Thursday, June 5, 2014

What I Think About at the Gym

I had one of those days today where I just fucking losing it mentally over a few insignificant things and a few things I made up in my head because I don't have any real problems. I don't get anxiety like that as much as I used to but it happens. I felt like I needed to do something to really let go of some stress. I decided that what I needed was to have a really good workout. Last night it was wine. Everything in moderation.

I don't usually get to go to the gym without some time constraint-I go in with a plan, and try to have an efficienct workout with enough time to go home and put on my face before work. Tonight I didn't have anywhere else to be. I just went to the gym with a lot of pent up nervous energy and did whatever my body felt like doing. And I think since I didn't feel rushed, or maybe just because I had a lot on my mind, I found my thoughts wandering. I just let my mind relax while my body did all the hard work, I really thought about a lot of shit. And I was like, you know who would find this really interesting? Probably no one. So that's why I'm writing about it in my blog.

On my walk to the gym I obviously had to pick a power song to pump me for the whole ordeal. I like to show up at the gym ready to do this. Today I needed something to make me feel like I'm awesome at life. I picked Human Nature by Madonna. It's hard to feel pathetic when you say the words "I'm not your bitch, don't hang your shit on me"-which is actually totally irrelevant to anything that's going on in my life right now, but damn, that's a good line.

I got to the gym and I started out pretty easy, "running" on the elliptical. I usually do more intense cardio. But I had picked up a copy of Bust Magazine with Dolly Parton on the cover, and while I don't usually condone reading at the gym, I kind of wanted to at least flip through it. If you don't already read that magazine you totally should. This month's issue features an interview with Taryn Manning from Orange is the New Black, an article about how to help a friend in an abusive relationship, and lots more including the cover story on Dolly.

I was "that person" taking a photo at the gym

Once I'd skimmed through and decided which articles I wanted to read later,  I moved over to the free weight area. I work out in the women's only section in my gym. But I've noticed lately the men have found a loophole by participating in group glasses in the studio that's attached to the ladies section. There was a guy there tonight, and I couldn't help but feel like he was totally cheating the system. But then I thought some more and I was like, whoa, maybe I'M the one who's being a sexist pig here. I'm assuming he's just there to look at the women working out, but maybe he just really loves this Bodyjam class. I made sure to make eye contact with him as he was leaving, and just hoped he felt weirder than I did.

So I was at the weights and I saw a kettlebell and decided to try some of the "swings" that have been recommened to me. After the first two I decided I LOVE kettlebell swings, and did 3 sets of ten. Then I did some various squats and lunges, skipping rope in between to keep my heart rate up.

After that I decided to do some more cardio. Honestly, I don't ususally do so much(I focus more on weights), but today I just really  needed to get rid of a lot of energy.
  ****CHEESY MOMENT ALERT**** I truly feel like you can turn negative energy into positive energy through physical activity. And I was feeling a lot of negative energy today. So I got on the treadmill and obviously had to pick out some theme music for this part of the workout. I chose 808s and Heartbreaks. And as I ran at a medium pace at a slight incline to "Love Lockdown" I thought about how Kanye's discography has been like, super relevant to a lot of things that I've gone through. I'd rather overthink my relationship with pop music than worry about what the fuck I'm doing with my life you know?

By that point I was starting to wind down but I felt like I still needed to push myself a little bit more. I was pretty sure I could get through a few sets of reverse lunges off a bench.

Oh. No I could not. I got through about five on one side. Ok, four. I lowered my expectations(of myself) and did some body weight curtsy lunges and side lunges instead. I finished off with some yoga poses. At least I think they were yoga poses. I've never actually gone to a yoga class, so I might have made them up. I really wanted to do a headstand but I was pretty sure I'd look like too much of a weirdo, so I opted against it.

I finished my workout, and in the harsh light of the changeroom I could see that my skin looks terrible, probably due to how unneccessarily stressed out I have made myself recently. I tried not to let my mild case of adult acne ruin the good vibe I was on. Sometimes you just need to let little things go.

A lot of the time I go to the gym and only think about my workout. But today I was reminded that working out your body can be so therapeautic for you mind. I get so stressed out about so many external factors, but when I go to the gym it's just me. And there's something about challenging yourself physically that lets you relax mentally. I got to the gym feeling like a basket case, and left feeling great, in part thanks to Madonna and Dolly Parton. And Kanye. Don't ever forget Kanye.

I hope you all had a great day. I leave you with this:

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

I Let Myself Go

Ok, if you read the title, maybe you're picturing me 50 lbs heavier, laying on the couch with a bag of Doritos in one hand and a tub of Ben and Jerry's in the other. And while the temptation to give up on my fitness, eat everything in sight, and go for a spot on a TLC special about obesity defintiely creeps up on me occasionally, that's not what I'm talking about right now.

I have let myself go. But in a healthy way. I've let myself go of the feeling that I always need to be pushing myself forward. I've let myself go of the constant pressure I feel to be good at everything all the time. I think it's probably temporary-I've always been pretty "Type A"-but right now, I'm giving myself a break.

The past year of my life has been crazy. I work a pretty demanding full time job, and I was going to school part time from September to May. I kept up my fitness routine. I also dedicated a lot of time and effort to starting up this blog, and my YouTube channel. And while both have been somewhat neglected lately, I know that creating this content is a huge source of fufillment for me, and I look forward to writing and filming more. But for 8 months, my life was almost unmanageable. I'd wake up, go to work, go to class, come home and write a blog, go to sleep, go to the gym, film a video, go to work, come home and do homework, go to sleep, go to work-on and on, never taking a real day off, rarely even having an hour to just chill out. And I liked it. I like being busy. But even the most ambitious, motivated people sometimes need to slow down, and rest, recuperate, and gather inspiration and energy to take them through the next challenge and onto the next level. I needed some time to slow down and take stock.

I've been thinking a lot lately about why I want to write this blog and make YouTube videos. As more people have seen or heard about the whole Ruth and Glory thing, I've been asked lots of questions "What do you want to do with that?" "Are you looking for advertisers?" "Do you know how hard it is to make money on YouTube?" I think these questions have kind of scared me. Or at least they've made me think...what do I want from this? I felt pressure to push out more content so that maybe I can get more views and seem more professional. But the more I put pressure on myself to write blog entries at regular intervals, the less I feel like writing at all. And after putting myself through some unnecessary stress about what I should be doing, or what other people expect, I realized-the reason I started this blog, and the reason I started my YouTube channel is simply because I wanted to. And once I realized that, I decided that's the only reason that I will ever put work into them.

My Instagram profile says " I don't do anything that I don't want to do"-that doesn't mean that I don't do anything that's hard or unpleasant. For example, in my job, I want to do the things that are professional and that make business run smoothly-even if it's hard work for me. But I don't force myself to do anything, and this blog will be no different, ever. I absolutely love and value the connections that "Ruth and Glory" has allowed me to make. I think that reaching out to other people is one of the most meaningful things you can do to better your own life and better others as well. I love people(that's why I actually like working in customer service). And that aspect of having an online presence definitely drives me to keep writing, and to make my online content better for whoever is kind enough to read/watch it. But I don't have any financial motives or thoughts of gaining notoriety in anything I do under the Ruth and Glory name. I do it because I love doing it. I have lots of stress in my life, and I remember now that this is something I started to help relieve my stress, not add to it.

Do you ever feel like this? I know so many people who are insanely busy. They're multitalented, balancing jobs and school and side projects, and it's awesome and I'm so proud of everyone I know who is taking care of business like a boss. But sometimes I think it's really healthy to give yourself a break. Is there something you could relax about for a little bit, if only to remind yourself why that thing was important to you in the first place? Taking a break doesn't negate everything you have accomplished-it allows you to gain the strength to get out there and accomplish something new, maybe with a stronger sense of purpose.

I know this is like, an overly emotional type of post. But I've been feeling bad lately. I've been feeling like I need to apologize for not writing regularly, or apologize in my YouTube videos for not having a full face of makeup or for having shitty hair. But you know what, I'm not trying to be a fucking beauty guru and I don't owe anyone an apology, so you can run and tell that, homeboy! (Ah, there's the good old Ruth). I'm doing all this because I want to and because I love doing it, and I'm glad I let myself go so that I could realize that.

Lisa Simpson, living the dream

Thank you so much for reading! xoxoxox

PS. A new video will be up on my YouTube channel tomorrow! I look like a sweaty mess, and IDGAF