Charger Blogger: ‘Take Time for Yourself in Ways that You Can Grow In’
Beatrice Glaviano ’26 discusses her weekend, her dedication to her recovery and wellness, and her recent visit with her parents in New Haven. She encourages her fellow Chargers to take good care of themselves – and maybe to treat themselves to something special.
February 6, 2024
By Beatrice Glaviano ’26
Trigger Warning: the blog includes mentions of eating disorders, which may be triggering to some. If you believe that reading this entry may impact your personal and mental health, please do what’s best for you and tuck it away for a later (or nonexistent) time. As much as I love my readers, I am much more smitten with the idea of keeping your mental health in balance than with you reading my little blogs.
“You spent your whole life thinking there are rules, there aren’t” - Lorne Malvo
Good morning, everyone. Today it’s rainy, and I’m sitting in the study area at One Care Lane because my class was postponed due to construction. Said class would have been Culinary Nutrition, and we were supposed to have a cooking lab today.
I’ve mentioned her before, but Prof. Maggie Lyon is perhaps one of the most human people that I’ve ever met. I mean this in the sense that she is incredibly down to earth, no-nonsense, considerate, and has the type of empathy one would associate with being found by the sun on a cloudy day.
Oh, and she’s funny. That too.
Aside from having a fantastic professor, another part that I like about my culinary class is the fact that there are no guys in it. To preface: I’m not a sexist, however, to the women who are reading this, I think you have an idea of what I’m getting at. There is a certain freedom to be in a class that revolves around food with only women in it, and a certain type of connection that accompanies it. We are able to discuss diet culture and why it’s so stupid and how many of us have tortured our bodies into thinking they are less when all they want to do is more.
On the topic of diet culture, a book I’ve been very invested in lately has been The F*ck It Diet by Caroline Dooner. Now, I’m a pretty picky reader. Ever since reading the Percy Jackson & The Olympians series as a kid, my standards have been pretty high – especially when it comes to nonfiction reading. Since I’ve been thrown back into ED (not erectile dysfunction, but eating disorder) recovery, I’ve leaned heavily on this book to support me throughout it. As a scientific, left-brained individual, I have found that when it comes to correcting my mental health or habits as a whole, it takes an obscene amount of pure, sheer fact to override my brain and her nonsense. Fact will forever be fact, no matter what my opinion is on it. That’s just how the world works. Anyhow, this book has a good mixture of humor, science, and empathy towards its readers, which I think is something incredibly important when it comes to healing from an eating disorder. However...
Some random dude in the audience: “So...if you’re a nutrition major, why can’t you just eat...normally?”
To the person in the audience: “Bruh, I wish.”
Firstly, I’ve had an ED since 2020. I had no clue the person I’d be in the future, nor the path I’d walk. Secondly, eating disorders revolve around having control. They are the result of when something happens in one’s life that they couldn’t or cannot stop. They are tricky, slippery, slimy, and frankly can be incredibly hard to confront.
For example, I went to the gym against my therapist’s wishes. I was only going to walk on the treadmill for a little bit, and then leave. No biggie. But the minute I got there, I immediately felt so incredibly conscious of myself. Everyone looked so strong, and I looked like, well...
I felt embarrassed to even be there, despite the fact that I’d been to the gym several bazillion times before. I almost left, actually, but I was in no mood to do the walk of shame out the door. I could totally do this, right?
Actually, not right. About thirty minutes later, I started weightlifting and quickly realized that hey, maybe this wasn’t a great idea.
It was not, in fact, a great idea. Flashing forward to therapy:
“It was just once,” I protested weakly.
“And one time too many,” they replied.
So...yeah. Gym is out, but reading is in. Sleeping is in. Eating (or trying to) like a normal human being is in. Laughing, crying, hugging, listening to all the music is in. While the gym has played an integral role in who I am as a person, I think it’s time to let go for a while. Perhaps some people will think I’m weak or cowardly for doing so, but they need to realize that the gym isn’t worth harming one’s health for.
It’s just not.
Another thing that’s in? Acceptance. Giving myself grace. Going back to the book, here are a few sentences that really got to me:
“..your body is going to, basically, slowly deteriorate your health in order to keep you alive” (Doomer, pg. 17).
“..if you are hungry, eat” (Doomer, pg. 53)
“No matter how much you’ve already eaten. That’s what hunger is for. That’s how it goes to be alive and human” (Doomer pg. 55)
And my favorite:
“Your body knows what to do” (Doomer, pg. 17)
How many of you have fought your body at one point? Forced down the nausea you felt when someone told you something horrid, felt your eyes roll back into your head as the room spun around you, or showed up to work despite feeling ill. How many of us throw our bodies aside for some “greater” thing?
If taking care of myself is weak and cowardly, then so be it. Without going to the gym, I’ve been able to put my energy into other things again, like writing. I’ve also been baking a lot, as well as really getting into flavor theory in cooking. Hmm. What else have I been getting into?
February 3, 2024.
“..a daughter of mountains, she taught herself to balance on uneven ground, to gather clues from the wind and navigation of birds, until she learned the difference between being wild and being free” -anon
That was the first line of poetry I saw on my Pinterest board (yes, I’m old) today, and I thought I’d share it with all of you. While I was never really into writing poetry – as I’m horrible at it – I’ve typically enjoyed reading it, especially as I’ve grown up a little bit. One of the best things about literature is that it changes as you change; your perception of the author's words will change even though those sentences remain the same. Before, I’d never annotate a book out of fear of ruining it, but now? I live in my books; I date my comments, and it’s amusing to go back a year later to realize the mindset I was in at the time. I’d recommend annotating books to anyone, even if it’s on a sticky note instead of the page itself (I just find sticky notes a bit obnoxious, lol).
Anyhow, today I have off from work, so I’ll be spending the afternoon with my parents – and I’m really excited. Giddy, even. I’ve learned that going out with the good ol’ mother and father goose is always a good time, even if it’s only for a few hours. Today, we will be getting lunch from one of my vegan-vegetarian friendly spots, Claire's Corner Copia, and walking around the city of New Haven a little bit. Speaking of walking, actually, guess who went on a morning walk this morning?
Author points to herself over-enthusiastically.
Look: I haven’t seen the sun for the better part of two weeks. I say this like I’ve been living underground in the mines or something, but the seasonal sad is no longer just seasoning, but a dressing upon the salad of which is my mental and emotional health. I couldn’t care less at this point if it’s cold and windy out; I needed to get out of my room, get some steps in, and soak up whatever sunlight was available. How am I supposed to be an academic weapon as a sad salad? Exactly: I can’t. Also, no clue if my audience has any podcast people in it, but I’d highly recommend:
Emma Chamberlain’s Podcast, “anything goes with Emma Chamberlain” (Personal Stories, Comedy)
Lots of good insight into real-world problems, very much the big sister I never had (I am the eldest child lol)
IN HINDZSIGHT (Society, Self-help, Personal Stories)
Absolute vibe to listen to. He also has a YouTube channel and Discord server if anyone is interested
There are a few others, but these are the ones that have stuck around the most. Anyhow: Parents. It’s going to be us, lunch, going to Atticus and walking around the museum (I will be bringing my sketchbook so as to not get horrendously bored; I am not a fan of the medieval art section in the slightest). I’m not going to say that the museum is my favorite place currently, as I’ve been there a gazillion times before, but it’s quiet and relaxing.
Update: we did not go to the museum (thank God). Instead, we just walked around for a bit, caught up on life, hit up Trader Joe’s and Target, leaving me plenty of time to prep a salmon stir-fry for dinner and get my homework done.
Now, what’s better than that?
Anyways, I’m just settling down for the night. It’s getting close to 10 p.m., and I’ll be working a double tomorrow. Doubles are fun, to be honest; they give me time to get into the groove of things, and it’s also a two-for-one shift-wise. I think hostessing is very fun, personally. It’s a job that requires people skills, time management, very effective communication skills, and really being able to step back from a situation as to not blow it out of proportion (which my anxiety tends to do a lot, lol). But the main reason why I do it is because it gets me interacting with people; it gets me out of my apartment and into the wild wilderness that is the “adult world.” It’s also extremely helpful with people skills, which isn’t something I would expect to help me in the technical side of EMS-related work. Granted, they’re not super similar (at all), but you are still engaging in communication in both jobs.
Alright people. I think this is where day #2 of weekend comes to a close. I need to wash off the face mask I have plastered on my face and start to wind down so the blue light of my laptop doesn’t ruin my eyeballs. Have a lovely (and safe) Saturday night everybody, and I’ll see you in the morning.
February 4, 2024
Good morning, good morning everyone. We have another beautiful, sunny day and clear skies in New Haven today, and I am relishing every single moment of it. I feel as though Sundays are everyone’s typical ‘reset’ days, or the day of the week in which you get your laundry done, slowly drag yourself out of bed, make a batch of pancakes all to yourself, and settle down to read something cozy and heartwarming.
Speaking of which, our daily dose of poetry for the day everyone:
“What are you?” // “To define is to limit” - anon
See, I could go on to analyze that and open up another “what is life if it’s not just your favorite cereal and series of unfortunate events following it,” but y’know what? It’s your turn. Analyze that line, but remember: ‘what’ does not equate to ‘who.’ Have fun.
Lately, I’ve been trying to get rid of some habits that I don’t believe will facilitate or support my growth as a human being in the long run. Namely, being on my phone or laptop until 1 in the morning watching YouTube or going down the TikTok rabbit hole. Honestly, on that note, I think I’m just going to make a point to not go onto the clock app for the rest of the week and detox a little bit. Social media certainly has its perks when it comes to sharing thoughts and ideas, but sometimes, it can definitely get a little bit out of hand. There is a lot of comparison among these platforms, and hardly any of it is truly recognized or taken care of. Something that really tends to irk me is when certain accounts promote health at all sizes or ED recovery (and I mean all eating disorders, not just anorexia) and then go on to do the opposite for themselves. Maybe I’m just being weird about it, but, why would I trust the words of someone who cannot even take part in what they believe? I know everyone has their struggles, but people will look to a source of positivity for further support and if that support is corrupt, that corruption will spread to those viewers.
I dunno; it just gives me the ick. Wrinkles nose.
Habit #2 that I’m trying to throw out the window is starting my day without a screen. Normally, I do yoga in the mornings so I’ll use my laptop, but now? Nope. So, instead of just sitting around doing God knows what, I’ve decided to start my day with a book first. It’s an easy dose of serotonin on the brain, and it also gives me time to wake up and start my day off on a more balanced note rather than:
Click. Click click click. Clickity-clack-clack-thunk-click.
“Hi, it’s me, Ryan Reynolds and I’m here to tell you that mint mobile-”
“Welcome to your daily yoga practice...”
Yoga, however, is a massive staple in my life. Without it, I doubt I’d be in the same mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional health I am right now. Yoga, while focused on balance, strength, and focus, also invokes a lot of emotion and spiritual energy into the practice. Depending on your preference, your practice for the day may reflect different things, or have a different goal or affirmation in mind. Personally, I enjoy vinyasa flows where I can really get my energy (prana) moving and warm my body up for the day. Other times, Yin Yoga – involving deep stretches and slow movement – is something I use when I know there are emotions I’m holding onto that need to be released. Stuck emotions only create more problems for us down the line (as I’ve found out through trial and error) so the sooner you allow yourself to sit with, acknowledge, understand, and ultimately, release them, the sooner everything won’t seem so loud.
In my eyes, yoga is a form of physical meditation. Meditation doesn’t always go to plan though, now does it? You lose focus, you start thinking about your to-do list or that really stressful thing that won’t leave you alone; yoga is very similar. Sometimes, you lose your balance or your body is tighter than usual, and you have to roll with that. There is no use in criticizing yourself for being a little unbalanced or stiffer than normal; the human body is still a body, and bodies are never linear. Yoga taught me self-compassion, patience, and understanding (as well as how to laugh at myself when I absolutely just flop out of a pose) toward my body, and that’s the main reason why I’d recommend this form of movement towards anyone.
And if yoga’s not your vibe, that’s cool. Yet I’d still ask you to give it one more try before you toss it out the window. Sometimes slowing down can be scary (we live in a society that condemns you should you find rest), but trust me, it can also be so, so healing. But hey, if a downward dog ends up bringing you too down, then who am I to say that your opinion is wrong.
Circling back to less screen time, I’ve been trying to come up with my own flows, which I think is another thing everyone should try every once in a while. Of course, I’m extremely thankful for YouTubers who have dedicated their channels towards yoga, but, eventually, I found that my body needed a different routine – which makes sense! By establishing my own practice every once in a while, I’m able to really tune in to what my body wants, and give her that. Quads sore? Lower body stretch. Need something more intense? Sun salutation with all the chaturangas.
Alright, before this weekend diary becomes an article about the awesome power of yoga, let’s scoot back a little bit into the present moment. I need to start getting ready to work, but I had a lot of fun doing this little weekend blog thing. It’s helped me keep track of my emotions, stay mindful of my meals, and just take into consideration the amount of good in my life and how grateful I am for it.
I hope everyone is taking care of themselves, and that your Sunday morning welcomes you to maybe treat yourself to something. Move your body with some happiness, go out with friends and not care about how loud you laugh because there is too little joy in the world, and take time for yourself in ways that you can grow in.
Sending you all my love, and of course, peace, love, and the cookie butter I keep forgetting to give my therapist,