Recently I attended a wellness session for young adult cancer survivors and supporters put on by my husband at the Tom Baker Cancer Center and was privileged to hear several professionals speak on living well with and beyond cancer. I loved the tips from the nutritionist, the thoughts about pursuing help for relationships and for yourself even if you don’t think you need help and of course the exercise portion. I know the woman who gave the talk – Lauren is an amazing person with a huge heart who is a grad student researching exercise and cancer. I’ve heard her speak before, but a few of the things she said stuck with me, and I wanted to share them with you today.
The first idea I took home was a tug of war concept. Cancer (or any other illness) tries to take things away from you: your hope, your energy, your health, your vitality, etc. But we can play tug of war and pull back on the rope by using other resources (in this case, it was exercise, as it helps pent up stress, release endorphins, helps fight fatigue, etc).
I love this concept of using exercise – we’ll broaden it to fitness for this post’s purposes – as the tool to play tug of war with the other negative things in your life. Besides the physical benefits, it got me thinking about how we can play tug of war and fight other negative things in our lives, namely our (wrong) perceptions about health and our bodies.
I recently read a post from Calee that really struck a chord with me, especially after writing this post about body image and the changes I’m making. Her post was called “Stop Working Out Like It’s Your Job” and talks about how we’ve become obsessed with tracking macros and nutrients and calories and lifting to hit new PRS and revolving our days around our workouts and how unhealthy it can be. I(t’s worth a read if you have a moment to pop over and check it out for yourself!) That plus this post from Go Kaleo (you gotta her read her blog! Full of great studies, information and a super healthy, balanced perspective on fitness in my opinion)made me come up with the idea for this image below:
Sure, there are things we will probably never love about our bodies, but why not change our focus, shift our perspective, play tug of war and get after those negative thoughts that don’t contribute to our overall health? My question to you today is:
What will you CHOOSE to see (or believe)?
This weekend Mikey and I set out in our new (to us!) Subaru for a weekend mini adventure to soak up the end of summer and challenge ourselves. The Rockwall Trail was closed (a fire in the area, bear sightings and many of the bridges were out due to the flood in June) so we went north instead to Jasper (where we’d only explored in the winter up to this point). We decided to trail run/hike the Skyline Trail, 44.2 km or 27.5 miles of beautiful, alpine views. After sleeping at the trail head, we got up early, had some oatmeal and a swig of coffee and hit the trail.
I’ll write more and share more about the trail run (our first one and we have lots of video to put together. It was also the longest we’d done in one day – over a marathon in distance!) but it was incredible. Although we were beat up by the end of our just-under-12-hour-journey, we were so happy, felt accomplished and now are looking for other classic backpacks we can knock off in one (long) day. And yet, when we got home, I weighed myself the next day thinking surely I must have lost a pound or two (although I know better than to weigh often and think you can see much actual change in a weekend). Nope. Weight was up. As it ALWAYS is after back country excursions for me! I remembered that I was no longer allowing wrong thoughts into my mind about my body and chose to focus on the incredible feat we just completed together as a team. Moreover, I decided to take a week off from the scale. I’ve gone longer, and who knows, it might turn into much more time away (maybe even permanently? I know the values of NOT weighing yourself), but I’m choosing to enjoy every workout this week as I push myself, to eat well because my body is worth the proper nutrition and to enjoy life. This is a great trend. 🙂
I challenge you to do the same! Step back from the scale with me. Stop those negative thoughts when they enter your mind. Choose to live differently and to see your body differently. Challenge and push yourself farther than you think you can go. And I invite you to send me a photo of you with YOUR current tug of war (like mine above) that you’re dealing with right now. Add “bonnielangfitness.com” somewhere on the photo and email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will include your photo in this Friday’s post to encourage us all to pull back on that rope! (If you’re not sure where to start, I use the free photo editing website PicMonkey – very user friendly!)
I hope to hear from you! Enjoy the links above and I can’t wait to come back with some fun video from our epic weekend away later this week. Live well & be well friends!