When it all started to go wrong is the day I decided that I did not look beautiful anymore.
Never mind the fact that I had given birth to four wonderful children, two of them being a set of twins.
Never mind the fact that I was still in my prime.
Never mind the fact that I was the ONLY one with this opinion.
I looked at my body as broken. Actually, I never did feel like my body fit me.
It was during this time that I started the whirlwind of interventions. Some of which were not so kind. I was so busy that there were days when I did not see my kids. I was up at dawn and came home like Cinderella. Exhausted, but feeling accomplished.
To make matters worse, I was picking up with any and all things that promised a slimmer, trimmer, me. Some of them were not so bad, but others were devastating. The pinnacle was the 30 day juice fast. Did I loose a lot of weight? Yes, by the end my body was indeed slender, but my insides felt like a wraith. While those around me lauded my accomplishment, I felt like I could barely focus and keep it together.
Then I moved to a new city, a new state even, and became occupied with making a home. However, my schedule did not change much and I worked long hours to make this home perfect for my family. Until the day that it wasn’t. I was walking down the stairs, and then I wasn’t.
I fell, and instantly knew something had changed in a way that had never happened in my body. My loving partner swears I played dead, as apparently I did not respond to several of his pleadings to find out if I was OK.
Turns out, I was mostly OK, but I damaged my right shoulder. It took a year of physical therapy, chiropractic, and massage to put me back together, but in that time I just sat. I really could not do much without excruciating pain and my busy body did not know how to just sit, so it ate…and ate…and ate. In the end I gained more than fifty pounds as I spiraled into depression, feeling completely inadequate. There did come a point where my body was physically capable of doing more, but in my mind my body was still too broken.
It was a dark year for me, but it also was a year of learning.
I learned to ask for help.
I learned that it was OK to pause.
I learned that my family loved me no matter what size my body is.
At the end of the this year long journey, I saw a post on Facebook. Like so many others that have come before, it had an inspirational quip and stunning imagery. To me this woman exuded peace and beauty. It made me pause.
The site advertising on the image is actually a pretty good site as well. I love their message that you are not growing older, just grow bolder.
For me though, the instant thought that flashed in my head was a little different.
I am NOT dead yet!
I am NOT dead yet!
I suddenly realized that somewhere between not loving my body and the day that I sat there scrolling through Facebook, I had stopped living. It was if I had laid down on the couch to wait.
Let the evaluation begin!!
I started to think about where I had been, where I really wanted to be, and of course my present situation. Suddenly, things started to make sense. In a way, I have had the answers for many years, but I was always “too busy” to implement.
I went back to my knowledge of Mindfulness. Not that messed up stuff that is being commercialized and touted on cereal boxes, but the real deep rooted beliefs of being in the now.
The quick definition of Mindfulness, for those that are not familiar, is being in the present and awakening to the experience of NOW.
Being In The NOW…
Today, I make decisions of what my body needs right now. I am not looking at the future of the body, as that really does not matter. If I just look at today, my body will be happy today.
The mistake I was making was looking at what I thought my body needed to look like, not what my body needs. Sometimes my body needs a vigorous bike ride, a wonderful session of yoga, and a fruit smoothie. Other times my body needs a taco!
Probably the most important aspect of my journey right now is to DROP THE GUILT. Guilt is in the past, it is looking at what you should have done and holding space in your world for something that can never change! Guilt is an evil, insidious creature that lurks in our minds and it seems to activate the moment we begin to doubt our present is just as it should be.
My now was created by all the decisions that led up to this moment. That includes the crash diets, my couch potato days, giving birth, many sleepless nights, and even the days I did really nice things for myself. It means that my body is a scratch and dent model, but it does not mean that it is broken!
Say to yourself, “Right now, I am strong!” No, no, say it with meaning!! Try again and this time really FEEL it.
Just like me. You are strong. You are enough. You are the perfect you.
Give It A Whirl
It may not seem like much, but that is the perfect point. So often, I have found my failure to achieve comes from making the solution way more complicated than it ever needed to be. This includes how I thought I needed to modify my body. Drastic, in the all or nothing kind of way. In the end, there usually was a lot of nothing.
Here is my plan, I hope you will find it helpful as well.
Live in the NOW and DROP the guilt. Living one day at a time and making the best decisions for my body each and every day. Loving who I am today.