Last month, I finally decided to start a fitness program by Blogilates (#hotbodysummersculpt). What prompted this was my recent weight gain after munching a lot and consuming a lot of alcohol during an anniversary getaway. Although it was only set for 14 days, I have never actually participated in one nor did I ever actually finish one. For those who don't know me, I always get depressed whenever I get on the scale and see a number that's not what I consider within my expectations. I went from 92lbs to 130 in 4-5 months and since then I have never made it to my target goal of 115-120.
You see, it can be difficult for me especially when it comes to fitness to be motivated and be consistent. Because I was never a workout or fitness type of person. I occasionally participated in yoga or pilates in undergrad and did some Fitness Marshall here and there but I wasn't an intensive "I will workout everyday for at least 30 mins". BUT this time, I wanted to push myself to be better. And so I did.
It was tough. It did get easier and I did feel stronger, but it was tough to push through and it was only 30 minutes.
I found ways to push myself without over exerting myself to the point of being unmotivated and losing interest. For instance, I would pause the video and my tracker to take a break. Sometimes it was seconds, sometimes it was minutes. During those short breaks, I take the time to drink water, walk around, maybe finish some small tasks, and then go back into the workout and finish it. I also have an accountability partner all the way from the bay area. We send snaps to each other daily showing that we finished the workout for that day.
And honestly, after 14 days, I felt good about myself. I felt stronger. Even when we did a walk around the neighborhood! I used to end the walk panting heavily (while wearing a mask) but on the 14th day? Nope. I was fine. My calves were not sore and I wasn't panting like I ran a marathon when I just walked around the block.
I lost less than a pound during the first few days, but plateaued. Although I didn't exactly lose my ideal weight, I definitely saw parts of my body being toned slowly but surely. I just need to continue working out and actually eating healthy.
So... if you're someone like me who gets easily discouraged, take it one step at a time. Progress is progress no matter how small it is. And remember, it only takes 21 days to form a habit. Just keep challenging yourself and pushing through it. As cliche as it sounds, it really is no pain no gain and something worthwhile such as losing weight and getting fit never comes easy. Taking shortcuts is only a short-term solution. So whether it is for medical reasons or mental health reasons, it will be hard at first, but the important thing is to keep going.
This is an update on the podcast episode, “Eat Your Heart Out Dr. John Doe”. In it, she shares her traumatic experience with her psychiatrist and the lasting effects of it. If you haven’t listened to it, I would highly encourage doing so before reading this blog post.
Yesterday, I got a call from some attorney’s assistant I’ve never heard of asking if I would be willing to testify against Dr. Doe in court. My heart dropped. I sometimes feel like it was all a distant memory never needing to be reminded my “no” wasn’t enough. However, every couple of months, or even years, I get a phone call from someone new asking me to recount a horrible memory that always leaves me shattered. Then I remember the hands, the smell, the corrosive stubble against my skin. I remember my defenses “I wore a long sleeve”, “I didn’t lead him on”, “I was vulnerable”. The lump forms and the tears start, and I feel like I am in that office trapped, surrounded by drawings that patients drew for a man who abused his power and abused me. It has been six years that those events took place. The events that carved out a piece of me and replaced it with a dying ember that crackles at the call of each new investigator. I never felt believed, I always prefaced I didn’t have evidence and I would understand hesitance to believe, but that I wouldn’t lie about it. Each time they wrote notes, while I choked my way through the retelling. Some would offer me water and tissues, some would tell me to calm down. There would be months or years between calls that always felt so sudden. I would be watering the plants and get a call. I would be with friends and get a call. I would be at work and get a call. I don’t think I’ll ever get accustomed to the idea that there might be someone somewhere dialing my phone number right now to ask me more questions. But if they do, I hope they are kind and patient with me while I feel the ember spark again and burn another piece of me away.
I haven’t decided if I would testify. The idea of seeing Dr. Doe cross his arms like he would as I talk in great detail about the events makes me feel scared and vulnerable. When I would talk to an investigator, all they did was take notes. This time, I could be objected because of word choice. I could be interrupted because I was crying too hard. I could be asked to be quiet as they flip through their paperwork making sure there is no contradiction. Their power over my words and my story as I sit in front of him feels like some sort of emotional torture I may be too scared to endure. That’s just the objections. There would be cross-examination. They would ask me all these leading questions that would have no relevancy on his actions designed to manipulate me. The jurors would scribble if I took too long or not long enough, if I cried too much or was stone cold, if the years have taken a toll on my memory and I wouldn’t be able to recall a trivial detail. It all just seems so much.
I haven’t decided if I wouldn’t testify. During the last call from an investigator I was notified there was another. I don’t know her name or what she looks like. In my heart she looks like me but stronger. She didn’t wait. She chose to be this strong woman who is asking for my help not be dismissed. Her hand is outstretched to me with pleading but fierce eyes. I want to apologize to her. Maybe my inactions caused her to suffer like I did. I have stayed up thinking about would I say to her and how sorry I am. She wouldn’t need consolidation she would demand the same strength of me.
I have agreed to meet with the attorney and discuss everything. And as I continue to feel the very real tremors of the powerful MeToo movement, I empower women in their choice, if that is the same as mine or not. Each trauma is a unique scar that heals at its own pace. I wish you all that unique healing as well collectively supporting each other.
Thank you for reading this update on my journey. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at email@example.com I will be as open as I safely and legally can.
** TraumaSpeaks would like to thank WeCanConquerBlog for this special post. If you would like to see more, you can check their Instagram page: @wecanconquerblog**
The minute the clock turns 12.00 am on New Year's Day, the thought that usually runs through most of our heads is ‘how can I be productive this year’ or ‘what goals am I going to set this year’. Let me tell you that there is nothing wrong with setting goals but it is so important that you don’t set unrealistic expectations, particularly at this time with the unpredictability of life. If I were to have told you what my goals/expectations were for 2020, you’d have laughed at how unrealistic they were but also because of Covid, everything was halted. So, that being said I wanted to share with you some ways of how you can set goals in a practical and healthy way for your mental health.
1. I already mentioned this but make sure that your goals are realistic. What I mean by this is don’t set yourself goals that you know won’t happen/ are basically impossible for where you’re at right now. If you set unrealistic goals, you will end up feeling sad when they don’t happen and therefore this can have very negative effects on your mental health i.e. low self esteem.
2. A phrase that’s important to remember is ‘goals are a rough outline not the final thing’. In other words, it’s so important to just see your goals as a guide rather than something that you follow so strictly that you neglect your mental health. Goals are not ‘obligatory’ - they’re just there to help you feel more focussed in your life.
3. Goals take time to achieve. It’s okay if you set a goal and don’t achieve it within the first month. It may take you ten times before you fully achieve it. Like I said, your goals have to be somewhat realistic and the truth is, most goals that are set won’t be achieved the first time. An example that I think shows this perfectly is the goal to have ‘learnt to drive this year’. Whether it's something you want to start for the first time this year or even if you’re in the process of learning, getting your driving licence doesn’t happen instantly and takes a long time. Don’t stress on the timing/duration of your goals as you don’t know how long they will take to be fulfilled.
4. Set goals that are for YOU rather than someone else. You’d be surprised how many people tell themselves they have to achieve something because someone else told them to,in one way or another. Only set goals that are important to you and that matter to you, even if other people don’t understand them. Sadly comparison is something that is very prominent in today’s society and we often think we have to set a certain goal to fit in e.g. goals relating to health and weight. Take some time to really think about what you want to achieve this year. My goals are mainly focussed on my mental health because that’s important to me.
Overall, I personally believe that goals can be extremely beneficial to some people, particularly when someone wants to take a step forward in their life. That being said, it’s so important to not put too much emphasis on your goals. Achieving your goals in an unnatural way, can be harmful to your mental health. Make sure you take time to look after yourself this year!
~ Emily Green