Life Appreciation and Exercise Talk

Hello beauties,

I hope you’ve all been well! I’m here to link up with the fantazz Amanda over at Running With Spoons for another Thinking Out Loud Thursday. Here are lots of thoughts, accidentally followed by a rant. Can’t help myself, apparently.

Oh boy, life does go unreasonably quickly. It’s already July, which means it’s my birthday month, which means that I’m visiting my family for a week, and THAT means that I get cake. Whatever cake I like. I have been known to turn down more sophisticated cake requests (black forest gateau, raspberry and cardamom bundt, cheesecake) for a RAINBOW SPONGE. Throwback time.

Cake with attitude
Cake with attitude, circa 2013 (I promise I don’t have a mullet… it’s the angle)

Underneath all that fluffy goodness is about 5 layers of different coloured sponge with cream wedged in between, and I’m kicking myself for not getting a shot of the inside. Imagine, though. All those colours.

Last week, Lija and I scored free tickets to see a band called The Rubens in concert. I know the girlfriend of the drummer- a fantastic gal- and she kindly put our names down on the guest list! Super exciting!! It was a great night out.

I fan-girled and bought 2 pairs of socks from the merch counter. One for me, one for Lija. #worthit

I fan-girled and bought 2 pairs of socks from the merch counter. One pair for me, one for Lija. I now wear mine everywhere. #worthit

The Rubens! So good.
The Rubens!! So good.

It was PACKED. There was a girl in front of me who was accidentally (I hope??) grinding on me half the night. I tried to stick the sharp end of a packet I was holding into her bottom to get her to notice how close to me she was. She turned out to be too drunk to notice. Hurrah for the joys of occasionally venturing out in public!

Anyway. It was awesome.

My brothers faithfully send me snapchats of our dog, Hugo, back in Canberra. I can’t wait to see him.

I miss him. So much.
Look at him, all curled up! He’s just a furry ball of love and fur <3

Had some pretty good eats this past couple weeks, including these babies…

Coconut flour pancakes topped with tahini, maple syrup and bananas
Coconut flour pancakes topped with tahini, maple syrup, bananas and cinnamon

I find I have to be really careful with the coconut flour-to-liquid ratio! It absorbs liquid a while after you combine the ingredients, so at first it can look too soup-y. If I let it sit for a bit, it thickens up.

IMG_3776
Parsley, capsicum, asparagus, marinated tofu, baby peas, avocado, balsamic dressing and olive oil. Mmm

Someone told me parsley was SUPER GOOD FOR YOU and I got all excited and bought heaps before I realised I’d have to eat it all. By myself. Enter salad, after salad, after salad. Good thing I like salad.

And Kelsea and I baked choc chip flourless cookies. Oh boyyy
And Kelsea and I baked choc chip flourless cookies. Oh boyyy

And the amazing lights show, Vivid, that illuminates Sydney’s CBD with interactive displays at night and streets filled with buskers, was visited! Those lights. Beau-ti-ful. Sydney is an amazing city and I’m grateful to live here. I still pinch myself a little bit sometimes.

Why yes that is the Opera House.
Why yes that is the Opera House. Moving Aboriginal lights display.

 

Lija told me I was looking sullen and I should smile. So.
Lija told me I was looking sullen and I should smile. So.

Both of my housemates have gone overseas- one to Africa and one to South Korea- but to save me from loneliness we have a gorgeous new housemate from France named Léa! She’s great to chat to and she literally deep-cleaned the entire house her second day here. She can definitely stay *she says dumping her dirty plates into the sink and squishing her gum under the counter*. Kidding.

All that said, this week was another emotional roller coaster. Why are you like this, Liz? Why!?

It’s proved to be another healthy reminder that when there are external stressors happening, or when I’m in sleep debt, I have to be careful to respect what my body needs.

I need to keep remembering: does exercise mean that I necessarily ruin myself and use up all of my energy reserves in order to have done it ‘properly’? Do I have to push myself to the limit every time, or even most times I exercise? What is ‘properly’ anyway?

The gym culture is ‘you haven’t worked out until it hurts’. Good sometimes. Not all the time.

I suppose it comes down to goals and prioritiesbut sometimes those need to be analysed.
Have I actually acknowledged what my those are, written it down on paper? Sometimes, I find, I’m operating according to goals and priorities that have sneakily formed without my awareness, that I don’t necessarily agree with in my head or my heart, but that I follow regardless.

workouthardalltheweek

In the area of exercise, things like:
Can I skip a day of exercise and not feel like I need to ‘make up for it’?
Am I exercising to improve my health, or just burn calories?
Am I using food as fuel, or a reward?
How wrapped up am I in my body image and how it’s changing visually as opposed to what it can do?
Am I trying to manipulate and sculpt my body according to what society admires, or am I simply doing it to be healthy and feel good?

All too easily, I can get on the high of exercising constantly and pushing my limits or building muscle. These things are great, but it’s not always good for me at that point in time. Some days, I just need a slow Pilates class or a gentle walk. Or Netflix and a bag of chips.

pain in all body
Gosh I love Allie Brosh. Anyone else??

I remember- yes, I’m in many ways recovered- but I still have to be careful about the behaviours I entertain. I don’t want to underestimate my susceptibility to past destructive behaviours.

I notice, when I’m over-exercising, that apart from physical exhaustion (and often needing a midday nap), my mind just switches off for the rest of the day. I can’t think clearly or be creative. I can’t cope when little things go wrong. I’m emotionally flat. It’s exhausting for every part of me. And that gets me nowhere- it’s just an endless hamster wheel of exercise and food.
Life has SO MUCH more meaning than that!

I’m not going to waste time beating myself up about the times I get it wrong (which I sometimes still do). Instead I’m going to work on being thankful– on appreciating the huge blessing of delicious, energising food and relishing the ability to exercise and move my body when it wants to.

Catching the sunrise from our apartment. Blessed beyond measure.
Catching the sunrise from our apartment. Blessed beyond measure.

Even more so, I’m going to work on being thankful for everything that colours my world– the ocean outside my window, eye-opening conversations with people I love, studying the wonders of anatomy (Jesus, you truly created a masterpiece!), a novel that transports me, hanging my washing out to dry in the soft morning breeze, dancing to music when the house is empty, painting my toenails, enjoying meals with other people, and simply sitting alone in the quiet, allowing my thoughts to wash over me. These things and so many more are what make life exquisite. In fact, this is a pathetic list compared to the gems waiting to be discovered in the everyday. The world is a place to get fascinated with.

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
Matthew 6:25

Have a fab week, lovelies. Thanks again to Amanda for letting me join the link-up!

So…

How do you go listening to your body’s needs? 

What activities or hobbies or passions get you so absorbed, food and exercise thoughts are miles away?

What are you most grateful for today? 

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4 comments

  1. “……my mind just switches off for the rest of the day. I can’t think clearly or be creative. I can’t cope when little things go wrong. I’m emotionally flat.”
    This. Every part of this I know so, so well, and yet its nearly impossible to describe to someone who hasn’t experienced it. And when you are in this over-exerted-dead-inside-fog you don’t even know how you feel so couldn’t explain it someone if you tried. Everything is just…. a wash.
    These are the hard times. These are the hard feelings. We do make mistakes and we do take steps backward… and then we deal with the consequences. But we are human. And there are always steps forward waiting for us, and there are always these beautiful moments which you have mentioned out there shining a light on why we need to just keep picking ourselves up and trying again.
    It is my acting and work with theatre that, when I am absorbed in it, all thought of food and exercise literally just disappear.
    Much <3 to you. Thank you for sharing all your thoughts.

    Reply
    1. Yup. So with you Cora, and I’m glad to know someone understands. The instinct of creativity is trampled by the grinding routine we impose upon ourselves. It’s so numbing and frustrating!
      But I was thinking this morning- like you said, ‘there are always steps forward’, that what is lost can be found once again. The gifts inside of us don’t die, they just hibernate. I can relate with the acting thing- I think it’s awesome that you know what you’re passionate about, too!

      Reply

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