Full Circle

People always ask me "I'm overweight and I don't know where to begin."  I always tell people to start where there's ...

People always ask me "I'm overweight and I don't know where to begin."  I always tell people to start where there's joy. In other words, I tell them to think about their childhood and the types of games they liked to play.  If I didn't have someone to play with (tag, basketball, catch), I would grab my hula hoop, Skip It, or jump rope. 

This is how you start working on undoing the mentality that exercise is a punishment or chore.  It's fun!

My dear cousin Efrat made me this adult-sized hoop two years ago (check out this video on how to make a DIY hoop -- think about having a hoop-making party with friends!).  I love hula hooping (check out this video of me hooping!).  It's something I can do while watching a movie, or listening to music.  It helps me loosen up some of the muscles in my back that get stiff from overcompensating for my spinal injuries.  And it's FUN!

The building where I live has a rooftop with a great view and a pool.  I am a child of the summer, of the beach, of swimming and of the pool.  I'm also Irish and burn easily.  Mea culpa on that one, I shouldn't have been as cavalier about being outside (Instead of 20-30 minutes in the sun without sunblock, I had an hour in the sun before putting SPF40 on).

But what was I doing in that hour?  I was hula hooping in a bikini while listening to music. For the first 20 minutes I was alone, but then I had company.  My first instinct was to cover up.  Who wants to see the fat girl hula hooping by the pool? (And compared to all the other girls that normally frequent the pool, I am the fat girl.) (But yes, lil sis, I'm still working on my body and mind to stop seeing myself as fat... it's a struggle).   

But I sat with that feeling for a second.  Instead of imagining people looking at me and judging me, I tried to change the mental dialogue into them looking at me and being jealous that they didn't have a hoop, or impressed that I have such awesome moves, or even just happy for me that I was doing something I loved.  The anxiety always passes.  The grace always returns.  The sunburn lasts.

My mental process has been up, down, and all over the place.
I have my sights set on undoing the weight I gained from taking my foot off the pedal last year + the four months of inactivity due to injury.  It was so much easier when I had a goal I needed to achieve. 
The biggest part of the my journey has been in trying to find a "new normal." Finding balance. 

I have been hemming and hawing in regards to this -- letting other things take precedence.  "But I don't want to re-aggravate my injury" is a valid concern, but "I want to drink 7 beers and drink fried food" is not.  I need to remind myself of why I undertook this journey.  I want heath. I want weight loss. I want to look at myself in the mirror and know I've done everything in my power to honor the commitment I made to myself at the beginning of the journey.

What it comes down to this:

What can I do to be mindful of my nutrition and mindful of my body?

That's all any of us can ask of for our self and from our self. 

It doesn't matter where we are in our journey -- whether we're closer to the beginning or have reached our goal -- this is always the question that needs to be answered.  It's the question we ask on days we feel positive and feel like we're succeeding.  It's the question we ask on days we feel negative and like we've gone off track.  It's the question we ask when we're on the precipice of a bad decision or even as we're making good ones. 

I know I say this to other people all the time, but I need to say it here.  I need to write it where I can come back and find it.  When you focus on the joy of taking care of yourself, the answers to the question above will be as limitless as the love you have for yourself.  Who wouldn't want that?

So.... what are YOU doing today to be mindful of what you put in your body and how you treat/feel about your body?

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3 comments

  1. This weekend I ate my own bodyweight in home-made (so you understand how I couldn't resist) fairy cakes. So today I am eating a LOT of vegetables and fruit and did a killer workout. However this wasn't to punish my body it was to help my body recover after punishing it with the fairy cakes. If that makes sense.

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  2. This post is an amazing read after I posted about my food addiction last week. Mindfulness is so important and I find myself ALWAYS coming back to how I need to be more mindful and more present in my actions and thoughts. I'm Norwegian and we burn like a mofo too, and apparently the IIH meds I'm on weaken my resistance to UV rays so I'm double effed in the skin department. That's cool cause it means I only have to buy one kind of sunscreen for me and the kids. XD

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  3. Helen -- What is a fairy cake? And I'm glad you know it's not about "earning" your food or punishment for your choices. It's about planning your food/exercise jointly, and forgiving yourself when it doesn't always work out perfectly. I applaud your choice of eating some healthy food today and i hope you have not just a killer workout, but a joyful one as well.

    Christa--SPF Lead Vest?
    I think mindfulness is one of those buzzwords that is really getting it's moment in the spotlight, and rightfully so. So many people gain weight because of the disconnect between their mind and their body. Mindfulness is a coming home to what is true and real in any given moment.

    I'm glad we can all learn from our mistakes to the point that either we don't make the same ones again, or that we can recover from them better.

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<3 Robby