i’m back

This past year, I was sliding down a slippery slope. I was a shell of my true self. A different person. You see, depression runs in my family and I’ve had it once before (a long time ago).

Unlike last time, I got help sooner than later.

I met up with a psychologist who’s bio spoke to me. She was trained in yoga, helping many clients recover through both yoga and meditation. These are two things I LOVE so I was hopeful.

During our first meeting she mentioned her 8-week class that was about to start: Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy.

Here’s the blurb about the class, “This 8-week group provides proven, innovative skills to help you break the cycle of depression and anxiety once and for all. You will learn strategies that help you see clearly that thoughts and emotions come and go, Many find that these skills help them side step the mental habits that lead to despair, excessive worry, and self-blame. Hands-on skill building exercises are taught that incorporate mindfulness (attentional control training) and cognitive therapy.”

I finished the class in December and am now stronger, wiser, more mindful. I’m close to my normal self again and have great new tools to combat any negative thoughts or depression lurking around the corner.

It’s such a relief.

I believe in fate and this sure was an example of that. I stumbled upon my psychologist on google, she’s a yogi, her class was perfect, and she’s even located 1 mile from my house! That’s unheard of out here in suburbia. Usually you have to drive at least a couple miles to get to where you’re going!

On our last day of class we got to pick out a little token to remind us of how far we’ve come.

IMG_3637

I’m not sure where I’m going to put my little stone yet but I’d like it to be in a place that I see it daily, frequently. The mantel?

Now that I feel capable of tackling projects and this blog again, I can’t wait to update you! You know I may have done things like survive a marathon (?!) and convert to a vegan diet (?!). We’ve also completed a couple of snazzy house projects and have a lot more in the works. Oh and I might have another animal. Hehe.

I’m really looking forward to connecting with you again! It’s gonna be a good time.

blogging – month 1 & resolutions update

This post is a little recap of my blogging adventure and a status report on my resolutions. Don’t you just love a good list or two? I sure do!

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When I was in school I always thought of writing as a horrible burden. Producing a mere two pages of text was the WORST. Writing, I thought, was done well by my dad (Dad, you need to start a blog ASAP) and my sister.  Not by me!

Lo and behold, after a month of writing on this blog I like it! And some other people happen to like it too! Dang.

I’ve learned a good amount already. Here are some thoughts:

  1. Winging it either produces an awesome post or a long drawn out writing process. There is no in between for me.
  2. I should definitely be planning out posts because winging it keeps me up until the wee hours of the night (10 – 11 pm) and then the next day I struggle to live.
  3. I need to start using a thesaurus because I majorly overuse words like awesome, super, and excited.
  4. Blogging is helping me connect with new people like I had hoped and I’m so glad!
  5. It is now confirmed that changing careers is the right decision.
  6. More writing = better writing.
I am really looking forward to how this all progresses. I haven’t even touched my DIY, recipe, and ‘green’ projects yet. It’s going to be good!

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On to my second topic.

I wanted to do an update on my resolutions so that I can see where I stand. I need some regrouping for sure. Here’s the list of the resolutions for you to check out of you haven’t seen them already.

The update:

  1. Yoga – I’ve really only been stretching which isn’t doing enough for my 10k training (I often have IT band problems if I don’t do yoga). I’ll be planning out my blog posts and workouts better so I can keep up with my yoga classes.
  2. Food going bad – Up until this week I’ve failed at this one which is sad but as long as I stay on track I should be good.
  3. New recipes – Again, up until this week I hadn’t tried a new recipe. I finally did on Monday though! I’ll be writing about it soon. I really want to post once a week with each new recipe that I try. Maybe that’ll give me more motivation to actually do it.
  4. Volunteer – Psh. You know I’m doing this one! I’m keeping up with the volunteering once a week at different places either until I run out of places to go or things to say. Some places I’ll go to again and again but some I won’t. Either way they all have been great experiences so far!
  5. Write – Success again! As mentioned at the beginning of this post, things are going well with my writing and I’ll definitely be keeping it up. Organization is key though.

And that’s it! I’ve succeeded in some and semi-failed in others. That’s not too shabby for my first month. I’ll be writing a monthly recap of my resolutions to make sure I stay on track. If I’m doing all five of these challenges I really think I’ll be able to stay balanced and healthy.

Wait, you can’t have a post without an image! For Katie’s viewing pleasure – a picture of the girls after one of Roary’s dramatic fits that was talked about here:

roary & olivia

🙂

calorie counting troubles

Aside from my major sweet tooth I’m a healthy eater and exerciser these days.

A few years back when I was in graduate school, in Boston, all by my lonesome, I took a break from my semi-healthy habits. During the day I was still eating well with oatmeal, turkey sandwiches, and salads as my go to meals but at night…oh at night. At night I worked at a pub that served awesome food so I failed there and then if I wasn’t working I was eating whole bags or tubs of whatever I felt like that night. Eh.

That year I gained 10-15 pounds.

To counteract my eating I would go to the gym. Research tells us that eating healthy is WAY more beneficial in losing weight than just exercising (unless you exercise all day long) so the weight stayed on.

I think my turning point was my engagement. I felt like crap and definitely didn’t want to feel or look like crap on my wedding day.

The first thing I did was improve my eating. I cut back somewhat on all of the junk and restaurant food. I kept up my exercising which was cardio and weights but added yoga for the first time and also swimming. The gym at my school was ah-mazing so to me it was fun to trek in the snow (I’m from FL so yeah), swim in the toasty pool, get ready for the day and then head to class. It was a nice routine for me.

All this was working. The only downfall was my calorie counting.

I think those calorie counting websites are a great tool to help you in the beginning of your healthy living overhaul. They can help you gain the knowledge you need to make the habits a lifestyle and not just a diet. BUT I didn’t kick the habit once I had gotten back to my original weight. For a couple of years I would track every calorie in and every calorie burned. Each time I gained a pound or lost a pound I internally freaked out. I probably only fluctuated 5 pounds or so which is NORMAL but at the time I didn’t think so.

Towards the end of my calorie counting I began reading healthy living and healthy food blogs. They were (and still are) great sources of postivity and inspiration in my life. Then one day it just clicked. What the heck am I doing sitting here trying to figure out how many calories my turkey sandwich has?? I’m wasting my life worrying about this stuff! I’m done with calorie counting and bringing myself down with negativity. Done and done. It was such a crazy epiphany. One morning I was calorie counting and by the afternoon I was this brand new person! I guess things finally just clicked.

Of course I still struggle with a negative body image once in a while but if I eat a whole box of mike and ikes one night, the next morning I have the choice to eat healthy again. No big deal! My life won’t be ruined because of that candy – maybe my mobility for the night will be and you’d like to think I’d learn my lesson by now!  But hey, it’s okay.

Now I have to tell you I have a naturally thin frame so some might look at my before and after pictures and say ‘There’s no freaking difference! She’s too skinny!’ but I was eating terribly and wasn’t happy in 2008. I mean I cried (not from happiness) trying on wedding dresses! How sad is that? Anyways, I now know that it’s not about the scale but about how you feel overall. When I have a good, healthy, balanced system going I look like the image on the right – like right now!

2008 & 2011

Today I focus on the meal at hand and mainly how I can add veggies or fruit to it. For exercise I focus on yoga 3 times a week (per my  2012 Resolutions) and training for a 10k in March. When I attempt to stay on track with this I feel balanced, I sleep better, and I’m SO much happier over all.

You can be healthy AND happy without overanalyzing your body and everything else for that matter! As my husband says, “Just Chill.”

2012

This year is going to be an adventure! We just moved to a new city and bought a new (to us) house so there’s lots of work to be had in that department. On top of all reno and DIY projects I have a couple other things that I’d like to achieve. I’m hoping for some positive changes and lots of learning in the months ahead.

  1. Yoga/Meditation/Stretching 3 times a week – A continuation from last years resolution that worked out wonderfully.
  2. Don’t let food go bad! – It pains me to throw away veggies that I don’t get to in time. Often my husband and I are too tired or too lazy to cook a meal that we’ve already bought the ingredients for so it goes bad. To help the problem we are going to try and make NO purchases during the week. That way we aren’t tempted by the pizza chains or the infamous junk food runs when our feet are dragging. Come to think of it, it’ll improve our healthy eating habits too!
  3. Cook new recipes – I read some amazing healthy living and food blogs but rarely do I use the awesome recipes I read about. I hope to cook at least one new recipe each week. Maybe on the weekend so I have more time?
  4. Volunteer often – There are tons of people, places, and animals that need help. It’s high time to do my part. This blog will be my proof!
  5. Write – I’ve always been afraid of writing. I’m an artist not a smartypants or at least that’s what I think. Writing this blog will improve my skill, bring clarity to my life, and help me in connecting with people that I might not have had the chance to meet otherwise.

After rereading what I just wrote I must say I’m excited for all the challenges ahead!

Good luck to you and your list of resolutions. Happy (belated) New Year!!

ahh, yoga

I started practicing yoga about 3 years ago. I played sports all my life but yoga for me is about my mental state, the physical strength I gain is just a plus. Last new years (2010) I made a resolution to practice some sort of yoga/meditation/stretching 3 times a week. Sometimes it was only 5 minutes and sometimes it was an hour-long class. Either way I succeeded and it kept me in a present, happy state of mind (MOST of the time at least).

Even though I’ve kept up my resolution, I didn’t take any full classes in the past two weeks during my break from work. Combined with the amount of cookies I ate, it was not a great combo for my return back to the real world. Why oh why do I do this to myself? I tossed and turned for hours on end last night dreading the day.

As I lay there in bed I realized that I had run a 5k on Sunday but I hadn’t stretch since! My hips were killing me. With my husband snoring away next to me I maneuvered my way into a half-reclining hero pose (the pose below but with one leg out in front). I think I even laughed to myself because of how silly I felt but hey. I took the time to really breathe into the joints on each leg. It still took some more focused breathing and more time for me to fall asleep but man did my hips feel better!

Another plus – I came up with blog topics and found some great companies to follow on twitter which I just joined (@hippieitch). Good times.

Here’s to a good nights sleep tonight and some hatha yoga tomorrow!