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workouts, TMD, and self-esteem

Sunday, June 01, 2014

...man, it's been almost 3 months since my last blog!

I'm sorry I've been so quiet, but I promise I have good reasons! I still am learning about time management as a new teacher, so I find most of my time near the computer has been spent preparing lectures and working on assignments, and so well, when I'm not working, I try to be away from the computer. That means less posting on Spark, but more being out and about in the world...it's a fair trade, I think. I'll try to be better about blogging though, I think it keeps me on track more consistently.

So here's some updates, for those who are interested:

I was finally formally diagnosed with a fairly severe case of TMD. For those not familiar, the joints on both sides of my jaw are messed up, so my jaw keeps slightly dislocating until the ligament snaps it back into place, which has been causes migraines, jaw pain, ear aches, and a terrible crunching/popping noise whenever I chew, yawn, or even move certain ways. So now I have to wear a mouth splint for 2 months and have restrictions on diet and lifestyle stuff for the same period of time, if not longer. I can't each ANYTHING crunchy, chewy, or tough. Additionally, I can't bite into anything; everything needs to be cut into bite sized pieces and eaten with a fork or as finger food. I've also been 99% vegetarian since February, so my diet has undergone some serious changes in the last few months. Quinoa is now my best friend, and [shelled] edamame. I can't lie though, this 'no crunchy' diet is easily the hardest thing I've done, as far as food restrictions go. I live for crackers and raw veggies and nuts and seeds, so eating only soft, mushy foods is driving me a bit insane.

Today I started a new Neila Rey Challenge, it's a 30 day core strength challenge. I'm using it to supplement my Thrust and Pulse workouts, which I'm starting to really see changes from. I'm getting unsolicited compliments from my classmates and colleagues about how I'm looking smaller and my arms are more defined, AND since Feb I've lost an 1.5 inches off my waist, 1.5 off my hips, and half an inch from my upper arms! I've also only lost 4 lbs, which [for me] is further evidence that I'm finally building muscle, instead of just losing weight. I'm hoping the core challenge will give me an extra boost in my torso, since that's my biggest trouble area. All her workouts are free (just google her name) if anyone is interested.

Finalllly, I've been hardcore tackling my self-esteem issues. After consulting some clinician friends and the trusty interwebz, I began noting whenever I have negative thoughts about myself or a situation, and then also noting whether or not there was true evidence to support the negative thought. Additionally, I made a 'self-esteem inventory' of the good things about me and my goals for improvement, and a list of my personal accomplishments and hung those by my bed, so I see them every morning when I wake up. Finally, I took dry-erase markers to all the mirrors in my room/bathroom and covered the surfaces with inspirational quotes and positive affirmations.

I've been doing this for about a month, and I have to say I feel much better. I still have negative thoughts, like "God I'm fat", but when those thoughts used to cripple me, now I'm able to counter those thoughts with facts and positive counter-thoughts. I am starting to feel good, comfortable with myself. I know I'm a person of worth, and regardless of what societal standards are for beauty, I'm a beautiful person.

Oh yeah, I also passed my prelims, so I'm a doctoral candidate now, and I just found out that I won a scholarship for the next academic year. So that isn't too shabby either :P

I hope you all are doing fabulously, I will try to be less of a stranger!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Stay positive. This site helps a lot
    1045 days ago
    I'm glad you are working on those negative thoughts! No one should beat themselves up!
    2436 days ago
    While I'm sorry to hear about your TMD (I love crunchy nuts and veggies too), it sounds like you've had a great 3 months. Your positive self talk about self esteem is really inspiring. Sometimes it's good to stop our brains from running with those negative thoughts and really think about ourselves in a positive way. emoticon
    2569 days ago
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