Uncategorized

How Anxiety Makes Me Feel Like I Always Have to Be the Best.

I have been in a constant state of self reflection lately. New experiences and new levels of relationships often test you in ways you didn’t realize were necessary. I am writing this in hopes that nobody can relate, but realistically knowing that a lot of you will.

On the outside, I seem like a very put together person. I have a husband/partner of 8 years, a 1yr old daughter, we own our home, and both have good jobs. I always did well in school. I made the Dean’s List in college, I always made A’s in my classes. I have always excelled at any job I wanted to. I’ve been able to do these things because of anxiety.

In my mind, I am incapable of failure. Anything less is simply unacceptable. It’s to the point where I refuse to participate in things that I think I will not be good at. When I see a problem at work, I spend hours playing with all possible solutions and scenarios until I come up with the right one.

Nobody is surprised when I succeed. Actually, I would say that people expect it.

You may ask why I’m implying that anxiety is negative. After all, it drove me to success in all areas of my life.

My mind doesn’t stop. It is exhausting. My husband gave an example a few days ago: “You’re always analyzing. I can touch your hand, and you’re wondering why I did that at that moment.” So accurate.

I have tried to downplay anxiety’s role in my life, but not acknowledging it has actually caused it to grow. I second guess every decision I make. I question my own character. In the name of complete transparency, I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve told myself “I hate who you are” in the past few months.

Lately, I have wanted so badly to get out of this mindset. I want to just not care about anything FOR ONCE. I want to not feel an incessant desire to always be perfect. I actually would love to just completely screw up and not care. I want to sleep until noon, I want to not care about my exercise routine, or how I eat. I would love to be late to something and not have my heart racing the whole way there.

What’s more annoying is that I realize it when it’s happening. I can rationalize with myself and tell myself that how I’m feeling is unnecessary, but all it does is cause another mental battle. Problems go unresolved and if I’m not thinking about them, I’m dreaming about them.

I say all of this because I am slowly realizing a few things.

1). I probably need to seek professional help.

2). I need to remind myself more often that it is OKAY to not be everything to everyone.

3). I need to be kinder to myself. We are what our thoughts are and I’m not always good at being positive.

4). I need to rely on the people I trust. I keep so much to myself and it’s unhealthy.

This year I am choosing to grow. I need to stop thinking that I have to be self reliant. I refuse to hold myself back and I insist that I find balance.

Uncategorized

The Instagram Fitness World

for blog

I recently created a fitness profile on Instagram (@fit.asamother) and in the month or so that I have had it, I have learned a lot about people.

This will probably make me sound like an 80yr old woman finding out that any kind of social media platform even exists, but I’m willing to take that risk. I joined Instagram to find a group of likeminded people. I want to see what they’re doing, we can all motivate each other, and just create a support group. However, Instagram is much more superficial than that. A lot of you are probably nodding your head like “duh. It’s a profile made of 99% selfies”. Okay, I get it, but…..well let me give you some scenarios just from this past week:

  • This guy direct messages me: “wow, you’re a mom and you workout. How do you have time to get a body like that?” I don’t respond. “Have any tips on how to get abs?”…before I can even THINK to respond, *sends shirtless pic of shredded abs*. I can’t even eye roll enough to get across how I’m feeling.
  • Guy DMs me: “I sent you a request because you are a very beautiful woman and seem to be a very nice person that I would like to know more about, God has a reason for all purpose, Are you single?” *gives me an email address*, “drop me a message and I will get back to you asap. baby please don’t share my number with anyone.. Kisses & Hugs for you!!!” …….I’m not even going to comment.
  • Guy DMs me: “have you ever let anyone photograph you before?
  • Every girl on IG that sends a DM: “Hey! Just noticed your profile and it’s so inspiring and motivational. Are you a coach? You should be with results like that!”

So…. these kinds of messages disturb me for a few reasons. I had to come to terms with the fact that most guys are following #fitgirlsofig just because they find them attractive. Not out of respect for what they are doing or what they have done, but for the hope that they will post a lot of good booty pics. Girls follow a lot of people just so they could potentially be clients of theirs. I do respect what coaches are trying to do. Would I love to make money on Instagram? Um yes please, I just thought it could also be a place to find genuine people with similar interests. Don’t get me wrong! There are some, but they are few and far between.

Again, this may only be surprising to me, but it did stop to make me think. It’s not even surprising….it’s that it has made me become a little jaded. As soon as someone messages me, it’s like when you see that mom at the mall with their kid that keeps poking them, “mom. Hey mom? Mom. Mom. Hey mom?” and she finally snaps, “WHAT?!” Someone DMs me, “WHAT?!”

Has anyone else experienced this? I’m interested in hearing your thoughts!

 

 

Uncategorized

The Third Trimester

36 weeks

The third trimester, also know as the part of my pregnancy when TIME STOOD STILL.

I remember it like it was yesterday. I called Tyler having an absolute, running mascara, stress eating Starbucks scones panic attack, “NINE WEEKS. THERE WILL BE A BABY IN OUR HOUSE IN NINE WEEKS.” It’s funny because I knew I had been pregnant for eight months, but it doesn’t seem super real until your stomach gets so big that you feel like you are permanently trapped in a sumo wrestler fat suit. See photo above.

Fast forward two weeks. I had switched to weekly visits with my OBGYN and good thing too because I was so paranoid that the baby would come any time. I had this picture in my head of my water breaking at work (40 miles from home) and having to push a baby out next to the bunny cage. Not a pretty sight. Anyway, I was experiencing a lot of normal pre-labor symptoms, but it was all a first for me so everything made me go “oh my god, this is it. I’m having the baby right now”…… pretty sure my doctor had my phone number memorized at this point. I had Braxton Hicks regularly, the baby dropped, already lost my mucous plug (even though I had JUST learned what that was. Some advice: don’t google it), and was experiencing “lightning crotch” like nobody’s business. For those of you that don’t know, lightning crotch is just what it sounds like. It’s literally a sharp pain on the inside of your vagina that makes you feel like your whole body is falling apart starting from the inside. Fun times.

I went in for my 33 week appointment, my doctor noticed the baby dropped and that I was 1cm dilated. This wasn’t concerning to her, but I hadn’t show any signs before this and I was so active at work that she said I should probably take some time off for at least a week so I don’t force my body into early labor. I took a week off and spent the entire time in bed. I only got up to eat and most of the time kept a full array of snacks on my night stand to minimize the moving.

Sleeping was the worst. I had read that you aren’t supposed to sleep on your back because the weight of the baby can damage your organs and/or nerves. It was already devastating to me that I could no longer sleep on my stomach, but now not my back either??? I bought a Boppy full body pillow to help me sleep on my side and it was life changing. Highly recommend to any pregnant woman. Or any woman. Or man.

Here it is for those of you that are human.

//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=jbarberi-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B071WK2XQR&asins=B071WK2XQR&linkId=7bd503f55d2d6e487075189f9f2dd3ff&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066C0&bg_color=FFFFFF

After another couple of weeks, my doctor told me it was time to go on maternity leave. My job was very physically demanding and it just wasn’t worth going into labor early for me. I desperately didn’t want to have the baby until my dad’s birthday, November 22nd. Adeline’s due date was November 23rd, so it was almost too good to be true. This was important to me for a couple of reasons: one being that I just love my dad. I have always been and always will be a daddy’s girl. Also, every other generation on my dad’s side has been born on November 22nd! It was meant to be. My dad and now Adeline.

What’s funny and totally predictable about my life? I always, always, always think that everything is going to be horrible and it never is. I thought I would have Adeline early, but instead I got scheduled to be induced at 39 weeks, 6 days to have her on November 22nd. My parents took me to buy a bunch of little bundt cakes after. It was a good day.

 

Uncategorized

The Second Trimester

Baby

“It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.” – Albus Dumbledore

At 14 weeks, the worst part was over. I finally felt like almost myself again. I finally had enough energy to motivate myself to get out of bed. I didn’t feel like some foreign object was calling the shots anymore. I literally woke up one day and all of the sickness was gone. This was a great day.

Here is what was most interesting about this portion of pregnancy: people no longer see you as a person. They see you as an attraction at a museum that doesn’t have a “Do Not Touch” sign ONLY because that should be obvious. Apparently it’s not. I could go on for days about how pregnancy was unintentionally quite a social experiment and how shockingly different people treated me, but I’ll just give the highlights. One of the first instances I remember was at work. I was helping a man pick out some fish for his fish tank and I was spewing off roughly 5yrs of knowledge to help him successfully keep his aquarium alive. I ask him if he has any preferences and as an answer to my question he says, “so…..are you pregnant?” …… ……….. There are SO MANY things wrong with this scenario. First of all, you’ve all heard it, NEVER ask a woman if she is pregnant. Best case scenario, she says yes which does not weigh out against the worst case scenario. Just leave it alone. Also, I am a human being genuinely trying to help you. I just spent 10mins explaining different water quality levels and how to remedy them and you act as though you have heard nothing because CLEARLY nothing is more important than me being pregnant right now. Me. A stranger who has never seen you before. Me. A statue in a museum only worthy of your curiosity and personal entertainment. But wait there’s more.  Just because clearly commenting on the shape of my stomach was not enough, he then proceeds to ask me if I’m married. What. WHAT?! First of all, I’m wearing rings, look for yourself, but second, WHO THE HELL ARE YOU? Clearly this conversation can’t just be about fish anymore. I’m sorry. Excuse me for thinking you care about living things you invest your money in. That was my fault. I remind myself that my job is customer service and nicely reply that yes, I am married. His opinion was that this was good. Thank God. I’m so glad I got his approval. And God forbid, I not be married.

The coolest part of the 2nd trimester….and well…really all of the pregnancy? This is when you first start to feel the baby move. It is scary and amazing and when I first started to feel a bond with this thing growing inside of me. It made it real. My mind went from “wow this is amazing” crying to “oh my god, I’m for real having a baby” crying. Quite a range of emotions. Speaking of emotions, this is period where I was MOST emotional. For example, I went on a work trip and after a 6hr flight and over an hour drive from the airport, all I wanted to do was sleep and watch some TV. Now to help you understand, I do not have television at home. I have Netflix and Hulu, but one vital thing that those two services do not provide? The Food Network. Every time I go on a work trip I am secretly excited that I get to stay in a hotel so I can watch The Food Network and keep an inevitable Chopped marathon on while I sleep. ANYWAY, I’m at the hotel ready to eat my weight in potato chips and watch The Food Network. I turn on the TV and “there is an error”. What. This is all I wanted IS THIS TOO MUCH TO ASK? I call the hotel office, a guy comes to look at the TV (and by look, I do mean literally stare at it and…that’s it) to tell me there is nothing he can do. I keep reminding myself to have the dignity to not cry in front of a stranger. He walks out and I instantly start to try and problem solve. WHAT DO I DO I MUST WATCH CHOPPED. So I finally have some clarity and download The Food Network app on my phone and start to watch The Next Food Network Star (my 2nd favorite show on this network) and everything was fine. I could stop choking back tears now. Then five minutes later it starts buffering……ugh. Okay. AND IT KEEPS BUFFERING FOR YEARS. I lost my mind. I instantly started bawling my eyes out and everything that ever seemed a little bit bad in my whole life came to mind at that moment. “I can’t even call Tyler because I’m halfway across the country and it’s 3am. Omg I can’t even be with Tyler right now, I won’t see him for a week. Am I too dependent on him? Ugh I didn’t even want those chips anyway. Pregnancy is making me gain so much weight. I JUST WANT TO WATCH THE FOOD NETWORK. You realize you’re crying about not getting to watch TV, right? YES AND I DON’T CARE”…… I. Was. A. Disaster. Then 5mins later, my app started working and I was fine.

And that is a perfect description of the 2nd trimester.

Uncategorized

The First Trimester

Imagine being completely shocked and completely clueless at the same time. To me, it’s like seeing a human sized spider. It’s standing there, hovering over you, and you’re terrified and thinking “well I’ve never seen anything like this before” so you must be dreaming. Except you’re not. And you have to keep reminding yourself of that even though it’s standing there right in front of you. That is what my entire first trimester was like.

        So I think I’ve effectively covered that I was terrified. HOWEVER, I also received a lot of peace. First of all, since I asked that “we aren’t having a baby” question, I started praying about having a baby. Something about it just seemed to stay on my mind. I didn’t pray for a baby, I prayed that we would not have one until we were ready. If you don’t believe in prayer, that’s fine, but it helped me tremendously considering everything that I realized after that. For example, Tyler had been saying for awhile that the only thing holding him back from wanting to have a child is that he wanted us to have one more quality vacation together, just the two of us. We had decided in November 2016 to start saving for a trip to Universal in Orlando, FL. So it’s January and our trip to Universal is booked for March. I found out I was pregnant at the beginning of March…..funny how that worked out. Needless to say, I felt like God knew we were ready and that helped me be okay with it!

        Though I was able to find moments of peace, there are so many things to think about in that first trimester. Number one being potential miscarriage, but also how this would affect my job. I love my job and it’s selfish, but I wasn’t sure I wanted something to get in the way of it. I decided to keep my news a secret until I had cleared the 12 week mark because until then I told myself it wasn’t real anyway. I’m great at facing my fears. Keeping it a secret at work was actually really difficult because of the morning sickness (more on that in a second), but I was also really worried about how people would consider my work ethic once they found out. If I make one mistake, they’ll go “well yeah, she’s slacking, but she’s pregnant so you can’t say anything”. The solution? BUST ASS and show everyone what I’m capable of doing. So that’s what I did.

 

The Morning Sickness

I have a really obsessive personality. I read everything there was to read about morning sickness that was available. By the time we took our Universal trip, I was 6 weeks pregnant and knew that that was about the time when people get morning sickness if they’re going to….but I had felt nothing up until this point and I wasn’t going to let a fear of sickness ruin my chance to see Hogwarts. However, I very distinctly remember the first time I started to feel queasy. We were on our way to Universal, we had pulled into a McDonalds (because obviously, McDoubles), and I instantly felt car sick. And I really wish that’s what it had been because that would’ve been easier. I didn’t physically get sick, but I felt nauseous all night and through the next day. Thankfully, I did not throw up even one time at our stay in Florida. I was nauseous enough though to never want to wear my Slytherin t-shirt again. It’s still in my drawer, and I have not worn it since that trip. If only I knew this was CHILD’S PLAY for a growing fetus. Child’s. Play.

The next 2 months were ROUGH. To add to the drama, I am terrified of throwing up. I don’t know why, but I will do ANYTHING to not be sick. You read about the people who say “morning sickness isn’t just morning sickness. It’s all day” and you hear that and you don’t think it’ll be that bad for you because when people talk about pregnancy, they’re always speaking to their beautiful experience. I call MAJOR BS. Pregnancy is not beautiful and my first trimester will be ingrained in my mind forever. Nothing made me feel better. I tried crackers, I tried ginger everything; meat made me sick, coffee made me sick, water made me sick, breathing made me sick. It got to the point where when I would think about what to eat, I would think about what would be easiest to throw up. As someone who lives for food, this was a tragic experience. I will tell you this, I will NEVER eat an eggroll from Publix again.

 Side note: I gained almost 20lbs in just this trimester because everything made me feel horrible and I only ate junk. I’ve always been very body conscious and very healthy, so to see myself balloon up was something I was not mentally prepared for.

Here is one of those not so beautiful pregnancy moments. I legitimately thought (several times) that this was not worth it. I can not endure this even one more second. I cried a lot because I was so miserable. I was so miserable and why oh why do people get pregnant on purpose?

Uncategorized

I’m Having A Baby? No I’m not….Wait…

“We aren’t having a baby this year, are we?” This is not a normal question, but it is one that I asked my husband in January 2017. I was just checking. I’ve never had maternal instincts or felt….well, motherly in any way, so this was a legitimate question in my mind. We both laughed it off and went to sleep. Fast forward 1 month, I went to him complaining about tender breasts. His reply of “you’re probably pregnant” meant nothing to me because I knew my period was supposed to start soon and this happened every month. Period symptoms are often the same as early pregnancy symptoms! And every month he would say “you’re probably pregnant” almost as reverse psychology. We’re kids ourselves! We don’t need to have them. And we won’t, as long as we use the “you’re probably pregnant” phrase. Logic.

I had just gone back to my old job as a General Manager after leaving for almost a year, so I was too focused on getting back into the swing of things without thinking about, hello, bringing a life into this world. Then I realized that my period was about 5 days late. This has happened before too. I’m generally pretty regular, but with the stress of a “new” job, it made sense to me that it was late. I waited another day or so, then bought a pregnancy test for peace of mind (history lesson: I’ve bought a million pregnancy tests for peace of mind, so again, this was no different than a normal routine to me). I was so NOT WORRIED about this test that I took it at work, an hour from home, without talking to Tyler about it. I went to the bathroom, waited the required amount of time, and picked up the pregnancy test with rolling eyes with “ugh this is such a waste of time” going over and over in my mind. Then I saw it. A positive sign. Double take. “No it’s wrong. Wait… I’m pregnant? ME? No” this replayed in my mind at least 100 times. I’m at work, what am I supposed to do now? Tyler is at home asleep. I’m shaking. I’m not even sure what being pregnant means. Looking back at this, I think it’s hilarious when I see “cute pregnancy announcement” suggestions on Pinterest because what I did was so not cute or thought out. I went to the back room and called my husband. Again, he’s been asleep for about a good hour, so the perfect time to break the news, right? Here’s the exchange:

Me: “Hey babe. I’m just calling because….well, I took a pregnancy test just so I would stop thinking about it. ….but uh……well. It was positive…”

Tyler (half asleep still): “What?”…then he starts laughing because, I guess it seems ridiculous. We haven’t been pregnant before, why would we be now?

Me: “Yeah.”

Tyler: “well alright then!” – his tone was bright. He seemed happy.

Me: “Well what do we do now?”

Tyler: “Well nothing. It’s going to be good! I’m going back to sleep though”

I wonder what Pinterest would think of this type of exchange. On another note, this is why Tyler is perfect for me. He was so chill and that helped me relax too. I even smiled after I hung up the phone. I get home later that night where he was still in bed, but not really sleeping. I sat on the bed next to him and we both just started laughing. This was the easiest response and I still look back really happy that this is how we deal with life changing events.