So, today I’d like to slow things down and get a little real. The past few years have been hard for me, personally. I lost my older sister three years ago to pancreatic cancer. I miscarried a very wanted baby girl two years ago. And my sweet five-year-old started kindergarten. And if you think that last one isn’t quite the same as the first two, you’re right in some ways, but my son is autistic and he went from a very small loving preschool program to the New York school system in a bigger class, with all new teachers and kids. To say I was worried and feeling lost was an understatement.
I wasn’t dealing with things well after last September. We had just moved and although I loved our new apartment and neighborhood, I was feeling sad all the time. I managed my day job okay (I work from home) but I just wasn’t feeling it. I did the work but wasn’t happy. I cried a lot, watched too much Netflix, and ate nothing but crap. I was depressed. This has happened to me before. Also, I have a history of binge eating – and I started to see myself creeping back toward those old habits and I didn’t want to go down that road again, so I recalled what I had done about 6-7 years ago and took action this time. I started seeing a Nutritionist and a Therapist.
Yes…both, at the same time. Why? Because having support and help from multiple people is exactly what works for me. This time, I delved into the serious loss I had felt over the last few years (I also lost extended family members in the past five years that I loved dearly), the loss of having my baby start Kindergarten, the general malaise and hurt feelings I’ve been holding on to for too many years about my career and lack thereof. It took many months, but I can say I’m finally feeling like myself. Happier, on the road to healthier, and I’m actually kicking butt on my goals.
The thing that both my nutritionist and my therapist have been instilling in me is Health at Every Size (for more info, click HERE and HERE) and Self-Care/Self-Love/Self-Acceptance. Learning to love who I am, right now, right here today and not When I Get to Be a Perfect Size….because that’s BS and that attitude was holding me back. I’ve been adding in self-care to my daily plans – reading time, planner time, showers (yes…when I get depressed or I start hating on myself showers go right out the window), facial masks, tea and cookies, and music, going to bed and getting sleep, etc. I’ve also been working on Intuitive Eating and listening to my hunger and fullness cues. That has been so hard, but I’m now starting to tell when I get hungry and I listen and ask questions – am I really hungry or thirsty? When was the last time I ate? What did I eat? Was it filling? What can I eat now to satisfy myself? How can I make things easier for myself? If I start feeling hungry and I know I really shouldn’t be hungry, I think – what’s going on emotionally? Can I do something else instead of eating to help me feel better? Sometimes the answer is NO and I go ahead and eat, giving myself permission to fully enjoy whatever I decided to partake in. This keeps me from binging and feeling guilty for giving myself what my body is craving.
Along with the help of my nutritionist and therapist (and my family – shout out to Mom and Hubby and my cute son, for keeping me going when times were tough), I’ve started getting involved in the writing community online and I joined a Mastermind group that has been amazing. The leader is big into Mindset and I’ve been doing a daily mindset practice for a few months now and I was ready to start up-leveling my life in a few areas – one being my fitness. Yes, I love myself today just as I am, but I also knew that I needed to be able to walk up my stairs without feeling like I’m going to die, run around after my cute kid, and walk around Queens and get stuff done. I sit all day for both my day job and my passion work so I needed something to help me get some exercise in and start feeling stronger. Enter Nerd Fitness and Rising Heroes …it’s an extremely geeky online role-playing type game that helps you complete missions and earn points all centered around health, fitness, hobbies, your environment, and more.
I created a code name – Caffeina (the Roman goddess of Coffee!), took the first self-assessment and was placed into a faction (like a Harry Potter house), joined a Squad and a Division and started walking, doing bodyweight exercise circuits, and drinking more water. It’s only been two weeks but I’m really enjoying it. It does cost money (I think I paid about $100 for the year) but their Facebook group is active, helpful, and funny. The geeky online game and backstory is a bit over my head, but maybe I’ll get into it more once I complete all the beginning missions.
So…what do you do each day for self-care? Do you have a plan? I try to jot down 5-6 things at the beginning of the week and then check them off as I do them. Do you work out? Do you enjoy it? I’m still also doing my yoga, but I knew I needed some variety, some help, and I find I really enjoy the bodyweight circuits – I feel strong and all amazon goddess warrior type afterwards.