauing and I need to start pushing again to keep dropping the weight.
BUT I can do it!! I KNOW I can 🙂
Catch you soon!!
Last I posted here was the 28th of March…!! I didn’t realise how long it has actually been!!
For anyone’s information I stopped posting as I got further into the academic semester, as I began to fall behind on my notes and assignments. Seeing as one of my NYE resolutions was to really give this year a good go and try and get it as right as possible, I decided that if I had time to write here in my blog then I had time to write lecture summaries and experiment reports.
It was, however, very worth it to do so. My exams and major assessments came and went with no major dramas, and i’m looking forward to results coming out next Monday as I am comfortable with my efforts in all my subjects this semester.
As I am always wont to do when the workload builds up slightly, I began to look for an outlet for my procrastinatory nature. Before this year my workload would severely freak me out and I would seek refuge in Video Games, trading out my stressful life for my characters extraordinary adventures. Unfortunately, I do recognise that I get absorbed in these games and this takes a significant amount of time that I would otherwise dedicate to study. So again, trying to get it all right and everything, I resolved not to seek refuge in pointless video games with no significant material outcome. I realised that no one cares if I completed 100% of the silly little ‘click’ game on my phone, or if my character in Skyrim owns three houses and is the Jarl of every hold. It. Does. Not. Matter. Not in the slightest. So I looked for other outlets for my creativity (procrastination).
And I discovered it in my knitting. I’ve been knitting on and off since year 7, which was approximately 9 years ago. In that 9 years, however, I was incapable of making anything that wasn’t rectangular. I was excellent at scarves… but I don’t really wear scarves. I made my dad a ‘Doctor Who’ Scarf, but it was long and slightly tiresome, and I couldn’t just go around handing out 100 foot scarves to randoms just because I had them lying about. So, I sought to try something new. I looked up a tutorial on how to make a really easy beanie. I found one on youtube, which was great for me because I learn best through observation and subsequent imitation, and that evening I went out and bought a circular knitting needle and some thick-knit wool. Cost me a max of $25 AUS. The next day, between my planned two hour long study sessions, I would sit with my needles and my video and work. The first beanie took me two days, and I traded it to my housemate for a sample of his craft (a bracelet made of metal rings). The second beanie took me an evening, and I have it in my backpack for cold days. The third was commissioned by a close friend in a baby blue colour, and It took me less than 4 hours. The fourth commissioned by a third friend in a sunset colour mix, and it took me no more than two hours max.
So having accomplished my goal of learning something new and expanding my knitting repertoire, I began to look at the ultimate challenge (In my eyes). I looked at making a jumper. I had all the necessary equipment (save for the wool) and the knowhow (I thought).
I did finish that jumper. Today. It took me approximately a month, interspersed with life commitments and other hobby projects once uni ended. Unfortunately, the jumper was a tragic attempt. The neck line was dotted with holes due to a reading error on my part and my attempted remedy, the sleeves are about a foot and a half too long, and the body section enormous on my partner, who modelled it for me. I followed the instructions for a Adult XL, but it came out looking like at least a XXL if not several ‘X’s’ larger.
Despite this, I am not discouraged!! Okay, that’s a lie. I am a little discouraged. But not enough to stop me. I am determined. I am not diving straight into a jumper again though, that’s for sure!! 😀
What I am going to look for is a pattern for a cat jumper, commissioned by my partner (who loves that cat more than he does me, i’m sure of it!). I’ve got some purple ‘pre-patterned’ wool in my enormous wool bag, so if i can find a style I like, that will be my next project!
Will hopefully keep you more updated now!!
Today was a good day for work… though tired, due to a 6am start, I managed to not only remain productive all day, but I didn’t buy any food for myself either!! Though I must admit, I’m looking forward to beef stew when I get home!!
Starting with a two hour lecture at 8am (ew) that went until 10, I then spent an hour reading through and making notes on an online tutorial. Then another lecture 11-1pm, and then nothing up until 6pm. So I heated up my lunch and sat down and got to work! I made a list of things I needed to remember to do, and tried my best to prioritise it in regards to when things are due, and then picked something and started it. I got through two and a bit of the things on my list, over the space of about 3 or 4 solid hours of work (I’m not sure how long I spent eating lunch). Then class at 6pm, which I pushed through to get it done while still understanding how to get to the answers and asking questions when there was something that needed clarification. I breezed through most of it (I’m good with computers) and hurried off to woolies to get chicken and broccoli to make lunch tomorrow for the next few days. Took the underground tunnel towards central station as I wanted to check if a book store was open, because they sell cheap-as-chips exercise books, and to my amazement they were! $3 later, and I am the proud owner of a 192 page exercise book so I hurry off towards the station, and though my arms are starting to hurt from my heavy folder and a bag of chicken, I make it to the platform with 4 minutes to spare before the limited stops train!! And, thinking it was about 8:30-ish when I was leaving class, I sit on the train writing this at 7:45pm, which means when I get home, I’ll have time to sort out the washing from two days ago (oops…), eat some dinner and get to bed for a good night’s sleep!
Someone was smiling on me today…! I hope this productivity lasts a little longer, because it’s a great feeling! Tomorrow is going to be a bit tough, I need to run in the morning, cook lunch, I have a volunteer shift and I’d love to get some study in before class on Thursday…. However my ‘day off’ usually seems to be the most unproductive of the lot, and when I have my mental breakdowns, so I’m really hoping a good night’s sleep will combat that!!
So my Asperger’s was ‘playing up’, if you will, at my gaming club last night. A lot of kids on the Autism spectrum struggle with sensory overload, hence why some Autistic kids have enormous meltdowns in shopping centers and whatnot. It could be any one of the senses… I know my niece and nephew hate people touching their hair.
For me, I normally only really struggle with sound. Sometimes my skin can get very sensitive and I don’t like people touching me, but that only happens on rare occasions. Sound overload happens a lot. Last night I was playing Dungeons and Dragons at my gaming club with a bunch of friends. That night there was at least 4 or 5 games going, including mine, so it was quite noisy to begin with. On top of that, the game next to us was easily the loudest in the building. Icing on the cake was that we were playing in a cubicle of sorts, so all the noise my fellow dungeoneers were making was echoing and bouncing back at me… and as much as I love these kids, they are so loud. So really struggling with sensory overload to begin with, but that’s okay cause i’ve learnt to deal with it somewhat.
Unfortunately said overload makes me a bit short tempered. On top of all the noise already bouncing around my brain, while the Dungeon Master was talking about what was going on in the adventure, The other half of the table started varying conversations over the top of him about completely unrelated topics, all really loudly, both conversations overlapping and bouncing around my head… not a happy chappy. I was sitting right next to the Dungeon Master and I barely had a clue what was going on…
Halfway through the game it came to rolling loot, and since i didn’t get any (I failed my roll) I took the opportunity to go stand outside the club in the night air and take some deep breaths. I shook myself out for about 5 minutes, calmed my brain and went back in. I was tensed back up again within 10 minutes.
At the end of the night I apologised to everyone for being tetchy, in case i offended or upset anyone accidentally, and explained I was very tired. Which was true… but I was tired because of the overload.
Sensory Overload sucks.
Just polished off lunch, which was chicken and broccoli cooked in soy sauce. Relatively healthy (I’ll put the recipe up on the recipes page soon) and carb free to boot, which is the best part! The reason i’m giving myself a shout-out here though, is that yesterday was not a good day. Yesterday was a very sad and/or apathetic day. As i said before, I was pushed into a shower, I spent all day on the computer playing an RPGMMO and vegging, and I didn’t eat breakfast or dinner. However… what I did manage to do was drag my ass out my computer chair for half an hour to make enough ‘lunch’ for yesterday, today and two more servings to boot (the chicken was gonna go off if i didnt use it soon). Because I did that, I was able to use a good day like today to study before my lecture and walk to to the shops to buy some sponges so I can tackle the kitchen later! I’m grateful to my past self… and very proud of her! Proud, because on those ‘down’ days, it can take a monumental amount of mental energy to haul your body up. Your body feels so heavy, and your brain just so tired of dragging it about. A baby step at a time, but it means that I know now that even on my bad days I can be a little productive.
Two steps forward…
So I’ve finally taken the time to sit down and write out my commandments… and then I remembered two more, as is always the way. They’re written on an A4 page that is stuck up just inside my bedroom door so it’s one of the first things I see in the morning. I was going to put a picture up but some of the colours are being weird in the camera (I wrote it colourful to make me smile) so i’ll just write them out here!
Today I will TRY to:
Be better than yesterdays me
Remember that personal hygiene is a thing!
(Remember to brush teeth and shower)
Do something Academic
Do something Physical
Do something Creative
Do something Kind
Dress to Impress
Drink Lots of Water
Do something that makes me uncomfortable
Read for 30 mins before bed
Meditate for 15 minutes every morning
The road is long and hard, but you CAN do it! I BELIEVE that you can!
The last two are the ones I remembered after writing out the page, but that’s okay. Your commandments might be different, of course, as everyone struggles differently. The personal hygiene one is a big one, as when I get down I tend to neglect it and after two or three days of having not had a shower or brushed my teeth at all I feel gross, which just makes me feel worse! Whenever I notice myself getting down I try and force myself into the shower. It doesn’t always happen… yesterday I was carried into the bathroom and pushed into the shower, much to my annoyance, and it did help.
Doing something uncomfortable is also going to be a big one… i’m pushing to try and combat my anxiety, which is a very tough road. I’ve been trying to work up the courage to call the insurance company and get a green slip for my car for about three days now… I hate phone calls.
I’m not great at the meditating… I listen to guided meditations on youtube, and they’re generally quite good. with the anxiety, it’s very difficult to clear my mind and not think about anything, but I do feel like they help get me in a good mood in the morning. I try and meditate before I do anything technological. I used to wake up and get straight onto facebook. Now I try and meditate before I grab my phone or use the computer, to focus on me before I get overwhelmed with the world.
Every day i’m going to try and go through the list and tell you guys how I coped today and what i’m going to TRY and do better tomorrow.
Catch you guys soon!
Hello there!! My name is Poss 🙂
Okay, it isn’t really… I made up the nickname when I was little. And yes, yes I do know that I spelt “Possum” wrong, but what a lot of people don’t realise is that I did that on purpose. I did it because someone who’s different deserves a nickname that’s different.
When I was a kid, I was very weird. I know a lot of my classmates thought I couldn’t see the sideways looks and hear the mutterings (Or they knew I could and they didn’t care) but I remember every one. I never really thought of myself as different until high school and even then, I embraced what made me different. I thought. Truth was though that I admired my best friend in every aspect. She was (and still is) smart, funny, skinny and beautiful. Everyone liked her and wanted to be friends with her and anyone who didn’t, she didn’t care about that opinion. I wanted to be like that. I wanted to be smart, and funny and have people who actively wanted to be my friend rather than just putting up with me hanging about (which is what it felt like people were doing most of the time).
Thing is though, I wasn’t like that. I’m a big scared-y cat and I care a lot about what people think about me. I live by the “Do as you would be done by” motto, which means I will always give second chances and a helping hand to anyone who needs it, regardless of who they are or what they have done to me in the past, because one day I might need their help too.
Also in high school, I was given a new word. One that helped me find myself. “Asperger’s”. That word is very, very important to me, because it reminds me that I will never be “like everyone else” because my brain is just wired differently, and the most important thing is: that is okay.
Unfortunately, in year 12, I developed quite a bad case of Anxiety and Depression. I put it down to exam stress, but the next year I spent studying at TAFE, I got slowly worse and worse, despite having great friends around me, a supportive partner and very limited stress from TAFE work. Finally at the end of that year, when my little sister died, I had to admit I really had a problem. Following advice from all directions, I went for help. I saw a counsellor, I started to take medications and once I had finished my studies I moved back in with my parents for support.
And then I changed medications. And again. And once more because of the hallucinations. And that last time too. I wasn’t getting better…. and unfortunately, being a comfort eater at heart, I was getting heavier! I stopped seeing my counsellor, as she told me she thought I was much better (even though I knew I was definitely worse) and when I went to see a different counsellor she just told me things I already knew… she even asked me for advice at one point!
It’s taken 6 and a bit years to sort my brain out, and discover how it works. Not how it’s supposed to work, how it really works. Last year in about June or July, I started to go to a gym and try and eat healthily. I also tried a Gluten Free diet, not because of the health fad, but because of gastro issues, and other symptoms that seemed to match up. I was off whatever medication I was taking at the time within about 2 weeks. I felt great (albeit physically tired, and a bit hungry).
However a week or so after this came assessments and exams at uni, and along with the stress came the comfort eating. And then it was Christmas, and then it was my partner’s birthday….. excuses, lame excuses, stupid excuses.
Finally, after getting more and more sad and anxious and stressed over the past few weeks, I decided something had to change, and it was going to start with focusing on me. All my life I’ve spent trying to help other people through their problems that I didn’t save any energy or time looking after me!! I realised that I need to stop beating myself up for not ‘being’. For not being skinny, for not being smart, for not being strong…. all of that is rubbish. My new target… I’m going to TRY. I’m going to write up a list of ‘commandments’, if you will, and stick them just inside my bedroom door, so I see them every morning, and i’m going to TRY to stick to them. The fact that we’re all still trying is the most commendable part.
So here we are. Why have I just written my life story into a blog post? I’ve never seen the point in writing journals or diaries… you just end up with books full of scribbles that no one will ever read again lying all over the place. This is my journal. I hope to come on here every day and tell the world how well I managed to stick to my commandments, as well as ‘odd’ Asperger’s thoughts that I get.
If any of my friends or family are reading this, then please know: I didn’t come to you for help because no matter how many times you said I could always come to you, it always feels like you’re just putting up with me. So know that for my own sanity, i’m writing it here so that if you want to find it, you can. It’s not me nagging you with my problems, you’re actually taking some time to find how i’m doing, and that’s awesome 🙂