“Rediscover Your Heart”

This is a page that I completed yesterday in my art journal, and it’s called, “Rediscover Your Heart.”

Heart.jpg

For me, 2016 has been a year of reclaiming my health, one small improvement at a time. This summer, I’ve set a goal of losing ten pounds and have established a daily exercise regimen, which unfortunately isn’t something to which I’ve been greatly committed in the past few years.

Back in 2010-11, during a period of great anxiety and uncertainty, I gained 60 pounds after being prescribed the antidepressant Prozac. The excess weight took a major toll on my small frame, and strenuous activities such as running (which I’ve loved my whole life) put a lot of stress on the joints in my legs and became exceedingly difficult and painful. In addition, the extra pounds caused me to experience more issues with my asthma. Consequently, I pretty much stopped exercising and my fitness level suffered greatly. In 2014, when I stopped taking the medication, I quickly lost 40 pounds, but up to this point have been unable to drop the last 20. While I don’t feel terrible about my current weight, I know I could still stand to lose a few pounds. I also know I could and should get back into some semblance of good physical shape, because I’ve always been healthier and happier when I’ve been active. Exercise is beneficial for one’s lungs and heart, and that’s of the utmost importance as I get older, especially with my family history of cardiovascular disease. 

I started running again a few weeks ago, and even though I struggle with some old injuries from my days as a high school and college tennis player, it’s been going well. To prevent pain in my hip joints caused by frayed cartilage, I wear compression stockings and shorts and run only short distances; I augment my runs with low-impact biking and swimming. I can feel my strength and stamina growing, and my breathing is getting better. I’ve even lost a couple of pounds already!

This page, which celebrates my rediscovery of my love of exercise and the importance of being heart-healthy (both physically and emotionally), was built upon a collage of old book pages, paper napkins, ephemera, and Washi tape, and also includes spray inks & stencils, pigment inks & stamps, tape, stickers, die cuts, and pens.

What is a goal you can set for yourself this summer, to improve your health? Take one step at a time, one foot in front of the other, and you can make it happen!

Have a great week! 🙂

 

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About Jenny Petricek

I am a mixed-media artist who loves collage, bookmaking, journaling, and memory art.
This entry was posted in Art Journaling, Mixed-Media and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to “Rediscover Your Heart”

  1. Cheryl says:

    I am happy to hear you are running again. I’ve always dreamed of running. I know that sounds weird but I have high arches and over-pronation. I would always turn my ankle. Since an injury in 10th grade my right side has grown increasingly worse. (It’s my S.I. joint, hip flexor, and I.T. band.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can definitely relate! I have shredded cartilage in both hips from my days on the tennis court, so I have to be very, very careful when I run–not overdoing it, sticking to short distances, and not running for more than 30 min. at a time. I also have to wear compression shorts to ensure I’m moving properly and preventing the pieces of cartilage from getting tangled in the joints. So far, I haven’t had too much trouble with my hips, but I AM feeling it in my knees! The almost-40-year-old me is quite different from the 20-something-year-old me, who used to run several miles at a time with no pain whasoever, but I’m getting used to it. 😉 Have you ever tried an elliptical machine? They are much safer for those of us with injuries, and feel similar to running, only without the stress on the joints. You may find it easier on your ankles!

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  2. This is gorgeous and I’m so glad you are running again. You’ve reminded me I need to start doing some type of aerobics and I need to get back to yoga too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Laura!! It does feel good to be active again. I’m already starting to see some small positive changes, and am hoping that once the school year begins again, that I’ll be able to keep it up! I’ve wanted to return to yoga, too, for quite awhile…that may be on the list for fall! 😉

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