Metaphorically, I was doing this
We all know that injuries can happen: Olympic skiing, car accidents, or basic exercise can cause lasting damage and pain to the body. We think of injuries as big things, but it’s important to remember that even small shifts in muscle movement can have lasting results. And as a successful lifestyle blogger, I refuse to be limited by such audacious means of self-harm.
On Friday morning, I woke up with a slight headache and I was feeling stressed out about some work things, so I was holding a lot of tension in my shoulders. I got out of bed to brush my teeth and as I brought the toothbrush to my mouth, I accidentally made a sudden movement. Like magic, a stabbing pain radiated through my upper back and it hurt to turn my head!
Now, two whole days later, my neck is still in pain and I keep finding my shoulders creeping up to my ears as though they want to live there. Driving is very uncomfortable. And while the pain is surely temporary, I have bonded with my heating pad and made a lasting enemy of two of my vertebrae. And that can prove to us all that if you’re anxious enough, even small motions can make a big difference.
As a successful lifestyle blogger, I’m required to go to at least one yoga class per year. It’s a requirement I take very seriously.
Yesterday as I stretched in a frighteningly quiet room, a calm woman who was not stretching told me that I could replace my negative thoughts with positive ones, and that my struggle was my choice. And I had a huge breakthrough: she was right.
I can choose not to go to yoga anymore. It gives me panic attacks. I spent an hour trying to vaguely mimic what everyone else was doing, but my breathing wouldn’t fall in line. It’s hard to do yoga poses during a panic attack. Nobody should do that. I should not do that. Why would I ever do that?
One of the most important things to learn from yoga is “be where you are.” And I am not at yoga. That, my adequate friends, is what I call a fitness success 🙂
Photo Credit: Inae Bloom
As a successful lifestyle blogger, I know that dressing up involves a meltdown of epic proportions. From anxiety over what dress to wear, to trepidation that my hair isn’t cooperating, to being fully convinced that I’ll be under and/or over-dressed, looking nice is an all-day ordeal.
When my friends Maggie and Charlie got married at a beautiful, elegant ceremony in Chicago, it was no exception. My dress and hair felt wrong, I couldn’t tell how formal the wedding was, and I don’t know how to put on lipstick. But finally, after a few tears, a small existential meltdown, and a lot of reassurance from patient pals, I thought, “Hey, I actually look pretty good!”
Once I looked nice, I had to make sure my effort was worth it by it by taking zero photos. The fun peacock-print dress I was wearing didn’t need to be shown off, even though the (A-line? maybe?) cut of the dress was so perfectly offset by the understated low stilettos I was wearing, and I felt downright semi-confident wearing it.
After all, I only put genuine effort into dressing up twice, maybe three times a year, so it’s best if it happens quietly for only a few to see, to be immediately forgotten by the sands of time 🙂
As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, I’m trying to exercise more. It can be really tough to carve out enough time for a solid workout. If you’re like me, living an active lifestyle needs to be efficient. TV doesn’t binge-watch itself, after all.
Yesterday, I biked to the neighborhood ice cream place with my roommates (I follow my own advice). It was a nice day, and a short ride of about a mile each way. Biking is great exercise, but I abandoned it when I was ten – it seemed too much like a sport and I didn’t like those. I’m just getting back into it, and this was my first ride in traffic. Ever. What a rush! Cars are so much larger and faster than bikes!
I just can’t wait to get back on this bike.
The hills in my neighborhood helped to keep the short ride challenging. And the more cars passed by me as I rode, the more my heart rate accelerated. Wrangling left turns made all my muscles tighten up so that using my legs was nearly impossible. While trying to get across a busy street on a short green light, my vision turned blurry and reality started to feel hazy. Before I knew it, my breath had quickened and I was having a panic attack, right in the middle of my workout! What a happenstance!
The more nervous I got around the cars, the more embarrassed I got at being nervous – which just made my breathing more shallow. Better still, the very last hill by my house was enormous. I thought my legs were going to fall off as I desperately tried to take in enough oxygen to keep pedaling. What an opportunity.
Afterwards, I wobbled inside and hyperventilated into the couch. My lungs felt like they were going to explode – the surest sign that I exercised effectively. I’ve never felt so physically and emotionally spent in such a short period of time. Plus, I now know what it’s like to be so shell-shocked you can’t taste ice cream. That sounds like a diet tip to me!
So if you need an efficient way to get that heart pumping really, really fast, be like me and be very anxious!😬 🚴
This object is larger than it should be, and is also hilarious.
This is a lifestyle blog, and lifestyle blogs LOVE “five things” lists. They also LOVE weekly series. So in order to be a successful lifestyle blogger, every Wednesday I will post a list of four things I loved during the previous week (five seems really ambitious). That’s a lot of loving of stuff, but I think I can handle it.
- Stone IPA with Blonde Coffee Roast. I had this beer at Jay’s Bar the other night. All the alcohol of a strong beer plus the bitter dregs of an over-burnt Starbucks roast? Count me in. That sounded sarcastic, but it was perfect. The added perk is that the caffeine is definitely included. I skipped dinner and drank it at 10pm on an empty stomach, which is an experience I recommend. Afterwards I wandered the aisles at Von’s, confused. I think I made a cameo in someone’s grocery store snapchat. I either stayed up all night or fell asleep immediately, and I couldn’t tell which one it was. It’s an experience I’d like to repeat ASAP.
- Tastemade’s Tiny Kitchen. This is a series where disembodied hands cook tiny versions of popular dishes. I find it hilarious when any object is smaller or larger than it’s supposed to be, so I’m powerless against this clickbaity nonsense. On the other hand, I can’t even get it together to make myself normal-sized French toast that I could eat for a regular human meal, so it downright offends me that somebody has time to make novelty meals. Feeling torn about this one.
- Apocalyptic Weather That Would Be Benign Anywhere Else. I woke up on Monday to a horrible, loud, crashing noise like I’d never heard before. I thought maybe plane fell out of the sky? I was terrified! Except it was thunder. That’s it. Just thunder. In the midwest, storms happy like three times a week and they’re 100% normal and fine. In LA, cloudy skies are a call for panic. Free anxiety? Count me in!
- Vending Machine Breakfasts. I was really responsible for about a week – I bought a box of oatmeal packets so I could eat breakfast at work. But those days are over, because I keep forgetting to buy more. So lately I’ve been getting morning snacks from the office vending machine. I love it because it’s better than eating saltines from a drawer in the kitchen, but cheaper than going out for a bagel. Usually I’m responsible and choose something like chex mix or vegetable chips, but this morning I answered the siren song of the mini vanilla sandwich cookies. I feel ill.