#WellnessWezday #3

Does doing this three times in a row mean it’s a habit yet?? I sure hope so. So this is the third installment of my weekly #WellnessWezday progress update. This is the first one I’m finding a bit of a challenge, because for some reason this past week left me a little disappointed in myself.

Which is why I’m checking myself now – there is no disappointment on #WellnessWezday, ya dork! (I’m referring to myself, of course)

Sure, I had a pretty lazy weekend and had some emotional ups and downs, but I still did some pretty awesome activities that further my desire for balance in my health and well-being.

Like last Thursday, I went out in the hot, hot August-in-Seattle heat and did some hiking at a nearby state park on the shores of Lake Washington. It was gorgeous outside, and the challenge was REAL! In actuality I think I pushed myself a bit too hard, but I did it nonetheless.

 

 

It’s here I’ll talk a little bit about mental and physical walls. I’ve worked with a personal trainer before when trying to get fit, and I know that most of us have a tendency to see boundaries a little too early when we’re working out. Most of these are mental walls. Now, there are some trainers out there who are maybe a little too gung-ho about walls being merely mental, and will expect you to push yourself past your limits. A little is okay – heck, pushing past a wall can end up feeling downright amazing! But then there are those barriers that one should respect: feeling dizzy, experiencing tunnel-vision, feeling nauseated…

Those are some barriers I ran up against last Thursday. And there was a part of me that said, “Push past it, keep walking, keeping your heart rate up will be good for you!” But then there was the healthy part of me that said, “No, you can stop to take a break and wait until your heart isn’t busting out of your chest anymore. Drink some water, stand in the shade, respect your current fitness level.”

The fact is that I’m not an athlete at peak condition. I’m a heavy-set woman in her early 40’s (I know, right???) who is slowly working her way towards better fitness. I don’t need to go balls-to-the-wall every time I set out on a nature walk. This is a struggle for me, because I get into a lot of all-or-nothing thinking with a dash (okay, a landfill) of competitiveness thrown in. If I’m not one-upping myself at each opportunity, I have an inner voice that likes to tell me I’m not pushing hard enough and that it doesn’t count if I’m not going all out.

Well that inner voice isn’t serving me well anymore, if it was ever serving me at all. And this week I allowed myself to pay attention to that voice not as “reality”, but as a facet of my upbringing and inner self that isn’t telling me the truth. A facet that isn’t showing compassion. A facet that is maybe trying to be helpful, but is like that wacky aunt who doesn’t know how to help without hurting a little, too.

This week I’m choosing to hear that voice, politely tell it to hush up, and to embrace myself – every part of myself: my resilience, my humor, my intelligence, and yes- my limits. These limits will slowly fall away and I’ll have new limits to target. That’s called progress!

Weekly Stats:

  • Fitbit Step Count: 19, 369
  • Pants Test: Some of my pants actually felt downright baggy this week. Better than too tight! Comfort is the best.
  • Personal measure of wellness: This past week was tough, felt like a slip, but I’m staying on top of it and staying positive.

 

 

#WellnessWezday #2

Well friends, we’re here for the second installment of my weekly progress update: #WellnessWezday! This past week (August 10th through August 16th, 2016) was a banner week, filled with activity and enjoying the Seattle sun while it lasts. Building on the previous week’s breakthrough involving putting shoes on (which for me is no small feat… get it???), this week was about honoring (without caving into) my limits.

What does that mean? It means that yeah, I was eager to go hiking on Thursday, but while I let my friends goad me into a trip over to Rattlesnake Ledge, I didn’t force myself to get to the very top.

 

That was tough. I tend to fall into all-or-nothing thinking, and something about not getting to the top brings up a lot of feelings of inferiority, or not finishing the job. But the reality is that I’m really out of shape. I can’t just tell my body to press on and expect it to rise to the occasion. Sure, I can push myself – going hiking alone is quite a feat for me regardless of its length – but pushing past reasonable limits would likely not lead to glory, but to injury.

I’ve ascended Rattlesnake Ledge before. Back in May of 2014 I tried it for the first time (at the peak of my physical fitness), and celebrated at the top. So when I was roughly halfway up on Thursday, it was not easy for me to make the decision to turn around. That belittling voice was trying to persuade me that the hike “wouldn’t count” if I couldn’t take a selfie at the top.

But the healthy part of me – the balanced part that is willing to live in the grey area – knew that every step counts towards the pursuit of a fitter me. And it also knew that hiking downhill is often more calamitous for me than the reverse direction, and that if I wanted to make it down without tiredly, clumsily twisting an ankle or face-planting, the time to turn around had arrived.

Other awesomeness in my week included another trip to a local beach park with the pup where, after walking laps around the pier in 80-degree Fahrenheit heat, I finally succeeded in encouraging him to get out into the lake. We played fetch into the shallow shore of Lake Washington and it was simply delightful. He loved it, and I loved it!

 

Finally, yesterday I missed my Tuesday stream for a very good reason: I was invited to do a PokeWalk with some friends from my old workplace at one of the best places to play PokemonGO in the whole world: Bellevue’s Downtown Park. I’m serious, the vibe is crazy at this park! I felt a little like a lemming, migrating with the crowd from one spawn to the next.

 

As silly as it was, I got something like nine new (to me) Pokemon and had a lot of fun getting steps and working up a sweat in a downright jovial atmosphere.

Weekly Stats:

  • Fitbit Step Count: 38,197 (+12.8% increase)
  • Pants Test: Bought some ostentatious blue pants about 2 months ago – they’re getting loose!
  • Personal measure of wellness: My feet are usually sore at the end of the day, but I’ve been bouncing back quickly!