There are moments in our journey that simply come forward and change our visions, our paths, our desires, our hearts.
Here is one of mine…
Co-workers, friends, men, family..I was chasing them, trying to please them, giving everyone else all of my power. Essentially clogging my entire system. Now I created a sludge that contained stress, depression, defense mechanisms, fake smiles, alcohol consumption in binge form, masks that I could not keep up with, diet yo-yos or not eating at all and the hamster wheel continued. I became mentally ill and physically ill. I gained weight, experienced joint pain, hair loss, went through surgical procedures, cortisone shots, hormone therapy, self help books, anything external to “fix” me… anything to maintain a seriously unhealthy lifestyle inside and out. Can you feel me?
I finally threw my hands up in the air and said to my Self…"I want to love you". I no longer wanted to erase it, I wanted to address it. No more trauma responses. No more avoidance. "We belong to each other and I want to love and respect you as I would a loved one".
I didn’t start with a fad or an extreme physical work out. I didn’t purchase a gym membership or make commitments to food I knew I couldn’t and wouldn’t keep. I went out of my way to talk to my Self. What is it that I wanted to feel internally and what did I feel was unhealthy or toxic? Turns out, to begin with, I wanted to be spoiled and loved on. So I did this. I essentially began dating my Self. It was uncomfortable at first, going to dinner alone. I mean, where does one look when no one is across the table? I’m sure you all know how uncomfortable it can be to sit in silence for long periods of time. And then there’s the judgements you feel are being made from those sharing the same space in your chosen restaurant or movie theater or local pub. Thoughts start to flow in and ego attempts to step in with its negative thoughts. “What’s wrong with you, why are you alone? You can’t do this, go home. This is not how life is supposed to be. How embarrassing for you. This is not how you were raised, suck it up”. You get the picture. I stayed the course because what I deeply desired at that stage of my journey was to fall in love with me. If I could give my all to others, I could certainly give my all to me. All of the love songs that would make me think fondly of or cry over others, I now sang to my Self. I sang to my Self in the mirror after a shower or while I danced with my Self in the kitchen. I sang at the top of my lungs each time I drove in my car. (I still do). Rather quickly, this all became natural and comfortable and I began to crave my dates. The way I saw my Self changed. The way I spoke to my Self changed. I developed healthy boundaries and self respect that could not be shaken.
Now that I had the green light in this relationship it was time to take it to the next stage. Reclaiming my temple.
I came to realize that the numbers on the scale, the inches around my hips and the way my pants brushed against my thighs were not the true measure of a healthy, energy efficient Self relationship. These numbers that no matter what they were and inherently made me feel less than, were no longer in control. I made a commitment to my Self to go back and learn what my body needs in order to be energy efficient and serve its proper purpose…what was food always intended for? Fuel for the body to function efficiently and sustain itself throughout the day. Was I going to just flip a switch and eat garden veggies and change my life? Ummmm, no. What I did do, was listen to others’ experiences, observe what they were doing and question if their results were more than just weight loss. I was on the lookout for FEELING good and properly feeding my body what it needs to be the sexy machine I came to know. I was consistently seeing successful before and after photos but then I would see their personal posts that did not show happiness. Proving further that happiness is not the size of our body. That weight was not all our Self was concerned with to deliver joy to our experience.
Here’s the thing..I’m 47, a single mom, and well into surgical menopause due to a full hysterectomy more than 7 years ago. I work several jobs both for others and for myself. I run a not for profit and I have an active social life. I had gained 40 lbs in depression, stress, fast foods, dining out, poor choices and hormone loss and medications. I stopped exercising, went back to exercising and quit again when I was not seeing results in areas I had hoped. I began to just accept the mom bod.
Fast forward to 2019 and the next stage in my Self dating journey… continuing to work on my Self from the inside thru meditation, vibrational healing, a little yoga, a lot of dancing, learning to say no and removing all outside toxic entities from my life. I chose to stop all hormone support and medications and was successful in doing so with little to no side effects. And just as important, I began realizing, owning and healing my own shit. I found more happiness and a lot less stress. This alone resulted in my body shedding some pounds. It also got me thinking….if happiness can cause a positive body response, how can I maximize on that feel good diet?
Now was the time to nurture and supply nutrients based on what the INSIDE looked and felt like. I was casually introduced to a program that FELT right to me. So I observed for a bit. I witnessed others gain clarity, focus, energy, efficiency, connectivity and amplified happiness on their journey. I WANTED A PIECE OF THAT lifestyle. The goals were not weight based. The support system was there. The message was to be mindful…body, mind, spirit..and aware of your ecological footprint. Yes, yes and yes please.
I set my intentions:
Begin to view food as fuel
Honor my body; Listen to it fully and allow what comes forward to set the pace
Hold ritual with my food, much like many would say Grace, I would bless my food and be grateful for the abundance, the nutrients, the fuel and the love it was going to provide for my temple.
Have zero expectations and instead, trust the process
Let the next stage of my personal relationship begin. Very quickly my focus and clarity changed as I easily produced each and every day. I had steady energy, no jitters, no “over” charged moments. The FEELING was much more potent than the SEEING. I begrudgingly took a before pic and my body dysmorphia was working over time. Day 21 and I took a midway photo. The FEELING was solidified and I held no expectations for the way my body would look. The numbers on the scale had only slightly changed. And then… as I cried while gazing at my photos side by side; Inflammation gone, body shape changed, stomach flattening out, no retention around my knees or ankles. How had I believed I was stuck with my post hysterectomy mom bod? How did I allow my ego to convince me that the weight of my body was what made me beautiful? How had I not owned my habits and taken responsibility sooner? Honestly, none of that matters anymore. I am here now. I am the student of my body and reclaiming my temple. I have amplified my happiness and in return my body has begun to rapidly transform from the inside out. (Not to mention the money I have saved on my old habits...BONUS!) The gut and the mind, body and spirit are all connected. I have proven this to my Self. I am grateful and choosing to stay in this beautiful relationship. Giving and receiving unconditional love.
So out goes the scale and the measuring tapes and the body dysmorphia and the eating disorders I have struggled with my entire life. Out goes the comparison to what society deems sexy, strong, beautiful, feminine (or masculine - as we all carry both energies). In comes joy, happiness, laughter, inner knowing, reclamation, acceptance, efficiency, confidence, truth, self worth, self love, unlimited potential. In comes LIVING. In comes ME.
Here are my very vulnerable photos (day 1 to day 21). If you feel called to reclaim your temple and not join another diet, feel free to reach out. I am here for you. I am happy to share and fully support your personal transformation and relationship with your Self. Even if you have no idea where to begin.
Love your body and teach your mind to respect it. Nurture your body to strengthen your soul.