Happy New 2014 everyone! And may I start with a heartfelt apology for being MIA for over 2 months now. My reason? It’s the same thing that is always the reason I am always messing myself up – being unkind and unreasonable with myself. For the past 8-9 weeks I’ve physically felt terrible and exhausted. Emotionally, I’ve been depressed and stressed like I haven’t been in years. To be honest, it’s been horrible. And the worst part? What I needed was to rest, not push myself and know that just like every other rough patch I’ve weathered, this would not last forever. I need to just let it be. But I’m terrible at that, so I fought it every step of the way. When I was nauseous and needed to eat something too carby for me because it’s all I could stomach, I felt guilty and weak willed. Each day that I was too exhausted to work out I told myself I was lazy and getting fatter by the second. I felt like a huge slacker each day that I wasn’t able to go into work, write a blog or return an email. Perhaps what’s worst of all is that I judged myself harshly for feeling all of this. I felt extremely guilty for not just relishing in my current state, rather than feeling so stressed about it. I compounded the guilt by feeling guilty for feeling guilty. It got ugly. So ugly that I had a meltdown a couple weekends ago that ended with me in tears. I was so down in it that I couldn’t see ever feeling better, ever kicking butt at my job again, ever being in shape again,ever feeling a good mother or wife again. I felt terrible and was terrified that I would never feel better. And worst of all, I felt guilty that I felt that way. After all I was pregnant, something so many women I work with struggle with. I was so ashamed that I wasn’t simply counting every wave of nausea as a blessing and simply being grateful. To be honest, I felt like just an awful, selfish person. And from that place, of course I didn’t feel I had much to offer you all (my readers ), my patients, my lovely little daughter or the new one on the way. So on top of the nausea, fatigue and side of guilt, I felt like I was a failure on all fronts. So there I was, stuck in judgment of myself, my feelings and should-ing all over myself: I should be able to eat better even if I physically feel ill. I should be overjoyed and grateful that I’m pregnant. Many women would kill to be nearly 39 and easily pregnant with baby #2 – I should not be such a terrible person. I should be happier. I should be at the gym right now….. I should get dressed. I should not be flipping out about gaining weight and having to lose it all over again. I am the “love your body” girl, right?? I should come up with a super adorable, creative way to announce my pregnancy in Facebook even though I don’t have the energy to take a shower. I should not feel so scared about having another baby, people do it all the time. I should have my s#@$ together better than this…… I should, I should, I should….the list was endless. Should instantly implies that things aren’t OK as they are – that you aren’t OK as you are. It opens up a rabbit hole of feeling sorry for yourself that’s so easy to slip into.You feel helpless instead of powerful. And it’s usually a one way ticket to the Eff-its. That’s where I was just a couple weeks ago…thank goodness that I’ve actually have learned a thing or two in the past 38 years. However, this time it took a long time for me to catch the runaway train my fatalistic mind was on. But I did finally pull the breaks – just in time for New Year’s resolutions. There is no shortage of resolution blogs out there, but this one is a bit different (and two weeks late!) Instead of making a list of goals and things I am going to do or not do this year, I’m keeping it very simple: In 2014, I am going own all of my choices. In this case, I dug myself out of the guilty, judgmental hell of my own making like this: I chose to add another member to my family. I am not a victim of this circumstance. This is my choice. I know I have skills to handle a tough stretch, I choose to use them. I choose to trust myself that if I derail my nutrition plan for the sake of managing nausea, I will get back on track when I’m ready. I choose to be grateful every day – especially when things feel bad. I choose to trust that I have the resources to whip my body back into shape when the time comes. I choose to give myself grace first, push myself second. I choose to trust that rough patches do end, life goes on. I choose BETTER, not perfect. This is not a natural position for me to take – as I’ve been told recently, “Brooke, you love to self-flagellate.” I hadn’t heard it put quite that way, but yeah, I guess I do! That’s my default: I’m bad, I’m wrong, I should be doing better. Like any habit I try to change, I’m using my 6 step process to guide me. Works every time! Because it’s such an ingrained reaction to opt for the bad instead of choosing the good, I’m not going to try and change the default. Rather, I’m going to focus on building these new habits: choosing powerfully, accepting 110% responsibility for those choices and opt for grace as much as possible. And that’s how I’m going to decrease the “should-ing” and increase the choosing and make 2014 a kinder, gentler year of growth. How about all of you? Are you should-ing all over yourself? Please stop, thank you. If you need that “resolution blog” fix from Dr Brooke, I think it would be hard to top this one from 2013 🙂 or maybe this one. And most importantly, if anyone out there is finding themselves in a rough patch, please give yourself some grace. Don’t judge yourself for feeling the way you do. Trust it will pass. Make empowered choices to feel BETTER. As for me, I’m feeling much, much better – finally! I’ve got a few workouts under my belt and have finally put down a few servings of vegetables this week. I’m even getting excited for the new little Larson girl that we’re expecting in July.
That’s right, it’s a girl! Miss Lola has already decided her baby sister’s name will be Lucy….we’ll see 🙂 Happy 2014 everyone! I’ve got some exciting stuff going on for PCOS and Hashimoto’s this year – stay tuned! I’m back to doing Q&A’s every Thursday on Facebook at 3pm EST, please join me. And I hope everyone is staying warm out there – it’s frigid in NYC but I know many have it much, much worse! #beBETTER