All in Health

Redefining the Idea of Success

It has been almost a year since I graduated from college. It felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. My younger self would be surprised that I did not choose a solidified career path, but my younger self would have also questioned why I quit doing the things that I loved. Why did I not allow myself the space I needed to be creative? I could not allow myself the time for anything else besides school and work. To me, that is what equaled success.

Life Is Messy

Life is messy. A few weeks ago, as I fell asleep with my sister in bed beside me, this thought played through my mind: life is oh-so messy. For all of us. No one is spared hardship or heartache or challenges. We all have something. For some, the weight, the battle, the uphill climb is greater than others.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Making Time for Yourself

I’ve allowed myself to fall into this routine that is toxic to my personal productivity. And I’m the type of person who cannot be fully satisfied from just work, I need to see advancements in my personal life to feel a real sense of accomplishment. But lately, I’ve spent every free moment thinking of all the things I need to do and dreaming up all the things I want to do that I don’t leave myself enough time to actually do them.

Rebuilding: An Invitation to Hope

There’s not much I remember about this year of my life. I remember sleeping a majority of the time, and crying almost all of the time I was awake. I remember having to run out of classes and meetings because I was crying and painfully anxious and I remember being holed up in my dorm room, literally fearful to open the door and exit the space. I thought I had known Rock Bottom from previous years and experiences. But this was it: the lowest I had ever known.

How Contact Lenses Changed My View of Life (Literally & Metaphorically)

I’m very quickly overcome with the urge to see it all. I begin to fret over all of the things I’ve likely missed—glances exchanged between strangers or friends, the Grand Canyon could have been even more breathtaking, the intricacies of veined leaves on trees, paths I should have taken, missed moments where I could have made an impact.

I wonder how often we miss things or take things for granted and how much of a difference approaching each day with a fresh lens could make? I wonder also why I hadn’t made this decision sooner?

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Therapy for the Skeptic

“I’m going to therapy.” When that statement was first true for me, the sentence felt slippery, like I couldn’t quite wrap my hands around it, like trying to hold one of those weird liquid-filled sparkly gel blobs we played with as kids (really, what were those?). Or like trying to roll those Spanish “r”s or pronounce those deep-throated “e”s like the French do—it sounded unnatural when I tried to say it. So instead, I said “I’m going to see Sarah” or “I have an appointment” or, mostly, I just don’t say anything at all, keeping it tucked away in my I’d-rather-not-say collection.

You Don't Have to Starve

I remember coming home from college that summer. My hands were shaking and my laundry was dirty and I echoed with emptiness. An emptiness that was so expansive I wasn’t sure if I would ever feel full again.

I was finally realizing what everyone else had been trying to tell me; something was wrong. I was fading fast, and it wasn’t normal; this anxiety and need to control everything from my breakfast to what the person in front of me was thinking.

Looking for Life

Our deserts will look different—a job loss that flattens you, credit card debt that seems endless, a family drama that has yet to resolve, a breakup that breaks you, an addiction that controls you, a depression or an anxiety that plagues you. Deserts can look so much like a place of despair.

Imperfect, Not Failing

Typically, if I know something is going to be imperfect I will probably not do it. Or, the second something starts revealing its imperfections I dip out. Relationships, goals, Wednesday night yoga—if I am standing face to face with imperfection I will use it as an excuse to distance myself from whatever the thing is. Because if imperfection means failure, and failure means making a fool out of myself in front of the whole world that is obviously watching and judging my life (I’m looking at you, Yoga Wizard behind me at the 6pm Vinyasa class), I need to get out of Dodge before shame and the opinions of others get some pitch forks and angry-mob-style force me out.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: A Time to Reassess

There are things about myself I wish I could change. Not in a dramatic, self-hatred kind of way: largely, I’m pretty happy. But there are habits and tendencies that I wish I could just shake off. I wish I was more disciplined, stuck at things when they’re hard. I wish I trusted my voice more. I wish I was more compassionate, went out of my way more to love people. I wish I went outside more and watched Netflix less.

Weight Loss and Worthiness, Part III

There were many challenges about this trip that I very naively didn’t foresee, but the hardest and most emotionally taxing was how difficult it was for my body. I was out of shape and ill-prepared and the hills of the Irish countryside were much more demanding than I anticipated. On my last hiking day I walked 18 miles on a beach. I thought I would finally find some relief on flat ground, but it was grueling and I was in tears for more than half of it. I had planned for something adventurous and worthwhile and my body was insufficient in aiding me in those things. That trip lit a fire in me, and shortly after I got home I made a list of all the hopes I had for my body. I wanted to hike Machu Picchu and outdoor rock climb and feel comfortable in a bathing suit on a beach. I didn’t want to be held back or limited because my physical health never made its way up from the back burner of my life.

5 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

Just two weeks ago, the legendary groundhog sent news of an extended winter. The shadow was cast, and many of us sank deeper into our covers. With dark evenings and cold winds accompanying our every day, the winter can be a daunting beast. February, in particular, is a tough month to get through with little warmth in sight.

Despite this, there are ways to shake aside our blues and find some light in the fog. As a post-grad freshly lectured on the importance of taking control of one’s life, I have accrued a few tips on keeping the winter blues at bay.

Weight Loss and Worthiness, Part II

I was in fifth grade the first time I denied myself food to lose weight. It started because a boy I really liked asked me to dance at a school event one Friday night. I found out the next day that he had been paid to do so and him and his friends had an array of inside jokes involving how many fat rolls they could count on my stomach. I vowed to never eat a thing containing sugar ever again.

Weight Loss and Worthiness, Part I

I have tried to write about this topic at least a half a dozen times in the last three years, but every time I do something inside of me freezes up. I don’t like to talk about weight loss. Not over coffee, not in a blog post, not even inside the safety of my counselor’s office. I have talked about it in all those settings before, but every time I do I feel like I’m getting repeatedly punched in the gut afterward. I feel exposed and vulnerable in a way that is unique to discussing physical appearance. I always fear coming across as superficial and insensitive if I am completely candid.