It’s mid-February and many of us are snowed in, or digging out. Valentine’s Day is here and it is either extremely dreaded or a holiday to be excited about. Let’s do a quick “check-in” with ourselves for 2014. It tends to be a dreaded holiday for those who may not be feeling so great about themselves, right? New Years’ Resolutions have started to fall apart, body changes from the winter hibernation are beginning to catch up to you in your head, and well… Simply, you just don’t feel as fantastic as you did last summer. Let’s evaluate that body “check-in” a little more.
Once you have dug yourself out—be sure you are lifting with those STRONG legs and NOT with your back—hit the store and purchase one of the crappy boxes of conversation hearts… you know, the ones you always used to give in Elementary School even though they were simply awful to eat. (My apologies to those who actually like to eat them, but BLEH!) The conversation pieces have changed with times, and I’ve even heard of some hilarious ones. However, for the purpose of this particular exercise, let’s resort back to the “old school” hearts.
Last article (yeah, it was a LONG time ago!) was about perfection and embracing snuggles. Specifically, perfection really isn’t something that we need to strive for, often because we end up beating our bodies up so much that it proves to be destructive. Personal bests are just that for a reason—it is the best that we personally can do. Yeah, yeah, you’re not supposed to define a term with the same words, but I just did. HA! Be realistic—know that you rock, just as you are. Truly. By setting small goals to continually motivate ourselves and feel confident, we only reiterate “U ROCK” in our minds and bodies!
In my current “just be” journey I’ve learned a whole lot, but one of the biggest things is that a number is just a number. It doesn’t define me, except when I allow it to mess with my head. And, believe me, during the full moon sometimes it does. You may even hear me howl at it…However, I’m realistic about myself and my body and it passes, especially when I rock my program and a kettlebell snatch test.
Scales, pant sizes, and measurements can sometimes really get into your head. Unless you are training for an event, it is often a good measure to go by how you feel. Do you feel strong? Do you feel confident? Are you holding your head high, or are you worried that someone will see you “like this?” NOTE: I know this method is slightly controversial. This is something that you need to figure out personally, what works for you? It is very important not to let “winter hibernation” get out of hand with excess comfort foods and such. We all still need to be eating foods that nourish our bodies; however, right now during winter hibernation we need to allow sufficient rest while setting a balance with movement.
Yes, you still need to move. This hibernation does not mean complete “veg’ing out.” Lack of movement is what our society already struggles with from sit, sit, and more sit. As a matter of fact, I’ve been crawling around with my dog, Orbit, chasing him, playing hide and seek, and just being silly. I’m also training, but I’m listening very intently to my body. I’ve changed my program to the evening because my body is telling me that I need coffee time supplemented with gentle movements—crocodile breathing, neck nods, rolling, crawling, and rocking. Right now, I’m pursuing movement that nurtures my body. I’m beginning my yoga practice, which is part of my “just be” journey. And, I’m breathing a LOT—the correct way, not with the accessory (emergency) muscles that our bodies have grown accustomed to using. Movement doesn’t require a gym or a specific exercise—just move and have fun! The best part of listening to your body during winter hibernation, is that when you actually hear what your body says you become stronger—I accidentally hit a PR one evening last week! The press went up like butter.
Remember, this box of hearts is for you, and if you want to, you can also get some flowers delivered. We are not looking to hand out the “be mine” heart to someone else—YET. We have to be all snuggly comfy with ourselves before we can dole out the goods. This is where you need to look at yourself and be ok with you. You need to embrace the birthday suit. Accept yourself for you, as the awesome person that you are inside and out. I’m serious about the birthday suit too—check yourself out in the mirror. Do not allow yourself to squint, snarl your nose, or think one single negative thought. Seriously, be humble. Just as we are not defined by our numbers, the same thing goes for our perceived flaws. Each of us has asked a partner, friend, husband, or wife about a certain flaw that we see only to get a frazzled brow or even a look of complete confusion. Now is the time to accept yourself for you, love yourself, smile and ask that hot person staring back at you in the mirror, “Will you be mine?”
“I LOVE YOU”
While you’re in that birthday suit (Yes, I’m serious—GET NAKED!), I want you to say out loud to yourself and believe it, “I love you.” The key here is believing. Look deep into your own eyes and see that you are worth loving. Each and every one of us is worth loving, but sometimes we try to love others without loving ourselves first. This isn’t being selfish. It is simply loving ourselves and ensuring that we are balanced for everyday life. Each day, take one step forward and live the day full of positivity and sunshine. Yeah, yeah, this is real life, but we make the choice for how each day turns out. Sometimes things happen that are out of our control, but we need to dig deep—simply putting one foot in front of the other. I know life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, but I truly believe that everything—good and bad—happens for a reason. If we do not get too far ahead of ourselves (living in the past or future), or believe that everything that happens is the end of the world, often we will be able to cope a little more soundly with life. BREATHE! Breathe in your nose while expanding your belly, and then out nice and slow.
This is where you get to do some sharing. Since we are going back in time for the conversation hearts, let’s take a moment to remember the Care Bears, “caring means sharing.” Each and every one of us deserves to be loved. We may seek love from others because we may be lacking it for some reason. The key is to find love within yourself, and then begin to share. This is one thing we cannot keep a secret. Hugs and kisses to you from me!
So, now that you’re at home with your own conversation pieces, I want you to dig deep. Remember, this is all about seeing the awesome person inside of YOU! Dump your box out—on the floor so you’re not tempted to eat those nasty things (they are not worth it!!). Go through each heart and decipher what it means about you. Allow yourself to feel the emotions. Try to be positive, and let’s not beat ourselves up. Remember, this is winter hibernation, but we still need to love ourselves and be gentle. Winter is a time for reflection and rest. We need to listen to our bodies, which are saying, “love me” and “move!”
After reading this, is there a conversation heart that I’m missing? One that is your favorite? Be sure to share, and don’t forget to include why it is your favorite!