Well, Mikey and I have returned from Newfoundland and are slowly getting back into the groove of a regular routine here in Calgary. I love vacations that are movement-based, and this trip most definitely did not disappoint! When you can’t run, you can always hike!
Our goal was to see how far we could hike in 5 days and we were shooting for roughly 20 km/day.
However, we realized that we actually are fair-weather backpackers and after 2 gorgeous days of sun and one night of rain and cold on day 3, we decided to pack it in and head back to St. John’s.
All in all though, it was a fun, beautiful, and fulfilling hike – definitely recommended to all who find themselves on the East Coast of Newfoundland!
Our total ended up being 63.5 km from St. John’s to Bay Bulls. What a great vacation! The next 2 days were spent with our beautiful and fun friend (and Mikey’s co-worker) Karine doing town-y events like seeing movies, going out to good dinners, and just enjoying the atmosphere of coffee shops while the rains came down (making us more grateful for “prematurely” exiting the trail). 😉
It was great to be without a scale, without the regularity of my normal eating schedule, and without the chance to think about “fitness.” In contrast, I was able to simply live in a fit way. In fact, ever since my post about redefining “fit” from a new perspective for Caitlin’s “Operation Beautiful” book release, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about accepting who I am and putting the words I encourage others with into practice for myself. I know I’m healthy, I know I’m fit, I know I’m “in shape,” but being in the fitness world with my job and personal interests, it’s hard to not succumb to the pressures of both our culture/society and the pressures I upon myself to look a certain way. There’s a big difference between being thin and being healthy, and I am so motivated to keep my thinking and perspective more on being healthy rather than skinny, on being fit more than seeing my abs. I know that I’m more fun to be around, more balanced in how I act, and better in how I relate to others when I’m focusing on health rather than on a number on the scale or how my body looks at any given time on any given day.
Being in this mindset then, I think I was primed and ready to accept some change and embrace this “new” way of thinking as we hit the trail. The day before I flew out to St. John’s to meet up with Mikey, I ran 10.625 miles in 1:28… whoa! I was so proud of this and tried all day to focus not on being 2 lbs heavier than I normally am, but on the fact that I was able to run those 10.625 miles and feel good about them! Then on the backpacking trip, I realized that it’s such a great thing to be able to jump on the trail with a 35 lb pack and hike 20 km/day with my husband with no “training.” I recognized this as a victory and as something to mark my fitness by rather than the extra meals we had after the trail and the indulgences of being out and splurging with friends.
It was on this trip that something clicked…I was lying in bed with Mikey and noticed how happy and content (and full!) I was after a great evening with good friends and good food. Delicious meals, wine, and dessert – the works! – had been enjoyed and it hit me that I was okay with it.
In fact, knowing I had gained some weight (you don’t always need a scale to know that! hehe) was settling just fine with me. The focus has been shifted to a perspective of health and fitness, not muscle definition and numbers. Being able to move and hike and run and feel fit is such a beautiful and freeing thing! That being said, I realize that moving makes me feel better, and fueling myself with good, thoughtful, healthy foods makes me feel better, and that’s what it’s really all about! So I won’t slack on my running or go crazy with my snacks, but I won’t worry when I listen to my body and sleep in one morning, and I won’t feel guilty about enjoying a decadent meal. 🙂 It’s all about balance, moderation, and consistency, and I truly believe that. I also know it will take constant reminders and learning to let things go, but I want to continue to keep this in mind throughout my days, training, and life. I am grateful to have a husband who encourages me and affirms me as being beautiful and makes me feel loved all around! And ultimately, my worth does not come from the things around me that make me feel pressure to perform and act and look a certain way, but rather from being a beloved child of God. I am blessed. I am loved. (And so are you!) I am healthy. I am fit. I love to move and appreciate good food. I am learning and growing and loving life. 🙂
Grateful for these lessons and reminders and hope that others can be encouraged by them too. I am stoked to share some new recipes and thoughts on raw food and nutrition (with a book review in there) tomorrow and throughout the week – I’m back home, back to work, ready to train and keep blogging away, so follow along as we learn and grow together. Have a great week ahead and live well and be well,