Laziness or Self-care?

However, I realized that I am not being lazy, I am taking care of myself.

I am the type of person who enjoys making and baking things from scratch. I prefer making my own laundry detergent and I normally make sure I always have homemade sandwich bread. These past few weeks I have bought bread. These past few weeks I have eaten less vegetables because I would buy them and then not prepare them. The heads of lettuce sat until I had to throw them out. The green beans grew mold until they became one. It is disgusting and embarrassing, but it is reality, it is my reality.

Depression is something that I fight with on a regular basis. Sometimes I can feel it coming on and sometimes it takes me by surprise. I had felt it coming on but I didn’t account how bad it would be with all the changes in my life. My husband has been away at a training during the week, I quit a job that was tearing me apart, I started a new job with a new daily schedule and have been dealing with everyday challenges as well. This bout of depression hit me hard.

Throughout my life I have been known as a happy and cheerful person. I have dealt with depression since I was in my early teens but didn’t want anyone to know. I would cry in my room or just lay in silence and not understand why I couldn’t feel anything. I hurt myself but no one knew for almost two years. Even when it came out, it wasn’t something I talked about. My parents knew and a few friends but I didn’t really talk about my feeling or lack of feelings. When I walked out of my house I put a smile on. I helped others and listened to their problems. I was goofy and laughed throughout the day. It was never fake though. I truly do have a joy where I am able to push through. It was hard work to push through the day and when I came home I took it out on my family and myself. I would lock myself in my room and demand to be left alone.

When I was across country in college I had a blast and was involved in a lot. Then a bout of depression hit and I had to push myself to keep going and stay involved. I would go back to my room at the end of the day and curl up in a ball under my blankets. I would wake up in the morning and feel like I was surrounded in darkness. It took everything in me to get up. I eventually became too tired of pushing and missed classes here and there. As I was battling my own darkness I was assigned a paper in Psych class about something I dealt with as a child, and was having issues with the relationship I was in. I broke. I tried to write the paper but as I would read and watch documentaries for my paper, I would cry and relive my trauma. As my relationship chipped away at me, I sank farther into the darkness and stopped getting out of bed. The best thing happened to me; my funds dried up and the college told me that I had to leave.

I came home and smiled as I worked at retail job. I went to my church and smiled as everyone said that they were happy I was home. I lied when they asked if I had a good college experience. I would go home and close myself in my room and cry. I felt empty. Eventually the darkness went away and I was “myself” again. I felt all the feels. I laughed and smiled and cried when needed. My life was clear and I felt good. I knew that depression was something that would come back again and something I needed to deal with.

I made sure I took care of myself. I ate well and took daily walks. I lost a good amount of weight, but more than that, I loved myself even on the lazy days. I felt close to God. I was social with friends and was kind to my family. I was also always prepared for the darkness. The darkness did come but I pushed through and was able to take care of myself. I would smile during the day and would come home and do yoga and talk with God. Somewhere along the way I lost my routine.

My husband is amazingly supportive and pushes me to take care of myself. He reminds me to read my Bible and to do yoga if I feel that would help. I have ignored him the past few months on these things. I have been so emotionally exhausted that I didn’t take care of myself on normal days so when the darkness hit this time, I just went under and it over took me. My husband would come home and be overwhelmed by the mess I had not dealt with but encouraged me and made me feel loved. When he calls during the week and ask what I did with my day he congratulates me if my accomplishment is taking a shower. When he came home this weekend I was getting dressed and realized that my pants were tighter. The darkness was starting to lift and I was thinking about the past few weeks. I realized how I had eaten and was disappointed. I had worked so hard for so long and now I felt like I had ruined it in just 2 months of being in darkness. I decided not to get down on myself.

As I sat on my couch with the darkness separating just enough to give me light to think, I decided to spend money. I realized that I am not at a place yet to make everything by scratch. When I make things from scratch there are more dishes to do. When there are dishes and I am tired, I get overwhelmed. If the darkness is looming, it is harder for me to fight it off if I am tired and overwhelmed. I know that I need to get my health back on track. I looked in the fridge and realized that I only had snap peas for fresh veggies and they were almost gone. I went to the store and got a bag of pre-made salad with the fixings. It was almost $5. To me, that is ridiculous and never would I have paid that in the past. I would have told myself that I am being lazy. However, I realized that I am not being lazy, I am taking care of myself.

Depression hits people in different ways and at different times. There is no right way for someone to deal with their battle. Self-care looks different for others. Some people take a bath with candles, some people get their nails done, and some of us buy a bag of salad so we can eat healthy but deal with our emotions and brain chemicals. If you are battling depression, find your personal way to push through. As long as you are not harming yourself or others then it is okay to do what you need to do. Go on a walk, watch a movie, buy something that is overpriced that will make your life a bit more manageable.

I am looking forward to the darkness fully lifting so I can handle making everything from scratch. Until then, I will be spending money on pre-made salads and frozen veggies. If it ever gets so dark I will try to be willing to buy pre-cut fruit too. This my life and battle, I am going to embrace it and continue to push through.

My Life vs. Our Life

I need to take care of myself, so I can better love my husband….

When you get married, normally you like the person. At least in modern, western countries, we tend to marry someone because we love them. When you love someone, you usually want to spend time with them. At the end of the day all I want is to hang out with my husband. Whether we go for a walk, play cards or binge watch a show, I want to be with him.

My husband and I have very different ideas on how an evening should look. When my husband is ready for bed, he just goes upstairs and gets into bed. He usually scrolls through Facebook for a bit and talks but then he just flips over when he is ready and goes to sleep. I like to take my time and relax my mind and body. I like to take care of my hygiene, maybe some yoga depending on my mood, write for a few minutes and then read until I am ready to lay down. I tend to be more rested than him, even though he can go to sleep much faster than me.

I have mentioned before that our schedules have been very different this year. We are now on the same schedule and go to bed at the same time most nights. This past year I have not had a good night routine. I hang out and then realize that I have lost track of time and my husband is ready for bed, so I go from my brain being engaged to laying in darkness. On the nights my husband stays up later, I usually stay up an hour later. I can’t do it anymore. I need to take care of myself, so I can better love my husband. I have been very tired and extremely cranky. He doesn’t want to hang out with that side of me. I don’t want to hang out with that side of me.

Taking care of myself is a lot more than just sleep and “me time.” I need to take care of myself spiritually and physically as well. A few months ago my Charming decided that we were going to get gym memberships. I was hesitant because of money and because we had done this before and not used it. I like working out in the front room and not having to get in the car. I enjoy jumping into MY shower after a workout or since I am already sweaty, go on a cleaning spree. I have had a lot of issues with my knee and ankle, causing me to have to rest it and not use a lot of gym equipment. In turn, Charming decides to hang out at home with me. I prefer working out in the morning, and he prefers working out in the dead of night. I also recently found out that he prefers the gym fairly empty, I never knew that because our gym in our previous town was always empty. As much as he likes working out in the evening, he is usually worn out from work. I don’t remember the last time we went to the gym together.

I was dwelling on the fact that I haven’t worked out in awhile and frustrated. I was frustrated with myself for not just getting it done and I was frustrated with Charming because I wanted him to be my inspiration, cheerleader and workout buddy. It is not fair for me to put my failures on him when we never agreed that was part of our relationship. I see couples on social media working out together, taking pictures with their healthy food and the before and after pictures and get jealous. Here is the thing though, I don’t like talking at the gym. When I am on the elliptical I want to zone out to my music or think about my podcast. When I am lifting weights, it is nice to have some encouragement but usually I want to just focus on what my body is doing and pushing myself further. I haven’t been working out because I have been waiting for him, but I need to work out for me. This is my part of my journey, not our journey. We are not the Instagram couple that take the perfect pictures. I couldn’t ask for anyone better to support me on my personal journey though.

I have such a wonderful marriage. There is not a lot of pictures of us because we are too busy living life. When Charming notices a change in my body he congratulates me. When I eat healthy, he tells me I am doing a great job. When I have overworked my body, he tells me that I need to relax and remember to rest. When I am in a depression he tells me to take a walk, and he bugs me until I get out of the house because he knows I won’t otherwise. When I am feeling down he holds me and ask me if I have prayed about it. We probably watch more tv than some, but we pause A LOT to have conversations or randomly jump in the car for a drive, play cards or go for a walk. He will never do yoga with me and I will never play the video games he likes. He will never read the same book I like to discuss it, just like there are some shows I refuse to watch with him. He annoys me with some of his jokes and I annoy him with my singing. On his days off he doesn’t want to go anywhere, on my days off I want to sit in a coffee shop.

I have decided that I need to actively make time to go exercise by myself and keep the night routine best for  me rather than passively living my life. I will live my life to the fullest. I will also live our life to the fullest. I will spend time with my Charming when he comes home and actively love him and continuously get to know him better for the next 50 plus years. Even though I have a few things in my life that I will do for me, my favorite thing will always be collapsing in his arms binge watching a show while feeling his love and strength, knowing he will support me no matter what I decide to do.

Cabin Fever

The boredom has set in. My legs long to move in the sand.

The great Northwest of the USA is on fire. The Chetco Bar fire started over a month ago around 20 miles from our town. The fire is out of control and has grown to over 100,000 acres. The fire is less than 12 miles from us now and the smoke has covered our town. Most people have headaches, sore throats and eyes and some are having issues breathing.

I thought about leaving town this weekend for health reasons. I need to breath. I figured I may go to my parents’ house and breath the clean air next to the river. Now, they are in the middle of a fire and the highway just shut down. They live about 8 hours away and there are many fires in-between. There have also been a few fires on our beach since the big fire started. You would think that people would use their brains and realize the heat and dryness would be dangerous adding a fire to the mix. Plus, the firefighters are trying to save our wonderful forests.InkedSmoke from Chetco_LI

Ash is falling down and the sky is full of smoke. The air is thick and it is hard to breath. The sun is red and the sky has an orange tint. The windows are closed in attempts to keep the smoke out. The house is hot and muggy. The boredom has set in. My legs long to move in the sand. My face needs the air and sand to beat against my face. My lungs desire the coolness of the ocean breeze.

My poor pup longs for the same thing. Jax is so mad at me. He doesn’t understand why we can’t go out on a walk. He doesn’t understand that if I let him out for more than just a few minutes to relieve himself that the smoke will coat his throat and lungs. My pup-pup has been whining and trying to get me outside all day. I told him tomorrow, no matter what, we will go on a walk….. because I told my husband, no matter what, I need OUT!!!Jax

I wish I would have made better decisions when it came to my health this weekend while I was stuck in the house, but I didn’t. It is, what it is. I am not going to hold on to it. It is muggy and hard to breath. I stressed/lonely ate more than dealt with my feelings. I sat and then cleaned rather than get a few good work outs in. I will focus on the good from this weekend.

I relaxed this weekend. My husband has really been pushing me to relax and take care of my mental health. I colored instead of folding laundry. (Yes, I color. And I always have, even before it became a trend.) I had a good workout this morning and here and there I did 5 minute workouts. I chose veggies and fruits instead of carbs for some of my snacks. When the air clears I can’t wait to go on walks and eat some fruit on the back patio.

Pray for rain for the fires and pray that the water recedes in Texas. The Red Cross has been helping so many people the last month and for the first time I have seen in person what they do for others. We have been blessed that we do not need help but for a while they were set up across the street from our house. My husband has also talked to the volunteers and we now know that for many people with the Red Cross, this is what they do all year long. They travel to help others. We have decided that when we have extra we will be giving to the Red Cross and I encourage you to do the same.

Top picture credit-
Picture of smoke and Jax are my own

Make It Work For YOU

I did what was good for me and my body.

On my birthday this year, June 29, I decided my goal was to lose at least 7 pounds a month. I will weigh in, take measurements and take pictures on the 29th of each month. In July, I did fairly well but didn’t really have a plan. I lost a little more than 3 pounds. This month I felt like a failure. I let “injuries” get in the way, barely paid attention to my eating, exercised here and there but didn’t push myself. I didn’t have concrete enough goals. I lost 0.2 pounds. Even my last post was too vague. I need a plan. I need a change. I have done it once before and I will do it again. I just need to change what I am doing this time to fit my life now.

I put injuries in quotations above because it’s more of weak bones and muscles. As a kid, I sprained my ankle… a lot. I was told I needed surgery on both my ankles but we didn’t have money so I learned to just push through the pain during p.e., volleyball and long walks. I broke one wrist and sprained the other and now they occasionally give me pain if I hold the weights a certain way or don’t pay attention to the slight pain until it really hurts. I am also 20 pounds heavier than the last time I was really working out. I have been trying to be more in tune with my body. I have pushed the pain out for so long that I don’t pay attention until it really hurts and then I am down and out for weeks instead of just taking it easy for a day or two. My husband has been telling me to invest in better shoes and invest in my health and now that he has something to train for he needs to invest in some new gear. Today I am going over finances and switching some of our priorities. We are in a debt snowball that I will write about later, but I am so focused on that and those goals that I forgot that I will ruin those goals with medical bills if I don’t get myself in check.

I wrote the first part of this blog in the middle of the day during glorious naptime. I made a note that I was going to write about my husband and what I was wanting from him. I was longing for him to workout with me. To push me. To motivate me. I almost looked at him like that magic thing that would change my world. Don’t get me wrong, he certainly has changed my world, but not in the “Let’s take a cute IG pic of how much weight we lost,” sort of way. I have to push myself. I have to challenge myself. I am charge of my own destiny. With all that said, my sweet husband worked out with me tonight.

This morning I did some yoga and cardio. It was pretty weak, but I did something. Throughout the day I found things that worked for me. I wanted to do a few sets of leg lifts, squats, knee to elbow, side turns and other things. I did a few but the baby needed me so instead of giving up I grabbed the baby and did some squats with her and lifted her above my head. Later I was on the floor with her and she was crawling all over me so I laid on my back and used the baby as a weight. That may have been too much for some people and for others it may have been part of their everyday. It was perfect for me! When my Charming got home we had planned on going on a walk and he was talking about doing a jog and we were trying to decide if we were going to meet halfway or what. He then mentioned that I should jog with him. I was horrified. I told him earlier that I would support him, so I told him that I would do it. We walked the first mile to stretch out and warm up. He would occasionally run with the dog and then come back to me. His walk is so fast. It took everything in me to be within 20feet of him. When we got to the Jetty it was time to turn back and start pushing even harder. Charming and I decided that we would do what was best for us individually. He ran/jogged to a point and then would walk back to me. I pushed myself. I slowed down when I pushed myself past the limit and could feel it in my ankles and knees. I would do a brisk walk and then pick up a jog again. I was so slow, having problems breathing, wiggling and jiggling all about, but I did it! And it was what worked for me. I didn’t do what worked for Andy. I didn’t do what worked for someone on social media. I did what was good for me and my body.

I laid out a plan that works for me this morning in my journal. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I am planning on doing Yoga, cardio and then working on my arms. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I am going to work on my legs. My Saturdays belong to the sweetest pup, Jax. I will take him on long walks on the beach. On Sundays, I will only do a leisurely walk after church. I am not sure if I will make jogs a regular part of my life but I will be taking walks with the babies or with my husband after work.

What do you do throughout the day to get a workout in? Do you schedule your workouts around your day or your day around your workouts? I need some ideas for simple at home workouts, what are your favorites?

Small Changes=Big Changes

I am at a point in my life where I truly do need something different with my health.

For years I have struggled with my weight. I have loved it and I have hated it. I have taken responsibility and I have placed blame. I have eaten healthy and moved my body every day for months. There have been months that I have eaten emotionally and taken a nap every day.

The highest I have weighed in is 297 pounds. I know I was more than that but I got to a point where I didn’t want to weigh in. I have been slowly eating healthy and being more active and have lost more than 10 pounds again. Weight is a frustrating thing, always moving up and down. I am more than my weight though.

I am at a point in my life where I truly do need something different with my health. My husband and I like going on hikes but it has gotten harder for me to do so. I work with children but I have realized that I don’t move as fast when I get up and down with the kids all day. I have become inactive without knowing it. I subconsciously knew it but the days have flown by and I look back and wonder what I have done with my body.

In the past, I have been a nanny and would take the baby or child on walks. I would walk anywhere from one to three miles a day, sometimes twice a day. During nap time, I would try and work out for at least 20 minutes if everything else was done. While we played outside I was doing yoga if they wanted to play alone or doing squats while blowing bubbles. I wanted the change, I was actively seeking a healthier life. Times changed, jobs changed and I started gaining wait back, which leads me where I am today.

Currently I am doing childcare from my house. I have 3 kids in my care all under the age of two and with slightly different schedules. I no longer do random exercise moves in my front room because we have a large window and people in the apartments…. And other complete strangers are often standing outside my window (It really is an uncomfortable situation. We have actually had people walk up and try and ask us questions about our bearded dragon through the closed glass window.). I used to do yoga in my backyard before we moved towns. I now have a patio that all the apartments can look down into, (I wish I was being paranoid but I have a creep of a neighbor who has run out to the common grass to talk to me and the only way that he could have known I was out there was from watching out the second story window… its happened more than once.). It sounds like a lot of negative things that will keep me from being the healthy person I long to be.

I am not one to quit. I am a thinker, an innovator and a doer. There are days that I have the baby a full hour before the toddlers come over, I can go for a quick walk then. Today while I was in the kitchen I was doing leg lifts and squats and getting the babies to cheer for me. I have turned my bedroom into a peaceful place where I can do yoga during nap or in the evening while my husband is studying or gaming. On the weekends, I plan to go on long walks with my pup. My husband has something he would like to get in better shape for and mentioned that he would like to start walking/jogging in the evening. You didn’t see me write anything about waking up early because I am not there yet. I have been trying to wake up but I just don’t get up. I am the kind of person who will jump out of a bunk bed and turn their alarm off and climb back in without ever waking up, ask my dad about my high-school days.

I am going to find what works for me and start adding stuff in. I know that waking up early is not something that I can depend on right know so I am not going to put all my desires into that and get disappointed and discouraged because I didn’t wake up. No, I am going to be active with the babies, fur and human, and start changing my life that way. What small thing have you found that really has been a big change for you? Everyone has something different but maybe you can help someone else by suggesting it!