Thursday, April 12, 2012

check-in: Spring Into Fitness, Week 1

Week 1 check-in for Spring Into Fitness

WATER {Improving how I manage my depression}
I'm tallying my Water goal as a win this week because I made very important progress in my depression management. I did not make significant progress in studying elemental water, though perhaps being more aware of my emotions counts in that direction.

Yesterday was fortuitous for my water goal: I finally had the psychiatric appointment I've been waiting for since January. The psychiatrist, as luck has it, seems to be a very likable and competent person. And, she's not condescending. That's my top pet peeve as a psychiatric patient. I hate when psychiatrists, or therapists of any degree, talk down to their patients. Don't assume that I don't know what's wrong with  me. I know what's wrong. I even know most of the methods that are used to manage it. Most of all, do not assume that having a mental illness means I'm less intelligent that you are. (I might be less intelligent, after all, but don't assume that depression equates to slow cognition.)


So anyway. What I want from a therapist is honest input from another perspective, an educated perspective which should have something of value to add to the dialog. I can get that from this particular psychiatrist.

The bad part: because this psychiatrist works within the VA behemoth, she's grossly overbooked. Picture this: in the region where I live, there's probably hundreds (a conservative estimate, I'm sure) of veterans who need psychiatric services. Guess how many psychiatrists there are? One. So my next appointment isn't until August. As Archer phrased it, "Two appointments a year is not therapeutic."

The consolation: because this psychiatrist recognizes the disservice her scheduling difficulty does to her patients, she encourages them to call her or her (one) nurse as needed, rather than waiting for appointments. Not much of a consolation, but better than nothing I suppose.

The conclusion: I won't be depending on her for therapeutic appointments. That's unfortunate because she seems to have an almost intuitive understanding of depression that goes beyond what might be learned in schooling. Perhaps she has experienced it herself. But whatever the cause of her comprehension, I think her input would indeed be valuable. On the brighter side, she was willing to tweak my medication in a way that should increase its effectiveness while also decreasing the stimulant effect of the medication (which tends to keep me up later at night than I would like).

AIR {Raising the priority of schoolwork in classes I need, but don't like}
I did well on this. I was previously behind on my anatomy homework, but I am completely caught up now, and even slightly ahead. Class itself is still ridiculously annoying (more on that later), but I'm not skipping class anymore and I'm turning in my homework ahead of time. Win!

FIRE {Getting in shape - zumba and hiking}
Meh... I'm a little disappointed in myself in this category, though on the win--fail scale, I probably broke even. I have to put zumba on hold. It makes me a little sad, but I just can't afford to buy sneakers right now. So I'm altering my plans. For exercise, I'm going to continue taking a walk or hike once a week (which I did do, this week).

I'm also going to count as exercise something I started doing about a month or two ago: horseback riding. (Wait, let me rephrase that. I learned to ride when I was 6ish, I think, and have ridden probably over 1,000 miles in my life. So I'm not new to riding. I'm just new to these particular horses and the 'exercise rider' arrangement.) I started riding to help her keep her horses in shape (and to get my horsey fix!), but I quickly realized that I hadn't worked those particular muscles in quite a while. It's funny, I never understood why people said horseback riding could be good exercise, when I was young and doing it all the time. Now that I've been away for a bit, and am only riding once or twice a week, I feel it!

The new plan, then, is this: hike/walk at least once per week, and ride at least once/week. I typically ride for about 2-3 hours. I haven't had a typical walking distance or time, but I'm going to set it at at least one hour - however far that is. If I try to set a distance, my schedule will get in the way.

EARTH {Nesting completion, cleaning a little each day}
Some good, some bad. I finished the nesting phase in most of the house. The only room left, really, is my bedroom. Which is a freaking disaster area, because much of the stuff I couldn't figure out what to do with, got dumped in my room. I have to admit, though, when I closed my bedroom door and just sat down in my nice clean house - that was awesome. That was a win for the Water goal, too!

However, because I was gone over the weekend (more on that later, too), my house is no longer clean. I've been picking up here and there, but not enough to stem the tide. I'm going to have to actually spend next Saturday morning cleaning my house.

So... mundane goals?

I didn't actually set any of those. I don't weigh myself or measure myself normally, but I do notice when my clothes shrink or grow. It's not a philosophical thing, and I'm curious about my numerical weight, but it's just not a high priority so it doesn't get done.

But it just so happens that the nurse at the VA weighed me before my psychiatric appointment yesterday. So I know that right now, I weigh 174 pounds. And the jeans I'm wearing are size 9.

I'll take those numbers and go from there. If I have a mundane goal, it's to eat healthy food, no matter how good Burger King smells from the street.

Oh, and Broom points. Yeah. I'm totally confused about that whole equation, so I'm gonna skip it. At least for now.

Thou Art Goddess Challenge
I really want to do this ritual. I really do. As soon as I have time...

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