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personal wellness ~ nurturing your body

Posted Sep 29 2011 5:23pm

“It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.” ~ Buddha

This body is the only one I have. And I want it to last me through many an adventure. Adventures feed my mind and spirit. I fear a life of stagnation; adventure helps me feel alive and vibrant. My body is a temple, meant to be honored and nourished. I honor it by making it work hard and by letting it rest…I nourish it through what I put in and on it. I love my body (yes…even my pot belly). My body loves me.

Huff. Puff. Oh my chafing thighs.

Huff. Puff. It’s so steep…I got down here (I need some Ben Gay…my knees are killing me!) but can I get up?

bali ~ 2007

This is me circa early 2007. I fit into my size 12 shorts so I wasn’t at my heaviest weight (yet) but I most definitely was very out of shape.

I distinctly remember the post first whitewater rafting adventure glow quickly followed by an internal, “Oh shit” when I realized the hardest part was yet to come…climbing back up the steep (and by steep…I mean really really steep!) hill.

And I was tired. Elated but tired. Legs and arms shaky from exertion, heart pumping from a near fatal communication fail with non-English speaking guide, thighs painfully chafed from constant rubbing together whilst damp…you get the picture (not a pretty one, heh?).

But I did it. I made it up the hill and vowed to get into shape before my next adventure.

costa rica ~ 2008

Why, hello cleavage! How are you today?

Yeah. Approximately a year had gone by since promising myself in Bali to get in shape before my next big adventure which was waterfall repelling (and whitewater rafting and horseback riding and ziplining). I didn’t do so well on my promise to myself…did I? In fact, these pants were a tight size 14. I had gotten heavier.

This was also the trip I backed out on bungee jumping because I felt too fat.

Holy huge ass, Batman!

As you can see….I continued to grow through 2008. My pants were a very tight size 16. Something had to give.

california ~ 2008

And that something was my shoulder (of all things). And my shoulder was so messed up the PT wasn’t sure it would ever go back to being fully functional.

And that scared the crap out of me. Without full use of my shoulder, it’d be hard to do all the things I’d grown to love …that nurtured my spirit like whitewater rafting, and repelling, and horseback riding, and ziplining.

My arm and hand were so weak I couldn’t use sharp knifes for fear of accidentally flinging it into the unsuspecting arm of my husband….I couldn’t throw a ball to play fetch with the dog….I had to pick up my daughter with only my left arm…it was tough getting her in and out of her car seat. I was in constant pain and discomfort.

Physical and massage therapy helped. But my core was too weak and needed to be stronger so I could properly learn to use my upper-back muscles again and only then would my shoulder truly be able to heal.

It was a wake-up call for sure. I could either choose to do nothing about it and live in pain, unable to do the things I loved, or I could finally do something about it with the hope that someday I’d be strong again.

I chose to do something about it….my god, I wasn’t yet 40! Life wasn’t even half over.

(not to be dramatic or anything…)

At first it didn’t come easily or naturally. Let’s just say….I’m not athletic by any stretch of the imagination. Plus…I have a pot belly and big boobs. Let’s be honest, they get in the way sometimes.

I decided to give yoga a try. What did I have to lose by this point?

I played DVDs in my home and got stronger.

My confidence grew.

I gave myself the gift of a YMCA membership for my 39th birthday and started attending yoga classes.

I found a teacher that continually inspired me and I attended her Wednesday and Friday classes over my lunch hour.

I felt peaceful. I felt in control. I felt strong. I *was* strong.

And the weight started melting off.

to be continued….

peace, jen

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