Sunday, March 10, 2013

An Owner's Manual


Sometimes I feel like I'm just an overgrown toddler. I get insanely moody when hungry (see also: bratty, irritable), I need at least 8 hours of sleep at night, perform best when I'm hydrated, eat healthy food the majority of the time (with some treats thrown in here and there) and expend energy during the day through moving my body some way or another. I know myself pretty well, so when I start to feel out of whack I can usually pinpoint it to a lack of one of these things.

When I started CrossFit this past August I was SO into it. I loved it, and was especially excited that I was doing so many new things and working out in new ways. The more I did it, the more I loved it. But a few weeks went by and once Fall hit I started to feel a little weird- it's hard to put my finger on it, but I just felt "blah" in a season where I usually feel so alive. I fell out of love with blogging, rarely sat down to write, and felt like I almost always had a mental block when it came to pen and paper, or fingers to keyboard. It was odd, because writing and sharing are two of my biggest outlets, but for whatever reason I had lost my spark. I figured it was me still feeling a little off post-baby (even though it had been two years!) and tried to get excited about writing while searching my slow-moving brain for ideas. I just felt uninspired.

So when I got pregnant 4 months ago I decided to stop going to CrossFit. I restarted my normal routine and I began waking up again at 5:30am and getting (sometimes dragging) myself to the gym. At first it was so difficult to get back into the swing of things and get up so early, especially in the first trimester when I was already exhausted. Some mornings I couldn't do it, but most mornings I could, and everyday it got a little easier.

About a week into waking up early, I started noticing that my mind felt a lot clearer; sharper even. I was finding myself doing that old very familiar thing where I'd jot down idea after idea about writing and blogging into the notes section of my phone as I was doing cardio. And then just this week it hit me- this is what I had been missing. I never put two and two together because I was still working out at CrossFit everyday, but what I'd been missing is ME time.

At CrossFit you work out in a group, no one wears headphones and it's a fairly social time since most everyone is friends- more than anything it's a huge community. And although I enjoyed going everyday, I never really got to unplug, and zone out for awhile like I always had before. I didn't realize that my thinking time is my cardio and weights time. And because I wasn't getting too much of that on my own, I wasn't getting too much thinking time either.

It's weird how we learn little things about ourselves- little things we'd add to an owner's manual of our own if we could. If you would have asked me before what some of the core things I needed to "run smoothly," I'd cite some of that first paragraph up there, but now I know I need a little more. I need time for me, everyday if possible, even 15 minutes on a walk outside, where I can put on my headphones, listen to music I love, and zone out. More than anything, my brain needs it. It's so funny to me- who knew that CrossFit was bad for blogging? ;)

Do you have any MUSTS in your owner's manual?

xoxo

37 comments:

  1. Wow! We are two in the same. I need sleep, food (as soon as I'm hungry), water. Sleep is most important. I can't function without sleep. I get sick. As I've grown up I've learned that I too need alone time, but mine comes in the form of quiet. I need quiet time by myself on a regular basis. I've also learned that I need physical touch. I need a hug from my husband. Ok so I don't need that, but I really do better when I get it.

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    1. I'm the same way too- it's a miracle I was sick all of the time in college with the amount of sleep I got. But I guess that's one perk of being young! :)

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  2. I'm definitely a schedule person. I function best when I have a plan, 8 hrs of sleep and eat at regular intervals. regularly scheduled breaks are helpful for me too -- to make sure I don't get too "in it" (especially where blogging is concerned!)

    love realizations like this! keep on keeping on, girl. :)

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    1. Ah yes, I'm so a schedule person too! I love routine. :)

      Thanks for reading Amy!
      xo

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  3. I think you're describing me in your first paragraph! I need sleep, food & exercise to function. I love running for that very reason that I get alone time. Over summer I found myself doing workout DVDs indoors & like you with crossfit, I felt a bit blah & it wasn't until I started running again that I realised it was the indoors, no time to think, just stick with the DVD, that made me feel ick. Now I make sure I have at least two workouts a week where I am running & do strength dvds on the other days. The balance works great & I feel much better. Well done on getting up so early in the first trimester & woking out. There is no way I could have done that!

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    1. A few years back I was the same way with workout DVDs...I just need to be doing something outside in order to feel good! We're super similar. And thanks lady, it was NOT easy but I'm glad I pushed through!

      xo

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  4. aw, owners manual = cuuuttteeee. you inspire me!

    www.bleuberrybunny.com

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  5. I have come to realize that over the winter I really miss walking the dog after supper. I get home at 7pm and during the winter it's too dark to really get in a good walk with him then (we're basically in the country with only a few sidewalks and side roads). But I love taking a good 45 mins after a long day and just getting to zone out and walk when the weather is nice.. and I know the dog appreciates it too!

    Also I feel ya when you're hangry! (hungry to the point of becoming angry!)

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    1. Hangry! haha! That what Hank calls it. I love that you said that.

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  6. Alone time is so important to me too! I unfortunately don't have much alone time right now.

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    1. It's the worst when it's hard to find it! I hope this week brings you some good alone time. :)

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  7. I just started car pooling to work, which is great for the environment and the wallet and all, but I'm seriously missing the drive time, the time to collect my thoughts and daydream and plan and pray.

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    1. Yes, I think that would drive me crazy (no pun intended, haha). When I used to drive up north to visit Hank when we were doing long distance, I'd always prefer to drive along...the 2 hours was the perfect amount of me time to think and plan and listen to music. I miss that!

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  8. my must is at least 8 hours of sleep and healthy food. I am a junk food-aholic and when I let myself go crazy, my whole body suffers. great post Dani!

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  9. I get moody when I am hungry as well! Sometimes, my sisters (and boyfriend) calls me Ms Mood Swing... because I can be... I think it's pretty normal to feel like that when hungry. This winter (I'm in MN) has taken a toll on me, like never before.

    Also, I've learned to love alone time more than ever. Sometimes, we just need to have a clear mind and be able to breathe away from everyone else/reality.

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    1. That makes two Ms. Mood Swings! ;)

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  10. Interesting how when we grow older, we still learn new things about ourselves every day :).
    In order to feel balanced everyday, I've recently realized that I need to pretty much eat all day long otherwise I'll get grumpy but more importantly, sick. I eat extremely small meals from morning to night (with the exception of a big dinner) and I've noticed I've been feeling way better. Also, I've learned recently that yoga is really important for my mental health as I'm an extremely emotional person. Also, to have some time to myself at night whether it's watching my tv shows or catching up on blogs :).

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    1. Isn't it? I'm also similar with eating all day. I'm a total snacker and would rather eat 5-7 times a day than just 3 square meals. :)

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  11. Me time is so under rated..For me it is in front of my sewing machine with the window open and music in the background. Sweet.

    I also love going to the movies by myself. Nothing like having your drink, your popcorn seeing a movie YOU want to see and not having to drag anyone along with you.

    Try it.

    Stephanie

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    1. Oh girl I LOVE going to the movies on my own! Before Henry was born I went all the time because I knew once the baby arrived movies would be few and far between. It's the perfect "me" time for sure.

      Thank you for reading! :)

      xoxo

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  12. I've learned mornings are important to me. Slow mornings where I sip coffee and read my favorite blogs for 30 minutes in peace. After that I feel ready:)

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  13. Great post! My physical musts are 8 hours of sleep and LOTS of water. If I'm missing either of those, I crash pretty fast. I recently realized that another must is yoga. If I don't go twice a week, I'm just "off" and I can't get back "on" until I finish an hour on my mat. Also, taking some time and reading is really important for me; I always read for at least 30 minutes before bed and, when I don't, my sleep really suffers. My mom calls me a "delicate flower" because I get thrown off pretty easily if I'm not meeting all my needs, but I just like to think that I'm in tune with my body and myself :)

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  14. Since having kids, I've figured out how little sleep I can subsist on. It's six hours. Days are better if I get a 20 minute nap, which rarely happens.

    So sleep is flexible and I can still function, but if I don't have tons of water and good (read: healthy) food on those low-sleep days, I'm a goner, and my patience is what wears out first.

    For some reason, I have borne two early risers, and I am continually disappointed. That was totally MY time. Whether I worked out or baked some scones or just curled up with tea and a book/laptop, I miss my mornings alone.

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  15. Lol, I have to tend to agree... CrossFit is is bad for blogging... for Me (too)!! lol. I guess we have to choose our outlets, and for most of my life that was Scrapbooking and Blogging. Now it's CrossFit and Project Life. And I am completely okay with it all. Such is life, right... always changing and moving, never staying the same. Thankfully! lol.

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  16. I actually work a lot harder if I exercise in a group, but I'm realizing now that I absolutely crave reading time. If I'm involved in a book, I have something to think about during spare moments, to wonder about...if I'm just checking my phone or doing social media instead, I start to just feel awful.

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  17. I am still trying to figure out what makes me feel my best - but I definitely know that eating small, healthy meals every 3 hours is necessary or I get irritable and moody....and emotional! *haha* Time for myself is also crucial. A pots and pots of tea :)

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  18. I must, must, MUST hang out with my best girlfriends every month. Whether it's coffee, dinner, etc... it has to be done!

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  19. Alone time at the gym is where I clear my head, and it feels good to be back in the routine of going (after twins).

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  20. Along time at the gym, having a clean day of eating and spending time outside!!

    foundafeather.com

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  21. I so relate to this. The only "me" time I get anymore is a shower or a workout. And, if I don't take that little bit of time for myself I feel totally off.

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  22. Cat Heaven is one of my all time favorite songs. Soooo beautiful.

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  23. I love this.
    Running is my ME time…that and the early mornings w/ coffee and bible. Quiet.
    With four boys at home, zone-out time is few and far between, so I treasure it when I get it.

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  24. That's so true... feeling out of sync and needing to get back to the basics. We just moved from DC to Denver with an 11 month old and pup, and we're expecting. I am feel all out of sorts right now and am needing to find some yoga and some mountains in my life, real quick.

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