Monday, March 24, 2008

People, people who need people ...

This past week was officially the worst couch to 5k training week I’ve had. I ran one time – only one time! – out of the three times I was supposed to run. I also did ZERO strength training. Phhhhhhhht.

When I look back at what I did instead of run, I have to say it was very good for me in a non-physical way. I saw my friends more this past week than I have in a loooong time. It sounds frivolous, and it was fun, but it was also a very good thing for me. Working from home, I really need opportunities to be around people. When I was working SO much week before last, I was getting a little crazy. My poor husband tolerated at least one meltdown that probably would have been prevented if I’d just gotten myself out of the house and into a face-to-face encounter with friends. It is hard on me mentally and emotionally when I go a while without seeing anyone but my husband, and I only see him a couple hours a day at most on weekdays. The working from home thing has its benefits, but it also has some serious drawbacks from a mental health perspective.

So although my physical health from an exercise standpoint went to hell this past week, I feel better mentally and emotionally than I have in a while. Although my not-running on Tuesday was due to house-cleaning, the rest of the time it was all about PEOPLE. I did dinner with friends on Wednesday, happy hour with different friends Thursday, girl-time shopping and dinner with yet another friend Friday, lunch out with friends and my friend’s new boyfriend Saturday, dinner out and then going to a bar with husbands/significant others Saturday night, and then my husband and I had our neighbor over for dinner last night.

Human beings! It was so nice to spend time out of the house with real-live-and-in-person humans. How I’ve missed the human beings! Oh, the joy of human contact!

I know you think I’m kidding, and I am being overly dramatic, but I’m dead serious about needing human contact to stay sane. And not just contact with people who bag your groceries or ring up your purchases – contact where you connect with people via in-person conversation.

The challenge for me is to figure out how to fit in exercise AND human contact AND eating well all at the same time. This past week I definitely got the human contact, and (even with all the eating out) I did fairly well at the eating well. I ate a lot of grilled fish and veggies, asked for lots of substitutions, and avoided a lot of breadbaskets. The scale is up a little this morning, but the pattern isn’t different from the pattern I see most weeks (up a little on Sunday, up a little more on Monday). The scale numbers will start dropping again tomorrow or the next day.

But anyway, how do I fit in all three – exercise AND human contact AND eating well – every week? I think that’s something I need to work on. I have some ideas, but if you guys have suggestions, I’m all ears.


Sonya said...

I'm so happy that you got to spend some time with humans this week! lol.. I went out and had some fun this weekend too and boy does it do wonders for a girls mental health!

Da Doo Run Run said...

Good for you for the human contact! Also good for you for being essentially at goal and going shopping for some cute clothes. You rock!

Pattie said...

I hear you, sweetie! I have chosen not work this past year, and I get CRAVINGS for face-to-face human contact! Email just doesn't cut it.

So good for you, for feeding your spirit! I believe that will go a long way in improving your workouts this coming week. You can now run with a full heart!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I absolutely agree that it's really necessary to get out and get some real people time if you want to stay sane! And really, physical and mental health can't be separated, so you weren't really taking away from one. You were just refocusing your efforts for a time.

I do keep saying, it's all about balance, and it's so amazingly hard to balance all the different things we need to do. Something always seems to slip're not letting anything slip to your complete detriment. It's possible to focus on one thing so intensely that you really damage yourself in other ways.

So I think you're to be commended for recognizing your need for socialization and attending to it! It's still self-care, you know, just a different sort of self-care. Not less important though! :-)

And you're doing so great on the C25K, you will probably only benefit from the time off. Have a great week and enjoy your rejuvenation, because you sound so...well...happy. :-)


Kate said...

You know, I know when I finally am dating someone again that my gym time and eating habits will be the first to suffer, so believe me, I will be trying to "figure it out" myself!

Lynn said...

Heh, it's like dietary whack a mole, isn't it? Just when you've got one thing nailed down, something else pops up?

I understand about needing human contact. I don't get nearly enough of it. (And I'm a good deal shorter than the rest of my friends, so one of the last times I was out seeing people, I got ready to say it was nice to see other adults when Ed patted me on the head. Talk about irony.)

Run Runner said...

I, too, had a week wherein I only ran once. I decided to pick up where I left off (don't skip a the workouts, just continue from where you were) and it's been fine.
Ultimately it would be amazing to find friends who also want to run and who run at a similar pace. I am hugely grateful to my running buddy who got me out on the road in the first place seven weeks ago, and who cheered me on when I thought I was going to DIE on the sidewalk after that eighth minute of running. :) Maybe join a running club? I'm searching for one myself.

briy said...

I can sympathize with needing human contact, for sure. But my problem is needing human contact with people I can converse in English with! :) I have one friend in town, and it must be hard on her!

Anyway, good job getting what you needed mentally, and with the balancing act. I think it's what everyone struggles with. I know I did when I had friends to hang out with.


Ready Maid said...

Face it, we're wired for human contact. You needed a connection. Congratulations for listening to your inner self.

The more you practice balancing your needs, the more effective you become at needing balance. Sort of like holding a baseball bat upright in your palm.

Good post. We can all identify...especially those of us who office at home.

ashley said...

I am the same way with needing human interaction. On a regular basis, I need to get out and connect!

he biggest thing that has helped me is combining friends with healthy eating or exercise.

-talk over a long walk
-try a new activity
-bike ride together
-try a new healthy place for brunch
-cook a new recipe

Yeah? =)

watchinmyweight said...

I can totally sympathize with you...when the kids were little and I didn't work at all...and we lived in the country with no money...yeah I thought I was going coocoo! You definately need a balance.

Heather said...

yep it always is very hard to combine the two, I know I struggle! I do so well when its me or just me and my boyfriend, but bring others into the mix and suddenly Im faced with pizza, etc and its hard to say no. dont worry though, you will find the right mix.

Anonymous said...

Man… I can so relate to you. I’ve been working at home for the last 3 months and its been a HUGE adjustment. I often feel very isolated (esp because everyone in my household works 6 days a week and I dont have many friends in Bangkok). Luckily for me working from home is temporary and I know I am going hooooome soon to see my friends. I find music keeps me sane when there is a lack of people.

Re the running. Don’t beat yourself up about only running once last week. Once is better than ‘nonce’… just repeat that week and you’ll catch up in no time. Sounds like you needed a break, you took one… and you will get back on track with your running because you have come so far already (and probably feel refreshed for the break).

As for finding time for everything… schedule in your running time, schedule people time, schedule work time…schedule everything. Maybe setup a regular day and time where you meet up with a certain friend (or group of friends), then you are guaranteed to get some people contact regularly and you can organise yourself around that meeting.

Oops – a long comment, sorry! :)
CHeers Julia

Aaron Cunningham said...

Val works for herself and has a similar problem. Getting out with friends is a big deal. Good onya.

Life balance? No good ideas for ya... Same problem here.

zandria said...

"Mental" fitness is just as important as "physical" fitness. If you were bypassing contact with others just to get your running in, you wouldn't be a very happy person. :)