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Summertime

Jesus I am in love with my city. I really love living here in Austin. I’m so happy with all there is to experience here, there is no way I’ll ever see and do it all. Summer here is fantastic, it gets hot but we can still get out and enjoy our surroundings. Refreshing after spending years in a scorching desert.

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Onion Creek Wildflowers

 

 

I have been trying new things – one night I went longboarding with an old friend. I loved it! (I’m the goober in the center) Planning to meet up and do it again this weekend. She has a rad blog as well: The Sartorial Skater.

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Longboarding

 

As usual, Matt and I have continued exploring the city and parks. Everything I’m posting is within just a few miles from my home.

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Barton Creek Greenbelt

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Thistles Growing at Circle C Park

Lady Bird Lake, Austin TX

Lady Bird Lake, Austin TX

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Barton Creek Greenbelt

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Arbor Trails

I am very happy that Matt has decided to try running with me as well. He has never been too much of a fan of it but recently he had a change of heart and we are running together once a week. We are alternating running and walking and he is already running more than he is walking on 4-5 mile loops. So proud! It took me so much longer to get to where he is, it’s awesome. And it’s really nice to have a running buddy again.

Matt and I after a run

Matt and I after a run

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Focus: positive

Something has been running through my mind lately, so I figured I’d devote a little post to it. Maybe this stems from how I’ve been embracing my hippie side (thanks Austin, for basically being a melting pot of hippies). Over time I have noticed a pattern with people in real life or in the virtual world of social networking who always seem to be struggling through something terrible. It’s a little crazy, because it seems like I see the same people dealing with one huge struggle after another. One more dramatic, horrible event. One more asshole they are adding to their long list of enemies. One more reason the world is against them.

So it made me wonder. Are all of these people just really unlucky? Do they attract bad situations or jerks who do them wrong? Are they asking for it?

I don’t think it’s any of those things. First of all, don’t be mistaken: everybody has bad shit happen to them. There is something to be said for how an individual handles hardship though, as to whether it resolves itself or amplifies the issue to breed more problems. Negativity feeds off and creates more negativity. I’ve seen it first hand. When I was in a funk in my own life it seemed like everything went wrong. And when I gave voice to my problems, I seemed to get buried under more problems.

For a long time now I have worked hard to focus on the positive aspects of my life, and I can say without hesitation I am a happier person. This is not by ignoring my problems, but instead by not giving them a great deal of weight. I deal with my issues, I allow myself to feel the emotions that come naturally for whatever I am facing — but I try to make a point to not make a fuss in public about the shitty stuff. And it seems like there is something to this. Here comes the hippie – but energy is real. And every person has this magic ability to choose whether they want to spend more of their energy on positive or negative thought and behavior.

Yes, I know this can be hard. We all succumb to a negative thought, that’s human nature. We all silently curse the jerk that cuts us off, or maybe it’s the ex in your life you don’t want to deal with, or perhaps the thankless job you struggle to wake up and go to, or maybe it’s that weight that just won’t come off no matter how hard you try (and so on, and so on…). But how much negative energy are you spending on these things? Is bitching about it making it better? And while we are looking at it, when you bitch loudly about one thing, do you start to notice other shit that’s bad piling up around you? How many times have you uttered something to the effect of “what else could go wrong” or, “everything bad seems to happen to me.”

I’m no shrink, I’m no psychic. All I know is that it seems the same people who complain loudly complain often. Maybe it’s your attitude when dealing with the ups and downs of life. My blog is about more than my attempt to keep myself physically healthy. You can’t truly be fit if you’re not tending to the most important part of your body – your brain. Mental health matters. If anybody reads this and it strikes a chord, then I hope you consider a little introspection. Try to remember this: “self awareness.” I had this written next to my bed for about a year when I felt like I was at my lowest mentally. It reminded me to look at myself and how I was fitting into the big picture. It reminded me to ask myself how I was dealing with whatever I was facing. Was I doing something positive to fix a problem, or wallowing in negativity? You may not be able to choose all that happens to you, but you definitely have a choice on how you react and what you spend your energy on.

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Control

This quote is frustratingly accurate:

“When we try to control, we become controlled; when we release, we become free.” – Bryant McGill

I have control issues. It has been helpful to me in some ways, but I’m trying to let go of some control and that’s tough. I have been keeping tabs of everything I have eaten for about 2 years now. I diligently pick up my smartphone, open the MyFitnessPal app, look up then log every single bit of food. That truly helped – I’m not trying to knock the practice of self awareness and monitoring calorie intake. That being said, I have come to the realization over the last few months that I don’t really need to do that anymore. To say that my habits are sticking is an understatement; in fact I think the word habit is inadequate. I’ve adjusted my whole lifestyle.

Then why am I still counting every single calorie? Why am I wasting that time obsessing over it? I am controlled by my own need to control. I’m sick of it. I feel burdened by it, and I’m the one who has made the choice to do it. I have decided it’s time to let that go (cut to Frozen…)

I’m not cutting every fitness app. I like to know how much I am doing. I love my Fitbit, I get to compete with my friends and family and it motivates me to keep moving. I also like knowing details such as speed and distance when I go running or biking, or how far my husband and I wander on adventure hikes, so I will keep using Runtastic as well. But I am done logging calories eaten. I am so happy I found MyFitnessPal when I began trying to get healthy. It absolutely made me change my behaviors with food and helped to shine a light on what kind of choices I could make in my diet to lose weight. And I plan to keep the app so if I am curious about calorie content I can still use it for the food database. (It also cleanly synchronizes my exercises up to Fitbit from other apps. It’s easier to just keep it for that purpose than to reconfigure it all – I tried and failed.)

I logged my food yesterday. That was it, I told myself as I entered the food, the last day I’m recording it. To be perfectly honest, I feel weird about not using it today. I have to train my brain that I’m done with that task. I’ve only been awake a few hours and it already feels like I’m forgetting something I need to do.

I know that I won’t backslide. And god forbid I do, I clearly know how to log calories and go back to those behaviors. I just don’t see that happening. I love exercising, eating healthy, and the way my body feels now compared to the old me. I believe I can maintain and have a little more freedom away from that nagging side of my brain as well.

*deep breath*

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Biometric bragging

I’ll just start by saying I am odd. Ever since I’ve started to care about my physical wellness I get excited about the biometric health screening my work provides. As I’ve mentioned before – I love competing. This provides an opportunity for me to compete against myself in order to see if I am improving year to year. Last year was my personal best score, a 94. Yesterday was the annual screening and lo and behold… I got an even better result.

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98!!! That’s about as good as it gets. I have peaked. I am literally in the best shape of my life. Truly solid validation that I’m doing the right thing, and I should continue my goal of maintaining. Ideal blood pressure, cholesterol, BMI… all of it. This is a pure bragging post. It’s one thing to like what I see in the mirror; I’ve been much happier with my reflection over the last year + of my life. But it’s especially rad to know that my body is healthy from the inside out. That’s the stuff you can’t really see in the mirror.