Sunday, October 31, 2010

I Almost Missed Out!

During this journey to health and fitness over the past 17 months, I have made little changes along they way that have lead to huge transformations in my body, mind and spirit. On the one hand I can hardly believe it has been that long. On the other hand my life is so drastically different I can barely recognize the person I once was and have no desire to return to that lifestyle. I truly don't. I don't miss junk food. I don't miss fried foods. I don't miss high blood pressure. I don't miss feeling lethargic. I don't miss feeling bloated. I don't miss feeling misunderstood or rejected. I don't miss these things at all. But I almost missed out on a couple really fabulous things.

I almost missed out on sharing this journey with some wonderful friends who have surrounded me with a kind of love and support I could not have even imagined. Friends who believed in me far before I even knew who 'me' was. Friends who loved me even when I whining and making excuses for why I was overweight and unhealthy. Friends who cried with me as I learned to unravel some painful events from my past that I had allowed to hold me in a bondage to some pretty stinkin' thinkin'. That bondage included some self abusive behaviors, including bulimia. I almost missed out on what it feels like to have the power to make choices in my own best interest . . . for me, by me, because it is the right thing to do.

I almost missed out on getting to know myself. I know that may sound odd. I am 44 and at the age of 43 I had my wake up moment where 'it' was no longer about being a daughter, a mother, a wife, a teacher, a homemaker, a friend or a neighbor. 'IT' was about time to get to know who I was created to BE . . . not do or what did I have to offer others. This involved getting to know getting past all the misconceptions I had heard through the years about what I was 'supposed' to be, do, say, feel, act like, etc. If no one was around and I could do anything, be anything, feel anything . . . what would that look like? Well, I will tell you that it looks beautiful and feels divine. I now smile all the time and have a hard time not laughing out loud several times each day. The simplest things in life are just so yummy to me now. I was deliriously happy the other day just riding to the coffee shop with my husband. The sun was shining in the sunroof of our old beat up '86 Probe . . . but life is good, I feel good, I feel happy, I feel loved, I am in love. That's it . . . I now know how to love and to be loved, and it feels splendid.

I almost missed out on how amazing it feels to wake up early on a Saturday morning and go out for a long run on a crisp fall day. A long run . . . me . . . on a run! Who ever would have thought? Now that I am in the taper for my marathon, this long run was only 9 miles (only, ha!) It felt so easy. I wanted to run another 3 - 4 miles just to continue how good it felt. Just a little over a year ago I started the Couch to 5K program. This is my first full year of running and I'm going to finish a marathon in less than 2 weeks from now. I almost missed out on this because of my preconceived ideas about what a runner was and what I was not. My aha moment came when my health was so bad that I could barely walk and I realized that it didn't matter how many friends I had, how many doctors I went to, how much money I had (or had not), how many people loved me . . . none of that mattered, if I didn't learn to love myself and take care of myself. Then I no longer worried what others thought if they saw a 240 lb woman in the weight room or running down the road. It didn't matter to me. I mattered to me. What I thought about me mattered. And what I thought was "Good for you girl! That was hard work and you did it! Good for you!"

I almost missed out on relearning that I truly do love being physically active. I love to sweat. I love to be outside. I love playing basketball in my driveway, riding my bike, running, tennis, hiking, etc. I love going to the gym and lifting weights and feeling my body get stronger. I am so glad to have the opportunity to be back on the mat teaching yoga and helping other women learn to appreciate and care for their bodies and health. It feels good, it feels right and it makes me smile.

The most important thing I almost missed out on is love. I had spent so much of my life guarding my heart in an effort to never be hurt like that again . . . that I did not know how to receive love. I wanted to be loved. I fretted over what was wrong with me that others didn't love me the way I needed to be loved. I had no problem giving love, but did not know how to safely receive the love that I so desired in my life. A love that allows you to be vulnerable and strong at the same time. A love that protects you and frees you simultaneously. A love that feels like a warm cozy home. Then, suddenly, just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, I realized I had had that all along . . . I just didn't know how to experience it. Once my perception of myself and others changed, everything came suddenly into focus and I was standing in the middle of the most beautiful life I could ever dream. And it's mine.

1 comment: