Jun 232015
 

maui1

 “To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Recently I read an article that I posted to my Facebook group, and I wanted to write a little bit about it here, too. Here is that link: 5 Words to Heal Your Relationship with Your Body.

“I am enough.”

There’s a difference between striving to improve yourself, and beating yourself up for not being perfect. I fall into this trap sometimes. Sure I want to better myself, I want to lose weight, I want to be fitter and stronger and so on and so on…but at what point is it enough to just BE?

In the past 6 months I’ve been trying to lose some weight that I gained, was a little successful and had some setbacks, and numerous times I’ve had people ask me “what if this is just where your body is naturally?” I’ve pondered this and while I am not discounting that, I do think I can lose a little bit more. The hard part is trying to decide when to stop criticizing myself and when to accept that this is it.

Compassion.

I am definitely NOT compassionate to myself. Others, yes, myself, rarely. Over the years I’ve learned to back off with the gym if my body isn’t feel right. 7 years ago? I would have powered through whatever I was feeling and ignored the cues my body was giving me and beat myself up if I had to take a break. Maybe it’s age, maybe it’s having enough injuries over the years that I’ve gotten better at taking an unplanned day (or week) off if my body needs it. It’s hard having compassion for yourself.

The other component of being compassionate is to silence that negative voice in your head (we all have it). Some days that voice in my head is a lot louder than other days. Recently that negative voice was very loud when I was trying on my summer clothes from last year. Having to buy a bunch of new clothes was discouraging and I beat myself up about it for days. Was that helpful? No. But turning that voice off can be such a struggle sometimes.

Positive reinforcement word Compassion engrained in a rock

Positive reinforcement word Compassion engrained in a rock

Gratitude.

This was a hard lesson to learn but I’ve learned it. I think what really taught me this lesson was injury. I used to take my fitness level for granted. I’d forgotten how hard I’d worked to get there. It’s not like I went from 250+ to athlete overnight — IT TOOK TIME and EFFORT. And yet I still forgot how hard I worked to get there.

When I suffered from Runner’s Knee it changed my life and my outlook on things. It was very discouraging and depressing and it was the longest injury I’ve ever had. Two years. Two years of specialists, physical therapy, massage therapy, acupuncture, yoga, X-rays and MRIs. Nothing sucks more than not knowing from day to day, or even hour to hour, if your body was going to work right. What helped heal me was going to the Warrior Room. It got me back to running and I was never more grateful or happy in my life. I worked hard to get back to being able to run without pain and I do NOT take running for granted anymore. Even if I can only run 1 mile, it’s something and it’s better than nothing and I am glad for it.

 Gratitude

 

At some point, life needs to be about more than the number on the scale. It should be about living life, spending time with loved ones and enjoying things every day.

A friend was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer and the first thing I thought about with the news was that nothing else really matters in the big picture: just relationships and loving life. Not measuring your food religiously every day, or going to the gym to slog through a workout you aren’t feeling, or stressing about stupid shit…

Going on a road trip with a friend and sharing the memories; sharing an amazing dessert with your spouse on your anniversary; cuddling with your fur-babies on a lazy Sunday morning; sitting on the deck on a hot summer night listening to the frogs chirp and just relaxing. These are the things that matter, not being a size 6 in jeans. It’s a shame it often takes something serious or tragic to remind ourselves of what really matters.

This is work I need to do on myself. Love myself more. Be more kind to myself. Be more understanding. Accept where I currently am. It’s okay to want more and to want to be better, but not okay to belittle myself because I’m not there yet.

Hope everyone read the article and found something in it that spoke to them, too.

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Jun 092015
 

SUMMER!

I love summer in the NW! It’s so picturesque and usually pretty comfortable–not TOO hot (although, local Pacific NW-ers may disagree with me, seems a lot of them like the cool 60’s much better). This past weekend it was going to be clear skies, bright sunshine and hot weather. Saturday we made plans with our friends we went to Bend with in January to go for a hike and have a picnic lunch at Stubb Stewart Park. Our friends Sean and Margie had never heard of Stubb Stewart and it’s not too long of a drive from their neck of the woods, so it was nice that we could expose them to such a cool park nearby! (From where we live it’s a little less than an hours drive. From Hillsboro area it’s about 30 minutes.)

It also turned out to be National Park Day so the entrance was free! We met them at the park on Saturday morning and got started on our hike. Most of the hike was through the forest (near the horse trails and the disc golf course). It was a good little hike because the ground is nice and soft and it’s really shaded (which was good for a hot day). The day was much cooler in the trees.

We hiked around the looping trails that all connect and got a pretty decent workout in! Even though the hike isn’t super strenuous, my heart rate was at a great rate for most of it.
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Because it was such a hot day I was super aware of Bella the whole time. We stopped to rest in the shade a few times, gave her water and I poured water on her body to cool her down. She was panting but not abnormally so. For the first part of the hike she seemed to be doing pretty well and had a lot of energy.

The place was full of wildflowers blooming. I just love the wild flowers that grown in Oregon!

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Don’t you love wildflowers? I know it’s not a really interesting subject matter but I really could just take pictures of flowers for the rest of my life and be pretty happy. :)

After hiking for a bit we found ourselves back at the Hilltop parking lot and picnic spot so we grabbed the cooler and sat at a bench in the sunshine to have our lunches. This was the view for our picnic:

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This was my calorie burn for the hike:

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Sweet number! Lunch for us was a Subway sandwich I’d bought before we left (we were out of everything to make something at home). I got us ham sandwiches on flatbread and we had some Trader Joe’s white cheddar popcorn and sugar snap peas. It was a really nice lunch break. Bella hid under the picnic table in the shade and relaxed.

After lunch we walked a little bit longer to show Sean and Margie the cute little cabins that you can rent. I was hoping they’d be interested in renting one out with us sometime this summer and they were! How could you not? They are super cute looking. I hope we can make this happen (even though last time I checked they were pretty booked this summer).

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We walked a little more through the forest. The trail we’d done last time we were there was closed and even though it was shaded in the woods, we could tell Bella was getting hot. She was slowing down and just didn’t seem interested in hiking anymore so we called it a day.

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We went back toward the Hilltop parking lot and ended up on the park road. I could really tell that Bella was feeling the heat now. She was much slower and so we decided the hike was over and went back to the car area. When we got there Bella kept trying to hide underneath the picnic benches for some shade. :( My poor baby! We probably should have called it a day after lunch. But she was a trooper and was acting pretty normal (other than being tired).

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Here is the calorie burn for the little hike we did after lunch:

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We stopped in the shade and I poured water over Bella and we tried to get her to drink. While Michael was in the shade with B, I got the car started with the AC on full blast to cool it down before we got inside. We said our goodbyes to our friends and then we were hitting the road.

Of course, we had to make a stop at Dairy Queen on the way home for the Orange Julius smoothie. I got the pina colada flavor just like last time! 😀 It was fantastic! (And less than 200 calories so on a stifling hot afternoon, it was a nice treat.)

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Total calories burned for the hike: 867 and we did just around 6 miles! We got home and I gave Bella a bath and a big dinner and she just chilled on the couch for the rest of the evening (as per usual). She seemed to be doing okay so I was glad we didn’t overdo it on the hike. When it’s that hot you never can tell.

Sunday

Sunday was NOT as great of a day.  :( It was that time of year to take all the beasts to the vet for their annual check-ups. Usually it’s an all-day thing (which kind of sucks because I hate how quiet and lonely the house feels without my babies) and I also hate the idea of them being stuck in cages at the vet’s awaiting their turn.

Bella was all good and just needed her exam and a refill on her monthly flea/heartworm etc meds. The kitties were getting their exams as well as dental cleaning. It’s part of their pet insurance package and while they are indoor kitties and in good health, I signed them up for the dental package because a few years ago Maya (who had a cracked tooth) ended up needing to have two teeth removed. My poor baby! That was an awful experience and I felt so bad for her. She needed antibiotics and pain meds twice a day for 10 days (imagine trying to give a skittish kitty meds twice a day…yeah!).

Anyways. There was some kind of emergency at the vet (another pet) and so that pushed all the other pets back and my kitties didn’t get their cleanings until late in the day. The hard part about the dental cleaning is that they have to put them under anesthesia in order to do it. I absolutely hate that and I shared my concerns with the vet. Last time Fat Kitty had a very negative experience to it (he became like a crazed feral cat). So this time she used a different kind of anesthesia.

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When I got them home I took them into the office where their litter box and food and stuff is and closed the door. I let Fat Kitty out and he was a like a drunk sailor–he could barely walk. He didn’t fall down but he looked like he was about to at any moment. I sat with him for awhile and monitored him. He was so high. It was really distressing. He definitely wasn’t the feral crazed cat like last time, but I might prefer that to this high-drunk-sailor-wobbly-kitty. :(

I let Maya out of and she was a little goofy but not too bad and she even let me pet her! And she came up and rubbed against me and wanted cuddles (coming from the cat that always hides, this was abnormal). They weren’t allowed to eat for a few hours but could have water. I tried to get them to have water but they were both too loopy.

For several hours I sat with Fat Kitty while the anesthesia wore off. He didn’t have an appetite (VERY abnormal) and wouldn’t eat the wet food or dry food I put out once it was okay to eat. He kind of sniffed it and licked it and that was it. I hated it! I was so stressed out. It’s no fun seeing our babies hurt or sick. I wish I could make them feel better.

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Despite all that the vet said they were all in good health. Fat Kitty was on the borderline when it came to his kidneys. She said it could be a combination of not eating anything since the previous night (no food/water after 8pm the night before) and the stress of being at the vet. She wants to check his kidneys and blood work again in a month to be on the safe side. She said at that time he might be put on a prescription diet for his kidneys if they weren’t better. I decided to go ahead and get the special food now and start mixing it in with the other cat food just to be safe. She said she wasn’t TOO worried yet but a little concerned. On the drive home from the vet I cried a little bit when I thought about my baby possibly being sick.

I stayed up pretty late monitoring my baby. The anesthesia was wearing off–he was walking normally by like 9:30pm and starting to eat. I stayed up to make sure he wasn’t going to vomit or anything.

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So yeah, Sunday kind of sucked.

kitties

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