A few summers ago I attended a fitness symposium. One motivating speaker said, “You are the subject and the scientist of your own life.” YES YES YES!!! These are the words of inspiration I’d been searching for my whole life. This is a great mantra (whatever THAT really means) to live by! We try, we fail, we try, we succeed, we try and we fail again, and so on and so forth. Such is life! But in this dramatic roller coaster process we learn what works and what does not work for us! It’s good practice, and practice makes “semi-perfect” at times.
There are many ways people try to lose weight, get fit, or just be a bit healthier. We see our friends and we are excited for them, maybe. Mostly we are jealous. And we wonder, “Why can’t I find ‘the thing’ that works for me too?” We may try their “thing” and sometimes it works. Usually, it doesn’t. You have to figure out what works for you, not for Angelina Jolie! Because lets face it, you are NOT Angelina Jolie, nor will you ever be! You need to find out what works for you!
When I was a student a few years ago I studied nutrition. I love nutrition. Basically, I just love to eat, but I figured I could and should channel my obsession into a healthier vise. So I because a registered dietitian. I even got my masters.
And this is where I start to share some feelings… ahem.
I have bulimia.
I’ve had it for over 10 years.
I never threw up… But running ten miles because you ate too much pizza the night before… then running ten miles again the next day because you had eaten too much again… and your knee starts to hurt at mile 3 and you finish the ten anyways [for fear of getting fat]… and can’t run for months because of that injury…
That is an eating disorder. Binge and purge.
It’s way better now. I haven’t uncontrollably binged in over a year and a half or two. Not since I started talking about it. Out loud. To people. Real people. I exercise a lot still… because I like it. And if I hurt. I stop.
Speaking your shame really starts to heal you from that shame. Sometimes. I definitely eat too much more often then I would like. But its not uncontrollable… and I’m usually not too ashamed to tell my husband.
I like yoga.
Yoga is something that didn’t work for me for a very long time. But my mind wasn’t in the right place. Sometimes we just need to try something again at a later date. You might be surprised! Back then I wanted a quick calorie-torching workout so I that I could eat a huge bowl of ice cream (vegan fail). Why would I waste my time with yoga? Isn’t it just quietly sweating on a gross mat in a room full of old ladies?
A few years went by and I began running again. A lot. A friend said the right words. “Yoga would really improve your running, strengthen your body, and stretch out your tired limbs!” SOLD! Her enthusiastic words were the catalyst I needed to get me to move from pre-contemplation stage to action. I eagerly hustled my butt to the nearest store to buy a yoga mat and then attend a few hot power yoga classes. I. WAS. HOOKED. Yoga has changed my whole paradigm! It’s part of a balanced life, for me! After a few weeks of strengthening my abs and back I no longer hurt after runs like I used to! I can now kneel for long periods of time and stretch farther and farther. My arms were stronger then they have ever been and my athletic self-confidence skyrocketed! It was incredible watching myself improve on a weekly basis! I could do poses in yoga after a few months that I wouldn’t have dreamt about doing before I started (Side Crow anyone?)!
Yoga is one of the things I have learned to love. But, like I said earlier, I wasn’t ready, until I was ready. Experience is part of a balanced diet!
Flash forward a few years. I no longer do yoga.
What? What was the point of that paragraph? I would love to do yoga… but I just can’t get myself there. It isn’t a part of my routine and it isn’t something that naturally fits into my life these days. And that is ok! It’s where my journey is currently.
Life is a process. Chock it up as full circle understanding! Life is full of experiences. You need to find what works for you! You need to find what you love and do that thing! I don’t like basketball; therefore I do not play basketball! I love running, therefore, I run. Maybe one day I will learn to love basketball. I’m just not there yet!
The biggest and most important thing is… I got married. To someone who tells me I am a hottie every day. I never really thought I would get married… I had too many plans… too many dreams… too emotional… to messed up… but here I am… married to this gorgeous, generous, and patient man… Who, by the grace of God, accepts me. Baggage and all.
-Kimberly [MS, RD]