A Week of ‘Not Good Enough’

This is a more serious post than those I usually share, but I suppose that comes with the territory of labelling yourself as honest/a real human being…right? SO HERE IT GOES. VULNERABILITY YAY 😀

The past week was a rough one for me. Hormones running wild, motivation at a low point, positive thinking a rare occurrence, interest in doing anything nonexistent. I was down & out of ways to get back up.  

[Obviously this is a much deeper issue than one blog post can possibly cover- but this is my best effort to talk about it based on my own experience..]

Not a single thing about me seemed to be good enough. 

No workout was satisfactory. No outfit I put on could make me feel comfortable in my own skin. No amount of coffee could keep me alert. No ‘victory’ could stop me from feeling like a loser. No promise of making a positive impact was enough to make me look forward to getting out of bed. 

A few fleeting moments of happiness & self love came throughout the week. But they weren’t enough. Nothing was enough. 

All of the advice & practices for wisdom I share with everyone else were just not helping. Or, if I’m being honest, I just didn’t want to put in the effort. 

I was convinced I wasn’t worth the effort to be happy with myself. 

I was convinced I didn’t deserve to love who I am. 

I was convinced all of the progress I’ve made was just not good enough.

I was convinced that the comparisons I was making between myself & other people were important & worth the space in my brain. 

I think we all experience these stretches of negativity & self sabotage fueled by a lull in self-love. Some of us have these experiences more than others. Some of us don’t acknowledge our feelings (me), & then when we do decide to process our feelings it becomes overwhelming & lasts a whole week. We all lose sight of our goals. We all fall out of love with ourselves. We all have bad days (or weeks, maybe even months). 

But I think there’s a positive note behind these valleys of self-hate. Although they suck, & they drain you of your mental enegy, they can be a great opportunity to re-focus. When you come out on the other side of any internal struggle, your desire to fight for yourself is stronger. The goals you have for yourself become clearer when you leave the fog of feeling less than worthy. The love you have for yourself intensifies when you test it with your own negative thoughts. 

After a long week, I know that I am good enough. I am worthy of my own love. I am strong. I am my own person, I make my own progress at my own pace, I have my own standards that may not satisfy other people’s standards, & that’s okay. Do I think I’m free & clear of all bad days & negative self-talk? Hell no!! A healthy relationship with yourself takes just as much work (if not more) than any other relationship. We have to put in effort to develop our own self love.

We all deserve a loving relationship with ourselves. We all deserve to be happy in our own skin. 

You’re good enough. You’re worth positive mental space. Don’t forget it!! ❤

~peace & all good~

It’s Okay to Ask for Help

A few days ago I decided to attempt to squat 205lbs… 

How is this relevant to asking for help? 

Well, I had just squatted a personal best of 195 the day before, along with a lengthy set of deadlifts. My body (especially the lower end) was tired. I’d never broken 200lbs before. But I thought I was ready. 

I did one slow, slightly painful rep. I got back up from under 205 lbs! 😀 

Of course that wasn’t enough…

I stepped up to the bar ready for round two. Stared at myself in the mirror for a while, contemplated if the song I chose was the right song, stared some more… 

I was going to do this. 

‘Not so fast there, pal!’ my brain screeched…. Ok, maybe I’m not going to do this. 

I was offered a spot & hestitantly accepted the offer. Before I even started to squat this person noticed a form issue I had (I wasn’t squaring off my feet) & pointed it out… I fixed my form according to the advice I was given & got myself ready to start (again).

I got all the way parallel, started to come back up, & before I got 3/4 of the way- I panicked. I felt myself inching back down…the opposite of where I needed to go.. So. I called on the help that was there to support me. It was kind of awkward & I felt like I had failed. 

Those negative feelings quickly went away once I realized how hilarious it was that I panicked even though I knew someone was right there to catch me. I didn’t fail. I tried something new; I reached a new one-rep max & I let someone help me when I tried to take it further.

That’s the point of accepting other people’s help- none of us can do everything on our own. We need the support of others at certain moments in our life. Whether that support comes in the weight room, at work, in the grocery store, when a crisis hits; whether it comes from a close friend, or from a complete stranger…it’s never a bad thing to embrace!

There is always going to be someone to help you. You never have to panic about impending doom or failure.

Enjoy the journey my friends. & remember to let a little help in from time to time 🙂

P.S.- I wrote this post at night while trying to sleep & it relieved a significant amount of anxiety that had built up in my mind/body. Not sure why.. Maybe it has something to do with allowing all of you to help me release my thoughts?? 

Sunday Self Care

Your body; your silent companion that accompanies you on all of your journeys

This quote says a lot. It’s so easy to forget how much our body does for us, & how amazing it really is.. 

For me, this was a reminder to appreciate myself:

Appreciate the stress I put my body through;

Appreciate the frequent disregard for what my body needs in turn for doing what I want; 

Appreciate the endless hours of thought I put my mind through; 

Appreciate the unending pressure on my body to be better, stronger, prettier, smaller, bigger, happier, calmer, healthier…

Appreciate the things my body needs, but that I often forget to give it;

Appreciate that despite all of the trouble I give my body, it still does everything I ask it to. 

This quote reminded me to think of my body as my friend. It’s here to support me & help me through my journey (aka life). I have to keep this idea in the front of my mind. I have to really start taking care of & appreciating my longest friend; my body. 

~peace & all good~

Breaking Bad: Work Habits Edition

Greetings earthlings! This blog post is brought to you by tired mental state & me thinking about ways to save my weary brain..

We’re all (generally speaking) creatures of habit. We love routine, it makes us feel normal. 

Going to work at 9 am is my daily routine. Coming home between 4 & 5 pm is my daily routine. Sitting at my desk talking people through the process of a criminal case is my daily routine. Sitting….for hours… It’s making me go crazy. I love my job, & I don’t want to grow so entrenched in my routine that I start to resent it.

Since I’m finally able to wrap my head around my new routine, it’s time to take ownership of it! I haven’t been doing enough for me. I haven’t been taking my lunch hour or exploring the area around my office. & no one is stopping me from doing these things!! I’m not tied to my desk. I have the freedom to leave or take a break whenever I want…I just haven’t done it. 

So today I decided I’m going to commit to myself. I’m going to change some of the habits that I’ve fallen into during my work day. Not some ‘use the stairs to keep ur waist slim :)’ or ‘leave the carbs at home for more energy lolz’ BS. More like- ‘take care of your mental state during work so you aren’t burned out & agitated when you leave your office’…

Here are my 2 Golden Commandments to myself:

  • I will eat my lunch away from my desk. Yeaaa…. I’m sick of staring at my damn computer screen while I eat. That shit is depressing & makes for mindless food consumption. I like to enjoy my food. I’m going to use the time I spend eating as a refresher. Even if I’m still sitting in my office, I’ll be physically seperated from my desk & that will do wonders for my mind.
  • I will take a walk. Fresh freakin air. What a wonderful thing…that I definitely need more of. I think I’ve been discouraged by the colder weather recently, but I forgot how great even a short walk can make me feel! I’m going to bring some warmth accessories to my office so I can’t be deterred by the crisp or chill- I’ll always be prepared 🙂

Peace of mind is an extremely important part of being healthy. As I’m sure we all know, it takes a lot more than exercise to create a happy life for your mind & body.. All of my fellow office workers- I hope yall can look at your own daily routine & see if you’re doing enough for you. 

I think this is a reminder from the universe that I need to take care of me. We all need that reminder sometimes.. We fall off track, we get run down by routine. That’s not the focal point though- what is the focus is what we do when we realize we’re not doing the right things for ourselves. 

Refocus. Set new standards for your daily routine. Throw some changes into the mix. Feel good about how you spend your days!!

Runnin Thru the Gram With My Woes

*You know how that shit goes*

Social media… I use it, like we all do, but it doesn’t really add much to my life. Instagram, however, seems to be the source of all evil (I know that’s harsh, it’s for added drama). 

How many times a day do I scroll through my feed of pictures & think: 

  • ugh, why am I not making progress like that? MUSCLES WHERE R U ???!1!11?
  • I wish I had cute gym clothes 😦
  • LOL he/she looks like a human after working out, pretty sure I usually look like a cave troll
  • man I’m hungry…that looks delicious
  • haha my abs will never exist 
  • y do I work a full time job? I should just get paid to workout all day..
  • wow y am I poor I need more supplements !?!!11! 😦 😦
  • Y AM I SO UGLY UGH PLZ HELP BASED GOD

…. Many a time. It’s a bad habit I’ve developed recently that I’m trying to get rid of.  Why do I care what someone else wears while working out? I’m sure my next meal will also be delicious. I’m making progress, just in my own way!

There’s been a lot of talk about how social media is bad for self confidence/living successfully in reality. Internet stars are coming out & giving the truth behind Internet fame; the rotten things people say, the work that goes into maintaining their image, the way it provides a false picture of what life really is. All of this is relevant. It’s also relevant to think about how much time out of our day we take to compare ourselves to people on a damn screen. & the fact that kids are growing up with these ideas about health & what ‘fit’ looks like, but no one understands the toll it can truly take.. 

If someone feels badly about themselves, their feelings are valid. If someone feels inadequate because they just spent 2 hrs scrolling through pics of people with professional makeup/clothes/photo crews (who don’t mention these professionals in their posts), their feelings are valid. If someone is sick of comparing themselves to others & boycotts social media, you guessed it- VALID FEELINGS. Being bombarded with images of perfection creates a lot of confusion in our brains.. 

Maybe you don’t even exercise, but you follow fitness accounts anyway in hopes you’ll become motivated to start exercising. In reality, the posts from these accounts probably just make you sad because you just don’t want to exercise. It’s okay if you don’t like to workout! Stop trying to convince yourself that you do via social media envy. You’re choosing to reinforce an image of what you wish you were- instead of being happy with the person you actually are.

We all have some level of demons/negative self-talk that happens regardless of these Gram woes.  But it’s important to pay attention to how these images influence the way you think about yourself. When I see a fitness model who looks flawless after a workout I sort of resent the fact that I will never look that good in the gym….ever….because I don’t have a group of people whose job is to make me look great….

Not in a million years will I have a so-called “perfect” body. 

I might never eat clean for a consistent period of time. 

I don’t think I see myself working out in a sports bra anytime soon (never happening). 

I will always eat carbs.

If I ever have abs it will be a miracle. 

I know all of these things, & I’m completely content with that knowledge 98.9% of the time. But that 1.1% feels a lot bigger when I’m looking through Instagram…shiit

So the moral of the story: Remind yourself of what reality is like. Go out & realize that the average person isn’t perfect- even if they appear to be. Most people have rolls when they sit…even if they workout regularly. I can speak for myself & say that I do not look attractive when I work out, nor do all of my gym outfits match/smell pleasant.. 

It’s all good! Our flaws make us who we are!! Everyone has things they want to work on, but that’s why we’re all human.

Here’s a guided meditation for shutting down negative energy. Embrace the funk 🙂

~peace & all good~

How-to: Safe Squats

Squatting is an exercise that, if done right, can do amazing things for your body. It can increase your muscle strength relatively quickly, get your heart in shape (aka it is cardio-based), & increase your body’s fat burning skills to keep ya hungry. Squats are perfect for any fitness goal…. I may be slightly biased because I love squats, but not really because full body exercises (like squats) are thebomb.com. 

Squatting is primarily a leg/booty exercise, but there’s much more to it!

Quads: The general motion of a squat requires your quads to control your knee extension. The upward motion means these muscles push your body back to the start position.

Hamstrings: Your hamstrings help your quads with hip extension while doing squats. The stronger/more flexible your hamstrings are, the deeper you can get in your squat! More work is required from the hamstrings when you’re able to lower your upper thigh below parallel to the floor. 

Core: You rely significantly on your core muscles (front & back) while performing this exercise. Using your core muscles to keep your upper body in a stable position throughout the up & down motions strengthens your back & abdomen. It’s also superb for your posture!

Upper Back/Shoulders: These muscle groups are utilized more when weight is added. However, with or without weights, your back & shoulders are engaged when you perform a squat. That means they’re working & getting stronger with every rep!

When you’re getting started, the most important thing is squatting safely. I chose this exercise as my first how-to because personally I did them wrong for quite some time…I had poor form, which I currently feel in my knees if my squats get sloppy. Hopefully you can avoid that because it’s not much fun. Squats are also one of three ~power lifts~ that utilize most of your body & help you gain strength. 

Here is a little visual of how to properly squat. No fancy editing or backdrops, just a girl & her squats 🙂 

I did this without weights (body weight squats) so you can see where my legs are going in relation to my ankles/toes, my back positioning, & basically just unobstructed form.

****I do not attempt to be visually appealing while working out, nor do I claim to be visually appealing****

Start Position: Place your feet shoulder-width apart (or wider if that feels better). If your hips/hamstrings are tight, you may want to turn your feet out slightly. Keep your back in a neutral upright position with your chest open.   

 
  

End Position: You want your upper thighs to be parallel (or close to parallel) with the floor. Your knees should be in line with your ankles, not going beyond your toes. 

 

After one squat, your backside will grow to never-before-seen proportions!!!! WOW, just ONE squat!?!1?!1? 

  
YES! ONE squat! *plus the leg of a friend to create optical illusion of size*

So, there you have it- a fool proof guide to squats! (jk) But adding squats to your regular exercise routine is definitely a good starting point for building strength & power. You’ll find that there are infinite variations, all working your muscles in slightly different ways. Have fun with your workouts, get creative! 

Always remember to practice safe squats 😉

Thoughts From An Overly Aware Mind

What is the point?

Does anyone else ever ask themselves that question? Like really… What is the point of anything? Or, dare I ask, what is the point of everything

I literally question the purpose of everything in the world around me. It gets annoying & discouraging. It makes me frustrated with the world. It makes the idea of things ever improving seem hopeless. (I work in the criminal justice system, so I find myself questioning the point of my work ALL the time). It makes me tired sometimes because of the extent of my thought process..

It also gives me satisfaction. It gives me something to work for- if I’m able to identify things I think are wrong I have passion to fuel me. It keeps my mind active (without school that can be relatively difficult believe it or not); with my brain I’ll never become an idle member of the world. My thoughts won’t let me! 

There are times when I would like to turn off my brain, to get some peace, to just have quiet & blindly accept things. But I can’t. That’s not who I am, not how I’m wired at all. & I have recently come to accept that..now the noise in my head doesn’t drive me crazy. I can sit with my thoughts & find peace in the chaos. I’m okay with the fact that I think too much about everything I experience/see/hear. I’m glad I over analyze situations & society & the world I find myself in. It helps me have an awareness most people find annoying…but really I wouldn’t have it any other way. Some may say that I am ~woke~ 

Yes, I feel like an outsider in most situations. It’s hard to find other humans who can truly relate to me/my mind. I feel crazy sometimes. 

BUTT. I will always have a plethora of thoughts to occupy my brain.

So long story short, I am a textbook intellectual introvert…… If that wasn’t screaming at you yet… But I’ll have a more organized post on that in the days to come. 

If you analyze everything around you & within you to the point of mental exhaustion- you’re not alone! It’s something we should embrace rather than suppress. Be at peace with your awareness. Let yourself find a sense of calm from your thoughts. Empower yourself!!

Be well, & remember: everything happens for a reason. 

~peace & all good~