As I embarked on this journey, one I’ve half-assed many times before, I knew this time would be different for one very important reason. I didn’t want this to be measured on a timeline where I set myself up with an end date. It wasn’t going to be about getting to a certain size or number on the scale. The true delineation this go round would be in changing my lifestyle.
Over the last month or so I’ve felt disappointed in my lack of “go get it-ness,” something that has been my hallmark for the last 8 months. I’ve slacked on the 5-6 day a week workouts. I’ve been on vacation having beers and Caesars (mmm, Caesars), I’ve eaten waaaaay off my norm more than is probably a good idea. I was pleased to see, however, that while I didn’t lose in this time, I also didn’t gain anything.
Today, though, it hit me. While I haven’t been on my regular schedule for workouts and eating, I’ve been active just….being. I’ve walked here, there and everywhere. I’ve dived into and out of strong waves. I’ve played games and sports with my kids. I’ve swam laps and had a treading water contest (like 1.5 hours of treading!) with my 20-year-old niece. In other words? I’ve been living and enjoying and keeping active laughing and having fun. I’m not just “living the lifestyle,” I’m really enjoying life. Living.
While I was busy busting my butt with Insanity and Booty Camp and running, I was also embracing a different lifestyle that gave me more energy in general, that made me feel a little more brave, that introduced me to new, like-minded friends, that saw me doing things I’d never imagined myself doing.
I sat here this morning and wondered who the heck this new person in the mirror was, just staring back at me with a gleam in her eye.
That chick in the reflection? She wore a bathing suit all summer long, including on public beaches, without a t-shirt over it. She went on a bunch of runs, in sweltering humidity even, and didn’t care that she was purple-faced and slow as molasses. She was terrified, but went and did a Soldiers of Fitness class with a friend, running and squatting and grape vineing-all while carrying a rebar. That girl even went ahead and signed up for some 5k races, and a stand up paddling course. (again in the bathing suit!)
Who is that girl?
She’s no stranger to me. She’s the girl who walked on beams across tire swings and rode her dirt bike down ravines. She’s the girl who walked on monkey bars, ran rather than walked, played football and soccer baseball and softball with her friends every day after school. She’s the girl who loved skating and hiking and canoeing, and even fighting.
She’s been away for a long while now. The girl in her place is a bit more cautious (okay, a lot!) a bit less wild, a bit more unsure and self-critical. But, while I was busy carving out this new lifestyle, that girl decided it was time to come back and really start living! She reminds me that exercise and diet don’t have to be so rigid and scheduled and formatted.
Sometimes, truly living is just running along the beach and repeatedly crashing into big waves.