learning how to rest

Learning How to Rest

“Smile, breathe and go slowly.” 

– Thich Nhat Hanh

Do you know how to rest?

Like really, do you? I think it’s a legitimate question we should ALL ask ourselves. Especially these days. I know I’m not alone in this. I feel like technology has gotten so advanced that we are alway plugged in. Constantly. When Michael and I watch TV we’re usually both on our phone playing games. Addicted much? Do you remember the days when someone had to call back if you weren’t home to answer the phone? Or they had to leave a message and wait for you to call back? Always plugged in means you never really disconnect from “life”…from the drudgery…from work…from friends…you never really get a break.

Are you like me? Is your schedule planned out in advance (sometimes my schedule is booked out a month in advance, I kid you not)? If something in my schedule falls through and I suddenly have free time, sometimes I fill that with a gym session. Sometimes I fill it with the gazillion errands and chores and various projects I’m always multitasking. It’s exhausting.

I was talking to my mom and she said she was the same way–never really resting, always working on something or filling her time with something. She said I was like her and she’s right. She also said I’m not the type to do anything partway, it’s always fully committed, almost to the point of obsessive hyper focus. Yep, that’s me! I have a friend that loves to take naps and languishes in them. I so don’t get that.  I cannot relate. Napping? Who has time? I’d never fall asleep. I’d be laying in bed with my mind racing making lists of all the things I NEED to do, that I SHOULD be doing, etc etc.

With my knee injury and doctor ordered rest, I contemplated what REST really means to me. It usually means filling my time with things…projects, chores, reading, scrapbooking, watching Netflix, catching up on TV shows with Michael, playing with Fat Kitty.

You know what I think about when I think about REALLY RESTING? I think of two things.

The first thing is sitting on a beach with the sun warming my bare legs, the saltwater lapping at my feet, a light breeze keeping me cool and of course a very strong umbrella drink in my hand.


The second thing I think of is running away to a spa retreat somewhere in the middle of nowhere, like at Breitenbush. Nothing but the sounds of a fast moving river, the wind in the ancient trees and the sounds of forest creatures. Of course there are hot springs where you can relax and gaze up at the sky while you REST. Doesn’t that sound amazing?


It seems as though “Resting” for me really means “Escaping.”

Learning how to nurture our bodies and listen to what they are telling us is hard. If you’re like me, you are skilled at ignoring the cues the body gives you. I usually go hard until my body finally tells me to stop–and that’s when I get my bi-annual head cold that has me planted on the couch with a box of kleenex for a week.

I read this article, 12 Practical Steps for Learning to Go With the Flow, and it really spoke to me. It started out describing how we’ve structured the perfect morning routine that goes really well, then something happens to throw a huge wrench in that routine and we get frustrated and angry and stressed that the routine has changed (totally me!)…The article suggests to Go With The Flow.

I liked the suggestions the article gave and plan on working on them. The article is worth a read. The ones that stuck out for me were these:

Realize that you can’t control everything.


Enjoy life as a flow of change, chaos and beauty.

Accept change and imperfection.

Can I commit to trying to do those 4 things? Yes. Will it help me? Probably. I printed those four reminders out and taped them to my desk as a reminder.

So in the spirit of resting, I took a few days off from the gym. Even though I was cleared to swim, do yoga and upper body weights, I decided to just take a break. I took 4 days off and then eased back into the routine with a yoga class. And it was fine! The world didn’t end. 🙂

QUESTION: Can you rest? How do you rest? How often?

May 2013 Goals

As always, the weekend went way too fast. I followed my doctor’s orders and when I made it to the gym on Saturday (I was moving very slowly that morning) I took it easy and didn’t do any activities that were below the waist. I’m super stoked that I’m able to do triceps kickbacks at such a heavy weight now. I’m thinking in the next week or so I’ll be up to 20 pounds!


After my gym session, Michael and I had a little date day together. We went back to Cartlandia for lunch. I was tempted to go back to the wrap cart I told you guys about but I thought I should branch out a little and try something new. After perusing all the options we ended up splitting an entree from the Thai Mango cart. It’s been AGES since I’ve had Mongolian Beef and the last time I had it (PF Changs), I remember it being super greasy and covered in sauce.



Thankfully it wasn’t like that this time. It wasn’t greasy at all. It was the perfect amount for two people to share for lunch. I’m glad we decided to split it. My only complaint about the delicious dish was that the broccoli should have been cut a little smaller. It was kinda hard to eat with a plastic fork! And we might have gotten another order of those cream cheese and jalapeno wontons. Might have…


After our lunch in the sun we caught a movie. It was such a nice day out–upper 70’s–and I was in shorts and a tank top! I wanted to spend the afternoon soaking up the sunshine. But sadly there wasn’t much we could do with my knees all borked and the doctor’s orders to rest. Soooooooooo lazy day it was. We ended up seeing the Evil Dead remake. DO NOT GO if you are squeamish in any way. It was pretty gruesome, but decent for a horror flick. (I did keep thinking about THIS movie the entire time, though…)

The rest of the afternoon was spent reading (two mindless chick lit books) and Michael watched sports. Fun times, huh? I wasn’t feeling up to doing much honestly.



Dinner Saturday night was simple and lazy as well. Michael grilled up some spicy bratwursts and I had some slices of that fancy English Cheddar cheese on the side. I also created a fun little snack!


It was super easy and tasted great. We had it as a side dish with dinner. I know, not as healthy as say broccoli or Brussels sprouts would be but I loved it! I’d make it a little bit spicier the next time I make it. It was a fun little snack and a much better way to eat celery. 😉

The weekend wrapped up and April ended with a lackluster fizzle for me. I’m hoping May is a little bit better…


I think it’s so crucial to make attainable, achievable, realistic goals. If your goal is to lose weight, saying you want to lose 100 pounds in 4 months is NOT realistic (or healthy for that matter), so why not set the goal to lose 30 pounds in 4 months? I understand the desire to be an overachiever but in the long run, a methodical, planned out journey to reach your goal will be much more successful.

April Goals

1. Complete the 6 Week personal training program with Suzanne and possibly sign up for another 6 weeks, if needed. YES! I totally rocked this. Check back soon for the recap and final results.

2. Go for a bike ride if weather and knees permit. I did! I went for two bike rides in April.  Both rides went really well. Unfortunately, I had another flare-up of my knee issues after the second bike ride. This sparked a tearful call to my sports doc who scheduled an MRI. I also did about 8 weeks of acupuncture in hopes that it would help me.

3. Try once again to get back at running! Okay, I think it’s time to stop putting this on my month goals for awhile. I’ve been tried to get back to running since January and it hasn’t happened. So, I’ll stop for awhile.

I’m pretty happy with my April goals, despite the knee flare-ups and the frustrations of not being able to run. My goals for May aren’t really shooting for the stars. My doctor ordered rest period is kind of putting things on hold for awhile. I guess this is time for me to learn HOW to rest…

May Goals

1. Work on my core strength and glutes/start Phase 2 of Suzanne’s program.

2. Follow knee specialist instructions and REST knees for 6 weeks.

3. Try and find other fitness activities I might like.

Of course I’m disappointed that my goals this month don’t involve commuting to work on bike or getting back to running. I think I’ll live in denial for a little while and NOT think about it. I’m debating on taking a full week off from ALL activities to just give myself a break and to process things but I’m still on the fence with that…

QUESTION: Do you have any goals you want to achieve before summer arrives?