Inspirational Poop Walls

I think my cough is finally going away! I don’t want to get too excited, but last night I only coughed a few times! I had forgotten what it was like to sleep kinda through the night. Kinda. There are other sleep interrupters in my life, but the months-long cough seems to finally be fading! The daily inhaler might be working after all!

Now, of course, I don’t have an excuse to not run. I’ve had a hard time because any time I started even slight heavy breathing, a coughing fit would trigger. Even laughing would send me over the edge, but I think I’m clearing the other side of this cough mountain and so maybe…MAYBE…I can try a run again?

But I’ll be honest: I’ve liked not having that over my head. I’ve been training for SOMETHING for the last 5 years and the last few months of taking it easy has kinda been nice. I’ve been reading TONS and I had missed that so much. I’ve read more books the last few months than the last few years combined. I’ve also enjoyed kinda deciding what to do as the weekend progresses and not having to work everything around long runs. Also? I’ve loved my mornings. I’ve still been waking up early but I’m easing into my day and into my writing and doing housework and waking up the kids slowly and not RUSH RUSH RUSH because I squeezed in a run.

So, yeah, my physical ailments may finally be disappearing but it’s going to take some willpower to get out the door as my non-running life has been kinda nice!

I’ve been trying to work on finding my beauty lately. I love my spirit and my soul and my insides but I get very angry at my outsides in this irrational and weirdly innate way. Like, I walked by the mirror this morning and felt repulsed by my reflection. Like…I SHUTTERED. My blotchy skin, my weight-gained face, my saggy neck, my frizz halo, I hated it ALL – REFLEXIVELY.

And then I went back and forced myself to look in the mirror and I said out loud, “YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.” And then I laughed at myself and my smile made me happy and then I realized how creepy I was being – talking to myself in the mirror so I laughed even HARDER and then I noticed my inspirational poop wall (it’s what I call the wall that you look at when you’re sitting on the toilet) and me having some weird existential body image crisis in front of my wall of inspiration really cracked me up and I had to take a selfie to document the moment and the weird mental gymnastics I had just done.

Look at the beautiful face having a mental crisis about body image in her brown-tile bathroom! Isn’t she adorable?

But seriously. I’m trying to stop and tell myself when I’m repulsed in the mirror: YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. And I’m trying to mean it, because these weird reflexes are hardwired into my brain and I have to retrain my brain to think: BEAUTIFUL no matter what my reflection shows me. And those new neural pathways won’t become automatic until I wear them down again and again. So, as silly as it feels to speaking encouragingly to my reflection in the mirror, I know that every time I’m doing it I’m wearing down that pathway in my brain more and more so that it will become the easier path to take and the “UGGG. SO UGLY…” pathway will become overgrown and unused.

It helps though to have the inspirational poop wall in the background.

5 thoughts on “Inspirational Poop Walls

  1. You are beautiful. you have that forever cute face, and the great curl from the scalp head of hair in a very cool gingerish color(since I have grown mine out a bit, I realize how string straight it is).I would say to maybe skip the goal races for a while. Ot go into them with the idea that you are going to run with a friend that is slower than you and have a good time doing it.Right now you may just have to put on those boots and slog through the mud, but there is dry land on the other side somewhere. HUGS

  2. Joanna says:

    You are beautiful! And I need to start a poop wall in my house.

    It’s okay to move through different phases in life – you don’t have to indefinitely maintain marathon-level fitness. How about some slow 5ks or 10ks and keep your workouts under 30 minutes? And save some mornings for reading?

    • Karen says:

      I was totally going to say something like this. Maybe you are in a place where running isn’t your top self-care tool, and having a little more free time for more quiet types of self-care is what you need right now. I’m not suggesting no more running, but perhaps you could do as Joanna suggested and enjoy them more for the joy of running than for training.

      I love your inspiration wall. My walls are so bare. I need you to come help me decorate them!

  3. Julie says:

    So some people call it “mirror work” and I have been talking to myself and saying positive affirmations in the mirror for years. I even got each of my daughters their own special mirror in their rooms. And I have a mirror on my desk in my office at work.
    I think in addition to saying “I’m beautiful’ it can be helpful to just affirm that you love yourself–or to say funny things to yourself as you walk by the mirror. I think it was Louise Hay who I first read said something cute/funny to herself whenever she saw herself. Some of my favorites include: “Hey toots!” “looking good!” “You are rocking today!” ” and “Hey there you!!”
    I think if you specifically start practicing saying the positive things it will help rewire your brain to not have the knee jerk reaction of the old thoughts.
    Best,
    julie

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