Look at me, on time two weeks in a row! What a week it has been! I have been in the thick of this transition between the chaos of the holiday,s the heavy weight of sorting through how and where we would spend Christmas, and now, stepping into 2020 with Boldness and intention, and not allowing that to be an easy come-easy go New Year’s Resolution kind of idea. I have such a strong sense of purpose and hope and inspiration after all that last year gave and taught me, and I don’t want to waste it. But, really following through on all of it, without burning out and burning up, and having to start over (again) is a real challenge. It’s always at least a bit harder, at least in the short term, to do things the way that is going to last. It is, for example, the difference between a short term “diet” and a true lifelong change of lifestyle and mindset. So, I’ve been doing the work, and trying to think past what I want right now, in this moment, to where i want to be a month, six months, a year- TEN years from now, and making decisions based on that more often. This has meant going easier on myself some days, pushing myself a little harder others, and asking myself questions in order to make decisions, rather than just acting out of impulse or desperation to *make things happen*.
Here’s how it’s all going:
Nutrition: I’m generally gaining clarity and focus here, regaining the mindset of eating fuels that fuel my body for what i want to ask of it while being enjoyable and satisfying in taste as well as biology. One day last week, maybe Thursday or Friday, I woke up really wanting eggs and toast, so that’s what I had (giant breakthrough, making eggs!), and was very glad that I’ve decided to keep a loaf of Ezekiel bread around, just for such times. There are no “bad” foods, because food doesnt have morality, but there are foods that serve my body and my goals far better than others, and those are the ones i choose to focus on. I’ve started tracking my food again in MFP, mostly observationally, and i am following my hunger and fullness cues. Today, for example, I had my Detox drink when I first woke up, as well as some water, and I wasn’t really hungry until around nine AM after that, so I waited to eat my yogurt. The Super Bowl was Sunday, and it was a bit stressful trying to navigate all the fun food without allowing myself to get *too* in my head. I did fine that night, but the bigger issue was the leftovers. I really like tortilla chips, and they are easy- so it was a less than ideal situation when, multiple days this week, I found myself hungry and tired- therefore just inclined to eat what came quickest and easiest. The world has not yet ended from me having a couple tortilla chip and salsa lunches, but this says to me that the wise thing is to not have them or their family members sitting around. It’s not about willpower, it’s about surrounding myself with good options. The other issue is that, due to all the Super bowl prep on Sunday, I neglected my own food prep for the week, which would have put me in a much better situation. I feel like any “missteps” in this area this week were useful as reminders of why preparation matters. Tomorrow, and the rest of the week, I will continue making wise choices, as i have most of my meals this week, and will definitely make time to prepare better this weekend.
Rest: this is still a work in progress, but I *am* progressing, in practice, if not yet getting the payoff I want. Somehow, even despite not staying up *too* late and sleeping in over the weekend, i didn’t recover well, and ended up extremely depleted on Monday morning. I made some intentional choices that day to try to get back on track, such as not exercising, taking my morning super slow and easy, taking a nice solid nap in the afternoon, and going to bed intentionally early that evening. Yesterday i got up on time (6:00 AM), and i knew I was still under-recovered, but also felt both determined and able to move forward wit hall the things I wanted to accomplish and hungry to move forward through and past this time of transition. I told E during our session yesterday, I struggle at this phase of the game every time, to know whether to push hard ahead or to stop and rest, but I’ve realized, like with many things in life, the wisest answer lies in the middle. I need to push forward, but also be intentional about resting when i am not working. So, I did my strength work, I rested a bit and wrote my pages and did soul care, then had my therapy session-then rested a bit after doing (abbreviated) school with the kids before my ride and literally wrapped in a blanket and rested some more before my evening yoga class. At the end of this very long, very heavily physical day, I felt *glorious.* Truly, I did. I woke up sore and low energy, and still under-recovered today, but not feeling like i was hit by a bus. D woke up early, so I got up earlier than my alarm, drank my Detox, and hopped on the bike for a very intentionally low effort Low Impact ride on my bike to wake up my muscles for 25 minutes of stretching and restorative yoga. Then, pretty much the rest of the day I. Took it super easy- reading to, helping the kids with Math, watching a movie with them, and then taking a nap before doing a little housework this evening. I hate being so “unproductive”, but also know this is extremely temporary, and even a week from today, I hope to do more with our Wednesday, getting back into my soul care and housework routines. It’s just very important right now to recharge. I could probably be more intentional with *how* I do that, less iPhone game, more eyes closed…but I *am* improving at being intentional. Tonight I am wearing my glasses and sipping a magnesium drink while I write this, and plan on getting into bed by 10:30, so I can be more recovered tomorrow than I’ve been all week so far.
Exercise: I already mentioned that I chose not to work out on Monday, but other than that and choosing to only do my strength work this past Saturday, instead of also riding- (I was entirely spent from my Friday ride, which was only twenty minutes long, but, was at the end of a long week of getting back on the horse.), I haven’t missed any exercise. Yesterday, in particular, was a fantastic exercise day, and really helped me feel like I am coming *back* from my season of exhaustion, and that if i commit to consistency-not perfection, just consistency- I will begin to get stronger and fitter and faster, and have more energy. This also comes back to rest, but it was incredibly cool yesterday to feel how i was performing in that 45 minute ride yesterday compared to the struggle bus of a 20 minute ride last Friday. This is also my last week on the first run through of the STRONG45 workouts, and i start round 2 on Monday. I’m super stoked for that, and hoping to feel like i am stronger and more focused this time through. I have already seen progress in some areas, the most quantifiable, my bodyweight rows on the rings, where I have, since starting the program, gone from 4 sets of 3 reps to 5 sets of 6! When i hit 8 reps, i will change my foot position, and eventually start lowering the rings until i am parallel. Soon I’ll also start developing my grip strength, so i can hit that first pull up! A lesson i have embraced in this area this week is the idea that i don;t have to do exercises i don’t like just because they seem “right” in some arbitrary way. I have backed off my Bulgarian Split Squats (BSS) for now, and decided to build back to them by starting with bodyweight regular split squats, then adding weight to them, and eventually back to BSS. Dunno if I’ll ever do burpees again though. HA!
Self care: not a ton of change here this week- this is still a moderately neglected area and i need to be more disciplined about it, especially at night, taking the 10-15 minutes twice a day, and showering (or bathing) most days, to in grain in myself a sense that i am worth the time and effort. It seems os silly, maybe, from the outside, that these things actually make such a difference, but they do- the fact that they don’t happen reguarly is a reflection of my lack of value of myself, and I know i feel better across the board when i am treating myself like it’s okay to care for myself. Soul care has continued to go well, but. I haven;t done it every day like I’ve wanted, and i especially want to make it happen on the weekends too. I took some time last Saturday, and i am hoping that getting up earlier on weekend days will make this work even better. I’m also still hoping to add those epsom salt baths soon!
Body Image/Love: as I could easily have predicted, I am *really * struggling here this week. I am swollen and bloated and feeling gross, mostly due to my muscles holding tons of water and my body being tired, but it sucks. The super bowl food didn’t help, and nothing fits, and, just bleh. I *know* it;s temporary (GOD I HOPE IT IS), and that the only way past it is through it, so I’m gonna grit my teeth, drink lots of water, eat some healing foods, and thank my body for how strong it;s getting. But it also sucks. I am super bazooka hoping by next week it has begun to ease off, but if not, i will still keep doing the things my body needs, and trust that relief and results will come. I truly *am* celebrating that i am getting stronger, and little by little, my performance is returning.
So, the name of the game for me right now is consistency in all the above. I am building a foundation with fundamentals, and I know that if i keep my focus on where i am going while appreciating where i am – and how far I have come in so many ways, i can get through this stage of growing pains and frustration.
Can’t wait to share next week what new things I’ve discovered about myself!