Tag Archives: dancer

The Next Thing

The last three years have seen me attempt diet after diet, exercise routine after fad. They all begin the same, with such hope, motivation, and optimism. However, after the infatuation wears off, they all have fallen into the same disappointing pattern. I rarely fail at them, but they consistently fail to deliver me results.

I have tried traditional calorie counting, low glycemic, Whole30, near ketosis. I have joined a gym, run constantly, started barre, used a personal trainer, done bodyboss. I am sure I have forgotten multiple tangents and detours.

Nothing.

I have been ramming my head into the same wall all these years, trapped at the same weight (or more) no matter how I work or starve myself. I am progressively dieting stricter and stricter, working out more and more regularly. I have worked myself into multiple injuries. Deeper and deeper into the obsession.

Nothing.

I have felt completely crazy. I have spent far too much time fixated on something I do not want to run my life. But here we go again, onto the next thing. Or things in this case. Two things.

First, I have been working with my therapist, who also happens to be an integrative medicine specialist focusing in eating disorders, through this struggle. With her advice, I went to my primary care doctor to have my hormone levels tested. My estrogen (and iron) came back high, while my testosterone was nonexistent. Quite possibly, I could be experiencing estrogen dominance from my hormonal IUD. So I went to discuss with my OB/GYN, and she immediately removed it to allow my body to self regulate.

Hopefully, normal hormone levels will balance my weight, as well as my mood and energy. Having a monthly cycle should also level out the iron level in my blood. So I am going back to being natural. And getting my tubes tied in a couple weeks.

Second, I have shifted to yet another diet/exercise program. I am still doing barre and running. I am still finishing bodyboss (nearly two thirds of the way through it now). However, my coworker introduced me to a new app to try for food tracking and planning.

The app is called noom and is ultimately not much different than MapMyFitness or MyFitnessPal or Spark People or anything I have tried previously. The main divergences are that the program is psychology-centric (which works for me on multiple levels) and that it includes an individual couch who messages you and an online support group (hence why it costs money).

My experience so far has been positive, but don’t go holding your breath just yet; we’re scarcely out of the honeymoon phase. I have seen some results then seen them mildly undone by Christmas. The psychological approach to the app is pretty transparent to me, both because they are transparent about it and because I’ve been in eating disorder counseling periodically for years. However, that does not prevent it from working on me. I know the compliment every time I log a work out is a manipulation, but it makes me feel good nonetheless, so the manipulation works. Same with the coach and the group, though my group is pretty inactive and lame. It is an extra layer of accountability without the pressure of real interaction.

I have noticed improvement in my thought patterns and emotional reactions, if nothing else, which is surprising since all that counseling over the years has done shit against the same problems. The app does not tell me much I do not already know, but for some reason, things appear to be clicking now. I hope it is not some false sense of enlightenment meant to lull me into complacency to then fall into old patterns again, but a girl can dream.

I hope one of these things is the answer. I’m ready to have an answer, any answer. Yeah, it would be great to fit into all my pants and be my pre-pregnancies weight again, but more than that, I want my body to be healthy. My blood sugar finally came down; I want it to stay that way. More than anything, I want to not think about this bullshit all the time. I want it to not be 10 hours out of my week. I want it to not be tormenting me every meal and every workout. I want to just be.

So, here we go on these next things. Fingers crossed.

Oh, and by the way, my hamstring is still torn. bodyboss aggravates it greatly. I’m headed to a new orthopedic to see what the hell is still going on next month. Maybe that problem needs another next thing too.

Christina Bergling

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Chapters

Running has just not been happening for me lately. After such a run-centric month in October, I just cannot seem to carve out the time in November.

Mostly, it is a time issue. There has been kids and weather and travel and simply no time to run.  I manage to still work out because I can still use the child care center at the gym and take classes during the day pretty consistently, though even those have suffered a bit lately. Yet it is the unadulterated freedom necessary to hit the trail that I am lacking.

I would have preferred this scheduling conflict arisen during the summer months, when running is somewhat ruined by the temperatures outside. Being prevented from lacing up in the fall and winter months is more tragic as it is my favorite time to run.

Under normal circumstances, this disturbance in my running force would leave me a bitchy, unsatisfied mess. However, this time, I had the realization that this is just not a running chapter in my life. After having my first child and before conceiving my second was a running chapter. Nearly exclusively a running chapter. I ran 20-30 miles a week and did nothing else for fitness (except when I was belly dancing before we moved back to Colorado).

My life has changed since then. I have a second child. I live in a different place. I have a different job and added author responsibilities. I have added other pursuits to my fitness regime. My life is simply different, and I cannot expect to maintain the same devotion to running as I was able to commit under different circumstances.

That also does not mean I will never return to such practice of my passion. It does not mean I am over running. It simply means that I cannot realistically do it now. There will be other chapters in my life. Like when both kids are in school full time and I will have more flexible hours during the day to balance between work and fitness. This chapter has me running very little in comparison; perhaps the next will have me returning to my obsessive origins.

This realization, this peace with the reality of my current situation, has made the lack of running easier to deal with. I am focusing on enjoying the thing I am doing right now. Zumba, dance, and different classes at the gym. I am running when I can and trying to maintain some level of training. Perhaps my fitness routine needed to become more balanced anyhow.

The dance, on the other hand, has been rather fulfilling. It is not the belly dance from Tennessee I so desperately miss or that I recently had a brief opportunity to visit and recall, yet it is something in that vein; it still engaged that part of me so blissful when moving to music. So while the running part of me is left wanting, the dancing part of me is granted more attention and expression. They cannot all win simultaneously, so they will have to take turns.

I do miss the trail though. I miss when I met it frequently. I miss when it felt more like home. But that, apparently, is for another chapter.

 

Christina Bergling

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