Hi, friends! What a week! I know some of my Florida people were without power for a couple of days after Hurricane Irma, and that’s just not fun. I also know that the Florida Keys (where I vacationed with my family nearly every single summer growing up, as well as visited as an adult a few times for bachelorettes, etc.), received a lot of damage and will have a long road to repair, so I wanted to send some love to my home state of Florida before we begin.
So let’s see — what were the highlights of this week? I had another doctor’s appointment and everything looks good with the Baby Goes West (I go weekly now); I had an acupuncture treatment (want to know more about what I love about acupuncture and what Traditional Chinese Medicine has done for me? check out this one); I worked; I did some prenatal yoga and a few workouts, including a long walk with my girlfriends (we’ve been getting together in the morning once a week to do about a 1.5-hour walking chat session on the Iron Horse Trail, and it’s the best); I went to a fashion show event at my local Neiman Marcus with a friend; and I also spent a lot of time snuggling with and playing with Rudy, because his reign as our only (fur) child is coming to an end in a few weeks. Now that we’re all caught up, let’s move on to today’s content …
Book review: “The Anatomy of a Calling”
I’ve had Lissa Rankin’s book, “The Anatomy of a Calling: A Doctor’s Journey from the Head to the Heart and a Prescription for Finding Your Life’s Purpose,” on my night-stand queue for almost a year — long title, right? Well, the past few months, I’ve been a reading machine, so after I got through a bunch of my favorite pregnancy-related books, I finally picked this one up and finished it this week.
A few things to note about Lissa Rankin: She’s a former medical doctor, she lives in Marin County in the Bay Area (and I love supporting Bay Area people), and she has written a few New York Times bestselling titles before “The Anatomy of a Calling,” but this was my first time experiencing her work. This book was definitely different from anything I’ve read before — it’s not a self-help book, per say, it’s more of a motivational book. (Say hi to my plant below in the pic. He’s doing well so far.)
So here’s the deal: There were definitely some interesting parts to this book, which pulled me in. As an OB/GYN in Southern California, Rankin was totally overworked and encountered a ton of trauma as a doctor, witnessing too many sad things, like babies dying in their mothers arms (I almost can’t type that without tearing up). But she wasn’t allowed to process all of the pain and had to continue spending less than seven minutes with all of her patients, one after the other, day in and day out. This led to undiagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder, which she believes a lot of people in the health care industry probably have and don’t want to talk about (including ER nurses, paramedics, etc.). Long story short: She had a couple of deaths in her family, gave birth to her own baby and finally had enough of medicine and left her role as a doctor.
From then on, she made it her mission to try to show people how holistic health care, like acupuncture and functional medicine, can heal people, perhaps even when science-based medical doctors say that those same patients are incurable, and she also tried to show how people need to spend more time listening to their gut, rather than just science. And I must say the part about the holistic medicine REALLY spoke to me, especially if you know anything about my journey to recover from hypothalamic amenorrhea and get pregnant, which I detail in my own ebook, because I’m a prime example of healing from alternative methods, when doctors didn’t have answers for me.
Rankin went on to write some books that were never published and eventually opened a holistic practice in Marin County. During all of this time, she realized that she was on a “hero’s journey” to spread the word about a different kind of healing. So the basis of the book is to explain how she went through her hero’s journey and what steps people should take if they find themselves on their own journey. That’s what the calling part is about.
I got a little lost in some of the fluff in the book at times, for instance, when Rankin referred to her “Inner Pilot Light” guiding her path and even had a name made up for one part of her psyche — weird. But, I took some noteworthy nuggets from every section. I mostly liked how she completely interspersed her own experiences with tips for others on how to move forward through hard things, because that made it more relatable and interesting. Wow, this review has turned long, hasn’t it? Okay, moral of the story — this book was not life-changing for me personally, but I’m glad I spent the time to read it. And I think it could really speak to people in the medical field or people who feel like they are on the edge of getting ready to start something big in their lives.
I’d like to send my copy of this book to one of you lovely people, so if you want to read it, leave a comment on the post, and I’ll pick a winner next week.
Taking a teaching hiatus: My last Bootybarre class
Moving on … three weeks ago, I taught my last Bootybarre class before my maternity leave, and I briefly mentioned it in a weekly workout recap, but didn’t give it enough screen time here on the blog. You see, this marks my first time taking a big break from teaching group fitness in eight years. That’s a long time! For those of you who missed it, I gave up teaching Les Mills BODYPUMP around week 26 of my pregnancy, as it got too difficult to do full out, particularly push-ups, but I held onto my barre classes a bit longer, because they are much easier on the bod. Here’s some of the crew after my last barre class in Walnut Creek …
While I may have physically been able to do another week or so of Bootybarre as the instructor, I just found myself getting slightly uncomfortable with some exercises. And, at 32.5 weeks when I stopped, I was already pretty short of breath, which does not make talking on a microphone while moving very easy. And it’s only gotten worse since then. I’ve continued to exercise, as you know, and have even attended barre classes, but I’m certain it was the right time for me to throw in the towel. (More details on my third trimester recap and workouts in this post, by the way.)
Here’s the interesting part: I thought I was going to be SUPER sad to not be teaching a single class right now, but I’m not. In fact, I don’t mind it. It’s been nice not coming up with a new playlist or new choreography. It’s been nice not having to go back to the gym to teach in the evening, when my body is ready to rest at that time. I’m not saying I won’t be so happy to be back to my old fitness self and pick up a few classes after the baby arrives and I recover, but I’m saying this break is welcome. It truly is. I wouldn’t have guessed that, but it’s clear my mind and heart are focused elsewhere right now, and that’s good with me.
A delicious throwback lunch: Sweet Potato Love
Totally switching topics again here. For those of you who have been around the blog a long time, remember when I ate a baked sweet potato with eggs and an avocado for lunch like every single day? (Check out those “What I Ate Wednesday” posts, if you want.) I never really got sick of sweet potatoes, I just pulled back from them for a while for other things. Well, this week, I returned to my sweet potato lunch, but this time, I scrambled my eggs and added some greens to them.
I’m very lucky to be able to make my lunches at home these days, and that definitely helps me with my lunch variety. I baked the white sweet potato for about an hour at 400 degrees, scrambled the eggs and cut up the avocado, and then covered it all in nutritional yeast. Fat, carbs and protein, perfection. If you’ve never tried this combination, I would highly recommend it.
A big giveaway on Instagram
I don’t want to miss mentioning that earlier this week, I posted a giveaway over on Instagram, which I’m hosting along with six other fitness-loving ladies. There are some awesome items available for one lucky winner in the U.S., including a Lululemon gift card, a RumbleRoller foam roller and a package of superfoods from Navitas Organics. This giveaway closes Friday evening, Pacific time, so head over and enter now.
A few things to read from around the web
Here’s what I enjoyed …
- Okay, who loves “Fixer Upper”? The hosts, Chip and Joanna Gaines, are adorable, and I love their style too. I’m very excited to see their home collection debut later this year at Target!
- I love everything about this article by a trainer, explaining things that are more important than exercising. Good stuff!
And here’s what happened on A Lady Goes West recently …
- Childbirth prep class, good food and my weekly workouts from 34 weeks pregnant
- Five ways you can have a healthier day
- My take on what the first half of the third trimester feels like (weeks 27 through 33)
- Also, congrats to Morgan S. for winning the pancake mix giveaway from last week!
That’s it for today! Hope you have a great weekend, my friends!A book review, a last barre class and much more on A Lady Goes West ... Click To Tweet
Questions of the day
What are you up to this weekend?
Have you introduced pumpkin into your life yet this season? PSL? Candle? Pie?
What’s something you thought you would miss but don’t?