Off the Mat is a series on YBC that shares what I've been up to off the yoga mat. This post is brought to you in part by Swatch. All opinions, as always, are my own.
I'm thrilled to partner with Swatch as part of their #YOURMOVE campaign, which celebrates their new line called SKIN. It's super lightweight and very thin - an ideal watch for someone who doesn't like feeling bogged down... who wants to put it on and forget it's even there...until, of course, they want to know the time. I love mine, the SKINSTEPS style, which features minimalist design with silver bracelet and white face. I wore mine with my new pale pink sweatshirt, and two silver bracelets I pretty much never take off. A go-with-everything kind of watch that's so lightweight, I even wore it to yoga without an issue. My brother's birthday is coming up, and he is the kind of guy who doesn't wear jewelry, but who has said in the past he wants to get a watch but doesn't want to be weighed down by it, constantly reminded that it's there. I'm pretty sure this watch would meet his requirements!
It has been a whirlwind of a summer, and I wish there were a pause button I could press so I could just breathe it in and make it last a little longer. I was absolutely beat when I got back from my long trip to London, Greece, Dubai and Kenya. I was jet lagged and in need of some relaxation and lots of sleep. I decided to take a spontaneous last minute trip to Cape Cod to regroup. I rented the cutest little house in Dennis, walking distance to the beach, and I prepped food ahead of time so I wouldn't have to worry about cooking.
I'm laughing about it now, how ridiculous it sounds to be exhausted after a super long but super fun trip, but those big retreat trips are not vacations for me - it's definitely work. I am also so worried about whether people are enjoying themselves and if they're happy, so it was nice to have a few days on the Cape to totally relax, and not have to worry about anyone else but myself.
On my flight home from Kenya I finished A Little Life. Whew, that was an intensely sad read. The writing is beautiful but man, I felt sick to my stomach to the point where I legit had to put it down for a few days before I could pick it up again. Then at other points in the book, I felt so profoundly sad about it - I was a sobbing mess on the flight home. Honestly, it's a great book, but not at all uplifting, and not something I would recommend unless you're in a really good mental space.
After that, I had to switch it up. I couldn't handle another heavy book. While on the Cape, I whipped through two really great quick reads. The first was this, a thriller with a completely unexpected ending. (I did NOT see that coming, did any of you?!) And the second was this, something I purchased because I'd heard good things but I wasn't necessarily sure I'd like since I'm not big into non-fiction reading for pleasure, but I read it in a day and was fascinated! Now I need a new book! Lauren just mailed me a favorite of hers, so I'll start that next and keep you posted.
Tracking macros wasn't possible while I was traveling. Or rather, it was technically possible, but it would've meant sacrificing my sanity and I'm only hanging on by a string as it is, so... haha, but in all seriousness, I wasn't about to track my macros while traveling. To me, it's much more important to just live in the moment and enjoy what each country has to offer than worrying about finding a good wifi connection so I can log into My Fitness Pal app and find the exact food I'm eating. Not worth it, you know?
So I was very compassionate with myself, and told myself I'd get back on the horse when I got home. And why did I want to do that? Two reasons. One, I could tell, based on how my clothes were fitting, that my body composition had changed, and I was starting to feel uncomfortable in my clothing and in my skin. Second, I could tell, based on various symptoms, that my hormones were thrown off. I've noticed that this happens when I eat a diet heavy in fat. (My tendency to gravitate towards fat likely goes back to my GAPS days because fat is so super healing for the gut lining. But once the gut is healed, many of the people I know who've followed GAPS, have found that their hormones are thrown off.) And that's where the macros come in. Counting macros is one way to ensure you're eating a balanced diet. So in order to keep my fats in check and ensure I'm getting enough carbs (something I rarely do, probably due to my GAPS background where carbs are somewhat limited), I track macros.
The day after I got back from my trip, I did a big grocery pick-up and started prepping. In just ten or so days of being back on track, I am finally starting to feel better (though my hormonal acne breakout is taking its sweet time healing up, but is indeed healing, thankfully).
In addition to the macros, I'm trying to be pretty conscious of the micronutrients as well. I recently saw a dermatologist for the random (but fierce!) hormonal acne breakout I had. I shut her down when she started talking about birth control (that messes with your gut flora and I'm not at all interested in hampering with that anymore!), and I told her I was more interested in a holistic approach to balancing out my hormones. She was awesome and completely switched her tune from conventional medication to a food-based approach. She mentioned a number of micronutrients I should look into including magnesium, zinc, folate, and more. It was interesting, because when I looked up the list of micronutrients she'd written out for me and compared them to the quiz I took in my micronutrient book, I'd already come up deficient in all of them. So I really think there is something to be said for micronutrients and their importance and vital roles in our overall health.
So now it's just a matter of planning meals that will incorporate those micronutrients, and keep me within my macronutrient numbers. It's all kind of trial and error at this point for me, but I kind of like the challenge. I am fascinated by how the body works and responds to how we treat it and what we put into it.
That said, I try not to be too crazy about it. When I went to Cape Cod, I'd done a lot of prep work so the majority of my meals were very clean and healthy. And then, because it was the Cape, I had to try my first-ever lobster roll (that came with fries that I picked at). #LETMELIVE, you know?!
Listening To Lately
I just discovered this song, which has been fueling my workouts lately, and Praying is on repeat for stretching and yoga after my workouts. Thoughts on the new Taylor Swift song? I am not a big TS fan, but the song is annoyingly catchy. I also have the new one by Katy Parry and Nicky Minaj on repeat.
While traveling I watched A Hologram For the King, which was pretty good, and The Last Word, which I really, really liked. I tried to watch Jackie but was bored to tears and had to turn it off halfway through, which was totally unexpected - I normally love Natalie Portman and these types of movies...
To be honest, I'm struggling a bit with depression. I think, for the last year, which has been pretty hard on me due to my divorce, I've been drowning myself in work as a way to not have to deal with my shtuff. I've been going full steam ahead since the book tour, multiple retreats and workshops all of the world. I know I need to slow down, so I'm looking forward to staying relatively put for the next month. I've resolved to spend more time with my friends, and if my health insurance ever goes through, see my old shrink. Sometimes the only way forward is through. Sending love to everyone out there who needs it. Hugs. xo