When I wrote the first book, my journey to making peace with my body had to do with learning to care for it and nourish it with exercise and food. When I ended up with thyroid problems, and I could not keep the weight down no matter what I ate; my weight started creeping up on me, which made me really start to control my eating and start exercising even harder. When I look back on my behaviors now years later, being hypothyroid put me on the brink of an exercise addiction because I was struggling to maintain what I thought at the time was a healthy weight. Even though I was sick, exhausted, and foggy-headed, I still ran or walked 5 miles a day and did yoga 3 times a week. I never took a day off no matter how exhausted my legs felt. What started off as a journey to health became harder and harder to maintain the sicker I became. In 2013, I finally started to take a hard look at my actions, behaviors, and beliefs. My journey to health started the day that I quit running that spring.
I think I am like many people because I have spent my whole life struggling with weight. I decided in 2013 that enough was enough and that I had to be healthy in a new way. Health for me could not longer be about a number on a scale or the size of my clothing. Health had to be about feeling well....really feeling well. I wish I could say that this was an easy journey to take, but I have been surprised by the level my mind has struggled with this new way of being healthy. My mind is so ingrained to see a model in a health magazine or a biggest loser as the ideal of health that I struggled to see health in being authentically me. I have cellulite. I'm strong but not skinny. I'm back into full-figure sizes because I have curves. My feet hurt if I walk more than 3 miles in the morning. I can't run anymore. I enjoy yoga, but only sometimes. I still eat real food, had myself tested for food sensitives so I avoid those foods, but otherwise, I eat until feel full, and I eat when I am hungry. I feel better than I have in 3 years. I am not what most people would see as an image of health, but I am healthy for me.
As I stated earlier, my mind has been the hardest journey in this process. There have been times where I have felt embarrassed about the new weight, especially after having written about the weight loss. In one form or another, I have spent over 30 years trying to make my body into something it could never be. I have dieted. I have exercised until my body aches. I have been exhausted by all my efforts. I have fought my body and my weight; I have been embarrassed by it, allowed it to stop me from doing the things that I wanted to do, and spent way too much of my time and energy fretting about it.
I have had enough of this weight/health craziness. I am just me just as I am now, perfectly imperfect. I am done spending my time and energy thinking about any of this weight stuff anymore. 30 years is enough!!! I am done trying too hard to be anything other than a person who feels grounded in herself, fully expressing her soul's gifts, and trying to help others along the way.
(Yes, I realize I need to get new head shots that reflect this true me, and those will be posted here in the next month;)
My questions for this week are:
1. What does healthy mean for you?
2. What does nurturing yourself look like?
3. What are you doing in your food or your body that you feel you ought to be doing to be healthy?
4. What do you really want to be able to do for your body?
5. What makes you feel the most vital and free?
6. What does being grounded in yourself look like and/or feel like?
7. What makes you feel the most connected to your soul?