In today’s culture, we are bombarded with weight loss and fitness. Everywhere we turn, there is the next best workout or new diet of the moment. There are models that represent such a minority of women that we are left chasing an ideal that may have never been in our genes, no pun intended. But we are sold this idea that we can accomplish anything if we want it badly enough. We are sold this idea that if you do what I do, and eat what I eat, you will look like me. We are sold the idea that fitness is health, carbs make you fat, sugar is the enemy, and weight loss equals happiness.
Well, I experienced a weekend where NONE of those ideas crossed my mind. It was like a weight had been lifted, and I don’t mean the ten pounds I’d “like to lose.” It was the weight of pressure. The weight of planning and plotting. The weight of adhering to a schedule. These all start out as recommended procedures for embarking on any weight loss journey. Make a plan. Schedule your workouts. Prep your food. Bring your own food if necessary. I didn’t get to do any of this this weekend and it felt SO GOOD.
When was the last time you let go of the obsession with your body? When was the last time you ate something and didn’t consider if it was a “good” food or a “bad” food? When was the last time you did a workout, or didn’t do a workout, because that’s what you truly felt would be enjoyable instead of what you should do?
Yesterday, I woke up and did cardio for 37 minutes before clients. But, I didn’t do it because “I had to do cardio.” I did it because I wanted to listen to some country music I love, play it loud, maybe sing, and definitely sweat. I didn’t want to think about anything except singing along to my music. It wasn’t HIIT. It wasn’t for a certain amount of time or calories. It was purely to feel happy. And it worked. Then, I chose not to participate in the bootcamp I was teaching. I left the gym, went home and had a bowl of cereal!! Choco chimps with organic DAIRY milk. OH NO, right?? Well, I didn’t judge it. In the past I could have said no to the dairy, no to the carbs, no to the sugar, no to not a “real” food. But this time, I really wanted it, I ate it, and then I got on my conference call. I walked the dog around the block and then laid on my hammock swing listening to my call and after the call, I read my book. It has been a while since I took the time to do “nothing.” There weren’t thoughts of doing laundry or planning workouts in my head because I was “laying around.” I just enjoyed a sunny day on my patio.
Later that afternoon, I watched my nephew. I left at 4:00 and I had no dinner planned! I fed my nephew his dinner and didn’t even want his chicken fingers. But, I had a craving for frozen yogurt. So my mom and I walked him to Yotality. I got my usual – vanilla, strawberries, almonds and hot fudge. I loved all of it. We walked home. We ran a little too, JUST FOR FUN, to hear the kid laugh. I can’t tell you how often in the past I would be trying to find something “allowable” for dinner or white knuckle my way through babysitting trying not to have any of his food or frozen yogurt. Instead, I enjoyed him, my mom, and the gorgeous night.
We were supposed to go to the Jason Aldean concert actually, and due to unforeseen circumstances, we couldn’t go. This was another thing that used to send me for a loop… a change in plans!! A change not in my control! So many times, this would make me just want to eat, and maybe eat some more. But, I changed my perspective. There was a better plan I didn’t know about, and his name was Jacob. Sunday held more of the same. I had to be at Jacob’s in the morning. I didn’t set my alarm to workout beforehand. I didn’t prep food. I decided to let the day go as it will. I ended up getting a nice walk in with him in between rain showers, playing with him non-stop for three hours which included throwing him in the air and wrestling him on the bed. I didn’t think about my body, my workout, or my meals once today, except when Jacob grabbed my stomach which is his new thing, lol. Which reminds me how we are taught to think we are fat. A kid doesn’t know what they are grabbing. They don’t know what is “too much” fat. And they don’t dwell on it. They move on. So, I laughed and continued to chase him.
The point of this blog is to really have you consider what your obsession is costing you. Is it costing you genuine time with your loved ones? Is it costing you mental health due to anxiety over planning your day, everyday? Is it costing you a less stressful life because rolling with the punches is not something that fits your plan? Is it costing you a perspective where you can learn to not sweat the small stuff? I ask this because it was costing me all of that, and then some.
I had to help with Jacob so much this weekend because my sister is in the hospital and her husband is with her. She isn’t able to go outside. She isn’t able to walk to the bathroom right now! If you know my sister, this is torture. Even more than torture, there is fear. And I would not let my obsession get in the way of my family, my sister, or spending so much time with my nephew. Instead of getting my panties in a bunch because my weekend plans changed, I put on my gratuity glasses. I saw all that I was able to do this weekend and how lucky I am to be able to! I know when I was in the hospital with my blood clot for a week, I prayed and prayed to let me walk out of there every second, even if I was in pain. At that time, I didn’t sit there planning how to get a better body. Luckily, Instagram didn’t exist yet at that time!! But seriously, HEALTH is number one, without it, we have nothing. And losing weight does not always mean being healthy. There is so much in your life that deserves your attention, don’t let your obsession be the wall that keeps you away. Break it down, maybe brick by brick, or maybe with a boulder because enough is enough, and so are you, as you are TODAY. Sometimes I think how vain it is really. How vain of us to keep wanting to change out bodies to some image we see all over the country when it truly could all change in a second, maybe temporarily, maybe forever.
So play with your nephew. Help your family. Eat frozen yogurt. And don’t look back. Your body is what allows you to do these things, don’t let your mind stop you.