A LITTLE LIFE STORY ABOUT FINDING PHYSICAL SELF-LOVE

Wednesday, September 5, 2018
September is officially here and I can't believe it. I have a big Summer recap post sitting in my Drafts, and it's almost ready to be published, but something else has been crowding my mind and I've been feeling the need to share. Actually, I've wanted to share these thoughts for months (read: years), but it's the kind of topic that deserves a polished post before presenting, and I've been waiting for that "right time," to write and publish. But you know what? I just don't have time for that kind of poise these days. My life is moving too fast and, life overall, is feeling too short to wait for the perfect time to do things that I care about and/or feel moved to do.

Not wanting to feel that kind of regret, here is a big part of my story about finally arriving at a pretty relieving life destination: physical self-love. I was thinking about my self-love journey while biking last Saturday, so I spontaneously started a Live Video on Instagram right after I finished exercising in which I shared these same thoughts below. It was an unplanned party for all who watched and for me, and I may have struck out with my sweaty appearance and blubbering thoughts, but hey, I swung. :)

So take it or leave it, friends - it's far from perfect - but here is what I have come to so firmly believe about taking care of my physical body and, in turn, loving me.

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I remember running the half-mile every week in the 4th grade PE and learning to love the rush of my moving legs and beating lungs. I remember that I soon started running for fun with my older sister, Elise, while she was in high school. I remember picking up tennis in Jr. High and loving the newfound strength in my pounding heart and sore arms. High School married my two athletic loves - running and tennis - and it found me playing Varsity tennis and running Varsity track. I loved both sports so much for the fun, friendship, and fitness outlets they gave me. I remember that exercise became a part of my life back then. It was a release for my mind and a builder of my body.

My college years started to morph the role of exercise in my life, however, as my body more fully matured and, even more so, as my life's stress levels mounted. I could no longer pick up a couple miles of running to keep my body in its optimal shape, although I didn't grasp that for most of my Freshman - Sophomore years. By my Junior year, my body had drastically changed. I had gained 30 pounds, which for my 5'3 frame, felt more like 50. My pants were tight. My face felt tight. My heart was tight from the stress of it all. I was worried about how I looked, because if my appearance was at all a reflection of my feelings, it wasn't good. My heart breaks a little thinking of this now, but I didn't like myself then. Of course I knew that I needed to be positive and to "love myself," but the rubber hit the road, and I just didn't. I didn't like what 150 pounds felt like. I didn't like feeling ugly and thus stressing about my looks. I didn't like that I was still exercising daily, as I had been for years, and yet my body seemed to further swell. I did not like my body. And as a result, I did not fully like me.
Summer 2010. My sophomore year at BYU. 

OUR FAVORITE, KID-APPROVED COBB SALAD!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018
There are a lot of daily grinds in motherhood, just like in every other job (I watch Ryan do the work of a corporate attorney and, sheesh, does he have daily gears to crank or what!), and getting that one-and-only, most holy food groups -- VEGETABLES -- into our clients' kids bodies is one of them. We mix them in smoothies, swirl them in soups, sneak them into the sauce of mac n' cheese -- anything to get them to eat something REAL that will really help their immunity and growth! That's me, anyway. And I won't lie, I've wondered before why on earth Heavenly Father made the best-for-our-bodies foods taste the worst. Probably to teach me in yet another way that putting some muscle into life and turning the bitter into the sweet is amazing. IE, how about these yummy kale chips? Or in today's context, yummy tomatoes and romaine lettuce? :) 

I should add the disclaimer that not all vegetables taste gross without outside help, but a lot sure do, making them unappealing to our kids' young palates. That's why it was literally MUSIC to my ears when, after I had made myself this Cobb Salad, that Olivia and Claire asked for their meal to be exactly like mine. Whenever I do salads for dinner, I usually separate the different toppings on the girls' plates -- a tiny pile of lettuce with dressing, and then all the toppings in separate piles -- and the lettuce is typically the last and toughest portion for them to swallow. But not so with this Cobb Salad meal! Check it out... 

TALKING PRIORITIES (ME) AND FOOOOD (MISS EMMY!)

Wednesday, August 1, 2018
Hello, Wednesday (which is crazy)! This week is flying by for me. Every week seems to be flying by, though, right? Ms. Time is the best hustler I know. She doesn't stop for anything or anyone. I've been thinking so much about how everyone everywhere has the same 24 hours in the day, and you fit what's important to you into your 24 hours. If something matters to you, you'll include it in your day, your week, your month. If it isn't, you won't. In fact, you won't even thinking about working it into your day, whatever "it" is -- your project, your friend, your laundry. :) "It" won't even cross your mind. 

I got on this train after thinking about my June Project. I didn't write multiple times a week there like I thought I would. I did blog more consistently than I have in a LONG time, but there were still gaps in there where I didn't take the time to write. I realized my priorities -- that I cared more about being with whatever people we had here (we had visitors for a straight month between June - July!) and going to bed a little earlier > staying up to blog.

This, then, got me thinking about the things I ALWAYS prioritize and why...

A BEACH WEEK WITH OUR AWERKAMP CLAN!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018
Our Awerkamps came to town last week - for the whole week! Mom and Dad A. rented a beach house in Oceanside, and all I know is that I'm crossing my fingers they'll want to make this an annual thing, because 1) we LOVED having them here and 2) it was so nice to vacation in San Diego. You can't help but soak up this sunny city all-year round, but staying within walking distance from the beach and playing games mid-day after taking a nap because your beach morning wore you out doesn't happen when you live here. That's vacation life, and it was so nice to have it for a week with our favorite people. We miss them and the whole party we had together! So much so, tonight Claire turned to me while in the tub and said, "Mom I don't feel like this tub. Let's go back to the beach house - that one is better!" Sounds good to me, girl.

Other than beaching -- so surfing, swimming, eating, and napping -- we ate out at a couple fun joints and we hunkered down in the beach house to just be together.  We took family pictures on Thursday night, and when I was getting the girls ready, Grandma Heidi walked by and reminded us that it was good we were cleaning up but that this was not going to be a serious shoot - we were going to hit that beach and have FUN. Well, clearly...

A DREAMY SAN DIEGO DAY (WITH THE NELSONS)!

Thursday, July 5, 2018
Is there anything better than a good friend? Or a whole family of good friends?? We had some of our very best friends, the Nelsons, come visit three weeks ago now (man time flies!), and I was thinking as I prepped for their arrival that we've reached that life stage where all of our dear friends are all over the country. They're in New York, Virginia, California, Texas, Utah, Arizona, Alabama -- those are the spots I can think of off the top of my head, and I bet if I took a second to dig deeper here I'd round up some more. Being soooo old (๐Ÿ˜‰ ) is both exciting and crazy (but mostly crazy).  

Our weekend with the Nelsons was perfect. We love the Nelsons. They were business students at Darden, we were at the law school, and we've missed them so much. They're the chill kind of friends that rollerblade with you, throw cereal parties for their kids' b-day parties, and convince you to rent your house on AirBnB to make extra cash (yes we did that during law school when we lived away for the summers, and yes we have Reagan and Sam to thank for that one). We spent all day Saturday taking on San Diego together, and if someone out there in the WWW is looking for a good 24 hours in this city, read on and catch a drift of our day. It was the adventurer's dream! 

Here's the itinerary: 

Pre-lunch outing: Hidden Bridge in Hillcrest. If you ever search "things to do in SD" on Pinterest, this super randomly located, super cool suspension bridge will definitely pop up. For good reason!

Lunch: Hodad's Downtown. A wild spot! Its location cuts close to areas of Downtown that I'd normally keep a distance from, but with two dads in tow it was okay to go. The hole-in-the-wall restaurant is famous for its burgers and plastered-with-stickers walls.

Lunch Dessert (because mid-day dessert is what you do when friends are in town!): Hammond's Ice Cream in Pacific Beach. Their famous flights are yummmmy and the funnest way to eat some ice cream!

Pre-dinner outing: La Jolla Cove. The seals, Coastal Walk (on rollerblades and scooters, preferably. See below ๐Ÿ˜Œ), Tide Pools (if the tide is low and if you have time. If you strike out on both requirements like we did, just hang at the park on the cove and love your life, like we did). 

Dinner: The Taco Stand in La Jolla. Although we didn't make it to the Stand that day (SAD)! I forgot that I had a church meeting I had to get to, so we nixed dinner out that night. But without that meeting on the agenda, we would've gone to The Taco Stand for SD's finest tacos!

After-dinner outing: beach sunset at Torrey Pines. We struck out with this one, too, for the same reason above, but along with the Taco Stand, it was part of our initial itinerary for the day.

Now I'll let the pics do the elaborating, starting with the bridge!  

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