Troublemaker, People Pleaser

It’s been a minute (five whole days seems like a long time to not blog now)! I had a midterm ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Doctor’s orders. Regarding my femur, I had an appointment with the orthopedic specialist on Friday, and he told me, point-blank, “You need to get an MRI,” as well as, “Even if it’s just a stress reaction [vs. a stress fracture], I’d like you to be on crutches for about a month.”

Me: “But…can it be partial weight bearing at least?”

Him: “If you want this to heal quickly, it needs to be non-weightbearing or maybe toe touch for balance.”

Hmph. It’s not so easy being on the other side of the patient-provider interaction…

Troublemaker, part 1. Putting little to no weight through my right leg has proven to be challenging, both mentally and physically. Physically, I carry a CRAP TON of stuff throughout my day, and holding all of that with mostly my arms is like its own form of training (at least I have some alternative form of cardio?). Mentally, it seems silly because my right leg does not hurt at all when I walk short distances. So I can crutch on the sidewalks and then walk completely normally when I get home. I feel…fraudulent. But I know that it’s not about the pain; it’s about the process of healing. I do miss my usual moves and grooves as well.

I’ve been a troublemaker at times, weight bearing and walking on my right leg when I’m in class or in the Catholic center (my argument: “Doc said I can walk household distances without crutches!!”). But alllll my PT friends + John are on my TAIL about using my crutches as often as possible. As they well should be (and as I well should know to do).

People have been incredibly kind though. Strangers offering to carry my bags, people offering their seats on the train, friends walking slowly with me and opening doors for me, John helping me get groceries. The list goes on and on each day, and for that I am grateful. How can I not be happy!?

Physical therapists everywhere I turn. That was this past Saturday at the American Physical Therapy Association of Massachusetts annual conference!! I learned oodles and now have an ignited flame to advocate for PT in new and #innovative ways. PT is so much more than little Alison could have imagined when she entered into this program almost 6 years ago.

Troublemaker, part 2. Over this weekend, I for some reason felt acutely aware of all the times when I have failed others, either my friends, family, or strangers. I felt heavy and ashamed for all of the times in both the far and recent past when I have hurt people out of ignorance, selfishness, accident.

I’m a people-pleaser at my core, which is good in some respects, but my people-pleasing attitude has often been a BIG source of pride for me. Almost 3 years ago, I begged God to help me break down the walls of pride in my heart — to make me more humble. It’s been a slow and grueling process (that can’t stop, won’t stop, baby) of constantly learning humility through my own failures and shortcomings (along with all the usual embarrassments of my life). And of course, God humbles me in the best ways He knows how.

He has allowed (but not caused!) me to make mistakes and see the effects of my vices, which unfortunately results in others being hurt sometimes, in big or small ways. This has made me really dang familiar with big apologies and the sacrament of confession. But this has also made me realize that I cannot perseverate and bang my head over my failures. It’s easy for me to think it’s the end of the world if someone is mad at me or know that I hurt someone. But what ought to be the reaction? Sincerely apologize, make appropriate amends, and do better. Move forward. It’s not about me.

What does “doing better” mean to me? My people-pleasing tendency has not disappeared, but the way I view myself in relation to others has shifted… On the one hand, I understand more the effects of seemingly small instances of laziness or neglect in loving others. This brings me low in knowing my weakness as a human. On the other hand, it helps me to have a healthier sense of what loving others means. It’s not the big, “WOW THANK YOU ALISON” moments. Sometimes it’s silent refrain from certain words or actions on my part — things that the world will never notice but that are truly better in the end.

Food. To lighten things up here…

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I’ve been using leftover beer cheese dip in a lot of my dinners (perks of potlucks). On toast with an egg on top. In leftover rice with egg and sriracha on top. On a spoon.

The photo got cut off, but I tried a pumpkin mochi muffin for the first time with Lauren and Joy last week, and it changed my life. Gooey, underbaked-kinda-vibe that is what baked good dreams are made of. I want to make some!!

One day last week I ate, like, two bananas and 3 tbsp of PB total before noon.

Moves. Besides crutching everywhere (exhausting!):

  • Swimming with Abby. Also aqua jogging without a floatation belt — that’s WORK.
  • Upper body strength
  • Lots of yoga
  • Single leg strength on my unaffected side (my left butt is sore and my right side is just chillin)
  • I tried single leg rowing and that was doable but felt kinda weird
  • Core work up the wazoo

Whatever works!

Halloween costume? Janice may or may not have a boba costume made for me today. We shall see. If not, I’ll be a pirate or something with my crutches.

Wednesday already, what fun!

So tell me:

Have you ever had to use crutches or follow a protocol for something to heal in your body? Was it difficult?

Are you a people-pleaser? Has this affected you in any particular way?

What is a weird way you’ve spiced up leftovers?

Have you ever eaten a mochi muffin?

Do you dress up for Halloween? If so, whatcha gonna be this year!?

 

The Great and Small Things I Learned {Sophomore Semester II}

My legs are ombre.

They’re pale on top, medium-shade at the knee, and dark at the bottom. And then I have a sexy ankle sock tan. #aeriereal

Besides my tan lines signaling the start of summer, the end of spring semester also signals the bittersweet time when everyone in college parts and goes their separate ways for a few months (or longer if you’re a senior or if you’re studying abroad like I am).

I am so grateful to be spending this week in Boston with my friends without any studying required of us. Rachel and I have checked off a few food bucket list places, the sun has been shining, and I’ve been SLEEPING. Oh, sweet sleep.

On Monday, Rachel and I walked over to Jugos in the morning for acai bowls (from our bucket list). I felt so Californian and trendy.

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growing their own wheatgrass of course

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“Sao Paolo” for Rachel + “Los Verdes” for me

In my hipster-wannabe pride, it pains me to say that acai bowls do indeed live up to the hype. They were fantastic. BUT I do feel like I could make them at home. They’re pricey, but we were very full for a while after these, and it was lovely to have something so fresh.

We enjoyed a leisurely walk back to campus since it was such a gorgeous day and it wasn’t like we had any studying to do (!!!).

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Monday night involved going to a fancy playground with friends, ungodly amounts of white cheddar popcorn, chocolate pudding eaten with a plastic knife, and Psych.

Solid.

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Tuesday included another bucket list place— Emack & Bolio’s for their cereal cone (basically a rice krispie treat wrapped around the cone). The cereal cone was a cool concept, but Rachel and I agreed that the ice cream was just average. But it was still ice cream, which is delicious, and I thought the cone was good!

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“beantown crunch” with a cocoa pebbles cereal cone for Rachel + maple walnut with a rice krispie cereal cone for me

Followed by hours of girl talk.

Yesterday I helped my brother move out of his apartment, ate lunch with him and my mom, played outside for a bit (perfect weather), and helped cook a dinner at the Catholic Center for the graduating seniors (and they let me join in on the feast!).
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Grateful.

As with all my previous semesters here (I, II, III) at college, I have learned many lessons— some beautiful, some painful, all gifts.

the great and small

Lunch dessert is fabulous.

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I don’t have to go to the gym most days of the week, and I’ll be okay. I can still stay active and do challenging things without a gym.

Working out with friends outside might be one of my favorite things.

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We cannot attach ourselves to people. We can only attach ourselves to God. (via my friend Rachel via our friend Sarah)

Pride is probably my biggest vice and the root of all my internal struggles.

Social media can be pretty toxic for me. I need to take regular breaks from it.

I am an abstainer, not a moderator.

I don’t need to eat as much protein as I thought, and I feel best with a more carb-heavy diet.

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I cannot be complacent with my faith. I need to address my doubts, as little as they may be, and actively seek truth. (appreciate Julia’s honesty on this topic)

It is so painful to see good friends move away, but God has a beautiful plan for each of us and we need to trust Him.

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Walking is such an amazing human mechanism (thanks, biomechanics!).

I hold a lot of tension in my head and neck when I dance.

Electroswing music is a thing, and it. is. ART. (shoutout to my girl Lauren for introducing me to it)

I like plain yogurt better than cottage cheese these days.

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I can track my calories/macros objectively without restricting.

I am definitely an emotional eater.

Boston weather is more mercurial than Donald Trump’s words.

Writing at least one thing for which I am thankful in my planner every day before going to bed was a game-changer for my perspective.

Going without makeup for a while ain’t so bad.

I am at a pretty good place regarding my body image, but I am not immune to hard times and temptations to restrict.

My best friend and I have the same brain sometimes, and it’s freaking weird.

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It is improbable that we’ve had the friends, experiences, and circumstances that we’ve had.

God can show you very clearly that He is near. Sometimes He won’t make it clear though, but that doesn’t mean He’s not near.

Talking out loud to myself is the best form of studying for me. I need to hear it said.

I should be aware of my face in lecture, or else the professor might call me out with a laser pointer in front of my classmates.

I embarrass my friends sometimes/often/always.

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I need to make sure I bring enough snacks to work.

My friends are like my personal trainers, except spiritually. They push me outside of my comfort zone to become a better human.

Cycling is HARD.

VO2max test equipment is really flattering.

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I’m over trying so hard to impress boys. OVER IT.

^^^I will tell myself that I am over it, but still fall into that trap. C’est la vie.

It’s okay if I don’t have all the answers/advice for someone. Being a good listener can be what exactly someone needs.

Tori Kelly continues to slay with her music that describes my life.

Tears are truly a gift from the Holy Spirit.

God continues to show how much He loves us, and it is the most beautiful, amazing, heart-wrenching, humbling thing ever.


I’m linking up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud today! I’ve missed this party!

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Hope you all have an awesome Thursday ♥︎

So tell me:

If you are a college student: Lesson(s) you learned this semester/year.

If you are not a college student: Lesson(s) you learned since the beginning of 2016.

Have you ever tried/do you like acai bowls? 

Being Humble Hurts

Good morning and Happy Fat Tuesday!

“Joyeux Mardi Gras!” sounds a lot classier, doesn’t it? French is just glamorous like that.

Before I get into Lent and deep-ish talk, I’ll catch you up on what happened in my life yesterday. First and foremost, I had a nut-butter-happy breakfast of banana bread English muffins with almond butter + peanut butter + banana slices!

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I also finished the last bit of Greek yogurt with a few more banana slices. My mom knows me so well and bought FOUR big containers of Greek yogurt for me since she’ll be leaving for Florida soon. Those might last me 2 weeks. 😉

School was swell, and then I headed to the gym in the afternoon. I didn’t forget my gym shoes this time! I did, however, nap in the car at the gym parking lot for about half an hour again. You would think I would be a little more self-conscious, but sleep trumps image at this point in my high school career (or any point in my life). I just park in the corner of the lot and snooze for a lil’ bit. I doubt anyone even noticed. A cat nap can go a long way, folks!

After my mini-siesta (I still think we should have those)…

Moves

5 min. rowing warmup

Supersets of:

  • TRX rows + TRX pike to pushup
  • TRX tricep extensions + TRX bicep curls

Then I did some proper pushups (so hard!), staggered pushups, and 6 minutes on the rope climbing contraption. I finished with an 8-minute ab tabata.

Dinner was absolutely delicious, and it was a cinch to put together thanks to Mom’s prep work.

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Quinoa/rice blend + seared tuna steak + avocado + blanched broccoli + ponzu

Mom had already prepared the quinoa/rice blend in the rice cooker, and she had also blanched the broccoli earlier in the day. She’s da best.

I don’t know about you guys, but I love me some whole grains. Brown rice, quinoa, wild rice, farro… I could totally eat grains by themselves. I adore their hearty aromas and slightly chewy textures. This organic quinoa/rice blend that my mom got from Costco (I think) was fantastic!

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Guess what I had for “dessert”? You win a virtual high-five if you guessed dried figs and Greek yogurt!

Being Humble Hurts

So tomorrow marks the beginning of Lent, which is the 40-day period leading up to Easter for us Christians. A lot of people like to give up certain pleasures or do extra good deeds to grow closer to God during this time as a reminder of Jesus’ sacrifice for us.

I’m not going to talk all about Lent too much, but I’ll tell y’all what I’m going to try my very hardest to give up:

  • TV
  • listening to the radio in the car
  • complaining

And I will try do more of this:

  • Meditate/read devotional

I was considering giving up nut/seed butters, but then I thought about how we have, like, 5 jars in the fridge. Someone’s gotta eat them… 😀 But in all seriousness, these four things are going to be tough for me already. I won’t be able to live vicariously through Giada or Ina on Food Network, I won’t be able to groove to jams in the car, and I won’t be able to open my BIG mouth at times.

will be able to learn humility.

We all have several humbling experiences in our lives, but I don’t think it ever gets an easier to put our pride aside. At least, for me it never does.

Last night, I was in an argument— more like a petty bicker— where voices were raised and tensions amounted. I knew I did not start the argument, but my emotions got the better of me, and I let myself raise my voice several times to try to defend myself. (This was all over something so trivial too, but for some reason it turned into a big mess).

After breathing for a few moments and letting things simmer down, I wanted to apologize to the other person, even though I did not feel like I needed to do so. Nevertheless, I practically owe this particular person my life, no matter what the situation is. Thus, I said, “I’m sorry for raising my voice at you.”

The response I received was not as forgiving as I had expected (for privacy reasons, I won’t say what the exact response was). In fact, it stung so much that I literally stopped what I was doing and stared straight forward for a good 10 seconds. I slowly grabbed my laptop and went up to my room as tears welled up. And then I just talked out loud to myself and to God.

I was angry and upset. All that went through my head was: I didn’t even start this! That wasn’t fair to say! I apologized, and that’s what I got? WHAT THE HECK?! 

In the past, I probably would have gone downstairs and made a fit again. I definitely wear my emotions on my sleeve. But God was telling me to be humble. Not to be submissive or stepped on, but to just accept things as they were at that point. Trying to defend myself even further would have been solely for my pride. It wouldn’t have actually made anything better.

I tweeted this:

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Because it does hurt. But then I think about our great Lord and His incredible humility, and there’s nothing I can do but bow to Him. And then zip my big mouth.

Again, this doesn’t mean I’m an advocate of being submissive, but in some instances, pride is only fuel for the fire.

“…he leads me beside still waters/he restores my soul…” -Psalm 23

OKAY. That got a little deeper than I initially anticipated. Fat Tuesday!!

Have a great day, everyone 🙂

So tell me:

How do you handle moments like these when your pride is roaring?

If you observe Lent, what are you giving up/doing?

What is your favorite grain?