Awesome but scary…

Sooooo, more and more modelling work keeps tricking in and if all goes as planned, it looks as though I’ll be making enough during the months of September and October to actually live on…or close to it.

This will require me to pay really close attention to my health, since I have a lot of issues with my energy levels faltering and I get burned out really easily.  I want to do a good job at these gigs and – even more importantly – I want to survive them without having some kind of breakdown!

This is my survival plan:

No refined sugar if I can possibly help it.  Or at least, very little.  Gotta keep my blood sugar as stable as possible.

Less internet.  I tend to use the internet as a distraction to drown out my anxieties.  But that just makes my brain really…noisy (I flitter from one browser tab to the next constantly, doing multiple things at once, and my anxieties are still chattering away at me underneath the Facebook/FetLife/blog/notalwaysright/etc. chatter).  Which makes me feel all wired and restless.  And, I’ve been generally missing out on doing productive things because I’m caught in an infinite internet loop.  I eat random handfuls of stuff out of the fridge instead of preparing meals.  My apartment gets overrun by clutter.

More sleep.  When I finally close my laptop at night and try to go to sleep, the anxiety is like “WOOHOO!  THERE’S FINALLY ROOM TO DANCE!” and then I can’t sleep for shit because I can’t stop thinking about stuff that freaks me out.    Basically, I do this whole compulsive distraction thing because I’m afraid to let myself feel feelings.  But being sad or freaked out or angry isn’t gonna kill me, and my avoidance tactics are kinda ruining my life, so yeah.  I need to start meditating on a regular basis, I think.

More food.  My appetite doesn’t seem to work like other people’s; I suspect it has something to do with my blood sugar issues.  For me, the feeling of hunger is directly related to the amount of exertion I’m putting out.  I could probably lie in bed for two days straight and not feel any need to eat, but if I then decided to walk to the corner store, the burning of calories would make my stomach scream for more fuel and by the time I was halfway to the corner I’d be shaking and feeling on the verge of collapse.  It’s kind of a vicious cycle, I think: I don’t eat because I’m not hungry because I’m not expending any energy, but then by the time I do need to eat I’m so weak I can barely stand so I’ll have something that maybe doesn’t balance my blood sugar too well or have much nutritional value.  So then I still don’t have any energy so I avoid doing anything strenuous and then I don’t really get hungry.  A day or two ago I forced myself to prepare and eat a small, relatively nutritious snack every two hours or so whether I wanted one or not, and I felt considerably better than I normally do.  Maybe it’s just a fluke or a placebo effect, though.  Time will tell.  

At any rate, on any day when I’m posing for two or more classes, I’ve realized it’s imperative that I bring properly balanced meals to eat between-times and not depend on random convenience store food or pieces of fruit.  And I’ve determined that plain kefir (drinkable yogurt) has a good balance of carbs and protein to keep me going, so I’ll make that a staple, too.  And I bought myself some protein bars (ones that actually manage to be soy and gluten free and not too sugary or chemical-laden) to keep on hand in case of emergencies.

More water. I also don’t seem to feel thirsty very often.  But I’m aware that my blood pressure is unusually low and that dehydration can make it worse, so I’d best choke down as much water as possible.  I thought I was doing okay with that, but maybe not; I’m trying to be more vigilant now.

More salt.  Salt raises one’s blood pressure, which I need.  And I don’t eat a lot of processed foods at all, so I guess I’m not getting a lot of salt in the regular course of my day.  I may just down a teaspoon full of it every day before I leave the house, or something.  Or maybe I’ll start adding a little bit to the bottle of water I take to work.

Also, I had one of my trademark Obvious Epiphanies about my heat sensitivity issue: maybe it is partly due to salt depletion.  Because yeah, I don’t sweat a lot and I ate a big plate of salty bacon right before I left the house the other day; but I do sweat some (over a large amount of surface area!) and arguably that bacon merely got my blood pressure up to normal.  Then what little sweating I did probably got rid of some of that salt and put me back to sub-par again.

It would be really nice if I could stick to all of this and it gave me the energy to work and make proper meals and sometimes maybe do fun stuff, just like a normal person.  I don’t have a lot of hope, because it seems like every time I do something that’s supposed to make me feel better/healthier, it works for a little while and then things fall to shit again.  But it would be nice if this regimen finally turned out to be THe Big Solution to My Problems.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “Awesome but scary…

  1. Fnord

    Yay more modeling work!

    Regarding appetite, my experience is that everybody works differently in that regard and trying to hold out for or shoehorn in 3 meals a day isn’t the best for everyone. Unfortunately, it looks like you can’t rely on your natural appetite, either. I’ve heard good things about the “frequent small nutritious snack” strategy from people, so you aren’t the only person that works for (if it does turn out to work for you).

    I’ve occasionally had similar hydration issues, and a slightly gross thing that helped me tell if I’m keeping on track is paying attention to my urine. My experience is that, if I’m not getting enough water, my urine is noticeably darker in color and sometimes pungent smelling; contrariwise, I know I’m doing more than enough if my urine is unusually pale.

    If you’re not getting enough salt, you might also have iodine deficiency. But this is easy to fix, since you’re adding salt anyway, just make sure it’s iodized.

  2. gingernic

    Congratulations on all the modeling work!

    If you find yourself eating random stuff out of the fridge instead of meals, it can help to prepare healthy snacks/mini meals as soon as you get home from the store. Eating is as much habit as hunger for many people, which unfortunately can make changing diet a little hard.

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