No More Numbers

I have stopped counting calories. I have not logged my daily intake since February 19 and I have deleted my Excel sheet both at work and at home. I am trying to stop myself from doing it in my head from habit/memory and am succeeding about 50% of the time right now. I’m sure that will improve with time.

I made a goal at the beginning of the year to:

“Care less about calories and about my weight. Fully accept that I am beautiful and perfect just as I am, even if I never lose that other ten pounds again. Steve has already been helping me with this one. So much.”

At the time, I mentioned to a couple of people that it was part of a bigger year or two-year long goal to stop counting calories. I didn’t think I was ready to do it yet. But, a few things changed my mind:

  1. Vacation in California. The inference here is that I was so content and happy that counting calories seemed insignificant. That was a small part of it. A bigger part of it was that I decided not to count calories while I was there because I was eating so much damn great food that I didn’t even want to know. Regardless of the reason, I went that week of not doing the counting and it was a decent kickstart to the process.
  2. Right at the end of my vacation, I got this Daily Om called “Throw Away Your Scale.” I actually threw away my scale years ago, but I read the entry with “counting calories” in place of “weighing yourself” and it was like a lightbulb went off. The fundamental truth is that I can determine how healthy I am by my own instincts, by how I nourish myself, my energy level, my mental clarity, my strength and agility. I do not need a scale or a calorie log to tell me what I already know inside.
  3. A reminder from the universe about what matters: my feelings about my body and appearance have been all over the place since my vacation. Not running doesn’t help, but I have been so exhausted this week that I have barely gotten out of bed to go to work, much less run most days. Then on Wednesday morning, as I struggled with whether or not to put on my running shoes and get out the door, I got this Note from the Universe: “Good looks, Melissa, have little to do with one’s body and everything to do with one’s mind. Here’s looking at you, The Universe. P.S. It also helps to get enough sleep, Melissa.” I swear that site reads my mind sometimes. I went back to bed.
  4. A gift from Steve: on Wednesday afternoon, we were having one of our after work cuddle and talk times and he was staring at my face for a second and suddenly said “you really are SO beautiful.” And I just went silent and smiled… aaaand then started crying. It was like, for a brief intense moment, I saw myself as he sees me – truly beautiful, just as I am, right now. And that is how I want to see myself.

Counting calories, worrying about my weight and appearance, berating myself for not running or for eating too much – these are all tied together and they are nothing but a big pile of meaningless garbage. This is no way to spend a life. My worth to myself and to others has nothing to do with any of that. I used to know this when I was young. It’s time I start living that way again.



Monthly Mileage for February 2016: 147.25

  • 1.00 hiking
  • 143.00 running
  • 3.25 walking

Not bad. I really wanted that 150 but hey. Life.

I did manage to run almost every day of vacation; I only skipped the actual wedding day and the day after when I pretty much couldn’t get out of bed. Actually, that was yesterday and I am still. so. tired. And jet lagged. But I got up and got five miles done this morning before work anyway. Because I’m awesome.

Also of note: running on the treadmill, beach (three days!), and mountain terrain (OOF) in California were all interesting and/or amazing and/or stunningly beautiful. I wish I always had variety like that.

Real Friendship

Daily Dharma from Tricycle:

“Hang out with people who are capable of making a commitment to you and your life, and who require that you make a commitment to theirs. Hang out with people who care about you, with people who need you to develop and who say so. Make such a commitment and don’t break that bond until you and all beings are perfect.”

This is something I’ve learned the hard way. But I have finally learned. I took some steps to that end in 2015; today’s daily dharma email was a good reminder to take the rest of those steps in 2016, as I have promised myself I would.

Life is too short to choose to spend it in the company of people who do not commit to me or propel me forward, or, on the flip side of that, for me to commit to people who do not want to receive that from me.

Give and take, love and be loved, and help each other be the best we can be. That is real friendship.

Monthly Mileage for January 2016: 127.25

  • 1.50 hiking
  • 120.00 running
  • 5.75 walking

Well, that didn’t go quite as planned. I was totally on track to come in just under my monthly goal of 150 miles running – even with some hunting weekends taking up time. Aaaaand then I got sick. Oh well.

Looking ahead for February, I will have to work hard to make my 150 goal since an entire 9 of 29 days is going to be spent in California. It will take a little extra diligence to get the daily runs in, but I know I can do it. (Side note: I am seriously curious what it is going to feel like to do most of those runs on a treadmill since I have not run on one in almost four years.)

I am also not likely to have any real hiking numbers for this next month, either, but that will be made up PLENTY in the spring, summer, and fall of this year. Lots to look forward to.

The Perfect Body


This is what I meant in my Goals for 2016 post. This is where I am trying to get my head at.

“I overheard a woman wondering aloud in disgust to her friend when she would, if ever, have “a yoga body.”
My heart paused.
I wanted to lift her hand to my soft middle & say, “This is a yoga body,” and to my strong arms, “and so is this,” and to my injuries, “and so is this.”
I wanted to ask her to close her eyes, place her hand over her own heart and take a deep breath… “and most importantly THIS,” I would say to her.
Your “yoga body” has nothing to do with its shape, but everything to do with the space you hold for it to be human and imperfect.
Your “yoga body” is not the body you will have “someday,” but the one that is breathing in and out for you right now.
It will never match your expectation if you expect it to look like someone else’s. And you may never feel at home in it if your expectations revolve around its shape and weight. Bodies change, break, heal. Constantly.
When you see images that promise static perfection, close your eyes to it & open them to yourself in all your present, messy, imperfect glory.
You cannot self-loathe your way into self-love, nor hate your way into happiness.
The path to peace is not an impossible journey.
You simply have to stand still.
In your own body.

Source (with thanks to Ultra Chelsea)

Too Much

do you remember the first time you were called annoying?
how your breath stopped short in your chest
the way the light drained from your eyes, though you knew your cheeks were ablaze
the way your throat tightened as you tried to form an argument that got lost on your tongue?
your eyes never left the floor that day.
you were 13.
you’re 20 now, and i still see the light fade from your eyes when you talk about your interests for “too long,”
apologies littering every other sentence,
words trailing off a cliff you haven’t jumped from in 7 years.
i could listen to you forever, though i know speaking for more than 3 uninterrupted minutes makes you anxious.
all i want you to know is that you deserve to be heard
for 3 minutes
for 10 minutes
for 2 hours
there will be people who cannot handle your grace, your beauty, your wisdom, your heart;
mostly because they can’t handle their own. but you will never be
and have never been
“too much.”