A day to show love…. to yourself.
The plan was to write a post about Valentine’s Day. How you don’t need a a 7 course dinner, decadent dessert, or boxes of chocolates to tell someone that you love them. That you can show your love through quinoa and kale and clean eating and exercise. That was the plan… and then February 14th came around. And I went against what I was going to write about.
It was an overall crappy week. One of the ones where you feel like no matter what you do- it’s just not good enough. My burpees were weak, I struggled in my triathlon swim class, and my runs were slow. It was the first full week of my new workout schedule and I was exhausted. I could blame it on any one of these factors but when it comes down to it- my head just wasn’t in the game. I was annoyed with myself, with sweating, with getting up early. So needless to say that when Valentine’s evening came around and my fiancee greeted me with my favorite desserts, I didn’t think twice before diving in with a spoon. I felt disgusting after… but clearly not disgusted enough to keep me from having another bite alongside my oatmeal the next morning… REALLY KATHLEEN?!
As much as I’ve learned to allow myself to indulge once in a while, it was the icing on the cake (quite literally) to what I felt like was a disappointing week. I wasn’t surprised when the scale was a little higher than I wanted it to be, but I was certainly annoyed. This isn’t me, this isn’t what I do. And while I wasn’t feeling too great about my running the past few days, I was looking forward to my race at the end of the week as a potential saving grace. Unfortunately, typical New England decided to chuck a few more inches of snow at us- with some 40 mile-per-hour winds thrown in for good measure. Race – cancelled. I was disappointed and annoyed, but chalked it up to a higher power telling me that it just wasn’t meant to be. I’m sure that if I hadn’t done as well as my last race it would have deepened the funk I was already in.
With my cute little race outfit sitting in the corner (YES- I have “outfits” and I pick them out the night before- judge away) I felt stir-crazy and alone with my thoughts. That is until two friends who are training for the marathon asked me if I wanted to join them for part of their run (To which I said, “I’ll join you for the whole 15 miles!” … JUST kidding). I layered up with gloves, thermal shirts and my ski goggles and happily trekked through the snow behind them. They are the kind of people who live for running, who put their heart into every step, and are a large part of the reason I’ve caught the bug. As I cautiously ran through the slush I felt alive, rejuvenated. It didn’t matter how fast I was running, or how far- all that mattered was that I was doing what makes me happy.
I’m still writing about Valentine’s Day. But I’m telling you that it’s okay if you celebrated with chocolate. It doesn’t make you a bad person- it makes you human. Instead of being disappointed with myself for my choice- I am celebrating the 364 days of choices that I’ve made since LAST February 14th. I made life changes. I became healthy. I lost over 50 pounds. I became a runner. I showed myself that I can do things that I never thought were possible. My Valentine’s Day was about celebrating a long, happy, and healthy life with the man that I love. I show myself love every day with quinoa and kale, and sometimes chocolate and french fries. With half assed burpees, strong pushups, and runs that are sometimes long and euphoric, but often times short and frustrating. I love myself every day for the changes I’ve made- and the future that lies ahead for me.
Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day 🙂