CHANGE #3: I FOUND PLEASURE IN OTHER THINGS
It’s amazing what you learn about yourself when you give yourself the time to.
Life is busy right? Who wants to spend all their free time, and even not free time, dedicated to thinking and planning their food and workouts. All I could think about was what I ate, what I was going to eat, what my body looks like, what it would look like after I ate whatever, when I could workout, what cardio I could fit in, how would I fit it in, what would I weight tomorrow, and the list goes on. You tired yet? I was.
My life was literally eat, sleep, workout and spend any time I could thinking about it. So how could I possibly have time for what I enjoy? Did I even know what I enjoyed anymore? Did I know who I was? I thought anyone in fitness SHOULD be dedicated. And by dedicated, I mean obsessed. Because that’s what is glorified in the fitness industry today. People are put on a pedestal if they pack their food, if they don’t skip the gym, if they get a small waist and big butt. THAT gets you credibility. THAT means you must have your life together. Think about it. What do you think when you see someone with a great physique? Maybe they are super committed? Maybe they have so much willpower. Or maybe, and most likely, you assume they have their shit together and they must be happy because they can wear whatever they want.
Well, I was there. I was committed (for some time). I did have willpower (til it ran out). I could wear whatever I wanted (but I didn’t because I still had insecurities). And while I was happy in moments here and there when I bought a smaller jeans size or couldn’t grab as much fat on my stomach, I was far from happy and even further from who I truly was.
So WHAT DID I CHANGE TO END MY OBSESSION WITH FOOD, FITNESS AND MY BODY?
I took pleasure in other things. I gave myself time, and permission, to explore other things I enjoyed. I stopped filling up all my time with working out and thinking about food. I took the motivation of controlling my body off the table and asked myself, “Lisa, what do you feel like doing right now, even if it isn’t burning calories in pursuit of weight loss?”
I remembered how much I love to just go for walks and listen to podcasts. How much I love to bake and eat it without fear or working it off. I remembered how much I loved to read and write… partly why I started this blog to begin with. I remembered how important my family is to me and I knew, for sure, I didn’t want to trade time with them for extra cardio or spend my time with them preoccupied with my body. I remembered how much I love to have fun and laugh and realized this obsession bless severely stifling my ability to do so. I learned what self care actually was and why it’s essential. I LEARNED ME.
I take such pleasure in sunshine and even more in a pre-storm sky. I take pleasure in kicking my feet up and writing a blog and even more from just taking 5. I take pleasure in spending a Sunday morning with my fiancé instead of rushing off to get cardio in because I’m the big picture, I’m getting enough activity in to be and feel healthy and lack of sleep and relaxation was what was missing, not more workouts. Now I get excited to read again and even more excited to write. I get lost in moments with my nieces and nephew wrestling on the bed, giving airplane rides or reading them a story. I take pleasure in trying something awesome my sister baked or enjoying a dinner with my mom on a snowy night, even if it’s pasta.
This took a cancer diagnosis of my mother to really make me see how much I was rushing through, pushing aside and being distracted from because of my obsession with food, fitness and my body. I wish for you that it doesn’t take a traumatic event for you to realize who you are and what is most important in YOUR life. I love fitness. I love being and feeling healthy. But I will not trade my life for abs anymore. I will not sacrifice my family for my compulsive cardio. And I will not leave my fiancé to fit in my workout according to my rules. Instead, I have a fit body that can live my active life and I am grateful for that. Instead, I can run around with my family and be active with them, going for walks, wrestling, and throwing them around. Instead, I workout with my fiancé, together.
See, it isn’t just about burning calories anymore. It isn’t about being praised and admired for my “dedication to fitness.” Because I didn’t want anyone to have to act how I did just to have a body they “approved of.” There is a way for your body and your life to live in harmony together, but that will only happen if you allow yourself to be you, to do the things you enjoy regardless of your body, and if we stop thinking a perfect body will make us happy.
The happiness is in the journey. The day to day actions or even rest, where we learn about ourselves. Where we find pleasure. And where we find ourselves. That’s where happiness lies. IN YOU. But you will not find it at your goal weight if it wasn’t there before your goal weight. You will not find it being who you think you should be, who others think you should be or in trying to look how you think you should.
For me, I found myself when I lost my obsession and I lost my obsession when I found my happiness, in everyday moments in my everyday life.
If you would like help in really uncovering who you are, breaking the rules about your workouts, food and body, ending obsession and preoccupation, and being who you want to be, not who you think you have to be, message me. It’s never too late to be who you really are.