Rutabaga

For the majority of my teenage years I was barely one-hundred pounds at a given time. I tended to fluctuate a little over and a little under. Twenty-four hours after the removal of my wisdom teeth, twenty-four hours on a soft diet, left me at ninety-three pounds at 18 years old.

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At school, I typically ate in the cafeteria for lunch, and sometimes breakfast . I don’t remember much about what all was served except for the high-schooler favorite : pizza with a side of fries, and a 16 ounce Lipton “Pink Lemonade” .

At home, I ate what was prepared for me . I didn’t grow up in the type of home where I could make requests for meals or waste what was provided.  Please know that I don’t resent or regret this in any way. I wasn’t working, bringing money into our home, or cooking the food.  I recall salads, canned green beans, canned corn….but I do not recall rutabaga.

I’ve heard the word before, but can’t say that I knew how to spell it or could recognize it in a market without a label. Thanks to Google, I now know this vegetable is part of the ‘root’ family (meaning it’s grown in the ground) and low in carbohydrates. After washing and peeling, you can roast it, bake it, boil it, or julienne it to your hearts content.

So after my Google education session, I started wondering why didn’t I know this vegetable?  Was it cultural or socioeconomic thing? I know…I know…it’s just a vegetable, but how is it that I’ve sampled all kinds of Now or Laters? I can tell you at least 3 doughnuts flavors Dunkin Doughnuts serves. I can tell you a lot of things about different food groups, but I’m not too familiar with vegetables. I’m especially not well versed in how to prepare and pick raw ones either.

When I was teen, I was told I looked like, I wasn’t eating enough. “You need to put some meat on those bones” or  asked ” Is that all you’re going to eat?” . I was told ‘stress will kill you’, but that was as detailed as it got .

Now that I’m near thirty years old, no one is calling me ‘skinny-minnie’ and that’s fine (truly), but I am being told to eat better and to exercise by professionals…and I can’t say that I’ve truly understood what that means and taken it that seriously in the past otherwise, I wouldn’t be instructed to do so , right?  Maybe so, maybe not .  Either way I want to know what I don’t know, and try every vegetable there is at least once 🙂

“I’m a very different person than when I was younger and I feel better about myself and my life.” – Jane Fonda

The first half of that statement I can definitely agree with : I’m not who I use to be. 

Can’t drink like I use to. Don’t weigh the same. Don’t go to clubs ( not even every now and then or for my birthday). 

My introverted-ness has grown. My favorite thing to do on a Friday night is as little as possible. This Friday I fell asleep with a book in my hand and a cat on my lap. 

What worries me is the 2nd half of the quote; the part about ” feeling better about myself and my life”. This is the part I’m not sure about.

When I was a junior in high school, my English teacher made all of us write a letter to our future selves and describe what we though we’d be doing in 10 years time. Then she kept them and mailed them to me a year or so ago. 

Not surprisingly, my 17 year old self had more dreamed up for my twenty-something self , than what I have actually experienced or achieved and I’m looking at 30. 

Now, being older, I realize that at the time the letter was written, I had no clue about the realities of being an actual adult. However, after reading that letter, I start to wonder , “Who the hell did I think I was?” and ” How can I get that capacity to dream and hope back?”. How do I feel better about myself and my life?

I can answer this in parts. I know it has something to do with acceptance. I know it has something to do with forgiving myself. I know it has something to do with challenging myself in some areas of my life and being gentle with myself in others. I know making a true effort to be healthy is also a big part of the answer, because my health is the foundation upon which I am able to stand upon and say , ” I like myself. I like my life.”

As a nurse I’ve encounters many people with chronic ( life-long, long-term) conditions that affect their everyday lives.  Some conditions cannot be avoided, but some can through healthy decision making . 

So in all of this , I see myself charged to do two things:

1. Hang On : I have to trust that I’ll understand the ‘why’  to why whatever I thought at 17 would happen in my adult life did not happen that way. 

2. Continue to Make Healthy Decisons : I have to continue to take care of myself and love myself and take care of my body, so that when I get confirmation , I can celebrate or take action or whatever.

Or at least I think so 😉

Move, then…

There are lots of things that you could and should be doing between your workouts to improve your overall wellbeing . A LOT of things, but we’ll just review a few.

…EAT some quality protein. Do some research on how much protein you need based off of your current weight and activity level. If you’re anything like me working out hard makes you ravenous , so be sure to have a plan for a healthy, balanced meal with protein to eat afterwards.

…SLEEP. Make sure you get as much rest as you can when you can. Sleep sort of ‘seals the deal’ on things , including your metabolism .

…REFLECT and begin to plan for progression. Set a fitness goal for yourself . An example that’s worked for me in the past is signing up for a race and having my goal be that I’d finish it without stopping or walking or under a certain time.

…REWARD yourself. But not with FOOD 😄. Reward yourself something like new workout clothes, workout gear , or gadgets .

I’m quick to spend a good $100 on eating out and alcohol within a pay period and not think much of it until the money is gone, but when it comes to other things like workout gear or a boutique fitness class, I’m like, ” That’s not in my budget”. Therefore my belly rolls when I sit down like in this picture and I only have a few quality active wear pieces in my closet.

 

Motivation Killers & Excuses

Having taken a few days off from my posting schedule , I thought it only appropriate to come back with a post on motivation killers and excuses.

Who killed my motivation ? Me. (It’s that simple) . How did I do it? By setting my intention and focus on everything other than myself and my writing goals . I had a family trip. I had week alone in the office. I had chores. But I had plenty of time .

I had all the time in the world to do what mattered to me and made me happy , but I chose , out of a sense of obligation to do otherwise. I also worked out very little in this time period, using much of the aforementioned excuses as the reason why.

What did I gain in the end? A surprise date with anxiety this Monday that prompted me to take the day off to handle the business that really needed to be handled, rest and regroup.

My living room quickly became a yoga studio, meditation room, massage parlor, reading nook and spiritual center. I fed my senses with a aromatic candle. I fed my spirit with scripture and ‘good news’ , I nourished my mind and journaled the crap out and poured positivity in with some inspiring books, and released actual tension and deep breathing. And in all of that I thought, “ When was the last time I did this?” . That my friends, is a sign.

So after that I felt like myself again, and worked my way back into the gym, back to some healthy choices. Some.

Take a break, take a breath, become more self-aware. Identify your motivation killers and note the excuses you hear yourself often giving. Then do the work to circumnavigate these to reach your goal. Keep going.

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Tabitha and I completing some mat work , stretching of the deep fascia to relieve tension . No filter.

…at work

What you do for money can have a great impact on your health. Whether you’re on your feet majority of the time , constantly in motion or stationary, mostly sitting below are some tips to help you boost your overall well being while on the clock.

WALK UP– Walk up the stairs ( if you have any at your job) at the beginning of your work day/shift. I’m going to ask you to trust me on this one. It will make sense when you get to your floor. You can thank me later.

GET UP– If your job is primarily done from a chair get up. Get up whenever you can. Use a timer to remind you to stand or take a break. Stretch, yawn, walk away from your workspace for for some juicy gossip. Ask your manager for standing desk or rig up your own version of one with a anti-fatigue mat ( or kitchen mat).

STOCK UP– Don’t live out of the vending machine. At the very least, stock up on some healthy, non-perishable snack and meal items and stock them in your drawer. I keep things like granola bars, low sodium tuna, soup, LOTS of tea, honey, bottled water, etc to keep me going and less likely to make a bad decision. Do I still go to the vending machine sometimes ? Of course ! Some days I just feel like an Little Debbie cake.

SHUT UP– Shut up talking about work . Start talking about your life. Start focusing on what you love and who you love, as you exit your place of work. I’m am guilty of reliving my work day through conversation, and will admit that it only makes me feel better about 50% of the time. Plan what you’re going to DO immediately after work. Don’t take your stress home with you.

 

“Being Healthy is a Revolutionary Act”

“ Being Healthy is a Revolutionary Act” is a fancy way of saying that if you’re interested or attempting to become a healthier version of yourself, that it won’t be easy.

My inclination is to quit, when I think…whatever…is too much. My inclination is to respond to situations pretty much the same way every time. My inclination is to make excuses.

But when it comes to revolution, truth needs to be spoken (out loud) and changes have to be made. Sometimes you have to say “ I was wrong.” Sometimes you have to leave negative people or situations behind. Sometimes you have to admit you are the negative person that created the ‘situation’. Sometimes you have to start giving more than you take. Sometimes you have to say ‘no’. Sometimes you have to grow a thicker skin.

Say, ” I spend too much time in my feelings,” and then get out of them, even when you have literally become a part of your bed and/or couch. When Netflix asks you , ” Are you still there?”, turn it off.

Say, ” My health is out of control,” and then go for a short walk, take a few steps into the direction of a healthier life .

Say, ” I keep putting (fill in the blank) off, because I’m afraid (fill in the blank)”, then stop putting what you want to get done or need to get done off.

I figure I have one life to live and I can’t waste that time under the covers; just stuck. So I’m taking responsibility for my mental, spiritual, physical, and emotional health. Whatever that looks like for you, I encourage you to the same.

It will be difficult, it will hurt, it will be uncomfortable, it will take more time than what you prefer. It will be challenging, you will want to quit but it will be worth it. Keep going.Graff-Netflix-crop

You will never speak to anyone more than you speak to yourself in your head. Be kind to yourself.

Immediately after writing my first post I began to tell myself , ” That’s stupid. That’s lame. That’s too plain. It’s too short. Too vague. Too random. Too ’emo’. Weak.” Immediately I ‘went there’. I’m not sure if I’ll ever stop doing that. I cannot say when the negative self-talk started, but I can push back . Fight darkness with light and talk myself back into something I’ve started that could potentially be good for me and someone else. So let’s practice…

Say This…
“I love every cell of my body.”
Not That…
“I’m fat.”

Say This…
“May the next few months be a period of magnificent transformation.”
Not That…
“I’ll never lose this weight.”

Say This…
“ I can.”
Not That…
“ I can’t.”

Say This…
“ I lose weight systematically and I keep it off permanently.”
Not That…
“ I can’t get rid of this stomach.”

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Me: Post an honest picture of yourself in your true element, maybe it will inspire someone       Also Me: Your bedroom is a mess and your workout close don’t match, you tacky heffa