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So... tired... always...

ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
edited March 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
I have a lot of stress in my life; crazy job (way understaffed/over worked/focus is fractured across projects), single father, bat shit insane ex making the custody trial a pain (though the trial is almost over, I do have to deal with her for awhile), etc. I eat well, am not over weight, am physically active at work but when I come home I'm pretty sedentary. Here is my normal schedule:
Wake up with the kid. Have breakfast, dress him, get ready to leave, leave for work, drop kid off at school, go to work, work, leave work, pick up kid from school, play with the kid for a little bit, have dinner, put him to bed at 8:30 and wind up passing out with him. Wake up, rinse, repeat.
I really don't have any vices. I don't smoke, don't drink, am not on any medication, blah blah blah. I don't even drink coffee/energy drinks more than a couple times a month. I get enough sleep, possibly too much?

God. I'm fucking exhausted constantly. I will plan on seeing my doctor about this, but I wanted to check with the community at large to see if there was anything glaring that I was missing.

edit: I think I have a low sex drive, but I'm not sure if that's real or not. Sex isn't a priority for me with everything else in my life and it seems and this may just come with the territory of being exhausted.

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  • melting_dollmelting_doll Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I would suggest exercise if possible. It seems like a difficult thing to fit into your schedule, but working out, walking, running...especially early in the morning, gets your body and mind into a mode. It's a way of telling yourself both physically and mentally, "This is what the pace of my day is going to be like." It is also wonderful for relieving some stress!

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  • Mmmm... Cocks...Mmmm... Cocks... Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Whenever I feel that way I really crank up what I'm eating and do a bit more exercise.
    I know you mentioned you do those things more or less, but even I do these things and it really helps to turn it up to 11 sometimes.

  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Exercising with a toddler in tow is kinda difficult to picture. I've been on the fence about getting a bike (+child seat), maybe that would be a good option here.
    I also don't live near family or have a big social circle, so I don't have a bunch of people I can rely on for child care. Weird situation for sure.

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  • melting_dollmelting_doll Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I would definitely encourage the bicycle idea! It can be a lot of fun and is generally very safe as long as you aren't an idiot about it.

    Is there a playground or anywhere you can take him and run around with him? Or is he too young?

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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    He is indeed of playground/park age. Playing with him for an hour at a park is a radically different experience than just exercising/running for an hour. Fun? Sure! But doesn't seem to give me what you're saying exercise would/could/should.

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  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited March 2011
    Hiring a babysitter so you get a night/afternoon to yourself to just go out and do something might be refreshing. If you eat well and you are active, it sounds like what you are missing is quiet Improvolone time so your mind can have a minute to exhale.

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  • ceresceres Humming hallelujah in the dark Lost with a compass in the fogSuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited March 2011
    I would be surprised if you weren't tired.

    How old is your kid? The older he is, the easier it could be to get it some exercise-like play. Is there such a thing as father-son sports leagues? I know there's been some harping on things you can do with him, but man, it's a great way to get in quality time. Some of my best memories with my dad are playing catch with him (something that, unfortunately, he can no longer do).

    It'll be just as quiet when I leave as it was when I first got here
    I don't expect anything.

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  • Mace1370Mace1370 Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Go see a doctor. Some things to think about, since the physician may ask about them:

    1. How is your quality of sleep and how many hours a night do you get? Have people ever commented on your snoring?
    2. How long has this been going on?
    3. If you think you have a low sex drive now, try and compare it to a month ago, 6 months ago, a year ago, etc.
    4. Do you ever feel guilty?
    5. Have you lost interest in things that you used to enjoy?
    6. Do you ever have trouble concentrating?
    7. Has your appetite changed?
    8. Have you noticed any anxiety?
    9. Have you had thoughts of suicide?

    Exercising is a great suggestion. It sounds like you have no "me" time, so that might be something to address too.

  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    If I pass out with my son, which is often, I'd say I sleep 9pm-~6:30am. I'll usually wake up between 3 and 4 because I've gone to bed so early, but then I'll go back to sleep because what the hell else am I going to do. I sleep pretty well I think. He still goes between my house and his mothers, and she isn't one for regular schedules, so he still isn't sleeping through the night every night. He'll often climb into bed with me between 1-4am.
    Age wise, he is pre-K and we're working on potty training (going well!).

    I also work weekends which is when awesome fun stuff happens. Once the custody thing has come to a resolution, I'm going to talk to work about changing my schedule. I work in entertainment (kind of) and I'm thinking about offering myself to work 7 days a week so that I can entertain more people and so that each day is a short day, which would give me more time for stuff over all. But the idea of working 7 days a week sounds scary, but at the end of it I also feel like I work 7 days a week no matter if I'm at work or not. A "day off" for me doesn't mean I can do nothing, there is always shit to be done.

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  • HeirHeir Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    You could always join a gym for exercise...many of them have daycare nowadays.

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  • melting_dollmelting_doll Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I've worked two jobs for atleast two years now. And I will tell you now that short shift or not, 7 days of work is 7 days of work. Even if it's only 3 hours, it's till exhausting to do it every day. I kept it up for I think 40 days before I almost imploded. I wouldn't recommend it!

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  • lonelyahavalonelyahava One day, I will be able to say to myself "I am beautiful and I am perfect just the way I am"Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    How much red meat/iron are you getting in your diet? what are you eating when you eat? Try adding in a multivitamin, both for you and the kid.

    First thought was that you might be suffering from anemia/Vitamin D deficiency. But I'm nowhere close to a medical expert, so that should be taken at a slight angle.

    I do the exercise and eating right stuff too. However, around that certain time of the month, I get a little anemic and I have to be encouraged to get out of bed. Usually with some form of steak or other bleeding meat product.

    But yeah, if you can find time, I would check with a doctor.

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  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2011
    You're working very hard with little recharge time for yourself. If you're normally even a bit introverted, this can rapidly become very stressful.

    One thing: you don't seem to spend much time outside, so there's a chance you might be vitamin D deficient. Are you taking a comprehensive multivitamin?

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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I live in the Sunshine State (Florida) and do some work (and sometimes eat lunch) outside. I also drink a good amount of milk, eat a good amount of yogurt, and normally eat cereal and bread that are Vitamin D enriched. I don't think I'm deficient on D. I am not taking a multivitamin but have recently started my son on one just to play it safe because, well, hey, kid diets are kid diets. It is his reward for using the potty first thing in the morning.

    I don't eat a lot of red meat and I couldn't tell you off the top of my head what other food is rich in iron, so that could, I suppose, be a culprit.

    edit: I've been getting most of my protein from dairy, peanut butter, and protein powder (whey/soy).

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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I've worked two jobs for atleast two years now. And I will tell you now that short shift or not, 7 days of work is 7 days of work. Even if it's only 3 hours, it's till exhausting to do it every day. I kept it up for I think 40 days before I almost imploded. I wouldn't recommend it!

    This is a big concern for me. I live close to work and legitimately enjoy what I do, so going in for three hours doesn't seem like that big of a deal. It just feels like what time I do have to myself is so fractured that I can't sit down to work on any personal projects/responsibilities. I can find 10 mins here or there, but nothing in a large enough chunk to feel like I could accomplish anything. Also, its not like my days off feel like a day off from anything, so working less hours a day across more days could feel like finding more time in a day (at least thats the hope).

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  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Austin, TXRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    My guess would be quality of sleep, be it sleep apnea or a bad mattress. Maybe try melatonin?

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  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Not just iron deficiency but your diet in general.

    I know you said you aren't overweight but how healthy are you realistically? Are you getting enough fruits and vegetables?

  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I eat a ton of food. My normal breakfast is a giant smoothie (two bananas, hand full of blueberries, five good sized strawberries, greek yogurt, peanut butter, milk, and sometimes protein powder if I know I'm going to need the energy for the day... it fills an entire blender) and a bowl of cereal. I used to eat oatmeal but its too damned hot most of the time to do that regularly. I usually have an entire bag of salad with my lunch or dinner. I pretty much only drink water and keep a gallon sized jug at my desk and drink throughout the day. I also snack/eat regularly throughout the day. Maybe a yogurt, a Cliff/Zone bar, bagel and cream cheese, pasta...
    Its a bit of an office joke how much I eat given my weight. I'm 5'9 150lbs.

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  • SliderSlider Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Agreed. This could come down to quality of sleep, diet, no exercise, stress...etc. Also, children will wear you out. You definitely need to find some personal time where you can unwind or go exercise.

  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I also have a brand new Ikea foam mattress that I like a lot.

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  • lonelyahavalonelyahava One day, I will be able to say to myself "I am beautiful and I am perfect just the way I am"Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    hmmm ok, then I would say look at the quality of your sleep.

    Also, take a multivitamin.

    You can even take a kids' multi if you have a hard time swallowing pills. I know that I had the hardest time with some of the adult blends and for a long while I was taking gummy vitamins like Flintstones. I was having issues (for whatever reason) with the St. John's wort some of the multis I was taking added.

    I believe you could also take some Prenatals. Yes I know, you're a guy. and I know you're not pregnant. But they have a higher folic acid to help against anemia that sometimes happens with pregnant women.


    I would consider checking out how well you sleep. also, try to find somebody, anybody, that you can trust to take the kid for a day. Even if all you do is sit and play video games and just decompress for a bit, that can help.

    I'd offer to babysit, but I don't think you want to bring the kid to new zealand. :P

    Hang in there, hon. For the most part sleep issues can be handled fairly easily.

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  • furlionfurlion Riskbreaker Lea MondeRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Seems most of my suggestions have already been covered but let me urge a doctor's visit. My wife experienced an abnormal level of exhaustion starting around a year ago. She went to the doc and it was a thyroid problem. Simple diagnosis from blood work and a simple fix in the form of a daily pill. Not sure how much a doctor's visit would cost you but if you can I suggest it. Can't hurt.

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  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I eat a ton of food. My normal breakfast is a giant smoothie (two bananas, hand full of blueberries, five good sized strawberries, greek yogurt, peanut butter, milk, and sometimes protein powder if I know I'm going to need the energy for the day... it fills an entire blender) and a bowl of cereal. I used to eat oatmeal but its too damned hot most of the time to do that regularly. I usually have an entire bag of salad with my lunch or dinner. I pretty much only drink water and keep a gallon sized jug at my desk and drink throughout the day. I also snack/eat regularly throughout the day. Maybe a yogurt, a Cliff/Zone bar, bagel and cream cheese, pasta...
    Its a bit of an office joke how much I eat given my weight. I'm 5'9 150lbs.

    Do you eat meat at all?

    Fish, chicken, turkey, pork and eggs are all good for you and contain plenty of energy. So are nuts (almonds, walnuts, unsalted peanuts...

    I work night shift and sleep terribly for a few hours during the heat of the day, and have a pretty shabby diet, so I know exactly how tired you feel. After a steak and roast veggie dinner I feel orders of magnitude better, for a good 12-18 hours. Vitamins and minerals in the correct amounts can change your life.

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  • LucidLucid Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Do you live somewhere you can go for a walk easily or climb stairs? I live in an apartment building and run up and down the stairs a few times each evening. I also do some other exercises like crunches, jumping jacks etc. It really helps with feeling energized.

  • CorvusCorvus Caw? VancouverRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Do you snore, or have you been checked for sleep-apnea?

  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    With his weight he probably doesn't have sleep apnea.

    There does seem to be a lack of protein and iron in the later half of the day though. Some red meat sounds like it could help. Most of your protein looks like it's from dairy.

  • The Dude With HerpesThe Dude With Herpes Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I eat a ton of food. My normal breakfast is a giant smoothie (two bananas, hand full of blueberries, five good sized strawberries, greek yogurt, peanut butter, milk, and sometimes protein powder if I know I'm going to need the energy for the day... it fills an entire blender) and a bowl of cereal. I used to eat oatmeal but its too damned hot most of the time to do that regularly. I usually have an entire bag of salad with my lunch or dinner. I pretty much only drink water and keep a gallon sized jug at my desk and drink throughout the day. I also snack/eat regularly throughout the day. Maybe a yogurt, a Cliff/Zone bar, bagel and cream cheese, pasta...
    Its a bit of an office joke how much I eat given my weight. I'm 5'9 150lbs.

    Do you eat meat at all?

    Fish, chicken, turkey, pork and eggs are all good for you and contain plenty of energy. So are nuts (almonds, walnuts, unsalted peanuts...

    I work night shift and sleep terribly for a few hours during the heat of the day, and have a pretty shabby diet, so I know exactly how tired you feel. After a steak and roast veggie dinner I feel orders of magnitude better, for a good 12-18 hours. Vitamins and minerals in the correct amounts can change your life.

    This is good.

    I don't eat meat myself, but I make sure I get plenty of proteins and vegetables. I've recently cut out carbs in my diet in a major way and have just focused on fruits/vegetables/proteins and good fats; on top of 30-60 minutes of strenuous exercise a day and man it's night and day what kind of difference it makes. Dropping my carbs from 300-400g a day to ~100g has been the most noticeable difference recently. Not having all those carbs throughout the day gives me more consistent energy levels, less spikes, and I sleep much better.

    I don't want to get into a whole nutrition thing here, I'm a strong proponent of finding out for yourself what is your best diet and nutrition requirements; it's not the same person to person. However just reading what you said you ate throughout the day, all those things for breakfast, for instance, are great, your shake anyway; but then when you add a bowl of cereal, which, lets be honest is typically treated as straight sugar by your body, is gonna make your energy levels all sorts of wacky. I would be willing to bet keeping the shake but cutting out the cereal, without even adding anything else would actually help your energy levels.

    Exercise is great too if you can work it in. I'm a stay at home dad myself with a 2 1/2 year old girl so I know that issue, but I also have more flexibility in my schedule to add in some exercise when I need to. It's less important when you do it during the day than just doing it at all. It might sound like trite advise, but really take seriously the need to get your blood going and your muscles engaged during your day. Park at the far end of parking lots when you go to work, stores, dinner, whatever. If, like me, there's several playgrounds nearby you can take your kid to, go to one further away and walk. Walking with your kids is a great thing to do anyway, and a change of scenery never hurt anyone. If you can't get in a straight workout, these little things help. For you it's not about losing weight, it's just about getting your body engaged and working for energy reasons, not fat burning reasons.

    Also, I'm just gonna throw it out there since I know it's a controversial subject, but a couple months ago I cut out caffeine entirely (I'm Mormon already, so no tea/coffee, but I also dead stopped chocolate and any other natural sources). For many people, some caffeine in their diet isn't a big deal, but I had an unintentional major addiction to it (long story), where I was getting the equivalent of ~2-3 nodozes a day worth of caffeine. Yes, I was that stupid. I seriously didn't know. Anyway, cutting it out (I went cold turkey which I REALLY wouldn't recommend if you have an addiction) did a good thing in the way of balancing energy levels throughout the day. But honestly it was more for dealing with my chronic/rebound headaches which is another story entirely.

    Hope things get better. I know as well as many others how much suck having wild energy levels each day, particularly with a kid and a job, can be. getting consistency and balance makes so much of a difference, once you achieve something better you start to get a glimpse into how some folks who get all evangelical about their diets, exercise, nutrition, etc get that way. It's a night and day thing.

    Good luck.

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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I eat a ton of food. My normal breakfast is a giant smoothie (two bananas, hand full of blueberries, five good sized strawberries, greek yogurt, peanut butter, milk, and sometimes protein powder if I know I'm going to need the energy for the day... it fills an entire blender) and a bowl of cereal. I used to eat oatmeal but its too damned hot most of the time to do that regularly. I usually have an entire bag of salad with my lunch or dinner. I pretty much only drink water and keep a gallon sized jug at my desk and drink throughout the day. I also snack/eat regularly throughout the day. Maybe a yogurt, a Cliff/Zone bar, bagel and cream cheese, pasta...
    Its a bit of an office joke how much I eat given my weight. I'm 5'9 150lbs.

    Do you eat meat at all?

    Fish, chicken, turkey, pork and eggs are all good for you and contain plenty of energy. So are nuts (almonds, walnuts, unsalted peanuts...

    I work night shift and sleep terribly for a few hours during the heat of the day, and have a pretty shabby diet, so I know exactly how tired you feel. After a steak and roast veggie dinner I feel orders of magnitude better, for a good 12-18 hours. Vitamins and minerals in the correct amounts can change your life.
    Most of the meat I eat is crappy Wendy's burgers. I've got a bunch of frozen chicken in the freezer right now and was actually going to cook a bit of a bulk batch today.
    Corvus wrote: »
    Do you snore, or have you been checked for sleep-apnea?

    I don't snore anymore and don't have sleep apnea; I recently had a UPPP for unrelated reasons.

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  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Most of the meat I eat is crappy Wendy's burgers. I've got a bunch of frozen chicken in the freezer right now and was actually going to cook a bit of a bulk batch today.
    .

    Ding ding ding.

    Cook more real meat.

  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    could also be thyroid/parathyroid related. when my wife misses a dose or has lows, she is exhausted.

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  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    My friends who have become parents relatively recently, but used to be serious runners/cyclists, all swear by jog-along strollers and devices that attach the kids to a bike.

    I've heard people praise (and condemn): trailers, tag-along bikes, rear-mounted seats, front-mounted seats.

    I know dozens of people who cart their kids about by bike--on the street, in traffic--in an area that is relatively dangerous for bicycles, and none of them have had any problems, so I'd say pick whichever method you think is best.

    I definitely will echo that exercise--regular, good, cardio exercise--is one of the best things you can do if you feel tired--that and maintaining a standard sleep schedule as much as you can.

    Also, you can pick up a cheap magnetic trainer and plug the bike in and work-out while in your house. That is how I train all winter (5 days of hard interval efforts--60-90 minutes a day) and it does wonders for everything.

    Your weight/height to food ratio makes me think you should see a doctor, though. If you are eating over 2k calories a day (sure sounds like it) and so low weight, I think you could have some other issue.

  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I've never really eaten junk food and have always eaten a lot of food throughout the day. I'm also pretty active at work and I can assure you that taking care of a little one is also physically demanding and calorie burning.

    I think once the custody gets settled (and fingers crossed I have him most of the time), I'm also going to get him waking up earlier. That way we could get a bike ride in before school/work or something.

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  • Kate of LokysKate of Lokys Registered User
    edited March 2011
    This may sound counterintuitive, but your issue could be that you're getting too much sleep. Nine and a half hours per night is quite a bit, and while there are indeed some people who need that much, the fact that you keep waking up after six or seven hours then going back to bed out of boredom suggests that you might not be one of them.

    I've discovered, through long trial and error, that I feel happier and more rested and more alert after about seven hours of sleep than I do after ten. For me, a large part of the difference comes from where I sleep, too: when I sleep in our actual bed, which is in a dark north-facing room of the house with cardboard covering the window to block the light, I sleep like the dead for ten hours and still want more - it's very difficult for Pixels to rouse me. But when I curl up on the futon in the living room, with its big south windows, the sunlight wakes me up early and I jump out of bed feeling great, even if I've only been sleeping for six or seven hours.

    Some of the advice in here about diet and exercise is excellent, and you should definitely look into those things. But listen to your body, too: if you keep waking up early, it might be telling you that it doesn't want or need that extra sleep.

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  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    This may sound counterintuitive, but your issue could be that you're getting too much sleep. Nine and a half hours per night is quite a bit, and while there are indeed some people who need that much, the fact that you keep waking up after six or seven hours then going back to bed out of boredom suggests that you might not be one of them.

    I've discovered, through long trial and error, that I feel happier and more rested and more alert after about seven hours of sleep than I do after ten. For me, a large part of the difference comes from where I sleep, too: when I sleep in our actual bed, which is in a dark north-facing room of the house with cardboard covering the window to block the light, I sleep like the dead for ten hours and still want more - it's very difficult for Pixels to rouse me. But when I curl up on the futon in the living room, with its big south windows, the sunlight wakes me up early and I jump out of bed feeling great, even if I've only been sleeping for six or seven hours.

    Some of the advice in here about diet and exercise is excellent, and you should definitely look into those things. But listen to your body, too: if you keep waking up early, it might be telling you that it doesn't want or need that extra sleep.

    Definitely this--if I sleep-in, I feel like garbage.

    I was sleeping about 7 hours a night--I've upped it to 8 for more optimum muscle recovery with my training schedule--and feel great. When I wake up at six and roll back over and sleep in until 7... 7:30? I feel groggy and miserable until about one in the afternoon.

  • LucidLucid Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I'm also pretty active at work and I can assure you that taking care of a little one is also physically demanding and calorie burning.
    While it's good to have an active work/home life, it's different(and not as dependable for reliable energy) than a consistent exercise routine.

  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I meant that only in response to, "you should be gaining weight with that diet but your aren't" comment

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  • HorusHorus Los AngelesRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Well for me I have two jobs my professional and a non profit I founded, then I go to grad school, work out 6 hours a week and purchasing a house. I realized I need to calm my brain down before going to sleep so I hit REM early in my night. When I just go to bed without mellowing out first.... doesn't help even if I sleep 8 hours.

    Maybe your head is not slowing down when you go to bed so quality of sleep isn't the greatest.

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  • SarcastroSarcastro Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Could just be parental adjustment. Weird thing about one's really little kids is, they cause a hormone change in their dads that drops testosterone output by up to two thirds. That shit will wipe you out. It's supposed to actually, keeps the males from roaming around after childbirth. Not much to do for it other than grab some weights and work it out. You could stop by the docs as well, they'd be able to tell, and there's likely a treatment.

    Also, shoulder-rides. I used to haul my young'un around like this all the time, and a brisk walk with 20-40 pounds on you while pointing out things in the world around you is super fun, good bonding time, and a solid workout. When they are a bit older, there are indeed daycares at the gym. Me and mine still play the Listening Game, invented together during that time, wherein we are very quiet outside and try to identify all of the sounds we can hear.

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  • ATIRageATIRage Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    My general guess is there are two areas where you are lacking:
    Eating Wendy's and similar kind of foods actually drain your energy because of your body's attempt to digest those kinds of foods (commonly referred to as food coma or the itis). It would be better for you to make some home cooked meals with less carbohydrates and with mono unsaturated or monosaturated fats.

    Second: you need a hobby/goal, something to get you motivated to enjoy your day. Be that playing games with the kid, some video games, maybe finding a community to join (Board game, rpg, or some other kind of community you might enjoy [knitting perhaps?]).

    I would recommend seeing a nutritionist if you have the time (even if for just a couple visits) and then talking to a counselor to help ensure that your mental well being is taken care of.

  • Pure DinPure Din Rhode Island Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Horus wrote: »
    Maybe your head is not slowing down when you go to bed so quality of sleep isn't the greatest.

    This is definitely true for me. If I try to go straight to bed, I get weird nightmares and sleep restlessly, 20-30 min on the couch with herbal tea and a magazine or novel seems to help me calm down better and go to bed sleepy instead of just exhausted.

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