It’s clearly Monday, not Wednesday, and I know I missed a couple weeks, but I’m okay. I’m more than okay, in fact. I’m growing, learning, adapting, and, in many ways, starting to thrive again.
Nutrition: I had been thinking a lot on this, lately, wanting to preserve freedom while also fueling my body better. Then, I had a really great conversation with Kristine about just that-the “advanced” level of Intuitive Eating, a step beyond learning to honor your hunger (and fullness) and not have restrictions on what we’re “allowed” to eat, is learning (or, in my case, remembering,) what makes our bodies feel and function best. As we tune into that more, we will find our food desires and cravings will align with it.( For example, I cannot wait to enjoy the big ol’ ribeye, mashed potatoes, and leafy salad that I’ll be enjoying for dinner tonight! ) For me, personally, that looks like a lot of protein and veggies, delicious high nutrient fats, and strategic quality carb sources when I need them to help me recover- and a square of fudge, a cookie, or a glass of wine sometimes! I’ve started putting more intention into giving my body more of what it needs, instead of listening as much to the whims of its wants, and so far, I really like how I feel. My rice craving is no more, and I know that when I want some, I can enjoy it, so there’s no fear of deprivation. I’m also not constantly starving, and was completely satisfied with a salad topped with plenty of chicken and cucumbers for dinner last night. Most of all, I feel completely fueled to perform and not pacing like a lioness to refuel after every workout.
I also want to mention here, I still find my shame/”should” trigger being hit when I see social media posts about certain diet plans or approaches to food that involve restricting or eliminating foods entirely in order to lose weight. I know that for some people these are useful tools to help them pursue their goals, but for many, or even most people, they are a path to or a symptom of bondage, and do more long term harm than good. Even knowing all that, I do still struggle with a fear of “doing it wrong” and never getting where I want to be.
Rest: BIG growth in this area recently! I feel like my sleep itself has been boosted in quality, and we are doing better and better about getting to bed on time, though there is still room to improve. 11:15 is significantly better than midnight, but 10:55 lights out would be better.
I’m finally getting better at taking afternoon down time to relax, decompress, and rest. Most days recently I’ve either watched a movie or show, or listened to an audiobook and taken a nap. Saturday afternoon I fell asleep in the sun listening to a book, and it was glorious.
The two biggest parts of my improving recovery routine are the (at least) twice weekly Epsom Salt baths I have been talking about but am now actually following through on, and FOAM ROLLING! Y’all! HOW am I just now discovering this? (Thanks, Kristine!) THIS is a game changer. I’m only a week in, but last week I rolled 20-30 minutes each of the six days I worked out- I intended to yesterday, but I was just exhausted- and it was like magic for my muscle recovery.
Exercise: Consistency in movement is definitely better than it has been in a very long time. A good bit of that is due to having my best friend in this with me, and loving it every bit as much. Another part is having returned to Jillian, and knowing what to expect each day- this gives me freedom to know where to push hard and where to ease off. I’m gaining strength, mobility, and stamina. It’s pretty cool.
I noticed such improvements on the bike (I have set new PR’s in 5, 30, 45, and 60 minute rides in the past month) that today I took my Power Zone FTP test after almost two years of riding less consistently/training more gently until recently, and, while I did not beat my previous output number, I did match it, and on far less recovery and after a far heavier workout load last week than anything I was doing in June 2018. Initially I was extremely disappointed, but after talking with my people, I realized there were plenty of factors, and then made a plan to train for at least the next six weeks for my next test, and then intentionally recover (still riding, but with a far lighter load) the week before I test again.
Self care: I am now addicted to showering every day. I know this should go without saying, but for the past five years, I haven’t been able to summon the energy more than once or twice a week, even with all the exercise I do. Now that I’ve been doing it for a few weeks, though, I really can’t stand being sticky or putting clean clothes on a sweaty body. I’m working myself back into the habit of shaving my legs, just in time for shorts season too. I’m much more consistent about my skincare and makeup too. I’m working on making my hair behave, and am going to work a weekly manicure into my routine soon too. Something I started Saturday with intention, and plan to continue, is getting into the fresh air and sunshine every day that it’s possible, both for Vitamin D and to boost my mood- bonus points if I can do it without having to keep one eye on the babies, too!
Soul Care: This is going better and better, as I give myself grace for it to not have to look the same every day. I’d love to, and do try to, get into the Word every day, and spend some time with my prayer journal, but it also counts if “all” I can make happen is belting out some worship songs in the kitchen while making food for the kids. The kids are getting better at respecting this time too, and that is super helpful.
Body Image/Love: my pendulum has swung to the place of “not content, but patient” with my body. I’m not seeing drastic changes like I’d hope almost three months into being really consistent with working out, but, like I mentioned above, I am beginning to feel stronger, and it’s possible I feel some changes in body composition that are not quite ready to show in the way my clothes fit. I feel like a lot of things are coming together for me in all the above areas, and that’s exciting. Now my job is to prioritize the things that are causing the good stuff and stay consistent with them. I do not need to restrict or push harder, but just stay consistent. And go to bed on time.
This week I love that my body is becoming stronger and more fluid in yoga. Chaturanga is closer than it has ever been, and Camel pose is becoming more comfortable by the week.
I may skip this in depth update this Wednesday, and instead share with you my thoughts about my “failed” FTP test today, and the analogies it brought to mind for me.
Have a fantastic week, y’all!