Good morning, readers! It’s been a quiet, relaxing Sunday morning. I slept in until 7:00 a.m., enjoyed a cup of coffee while reading a book. I then baked some muffins, watched an episode of a new series on Netflix, The Chair (highly recommend!) and went outside with the dogs for a bit because it looks like it could rain soon.
It’s been a very introspective week for me. After writing about my anxiety in my last post, I made it my mission this week to take control of how I’m handling things. I’ve been listening to a podcast called The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos, and just finished a book called Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come: One Introvert’s Year of Saying Yes by Jessica Pan. Both mediums got me thinking about how I tend to handle stressful situations, but more importantly, it made me realize how it’s still hard for me to just live in the moment.
I think most of us are guilty of thinking, “I’ll be happy when…..” and then list a bunch of things that will make us happy when they finally happen. Losing weight. Achieving the perfectly muscled, toned bodies that we see on social media. Getting that promotion. Making more money. Buying a new car or house. I’m not happy now, but I will be once fill in the blank happens.
Maybe it’s because I’m older now and I feel my mortality with each passing moment. Maybe it’s because I was injured and it forced me to slow down for a few months. All I know is, I’ve got to stop this “someday” crap. I’ve got to stop and just savor what’s going on right now.
A group of us had an interesting conversation about body image and how we’ve all been caught up in wanting to be fit and healthy but in doing so, we get obsessed with a number on the scale or wanting our bodies to look like what we see on social media. We deprive ourselves of certain food, beat ourselves up when we eat “bad” foods, and hate how our bodies look. How sad is that?
There is nothing wrong with being fit and healthy. In fact, I exercise and eat healthy so that I can avoid a senior life of medications and hospital stays. I want to be autonomous so that I can take care of myself for as long as possible. I love having energy, health, and vitality. But over the last six months or so, I started to get the “I can do more; I can look better” mentality. I was working out almost every day; every Monday, I would tell myself “This week I’m eating 100% clean” and then by the weekend I was eating junk food and drinking alcohol and by Sunday night was beating myself up because I’d failed once again. I’d look at my body and the negative talk would start up: your abs aren’t flat enough, your arms aren’t muscular enough.
When I was doing 75 Hard, I did have flat abs and I built a ton of muscle. I looked really strong. I felt like physically I could do anything. So I kept on increasing the difficulty of my workouts, kept pushing myself. I had an image in my mind of looking like a 20-year-old in my bikini when we went on our vacation later in the summer. I was going to be so thin, and strong, and muscular….. and then I herniated a disc in my neck and had to have a surgery which kept me down for several months. So much for that bikini body.
Wait, what? Do you see what I did there? How I was telling myself, “I’ll be happy when I feel fit and thin enough to wear a bikini on vacation.”
It sounds so stupid when I say it out loud. And yet, that’s how many of us talk to ourselves. We tell ourselves that we’ll love our bodies when we reach that number on the scale or when we are down to a certain clothing size. Would we feel that way about our loved ones? Of course not, and yet we treat ourselves this way and to what end?
I ultimately quit 75 Hard because physically I did not feel well. I was tired. Yes, on the outside I was starting to look like one of those social media fitness influencers, but on the inside, my body was tired. And mentally I was in a place of wanting to achieve perfection, which was not a good place to be. All I could think about was what I was and wasn’t allowed to do, that I had to follow rules and that I could not fail. Why? What was the worst that could happen if I didn’t get all of my water consumed or if I slipped up and ate a cookie? Nothing. But in my head, I felt like I would have failed.
My injury forced me to slow down from my workouts and forced me to reassess how I was looking at nutrition. Because I was less active, I gained weight and I lost a lot of strength that I had gained. But my clothes still fit, and I still feel healthy. I’ve realized that if my nutrition isn’t 100% on point, it’s okay. I still feel healthy. I drink wine, but I also drink a ton of water. I eat dessert, but I also eat a lot of fruits and veggies. I eat pizza and pasta, but I also eat a lot of salads.
I’m back to doing full workouts, but I’m giving myself rest days. I can tell that I’m not as strong as I was a few months ago, but I’m okay with that. I’ll get there. Or not. I’m still having fun being active and that’s what matters.
And guess what? I’m still wearing a two-piece suit when we go on our vacation next month. I’m not going to cover myself up. I’m not going to worry about my belly hanging out. Fuck that. Instead I’m going to focus on having a good time on vacation.
Love your body, and your life, NOW. Not later, not someday. Now.
Eat some cake, have a drink, but also be sure to get in your water, fruits and veggies because all of those things should be savored and enjoyed.
May your glass ALWAYS be full,