Wednesday, March 25, 2015

What's That Sound? It's So Loud...

The past couple weeks have been odd. I've had some high-stressors the past few months like graduating college, job hunting, the future, a bit of a quarter-life crisis, a ton of personal stuff like my LDR boyfriend - whom you've met! - deciding to move here very soon (eep!), etc., and if you know anything about people with the health issues like I have - adrenal fatigue for instance - you know stress depletes our bodies more than a 'normal' person's. So high stress for months + me = nervous breakdown. 

I thought I had an OK grip on my anxiety and stress even though I couldn't sleep until 5am and only for a couple hours before I was awake and tossing and turning, only to get up and fake being OK while I put pressure on myself to find a job, get better, do exposure therapy, deal with people, relationships, food, etc., and I knew I was stressed out and not a normal amount, but I just kept thinking things would get better. So I pushed myself to "relax" with harder exercise and distractions, thinking I was doing the right thing. I have to be careful with exercise because my adrenal glands barely function so they get stressed out easily. But, again, I thought I was doing better so I could increase my exercise.

Wrong-O. I could feel the symptoms of adrenal fatigue more than ever and it didn't seem to matter what supplements I took or what I ate/drank. Nothing felt OK. Nothing felt 'normal.' I was always tired and irritable but I kept telling myself I was just stressed and a bath or movie would fix it. It helped temporarily, but then I was back to constantly worrying, random panic attacks that I hadn't had since I was 15, and an increase in my alcohol consumption because no doctor here prescribes anything temporarily, they go straight to long-term SSRIs.

Me and my family tried taking a self-defense class and while I really liked the intro, I was stressed as hell about going, and about going back up to 4 times a week. Just the thought of new people, different people in every class, leveling up and testing, etc., etc., made my stomach clench so tight that it ached constantly.

Finally, pretty much overnight, I broke. It was all just too much even though I thought I could handle it. And still, as I sat on the kitchen floor in my robe sobbing uncontrollably (wish someone had filmed that) while trying to explain to my parents what was happening, I thought I could handle it and just suck it up. But there was no controlling that. I completely lost it. I couldn't stop crying, I couldn't control the panic attacks, I couldn't stop shaking, I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep. I felt like I was actually losing my mind.

It took a couple days and Google to find out what had happened but there it was. Every physical and emotional symptom I had in a list underneath "Symptoms of a Nervous Breakdown." It was comforting to see because if I know what it is I can better understand how to fix it. But fixing it is hard. I'm still insanely over-emotional to the point where someone can say something and I hear the tone wrong and I start crying. It's like hyper PMS, y'all. Jesus. It's exhausting and annoying. But I still can't fully control my mind. I've barely left the house. The thought of going places, going shopping, to appointments, eating much, etc., still makes me really panicky. Which is such a bummer because over the years I've worked so hard to move past all of that and get better.

So this has been a huge personal disappointment. I'm disappointed in myself, greatly. I'm too hard on myself, and I know this, but I can't just turn off my own expectations. The next step for me is to slowly start going places again and to be kinder to myself. Because I'm kind of a bitch to myself.

I would like to be recovered by now and better, but that's going to take some time. And lucky you, you get to be here for recovery! How psyched are you?

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Why I Quit Being a "Health Coach."

I signed up to be a health coach for BeachBody and thought, 'Finally! Some income!' as I've been struggling with finding a job.
But it turned out to be way-not-fit for my personality, and the people were a little off to me. It just didn't feel right. It is a bit of a pyramid "scheme" except you do make money - but only if you're one heck of a people person, which I am not. And once I thought, 'Oh, shit, I don't want to do this. This is stressing me out MORE!' I found out quickly that everyone in my 'fit family' was really only there if I was on board with all the salesy stuff. Take, for example, the Shakeology Beach Body offers. I'm allergic to stuff in every variety of it. What did the "fit fam" tell me? "Try the vegan version! Ask your doc, I'm sure it'll be ok! You need this and/or a program to sell to people!" OK...but I'm allergic. After that red flag #1, not many people talked to me because I guess I wasn't "on board" enough.
I couldn't land any clients because you have to talk and pitch and talk and get to know them and talk some more. All my conversations came to dead ends or "no" when I would mention them signing on with me. That's just not in my personality. I'm an introvert. I don't like small talk. I don't want to talk to strangers and then try to sell them something. It was stressing me out beyond belief, trying to land clients and work through the bootcamp. They made it sound so easy in the boot camp and in reality it shouldn't be that hard to land some clients. Well, it is. And during the bootcamp you're supposed to sign up for all these trips and retreats which would've cost me like $300 at least...that I don't have. So I opted out of that.

They claim that they help and motivate and coach, etc., but every. single. time. I asked HOW they help, HOW they coach, WHAT DO THEY DO WITH THEIR CLIENTS I got the same very scripted reply. 'We help and motivate! We're a family! We encourage!' and so on. Okay...but WHAT DO YOU DO? No one would ever answer me. I could see the encouraging on Facebook, but never coaching. It was all just about signing on more members to make money, get more people to sign up, get clients to advance because you make a profit off of them advancing. No one would ever actually tell me HOW they coach. Red flag #2. You literally need no health knowledge at all to do this - you just have to want money.

I e-mailed my 'mentor' that I was having doubts and thinking of pulling out - because if you do within 30 days you can get a refund. Well, the mentor went from taking hours to reply to me to days. Like once she made money off of me, I wasn't a priority anymore. It took her four days to get back to me. She claimed she had "unplugged" for a long weekend but she was active on Instagram, so that was just an excuse. Red flag #3. And when she replied it was another scripted 'how can I change your mind' thing.

Well, shit, she took four days and by that time I decided to cancel my account. So I replied to her telling her that this just wasn't for me, thank you for being so nice - she really was - but this isn't what I want to do.

And it took her two weeks - two weeks - to answer me. Mentor my ass. She was on to other "clients" by then and since I was no longer making her money there was no need to answer me in any kind of timely fashion. Huge ass red flag #4.

Can you make money doing this? Yes. But you have to SELL, SELL, SELL. Like, message everyone on your FB feed and start conversations that end with you trying to sell them Beachbody programs, shakes, coaching spots, etc. OK, yeah, because my 70 year old family members really want to try P90X. Then you're onto strangers. Because that's not awkward.

If you're very people-oriented and you're a huge extrovert, this could be good for you.

Are you actually doing health coaching? I'm thinking no, but how would I know because NO ONE WOULD ANSWER ME. This is not like talking to someone about health issues and how can you help. This would be, "You're overweight? You should try this Beachbody product!" Granted, you are a face of Beachbody and you are selling a product of theirs. But "coaching" to me is more than a program. It's knowledge and nutrition and life-long health. And no one I came into contact with had any of this. It was a bunch of girls wanting to make money. And if they're determined, they probably will.

But for me, I wanted to actually coach. I see these women on Instagram with programs of amazing nutrition and support and that's what I wanted to do. And this was not it. It was a money pit.

And I didn't want this to be "IT" for my life. Most of the women I met that make good money doing this, it's their full time job. It's their life. I was looking for something fulfilling, like health coaching, that I could do while I continued to write. Because writing is what I want to do. But this would've progressed and I would have leveled which means more clients and time and I think writing would've slowly been pushed on the back burner.

So, I quit. And the knot in my stomach loosened. When that happens, you know you made the right decision.

So, that's why I quit being a "Health Coach." Because there are major flaws in the program, espeically some of the people, and it's a little frightening that you need no health knowledge to coach people on their health.

Good luck to you if decide to try it out, but, no, thanks.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Book Blink: Anna Dressed in Blood/Girl of Nightmares

Book #3 of my reading challenge is book #13 on the list: A Book With a Female Heroine - Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake.

I'm also including its sequel, Girl of Nightmares, as well.

Original, captivating, and strongly written. First book was better than the sequel, but this was an amazing duo. Blake lets the reader into a secret world you won't want to quite leave. 4/4 bones.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Book Blink: Six Feet Over It.

Book #2 of my reading challenge is book #6 on the list: A Book By An Author You've Never Read Before - Six Feet Over It by Jennifer Longo.


Makes me want to buy and live in a cemetery - almost. Characters were very well-written and likeable.  However, I think this could've been about half the length it was and it would've been even better. 3/4 bones.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Book Blink: Love, Lucy.

Thus begins my journey into book reviews. Like I said before, I'm not into really long reviews that go over so many details and nitpick things, etc.
My reviews will be three sentences long. You heard me. Three sentences. I'm calling this series Book Blink because 'in a blink, it's over.' Or something clever like that.
Some might be long sentences, some might be short, but these will be three sentence book reviews. Short and to the point. No bullshit. Plus, my rating system is dog bones. I wanted a picture of a dog or puppy but I got overwhelmed and couldn't pick one, so for now it's just bones. Rating of 1-4 bones, 4 bones being the better rating.

You can look back at the challenge I'm doing this year to get an idea of what's coming up. I'm not doing the challenge in order, so while this is book one of the challenge for me it's actually book three on the challenge list.

How excited are you?

Love, Lucy is my book #3: A Book You Pick Solely Because of the Cover.

The cover makes me think Europe, gelato, adventure, etc., and it was spot on (plus, I've always wanted a red Vespa). This was a lovely, easy read perfect for a plane ride or vacation and will make you yearn to travel when you're young. Predictable, but wanted, ending gives it 3/4 bones!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge

I love challenges. I've done the squat challenge, the plank challenge, a photography challenge, etc., and I can't get enough. My friend Ariel showed me this reading challenge and I'm so into it! I like that you can take the whole year because I can't read 26 books in a month. That's the dream though, I tell ya. I'm not doing these in order, either. As I check books out at the library I'll put them into this challenge. Is anyone else doing this? If not, I encourage you to do so! It could help you start reading again, or read more, or keep reading exciting. <3
I'll also be posting reviews of my 26 on here which I'm excited about. I've gone back and forth about doing book reviews and I've finally decided to just do it. It'll be a bit different than some because I find it a bit unnecessary to read 10 paragraphs about one book. I like to read short and sweet reviews. I just want to know if I should pass or give it a read. So mine will be on the shorter side and more to the point. But more on that later!
I'll also be posting about this challenge on my Instagram if you want to follow along - I'm almostbritain over there!
And be sure to check out the hashtag as well as the blog that's the root of this challenge!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Dog Death Cake.

A couple weeks ago a dog I sat for regularly passed away. She was really old, we all knew it was coming, but there's still that flash of every other death you've been through. She was a Labrador like mine that I lost three years ago, so the comparisons were there. I took it harder than I thought I would and spent a good ten minutes in my car crying after I got the text that she had died. But then I pulled myself together and did what anyone else would have done: made cake.

If you don't know who Brittany Angell is, you should go check out her site. She makes the most amazing allergen-free recipes. Her desserts in-particular are usually gluten and dairy free and usually pretty Paleo-friendly. She has a moist triple chocolate cake in her new book, Every Last Crumb, so I made that and holy shit, it was mouth heaven. I left out the coffee in her icing recipe since I'm allergic, and added her ganache over the frosting even though it's not called for in this recipe. But I did, and recommend, both. And I called it the Dog Death Cake.

I mean, c'mon. <3