This Lent has turned into something completely different than when I started over a week ago. I love it when you make plans to be diligent, and then God decides to take you for a ride down a much deeper, more poignant path. That is, if you let God do such crazy things.
Here’s basically what happened: I started the Lenten Fast with the intention of eliminating all sugar, wine, alcohol, chocolate ~ anything that manifests in my body as a spike in insulin. And then a few days after Ash Wednesday, I went to a new counselor who helped me realize how incredibly hard on myself I have been for way, way too long. And then two days later, I tried a new behavioral and nutrition coach, and she told me the VERY SAME THING.
And while the no-sugar thing is very important to me, and I intend to be more mindful with my wine-drinking (that’s really the only “sugar” I’m down to, except for last night’s celebrating of Pi Day), I think I might have bigger fish to fry.
So the plan has gone from eliminating, to re-thinking the way I view myself.
HERE WE GO.
This all might be too personal, and TMI about me. But maybe you can relate.
No, I didn’t get that turned around. I have an almost-unhealthy aversion to judging others. Sure, it’s a good thing. But sometimes it’s over-the-top. And because I can’t stand the idea of judging another person, I have a really hard time looking in the mirror and dealing with the horrible judgment I place on myself.
If I’m so darn nice to people, why can’t I be nice to myself?
This is the main thing I’m working on right now. And WOW is this hard. I have been instructed by my counselor to journal positive body thoughts 3 times a week, and even just a sentence if that’s all I can do. And of course, I immediately told myself I would go home and overachieve in my usual way, and journal everyday, or maybe every hour? Or how about an hour every day?
I come by this honestly. I’m a coloratura soprano. (Shout out to my coloraturas!!!)
Do you know what a coloratura is? It’s a soprano with crazy high energy, a solid relationship with her practice room, and extremely high expectations of herself. She can’t just learn a beautiful song. She has to learn the HARDEST, HIGHEST, most difficult music, or bust.
It always has to be the most challenging with me. Time to slow that crazy energy down and take good care of myself. So I’m only journaling positive body affirmations 3 times a week.
There. That wasn’t so hard. And, as you can imagine, writing about how much you love your body isn’t very easy. But I’m doing it until further notice.
“Slow down, you move too fast. Gotta make the moment last.”
Love that song, but I’m not too good at it, that’s for sure.
It sounds SO GLAMOROUS. Can I do it? Maybe occasionally. But damn it’s hard. I’m not trying to let obligations drop, but I have to slow down my high expectations of myself, so I can make healthier decisions.
This morning, I set only one goal for myself: that I would practice. Just a week ago, I would have laughed at that to-do list! But in the end, a long to-do list will simply not get done. And it will stare at you with disappointment until you check everything off that list. And last time I checked, putting “do laundry” on my to-do list, didn’t make me do the laundry any faster. The simple running out of underwear does that.
Bonus! It turns out that when you slow down, you find time for the stuff that really matters. Portals of time open up, and productivity increases!
It’s time to loosen the grip on my extreme efforts to lose weight. All I have wanted for so many years was to figure out what works for my body. I have wanted this for so long that I don’t know what it feels like to not want those things. Lord Have Mercy. But I HAVE TO LET THAT ALL GO. I have to let that dream die for just a hot second. And only then will I stand the chance of actually being successful in my weight-loss, or even happiness. There’s no magical elimination right now that will change my body chemistry and help me lose weight. Believe me, I’ve tried them. Turns out that kale salad and water will not work for me. Or a vegan diet, or raw food only, or even Paleo. It has to start in my mind and spirit first. I have to let positivity flood in, and then some day my body will thank me and hopefully do what it needs to do to be healthy.
Exercise is the least natural thing I try to do on a daily basis. I fail most days from the very start. The second I put on workout pants, I cringe at the sight of the attempt to be “Sporty Sarah” (the Hub’s term) and scoff at the idea that I could actually ever see results. I’m just not in my element in any way.
I recently purchased this online program centered around renewing your metabolism, and I have to say, it is absolutely brilliant. After taking the quiz, I discovered that I’m the type of person who won’t see results as much from going to the gym and running on a treadmill for 45 minutes. I would be much better just moving throughout the day ~ walking to the grocery store, moving around in my house, staying active and out of my car whenever I can. I KNEW IT. I KNEW IT!!!!! I knew this was the missing link. I have always wanted to live in a place where I could walk everywhere, live in a 4-story walkup, and really just move to live. Not just go to the gym every morning for 45 minutes and that’s it.
Actually, my idea of a perfect workout is riding a bike with a basket and a bell, a flowy dress on, wearing a pair of red Chuck Taylor’s, and a baguette sticking out of the basket. OH I WISH I COULD HAVE THAT.
So what are we Midwesterners to do, living in a town that doesn’t even have sidewalks everywhere you go? My life is so sedentary. I work 25 steps from my bed and 3 steps from my couch. Some commute! I can’t walk to the grocery store ~ it’s 10 miles away. And the weather is crazy here. Cold-colds and hot-hots, and that’s all in one day. I’ve gotta figure something out with this, but in the meantime, I’m going to take solace in the fact that I KNEW this was what I needed! I’M RIGHT FOR ONCE!
I’ll need to read this post several times over the next few weeks to remind myself of these things. Think it’ll ever sink in?
One can always try!