Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tis the Season

Bathing suit season. Do you just want to throw up? Multiple times so that your tummy looks nice and flat? Sadly, it just keeps getting harder as you get older. Sorry, but it's true.

I weigh the same now as I did 10 years ago. Since then I've had two children, gained cellulite, and watched my waistline just, well, spread. Last year I worked out, ate fiber bars like they were the greatest thing ever and finally fit into a super cute suit. Loved it. But it was totally immodest (I admit it) and felt completely uncomfortable every time I got up off my lounge chair. Which was a lot since I have little kids who like to actually get INTO the water. By the end of the summer, I had found a different suit (still cute) that covered a little more. Frankly, I was sick of sucking my stomach in and not eating.

I love food. Moving on.

Over the past year I've tried to become more realistic with my body image. And the fact that I'm not just gonna wake up with my 20 year old legs any time soon...ok ever. I want to accept me. I really do. Cellulite, increasingly grey hair, fatty tumor (got one of those too!) and all. But it is ridiculously hard!

So, I've been doing something different this year. I've been praying that God would help me see myself the way that he sees me. I stopped looking through all the magazines at the store while I stood in line. I trained for a half marathon and didn't think about if it was changing my body; I just wanted to accomplish my goal. I ate foods that were good for me and tried to find a balance in between being healthy and being a health nut. I thought about what our pastor's wife said about modest dress when she discussed purity a few weeks ago.

And I bought a new swimsuit.

At first I was concerned I looked a bit matronly. Just because I'm getting older doesn't mean I want to look a older than I am. But, after getting the ok from Terry and several neighbors, I took the plunge. Is is so freeing!!! To own a bathing suit that covers me and all of my jiggly bits and that I don't have to "suck it in" for is helping bring me to a place of peace with my body.

Being comfortable in your own skin, or body as it were, is a mental feat. I'm working on it, and though I have lots of relapses (ie: comparing myself in a negative or positive way to another woman) God is changing my heart. Because it's not perfecting my body He's concerned with.

I praise you because I am fearfully and WONDERFULLY made! Psalm 139:14

Friday, May 21, 2010

Memorial Marathon: My First Half

This past April I reached a goal I have been working towards for a while now. I ran, without stopping, my first half marathon.

I was anxious before the race. I had all kinds of crazy dreams several days before including not having checked in by the time the gun went off to start the race and another in which I ran the half with Cameron and Mitchell from Modern Family. I didn't want to just finish this race, I wanted to finish it without stopping. It was stressing me out.

We did finish, and I'd love to tell you that I felt amazing at the end. That I could have gone farther, but I can't. Frankly, I've never been so happy to finish something in my life. I was tired, numb, had to pee like a mad woman, and a huge blister broke on my toe at mile 10. It was extremely painful. If it weren't for my training partner, Kelly, and my race day partner, Lorren, I'm not sure I would have made it to race day, let alone the finish line. But we did it!!!

Looking back I would like to give a few tips:
1) Just because you can run 10 miles, does NOT mean you can run 13. Every one says that. And tho I had trained up to 10, 13.1 definitely feels different.

2) I started training with Clif Shot Bloks on the recommendation of Andi. I'm pretty sure they saved my life, or at least my legs, that day.

3) Some people like to run "blind" as I call it(not knowing the course). I don't like not knowing where I am going or how far I have gone. If you can get a Garmin to track your pace and distance I highly suggest it. At the very least, drive the course before hand if you can.

4) Running. Partner. Get one. I had lots of days I wouldn't have even gotten out of bed to train if I didn't know Kelly was waiting on me outside in the cold.

5) Strength training. I don't think I focused on this enough. Those last 3 miles were tougher because my legs just weren't strong enough. Running alone probably won't get you there. (Not to mention in your 30's you start to lose lean muscle mass. Strength training helps this.)

6) Don't think you can't do it! We spend too much of our lives talking about what we can't do instead of just going for it. I don't know, maybe you can't, but life is too short not to try.

I will run another half. The day after the race, I was planning on running the Memorial Half again next year. As of today, I am committed to the Route 66 half in November. Kind of wondering if maybe I just need to be committed? =)
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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I am Changed

At the beginning of this year, I wrote a post about my three words for 2010. One of them was change. I wanted to be a different person at the end of 2010 than I was at the beginning. I had no idea what event God was going to use as a catalyst for that change.

A little over two months ago my 13 year old niece, Taylor, was killed in a snow skiing accident in Colorado. The two weeks following her accident were tremendous. I saw a depth of grief I could never have imagined and a fullness of God's love you can only see (I believe) when you walk through the deepest valleys.

I spent time reminding my sister in law, Tara, that our God was still the same God he was before they left for Colorado, and frankly, reminding myself in the process. There are truly no words on the lips of man that can comfort a mother who has lost her child. None.

As we left Texas to return home from Taylor's funeral, I knew I wouldn't be the same person again. I didn't want to be. I was changed, but even now, I am still seeing the depth of what God is working out in me because of her life.

I haven't written much about Taylor's death because I just didn't know what to say. It's tragic. It's incomprehensibly sad. But, I can also see the hand of God in every bit of what has happened since she walked into eternity.

Lives were saved through her organ donation and countless more will be saved through the Taylor's Gift foundation her parents have started in her memory.

God is giving many of Tara and Todd's family and friends the opportunity to be His hands and feet to them as they walk this journey.

Every one who knew her or knew of her is changed. Her life has helped us to see beyond ourselves. Beyond our own selfish plans and desires to those plans and desires God has for us. And ultimately, it is about HIM.

He will be glorified; make no mistake about it.