Weblog as Therapy
This weblog is many things. It’s the starting point for our amazing weblog book. Hopefully its’s entertaining, interesting, informative and useful. Some posts are fun, some are serious. It covers an eclectic range of topics, from baking to beekeeping, technology to triathlon or windsurfing to wildlife, it’s all here. It’s a journal of our life and it’s a useful resource for others and recently I realised that I use my weblog as therapy too.
My Weblog as Therapy
I was chatting to my friend Simon at work. He’s a sports psychologist and we were reading through a recent weblog post of mine about how my training was going. It had been going really well, but I was annoyed as I had a cold and had been unable to train. It had only been a day or two without training but I was already worrying about it. [Note: It’s now been a week without any training thanks to the lurgy so my fears of getting fat and unfit are beginning to become true!].
Simon started to pick out some comments of note from the post:
I can feel myself losing all of the gains I’ve made already.
It’s only been a day of no training so far, but I feel as though I’m getting fatter and less fit as every hour passes.
Is this a sign of some sort of exercise addiction?
All things of interest to a psychologist apparently and we decided that by writing these these down it was similar to talking about them, getting them out there, airing my worries and that maybe using my weblog as therapy was a way of looking into the deepest workings of my psyche. OK, maybe that last bit was a little too deep, but it’s certainly something worth thinking about and maybe by reading back through my posts a little more often I can learn by my mistakes, build on my experiences and improve my psychological well-being.
Maybe also I should use what I can learn from this to make some changes as well. Based on those comments that Simon picked out above, it would seem as though I need to put strategies in place to ‘cope’ with setbacks. I wouldn’t say that I’m not coping, but maybe with a better strategy and by using my weblog as therapy I could put things in place to make more of such setbacks.
Setbacks and interruptions to a training plan are inevitable. Illness such as the cold and chest infection I’ve had can’t be avoided, injuries, work, family and life can sometimes get in the way and disrupt your carefully crafted training plan. When such things occur it can feel as though all is lost and you are back to square one. That’s how it’s feeling to me at the moment, but from experience I’ll know that I’ll bounce back fairly quickly.
The first thing I did as noted in the blog post was to rearrange my training schedule. That in itself was a positive thing to do so that I still had a plan that had taken into account this setback. That was helpful, I kept control, but looking at my comments and what has happened since, what I really need is a strategy to keep my nutrition on track.
No Gains Please
In theory, a week of illness and no training should have a very minimal impact on my training progression. OK, there may be a week or so of recovery involved after such a setback, but generally people such as myself tend to train too much anyway so being forced to ease off for a bit is often a good thing. Where it all goes wrong for me is the eating.
3 hours less exercise a day accounts for a huge percentage of my calorie expenditure. 3 hours extra time for eating a day actually allows for more calorie intake as well. I just can’t stop myself from eating and the quality of my diet slips too. I’m feeling sorry for myself and comfort food is just too easy to come by. I’m burning 2,000 fewer calories per day but I’m eating an additional 2,000 calories, that can only mean one thing and that’s unwated weight gain.
I’m using my weblog as therapy here, so next time this happens I need to make sure I have a strategy in place to prevent this. Maybe just some ‘No Gains Please’ signs on the fridge and cupboards will do, but I need to do something. Over the past week I’ve gone from 67kg to 73kg.
I was quite happy with my 67kg weight and was hoping to get down close to 65kg before the inevitable gains of Christmas, but that’s not going to happen now. There’s no point getting upset about it now though, I’m using my weblog as therapy, so I have to accept what it is, decide to learn from it and see where I can go from here. With a work Christmas dinner, a dinner for my birthday and no doubt birthday cakes coming up this week, more Christmas meals the following week and then Christmas itself, losing weight over the next few weeks is going to be difficult. There’s no point setting myself unrealistic goals so maybe I should just be aiming for ‘no gains please’.
There we go, once again I’ve used my weblog as therapy, I’ve thought about my problems, worked out what actually causes the issues and have made some realistic goals based on that. I still need to come up with some suitable strategies to make sure I achieve these goals but I’ve taken the first steps by airing it here and using my weblog as therapy.
Simon – how’ve I done with my self psychological assessment?