Every Workout Counts

I have had a headache every day for the past 17 days. (At least, that’s when I started counting.)

The neurologist put me on a preventive medicine temporarily as well as a medicine specifically for the pain. Both the headaches and one of the meds cause fatigue—just as the depression-related fatigue was going away.

Yesterday, all of this put me in a really dark place of feeling like my mental health and my physical health can’t catch a break. I just want to be able to enjoy life in sunny Southern California, not watch everyone else enjoy life while my head (hey, I’m always fine from the neck down!) keeps me on the couch for one reason or another.

I really want to lose some weight, and there’s a class in Santa Monica called Circuit Works that’s similar to Orangetheory and walking distance from my apartment. I’d signed up for a class this morning but after I took Lucy out, even rolling over to get my coffee from my coffee table caused me to wince in pain and cancel the class.

I was so incredibly frustrated and had a little pity party for myself. (This is where I say I absolutely know it could be worse, but that doesn’t mean that feeling this way doesn’t also suck.)

I laid there thinking about what workout I could do and when I could fit it in today. It didn’t have to be high-intensity or nothing. My therapist and I are always working on less black-and-white thinking, since I am a very all-or-nothing person.

What could I do to still move and break a little sweat but that didn’t require a ton of energy? There’s a small gym at my building, and I settled on the elliptical, watching The Morning Show on my phone (anyone else watching it??)

I despise machines, especially the elliptical, but not every workout is going to be amazing—or needs to be the hardest workout. As I’m getting older, I’m beginning to truly worry about my health more—not just say I’m worried about my health but really mean I’m worried about my aesthetics—and really appreciate how important moving is.

I used to think anything less than 3 miles/30 minutes wasn’t a workout—I’d say “but whatever you can get in is great,” but didn’t buy that for myself. Even if I did only do a 15-minute workout, I felt bad about it. I’m working to redefine working out in a way that I still push myself but also in a way that I don’t negate some of its mental health benefits by beating myself up for it not being enough or not what I used to do.

tl;dr, not every workout needs to be The Hardest or The Best Workout Ever. I didn’t run a marathon today, I didn’t do a speed workout, but I moved.

Maybe this is a dumb post, I don’t know, but I’m trying to flex my writing muscle more because I have Big Writing Goals. Some of what I’ll write will suck, but I just want to work on getting myself out there more again and being comfortable with that.

Things I’ve Bought/Read/Loved

I like writing the deeper posts, but I also really like sharing the products I’m loving lately and things I’m reading that have me thinking.

Image result for fringe studio espresso set

I’m sitting here with a latte by my side, so I have to give some love to my Nespresso. It’s the little slim-line one, and I think it’s the perfect apartment-sized machine. I have these really cute little espresso cups for when I just want to drink the espresso without milk. Recently, I invested in the Aeroccino milk frother, and I just wish I had earlier—now I can make lattes at home.

Image result for yoga design lab mat

I’m doing yoga at least two or three times a week, so I spend a lot of time on my mat. I have a Yoga Design Lab mat, and it is gorgeous. It has a microfiber top layer, so I don’t need an extra towel, even in hot yoga. (To be fair, I’m not a terribly sweaty person.)

I’m watching a segment on the Today Show about light therapy. I’m thinking I won’t need my Happy Light in SoCal since I’ll still be able to get sun during the day, but I found it relatively helpful when I lived in NYC. (I started writing this post before the time change, and I may revise this opinion now that sunset is before 5pm.)

I came back to add this in—I got these tights from Lorna Jane, and they’re kind of life-changing. They’re a good tight you can wear to work out or just to hang. I don’t love my midsection, but they’re very high-waisted and flattering. Not cheap, but they were on sale at my LJ.

You can go ahead and make fun of me, but I got Lucy a Furbo. Lucy? Who am I kidding, its all for me. I can check in on her when I’m not home, talk to her and throw her treats. She’s figured it out already, though, and sometimes just sits in front of it when I’m home and waits for it to throw her treats. 

Reads

This has been an incredibly introspective period in my life, and I am reading a ton of really thought-provoking writing. Here’s some things that have made me think or really resonated with me lately.

I’d never read Dooce’s blog because #notamom. But I remember hearing about her memoir The Valedictorian of Being Dead: Dying Ten Times to Live a few months ago. It’s about an experimental depression treatment she tried where, essentially, she is put into a state of being brain-dead for 15 minutes with the anesthetic propofol to relieve her depression. And it appears it worked! I downloaded this right after it came out, but hearing about her not wanting to be alive hit too close to home for me, and I had to wait until I was in a better place to read it. My book idea has shifted a million times, but this is certainly good inspiration. Some of it was hard for me to read because she was surrounded by her family, and I did my recent treatment all on my own.

Related to depression treatment…I wrote a few weeks ago that I’d been trying ketamine treatment, and it’s been working. But it’s still a fairly new treatment, so it was isolating not knowing anyone doing it, and I read all I could. This essay from John Gorman describes so many parts of my experience—feeling like I was soaring over the Pacific, feeling like I was in a weird cross between an MRI tube and a ride at Disneyland.

Super Attractor by Gabby Bernstein: By title, this book is about manifesting, and there’s plenty of manifestation talk in there. I have complex feelings about the idea of manifesting, so I’ll say what I most took from this book was ways to feel better. She talks about the principle of picking the next best feeling. It’s a lot to go from things are the worst to things are the best, but what if you could find one speck of goodness to make things look a little less bleak? This is no rocket science, as most self-help books aren’t, but it’s always good reinforcement. Listen to this book as an audiobook if you can. One line that really, really resonated with me: “My commitment to feeling good is stronger than the pull of my old habits.”

Just gonna go ahead and pimp my own work for a second. I’ve been writing for Talkspace, the online therapy platform, for a few months now, and it’s something I’m really proud of. One of my goals when I started freelancing was to have clients I regularly received work from (to reduce the pitching process), and that’s actually where I am with 95 percent of my work right now. A recent piece I wrote for Talkspace: How to Make Friends as an Adult.

I also just preordered Jen Gotch’s upcoming book. If you don’t know who she is, the Cliff’s Notes: she started a fun lifestyle brand called ban.do, and she is incredibly candid about her struggles with bipolar.

What have you been loving lately?