Hungry Haley

it's more than food

THOUGHTS: My New Year's Resolutions

Thoughts, Life, HealthHaley Hansen2 Comments

I'll begin this with the annual phrase "Wow - I can't believe this year is already over! It went by so fast", because I really do believe it. 2015 encompassed everything from challenging classes, discovering bible studies and best friends, failing a midterm or two, working at my first "real" job, cutting out meat from my diet, finishing my first year of college, igniting friendships I missed out on from high school, enjoying a relaxing summer at home, starting my second year of college, becoming fully vegan, pulling myself closer to God, changing my major, uncovering truths about my eating disorder that I thought no longer existed, and boat loads of crying, laughing, praying, running, hiking, smiling, thanking, and thinking.

A flood of thoughts and emotions have taken over my mind lately, and I know that that's God's way of speaking something of rich importance to me. Instead of going for a run this morning, I convinced myself to just slow down and walk. I plugged in my headphones to only kind of/sort of listened to a few TED talks, meaning I couldn't seem to quiet my thoughts enough to actually absorb what the speakers were saying. Eventually, I unplugged, surrendering to my racing, roaring mind. Battling back and forth between what I am doing, what I feel I should be doing, what I want, what I'm afraid of, and humbling myself to listen to voices inside that I thought had come and gone already. Because I can't really think of another way to effectively express these thoughts, I've organized them into resolutions - New Year's Resolutions. 

These represent my goals for 2016 - goals that will not remain goals, but rather become parts of me, like a team of body parts I can't live without. 

  • Relaxing - I'm one who considers exercise her cup of coffee in the morning. Without it, the rest of my day is slow-moving and not as productive as the days that begin even as simple as a 15-minute HIIT workout. I considered that habitual kick-starter a routine I could and should continue for as long as I can, but I realize now that my body has been crying out for relaxation so much so that it's now exhaustedly, humbly sending quiet reminders via sore muscles, baggy eyes, inability to focus, and an irregular menstrual cycle that it's just tired. This realization was not easy to come to and I've battled accepting its urgency for too long. I've feared excess weight gain, unproductive days, and a loss of familiar sensibility, sanity, and stress-release on which I've relied for years. During my trip to Idaho, I set aside time to intentionally workout only once during a 7-day period of time. The other days brought physical activity through skiing, hiking, and simply walking, and surprisingly, I found myself happiest, most productive yet stress-free on those days rather than the ones that start with a 30-minute, muscle-straining, intense workout. I haven't wanted to admit this, even to myself, because exercise has been a seemingly crucial part of my life for, well, forever. But the more I let this realization take its time making marks in my mind, the more I understood the difference in importance between a worldly desire and passion for heart-pumping movement and a vital need for rest and restoration. The past few years have been like a series of nonstop marathons on strenuous downhill and exhausting uphill terrains - beginning with a highly-restrictive ED and transforming to a less-extreme version of orthorexia. I haven't given my body the opportunity to take a much-needed period of healing from the unintentional damage I caused and recovery from the two-year-long marathon I forced it to endure. 
    • So I'm kicking off 2016 with the goal of regularly relaxing and resting to restore my health - to regain a regular period, to healthfully move my body, and to de-stress in a restorative, mind-clarifying way. I can't imagine continuing to rely solely on frequent stressful (and potentially harmful) physical activity to de-stress. I'm actually laughing as I type that... silly me. Anyway, that brings me to my next resolution! 
  • Developing a hand-in-hand, constant relationship with God - I want to depend on God completely. I trust Him, I know that He has a beautiful plan for my life, and I communicate with Him daily, but I want more. I want immeasurable depth, unending conversation, and heart-changing faith in His power in my life. I will make GOD my refuge and source of stress-relief, not exercise, cooking, friends/boyfriends, etc. Wh wouldn't I? More importantly, why haven't I already? In a way, I have - I devote time for communication with Him daily. But at the same time, I ask myself why I feel the need to devote time when I could simply begin my day with it, like a cup of coffee for an instant perky mood, a bowl of sweet nice cream for sweet-tooth-satisfaction, and store it in the front of my mind for all-day fuel. 
    • I will still make time to remove myself from distractions and chores each day to listen to and talk to God, but I won't allow for guilt if I for some reason don't read my Jesus Calling devotional sometimes. What's most important is the pure communication, not the reading or the writing. 
  • Holistcally loving myself - I've been finding myself thankful for my body's abilities lately, and while that is a good thing to be thankful for, I realize that I've ignored the complementary side of that - the need to nurture my body and cater to its needs, to recognize and care for its inabilities. Admitting to any sort of inability has always been a challenge for me, but I'm reminding myself what it means to love someone. I've been in love before and I remember acknowledging both the sparkles and the blemishes, but seeing them both as beautiful parts that make up that person. I couldn't imagine him any different. As I point those feelings toward myself, they illuminate both my abilities and my inabilities as a way to emphasize each one's constant need for love. I'm relaxing and depending on God because I hear my body's and mind's call for those things. 
    • I know that before I can love another person, I need to fully love myself. For too long I've disregarded some of my body's communication signals. To me, that translates as ignoring my significant other's needs in a relationship. How could that healthfully encourage our relationship? 
    • By loving myself, I am also honoring and expressing gratitude for the woman God is shaping me into. 

Alright, this was a lot of serious writing, and a lot about myself, which becomes exhausting and awkward after hours and hours of doing it haha so that's all I have to say for now! If you're making your own resolutions (which I definitely encourage) share them with me :) tag me on instagram, email me if you have any questions, or comment below. I appreciate your time reading this and your support more than you know. To my family, THANK YOU for everything you teach me everyday, for encouraging me, for showing so much and support for this blog. You guys all rock! 

Happiest of Happy New Years to you! :)