Meet Yourself Where You Are

Dear Readers,

Last week I wrote about “abandoning the checklist”– Wow, is that easier said than done. It turns out, old habits die hard and what you resist persists.

As many of you know, I have been having back problems, well I recently made contact with a great chiropractor and I feel optimistic for the first time in months that I won’t need back surgery which was a looming prospect.

It has involved adjustments and a change in behavior for me. Every hour, ( I set a timer) I have to get up and stretch. (my job is very sedentary and involves lots of not getting up and moving. I do walk around from time to time, but nothing like this.

Not only do I feel better, I get the chance to support my people better because they see my face, I don’t have it stuck on my monitor all day.

I could beat myself about the head and shoulders for not doing this sooner but I have opted instead to “meet myself where I am”…. So what does that mean?

  1. I will walk when I exercise not run for a while.
  2. I will LET GO of having to do a 1/2 marathon this year.

What do you need to do to “meet” yourself right now? Are you pushing yourself too hard? Do you need to push yourself, is it time to make that decision you have been putting off? Or is it time to give yourself some grace, and make a decision to tackle it anew tomorrow?

Think About It….

No More Food Shame!!!!

Dear Readers, Within the last two years I have begun to care more about my body and this has led to healthier eating and regular exercise. It started with my husband finding and implementing the paleo diet in our lives. It should not be work to love yourself just as you are, but given my childhood and upbringing and the constant echoes of “if you would just lose the weight, you have such a pretty face” Even now, I feel a hot tear starting down my face as I type that but I am casting this demon into the light and sharing in hopes that it will be terrified of the light and scamper off like an unwanted cockroach. For starters, does this look like a child with a weight problem to you? 9thgradehomecoming

I have not been practicing this art very long (*2 years in the span of 38 is not even a third of one’s life) so to truly believe it will take time and the forming of a habit.             I decided to go for it this week and just eat exactly what I wanted to eat.

Why am I telling you this? I hopes my honesty with a difficult subject will help you be honest with yourself and love yourself more. In a culture that constantly tells men and women to feel bad about ourselves, or to strive to look better or do better or exercise more, I really want to accept myself just as I am. It’s an ongoing quest in the battle for love of self and the end of food shame.

I am not saying that I am going to stop eating well altogether or exercising but after a refresher from the book, “French Women Don’t Get Fat” by Mireille Guiliano, I am reminded of the importance of her main concept which is “bien dans sa peau” which roughly translated is feeling well in your own skin.. or loving yourself as you are.

Much like the title character in Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, “Eat, Pray, Love” I am not going for obesity but am DONE with the guilt. Now I have to keep saying that to believe it.

So I will not be beating myself up for the last week and rather call it what it was. “Vacation from Health” and now the new normal is eating healthy and no longer thinking or calling myself fat at all. I AM NOT FAT! I know that I am not the only one who struggles with this so please give me your best tips and tricks and ideas to share.. I am eager to hear YOUR stories and about YOUR journey with this issue.

Please comment below or email me at jenniferhastonsays@gmail.com

It’s all in how you look at it-

Dear Readers,

Roughly a year ago, I decided to buy a treadmill to take away my excuse to not workout and actually get in shape and be healthier. We already had the healthy eating thing going and were actively working on eliminating debt from our lives.

On Saturday I ran what turned out to be a 3K not a 5K but because my goal was a 5K, even though I saw the cheering fans and signs for beer and water I kept running till I got the 5K done. This sounds really inspiring and it is, but it took someone else saying it to me to get me to see it. Why is it that someone else has to say, “good job” or “Congratulations on that presentation” for us to recognize our worth?

So on Saturday, I walk/ran the 5th 5K I have done in a year. When I consider where I was this time last year, that is nothing short of amazing– a brief recap–

You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. -Zig Ziglar

The first one was January 18, 2014 – Vern’s No Frill’s 5K- I walked more than I ran but I did run for a while and hey as the guy writing times down said, “last place is asleep”

Second 5K was “The Biggest Loser 5K” and I ran it and walked it with my good buddy Susie Gidseg- my time for that was a little shorter and I felt exhausted after it was said and done but very accomplished

Third 5K was the color run which I ran walked with Jessica, Adam and their son Pierce which represents just a lot of fun, but for me, I hate being dirty or messy so I was breaking past a comfort zone on this one so it was less about exercise and more about mess but came together to represent both–

The Fourth 5K was “CASA Superhero 5K which was a huge milestone because my husband decided to do that with me for his FIRST 5K ever so I actually walked it with him and we created a Team “Haston Helping Hands” to help raise money for CASA http://www.casaforchildren.org It was very hot and probably the hardest 5K I have been until the 5th one.. which just happened-

The Fifth 5K was the “Trail of Lights Fun Run” which I don’t know how I got the notion it was a 5K but it’s not. It was a 3K which I discovered much to my chagrin as I saw the signs for the finish line when the voice in my ear said, “3K completed” “2 to go” so that was frustrating, it was at night as well which made it very hard to see, I was worried I was going to fall down at any moment and it really became the struggle to find a place to run amid strollers, walkers and gawkers! (it is Trail of Lights after all, some of that I should have expected) but I will know better for next time-

At the end of the day, my takeaways from all these are they each represent a 5K that I have completed, I intend to (deep breath) eventually run a marathon but its still pretty far off but as my life of late (baby steps, baby steps) have been celebrating the small steps that we take as we walk nay run in the journey of life. I need to make sure I stop along the way to appreciate that which I wanted to do and worked towards and not keep looking ahead to “the next thing”… very easy to get discouraged doing that so this is my attempt to avoid negativity and be positive. It’s worth noting that this time last year (I checked my social media log) I wasn’t working out consistently and now I work out 3 times a week most of the time.

I could get down on myself for not being further down the track but I am choosing to focus instead on the fact that tomorrow is Workout Day 89 and I am going to keep at it, because every baby step I complete gets me closer to Mile 26.

Think about it! 5KTrailofLights

Last place is asleep…

This morning I had a breakthrough in my workout routine. It should be noted this has been followed by two weeks of inconsistent working  making lots of excuses for it. That’s okay, I am giving myself grace for the past, but its important to note that sometimes just showing up and making the effort is worth mentioning.

I have a 5K I am walking/running on 3/30/2014 and the last time I did one of these it was in January. However, as my loving and math centric husband pointed out, every time you work out and do 3.2 miles or more, you have done a 5K. (I love that man) He has vision and can see what I could not which is that I am accomplishing my goal each time I work out. I couldn’t see that because I am so focused on getting up to 4 miles, or 1 mile in less than 20 minutes.. I am gaining on each of those goals but could not see that I have already accomplished so much. So, today, I got to minute 2 of the running, (for those not keeping score I have been alternating walking 2 minutes and running 2 minutes for about a month now. I said, “I think I can for run for another minute.” and then I did.

I went back and looked and its been walking the whole time to running 30 seconds, walking 30 seconds and then a minute and then two and now three. So, I am feeling very accomplished at the moment and I think its important to take stock of that.

I also want to remind myself when I DO NOT have a good day working out, its just one day closer to meeting another goal down the road and that road is filled with baby step after baby step of getting up, working out and getting up and showing up because remember, Last place is asleep, even if you just show up and suit up, you are doing better than someone who didn’t show up at all.

Where do you need to show up today?

Why do we have to hear “good job” from someone else to believe it?

External validation. Likes on Facebook, but more importantly, comments on facebook and text messages (I hate them, but when they are encouraging its a little easier to swallow).

Case in point, my husband and I are both working very hard to eliminate our debt and I was feeling a little down about the (in my mind) small progress we have made since we started in August of 2012. Then in talking with a friend, she helped me see, well no, actually you have done amazing things in the last year and a half. I have successfully walked in 2 organized 5K events and have a big one coming up at the end of March. This is really helping me to stay focused and moving steadily towards the goal of more running and eating well.

Regarding my own personal weight loss goals, I have been feeling discouraged of late, but again, another supportive friend said, well, look at what you have done just over the last few months. I have committed to working out 3 times a week and for the last month and a half, I have done that. Yes, I have complained, and really struggled but I have still done it. So, I am taking a moment, today right now to recognize myself for a few things.

Last year at this time, I was NOT exercising at all and just starting to explore a healthier diet. This year, I am working out three times a week and eating healthy. Last year, I was working out maybe once a week and that was a big maybe. Today when I worked out, I ran/walked a mile in under 20 minutes. In just a month, that number has gone from 20 minutes to 18 minutes. Today, when I worked out, I did not have any chafing because my body is getting used to working out and that’s a big win as far as I am concerned. Today, when I worked out, it sucked a little less. I may never get to the point that I like it but I do like how it makes me feel to finish and picturing all the people who love and support me really helps me get to minute 60 of my workout. (You know who you are!)

So I have resolved to be okay with the fact that I need the outside support, and welcome it. I am further resolved to recognize my own achievements and really rejoice in the incremental victories. For instance, today I did not want to workout AT ALL but I got up and did and I am glad because it inspired this post and I feel energized and ready to tackle the day.

Think about who you can reach out and support with a phone call or email or encouraging comment on Facebook or Twitter. You may not realize it, but you could be the voice they need to hear to push them to their next milestone.

Think about it!

 

Balance is Everything….

So my motivational photo shoot has come and gone. Sad face. It’s hard to come back to reality after such a fantastic departure from it.

So to be accountable and honest I will tell you, I haven’t weighed myself in a week to try to motivate myself. Yesterday I stepped on the scale to see where I am and I am back up to 247 which is disheartening, especially because I worked out first and yes I know you gain weight when you gain muscle but its still tough.. when I was at 241 just two weeks ago.. but that is okay, I will persevere because I realized something. The goal is better health and weight loss. Both goals are important, and the balancing of them is just as important as whatever number flashes on that scale.

I think its easy to forget that a year ago, I wasn’t working out at all but recovering from appendix surgery ( I could barely walk ) and was in an incredible amount of pain. So a year later, not only am I consistently working out (every other day) and eating healthy, I am continuing to find ways to enhance our life including but not limited to not feeling guilty when we do eat ice cream and other assorted yummy goodness. I am giving up the guilt and I have my husband to thank for it. 80% of the time we eat healthy and abide by paleo.

The other 20% are just going to exist and I am excising the guilt. Thank you Jeremy, I appreciate the balance you bring to our lives daily but especially in this matter.

 

What could you stand to let go? Think about it!

Thank you for the music…

Thank you for the music...

(insert ABBA here) Dancing Queen in particular.

When I hear the song, “Dancing Queen” it reminds me of 3 things.
1. When I first moved to Austin, I was staying with a friend who came home to hear me playing it on his cd player and said, “my cd player is confused about its identity”
2. When I was driving from Austin to St Louis and my car died and white smoke came out of the hood.
3. The movie Mama Mia and how much fun I had watching that movie with my good friend Sharon and then the joy I had in getting it as a gift from some dear friends of mine so I could enjoy it over and over again.

and then #4. This morning I heard it while listening to the soundtrack on my ipod nano and working out for the 10th time since the year has begun. It’s starting to get a little easier, and I hope eventually when I work out, I can wear this face you see above as I work out and truly enjoy it like some other people I know. I keep taking it one step at a time and hoping it will get easier and so far it has. Maybe it will also become fun. Who knows!!!