Sunday, 18 January 2015

Some emotional eating ... and right back on track

The pop factory laid off about 1,800 people over the past two weeks (worldwide), which seemed like an awful lot of people lost their jobs until Target Canada announced last week that they were closing and throwing 18,000 people out onto the street.  Suddenly 1,800 sounded almost reasonable, even though 1,800 is a very high number in and of itself.  Regardless of the scale, restructurings of any kind are scary as hell and very tough - - they are distracting and take focus off the work that needs to get done.  And given that I just started at the pop factory in the spring of 2014, I was feeling especially vulnerable this time.

I found out that I still had a job on Thursday January 8 (!), and for the entire week leading up to that day I had been emotionally eating in a way that was a borderline (if not outright) binge.  I found myself eating candy at the office and I was almost unable to stop.  It was ridiculous, frankly.  Thank god we found out about our department when we did, because another week of that behaviour would have been very tough to recover from. 

Unfortunately, one of my team mates (and close neighbors on the seating plan) lost her job in the restructuring, so our team did not escape Scot-free.  With her obvious (and profound) distress at losing her job I felt no small amount of survivor guilt, but fortunately I was able to deal with that without eating my way into a food coma.  Because the impact was no longer directly on me, I was able to approach it less emotionally than when I thought I might lose my job and chocolate was my crutch.  Once the restructuring happened I could be supportive for my friend but I did not need chocolate to do so.

One good thing about that day (and frankly about the only good thing about that day) was that I had an absolutely brutal high intensity interval conditioning session with Mr. Fitness that evening, and it was the perfect way to work through all my stress and anxiety about what had just happened.  All those times I doubted whether workouts help with stress are now officially put to rest.  After the workout I was shaking with exhaustion, dripping with sweat, aching, and content, if you can believe it. The more I work out with the trainer the more I enjoy it, because he pushes me during every session.  I know I will see results from this work because there is no way that my body can get used to anything - - as soon as I think it is getting easier, Mr. Fitness adds new elements to kick up the program.  Bastard (just kidding - Mr. Fitness is a lovely man and I am pretty sure his parents were married).

Another good thing about that week is that even though my mouth would not stay shut (!), I was working out hard every day.  Even better, the day after the restructuring I was suddenly and completely able to ignore all temptation or desire to snack.  It was as if a switch had flipped in my head.  The firings were over, I still had my job, and it was time to take care of business.  My brain literally got back in gear and I was immediately focused on healthy eating and my workouts.  And I haven't had any overwhelming desire to snack since.  Strange.

The net result: I put on several pounds the week of the restructuring.  After a couple of sessions with my personal trainer and two weeks of consistent hard workouts, I am now back down to a weight that is 2.7 pounds lower than before the restructuring.  I am still about 10 or 11 pounds higher than my lowest recent weight (before Christmas), but I am on a great program right now that is pushing me and I am staying on track much more than I am off plan. 

I find that  being able to track my workouts (both alone and with the personal trainer) on the Trainerize web app is very motivating, and this has especially helped me keep on track over the past couple of challenging weeks.

I have always loved tracking my workouts and my progress, and this program combines both of these things together.  Mr. Fitness accesses the interface to check on my progress, and he absolutely knows when I have been following the program and when I have been doing the workouts he set up for me.  I like this because it helps keep me accountable. 

And because the trainer knows when I have done a workout and what I have done, he knows when and how to bump up the next workout.  For example this week in my "push" conditioning session we added dips and incline bench presses.  It turns out I absolutely suck at dips, but next time I try them I will be better.  My squats were better this week than last week, and they will be even better next week.  Progress. 

I am travelling and at offsites most of this coming week, so it will be a very trying week that will challenge my discipline.  Monday will be back to back meetings followed by 2 days in senior leadership meetings with an obligatory evening dinner/event, then a full day planning meeting, then travelling to Boston and Hartford to visit a couple of our production facilities from Friday to the following Tuesday.  On the next day I have to spend the day in London Ontario teaching a class at the law school - - including an obligatory lunch with the other teachers. 

So it looks like a week and a half of hotel food, restaurant food, conference meals, and (hopefully) hotel gyms.  It looks like I will not be able to meet with the personal trainer this week due to the schedule from hell, but at least I can keep up on my program using hotel facilities as much as I can. 

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