You don´t look like you´re doing bad

You don´t really look like you´re doing that bad […] be happy your blood test results are all good and you are health!
[My doctor]

Sounds okay at first, doesn´t it? And I´ll be honest – it could be worse. I could have cancer, some hidden inflammation or what not – but my blood tests all came back perfectly well and shuld make me positive.

If there was not one thing: feeling exhausted and tired all the time, having a mind that never gets to rest, hardly ever feeling happy for months. And that all goes along with many more symptoms, bodily symptoms. Tiredness, feeling permanely like not having slept, like being a hamster in a wheel, dizziness attacks and sudden shaking (yay, panic attacks)- but you know, I am healthy. I am supposed to be happy. It doesn´t matter f all of this makes me feel like being only half a human, that it kills my concentration, makes me frustrated, depressed and even more stressed out.

But my doctor just saw a person with a fake smile on her face, because I´ve learnt that this is the way to go. That´s how I go through my day most of the times, only few moments where the smile is an honest one – mostly it hides the exhaustion and the wish to just be alone. She heard me laugh, a desperate short laugh, because I was noticing that she wasn´t really understanding me anyways. For me, it sadly wasn´t even surprising. She fulfilled that cliche of: you are just depressed, get your shit together and get over it. Well, if it was one of my hobbies, fine – but I haven´t really chosen that shit. And if then someone comes to me and tells me that I am not looking that bad and that she is sure that I just make it worse than it is.

Sure, I make it worse when I sit at my desk and out of no apparent reason I start to shake, my vision blurs and I feel lik epassing out every second. Sure, nothing happened, no problems. If you have someone not taking you serious when you finally get the strength to actually go and talk with someone about it. When you got the strength that you crawled out of the safety corner and stated: yes, I need help, I acknowledge that.

And all of that in times where it should be accepted as an illness like any other chronic illness someone can have – but seemingly some people are still so narrowminded, that you need to look like dying that they believe you are mentally done. And that frustrates me so bad, there is no words for that. Just because I am not wearing a damned cast around my head/mind/heart/soul – it still hurts. It really does. And yes, the mind does affect the body, sure. It´s one. One all together – so my body reacts to when I feel all full of anxiety and fears and everything…

Sorry for this ranting post – I had to get it off my chest – because even though it´s happened nearly  a week ago, it still bothers me. And makes me angry.

Over and out. Off to better and nicer topics!

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Half Marathon – Training Week 15 (15.01.2018 – 21.01.2018)

17.01.2018

30min crosstrainer // 15min stretching // 17min weights

It´s been one of those workouts where you really don´t have the energy, nor the will – it´s when discipline needs to be kicking in because otherwise you don´t even make it to gym. But: I made it to gym and also did around an hour of workout, which is less than usual but I didn´t feel like having any power left for a proper workout, and also my right leg was bitching a bit – not my day, to sum it up.

 

21.01.2018 

35min crosstrainer // 21min stretching // 30min weights

Sunday, funday, or something like this – my mood was low again but at least my leg cooperated far better than earlier on this week. Small improvements, you know – baby steps is what counts at times though it sucks. The crosstrainer and I are becoming best friends, once more and more less – today was a good one, and also I had left enough power to torture my legs, back and upper body with my weight training. It can always go like this if it was me!

 

Cooking: Salad of glass noodles, radish, mango and asian dressing


Cooking book: Lust auf Kochen: Kreative Rezepte für jeden Tag
Publisher: Kochhaus

Estimated time:  20min
Actual time:  25min

Difficulty: 1/10
Amount: For 1 person (initially two but easy to split up)
Price per person: ~2€


I think my biggest struggle was at first trying to split up the 100g of glass noodles that I had – in the end split it up after the cooking/soaking in hot water. The combination of those noodles with the rest of the ingredients, clearly something spicy and and patially hot – the only thing that makes this dish not perfect for winter time is that only the noodles were warm, and the rest of the salad was of course cold.

There was one thing I had to adapt – the vinaigrette, as in the recipe it was with peanuts and I am allergic to those, so I instead too some spice mix from Just Spices that was made for an asian dressing. And it fit really well!

So this is clearly something that is perfect for a summer evening where you need somethig fresh and light and still filling – but not for now 😉 So I am gonna wait until summer and then do it again ^^

Half Marathon – Training Week 14 (08.01.2018 – 14.01.2018)

So instead of actual training in form of running, I had to switch to workouts in the gym – simply because the muscle that is killing my sciatice nerve needs some rest and a chance to relax and I need it to recover in shape of physiotherapy that I am having twice a week.

Therefore, it´s gonna be a report on my doings at gym for this week!



Monday

35min cross trainer // 10min stretching // 16min weights

I started off with some cardio on the crosstrainer, 30 minutes are still doable even though I always gotta watch my muscle and see if it starts bitching or not – but luckily it didn´t. Then I went on to my stretching routine (15min), and noticed that here and there my muscle felt more loose than it had been lately – but then all of a sudden it snapped and started hurting again.
Unfortunately. So I had to be extra careful with my strength training, but I took it easy and did some upper legs, and then of course arms and back…
And in the end, my good mood still didn´t come back – I staed grumpy and annoyed about being unable to go for a run.

Thursday

40min cross trainer // 15min stretching // 30min weights

Happy to be feeling better, I gave gym another try and kep it rather short with my cardio because it somehow didn´t feel too good, and rather invested a bit more time than I had planned into working with weights, exercises for a variety of parties in my legs and my upper body and arms – I sure do know I will have sore muscles tomorrow…

Saturday

50min crosstrainer // 20min stretching // 35min weights

Had a not so amazing mood before gym and felt weak and sleepy – so actually getting to the gym was the biggets struggle today – but I made it. Luckily. The workout went well, I felt better during my time on the cross trainer and I so enjyed the work with weights and doing all the exercises for my arms, and a bit for legs, belly and back.

Sunday

55min coss trainer // 5min stretching // 15min weights

Actually I hadn´t even planned on going to gym today but somehow I didn´t want to clean up my apartment and thus found it the best excuse to go for a workout whilst listening to the soccer livestream as the 1. FC Köln was playing – so my heart rate recordings are not really usable, because whenever it got exciting in the stream, my heart of course reacted…but it was a good workout, even if it was shorter than usual – simply didn´t have enough power and will left anymore.

Bucket List #19 – Eat vegan for a whole week

Well, first off – this is not the start into a totally vegan life – I simply love my animal products too much and fell well with eating those. But I wanna broaden my horizon, wanna try out new things and gain back my excitement for animal products.

One thing already now – I tried to go without my protein shake, but had to go back to it because the amount of proteins that I had through my normal food was simply not enough – and I am not gonna buy special vegan protein powder for such a short amount of time.

Day 0 – Grocery Shopping

I already expected it to not be THAT easy – but I was surprised in the end in how many products are not vegan which I thought that they were vegan. And also it kinda made me upset how expensive that vegan cheese, the soy products and whatnot actually are. It´s hilarious, really. Fresh and healthy food also is – and that´s somethin that really made me annoyed alread doing shopping, besides feeling like always checking what was actually in the ingredients…

Day 1 – Monday (09.01.2018)

  • Breakfast – Smoothie of raspberry and coconut water
    Really tasty, but not made for a breakfast because it´s just too sour – next time as a lunch I think!
  • Lunch – Bread with fake coldmeat and a bit of salad
    That coldmeat…I will never get to liking it, really…i´s awful I think. Maybe I will at least get used to it…
  • Dinner Falafel, beetroot, onion and some pointed cabbage as as salad
    Tasted so amazing! One of those things I will clearly make more often!
  • Snacks – Bio crackers with taste of tomato and herbs, chooclcate rice waffles, vegan gummi bears
    Really good for in between when you usually had some sweets – okay, I also had sweets as you can see but…less than I used to.

From morning on I felt like a truck had ran over me or parked on me, and somehow the headache and this odd feeling simply didn´t want to leave at all – I felt like going through withdrawal from something. It really was no fun, and actually I expected it to be easier than it had been in the end.

Day 2- Tuesday (09.01.2018)

  • Breakfast – Bread with fake coldmeat, salad and avocado
    A really good and tasty mix, that made me feel full for long – and was still good for my bitchy stomach
  • Lunch – Alpro soy yoghurt with lemon taste with rice-chocolate waffel and coconut-chocolate bit
    Good and heavy, nothing to eat in one go, rather something to be eating over several hours and that´s also what I did
  • Dinner – Tofu with pointed cabbage and tomato
    And that pre-spiced tofu was really tasty, like, really – something I will surely be eating again. Just the cobination with the veggies I chose wasn´t the best somehow.
  • Snacks none, added them to the yoghurt

During nighttime I had migraine signs, and when I woke up it didn´t get better and I just felt sick – fully sick, like my body was performing a full strike on my costs because it´s pouting about the food it got yesterday. But I anyways stuck to my vegan eating…and it felt easier today than yesterday, maybe also because I wasn´t exactly hungry anyways because of not feeling well.

Day 3 – Wednesday (10.01.2018)

  • Breakfast – Bread with fake cheese and salad and tomato
  • Lunch – Smoothie of raspberry, banana, coconut water and soy milk
    I love smoothies – so much! It´s just annoying they lose their taste if you don´t prepare them all fresh like I did today.
  • Dinner – Falafel, corn and beetroot with salad
    Not too creative, but quick, healthy and rather friendly to the stomach – and I simply love beetroot, it´s become THE vegetable of the winter time for me!
  • Snacks – Veggie chips
    They were okay, I expected more but somehow…they tasted odd. Not gonna buy that brand again, maybe some others.

Finally feeling better, yet still weak and thus needed many vitamins in form of whatever food possible – thus a lot of different veggies, and trying not to think about how much I was longing for some good chicen breast or salmon…okay, I permanently was thinking about food today, no matter what kind of food…no other thoughts.

Day 4 – Thursday (11.01.2018)

  • Breakfast – Bread with fake coldmeat and vegan cheese, salad and tomato
    It starts to become so terrible boring…I really need something else, something more inspired…
  • Lunch – Zucchini, beans, champignons and corn amaranth waffle
    Light and trying to get some more proteins – just the right amount for a good amount of lunchtime food
  • Dinner – Tofu with zucchini, corn, salad and vegan cheese and salad
    Quick, and with the cheese a bit heavier than usual but h so good I could have been eating 24-7!
  • Snacks – Vegan gummi bears

I feel like I am doing well, except the fact my macro tracking really tells me I am having too little protein – I need to change that, working out with so little protein in my food is ridicolous.

Day 5 – Friday (12.01.2018)

  • Breakfast – Bread with fake coldmeat and vegan cheese, salad and tomato
    Nothing special, just a desperate try to get rid off the cold meat without it being the only taste giver of the meal xD
  • Lunch – Pointed cabbage, beans and tomato with curry sauce
    Something quick and light for lunchtime, which was more than I had expected and thus filling me really well
  • Dinner – Lizza pizza with vegan cheese, selfmade tomato spread, onions, paprika and corn
    I just needed a “cheat meal” – and pizza always goes, and decided for Lizza because less carbs and more protein combared to normal dough – what a great meal it was!
  • Snacks – Lemon sorbet
    I needed something “sweet” – would´ve loved some ice cream but…nope.

The moment when you go to the store to buy stuff for a pizza…and you want pine apple and salmon and end up with a veggie pizza. To be fair, veggie pizza was tasty but it feels lik ethe lamest thing one could ever be eating. I am annoyed, really.

Day 6 – Saturday (13.01.2018)

  • Breakfast- Bread with avocado and onion
    Avocado…I love it in all kinds possible, and on a warm and crispy bread…good start into the day!
  • Lunch – Bread with fake teewurst, tomato spread, tomato and onion
    Quick and dirty, surprised about the fake teewurst – clearly a recommendation for me though it will never be as good as the real one!
  • Dinner – Shirataki spaghetti with arrabiata sauce, veggie skewers and tofu
    Far too massive, but also really good – especially the tofu that I prepared with curry and such – I ould really get used to this all!

The day felt good, I felt pretty much fit and like I got used to eating vegan – even though going through the store and pass by all the meat and cold cut meat was tough. But what was even worse: passing by my beloved feta cheese. Oh how I dearly miss it…

Day 7- Sunday (14.01.2018)

  • Breakfast – Pancakes with jam, banana and chooclate and raspberry sauce
    Man, what a breakfast – and the first time I did pancakes not with a certain mix but all myself and they turned out oka – the mix made it amazing though!
  • Lunch – Rice crackers with avocado
    …because I needed something light but healthy, and that combination was just dope!
  • Dinner – Potato dumplings with veggies
    A heavy dinner that turned out bigger in the end than planned to be honest – and I am not a fan of those dumplings, but the other ones weren´t vegan…

To be honest, all I really do miss is cheese – any kind of cheese. And surely the first thing I´ll be doing tomorrow morning is having cheese. Real cheese. As the first thing in the morning. And maybe some fish. Tuna e.g. I don´t miss meat anymore at all, never expected that this happen!

CONCLUSION

Man, what an experience. At first I thought it would be a walk in the park, then during the first two days I thought I was never gonna be finishing this week and then at the end it didn´t feel that tough anymore because I found so many great unknown products that I wanted and still need to be trying.

And this is why I will continue – with a difference: it will be MOSTLY vegan, but not only vegan. Simply because I am missing certain products too much and have always been missing them throughout this week. Others I rarely missed (like real milk, yoghurt and such), and so I will try to not have them anymore.

So: it´s been great to widen the horizon, and I am happy I really tried it!

How to tackle challenges…


So last weekend I watched something on RTL that was inspiring. Yes, that “crap channel” and inspiring in one sentence. And it´s not been inspiring because it´s been on RTL, but the person that was in it was inpiring.

Especially now that I am working towards a sports goal and probably my biggest enemy is my doubts and my mind, that is telling me I have chosen a hilarious goal.

So, that person in this TV format is Wladimir Klitschko, who is visiting a class of students that are about to finish off with highschool, giving them a different kind of lesson – how to tackle challenges”. A lesson for life rather than the hilariously useless learning you tend to be usually doing. Anyways, I´ve never been a fan of boxing, for me it´s simply bloody, and not my cup of tea – it´s just violence. But I find it fascinating, that someone has had this as a job and even at the end of the career has honestly gratulated and been happy for the person that beat him…that´s inspiring, and his stories in that format are also pretty interesting.

And one thing he talked about was the 5 steps of setting a goal or goals in general:

  1. Set a goal
  2. The consequences if you fail
  3. How´s like when you reached that goal? What do you do then? How does it feel?
  4. Search for companions
  5. Burn for your goal

And then…then it made me think. Think about what these points, these questions, mean to me in regards of my half marathon in July.

So I will try to break it down into pieces, try to answer these questions and I know it´s gonna be a tough one for some at least.

  • Set a goal
    Finish the half-marathon in a time below 2:30h in Hamburg, at the Hella half marathon on July 1st, 2018. That´s really an easy one, because it´s a set date anyways, even though the goal time for the run is something where I still think that it might be doable.
  • The consequences if you fail
    If I fail, I´d make myself look like a fool in front of audience if I don´t even cross the finish line, maybe it´s even visible on TV how I fail and my work colleagues and friends will get to know about it anyways. I will feel like I would not be good enough, I wouldn´t have trained enough and would feel like I wasted valuable time. All of that is bullshit as even trying counts and the time spent on working out is not wasted as it got me fitter and brought me outside, made me lose weight and gain muscles…but it will not feel like that for a while after. Another consequence is, that I´d have t polish my ego by trying a second time, train another many months and again have nothing but running in my freetime!
  • How´s like when you reached that goal? What do you do then? How does it feel?
    I will feel relieved and proud, and also happy about having made the people around me proud, but at the same time wondering what will come next and wondering if I will be doing anothe rhalf-marathon or even run a marathon. All depending on how dead I will be after the run itself. But at first I will be simply happy, I´ll probably cry and celebrate it with a ton of unhealthy food!
  • Search for companions
    Well, I have my step dad who´s running and thanks to the internet I have some more “companions” – even just in the virtual world, it´s helpful to hear/read about experiences, tipps and tricks in regards of when/how to run and what to wear and eat and everything. Also for simple motivation it´s really helpful!
  • Be obsessed with your goal
    Oh yes, I am – maybe a tad too much at times when it makes me workout even though my body needs rest…but I will find the middle way soon hopefully!

Photos: Fireworks of New Year´s Eve 2017/2018

Oddly enough I just noticed today that I haven´t even shared my fireworks shots of New Year´s Eve 2017/2018 on here yet. Really weird, because they turned out really sweet once again and it´s been a lot of fun taking those again, since my neighbours again invested quite some money into those!

So go and have a look:

More:
https://carinaullmannphotography2.wordpress.com/2018/01/01/new-years-eve-fireworks-hamburg-ger-2017-2018/ 

A little overall update!

(written on Sunday, January 7th)

It´s funny how my blog shifted from day to day reports to sports, more sports, travel reports and concerts – and nothing about my daily life anymore.

And that´s why I am kinda writing about life in this entry – like, whatever comes to my mind right now, as my mind is always teribly active. Sometimes even too active, still resulting in overly worrying and sleepless nights.

Sometimes I worry about the most hilarious things – never finding a partner again and dying alone (it´s not like I am just 28 right now). but often this anxieties show when it comes to my work life. It´s going well – surely there are some hickups, stones on my path, but nothing I could not handle and no match I couldn´t win. And still I am terribly afraid that my company might lay me off for whatever reasons, that I was not good enough, that I was not what they had been looking for in the end. And no talks with my supervisor can actually erase these fears – surely it does make those fears smaller, but they´re there. And even though I try to keep it out of my office days, I sometimes feel them sneaking in through the back door and then coming over me. But anyways, in middle of February my trial period is going to be over and I hope my fears will become again a bit less than, that I will be feeling saver than I am feeling now. As such, I enjoy my job, the daily madness, the learning through extra tasks – that´s just so essential.

I still love learning, and having “killed” my master studies is still something that is nagging me. I am frustrated that I couldn´t manage to keep it going even though I know that it´s been the right decisin. It´s not been the right time to start studies, right next to being new in my job. But I am pretty certain that one day during the next year or so will be the day, where I will start digging into real distance learning options – once I can also finance that (approx. 400€ per month) because right now I am still trying to save up as much money as possible. That fear of unemployment and living on very little money again is still too big – though I am improving in letting go of this fear, too.

I feel like spending too much money until summer though – pure madness when it comes to concerts: Versengold twice in February (Bremen and Leipzig), Apocalyptica in Glasgow in March and then on top of all this madness: holidays in Abu Dhabi in May!

And no, it´s not been an easy decision for me to invest that money for 9 days Abu Dhabi, it´s been taking a long time for me to really book that trip. Because what I pay is a ton of money, and it felt like too much. But in the end I thought: I can invest that money into this amazing time to see a totally different world and culture. To go into the warmth and suck up sun after this terribly dark winter that feels like it´s neverending.

This winter – really,  it´s taking the rest of me. It´s feeling as if it´s the darkest, most rainy and neverending winter ever. I hardly have seen the day for months, and I started taking Vitamin D pills in order to regain a bit of energy. I am still so low on energy, and feel permanently tired and exhausted and like sleeping 24-7. My mood is low, I am battling depressive phases that once are lighter and once worse.

And if they´re worse, all I wanna do is eat – that also reflects on my weight, I am up to a weight that does not make me happy anymore even though I am counting calories and am mostly in a calorie deficit and do so much sports. Maybe it´s the stress, or whatever – I don´t know, I am cluelless and disappointed with myself mostly. I am upset. I have 5kg more on my body again compared to my lowest during my whole weightloss jouney and I have no idea what turned the switch from rather easy weightloss to these problems…but I will keep going with counting calories and my sports anyways!

So…have I missed out on anything…YES – Vikings is back on for quite a while and I am still so in love with this series and I hate this torture to be waiting from Thursday to Thursday. It feels like ages, years, centuries…and it´s still THE series for me, even though the German series / soap “Alles was zählt” is still part of my daily evening routine when it comes to series that I am watching 😉

Half Marathon – Training Week 12 +13 (25.12.207 – 07.01.2018)

28.12.2017

First run after Christmas foods, after only walking and first timeand using my new compression socks for the first time – and the very first 3km were bloody hell and running was no fun as my legs hurt like bloody hell.
Afterwards and the longer the run was in the end, the better and fresher my legs felt – so something I need to get used to I guess.
Only bad thing about the run with some sunrays – too many pople around who probably had all the same idea as I had – using the very few and rare moments of sun!

01.01.2018

A long New Year´s run – there was the sun shining, the ground was still muddy but my will to go out was so huge.
I had not been drinking and thus was all fit, and going out in my new shoes really made me feel like running on clouds – even though my feet still need some more time adapting to the new cut and feeling and general way of running.
I even ended up in the middle of the field because my path simply ended all of a sudden. But those 13km really felt amazing – I was done afterwards, but didn´t regret it for a second!

04.01.2018

Well, my physiotherapist said, that I am allowed to run a max of 5km because of this damned muscle pressing onto a nerve…and so I thought, I could do this because I felt amazing during the day. And to be honest – I should´ve not done it.
Already during the first 2km I noticed that something was not normal with my right leg and how I was running, just thought it was all my mind blocking but it wasn´t. In the end the muscle was cramping and the pain shooting down my leg…
I was happy that I somehow got home in the end and after my 4km.

Music is my therapy

It´s incredible, what a single song can do. I have two songs of this kind, that literally first break me down just to build me up again and give me back the strength, a kick in the nuts and wake me call all in one.

Whilst one of those songs I got to know during a very very dark time of problems at work, being unhappy, permanently depressed and close to boreout alongside issues with colleagues, the other song entered my life totally out of the blue. Totally everything but not expected.

Whilst one of the songs was from a band that was already close to my heart for many many years, a band I knew and knew their songs always found a way to touch me. And when the album was out, it didn´t really… touch me yet. Only during the tour that followed and that was bringing me back to life, this song got so meaningful to me.
It´s always bringing back those memories of crying at shows, of hugs of comfort, of recovery, of this paceful feeling after having finally cried about all the pain that was hidden and locked up in my mind.
That feeling of relief is what this song gives to me.  When I am angry and upset with me, when I am disappointed about me- it´s THE song for me to listen to. On repeat. For hours.

The second song was just there. A supporting band I back then wasn´t too interested in. I had done an interview with that band, and funnily enough when now looking back – the singer was editing the music video to exactly this song and couldn´t do the interview – I just saw him working on his laptop on cutting the viewo when passing by back then. And then I was standing there, had just left the photo pit.
Was in my thoughts being unhappy about the light, about the photos I had taken. And then those lyrics. It hit me. I don´t even know if I fully grasped what the song was about – but something in me was triggered. I never talked about it, but: I was standing there, crying. With my eyes closed. It was like something or someone was stabbing my heart with reality, with truth.
When I went home after that show, I bought only this one track as an MP3. And ever since it´s been a song that helped when I was stuck in depression – it´s like that kick in the buts you need to figure out: it´s in your hands. Either drop it or fight. And for me it´s never been a question what the answer would be : fight. Hearing this song live is releasing so much anger and the oddest mix of feelings, that I feel positively empty afterwards.

The first song: “Shadowmaker” by Apocalyptica
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSplvdp2sL0

The second song: “Jenny” by Nothing More
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIVfgk1Hyx4