Monday, May 09, 2011
Today's healthy reflection quote is "We're always getting ready to live, but never living." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
My mother's philosophy was that the good china, the good towels, and the formal living room were only for company. When I got out on my own, I decided *I* was worth the good things in my life, even if something broke now and then, so I pulled out and still use the good china, crystal, towels, etc. Worth the good "things," however, is not the same as worth the good "life," and that's where my plan broke down. I thought the good "life" looked like TV commercials in which people partied non-stop, ate what they wanted, drank what they wanted, and always wore beach clothing that showed off their washboard abs.
Alas, such began the decades-long battle with my weight, that often resulted in drastic measures to make weigh-ins in the military. After the military, I breathed a huge sigh of relief that I'd never have to step on the scale in front of the First Sergeant ever again...and quickly put on 10 pounds. Then I got a job with a very long commute and put on another 20 pounds. Then "the change" hit and, you guessed it, more weight, over 20 more pounds. Along the way the good life slowly disappeared, as I was too heavy and embarrassed to wear shorts or swimsuits and started seeing disapproval or disappointment in the faces of family, friends, colleagues, and strangers. Yet I felt powerless to change the situation.
When this past January rolled around, I was feeling pretty low and out of control, and with a history of many failures at New Year's resolutions, I didn't make any this year. The most I could muster was a small spark (word choice intended) that said, "I declare 2011 the Year of ME." At the time, I didn't really know what that meant, other than that I was through with trying to function on 4-5 hours of sleep a night (sometimes less) for days on end just to have some life outside work and the 3.5-4 hour daily round-trip commute. But somehow that one statement seemed to open up my narrow sphere of existence to opportunities. On the day my eyes first focused on a SparkPeople link, I clicked it out of curiosity, and life changed in a marked, measurable, and positive way.
Initially, I looked at my goal of losing weight to improve my health as the starting point to life, i.e., I needed to reach my goal so I could start living. But as I've made progress, I've found I'm living more NOW...no need to wait. Halfway now to my weight goal, I'm finding these good things happening in my life:
- I don't hate the steep hill on my favorite walk route anymore.
- I can go up and down stairs with much less knee pain and without getting winded.
- I'm out of the plus-size clothes and into regular sizes!
- I wore a swimsuit!
- I'm jogging for the first time in over two decades (a few minutes at a time).
- I can almost get my foot forward from downward-facing dog to lunge in yoga.
- I'm thoroughly enjoying the rewards I've given myself along the way, because I'm worth the good LIFE!
Saturday, April 30, 2011
As promised in my last blog, I walked the labyrinth at YMCA of the Rockies today, this time with my husband and mother-in-law. Yesterday's snow was gone, and today dawned bright and clear here at 7500+ feet elevation. Such perfect peace in this meditation, surrounded by the beauty of the mountains and silence broken only by the wind through the trees (guess the youth groups were still asleep, tee hee). In the walk itself, I concentrated on my breath, marveling at how easy breath came in the Colorado mountains compared to my warm, humid Virginia. At the center of the labyrinth, I turned a slow circle to fill my mind with those gorgeous mountains and felt a profound sense of calm and belonging that remained with me as I walked the return circuit to the peace pole exit. Namaste.
Friday, April 29, 2011
Since I joined the Meditation and Mindfulness team, I've looked for different ways to meditate so the practice doesn't get stale, but one of my favorite methods is walking meditation. Today, we arrived at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado, to stay in a cabin (NOT your daddy's log cabin this one), and I was really happy to find a labyrinth directly across from our cabin! I spent a wonderful half hour or so in that labyrinth, entering and exiting at a peace pole and walking mindfully through light, falling snow. I had to quiet my mind several times and bring my focus back to the walk, but it was a relaxing and refreshing meditation that I intend to repeat tomorrow morning.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
I just read a blog entry titled "Jumping on the Bed," which I chose because because I heard a commercial on the radio yesterday bemoaning the fact that as we grow up, we stop playing and start stressing. And when we stop playing, we start aging. I thought to myself, "Self, you don't play at all anymore. Work is work, workouts are work, the nasty commute is work, cooking and cleaning are work...where's the fun?" Based on that, when I next evaluate my goals, I want to set a goal for fun time. Maybe I'll find a volksmarch in a place I've never walked before, or plan a reward that is an experience (visit to Spa World?) and not a thing. Whaddaya think?
Saturday, March 26, 2011
My last step class was many years and many more pounds ago, but I decided to try one yesterday. Even at my size, the instructor seemed to think it would be no problem for me and said the moves would be pretty basic. Let me tell you, "basic" does not mean "easy." The class was a truly humbling experience given that I used to be a step dynamo, doing the long classes filled with complicated routines and advanced choreography. Yesterday, I struggled mightily to keep up with even simple routines, and I didn't even try the little flourishes and jumps the instructor added. When it came time to check my pulse and compare it to the prominently displayed table, my pulse was off the chart. It was so high I was surprised I was still standing...but I had made it through. I really want to get back into cardio classes to change up my workout routine now that I'm about six weeks into the program, but I think I'll revert back to my simplest videos at home and work up to the group classes.
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