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SELF CARESelf-Care Megathread (self.RedPillWomen)

submitted by [deleted]

Hi all,

Medium-time lurker here. I found this sub a bit ago and despite it being quite contrary to much of what I thought I believed and knew...well I've read every post since then and at least 7 pages of the top posts of all time and pretty much immediately purchased "Surrendered Single" and read it in a day. So, there's something here. Anyway this is my first post and I just made this account for the exclusive use of RPW (at the behest of a post I found).

While I could not in earnest describe myself as RP (yet?), I wanted to contribute a bit of what I do believe I have locked down. You all place such a high priority on self-care which, BP or RP or other, is something I have learned to place an absolute premium on in the past 2 years and really sets me apart from my friends. To the point where, some of them aren't much of friends anymore. Call it judgmental but it just kills me to see them place no value on their health or long term well being and just accepting reality as whatever is easiest.

Anyway, self-care has proved to be a snowball effect. It started with the gym, but the principles of respecting my body have eked into more places and more places. I started out overweight after literally never exercising in my life (other than the yearly "I'm going to really do it this time!" 1-3 days of half-heartedly sprinting til I died and doing crunches -- anyone else relate?) and now I'm in incredibly good shape. No fitness model for sure but I'd say upper 80-85% of the general population (and that may be less of a compliment to myself and more a low bar set by the general population). My skin is beautiful for the first time since youth and people (particularly women) comment on my teeth quite regularly (I don't even use whitening strips). I just feel great. I feel proud. And that was something I was used to not feeling. I don't have it all figured out, and hopefully you ladies can chime in with your tips and tricks as well, but here are some things I think many of us could benefit from.

Without further ado:

General

  • When it comes to all these things, my first motto is 'motivation is doing what you have to do, when you have to do it, because you want to do it; determination is doing what you have to do, when you have to do it, even when you don't want to do it.' Don't trust motivation. It's a wonderful feeling and it's amazing to feel so driven but if that's your primary vehicle for reaching your goals..you're going to run out of gas. Once you accept, in your heart of hearts, these things (particularly the loathsome gym visits) are a part of your day and you can't change it...you stop dreading it anymore. Dread comes from some part of you acknowledging, even in the tiniest percentage, that it's optional. It's not optional and you can't change the weather either.

  • My second motto is "consistency beats intensity". I think that speaks for itself, but don't beat yourself up for slip ups -- just keep swimming.

Fitness

The thing that blows my mind about exercise is how not obvious it is. I know the majority of times I gave up was because I truly didn't know what I was doing and it feels overwhelming. Figuring it all out takes longer than I could say in this post (as if I've figured it all out...) but maybe you can skip some of the initial horribleness.

  • First off, you should really enjoy it, where possible. It won't be all daisies all the time and I think it's good to subject yourself to unpleasantries in the name of the greater good, but at the same time you shouldn't hate it from start to finish. If you hate running, don't run. I began exclusively lifting weights for this reason. All I had done previously was lug my fat butt around the treadmill for a while and loathed it. Weight lifting is a great place to start. I suggest looking into Starting Strength, Brett Contreras 'Glute Goddess' routine, or even a standard 'bro split' (sorting the body into each muscle group and doing one group each day). It was extremely helpful to me to 1. Be doing a workout I enjoyed, and 2. Not going to the gym with any question as to what was happening that day.

  • If weightlifting is also not for you, I love rock climbing. As soon as I'm settled with a job I plan on getting a membership. It's an odd one that doesn't come to mind, but it's so much fun and really a great workout. Also observing your progress is straight forward and I think people underrate how important it is to watch yourself improve at a skill. It means a lot of good things for your whole frame of mind. Yoga is another obvious one. I also enjoy swimming though I haven't done it in far too long. Oh! Pole dancing. Love it. Could not recommend it enough -- it really is a beyond killer workout, it's also a great place to be around exclusively females, and if you enjoy it enough to bring it home with you the poles are shockingly affordable and I don't doubt any Captain would love a good show. If anyone does this please let me know! Beyond those suggestions there are also adult league sports.

  • Commit to your routine. If you can go 5/6 days a week...that is best. To me 5/6 days a week for 1-1.5 hours a day is the ideal. I've been doing that for the better part of 2 years, it means a lot to me and I couldn't do without it. Commit yourself to what you're doing and soon you'll need your gym fix. If that's a bit much then I think the minimum is 4 days. I personally love giving myself 4 out of 5 days or 5 out of 6 days of intense workouts, and then the last day I'll walk for 6 miles (about 90 minutes). It's a really relaxing time for me and often the only time all week I allow any TV. It's a reward I really look forward to.

  • For me, morning workout is best. I like to wake up at 4:45-5:30 and just get it done before anything else. It sucks at first, but I like to do it before I have time to overthink it and it does wonders for my energy and state of mind all day. I feel productive and proud and everything after that comes easier.

  • Also, start a workout notebook. Whatever your chosen exercise/sport/routine is-- log everything you can. I'm partial to Moleskin's calendar with the days of the week expressed vertically on lined paper, it's about the size of an index card and I keep it in my workout pack. I attribute much of my success to having a good system of accountability. It saves me time knowing how to improve from the week prior, and any day I don't exercise gets a big X. I've only twice missed more than a week, but each day I took the time to draw 7 big X's. Keep yourself honest. And now I have a collection of books that are a real source of pride for me. They help me not forget how far I've come when I get hard on myself.

  • Finally, do try not to be too hard on yourself. I went from a complacent chubby girl to the most self-critical one with a pretty rocking physique (though it usually doesn't feel that way). In my head I know there was a time where I would have slaughtered someone to look how I do know (though it never occurred to me that I didn't need to slaughter anyone, I could just...go to the gym), and now it sometimes feels nothing is good enough. I suppose it's the double-edged sword of self-improvement, but do what you can to celebrate your accomplishments. You deserve it!

(I know I've gone a mile wide and an inch deep on this post and have possibly blabbed too much, but if anyone wants more in-depth information -- routines, advice, etc -- PM me. I'm really passionate about helping people do what always seemed just out of reach because I spent many many years feeling the same and it's just nice to have resources)

Food

I swear I'll keep this section shorter, also you ladies cook a lot and I wouldn't be so condescending as to give you instructions on how to boil water.

Just a couple rules I try and follow:

  • On the food you purchase, the ingredients label should look like a recipe and not a science project. If you wouldn't keep sodium nitrate in your pantry, you don't need it in your chicken.

  • When ordering a salad out, dressing on the side. Restaurant dressings are often filled with more useless sugars and unhealthy fats than if you had just got the burger. Where possible, order a straight olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette.

  • Sugar is the devil. Some people process it better than others (from a purely aesthetic point of view), but frankly I would call it the worst thing for you in terms of health. Fruits and such are fine, but refined and processed sugars. Avoid. In all honesty, it's my greatest addiction and while I have it controlled, I don't have as much advice to offer as I'd like. I'd certainly be open to any tactics you all may have.

  • I highly recommend the book 'Thinside Out: Have your cake and skinny jeans too'. Being healthy and being obsessive compulsive can be a fine line that I am guilty of crossing to the wrong side of. Calorie trackers can be helpful or harmful. Weighing yourself can be helpful or harmful. I have helped and harmed with just about every tool given to me. This book is well-written and an easy read and it does a lot for me about breaking down the psychology of poor eating habits and emphasizing balance above all else.

  • For regular meals, I try and stick to things that live or grow (aka meat or veggies) and their 2nd or 3rd degree byproducts (aka yogurt, eggs, bread). Once you get beyond those (cereals, meal replacements) it's mostly crap with few exceptions.

  • I am not the master dietician or nutritionist -- I strongly encourage your own eating tips in the comments because these things are my passion and as a group that does prioritize self-care the way you do...I'm all ears!

Skin

  • /r/skincareaddiction is a fabulous resource, but here is my overview that's quite simplified and has done me oodles of good.

  • Keep it simple. Don't get a gimmick cleanser, Cetaphil or CeraVe are 2 good brands to start with. Only use your finger tips. Never scrub with a wash cloth (just stopping that cleared my skin up so much). If your skin feels dry and tight after washing, that isn't clean -- that's your skin stripped of oils and it's bad. I like a light cleansing in the morning and a more thorough one at night. Though just one at night and a splash of water in the AM may be good for you.

  • Moisturizer. Always moisturizer, if you have dry skin - moisturize. If you have oily skin, it's likely your skin overcompensating for dehydration - moisturize. I like CeraVe in the tub. Any time you cleanse, moisturize right after.

  • Sunscreen, wear it every day, and thank me in 20 years (many of you do this but it can really never be said enough). Also, make sure you're wearing enough. I believe the suggested amount is 1/4tsp (which seems like a lot) but that's how it's intended.

  • THIS MAY BE YOUR WHOLE SKINCARE ROUTINE. Cleanse and moisturize + SPF. Be gentle with your skin and that may do more for it than anything else. Less is more sounds shocking and contrary to every grapefruit, walnut core exfoliation, blah blah commercial -- but true.

  • Tea Tree Oil is great for spot control on budding pimples, be sure to dilute it though. I'll say: just doing the above for about 2 weeks only -- I bought tea tree oil and came home to try it...didn't have a single pimple to test it on. For my skin, that's crazy. I couldn't believe it. Most irrational disappointment beer, but true. I got to try it the next day though (of course), and it stopped that bad boy in its tracks. Tickle me impressed. I bought mine for $6.99 at Trader Joe's.

  • If you must exfoliate (which I must to get rid of those nasty little bumps), look into an AHA or BHA chemical exfoliant. They are much more gentle and uniform than physical scrubs. I'm not there yet, but quite looking forward to it.

  • Why am I not there yet? Wait a minimum of 1 week in between start products. It's really hard taking crap care of your skin, researching how to take better care of it, and not being able to do that all at once. Introduce one product at a time and change nothing else about what you already do. If you use everything at once and break out...you won't know what caused it and back to square one. I'm starting a new sunscreen this week and then a BHA next week. I'm really excited and have high hopes...but patience.

  • Non-facial care: AmLactin Lotion -- omg. It's a body lotion with the most gentle AHA chemical exfoliant in it. I use it on my body post-shower and I never believed my skin could be so smooth and beautiful. If you have any red bumps...run to Target and buy some now. It's very basic (and with skin care, basic is usually best -- keep it simple) and I love it. I've never had visibly pretty leg skin before (which is a curse after all the good exercise has done them) and now I couldn't be more enthused about wearing dresses. Note: it's a bit stinky, it doesn't bother me for too long but I warned you!

Dental Care

  • You only have to floss the teeth you want to keep.

  • Seriously this section is the most straight forward: brush your teeth twice a day, floss every day, and after you floss rinse with a mouthwash. That's it. Your teeth will never be so beautiful/healthy. Also, don't neglect your tongue. That's where bacteria really settle in, brush that guy too.

  • If this at all motivates you to floss (understanding why do something is always more helpful to me then how), here is why: it isn't to get crap out from between your teeth (though added benefit). That's where bacteria forms and think of them like a forming anthill and you stepping on them. Your preventing bacteria from making a home in your mouth and it's a battle to be fought every day. Do this and your whole mouth will be outrageously hygienic.

El Fin

I'll admit, when I started this guide I didn't intend for it to be so long. I hope despite the word count it is welcome and provides anything useful for anyone. Again, I can't emphasize enough, I would love any of your open tips/insights/suggestions for anything related to self-care. I'm quite passionate about it (as you can perhaps see).


Below I'll suggest a few more sections that I don't have any tips for, I'd love it if you gave your best strategies in the comments.


Mental Health

I'm an anxious wreck and full-time stress ball in no position to offer advice to anyone. (Except exercise, that has helped me immeasurably and beyond words). I'm including the section though because it is important, and again, I really encourage any suggestions you ladies may have as I could definitely use it!

Time Management

Definite an important skill that ties into the rest. How do you do it??

Sleep

Sleep is an often-underrated part of the self-care process. There is quantity and quality in regards to making the most of it, and many of us (definitely myself) find ourselves lacking in one or both sections. If you wake up feeling amazing, please post how you do it!

Relaxation

Quite similar to mental health, and they definitely go hand in hand. But I think one is more long-term and the other is more "how do you empty your mind for an hour or two?" Mind is always buzzing and I can't shut it off.


Hopefully some of you find this helpful, and some of you can contribute where I most certainly lack.

Cheers!


[–]freebumblebeeendorsed woman 9 points10 points  (10 children)

Wow, this is an amazing post! Thank you so much for taking the time to write it up. I can't tell you how many times while reading it I wanted to copy/paste it into this comment to just be like yes. Yes yes yes.

Record keeping is amazing and should be (imo) extended to diet as well. I recently started using the My Fitness Pal app after ages of not using it, because it was easier for me to just add up calories on a calculator all day. The problem with that is there's no record of what I added up. If you're not an app kind of person, just writing down what you ate and the calories from it (macros if you're ambitious--annoying to do by hand) will also help. Another aspect of MFP I like is that you can friend people. I used to be embarrassed of doing so, but knowing that all my friends who check the app see things like, "freebumblebee logged for 15 days straight," "freebumblebee was under goal calories" etc. is super helpful to me. Accountability is huge.

I never kept detailed records for exercising, but I'd have a calendar and draw a check for days I worked out and a big X when I did it. There is no greater feeling than a month full of checks, and even knowing I'd have to put the X was enough for me to just suck it up and work out.

To add to the skin section--don't be afraid to see a doctor. This should actually be in every section. People get so caught up in wanting to do everything themselves that they don't want to ask for professional help. Go see a dermatologist if necessary, and go see your gynecologist if it's hormonal! I'm dealing with hormonal acne now after a lifetime of clear skin , and it's not something I can do alone with a simple or complicated routine, and that's okay. Getting help is such a big part of self-care. We are not robots. We can't do everything alone.

And IRT sunscreen: consider an Asian one. I buy a Shiseido one that's ten bucks on Amazon, and it goes on thin and smooth and actually makes my skin look better the way a makeup primer would. It's not sticky, it's not thick, and it doesn't make me the least bit greasy--if anything, it's drying. And if you want a tan, use self-tanner, not the sun. I feel better about my body when I'm tan, but I'm super pale. I use St. Tropez mousse in the summer once every 10 days or so, and I feel great.

For teeth: if yours are yellow, they won't magically bleach without a bleaching agent, even with the best of care. My mouth is way too sensitive for white strips and the like, but I periodically work in this in addition to toothpaste (it is not toothpaste) and get really good results without any sensitivity issues.

also you ladies cook a lot and I wouldn't be so condescending as to give you instructions on how to boil water.

This made me laugh. A blog I follow gave a recipe for avocado toast recently, and I was baffled. Like its own post. For how to put avocado on toast. And instead of toast, they just microwaved bread. I can't even.

[–]freebumblebeeendorsed woman 4 points5 points  (2 children)

And a quick note on mental health: mental health days/nights work wonders for me. I bring in all the cuddly blankets and pillows, make a bowl of ultimate comfort food (pasta for me), pour some wine or smoke some weed, watch a super comforting movie, light candles, use lotion, maybe do a hair mask. Basically just take care of me. It's been a nightmare year for me, and sometimes I get so caught up in everything that I need to reset.

Also, I completely feel you with the buzzy mind. I'm pretty ADHD and cannot turn it off. Melatonin supplements help me sleep, but I hate resorting to them (I can elaborate if you want to consider them, I just feel bad writing essay-length comments). Keeping a notebook by my bed helps too. I make lists of everything. Things I need to do the next day or week, meal plan ideas, sewing projects, things I meant to talk to SO about, stuff I want to try doing, whatever. My anxiety is in full swing at night, so it's super helpful to roll over, write something down, and stop worrying about it.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Ugh, bless you for your words of wisdom and I feel like we are spirit animals on the journey of this year. I commented above,

It's been a hellacious friggin year for me. Doing that 21st century post-graduate job finders' dance right now (which I can't even pretend is a "but nobody understands me!" type problem haha). I got an offer and the week the letter was due they put a national hiring freeze on for 6-8 weeks which sent me packing to my parents. That was a major blow and now I'm on Lexapro for the anxiety.

I'm sorry you're having a rough year also. I tell myself this is the thing I'll look back on a laugh at, not because it isn't serious but because this is the stuff life is made of.

I really think the notebook is a great suggestion. I'm a writer also and have a borderline notebook fetish. I have more notebooks than I could ever have things to write in them. There's something about the wonder of possibility I find in blank pages. They almost mean more to me blank than filled with my own jabber (which you can see I'm quite proficient at!). I definitely have plenty lying around I could dedicate to a bedside book, that's a wonderful suggestion and I really appreciate it.

Cheers to you and high hopes to both of us for the next 365 days (:

[–]freebumblebeeendorsed woman 2 points3 points  (0 children)

It was just a year filled with tragedy, plus a move to a place where I don't have any friends or a job. So freaking isolating. It'll get better for both of us though!

For time management, something that helps me is detailed lists of what needs doing. My SO made a powerpoint for me actually and each slide details one aspect of what I need to do daily/weekly--like "keep kitchen clean" and the five specific things that entails or "maintain relationship" and general comments like "be pleasant" or "avail yourself for sex" or whatever. I know that really doesn't work for some people or they feel it's controlling, but for me? It's a godsend. (And we have kind of a D/s thing that works into anyways). Some days he'll "inspect" too to make sure I'm doing the stuff (accountability is my lifesaver), but having all the bare basics detailed out helps keep me in line. It's so refreshing to be like, well, I did everything today. Anything else I do is just me being awesome.

And if you're really having a hard time sleeping, I take it back, I think melatonin is okay. There's a trick to it though. Only take it when you have at least 7 hours to sleep or it'll make you groggy. When you take it, you'll notice yourself nodding off after a time. Let yourself nod off. If you don't, you'll be up all night. It's like a bus you have to catch. I stopped taking it because I got crazy vivid weird dreams that I hated, but some people are into that. When I was at my worst with sleep, it was a lifesaver.

[–]dalls18 4 points5 points  (2 children)

I love MFP, it's such a good resource!

I buy a Shiseido one that's ten bucks on Amazon, and it goes on thin and smooth and actually makes my skin look better the way a makeup primer would.

Would it be too much to ask if you could link the one you use when you have time that sounds super cheap for the brand teehee, I've heard a lot about the brand, is it a sunscreen/moisturizer duo or just sunscreen?

Many thanks

[–]freebumblebeeendorsed woman 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I use this one. I don't think it's actually cheaper than American sold Shiseido, it's just smaller quantities (an ounce). I need moisturizer in addition to it, but in the summer I can use it in addition to tinted moisturizer or bb cream and be set. In the winter I need a heavier moisturizer.

[–]dalls18 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Ah yes, jackpot! Thanks so much

[–]eg457 2 points3 points  (0 children)

d

I also use St Tropez about once a week and it works awesome! For the in between days I use Sally Hansen Airbrush legs and I think it looks really natural, and I am a red head lol. Never go in the sun for a tan and always use sunblock are great pieces of advice!

[–]Sarah_Connor_Is_Fab 1 point2 points  (2 children)

$10 for Shiseido?!! I have to ask, is it real Shiseido? I completely agree that Shiseido is the way to go, the only brand I put on my face, but it always costs me at least $30 a bottle

[–]freebumblebeeendorsed woman 0 points1 point  (1 child)

It's only an ounce, that's why it's so cheap. It's probably the same price, but I don't go through it fast enough that I need to buy larger quantities. This is the one I buy.

[–]Sarah_Connor_Is_Fab 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thank you so so so much

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I've recently discovered that taking better care of my home and belongings has contributed to my sense of well-being. It started with a simple car wash and now I follow a daily cleaning checklist. I work in the evening, care for the baby when I'm not at work, and would get off the couch, determined to clean, only to become overwhelmed with "Where do I begin?" Two weeks in and it's become second nature.

About a week ago, I made a vow to put effort into my appearance. I've done my hair and makeup every day since, which is saying a lot. The last time I work makeup before that was when I married my Captain almost two years ago.

Today, I bought a Groupon for Gold's Gym. About seven years ago, I lost about 150 pounds. Through a series of unfortunate and tragic events, I've gained about 50 of those back. I was making excuses...no one to watch the baby, no energy, etc... Gold's Gym has child care. Boom. No more excuses.

I'm amazed at how important self-care really is to a womans well-being. Here's to the future. :)

[–]dalls18 2 points3 points  (5 children)

I love all of this! I agree with and do a lot of the same things you mentioned. I'm also obsessed with skincare and learning as much as I can about it. You did a beautiful job outlining everything out.

I would only add that the skin care routine should just only be slightly altered depending on your age group as well. Prevention is also key, so I'm glad you added the sunscreen. Introducing some retnoid derivative creams is important once you hit a certain age. Oils I found are also great. There is this oil called "luna" that I can't stop raving about, it's a bit pricey but if you go online you can find it at a bargain.

My mom is a dentist and she said flossing is the number 1 neglected thing by people she sees coming into her office, and it's the number one thing you can do to prevent cavities and dental/gum breakdown. It's annoying as heck but so will having pirate teeth.

I wish you had more in the mental health section :(. I struggle with that a lot too and find myself stressed out and anxious 99% of the time. I did however find this about cultivating a positive frame of mind that might help http://www.thesundaychapter.com/2015/08/9-ways-to-be-more-positive.html

Thanks for taking the time to write this. :)

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (4 children)

Second the skin care stuff -- it's definitely a complex topic that frankly I've only mastered the basics of so I didn't want to tread into territory I can't speak to. It sounds like you do OCM? I really want to try that but I'm also pretty scared as it ends in horror stories for some people (I don't know if you've read them but perhaps it's better if you haven't!).

I didn't use to floss at all, I started about 2 years ago when I dated a guy who always flossed his teeth. When I said I didn't (cuz who does, right?) he didn't get judgemental but he was shocked and said "but if you see all the gunk come out how can you be okay knowing it's just sitting there?" For whatever reason that was a home run in my head and now I'm quite regular about it.

And ugh, I second, third, and fourth the mental health section. I need so much work there it's a joke. The one wisdom I try to follow is that you have to be mindful of your mental health and physical health, and exercise and sleep are the very rare things that affect both. So I don't mess around with those. I like that article you posted!! I'm actually dealing with a bout of anxiety/depression right now and I think having a morning routine like it mentioned would be really helpful. First step is definitely the hardest with these things.

I'm hoping more RPW ladies will have some wisdom to offer on those blank sections! But I'm glad you enjoyed and thanks for reading (: (I know it was long!)

[–]dalls18 1 point2 points  (2 children)

I don't really do OCM, even though I did hear about it. If I do cleanse with oil which is rarely, I'll use the natural ones like olive or coconut. That's usually only if I have stubborn eye makeup cause the natural oils break it down so beautifully....I just apply some oils as a topical moisturizer like rosehip or vitamin E.

"but if you see all the gunk come out how can you be okay knowing it's just sitting there?

hahaah my mom said something similar and it haunts me when I skip. She also makes it a point to show me "all the stuff I miss" when she does cleanings. It's very gross...

Can I ask what kind of anxiety you have, have you ever been diagnosed?

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Just GAD, it's more circumstantial than chemical. I'm not in a relationship at present but this sub has made me realize a lot of my anxieties are my own making with my type A, controlling nature.

It's been a hellacious friggin year for me. Doing that 21st century post-graduate job finders' dance right now (which I can't even pretend is a "but nobody understands me!" type problem haha). I got an offer and the week the letter was due they put a national hiring freeze on for 6-8 weeks which sent me packing to my parents. That was a major blow and now I'm on Lexapro for the anxiety.

I'm very all or nothing so losing my whole schedule has been a lot of fun trying to deal with, this sub has been quite the comfort with all its emphasis on personal responsibility and accountability, which really means a lot to me.

[–]dalls18 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Doing that 21st century post-graduate job finders' dance right now (which I can't even pretend is a "but nobody understands me!" type problem haha)

haha it's fun isn't it?

I saw a therapist awhile back and she said anxiety is a lot about control and the fear of not having it. People who are more anxious have a great need to "know" how things will be in order to best control it. They have a need to predict in order to avoid "disastrous things that could possibly happen." I can relate to this a lot and is something I've continuously been trying to work on and understand to be more present in the present lol.

RPW has helped me understand a lot too :) and understand myself and my nature better.

[–]fuck-this-noise 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Reposting something I said elsewhere as I hope it can help you:

Mindfulness/meditation!

I can't speak highly enough of the Dialectical Behavioural Therapy books. They were initially targeted at those with BPD but are an amazing resource for any woman trying to keep her inner hamster at bay.

[–]anisetree 2 points3 points  (9 children)

This is incredible!! Thank you so much. I struggle with depression which can sometimes really mess up my ability to self-care, and reading this sub has helped a lot with that over the past few weeks. This post, in particular, is such a great resource to get everything together all in one spot. I do genuinely find that I'm happier when I'm taking care of myself and this was a good reminder to get at the start of the week.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (8 children)

Trust me, I understand.

I have most of the tools I need to succeed but sometimes employing them is a whole 'nother story. I find eating well leads to exercising frequently leads to self-love leads to eating well ad infinitum. Unfortunately the reverse is also true and nothing destroys amazing motivation like a few bad meals, bloating, plus depression. I'm having a really rough time of it now and it can be very hard to get yourself to do what you know you need to do (my very first bullet point makes itself). I've been wearing my gym clothes for 2 hours but haven't left yet if that tells you anything. I know I'll go but I'm in a real valley of no motivation at present.

I hope you find what you need and please don't hesitate to PM me if I can send you a simple routine or help you in anyway. I had so much help on my fitness journey and owe massive debts of gratitude to those who helped me to where I am now. The only way I can really ever repay them is to be a resource for those that come after me in the same way they did.

If it helps I sometimes I use one habit to reinforce the other. If I can floss every day I'll tell myself "See? You haven't quit flossing. You won't quit exercising. You can clearly stick to a plan." Any little pep talk can make all the difference (:

[–]anisetree 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Aww thank you so much. I'm saving this comment for future reference, and probably will end up PMing you at some point. Thank you, you're a sweetheart. <3

[–]anisetree 0 points1 point  (6 children)

Also, your explanation of your relationship with RPW is pretty much exactly mine. This is a brand new account because my old one is like ... so contrary in so many ways to this sub's teachings and yet everything here really resonates with me? So idek, I'm going with it and trying not to question it overly much!

[–][deleted]  (5 children)

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    [–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (4 children)

    No, you're wrong. Rpw means you can't be feminist. You can be whatever you want, but make sure you keep feminism out of here. We are explicitly antifeminist and if you read our sidebar and RP ideas you would know it's impossible to be both

    [–][deleted]  (2 children)

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        [–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

        if you dont think it is, you dont understand either RPW or Feminism

        [–]fuck-this-noise 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        I love you and this place.

        [–]fuck-this-noise 2 points3 points  (2 children)

        Mindfulness/meditation!

        I can't speak highly enough of the Dialectical Behavioural Therapy books. They were initially targeted at those with BPD but are an amazing resource for any woman trying to keep her inner hamster at bay.

        [–]littleteafox 1 point2 points  (1 child)

        This sounds interesting! I don't know much about DBT. What book would you recommend?

        [–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        Nice! I love self improvement threads :)

        I've taken the last six months off and I'm starting the next six months by doing a couple things as well to improve my daily habits.

        1. Using a retinoid to improve my skin texture
        2. Learning how to curl my hair and do a side braid
        3. Use the X Effect to do things more efficiently
        4. Increase calories '---> gain muscle & lower waist/hip ration b/c I look like a stick right now haha.
        5. Have fun and avoid consumer based activities as much as possible (tv watching/etc.) and focus on making things/dvlping hobbies/meeting ppl
        6. Cutting out all sugar, keeping it low carb/low dairy ---> works for my skin

        I'd say the most important thing is to establish consistency and have a routine. Once you do that, you're on your way to a better place.

        Good luck and cheers!

        [–]freshlybakedteehee 0 points1 point  (0 children)

        Thank you so much for posting this. I've been a lurker for quite some time nor and this post had given me a good jumping off point. Thanks again!

        [–]Beach_Baby 0 points1 point  (0 children)

        I just bookmarked this. Amazing post that I am particularly appreciative of!!

        [–]PinkAlice 0 points1 point  (1 child)

        Wonderful post! It includes several bits of information I had no thought about before. I really appreciate it, as do I see many others to as well.

        I have a question about fitness, which you may be able to answer or point me in the right direction to learn about. Due to recent lung and heart damage from a major health issue this year, I was on bedrest/light activities for 3-4 months. I've only just been cleared by a physician to return to work and to start on a very low intensity exercise regiment, if I so choose. Because of said damage, I'm extremely fatigued after work, as the physician already warned me I would be (once I'm off shift, I end up requiring up to 10 hours of sleep to be fit for my next shift). Less lazy/lack of motivation, more actual physical limitations at the moment.

        Do you have any suggestions for low intensity exercises I can perform at home? My plan is to increase my tolerance before I obtain a local gym membership, with the added bonus that doing the exercises at home will be initially safer in my individual case.

        [–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

        So I just typed out a rather massive pm to a user who asked me (God bless her if she gets through it) that addresses a lot about your concerns/situation. I'll post some here, and try and keep what's relevant to you:

        Here is my routine at the moment, it's very "back to basics" but I'm a point in my life where I think that's a good thing for the time being. I tend to change my routine every 3 months or so I would guess?

        Here is a good beginner's place to start as well. Now, you say you don't have a gym membership. What I do is mostly done in a gym, but there are tons of great at-home options. This will still give you an idea though:

        The parenthesis is (reps x sets).

        Lifting Day A

        • Squats (12-15 x 4)

        • Bench Press (12-15 x 4)

        • Glute Bridges (15-20 x 4)

        • Pull Ups (5 x 4)

        • Bicep accessory lift

        Lifting Day B

        • Stiff-Legged Deadlifts (12-15 x 4)

        • Overhead Shoulder Press (12-15 x 4)

        • Barbell Rows (12-15 x 4)

        • Push Ups (5 x 4)

        • Tricep accessory lift

        Running Days

        • Medium run (5-6 miles, ~1 hour)

        • Long run (7-8 miles, ~1.5 hours)

        • Easy run/walk (6 mile walk, 90 minutes or 2-3 mile run, 30 minutes)

        I alternate each day and keep rest days on Friday, so it usually looks like

        • Saturday - Lift A

        • Sunday - Long run

        • Monday - Lift B

        • Tuesday - Medium run

        • Wednesday - Lift A

        • Thursday - Easy run

        • Friday - Rest

        Then the following week the A's and B's flip so each week is A/B/A then B/A/B

        So more about you (okay, I'm officially going full speed at you now, and am anticipating this getting long haha, so be warned)

        To not over-complicate it (because frankly I'm no expert), you can think of your body as being divided into muscular sections (chest, back, core, arms, legs), and each section is composed of several distinct muscles. Those sections have pairs of opposing muscles, which is when x muscle is flexed, y muscle relaxes (chest/back, biceps/triceps, quads/hamstrings).

        So your objective is to hit each muscle group, and keep a balanced routine. Because if your chest is much stronger than your back, it'll pull your posture forward; if your quads are much stronger than your glutes, your pelvis bone will tilt.

        So those principals I apply to my routine should apply to yours, even if you do different exercises out of the gym.

        For that, I recommend /r/bodyweightfitness. They're exactly what you need; complete routines using just your body as a counterweight (like in push ups). I know there is a beginner's guide on the side bar.

        In addition, I really enjoy variety in my workouts. Common wisdom says I will look much better if I am consistent and vigilant with a structured program and tracked calories...but where's the fun? So I also do a lot of things you don't need a gym for.

        Push ups, good chest exercise, don't need a gym. Except instead of doing girl push ups, which will actually not target the muscle correctly and will make it much harder to progress to real push ups, do angled push ups. Aka, use stairs or ropes like TRX to put your hands on instead of the ground. Make the angle as high as you need it to be (the highest being 90* with your hands on a wall, aka 0lbs) in order to preform the push up with correct (not girl) form. Decrease tha angle little by little until you are on the floor (: Also helpful are "negative movements" aka doing it "backwards" to practice it. For push up, instead of pushing up (which you can't do), start with your arms locked at the top of the push up, then lower yourself down as slowly as you can. Do more times/slower until you can do a full push up. Ta da!

        But if you're training chest, you need back. Pull ups are push ups evil twin. They are REALLY hard for girls. I definitely can't do one, I only just started with them in this routine because they are pretty intimidating. Pull ups are with your palms facing outward, not toward you (chin ups). You can definitely do negatives though. So just find a park with monkey bars or something, grab the bad and jump up and lock your arms like you're at the top of a pull up. Then, lower yourself down as slow as you can. At first, slow will be quite fast haha, those things are hard.

        Google TRX btw, I don't know how much those cost but they are KILLER workout tools to get an amazing workout in at home. I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner. I don't know how much they cost though. Those would be a great option, though a luxury, if they worked out for you.

        Anyway for legs I recommend a combination of lunges, body squats, the even better body squat jumps, sprints, wall sits, or even things like hiking at an incline. Those can all give you pretty great legs and a firm butt. For hamstrings I don't personally know how to do a body weight movement but I'm sure there are plenty to be found on Google.

        Biceps can be done with cheap and light Dumbbells, or by doing chin ups (pull ups cousin). If you get dumbbells Google hammer curls. LOVE those for outer bicep definition. Triceps can be done by doing dips, I don't know how to do those at home but I guarantee there are videos.

        Now, let me give you a pointer with these..an unfortunately it's a bit abstract and to really master it would be to essentially master weight lifting (which people do) -- bear in mind the "mind muscle connection". I'm sure you can find a google explanation better than I can, but it essentially emphasizes feeling your muscles contract and truly controling them. Think of it this way. Flex your bicep. You hold your fists up and your elbows at a 90 degree-ish angle, yes? Now relax your arm. Hold your arm out straight and flex your bicep, slowly. Let your flex steadily pull your relaxed forearm up smoothly until your elbow is at that same 90 degree angle. Think of how you just got your arm to such a simple position. Your biceps job is to control your elbow joints (this is very simplified) Relax your arms and then put them straight out in front of you again. Without flexing, just put your hand up to the 90 degree angle, naturally as you would do it to wave to someone. Though your bicep did still flex into the same position, the stress wasn't the same. Much of the stress went to your joints. You need to control where the stress comes from.

        This is the essence of weight lifting. When you jump, don't jump at the knees -- feel your glutes and quad power your into the air. When you walk up stairs now, all stairs, every time -- feel your glutes activate, not your knees. With push ups, don't cave in at the waist, don't put the stress on your elbows either. Feel it in your chest. Be aware of where it comes from.

        For core, my favorite thing to do is actually head stands. I'm not in hand stand territory yet, but headstands are very learnable and a great tool. I started balancing with my knees on my elbows and not even being able to get farther, and now I can lift my legs off the ground and overhead without bending my knees. I love to go floor-headstand-slowly lower to floor-back up to headstand to really work my core. No gym necessary!

        Planks are also great. That's good you're already incorporating them. You can find great plank sequences online (ex. standard plank 60 seconds, 10 second rest, left side 60 seconds, 10 second rest, right side, rest, left/right leg up, rest, left/right arm up, rest).

        I also think running is an acquired taste but once you enjoy it, it can be amazing. I always hated running until I read an article and had an epiphany about it, and from then on out started running 5+ miles regularly. Also, doesn't require a gym.

        Sprints are great for many reasons. Also look into HIIT cardio workouts. Many require no gym and it's a great way to do a pretty hard workout in just 15-20 minutes.

        Look on Meet Up for nearby yoga classes, I think some are free or at least really cheap. Depending on where you live, I've never actually done it but it's a good option.

        Phew. If you read this far you are very brave and I commend you.

        But you have the attitude and that is sincerely more than half the battle won. Particularly given that you've had quite the medical set back, I haven't experienced anything similar but I can only hope I would have your "back at it" attitude if I did. You say your fatigued but I think with much of these they are easy to start slow. Just do a couple jumps. Walk instead of run. Start push ups with a high hangle. Plank for 15 seconds at first and build up to 60. You get the idea -- this is all based on a speed that is comfortable for you. Over-exertion will never do you any favours.

        So, if you're brave enough to ever ask my a fitness question again, don't hesitate to PM me. Fitness is very much "it takes a village" and I've gotten much help on the way. I would say good luck but you don't need it! (:

        [–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

        This is awesome! Thanks so much for writing in such detail. I completely agree with what you wrote about fitness. I think finding a workout you actually enjoy and look forward to is key.

        I also do a minimalist skincare routine. FWIW, I love Kiehl's moisturizing sunscreen for my face. I think it's better than Shiseido! I exfoliate once a week with a mixture of brown sugar and olive oil and use Ponds Cold Cream cleanser to wash my face. I highly recommend this routine for anyone here with very dry skin.

        I think meditation is a great place to start when it comes to relaxation and mental health. Different styles of meditation work for different people (kind of like with fitness) so don't get frustrated if it takes a while to get into it. I think it's helpful to begin with an audio recording that actually leads you through the meditation (rather than just sitting and trying to hack it out yourself). There are christian meditations, buddhist meditations, secular wellness meditations, new age meditations, humanist meditations, etc. I'd start with whatever feels the most relatable and just feel your way around. Beginning with just 15 minutes a day is a great way to start (I know that doesn't seem long now, but starting with an hour long meditation is kind of like running a marathon without training).

        Also, meditation doesn't have to look how it looks in movies (e.g. sitting cross-legged and zen-like in an empty room as wind chimes sound in the distance). You can meditate in the bath, you can meditate while you do a face mask, you can meditate while you stretch (I do), or while you go on a long hike (I do that too). For me, moving my body helps clear my mind. Sometimes I'll begin my meditation while hiking and then when I get to the highest point/turnaround point I'll do a silent 15 minute meditation and walk back.

        I'm happy to share more about mental health if anyone has questions!

        [–]khous 0 points1 point  (0 children)

        Bless this post, bookmarked and will probably print it, ty so much

        [–]Kittenkajira 0 points1 point  (0 children)

        So much great stuff in there! I started doing that bro-split workout a few weeks ago. SO likes to do it right after getting home from work, so I'm doing it then as well. I found pretty short one (maybe around 30 minutes), and it's actually fun. I did some research and figured out how to modify the exercises for at-home with dumbbells and an exercise ball. I think the key for me exercising long term is that it needs to be something I can do at home. Once we get really good at this routine, maybe in 4-6 months, we'll start adding to it.

        I really enjoyed your section on motivation. I'd forgotten about some of my old techniques until I read that. I've found in the past that putting things firmly in the "no choice" category right along side showering and brushing teeth makes me more likely to consistently do them.

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                    [–][deleted] -1 points0 points  (2 children)

                    Gross

                    [–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (1 child)

                    Curiosity -- why the hate for that comment? It's like a really generic one (akin to saying "this post is the bees knees" or something like that) which is why I said its my favourite. My old boss would default to telling people "you're a gentleman and a scholar" (or lady if a woman) whenever my coworkers did a good job on something.

                    [–][deleted] -1 points0 points  (0 children)

                    we have been tryin gto put the kibosh on pussy worship and unicorn sucking up in here for months and it keeps getting worse and worse, maybe as a newbie who is self admittedly NOT rpw you ought to comment and question less and read more