My Bra Is Still On

“My bra is still on.” This is my literal and metaphorical response to the questions,  “ Are you in?” , “ Are you coming?”, “ Are you done , you ready to quit?”

For women ( or at least this woman), the point within a 24 hour day in which you remove your bra and sit down, signifies you’re done for the day. Out for the count .

I want to quit often. I find the older I get, the more impatient I tend to be.

I recently watched some children play, and these children were of the smaller variety. So young, that when they would trip and fall, they’d pause ( as if stunned), then look for their parent , scrunch their faces and proceed with crocodile tears and whining. Once reassured by parents they were back on their feet and ready to go.

As an adult, still being ready to go means ‘my bra is still on’. I’m still engaged. I’m still interested. I’m still willing to give whatever a try : an adventure, a relationship , an attempt at keeping a blog. I’m not done yet. My bra is still on.

 

 

This ain’t cute no more…

At what point do you say, “enough is enough”? At what point do you say ,” that’s it…I’m too old for this”? At what point do you say , “This ain’t cute no more.” ?

Or like me, have you found yourself asking yourself  “Who am I , and how did I get here?” and “Clearly I’ve gone wrong somewhere along the way, what can I do now?”

On so many levels I’ve been questioning where I am. Spiritually, relationally, physically , health-wise, mentally, career-wise and it’s been intense. If I’m not at a breaking point, I’m sure I’m getting close. This isn’t fun. This isn’t cute, but I suppose most transitions aren’t.

I feel like someone’s short-tempered confused grannie.  Bless her heart . My patience runs thin somedays, and I’m not a snapper ( one who snaps , and ‘goes off’ on people in the stereotypical way) , but I still feel ALL the feelings that people who tell people off do (which does nothing for my health)

The part that sucks the most about it is not knowing what’s on the other side of it all. History gives me some hope. I wasn’t a runner in high school, and a became a regular runner in my early 20’s. Some things I use to trip about in my early 20’s , I don’t trip about anymore.

The even scarier part is wondering if I’m regressing . If I’ve lost it or still got it. The feeling of losing control of more than what’s comfortable.

“Clearly I’ve gone wrong somewhere along the way, what can I do now? Cause this shit ain’t cute.”

This isn’t a cry for help or solicitation for advice. It just is what it is . Just a part of the process .

 

Set Your Standard

Thanks to a dietitian colleague of mine, I have slipped, tripped and fallen into the Healthy At Every Size wave and I’m not coming back. Truly, I’ve been leaning towards and been knowledgeable about body diversity for a while on a personal level, but just now spreading the idea to my personal nursing philosophy.

Articles and podcasts have been my recent sources of topics stemming from HAES, and have stimulated my thinking in what does ‘healthy’ look like at my current size. So far this is what I have ( …remember, this is what I’ve set for me):

  • Getting 7 or more hours of sleep most nights
  • Eating healthy meals with adequate protein portions; most of my plates look like a Diabetic Plate. I’ve tried the diabetic plate (not actually being a diabetic) and it has helped shed a few pounds in the paste and currently maintain my weight.
  • Being consistently active. Meaning I’m exercising every week. No off weeks. This is a challenge. I track myself using my MapMyFitness app and set weekly activity goals based off of what my doctor recommends which is basically what the AHA recommends for adults.
  • Occasionally challenge myself physically. Whether it’s a race or new workout, I want to challenge my body and my heart with rigorous physical activity. This will include indoor and outdoor activities.
  • LOTS OF WATER. I keep a 64ounce bottle at work and shoot to drink the whole thing or more during the 8 hours I am obligated to be there. Hydration is key, and none of us are probably getting enough.
  • More Veggies. More Veggies. More Veggies.
  • Allowing myself cheat meals . Not “cheat meals “, “cheat weekends”, “cheat weeks”, etc. That’s too much to come back from.
  • Allowing myself dessert, because cake is bae and (for me) that is never going to change. However asking myself , “Is this worth it? Or do I want to eat something better at a later time as a dessert?” Because truly, the double chocolate cookies in the vending machine at work can’t hold candle to Duck Donuts.
  • Let the holidays be the holidays.

So I’m going to encourage myself and my patients to be very personal and intentional about their standards . It’s not about what anyone else likes and it’s not about what you use to look like ( I struggle with this). It’s about loving yourself. Loving yourself for who you are today.

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.