Work has been so mentally challenging for me lately. Being a nurse is really really hard sometimes. I find in my job and especially lately I have had to make so many decisions, and not easy ones. I have always been a bit indecisive which makes it more challenging for me. I am finding every single person or patient and situation that has walked in is so unique and individualized that my decisions always have to be based off of clinical judgement, assessments, and common sense. No two situations are exactly the same for everyone so I am just constantly assessing, constantly learning, and constantly questioning what IS the right thing to do?
It’s been a whole year that I have been on this unit and to say I go into work 100% confident and comfortable would be an absolute lie. I am starting to realize that I will NEVER be comfortable… I also feel like no matter WHERE I go with this career I will not ever feel comfortable. And I will always be TERRIFIED to make a mistake. But is this such a bad thing?
It’s not only through work that I have been pushing myself out of my comfort zone. In my hobbies, in my relationships, and in day to day activities. The very photoshoot I did for this website WOAH. I’ve never been so nervously uncomfortable getting my photos done before and especially half naked for some haha.
But being comfortable can make you complacent, make things a little boring, and frankly will probably increase your odds of making mistakes or bad decisions because you may become a little more careless. What I am learning more about myself is that I care a whole lot.
I care so much about everything. I have such a huge drive to do the best that I can do. So when things don’t go the way I had thought I get in that uncomfortable place that sometimes feels like self doubt.
I still feel at times that this is a curse or a bad thing. I often feel these heavy feelings of fear weigh me down. I hate not feeling 100% confident or comfortable and sure of myself, to the point that it can really get me feeling down.
Sometimes when I feel this way I try to talk myself out of it or push the feelings deep down and away because I will develop a poor mindset that these fear feelings are not acceptable. I then sometimes get an urge to find my comfort zone again.
But the truth is you cannot deny yourself of your own feelings and you have to get back to uncomfortable again. Being out of your comfort zone will always bring up feelings and they are there for a reason. Your feelings are what make up your personality and they come from your inner being. They come from past experiences, they come from your upbringing, and they come right from your very DNA. You cannot deny your emotions and feelings. You have to just be with them.
My truth is that sometimes I fricken hate my feelings. Because I so badly want to be tough. I want to be strong. I want to NOT care what people think. I want to make decisions and never question them. But I don’t think I can ever change that about me.
I have been so focused on trying to make positive changes in myself lately so I can grow to be the best me. I have been trying to find a way to not care as much about what others think, or about little mistakes, and little flaws, but I’m starting to realize it’s just not something I can change… It’s just me.
What I CAN do is start to love this part of me. Learn to be more kind to myself. Find a way to get through the uncomfortable times without leaning into or going back to what is comfortable. To EMBRACE being uncomfortable. To forgive myself if I make a mistake and not a week later. I don’t know about you but my brain just LOVES to stew, and turn, and go through all the possibilities etc. It can drive me a little crazy at times. It’s part of being uncomfortable and it’s unavoidable.
Being uncomfortable is how you learn just like making mistakes are how you learn. You just have to do it if you want bigger and better things in life. If you want to grow and do better and BE better you HAVE to get uncomfortable. You have to embrace it.
So what I am trying to decide are things that I can do when I get into that uncomfortable place.
Lately here are some things that have helped me:
Talking with someone I trust
Writing in a journal
Seeking out advice from someone in a similar situation
Ask for love (there’s nothing wrong with asking for a hug if needed)
So at the end of the day being uncomfortable is such a good thing even when it brings up unwanted emotions. If you can look at it as an experience to learn and better yourself then you can get through whatever it is you’re going through. You will be better and stronger for it!
So a couple weeks ago I almost quit my job… I was contemplating quitting and starting fresh in a new career. And by fresh I mean minimum wage, zero knowledge, opposite skills required, fresh… I had it with what I was doing and felt like I dreaded going to work every morning. All I wanted to do was sleep in a little and have more time in the day to write and work on my passions.
At work I had been feeling very “replaceable”, like I was just another sucker working for the government and if I quit, they’d find somebody to replace me in a second. I had a moment during a hard day at work where I thought what if I just quit it all and did what I really wanted to do? This is a very big and loaded question with a lot of factors involved. But I started looking into what I had to do.
I initially talked to my boyfriend because obviously this would affect him. He was so supportive and said do whatever makes you happy. I talked to a few friends who reminded me that yes I can literally do anything that I wanted to do and they would be there to cheer me on!
I applied to a gym to be a personal trainer and literally got an interview the next day. I talked to my boss about possibilities such as working casual on the side or taking a leave of absence. She was also amazing and supportive and looked into options for me. I had everything set up and the opportunity was totally there. I even had cheerleaders to boot! Then I thought… and thought… and thought… until I felt like I was going absolutely nuts.
I weighed the effect of this decision over and over until my brain hurt. I played out scenarios in my head I visualized what my other job would look like and if it seemed as if it was something I would totally enjoy. I had the idea that as long as I was going to 100% LOVE personal training and work hard at it that I could TOTALLY do it and be great at it. And I know I wasn’t wrong…
The truth of the matter is that there was no way for me to know if I would 100% love it and if I was going to succeed in this “sales” type industry. Truthfully I had never considered personal training a “sales” job either, until during my phone interview when the interviewer said, it was just that. And what I would have been selling would be some big corporation gym. This would include going against what I truly believe. Because I believe health and fitness should be for EVERYONE and can be done anywhere at anytime. Regardless if you can afford a gym membership or not…
Why would I try to convince people to drive through the city in traffic to get to a gym potentially out of the way to spend money on a membership when it could potentially not be sustainable for them? And more importantly, when I wouldn’t even do that.
I have been building my own brand for a while now and gathering information. I decided it was time for me to really start putting what I have to offer out there more. It wasn’t until I sought out some guidance from my AMAZING and empowering sister that I realized all I really needed was exactly what I am doing. But finding the time to continue a career I am freaking amazing at while working on my passions on the side.
What I really needed was to shake up my life like this. I needed to scare myself into some motivation to continue to work on my brand and work towards what I have been working on for so long. This very website/blog.
It’s the start of something I will hopefully work on and cherish forever. And as for my work life… I began to realize if I continue to practice gratitude to actually having a full time job that most people would cherish dearly then I could carry on like I always do when work gets tough. Despite feeling a little unappreciated I will continue to do my best and focus on only the things that I can control. I know deep down in my heart of hearts I am amazing at what I do.
Yes they may be able to find another full time nurse to do my job and the world would move on, but I am realizing now I am not done getting every little bit of life experience and knowledge out of this job. Also I would miss the little moments of TRUE appreciation from patients and families that I get that make me realize I may not be making a big difference to the government but I am making a HUGE impact to the people that are in my care.
Sometimes we find motivation in the oddest places and in my case it came from analyzing my worth and my life’s path. Once I started to ask myself some tough questions I’ll admit I became hopeful but also fearful of so many things. Fear of going broke, fear of losing a great job that I had once been so damn grateful for, fear of risking it all to end up hating what I do. I KNOW I can do and be anything I want to be but I’m glad I looked for support and advice and I’m glad I trusted my instincts and found that gratitude again.
I feel like this was the ultimate shake up. And it’s not the first time I’ve stumbled upon a hidden message from the universe. It was a great shake up to my “way too” comfortable and predictable routine and life. I feel there are so many things I can improve on in my life right now and so many goals I need to work towards. Only through this experience I have realized this and will continue to grow. It’s funny what kind of teacher life becomes at times.
So I’m keeping my dang job but I’m putting in the hours outside of what I do to become something greater than what I am now. This is how we grow and learn and I’m glad I didn’t learn the ultimate hard way.
This shake up has literally brought tears of gratitude to my eyes. Gratitude towards my job again. Gratitude to all the amazing and super supportive people in my life especially my boss, my boyfriend, my friends, and my sister. Not many people can say they have the utmost support even when making potentially a very irrational decision. I am grateful for having options and knowing I’m not stuck. I know there are endless possibilities to my life and my gut instincts will lead me in the right path as long as I stay true to me.
I’m sure I am not the only one who has learned a lesson this way and potentially a very hard way. Don’t worry, it’s just a life lesson. Learn from it and keep following your heart. When making a hard decision make sure to stay true to yourself. And give it your all in whatever you’re doing. When you’re looking forward realize the future has endless possibilities.
My week long journey to prepping and dehydrating my body for my personal photoshoot.
I made a conscious decision to prep my body prior to my photoshoot for frecklefit. I made this decision as I find my body fluctuates a lot day to day. So does everybody else’s it is just the science of human physiology. I wanted to see if I could manipulate my body to be as lean as possible with little water retention. The process is quite scientific and is very specific.
What I already knew prior to doing research on prep is: that sodium causes the body to retain water. I also knew high fibre foods may cause you to bloat. Both are equally important to consume on a day to day basis but are not ideal for looking extra lean or getting your muscles to pop out. What I learned a few years ago as well that I was surprised about is water actually flushes the body and does NOT cause you to bloat. I also knew from past experience carb cycling that I always looked really skinny on low carb days.
With this information I had an idea of what I had to do in order to look super lean and muscley but I didn’t know the details. I found an article from Jim Stoppani who has a phD in exercise physiology, on how to prep and decided to go with his professional advice which aligned with the information I already had. So I will go through this process with you all.
Before getting into it I will admit it was difficult and I got super fatigued. What I learned from the week process is to ALWAYS look like a bodybuilder would not be ideal or even healthy for that matter. Our bodies fluctuate for a reason and our bodies are not meant to look like something from a magazine all the time. Therefore this is definitely not a way to live your life. But if you’re ever competing or want to emphasis your physique for photos or a special event for that matter this is just one of the natural ways to do it and full disclosure… it won’t be easy.
Two weeks prior to the shoot the process had me increase my sodium intake for one week. So adding extra salt to dishes and eating high sodium foods. I really embraced this and enjoyed it while it lasted because I knew what was coming. I exercised like I normally do which is splitting leg workouts and arm workouts from day to day with light and short cardio about every second day.
One week before the shoot was the real grunt work. First of all I took the whole process and wrote down day by day what I would be eating, how much sodium I could have, and how much water I needed to consume. Day seven to day three out from the shoot I had to go low carb. Then day two to the last day prior to the shoot I had to carb load. I also had to drink 1 ½ to 2 gallons of water per day from day seven out to day three out. I also had to start doing full body workouts with some cardio added in. This was all a lot to take in so I wrote everything out day by day and planned a lot before hand.
DAY 7 OUT: First day of prep I had to start cutting sodium so I had to be under 2000mg of sodium plus low carb. I was allowed a quick releasing carb after the gym with a protein shake for day seven, six, and five days out. I found the under 2000mg of sodium very doable. I also found low carb easy peezy as I’ve done this before and know that I always felt so full all the time eating low carb. The water was no problem because I realized on a normal day to day basis I probably get about two gallons in anyway with all the coffee and tea that I drink on top of just water.
DAY 6 OUT: Day six out from prep was essentially the same as day seven out except I had to cut the sodium to under 1000mg. This was also very doable and had no problems with day six out.
DAY 5 OUT: Sodium now has to be under 600mg. This is the same for day four, three, and two days out. It started to get tricky finding things I could eat that were low carb and low sodium. I could still have my banana post gym on this day so it was my saving grace for the day. I had to eat a lot of dry meat and veggies without the dressing type meals. I never realized how much flavour salt brings… I substituted salt with Mrs.dash seasoning, lemon, olive oil, and vinegars. My energy was okay and had no severe cravings.
DAY 4 OUT: Were now under 600mg of sodium and 100% low carb. No banana, such a sad day haha. It’s crazy how much not having that banana made me feel! I was so tired this day. I was so sore from the full body workouts. I felt very fatigued. But I pushed through it and made it to the gym did my workout and my cardio! I did discover a couple great ways to get sweet flavour with some new recipes. One being plain greek yogurt, vanilla extract, and stevia. Another one being a coconut milk chia seed pudding which included – hemp protein, chia seed, coconut milk, vanilla extract and stevia. The low carb was no problem but it was the sodium that I missed so badly!
DAY 3 OUT: This was the same as day four and I knew these days were going to be the hardest. It was again a very long day as I felt quite fatigued. Running on extremely low carbs I managed to make it for my last workout and cardio session. I felt very proud afterwards of pushing through being so tired and doing night shifts to boot. I just thought about all the great carbs I’m going to be eating in the next few days. The carb cravings were definitely kicking in. I did a little more research and prep for my carb loading days and felt ready and confident in the process. I will note an update with my body at this point. I felt very skinny which if you know me, I do not like haha. My muscles felt very flat and I’ve noticed significant changes with ridding my body of sodium. My biggest worry moving forward from this day was that the carbs were going to cause me to bloat up. But according to the process the carbs should fill my muscles with water and pump them up.
DAY 2 OUT: Let the carb loading begin and the soul sucking dehydration process start! I thoroughly enjoyed my dry mini wheats with dry protein powder on top in the morning. But shortly as the day went on I missed water… So much! The thirst was real. I missed water more than I missed the carbs and maybe it was more in my head. I was allowed 48 ounces which is more than most people drink in a day but this includes all coffee, tea, zevias, that I normally drink. Also includes water in foods! So everything was so dry and sodium free. I was very careful all day trying my best to spread the water out throughout the day. Tomorrow was only half the amount of today so I was anticipating quite a tough day for my last prep day. But I came this far so I wasn’t quitting now! On another note I didn’t bloat like I thought I would. I did feel as though my muscles were filling out a bit but not drastically.
DAY BEFORE THE SHOOT: It was definitely the toughest day! I wavered back and forth between what the hell am I doing? and this photoshoot is going to rock! Bad Celine got on the internet and was looking again at this process and maybe I’m not going about it the right way. I started reading articles that were saying DON’T cut sodium and water and do this method instead. But in my head I had come this far all week, I have one more night, don’t stop. I kept carb loading to make sure I could get my muscles as full as possible. It was hard without fluids. I started to get some muscle cramping in different muscles in my legs and even a moment of panic shot through me. But I kept my cool. Because I was so lethargic from the lack of water I went to bed early and slept in getting almost 12 hours of sleep. Still no bloat but my muscles weren’t filling anymore.
DAY OF THE SHOOT: My photos weren’t until four o clock so I had another long day ahead. I had a big carb filled breakfast with a sufficient amount of protein. I got the dogs out for a walk just barely because I was still lethargic! I then mustered up the energy to pump. I started lifting with a barbell I had at home to pump up my muscles for the shoot. I pumped off and on all morning and finished a second carb filled meal about an hour before the shoot. Throughout the day I found myself getting nervous! I usually consider myself an awkward person so I was nervous I wouldn’t get the poses that I wanted or would look awkward in the pictures. I felt like my muscles didn’t fill quite the way I imagined. I do note some differences within the week in the pictures above though.
My photographer was great! It took me a little while to loosen up but we worked together and she definitely made me feel less awkward haha.
I know I shouldn’t say never because the quote “never say never” but at this moment in time I would not want to ever compete or body build… I only prepped for a week and couldn’t imagine doing it for longer. The things professional body builders put themselves through is incredible. Along with manipulating there macronutrients they also cut calories as well. I can’t imagine the mental toughness needed for that process. It really takes a lot of mental strength and discipline. I do have both of those things but I don’t think I would want it bad enough. To put yourself and your body through the things you need to to compete you would have to want it REALLY bad and I just don’t. Not at this time anyways.
What I enjoy the most is staying consistent with my healthy habits. Because I’m consistent I have a healthy physique and a great mindset. To compete you would have to almost teeter to the opposite end of the spectrum of health. Not drinking water for over two days with the low sodium felt really unhealthy to me. I felt so tired and weak. I know this is only for two days but looking into more of the research there may be ways to prep where you don’t have to cut the water and sodium to that degree. You also would have to have a slight obsession with how your appearance is going to look. This can be quite mentally taxing. There’s nothing wrong with having great willpower and disipline but the real challenge is in keeping a healthy mindset while in the process.
Overall I know the changes are very minimal for me from one week of prepping. I do notice small differences but not to the degree I had imagined there would be. I’m happy I tried this out and feel such gratitude for the amount of fluids I drink on a normal basis as I know that’s partially what contributes to my energy!
From this process I have a new appreciation for finding balance in life. Working hard is important but enjoying little things out of life (like water lol) is important too. I also have a new appreciation for focusing on how I feel rather than how I look. I wanted to look the best I could for these pictures but at the same time I would not be willing to put myself through that degree of fatigue and dehydration again. If I were to prep for something else in the future I would try a new professional strategy where I wouldn’t have to cut the sodium and water because there are other science based strategies out there.
I had always wanted to look like those girls from the fitness magazines but am definitely realizing now they probably feel like absolute shit during those photoshoots and it is not natural or sane even to look that amazing all the time. Focusing on how we feel about ourselves and our body and having a positive outlook on health is so much more important! Remember it’s not just about body. It’s mind, body, and soul.
Does anyone else ever feel guilty about not giving into social norms or pressures? Or am I the only one over here going crazy?
I feel like everyone has expectations of me. My friends, my family, my boyfriend, my job, society…. But they all got different expectations. So who do I please? My whole damn life I’ve been a people pleaser and I got pretty good at! But at what cost?
Looking back to my past I see the hefty cost that I paid. It really only costed me in the end. I’d party like a rockstar to please my friends then lie to my parents saying I drank responsibly. I’d stay quiet and let little comments at work slide by then bring that shit home and bitch to my boyfriend about it. So I’d either lie or put my shit on other people. To me my dignity and my self worth paid a price. But I’ve slowly been repaying the debt.
Lately I’ve just become more honest with myself. Who am I really and what do I fucking want? How do I want the world to see me? How do I want to show up? How do I be 100% me and come about it honestly? In the end I’m the one that matters the most to me and not the me that lies, bitches, or complains.
Self talk is a great place to start or even realizing this has become “a thing” I think is a great place to start and also to start building change. I feel like I had to tear down my own ego in order to build it back up.
I’m at a great place now where I recognize my complex. I recognize the whole world doesn’t revolve around me. I recognize that I don’t need to make anyone happy because that’s on them. I need to show up as my best me and represent myself in a way that I can give others permission to do the same.
Now that I’ve found this place I just sooooo badly want others to find it but I got to take a step back and let others find their own light like I found mine. And I’d be pretty fricken naive to think I’ve fully found myself because you never do. But you should learn, grow, and gain every day. Little baby steps day by day. Find the inspirations and look towards the things that make your heart feel full.
Everyone’s got a light to shine. You DO you. No one else can be a better version.
I had been off my steroid puffer for my asthma for about two weeks and this night was the first night I woke up with difficulty breathing. I woke up feeling wide awake and slightly restless. I wasn’t wheezing at all but felt I needed to cough or take deep chesty breathes. I tried to remind myself to do my abdominal breathing and attempted to meditate but just could not focus. I lightly slept slashed tossed and turned until my alarm went off two hours later.
Naturally I felt shitty. So my first shitty instinct was to sit and have a coffee and a bite to eat. I then tried to mediate like I usually do in the morning but nope just could not focus or get into a good space. Then I realized I have to be missing something here…
I’m generally a morning person so having a morning like this was unusual for me and I wanted desperately to get into a good vibration to set myself up for a great day. As tired as I felt I reminded myself of all the tricks I have for getting into a better mood and then four little eyes watching me (my sweet doggies) reminded me of one of those tricks.
“Movement is medicine”.
Most people think going to the gym will tire them out, or going for that extra walk is just “too much right now” but movement is truly medicine. Medicine for your mind and soul. So I ate to fuel up, finished my coffee, and dragged my ass to the gym.
I put that music on that you know, usually lights a fire under my ass and became bigger than my excuses, bigger than my shitty nights sleep, bigger than my asthma and banged out a workout. Surprisingly, it ended up being a great workout because I overcame my shit.
It doesn’t have to be a big long exhausting workout either. The mornings I take my puppers out for a little stroll end up being the best days.
I find just getting your blood moving through your body helps circulate it through your brain as well creating a good energy for the day to begin. And becoming or overcoming your excuses will always nudge you in the direction of growth and self empowerment.
Life is about one day at a time. You have to think how can I make this the best day? You have to generate motivation somehow. Blood flow can do this. Blood flow to the brain can help you think more clearly.
So get up and get moving. Your brain and soul will thank you!
Today I had a below average day. I haven’t had a below average day in a while and surprisingly it was one of my days off from work. I normally always treat my days off as holidays and appreciate them so much because I don’t have very many. But today I felt very unenergetic, not really motivated, and less enthusiastic then my normal self. It wasn’t like anything specifically bad happened. I did have a small list of things to do today which I did do… But without the spark or energy that I usually have. As I lie here at 10 at night analyzing why it seemed so crappy I realized a few things.
The days that I go to bed the most fulfilled and happy are days that I have accomplished a lot, days I haven’t had time for my phone, or days that I have kept busy and feel worthy of a relaxing night. I’ve been working on a lot of self made projects that I just didn’t feel like doing today one ironically being writing a blog. I find it hard to stay self motivated sometimes when my cozy bed is calling my name. I’ve noticed when I’m working or have a lot to do I feel like I really appreciate the hours in a day and it helps me stay driven.
I’m really feeling grateful for having a full time job. I don’t know how blah my life would be if I had too much free time and I feel keeping busy is ironically the only way I keep my mental drive.
So another problem with today is that I didn’t take any of my tons of spare time to meditate. I made a promise to myself to meditate everyday since discovering how amazing and motivating it really is.
So again here I am realizing today I started the day out with breaking an important promise to myself. I spent way too much time on my phone scrolling through Instagram. I was way too indecisive in what I wanted to do and really didn’t grasp the day for all it was. I wasn’t mindful enough today and I didn’t practice enough gratitude today. There. I feel better!
Writing things down can really help. Analyzing a shitty feeling can really make you come to important realizations. It’s important to feel what your feeling but it’s equally important to work on yourself along the way. We need to actively work to make tomorrow better than today to continue to move forward and make progress. Nobody can keep yourself in check better than you!