Little Things to Say “Yes” to Today

Moves. This week has been a very fun week of workouts so far. It started off with smashing a whole bag of white cheddar Popcorners, what? an outdoor HIIT workout at an empty park on Monday morning. I made sure I didn’t have to touch any public equipment for the workout.

Monday: 3 rounds (30 sec on / 30 sec off)

  • Double unders
  • Kneel to tuck jump
  • Alternating side shuffles
  • Fast feet to crossover (do whatever agility exercise you want!)
  • Broad jumps

Tuesday: Run (~2 miles) + H I L L S (5x up a massive hill) with my friend, Henok. He crushed it, and I mostly died. Is it weird, though, that I prefer to do hills because it’s more of an excuse to take breaks and not run for as long?

I also did a virtual Zumba workout with some pals at night, which was hilarious and so fun. *shoulder shimmy*

#distanced

Wednesday: Some walking, a couple 10-minute yoga flows in between study sessions, and a brief upper body workout with attempts to mix it up a bit.

Happy Triduum! Although these days leading up to Easter and Easter itself are looking quite different this year, perhaps this is an opportune time to see and experience God in His Death and Resurrection unlike any other time before. Allow Him to enter into the recesses of your own home and room. My friend Kelsey wrote a beautiful reflection on this image on her blog.

I just ran into maybe eight friends at a local parish all lined up (6 feet apart), receiving the sacrament of confession through a window, which was pretty sweet.

Bone in, skin on chicken thighs. Boi, you best get some if they are on sale at your supermarket. I had forgotten about the juicy glory of chicken thighs. And the skin! Honestly, I didn’t get the skin as crispy as I wanted, but the flavor still provided. I used an eyeballed seasoning mix of paprika, thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper on the skin AND underneath the skin. Give it some love.

Yes. I have been reflecting a lot on little ways of promoting self-discipline, self-betterment, obedience to God, whatever you want to call it. There are thousands of ways we can say yes to becoming the men and women we are created to be today. Because what if this is my last day? Not to be morbid, just to be real.

Here are some ideas (mostly for myself, but perhaps for you as well) of how to say little yes’s to the true, the good, and the beautiful:

  1. Sitting with my roommate in the kitchen for dinner instead of by myself with my technology in my room
  2. Taking out the recycling / trash now, not later
  3. Taking 60 seconds to think about what else I need to do before immediately picking up my phone to check notifications / Words with Friends (haha)
  4. Likewise taking 60 seconds to think about whether I’m actually hungry or just bored before picking up a snack
  5. Stretching or doing a little yoga instead of going on phone during my work break, even if it’s just for 5-10 minutes
  6. Getting out of bed when my first alarm goes off, not 20 minutes later
  7. Listening to a wholesome / educational podcast instead of just music during a walk (or just not listening to music at all and listening to the sounds of the world around me [not much right now though] or my own thoughts)
  8. Actually stick to the to-do list I made last night
  9. Send that text message to the person who I said I would stay in touch with
  10. Pray for that person who I said I would pray for, now, before I forget

Just some examples! And please know that I have only tried implementing these in real life with maybe 50% success rate. Always a work in progress.

Hope you have a blessed Thursday!

So tell me:

What are some ways you can say “yes” today to be a better vision of yourself?

Have you been able to get any moves and grooves in these days?

How are you overall?

If you are struggling with disordered eating at this time…

Being pent up within four walls for weeks on end is not the most fun for a lot of people.

But if you are someone who experiences any sort of mental health issue to any degree, you might understand that an overhaul of routine and a severance of social gathering can be devastating.

To be completely transparent, my quarantine life has not been devastating, but I remember a time when this severity of change would have been so.

During Hurricane Sandy in 2012 (I think that was the disaster, but perhaps it was just a bad winter storm that I’m thinking of… but that’s not critical to the rest of this), my family and I were trying to keep warm and fed in our house with no electricity for several days. I didn’t exercise because it would be too cold and dark to do anything except sit by the fire, all while still trying to do some school work. Food involved things that were out of the ordinary — slices of bread toasted on a pan atop our gas stove (#lifesaver), canned soup warmed up in the same way. Not the usual salads and Greek yogurt bowls.

I didn’t have control of anything, and I was not really okay with it. Our priorities were really to survive (and we were doing a-okay, by the way; things could have been worse) at that point, but the desire to maintain my eating and exercise routines had become just as severe of a “need” in my mind.

I remember sitting in front of the fire one of those nights, and my dad said that eating a bit more would help us to stay warm (i.e., thermic effect of food). However, I suggested that maybe we should be eating less because we weren’t moving as much (i.e., burning as many calories as usual). It was a small sign of how deeply uncomfortable I was with the whole situation, even though it probably lasted less than a week.

It is now 2020, and we all meet a similar yet different situation.

Maybe you are frustrated that you can’t lift as heavy or take your favorite intense workout classes. Maybe you’re sitting for much longer periods of time and getting thousands fewer steps than usual (holla). Maybe your favorite produce or preferred types of foods are constantly off the shelves.

The extra time on social media (in efforts to gain a semblance of human contact) might bring an onslaught of advertisements for home workout programs and meal plans to “keep you on track.” There might be fewer distractions to keep you from falling into the rabbit hole that is the fitness industry, something you were great at avoiding for so long.

Maybe the shift in control of your life in and of itself throws you into a tizzy and causes you to more intensely to the things you can control.

“If I can’t do ______, ________, and ________, at least I can still count my calories and go on super long runs/walks. I can still have my six pack abs.” This is just an example.

I understand that there are people who can do this without compromising their mental health. In fact, there are people are taking control of their physical health to benefit their mental health during this time. But you — YOU — might need something different, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. And YOU are not alone in that.

You all know that I am a physical therapist to be, not a psychologist or eating disorder specialist. I can only give advice and counsel from my own experience. So I will offer four things for you today:

  1. Continue to seek help if you need it. For less pervasive and just pesky thoughts of disordered eating, reach out to a trusted friend or family member. For what you think might be a relapse, please reach out to your therapist or eating disorder specialist (or a new one), and I am confident that they will either provide or refer you to online services. I have heard of great success with online counseling.
  2. Find creative outlet. Draw, dance, sing, write poetry, knit, crochet, sidewalk chalk, blow huge bubbles (far away from other people), play an instrument, blog, journal. Use that awesome brain and body of yours to do some really cool and impressive things that are not fitness.
  3. Catch up with friends who care about you as a whole person. This might not be the ideal time to reach out to the friend who can primarily bonds with you over running or CrossFit. Talk with people who know other things about your life and who are likely to ask you about / listen to how your heart is doing at this time.
  4. Be gentle but very honest with yourself. No one is going to tell you to just be sedentary, eat dessert, and deal with your disordered eating that way. At least, no one should give that kind of ultimatum, even if that is what you need. Let yourself move, and eat well. But be very, very honest with yourself in how much the thoughts of fitness and food are pervading your mind. If it’s on your mind and making you feel anxious for most of the day and distracting you from other things, consider #1.

Be not afraid! We will get through this.

Virtual Breakfast Date

Never in Daily Moves and Grooves history has a virtual breakfast date been so apropos! I hope you and yours are still holding up well.

I forgot to take a photo of my breakfast, but it wasn’t that exciting anyway (Greek yogurt with banana, cinnamon, chia seeds, and pb + a side of almonds and pistachios). Here’s a prettier breakfast from the past!

…I would tell you that my quarantine life has been rather peaceful and fruitful. I am fully aware that it is the complete opposite for so many people right now — death, suffering, exhaustion, instability, fear, heartache. Those realities hit me, too, don’t get me wrong. But I am also extremely grateful that these past couple weeks have given me a time to grow more deeply in prayer and {socially distanced} communication with so many friends.

My current day-to-day involves some studying for the PT boards exam (that isn’t until July 28, so studying in small doses for now), job applications, a phone call (or two or three) with friends, long walks, some moves and grooves, and a lot of prayer.

I was talking to my friend Emma yesterday, telling her how this time has been so peaceful and fruitful, despite the vast unknown ahead. We discussed that oftentimes, God strengthens people with periods of consolation and peace for more trying times ahead.

That thought scares me a bit, but whatever He’s got in store for the rest of the year, I know He will help me through it. This time to reflect on His Goodness and Truth, I’m sure, is part of that help.

…I would tell you that my time in Boston is coming to an end soon. I have decided to move back home to New York after 6 incredible years in Boston. I don’t have a job set in NY just yet, but either way, my plan is to move back in with my very gracious (and excited) parents to save some money for the next year or so as I finally make a salary after being in school for so long. From there, if my heart still longs for Boston, I can move back and become more settled (just with a little more financial stability).

The fact that I don’t get a graduation ceremony next month makes me sad for 0.0000001 seconds and then I’m over it. But man, will I miss my dear friends here, who have truly become my family. I was walking through the very empty Boston University campus yesterday, and my emotions went from 0 to 100 real quick. I don’t love BU for BU, but for how it brought so many different people to one place for a multitude of different reasons. And now those people have built a solid foundation of faithful friendship that continues to grow and flourish, and for that I am (literally) eternally grateful.

…I would tell you that you are so loved.

…I would thank you for coming to my emotional virtual breakfast date.

…I would complain about how my breakfast is now salty from my tears.

…I would ask you:

How is your quarantine life?

What did you eat for breakfast?

What are some recent reflections you have on your current situation / the world’s situation?

What are your thoughts on the unknown future ahead of us?

A random sick day vlog.

Boston University has officially made all learning remote for the rest of the semester.

The poor undergraduates who live on campus have been advised to stay home…but are also being asked to move out within 5 days. Good grief.

Yesterday I decided to film a random sick day vlog, mostly because I had very few important things to do.

Enjoy, if you so choose to watch!

The Blonde Ponytail 100s Challenge

Irish Apple Cake

So tell me:

What kind of activity do you like to do when you don’t really feel like working out?

What is your go-to food to use up a lot of milk / eggs?

What did you do yesterday?

Do you have your life together? I don’t.

Let’s stop talking about me; let’s talk about You, God.

I had a sick day yesterday that didn’t feel like a sick day, but I guess an abnormal day just feels normal at this moment.

I stayed home from clinical yesterday (and also today), because I must be without my sore throat and cough symptoms for at least 24 hours before returning to work. I was anticipating at least one sick day, and yes, I have symptoms, but I also feel 100% functional.

It’s the “abundance of caution” that is keeping me from work, which I totally get. But I don’t think these particular symptoms I’m having right now have ever kept me home from anything before. Hence a “sick day that doesn’t feel like a sick day.” Gotta do what ya gotta do though.

Additionally, our fridge/freezer stopped working yesterday.

What turned that around was the excuse to bake cornbread to use up some of the whole milk I bought this weekend. 🙂 Also, the fact that yesterday was a particularly cold day, so my roommates and I were able to keep our food outside on the porch to prevent spoilage.

Moves: this ab workout + this at-home HIIT workout from Natacha Oceane. I’m not usually a huge fan of just any fitness guru who puts out social media content, but Natacha was formerly a PhD student and chose to do YouTube instead. However, she still brings evidence to practice and makes the evidence very accessible and digestible, and I can get behind that.

Opportunities. Having a sick day and having more time to myself (#selfisolation) presents more opportunities to do things for which I’ve lost habit.

Exhibit A: FaceTiming my PT friend who had her clinical in Utah (hi, Elayne!)

Exhibit B: Prayer for 20+ minutes at a time. I went on a long solo walk to get some fresh air into these lungs, and just talked with God. I literally told Him, “I’m tired of talking about myself and asking what Your plan is for me. I want to know more about You… What was it like for Your people to turn against You and want to throw You headlong off a cliff?” (as that was the event of yesterday’s Gospel reading).

And that was the most fruitful prayer in a long time. It was a wonderful thing to focus on God for who He is and not myself in this time of chaos.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Say a prayer, wear green and eat something Irish. And don’t pinch anyone for not wearing green! Not because of coronavirus, but because that’s rude.

So tell me:

How are you finding “normal” in the abnormal of life right now?

What are some opportunities you are finding with the social distancing?