More Wellness, Again.

This isn’t strictly a derby post, but my wellness mindset is very much shaped by my relationship with a sport, and derby is the sport in my life now. I had three convergent thoughts rolling around in my head as I started to plan this post:

  1. After a much-too-long practice and gym break and a recent league change, going back to practice feels like starting over.
  2. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in these many years, it’s that you can always start again. The lapse doesn’t matter, not really. Starting matters. What you’re doing right now matters. Forget what you missed yesterday.
  3. This time, I’m going to… I don’t know. Stop and think? Stop thinking so much?

So. Not to get too confession-y here, but this starting over is starting to feel like an old friend. I’m still not sure what kind of a friend it is, but I’m embracing it. And working on cultivating acceptance. Acceptance as the foundation from which everything else comes: confidence, motivation, perseverance, change, contentment. I’m reading about the HAES (health at every size) movement/philosophy, I’m observing the messages I take in and the self-talk. And I’m trying to approach food and exercise without judgment  or regret — much easier said than done.

I also struggle with differentiating between acceptance and complacency, concerned about the latter, and I often catch myself fighting an inner battle over which is which.

Do you have the patience to wait
till your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving
till the right action arises by itself?
~Lao-tzu

Patience is not my strong suit, I’ll admit. But this is a big part of the challenge in living a contented, well-balanced life.

My body and body image have changed greatly over the years. I look back at photos and cringe at how bad I felt in what I can now recognize as a healthy body – a body that I was terrified of, though, and totally disconnected from. The times I was working the hardest were the times when my body image and self-talk were actually the worst. Yes, I’m more than a little angry that no one ever recognized the destructive self-critical crap I was feeding myself, and the effect it continued to have, year after year.  Even now, the hard-core athlete mode that I can get into — reveling in the sheer magnitude of it — can actually fuck with my head more than anything. It feels so strong, and on the surface looks so productive, but it’s not necessarily positive. There’s an incredibly strong pull to withhold that accompanies it when I don’t meet my expectations;  to deny food as a demonstration of strength and control. Getting out of that space is so difficult sometimes.

But I’m starting this time with a little bit more awareness, and a little less goal-setting. I need to stay out of that hard-core mode for a while, and yet still get my sport on, still work towards something. Today I started the day with a workout and a green smoothie, and finished it with a great derby practice (with the new league!) and some salty sugary carbs.  Tomorrow, a lighter workout and more protein. And no judgment.  After all, this body just skated 25 sprint laps. It’s agile and powerful and you’d be amazed at how quickly it can knock you to the ground.

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  1. January 21st, 2012

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