Everyone here has given really good advice. I just wanted to add the suggestion that you find a friend to look at your resume and give you some tips. Job stress/hating your job is the absolute worst. Feeling trapped in your current job is not good for you at all. It's possible that you might not be seeing some patterns in your experience that another person could spot.
Is there someone at your church or at your volunteer job (maybe a volunteer coordinator?) who would be willing to look at it and give you some tips? I'd recommend someone in HR or marketing/public relations if you can find someone with that background. HR is obvious, but someone in marketing/public relations will know how to present things in a good light and can give valuable tips, too (although I am biased since that is my field).
I hope things start to look up! Best wishes!
Last edited by PterodactyGirl; 06-12-2012 at 08:03 AM.
Reason: fix typos
Thanks to all for support and advice.
Over the past week, I've discovered two things that have been A) encouraging and B) confirming.
A) Over the past month, more or less, I'm down nine pounds. It was about a month ago that I stepped on my scale and weighed 240 pounds. This morning, I weighed 231. I still look fat, but hey, my measure for success has always been how my clothes fit. I'd say they fit, uh, less tight.
B) The biggest issue for me after sleep (which is getting better) is regulation of blood sugar. I finally realized--with the help of an unfortunate event--that I simply cannot touch coffee because it does not do good things for my blood sugar.
Thursday, for whatever reason, I ended up having a cup of coffee with a lot of cream in it at lunchtime. No lunch because I "had to" get work done.
Coffee is supposed to make us alert, and it does give me a boost if I'm having a cup after a meal. But on an empty stomach, right away, my brain went in the tank. I got major brain fog.
As a result, I misplaced some crucial paperwork and majorly reamed out some co-workers who were less than helpful in their comments. And I got called in the boss's office and told I have to find much better ways of dealing with stress or Next Time I Will Be Written Up.
I am old enough to be a grandmother and close to the age at which many people retire from my line of work. It is an understatement to say that I felt humiliated and ashamed to be--for all intents and purposes--back in third grade.
That's when I was on a losing kickball team one day at recess, and I hit another kid for calling me a sissy. My teacher took me in the girls' room, knelt down, looked at me sorrowfully, and said, "Now, aren't you sorry you did that?"
I was still breathing steam and unwilling to lie and say I was sorry. Yet I hated the idea of my teacher being disappointed in me. I felt terribly frustrated because I knew whatever I said, I would be a "bad" girl. So I burst into tears, which saved me from lying and convinced the teacher that I was somewhat repentant.
Here, fifty years later, things are more complicated (and though my boss is actually a sympathetic type, tears are out of the question). Still, the emotional impact is the same.
I don't know if I can recover from my meltdown reputation-wise, but it has made me see I have to start getting a handle on my blood sugar. Eating in primal style for me has many benefits, but the one drawback is how quickly my blood sugar can plummet if I don't eat SOMETHING the minute I start to feel hungry. Heck, the second I start to wonder if I should have a snack.
It seems at this point that I need to put something in my mouth about every two hours in order to stay mentally and physically on task. Even if I load food with fat, it doesn't seem to have staying power much beyond that.
Anyway, I actually think work will be more bearable and do-able if I can find cheap, effective ways to stuff my mouth constantly at work.
Follow-up thought: I recently read some blog post by a guy into weight lifting. He said that on days when he worked out he ate sixty percent carbs (using lots of sweet potatoes). This was because the extra carbs somehow offset the physical stress he experienced.
Would being under other kinds of stress justify eating higher amounts of carbs than normal (normal for Primal)?
That's an excellent question, Edith. Why not give it a try?
Originally Posted by entwyf
As the previous poster says, try not by all means if it seems like a good idea.
Originally Posted by entwyf
My reading would be that if he's doing a lot of intense anaerobic exercise he'll need the carbohydrate -- as explained here:
Energy Pathways for Exercise - Aerobic and Anaerobic Metabolism
By "stress" he would seem to mean glucose-demand.
However, "stress" is used as a metaphor for psychologically difficult situations. That seems to be how you mean it. Could you be burning more glucose than normal in those situations? I don't honestly know. I suppose it takes more mental energy, and your brain does use glucose (or ketones, if you have them). I just don't know.
But my sense is that the primary problem is not lack of fuel in the form of glucose but difficult situations. Insofar as that's the problem, then the solution -- which is easier said than done -- is to get out of the situation. Or, as everyone from the Stoics to the Buddhists would tell us, not to mind so much ... which, again, is easier said than done. I think most of us know about difficult situations ...
Standard answer: meditation and/or biofeedback/neurofeedback techniques.
Insofar as diet can help with mood, etc., I think it's usually less insufficient carbohydrate (of which there is a real and unprecedented abundance in our modern society) in the diet than problems with getting enough of the right protein from which neurotransmitters are made. This seems to be what Julia Ross, among others, has found:
Julia Ross' THE MOOD CURE
She's coming up on Sean Croxton's Undergound Wellness podcast in the coming week. Might be worth listening to:
Underground Wellness Online Radio by Underground Wellness | Blog Talk Radio
I don't understand why you should need to eat every two hours if you're not currently eating a lot of high-carbohydrate food, since that is what causes the blood-glucose peaks and troughs and hence the hunger. I'd have thought that if three primal-style meals a day weren't enough to tide anyone through, a snack mid-morning and/or mid-afternoon that had some carbohydrate but was balanced out with some protein and fat would be enough.
So I don't know. Maybe the feelings of low energy are connected with problems making the right neurotransmitters. I doubt anyone in an office job could need more than 20% or 30% of calories of carbohydrate (if not on an calorie-restricted diet) -- and that at the outside. I should think if there's a dietary problem, it's elsewhere.
Is this link titled "Nutrition and Anxiety" of any help? It's based on a notion of three meals, small snacks in between, and no coffee. You seem to have already identified no missed meals and snacks as needed as helpful for you and also mentioned you found coffee could be a problem for you, so it's along the lines of what you're already doing:
Originally Posted by entwyf
Nutrition and Anxiety
The article is for me another bit of confirmation. I also enjoyed your quotation in Old English. Spricst žu Englisce? Grad school gave me a chance to read Beowulf in Old English, and it was a great experience.
Originally Posted by Lewis
Anyway, that article plus musings in this thread on carbs and stress really makes me want to know more about how a good diet can help the brain function in stressful circumstances.
I know that weightlifting and coping with a noisy, gossipy, negative work environment are not equivalent stressors and have to affect the body differently. I also know that giving the body lots of good nutritional resources is only part of the answer to dealing with stress.
If someone--for whatever reasons--handles weightlifiting poorly, getting lots of omega-3s and vitamin D and whatnot aren't going to neutralize the consequences.
And getting lots of protein and good carbs is not going to mean that stressful work relationships smooth out and poor training and tons of paperwork and angry customers are going to go POOF.
And adequate vitamin C is not going to turn off negative self-talk that can be as much of a stressor as a bad performance review.
But seriously, I effed myself up nutritionally for years. What chance did my brain and body have to perceive the world around me in a context other than brain fog and fatigue? What chance did I have to respond to life events in a positive, active way?
I spent years beating myself up for being weak, physically, emotionally, and intellectually, for not being able to rise to the challenges I saw other people meeting (and they weren't big challenges by any means). The reality is that I was basically starving myself--not enough calories, not enough nutrition. Maybe one reason I find myself eating food every two hours is because my body is saying in its own way, "It's about damn time; get a shovel for that mayo, why don't you?" And once I've eaten enough for a while, maybe that schedule will change.
Anyway, OMG. I feel so hopeful right now. And so in the mood for a snack . . .
My mom, who is generally a wise old woman, always said to me that your body craves what it is missing. I still really believe this. Please, I know folks here on the MDA are talking about serious issues like alcoholism and such, but that is not what I mean. I simply mean that in my life, the things I was craving were close to what it really needed.
Originally Posted by entwyf
For example: when I was growing up, I would actually suck on beef bouillion cubes - HerbOx, because that is what my mom had in the cupboard. As an adult I learned about trace mineral deficiencies and did a little self-experimentation with trace mineral fluids and tablets. Guess what? No more salt cravings.
Another: All my life I have craved fat and oils from any and all sources, especially around that time of the month. I go Primal, cut out Frankenfats and the o-6's, upped the o-3's, and now I am discovering that the cravings are rapidly disappearing because it is finally getting the fatty acid profile it needed.
Feed your body what it wants on the Primal. I can't believe how much the Good Ship Crabbcakes is turning around feeding myself this way. I have experience fasting, and I know it works for me and that I have no psychological problems with it, but I also have days where I can't seem to get enough bloody beef and pastured butter. And then there are days when I could eat a field of spinach. And there are days when a dozen pastured egg yolks sounds like a yummy snack. And after I do that, then I am done with that, you know?
Your body is still in the beginning stages of all this - give yourself permission to just feed it (Primally). I think it will be greedy for a while yet. Mine is. And congratulation on the weight down!
As for the work thing - I get what you are saying. Yes, when you are so deficient in just EVERYTHING in life, a little Vit D won't DO, well, EVERYTHING in life. But, you know, I have read here and there in the Primal literature that diet is about 80% of the battle. (Not the 80 / 20 cheat thing, either)
There is a thought flitting about my head, and I will mention it just to get it out of there: as you get healthier (in all ways, not just weight), I suspect that you may be having a few more of these outbursts. Of course, I can't really know that. But I can't really believe how assertive I am getting lately (compared to how assertive I was before). It is disconcerting to me, but you know, I think I am getting to the point where I just CAN'T let "The World / Others" dictate as much of my life as before and stuff is starting to shoot out. Not horrible stuff, but the fact that I shot back anything at all turned a few heads.
I don't think the Primal is failing me - I think it is finally getting around to clearing out the junk in the head and my life as I had been leading it will need some adjustment soon.
If I missed it, I apologize in advance, but please tell us that you have made some start in the direction of a new job?? Are you perhaps in that one because you need a certain number of years in, like a State job, in order to get benefits?? Mr. Crabbcakes had a very stressful job at one point - it nearly ruined his health and he truly thought he would never be employable elsewhere - but he did find another job and now is soooooo much happier - and also paid twice as much!! (His old place had him thinking that his incredibly low pay was the norm for his age/education/experience/gender/sun sign/whatever excuse they had of the day.)
Here's more Good Karma comin' your way!! (Can you feel it yet?!)
Originally Posted by Crabbcakes
Feelin tha vibe! But too tired to dance. (Food that I want a lot of right now because it seems to help with energy: coconut milk, discovered it at the grocery store down the street.)
I am in my current job because, three years ago, when my office was absorbed into a newly created larger office, somebody thought I wasn't doing enough and so they put me in a different area and started loading me down.
Up till then, my function had revolved around creating and communicating through documents: contracts, letters, brochures, whatever. I also did secretarial/receptionist things like answering the phone, sorting and distributing mail, etc. But I mostly did documents. I'm an English major, so fine.
Now most of what I do is data entry. Numbers. I have a condition called discalculia. Did barely okay at math in school. Takes me three hours to balance my check book. I can do my job now by means of hypervigilance, and at the end of the day, I am fried.
Why am I in my job? Because I have tried and tried to find a way to get a new job and I have no clue how to do it. I've asked around, I've posted on monster.com, I've whined, I've prayed.
I think it would be much easier if I were thirty years younger, eighty pounds lighter, and in possession of a resume that shows I've been busy building a stellar career rather than busy just surviving from day to day.
My dream now is to get a masters in teaching ESL (something I've been volunteering in). I would do it online. But as far as I can see, I'd need a new job that would not demand so much of my mental energy . . . so that I have some left to work on classes at night when I get home.
Have no clue, but am keeping my eyes open for signs of even the smallest one.
Happy to report that since my last post I am sleeping, mmm, better. Better-ish.
I am in the strange situation of feeling fatigued but having energy to do things. Couple of weeks ago, I was out and about one day, walking and enjoying the day for about two and a half hours.
I have found a series of what I'd call no-impact aerobic/stretch exercises that I've been doing, and so far, I feel more relaxed and flexible, and I feel as if my posture is better.
I still look very fat. My belly still hangs. I'm going up and down between 231 and 235, not losing. At this point, that's fine, since I'm focusing on sleep and energy issues. (And I have to say that I've been obese for so long I can't imagine being not obese.)
I'm wondering now about high-intensity exercise for someone who has Marfan syndrome. I have some of the markers for that. Hyperflexible joints is one. Consistently in the past, when I've embarked on some kind of "serious" exercise program, I've had to stop because I've pulled or sprained something after doing not very strenuous (for the average person) exercise.
The exercise I'm doing now is very gentle relative to something like Crossfit. I like it but wonder if it will really do much.