The pandemic is beginning to dwindle, and it’s ok if part of you is grieving

The pandemic is beginning to dwindle, and it’s ok if part of you is grieving

In late March 2020, I sat on our reclining chair in the living room and watched the United States shut down. Within 72 hours, my children were home 24/7, I had multiple anxiety attacks about my husband going into his office for work, and my hands were cracked and bloody from overusing hand sanitizer.

I couldn’t process any of it, so I cried. I grieved. I grieved over our business, an art gallery, temporarily shutting down at the state’s request. I grieved for my kindergartner who wouldn’t see her friends for a long time (because let’s be honest, any of us who had a basic biology class knew that “fourteen days to stop the spread” was complete bullshit). I grieved for myself because all of my childcare was gone, but the job was still there and needed tending to. I grieved for my college students who were suddenly online learners and probably never wanted it to be that way. I anxiously grieved for my parents, in their sixties, who may not be able to survive COVID-19 if they caught it.

This probably sounds familiar, eh? The sudden changes, twists, and turns brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic brought most of us to tears and to our knees. Suddenly, life as we knew it was over.

Fast-forward a year, and cases are down significantly from April 2020. We know how the virus works. We know social distancing works. We know that masks work. At least 18% of the US population 18+ has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Schools are back in session, and according to the CDC, people who have been fully vaccinated are permitted to hang out mask-free with other vaccinated folks and to travel again.

It is, however, a change — and any change can cause grief. If you’re a little sad that this season of your life is ending, well sis — you are not alone.

There will likely never again be a time during our lives when we will have our children with us 24/7. I know; I know — “thank God,” right? Sure, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t happy to be “the person” for my children all day, every day. I remedied every cut, burn, or scratch. I dried every tear. I made the decision whether something was worth crying about. I resented the last parent-teacher conference where I was told my daughter is “too emotional over everything.” While the pandemic strapped me for any time whatsoever to myself, it allowed me to transfer that freedom to my children and give them the safe, comfy space that I know they deserve.

When our children are in school, we wonder. We worry. We overthink it. Despite the non-cholent way we brush our hair off our shoulders as we gossip over salads and lemonades with friends while our kids are in school, be honest: Deep down, we worry constantly.

Was that rambunctious kid mean to her again? Is the Spanish teacher snapping out on all of the kindergartners like she did last week? Did she It’s Tuesday — did I sent money for ice cream? For fuck’s sake, she better not solicit her friend for ice cream money if I forgot. Will she end up catching the stomach bug? Please God, no. Please. I can’t deal with puke.


The truth is that when something changes, we lose. We lose a routine; we lose our stability; we may even lose part of ourselves. And while “positive change” is the understatement of the past year from hell, it’s still a loss. It seemed unimaginable to us to settle into the “new normal” (can we cancel that phrase, please?) a year ago. We became grade school teachers, students of infectious diseases, and — albeit — zombies with hair that hadn’t been washed or died for quite some time. We became advocates for science. We stood up to friends and family members who wouldn’t take this horrific pandemic seriously. Those of us who were quiet spoke up, and those of us who spoke up learned to listen and to understand that we really are not in control of anything.

As we leave this phase of our lives as women, adult children, mothers, and employees, we will never forget where we came from over the past year. If you watch your partner leave for work after working at home for a year and sneak into the bathroom to cry afterwards, it’s okay. If you painfully watch your kids, donning a mask and a smile, hop onto the school bus and you feel a little bit angry inside, it’s okay.

If you’re grieving that this chapter is over, it’s okay.

10 running myths we need to permanently bust

10 running myths we need to permanently bust

I’ve been running for a decent amount of time now: almost six years! Through those six years, I have suffered multiple injuries, ran a 5k at 39 weeks pregnant, finished a marathon, and cried a lot of happy and sad tears.

Oh! And I became an RRCA Certified Running Coach. So, I’d like to think I know a thing or two about running. Ten things. I know at least ten things about running. And you know what? It’s time to permanently bust those ten running myths.

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Natural remedies that helped me avoid my monthly migraine

Natural remedies that helped me avoid my monthly migraine

Note: The purpose of this post is my personal testimonial about what helped me avoid menstrual migraines. This is not to be used or taken as medical advice. Always talk to your healthcare professional before beginning any treatment, supplement, or medication. My remedies may not work for you; it’s important to discuss any changes or new medications/remedies with your healthcare professional.

Alright, y’all. If you follow me on Instagram, you have likely noticed that every month — like clockwork — I post a photo of myself with copious amounts of caffeine and dark sunglasses. I wish I was cool enough to do that just because I felt like it but the reasoning behind the ensemble is that I suffer from menstrual migraines. I can tell you exactly which day it will begin: Saturday! And I usually have to take Imitrex (followed shortly by Zofran) 3-4 times during that five day cycle.

Except this past Saturday (and the five day duration of my cycle), I didn’t get a migraine at all. Heck – I didn’t even get a headache! I’m not sure what worked the best or if a few things work in conjunction, but here are the steps I took to avoid the terrible, debilitating migraines.

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What your before-and-after “progress” photo would say if you didn’t caption it

What your before-and-after “progress” photo would say if you didn’t caption it

Ok; let’s just say I am utterly sick of women posting their “progress” photos that they claim are not about weight loss, but are about “health,” as they then stand their in a sports bra, frowning in the “I-love-myself-here-and-am-still-proud” bullshit photo and a huge smile on their faces in the “but-I-love-myself-here-more-actually” bullshit photo.

You know what? It’s not even the damn photo that is infuriating; it’s the fact that the captions are straight-up lies. I said what I said. The captions. are. lies. You are not showing us a picture of your “fat” vs “skinnier” self to make some kind of point about health. Let’s be real, workout-version-of-Karen — you want us to see that you lost weight because you need to feel validated and/or because you are trying to sell the internet an overpriced shake when any person with a brain understands that replacing food with ANY LIQUID will result in weight loss brought to us by explosive diarrhea.

Let’s pretend those photos of yours ARE NOT captioned with the “healthy lifestyle” line of crap. What would they say…?

I’m not happy with myself, but tell me that I look great so I can try to believe it. Let’s pretend, just for a few seconds, that I am happy with myself and that I do not require any validation from the internet. Now that we are done pretending, please leave a comment about how great I look to which I will reply “Aww thanks but you didn’t have to say that!” even though that is the whole point of this post. Y’all know the captions that read “I’m not fishing for compliments; I just want to inspire others!” Yet, the comments are not turned off, and every “wow girl you look great!” and “you go girl — can’t believe you just had your second baby!” comment is met with a “like.” Let’s get something straight; if you were not fishing for compliments, the comments would be turned off. Look — we all need a little encouragement sometimes. Instead of hiding behind the “I don’t need any compliments” crap, be honest and let this “tribe of women” you so adore lift you up.

You’re probably comparing yourself to me right now by lifting your shirt up, looking in the mirror, and feeling badly about how you still didn’t lose the last five pounds of baby weight, and that’s okay — I feel much better when others are not as fit as I am. It gives me confidence to think that I am better than you. I honestly do not care about inspiring you; I just want you to feel bad so I can then feel good. Women comparing their bodies to other female bodies is not new with the advent of social media. It’s taken place for as long as any of us can remember. Barbie is that skinny bitch we received as children. Movie stars and women in magazines appear to have the perfect body. We know the end result: Most of us feel badly about ourselves even if it’s just momentary. See, the thing is, is that you aren’t bound to the lights and fame of Hollywood within your little world on Instagram and other social networks. You do not *have* to post these photos of yourself. But you do…and in some twisted way, it makes you feel better about yourself.

I am here to show you that if you cannot lose all of the weight you gained over the holidays or as a new mom, you’re doing something wrong. Look at me; I lost it all! If you aren’t losing weight, it has nothing to do with the fact that all bodies are different. You just aren’t committed and make excuses. Get up and workout at 4 am if you have to, but don’t complain when you still have flab and cellulite. I eat avocados, low fat cheese sticks, and some form of eggs for all of my meals. I hate it, but don’t tell anyone. Every single body is different. People carry weight differently. We have all seen those photos where ten women all weigh 150 pounds, but all of them carry that weight differently and in different parts of their bodies. It’s truly unfair to say that women don’t look like society’s definition of “fit” or “in shape” because they are carrying around extra weight from enjoying foods they love or bearing multiple children. You are not living up to “women supporting women” when you say “no excuses.” Bitch, please: I had my stomach cut open while I was awake and watched my boobs swell to the size of cantaloupes on steroids. I lived in Snuggie for a month because pants and shirts weren’t working out after my C-section and trying to breastfeed a kid around the clock. If that’s not an excuse to sit in a chair in lieu of lifting weights during the two hours I actually get to sleep, maybe we aren’t cut out to be friends.

I really want you to buy this shake, so I’m gonna go ahead and tell you that this is the ONLY shake that will make you look this good. I will not tell you that I skip breakfast, eat lettuce without dressing for lunch, and enjoy plain eggs for dinner. There are probably over 100 different shakes out there, but forget about them. I also refuse to acknowledge that replacing foods with any kind of liquid results in weight loss. It has to be this specific shake. Buy my shake. Buy my shake now. I need you to buy it so I can hit an arbitrary goal in a business I will probably quit next month. I don’t think that this one requires much explanation, but listen — maybe some shakes taste better than others. Some shakes have fewer grams of sugar than others. Some contain more protein, more vitamins, etc. But make no mistake that people posting before-and-after photos and claiming it’s because of a miracle shake are just trying to sell you something. Don’t fall into the trap. I have fallen into the trap many, many times. Always remember that there’s money to be made when it comes to these photos.

I value bodies that look more in-line with society’s standards of “perfect” and “skinny.” Yeah, I know pizza is good and cookies are great, and I get to enjoy them whenever I want! Any by “whenever I want,” I mean 3-4 times a year during celebrations. But…what’s that quote that everyone hates? Oh! “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” That’s right — not even Nutella. I may have been enjoying dinners out with my husband and ice cream dates with my kids and boardwalk fries on family vacations in the photo on the left, but don’t let that fool you. I enjoy crying in silence over food guilt so I can look the way I do in the photo on the right. I value looking thin over having an enjoyable life. Let’s clear something up, ladies: Eating pizza on a quarterly schedule is not “food freedom.” Buying low-carb ice cream is not “food freedom.” Cooking a spaghetti squash and pretending to pass it off as “pasta” while the rest of your family enjoys a big ol’ dish of carbs is not “food freedom.” You cannot claim body positivity if you aren’t allowing yourself to eat foods you enjoy and accept yourself as beautiful regardless of the number on the scale.

This year, I challenge you to make a New Years resolution that doesn’t involve lying on Instagram captions for validation purposes. Do us all a favor.

Five things I learned during my month off from ALL exercise

Five things I learned during my month off from ALL exercise

When I found out I was suffering from a stress fracture on the top of my left foot AND something with my ligament in my left ankle, my heart sunk. I was told that I was not permitted to do any weight-bearing exercise, and that left me with riding a bike (in the freezing cold) and sitting in a chair to do strength work.

If you know me, you know I do not like cycling. It has never been my thing. I enjoy spinning, but I don’t go right now because #pandemic. I don’t want to spend the money on a Pelaton as much as I’d love one. And…sitting in a chair to “exercise” would make me cry.

So, I stopped. I did nothing for four weeks. Nothing! No walking, no strength training, no cycling — I did nothing.

And you know what? It was the best decision I could have made. Here’s what I learned during my workout hiatus.

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