First things first: I borrowed this dress from Aidan.
(And Aidan borrowed it from her teammate, Swannie, last year for graduation.)
(And Aidan is categorically tanner than me on any given day. That’s not just from the sun. She inherited an olive complexion from her father’s side of the family.)
So when we went to a lovely summer wedding a few weeks back for my dear friend’s first born child, it felt great to fit into something that would not have fit a year ago.
That is just a fact.
As I was working on my Fit 2019 album entry (I keep a mini album of the year as part of the class), I started out my monthly journal entry with the following sentence: Today I’m feeling grateful and proud that I started doing what was needed when I did.
You may or may not know this, but last fall I had my first little tangle with high blood pressure and it freaked me out completely. Mostly because I believed that I was dodging health issues here in my early 50s, and so maybe there were no changes I needed to make to my diet and my overall activity level.
I would like to be extremely clear here: I felt that as long as I was healthy, I was good with my body. I was okay with how I looked. I have been connecting to the reality that my physical body is not the most interesting thing about me.
But the high BP told a different story. It told me that maybe cheap red wine every day and a full bag of Cape Cod Kettle Style Potato Chips to cap off my work day wasn’t really working.
And that actually made me pretty sad, if I’m being honest.
I love junk food. I love cheap red wine and the ensuing buzz I get after just one glass. I like how when taken together, they let me forget that there is any stress in my life. But that, combined with the high blood pressure told me another story: you’re avoiding reality, Cath. What gives?
I am an addict. Initially, I chose nicotine and carefully cultivated that relationship for more than 25 years. When I quit smoking in 2006 at the age of 40, it actually took three whole years before I could see someone smoking without feeling pissed off that I wasn’t.
After nicotine, sugar seemed like a good replacement. After all, it does the same thing. It lights up your brain like a Christmas tree. And God knows I love me some Christmas. And dopamine.
Even though addict seems like a negative word, there are some upsides because addicts tend to be all-in types of people. We aren’t half-hearted about anything (unless that thing is stopping the thing we are addicted to.)
I’m very fortunate that I never chose alcohol as my thing. Not that I think smoking is better for you, but I think alcohol destroys lives in different ways when it is something that is beyond your ability to control.
That said, my all-in personality has strengths and weaknesses. This past year, I’ve been tapping into its strengths and because of that, my blood pressure is normal, my blood sugars are right where they need to be, and I’m 35 pounds lighter than I was in October of 2018.
Today I’m grateful that I started.
It’s nice to feel less self-conscious about my physical body, but that is really just a side effect of taking better care of myself. If I had lost no weight, but had better health numbers, I would have been grateful for that change, too. Sure, I’d probably be disappointed that weight wasn’t coming off, I mean, I have to be honest here. But still… I’m learning that if you don’t have your health, well… you know that old adage. Still, the weight loss is a nice bonus to the hard work of looking at what was needed and adjusting my behavior.
Make no mistake: I did not wait for a magic formula to effect change. I made choices. I made changes. I gave up most junk food and most alcohol. I gave up food with gluten. I made choices that were not as initially fun as sitting and getting buzzed on wine and chips. But getting off the junk and the sugar changes how you feel about real food over time. Real food is pretty dang good, it turns out.
But I also realized that connecting to what’s going on internally, however stressful, or painful, or even just mediocre, is actually how I want to live my life. My real life. I want to be connected to reality.
Also, make no mistake no. 2: I’m not a better person because I managed to lose some weight. I just workshopped some things and remained open to trying new things as they were needed.
Being an all-in person has upsides and downsides. Those aren’t automatically good or bad. They are just choices, and I’m feeling grateful today for making the ones I’ve made and continue to make.
This is what I talk about in Fit 2019. There aren’t really magic formulas or easy paths to doing what is needed. Personally, I’m wary of those who claim they exist. But the one thing that continues to surprise me is that when I make choices that are based in reality for my body, I have a sense of integrity for myself because I know I’m doing what’s needed for me. That isn’t that same for everyone. We aren’t carbon copies of one another with a one size fits all formula to apply.
Fit is a process. I’m grateful to be working it.
Just a quick note: I will be offering Fit 2020. Not because I’ve managed to lose some weight and that might inspire more people to join me (although that would be great, of course, because classes are part of my business.) But I’m offering it because I still want to help people connect to what is needed in their lives. And documenting the story as you go is part of the process. And most of all, connecting to what is needed for you.
I may change the name. I may not. More info will be coming later in the year.
Also, my class will not make the changes for you or anyone. The goal is simply to support you as you connect the dots for yourself. That’s all I can offer. That, and nicely designed materials to help you along the way. Oh yeah… and a promise that I will be truthful in my messages every month.
Of course, you can still sign up now for 2019. It’s not too late for to use the materials and listen to my monthly messages. But just know, I’m not going anywhere. I will be bringing this class back. At least that’s the plan for today.
To learn more about this year-long e-course, click on the image above!