Surprise, surprise, here is yet another post about taking care of YOU. I am very passionate about this topic, but I can tell you, it is NOT easy. There are many barriers, especially when a mom, that prevent you from taking care of you- kids, lack of sleep, work, staying on top of chores and bills, time or lack thereof, etc. Even people who aren’t mamas have this barrier.
I have been sitting on this topic for a while and I just got finished reading, “Girl, Wash Your Face,” by Rachel Hollis and I will say, it is a MUST READ. In this particular post, I want to talk about doing things for you, summer reading recommendations, fitness, and everything between. Usually I would post one post per topic, but since it’s summer and I have it OFF and my kids are in daycare full time, my mind is wide open and I am able to focus on me. After all, most of my blog in general is about motherhood and self care.
I used to have severe anxiety- not the kind that made me want to stay inside and never come out. Not the kind that I thought I was going to die. But the kind where I was in a rush for everything in my day, whether it was rushing to pee, rushing to be on time, rushing to get the food shopping done, etc. I didn’t even have kids at this time. Where the hell did I get all this anxiety and I would admit some depression? Honestly, past experiences, genes, environment. I was mid grad school and I just broke up with my “person”- MY actual best friend person. He was my world and when he cheated on me, it rocked everything I ever believed in. It actually stripped some of my soul and made me re-evulate myself and what love really was. It’s like when you were growing up and all you knew was your family, your house, your culture. I didn’t really know what else was out there because I thought he was IT. I thought we would get married and have kids and live this perfect life that I had already made up in my head. WRONG. This is where I keep messing up in life. I keep having these visions of the way things are supposed to be, but NOPE. Only God knows the plan and whether you’re religious or not, I firmly believe that you are where you are for a reason.
I don’t believe everything happens for a specific reason, but I do believe it’s possible to find purpose even in the absence of any explanation.- Rachel Hollis
Life has a way of working itself out, but you need faith. I somehow found faith and purpose through the heartache and I plowed my way through grad school with a 4.0, all while making $12/hr. at a group home that stole my heart. Love you Talmadge boys. This isn’t a huge heartache to most, but I use it here because this was the experience that opened my eyes and allowed me to discover who I really was. Not high school Tracy, or college Tracy, but ME. I started running, not eating better just yet, but I ran off the anxiety and extra energy and I started to feel amazing. At the time, I was on Atenelol, Zoloft, Prozac, Welbutrin, Clonipin- you name it, I tried it. I had tachycardia and I ate too much cake, but I just ran it off. As time went on, I started eating better and reading more. “Eat to fuel your body.” “Would you feed your kids that?” “God made you a body to use, not abuse.” I kept hearing these quotes and thought, I need to stop. I need to stop binge eating. Okay, so I overthought everything and tried to plan my life before it happened- strike 1. I binge ate NIGHTLY- strike 2. As my bff from work always said, “Get it together, STAT!” I started to become a little obsessed with tracking my food, my workouts, find half marathons, train for them, become OCD with getting enough steps, and so on. I even did the whole diet pill thing, but that was in high school. I just broke up with my best friend, trying to find my place in life and the career world, and now I am trying to eat healthy and do me. Jesus, Tracy, slow down. But honestly, I plowed through that, messy and all, and here I am….I am 33 years old and I am so damn proud of myself and my body. I don’t eat healthy to be skinny, but I do all these things because it makes me feel amazing and when I feel amazing, I can conquer ANYTHING! I hear so many people complain about gaining weight, feeling anxious, feeling tired and sick, feeling like they have no energy, feeling depressed, etc. I have been there, but let me tell you. NO ONE WILL FIX THIS except for you. Get off your ass and do it. Train your mind. Do what makes you feel good, but be mindful when you’re doing it. Who cares if you aren’t rich and can’t afford to eat all healthy. Who cares if you aren’t a runner. I was NEVER a runner, but once I trained my mind to conquer goals I wanted to accomplish, I committed/obsessed (haha). There are ways around it. Who cares if you are too tired, stop making excuses.
When you really want something you will find a way. When you don’t really want something, you’ll find an excuse.- Rachel Hollis Girl, Wash Your Face
I hear it over and over and over. I am too tired. I’m scared. I don’t have enough time. I don’t have a treadmill. I didn’t get enough sleep. I don’t have enough money to eat healthy. I have too many things going on. BLAH FREAKING BLAH. I am the master of self-doubt- STRIKE 3. I compare, I lack self-confidence, I self-doubt as a coping mechanism over and over again to the point of making myself actually believe it. And when you keep coming up with excuses as to why you don’t want to GET STARTED with happiness in your life or make a change, then you start to believe it and it becomes a habit. YOU ARE AMAZING. So what? Your family has a history of Diabetes, being overweight, maybe cancer, or Alzheimer’s- beat it. Research about it and beat it. Be strong enough to overcome those obstacles. It may take you months, years, decades- but don’t give up. Maybe your dream is to run a marathon or eat better. Maybe you want to be a nurse but you already have your masters in education- DREAMS and GOALS don’t have an expiration date. Getting off your ass could just mean dedicating 10 minutes daily to meditation or looking up healthy foods. It doesn’t happen overnight. But once you make a habit of it, it becomes part of your life and your routine.
Things that have helped me reach my goals and BE HAPPY- letting go of the things I can’t control-
- Changing up my tribe. Have you ever heard the quote, “Your vibe attracts your tribe.” OR “You become who you are friends with.” Be friends with all colors of life. Extend your tribe. Find other people like you and not like you.
- Staying true to my roots and stop apologizing for it. I have recognized that I am human and will feel a million emotions AND I won’t be sorry for it. Take it or leave it. I am full of energy (thanks Dad), but I have found my outlet and I won’t apologize for being me.
- Make a list of all the goals you have accomplished. Small and big. You will surprise yourself. When you start to feel down, go back to it.
- Make sure you have a person (Love you, Stephanie). That person will never ever judge you or make you feel small. I tell this person almost everything and I know she will always be there for me. Remember too, quality is better over quantity. I used to be so jealous of people who had millions of friends.
- Practice self care. SCHEDULE you time, especially if you have kids. Once a week, once a day, whatever fits in your schedule, make time for you. I run almost everyday, sometimes slow for my mind or fast for training. I am extremely blessed and grateful to have summers off, so I commit to laying by the pool, reading as many books as I can.
- Which brings me to my next tip- STOP feeling guilty.
- Track your food and workouts/eat healthy. Tracking my food using myfitnesspal helps me, but it’s not for everyone. I also intermittent fast–> coming up in my next blog post. Stay tuned. I also love my FITBIT.
- I won’t even touch on getting enough sleep because that’s a sore subject for me having 2 kids 3 and under. Remember to rest.
- DRINK WATER WATER WATER. My husband and I went to Costco and got these amazing Thermoflasks that can help track your water and keep it cold.
- Write, write, write- whether it’s a blog, a journal, the notes section in your phone. Write down your feelings OR just talk out loud. I always talk to God in my car haha. He listens and I feel better. Win win.
STOP feeling bad for yourself. Medication can help, but it doesn’t fix the underlying problem. It’s a band-aid for the right now. My medication is sweating it out, dancing, teaching zumba, running, yoga- anything that gets the heart pumping. My husbands’s medication (even though he actually might need some, but that’s for another time and place) is chasing his dreams and smashing his goals AKA building his dream barn in our backyard and working out. Time can be a barrier, but this kid doesn’t sit down for a second because he will make sure he has enough time for those things.
Do it for YOU. God made YOU the way you are. You are wired to succeed and feel happy, but there will be obstacles, strike outs and barriers along the way. It’s up to you how to dodge them.