Mia-cation and the Evolution of Balance

I’m back, baby!

Well, actually, I’m back from visiting the baby!

I returned yesterday from my trip to Macon wherein I spent a crapton of time with my wonderful 17-month-old niece, Mia.

It was awesome. What did we do while I was there, you ask? Well, let me tell you!

We played…


We read books…


We were extremely fashionable…

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Her, not me, obviously.

We also snuggled…


And celebrated the Mid-Autumn Festival with Mia’s first moon cake…


And we watched Frozen.


Every day.

Sometimes twice a day.

I mean, I fall asleep and wake up with “Love is an Open Door” stuck in my head.

But those of you who know me also know that I am totally, 100% okay with that. 😀

Of course, since my sister teaches fitness classes, I also ended up doing a few other things. Most of which can be summed up by these extremely attractive pictures:


She. Destroyed. Me.

In a very positive way, of course.

I went to the gym and was thoroughly worked not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES IN A ROW during my so-called “vacation.” Given how ridiculously lazy I am, you should be pretty proud of me. And on the second day, she taught back-to-back classes, and I DID THEM BOTH. Who am I?!

Actually, if I’m being honest (and aren’t I always?), getting my work out on with Jenny really was a bit of a wake-up call in terms of my fitness. I know that in the (many) months since I quit running and working out regularly, my fitness level has really tanked. And nothing brought that to my immediate attention more than the outrageous pain my muscles were in the morning after I attended Jenny’s first Ab Crunch class. Oy.

IMG_7794-1.JPGOne of these things is not like the other…

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, staying active is a real struggle of mine. If given the choice between going to the gym or going on a hike or going for a swim OR watching a Gilmore Girls marathon on TV (DID YOU HEAR THAT THEY’RE RELEASING THE ENTIRE SERIES ON NETFLIX?!?!), it’s not hard to guess what I’m always going to pick.

I mean, even when I was on the rockin’ weight-loss train, it was still really hard to motivate myself just to be active. I had to bribe myself with races just so I had some reason to go to the gym, to hit the pavement, to get moving. And, really, even though I was running and racing and talking a lot about my health and fitness levels (which were, obviously, much improved over what they are now), the main reason I was doing all those things was to aid in my weight loss.

So it’s not too much of a stretch to understand that when I stopped actively focusing on losing weight, my sole motivation for being active pretty much went out the window, too. It is just so, so, so easy to live a sedentary lifestyle. Between my computer, TV, PlayStation, and books, I spend a lot more time sitting than anything else. And while I really do enjoy taking Harry and Daxter out for walks, those fluffernutters are even lazier than I am.


Seriously, try going more than a mile with them and see what happens. (Spoiler alert: it involves carrying Daxter home.)

So yes, anyway, the wakeup call. It comes as no shock to you, I’m sure, that I am suuuuper out of shape right now. Even if you take the whole weight factor out of the equation (and I am not truly that oblivious, I do realize they’re associated to a certain extent, but let’s just put that conversation off for another day), I simply recognize that I’m not currently at my most energetic or my peppiest or my most well-rested…est. I’m sure that on some level I’ve known these things for a while, but I haven’t been motivated to do anything about it because, well, I didn’t want to. Simple as that.

As you know, I’ve been taking some time to try and separate myself from my former identity as Someone Who Is Losing Weight, as Someone Who Needs To Be Thin, as Someone Who Is At War With Her Body. Instead, I’ve been honestly trying to embrace and love myself as-is. And that truly means embracing everything — from my large frame, height, and thighs that will always, always touch, to my tiny ears, widow’s peak hairline, and double-jointed elbows.

But life is all about give and take. And as my focus shifted away from the number on the scale, giving me the confidence to feel better about myself, it also was taking a lot (okay, all) of my motivation for maintaining the healthy habits that I had originally cultivated to help me lose weight. Which led to a serious backslide in terms of my overall fitness level.

So, yes, unsurprisingly, when I actually did find myself back at the gym, I got my ass handed to me. But you know what the surprising part was? I really felt so accomplished for getting through those workouts. For going back the next day. For working hard enough to really get sore. I mean, the soreness wasn’t great in that it was a literally painful indicator of how out of shape I’ve gotten (it seriously feels like a totally different person ran Reach the Beach back in 2012), but it still felt good in a weird, semi-masochistic way.

So I started to think about why that was — after all, it’s not like I’ve never worked out before. I’ve done plenty of challenging classes, I’ve been CRAZY sore after a workout before (my brief stint with CrossFit in particular comes to mind). But I’ve never been, like, happy about feeling like I got schooled by a workout. And I realized, sad as this sounds, that’s probably because I’ve never really known what it’s like to go to the gym or try a class or take up a exertion-based activity without the question constantly stirring in the back of mind, “How will this help me lose weight?”

Which I guess actually probably isn’t shocking given that I’ve been basically obsessed with my weight for most of my life, and it’s admittedly really hard to break free of that kind of thinking. But… I think I’m starting to get there. Just maybe. I think I might just be getting to a place where I can see myself taking steps to be active and fit because of how it makes me feel, not because of how I want to look.

So that’s pretty neat. We just have to hope that this feeling will last long enough for me to get into the rhythm of things even without my super fit, crazy active sister here to drag me to class with her, haha. This is new territory for me, after all! I mean, exercise for the sake of… exercise?! Not just with the aim of losing weight?! Egads!

Let’s see how this goes, shall we? I think the main thing I want to bear in mind moving forward is this: embracing my body and loving myself shouldn’t be an excuse for me to be lazy. Loving myself should mean taking care of myself, right? Just because I’m not trying to be thin doesn’t mean I get a pass on making an effort to be healthy, happy, whole, and balanced.

So, all this is really just to say that next time I get a craving to binge-watch back-to-back-to-back-to-back episodes of Revenge, I’ll most definitely still be doing so. I’ll just try to make sure I’m gasping aloud from major plot twist shock from atop a treadmill instead of my couch. #balance


  1. Rachelsays:

    Love it! I often find that I want to move just because I like the way in makes me feel. And things that make us humans feel a certain way always seem to be the most powerful in both negative and positive ways. Oh, the power of the feels.

  2. Laurasays:

    This is why I’m obsessed with Zumba! It’s a great workout, but I actually just love doing it. Not sure if you like dancing, but there is a kickass class called “Werq” that is like zumba, but hip-hop and pop. It’s basically the best.

    Loving the hair!

  3. I’ve decided that being thin with my body type is most likely a pipe dream. Right now, I just want to focus on fitness, and eating to nourish my body. I’ve never been a runner, but I’d like to become one (I want to Run a Disney Race. Dressed as Ariel. Sans fin), so I’ve been using the 10k trainer from Zen labs. I really enjoy it, despite being SUUUUUUPER slow (I think my mile time is around 20 minutes? Ah well. Maybe someday I can bump that up). Being able to move and not hurt is high on my list of priorities, and to do that, I’ve got to use my body. Here goes nothing.

  4. I love this concept! I know that once I started focusing on how eating well and working out made me feel better, have more energy, sleep better, and be less crabby, the number started going down! Just one day a time 🙂

  5. I’m slowly learning this, too. That working out makes me feel good & is good for me, even if I don’t necessarily lose weight. I have a hard time with this, because I am trying to lose weight, but I’ve had to face the fact that I rarely lose weight if I’m not eating well. I can exercise till I can’t sweat no more, and not lose a pound! Changing how I eat seems to be what works for me. So then I have to focus on being active simply for the way it makes me feel, which is really damn good!

  6. Jen Robinsonsays:

    Yay proud of your realizations and proud of how you rocked it 3 days in a row at the gym with me! 🙂 Miss you already (and so does Mia!)

  7. Larasays:

    I want to incorporate crossfit into my bachelorette party….you in??

    • Sure, as long as you don’t mind me potentially throwing up at your bachelorette party and not for the reasons people normally do! Hahahahaha

  8. I know you already belong to a gym but I am probably going to join Golds so I can go with my sister or by myself. They have awesome classes and since we both have flexible schedules, maybe we could find some time to go together?

  9. I know you already posted a new post, and I’ll read that, but I have had a lot of success with starting better workout programs while on vacation. The grind of daily life is removed, and its kind of fun! Hopefully you can continue to bring the fun workouts back into your daily life, and not hold onto the “only for weigh tloss” aspect.

  10. I’ve recently thought about this as well. I’m still on a weight loss “journey” (ugh on that term), but due to a variety of personal issues, it hasn’t been that important the last few weeks. Its amazing how much better I feel when i’m eating vegetables and working out. I’ve found that its so much easier to make myself do it (not at the point where exercise is really fun) when I do a class or I meet a friend.

    Side note: I’m relocating for work to the DC/NoVa area in a few weeks, so I’ve loved reading your posts about Yelp in the area– I have so many places I want to try!

    • Ooh, yay! Consider this an early welcome to the neighborhood! Feel free to shoot me an email if you’re ever looking for some recommendations or would like to meet up once you’re here!

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