I want to exercise. Seriously, I do. I want to in the way that makes me get up and put on workout clothes every single morning because TODAY, if nothing else happens, there will be yoga or a hike in the woods. When the children come home, my daughter says with big smile on her face, “You do yoga, mom?” She (and just about everyone else I’ve ever met) knows how much I long to do yoga and hike in the woods. She seems genuinely excited for me, until I say, “Um… no. I meant to but it seems I never did actually DO it…”
Strangely, she shows no judgement of her pathetic mother. Clearly, the same cannot be said for me. I feel sort of pathetic… okay, terribly so. At least, I did until today… when I was hiking in the woods.
Somewhere around 17 years old, I started to put on “the weight”. It seemed in my blurry memory that I went from little girl to an overweight young woman in one fell swoop, like when I stopped growing up… I just kept growing out. But, it was not so. A few years ago, I was looking at old pictures and realized that I started putting on the weight around 17 years old, right after I met the man who a couple years in married and had babies with me.
No, he wasn’t some deranged food pusher. This was my first really serious relationship, not that I realized that at the time. Before him, I’d been sort of consumed by relationship chaos… one “boyfriend” after the next. I was searching for “the one”, which I later realized was me (much, much later that is). Either way, being in the security of our relationship put an end to that chaos and then the chaos shifted into my relationship with food. Also, I spent so much time being young and “in love” that I wasn’t engaged in any sort of physical activity. Getting serious with him did not change that, my focus was on him… not me. I was already living my life from the outside in.
That’s what I found out in the woods today. I’ve always seen myself from the outside in. Starting this journey to lose weight, I would wake up every day with the intention, the need, even the desire to move my body… but I could not make myself do it. I realized I was stuck, in the way people are when they hire me to be their Life Coach, so I reached out to mine.
My Life Coach is an extraordinary woman and working with her has changed my life, just like the two wonderful coaches who came before her. She said to me, “Christy your adult self wants these things – to eat healthy foods and exercise – but there is some part of you that does not believe that you are one who does these things.” We dug around a little bit and found some inner child work that was ready to be done, and then today I had an epiphany in the woods.
About one mile into my five-mile hike my body was already beginning to ache. I looked down and noticed my belly, a good bit of the 60 pounds lives there, and I could hear my coach’s proposition. It was true. Looking down, I recognized for the first time that I still perceived myself from the outside and “she” absolutely doesn’t look like the kind of woman who hikes five miles in the woods or does yoga, or eat healthy foods for that matter.
So, I dropped in… deep inside my body. I felt my muscles working in a whole new way I felt my breath rushing into my lungs, my heart pounding in my chest, and my bones… I have bones! Underneath the fat, I have bones and muscles. I am strong. I am the kind of girl who hikes and does yoga and eats right. Deep down inside of me, I am the kind of girl who is strong and powerful and cares about myself.
The weight, I realized today, is like quicksand. Once I was in it a little bit, I got stuck, and I’ve been thrashing around most of my adult like trying to get free of it… only I was watching myself from the outside and I looked like I was drowning. I little progress here or there, always followed by a backslide. I believed that I was stuck because that’s what it looked like from outside. Being idle and eating crap meant more weight, more stuck. Until today, when I reconnected with myself from the INSIDE OUT.
From the inside, I have access to the strength that comes from being the woman I am. I am done flailing around and making my situation worse. I feel calm tonight, crafting an exit strategy to get out of this mess. This means doing “the work”, getting sweaty almost every day , and learning the stuff I don’t know how to do. It also means asking for help from my coach, teachers, and support system. All of this is possible to do from in here… it’s an inside job.
What about you? What are you trying hard to change but can’t seem to pull it off? Are you living with this sort of inconsistency? Can you relate to my experience of seeing myself from the outside?
Photo Credit: toholio via Flickr