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Bipolar yeah?

There were a time when I get excited to cook and bake and eat. But it is not the case now, I dread cooking now, I don’t want to cook, I feel like I am cooking the same things again and again and I just don’t want to cook. And I don’t feel good about it, cooking and eating was such a big part of me and I feel that something is wrong with me when I lose passion for cooking. But still I cook, I cook, but I just don’t want to do it.

When I am reading back on my posts, I realized that stress has always been a problem of mine. Self love, self care is lacking. I admit I have always been a stressful person, I get pressure really easily, maybe not even from an outside source, I just put pressure on myself all the time, and I have a general level of stress for normal days without anything significant to worry about. But I think this year my stress level has been pretty bad. I am about to graduate, what do I do with my degree? We have been trying to conceive, but when is that day finally gonna come? I started teaching group fitness classes, I thought you always want to be a fitness instructor, but why you are more stressed and nervous than happy when you teach? So does it mean that I have one less career path? Why do I keep having nightmares and bad dreams? How can I feel good about starting a day when I dreamed I am late for exam, forgot lyrics before going on stage, or being shot by some mysterious man? What does these dreams mean? What about dreams that I am in a sexual context? How should I feel about those? I am confused and helpless.

It started around Christmas time 2016, I kept having bad dreams and nightmares, I feel unsure about me teaching fitness classes, will I be the best instructor? Will I have students that want to come every week to my class? Can I teach dance? I love dance but I don’t have any background like other instructors do. Shall I take the challenge head on or shall I just chill and be easy on myself? What shall I talk about before class today? I want it to be inspirational and fun. I want people to learn things or be happy from my talk. Shall I cover for others’ class just because it will be thought highly of by the coordinator? Shall I go to her classes because she will be gone soon and I shall show my respect and love?

We are TTC, and it has been 5 months without results, it’s funny how before whenever I got my period I am like Horray! and now when I get my period, I am like, Are you for real? I have done everything I can and still no baby? It is hard when I like the kids so much but at the same time afraid that people would start questioning when would you have a baby? You should have a baby too! I thought you have been trying, still no result? You should relax and it will come. Relax is not something that I am good at. And now, I am like, OK, let’s just take it easy and for real, just let it go, no counting the ovulation days, no measuring body temperature every day first thing in the morning. No planning and just let it be. It doesn’t help when my mom keeps sending me pictures and videos of little babies every now and then. Although it doesn’t seem too big of a deal at the beginning, I think it could be adding up to my mental stress. Maybe I shouldn’t have told them that we are trying from the beginning. Just let everything be a surprise. No stress and all.

2017 is slipping by so fast I can’t even believe it. I am much better with food now, no fuss, no stress, and I am pretty happy where I am right now. Speaking of which, the eating disorder started in my college years, now it is finally under control.

I went to the counseling center yesterday, I was talking to the counselor what are on my mind. I burst out crying in the middle of nowhere. surprised me. I am always quite composed when I go to counseling sessions, sometimes burst out crying after the session, but never during a session, and with a new counselor? That’s pretty new, oh boy was I holding a lot in. I feel like after I stated my problem, the counselor was trying to convince me that it is a better option for me to go to counseling somewhere else, since the model here at the university counseling center is ‘quick’, I will be better off and taken care of with some specialist that can meet with me every week. I feel like the counselor is definitely doing this a lot to others coz I feel like some of the things that she was trying to use as pros doesn’t really work for me. And I also feel like she was trying to convince me that I am bipolar. I was diagnosed with bipolar earlier in 2012, but the whole time I was thinking to myself, that was just an accident, I am not bipolar and this diagnose is just ridiculous. But I think she made one point pretty clear to me that once diagnosed with bipolar, you are pretty much bipolar your whole life, but with therapy and medication it could get better. At first I was a little shocked with the fact that I could have a mental disease, but then actually a little released that this is actually a disease and not so much my own fault or something. I felt like she was really trying to label me with bipolar, repeating that terms so many times without hesitating to directly acknowledging that I am a bipolar patient. It is not “If I have bipolar”, it is “you have bipolar and … is best for you.” She asked whether I am open to medication, I said yes although my instinct is no. I am pretty clear that I will only take parts of what she is saying and have my own judgement too. And I feel kind of released after I left the counseling center, I feel like I always have this kind of feeling when I am diagnosed with something, instead of feeling bad or sad or unhappy, I instead would feel kind of released, kind of like, OK, I am sick, I have a serious medical or mental condition, so somebody please take care of me. I was googling bipolar online, and hearing people talk about their own conditions, I know I am not as serious as some of them. But still I do need to take my mental condition seriously. I always just blame it on myself for feeling lonely, sad, stressed, depressed. I always think it is my own problem and my own fault that under perfectly good environment I would still feel crappy. But what if my genes were to blame, what if my neuronal structures in my brain were to blame. I could be just a victim instead of the criminal.

Time kind of stopped and slow after I went out from the counseling center, I did some experiments and then waited to go home. I told what happened at the counseling center to JB and waited for comforting words. But he didn’t know better. He didn’t comfort me at all, and of course I cried.

Growing is really painful, good memories about the old days is always so great to even just savor for a second. I am not sure where this is going.

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My eating lately

Recently there have been some changes to my eating choices. For one, I started eating pizza. I remembered early in 2013 I was really restricting my food intake and I would crave pizza so much, then I stopped restricting myself and I never crave pizza again. And then I was vegan for about a year and a half, during that time I never had pizza, I remembered several occasions there is pizza in front of me but I just don’t want to eat it, it feels really greasy and I felt like I wouldn’t enjoy it. Then a few days ago, I was babysitting for my advisor, he had ordered pizza for us. I started to know that the little boy really like pizza, and they would have pizza about once a week. At that point, I haven’t had pizza for a long long time, and I don’t crave that at all. But the day before I went to their house, I was actually quite anticipating it. Not so much about the pizza, but the atmosphere of me eating a pizza with the kids of my advisor casually. It just feels really relaxed and chilled and fun. And that day I had 4 slices, didn’t exactly feel that it was the best thing in the world, but still quite a fun experience eating take out with kids.

Then came the app that I have on my phone, pocket points, you gain points by not using your phone when you are at school. I had so many points. And I get coupons of free 3 cheezer bread from Hungry Howie. Then it somehow became a weekly thing. And I kind of didn’t feel bad about it. Plus, the pizza lady was so nice to me every time when I was there. It was not so much the pizza, but the fact that Oh I am taking out pizza and that’s so fun! type of thing.

Similar situation with chips, I actually started eating some potato chips, which I think I haven’t had for years. For the longest time, it was just so out of the equation, that I didn’t think I would enjoy it.

Then the other day I had some chocolate chip cookie, which again, I haven’t had for long time, coz I was thinking it’s just bunch of sugar, how good is that gonna taste. Boy was I wrong, it was just the kind of warming feeling that I get, not so much the cookie itself.

So at first, I was feeling like this looks kind of like a slack. But then I start to think, when I was really small, I had these things, I had ice cream a lot, I had chips sometimes, those things somehow became labeled “unhealthy” later in life. And I start to realize that it might be a little unhealthy if I keep it too healthy too clean. Why not free all the labeling and just enjoy what I want for once.

Sometimes when I get insecure about my body, like “oh look at your belly”, I then quickly stopped there and told myself “so what, this is natural and this is me. I am strong and healthy. Don’t mind what others think.” I think self love came with age, many may struggle early in their life, but later as they learned more about themselves and the world around them, it might become a part of them. I think it has been an issue for me, but this has been one of the focus that I want to work on for myself for the near future.

 

 

 

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It’s dangerous to care what others think

I have known from an early age that I always cared what others think of me. I try to be a person that I would think a good person looks like. I share things and give away things because I think a great person would be sharing and caring. I tried to think of others’ feelings before I say or do things, I try not to hurt other people’s feelings. At work, I try to plan my experiments really full on my schedule, so that I will be a hard working employee. And at home, I try to do my best of sharing my responsibility of cooking and chores.

But I find this is repressing the true nature of me. Sometimes I base my decision on how other people would feel and think, rather than whether I really want to do something or not. After starting to teach group fitness classes, I always find myself in the tug of war of whether to go to a class or not, coz sometimes I don’t really want to go, but I feel like I had to go to support and show respect for other instructors. I feel like this can be really energy-draining sometimes, when my intensions are not pure.

And the other day at the meeting for fitness instructors, the head of the department was saying praises to one of a fellow instructor, saying that she is really awesome in that she helps cover a lot of classes when others are caught up in other responsibilities. And I remembered thinking to myself, oh I should start to cover classes for others too! That way I would get praises like that too. But immediately I realized my thinking pattern, and tell myself, no you should not cover classes just because that would make the head happy. I shouldn’t do anything just to make the head think highly of me.

So many times, when I am faced with decision of what to do, I immediately came to the frame of “what would a good person do” instead of “what do I want to do”. It has become a habbit and I had to really be careful of it to not to fall into the old patterns.

My husband on the other hand, doesn’t seem to care so much about what others think. He has his own opinions, not afraid to share his true thoughts and mostly just a really happy person that lives by his own values rather than others’ values.

 

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Taking control of my stress

It is not until recently that I realized how stressed I was for the first half of 2017.

I was under stress mainly because of the group fitness classes that I started to teach. I was a newly certified group fitness instructor, there has been a lot of stress about teaching new class format and getting new ideas for what to teach in a class. The stress I was going through was kind of ridiculous when I think about it now. During Christmas time, I was so stressed that I would not be able to teach a perfect class that I was having nightmares.

And just recently I was watching a TED talk, some thing with a title like the things that will happen when you stop giving a fuck. The gist of it was kind simple and many might have heard of this in one way or another. Basically, it is telling us that we have only so much time, energy and money, and we have to spend them on things that we give a fuck about, the things that we really care. And when we are making a decision whether to go to a party that we are not really interested in going, it comes into place. If hanging out with the party people is not your priority, then you should not give your fuck bucks to them. We only have this much fuck bucks in our reserve, so save it for things that you really enjoy. And so another big thing that I learn is that I can gracefully say: sorry, I can’t make it. And that won’t be the end of the world. I will be a worse person if I agreed to go, but then trying to think of ways or excuses to get out of it.

So I made a little list of things that I want to happen this year. For work, I would want to go to a really prestigious meeting, and maybe publish a paper that would be even greater. For relationship, we are TTC, so that would be it. For myself, I want to relax. Just trying to reduce some stress that I have been experiencing lately.

And I think once I got a little list like this, I have some more perspective. For the myself part. I have been journaling everyday before bed. I think it is a great little practice for me. Earlier this year, I was having issues sleeping, when I start thinking about what to do in class, my head just starts racing and I just can’t fall asleep after that. Ever since I started this journaling, I tried not to take my phone into the bedroom, so once I finished my journal, I go to bed. And for the journaling, I would just write down what I did, and whatever that is, let it be. Another thing I learned from talking with a professor is that, try not to judge everything you do, especially meditation. We don’t judge whether our teeth brushing is a good one or not, we just do it. We should take the same attitude towards meditation. Don’t think to yourself “oh I was thinking too much”, the most important thing is that you are doing it. On the same end, I got back to my yoga practice after a few months without doing it. I know that I am getting out of balance and I need some ritual to ground me. Ashtanga yoga started off as a really rigorous regime for me to exercise my body, but after I stopped doing it I started to realize that I need it back in my life. Now I am doing yoga everyday, sometimes following yoga with Adriene’s video, sometimes just simply child’s pose, sometimes some vigorous sun salutations. I just let the practice be, whatever I want to do that day, I will. And I am doing this for myself, so every morning, I think to myself, there is no need to hurry today, so let’s do 20min of yoga, just for me. And after yoga, I just set the timer for 5min, for some meditation.

I think for my stress control I have to stay on top of it. For example, I get a little anxious even 2 days before my class, I then just tell myself, today is not the time to worry about it yet, let’s worry about it later. And I think those self talk really helps to calm me.

Being a group exercise instructor has been a challenge for me, I was thinking of stop doing it after one semester, my husband was cheering me on. And just a few days ago, my supervisor was observing my class, which I felt pretty good about, but then she was criticizing it into pieces. I was like I didn’t ask for this, why you were so mean to me. And again, I was thinking of giving up, just leave all the stress for all. Again, I somehow get back into the groove. This second semester of teaching is getting better than the first one, but still new input, new insight, new motivation. And I will keep going strong.

 

 

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How I should really exercise & thoughts on youtube addiction

I always feel like I should feel the soreness on my muscles to really say that I had a great workout. Sometimes when I go to cycling classes I feel that I should push so hard that i am so out of breath to say that I have done my best.

My mom reminded me that I should take it easy, it is the best if I can recover just hours after a workout, if after a good night’s sleep there is still fatigue, that might be too much. I am a little guilty of going too hard lately, many times it is hard for me to find a good balance. When I go to the gym, I go really hard, I want an awesome workout.

But I think it is time for a little change in my mindset. If my workout is giving me so much fatigue that it starts to negatively affect my work and life, I should lower the intensity.

 

I am a little addicted to Youtube. when I have time or after work I want to relax, I go to youtube, and watch videos that are recommended to me. I can go on and on for hours, sometimes I can find things inspiring, other times it is just a way of entertainment.

Sometimes after watching a video, I would think to myself, oh I could do that too, I should be able to get several k of subscribers right? And I see this girl is a athletic brand athlete, then I was thinking to myself, I want to be their athlete too! that way I have all their clothing for free! Then if I see someone showing their clothing haul, I would think to myself, how do they have that much money to buy so many expensive clothes? I mean the amount that they show in the video is probably the amount I might buy in several years. Then I might see some people’s vlog when they are having vacation in Hawaii, in Japan, in Italy, then think to myself, oh I wish I can go to these places too, just chill and have fun.

unconsciously, I was telling myself, that the people with millions of subcribers are better than me. That all the things that I see is the way life should be. That the way I am living is not as divine as theirs. But it is not true, I am just tricked into thinking that they are better.

It is the same way with body image, I remembered when I was a high school student in a small town, I had no idea that big butt is a good thing for a girl, and nowadays it is almost like the best thing that a girl can be is to be thin and fit and big butt, big boobs and abs. It is problematic to think that we have to be like that to be liked by others. And it is not reasonable that everyone should look like that.

YOU DO YOU.