Celebrate Yourself

This past Wednesday was my 35th birthday.

Yep. THIRTY-FIVE. I feel weird saying that I’m thirty-five because for most of my life I thought that people in their 30s were…old.

I’m old.

That’s not what this post is about, however. I started running when I turned thirty. I’d previously been on a weight loss journey that didn’t really require any exercise and running a 5K was just a thing I wanted to do. I’d run in high school and it was terrible, so I wanted to kind of prove I could do it. And I did.

Here I am, five years later, training for my second marathon. On Wednesday I got up early to run, spent some time at the chiropractor (because that’s what old people do), had brunch with my bestie, went to the bookstore with another friend, shopped, then had dinner with my sister. Usually my birthday makes me maudlin for no apparent reason except the ones I create in my own brain. I fought that hard on Wednesday. Because it was my birthday, dangit.

For the past few years I’ve started my birthday with a 5K. I just add on however many extra years I am onto it. Wednesday I got up and did a nice 3.5 miles for thirty-five years and it felt great. It was a strong start to my day and really helped keep my emotions high for the most part. Running is obviously a type of therapy for me, and for so many other people.

With social media it’s so easy to get caught up in the thinking that you’re just not good enough. For me, I know that I’m never going to be one of the fast runners. I’m not a person who wants to get out there and go every single day, either. I need rests. I need to sit on the couch with a book or watch television. When I have a good run or if I’m just feeling cute (Skirt Sports for the win), I like posting and sharing. Kind of like this blog post!

Actually, my run on Wednesday was a pretty normal one, though it did feel a lot better than some of my other training runs. My point is that sometimes it’s so hard for us to talk good about ourselves. We know that we sometimes put up a front on social media, and that’s fine. No one has a perfect life. But if we wait for just those perfect/awesome/amazing days we’ll never get to celebrate.

Maybe it’s not just about posted a picture with a funny caption. Make it really is about treating yourself. Not in the sense that you should go out and buy a bunch of junk, but just that you treat yourself well.

I am the queen of self-deprecation, which is ironic because my number one love language is words of affirmation. I mean, really. But by treating yourself well, I just mean to celebrate you. The everyday you. Was it hard to get out of bed today? Did you do it? Awesome! Treat yourself with a cup of coffee. Finish a book? Great! Buy a new one. Did you run? Walk? Workout? You are amazing.

I wish it were that easy, but I know it’s not. We should treat ourselves like everyday is our birthday, right?

We can at least celebrate our little accomplishments. The little things we’re proud of.

A good run.

A workout.

You put on pants one day. (I’m on vacation, okay?)

Leave me some ways you celebrate yourself. I’m going to go celebrate with leftover cake.

All You Need is Love?

There are just certain things that I absolutely love.  My fella, my friends and family, of course, and my animals.  My children…I love them the most.  But there are other things in this world that inspire me.  That make me just a little bit happier each day.

Like The Beatles.  I love The Beatles, especially circa Sgt. Pepper.  I love vanilla ice cream splashed with a little milk so that little milk ice crystals form.  I love eggplant and sushi and well-prepared coffee.  I love shoes and knee socks and clever t-shirts.  I love that show Intervention and I love Meg Ryan movies.  I love Bethesda video games and board games and old card games.  I love math.  Yep, math.  It’s so reliable.

I love exercise.  I love the way my legs feel like jello after Barre class and that post workout soreness, despite the fact I can hardly sit down to pee without wincing. I love it when I can’t breathe because my abs hurt so bad.  I love when I inhale during yoga and exhale just a little bit deeper into a pose.  I love that point in my run when I forget that I’m running and my body takes over and I truly believe for a minute that I can run forever.  And I love when I’m done.  Oh, how I love the finish.

I love me.  I really do.  But I’m not taking care of myself like I should be.  Which is why I’ve signed up for Body Back, an eight week diet and exercise counseling program that is offered at my gym.  The classes are capped at 12 people and from what I’ve heard, the hour long session consists of some body conditioning and some mental conditioning.  We’re given a plan for food and we’re asked to journal everything we eat.  All of this sounds fantastic.  I like the idea of combining the physical with the mental because as we all know, if you’re not at peace up in the noggin, you can’t really find peace anywhere else.  I really want to fix my relationship with food.  There’s just one tiny thing that’s making me a bit nervous.

We’re weighed each class.  Like on a scale.  With a number.

Here’s the thing, I haven’t weighed myself in over a year.  I won’t even look at the number when I go to the doctor.  I gauge everything by how I feel, how my body feels, how my pants feel, how I feel about what I see in the mirror.  Numbers used to rule my life…the number on the scale, the number of calories I ate versus the number of calories I burned, the number of days I worked out, the number on my clothing tags.  Those numbers made me feel like shit because they not only quantified my success, but my failures as well.  I put the numbers behind me because I don’t like to fail.  And I really don’t like to feel like shit.  But now I’m putting myself in a position where numbers will once again dictate my success.

I’m in a much better place now, emotionally, mentally, physically, than I was back then.  I’ve learned to forgive myself for my failures and accept that failure is the only way we grow.  Mistakes are just learning experiences.  And I love learning things.  I’m really excited to start this program because I don’t like the way I feel right now.  I don’t like the way I feel about what I see in the mirror.  I don’t know what to expect but I’m going in with an open mind.  And maybe I’ll even learn to love those numbers again.