Saturday, October 27, 2012

focus shift

Hey look.  Another 3 weeks went by between blogs.  Ugh.  

Here's where I am:  the rainy season hit and the arthritis in my feet is crazy.  I haven't run in quite awhile.  And biking has been rare for the same reason.  Ugh.  I would say I have definitely gained weight, but happily I'm still in the same pants, so it's not too horribly much.  

And happily, the goal is not weight-related anyway.  It's about loving my body.  Running anyway on arthritic feet in pain would not be love.  

Along the way, I am discovering a shift in focus for this season.  Less emphasis on exercise and food (though both are crucial for loving one's body and cannot be ignored) and more emphasis on just the simple connection of body to mind.  I had them so completely disconnected from one another far back as my memory goes.  

I'm figuring out cause and effect...stuff that most of you probably already know about yourself, and I didn't know at all about me.  Just the "when I do this, the effect on my body is that" kind of deal.  It's way cool.  

I've been sick for 5 days, just a bug going around my office.  Even being sick is kind of a wonder, in the midst of all this mind-body connection.  I can feel WHY I am coughing.  I get the mechanics of it all, and not just the general feeling of yuck (and yuck ain't as bad when you understand what is happening, for some reason.)  I can sense things happening in my body that were just beyond my notice before.  It's still not fun being sick, but it is pretty astonishing to be this connected in the midst of it. 

Earlier this week, I was able to take a lesson I've learned abundantly in the journey of letting Him teach me to love my body, and apply it to another area of my life.  The lesson:  quick obedience to His leadings is essential.  When I hesitate, often all is lost.  I got a leading that I really, REALLY didn't want to follow.  I noticed Him reminding me about the lesson.  I obeyed as fast as I was able, despite feeling like I might die in the process.  Oh BABY He showed up.  

Is that called real-life cross-training?  LOL  Whatever it is, I like it.

Happy weekend, all.  May He blow your little mind today.  :-) 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

even when it's ugly, it's beautiful

Wow, I haven't posted here in AN ENTIRE MONTH.  Be assured:  this is NOT a good sign.

I have been letting "busy" dictate my life.  It has invaded both my work life and my personal life...not the productive "hoo boy, I sure am getting a lot done!" kind of busy, but that other one...the "hey, the water is up over my head" kind.  Commitments, projects, the to-do list...all have been off the scale in the Entirely Too Much zone, and I've just been pushing as hard as I can to get through.  

That does bad things with this "loving my body" gig.  

It means I've got too many errands to do before/during/after work, so I drive instead of biking.

It means I put myself in positions where, sure, lots of food is offered...and 95% of it is stuff I try not to eat other than in tiny quantities anymore, having come to understand that white flour (who am I kidding? ANY flour...), white sugar, dairy, meat...these are all things that don't love THIS body (I'm not saying what's best for all y'all...just what I've been shown for ME.)  And I haven't planned ahead well for better choices by either bringing my own or making a special request (making a special dietary request at a "free food" situation is still WAY outside my comfort zone...feels like being "high maintenance" when it's uhh "just because" I want to do better and not because some doctor wrote a prescription...dumb, when I read it on the page...)  And on top of it all, I've been broke, so it's been a little trickier, that business of nutrition-bombing this body as I ought.

It means that in those moments, the exhaustion in my body translates to poor decision making and I eat, let's just say, UNtiny portions of said body-haters. 

It means I stay up so late at night trying to get stuff done that I miss some of my runs, just desperate for a little more sleep in the mornings.

It means my defenses go down and when I'm feeling crappy all over, I forget and comfort myself with bad food, thereby making myself feel crappier all over-er. 

A good thing that has come out of 3 really bad weeks, in the "letting God teach me to love my body" department:  I am clearer than ever that I absolutely DO NOT want to go back to living the way that I used to before this great challenge.  

Eating poorly makes me feel poorly.  I cannot BELIEVE I used to walk around feeling that bad all the time and not even realizing it...or, when I even realized I felt bad, I definitely never connected it to my diet!

Not getting enough exercise makes me tired.  I can now hear the way my body cries, pleads, BEGS me to get out and move.  Today I spent the afternoon out on my bike, exploring places I've never been before, including a beautiful, quiet country road lined with gorgeous trees and cornfields, and a little narrow dirt path on an island.  It was like returning to the best stuff from my childhood.  I was really like a little kid, laughing nervously aloud as I careened on that crazy outside-my-comfort-zone dirt path.  My body was singing its gratitude.  I've been working to make amends to it for the food crimes of the last 3 weeks.

Along the way, I'm pretty sure I've gained a little weight.  Not so much that my pants don't fit.  But enough that I notice it in my belly and around my face (though some of the face stuff is surely just from the insane amount of sodium...can you say "puffy?")  Here's the cool thing:  ZERO SELF-HATRED has come with the probable weight gain.  I see it, I have compassion for me, I work to turn the other direction.  I don't feel uglier, less worthy, embarrassed, horrified, ashamed.  

This letting God teach me to love my body gig...hey...even when it's ugly, it's beautiful.