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Bipolar yeah?

There were a time when I get excited to cook and bake and eat. But it is not the case now, I dread cooking now, I don’t want to cook, I feel like I am cooking the same things again and again and I just don’t want to cook. And I don’t feel good about it, cooking and eating was such a big part of me and I feel that something is wrong with me when I lose passion for cooking. But still I cook, I cook, but I just don’t want to do it.

When I am reading back on my posts, I realized that stress has always been a problem of mine. Self love, self care is lacking. I admit I have always been a stressful person, I get pressure really easily, maybe not even from an outside source, I just put pressure on myself all the time, and I have a general level of stress for normal days without anything significant to worry about. But I think this year my stress level has been pretty bad. I am about to graduate, what do I do with my degree? We have been trying to conceive, but when is that day finally gonna come? I started teaching group fitness classes, I thought you always want to be a fitness instructor, but why you are more stressed and nervous than happy when you teach? So does it mean that I have one less career path? Why do I keep having nightmares and bad dreams? How can I feel good about starting a day when I dreamed I am late for exam, forgot lyrics before going on stage, or being shot by some mysterious man? What does these dreams mean? What about dreams that I am in a sexual context? How should I feel about those? I am confused and helpless.

It started around Christmas time 2016, I kept having bad dreams and nightmares, I feel unsure about me teaching fitness classes, will I be the best instructor? Will I have students that want to come every week to my class? Can I teach dance? I love dance but I don’t have any background like other instructors do. Shall I take the challenge head on or shall I just chill and be easy on myself? What shall I talk about before class today? I want it to be inspirational and fun. I want people to learn things or be happy from my talk. Shall I cover for others’ class just because it will be thought highly of by the coordinator? Shall I go to her classes because she will be gone soon and I shall show my respect and love?

We are TTC, and it has been 5 months without results, it’s funny how before whenever I got my period I am like Horray! and now when I get my period, I am like, Are you for real? I have done everything I can and still no baby? It is hard when I like the kids so much but at the same time afraid that people would start questioning when would you have a baby? You should have a baby too! I thought you have been trying, still no result? You should relax and it will come. Relax is not something that I am good at. And now, I am like, OK, let’s just take it easy and for real, just let it go, no counting the ovulation days, no measuring body temperature every day first thing in the morning. No planning and just let it be. It doesn’t help when my mom keeps sending me pictures and videos of little babies every now and then. Although it doesn’t seem too big of a deal at the beginning, I think it could be adding up to my mental stress. Maybe I shouldn’t have told them that we are trying from the beginning. Just let everything be a surprise. No stress and all.

2017 is slipping by so fast I can’t even believe it. I am much better with food now, no fuss, no stress, and I am pretty happy where I am right now. Speaking of which, the eating disorder started in my college years, now it is finally under control.

I went to the counseling center yesterday, I was talking to the counselor what are on my mind. I burst out crying in the middle of nowhere. surprised me. I am always quite composed when I go to counseling sessions, sometimes burst out crying after the session, but never during a session, and with a new counselor? That’s pretty new, oh boy was I holding a lot in. I feel like after I stated my problem, the counselor was trying to convince me that it is a better option for me to go to counseling somewhere else, since the model here at the university counseling center is ‘quick’, I will be better off and taken care of with some specialist that can meet with me every week. I feel like the counselor is definitely doing this a lot to others coz I feel like some of the things that she was trying to use as pros doesn’t really work for me. And I also feel like she was trying to convince me that I am bipolar. I was diagnosed with bipolar earlier in 2012, but the whole time I was thinking to myself, that was just an accident, I am not bipolar and this diagnose is just ridiculous. But I think she made one point pretty clear to me that once diagnosed with bipolar, you are pretty much bipolar your whole life, but with therapy and medication it could get better. At first I was a little shocked with the fact that I could have a mental disease, but then actually a little released that this is actually a disease and not so much my own fault or something. I felt like she was really trying to label me with bipolar, repeating that terms so many times without hesitating to directly acknowledging that I am a bipolar patient. It is not “If I have bipolar”, it is “you have bipolar and … is best for you.” She asked whether I am open to medication, I said yes although my instinct is no. I am pretty clear that I will only take parts of what she is saying and have my own judgement too. And I feel kind of released after I left the counseling center, I feel like I always have this kind of feeling when I am diagnosed with something, instead of feeling bad or sad or unhappy, I instead would feel kind of released, kind of like, OK, I am sick, I have a serious medical or mental condition, so somebody please take care of me. I was googling bipolar online, and hearing people talk about their own conditions, I know I am not as serious as some of them. But still I do need to take my mental condition seriously. I always just blame it on myself for feeling lonely, sad, stressed, depressed. I always think it is my own problem and my own fault that under perfectly good environment I would still feel crappy. But what if my genes were to blame, what if my neuronal structures in my brain were to blame. I could be just a victim instead of the criminal.

Time kind of stopped and slow after I went out from the counseling center, I did some experiments and then waited to go home. I told what happened at the counseling center to JB and waited for comforting words. But he didn’t know better. He didn’t comfort me at all, and of course I cried.

Growing is really painful, good memories about the old days is always so great to even just savor for a second. I am not sure where this is going.

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It’s dangerous to care what others think

I have known from an early age that I always cared what others think of me. I try to be a person that I would think a good person looks like. I share things and give away things because I think a great person would be sharing and caring. I tried to think of others’ feelings before I say or do things, I try not to hurt other people’s feelings. At work, I try to plan my experiments really full on my schedule, so that I will be a hard working employee. And at home, I try to do my best of sharing my responsibility of cooking and chores.

But I find this is repressing the true nature of me. Sometimes I base my decision on how other people would feel and think, rather than whether I really want to do something or not. After starting to teach group fitness classes, I always find myself in the tug of war of whether to go to a class or not, coz sometimes I don’t really want to go, but I feel like I had to go to support and show respect for other instructors. I feel like this can be really energy-draining sometimes, when my intensions are not pure.

And the other day at the meeting for fitness instructors, the head of the department was saying praises to one of a fellow instructor, saying that she is really awesome in that she helps cover a lot of classes when others are caught up in other responsibilities. And I remembered thinking to myself, oh I should start to cover classes for others too! That way I would get praises like that too. But immediately I realized my thinking pattern, and tell myself, no you should not cover classes just because that would make the head happy. I shouldn’t do anything just to make the head think highly of me.

So many times, when I am faced with decision of what to do, I immediately came to the frame of “what would a good person do” instead of “what do I want to do”. It has become a habbit and I had to really be careful of it to not to fall into the old patterns.

My husband on the other hand, doesn’t seem to care so much about what others think. He has his own opinions, not afraid to share his true thoughts and mostly just a really happy person that lives by his own values rather than others’ values.

 

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journey in yoga

Yesterday I was looking at some intro video to Ashtanga yoga, the instructor in the video was saying for almost all the asanas, “it doesn’t matter if you can reach your toes, if you can’t,┬ájust feel the length in your spine, and elongate.” And it struck me that whether you can get into the deepest possible pose is not the point, the point is you are progressing, and you are practicing.

Recently I has just started the seated sequence of primary series, and I got a little frustrated with the jump back and jump throughs.I know that these are advanced, and people practice years to be able to do that. But still, when you are just stuck in the middle of the pose and couldn’t get your legs back in between your arms, there can be a little frustration in my heart.

I remembered when I first started practicing in August, I was so looking forward to the morning yoga practice, coz I know I will be paying full attention to my body and let all my energy develop and flow in my body which feels great, and I always get a sweat on after the practice. But these past couple of weeks, I didn’t really feel the passion in me even though I still practice every day. It is just lacking the spark I thought.

And I know one of the reasons is that I start to get to new postures and some of them I can’t even modify to do it. But I remember the excitement when I can get a posture about right when at the beginning it was really hard.

Watching advanced practitioners practice let me know what each posture should look like, but yesterday after watching the intro level video, I start to realize some problems in my practice. I was struggling in some postures that my breath are shallow. But I think I should not struggle in the asanas. I should relax into the asanas, not pull or push into it. “Use asanas to get into your body, don’t use your body to get into asanas.” And I realize that the postures should be peaceful and graceful and relaxed. It should not be tense or struggle or short of breath.

“Practice, and all is coming.” As Pattabhi Jois said. I shall trust the process and my body will open to the postures as I go.

 

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the journey of yoga begins

Recently I have got back to Yoga practice. I went to some power flow classes offered at the school gym and have some really fresh understandings about yoga.

First off, yoga can be challenging. I used to think of yoga as slow and not worth doing and spending the time if I want to get the most effect in fat loss. I mean it looks like only some stretches OK? But boy can it be sweaty and engaged! Added some core work into the sequence and I am getting sweaty all over!

Then, yoga can be beautiful. Sometimes we forget that we have a beautiful body. Society feeds the image of perfect bodies into our head, we didn’t even think about it and directly believe that it is what we want too. But what we really need is to appreciate our body, appreciate what we have. While i am doing some poses like warrior two, and looking at myself in the mirror, and looking at my elongated and straight arms, I learn to appreciate how strong and beautiful I am. And some poses, although it is not challenging, it is just simple and beautiful and so balanced and elegant. I also went to some barre burn classes, which is also so beautiful and makes me fall in love with my body and what my body can do all over again.

Then, yoga is a practice. The end goal is not some headstand or really really hard poses, it is about the feeling and the appreciation and being humble. I noticed that I really want to challenge myself to harder poses, but at the same time told myself that it is not only about the poses. It is also about breath. And as long as we keep practicing, our yogi path will start to deepen and enlighten our soul.

Today in the morning, I was just listening to my heart and didn’t follow any video. I do what I want and what feels good. I started with a simple sun salutation sequence, and then gradually add in one more movement and pose each time, and I finally understand why the classes are always like this. I remembered wondering: why do we do the sequence so many times? why can’t we just directly go to the full sequence? and today I understand that we need to ease into all the poses. The first time that I did the cobra is so stiff and I noticed the difference when I did it the second the third time. It is all a process. Don’t rush.

Namaste.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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calm and ready

Recently I have been binge listening to “the model health show” podcast, I think Shawn has some really good episodes where he talks about training that really gets my blood pumping for going to the gym, excited to do the workouts, and more importantly, get me to realize the importance of sleep and rest and reduction of stress.

He talked about his morning routine, where I also started to implement to my mornings. 1L of water to inner bath. I feel that this is working great for me, not only did I start doing this first thing in the morning, I also make sure that I drink at least 2 bottles of water at school. I used an app called Strides to keep track of these new habits. This is really helping a lot, coz I want to be able to have a streak of keep doing those things. I also put meditation on the list, which has helped hugely.

Earlier this year, I was really concentrated on doing meditation and was spending about 30min each time to meditate both morning and evening. But I slacked on the physical activity part and got so frustrated with the weight gain. Then I started going back to my workout routine and also started meditate again, but this time, I didn’t spend that long sitting and meditation, I just make sure that everyday I do some meditation. 10min usually. And I can already see what this little tweak has changed my attitude towards the day. I always do a little visualization, reminding myself of the goals that I want to achieve and telling myself I am not giving up until I get there. I also tell myself that today I am going to do everything to the best that I can. And many times, if I get frustrated with myself, I will use the meditation time to distill and think about what is the right way to take a look at things.

I also find that sometimes, when pain comes, I just need to lie there and lie with it and wait until it passes. The other day, I had too much for dinner and I was so frustrated with myself and I was really upset. Usually I would want my husband to say some encouraging words and help comfort me, but that night, I was just lying there, although uncomfortable and really down, I lied there, then fell asleep, and then the next morning during meditation, I told myself that I am determined to make some change to this. And I am seeing good changes already.

I find that many times I put too much food in my plate, and before I can finish the whole plate, I already feel full, then sometimes I told myself I will just finish it anyway, it is not so much more. But every single time, I feel so full that I don’t want to move after the dinner. So I made a note to myself, I need to change this. And I also put this into the list of habit that I want to form into the Strides app. And I know that I want to tick off “controlled dinner” on my list. And I am so happy with the past few days that I am behaving so well. And I am really positive and confident that I really can make those changes long term.

I am happy with the changes that has happened to me recently, and I think I am reducing my stress mindfully, and I am moving through life more gracefully. Like, I can have a vegan French toast for a Saturday morning breakfast, or I can just really take a moment and enjoy the glorious green smoothie bowl with cacao nibs to chew on. How perfect that is. Sometimes we just need to stop and take a moment to appreciate the things we have.

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Spiral upwards

I had thought that I had gained good relationship with my food. turns out that it doesn’t happen that easily. I was looking at some pictures I took recently, and realized that I look like that I have gained weight. And the other day when I weighed myself at the gym, I was definitely putting on a few pounds.

This got me a little depressed and frustrated. I found myself eating more snack food than I usually do. This is all a mental thing. I was thinking to myself. Zhuo! I thought you are over it. I thought you were saying you are good enough. I thought you don’t eat emotionally anymore. Especially when I think that I already talked about this in my youtube channel. This gets me even more frustrated and mad at myself.

Another thing is that I haven’t been exercising regularly starting this year. I didn’t feel that it matters to me as before. Before I would make sure I keep down every exercise I do on the calendar and kept me going. I have strict exercise routine. But starting from this year, I guess I just decided that I would take it easy, and not be so fixed on exercising. And also I have put more energy in meditation practice which kind of makes me think it is justifiable that I don’t do that much exercise.

But then one of my friend posted his miles for the month. 100k. And with a picture of the ranking in Nike+, where I am the second place. I got a little pissed. When I took running really seriously, I run a lot more than that. And I never showed off in social media. I think the problem is not his. It is my mind playing tricks. I think on the one hand, I think I can easily run more than him. On the other, I was not so sure after not running seriously for such a long time. And I know, nothing wrong with him showing off. It is just me that took it that way.

Cried, confessed to my fiancee. And started running again last week. And made it my priority. First thing in the morning. Didn’t care that I would go in work later. I had to do this first to take care of myself. I know. After a week I will be on top of the game and here I am.

I met the friend the other day. And felt that he is being competitive. Actually at this point, I am not even that competitive anymore, it is always about myself I know. Once I get past the mental block. Everything is fine. It is not really about competition. And the fact that he is being competitive and sort of weird just means that I need to block him or shy away from him a little bit. I think everyone is going through hardship you would never know. But I would still mentally block or get farther away from him at this point because of the energy.

Well lessons learned.

  1. Always have my workout routine going, necessary for my mental health.
  2. Don’t be afraid. Once I start doing it for a week, I am in good hand.

 

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self talk Queen

OK so I am being a little dramatic in the title there. I will never in a million years call myself queen.

One big change I have realized in myself is that I finally start to be able to talk myself out of anxiety, anger and stress. The thread for this begins with my trip back to China. I was gaining a few pounds, and I fell really stressed out after coming back to the states. Not only because of the weight, but also because of some visa issues which had delayed my trip for 3 weeks. I was thinking in my head, I am going to lose the weight so fast coz I will be eating clean as I want to be. But then it just didn’t happen.

And I start to think about this weight issues. It seems to me that many people, if not all people are struggling with weight issues. I have friends who want to put on weight but can never manage to do it and would brag about it. I have friends who are looking so good to me complains to have put on weight and really want to lose it. I always assure them that they are looking great, because they do. But they told me that other people have told them so. Some are very skinny and tiny, but they are being very harsh with comments on other people’s body. Even Katy Perry didn’t escape the critics. There are friends who would say that they will go to the gym with me, but it never happens. We are in a culture that we are programmed to accept that we should all ┬ábe like the models that we see in instagram pictures.

I actually have a lot to say about weight issues. But I found myself not so convincing when I say them, because you know, I am not the ideal body type. But is it reasonable to let the models talk about body image, self love? It just doesn’t help, does it?

At the beginning of my vegan lifestyle, at the point where I am still deciding when to let my friends know that I am vegan, I was a little stressed out. I kept thinking to myself, what would they think about my decision. Will they think it is because I want to lose weight so badly that I decide to go “extreme”? Will they secretly think to themselves: ‘but she doesn’t even look like a vegan, vegans are skinny, aren’t they?’ It almost seems to me that I should be all the best to be a good representation of this lifestyle. I was putting too much on myself.

Around fall 2015, I was really starting to stuff myself with knowledge about vegan lifestyle, watching documentaries, finding youtubers, watching recipe videos. To one point, I was having my morning oatmeal, and thinking to myself, why are they having so many delicious food, but not me. But NO! I was having oatmeal, exactly the same as so many of vegans do for their breakfast, and it is perfect! I was just caught in the pattern that I would watch what other people are doing, but failed to pay attention to what I have. It all seem so glamorous on videos what those trendy youtubers have. But when I am having my oatmeal, I wasn’t even enjoying it, the whole time I was thinking to myself, oh my life sucks, I would want to be like them youtubers too.

I realize how bad and wrong this thought is. And I decide to go without youtube in December. It turns out pretty good. One thing it did is that it reminds me to be mindful in my own life and not get caught in other people’s life. And about the weight issues, I was still having that few pounds on my body, but I start to look at my body in a different way. I was thinking through out the years that I was struggling about my weight issues, I always come back to this weight, and actually it is not overweight or anything like that. It means that my body is just good with maintaining this. And I am happy with it. I can feel the muscles in my legs and my arms. I am capable of doing long runs like half marathon, I can do long rides of 3h. I am happy where I am.

A friend of mine once told me, your legs would be better if they are trimmed half. Of course vertically, he added. I don’t want to cause any fight, so I just laughed it off. But seriously I was thinking to myself, who are you to judge. It is my legs. I work to have those muscles on there, who are you to say that they are to be trimmed off.

Along my journey, sometimes people comment, oh you lost so much weight. But let’s be honest, who cares after that one comment. Everybody goes to live their own life. Everybody has their own business to worry about. And if I am doing all sorts of bad things to my body, like working out too long, eating too little, just to get one compliment like that, is it even worth it. NO! And of all those years of my weight gain and loss, my parents don’t love me less or more, my fiancee doesn’t love me less or more. They love me because of the person I am, not because I look like a model.

This is all a process, I understand. I have listened to other people preach about positive body image over the years, but the change has to come from within. I was so happy when I looked at my old pictures and say to myself, oh this is too skinny I don’t want that! Because that’s my true feelings and I am proud of this kind of thought. Not “OH see I look so much better when I am 10 pounds smaller”. I was proud that I have this idea popping out when I look at those pictures. And this would lead to better self image thinking patterns.

We just need to have a grownup in our mind. Telling ourselves, It is gonna be OK.

All are going to pass. This will only be a blink of an eye in my life time. I am going to feel better even my talk isn’t selected to be presented. I am not going to be annoyed by other people’s decisions. I am just taking it slow and be compassionate with myself. Good for her, not for me!

All is going to get better and better. I have faith.