In honor of my birthday last month, I set some intentions for the year. I’m putting them out into the universe to ensure that they get to breathe a little. I am giving them some room to stretch and grow. I believe in the power of writing goals down, and also in the power of sharing them.
So, without further ado…
1. Honoring my body. My body has done some pretty amazing things in the past, but never has it been through what it has in the past year. I watched (and documented) in awe as it stretched and expanded to grow another human being. But I'll be honest, despite my wonder and awe at my ability to grow another person, I have been pretty harsh on myself ever since (because I haven't lost the "baby weight," because I can't physically exert myself as much as before, and so on...) I catch myself saying some pretty nasty things to the new person staring back at me in the mirror.
I am still getting to know this new person. I don't want X to know anything but love for herself. The best way that I can teach her self-love is by modeling self-love. In order to better acquaint myself with Esperanza 2.0, I need to honor her mind, body and soul. One of the only ways I have found I can do all three of these at once is through running.
Running single-handedly throws me into a state of calm, immediately provides me with a mood boost, and gives me more energy afterwards. My mind can get swirly quick, running does this amazing thing to it: it quiets it. ALSO, I feel incredible after a run. Like, physically incredible. No matter the distance, I always feel like Wonder Woman. Running is all me. I love the following quote from a book I read a couple of months ago:
"They are totally different kinds of hard. As a mom, I can get help, share responsibility with my husband, enlist the help of grandmas and friends. That’s not to say it isn’t hard—because, holy moly, it’s hard!—but it can be shared. To truly be your best in running, you can’t outsource much, if anything. It’s all on you. Even if you have a coach, nobody else can do your training. Nobody else can sleep for you. Nobody else can refuel. Nobody else can set your goals. Nobody else can run the race. This realization hit me just the other day as I was planning for the upcoming year and strategizing my support crew to help with the various parts of my life: motherhood, running, and Picky Bars. Running was the one where I went, ‘Oh shit, that’s all me.” - Dimity McDowell, Tales from Another Mother Runner: Triumphs, Trials, Tips and Tricks from the Road
I have found that having a goal to work toward is really, really important. So, I am signing up for the 39th Annual Mission Inn Half-Marathon. In my previous life, I loved the half-marathon distance. It was just long enough to feel like I accomplished something major, but short enough to savor each and every mile. The race is in November. You heard it here first: t-minus 24 weeks 'til race day!
2. Fueling my body & mind. This goes right along with honoring my body. I know that being more intentional about movement will help me stay motivated to fuel myself with only things that make me feel good inside and out. I read somewhere that one of the biggest mistakes you can make when trying to embrace healthy eating habits is to focus on all the things you can't eat. Too often we sit and daydream about all of the sugar, or carbs, or whatever we cannot have - instead of all the wonderful nutrient-rich foods we can and should be eating to fuel our bodies and minds.
I recently saw the documentary Unsupersize Me and really liked the idea of eating any time and anything, so long as it is plant-based. I have been an aspiring vegan for years now. I think it's time I stop putting off excuses (read: "I love cheese too much" or "I just don't have TIME to make myself all that food" or "What will I do when I go out") and just do it already.
3. Feeling myself. All around embracing, exuding, and living confidence. In motherhood, in my own skin, in life... I feel like becoming a mom has made me a hundred times more confident in certain areas of my life; giving birth to an actual human being does wonders to your ego. However, this year has also done some funky things to me. I am constantly questioning whether I am making the right decision about something: whether it’s about what I’m supposed to be feeding X, or whether it’s about my next career move. I am perpetually second-guessing myself. I am going to make every effort possible to stop the influx of negativity, self-doubt, and self-criticism and just live my life however I please.
I heard somewhere that most of motherhood is about intuition, and I really need to do better about tapping into mine. I need to believe in myself enough to know that I have all the answers. Not surprisingly, running and eating well gives me all kinds of confidence. I look forward to more of that.
4. Attitude & gratitude. When I was pregnant with Ximena, I wrote in a gratitude journal everyday to keep me grounded. Now I am just so busy that I've stopped. It's easy for me to get swept up in negative thinking. I want to be better about catching negative thoughts before I let them wiggle their way out into the world. I am determined to embrace and manifest gratitude in my daily actions.
I think I'll leave it here for now. I put these out into the universe for accountability and for transparency. So often we believe the impeccably curated images of peoples' lives on social media, but this is a friendly reminder that motherhood is hard, and that postpartum body image issues are real. I am looking forward to reflecting in a year’s time. Here's to growth and change and to getting to know Esperanza 2.0!
As always, thank you for reading.