Hi everyone! This post is kind of stressing me out but I need to share it. Recently, I’ve been noticing a few things: My clothes fit tighter, I get super tired easily during runs, I’m constantly tired, I cry a lot, and worst of all – my heart has been beating funny and I’ve been having chest pains and some trouble breathing. On Friday it was so intense that I thought I was going to throw up and pass out at work. Given my very deep family history with heart disease, both Andrew and I were extremely concerned about the heart issues. I coincidently had an appointment scheduled with the Anchorage Women’s Clinic yesterday, so everyone encouraged me to talk to the doctor about how I’ve been feeling lately.
I woke up before my alarm went off yesterday morning and was surprised to find that not only was I not tired for the first time ever, I really wanted to go for a run. So despite the fact that I had to leave Seward by 8:00 to get to my appointment in time, I headed out for a 2 mile run. Crazily enough, I started running at 6:45 am which is something I’ve never done before. I hate waking up early, but I’ve been so tired after work lately (well, and before work too) that I never feel like running anymore. It was awesome to run through my sleepy town before the tourists took over for the day! Plus I got to see lots of salmon in the lagoon which is always fun. I had been so stressed and tired the last few days that it was so nice to start my “weekend” off with a relaxing run!
After my run I drove to Anchorage with my friends to distract me, but I was nervous for my appointment. It turns out that my doctor was really nice and I was able to talk to her about everything. First of all, according to their scale I’ve gained like 8 pounds in the past 4 months. Ugh. That is not acceptable and I’m pretty disgusted with myself. I know that sharing a kitchen with 40 other people is making me want to make only quick meals and they’re not the healthiest, but I need to get it together and stop eating like crap. That’s also what’s causing me to get tired faster when running because I’m not fueling properly. I think I’ve known this for a while, but I need to tone it down with the free cookies and processed dinners and start eating real food again. I’m scared that I’m going to struggle with this, but Andrew and I are stocking up on good snacks like fruit, nuts, hummus, and veggies. I’m also going to bring some snacks to work with me like pretzels and almonds so that whenever I get hungry I’ll reach for those instead of buying unhealthy snacks. I’m a picky eater so I know it’s going to be tough to eat healthier. If you have any kid approved (since I’m basically a kid) healthy recipes pass them over to me!
Second, my heartbeat was normal and my doctor couldn’t find anything medically wrong with it which is awesome! But the tiredness, sadness, and heart issues all seem to be stemming from my unending and overwhelming stress and anxiety. Moving up here was stressful, but now in order to stay here and avoid spending thousands more dollars to move back home we both need to get jobs and a place to live by the beginning of October. We’re also struggling finically more than we did in Philly because the move cost so much, and I’m obsessing over paying off our moving expenses as soon as possible. Even just typing those sentence made my heart beat faster, so the doctor was pretty confident that my stress has negative effects on my body. We discussed using running as a coping strategy (she was a runner too!) and I’m also thinking that even just adding a few small stretching sessions of yoga in the mornings or after my workouts will help keep me relaxed. I plan on spending all day today and tomorrow applying for jobs so I’m hoping that we will hear something soon and my poor heart can get a break!
Third, the heart issues might be connected to my caffeine intake. I usually only drink 1 cup a day in the afternoons, and I only do it 4 days a week when I’m at work. Lately I’ve been so tired that I’ve been drinking 2 cups a day, and that combined with my stress might be causing too many issues with my heart. My doctor told me that some people can’t metabolize coffee well and that I should try tea instead if I want to wean myself off caffeine. I can tell that I’m addicted so I’m worried about giving it up, but I bought some Tazo Tea at Target yesterday and I’m excited to try it out. I also need to drink lots more water and Nuun to stay hydrated instead of dehydrating myself with coffee. I guess cutting down to 1 fancy coffee drink a week didn’t end up helping my problems so I’m cutting it out altogether!
There will be lots of changes for me in the next few days as I attempt to get adjusted to new food, more workouts, and no coffee. My doctor discussed ways to prepare me for these changes slowly because so many people try to start too many things at once and they end up failing. I know I will make mistakes along the way, but I’m hoping that overall I’ll start feeling better soon once I clean up my diet and stop drinking coffee. And once I’m feeling better, I’ll hopefully feel less stressed! I’m optimistic that I can feel and look better by the time we move out of Seward on September 14. I need to stop worrying about the future and trust that things will turn out as long as I keep working hard to meet my goals.
Since I love you all and value your opinion so much, I’d love to take your suggestions on getting healthier! Leave me a comment if you have any info about the following:
- Yummy, simple, healthy recipes that work for a picky eater
- Tips for coping with stress, sadness, and anxiety
- Giving up coffee/caffeine
- Ways to relax and stay calm during a stressful day
- Awesome yoga routines that will put me in a zen mood
- If you’ve ever been where I am right now and how you dealt with it. It’s hard.