March 29, 2019

Walking Plan (Week 1) and Wednesday Weigh-In


I have not had a great week. My anxiety is still sky high, even though I felt like cutting out the caffeine helped. I just don't understand it! There is absolutely no reason for the anxiety, but it's nearly constant for me now.

My eating was not so great this week, either, and I gained 1.6 pounds from last week. I'm still down three pounds from where I started a few weeks ago, but I'm certainly not going to make any more progress if I keep eating how I did this past week.


I guess I have been using the food to help with the anxiety, but it clearly doesn't--at all. I really need to go see my psychiatrist. I've been resisting changing anything with my meds because everything was working out SO WELL until a few months ago. I felt the best I had mentally in a long time--very stable.

The only thing that's really changed is that I stopped drinking. I had hoped that quitting drinking would make me feel BETTER, not worse. However, I've discovered from a couple of people who quit drinking that the first few months to a year can feel worse before it starts to get better. That's a long time to wait!

My goal for this sobriety journey was to go for a full year without drinking; so, hopefully, I'll start to feel the benefits of it before the year is up! Haha. I was hoping that I'd feel really great at the end of the year and it'll make me want to quit alcohol for good. I'm not saying that drinking will make things better--that's obviously not true--but I just wish that I felt the benefits of quitting already.

I'm going to keep this post relatively short, because even writing a blog post makes me anxious.

On a positive note, on Monday I started the Walking for Weight Loss Training Plan that I wrote. There are three "easy" walks per week and two walks with hard intervals. I have to say, the immediate benefit of this plan was that I didn't dread doing the walks like I did running. I like the thought of my easy walks being days where I don't have to worry about changing into workout clothes, showering right afterward, and working it into my day so I'd have extra time to do those things.

The first day was a 45 minute easy walk, and I did put on my heart rate monitor just to see what my heart rate looked like from walking versus running. I actually did this one on the treadmill, and I was able to text and look at Instagram and stuff like that while I was walking. The easy walks are meant to be truly easy, and it was.

I set the speed at (I think) 2.8 mph, which felt just right. My average heart rate was 115 bpm. My only goal was to keep it under 143 bpm, so I obviously did that. When I saw that my heart rate was so much lower than my aerobic target, I read up some more on MAF training and it said that the ideal range would be to train at that target or up to 10 bpm lower (so my ideal range would be 133-143 bpm).

On tomorrow's walk (30 minutes easy) I'll aim for that heart rate range and see how it feels (also, what speed is required to get it to that range). What feels "easy" as far as my exertion level probably won't get my heart rate into that zone; so, I'm going to do some more reading about what is ideal for walking rather than running.

On the speed work days (hard walking intervals), I did get my heart rate higher--but still nowhere near what I did when I was running. The first interval walk isn't accurate as far as my heart rate goes, because I wore a regular bra instead of a sports bra, and it somehow affected my heart rate strap. So, I can only base the numbers on the interval walk I did yesterday.

Yesterday's workout was: 10 minutes easy; then 6 x (2 min fast, 1 min easy); then 10 minutes easy for a cool down. (You'll see below that I only did 7 minutes for a cool down--for some reason, I was thinking I had to stop at 35:00 and not 38:00! My mistake.)

For each of the 2-min fast segments, my heart rate peaked at 152, 154, 157, 155, 156, and 155. On my warm-up and cool down, my heart rate was an average of 114 and 119 respectively. I was walking as fast as I possibly could during the 2-min segments--my pace was 12:53, 13:27, 13:10, 13:15, 13:26, and 13:36. (I had no idea I was capable of walking that fast.)

If I want to get my heart rate higher on the intervals, I'll probably need to use the treadmill and add incline. However, being in the 150's is still higher than my target of 143, so maybe that will be beneficial regardless. Like I said, I'll read some more about it.



Also, because the plan is only in the first week, the intervals are rather short. I'm sure that when I'm doing 4-5 minute intervals at a fast pace, my heart rate will get much higher at its peak.

This whole thing is so interesting to me because it's something I've not tried before. The 80/20 method of running worked SO WELL for training and for weight loss, and I am hoping that it works well for walking, too. But like I said, I'm basically testing this plan on myself right now, so I can't say exactly what is going to happen.

Also, I have to consider that I ate crappy this week, and the walking isn't going to make up for that. I'd really like to focus on eating well this week along with the walking. I hope that might help with the anxiety, too! Meanwhile, I'll see my psychiatrist and see what he thinks about making any changes with my meds.


21 comments:

  1. It's so frustrating when anxiety kicks in for no (understandable) reason :-( I do hope you start to feel the benefits of no alcohol soon! Sending good thoughts your way!

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    1. Thank you! It's VERY frustrating for me, because I can't pinpoint what it is that changed to have caused the spike in anxiety. I didn't have any major life changes or anything. I feel like a have a totally normal, typical life--only with this crazy anxiety that jumped out at me. Thanks for thinking of me <3

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    2. I sometimes wonder if I want there to be a reason or not, you know? Like, do I want something to be happening to cause this? Would that be worse? It's such a cycle in my head. Ugh. Maybe we're just too smart and have to much in our brain ;-)

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  2. I'm really sorry you're struggling this week Katie! I'm planning on starting the walking plan next week. I enjoyed doing 5 and 10k's a few years ago but I've gained quite a bit of weight and also cannot seem to get back into the groove of running. Hoping that this will help kickstart me!!

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    1. I hope it helps for you! Getting back into the running groove just wasn't happening for me, so I thought I'd try this walking plan. And it's a nice change!

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  3. I've really enjoyed the first week of your walking plan. It was interesting matching my heart rate and pace (previously I've just aimed at distance)and it made for a really fun week. It was interesting comparing my results to yours (although I am some what older :-))and look forward to continuing this journey along side you xx

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    1. Isn't it fun to change things up like that? You're essentially doing the same thing (walking, running, etc), but when focusing on heart rate, for example, instead of pace, it's so refreshing! I'm glad you're enjoying the plan so far!

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  4. I don't understand why, if you're suffering so horribly from anxiety, you still haven't seen your shrink. I've suffered from debilitating anxiety and panic attacks for 30 years. Guess what I did for many, many years to medicate myself? Drank! I was nearing divorce and losing my kids when I got sober 10+ years ago. I have spent 1/2 my life in therapist, psychologist and psychiatrist offices. Unfortunately CBT was not a good therapy for me as my anxiety is tied in with my pretty severe IBS. I don't understand your reticence at taking medication for anxiety. I've been on 2 mg alprazolam ER every day for 10+ years. Am I addicted to it, yes, does it allow me to hold a job, go to my gym every day and take some hardcore classes with my friends, socialize and go out? YES! Given the 2 choices, it's a no brainer. You need to get out of your house and live your life. When you don't have the anxiety albatross hanging on your back every day, you can live a pretty normal life, get out and experience it. It makes me sad, it seems like you're becoming agoraphobic.

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    1. Um, I've never missed a single appointment with my psychiatrist, and I am following the medication plan that has worked best for me until recently, which is what I'll talk to him about. The spike in anxiety is new.

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    2. Good lord. It's no wonder Katie feels anxious about blogging when she seems to continually get rude, accusatory messages like this from people who don't actually know anything about her life.

      I'm sure you are absolutely an expert on your own life and your own mental illness, but you are clearly not an expert on Katie's. She doesn't share everything (nor should she) and you need to recognize that you're making a lot of bad assumptions - and then attacking her over them!

      Not to mention you are clearly not qualified to be diagnosing anybody with anything, so your last sentence was totally inappropriate.

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  5. Katie, so sorry your anxiety is back. I hope you will continue on the no = drinking plan. Maybe check some of the recovery blogs/instagrams -- several call out the fact that drinking makes anxiety worse. AND it does take awhile. Hope you aren't being too hard on yourself. Is there a way you can give yourself a break...glad you are walking. I've found that after many half marathons, 3 marathons and who knows how many 10ks and 5ks that I am enjoying walking and hiking. I did a half last weekend and walked. Sometimes anxiety just is what we have. Hope you can find some relief soon.

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  6. I quit drinking 2 years ago and feel that it was a good choice for me. For me, the only changes I noticed are not being dehydrated and a little better sleep. I do still miss it if I'm around it.

    I'm excited about trying your walking plan.

    I hope you get some relief from the anxiety.

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  7. Katie, I think of you often and I might just be your number one fan :). I feel like I am on your journey with you. I just bought weighted blankets for my sons and husband who all suffer with anxiety and depression. They absolutely LOVE them! It fascinates me so I thought I would mention it. (you might already know about these...I'm new to your blog). Sending hugs and good thoughts!

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  8. Sorry you are struggling! No easy answers but kudos to you for being so honest.

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  9. I hope you see the benefits of not drinking soon! I'm sorry your anxiety is so bad right now. Have you heard of or tried using essential oils to help? I started the walking plan last Monday and then I was playing/running with my dog Tuesday and dislocated my foot and broke 3 bones in my ankle...so no more walking plan for me! I am now focussing on not drinking as well (can't mix it with the meds) and eating super healthy to help my healing but also because I know not moving at all and eating whatever will lead to a big weight gain! Hopefully I might actually lose weight while I'm laid up!

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  10. I totally sympathize and relate to both the emotional eating and anxiety that you're going through.

    Even though you're not yet seeing any changes externally from stopping drinking, know that there are absolutely changes going on, and your future self will 100% benefit from them.

    Intuitive eating and I do not work well together in the long run and I still measure and track everything I eat/drink. I long ago made peace with the fact that if I have to track for the rest of my life, I'm okay with that.

    Here's to you figuring out what works best for you.

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  11. Has the weather been all over the place where you are? I feel like that really messes with my anxiety for no reason. Where I am in the past two days it has been 73 and sunny and 12 hours later, 28 and snowing. That really had me feeling terrible mentally. Even if the change of season is to sunny and warm, for the first couple of weeks, I am very anxious for no reason. Hope you get out of your funk soon. I know how bad it feels.

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  12. Hi Katie, did you explore with your therapist whether there might be some hidden trauma in your past or if you learned unhealthy coping mechanisms in your childhood? In my experience, when anxiety comes knocking it's because it's trying to attract our attention to something - and as long as that something is not dealt with, the anxiety stays.
    For me that means sometimes dealing with childhood fears that are triggered by something that happens in everyday life (for example I can't stand it when people get angry and raise their voices). If I address this issue and let myself sit with the emotions it brings up (the good old "feel your feelings" method), I immediately feel better.
    But of course this is my own experience, and I wouldn't pretend to know what you need!
    All the best and lots of love from Switzerland,
    sarah

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  13. Love the walking plan! Like you, I feel like it doesn't feel like drudgery to do it. I actually look forward to it. Although I haven't seen the scale move (and I'm not following my WW plan as best as I could) I think this is really going to help me! Thank you!!! I'm so sorry that your anxiety is back. As a therapist and a substance abuse counselor, what you said is spot on. It can take up to a year to feel better after quitting. Just stay the course, it will get better!

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  14. Love the walking plan! Like you, I feel like it doesn't feel like drudgery to do it. I actually look forward to it. Although I haven't seen the scale move (and I'm not following my WW plan as best as I could) I think this is really going to help me! Thank you!!! I'm so sorry that your anxiety is back. As a therapist and a substance abuse counselor, what you said is spot on. It can take up to a year to feel better after quitting. Just stay the course, it will get better!

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  15. Hi Katie! This may have been addressed so I'm sorry if it was and I've missed it but have you had labs checked for any reason lately? I was experiencing anxiety that was out of the norm for me and I went the the Dr for something unrelated to the anxiety and my hemoglobin was pretty low and I had NO iron stores. That might be something you could explore if you haven't already. I hope you start feeling better soon - anxiety is the worst!! Thank you for sharing!

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