Almost a month. I had wondered how long I had been checked-out of the ACON world, and looking at my last entry tells me: almost a month. That doesn't seem so terribly long, but when I think what it represents - that I haven't felt a deep need for fellow-ACON connection, that I haven't felt a deep need to share what's in my head - it's significant. It means my mother is, at the moment, taking up a little less space inside my head. That's a very good thing.

I've found myself busier - or at least busying myself with different kinds of things. In the last month I have:

- done a lot more reading than usual
- started to see a new therapist
- re-examined my eating habits and tweaked them so that I'm snacking less and re-balancing the veggies vs. bready carbs
- focused more on good hydration
- joined a daily workout team
- cut down on some overcommitments

As a result I have:

- been more reflective in peaceful, productive ways
- gained muscle and lost some fat
- felt a lot better inside my body
- felt more emotionally and physically resilient*

*this is excepting the knee injury that I've inflicted upon myself, which I am currently resting and icing. OW. Nothing like hobbling and humbling yourself to make you slowwww way down and realize the value of being fit.

A couple of weeks ago, when I was just a week into the new workout regimen and excited that I was already gaining some upper body strength, a friend said "Claire, I'm really proud of you. You're taking really good care of yourself in lots of important ways. That's really inspiring." And I felt like, YEAH, I am taking good care of myself! I'm making changes not because I want to be thinner and look a certain way (not that I would complain), but because I want to feel good in my own skin. It's not about appearances. I want to be strong and flexible. I want to be able to run and jump and play with my kids. I want to foster a physical and emotional state that forms a good springboard from which to handle all that life throws at me (and what I throw myself into). When I'm 80, I want to be feisty and strong and still having adventures.

For the first time in my life, I'm enjoying exercise. I mean, really enjoying it. Ok, in the middle of an intense workout I'm a tiny bit miserable, except that I'm loving it. I could never understand my athletic, fitness-addicted friends before. Why would you want to hurt like that? But now I get it. It feels strong. It makes you able to do more. (And it feels great when you stop.) Since hurting my knee a week ago I've been itching to get back to my early-morning exercise and have even started some ab work and weights at home so that I don't lose all my progress. Who is this woman? I think I like her.

What are you doing to become an even better, more cared-for version of yourself? Why are you doing it?

(PS: I just realized I used this photo before...time to start building a stock photo library for myself. More reason to heal up the knee so I can get down on the ground with my camera again!)

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