About Me

One day I woke up and was completely sick of everything about my body.  More than that, I was completely sick of the relationship my brain had with my body.

It was more than the usual female body nit-picking (“I feel so FAT”, “If only I didn’t have (insert any body part that may have caused some insecurities)”, “I HATE what my hair is doing right now”).  I woke up, stared at the ceiling, and realized that my body was supposed to be something I could use to get around and have fun with during my life, before I was too old and sore to get into it.  I was spending all my time in a never-ending self pity cycle looking something like this:

1) Why should I try to ______? I’m too fat and out of shape for it, and I don’t need to be making a fool out of myself in front of strangers.

2) Life is short!  I’m not going to make myself do anything I don’t want to do just because some commercial tells me to be thinner! I’m perfectly happy with my bag of Doritos and this marathon of Drop Dead Diva.  It’s just you and me, Lifetime channel.

3) I feel so GROSS.  I really need to get moving, to do ANYTHING besides sit here on this hot couch.

…and from there we take a big swoop back to the top of the list and begin again!  Depending on how zoned out I was on TV or how much I felt like beating myself up, this cycle might happen once a day or 10 times an hour.

After approximately 20 years of this kind of behavior (paired with a strong attachment to self-depreciating thoughts and shame based fears), it finally dawned on me that looking at my body as the enemy, as though it wanted me to remain unhealthy and floppy, made absolutely no sense.  If there was any one thing on this planet that wanted me to get my shit together and succeed, it was my body.

It took me a while to realize that I didn’t have to force myself to join in whatever fitness craze was happening at the moment if I didn’t want to.  So I thought about the things that have made me feel proud of myself over the years, body-wise, and came up with a short list of things to scout around for.  First off, I knew I liked feeling strong and being able to lift heavy things.  My years working in the Home Depot paint department had instilled a deep sense of satisfaction lifting two 5 gallon containers of paint in front of male customers who looked a little uncomfortable having me carry their heavy paint to the counter for them.  In fact, looking back on my past jobs, I realized that so many of them were physically based and rewarded physical strength or endurance – the factory that used hot presses and huge sheets of rubber, any number of kitchens I cooked in where I lifted giant pots of soup or unloaded heavy boxes of meat on a daily basis…

So strength, that was one.

I also knew that I have had a love affair with all things yoga related.  The combination of an accepting spirit – I may not be able to do the full pose today, so modify and let my body develop when it does! – and challenging poses really appealed to me.  Not to mention that when I watched my first yoga DVD in the late 1990’s, it was the height of the Susan Powder/Richard Simmons “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” type fitness, and the option of chosing something that looked like the opposite of that scene called to me.

So yoga, that would be two.

And lastly, I knew from my past attempts at working out, that I really did NOT like anything that looked like I needed to wear workout clothes that were ultra matchy-matchy (anything pastel was even more offensive) or that had a “workout” that consisted of repetitive dance type movements that moved me back and forth over the same four feet of floor space.  A line dancer, I am not.  I’m sure that there are plenty of people who have benefitted from the optimistic smile of Denise Austin, and to them I say “good for you! You found something you like!”.  And that’s great.  But as for me, I can really only get behind a workout that makes me feel like I could kick someone’s ass.

So workouts that push my endurance and make me feel powerful, that’s the third.

And lastly, but the most important thing of all, was the shift I needed to make in my head.  Instead of forcing myself into deprivation, punishment (also called willpower), or uninspired workouts, I decided to come at in the same way I embraced the spirit behind yoga.  I decided to make my fitness journey a Practice of Wellness.  If you think about it, that’s a pretty fundamental change in approach.  Looking at my daily choices in eating and working out as a way to practice treating my body well softened my negative thinking and allowed me to do things out of hope for a more complete self instead of hating my body enough to punish it with less food and too much of the wrong things.

So lastly, remembering to Practice Wellness would be the fourth thing.  It would be the real goal of all of the other things.

These are the things that I want to explore here, my journey towards fitness and wellness, and the physical things I learn on the way.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. […] Main menu Skip to primary content Skip to secondary content HomeAbout Me […]

    Reply

  2. Posted by Sara Machuca (Rao) on April 1, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Hope, I am SO proud of you!

    Reply

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