Mania on Vacation

I’m in between jobs at the moment. I quit a job at a fast food restaurant because of the horrible, horrible conditions and the brutal way the staff treated me, and found another job three days later as a housekeeper at a senior living facility…SCORE! The job doesn’t start immediately. I’ve been told that it can take up to three weeks to have my application processed (which took me over an hour to complete because it had to be done very carefully or it would be rejected). Then the next steps would be drug testing, physicals, and TB shots. If I heard correctly, I had to do one round of testings for one company, and then another for the company I’ve been hired on. So yes, it is quite the processĀ butĀ I’ll be working for a respectable company, in a respectable position, where the patients I will be housekeeping for will treat me like family once I’ve earned their respect. Good lordy, imagine going from the retail and fast food industry, where people scream and yell at you for god knows what, two industries where you work minimum wage and people tell you that if you want a raise, find a more respectable job…to a respectable job with nearly full-time hours, a steady, set schedule (4 days on, 2 days off, repeat), and to be working with seniors that I will get to know and love dearly. Yes, it will be dirty, hard work, but it will be so worth it…and, it will look even better on a resume than what minimum wage and retail/fast food can provide.

I have 2-3 weeks of R&R before starting my new job. I set enough money aside to pay for my bills in case it takes more than a month to get my paycheck. I’ll also be getting a paycheck from my last job, unless they screw me over like all the countless times they did. But to be honest, I don’t have much money if I’m not careful. When I’m manic, I like to spend, spend, spend. I can’t do that anymore unless I earn some money around the house or at my grandparents house which is not a lot but will get me buy. What I’ve noticed, however is two things. First, I’ve been taking my meds every single day for two months, and this past month I have altered my eating habits and exercising every singly day. So overall I feel grounded. Second, when I’m working and manic I feel like I need to tackle a big day I have to crank it all out in a single sitting. Now that I know I have the opportunity of free time, I can tell myself, “I can finish it or work on it tomorrow. I can take my time. I don’t have to do it all at once.” I am really grateful for that, even though I don’t have the money to do all the shopping and eating out that I’d like to.

Eyes on the Prize

My 5th weekly check-in was all but disappointing. I gained 1.2 pounds from last week. It’s so aggravating, but my bottle of alcohol and mac n cheese caught up with me. But that’s okay. Yes, I gained weight, but I’m still 14 pounds lighter than I was when I first started. Papa also reminded me that the exercise I do gains muscle and makes me stronger. It’s true.

My time at the gym today was eye-opening. I am not at the point of jogging or running, but I spent ten minutes going at the fastest stride I’ve built up to. Comparing to when I first started, I would go at a slow walk and when I wanted to go faster I’d boost it up a click or two. Confidence built in and I was going up half a point, then boost it up a click or two, and now I’m going at a faster pace for longer periods. My goal is to try jogging, but at this point I’m still not going at a fast stride and I’m not confident enough in the treadmill to jog. It’s difficult when I compare myself to the joggers and the runners and those crazy people who do the highest incline on the machine…but who doesn’t compare themselves to other people? I realize everyone at the gym has their own reasons to go and their own strengths and weaknesses, but the way I see it, it’s motivation to get stronger. Not necessarily so I can “beat” the person on the machine next to me (I know I’d fly off the treadmill if I did), but when I look at the joggers and the runners and the crazy people on the highest incline I see confidence. I’ve only been working at the gym for a month, and though I’ve improved in confidence, I have a long way to go for self-improvement.

What I have improved on in my experience at the gym is that I have gotten stronger. I first mentioned my increased speed, but I have also discovered that doing the ab and hip machines have become easier to do. I ached all over after the first time I did them, but I learned to stretch afterwards. After a month on the machines I have decided to increase the weight, but not the sets. I’m happy with the sets I do; I make sure I do a full rep, and a ten-second pause after each set. I’m very excited to see how it turns out.