The “Is she going hiking?” Starter Pack

 

Backpack – Saint Laurent Hunting Rucksack in Black Canvas and Leather. This bag is sleek, comfortable, and of course looks good with any outfit. Working out or not.

Shoes – New Balance 574 Paint Chip Sneakers. I love these sneakers! Comfy & cute.

Shirt – Anthony Thomas Mellilo (ATM) The Sweetheart Tee in White. I am obsessed with how comfortable this well fitting tee is. Perfect on the go mommy or non mommy shirt. 

Pants – Nike Dri-Fit Leggings in black. Nike pants.  Always.

30 Day Anxiety Challenge (Pt. 2)

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Runyon Canyon sunset view on Christmas

Walking up a heavily populated hill for 30 days straight may not seem like a big deal to many people, but to someone festering with full blown anxiety, it really is.

In my last post I shared about the hell that is Postpartum Anxiety, so in this post I get to share with you the sort of baby steps I took to start taking care of myself. To start feeling like I own a bit of my life again. To start feeling whole again.

I live at the foot of a popular hiking spot in West Hollywood called Runyon Canyon and up until December my attempts at getting my ass up that hill on an even close to regular basis, were beyond futile. I knew I wasn’t even close to being in the kind of shape I used to be before I had a baby. I knew that the days of getting hammered the night before and working it off the next day with my gorgeous friends, were long gone. And I knew that although I was more than okay with those days being over, there would be a million other much more beautiful young people there to take my young place & compare my present self to… To in turn have all eyes on me, the lone mother just pushing her pale mommy ass up a hill. I knew that never seeing a familiar face anywhere I go in this overpopulated city was getting too lonely to bear.

By the time my daughter turned 1 at the end of November, I was screaming for a change in the right direction. Not for my left over baby weight, for my sanity. I’d gotten so far beyond the point of fear & self hate that if I didn’t make some type of change I felt that I was going to seriously implode. I couldn’t bear the thought of my daughter growing up seeing a fear filled shell of a mom. I made a promise I’d give her so much more than I ever had and I intended on sticking to that.

I told myself that if I could just stick to putting myself in a very public place such as Runyon every single day for a month, it could only get easier to be seen and to be present… and to start to feel like I was a part of this crazy city. I mean, it had to have some type of positive effect, right? Anything had to be better than the now that I was in, then.

So I did it for a day. And then the next day I did it again. And then another day. And another. halfway into it, there were eventually a few days that I had to miss due to every one of us at home getting sick at one point or another but I made up for it by adding on another day. The promise was just to do this 30 days, even if it took 40 days. Fellow moms with small children will understand, that timetable was still pretty good.

The beginning was obviously the hardest. When I passed anyone heading towards us, I instantly always shifted my gaze. I rarely made eye contact. I mean most people in LA don’t, let’s be honest. In my past 5 years of California living, I’d honed in on my ROYAL resting b***h face and it was perfect. It was my best form of protection out here. I was absolutely sure that everyone was judging harshly the winded sweaty mom pushing a stroller up hill at 3pm. It was uncomfortable and in the beginning every time I left my house, I dreaded it. Slowly but surely though, I started to realize that this phrase rings true:

“No one thinks about you as much as you do.”

So you’re much better off reevaluating how much you actually take things personally rather than worrying about what the hell other people are thinking about you. Chances are they’re probably not thinking about you at all. And if they are thinking about you, knowing that whatever they do think will not make or break you. If theyr’e judging you, it’s because they themselves feel insecure. People’s opinions of you REALLY are NONE of your business.

Trying to keep this in mind I kept going and day by day it got a little easier physically & emotionally to complete the challenge. I shared with close friends what I was up to and invited them to join, and some even did. *Shoutout to the homies

Somewhere in-between the realization that Nike is making bank off of Runyon Canyon in size ‘S’ & ‘XS” and the first smile at a passerby on my mama-baby trek, a shift started happening. A shift in my being and it was slow but just too good.

After a while it no longer felt like a Me vs. Them world and after bearing the weight of that feeling most of my life and specially the past 5 years, and SPECIALLY this last year, I finally felt like I could breathe. I could actually breathe that smoggy air and not mind at all. Not even one bit. Okay maybe a little bit, it’s disgusting. Have you seen the blanket that covers the city every day?

Anyway, I’m not saying that I landed a cure all here. What I am saying though is that dopamine is my homeboy after being a once long lost friend. Not just dopamine from the physical act of working out, but as the result of every chance I took shooting a smile and increasingly receiving one back. From setting a goal and not giving up on it. From feeling whole again. I don’t know what I expected coming out of this challenge I set for myself, I certainly didn’t expect a cure for anxiety… But what I’m taking away from it is invaluable. Knowing that every single day I leave my house, regardless of destination, baby on hip or in stroller… I AM going to feel anxious, that has been and will always be a part of who I am. But just being okay with that, it’s so freeing. This is a 30 day challenge that put me a half a step closer to accepting myself. Watch out LA.

xo

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Pretending to be tourists while our daughter judges us harshly

 

Coming Soon…

I gave myself a #30daychallenge to help me stare my postpartum anxiety in the face and tell it to screw off… As it turns out the challenge itself was easier than writing about it. Writing about anxiety is much harder than I thought it might be.

Anyhow, the post will be out soon and I invite you all to give it a read whether you’re a mother or not.

xo

My Postpartum Boobs & That B**** Victoria

 

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Don’t let the smooth contour of this b&w photo deceive you, there are swollen bee stings under that shirt

First off, I want to say screw you Victoria’s Secret.

Secondly, a little side note screw you to Hollywood and all the ways you make women feel bad about our bodies.

I take full credit for never fully appreciating the perfect white snow globes that sat atop my pre-mommy chest for what they were, but I will not take full credit for the massive emotional break down that took place in a Victoria’s Secret fitting room this week as I tried to find something new for my post baby/ post breastfeeding boobs.

I’ve recently become the newest member of the itty bitty titty committee and this set of chesticles is completely unfamiliar to me. I’m working with all new material here, literally & figuratively. I’m swimming in the bras I wore even 6 months ago… And to further prove my point, even my once tight as all hell sports bras are lipping at the top… Who the hell knew that was possible? I certainly didn’t.

I’m learning to be okay with these changes… Always sort of wanted a smaller chest, now *poof* you got it mama.

And believe me, I have no real qualms with the toll that motherhood takes on the body. If someone were to tell me that in order to be a mom, you’ll have to end up completely covered in stretch marks from head to toe, your hair will turn shit green & yellow, and all of your finger nails will fall out… I would still do it. My life with my 1 year old and the 7 months we spent breastfeeding are irreplaceable. My issue is not the body changes, my issue is the excess of expectations and the lack of real awareness around it. I could delve so much deeper into this and in fact I surely will in future writings, but I want to keep this post about the cha chas.

I blame myself for not knowing better that the place I bought my bras at 17 years old should NOT be the same place I buy my bras at 28. I don’t shop at Forever 21 any longer because I’m far past 21 and am no longer a fan of quickly disposable clothes, so from now on I’m putting VS in that same DO NOT SHOP category for the same reason. I found out exactly what Victoria’s dirty little Secret is: She’s a sneaky son of a b**** that’s monopolized the market for bra boutiques and made sweet perky 16 her target age shopper.

I do sort of joke. But in all honesty, over the years I’ve done enough shopping there to know that although it seems like a store full of options, in reality it’s a dressing room full of disappointment. Even in my very young, very bouncy days I usually left the store empty handed and discouraged (with the exception the ol’ 5 for $25 deal on PINK lacy underwear that fell apart after 3 washes).

Although the young girl that helped me there recently did the best that she could offering up a few suggestions and giving me new measurements for my little boobies, no amount of crappy products that they had on their racks would have prevented the monsoon of tears that flowed freely as I snuck out of the fitting room to rush my husband & baby out the door with me. I was in a store that I no longer felt I belonged in and after trying for years & years to make it work… My body had made the final decision for me and said get the hell out of here and never look back.

I gave myself a day of self loathing and the next day marched my ass to Nordstrom at The Grove. Upstairs tucked away in the corner of the store was a cute little selection of bras that was far far less overwhelming than the shit storm of a store I walked into the day before…

It was then in that fitting room I experienced a little bit of heaven. I swear to god I saw a cherub fly out from between my cleavage.

I found at least 8 bras that made me feel again like the badass mama that I am. And the sales associate was a patient dream to boot. The selection was smaller but the amount of quality bolder holders (or in my case, pebble holders) I stumbled upon was largely unbelievable. The kicker to all this?  These bras were the SAME PRICE POINT as the last place and I even found 1 particular killer Calvin Klein bra that unbeknownst to me set to be moved to Nordstrom Rack & marked down to $21.97. I’m wearing it right now, it’s the equivalent of both my breasts being hugged by their own individual clouds.

That night I went home with 4 perfect little bras in hand* and in my head had a small funeral service for my late big boobs. I told them I’m sorry I never treated them right by giving them the bra they deserved and for never fully appreciating them in their glory… But it was time to say goodbye. I then looked down at my wiser more experienced itty bitties and told them they had been through enough… From now on I choose quality over Secrets any day and I hope that this reaches some other mommies out there before they have to have a break down in a fitting room too. Please know that it’s not you, it’s them. I really mean that.

xo mamas ( . )( . )

 

 

*Betsey Johnson & Calvin Klein, you my homies