A few weeks ago, I hit an energy wall. It started with my running. In my 5K training, I did a few 3 mile runs. And I did them, if not easily, competently. So when my first 3-mile run of my 10K training rolled around, I was pretty confident that it would be no big deal. Then I got on the treadmill, and I just couldn’t keep going. I chalked it up to a bad day, tried again the next day, and the same thing happened. After about a mile, I hit a wall.
A couple of days later, I hit another wall while I was putting Ladybug to bed. She goes to bed around 6:30 or 7, and once she’s asleep, Mr. Fit and I eat dinner and take care of all of our evening chores to get us ready for the next day. Ladybug was a little restless, so I sat down in the glider for a minute, hoping she would settle down to sleep. The next thing I knew, Mr. Fit was shaking me awake for dinner.
When I first went back to work, I was getting up around 5:15am to get my running and yoga in before the day started. Lately, although my alarm goes off at the same time it always has, I’m lucky if I can drag myself out of bed by 6, which leaves no time for exercise.
Everything was going so well, and now it’s been over a week since I’ve had the energy to do any exercise at all. What happened?
In my exhausted state, I have a few theories.
For starters, I wasn’t nearly as tired while I was on maternity leave. I mean, I was tired, but generally, I had control over how low key or hectic my day would be. So, when my energy was low, my day was pretty mellow. Now that I’m back at work, I no longer have that luxury. The day brings what it brings, and I have to do my best to meet it, no matter how tired I feel.
Also, when I first returned to work, Ladybug was sleeping great. Many nights, we would put her down before dinner and not hear from her until the next morning. Most other nights, she would wake up once for a feeding, and then go right back to sleep. Mr. Fit and I have been trading off nights, so the usual pattern was that we would each get a couple of nights in a row of full sleep, with a few mildly interrupted nights sprinkled in. Totally doable. Lately, Ladybug hasn’t been sleeping well at all. She’s up multiple times, and it’s not always clear what she needs. Even after a feeding, she often doesn’t go back to sleep. And I can’t remember the last time she slept through the night.
Finally, on my nutritionist-approved eating plan, I’m eating less than I’m used to. About 300 calories per day less. And while I haven’t felt overly hungry, I can’t help but wonder if those extra snacks were helping me get through the day.
So what can I do? I don’t want to start eating more. I’m finally starting to drop some weight, and I’d like to keep that up. I don’t want to stop exercising (or, more accurately, I want to start again as soon as possible). Ladybug’s sleep habits are largely out of my control. And I can’t stop working.
Before Ladybug started sleeping through the night, Mr. Fit and I used to split the night instead of trading off. That way, we each got at least 4 good hours of sleep every night. We’re going to go back to that tonight to see if it helps. Beyond that, I’m at a loss.