perspective

Body Envy

A recent conversation between friends turned to observations about an acquaintance of ours. In the past year or so she has become incredibly fit and muscular. The comments jumped back and forth: “Have you seen her?” “She is just a solid rock.” “I might have body envy.”

I thought about it and, remarkably, I totally don’t have body envy. At all.

I can look at her and think wow, she looks great. She is lean and strong. So it’s not that I don’t think she is in amazing shape…it’s more that I don’t have body envy of anyone.

Maybe there was a time when I looked at bodies and wished mine were different. But not now. Am I perfect? Nope. Mine is a body that has carried as much as 314 pounds (or more.) There is flab and extra skin hanging down that no amount of clean eating and gym work will ever take away. It’s me. It’s my story. Even though I am proud of my shoulders, if I lift my arms up there is a ton of deflated balloon skin that just drapes down. It is what it is. It is me.

It’s a choice for me. A choice to be comfortable in my skin. I’m pretty proud of where I am and what I can do. So no, I don’t have body envy. I wouldn’t change my story.

You know what I envy, if anything? A person’s spirit. Their soul. Their joy.

People with endless kindness. People with hearts for so many. People who always seem to find the bright side, even in the darkest of times. People who are caring, lively, giving.

Bodies are great. Goodness knows we need them and need to keep them healthy. But there are limits to what we can do to change them, especially after years and decades of experience (and, in some cases, enjoyment or abuse, depending on how you look at it.)

The spirit can always be made more beautiful.

awareness

Script Flip (Again)

Another Street Parking challenge has come and gone. These challenges come around a few times a year. Each one has a slightly different focus, but in the end establishing healthy habits and consistency are the overarching themes.

The little daily extras in each challenge sneak up on me. This challenge required writing a daily gratitude reflection. I like to write at the beginning of the day so I challenged myself to write at the end this time. There were many days when I had to pull myself out of near-sleep to jot it down, but it got done almost every day.

Knowing I had to write what I was grateful for actually made me think about my mindset throughout the day. I realized I had fallen into some of my old habits of negativity and grumpiness. I’ve done this exercise before, but a reset was needed. (I’m also just going to pause and say that right now seems like a tough time for many in my life circles as well as the world in general. Between the pandemic surges, war, weather, craziness, on top of all the regular life stuff, things. just. feel. very. heavy and hard.) So early in the challenge I decided to pull something I was grouchy about it and flip it to a gratitude each day. I did this early in the pandemic as well to try to reframe some of my challenges.

Here are some of the before / afterthoughts from this time around:

-We recently had a stretch where many people in our circles needed a “place to crash” for a few days. This added adults, kids, dogs, and stuff to our already slightly chaotic household. Grouchy to Gratitude: “I am grateful we have a home with enough room to welcome those who need it.”

-Covid hit my family in the past month, bringing sickness and many associated challenges to our daily lives. Grouchy to Gratitude: “I am grateful the vaccine protected some of those around us from sickness.” “I am grateful we have focused on our health over the past couple of years to help us have a better chance of beating this virus.”

-I’ve been given many more work responsibilities this fall. Our student numbers have increased along with a focus on keeping kids safe. Grouchy to Gratitude: “I am grateful that my boss finds my inclusion in projects to be beneficial.” “I am grateful for the opportunity to be a light for kids at a time when lots of things are dark.”

-At times my “extra jobs” have been overwhelming this month – i.e., launching the cut flower arm of our business and being a booster club president / treasurer for a high school sport. Grouchy to Gratitude: “I am grateful for all the smiles a joy I get to give people from the groundwork we have done.” “I am grateful for the abundance our land has provided.” “I am grateful for the chance to organize a season that these girls can find special and memorable.”

The list goes on. I found myself, during grouchy moments, mentally flipping my script. Finding the flip side, the upside, the silver lining.

It’s all in the story we tell ourselves. Another great lesson hidden in something small. Hopefully I can sustain this discipline in the coming season.

adventure, fitness and nutrition

Stranded

When I started this post I thought I was going to be stranded in a hotel for days due to a snow and ice storm. One bad idea turned into another and chaos followed. All in a matter of 14 hours.

Plane ride 2 hours. Drive time 11 hours. “Let’s beat the storm” I said “and drive.” Much consideration for the party of 5. We go for it. Rent the car. Two back out on the way to the car rental place. No biggie, three will forge ahead.

Or not! Car rental place is sold out of cars despite having a reservation. All other rental places are the same. Guess it’s back to the hotel we go. Good night’s sleep but hotel is booked solid thanks to the weather front fast approaching. One room available but one is not. Maybe there is an option to fly from another airport? Guess we will just figure it out.

Flights cancelled for days on one airline yet another is still functioning. Weird but true. Rebook on another airline at a neighboring airport. 3 go one way. 2 go another way. The race to the finish line is on. 

Group 1 starts out first. Dodging snow and ice via a crazy Uber driver. Group 2 heads to the airport a smidge further away to get on a flight 2 hours later. Delayed. Delayed. Delayed is what’s on the screen for group 1. Group 2 moves on without a hiccup. Both groups used technology to keep up on progress. Both end up eating Whattaburger at their respective gates. The spicy ketchup was cool but everything else was meh.

Snow. Ice. De-ice. Wait. Shuffle seats. Off we go. The wait continues at the gate but this time packed in like sardines. The irony of this is it seemed better than being in the hotel with nothing to do or the unknown of when you could leave.

Being stranded brings up many emotions. Should I stay? Should I attempt to go? Which is right which is wrong? I follow my gut always. Sometimes the path is bumpy but normally I find solid ground at some point.

Part of me was curious about the adventures with friends of doing this that or nothing in the hotel but then I thought for reason xyz it was time to mosey on along. Such a crazy storm passing through at the same time I was passing through town. 

I didn’t get to explore the town like I wanted to due to the weather but I met some interesting people and had a great time with my travel mates even if we were at separate airports on the way back. People watching was extra fun at the airport as some individuals struggled a bit with emotions when delays kept escalating.  

My last 24 hours was a whirlwind to say the least. I enjoyed every last minute of the ups downs and everything in between. Find you some crazy friends to do whimsical things with and just go with the flow.  Plane is about to land so this blog post is going end right here.

healthy hacks, inspire

Karma and Kindness

When you are kind many things follow or fall into place. I always choose to fear less and progress forward. When I do so I seem to carry no extra weight or baggage in life.

It’s funny to think about but it’s an important rule to consider. Fear less. Focus on forward. Don’t let life’s dead weight halt your progress.

Kindness matters as well. When you explore a kindness matters motto in life good karma seems to follow. Not really sure how to articulate this other than using a key phases I have heard growing up:

You can fall in a bucket of shit but still come out smelling like roses. Is this really possible? Not physically possible but in life it is entirely possible. One’s life can be shaken to the core and disrupted yet one can still choose happy, kind, and so on. Making that choice is a conscious decision. Sometimes a daily decision.

Nevertheless the choice to be kind normally sets a tone for life. You end up around similar mindset people. You tend to live with good karma/juju. You tend to be open to new environments, people, cultures, opportunities, and so on.

Kindness and karma. Think about how both sit in your life path today. See if you need to change things up a bit to test my theory. See if life throws you sunshine and rainbows or not.

challenges, fitness and nutrition

Finish Line

It’s about the finish line. The final climb. The painful line that I see in the distance. How far away is it? Am I even gaining on it?

The answer is yes. I’m gaining on it. One burpee at a time but these past few weeks have been brutal. Once you get to 70 burpees a day, the time commitment just seems to eat away at you.

I mean it’s not the task that’s so hard it’s just the desire to do the burpees after a workout, a workday, stress, and and and. The holidays and the break in the cycle of consistency just got to me.

Also the fact that my programming changed at my gym for 1/1/21 in which it seems there were 40+ burpees in each workout. That leads to lack of motivation. Geez I think I’ll add another 70 on top of those 40 but then it takes your desire to a whole different level of no thanks.

Then if you miss a day, the catch up phase is relentless. For me I tried chipping away. 5-10 at a time. Then I tried bigger chunks just until I could check off another day. I didn’t care if my days were in order. I just want to get to the damn finish line.

Here we are with two weeks left but with my holiday lazy days and mental break it looks like I will be pushing over that set time. I will get over 5,000 burpees no problem. I will just stretch the days to slightly over 100. It’s not ideal but it’s what’s going to work for me. I’m not quitting just just delaying my finish a bit. Similar to tying your shoe on race day.

Keeping in mind if I add up those extra in workout burpees I am adding another 710 as of today. So if I look at the initial 100 days of burpees I can say I met my goal however I want to be sure that I complete the 100 days of burpees independent of any programmed in my workout. Yes I’m a little nuts but that’s what I’m doing.

Just about 6,000 burpees will be under my belt from late Oct 20-late Jan 21. 100 days or so towards being a fitter version of me. A daunting task. A personal best. A sigh of relief.

Today I did make a big flub up! I actually added up how many burpees I had left instead of days. That wasn’t a good idea. When you add up the 90-100 days that’s over 1,000 burpees. What in the heck. I guess it randomly just hit me. Now it’s a mental game. I think I can. I think I can.

And as I was wrapping up the blog my new gym programming included 100 burpees to a plate on Saturday. What kind of sick twisted form of cruelty this is. Of course I can’t count any of them so they will just make me slide over that damn 6,000 mark. That is insane! But yes I am not counting on workout burpees.  

Here we go again. A new burpee version in our wod to focus on singling out a muscle group with a special jump. Just what need now at the finish line. More burpee specific work (joking). Also we are down to just me and another faithful pal on the last group of burpees. She pulled ahead. Another friend dropped and I’m just stalled. I do a few here and there but not enough to wipe 91 off the checklist. So the ending is a long one.  

i guess my symptoms are lingering just like covid. I will diagnose myself with burpeeitis. The only cure is hard work. The only person who can cure it is me. Off I go to the hamster wheel of burpees. My job is done for now. Onto the next fitness project to keep me grinding. Just say no to burpees!