Category Archives: Fitness & Health

Whelp, so much for a schedule!

I previously indicated I would be writing on Sundays and, although I had it on my to-do, the day went by and I didn’t blog! By the time I remembered I was snuggled up in bed.

Last week was my first week of college! It was super stressful; I spent a lot of time Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday feeling like I had pinching bugs inside of my stomach. I cried a few times. I told my wife I would likely end up quitting because how do people further their education while working full time and having a full life?

Then Friday hit me and I realized I was doing okay. I had gotten through my two weekly seminars, met my instructors and my classmates. Yes, the reading will be tough to manage but I legit do have every weekend to get it done. So even if the weekdays end up being crazy on occasion, I have weekend time to do the work.

Part of my anxiety is the fact that I don’t remember how to be a student, especially one taking all classes online. I have discussion boards, virtual books, and dropboxes for assignments. I had bought two pretty notebooks for my courses and realized – shit, I don’t know how to take effective notes. I take notes at work in my own version of shorthand but that doesn’t translate well into my class work.

So, I made some decisions:

1) I am going to take my notes on my computer via a Google sheet so that I can access it anywhere and reorganize the information based on its relevance after I am done with the reading;

2) I rented my books from Amazon so TONIGHT I will have both of my books in hand. Perfect timing to start my second unit! By having the actual books, I am saving myself from staring at a computer screen because I do that all day long. Sure, I will be taking notes on a computer, but I won’t be reading FROM it the entire time. Also it’s easier for me to mark where I left off in a real book and to see charts and figures in the right order. On my phone and computer things were a bit disjointed and if I clicked a link it was challenging for me to make my way back to the original text. While my virtual books are included in my tuition, for under $100 I am saving myself the stress of being tied to an electronic device. Feels like a win.

Yesterday I finished all of my reading and discussion boards and I felt PUMPED about it. I felt like “Okay, I can see how people can do this…” instead of focusing on the reasons why I felt I couldn’t. I had time to craft, pick up, take a nap, and kayak both days this weekend. I’m blessed.

I took quite a few pictures of our adventures on the water this weekend but this one is my very favorite. It’s peaceful. There was no one else out at this time – just me and my wife. It was chilly but I was bundled up and was pretty comfortable. Being out on the water made me feel like I was taking another step back to me. I used to kayak frequently and life changed and I had other things to keep me busy. It’s amazing to get back to it.

The above picture is from the Mohawk River right by the Rexford Bridge. Niskayuna, New York.

Week two of working from home due to the quarantine.

I’ve never worked from home before this COVID-19 pandemic. I went into it like “YESS all of my dreams are coming true!” – because I like home. I’m a homebody. If I can spent an entire weekend at home and not go anywhere at all I feel like I won the lottery. This quarantine hasn’t affected me in as many ways as it seems to have for those on social media – my feed is plagued with memes about boredom and insanity. I suppose I should feel lucky I don’t feel bored or as if I’m going insane.

For the past two weeks, I’ve *tried* to get up every morning earlier, so I can cycle before I clock in. I haven’t done it every day, but I have done it a few times and, on the nicer days, gotten my exercise outside in the fresh air as opposed to a stationary piece of equipment inside. I think that staying active throughout this chapter in our year 2020 is important; we need to be expending that energy!

On the mornings where I wanted or needed to hit snooze? I allowed myself to do so and don’t feel guilty about it. It’s been excessively gloomy outside lately, which is par for the course for the beginning of April. Resting is okay, as long as I’m not shirking the necessities of what needs to be done.

Whether I get up and cycle or just get up, I get ready to go to work as if I am leaving the house. This has put me in the mindset of “Okay, now I’m ready to get to work,” as opposed to simply rolling out of bed, walking the 15 steps from my room to my work station, and plunking down in my pajamas. While some people may be able to work from home this way, I didn’t feel it would be something that I could do long-term, given that this work from home thing IS so new to me. I do my hair, put makeup on, even continue to pick out my clothing and accessories the night before – just like my normal routine prior to the pandemic. Overall I don’t feel like my productivity was hampered much at all by my working from home. My connection is slower than what I’m used to in the office (oh, how I miss the speed of my work computer and my two big computer screens!), but overall, I feel like I’m moving right along with things and quite able to keep it all on track.

I did realize after week 1 that I sit a LOT more at home than I did at work, as I’m not walking back and forth to the ladies’ room or to the copy machines. So I brought my standing desk home and find I stand most of the day now. My body is thanking me for this ūüôā

The boredom thing though? This I don’t get. I feel like it’s been the perfect time to slow down and work on some outstanding household projects, as well as make some crafts for some extra cash. I ramped up my macram√© plant hanger production, as people really seem to like them on Mercari. (I re-opened a Mercari shop under the name of Davis At Home and it keeps me busy in a positive way.)

I suppose that is what it comes down to. There’s always things to do – projects to work on. We started our garden seeds and the kale is already poking up. I’ve gone through 2 big Christmas totes and re-organized. I’ve done the laundry and hung it out on the line during the days where it isn’t raining. I’ve picked up, eaten delicious homemade foods, and finished a book. I’ve buried myself in Shameless on Netflix and drank more wine than I used to (I’m having 1-2 glasses, as opposed to almost 1). It’s relaxing. I have nowhere really to be. No one does.

 

 

 

 

 

March Mimosas, travels, and overall good shit, dude!

The sickness of February is officially over. No more flu, no more head cold, and a better handle and plan for my stress. I met my new primary care doctor and I have a follow up in 3 months to see if I want to explore a different option for my anxiety, including speaking to a counselor. I’m not¬†against¬†speaking to someone; I just don’t know what I’d really talk about.

And then I proceeded to talk this doctor’s ears right off her head. So maybe I do have shit to talk about. Either way, a lot can happen in 3 months and I will likely be in a better position to make a better decision than the band-aid I chose.

[I just can’t help but feel that I don’t want to take daily medicine for my anxiety or daily medicine for my depression (my depression was not discussed at this consult because I’m not in that cycle currently) ~ I’d rather do what I need to do in my life to¬†change it so that I can live¬†without the need of medication, if at all possible.]

I described to her the things I do in order to keep myself as healthy as possible and then wondered if I don’t drive myself crazy in my quest for self-improvement and a more grounded life and mindset.

Anyway, I had a lot of fun this past weekend and got some things done. Booyah!

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I finished 2 more sets of coasters, bringing my current stash up to 6…but it’s really going to be 9 because I had 3 more sets drying last night that are ready to be tied up and labeled. This will part of my next delivery to the Schenectady Trading Company. This was part of my Saturday ~ in the creative zone.

lavender mimosa

My wife and I also went out to Perecca’s on Jay Street for brunch and mimosas, before we visited Jay Street for some shopping. It was such an unexpected and beautiful trip. It was windy and that wind was¬†cold af, but it was sunny and we walked anyway, getting some tea at the Whistling Kettle, buying a couple of books at the Open Door Bookstore, and then looking at pretty rocks and gems and sniffing artisanal soaps at the Crossroads Gift Shop (where you can also buy some air plants in my macram√© hangers!)

Friday night, I got out of my “norm” and went to the Vagina Monologues at Proctor’s Threatre. One of my friends, Ariffa, was doing a reading in it so she got me a free ticket and I really, really enjoyed it. I enjoyed the vibes, I enjoyed the stories ~ it was a very unique and cool experience. I felt like it brought people together during a time when there’s so much pulling us all apart.

Then Sunday my friend, Leah, and I went to Sharon Springs, New York, for the Rose Apothecary pop-up store! It was their very last day and man, that place was cool as hell!

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[I definitely took more pics than just two.]

This store (which is called “Beekman 1802”) was the perfect setting for this themed pop-up, selling locally made goods and body care created largely from goats milk. The place was artsy without being pretentious and the staff was lovely and welcoming. They even said I could bring Adam in:

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…but I know my boy and he’s not a fan of other people or dogs getting close to me while he’s on a leash. So to save the drama, Adam stayed in the car while we shopped and then we took him on a little walk down the small main street after. He was just happy being out and about for the day ~ he loves going places.

In my last entry I talked about possibly participating in the Jay Street Markets in Schenectady this year. After more research and pricing out the costs, I have decided not to. Breaking down the math, I’d have to sell a minimum of 43 items at $15 piece in order to break even¬†with just being a part of it.¬† It seems like a lot of pressure to do that in just 5 shows and I’m all about not putting undue pressure on myself. I don’t really want to shell out $600+ out of pocket for this opportunity at this time. Maybe next year, but not this one.

It feels good to be able to say ‘no thanks’ to things that aren’t in my best interest, as opposed to stretching myself thin.

Doing Cubii things~An informal review of a Cubii under-the-desk elliptical.

As negative as things felt in the couple of weeks prior to this one, this week feels pretty damned good. I did feel like I was getting too close to a suck-hole of depression but I was able to step back from it and, while it’s still there, I don’t feel like I’m about to step in it.

Maybe I’m just motivated by my goals right now. [Hint: I am!]

I will say – THIS GIRL BE PHYSICALLY TIRED. Between it being near dark before 4:30 every afternoon, my workouts at home, and this under-the-desk elliptical I brought in from home this week…my body is pooped. Today’s a rest day and I’m grateful for that. I may use it to hit the sack early.

I want to talk about the Cubii for a moment.

I feel absolutely¬†silly¬†with it under my desk. To me, it’s just ridiculous to have unless a doctor recommends one. My wife bought it for her desk at work, only to find out that she wouldn’t be sitting very often (lucky her, right?) So I figured I’d bring it to my office and see how I liked it. I mean, it was $250! If I can get some use out of it, why not!? Note that I do have a platform on my desk that raises, so I can spend part of my day standing up. Lately I’ve been opting to sit more only because I’m up and around the office so often that it feels nice to sit and relax. It feels like a treat.

Now in comes the Cubii. I was instantly surprised at how I could pedal and type at the same time. I figured I’d have trouble managing both but it’s day #3 and I’m pedaling away as I type right now without much thought whatsoever. I don’t consider it a substitute for a workout [for me], but I have to say that I feel the motion pleasantly in my calves and quads, which is honestly more than what I expected. They’re fatigued after almost 3 days of this, coupled with my cycling at home and whatever amount of running around I do at work. I feel like it’s making any sort of fidgeting I’d normally do into a more purposeful movement. [Not to mention it’s a great stress reliever – I had an angry client on the phone yesterday and he couldn’t hear me cycling away as if his face was underneath the pedals BECAUSE IT IS THAT DAMNED QUIET!]

Anyway ~ so far, 10/10.

And here’s a meme that sums up my life quite nicely:

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Uncomfortably uncomfortable.

On Tuesday of last week, I went back to BFiit at Best Fitness in Schenectady because I had told a couple of ladies I’d come back that day to take a class with them. One remembered that I promised to come and she and I were quasi-workout buds that evening. I get in the zone when I exercise and I have limited awareness of those around me until I’m jolted “awake” by being spoken to.

I was super sore and sort of irked for a few days after the class. The soreness was all in my hamstrings and quads and it made going up and down the stairs, and kneeling or bending down very¬†difficult. It also halted my cycling at home because my legs were donezo. So from Tuesday to Sunday I did not work out in a structured way, although I did take Adam for a chilly, approximately 3 mile walk on Friday. Just walking up minor inclines and declines was quite uncomfortable but it is better to move your body, even a little, when you’re sore to keep the blood flowing and muscles repairing. It just was disappointing that the workout took me out of commission for days, where my cycling/yoga routine can be done every day, if I wish to.

From being a trainer, I know I had to battle with people over what made or didn’t make a great workout. I think the answer to that question varies from person to person, but, for me, a great workout doesn’t make day-to-day activities following it excessively hard. It doesn’t mean extreme muscle soreness and limited mobility until things heal. A great workout to me doesn’t necessitate the recovery time of a minor surgery or a flu (lol). I want a workout where I can feel the fatigue and feel the progress happening BUT it doesn’t keep me from moving forward and continuing TO MOVE.

So, I really love the yoga and biking routine I have going and will stick with that until I feel I want to do something different. Also – on Thanksgiving – I was able to wear a pair of my skinny jeans quite comfortably! They aren’t 100% where I want them to be but they fit so much better. So what I’m doing is working and it isn’t causing me too much stress. Win/win.

I’ve felt uncomfortable in other ways lately though. It seems that I keep finding myself in situations or conversations I don’t want to be in and wish I could moon-walk out of. Or, flip down one of these bad boys:

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Photo from r/unnecessaryinventions

It’s like people – complete strangers, mainly – seem extra willing to share their personal information with me, whether I want to hear it or not.

So, I’ve felt extra uncomfortable with things. The mood in my household hasn’t been great between kids and wife. I think it has to be the typical holiday stress, coupled with job stress but sometimes being home isn’t as restorative as I’d like it to be. There’s always someone acting up with an attitude that disrupts the peace. I find myself holding my breath and feeling like I want to talk less because it seems safer than saying the wrong thing. Maybe it’s me. Maybe I just suck with people now – it is hard for me to balance 3 extra people’s moods sometimes.

I have been working on some projects – in between making bathroom tile coasters. This here is my latest set available in my Etsy Shop.

I just haven’t spent a ton of time worrying about creating things because I’ve been more focused on getting my Christmas gifts together and wrapped. Believe it or not, I’m¬†done¬†shopping and almost done wrapping. I don’t mean to brag, but this girl fully intends on enjoying the holiday season and the snow without having to worry about nabbing the “perfect gift” for someone last minute. If I go to the store, I want it to be leisurely. If there’s a free night, I want to go look at Christmas lights and take pretty pictures. I want to KICK SOME SERIOUS ASS at my winter goal of sleeping more and enjoying the snowfall with a good book. In fact, I am totally kickin’ ass with that goal already.

 

 

 

 

 

Flexin’ on the little things

So I’ve been laying pretty low lately, but I wanted to write about some small victories I have been experiencing.

  1. We’ve had the Peloton bike since early October and I’ve been using it regularly. My wife told me the other day she notices that the bottom part of my butt is looking more defined! There’s¬†nothing¬†like an unsolicited compliment on progress being made.

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Sunday morning ride!

It’s hard for me to gauge my weight because I keep moving my scale around our bedroom. Our bedroom floors slant, as does our ceiling…so in one spot I am 144 lbs., in another I’m 152. I believe I found the spot where it can live now long-term so I will be better able to keep track of what’s going on.

I have not been tracking my food regularly for the past week. I’m back feeling like My Fitness Pal is too tedious and it’s been especially hard when the past week I’ve eaten out frequently due to a cluster of family birthdays. I can easily see how people gain weight when they travel or work a lot and rely on take out – holy shit. A lunch out can easily be a day’s worth of calories in just one sitting; even more so if you order a cocktail (as I typically do).

I used to be a personal trainer and a group fitness instructor, so this information is not really¬†new¬†to me. It’s just that it’s no longer an abstract concept I’m explaining to my busy clients – it’s my own life, too. Same with trying to juggle kids and an exercise routine; I never pretended to understand that when I had no children myself and found myself battling excuses with people. That was always my weakness but I get it now. It’s no wonder that people were frustrated with me telling them that finding 3 or more times per week in their already limited schedule should be easy.

I have no idea if I fit into my jeans significantly better or not ~ I’m actually a bit afraid to try them on after all these birthdays and cake. Weird, right?

2) Learnin’ how to do my hairs and stuffs.

Bought one of these twisty hair straightener/curler things and I love it. There’s a small learning curve but overall it’s super easy for non-hair-talented people like me. My sister also recommended some hair products so that my tresses don’t become too stressed with a lot of heat.

3) I’ve made three sales this month – two at the Schenectady Trading Company (one while I was there visiting!), and one on Etsy. It gives me warm fuzzies to feel that people loved what they saw, bought it, and now it’s at their home giving¬†them¬†warm fuzzies.

That’s really it for me. I’ve been sleeping well – sleeping more – and getting some sunshine in during the day, even though it’s cold. I’m optimistic about this winter season and what it will bring for us all.

I have a BIG goal this winter!

I kind of got away from my public declarations of my monthly goals in my blog somewhere in the summer time. However, up until November I was keeping track of them in my calendar book. Small or large goals – whatever. I like having a mantra for the month to focus on.

October’s was “Organize” and November is a big bag of silence. I’m thinking that is perfectly okay as the silence is allowing me the space to think of what I want over the entire winter season. What I want is pretty easy…

IT IS…‚Ķ…

MORE SLEEP!

For real though. Winter has come for New York’s Capital Region like a giant frozen fist and I’m 100% here for it. It’s dark at 5 p.m. now. I don’t think I want to fight the urge to slow down and sleep more; I think I want to give up and just embrace it (reasonably).

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It’s only normal for our bodies to react to the change in climate. People want to believe that we aren’t affected by things like the weather and the phases of the moon because it sounds “hokey”, but do you know when the fishing is the best? Do you know when the deer are most active? If you don’t, ask a fisherman or a hunter. Humans aren’t as different as we’d like to think.

So I want to go with the flow here this winter and sleep more. Listen to my body and when it’s tired, rest. I want to slow down and do¬†less.

Do less, visit more. Stress less and enjoy more. Create more. Read more. Have more fires in my fireplace and enjoy the snow falling, napping if I feel the need to, caring less about thing that probably should be done. Love more. Bullshit less.

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I really enjoyed my time in my studio over the past weekend finishing up the above vase. It is not up yet for sale in my Etsy shop, as I need better daylight for its official photoshoot. I painted this while devouring the movie Winter’s Bone.

You know, just kickin’ back, in no real rush for anything. That’s how I want my winter to be.

 

 

2 weeks on My Fitness Pal – here’s what I’ve learned ~

I have been very back and forth for¬†years¬†on the MyFitnessPal app. Years. I’ll be all on fire about it at the start but then after a few days, I find it to be tedious and I give up. I seriously hate logging every little thing but the reason is that no one likes to be accountable for all the things they eat and drink when they are trying to get their shit in order.

I’ve been logging now for two weeks – which I think is the longest amount of time I’ve stuck with it. The first week I didn’t really make any changes to what I was doing. I was observing as I logged everything –¬† resentful that I was over my calorie count every single day. I can’t expect that simply by logging my intake that I am going to magically fit back into my skinny jeans comfortably. It requires actual¬†change¬†on my part.

So, week one I basically logged my food, made small changes in a half-assed attempt to stay within a calorie count generated by MFP, and enjoyed seeing the numbers on the scale dip a little. My skinny jeans did fit slightly better, but still not where I want to be.

Week two I cared more, but not obsessively. I have found that logging everything I plan on eating for an entire day either the night before or in the morning helped me to not wander off too much. It also makes me feel like I’m not a slave to my phone all day long by constantly having to update it whenever I have a snack. Plus, having this “plan”, it allows me to make adjustments on the fly when I need to.

I also learned that the set up of my daily eating no longer served my current lifestyle. For years I would eat a big breakfast, a slightly smaller lunch, many snacks, and a small dinner – dinner being the smallest meal of the day.

Seeing how that strategy consistently left me with only 100-200 calories every night for dinner, I realized I needed to flip that all around. We are a family that eats together every night. This means, inevitably, larger dinners. So I am conscious to eat a lighter breakfast and lunch, while keeping my snacking in order, so that I can enjoy a fuller dinner with my family. I¬†love¬†that we eat together at the table every night we have the kids ~ I feel like not a lot of families get to do that anymore; it’s a privilege.

(Potato-quality photos are what we get when it’s before sunrise in my bedroom.)

I am feeling pretty great! I am so much less bloated and am feeling better in my clothing. I took the above pictures this morning because when I saw myself in the mirror, I really felt like I could see a difference. It’s too bad I don’t have a picture of myself from two or so weeks ago. I’ve gotten out of the habit of taking too many selfies and body-shots.

Another thing that I¬†realized¬†(I say “realized” instead of “learned” – because it’s something I’ve known, but it didn’t actually click until recently) is that a pound of fat is 3,500 calories. In 7 days, simply by overeating every day by 500 calories, you’re adding an extra pound of weight to yourself. By monitoring my intake, I realized how super EASY it is to do that. I can easily grab a few small chocolate candies and be there. Have a milkshake and be there; eat fast food and be there. It seems pretty easy to eat a handful of this or that and think it’s not making a big difference when it actually IS if you’re doing it every single day.

So, although I don’t have a goal weight in mind – I’m going to keep on with what I’m doing because I don’t feel deprived and I’m making headway.

Trick or Treat – smell my feet!

Halloween was one of my favorite holidays as a child. What kid doesn’t like to dress up? We’d have a parade through the school and, if it was nice, we’d take the parade outside. Looking back, my favorite costume was Bugs Bunny; I had a grey sweat suit and Bugs’ big head that was the type of costume head you’d see on your favorite characters at Disney World. I may have been in 3rd or 4th grade but I remember that while the head felt gigantic and was difficult to see through, I felt pretty cool.

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Small jars I made for our Halloween décor collection.

Halloween is always full of happy, silly memories.

Some traditions have changed though. Now in school you, apparently, cannot wear a costume with a full face mask. Likely it’s for “safety purposes” but I can’t help but be¬† saddened by the rule. If you aren’t letting unidentified, unregistered individuals into the school – is there a lot room for surprises? Let the kids wear the masks – know what kids are in your classroom – keep an eye on them – and let it be.

I didn’t know until I realized I had a missed call from my wife, minutes before the kids’ bus was to arrive that, likely, Jake couldn’t wear his scary clown mask in school today. You should have seen his excitement over his mask this morning; he’s¬†pumped¬†to be something scary. I did not go outside and burst his bubble because there’s a part of me that hopes that he is able to wear it. I’m not saying all day long in school, but for the school’s organized parade and photos.

((Sigh.)) I can only hope. That’s all I can do.

I don’t have much in the way of craft projects going on right now, but I am currently working on this bottle:

…which can be used as a wedding or engagement gift. I am going to try to attach some sort of pocket in the back of the bottle so that someone can slip in a gift card or cash, as those things are¬†always¬†welcome at these types of events.

The dark blue is thick denim from a discarded pair of jeans, the bottle used to hold some sort of spicy liquor, the MR. & MRS. plaque is a thin cut wood, twine, and faux pearls. Unsure what the pocket in the back will be made from – perhaps another strip of denim or coordinating burlap. I don’t know if I will paint the plaque or leave it natural. Jury is out on that one.

With October winding down, I’m feeling quite good. I’ve been sticking to my weekly hot yoga and cycling routine and making time for myself. I have also been logging my food intake through My Fitness Pal again consistently for over 7 days now. My ultimate goal is to simply fit into my skinny jeans better, but my scale shows I’m down about 5 lbs, which is way more than what one should try and lose in a week. It’s just water weight – I am no longer bloated and uncomfortable. But by taking care of my insides, I feel more equipped to take care of my outsides and overall much less stressed about it. October was super busy but it was super successful in so many ways.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

 

The underlying issues.

In a half hour, I’ll be preparing for my first Peloton bike class ~ I am all squared away with the app, the shoes, the heart rate monitor and headphones (all thanks to my wife).

I’ve been looking forward to this since it arrived this morning! Meanwhile, I have my laundry in the washing machine, I ordered a roll of burlap to cut my own table covers for the craft show at the end of the month (because it’s cheaper that way and I’ll have material leftover to do whatever I want with), I shipped a small item I sold on Mercari, and I’m hugging and kissing my dog. It seems like a win/win evening so far for me – no stress.

Since my blog post on Monday, I’ve been thinking to myself that maybe all along I’ve been going about this fitness thing wrong. I don’t mean all wrong¬†lately but for¬†years.¬†If I’m really honest with myself – and I do try to be – when I first started my fitness journey about 10 years ago, I wasn’t in a good space. I was drinking too much, I didn’t treat myself well, I was forcing and pushing a relationship that really wasn’t meant to be in some kind of shape. The exercising and the eventual obtaining of a personal training certification did help boost my confidence and allow me to step forward on a better foot…

But when I left that gym – as a member and an employee – it didn’t feel like it went over well. I doubted myself, my abilities, and my relationships with others. I threw myself into another gym and created a reputation and a public persona for myself. A caricature. I remember feeling like I could conquer anything and do it all! But underneath all of that though, I did,¬†and still do, question my likability and relate-ability as a person. When people didn’t turn out as loyal as I thought they were and did and said things that hurt me, it made it hard to believe that anything was truly real.

I do question my own value and my purpose in life. Every day.

I have a really hard time opening up to others past a superficial point.

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It’s tough for me to make new friends and to have normal conversations, even fluffy ones with co-workers. Maybe they don’t see or feel that – they just take it as awkwardness (which is may be, too) but it legit takes¬†work¬†for me to have a conversation that lasts more than a couple of sentences. I begin wondering how my tone is coming across, if what I’m saying is even interesting to the other person, what I could say that could be used against me in the future…omg how can I get out of this conversation I’m ready to go sit in my office and be alone…

It’s fucking insane.

When I was in the best shape of my life working as a kickboxing instructor, all I thought about was working out and what I ate. What my employees thought of me. How tired I was and how much I worked at the gym and at home. Who was talking about me behind my back because I knew it was happening. That’s a gym atmosphere for you – everyone acts like they are there to lift each other up but when, really, it’s a lot of cutting others down to feel better about yourself. (Note: Last year I worked a few months in another kickboxing gym and this was not my experience there. That was single handedly the most positive gym experience I’ve ever had and it’s too bad that my schedule made me feel like it was too tight to continue my employment there.) Then I got super skinny because I was stressed over my divorce and the death of my dog…I was over-caffeinated, under-rested and overall just not in a good place mentally but felt I looked¬†awesome physically. I just could not keep up that pace without checking myself into a mental institution at some point.

A few years later and now I’m in average (or even above-average) shape and I still don’t feel like I’m mentally up to snuff. I’ve been off and on again beating myself for not staying in the exact same shape as I was when I was an instructor. I have been telling myself to be more careful with what I eat, go to the gym more…without really addressing any of my underlying issues that have been plaguing me over the years – whether they’ve been in the forefront or temporarily forgotten. What I’m saying is I keep telling myself that if I am “this way” or “that way” – I’ll feel different than I do right now. I’ll be happier and healthier, physically and mentally. Sheeiiit…all my problems will be solved, right?!

But that’s a crock of shit. The problem isn’t my body or any sort of my physical shape (which I quite like, actually! I like the curvier version of me!) – it’s the mindset I have about how others perceive me. Without changing the nagging things in my brain, without some sort of reset button being flicked, how am I going to¬†really feel better and keep that positive momentum going? No amount of workouts will fix that or build a truly better me.

I don’t have the answers but I’d like to think that simply becoming aware of it is a step in the right direction. I think that, basically, I need to learn to love myself instead of telling myself and the world that I do, but not treating myself and talking to myself like I really do.

So, anyway, to wrap this up ~ I did go to my hot yoga class on Monday and it was excellent, despite the dude next to me coughing much of the class. I got sweaty, stretched, and overall celebrated myself for that entire hour, except for a few moments where I felt like my fat rolls were getting in the way of stretching. I love how during hot yoga, I can’t really think of anything else but what’s happening right in that moment. I’m too busy trying not to die but it’s honestly just such a nice break from to-do lists, reliving moments of the day (amazing and not-so-amazing), and nursing frustrated emotions.

Onwards and upwards.