Just Words – Sort of About Stress & Self Worth

14 Thu, 2011 § 6 Comments

Yesterday, I needed a lot of “me” breaks.

I stayed productive filling out forms for school, researching whether it might be in our favor to move to another apartment later this year, baked yogurt biscuits (from scratch by hand) & even debated over a few job applications; but I also spent the day on the verge of losing it.  Like total meltdown.  I don’t even know how to put into words what I’ve been feeling or maybe I just don’t want to put a voice to it yet.

I could throw myself a pity party, but that isn’t really what I need.  Instead I took some me time throughout the day.  Some of it quiet; some of it intense — not necessarily distractions but specific ways I could focus my energy while clearing my head.  I usually come back with a refreshed perspective in place of the former doom.

So early in the morning, I went for a slow walk with Eisley & my camera.  Walking still means I’m in my head a lot; but once I start playing with the camera, my attention shifts to what I’m seeing & trying to capture rather than the stress in my head.  I really only came back with one image I like.  I might share it tomorrow.

Mid-day, I decided to drop in on a yoga class.  Especially tight muscles meant all of my energy went into breathing & trying to relax into even basic poses.

I was feeling better.  I was coping.  Still, “it” lingered.

Finally, Wednesday evenings mean spinning, which is usually a torturous treat I only look forward to.  Fifteen minutes before class, I was barely coaxing myself out the door, knowing it would only do good even if I didn’t feel up to it.

The substituting instructor destroyed us.  I have never sprinted that many intervals, ever.

In the midst of a truly brutal workout, there is no room to feel sorry for yourself or to call yourself weak or think your are worthless.  You dig, you push & you don’t give up.  You tell yourself you can do anything for 30 seconds, because you are so much stronger than you think you are; & you even have a little more to give & suddenly, you are pedaling even harder.  You feel like vomiting, but instead, you grin, grunt & push.  Drenched & fatigued, you can’t stop smiling all the way home.

Maybe I’m just riding the endorphin high.  The issues are still there, but suddenly I’m that strong, capable person again.  I can take this on, breathe, sort through it, push myself, smile & live each moment.

That’s all we can do anyway, right?

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“Nothing Tastes as Good as Being Skinny Feels”

16 Sun, 2011 § 14 Comments

Love My Body part I

I had already felt like crying the day I read that quote.  Its endorsement nearly pushed me over the edge.  I had been looking for motivation…but not of this genre.  My favorite workout blog had been back up & running for awhile now; I was shocked it had taken me this long to check out the new layout.  This counsel from a fellow follower threw me deeper into the shallow body image paradigm I was struggling to overcome.  She attributed the quote to Kate Moss.  As a responsible blogger, I should verify; but I just cannot bring myself to read anymore concerning this mentality.

I had worked so hard to establish & feel good about my body.  Recently, I had started falling into old habits, such as comparing.  I won’t be fit until I have abs like that.  My arms aren’t good enough until they look like hers. I went online looking for motivation & was hit with self-deprivation.

I continued to browse over workouts & new features, like photos & posts from followers about their progress.  One woman shared her amazing journey, then nearly negated everything she had accomplished by focusing on what she “still needed to get rid of” [her lower tummy pooch].

I wanted to hug her & shake her & tell her to not be self-deprecating & disempowering.  Be proud of what you have done!  Be proud of how strong you are! I scanned comments & though she received a lot of congrats, the only mention of the tummy pooch comment offered her “the trick”.

Only one half serving of fruits, no sugars, no grains & no breads per day.  Try this for a couple of weeks religiously, & you should see a reduction in “puffiness”.  If you keep going, maybe you can kill off the pooch.

I understand limiting sugar & processed grains, but all grains & almost no fruit?  As someone who relies on crucial energy to do what I love to do, my body needs these foods.  Isn’t it more important we eat a balanced diet, nourishing our bodies?

Needless to say, I needed to switch paradigms…before I got stuck in a place I did not want to be…a place that makes me very unhappy.

So what to do?  For me.  Right now.

Climb.

Focus on appreciating how strong & healthy my body is.  Appreciate what it can do.  Commit to making it stronger.  Treat my body lovingly.  No deprivation.  No comparisons.  Remove the focus from how I look to what I can do.  Some of the strongest, most athletic people do not have the “perfect body” look.  Our bodies are amazing, capable of so much.  Why do we struggle with feeling the need to perfect our bodies through appearance?  Why not through performance?

[We did not get any photos this weekend but decided to return here to work this traverse since it was one of the driest areas.]

With the cold weather & the snow [& an over-priced climbing gym], climbing has not been possible the last couple months.  My body & mind have missed it.  With 40 degree days, we jumped on the chance to touch rock this weekend.  It felt good to test my body & connect with the earth.

It felt just as good to nourish it rather than deprive it.

I started my days with fueling foods,

like barley & lentils mixed with Natalie’s Spicy Thai Chili, which is delicious & packs some heat!

I listened to my body’s cravings; Uncle Sam cereal with raspberry kefir & a sprinkle of cacao nibs was one of these.

I kept it going while out & about with even more random creations.

[I will share more of these little guys tomorrow.]

I feel like I nearly sunk into a superficial pool but was able to wade to the shores of a healthier mindset.  Did I make it on my own?  No.  I will share more of that tomorrow as well. 🙂

I hope you have enjoyed your weekend as much as I have.

~

Are you happy about your body?  Is your own body image paradigm a healthy one?

Let Time Weave

10 Mon, 2011 § 5 Comments

“There are times to cultivate & create, when you nurture your world & give birth to new ideas & ventures. There are times of flourishing & abundance, when life feels in full bloom, energized & expanding. And there are times of fruition, when things come to an end. They have reached their climax & must be harvested before they begin to fade.

And finally of course, there are times that are cold, & cutting & empty; times when the spring of new beginnings seems like a distant dream. Those rhythms in life are natural events. They weave into one another as day follows night, bringing, not messages of hope & fear, but messages of how things are.”

~Chögyam Trungpa

[photo by David Finch]

Long walks & thoughtful talks have my mind turning back to a place I always find peace & happiness.  I am anxious to share more of this with you, but now I need rest & to end the night on a contemplative note.  Once upon a time, Dave & I would share a short, daily quote from one of his favorite books, Glimpse After Glimpse, before we fell asleep each night.  I would like to start this again.

~

How do you end your day?  Do you ever read with your partner?

Slow Down

27 Mon, 2010 § 4 Comments

How was your holiday?!  Full of laughter & love?

I sure hope so.

The long drive was worth spending a 4-day weekend with my family.  Eis, normally a basket case in the car, wriggled her way under the passenger seat & stayed there calm & seemingly happy in her little “den” for the 7-hour drive. 😀

Between Daq [the niece] blaming Dave [the husband] for drawing all over Darryus’ [the nephew] legs

to sunny hikes with my dad & brother [was it really December in EC?]

to happy baby news from my other brother & SIL,

we got a big dose of fun & love over Christmas.

Can you believe I missed saying goodbye to my dad though?!  I was walking Eisley Sunday morning & decided to stop at my grandparents’ to say goodbye & didn’t realize he had to leave for an early meeting.  He looked for me but thought I was on a run.  😦  I was crushed.  Good thing Dave has learned to endure my tears.

Many people might be mourning Christmas’ past.  I am actually relieved to be able to focus & put energy toward other aspects of my life.  I enjoyed the holiday immensely & would lengthen the time spent with my family if I could, but with the recent move & job hunt, the stress of holiday prep was more than I could bare some days.  Again, good thing Dave has learned to endure…

I was so worried about letting everyone down, I didn’t slow down to really savor & embrace what I love most about this time — which is slowing down, embracing contemplative moments & sharing time with those I love.

We did enjoy our night hike…finally painted our shoes

…Daiqri & I created art…my sister shared ideas & inspired future food photography…& some of us even hiked a bit…but part of me feels like those moments were rushed & squeezed in…

Maybe I didn’t really miss anything.  Maybe it just took spending time with my family to make me stop & enjoy the moment…if only we could have had more than those 4 days.  I guess I am mourning, but it is my family I am already nostalgic for, not Christmas.

~

How was your holiday spent?  Lots of festivity amidst a bit of chaos?  Were you able to slow down & enjoy the moment?

This or That

10 Fri, 2010 § 4 Comments

Sometimes misery loves company — sorry in advance — I’ve had this stuck in my head since yesterday afternoon.

Eh.  One of the woes of our reintroduction to television over the last couple months.

In general, we’re not going to miss it…but I have come to enjoy the Food Network & Cooking Channel not to mention Top Chef…& I really don’t want to mention my guilty pleasure…but Millionaire Matchmaker is like a bad car accident:

I know I shouldn’t look…I really don’t want to see it…

but I can’t seem to tear myself away. 😛

I’m not proud of it, & it’s not something I make a point of watching; but if I happen to see it’s on…well…now you know.

Between the little things I have to do today like packing up a few of our belongings before the big move [that’s tomorrow by the way] & trying not to watch anything other than this week’s Top Chef, I have a rather big matter on my agenda.

This?

Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Education

Or That?

Physical Therapist (PT) Education

I want to work in Physical Therapy — that much I know — I just have to decide which route I’m going to take.  I thought I had made my decision, but there’s not a PTA program near by.

Today my “assignment” is to outline each choice, determining prerequisites, costs, etc & devise a time line, ending in what I can start doing today [actually Monday if we’re going to be nit picky].  This should help narrow my decision.  Any input or advice is appreciated!

I know I’ve talked a lot about following your intuition.  I still believe this, but it’s also important to be well-informed.  I just don’t know enough of the specifics of these programs to make the best choice yet; by the end of the day, I should — at least that’s my goal.

~

Another goal:

Start spicing it up in the kitchen again.  Not wanting to grocery shop too heavily the week of our move, meals have been simple [not in the good way but in the half-hazard way] & borderline “naughty”.

I was absolutely craving nachos the other night.  I generally don’t eat cheese, but knew plain beans & corn chips was not going to cut it.  I was desperate to satisfy my craving & use up what we had on hand.

Don’t be turned off by the poor evening/indoor lighting & strange appearance; this was soooo gooood & will probably be my new nacho go-to.

Truffl`d Nachos

I sauteed half-moon slices of leek until soft, added fresh thyme, quartered mushrooms & a splash of white wine & cooked until the mushrooms were browned slightly, then stirred in black beans to warm.

Once I removed from heat, I drizzled a touch of truffle oil over the mix, tossed & garnished with toasted sunflower seeds.  I scooped this up with organic blue corn chips from Trader Joe’s [aw…I wish there was a Trader Joe’s nearby].  It definitely hit the spot.

Happy Friday!

~

How do you make the big decisions like choosing a career/school?

Do you have tv?  Dave & I haven’t for about the last 5 years, & it’ll probably be that way again after the move.  If we could chose just a couple choice channels — discovery, food/cooking, history, amc, espn — we’d definitely consider it.

Love Only

1 Wed, 2010 § Leave a comment

While desperately scouring antique stores yesterday for the match to a gift for my grandpa, I came across a reminder…

a reminder of the couple I never want to be.

She was rude & condescending.

He was submissive & defensive.

She berated him repeatedly for such minor things; one of them being “stealing her food” which he had bought & brought in for them to share.  She was completely livid at this thought.  He seemed lost.  He seemed sad.  She seemed habitually annoyed.

She was a seller setting up her booth.  They have been together 21 years.  I know this because “after 21 years he still doesn’t know what will set her off” [she actually said something to this extent].

All I thought was, “wow, you’ve been like this for 21 years?”

Obviously it was a bit awkward being there…but there was this adorable pin behind glass across the aisle!

The terrifying thing?  I see this woman in myself occasionally — to a much smaller extent of course…I’m never a cruel, B. 😉

Seriously though, I know there are many beautiful couples out there whose love has only grown over the years…but I see a lot of older, snipish, mean women with their husbands.  Why is this?

It might seem harsh, but I’m harsh when it comes to people treating those they are supposed to love more than anything like they despise them.

I am not actually afraid of becoming this couple…but sometimes it is good to witness that reminder…so you can strive to love only.

Even if this reminder makes me really, really sad.

~

What are you going to do today to show those you love that you actually love them?

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