My Struggle: Depression

Lately it has felt like my depression is winning. It seems that at every turn I am faced with a crushing weight on my chest that I can’t remove.

I have tried hard to stick to my schedule, and do things that I enjoy to try and combat the feelings that I have been having, but it has been a challenge. I have never really understood the root of my depression and while I am seeking help I often find that it is so hard to explain.

It is hard to look into the eyes of peop

 

le you love and care about and feel so listless and down. When people ask me what they can do to help, I have no answers. I try to distract myself, to let myself focus on other things, other people, other problems, but I find that I keep coming back because of that crushing weight of sadness.

Recently, when discussing this with a friend of mine, she suggested that I try to do more things that I enjoy that are just for me. She told me to look outside of working out, to try and find something else. So I decided to come back here.

 

Life has been crazy since I last wrote. Outside of my depression I got a new part time job, am trying to focus on moving, and am still trying to navigate the grieving process. But when I am writing to all of you I feel a sense of strength. I feel that even though my thoughts aren’t ages old and 100% perfect, that it still helps heal me to share my story with the world.

I hope that you get something out of the posts that

 

you read and that if you are struggling that you can find an outlet that helps you see the light. I am going to continue to write about life, and fitness, and health, because it helps me see the light a little bit better and I need that.

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Finding Time For You

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This morning I woke up late for my morning run. I didn’t have nearly enough time to complete the run that I wanted without potentially being late for work. But before submitting to the fact that I would miss a workout today I took a second and thought, what is more important, my mental well-being or being 10 minutes late to work?

I grabbed my sneakers and headed out the door. It was a beautiful morning for a run and logging those morning miles made me feel centered and ready to start the day.

I rolled into work about 12 minutes late, but I was happy knowing that I had taken care of myself first.

Putting yourself first is vital to leading a happy and healthy life. It has taken me a long time to adapt to this mindset, but now I can’t imagine living without it. Every choice you make in life, every decision, and interaction starts with you. If you aren’t taking care of yourself and taking time for yourself, then all aspects of your life will suffer.

Here are some ways I make time for myself and take care of myself:

  1. Have a “me-night” where I watch whatever TV shows or movies I want as well as doing any other activities I like. Sometimes I will write, or read a book, or go for a walk.
  2. Make time for workouts. They keep me sane and I need them desperately to function.
  3. Unplug during a lunchtime walk. No texts, calls, or Facebook scrolling, just you time.

Try these tips to improve your health, happiness, and life!

All About That Shake

One of the main tenants of barre is about the shake. I happen to shake a whole heck of a lot.

At first I thought that my shaking was related to the fact that I was new to class and was still getting the hang of things. But now, after almost two months of going to barre, I am still shaking, and some days the shaking happens more than others.

I started reading up on what the shake was all about, and according to this interesting article, it happens because the muscle is exhausted. I lead an extremely active lifestyle outside of barre and routinely rack up between 10,000 – 20,000 steps a day. So some days my legs are exhausted heading into barre and thus why they shake earlier on in the movements.

Sometimes I feel embarrassed by the shaking but I know that it means my muscles are growing and getting stronger. I am glad that I stuck with barre and look forward to the benefits that it gives me as I prepare to signup for another race.

Just a Reminder

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I wanted to share this today because I needed this reminder and I’m sure that many others do as well.

Our weight does not define us. The way that people love us is not contingent on the size of our thighs or our pant sizes. The way that we love ourselves shouldn’t be either.

I read an article recently that bashed the body positive movement because, as the article said, that it promoted an unhealthy lifestyle and obesity. I have had a hard time wrapping my brain around their thoughts and my own opinion on the subject, but I am going to do my best now to share how I feel.

I think that people are trying to put too much responsibility on the shoulders of body positive advocates. A plus size model should be allowed to tell her followers to love every curve, every jiggle, and every piece of their body without in the same breath having to say, “but you should also exercise and eat well.” I think that is what many people expect and I don’t think it is their job and they shouldn’t have to do it.

I believe that health and fitness is vital to a happy life. MY life is vastly better when I workout consistently and eat well, but I am not going to preach that to someone who is scared and uncomfortable with their body. What that article didn’t understand is that sometimes you have to love yourself first before you can take care of yourself.

Sometimes you need to accept your curves and love the skin you’re in before you decide to try that barre class or go to Zumba or head out and run a mile. It is a lot easier to say fuck the haters in a fitness class when you love yourself and are feeling yourself then if you are told to be embarrassed and ashamed of your body by society.

My whole life I have hated my body because that is what society told me. That is what the bullies in my upbringing told me. I was surrounded by a loving and supportive family, and still I hated myself. I had an eating disorder and still didn’t feel thin enough, I still didn’t feel good enough.

No one should have to feel like that. I repeat, NO ONE.

No woman, man, or person should have to make the decision that they can only love themselves if they are exercising or eating well. No one should be telling body positive advocates that they aren’t doing enough, because they are doing more now than ever before. We are making strides so that EVERY woman can openly love herself and not just those who workout and eat clean.

Body positivity isn’t an excuse for obesity, it is about loving yourself, accepting who you are, and doing with that what you will. Loving myself means I wake up early and workout because for me, loving myself means making time for fitness. The key word is me. What is love for me might not be for you, and no one else should tell you how you are allowed to show love to yourself, no one but you.

So go ahead and show yourself a little love today.

Finding Healthy New Recipes

I am all about breakfast. It has always unfathomable to me that some people do not eat breakfast. I couldn’t do it, I don’t know how they live without morning fuel.

My breakfast sets the tone for the whole day so I try to make sure that it is healthy and filling. I used to eat Greek yogurt with fresh berries for breakfast every morning, but the yogurt started to upset my stomach so I switched to my old favorite of oatmeal.

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In my morning oatmeal I have half a cup of oats, a tablespoon of almond butter, and

 

then some fresh fruit on top. I like to have strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries, but I’ve seen some people add apple, peach, or pear and that is a hit too. While I love my oatmeal, I am starting to get a little sick of it and want to try something new.

That is when I stumbled on the recipe for these egg nests, they are basically egg muffins with veggies. I first saw a tutorial on Instagram on Inspiralized that gave me the idea to look for Zoodle Egg Muffin recipes that I could complete in my own kitchen.

I found this recipe that I cannot wait to try this weekend. I love that these little muffins pack in protein and veggies, which is often missing from my morning routine. I can’t wait to have these for breakfast with a side of delicious fruit.

What are your favorite healthy breakfasts? Please share your recipes with me so I can get out of my oatmeal rut!

The Scale is Just a Number

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I had a great chat with my sister yesterday about weight loss and health goals and she made a great point that made me rethink my current diet.

She told me that pounds don’t really matter, it is inches. I thought about this and realized that what I really want is to look better, not just be lighter. For me, I want more muscles and a more toned body overall, and, muscle weighs more than fat. So this morning when I stepped on the scale, I suddenly felt less invested in that number. Suddenly it seemed to click that how my clothes fit and how my body starts to change means less then the number on the scale.

This is an argument that has been all over social media for years, but has cropped upon my feed a lot lately. This one post talking about how you can weigh more but look smaller than you did at a lower weight. In fact Anna Victoria, a fitness blogger, says that the scale is not an accurate representation of your progress because it doesn’t explain how much fat versus muscle you have. Read her article here. I think these ladies are on to something.

The scale is just a number. Yes, sometimes it shows progress towards a goal, and sometimes it just shows excess water weight, or the fact that you need to go to the bathroom.

If you are fitter and healthier, you will feel it in your body, and a scale won’t always say the same thing. Focusing on the scale works really well for a lot of people, but for me, it often becomes a negative cycle that leaves me unhappy and upset.

Who else is thinking about ditching the scale?

Seeing Progress

Lately I have been able to see progress in my arms, and it is the best feeling! All of the barre classes and additional lifting workouts seem to be making a difference and I couldn’t be happier.

I have always wanted toned arms. I used to hate the way that my arms looked in pictures and I always craved that toned look. It has taken a lot of hard work to finally get those muscles to peek out and it makes me feel more confident. It also makes me want to keep working until they look even more toned and stronger.

Progress definitely makes the journey feel easier, but it is still hard to stick to clean eating and a solid workout routine outside of my normal running workouts. I have started running less and attending more barre classes which has given me results and made me feel pretty great too.

I still love running and still incorporate it into my routine since it is such a great release for me, but I don’t let it control my life anymore. This morning I was exhausted when I woke up, and I really didn’t want to get out of bed. If I didn’t have a barre class scheduled, then I guarantee I would have slept in and skipped a workout that morning. Instead I dragged myself out of bed and went to barre and it was a total kick-ass workout. I was drenched at the end and the challenge was a great way to start the day.

I want to keep working towards progress because it makes me feel good, but I also want to focus on loving life and living my life with a health balance of progress and actively living my life. I want my life to be focused on more than just gains and pounds, I want it to be focused on living and loving life.