Don’t worry, I’m much better now, promise!
I self-diagnosed my state immediately post-ride as 1) Adjustment Disorder and 2) Metabolic Damage.
1) “Adjustment disorder is a short-term condition that occurs when a person is unable to cope with, or adjust to, a particular source of stress, such as a major life change, loss, or event.” (WebMD)
Symptoms: Depression, loss of interest in work or activities.
Post bike ride, Jacob and I are changed individuals attempting to re-enter into a seemingly unchanged real world. I wore the same 3 outfits (2 sets of biking clothes and one “chill uniform”) for the entire 6 weeks. I did bathe/shave/brush teeth regularly during the ride (you’re welcome, Jacob), but I did not touch a blow dryer or any makeup at all. I sorta forgot how to blow dry my hair, put on makeup and wear real clothes. I looked different than when I started. I had epically weird tan lines, my upper body lost muscle definition and my newly gigantic quads fit differently in clothes. My brain felt different too. A few groggy and ugly-early mornings on the road I’d ask something like “Uggh, Jacob, how many miles do we really have to do today? How many effing hills?” He’d come back with something like “100 plus, but remember ALL WE HAVE TO DO IS BIKE!” It was freeing. When we were not biking, we were eating, drinking or sleeping. That’s it. Our bodies were ON and our minds OFF. At the end of the 6 weeks, the mere thought of going back to the grind of training/piano teaching felt like the weight of the world descending upon my shoulders like Atlas. The thing is, I seriously LOVE my jobs so this feeling was unexpected.
2) “Anything that disrupts the body’s neuroendocrineimmune system to the point where regaining balance becomes difficult or impossible could be considered Metabolic Damage” (Dr Jade Teta of Metabolic Effect)
Symptoms: Rapid 12 lb weight gain (on a 5’3” body is significant), bloating, GI distress, loss of menses for 4 months (sorry if this is TMI but I was incredibly excited/relieved when it started again in Dec), extreme fatigue and muscle weakness (tough when “being strong” is part of my job), insomnia (and I am the best sleeper usually!)
Although I’m still working to get my body righted… at least to a “new normal”… I’m feeling SO much better now. I’m back to enjoying training, teaching and hanging out with friends and family. Phhhew!
Photos of my first night and full day back – still no hair drying/makeup and sweet glove/shoe tan! :)