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Monday, May 2, 2011

First Day of the Rest of My Life

It is true, I have been working up to this moment my whole life. I have the best "Test Kitchen" for life that there is. So many books explaining Life or helping me escape from it. So many cookbooks for trying all different styles and types of healthy eating that they don't all fit on the book shelf in the kitchen. So many videos to help with exercise, including Wii Fit Plus. I keep trying and trying and some things worked for a while but nothing ever "stuck". Then I got a little older and a little wiser which really means I had the guts to look beyond the obvious. Truth be told, this health thing is not one dimensional. It takes a lot of work...and insight on multiple fronts. Being on a"diet" isn't enough. In fact, being fat, as I have found, is merely a symptom of bigger issues. As I have delved deeper I have found that I had to have the courage to look inside myself for what needed "fixing" in order to have any hope of a long term solution. So last July I quit my job and decided at 54 years of age it was time for my "Walk About". I am well into my year and have learned so much, mainly about myself...and have, alongside the hard work, had gobs of fun too!

I have gotten lots of feedback all my life about what was good for me, what I should do and how I should go about doing it...but it was all external. At 54 I barely knew myself much less what I needed and how I could get it. Exhausted and worn out, suffering from figurative internal hemorrhaging I knew I needed to stop and face the surgery. You know when you are in so much pain that you can't really figure out what is the matter? Confused and distressed you find yourself yelling to those around you- "I don't know what is the matter with me...just FIX IT!" Well, there are no easy fixes and nobody else but you can do the "fixing". I have been searching for the quick fix all my life...it is just not there.

In so many external ways I am viewed as very accomplished. I have been successful in my high powered career. I have a loving and handsome husband, three amazing kids, a broader family that supports one another, I am active in volunteer endeavors and love entertaining. A very good life but one that drained the soul out of me. I was exhausted, got very little sleep, drank too much and ate too much. Overweight and out of shape I knew it was time to reassess.

It seemed the best thing to do was to "retire" for a while.  No obligations, no expectations...learn how to sleep again and take time to "smell the roses". This is very hard to do if you have never done it before and therefore have no clue about how to do it...other than just allow your body to decompress. We live in so much "noise" that I didn't even know how to listen to myself. We live in the "noise" of daily "have to's" of making beds, fixing meals, taking out the trash, paying the bills, walking the dogs, reading emails, surfing the internet, watching our favorite TV shows, brushing teeth and reading the news that we are able to completely avoid ourselves...know ourselves. Yipes!

Nobody knows this better than me. I am a master at avoiding my "internal me". It isn't easy to let go of the safety net of "noise" and busy-ness. It takes courage, time and practice. It also takes support- from yourself, family and friends. The practice part reminds me of when my kids were little and started dressing themselves for the first time...for a while they would come downstairs with strange combinations and interesting mis-matched styles on! Getting to know yourself can be like that...strange colors and styles of feelings, moods and wonderings.

Now on to the journey of feeling better from the inside out. The following will be my stories regarding my internal "Walk About", including my search for healthier ways to support me through attention to the Mind, Body and Spirit.