The Summer I Fell In Love With the Human Body

Something strange happened this summer. A really, really good thing, but something I never experienced fully before.

I fell in love with the human body. And now, I can’t get over it.

Back in April of this year, I found out that I was going to need bilateral hip surgeries to fix labral tears with FAI. Immediately, panic set in. What will people think of me? Will I ever have the chance to be even a decent runner? How long will it take to recover? And the one question that has haunted me during every injury, every period of time I have had to take off of running… What if I get bigger?

But again, something strange happened.

In the process of having to stop exercising completely (besides walking) for most of March, all of April, a chunk of May while I recovered from my first hip surgery, and then now again in July as I recently had my second hip repaired, I have fallen in love with the human body.

This is CRAZY to me, because prior to this summer, even if I was still able to cross train aggressively through an injury, I would have it in my mind that I was becoming huge. Recently, I have not been able to do anything but sit around on my chair and go for three walks a day for five minutes each and I’ve never loved my body so much.

I fell in love with the human body because I am in absolute AWE of what it is capable of doing. How is it possible that just eleven days after a fairly major hip surgery, I can bike for fifteen minutes? Or go for multiple walks throughout the day? I think a huge reason is because I am feeding my body. When I’m hungry, I eat. It doesn’t matter if that’s at 10:54am or 8:30pm or if I wake up in the middle of the night hungry. There’s a reason we get the hunger cues, so by honoring mine, I feel it has contributed greatly to the way my recovery is going.

You guys, how crazy is it that we can run so many miles, do strength exercises, swim laps, aqua jog, go for bike rides, hike mountains, play with nieces and nephews and young cousins, spend time on our feet cooking and baking, and so much more? We are so lucky! It is so insane the way the body can repair itself, whether that’s after a surgery, injury, or a training session. And I really believe that eating enough food plays a huge role in that.

Honestly, I have never had a better relationship with food and I can’t even describe what it feels like to be able to say that. I know now that my body will be okay if I don’t eat the suggested amount of vegetables in a day- whether that happens because of travel, family gatherings, availability, or just not wanting to eat them. I thought I knew what balance was before the summer, but now I am really starting to figure it out. Of course, I am not perfect at eating things in moderation or having a perfectly balanced diet, but I know that is 100% okay.

Back in February I posted a picture on my personal Instagram page of a friend and I drinking a milkshake. I captioned this “Sometimes you just say YEAH to milkshakes because memories matter more”. It took me forever to actually adopt this into my own practice– to go out for ice cream with my friend, to eat the meals my family eats instead of packing my own to a gathering or eating at a different time because my food takes longer to prep. By getting rid of the idea of “good” and “bad” foods and instead enjoying things when I want them, I have found a freedom that is too sweet for words.

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