Wednesday, September 21, 2011

...and I'm NOT a runner!

We met a wonderful woman at Time Out For Women named Laurel Christensen.  She probably impacted me more than any other. 

I just want to take a moment to tell a bit about her.  She introduced herself as a runner.  She admitted she didn't have a runner's body yet but she was indeed a runner.  She had actually recently completed her first half marathon!  Okay, she rocks!  Laurel told the story of how she was in an airport getting ready to board a plane.  It was going to be 2 flights with a layover inbetween and she needed something to read.  As she wandered the airport she saw a magazine that caught her eye but she dismissed it because it really wasn't "her" kind of magazine. By the time she ran across this magazine a third time she had to buy it and walked out of the newsstand with her first Runner's magazine.  She goes on to tell her story about hiding the magazine inside another one so no one would judge her.  However, by the time she arrived at her destination, she walked with a new confidence proudly carrying her Runner's magazine in full view and thinking to herself..."I'm a runner!" 

Here is Laurel's blog:

I loved her story.  I loved that she spent 2 weeks at the Biggest Loser Resort (okay...that doesn't sound like it should be called a resort) in Ivins, Utah before she began her journey as a runner.  Laurel also challenged us to do hard things. 

One of the main messages I learned from Time Out For Women is:

"Do not be afraid to try hard things because they help us rely more on the Lord". 

I came home from Time Out For Women and told my husband Jack about Laurel and how she is a runner.  Jack IS a runner.  Jack loves to to run.  For the 4th of July he ran a half marathon just on his own around the neighborhood early in the morning while the rest of us slept.  He did that just to do it.  He even loves to run in the rain!  Jack loves to run.  And Laurel's story gave him hope that I would learn to love to run, too.  He's gone out and bought me awesome running shoes that I happen to love and he's taken me on runs. 

Our first run was around the neighborhood.  I hated it.  It was on concrete sidewalks (before the new shoes) and running past a stinky dump.  It hurt my "already had 3 surgeries" knees and my nose.  Stinky!  So we've since run on the Russian Jack trails and I like that better.  I want to stop and look at the super cool mushrooms but Jack keeps me running.   I ran about 2 weeks ago and actually hurt my knees. That scared me!  I don't want a 4th surgery!!!   I haven't run outside since. 

Now Jack wants us to run in races.  I'm certain he envisions us running across the finish line of some marathon holding eachother's hands in victory.    So, I've tried to make this my goal too.  I even told people I was going to run in the up coming 5K while Jack runs in the 10K but I haven't been able to figure out how to register on line.  After all, this is a hard thing for me.  A very hard thing.  And I don't want to be afraid of it.

Well, it was just last night as I discussed the race entrance fees and the trouble I'm having signing up on line that I came to the actual realization that I am in fact NOT a runner.  By the way, just FYI, I hate to run.  I don't mind running for fun with Jack on his runs and even running to push myself and my breathing on the treadmill but I'm not planning on entering any races any time soon.  The thing is, I'd rather spend the entry fees on scrapbooking supplies or on more time with my personal trainer or on additional yoga classes. 

I told this to Jack and though it probably made him a little sad, it was like a lightbulb went off in my head.  You see, I have spent a great deal of time this past year reading stuff by fitness gurus, talking to personal trainers and my yoga teacher.  They all say the same thing,

"Find a fitness activity you love to do and then you'll keep doing it." 

Kinda reminds me of my need to enjoy the journey!  Well, I LOVE spinning classes.  I love them so much that I'm toying with the idea of getting my own spinning bike for home.  AND I have recently discovered that I love yoga!  I love other exercise too but yoga is my new favorite thing.  I'd rather buy some yoga classes than pay to run anywhere. 

So that's my story and I'm sticking to it!   "Hello!  I'm Wendy and I'm NOT a runner." 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Let's Hear it for SKIN!

Isn't skin wonderful?  I mean, it covers every inch of our bodies and there's never a shortage of it.  In my twisted little mind I can just see an angel "Up There" (capital U, capital T...okay, so that's a very deliberate Mary Ellen Edmunds reference...don't worry, you'll know who she is with my next post) ANYWAY...I can just see this angel with a staple gun saying, "Yeah...we ran outta skin so I'm just gunna stretch this as best I can and staple it in this crease.  No one will see it!" 

However, THAT never happens.  Each baby comes into this world with just the right amount of skin.  Then it grows as we grow.  Sometimes we wish it wouldn't.  I'll be honest here.  I have some extra skin I'm not overly crazy about. It is shrinking, which is another super cool thing about skin.  But it is taking its sweet time at it.  AND my personal trainer pinches that lovely extra skin with this fat measuring device and everytime she does that I get all embarrassed.  I was telling this to a friend and she said the most wonderful thing!  She reminded me that I got that extra skin from having 4 wonderful boys. Ahhh! (plus eating too much chocolate...let's be honest)  But suddenly I don't hate that part of my body any more.  Thank you so much Skin for stretching super big to accommodate these beautiful boys.  I love them so much!  I love them to distraction!  I couldn't imagine life without them! 

So I seriously thanked my skin.  And I think it liked that.  Really. 

I wonder how our body feels when we hate parts of it?  I wonder what that negative energy does to our brain and our body and our soul?  In the book of Mark in the Bible we are told that the first great commandment is to love the Lord with all our heart, might, mind and strength and the second great commandment is to love our neighbor as ourselves.  So...if we hate some or most or all of ourself...does that mean we don't have to love our neighbor?   Maybe it means we are not able to love others if we can't love ourself.  Plus, I'm not thinking the Lord is expecting us to kiss the mirror because we think we're so spectacular and possibly even better than everyone else. I don't think He's talking about that kind of love at all.

But this is food for thought.  Right now I'm just marveling that I have all the skin I need and then some.  My skin covers all my fingers and toes.  There's no shortage to it! 

Did I tell you the last time I was measured that I lost a half inch in my neck?  I'm totally befuddled as to where it went to...but its gone.  AND I DON'T have a bunch of excess skin there on my neck either.  Its gone too.  It shrank away without leaving a mark.  Is Skin awesome or what????

So the purpose of today's ramblings is to be grateful for our bodies regardless of the shape, size or whether we have more skin than we want.  Be comfortable in your skin!  "Hey Skin!  I love you!!!  Thank you for being there for me!  Thank you for healing when I carelessly use kitchen know what I mean.  You healed that cut right up!  You're awesome!"

And by the way, out there reading my ramblings...yes you!  You're awesome too!  Thank you for being my friends!  XOXO!

Dr. Seuss
“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
Dr. Seuss, Happy Birthday to You!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Enjoy the Journey!

I will be happy when.... (fill in the blank).  

I'll be happy when the kitchen is clean!  Then I turn around and find a giant, sticky jam smudge on the fridge!  And children are in their 20s...and YES! there is still sticky jam residue on my fridge. 

I'll be happy when the laundry is finished.  Then I turn around and find a very nasty, smelly, dirty towel hidden somewhere.  Ugh! 

I'll be happy when I lose 50 pounds.  I've said this for the past 20 years.  About 6 weeks ago I actually achieved this milestone and it totally messed with my head.  First of all, losing that weight was wonderful and deserved celebration but the truth is I still have about 40 more pounds to go to reach my ideal weight.  UGH!  So just like finding that nasty hidden towel or that jam stain, my journey isn't over.  And to be honest, I've been fighting depression ever since I hit that minus 50 mark!  Really???!!!  Yep!  Why???  Because its hard work and I want it to be over.  However, my yoga instructor told me just the other day that I need to learn to enjoy the journey.   She was just another in the long list of people who have suggested I start a blog.

Enjoy the Journey!  This has been on my mind a lot...probably because I have heard it so often recently.  I think its an area I really want to work on.  Okay, let's be honest...its an area I NEED to work on.   But how do I learn how to enjoy the journey???  This is the ultimate question.  How indeed?

Suddenly somewhere between Friday September 9, 2011 and today, Sept 11, 2011 a light bulb turned on for me.   It started on Friday.  I was attending a Time Out For Women here in Anchorage.  I'll be making more posts on that later.  I got there early to secure a good spot for my mother in law, 2 sister in laws and me.  Then there was time to wander around before the event started.  One of the sponsors had a display about digital scrapbooking and turning the layouts into hard bound books.  I looked at the samples and visited with one of the sales reps.  I said I've never digi scrapped and honestly I have far too much paper, ink and embellishments to go digital.  She explained that she had a big garage sale and sold all her stuff and then started digi scrapping.  And then the crucial words: "You can make a whole scrapbook in just a couple of hours rather than a couple of months.  You just drag and drop!"

Whoa! Hold on Hannah!  I like my paper.  I like the smell of it and the feel of it.  I like to cut it, tear it, ink it, crumple it, punch it, glue it, turn it into flowers, stars, snowflakes and fans.  I like to layer it and slowly see a page come to life.  I want each of my layouts to be completely unique.  No two alike.  I want them to each be a work of art.  I love every step to the process.  I love shuffling through my photos and choosing the one to scrap this day.  Oh no!  It starts before that!  I love taking the photos and collecting the memories of persons, places and things I LOVE and I want to remember.  Then I love spending time with these photos.  Sometimes it feels like I get to spend a day with a very dear loved one who is now far away.  I don't want to drag and drop and get massive quantities of scrapbooks finished and on the shelf to collect dust so I can say "Its done!" and move on to something else.  I want the process to linger.  I want to enjoy and treasure every moment of it.  I like to enjoy this journey!

Oh my gosh!  I have a journey I enjoy!!!  I actually know how to enjoy one of the journeys in my life!  I quite literally just realized it this morning!!!!  Now...can I take that knowledge of Journey Enjoying and transfer it to my new healthy lifestyle?  I think I just might be able to do that.  After all, even when I do get these next 40 pounds off, I will still hopefully have about 35 more years to work at keeping it off.  Certainly that's going to be a journey in itself!  I might as well stop stressing about when the weight training will be over because clearly it won't be over until I'm dead and gone.  So, I guess learning to enjoy it the way I enjoy scrapbooking would be a good thing!

So thank you to all you Enjoy the Journeyers out there!  I think I'm going to try to join your ranks!