I have a weird theory about my fitness practices. When I was in college I was taking a full course load and working 19 hours a week. That’s it. And a full course load for a film student meant watching a few movies a week and writing about them, two of my favorite things to do (yes, I’m weird and like to write, not good I admit, analytical papers on film and novels). So I wasn’t that stressed out.
At least, not as stressed out as adult me was about to become.
Now I work 40-70 hours/week in an extremely high stress, fast paced environment and have a cat daughter at home who is on 3 medications for various illnesses.
Back in college I would work out 2-3 hours a day no problem. Lifting weights, high-intensity interval cardio, Zumba, and 45 minutes of yoga. I liked the wide varieties of workouts and the fast paced ones especially.
Now, however, not so much. Even just 20 minutes of interval training gives me anxiety. So I recently switched over to solely doing yoga and let me tell you I am loving it.
I’m also only 3 days in and hindered because I was selling my dining room table yesterday and had to carry it down 3 flights of stairs by myself, and in the process either strained or sprained my back. Either way it hurts like hell and I can barely bend over when I am used to being able to place my hands flat on the floor. But by staying active, lots of ibuprofen, heat, and the healing power of yoga I’m sure I’ll be good as new in no time.
Which brings me to the point of my post. My health goals for the summer are to practice yoga for at least an hour daily, and really listen to my body and what it needs. For the next few weeks that’ll probably be more restorative yoga than strengthening for my back, but I’m excited to heal and get into the really yummy stuff like arm balances and also balancing out my mind. I also want to focus more on eating a super clean diet, which won’t be too difficult because I’ve been doing it for about a week now and already my body rejects junk food. I decided to celebrate yesterday being my (un)anniversary and bought a mocha and sweet bread which my body promptly rejected.
I am excited to see where I am at the end of the summer! At the very least maybe my back won’t hurt anymore 😉
Remember the spaghetti straps, butterfly barrettes, and collar bones? I do. I remember wanting so much to look like that. Those girls were pretty. They were popular. Nothing bad could ever happen to them. They got the guys. They had all the friends. They had the big house with the red convertible on their sweet sixteen, and a mom and a dad and an annoying younger sibling that at the very worst teased them slightly.
That was what I grew up with. The 90s aesthetic and teen television comedies on Disney Channel and ABC Family. All I wanted was to fit into those super tiny spaghetti strap dresses that hung off of their slim bodies like an oversized t-shirt. Whenever I tried i still had that belly pooch sticking out and my collar bones where no where to be seen.
There are a lot of reasons why I wanted to be stick thin. I can’t blame the media alone or the way I was raised. It’s a combination of everything and my weird mental imbalances that keep me from being satisfied with anything about myself. Today it’s not about collar bones and spaghetti straps but the booty and crop tops. But there is still that part of my mind that wants spaghetti straps and collar bones.
I often forget that there will always be that part of me. I let it swallow me up and I end up pulling myself out magically, having the same epiphany over and over again. “I am more than my weight. I need to focus on making my body as strong and healthy as it can be and the shape will just come with it naturally.” And then my life becomes more hectic and I stop blogging and then one day I remember again those words above. But the important thing is I’m still eating. I have replaced food restriction with free time restriction. I work around the clock. At 50-60 hours a week I still cannot afford to pay all my bills. So I don’t grocery shop. I do little things at work for quarters to buy the trail mix out of the vending machine with. I drink teas made with soy milk and eat a couple bananas for breakfast if I have any. And in the back of my mind some 90s teen is calling to me in her velvet spaghetti strap dress and a million butterfly clips in her hair.
So some days I say fuck it and eat extra chocolate because I decide that being a twig is overrated and unnecessary. And other days I eat a spoonful of peanut butter for the entire day both because I’m too poor to afford food and because those collar bones are calling to me.
Every day I’m still fighting to remember those words above. “I am more than my weight.” And every day I get a little bit closer.
I’m gonna be honest.
Not that I’ve ever lied on here that I know of. Maybe about my intake when I recovering. Sorry, guys.
Anyway, since graduating from college I’ve been a constant ball of anxiety and depression. I thought I had a good paying job, but they let me go without notice. Then, I thought I found something ok but the pay was too little for the amount of work I was doing and the hours were way too few. I played phone and email tag with another job for months before I finally got a response. But now, everything has come together. I am about to finish my in class training and start on the job training on Saturday. It’s good pay, it’s what I want to be doing for work while I develop my writing and other projects, and it’s something that I can stay at for many years if I have to/want to.
It took 4 and a half months but I finally made it. I’m finally an adult and I can finally get my stuff in order. Since my job hunt was so long and stressful I kind of let my diet fall to the side. If I was stressed and wanted junk I had it. My waistline has suffered a little bit. I still work out, but you know what they say: you can’t out exercise a bad diet. So this week I have kicked my diet back into gear. Every morning I eat oatmeal in some flavor and bring tea to work. I meal prepped a bunch of amazing salads on Sunday that I’ve been having for lunches at work, and when I get home I eat dinner with protein and veggies, work out, and finish my night with banana ice cream.
My diet is back in check, and I’m getting more passionately back into veganism. I did slip up a few times with dairy but never meat. Now I’m back 100%. My stressful times are not an excuse to promote animal suffering by eating animal products, but I know better now and am moving on from my mistake. Next time things get rough I have a plan and know what to do.
I am reconnecting with my body and my mind by taking care of my health and getting back into my creative goals. I have a job that will help us with our expenses tremendously. Now it’s my turn to focus back on my dreams. In my spare time of course.
This is my life. I’m not going to waste it.