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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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!

Olive update – 8 week check-up

Today marks EIGHT WHOLE WEEKS since Olive’s TPLO surgery. To be honest, some days it feels like FOREVER, and some days it seems like yesterday. I took her to get her x-rays done this morning to check the progress of the bone, and how everything inside was healing. I was a little apprehensive because she started favoring the other back leg several days ago. We were really praying that it was just a muscle strain from trudging through all the snow we got this last weekend, but alas, it was not.

Turns out, this condition where the meniscus starts to deteriorate is a degenerative one, and 50% of dogs who tear one side, will tear the other. In our case, it looks like Olive really used her right leg to compensate for the pain of left leg, and it finally gave out. It’s not a full tear, thankfully, but the doctor said there was quite a lot of swelling in her knee, and it could feel a partial tear already.

So. What does all of this mean? I means that for Olive’s left hind leg – the one that had surgery in November – healed beautifully, and we’ve done everything right. Rehab has been vital in her recovery, and I’m so thankful for that! However, because of the pain she’s now experiencing in her right hind leg means that we are taking her back in for surgery on Tuesday for another TPLO.

LORD GIVE ME STRENGTH.

I know we can do it again. I know that in the end she’ll feel amazing, and she’ll be able to play, and run, again just like she used to. I know that we’re doing the right thing for her, but I’m not going to lie, this is A LOT emotionally, and now we’ve got to basically start all over. I guess at least we know what to expect this time around?

As you can tell, she’s very upset about it, ha!

Thanks for reading! I’ll continue to update her progress here!

Olive update – part four // rebab – part three

Hello! I know it’s been a hot minute since my last post, but Christmas was too much fun to interrupt! I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas with friends and family. We had lots of delicious vegan eats (including one of THE best meals of my life at the Fancy Radish), and fun playing games, watching movies, and enjoying our time off together. Olive got a new Santa Narwhal stuffy for Christmas from her auntie which she immediately tried to destroy. We have been flying through the soft toys – anything to keep our girl busy and help wear her out!

Christmas morning fun!

Olive is doing wonderfully! She’s healing up really well, and she is crushing it at rehab. This last week the tech kept saying out well she was doing, and how well she looked for her being 5 weeks post surgery. She’s really doing well on the water treadmill. This last session, they increased the speed, and the length of time, and she did so well! I think that the faster speed is more like her natural gait, and so that helped her keep at it. They also did some new land therapy exercises that definitely worked those muscles!

Working on those core muscles!

Because Olive is healing so well, and acing her exercises, it also means that she feels healed, and thinks that she should be able to do all the things she used to! She has LOADS of energy to burn, so thankfully we’ve been able to up her walk time each week (we’re up to about 30-35 min), but she still has even more inside that she’s dying to get out! 🙂 Like I mentioned above, we’ve been going through the soft, stuffed toys, and lots of peanut butter filled Kongs. We are anxiously awaiting her 8 week appointment with x-rays and hoping she gets the all clear. Rehab days are the best for wearing her out, and we can’t wait for the next one!

So sleepy and recharging in the sunlight.

Thanks for reading!