We Go Back

Have you ever heard the phrase “glory days”? Do you have any of them?

I have had when I like to call Glory Kicks throughout my adulthood. I identify these as times when I made choices and did things that moved the ball of my life forward. In all of them- I learned lessons about myself, but as their title would indicate, the lessons were sometimes short lived- a kick I was on.

For a period of time in college I was on the Atkins diet. This served me well- I was a carb addict and by tracking and limiting the carbs I lost good weight. Unfortunately I also began an unhealthy obsession tracking my ketosis. Like constantly.

What I learned: Carbs make me gain weight and cutting them out helped me lose. Meat and cheese is took expensive for a poor college kid. Tracking sometimes makes me a little nuts.

Also while I was in college, I enrolled in a tae kwon do class to get an extra few credit hours. I learned a ton and I had so much fun in the process. I earned a medal in a form competition and I got a green stripe when I tested at the end of the semester. Unfortunately, when the class ended I couldn’t afford individual lessons so I stopped.

What I learned: I love the discipline and fitness required for martial arts. Martial arts have a significant cost associated for lessons.

After college and after the job that helped me gain 100 pounds I stumbled on Nerd Fitness. I jumped into the community and challenges. I started running and tracking my food. Eventually I realized I had an issue with gluten. I lost 100 pounds and was so happy. Then things went sideways and I had conflicting goals. After I ran my marathon I was stuck with- Do I run? Do I lift? Do I eat to train? Do I go back to calorie watching? How do I keep doing what I was doing when I just got married and our eating and fitness habits re so different? Slowly I started putting weight back on… then I had a baby.

What I learned: I don’t need the quantity of food I had been consuming. Some running was great for me. Gluten is bad. I like being strong. Too many goals makes me stop achieving any of them.

Most recently I completed a DietBet challenge. Normally I don’t just shoot to have a weight loss goal, because there are so many other and better markers of health, but I needed to do something to motivate me out of my slump. This plan worked- I woke up early and went to the gym 3 days a week, tracked what I ate, and lost 9.4 pound in 4 weeks.

What I learned: Money can be very motivating. Working out early helps me start my day. I still don’t need to eat like I’m nursing.

So here’s what I’m getting at- our lives are races that we run and we have these power bursts (or kicks) that propel us forward. We just need to be able to look back at what we learned and put those ideas into practice when we need a jolt.

For me this looks like: Eat only what you need; not too many carbs and avoid gluten. Choose a sport or activity that allows you to be disciplined; don’t just go willy nilly and play it by ear (have a plan). Get up early and either workout or at a minimum get your head right. Have a financial stake in your success.

These rules are specific to me, not a blueprint for everyone. They can get me where I want to go because they are time tested.

I think that anyone who is willing to look back with a discerning eye on their life, like I did, will see patterns of what worked and what didn’t that they can lay over their current circumstances to help define a beat path.

Also, I think I’m going to go back and try tae kwon do again.

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Forgiving Yourself

Last week I had an uncomfortable interaction with a good friend. It wasn’t uncomfortable for her (in fact, I would venture to guess she suspects nothing was wrong at all.)

The discomfort was all in my head and my heart.

I was driving along, listening to the radio and the caller was asking for help with how to stage an intervention for her friend. She was desperately worried her friend’s addiction would kill her and she wanted to intervene.

What was she addicted to?

Food.

That’s right. She was addicted to something we cannot live without. She was ingesting something that is perfectly legal and necessary.

As I was listening to her friend plead her case as to why she should interject herself into this woman’s life my phone rang.

I turned off the radio and saw that it was a good friend of mine.

She had been listening to this radio show about how the caller wanted to save her friend’s life and she thought I should call in, since I had been in the woman’s shoes and lost so much weight and saved my life.

Wait, what?

I told my friend that she was sweet and I appreciate her thinking of me, but I wasn’t comfortable with calling in about something so personal and sharing it with all these people.

She told me I would be inspirational and that my story could help!

I declined.

When we hung up a couple minutes later I was left feeling, for lack of a better word, like garbage.

As I continued on to my destination (ironically I was headed to the gym) I thought back on my reaction. Why was I so upset? Shouldn’t I be proud and grateful for all the life change that had happened? Shouldn’t a natural response be to share that with others?

Maybe, but that’s not what was racing through my head.

I was ashamed that I had ever gotten so out of control that I would’ve been “that person” people wanted to intervene and save. I was embarrassed to admit that life had gotten that bad and that I was totally powerless (back to step one I go…) Who loses the weight of a whole person and is so distraught they forget about everything good that happened on the journey to health?

I guess me- I am that person.

Maybe this is what will be used to always keep me humble. I may never ever be healed by God- He may never take this thorn from my flesh and it may always be a daily battle, but that doesn’t make my struggle any different than anyone elses. I have no reason to be ashamed.

Context changes person to person , our need to be healed is universal.

So, while the time has passed for me to call in and share my story with the woman who just wants her friend to live, I can still share this message:

We all need love- from others but mostly from ourselves. We all walk a painfully hard road. Don’t tell her where to walk, but if you truly love her, never let her walk alone. Eventually she will need to see how loveable she is and how she can do things even if she’s afraid, and she needs you by her side. You probably need her for your journey just the same. Don’t let go.

Let’s hold hands and walk together. Unashamed. Grateful.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Me

Dear Me,

Today and always I love you. I may not always show it by how I treat you or by the way I talk about you when I’m with others, but I’m trying to be better about that.

I didn’t get you anything today, no gift or card seemed fitting. All I have to offer is the promise to keep trying to make good choices that are self honoring.

I’m sorry for all of the years I was mean to you and mistreated you- I know out of everyone, I broke your heart the most.

Today, let’s try to move forward. Self- you are the best and no one ever gets to tell you otherwise or change that.

Don’t forget it.