body positivity

Summer of Chill 2016

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I hope everyone is enjoying their summer! It seems the blogosphere is determined to cut mine short by posting about shopping for fall already… Stahp it! I have summer weather until Halloween in California, let me live in denial that it will ever be over, just a little longer!

I have had a great summer so far. Nothing crazy, no elaborate travel plans or long getaways – just a mellow summer mostly at home. But this summer is different. I needed this summer to be something special. I have decided that this summer is….

Stephanie’s Summer of Chill, 2016.

Imagine that in lights on a marquee, announced by a guy with a moustache over a loudspeaker or something. Because that’s how baller it is.

I went into this summer needing a break. Just in general. Anthony finished his PhD in March, then graduated in June when we threw a big party, and it the midst of it all he was trying to find jobs. It was pretty stressful. Really stressful, actually. The months leading up to summer were just intense.

So intense things were happening, but also I had gotten into this intense productive mode where I was doing all this shit to like, become a put-together person. It was probably a coping thing – trying to make sure I crossed all my t’s and dotted all i’s so I could feel better about what felt to me like a pretty chaotic couple of months. Here are some examples:

  • I was tracking how many drinks I had, how I ate, how much I exercised, etc. – every day, using this app
  • I was feeling guilty for not blogging enough
  • I was posting things like this, and trying to find magic ways to get my shit together around the house
  • I was posting things like this, feeling like I needed to lose weight but also resenting that idea (and trying to laugh about it while I figured it out)
  • I was feeling guilty about not working out enough
  • I was feeling guilty that I wasn’t saving enough money, and that I was spending too much

So there was a lot that I felt like I needed to improve, or tackle, or manage, or advance about myself. And I had a day where I realized how insane my brain was getting – it would go round and round, trying to find something to fix, trying to find something wrong, so I could pounce on it and fix it. It was like this Pinterest mentality of hyper vigilance I had established over my life. I finally realized what a weirdo I was being – Why, Steph?! Fucking chill. out.

That’s when I decided – we are taking a break. A BREAK. From all of it. Here are all the things I decided to get rid of for the summer:

  • Guilt, about anything
  • Self-improvement projects
  • Exercise routines that aren’t fun
  • Tracking of anything not fun or that produces guilt (see above)
  • Negative thoughts about my body

And I just, let go. I focused on doing things that were fun. We made a summer bucket list (which I am shooting to post about soon, but if not, no guilt). I did more stuff outside after work. I didn’t think about how much beer I had that week, or if I was getting enough cardio. I stopped caring how clean my house was, or how my belly looked in that top.

I don’t know, my head was just in the right place to just stop fucking caring about that shit. And it worked.

Why just the summer, you may ask? Why isn’t this just your new life?

Well, telling myself that it was just for the summer to start was a way to really let go of the guilt completely, because things like finding ways to save money are things I will need to get around to eventually, but not necessarily now. So I thought, okay – I can really just forget about it for a while, and I’ll pick it up in the fall, if I want to. But the idea was, if I could just get in the right mindset, hopefully this will be the new state of things.

And it has been an amazing, stress-free summer. It really was so great, you guys. I just lived my life. Now it’s August, and I still have so many fun things I still want to do while the weather is still warm – but I am also learning to prioritize fun things all year round. I established great healthy habits while I was in my intense phase over the winter months, that have stuck throughout the summer, but without the guilt and fastidious tracking. And some new productive habits have just naturally emerged – Anthony and I have worked on cooking at home a lot more, which is saving us money and allowing us to eat healthier. I realized I didn’t have to have the intense attitude to make improvements like that – and, more importantly, guilt doesn’t have to be a part of it.

As I mentioned, the rest of the world is getting ready for fall, and work is starting to get busy again (work has been so slow for the summer, which helped a lot with the carefree attitude) – so I can feel some of the old ways creeping back in. I’m extra tired and stressed this week, so I have less energy to go do fun stuff after I get home – but I’ll adjust. I just need to keep the spirit of chill alive through fall, too.

What has helped center me back to that mindset is asking myself this question, that I kept thinking when our friend was visiting a few weeks back…

What would I do today if I were on vacation?

I love playing tourist in my own city, and just because I worked that day doesn’t mean I can’t take dinner up to the mission and have a picnic, or grab a beer at a new restaurant in town, or walk down to thrift shop after I get home. Sometimes I save all the fun for the weekend, and do all the boring stuff after work – working out, cleaning, catching up on shows. I realized I need more balance, so I don’t get so bummed when Monday rolls around. My life can happen in between Fridays! I need to get off the couch more and treat my life like one big summer vacation, work or no work.

 

I’m into it, guys. I’ll let you know if I can keep the spirit alive as we get closer to fall! What have you done to de-stress lately and enjoy summer?

 

 

 

Weight on my shoulders

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Devil: What happened to us? We were being so good! We lost a good amount of weight – remember how hot we felt that one weekend where everything looked good on us? Now all of a sudden we never work out anymore, we bite our nails within an inch or their lives again, we never shave our legs… We were so put together for a while there. WHAT HAPPENED

Angel: Um, life happened? A ton of people were in town, and there wasn’t any time to work out, then we got our period and hated life for like a week, and now we just want to have a couple beers and not worry about how our body looks for one. second. Did you see that awesome blogger’s post today? She has a body type just like ours and she is BEAUTIFUL. We are beautiful too! I bet if we put on that same amazing dress she was wearing, we would look amazing too, but we wouldn’t think so – we would beat ourselves up about it. Maybe we should read that article about loving your belly again…

Devil: We are going to Vegas in two weeks. TWO WEEKS. We were ready last week to look and feel hot AF – but we lost it. Now we have two weeks to get back to that amazing place where all of our clothes are magical and we don’t want to burn them all in a trash can. Why did we have a soda today with lunch? WHY? WE NEVER DRINK SODA. We’re slipping. Maybe if we eat a salad for lunch AND dinner every day before Vegas…

Angel: But Anthony is graduating this weekend! We have to have beer! Life is too fun and short to worry about this shit! Gawd how much time do we seriously spend arguing about how we look? IT’S SO DUMB. We should make room in our brain for things that are actually helpful! Remember college? We never beat our self up this way back then!

Devil: Because we were hot.

Angel: I mean, ya, but we’re hot now too!

Devil: *unconvinced look*

Angel: In a different way! Like, a grown up, grown-ass woman way. Like who the fuck cares? Let’s move ON. We are so much more evolved than this.

Devil: Say what you want, but everyone is going to be PISSED we didn’t do something sooner when we’re in Vegas and we have a hormonal meltdown because nothing we packed looks good and we’re in FUCKING VEGAS and we’re 27 and we should feel hot as fuck.

Angel: We are hot as fuck! We got LEATHER PANTS. They looked great, even when we felt SO fat trying them on. Nothing can go wrong with leather pants.

Devil: Okay, that’s one night’s outfit covered. WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER NIGHT. You can’t just wear leather pants two nights in a row. I dare you to find another outfit that we feel hot in when our beer belly makes a triumphant return with this new carefree attitude we have going. We need to go shopping again… But we don’t have the money and nothing fits us.

Angel: We need to get. over. it. It’s a belly. When we’re 60 and wrinkly, all we’ll think is, “Gawd, I wasted so much time beating myself up about my stupid (and adorable) belly, which was just full of good times, and the whole time I was young, and had beautiful skin, and my boobs were perky, and my ass was out of this world…” We need to appreciate all we have going for us right now and shut up about it.

Devil: But that’s the point! We’re young! We should be working out and reaching our full potential! Those girls with the ripped arms for no reason on Facebook look like they’re seriously taking advantage of their strong, young bodies. We want to be like that!

Angel: Do we though? Are we settings goals that aren’t even ours again? We just need to go on a walk, not eat out as much the next couple of days, and we’ll feel fine.

Devil: Until Vegas. VEGAS.

 

 

 

 

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