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Very long wind here, bypass if you like. This challenge will finish out my first year with NF! I started in Feb of 2013. It's hard to believe I've been actively bettering myself for that long without quitting. Who'd-a thunk it!?! Nonetheless, the last few challenges have been really tough and I want to examine my next course of action. I decided to look back on my year, and further back still... I have found among other things that I love to cook! Cooking is enjoyable and I like how it makes me feel. With some financial planning and a better sense of time, I will be in the kitchen at least twice a week to make a nice, real meal. The nice, real meal doesn't happen often for me. I grew up with my guard up and my wall of food surrounding me. Until it surrounded me completely and I gained serious weight. There's reasons: the who did what to me, the minimal protective measures that are available to kids, and then later as an adult (he he he) there's me, hiding from the big scary world that's surely out to get me. I have been hiding in PTSD for decades. On top of that, I had to kick cancer's ass back in 2010. I have come out of the bitter, debilitating haze of those two monsters very thankful. I see more clearly and more positively about the future; mostly that I can make something happen for me. So in February 2013, I started new/older things. I began to move in a 'workout' way for 5 minutes a day (love to squat) and I quit Dr Pepper. Two very big wins for me. The next challenge I found a love I never knew I had, let alone one I could do. Running! Very short distances and usually not without stopping, but it was a run damn it. I remember my first HIIT workout. I finished and kept begging the Sky to give me air! I then laughed (when the air did finally come) and realized that I would in fact do this again. And again. Summer came and I was running the trails in my new sneaks and managed once to run a half mile without stopping. I am still giddy about that. I had a hamstring issue come up and a foot tendon issue that I'm still working on. Still! I want to run!!! My eating improved a lot last year. I have found myself wanting better food, instead of complaining about the cost and time of preparation. Present moment -- It's getting hard to type this now. I want to close the laptop and go veg-out with Hayday and Sims Free-play. Food has always been there for me. And I feel obligated to stay in the old patterns that worked out of devotion? It's not a strong conscious thing, but there are times that I still find myself buying, eating, and hiding the foods that gave me comfort before. I love them. Not the taste really. The feelings I let out as I eat. The defenses seem eased and I breath a bit better afterwards. I called this act crazy for a long time. I wanted it to be crazy so I had a reason to say it's not my fault, I can't do anything about it. I didn't want the responsibility of fixing something(me) that I didn't break. Present moment -- My eyes are drooping like they are tired but I know it's stress asking me to turn away for this painful place inside. But I need to be here. I need to let those young Parts of myself know that I am keeping us safe and the food that we've been depending on isn't asking for loyalty or addiction from us. I don't think they believe that enough yet so I'll keep working on it. Present moment -- I'm gonna take a break now and come back to this. BRB Present moment -- Soon after breaking I had a conversation with my Parts inside and this is what was said. Me: "Those foods do make us happier, that's true." Parts: 'Is there another way to eat that will feel as good and will be as safe?' Me: "I think there is. I know I'm ready to try and find out." Parts: 'Will you take care of us?' Me: "Of course. I love you All so very much. You are the true survivors of my past. I could not have made it without you all. Thank you!" Parts: 'Okay, you can try. But I want to be able to go back to what I know if it gets too hectic.' Me: "Understood. Thank you kindly for your bravery and love." Parts: 'You're welcome!' Every day, if I sit still a bit, I can find the thankfulness that I am alive. It wasn't so long ago that cancer or me wanted me dead. Those things are gone, so now what? Well, let's see what we have planned, shall we!?! C/O Terinatum's Happiness in Health My Fitness Quest: Take care of my body! My Motivation -Winter isn't coming so much as it's already here. I don't want to run in the snow and ice so running is out for now. I have physical injuries to contend with before I can hit the trails in Spring. And I need to lose more weight to run more safely and further!!! So, I need to care. And act on that caring so I don't forget that I'm allowed to make time for me and be responsible for myself. Here it goesâ€¦ Goal #1 Take care of my skin Action - Careful Skin Care through moisturizing, facials, callus care, Epsom salt baths, and gentle cleanliness How Much - Everyday Worth - 4 pts of CHR Grading - A = 5 days per week/ B = 4 / C = 3 / D = 2 Goal #2 Take care of my digestion Action- Affectionate Cooking How Much -two meals per week Worth - 3 pts of CON Grading - A = 2 meals/ B = 1 2/3 avg. / C = 1 1/3 avg. / D = 1 Goal #3 Take care of my muscles Action - Faithful Massage and PT w/dancing How Much - Everyday Worth - 3 pts of STA Grading - A = 5 days per week/ B = 4 / C = 3 / D = 2 Life Quest: Action - Find things that I like or am interested in doing, and do some! Examples -Cleaning the House, Sewing, Writing, Photography, Walking/Hiking, Swimming, Gaming, Playing Cards, Pool, etcâ€¦ How Much - Two hours per week (no less than 20 minutes at a time) Worth - 3 pts of CHR Grading - A = 2 hours/ B = 1 2/3 avg. / C = 1 1/3 avg. / D = 1 Battle On!