Self Care Can Suck It!

I am really happy for everyone going out there and finding time to pursue passions, veg out or refill their cup however they see fit — I really am. But for all intents and purposes I am going to ask that self care as I know it to go suck it!

All this awareness about how important self care is to ensuring you are your best self has given me anxiety. Self care has become the latest thing I need to do on my to do list that never gets marked off. It’s something I think about, ok, something I daydream about doing and how wonderful I will feel after I do it. Only it doesn’t get done, then I feel like shit. I feel worse than if I hadn’t spent all that time trying to plot how I would do it while still keeping all other balls in the air; then I resent (if only for a moment) those around me who hinder me from getting this time for myself and I don’t like that feeling.

So I’m not going to think about self care anymore.3o72evjcawoa1jaflw

I know some day I’ll figure out how to go to the gym or read a book in less than a month but until that day comes I’m not going to continue giving myself a hard time about it.

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Let’s Remove Some Cobwebs, Shall We?

I’ve got a million excuses about why I haven’t touched this blog in over a year. A million excuses named, Jackson. The toddler years are proving to be their own certain flavor of challenging. Did you know 2 year olds have likes and dislikes and opinions about things like pants? Mainly not wanting to wear them.

Anyway, I am going to try to visit my blog more frequently and write about the billion and one things we have going on. Inspiration has come from my needing to write things down (that’s why I started a blog in the first place right? ) and from my beautiful friend @rubyjnkie her blog, The Hungry Mother, is amazing and she is an inspiration to moms trying to keep their sanity everywhere!

Here’s to trying to blog with a small person around! I imagine it will look a lot like this… 3tplifyjlhpv6

Joe’s Brew Club, a monthly box I can get behind.

It seems the monthly box craze has really hit its peak. With subscriptions including make up, snacks and even a box for your dog, surely there’s a box for everyone? Well, there wasn’t a box for me, that was, until I found Joe’s Brew Club!

My box arrived and I was so excited to dig in!

Here’s what came in the box:
1lb Coffee

1 bag of chocolate covered espresso beans

1 bar of dark chocolate

4 biscotti

Box Contents

Box Contents

As a big coffee drinker the most exciting part of this whole box was, of course, the coffee! So I set my tools up and got to brewing! We are a house divided when it comes to coffee, I am a cafe au lait or latte lover and my fiance is a cold brew dude. So we each had our coffees prepped our favorite ways and neither of us were disappointed!

My favorite coffee contraption

My favorite coffee contraption

Everything else in the box was equally enjoyable. There’s nothing quite like dipping biscotti into a steaming cup of joe. I would definitely recommend signing up if you’re into trying new things, especially new caffeinated things.

Thanks for sending this box my way, Joe’s Brew Club, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

 

 

My Version of New Motherhood or Why I Look Tired

I always thought it was customary for new moms to look a bit tired, disheveled even. Typically a new mom has just pushed or had a human surgically removed from her — doesn’t that sound tiring? She has endured a world-wind of emotions, pain, hormone fluctuations and survived all that to have a human or in some cases, a machine systematically suck milk from her breasts — yep, sounds tiring to me! While breastfeeding is a beautiful bond between mother and baby, the bond between mother and pump is not so picturesque, but I digress.

Aren’t people always griping about the ‘fourth trimester’? Did I misinterpret the message from the moms that came before me? No, I’m sure I didn’t. So it must be me. I must be some sort of fake new mom, right? The surprised tone in your voice when you tell me how tired I look certainly conveys that message. I get it, it’s confusing because you haven’t actually seen me and my baby together. I don’t have the typical complaints about cluster feeding, diaper blowouts and how many times the baby woke up the night before. But I’m not faking new motherhood, folks.

I am no different than any new mom I have known, but my tired is different.

Here’s a glimpse into my version of new motherhood:

I look tired because I don’t have the luxury of experiencing new motherhood in my home. The place where I feel safest and most secure is the place I spend the least amount of time. I look tired because despite the fact that I don’t hear my kid crying for me at 2 or 3am I am up at my pump making sure milk will be made available to him when he needs it. I look tired because I have to go to work every morning despite only getting a few hours of broken sleep. I look tired because I lug around the weight of a baby but instead of an adorable cooing creature, it’s a bag full of equipment I need so I can stop what I am doing every two hours and sit at my pump. I look tired because despite the best intentions of friends and loved ones I still have to do dishes, lug the laundry to the laundry mat and try to keep my home together.

Mostly I look tired because having a baby in the NICU is the single hardest thing I have ever experienced in my life. Worrying about O2 saturation, Brady’s, feeding tubes, and nasal cannulas is how I spend my days.  I look tired because I was at the NICU until late and back again bright and early. I look tired because the moment my son’s chest meets mine it’s like the weight of the world has been lifted and I finally feel at peace.

It won’t be this way forever but right now this is exhausting. So yes, I  look tired.

A Dark Truth, in Numbers

When I was fat, (yea I said it) I would avoid numbers like the plague. Clearly the most avoided number was always the number on the scale. Alongside that was the number on my jeans indicating the size, the number of calories in the meal I just had, the number of promises to myself to make a change I had broken and the list goes on. My life was basically a game of numbers, or avoiding them. 

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Now, 60 or 70lbs later I find myself in a similar dark place. At least a year ago when I was avoiding numbers it was out of sight and out of mind. Now, I obsess over all kinds of numbers! How many calories/carbs/protein were in that meal I just had? How much did I do on my deadlift/squat/barbell curl last week in comparison to this week? How many miles did I run/not run? What’s my body fat percentage like these days? How many inches have I lost? I find that at times I have made myself crazy over these numbers, but then I STOP.

I force myself to collect my thoughts; I breathe in the positive and let go of the negative. Or better said, the anxiety of numbers that overwhelms me. 

This method of breathing in the good shit and breathing out the bullshit is a constant struggle, much like keeping up a healthy lifestyle is. I’ve posted before about moderation, trying and being happy with small accomplishments and I believe that in my heart of hearts but sometimes that voice in the back of my mind is so loud I cannot silence it. 

I debated whether or not to share this part of the “journey” but I have to share my truths. If there’s a chance others feel this way too there’s no reason not to put it out there. We should all know that this can happen, that it’s ok and that you can get over and keep on going.

I’m done feeling sorry for myself (yet again). I’m getting over this hump and I know, if you find yourself on it, you can too. 

I’ll file this under the first world problems category and go kill my next workout. xo

“Something to Try on Tuesday”

It’s just, something to try on Tuesday, she says. She being the yoga instructor at my local gym. During her Tuesday evening practice she always adds in a bit of a challenging move and encourages us to give it a try. Try getting one toe off the ground in crow position or try an elbow supported arm stand in peacock pose; her words challenge us to reach within and conquer a fear no matter how small it may seem to be at the time. 

I try to carry this advice with me outside the studio and today I conquered a little fear I had been battling for a while now. I took a new class! I know it’s really silly to say out loud, but this class always looked really hard and I never had anyone to go in with me so I avoided it – until today! I’m so happy I finally went! The class was challenging, engaging, fun and I finished standing up! So take a new step towards your goal, don’t get stuck in a routine rutt and don’t be afraid of something new! 

I am so happy I tried something new on Tuesday and I hope you will too! 

New Year, New You! Tackle Gym Anxiety in 2014!

 

You thought the hard part was over after you signed your new gym membership contract. You eagerly packed your gym bag and made your way to the land of free weights and cardio after a long days’ work but just when you thought you were ready to tackle your fitness resolution for 2014, you walk into THIS!

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You immediately feel like this… 

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How am I supposed to get a workout in? How long am I going to have to be here? What are all these people doing? All these questions come into your mind and you immediately want to run back into your car and go home where your couch and pjs are waiting for you.

Before you go home, destined to trash another New Year’s resolution, read these tips for managing the mayhem! 

1. Avoid peak times

While I know most of us cannot avoid working out after work, if you can avoid it you should. If you’re gym is nearby try working out during lunch. If you’re a morning person, try working out before your day starts. 

2. Avoid the most popular areas of the gym

I am talking to all you treadmill and elliptical lovers! Make this time at the gym more about improving yourself and less about committing to a number of minutes on any given machine. This is not 30 minutes of punishment for eating all those Christmas cookies. Check the class schedule at your gym and pick something challenging or have someone at the gym show you around the weight area. Gym employees are there to help you navigate the intimidating waters. 

3. Create your own space

I don’t know about you but for me gym anxiety always stemmed around the idea that people were looking at me. I got over this by building my confidence about my workout in my own little corner of the gym. Grab a few free weights and a stepper or yoga mat and you’ve got all you need for a great workout. 

Sites like POPSugar and Bodybuilding.com have TONS of workouts at your fingertips like this one, 
http://www.fitsugar.com/Full-Body-Circuit-Workout-Dumbbells-2825394#opening-slide

If you’re just getting into weight lifting don’t be afraid to start off lite, but don’t stick to those for too long! 

4. Take your watch off

Your workout isn’t done at 6 or 2 or 12, your workout is done when you’ve completed all the exercises you’ve set out to! If you’re going to beat gym anxiety you’re going to have to spend more time there! 

5.  Don’t get discouraged! 

Whether you’re worried about the crowds or your first day back has muscles aching you didn’t even know you had, keep at it! Let’s be honest, you didn’t gain all this weight overnight and you’re not going to lose it that way either. Be patient with yourself! 

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