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Twenty-Nine

Turning 29, is as every bit of scary as it is exciting. A chapter is truly coming to an end. It is my last year in my twenties and the goal is to end it in the best way I can. In one way or another I have chosen to just live and be more present. I’ve let my depression and anxiety hold me back so much in the past and I can’t let it anymore. Not just because I’m exhausted from the stress that it brings, but because I don’t want my daughter to do the same. She is my mirror, my little shadow. What I do or say she will emulate. Whether it’s something as simple as putting my phone down or taking those few extra minutes to have an actual conversation with the lovely people who make me my coffee every morning. So many of us just let life pass us by. And in hindsight we are all indeed living, we breathe and have blood pumping through our veins. But, it’s more so the actual mindset of living life and truly being present.

The concept to just live wasn’t something I came up with on my own, it’s something I borrowed from Peter Pan. Shocker right? In Chapter 8 of  “Peter and Wendy” by JM Barrie, Barrie is describing Peter’s bravery and that he also at times, despite his bravery, gets scared. At that point a huge smile comes across Peter’s face and he thinks to himself, “to die will be an awfully big adventure”. Peter has this thought because as a boy who has been stuck at a young age, living on Neverland for years, loves the thrill of chasing pirates and the risk that comes along with it. At the end of the films “Hook” & the live action version of “Peter Pan”, both Robin Williams and Jeremy Sumpter deliver the line “to live would be an awfully big adventure”. Though never in the books by Barrie, this quote has become just as famous as any other from his novel. Pan is watching the lost boys being embraced by the Darling Family and realizing that they will grow up and live a new life with new adventures. You quickly see Peter coming to the conclusion that living is the real adventure. But, of course Peter is far too stubborn and will stick to his word to never growing up. When I finally understood that quote and how profound of a thought it was, it stuck with me all these years. It’s held so much meaning to me. Aurora calls me Peter Pan and she’s always been my Tinker Bell. Disneyland is our most obvious version of Neverland. But, in all honesty we are in Neverland anytime we are together. We are almost always in our own little world, on some great adventure. When I had Aurora she gave me back a piece of my soul that had gone on vacation elsewhere. My desire to live and be present grew. That being said, I got that quote tattooed on my arm recently as a late birthday present to myself. It took about two and a half hours, but it was well worth it. It is a beautiful representation of the promise I made to myself a few years ago and it just looks really cool. I got my tattoo done at Electric Oni by Dan who truly deserves all the credit for bringing my idea and design to life. He took a rough sketch that I had brought in for reference and exceeded my expectations. When I went in for my session I was taken back by what he had put in front of me. I was definitely getting a little emotional. I’m so grateful for him and will most certainly get another tattoo from him in the future.

Another gift I am trying to give myself this year is the gift of book’s. My goal for the last year of my twenties is to read more and to have Aurora read more as well. There are so many great books out there and I want immerse myself into them and into the worlds created by the authors. I’m going to do my best with sticking to the classics, but we’ll see where this adventure guides me and what sparks my interest along the way. Aurora and I’s first book was a joint read and of course it was “Peter Pan” by JM Barrie. It was a version adapted for children and excludes some bits and pieces from Barrie’s original, but for Aurora it was good enough. My book for March or rather what’s left of it will again probably come as no surprise to anyone because it is “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien. Aurora has chosen “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland |  Through the Looking Glass” by Lewis Carroll , which I couldn’t be more excited for her to have chosen. It is an incredible journey that Aurora and I are on together, not just through reading but through life as well.

Cheers to another year, mates. xoxo

If any of you have any suggestions for new reads, send them my way.

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Get Healthy, Health and Fitness, Thoughts

Let’s just pretend like I have my shit together | September 28th, 2017

Well, hello. It’s been a while, eh? Typical Brooke fashion, for sure, like for-sursies (there’s my college education going to work right there). My plate is full, my cup is constantly runneth-ing over, and life is good. The bad is never actually that bad and is typically things I can easily brush off or just sweep under the rug and leave them to be dealt with later, if I remember. I mean, between raising a human being, both of us being in school and starting a new job I don’t have time for anything that is not serving my life in a positive way. And guys, I’ve gotten so much better about not giving a shit, it’s amazing. I’m letting go of things and situations and just not allowing them to take up like 80% of my life anymore. I have always been and will most likely continue to put other people’s needs and happiness before my own. It’s one of my charming qualities. I will always look for the best in people and want them to be happy no matter what the situation is. And, honestly when you get to a point where you realize that maybe this person or a situation doesn’t even know what will make them happy or what road to take to be happy (without them saying it outright of course), you just have to back off and let someone else take the steering wheel. So here I am getting my Carrie Underwood on and letting Jesus take the wheel. Let’s be honest, I’m a mom and always have that part of my brain on. I want the people I care about to be happy and to live the best life they possibly can and to see all the potential they have. And for everyone to just be fucking nice to one another. I just have a lot of feelings, okay?

So I am now in my third semester back at school and it is going swimmingly. Like the kind of swimming where you’re good, then get a cramp and have that quick flash of where you think you’re drowning. There have been a lot of long and sleepless nights. But, I love all of my classes and my teachers. I have all female teachers and they are all amazing in their own ways. It sounds terrible, but I have yet to find a male teacher that is not a complete asshole or narcissistic douche and made me want to actually stay in their class. My female teachers have all been so badass and motivating, the keep me going. My psych teacher was the worst last year, so bad that I actually dropped the class. I think going forward my goal will be to have my all of my teachers and professors be female for the rest of my academic career. I mean, unless someone knows a guy, then I will take a friendly suggestion. Little miss is also in school and has started Kindergarten. Which, how crazy is that? I have a child in Kindergarten. I never once imagined that I would be in school at the same time as one of own. Aurora is loving it, of course. If you know my child, she is so the opposite of me and actually loves school and looks forward to it. I am definitely going to keep that train going for as long as I can. But, she is also feeling the repercussions of being in school five days a week, for seven hours a day. I am pretty sure this is the most exhausted I have seen my girl. But, again, she is so happy. My favorite part of my days when I have school is when I’m done for the day and I go pick her up and we go do our homework together. My heart is so content and it motivates me so much more to have her by my side. I mean talk about a constant reminder of why I am doing what I am doing. She’s the best and it’s almost gross how much I love her and am obsessed with her, as a mother should be with her child. Talk about being domesticated, in some form, I’ll be cooking dinner and Aurora is at the table doing homework and asking me questions and I fucking love it. Every stress I have goes away in those moments because we have a great life and we are so blessed that we even get to do that. I love us, our life, everything.

Our time together has just become that much more important because, for one, half of the week she is with her dad and secondly I did start a new job that is time consuming in all of the best ways. My mornings start very early, in regards to waking up and then dropping of Ro at school. I tend to get home 12-13 hours which is what is making things difficult but we are starting to get into a rhythm and have a better sense of our schedule and how things will work out. Which, thank god. I have not worked out or been to Crossfit in two months. My priorities have had to shift and unfortunately that took the brunt of it. A lot of my priorities have had to change due to life and all the changes that have occurred. Some of those changes were to my education and the path I am on. Which, for those of you who don’t know I am making my way towards being a nurse. I had to make the hardest decision when it came to school and what made the most sense for my life and where it is right now. I am still 100% in love with fashion and all things product development and FIDM. But, it is currently going on the back burner until I can fully devote myself to it. It was such a heartbreaking decision to make too. My counselor looked at me and dead in the eye and told me I had to make up my mind, in the nicest of ways of course. And I had to do some deep soul searching, as I having been doing a lot of the last two-three months. What it all came down to was that my passion is helping people and I love children. So, for now, that is my focus and I have a long road ahead. I still question if I am making the right decision, but for now it feels like the right decision for me.

So here I am, slowly getting my life back together.

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Get Healthy

Happiness…

Well here we are and I am at the end of my second week at school. I don’t hate it yet, which is a really good sign. I am actually enjoying all my classes and teachers as well. My fourth class is a late start, so that has yet to be decided how I feel about it, but I guess I’ll stay optimistic about it.

Thank you, by the way to the people who reached out to me about my previous post, it was greatly appreciated. Like I said, I don’t go looking for attention, if anything I want other people to feel comfortable with themselves and talking about the things that aren’t easy to talk about. I love you amazing, beautiful people.

The world has a crazy way of bringing us bad news and then following those events with lessons. My lessons from the passing of beautiful girl and depression is coming through the way of my English class. Of course, right? Well, anyways our focus is happiness. The first book we are reading from is called the Pursuit of Happiness. The cover is pretty cute, it has a basket full of puppies. Did you get that? A BASKET FULL OF PUPPIES. My teacher wasn’t impressed, but I find it funny, what’s better than a basket full of puppies, think about it. I’d take a basket full of puppies over a cup of coffee or even free tacos. That’s right, I said it, deal with it. Ugh, but really, I want a puppy, I want a golden retriever or lab. Anyways, so the pursuit of happiness. We are all on some sort of pursuit to find happiness and be happy. Me, I always say I’m going to Neverland. That’s my happy place, my thoughtful spot as Pooh Bear puts it. The first essay we read from was an excerpt from “How Happy Are You and Why?” by Sonja Lyumbomirsky. Honestly, it wasn’t my favorite thing to read and I feel like I didn’t get much from it. She focused A LOT on the scientific studies of why we are happy and how scientists try to determine why or why not we are happy. Some scientists believe we are born with the “Happiness Set-Point”. The Happiness Set-Point at birth is 50%, 10% of our happiness will be determined by life circumstances and 40% by Intentional Activity (I.E. what’s under our control). While that is definitely interesting, I’m not very certain that I can back that up 100% or agree with it. I don’t know if being a mom changes how I feel about it, but seeing my baby girl I couldn’t imagine her being born with anything less than 90% for her Happiness Set-Point. Leaving 10% for the other two. So much is out of her control and circumstances are hard to determine. In my opinion at least, but also I am no scientist, so who am I to say. Sonja also discussed how they believe genetics have a lot to do with it as well. They did studies on twins, both identical and fraternal, and no matter what was going on for both in their lives and where they were, they still felt the same about life which was pretty cool.

Celestino Fernandez gave a lecture at SRJC a couple years ago and our first assignment was to watch it and take notes on it. I loved his lecture and what he had to say about happiness and I recommend people to watch it. If, that is, you want some better understanding on happiness and discover that people have been studying happiness since the beginning of time. While he did talk a lot about statistics, he kept reinstating the fact that we have the ability to determine our happiness. We can change our current life circumstances, we can do so many things to help us become happier people. He said and studies have shown that social interaction, going outside, listening to your favorite music, being healthy, it all can lead to happiness. Fact, unhappy people watch 20% more television than the average people. Now, I know Netflix is changing the game a bit and we all have a binge day. But, what they are getting at is people who sit inside in front of a television for hours, every day, with no social interaction and don’t go outside and enjoy nature are unhappy. If you know me I completely agree that people change their intention activity. Circumstances can be hard to change, but they can be for sure to an extent of course. It took me a very long time to accept my demons and find my Neverland. So when I am around people complaining about mundane things or things that are easily fixed or attainable I get so irritated. Life is there and ours for the taking and some people just let it waste away, how awful.

I was 205 pounds people, I am the last person you want to tell that it’s hard to lose weight. I lost 45 pounds don’t tell me how hard it is, I know very well how hard it is…but I also know how fucking easy it is. I had someone who I love very much come to me and ask me for advice and that made me so happy. It’s not easy coming to terms and saying I want to make a change and asking people for help. That doesn’t make me irate, it’s when people talk about it and do absolutely nothing. Don’t be a “DNB” (do nothing bitch) as Ronda Rousey so kindly puts it. Don’t tell the single mom who was working full time that you don’t have time to work out. Don’t tell the woman who has two mouth to feed that’s it hard to buy, eat, and cook healthy food. I’ll give everyone that it is hard to cut out foods, but it’s totally do-able. And please don’t blame it on your heritage. I’m Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. My favorite foods consist of Italian and Spanish faire. I could eat tacos and pizza all day. It is so easy to make alternatives and it inspires me when my friends find healthy twists on some of my favorite foods. My sister, is a smoothie master and so incredibly good about drinking green tea. I try to get on her level, but I’m not there yet. Green Tea is taking some time for me to adjust to since I am not normally a tea drinker, but I’m getting there. My girl Jenna has been feeding me delicious and bomb-ass soups. Soup is so versatile and you can literally throw anything it and she does. Goddamn does she make soup like a goddess ha. Seriously though you can throw anything in a soup, like kale. Oh my god, kale in soup is so good and a great way to enjoy it if the taste is way too intense for you. Kate, makes sweet potato tacos and zoodles like a goddamn boss. Her spiralizing and cooking skills are out of this world. Momma Jenna & Kate, I’m hungry now! Ha-ha. Also when it comes to substituting foods, it is hard at first but you have to stick with it. When I first started taking away dairy for my diet (and diet as in what I eat on a normal basis, not diet for losing weight purposes) and my coffee drinks, it took a good 2-3 weeks before soy tasted semi normal. You can’t try something once or twice and then give up, did you give up riding a bike or tying your shoes because it didn’t click the first two times? No. Now you are, hopefully, a bike riding and shoe tying boss. Now I have switched to almond milk and find soy too sweet. Your taste buds and stomach will and do adjust, you just have to give it time. You put time into so many aspects of your life, your friends, family, and school. So I can’t wrap my mind around the thought of people not putting or taking the time to look at what they eat and see what changes they can make to be healthier all around.

The topic of being healthy came up a lot in the happiness discussion and I can back that up 100%. Not so much because I have lost weight, but because my overall health has improved. I have a healthier mind and look at my curves and love the shit out of them. I’ve grown to love my thick thighs and calves. I may not love my stomach, but I still appreciate my body because of the hard work I put into it. When you work incredibly hard at something the end results are so much better and satisfactory. You’ve pushed yourself further then you thought you could and pushed your body to do things you didn’t think it was capable of doing. Your body is a like a car, you have to take care of it or else you’ll run it straight to the ground. Even with my four year old, I have so much more energy than I did in high school. I honestly could sit here and talk about health has become such a part of my journey to being a much happier person and how it has helped fight my demons, but then I might really start to bore you. But either way, find your happiness people. It’s out there, it just isn’t going to come to you out of thin air.

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