Self Care

Self Care Tips for Social Media

We all know how negative and aggressive the internet can be and I used to find myself just being mad or depressed after going on Facebook or Twitter specifically but I’m sure it can happen on any of them and I got some amazing tips from my health coach for cleaning up my social media to remove that negativity (or at least keep it to a bare minimum) and following some other pages, groups, etc. to make it a safe space for you and I thought I would share some of the tips she gave me and ones that I learned over the years myself.

These can all be applied to pretty much all social media platforms:

  • This is the only Facebook specific topic but the very first thing I learned (it shocked both my mother and me that SHE is the one that taught me this trick) is if you are following a friend or family member who shares a lot of stuff from pages or people that trigger you or upset you in someway (politics is a BIG one) but you don’t want to unfollow/unfriend them completely, you can click on the three little dots on the right side of a post and tap hide all from (then whatever the name of the page that specific person shared from) so anytime one of your friends on Facebook shares from that page/group, you won’t see it on your timeline.
  • Unfollow any pages/groups/people you find that you find can be toxic to your life.  For instance, I left Weight Watchers over a year ago but still followed a lot of Weight Watcher friendly pages or “diet” pages and that wasn’t healthy for my healing to see posts about being “bad” because they had a piece of chocolate or whatever.
  • Follow uplifting people and pages that interest you.  I will lists some of my favorite groups, and accounts on social media in the next post because that will be long enough to be on it’s own.
  • If someone is toxic enough that you are friends with on Facebook, unfriend them.  Especially if they aren’t a physical friend or family member.  You don’t need that in your life!
  • Take breaks and limit the amount of time you spend on social media. (Honestly your phone/computer/tablet in general) TRUST me when I tell you that I NEED to practice what I preach here!  It’s SUPER hard to do because these damned apps are designed to get you hooked! But it is really important to get away from technology now and then.  To be in the moment, start up a hobby, learn a new craft, get out in nature.  Do something that doesn’t involve your phone.  Again, NEED NEED NEED to practice what I preach here!

I’m sure there is plenty more you can do on the subject but they all helped me quite a bit.  If you have any tips or ideas, please comment, I love getting new ideas and I’d love to add onto this list!

Life · Motivation · Organization · Self Care

Nighttime Routine

Well hello there! It’s been another minute.  I honestly just never know what to write about here anymore since I stopped Weight Watchers a year or so ago but I miss writing on the regular here.  I want to think up some more ideas and definitely want to revamp the blog as it no longer is aimed in the same direction.  I want to focus on my self care journey I guess.  I will work on a plan though because I miss this!

Anyway, a while back I was speaking with my therapist about how I have NEVER slept well.  I have fought off going to sleep pretty much my whole life I’m guessing because I didn’t want to go to school the next day as a kid so I would just try to hold onto the weekend for a few more minutes and that became my habit into adulthood… So my therapist and I talked over what is causing those issues and she sent me some resources for setting up a nighttime routine and I’ve only practiced the nighttime routine I set up for myself a couple of times but I think once I get through and fine tune it to be doable for me, it will help me a lot in the long run.  I need it to be realistic so I stick with it and it will change but for now I thought I would share with you what my routine has been consisting of.

I start my bedtime routine an hour before I plan to get to sleep (adding 15-20 minutes if I wash my hair in the shower as I am a night time showerer (*not a word but I don’t know how else to put it…))

Once I’m ready to start:

  • Turn off my TV if on
  • Open my windows (weather permitting)
  • Take my nighttime medications and melatonin
  • Meditate for 5-10 minutes
  • Plug my phone in which is now by my dresser and not by my bed
  • Turn my Bluetooth enabled speaker on and put on a relaxing station on Pandora (at the moment I’ve been playing Enya’s station but I can make a post with other suggestions because I want to set some more up for variety.
  • Set up my air diffuser with some sort of calming essential oils (I am waiting to do this until it’s cooler outside because it makes my room too humid for the Summer weather)
  • Lay my clothes out for the next day.
  • I bring the speaker in to the bathroom with me while I do my hygiene stuff like take a shower,  wash my face, brush my teeth, take my make up off, and stuff like that.
  • Once I’m done in the bathroom, I plug the speaker back in to charge.
  • Then if I do some sort of the following:
    • Journal (in my physical journal)
    • Pray
    • Write out to dos for the next day
    • Read
  • Reading is the last thing I do as it will really get me to the point where I’m ready to sleep and I’ve been using a physical book at the moment to avoid electronics but I want to see if my tablet has a nighttime function on it to cast a yellow light so I have more access to other books.

I feel like it seems like a lot of things to do but I’m usually done with everything up to the last part in under 30 minutes.

Routines I think are a good thing for me to keep on track of what I need to do and to help me cope when anxiety and depression when they want to show up and this is a BIG self care thing for me to do.  I thing I want to delve into some of these topics too so I’ll start making a list of what to write about and see if making a schedule of when to write will help me be more active on this blog.  I really do miss it and I think writing is my outlet.  I wanted it to be art but I can physically feel the weight lift off of my shoulders when I write.

I think I got that from my dad because he loved to write and I was told a lot when he passed away that people loved his writing.  He would write emails to a group of people (I guess his own way of blogging) I think mainly about sports (more specifically the Giants and probably the 49ers too) and I’m sure there were other things too but I don’t think I was on those email strings because it was when I was a kid…

Anyway! I’ll leave end on that note and I’m definitely looking forward to getting more writing done here!

intuitive eating · Life · Motivation

Life Changes

I have decided to restart this blog. I know it’s been a long time but my life is in such a different place right now and I’ve been having that itch to write for a while.  I’m thinking about a name change as I am no longer focusing on losing weight so that won’t be the major subject of this blog anymore.  I have been working a lot with different sources to finally learn how to be compassionate with myself and to learn to love myself for who I am.  I am a very compassionate person but not with myself.  I’ve been told I’m an empath too which sounds like not a real thing to me but I think it just means really intuitive but I’ll get more into that another day.

I have learned a lot over the last year and a half with my old therapist that I had to leave because my insurance doesn’t cover her and my spiritual adviser that passed away suddenly but I have gained so much knowledge from both of them and I’m so incredibly grateful for it.  I tried out a therapist last Fall but I didn’t feel a connection with her and felt like I talked too much and she took a long time to respond so I wasn’t sure if I needed to fill that void or what and she didn’t really give me much advise so I stopped and gave myself through the holidays to not think about it and started looking again in early January I found a new therapist that I really like and think will work out for me. I hate having to search and try out new people so I’m hoping this one sticks.  So fingers crossed!

I’m trying to journal a little more too in my personal journals (yes journals).  I have my normal one to just vent in, a happiness journal that I need to utilize more that I just write about things that make me happy, and a gratitude journal I have yet to start.  I do add something that I am grateful for each time I write in the happiness one so I may just stick with those two instead of getting myself overwhelmed with too many things.  Plus there’s this one too.  I feel that this one is different because other people read it and I get a different kind of satisfaction from typing instead of writing if that makes any sense.

Last year in March I started taking CBD oil to help with my depression and anxiety and I can’t tell you how stunned I was that it actually helps me.  I am so thankful for that because for the first time in my life I feel what I would have to guess is just normal.  I am not dulled by antidepressants and I do still feel pain and grief from time to time but it’s so much more manageable.  I’m so grateful that it is now legal in California so I have a safe place to go and my dispensary is very helpful and knowledgeable.  I know cannabis helped Gina tremendously when she was sick and I have known it to help others in my life.

It’s not a cure-all or anything and I am most certainly NOT saying antidepressants don’t work for people because I know they do.  Antidepressants were huge in helping my grandmother with her own mental health, it’s just not what I need for my own brain. Everyone is different, what helps me won’t help someone else, and vice versa.  It also isn’t a 100% cure for me.  I have to work on the reasons I am depressed and anxious as well.

I also started meditating a bit a couple of weeks ago and it’s early but I swear I’ve been able to control my anger while driving to and from work and I just feel a little more at peace most days.  I’m still brand new to it so I need guided meditations and my friend told me about an app called Insight Timer that I really like.  There is a week-long free course to starting out with meditation and you can choose from a bunch of other guided meditations that are free or make up your own sounds and music to just do yourself if you know how to do it on your own.  The other courses and I’m sure there are other benefits that you can have a paid membership for but there’s enough there for me at least to do for free.

In other news, my brother just moved in to a new place.  It’s a really nice apartment with a view and a den for my nephew when he comes to stay on the weekends.  He is also turning 30 on the 22nd so we’re going to go out and celebrate with our aunt and his in-laws.  I can’t believe my baby brother will be 30! And speaking of my 10-year-old nephew, he’s only a few inches shorter than me now… He’s 10! I’m 5′ 4″! He’s going to be tall!

I’m getting more reading in on the Intuitive Eating book and I’ll be talking about that a bit more soon but I’m glad to start to actually get into the book.  I’ve put it off for quite a while but now with a lot of things that were looming over me gone and done, I can focus more on this journey of my life.

Can’t think of much else going on so I’ll leave it there. I hope to write again soon once I get through the first of the ten principles of Intuitive Eating.

intuitive eating · Life · Motivation

Starting my Intuitive Eating Journey

About a month ago after a lot of thought and finding out I got a deal with my health insurance for access to a bunch of gyms all over the country for $25 per month, I decided to cancel my Weight Watchers plan.  If I’m being honest with myself, I only go for the social aspect, and I’m not counting my points, and that mindset goes against what Intuitive Eating is.  I feel like I just cut ties with a loved one. I just need to focus on healing my relationship with food right now and I know I need to get more active.

So… I’m a procrastinator (to state the obvious) but I finally got the Intuitive Eating book several weeks ago and now I’m really going to delve into this new chapter of my life.  I watch this one YouTube channel called Clean & Delicious and she’s primarily into clean eating but she just happened to talk about Intuitive Eating a couple of weeks ago and I guess it got a lot of positive feedback and last week she said she is starting a 10 week series on intuitive eating and she’s following with the 10 chapters in the book and I couldn’t believe the timing of it all!  So her first video came out yesterday and I just finished the first chapter which was only 8 pages long so these weeks are doable for me.  I’m going to read the chapter for the following week so by the time her video comes up, I’ll have read that chapter and I’m excited to do this.  I thought if I get my act together enough, I could follow along here too.  Have a blog each week on each chapter of the book and what I learned from both the book and the video series.

So after I watch the video, I will get some notes together and write a post about the first chapter.  I’m sure it won’t be much because I SO am not an expert or anything but I’ll just write a little about what I learned.

Celebrations · Life

One Year Later and Happy Mother’s Day

May 10th was the one year anniversary of my mom’s death.  I struggled for most of the morning but I did okay the rest of the day.  I’ve been thinking a lot and reflecting on how I’ve changed this year.  I’ve grown a lot in different ways and I’ve been able to forgive myself and heal from a lot that has happened in my life.  I still have a lot of work to do but I feel like I’m heading in the right direction. I’ll get more into that in a blog post I’m currently working on but I wanted to get this out first.

I decided that I’m going to do something on this day each year in her honor.  Of course, I’ll do something to remember both of my parents on their birthdays, mother’s and father’s day and their anniversary as well but this day will be something just for her. It had to be small because I didn’t have much time to plan, it was a Thursday therefore I had to work, and I had an appointment at 6:30 so I decided to watch one of her favorite movies.  This year, I chose Moonstruck.  It’s one of my parents’ favorites and they quoted it frequently when I was growing up so I have fond memories of this movie. My aunt and I also went out for dinner right before my meeting to a local Mexican restaurant.

For Mother’s Day, I got a lavender plant that I will put in a pot and it can be a reminder of her.

Also on a quick note since it’s related to my mom’s memory, I decided on a tattoo in her remembrance, as well as my sister-in-law Gina and my dad.  It’s a long story so here it goes…

We always believed that if we ever heard Frank Sinatra on the radio or in a store (how often does that happen?!), that it was my dad saying hi to us.  When my dad was sick, my brother had a playlist of songs to make my mom happy while they drove back and forth to the hospital to see my dad.  Some Nora Jones songs, some classical that she loved, and others.  One in particular was Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” the one that goes, “don’t worry about a thing, ‘cuz every little thing, gonna be alright”.  Well whenever that damn song comes on the radio, I am either thinking of her or in some sort of distress or upset over something going on. I of course immediately start tearing up because I’m certain that it’s my mom telling me everything is going to be okay.  So I am going to get three little birds tattooed somewhere on my arm.  Not only is it in honor of my mother but I thought the three birds could represent my mom, my dad, and Gina. Like they are watching over me (and everyone in our family).

I started speaking with someone in Fresno and I’m hoping to get it done when I go down there in a few weeks but he may not be able to squeeze me in so we shall see.

I will end it there for now.  I have a lot more to talk about and that should be coming out soon.  Writing is very cathartic for me and it almost feels like I’m physically lifting the weight off my shoulders. So I’m hoping to be more consistent with writing here because of that.

Life · Motivation

Healing My Relationship With Food

Well… I went and had my biannual blood tests done which is pretty typical for me with having PCOS and my numbers weren’t good.  In fact, they were pretty damn awful.  Our new health insurance requires us to do a biometric screening and a health assessment every year in addition to earning 700 points in order to keep a “discount” on my health insurance. To he honest I believe at least 1/2 of that has to do with the pure hell that was 2017 for me.  Stress is horrible on your body and mind.

So far I have earned 200 points simply by attesting to the fact that I don’t smoke cigarettes.  I earned another 100 because my blood pressure was by some miracle in a normal range when every other day it’s higher because I’m one of “those people” whose levels run high at the doctor’s office.  Everything else though was complete crap. And due to having not great numbers, they required me to speak to a health coach over the phone.  The phone appointment went great though and I love my dietician.  I don’t know how many sessions I get with her but with speaking to her only for about 25 minutes, I already have some places to start with my journey to becoming healthier. Plus, I got another 100 points out of that so I’m at 400 which is over 1/2 way to my goal.

So my health coach who is a certified Dietician as well was amazing. She’s a big believer in health at any size and just reminded me about the importance of focusing on getting healthy not losing weight.  She gave me resources for a couple of books to read and a podcast to check out and I’ve already started listening to the podcast.  I have another appointment with her in a couple of weeks and I think this is going to be good for me.

She also told me that we shouldn’t vilify emotional eating.  It’s not always such a bad thing.  She told me emotional eating can actually be comforting and “society” freaks out about it because of how fat phobic “society” is.  I get annoyed by using the word society because I feel like it’s over used but I can’t think of a better word for it.

She also spoke of intuitive eating and recommended eating more consistently through the day to help with binges.

The whole meeting made me realize, I’m not going to get anywhere without healing my relationship with food.  And I don’t know why that hasn’t hit me before.

The resources she gave me are:

Podcast- Love, Food by Julie Duffy Dillon, RD. I have listened to several episodes and I love it.  She interviews some other dieticians and health people and gives great resources herself. She also has a blog and website and has her own services such as counceling or speaking at events.

Books- Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole, MD, RD and Elyse Resch, MS, RD, FADA  and Body Respect by Linda Bacon, PhD and Lucy Aphramor, PhD, RD and I cannot wait to read both books.

Other than that, I’m just trying to get through life one day at a time (some days are one minute at a time) and find what helps me best with my depression and health. That’s it from me for now.  I am looking forward to start reading and getting my life back on track.

Life · Motivation · Weight Watchers

Happy New Year

I have really missed blogging the last few months but I think I just needed a break to clear my head and get through at least some of this grief.  I still struggle but things are getting better. I go through moments where I have good weeks then bad. Thanksgiving through Christmas was really hard.  That was her favorite time of year. Our whole family could tell that her presence was missing.

I am getting help though to not only to get through the loss of my mother but also to help heal myself.  I have so many insecurities and it’s been pretty debilitating. I was really awkward growing up unless I was close to you and my goal in life was to pretty much become invisible.  And it pretty much worked. Now I have to work at undoing all of that. It’s hard work but I know I need this.

Anyway, I’ll keep up on the progress as it goes along but I just wanted to give you a little bit of an update.

For the first time in my life I think I’m glad Christmas is over. We got the hardest one out of the way and now I can be more organized for the next one (no really!). My friend told me about an app called Santa’s Bag where you can keep a list of who you want to give to, how much you want to spend on each person, what you bought for them (and how much that item was) and if you’ve wrapped it, and given it.  So I can just keep on top at least knowing how much I am planning on spending so I can save up sooner!

I am still sticking with Weight Watchers and considering I’m only up 1 1/2 pounds above my heaviest compared to when my dad died, which was 40 pounds, I consider that a success.  I am really liking the enhanced Weight Watchers program called Freestyle and I will start a post on that right after this so it can be on its own.

My aunt and I went to St. Helena last Saturday on the 8th anniversary of my dad’s death but it was a good day. We walked around Main Street in St. Helena and had an early lunch at my parent’s favorite restaurant in the town called Market.  The food was so good! Then we went to visit my dad and next to him is my Great Grandfather and my Great Uncle Joe.  Nearby in another family plot is my Great Aunt with her husband and his family.  So we have a lot of history in Napa County.

I love going to the Wine Country because it feels like I’m in a different country.  I’m away from the bustle of Sacramento and the Bay Area and I feel a connection probably because of the family history and we went there a lot as kids when my dad would go visit the wineries for his job.

This coming weekend my cousin is coming to visit for a few days from the East Bay and I’m going to (try to) teach her how to crochet and we’re going to the Global Winter Wonderland which is held at Cal Expo (where they host the state fair in the summer) and have a movie night with my brother and his son and nieces and I’m sure we’ll do some other fun things. I’m really looking forward to it.

I think that’s all I have for now but wanted to give you a (not so) quick update and know I’m back and planning on posting a lot more often especially about weight watchers and the updated program. Bye!


Getting By

I’m still here. I must admit I’ve been avoiding writing because my computer’s on the fritz but at the moment it’s being okay.  Thank God for Apple Support. They are so helpful!

Anyway, I’m struggling hard with everything. I know it’s to be expected but I want to get some of this weight off so I feel better and don’t have this huge gut in my way. I carry it mainly in my stomach region which is both annoying as hell and not the healthiest place to carry excess weight. It’s because of the PCOS that I carry it there but I don’t want to talk about that right now.

I am just getting by each day right now in a fog almost. I do get things done that have to be done but I feel so lost without my mom.  Most days at work I’m fine, but all I want to do after is go home and go to bed.  I just lay in bed most of my evenings and waste the day away.  I hate this. I wish my mom was here. I don’t know what to do with myself. Tonight is a bad night I’ll admit but good days are just spent being numb laying in bed unless there’s somewhere I need to be.

I did go to a Disney meeting last weekend which was good for me to do and I did have a lot of fun. But when get togethers and time with family or friends is done, I go straight to my room. I don’t do anything with my life.

Depression really sucks the life out of you.  I am on the max dose I can take for Lexapro and I do have to give myself a break with what I’m going through but I don’t have the strength to get off my ass and go do something.  Other than eat…  I graze at work, some days after work or at lunch I have been grabbing some crap at some fast food restaurant and eating away my feelings.  Then I’m so full for the rest of the day and feel so drained and numb that I just lay in bed watching YouTube or Netflix or whatever.

I feel like I’m rambling and not making much sense so I apologize for the lack of quality if that is the case in this post. I just needed almost a brain dump of words or something before getting to bed as it’s 10:15 on a Wednesday night so I better call it quits now. Thanks for putting up with my brain for today.

Life · Motivation

New Chapter of My Life

Now that the funeral, moving out of the apartment, and all of that is behind me, I’ve been focusing on this new chapter of my life.  Trying to be social and do things with friends and go do more independent things. It’s kind of scary because I’m kind of socially awkward and I’m used to having someone with me that I can attach myself to.  It’s hard but I started working on that when I started going to the Disney club and I know the more I go to things the easier it’ll be for me. At least I hope so. And I do enjoy spending time with friends and doing things but I’m worried that awkwardness won’t ever go away.

This weekend I’m going to San Francisco to the Generation Beauty convention that is hosted by IPSY that monthly makeup subscription.  There will be a lot of YouTube creators and makeup/beauty companies and I’ve been looking forward to this since we got tickets. I’m going with Gina’s sisters and their best friend so it’ll be my first ever girls weekend. I know… Sad that I didn’t have that until I turned 34 but as I said, social awkward, and I always wanted to spend time with my family. It’s just what we did.

Anyway, I also think I’m going to lean a different way with the blog too. I’m reading a book on PCOS and it’s giving me new motivation to actually take care of the symptoms associated with PCOS and I’ll talk about that later.  My computer’s not working at the moment so I’m not able to post at home so I have to wait until my breaks at work to get something out and that time is coming to an end. I’ll be sharing what I got at the event soon and thinking up other things to write about.


Worst Day of My Life

This one has been really hard for me to find the emotional capability to start.  On May 10th, my mother passed away suddenly to a heart attack.  I’m sure you can tell if I haven’t said anything before, that I was extremely close to my mom.  I spent every free minute I had with her. This truly is my worst fear come true.  I am trying to just get through each day in tact because there is so much to do.  I gave my 30 days notice at the apartment complex because 1, I can’t afford to live there on my own, and 2, I can’t handle being their by myself without her. Thank God my aunt let me move back in until I can get back on my feet.

We had her rosary and funeral mass/reception in early June which was beautiful and I’m so happy it turned out so well. I think stress was a main culprit but her health and eating habits weren’t great either.  She was so stressed about money and she didn’t have much of a social life while I was at work and with her eating habits (not much food and all carby sugary stuff) she hit her limit.  I think really that God thought she just had enough.  She’d been through enough in her life and suffered most of her life with depression and other issues and I am thankful she didn’t suffer the way my dad did.  If she had gone that way, I wouldn’t have been able to survive that.  I really don’t think I would have.  It’s hard enough now but that would have literally killed me to see.

It’s been over two months now that she’s been gone and it will take me a long time to get back to a normal life and I will give myself that time because I have to start a new life without her. I can’t tell you how many times I put off writing this and starting and stopping because I just can’t get through it but I felt this needed to be said. I will stick with this blog and posting more often to keep my mind busy but that will be for another post.

If you can learn anything from this, please don’t let time go to waste with your family. Tell them you love them and how much they mean to you. Create special memories, and don’t leave things left unsaid. You may not have a chance to say them next time. Thank you to the abundance of love and support I have gotten from my friends and family. They all know how hard this is for me and I feel grateful to know even when I feel alone, I’m not.