Hey Everyone! If you’re from around these parts, how was your long weekend? I’m telling you..around this time, I start getting pangs of sadness that summer is going by way too fast. But truthfully, summer has been great and I just want to keep the good times rolling for the next month! On a bit of a deeper level, this season has also been a time where I have been trying to figure myself out a bit better. Is that called getting my crap together? Because that’s what was needed ha!
About six weeks ago I felt like I hit a wall physically. To back up the bus a bit, my body has been morphing over the past year and a half…in a direction I haven’t been super happy about. It almost feels like I’ve slipped on another layer. And conversely as it’s been happening, I have continued to up my exercise regime. It feels like I have been chasing this thing that I just can’t make up any ground on.
Perspective is huge and I don’t ever EVER want to be anything less than grateful for my health. But it’s felt like somewhat of a stumbling block. Eating way better, exercising more. There should be a very obvious result! ($%#$& those hormones!) Menopause is no joke. At the same time, I have felt that it’s no excuse either.
So…I found myself continuing to sign up for more forms of exercise… the gym, bootcamp, barre class, pilates…they were ALL great choices. But oddly, my body was in serious fight mode. I felt tired and it showed…hugely. Physically, I was struggling and couldn’t do things at the gym that I could do only a short time before (Don’t even ask me about the prowler!). Emotionally, the tears were right at the surface… I was struggling to keep it together during these classes. There was an ongoing battle happening inside my head. One moment, thinking “I can do this!” and then next moment, fighting the “I’m exhausted, I’m old, my body sucks!” Uggg… I’ve never wanted to be THAT girl who gives up. Deep down there was also some fear that if I cut back on any of these commitments that it would be a slippery slope and soon I’d find myself doing nothing and not having the will or self discipline to change it.
That, I suppose was the crux of it. I was super disappointed in what I felt was a clear lack of self-discipline.
It was during one of these days that I finished my barre class and just sort of blurted it out to Pam and to my barre instructor, Dori (who also happens to be a genuine friend!). Clearly no shocker that it was a teary conversation. Seriously, I still am not sure why it touched such an emotional nerve with me. But Dori’s assessment kinda took me by surprise. She looked me straight in the eye and told me that it sounded like my body needed some rest. WHA?!?! No…I needed to be exercising harder! Right??? She asked me what my body needed from me. At that moment I truthfully had no idea. But she challenged me to listen to it. To give it rest when it required that. Not to give up exercise (is that what you were hoping I’d say? ha!)…but rather to start figuring out what my body needed physically and to then do it.
I left that day with lots to think on. The serendipitous part of this story is what happened later that very day. While I still felt exhausted, I felt more energized at the idea that maybe this internal battle had some legs to it…that there was something I really needed to figure out. That evening, Pam and I went to a media event where we were given a tutorial on hand lettering. As a parting treat we were each given a throw pillow with a word stenciled on it. My word: rest. Wow. Kinda took my breath away.
God has perfect timing. And this message came in loud and clear. Rest. The cool thing (beyond the already cool pillow thing!) was that we were on the cusp of summer. A time when the schedule gets completely shaken up. Time away on some holiday jaunts as well as the more loose schedule has given me the opportunity to play around with what it means to REST. The form it has taken has been to still be outside a lot. Like A LOT. Most every day finds me walking, often listening to music as I go. Hiking too. Enjoying being outside and in nature (minus the smoke of this last week which doesn’t feel like it’s the healthiest environment..yikes). And while I’m not sure where that’s put me physically, I sure feel like I have been able to appreciate and make the most of a beautiful BC summer. The added bonus is that it’s given me a chance to spend more time one on one with the kids when I force them to join me ha! Well, sometimes they volunteer to come…other times, I beg. And then there’s times where I’m more than ok being with myself:)
These weeks have been a time where I’ve been trying to learn a bit more about myself…. the guilt motivation versus healthy personal motivation (which has been a common thread in many areas in my life). And also realizing that I play some not so fact based games with myself…like telling myself that if I don’t do a specified activity on a given day that I have failed and have added to my weight worry. Umm…doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how unhealthy that is! And so…these realizations have come to light for me. And in answer to that, I’ve got some work to do. That part is still very much in process.
As for moving forward, I will still be doing much of what I signed up for…but maybe not all at once?!! I am not giving up or throwing in the towel. That is not it at all. I have needed an attitude adjustment for sure, am working on trying to stop the negative guilt train. If that is my motivation, there’s no way being active will be sustainable. Dori encouraged me to find things I love to do and do them often! Such good advice. She also passed along this: If you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit. Can I hear an amen?
Not sure why I shared this except that maybe you have some words of insight. Or maybe some of you have found yourselves in a similar place. Would love to hear your thoughts on this…and what has helped you through those “slumps”. I really do learn from you all!
Thanks for taking the time to read this post. Wishing you all an awesome week! xo Laurel