Wellness (not) Wednesday 7/16/20

Whew! It’s been a big week for my wellness journey. I just finished the first draft of my first book -*about* my wellness journey-on July 2nd, the day before my 38th birthday. This is the first Wellness Wednesday entry that I am going to include in that book, because writing it really served to help me refocus myself on what matters, and inspired some changes in my approach to a few things. I am leveling up, and I could not be more excited about that.

Nutrition: This is going so incredibly lately, and I’m finding so much freedom. If you’ve been following my story, you may be aware that since Thanksgiving 2018 it has ranged from very difficult to impossible for me to cook raw meat or eggs, due to my OCD. That is changing, finally. I still get a little nervous, but in the past week I have cooked supper from raw chicken and beef four times. WOW! I am really enjoying the variety and freedom and joy getting to *really* cook again is bringing me.

Also, here’s the first big change I get to share today: I am tracking my food in MFP again for the first time in almost two years. I have tracked a day or two here and there in that time just to check in, because, you know, lack of aesthetic/outward change is really hard on the motivation, but overall it’s been really important for me to learn to eat more intuitively and not control or count anything during this time, to reprogram my mind and release control. I’m finally in a place where all that is easier, but I’m also generally training more than I have been since I started IE, soooo I need to make sure I’m eating *enough* to sustain what I am asking of myself. My tracking is a means to that end, and also awareness. I have set a calorie “goal” that is more like a calorie *minimum*, and once that is hit, I listen to my hunger cues and eat more as needed. I’m only a week and a half into that, so we will see over time if and how it helps. I will say that I am eating well below what MFP says I “can/should”, because most days I’m just not hungry. I’m also not tracking super religiously on the weekend, but just trying to eat mindfully and enjoy. This means last Saturday I had 3 slices of pizza for dinner, because I was ravenous, but Sunday I really only snacked for lunch (Scott makes a huge breakfast on weekend days) and we had salad for dinner.

Another small note, I am keeping mostly to what I feel makes my body feel best, eating mostly whole foods, little dairy, and very few grain based starches other than oats. Pizza last Saturday was a “once a month or so” thing, because I definitely don’t feel my best after eating lots of it. I’m not calling it keto or paleo because I find labels to be unhealthy for me. It’s just what my body finds best.

Rest: This…continues to be a work in progress. I *am* doing super well at dropping everything to relax and have fun in the late afternoons, and that is really good for me. Soon it won’t feel like work to *not* be working on something. Bedtime is harder. I really enjoy my time with Scott in the evening and since he gets up an hour and a half to two hours after me, he is not always motivated to go to bed at a good time. I’m trying and he’s trying, and the last few nights have been *better*. I just need to stay committed to the big picture. Sigh.  I’ve also re-started my foam rolling on workout days and I took an Epsom salt bath last night. So yay me. Habits are much easier to *start* than keep up, though, so *stay strong, Mae!* 

Exercise: Oh my favorite! I had a bit of a come to Jesus with myself after I finished draft one of this book, because I realized that my strength training had drifted a *little* into the “have to” range, and I wanted to make sure I was keeping it in the “get to” column in my life. I don’t believe in doing workouts you don’t enjoy, and especially not ones you dread. It’s fine for me to feel like a workout is something I want to conquer, but not something I just don’t wanna do. I won’t bore you with all the details, but I spent a few hours over the weekend on a revamp, and now my strength training is much more upper body and core centered, with tons more targeted yoga included and much more variety. I won’t be repeating the same workout more than once every other week, but also as infrequently and once every six weeks- maybe longer as my list of favorites grows. Finally, my workouts have become all Peloton based and very heavy on yoga.

This comes from reflecting on what I really *want* from my strength training.

  • To get stronger
  • To build muscle and see more definition
  • To be able to do more and grow in my yoga practice, because the more I can do, the more I enjoy it and the more it benefits my mental health.

What matters a lot less than it did: how many calories I burn doing all this. 

Speaking of…I also hit a HUGE milestone in yoga on Monday. I have been working on my chaturanga pose since August or September 2011- whenever it was that my yoga practice began. The past month or so, I was able to, about 40% of the time, drop into it, but then have to flow directly into updog with no hold at all, because holding it is HARD. Well, on Monday, in my arms flow, I decided to try to hold it, at least once or twice. I had never held it as long as the instructor-EVAR. Guess what. I did it. Not just the first time. EVERY time. And then later when I did my normal 30 minute flow for the day, there were a ton more, and I held all of them too- even after 40 minutes of arms work that day before starting yoga. Then on Tuesday, I decided to do the same on my 45 minute flow. I held every single one, even though the last one was pretty close to a thump. I am getting so much stronger than I realize. Almost nine years in, I have hit a major milestone!

I have really enjoyed my rides this week so far, and I’m both excited and nervous to ride live tonight! I’m always nervous, it’s part of the fun.

Self Care: this is probably my weakest area. I have been really trying to be intentional about it the past few days though, and every time I wash my face, get dressed, put on makeup, shave my legs, shower after I ride… it all counts. I’ve done all those things at least once in the past few days (most more than once) which is progress over the weeks I was writing my book, so WIN. Right now I’m in my workout clothes because Yoga is on deck (my schedule is sooo off today) but I am also taking pauses here while writing to make my skincare routine happen. It has 8 steps so it takes a bit.

Soul Care: This is taking some intention, especially now that we have started school again. It’s easy to let it (and washing my face) get back burnered in the shuffle of trying to transition between my morning workout and the couple hours of “free play” I try to get the kids to do each morning without screens. They often interrupt so often that by the time I get my face washed – if I get that far- I am almost out of time before it’s time to transition to school. My intention for a start is to do my Write the Word Journal and my 10 minute daily calm meditation every day at minimum. That’s about twenty minutes of undistracted time, and I can make *at least* that happen every day.

Body Image: This is a good week for my body image, partly because of the effect of my yoga milestone making me realize how strong I am becoming, and partly because I *think* my arms and shoulders are finally getting a little definition. Hopefully the rest of me follows in not too long.

I love my body this week because…I can do chaturanga!

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