July 2012 2nd Annual Self-Care Retreat: Movement

by Valerie on July 16, 2012 · 6 comments

Self-Care 2012 Badge _thumb[1]_thumb

Our theme this week for the 2012 Self-Care Retreat – led by Cheryl of Gluten Free Goodness – is movement.  Shirley of Gluten Free Easily is our hostess this week and wrote about incorporating additional movement into her routineCheryl also wrote a post on what movement means to her.  Both post are beautiful and touched me in different ways, so I urge you to read them.

My journey in regarding self-care as movement has been long and circuitous, and something I have written about over the years of this blog:

It has been a long process – the posts span three years, but the last time, until recently months, that I had had such a regular movement routine was nine years ago.  Let’s just say that late 2003 until mid-2009 is when movement was not so present in my life.  To this day, I always have fear of going back to the worst part of that time (2007/2008), when I was so congested and tired and achy and stiff and would sleep for the better part of the weekends to get through my work-weeks.  Of course, not knowing gluten was one of my biggest problems, my tired self made a lot of simple meals of whole wheat pasta and vegetables, meals that would invariably send me right back to sleep post-dinner (gluten has a sleep inducing effect on me, almost immediately, followed by other symptoms). I look back at that time as particularly sad, as I remember feeling so trapped in a body that no longer felt like my own.

That is why both Cheryl’s and Shirley’s posts spoke to me, because they reminded me of two things:

1. Even at my worse, I actually still walked as much as possible, yet never really gave myself credit for it. As Shirley says: “never discredit the importance of walking.” Back then, I was just sad I could not do more than walk and just kept focusing on how hard any other movement was.

2. Even if I have a huge health set-back, or face new health issues, nothing can take away the progress I have made.  As Cheryl so eloquently wrote: “it will never be quite ground zero, because I have every walk that I have done.”  Even if my feet and knees rebel against more yoga or going to the gym or barre or zumba – or if I develop some other health issues that affect my mobility, I will still have every morning workout or yoga class I have done in the last year or so.

And on that note, a little more about this month’s self-care retreat:

Our fantastic group of bloggers and themes:

These posts are to inspire you all to make July a month of reflecting on self-care and the many ways to nourish ourselves. We would like everyone to participate in this event in a way that feels appropriate to them, whether that’s through personal reflection, journal or other self-care. If you would like to share your experience with self-care, we would love to include you in the experience, whether you join us for one week or every week. You can write generally about self-care and how you include it in your life, or “try on” one of the practices we’re blogging about over the course of the next week (food, support and connection, movement, creativity and inward reflection). We ask that you link back to this post so that more people can learn about this retreat, and leave a comment for the weekly theme host, too! At the end of the month, we’ll include a roundup of all the self-care posts you write to inspire others to work on their own self-care.

As a little added incentive, for each post on your goals and your progress you link back here or one of the other co-hosts, you’ll be entered to receive a $50 gift certificate to Nuts.com (they are not sponsoring, Cheryl is donating this gift and wanted something with healthy gluten-free, vegan, sugar-free, etc. options).

I updated last year’s badge to use for the retreat; feel free to use it in your posts. If you would like to be included in our roundup and the drawing, please email a link to your post, along with your name and blog name, to us at selfcareretreat at gmail dot com by July 30, 2011.

Non-bloggers who would like to contribute, please e-mail the full text to the same address and it will be included in the roundup.

For a “flavor” of previous retreats, here’s a link to the July Self-Care Retreat and the December Sanity Retreat.

Since we are halfway through the month, here are the post for this year’s retreat so far:

Welcome & kick off posts from:

Food as Self-Care

Self-Care Through Connection

Self-Care Through Movement

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Shirley @ gfe July 16, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Valerie, I am in awe that you have so much on your blog on movement to share with us! And I love what you took from my post and Cheryl’s. No matter how often and how many times we are reminded that our journey is our own and that what we ARE doing counts, we still seem to slip into old patterns and “beat ourselves up” that we aren’t doing enough. It’s crazy, but human nature it seems. That’s why this retreat and periodically re-addressing the topic of self care is so important!

I also appreciate that you mention that gluten was a big part of your earlier movement limitations, because gluten issues are still plaguing many and they don’t realize it yet. When I look back at my gluten-full days of avoiding going up and down stairs, not wanting to go places that required much walking, etc., it’s just phenomenal how different my life is now … even without perfect fitness. I remember at 6 months of living gluten free realizing that I was running up and down our stairs. Seriously. And 6 months earlier, I had been avoiding the steps (getting my husband to bring clothes to/from the laundry room, move the vacuum cleaner, etc.) and when I did have to go down them, I’d usually take them very slowly one at a time holding on to the handrail because my knees hurt so much. When I realized that I was running up and down the stairs and already taking it for granted after going gluten free, it was such a huge, overly joyous moment. So I hope that folks who are still struggling and aren’t gluten free will consider that as a contributor to their issues.

Thanks again for this very honest and inspiring post!


2 cheryl July 17, 2012 at 1:39 am

Wow! I didn’t realize you’d done so many movement posts, too. I also was much more impaired, movement wise, on gluten. It was profound. I felt like there was an inflamed snake running down my spine. I’m glad he’s gone.


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