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 162015
 

On Saturday we met up with some friends at the Sandy River Delta park. I’ve seen it on our drives out to the Gorge to hike but we’ve never been there before. It’s a humongous dog park! 1400 acres of trails and off-leash dog fun! If you live in the Portland area and have a dog, definitely check it out.

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It’s a big park and it looks like all the trails connect. It’s really flat so more of a nature walk than a hike. We saw so many different breeds of dogs out there. It was pretty cool. One was a Pharaoh Hound, which I’d never seen or heard of before but it was a neat looking dog. We walked along the trail with our friends who had a 2.5 year old daughter and a dog and their friends with a dog joined us. The troop went down to the river to let the dogs go nuts.

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Bella is such a water baby! And it was a hot day (hotter than was expected) so the dogs were super happy to splash around and cool off. It was fun just watching them spaz out in the water. Bella was hopping in the water and having a blast. I took a short video you can see it on my Instagram.

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Bella was having a grand old time playing with her new friends. Getting filthy dirty and covered in sand. She was one ripe puppy! We spent a few hours with them at the park and then it was obvious the dogs were tiring out so we left. I went to the gym for a quick workout and then home to clean up. Then our friends invited us over to their place for dinner.

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We sat outside on their lovely patio in the nice summer evening. They had some really tasty sushi as an appetizer (I think it had mango, tofu and something else in it). It was really good!

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Dinner was grilled Korean short ribs (which we’ve never had before and loved!), brown rice and grilled broccolini with kimchi. Everything tasted so great. I wonder if Korean short ribs are easy to do? I kind of want to experiment on our own after trying them.

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It was such a lovely evening and we talked late into the night until it was dark and time to head home (after grilled peaches for dessert). I love late summer nights!

Sunday

On Sunday we had just enough time to do a quick hike in town before some friends were going to come over for dinner. I chose Marquam Trail to Council Crest Hike. We’d done part of this hike before and started at a different trailhead last time.  This time I think we picked up the trail about half way up Council Crest.

The trail was a bit steep in places and got my heart pounding. Bella was practically running up the trail when we first started out! We set a fast pace and in no time we were at the top, which I think was Council Crest Park. I’ve never been there before and it was a cute little park with fantastic views of the city in all directions!

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We stopped in the shade underneath a tree for lunch and to give Bella some water. Lunch for me was some curry chicken salad and broccoli salad. Michael had a sandwich. It was a really nice park. And it was only around a mile to hike up to it from where we parked.

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I didn’t realize how short the trail was (since we didn’t start at the beginning of it), so after lunch we decided to hike back down and then turn around and do it again. We saw a ton of other hikers, hikers with dogs and a fair amount of trail runners. It was a really popular trail and it connected to the Wildwood Trail, which is part of Washington Park.

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It was nice for a hot day because a lot of it was shaded and it felt cooler than it really was. We stopped a lot for water breaks for Bella. We ended up hiking just under 4 miles. I burned 609 calories.

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Sunday afternoon our friends Stu and Christi came over for dinner. She brought this gorgeous salad–strawberries, blueberries, hazelnuts and bleu cheese. It was a fantastic Oregon summer salad. I need to make this sometime. So light and refreshing.

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For dinner I made this recipe, PALEO BACON WRAPPED CHICKEN STRIPS. It was pretty good but of course mine didn’t look like the picture! Next time I made this I will broil it for a few minutes at the end. I also made a cucumber salad.

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We sat outside on the deck with some music and the fairy lights. Christi brought some tasty wine and a bottle of champagne. She also had this liqueur. A little splash of it in the champagne was really good! Not too sweet. But darn it, it was dangerous!

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We ended up playing Cards Against Humanity until it was so dark we could barely read the cards and the mosquitoes were starting to eat us. Then it was time to call it a night. But I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard! It was such a fun night and the kind of evening where you feel like summer will never end.

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