I’ve let myself fall into somewhat of a bad head space recently.
Worrying too much about the number on the scale.
Comparing my progress, body, and abilities to others.
Over-analyzing my food choices.
I’ve let my non-scale victories go unnoticed and un-celebrated.
I’ve judged my journey against the path that others are on.
And forgotten that, while food is fuel, sometimes you eat because it tastes good, because you want to and always when you are hungry.
When I’m living out my healthy intentions the right way, I feel energized, positive and optimistic that all my goals will be realized.
But lately I’ve been feeling deprived. Not because I believe I actually am depriving myself, but because of my perspective on my actions.
This weekend a friend of mine, who regularly leads groups of people through the Amazon Jungle in Peru, took me hiking. I knew it was going to be a challenge, mentally and physically.
What started out as a flat path quickly turned into a steep climb through rocks, sticks and leaves.
As someone who only recently became regularly active, I still look at things like a steep hill and think, “I can’t do that.”
Seventy pounds ago, a hill like that would have left me out of breath a few steps in. But this weekend I made it the whole way with only a few pauses to look up ahead or look back at what I had just traversed.
At the top of the hill there was a giant rock he told me I would have to climb to get to the look-out point.
Again, I kept telling my friend, “I can’t do this.” At this point, however, I was speaking more out of fear rather than in doubt of my physical ability.
He saw something that was possible. I saw something that was impossible.
I made it to the top, and despite all my whining, was immensely grateful that he pushed me.
But it got me thinking, how many times has a negative perspective impacted my actions and skewed my journey?
Challenges, of course, don’t always present themselves in forms as clear as giant rocks or steep hills.
One of my biggest personal battles, which manifests itself as a roadblock in many different ways, is to believe that I am enough.
“Enough,” not dependent on my weight.
“Enough,” not dependent on how many times I went to the gym or how many miles I ran that week.
“Enough,” not dependent on whether I ate a salad or a box of cookies for dinner.
Having that experience hiking reminded me how important it is to be conscious of the messages we tell ourselves and the influences we let shape our opinions of ourselves.
Transforming my perspective changes “I can’t” to “I can.”
It makes “I want” into “I have,” and “challenge” into “opportunity.”
I’ve been focusing way too much on my weight, calories and exercise. Over-analyzing all these different parts of my life has made me feel disconnected from my body, not whole and lacking in some way. It’s time now to take a step back, and remind myself that where I am is a great place to be.
“I exist as I am, that is enough,”
– Walt Whitman