The Misconception About Fitness

21 May

179171_171572279675757_807832734_nFitness isn’t about a number on a scale. Or the image in the mirror. Fitness is about health. Whole health — mind, body, and spirit.

I love my body. I appreciate how well it works, how strong it is, and how much it has been through. That’s why I am committed to making it better. To making it healthier. To being the best me I can be.

When I talk about losing weight, leaning up, gaining muscle, doing more — I’m not coming from a place of unhappiness and self-hatred. I am doing what I can to make my body a healthier, happier temple for my soul to reside in. I am an educated person, I understand how food works with my body and I know my body better than anyone else. If I say I need to lose weight or body fat, I mean it. It’s not a plea for compliments.

We’re a culture of affirmation. We live in a Facebook world where we anticipate our likes and throw comments out simply to get reassurance. This doesn’t help anyone. If your friend who is obviously not as fit as she’d like to be (even if her standards differ from yours) says she wants to get healthier, I would hope your first response is one of encouragement and positivity. “That’s great, way to go!” Because, when you tell someone they don’t need to do something they feel they do, you are downplaying their goals and essentially their future accomplishments. You’re not doing anyone a favor by giving them a way out, or making them second guess themselves.

Now, I understand there are people out there who have a problem. I suffered from an eating disorder for over 6 years and dropped down to barely livable weights before anyone really said a word. It was a very strong and supportive person who looked me in the eyes and told me “You are going to die,” that gave me the courage to seek help, and it worked because I wanted to be better. If you know a person like this in your life, do what you can to support them, but know that saying “You don’t need to lose weight!” or “You are so skinny!” isn’t going to deter them. It takes love, kindness, support, and their own will for them to seek help.

Good health is something to be encouraged and supported and it looks different to everyone.

I read this article this morning and I loved it. Especially this excerpt:

“On top of that, we understand human biology. Humans evolved in situations in which food was scarce. This led to an evolutionary adaptation that causes you to crave salty, sugary and fatty foods. Consuming foods with these characteristics actually lights up the same pleasure centers in the brain as cocaine.”

So when your friend is trying to change their eating habits, they are basically fighting an addiction they didn’t even know they had. It’s a tough road, whole wellness, but it starts one step at a time. If that first step is met when resistance it can easily lead straight back to where we were trying to break away from in the first place.

Sharing Joy

20 May

This is my happy place…

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Over the weekend I brought my daughter out to experience it with me. She was in heaven, and I couldn’t have felt more joy at her happiness. What I call “my mountain” is really the farthest out-cropping of a sprawling mountain ridge. It’s still pretty fun to climb and can be an intense workout, but it’s not impossible for anyone to do it. If my two-year old can do it, what’s your excuse? We had so much fun, she refused to stick to any trails, and her favorite part was climbing the rocks and running downhill. She makes me so proud.

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When we got to the mountain and started up the trail she decided she wanted to go a totally different way. We asked her to follow us and stay on the trail, she looked up at us, waved and said “Bye Mom, bye Dad!” and continued on her own. In the middle of the desert, where she has never been before. No fear, no worries, just a wave and she was on her way. That kid…

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Sunday morning I woke up with a burning throat and throbbing ears so the Hub got up early with Little Miss and they had some Daddy/Daughter bonding time while I rested. We spent most of the day laughing, snuggling, and splashing in Emi’s new pool. We ended the day in the backyard, doing tire flips (with Emi’s help, of course!) and running around. Emi loves to do what we do and I hope fitness just becomes an organic part of her life. Active will just be something she’s always been.

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All in all, it was quite a refreshing weekend. After everything, peace radiates through our house and I am soaking it deep into my bones.

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Snapshot Saturday

18 May

This just about sums up our morning.

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Step One: All In

17 May

Yesterday, I wrote about how I’ve decided to pursue my passions and apply to become a Bradley Method™ instructor and a certified personal trainer. Today, I bought my personal trainer exam voucher and study materials and I am going to schedule my exam for sometime in July. I’ve already filled out my Bradley™ application for the December workshop, rewrote my birth story, and will be putting down my deposit in the coming months. Because why not just jump in head first? I am so excited and nervous! I know I have a lot of work ahead of me but I am so ready to get started.

I’ve wanted to do these things for so long but I kept making excuses, mostly pregnancy/baby related. After losing our baby last month, it really pushed me to just go for what I want. To let what happens happen, but to make sure I was doing everything I could to make my dreams a reality.

Last night I dreamed that I got fired from my job. I was happy, I was not only forced to make the changes I wanted to make but I was free to do it. Alas, it was only a dream and it will be a long time before I’ll be able to make these things my main source of income, but it’s a road I am ready to travel. It’s not going to be easy, I’ll be a little like Lightening McQueen ripping up the old path and laying down new pavement, (yepppp I’m a mom!) but it’s going to be worth it. (And now I am going to adopt Ka-chow! as my own personal catch phrase.) Next up is to get CPR/AED certified before my exam.

If all goes as planned, I’ll be a certified personal trainer and Bradley Method™ instructor by the end of the year!

Well hello, Life, I see that you’ve been waiting for me.

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Your Mountain Is Waiting

16 May

I adore Dr. Suess. His imagination, his outlook on life, how as an adult his words are more profound to me than ever — he’s eternal. My favorite Dr. Suess quote of all time is:

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This may be because my favorite thing to do is climb the mountain ranges surrounding my town and running down them. There’s a point when I’ve picked up so much speed and my toes are barely touching the ground that I feel like I am flying. It’s the most exillerating feeling. The mountains have become my happy place.

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Lately I have been thinking about happiness, about the things that matter to me and how I want to spend my time. I’ve realized that I am not doing the things I am passionate about. I want to work with women and babies, I want to teach people about health and fitness, I want to spend more time with my daughter, and I want the time I spend away from her doing things that fill up my soul. So with the Hub’s encouragement and support, I’ve decided to pursue becoming a Bradley Method™ instructor, doula and a personal trainer. I’m still deciding when I want to take the personal training certification, but I know I will be attending the Bradley workshop in December. I am excited and scared and so super nervous, but you’ve got to take risks to make things happen. I want to live my life in a way that will inspire Emi someday. I want her to follow her heart and work hard to obtain her dreams and I need to be the person I want her to be.

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Sleep and Other Drugs

15 May

Lately, Emi has been going two or three days sleeping only about nine hours, then she’ll crash for 12+ for a day or two. On her worst nights she cries all night while I hold her, all I can do is sleepily comfort her, let her know I am there. Some times she sleeps through the night (in fact more and more she does) and sometimes she wakes up and drags her pillow to our bed if she isn’t already in it. Getting her to sleep is the real trick, sometimes it takes two minutes sometimes it takes two hours. But all of that being said, it gets better every month and we’re making it through, we’ve survived inspite of it.

After two years of parenting a very bright, independant, happy, secure child, (who was also a very unhappy, high strung, overstimulated, attached infant) I’ve learned a lot of things. One of those lessons is that some kids don’t sleep well. Period. It doesn’t matter what you try, whether you cry it out or co-sleep; floor beds, routines, cribs, lavender, melatonin, fans, white noise, blankets, no blankets — IT DOES NOT MATTER. It’s not your fault, it’s doesn’t make you a bad parent. It’s just the way your child is. That’s not something anyone has ever told me. In fact, I’ve only heard the opposite. That I needed to figure out the secret to my child’s perfect night of sleep. So I’m saying it to you, whoever you are reading this through burning eyes, half derranged and barely holding it together, it’s not your fault. Survive this night the best you can, fill up on caffeine if you need to, and keep your chin up. Tommorrow may suck too, and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, but eventually things will change and it’s not going to be something you can do all that much about.

Sometimes I lose sight of the progress she’s made when it’s 11 pm for the third day in a row and she’s yelling “Emi go fast!” while running circles around my bedroom. Then she lays on my chest while I play with her hair and tells me she loves me over and over while I coax her gently and lovingly into sleep and I find a little redemption, for her and for me. I do the best I can and I love her through all of it, and that’s all that matters.

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As It Is

14 May

My baby turns 2 in a few weeks. T-W-O. Sometimes it seems that time has passed so quickly this must be a dream. I remember her tiny baby finger nails, how LOUD her cries could be, the vernix lingering in the creases of her skin. That was just last week, I swear. How is she pushing her balance bike down the sidewalk, yelling “See you later!” and blowing me kisses like she’s a big girl? When did all of those moments turn into years?

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Last year I drove myself crazy throwing her a fancy, themed birthday party. It was stressful and I was a ball of anxiety. I was STILL rushing around setting things up as guests arrived, I even had a panic attack about making cupcakes then felt guilty for buying them from the store. I was trying to live up to the ideal of the perfect mom I have in my head. I wanted to prove that I had everything together. That I could do it. I barely held it together, but damnit I was going to make it work even if it killed me.

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Yet, even after all of that, I started planning her second birthday party months ago. The theme was adorable, the food and games tied in perfectly. It was going to be perfect. I started planning months in advance, I made my lists and budgets and even designed the invitiations. As I filled them in I felt that anxiety creeping back in. I didn’t want to do this again. So I wont.

I called it all off and the Hub and I planned a family vacation instead. We’re going to get away, let someone else make the beds and clean the toilets. All of the events we have planned are centered around my fierce little one’s mental and physical abilities. I’ve deliberately decided to forgo the typical vacation activities, jamming our days full and overstimulating all of us in favor of quieter, more intimate experience. We’re going to play in the water at a splash park, visit a small aquarium, and spend her birthday romping through one of the largest, most beautiful parks on the West coast. We’re going to center as a family and enjoy each other without the normal interruptions of every day life. I can’t wait.

After all we’ve been through in the last month this is exactly what we need. Let the salty air refresh our souls and take the time to refocus on our family as it is, not as it could have been.

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