Sunday, January 15, 2017

You can stop beating yourself up now.

“Understanding the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical to laying down the shield and picking up your life. Research shows that perfectionism hampers success. In fact, it's often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis.”
BrenĂ© Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are   

You can stop beating yourself up now. 
There's a pile of clothes on the floor, unopened mail on the countertops and the bed hasn't been made in weeks......
But you have a warm, safe and comfortable home. 

Maybe you don't make as many home cooked meals as you would like, or you ate a cupcake just to stay awake this afternoon, or you decided that giving up coffee would be the equivalent of torture. 
But your belly is full. 

You can stop beating yourself up for the thickness of your waist, or the wrinkles that show themselves when you smile.  For the every day pony tail and your abhorrence of high heels......
Because you are beautiful just the way you are. 

You don't have to be "the best" at everything.  It's ok if you don't work 55 hours a week, or you have a terrible race.   You know that your best attempts at relationships sometimes fall apart, yet you continue to love.........
Because you are a girl that learns from her mistakes. 

Wouldn't you be so much happier if you stopped beating yourself up for your "imperfections"? 
Today, I gift myself with the permission to be human. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Almost 10 lbs happier

"Extremes are easy.  Strive for balance."
Colin Wright

In May of 2015- the week before Ironman Texas, I weighed 122 pounds and had 8% body fat.

I was perhaps in the best "shape" of my life; yet I had a hunger that never quelled, and a thirst that was never quenched.  Loneliness bore a hole in my heart as 9 months of my life was spent waking up before sunrise to train, working 9 hour days, training more, getting very little sleep, and repeating .....
AKA "Groundhog Day".

Training became my second job, and I'm horrified to admit the selfishness that ensued.
Many days were spent running away from pain, but the "bad ass" status that I had reached with my friends fueled my ego.
I finished that Ironman feeling empty and unsatisfied.

Today, a year and a half later, I am 131 and 13% body fat. 
I spend more time with loved ones, and  I've really started to "show up" for work.  Friday night happy hour is spent with friends instead of doing laborious hill repeats on the treadmill. 
I train a little less, give back a whole lot more, and smile much more often. 

Sometimes I work out, and sometimes I go get cheeseburgers with the kids.
I swim, I bike, I run.
I read, go on sushi dates, and revel in intelligent conversation.

I've gained so much this year- almost 10 lbs. towards a healthy and balanced life.
10 lbs of happiness.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Because you're already there

"Be where you are- because you're already there." 

I did not run the Dallas marathon today.  I didn't even run the half marathon today.
But I did run 8 miles at a 10:30 pace without stopping, feeling extremely grateful for each pain free mile, and relieved that running is starting to feel kind of GOOD again. 

Its funny how your brain works when you run, how you can draw on things from your past that you haven't thought of in years.  Today, the quote that popped in my head was "Be where you are- because you're already there." 
Now, I pretty much heard this quote 3 times a week when my kids were little.  I can barely remember the shirtless, long haired yoga guru on the exercise video, but I do remember thinking how ridiculous it sounded when he would sink into warrior pose instructing us to "be where we are".  The pose hurt a little, and he'd make us hold it for like 3 minutes, and in all honestly it just made me grouchy to "be there".

This morning  I felt a pang of jealousy thinking of my friends who were running half and full marathons.  At mile 6, I didn't like where I was....legs starting to feel heavy, wanting a walk break, "only" running 8 miles today.  But I realized- that's where I am. 
Four weeks ago I was only running about 4 miles at a time with walk breaks.  That's where I was.  And where I will be in 6 months from now will be where I am 6 months from now. 

Today, I am a runner. 
How cool that I'm already there. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

On Recovery

"RECOVERY:  A return to a normal state of health, mind or strength."
the Oxford Dictionary

The air was chilly, and the trails a bit damp
but the leaves showed how lovely it is to let dead things go.

And both the running and the conversation felt free and longer forced. 
And the ache that once lived in my chest from trying to bulldoze through things not meant for me has given up; turned around and walked away.
The scars on my knee are fading, and my ankle supports my lighter weight. 

Bravely starting to pick up the pace, taking more chances,  jumping over hurdles....... I understand that life gave me the break I needed.

Smiling, I know I'm fully recovered. 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Stop wishing. Start DOING

"If you can run 100 miles, you can do anything."
Jennifer Kimble...when facing fear

Living in fear is the same as living in hell. 

Let's say there is something you really want to accomplish- you're even confident that you COULD do it.....but fear whispers  "honey, you're not good enough." 
So for one second you become that defiant  toddler who asks "well why the hell not?" 
But fear, the dictatorial parent that it is put's it's hand in your face and says "don't even try."

So, you settle into acceptance.  Into that monotonous job that is just ok, or that questionable relationship that isn't quite right, or even worse for mediocrity.

But down deep you keep wishing for success. 
For financial security and freedom from worries.
For happiness and satisfaction.
To do more for those who depend on you. 
For finish lines.  For winning. 
For beautiful places and adventure and fun. 
For admiration and leadership. 
For no bullshit. 
For friendship and love. 

So, let's say one day someone comes along that convinces you that the fairy tale is real. That it belongs to YOU and you  DESERVE it. 
So you work a little harder, becoming more confident each day
And you stop wishing and you start doing.
And when the baby steps start adding up......
Action obliterates fear.
And things start CHANGING!
You find yourself smiling more often, so much so that success snowballs into genuine happiness. 

Hell is for non-believers.
Do what you fear, and fear disappears.
For real.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

When You're Happy and You Know It.....

"When you're happy and you know it,
then you're face will surely show it."
Folk song

When you're happy and you know it.....
There are more crinkled smiles
More hello kisses than drive-away goodbyes
More comfortable conversations
More appreciations. 

When you're happy and you know it
There is more abundance.
There are more yeses.... and less maybes.
You have more energy
and more security.

When you're happy and you know it
life is easy
and comfortable
and peaceful. 

When you're happy and you know it
For God's sake.......sing it out loud
and clap your hands. 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

'Cause Life is Short but Sweet for Certain.......

"Celebrate we will
'Cause life is short but sweet for certain.
We're climbing two by two to be sure these days continue.
These days we cannot change."
Dave Matthews

"The meaning and purpose of life is for you to become the best version of yourself."
This simple, yet profound statement from Matthew Kelly's The Rhythm of Life has completely changed my life. 

So many times when feeling lost I have questioned, "Is this the place where I'm supposed to be?   Why did that have to happen?  Am I serving my purpose?" 
But according to Kelly, God's dream for you is to become the best version of yourself. 
That's it! 

So, about 3 months ago I decided that everyday I would set my intention on being the best version of myself as the day's events unfolded.  Taking one moment at a time, I began to concentrate wholeheartedly on my words, my actions, my thoughts, my reactions.....and asked myself if I was truly being the best version of myself in each moment. 
Sometimes the best version of myself needed to eat, exercise or take a nap. 
Sometimes the best version of myself needed to really listen, or be a friend. 
Sometimes the best version of myself needed to meditate or chill.
Sometimes the best version of myself needed to dig deeper at work.
And sometimes the best version of myself meant choosing love over fear. 

And wow-  things have changed. 
I made the decision that mediocrity was unacceptable in my relationships and at work, allowing me to flourish.
I learned to treat my body with respect, to take lunch breaks and days off.   To better listen for when to push and when to back off.  To love the skin that holds my soul.
I've apologized.  I  made the phone call that needed to be made 3 years ago.  I ask more questions, and I've reached goals once thought unattainable. 

It makes perfect sense.  You no longer need to wander around aimlessly! 
Every day, every hour, every minute mindfulness can lead to the discovery of who we are. 
In the words of Robert Louis Stevenson, "To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming is the only end of life."  You were born to become the best version of yourself.
Celebrate.  For life is short but sweet for certain........