“A change is as good as a rest” or so the saying goes. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve taken on a lot of changes in the past year, and one always seems to lead to another. The key is to make sure the spiral is going upwards….
May 2012, I quit smoking after (gulp!) 30 years. A cigarette hasn’t crossed these lips in 300 days tomorrow and I feel my restoration on so many levels, but none more than with my sense of self-esteem.
I actually started to get up really early to go to the gym to work with a personal trainer. This is huge on a couple of fronts. First, if they were to ever need a study subject for Night Owlism, no one is more genetically inclined to lurk about in the dark and fall into a deep sleep as soon as the birds start to sing than I am. So using the early morning hours to work out isn’t completely out of character IF I was coming at it from being up all night…..but making myself go to bed at 9pm to get up at 5am was something I had only imagined myself doing if there were $1Million dollars involved. It was big. Working out in a gym, period, was even bigger. I’m not a joiner, and I have seen the ‘sterotypical’ (laughable) people at a gym (that shall remain nameless) previously and I have no patience for the posturing. So venturing into that subculture again was very brave of me and a test of my patience. Luckily, a lot of those posturing people are not at the gym at 6am! Yay. So concentrating on my health and body image (really, I have to admit it is one of my motivators) is another change I have taken on. Someone asked me the other day if I had lost weight, which I haven’t, but I believe I’m getting tighter. Progress.
All of the above then led me to examine my diet. I have always had a healthy diet and a healthy relationship with food. The science of food is a life-long interest and one that I have been a student of for a long time. But I wanted to take it to a new level or new direction. I wanted to start to experiment with the benefits that food could provide, but in a healthy and safe way. My motivators are different than others: I wasn’t looking at “Vegan” or “Vegetarian” because although I am a huge lover of animals and advocate for animal rights, I also believe they have a place in our food chain. I just don’t always approve of how they are treated as a part of our food chain. I know there is lots of work to do there. My motivations for a socially conscious diet revolve around the environment: doing what I can to ensure my footprint is low, that I support family farms as much as I can (especially these days, when industrial farming gets all the breaks from government policy), and that my food is grown with as much consideration to the earth, the animal, and the health of the consumer as much as possible. This led me to the raw diet. As I have written in other posts (and will only quickly summarize here), the science of the raw diet and how it supports the body and over-all health really appealed to me, and the type of food that is eaten lets me do the research into the best places and people to buy from. And I found all of this so fascinating and such a big deal that I started a blog!! Check!
And then the benefits of the raw diet led me to examine other aspects of my health – specifically, my relationship with Western Medicine, my doctor, and my prescriptions. After consulting with my doctor, I went off all my prescriptions in January. Disclaimer: I wasn’t seriously ill! My several prescriptions were meant to carry me through to a specific time in, uhem, a woman in her 40s or 50s life, with as little discomfort as possible. I had started down the prescription path when I was a smoking, sedentary, person and I found the unpredictable sleep, overwhelming “flashes” of heat (which then inflamed my temper), the headaches, and finally the unpredictability of my cycle unmanageable and disruptive. Now that I’m balancing my body with food, exercise, and consistent awareness of what I’m experiencing and how it makes me feel, I don’t need any medicinal aids anymore. Taking off the dog collar of medicinal dependence feels wonderful. Note: I’ll still be taking my prescription for migraines, but I expect to be having them a lot less often. I’m intrepid, not masochistic…. Again: a boon to my self-esteem and sense of personal strength.
What’s next? Wow. Good question! In our lives, we sometimes get spurts of that “anything is possible!” feeling. When I used to get that feeling it would sometimes scare me. YES! Anything is possible! Am I up for it……..???? No…going back to bed…pass the potato chips.
These days, I am becoming more aware that anything is possible all the time, not in spurts, and am more confident that I am up for it. Now I’m just daring to let my imagination go, to stop stifling it, and am thanking the fears that bubble up for trying to protect me, but letting them go because I don’t need them anymore.
When they tell you that healthy diet and exercise are beneficial, they don’t tell you about where it can all lead, how BIG it can all really be if you want it to be. They tell you you’ll live longer and, you know, when you feel like crap, living a crappy life longer isn’t a selling point! They should tell you that your inner life will get bigger than the universe and you will be able to see to infinity when you look inside, and that the infinity is full of safety, possibility, and profound love for yourself and others. No. I’m not crazy or high. I’m telling you the truth. All this benefit from a few good choices.
I wish I had known it was this easy and this good 30 years ago.