Love is a verb

The other night on our way home from church, Nick and I were talking about body image, and how often we can get so caught up in wanting to weigh a certain number, or lose that “extra 10 pounds”. Where does that desire come from? Ourselves? Others? Trying to conform to what society says we should look like?

As a woman, I’ve had my share of struggles with my body, and I’m sure it will always be something that I have to work on. However, over the past few years, I’ve come to love my body even if from time to time I get off course and let the negative thoughts creep back in. I’m fueling my body well with the food I choose to eat, and I know that because of those choices my body is getting what it needs. I’m also doing my part to speak up for the animals who are being needlessly tortured everyday, and that I’m trying to make our planet a better place. Do I enjoy vegan cupcakes, french fries, or pizza? You bet! What we eat should be about balance, and what can best fuel our bodies to work at their best.

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with “working out”. It seems like it’s about everyone trying to one-up each other with some new workout or diet that will burn the most calories, and help you lose 20 pounds. When I finally released myself from that mindset, I was able to find a way to move my body that I love, and look forward to doing everyday. A sweet friend introduced me to The Balanced Life about six months ago. I dabbled in Pilates years ago, but somehow got out of the habit – or maybe it was because I had all of my workouts on VHS, ha! I’ve consistently done a Pilates routine for the last four months at least 5 days a week. I don’t say that to brag, but to say that I’ve found something that I love to do, that allows me to move my body, and has made me appreciate all that my body is capable of doing!

When Nick and I were talking it reminded me of something I read a few years ago. I can’t remember for the life of me where I read it, but it was profound, and I never forgot it. Basically the author was talking about how we only get one body in this life, and how we treat our bodies is an act of worship. If we’re fueling it well, moving it everyday, and taking care of ourselves, then that’s it. You’ve done it! YOU ARE MADE IN GOD’S IMAGE! If we continue to hate our bodies, and discount the amazing things they’re capable of doing – and it’s awesome it’s different for everyone – then you are basically saying that God messed up when He made you. And that, my friend, is a huge lie.

Bodies come in all shapes, colors, sizes, and they are all beautiful.

I’m so proud of Nick because of what he’s been able to accomplish in the past year or so. He will so soon be running his second half marathon (!!!), and I think that’s amazing! I sometimes think he’s a little insane for running outside in this crazy winter weather 😉 , but he continues to keep at it, and it’s a way for him to work his body and appreciate what it can do. He’s an inspiration to me to be better, and to love myself. I have zero desire to run a half marathon, and I can’t run faster than an 11-minute mile, but he always reminds me that it’s just about taking that first step. It doesn’t matter how fast you are. It’s just about doing it, and loving that your body is capable of moving your forward – however you choose to move it!

I watched a powerful documentary on Netflix called “Embrace”. It’s a beautiful story of Taryn Brumfitt and how she truly learned to love her body for how it is. She traveled all over the world and met with people who shared the same insecurities we all feel time and again, and how they were choosing to love themselves in spite of what society might say the “ideal” body is. I love the tagline on the front page of her website: “My body is not an ornament, it is the vehicle to my dreams.”

What are your dreams? Love yourself, and do what can to make those dreams a reality. It’s not always going to be easy, and there will be days you’ll want to give up. God gave these incredible minds and bodies – let’s treat them well, and leave the world the better place than we found it. It’s about progress. Not perfection. We are all so different, and bring such cool and unique things to this world. Wouldn’t the world be such a different place if we all chose to love ourselves, and everyone around us?

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Round two: two weeks later

We’ve made it two weeks since Olive’s second surgery! We took her for a check-up yesterday, and got her stitches removed. The doctor said that she’s progressing nicely, and that we’re on track for a good recovery. She had a rehab appointment right after, and it was good to check in and see how she was doing. She’s lost a few centimeters of muscle on her right leg, so we definitely have some work to do there. Because she still wasn’t using her leg all the time, we had to refill one of her pain meds so she could get over the hump and remind herself she can trust it again.

Because it was her initial rehab appointment for this leg, she got a session with the “fancy” laser again. I love when she has to wear the “doggles”!! She tried to act like she wasn’t really into it, but I could tell that the laser was working and helping ease some of the tension in her muscles.

Just a girl and her dad. 🙂

Joe Cool.

I mean. CAN YOU EVEN HANDLE IT?!

Our girl definitely has some work ahead of her, but we’re on it, and feeling positive!

Tripod

Tripod is Olive’s current nickname. For whatever reason, she really doesn’t want to use her leg this go around. Last time we brought her home, and she used it the first day! The vet says sometimes it takes them a few weeks to make the connection that their leg still works, and that they can trust it again. We are just trying to encourage her to use her leg so she doesn’t have to hobble on three legs for the rest of her life. 🙂

She was in a lot of pain last week, but she seems to have made it over the hump, so thank goodness. She’s definitely been much more like her old self now as well. She’s much more perky and alert, and starting to get a little stir crazy. Thankfully we have some soft toys saved up and ready for her to destroy!

So cozy.

Next Monday is our first check up appointment, and the doctor will take out her stitches which will be great! She can go all day while I’m at home without her cone or donut (because I can make sure she doesn’t mess with her stitches), and her new Comfy Cone works really well for when we have to be gone. After her check up, we have her first rehab appointment. We’ll meet with the rehab doctor and set up her plan moving forward. She was doing so well with hydrotherapy, so I think we’re leaning towards that again. She is going to be so whooped Monday night! A lot of excitement will be had that day.

Going through this again definitely makes me love that little goober even more. Nick and I were just talking about how this is going to improve her quality of life so much, and we hope when she’s healed up she will have LOTS of adventure seeking years ahead! We also have a giant list of ideas we want to as a family when she’s able to venture out again. We can’t wait for spring to get outside and do ALL THE THINGS!

Olive’s TPLO recovery – Part Deux

Here we go! Olive had her surgery on Tuesday morning/early afternoon. Besides a little hiccup at the beginning with her blood pressure being low, everything went according to plan.When we talked with the tech yesterday, she said low blood pressure it usually a result of dehydration. We caught Olive’s knee pain really early this time, and so there hadn’t been a lot of time for any arthritis to build up. The doctor was able to keep most of her ligament intact as well, which adds even more support for that knee.

We picked her up on yesterday around lunchtime and got her settled in at home. The incision is larger than last time, and she’s definitely in more pain. Last time we might have had one, or two, times where she whimpered in pain, but we’ve had quite a bit of it this time, and it breaks my heart. She’s on three medications this time, and it’s sad to know that despite taking those pills, she’s still in pain. The incision was really red yesterday, but we’ve been icing it, and massaging her ankle – to help disperse her edema – and this morning when we got up, it looks MUCH better.

Home and trying to rest. We got her a new cone this time around as well. This one is soft, so she can more easily lay down and get some sleep.

She woke me up about 3:30 this morning as I could hear her rustling around in her kennel. At about 4:00, she was starting to whimper a little bit, so Nick and I got up with her to take her out, and get her meds as they were definitely at the end of their effectiveness. We took her out – she’s still not wanting to put any weight on her leg, so she hobbles along as a little tripod – and she definitely had to go. The vet reminded us it make take her 3-5 days to do a #2, but Olive is always ahead of the curve on that! 🙂 Just like last time, she went first thing this morning. That might of been part of the reason she was awake and ready to get up. We got her her breakfast, and her next rounds of meds, and she’s now resting comfortably in her play yard.

Having done this whole thing before, we knew what worked well, and what we could do better. I ordered a toddler play yard from Amazon last week, and it’s big enough for her to have her bed, food and water dishes, and a little bit of room for her to move around. It’s in an empty part of our living room with a rug underneath so she’s can’t slip around.

Trying out the play yard pre surgery.

Nick was home for the first week after her last surgery as it was right before Thanksgiving. This time, he worked from home yesterday, and he’s back at work today. I’m a little anxious about being here alone as I get pretty emotional when she’s in pain, but I’m hoping we can make it work. It’s raining this morning, so I’m hoping it lets up here soon so it’s not too bad when I need to take her out. I can’t imagine that cold rain would feel very good on her little chicken leg.

It’s going to be a taxing eight weeks, just like last time, but I know we can do it. I’m so anxious for everything to be healed so she can get back to her very playful self. We’re praying we’re on track for her to be good to go by springtime!