Working on Myself

Gentle Exercise

For years I did hardcore workouts. HIIT, kettlebell classes, running, pushing myself to the limits, even if I needed to back off. I’ve been realizing lately that I needed to rethink the exercise narrative. Part of that was the Pandemic and my gym closing for a large chunk of 2020.

While I was fairly diverse in my workouts–running, biking, swimming, weights, hiking, HIIT, etc. Other than swimming it was kind of aggressive stuff. At some point I just realized that sometimes you need to listen to your body. Sometimes it’s ok to take an extra rest day, even if it wasn’t scheduled.

Listening to Body Positive and Anti-Diet Culture podcasts, I’ve been hearing this message like a broken record and it is finally sinking it. With recent flare ups of old back injuries (and postpartum hip issues that never really got better) I had to do different things. In January I started doing more yoga (I do the Down Dog Yoga app).

I’ve written before about my love/hate relationship with yoga. Years ago I forced myself to go once a week at the gym. And I enjoyed the class and often felt much better after but I never LOOKED FORWARD to it. In fact, I often dreaded it. Then when I was pregnant I stopped because I was having to modify too many of the movements and I felt frustrated. I never really picked it back up after having Logan because of time/desire/back issues.

I am glad that I’ve been trying it again. I’ve been doing 15 minutes of yoga almost every day for the last two weeks. I’ve skipped a few days here and there, but I am really enjoying the habit. I do the different “boosts” in the app according to my body pain (hip flexors, low back, hamstrings, etc) and feel better after. I am going to work up to 20 minutes a day and eventually 30….


So yoga is helping me. It’s gentle movement. Hopefully it will improve my flexibility and stability. I am also doing a lot of walking and “hiking” (I say it that way because hiking with a toddler is not intense).

I was listening to the Edit Your Life podcast and one of the hosts said she recently started doing gentle and restorative exercise because she felt like her previously routine wasn’t working anymore. She also said that she was “injuring her body just by living”. I can totally relate to that!

Baking Bread

So happy we have a working oven! I am back to experimenting with sourdough. I have a book that I got when I first started trying sourdough and I’ve been trying different recipes in there, also making my own experiments with the traditional sourdough (trying different flour ratios, trying different amounts of sourdough starter).

It makes me happy. I enjoy it. It’s sometimes very time consuming, but I do have the original sourdough recipe down pretty good and don’t even have to look that the book much to make it.

It’s a fun hobby, you can’t rush it. And it is helping me kind of make peace with some food issues–like CARBS ARE BAD. Doing the keto diet definitely made it harder for me to feel at peace with food. Huge amounts of food were demonized and “Bad” and you know what? I disagree. Food isn’t bad. And freshly baked bread is pretty darn awesome.

Mindfulness

One of the challenges I have always had in my life is not living in the moment. I am a planner. I plan everything out–future vacations, goals, etc. There is a saying:

“If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.”

― Lao Tzu

This is beyond true for me. So in therapy, for years, I was told to work on “mindfulness” and “being present.” And I COULD NOT DO IT. At all. It was such a struggle for me. The *only* silver lining for 2020 was that I learned this lesson, finally. Am I an expert at it? No, but I am shocked and impressed with myself that I am doing so well with living in the NOW.

Before, my life was overbooked, over-scheduled, planned to the T. Weekends were crazy busy, booked for months out. I felt a constant level of stress and pressure and never felt like I had any downtime.

2020 completely changed that. There was no more living in the FUTURE. Or making future plans. Or making ANY plans. Shit got shut down. For months we felt like we were living in a limbo. There was a brief reprieve this summer when it felt like the pandemic lessened and things weren’t as bad. Then winter. Another shut down.

During 2020 I realized just how much I did before and that I never wanted to go back to that lifestyle again. I love taking my dog for a walk a few times a day. I like relaxing. I like having downtime and not having every minute booked. I like having OPEN weekends. Sure, I miss friends and family and hope we can all get together soon, but *this* quietness, is nice.

How are you working on yourself this year?

Office

It’s finally done! Check out the before pictures here.

It took forever to finish, but it’s finally done. The walls are “Luxury Linen” and the trim is white. A friend gave me a gallon of leftover paint from her new house and I decided to add some splash of color to the room and painted one door blue. It’s a dark blue (“Goodnight Moon“) but it looks striking. And I think it really looks nice and compliments the orange rug (that covers the hideous floors).

(Those are Michael’s toys lol).

I got the art back up and made the finishing touches. The window trim is mostly painted white but not entirely because we are having the windows redone in a few months. So once the new ones are installed I’ll finish up the rest of the trim white and we might look at getting new blinds for the office.

I like how light the room feels now. It’s very bright and cheerful. I added plants. Hopefully they will do well in here! I tried having plants in here before but they always died because it was so dark.

I love how it turned out. I kinda wish I’d done it sooner! But it looks really nice and makes me happier. As far as minor house projects goes, this is kind of the final one. Last summer I painted our bedroom and Logan’s room and the office was kind of the last one. The other house projects are more involved–like redoing the master bathroom. That requires hiring someone and not something we plan on doing anytime soon. But we’ve been slowly getting some of the smaller projects off the to-do list and it feels good.