Love Of Self


IMG_2272.JPGI have recently begun going to the gym. It brings me joy and that should be the gist. But its not.

I was working out at home and riding by bicycle to work everyday. But now I do that cycling in the gym. I’ve really been enjoying it, but I am sick of people noticing the ring on my finger. They wink and say I’m sweating for the wedding. I tell them NO. Im sweating so that the steady incline route to my bus stop no longer causes me physical and emotional strain. I recently found myself becoming breathless going up hill. And I was tired with out doing ANY physical activity.

So I now spend an hour on the stationary bike a day. Im doing 50-100 floors on the stair master. And I am taking a hot yoga class. And yes I am getting married in October and my fitness goal is interlinked with that, but its because I want to take my retired scout master grandfather on hikes while he visits the West Coast for my wedding and I WANT TO KEEP UP. It has nothing to do with dress size.

I know people only mean well but I am trying to re-establish a self care routine that for the first time incorporates exercise, and not just my diet, skin care or pop culture induldgement…

I never realized how much simple changes in diet and exercise can affect my demeanour. I struggle with depression and anxiety on the daily, but I am now realizing how important it is to put self care first.

On an airplane they say you cannot help others with the oxygen mask before helping yourself… I was raised by two Beautiful and compassionate care givers who would give all of themselves to help others even if it meant a personal loss. And I have learned in the last few years that you cant fulfill others if your own cup is empty.

I can only hope that people who view themselves as care takers can begin to understand that you need to help you first before you can help others.

The gist of what I am trying to accomplish with this post is to say… I am working towards a better Karlee. I have realized that I can show up more when I have more energy, which I can gain from being more physically active and eating less cookies.

I appreciate your involvement and I understand that it comes from a place of support and camaraderie. And I apologize to the women in my women’s only gym for not acknowledging you support, but for a new comer, it can feel like judgement. And it can be intimidating as hell…. I am talking specifically to the lady who is always on the treadmill in front of me and does ballerina esque jumping jacks in between 5k’s.

I feel both run down, incompetent and INSPIRED to do better everytime I come out of the locker room. Its a strange tightrope to tread. I can only hope to continue, with out becoming some absurdest fitness wacko.

I can now say the #1 cure for my depression is a self care routine that includes dogs, cats, cycling, stairmasters, books & vitamin d (skin cancer can kiss my ass. Even in SPF 50 SUNSHINE MAKES ME FEEL ALIVE) ¬†and knowing my commitment limitations. Routine & Partnership is key to conquering long term depression for me. Everyones struggle is different. MY routine keeps me from “the hole” and when I am down there my partnership fills my space.

Humans are a constantly changing machine. We all need maintenance, from both internal and external forces. If you cannot mange one, the other or both…. find help. It doesn’t need to be professional, but maybe should be. Make your own family…. with the blood and bonded connections you have. Build your support until earthquakes can’t shake it. The value of becoming vulnerable far out weighs the risk of opening up and showing your scars.

I now need a hippy poncho and will run of into the dessert with some long haired freaky people. I know it all sounds hippy dippy, but there is a lot to be said for “doing you” first, and then doing others.