Psychological State Management Part 2: New methods but at what cost?

**Update – post writing: The first sentence below is a lie. I went into a lot of detail. **

I feel like I have a lot to say, but don’t have the energy to go into a lot of detail. Or maybe it’s because I have to pee. Either way, let’s take a trip up into my dome-piece and see what falls out. Wut?

One of the concepts we learn at The Movement seminar is the question: “at what cost?” In terms of training, sure you can do 20 rep squats everyday. At what cost? Sure, you can train every set until failure. At what cost? Sure, you can ignore that twinge of pain in your shoulder during bench press and power through it. At what cost? Are you willing to accept the consequences? Maybe breaking your 225 lb. rep PR is really *REALLY* important. Is it so important that it’s worth tearing your pec and not being able to train for the next 3 months? Get it? Got it. Good.

What has this got to do with my brain?

I don’t know exactly when, it’s somewhere around 3-4 weeks ago, I stopped training (maybe even more). Right around the time I wrote my (now hypocritical) post, Tis the Season to be Anabolic. Actually, I had stopped a week or two before that, but that was the week I was planning my grand re-entrance to the gym…..and then didn’t.

The decision to stop training is justifiable to me, the only person that really matters. The amount of time is undetermined. The reason: to figure shit out.

I could tell there was a lot on my mind, and it was beginning to show in my workouts. Pretty much every session was in distress (I’ve experienced this in the not-so-distant past). I contemplated the associations I had made before and why this was happening again.

The same associations keep popping up time and time and time and time again: real estate in TX and my engineering career. I believe I’ve even written that here, somewhere.

It has finally come to a point where I have to get these 2 things out of my life. HAVE TO. Once I decided that I need to work on these two things, I needed to ask myself: At what cost?

Pay the Cost to be the Boss

(That was a little Snoop Dog for ya.)

For me, the cost has been training. According to The Movement‘s handheld bodyfat measurer-thing-a-majigger, I was right on the cusp of single digit bodyfat and 165lb. All of my lifts had increased during that time as well.

Now? I’m probably back up to the 12-15% bodyfat range. Even I won’t say that’s “fat”, but it ain’t no single digit either. I’m also probably slightly weaker, though that will come back within a couple weeks once I get going again.

The Payoff?

One of the places in TX looks like it has a legitimate chance of being sold within the first couple months of 2011. I originally decided that I was going to get rid of it at all costs, including pre-planned foreclosure. I took action and got the ball rolling with my real estate agent to hopefully avoid the foreclosure route. It’s amazing what you can do once you get people motivated to help you out in times of dire needs. Yes, folks, “dire”.

My engineering job? I can’t go into detail publicly, but there has been some developments on that front as well. Some of them are engineering. Some are not. Some are exciting. Some I’ve already brushed off. Regardless, there’s hope.

In my talks with Frankie, and what I will eventually find out from the half-library worth of books he suggests I read, I’ve learned that the brain is wired for three (3) basic (primal) tasks: keeping the race alive (reproduction), survival, and making associations.

The two distressors I’m dealing with largely have to do with survival (money). They also fall into other areas slightly. But once I get the money situation under control, I can focus on the other two areas. As Mr. Montana says, “first you get the money, then you get the power, then you get the women.” He’s not that far off. First you survive, then you procreate. See?

The New Methods

Even though neither of these things have come to fruition (yet), it has allowed me to utilize a great psych management tool: day dreaming.

I used to day dream a lot, but they were more like empty threats than something I whole-heartidly believed could come true. Now, with strong evidence that the two (2) gigantic anchors that have been holding me back for the past 3-4 years could actually be gone, these day dreams seem much much much more realistic.

I’ve also been playing around with a couple chemical state management tools, one being comfort foods and the other, a Vitamin B Complex.

To the everyday person, “comfort food” sounds eerily similar to “emotional eating.” Well, um….YES. I am eating foods that I hope will change my emotions. However, I’m not binging on them. And also, yes, they are the reason I’m gaining weight again since I’m not moving enough to burn the calories off. It’s too be expected, and my relationship with food is healthy enough, I know not to blame the food.

As for the Vitamin B complex, some studies (and endless marketing campaigns by supplement companies) show that Vitamin B may help regulate and/or sythesize some feel good neuro transmitters like seretonin and epinephrine.

I am not saying that this vitamin is required for all people. I am not saying that this vitamin is the absolute *root cause* of my better moods. I’m not even saying that Vit B would do anything for YOU specifically. I am saying that since I’ve started taking it, I seem to be less irritable and can generally tolerate being at work. Hell, I’ve even been working *extra* hours at work, and that doesn’t seem to be affecting my state as much as it would have in the past, if at all.

Lastly, I’m starting a new blog. Yup, that’s right. Yet another way for you to stalk me. This new blog serves two (2) purposes. In respects to this post rightchea (white person translation: “right here”), it provides me an outlet to talk about my other love in this life, the outdoors. It will follow me and my buddies through our outdoor excursions. It will include all things hunting, fishing, camping, canoeing, anything, and everything.

I plan on reviewing new gear that I may be trying for the first time and sometimes even booze. We’re all from WI, and I haven’t been on a trip with these guys without some kind of booze. Might as well right reviews at the same time, eh?

I also hope to take tons and tons of pics and videos. More than what you’re used to seeing on here. The first video I hope to post will come this weekend when we try to make a ghetto fabulous 4-season tent out of an already ghetto fabulous 3-season tent. Boring for some of you, entertainment for me.

The effect of writing about something you love has a similar response in the brain as day dreaming. It takes you to another place. A place where there should be no distress. You may remember this place in movies such as Happy Gilmore.

Are we Done yet?

So anyways, that’s what seems to be working for me right at this moment: taking action, day dreaming, food, druggz, and more writing.

The cost is that I set myself back about 6-8 weeks in terms of physique goals once I finally get back into the gym (currently). (But hey, I still have a 4-pack and it IS winter, ya know. 😉 )

The payoff (eventually): Getting rid of two HEEEEE-YUUUGE distressors in my life. My eustress in real life (IRL) will lead to more eustress in training will lead to faster progress. It is well worth the cost (to me), and again, that’s all that matters.

Thanks for sticking with me during this time of low writing output and this rambletastic post.



Don’t Miss Your Chance

I was stuck in Corporate America for 9 years. I was miserable.

Then I took control.

You can too, and it starts right here.

14 responses to “Psychological State Management Part 2: New methods but at what cost?

  1. don’t hate, but i still don’t see why you can’t train? or is it that you just don’t want to right now? that’s understandable.

  2. I was going to go back and address that because I knew at least 1 (one) person would bring it up, but I figured this gargantuan was already long enough.

    I really just don’t want to. The part where I mentioned every session is a distress session pretty much sums that up. If your mind’s not in it, you’re really not going to be able to accomplish much other than “waste” time where I could be doing something to help progress my life in another direction.

  3. I was at the “don’t train” spot too. There were many times where I would rather watch porn, go on facebook, and chat away and care nothing for “getting better.”

    Oh I hate that boat, but sometimes life works in stupid ways.

  4. @Darryl
    It seems as though our choice of distractions outside of the gym are similar. Hahahaha! I’ve been doing my fair share of “doing nothing” during this time, but I’ve also been active testing the things above, reading, and testing other methods such as more face to face interaction. That one is still inconclusive so I didn’t write about it. I’ve made an association with that might explain why. We’ll see as I go on. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. well dont focus TOO much on the MONEY to complete your goals. Yes make the right decisions to “survive” and to set yourself up for continual survival. As for the working out or the decision not too and your “distress” well, crossfit would love you to convert 🙂 then you would never be distressed but thoroughly loved and cheered for and lavished in compliments and praise for your hard efforts. How often do you hear GOOD JOB and get complimented now as an adult? Sure we all did in highschool, on sports teams and shit. All the time! Good Job Bobby here is a slap on the ass! ETC Do you get that AS MUCH NOW? Probably not………..

  6. no i wouldnt!
    once filthy rich
    once filthy poor
    now just wealthy
    becoming rich is the root of all evil when used as a goal
    …anywho this is what i wanted to share…

    “An Epiphany”

    For a second, I’d like you to imagine that you aren’t you…Imagine that you don’t CrossFit, much like the majority of the world does not. You get up, go to work daily, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday you go to Planet Fitness after the gym and run on the treadmill, then do some moderate weight lifting. On Thursday and Friday you go to happy hour after work with some of your colleagues. On Saturday morning, you do work around the house, run some errands, and then get ready for a night out. On Sunday, church in the a.m. and then time with your family….

    It all sounds nice (and it is; for this was my life 3 years ago), but wouldn’t something be missing??

    Tonight, I had an epiphany during the final 5 minutes of the 6:30 pm class. Personally, I found today’s workout to be extremely challenging; one of the few I have considered quitting in quite some time (well, I’d never really quit, even if a disk flew out my back and splattered on the wall behind me ~do as I say, not as I do~ but the thought flashed through my mind a few times). As the 6:30 PM class came to an end, I saw something that is missing from the aforementioned typical life. Before I write on, I’d like a few photos from the 6:30 class to tell the story:

    (There were photos of people cheering on their friends through the workout, coaches helping, etc)

    What you see are good friends encouraging one another to stay strong ’till the end, a sister-in-law and brother urging his sister to stay strong, a teenage son telling his mom just how strong she is, and a coach telling her athlete he’s almost there, he just has to FIGHT through two more reps of torture.

    As most of us enter our late twenties, move into our thirties, and coast through our forties into our fifties, positive affirmation from those we love, care about, and respect, doesn’t come on a daily basis. Coaches don’t tell us we played well even when the team lost, teachers and professors don’t tell us that a test was well done, and many of us don’t see our parents enough to allow them time to tell us how great they think we really are. Life post-college just doesn’t seem to lend itself to this. Each day at CrossFit, we are afforded an opportunity to do this for the ones we love and respect (as athletes and as people); and I am grateful that many of you take advantage of this as demonstrated by the pictures above. This is a gift that the majority of the world does not unwrap on a daily basis the way that we do.

    Life was good before CrossFit, now it is great…

    Thank you Crossfit 757. We call it a community, but it’s really a family too.

  7. Dave, take the time off if you feel you need it. No amount of sweat or pats on the back from a workout will help you deal w/ the other stressors in your life. Dealing w/ them directly, as you are doing, will help you feel better and return to training faster.

  8. b1zzle that’s an inspiring story.

    Inspiring that Couch was able to create such a cultish following while at the bottom of a gin bottle and having no fitness credentials.

    Inspiring that he’s managed to impress every pedantic nitpicking attention-whore with delusions of grandeur and make them think that Crossfitting is some kind of elite endeavour when really you’re just a spaz.


  9. b1zzle,

    Not quitting, even if a disk flew out my back and splattered on the wall behind me? Awesome sauce! Sign me up, bro!

    I had a lobotomy recently and been meaning to find a worthy cause for my zombie brain other than sniffing glue.

    CROSSFIT!!! As magnificent as totalitarianism!!! YES!!!! ::clap, clap::

  10. You’ve been testing porno…i think that’s eustressful no matter what way you take it. unless it’s the midget or fat people kind…that’s if your not into that stuff (you may be though – whatever boat you like) 🙂

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