Fitness

I don’t know about you, but when I hear the word “fitness” I immediately think of physical fitness. Working out, doing yoga, going for a run, doing planks, going to spin class, eating quinoa and kale and flax seed paste. (Ok…ok, I never ate flax seed paste!) Even when you Google fitness, it’s pictures of gyms and weights and really well-muscled human beings that show up. But what about mental, emotional and spiritual fitness.

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We, as a culture, need to adjust how we think about a person’s fitness. If someone is overweight and looking to lose a few pounds, we know just what to recommend. We share our favorite recipes and the tricks and tips that worked for us. But try and talk about mental or emotional fitness and…crickets! Not a lot of people offering their favorite prayers or the therapist that really helped them through a crisis.

What a disconnect from how the human body functions. Again, I don’t know about you, but when my mind isn’t right it throws everything else into a tailspin. And not the good kind of Tailspin!

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Let me tell you about 2016. I was the heaviest I’d ever been. Weighing in at over 200 pounds, which for my body frame and height is not the worst I could be, but it was the worst I’d ever felt physically. Guess what was going on mentally…spoiler alert, it wasn’t rainbows and puppies!! It was a difficult year and there were times when I prayed God would just release me from my life. Yeah…you read that right.

My mind was not in a good place. My emotional and mental fitness took a toll and it was very apparent in my physical fitness as well. My smile had disappeared and there was no way I could get up and care about myself enough to go for a run or cook myself a healthy, balanced meal.

The people in my life tried the best they could. But I was embarrassed and thought I should be more “grown up” and able to handle the stress that seemed to be piling up on me. Guess what…I couldn’t. And no amount of “suck it up, kid” mentality could fix it! I was sinking and the world had little to offer in the way of help.

Ultimately, I am a woman of faith, so my reliance on God and His plan for me is what brought me back to who I truly am. Not everyone has that. And not everyone can see clearly in those moments. How are we working to make things easier for people struggling with the darker corners of their mind? How are we showing that we care just as much about mental health as we do about the physical?

I gotta say, I think we’re getting better as a society at “allowing” mental illness to be something important and something to not be ashamed of. But don’t get me wrong…we still have a long way to go!

If you feel like the stress of the world is piling up and the hope you have seems to be waning, reach out!! Reach out to me, your local church, a mentor or someone you trust or call this hotline: 1‑877‑SAMHSA7 to figure out some next steps you can take toward mental fitness! It’s important! And someone cares!!

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Starry Night

Starry Nights Web Series So...This Happened Nerd in the City blog post

Starry Nights Web Series So...This Happened Nerd in the City blog post

When I think of starry nights, I think of one in particular. There was a girl and a boy and a perfect date.

A date so memorable that I made an episode about it in my web series a few years ago. Take a look…

You know what’s funny? Well, maybe funny is the wrong word. Tragic may be more appropriate! Back then I used to blame everything that happened on dates on myself. How I acted, what I wore, what I said, if I was nice enough, if I smiled enough. Maybe we ended up “just friends” because I didn’t let him kiss me that night.

Or hey…maybe it wasn’t me at all. Maybe the circumstance of his life left him unable to move onto someone new and I came around at exactly the wrong moment. Or maybe it was bad timing all around. Maybe I did nothing wrong at all and it was exactly what it was!

The older I get the more I find myself exonerating…myself from past “sins.” I think that’s called getting wiser.

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PS, this is the first gif that comes up when you Google “wiser.”

No matter what I did in my past, I learned from it. I grew and became a better person. Hell, I love who I am today and I had to get here by going through ALL THAT SH*T!!! By doing stupid things like sharing starry nights with boys who just wanted to be friends with me. Starry nights are something very special. Don’t waste them!

Moral of the story is…don’t stop dreaming because of one “perfect” night under the stars. I did. I changed when that weird, non-lationship ended the way it was always going to end. I put romance and dating and boyfriends and falling in love in a little box marked “DO NOT OPEN.” And why? Because one boy wasn’t someone I had a future with. Silly, Lizzie!

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I don’t blame him. It wasn’t his fault. And now I finally know, in my heart, that it wasn’t mine either. Maybe now I can stop putting that night on a damned pedestal and move the hell on! It’s time!!

From now on, I’m saving my starry nights for someone who deserves them!

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On the Subject of…

High School.

Recently I have been binge watching  the, sadly, short-lived Carrie Diaries (only 2 seasons…sad face.) And like all the teen dramas I’ve enjoyed in my life (Dawson’s Creek, The OC, One Tree Hill, etc) watching it makes me feel like maybe I missed something.

I never had a first kiss in high school or a date to the  prom. My girlfriends and I never asked the good questions about sex and while I had plenty of crushes on cute boys…what’s the point if none of the boys ever knew it?

That’s not to say that there weren’t plenty of seminal moments in my high school experience. There were. But what little remains of my spotty memory of events is mixed with stories my parents told me, pictures in a yearbook and a box full of notes from people I haven’t seen in over 15 years.

Maybe teenagers these days are more self aware because of You Tube and Facebook and the internet in general. They’re creating a generation of people who are watching themselves grow up on camera…in print. Permanently, for the world to see and share. Then again, maybe it was just me. Maybe I was the only one floating along and phoning the whole experience in. I was a D student who never raised my hand and rarely spoke up in class. A far cry from the Nerd you know today!!

Looking back at those tender, wonder years I wish a piece of who I am now had been found back then. If only because maybe I could have tapped into my confident, ass-kicking, girl bossy ways much sooner. It’s not like that girl wasn’t somewhere inside me back then, waiting to break out. I was just too scared of who I could have been, of who I eventually became.

So many of these fears are explored and overcome in high school and yeah…I managed to bungle my way through some of them. But out of all the lessons I’ve watched play out on these teeny bopper, baby mama dramas, I have to say (lamentably) it’s the things of a more romantical nature that I really missed out on the most in high school.

 

I was a bit of a late bloomer in that area…in fact, I’ll let you know when that actually happens. Because I still get crushes on boys that never know about it. Needless to say…I missed a lot of things that would have been much easier if I’d gotten it out of the way in high school. But that’s not my story.

And, Hey!! Maybe it’s never too late to bloom.

I am where I am, who I am and what I am. And the only thing worth wondering about is…what’s next for me?

Whatever it is…I feel it coming!

For more of this month’s Instagram challenge, head over to my Instagram @nerdinthesand or follow along here: