Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Doing What I Want

Well, I found out last night that the Spring Back Your Body Challenge is actually coming to an end here soon.  For some reason, I thought it was for 12 weeks or something.  That's what happens when I am indecisive about jumping on a bandwagon. Maybe it was just 4 weeks.

This challenge is over for me regardless.  I genuinely enjoy being active.  I love to work out.  I love pushing my body to its limits, building muscle and endurance.  But I don't like being competitive when it comes to my body image.  I don't like feeling under pressure when it comes to working out, like I have deadlines and expectations to meet. 

When I was a kid, growing up, my father would always complain that I would only do what I wanted to.  I didn't do things I didn't want to.  There has to be some sort of personal investment, gain, enjoyment, or I wasn't having it!  Well, Daddy, NOTHING HAS CHANGED!

For about 9 days, my life was: 5am wake up, workout, 6-7:15 gym workout.  Walk at least 2-3 miles at some point in the afternoon with my Little Darling and Kiki.  Eat bland ass, low cal shit all day that left me HANGRY. And grumpily sit around all day because I was exhausted from working out, early rising, late nights, lack of food, and allergies.

Yea... No. In my Whitney Houston voice, "Aww, Hell-to-the-Naw!"

So last night, it all hit me.  Everything became overwhelming and I found myself praying, while on the toilet.  Yes, I am at peace in the bathroom, so that's when I pray, read, and check Instagram.  What can I say?  I'm a Busy Mama!!  Anyway, I prayed for guidance.  Although I saw noticeable changes physically in this past week, I was not feeling every happy.  And when I looked at my life, I realized that I am overwhelmed, stressed, exhausted, and irritable.  I had so little to show for how hard I was working.

Well, I think my prayer was answered in those quiet moments. I have been working hard, but only in one aspect of my life.  I have never been good with balance and creating serenity in the midst of chaos.  I have never been good at throwing a big change in the middle of my routine either.  Getting up before the sun for 2 hours of working out straight off the bat each day and trying to happily function was No Bueno!

My apartment looks like a chaotic, frantic war zone.  Nothing makes sense, as though a bomb exploded and threw everything all over.  I've got equally large piles of clean, dirty, and "to iron" clothes.  I have no clean dishes.  Yea. None.  You wanna eat?  Locate dish, wash, proceed.  In the process of trying to find time to be creative, I have turned our dining room into an explosion of the cluster-fuck variety with seventy-eleven craft happenings.......that just aren't really happening.  We don't eat there.  Hell, I haven't cooked anyway!  We have eaten out so much in the past week, which yes, completely undoes all my efforts in the gym.  But I am hot and tired by nightfall and I don't care anymore.

So today, after really praying about it, I chose to do ONLY things that I want to do and things that make me happy.

I woke up super early, 5am, still. But rather than working out, I took some time to pray and sketch.  I sipped some tea until I was awake enough to get some work done on projects that were hidden under mess.  Then, I woke up my Little Darling and we did some gardening.

 The Hubs and I try to grow our food as much as possible in the summer.  This year, we even tried our hand at making our own planter box, which is cheaper than buying a bunch of pots.

 We have spinach, broccoli, loads of strawberries and tomatoes, sweet peppers, parsley, cilantro, basil, kale and I got some cucumbers last night.

It's true... I shouldn't take pictures of myself, first thing in the morning...with no make up... before the sun is fully shining.  But, what the hell, right?  The gate is for squirrels and birds because we live near a tree and they chomp on our produce all summer!

Since we are not "For Serious" gardeners, so we bought gardening toys.  And they happen to work excellently!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Barbie Princess helped me to plant these cucumbers this morning!  And they are safe for my Little Darling to use as well.

After gardening, we had breakfast and started homeschool lessons.  I worked on cleaning.  I'm shocked at how much more energy I have, when I start an early morning with things that bring me peace of mind rather than a work out.

Then, we took a break and went to the local bakery.  We are friends with everyone who works there.  I am not sure if that's necessarily a good thing, but it is what it is.  They know us and we spend time talking, whenever we go, which I am afraid to admit is usually daily.  Without feeling bad about myself, I ate a giant cookie!  I couldn't eat the second one.  A week with hardly any sweets made that one cookie hard to handle, but I wanted it and I enjoyed it.

And then we just walked around, checking out what new nature has been sprouting in this late spring season.  I cannot wrap my head around the fact that May is quickly approaching and we can barely break the 50s in the mornings here.  The evenings are far more pleasant in temperature, but I am extremely grateful for the SUN and the NATURE regardless of the temp.

I love being outside.  I love witnessing the miracles of spring.  I mean, everything wilts, loses it's leaves, and freezes over each year.  It's a miracle to me that every spring we can be reassured that all this beauty returns.  I can't bring myself to ever take it for granted.

I love the leaves that are just now coming in on the trees...

I love the leaves on this tree below...  They are just now coming in and they are so small. The leaves actually are larger than my head!  I haven't noticed them in time to see them sprout in the past.  I just assumed that they showed up, large and in charge, at the beginning of each spring.  I'm reminded that everything starts somewhere, as something small.  And that with time and nourishment, it can grow into something wonderful and magnificent.
I love the baby pine cones that are coming in.  For some reason, each spring I find a new reason to be amazed.  I have never noticed baby pinecones before.

 The flowers...  The unusual, tree flowers.  I love the ones that can only be enjoyed for some time before they all wilt away and we're left with nothing but leaves the most.  These flowers are beautiful here.

And lastly, I am excited to see the Evergreen trees rejuvenating and sprouting new leaves as well.  Simply beautiful!  Green is my favorite color!

I haven't given up on my fitness goals, but I have given up on being hard on myself.  The world is such a judgmental place.  The very least we can do is Love Ourselves.  I am still an active person, but I am not focusing on weight loss for the moment.  I am focusing on establishing a routine that keeps me happy, my family's needs for my attention well met, and allows for me to have the things I WANT::  Prayer, Peace, Art, Nature, Love. 

Happy Wednesday to you!

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