How I’m seeking refuge in self-care while maintaining my fitness regimen, activist work and personal work without guilt.
On Friday, my therapist loaded me with homework: Choose a day to be versus do. This was inspired by my obsession with writing out lists and decorating my workspace and entire home with post it notes filled with tasks in every room. Admittedly I’ve grown mildly addicted to writing out my workout routines on neon 5X7 Post It Notes, meticulously scribing out a well-blended strength, calisthenics and cardiovascular routine. This act serves as one of many ways of how I’ve been keeping my mind occupied while coping with the harsh realities of several burning fires throughout 2020. Obviously, Rona trickled her ass onto Luther Vandross’ remixed 2020 but so many other negative things followed suit. After feeling invigorated about Stacey Abrams’ nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize, I felt numb after reading about a Black 9-year-old Black girl that was assaulted with mace by the Rochester Police Department because they found her to be uncooperative. Without going into graphic detail, I am sick and tired of reading comments from people that justify heinous crimes, particularly ones done on Black, Brown and Indigenous folks. This level of hurt and rage frequently crosses into my fitness routines and at times, heightens me to such a degree that I don’t feel safe going for a run or leisurely riding my bike outside. Conversely, I’ve thrown myself into mini strength work and cross training exercise regimens and feel guilt when I cannot knock them out. If there’s ever a day that my workload is on overkill, I criticize my lack of time management to essentially do it all. Acknowledging this harsh self-assessment with the help of a therapist, I am using this month to find my balance to be passionate about everything with room to recover and welcome spontaneity.
Finding Alternative Ways to Say Informed While Busy
Having a sizeable platform while doing advocacy work is new but I’m not unfamiliar to knowing how mentally taxing this work can be. And other parts of me heavily acknowledge how it can sometimes engulf your mental state so much that you lose joy in other areas that you once loved. Some days I bury myself deep into my studies that I don’t have enough time to come up for air and in turn, I watch my fitness routine shift into a timeout for days. I don’t view fitness as a chore; I feel sharper and stronger when I’m able to move my body in the strongest way that the day provided for me. A few of my Instagram followers asked me on random occasions how do I manage to squeeze all of my chaos into one schedule – I simply don’t some days. Instead I started finding dope ways to balance out my passion for fitness while moving. Here’s my way of going about it:
Athletes and Activists Alike Need Rest Too
Multitasking while being baby woke – I fucking hate that term – is great BUT you’re still a whole ass human. And humans get tired beyond the physical state. Learning about global issues or just being empathetic to every single thing drains your energy.
I suck at that lesson but it doesn’t stop me from trying. Recently, I’ve adopted a mantra from Iresha Picot, a fabulous and one of my favorite follows, works in beautiful self-care strategies that at times, I question why am I calling it self-care and not some mandatory bullshit that I should be doing regularly. Although I don’t think I told her this through messages, she singlehandedly moved me out of a full-blown anxiety attack a few weeks ago. Sometimes I remind myself to stop posting on the internet and to simply be a “follower” myself. Before I girlgasm any further, Iresha conducts this regular ritual of buying flowers weekly and sometimes use the prior week flowers to place into her bathtub. While I don’t buy myself flowers, I’ve made it part of my personal celebration of Black History Month ritual to use Dr. Teal’s Epsom Salt Bubble Bath to zen out. While shifting to find a comfortable position in my low sitting tub, I use this time to listen to audio books or even pick up a tangible book, light candles and take in the Eucalyptus scents in my bathroom. Some people opt for full blown plants in their showers but I have a half way green thumb. I don’t want to imagine me drowning these poor babies due to my need for a break away from a mountain full of emails or an escape from text messages percolating my phone from teachers asking my son to go back into his virtual classroom.
And while many may look at cooking as a dreaded chore, I view the kitchen as my personal church. Admittedly, I schedule in takeout days once or twice a week but too much of anything turns into a damn job. I feel invigorated to steal 30 minutes to 2 hours inside of my culinary space to create global dishes. Cooking is probably one of the most spontaneous and rebellious acts that I’ve done in my adult life. As a child that grew up knowing the struggles of being food poverty, I pride myself on having a full fridge. Those troubling times taught me how to use my imagination way before shows like Chopped or my deep diving into my culinary baes like Gordon Ramsey, Marcus Samuelsson and Carla Hall stepped into my psyche. My father taught me how to stretch out canned items into full blown meals. At times, his Floridian roots would jump out into dishes like teaching me how to make goulash similarly to how he learned it as a child or keeping sugar far the hell away from his country grits. My mother taught me how to make Russian dressing from scratch before learning its name. Before culinary school, I’d watch my childhood friends from the neighborhood line up to grab a piece of extra crispy chicken that my mom drenched in milk despite not knowing the purpose outside of seeing older family members do it throughout childhood. Despite preferring to cook in my own space, I can turn almost any four walls with some sort of kitchen apparatus into a sacred space. One of my 2022 goals is to venture in the outdoors to build my own fire or carry my own portable kitchen like Kena Peay to make some of my favorite things.
Un Fck Yr Self Cropped Top Hoodie
Crop tops are the way to go but we're still stuck in these questionable weather months. Get yourself into this soft hooded crop top to unf*ck the society, unf*ck the standards or unf*ck your doubts.
"After experimenting with the shirt, I received a lot of feedback from others to put out a cropped top hoodie. Eventually I'll aim to do a full hoodie but I am loving the idea of us feeling liberated in our own skins without feeling like we have to be the "perfect shape" to do it. Just like my signature cropped top hoodie, I am wearing this in an extra large. I weigh around 265 - 270 lbs, 5'3 1/2 in height and sporting a fluctuating and alluring one pack, sometimes two/three pack in rare form -- but who the hell cares."
About this Item
Running Fat Chef Unisex Crew Neck Descriptors Sweatshirt
Get you a sweatshirt that literally says it with its entire chest. Pick up this warm affirmation during these colder months.
Personal statement from Latoya Shauntay Snell about this product:
"In 2017, I didn't understand the power of my own voice but I knew that I had something to say. In my 80K+ viral The Root published article about being fat shamed at the 2017 NYC Marathon changed my entire life. Words saved me and honoring the power in my voice is the best gift that I ever presented to myself."
Latoya Shauntay Snell is approximately 5'3, weighs 260 lbs, has a slightly muscular frame and is wearing an XXL for a looser fit but feels comfortable in an XL. She is typically a US Size 16/18.
This Black unisex crewneck sweatshirt is great as an outer, under or single layer. This durable soft and comfortable sweatshirt with a powerful statement in gold is a must have in your collection.
About this Item
Running Fat Chef Cropped Hoodie
Bold. Powerful. Free: Running Fat Chef loves her statements and this hoodie is not an exception. Get her signature crop topped hoodie.
Personal statement from Latoya Shauntay Snell about this product:
"I'm in love with this hoodie. I love the soft, light and comfortable feeling. It can easily be paired with your favorite go to leggings, a pair of jeans or something to rock out with your favorite undies because who don't love a dope crop top selfie."
Latoya Shauntay Snell is approximately 5'3, weighs 260 lbs, has a slightly muscular frame and is wearing an XL. She is typically a US Size 16/18.
About this Item
But here’s the thing: I came to terms that I will not have this balance thing right all of the time. Some days or weeks will pull me into a direction that forces me to abandon workouts. Others will permit workouts but feel so physically exhausted that I’ll push off an opportunity to speak or uplift a community. Not being able to nail perfection makes me a damn perfect human because I’m able to acknowledge a hard fact: Just because you can doesn’t mean that you always should. There will be days that we have to delegate duties, abandon ship or power through – and sometimes that’s not so calculated. Self-care is sometimes a violent protest against the society’s demands for us to overwork ourselves and eventually burn out. And if the end result allows me to be a WHOLE human versus a half way energized one, I’m willing to fight and work for that peace every day.
Latoya Shauntay Snell
For my pretentious ass bio, check out the about me page but for anyone interested in who I really am, make me a good meal at your house and I'll tell you a dope ass story.
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