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Archive for January, 2011

Preparing

Today I got busy in the kitchen =). It was fun. I’m also back on my schedule and I’m working harder to keep myself worry-free and productive.

I got some new skin, hair, and mood friendly groceries consisting of:

Romaine Lettuce

Baby Spinach

Zucchinis

Cucumbers

Daikon

Avocados

Garlic

Ginger

Lemons

Sweet Potato

Chickpeas

Frozen Berries

Bananas

(and I already had protein powder)

Each are contributing to a menu higher in nutrition and lower on sugar.

I made a schedule that I’m planning to test out tomorrow:

6:00 AM: Wake up

6 AM-8 AM:  Morning routine of exercise (about 30 mins of walking), yoga, a shower, and getting dressed for the day

8 AM-9 AM: Walk the dog, read the paper, and have a mug of warm water with lemon and a tsp. of a supplement called MSM (it’s safe and it contains sulfur which helps the body build flexible muscles, absorb nutrients, and build collagen)

10 AM: Make a breakfast smoothie with water, berries, banana, protein powder, and a handful of greens (Green Smoothies); Log on for my classes and get started on my work

1:00 PM: Take a break to walk the dog, or when the weather allows get out to the park for air and sunshine and listen to a podcast

1:45 PM: Make lunch

2 PM-4 PM: finish up school work

4:30 PM-6:00 PM: Exercise (walking on the treadmill or an exercise video-Netflix has a lot of good ones)

6:30 PM-7:30 PM: make dinner and blog

After dinner: continue to stay busy with a good book, a fav. tv show or movie, listening/playing music, call a friend, etc.

9:30 PM: Take a bath and go to bed early

Also, activities to incorporate into the following weeks in addition to walking the dog, getting out to the park (snow kinda needs to clear though), and attending weekly therapy:

-Grocery shop

-Read at Barnes and Noble

-Visit my adorable niece and my brother and sister-in-law in Princeton

-Go to the library

-See a movie I’m looking forward to (Blue Valentinee)

-Stop by Target, Kohls, or the mall to push myself a little and face unease with being out in public

Today was better because I able to wake up on time, do some research that helped me create my grocery list and daily schedule, and try out some fresh recipes (hummus, zucchini pasta, and a smoothie). Not much activity today but it’s something to work on. I’ll be back to tomorrow<3. Onto Bio reading…this week’s chapter is getting kind of intense-organic chem.

Some lovely music.

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Up and Down Progress

Something my therapist has told me on a lot of occasions is that improvements come in a very up and down kind of way. She draws a line with her finger and traces a jagged line going upwards while she says this. It’s definitely true, probably for anyone actually, but for my progress it’s definitely true. In the past couple of months, I’ve experienced a mix of progress and improvement as well days that feel like the opposite. I’ve been able to reach out and talk to friends who don’t know about my struggle, but feel that I’ve sort of just disappeared. Calling them up wasn’t so easy, but in the aftermath it was very uplifting. I even hung out with a good friend of mine, who insisted on going along with whatever I felt comfortable doing. We got ice cream, drove around and caught up (it had been a year and a half since the last time I saw him). I had a good time, but while we were hanging out I was thinking that he was just a super nice guy, and that on some level he might have been surprised or turned off or something by the way in which I’m feeling and looking. We never even talked about anything personal, so he had (and still hasn’t really been) filled in on what I’m trying to work through. That was about two months ago that we hung out, and he is still in touch with me a couple of times a week. It’s an amazing feeling to know that I have good friends who love me and believe in me. I really love them too and while I am working through things for me, I’m doing it to get back to them too.

The ‘up’ of today is that I’m closing in on my second week of school successfully. I have to take one last quiz before I can declare the week over, but overall it’s going well and I’m continuing to feel happy and blessed about it. The ‘down’ is that my healthy schedule has taken a nose-dive in the past two days because my skin is acting up. Today I was so disappointed that I skipped over all of my routine…my yoga, walking the dog, eating well, getting dressed. I hate it. I should be stronger than this, but I hate it so much, and I deserve to get better and feel good. I officially have no doubt in my mind that the types of food I eat trigger it, as well as a lack of exercise and lack of getting outside/leaving the house. Our bodies are just like plants in that they need sunlight and water and nutrition to operate properly, and I think it’s safe to say that I have tested that theory. The stress and lack of ‘normalness’ that I’ve experienced in the past two years has added to my struggle with my health. I can go days without stepping out of the house sometimes. Having a dog has helped with that, but I had phases where therapy once a week was the only thing that got me to step out. I’m not mad at myself, but at this point, instead of getting through things, I want to work on things, face my fears, and seek solutions. I’m glad that my schoolwork didn’t suffer today, but on the other hand I’ve never been the type of person that is content studying all day. It’s great to earn A’s, but there is a lot more to life than getting good grades.

I want my whole, all around self. And I am just so, beyond ready to do whatever I can to get to that place where I can feel comfortable in my own skin, happy in my surroundings with my family and friends, and capable of pursuing whatever I end up discovering. I’ve literally been spending nights dreaming of the days when I tumbled out onto the track at Friday night football games (back in the cheering days), drove into the city with my friends, studied in the university library (I DREAMED about this), sang to my friend’s guitar playing…it goes on. The sad thing is that sometimes I dream about these things and I’m depressed and struggling in my dreams. I’m going to pursue my wellness everyday, without judgment and ideally without fear (though I don’t know if that’s possible) because I want to honor my roots and everything that I’ve accomplished in my past. At the end of the day, I’ll come here to reflect so that I can follow the squiggly-line progress. I think I might be approaching a point where I’m not really depressed, but instead actively working towards getting better, and that is promising.

Thank you for the thoughtful comments and encouraging words<3 super helpful.

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Fun Music Friday =)

Kina Grannis, Corinne Bailey Rae, Rihanna (who sounds much better here than usual), Gabe Bondoc, and JR Aquino–all great artists

(you may need to go to youtube to watch this one)

I’ll come back to update soon<3

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Another Attempt

Good Morning. First, I apologize for how all-over-the-place this blog is. I hope that eventually things will work out and I can get better about that.This will likely be a super long post so I’ll be totally flattered if anyone reads it. If not, don’t sweat it! As time goes on I would love to evolve my blog into a more pictures than words kind of format. I think that will be more fun, interesting, creative.

Next, I am happy to report that this week I started my classes (more on that in a sec), and that I’ve been able to get up early everyday this week and make some progress.

I mentioned in my last (now sorta ancient) post that I was exploring my options for school. I really needed some purposeful work, because taking a break could probably be fun, but not when you find yourself unable to live it up. I was so relieved when I started researching the possibilities…Rutgers (which I attended for my freshman year) does not offer any online learning so I assumed that getting a good amount of my BA work done online was impossible. It turns out it isn’t! And I don’t mean any for-profit advertised universities like University of Phoenix either (I don’t mean to offend anyone, they just don’t appeal to me personally).  I found some great programs through universities like Drexel, University of Massachusetts,  and Northeastern, which is what I went with in the end. Northeastern University itself is a great school and in the same tier as Rutgers, so it was an uplifting process to apply and be admitted. I’m now part of their professional school, pursuing a degree in Health Management with aspirations to work in the field of Public Health. =) yay

Starting the program has given me a lot more structure to my day, a sense of fulfillment, and the studying (I already have homework, need to catch up on reading, and two quizzes on Sunday?) is keeping my mind focused and free from worry and anxiety. I also moved into my brother’s room which is a lot bigger and furnished it with a nice desk from Ikea, a computer, a coat of yellow paint and various other little things like some nice bedding and a bulletin board where I can keep track of the days and tack up pictures and things. It’s been a good change.

So now, it’s 10 AM, everyone in the house is back on schedule after the snowstorm that hit the northeast day before yesterday, and I’ve been up for about two hours. My goals for today are to exercise for the first time in a few weeks, shower, get dressed, get the juicer out for breakfast, take the dog for a walk, and then get a few hours of work done. Today I’ll be reading chapters for my introductory Public Health class and watching the lecture, as well as participating in the discussion board (I suppose that’s where the virtual class comes in, being in lecture, raising your hand and getting involved in class).

I’m also waiting to hear back from a ‘virtual volunteering’ opportunity that I’ve applied for. It turns out that the UN offers volunteering opportunities online for organizations that could use the help.  I applied to be a Front Page Editor at the dailysource.org. That was about three weeks ago and I got an email last week letting me know that they are sorting through applications now…so I’m crossing my fingers.

I think I’m on my way to getting quite busy with my work, which will weirdly be a good thing. Anything to keep my mind off of the way I tend to feel. I’m looking to a combination of being busy and following a healthy schedule to get through things.

And blogging, of course.

I’ve also attended therapy this week, which I’ve been sticking with for a little over a year now .  One important thing that I was told was to be aware of the fact that things aren’t going to just magically get better one day. It’s something that I will need to work towards daily. I think that because I have problems with my skin and because I’m always wishing that my hair would just grow out all the damage quickly, I find myself believing that at some point all will inevitably fix itself.  I’ll feel normal again, feel comfortable in my own skin, go out and live my life, etc. The reality of this caused me stop and digest the thought while we were talking. We discussed how it’s not going to be easy, but in addition to helping me understand how I’m going to improve, my therapist let me know that going through a hard time like this and working hard to make it better will in turn offer me a positive future. She helped me understand that going through things at an early age can make a person stronger and more capable of handling difficult situations. She believes that I will come out a with a better sense of myself, and even more, a better friend, daughter, worker, girlfriend, wife, etc. etc. Comforting.

so that’s all for now…hopefully I can check in at the end of the day to report good things.

<3Aimee

 

Edit: 10:30 PM

So the day went okay! I followed my plan and also completed my school work, but I still have tons to finish off by the end of the week. This program is serious but I’m really liking it. I’m not sleepy at all which is a bummer because I need to wake up early. I usually end up getting hungry around 11 PM which probably contributes to my skin so I’m going to just try and relax and watch some tv (I need to get some more books).

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