My Feel-Good Journey
There has been a lot of change in my life over the last decade. I have been focusing a lot of my time on personal growth, the last two years specifically a period of deep introspection and transformation for me, and I've been sharing a little of that on social media and it's not always just the highlight reel. As I have processed some "stuff" I have opened up more into my truth - speaking and living from this place. Recently I made a commitment to focus on my fitness from a physical activity perspective to complement my decision to go vegetarian/pescatarian a year and a half ago, integrating it into my personal growth work. It is an important part of my journey of truly loving myself (more about that to come) and although this work is never really done, it's the area I have subconsciously and consciously avoided because I felt needed to be in the right head space to travel it with the integrity it deserves - doing it for the right reasons so to speak. I am calling it my feel-good journey.
I just wanted to talk a little about my approach as I begin this journey. I am not searching for thinness, but rather a feeling of being fit and strong. It’s not about a number or a size or to look a certain way, but about a feeling of wellness; that I’m taking care of my self, holistically. A Mind - body - spirit perspective, matching the “work” I’ve done with mind and spirit to work on my body. While I am going to track my progress and hold myself accountable, I’m not going to get stuck perfection, or on a getting to number or a size, and most of all I am not going to get stuck in a restrictive mindset. That restrictiveness is a trigger for me. And honestly it doesn’t work long term. I’m not about having to burn off a piece of cake with exercise either.
My approach is about balance. I am going to be intentional with how I am nourishing my body, but I am not going to feel bad about enjoying myself, like mainstream fitness culture would have me all tangled up in. This is one reason why I lost interest in anything I tried in the past. There's enough out there to beat us up on a day-to-day, we don’t need to do it to ourselves too by feeling guilty simply for enjoying something; simply for being human. And too much restrictiveness just leads to binging and disordered eating patterns and a dysfunctional relationship with food. [Note - I am by no means an expert of professional in this area, just basing it on my own personal experience]
As I write this I, it occurs to me that to put myself “out there” in this way is pretty significant for me. I have never been one to announce anything around my fitness or traditional weight loss quests. I have historically just done it under the radar unless someone asked me about it. I think there were a few parts to that discretion. One - if I were to announce it, it held me to some sort of accountability and truthfully, no secret exit door. Two - I’m introverted by nature, and it felt like bragging, but that said I am vulnerable and open when I feel there is a connection present. However, I think the larger part of it was about what people thought about me; judgement in all the ways that shows up. Will they think that I think I’m better than them? I think its part of this whole concept that we are so programmed and conditioned to think small in general, about any given area of our life - health, career, dreams, finance, etc.
Fear is embedded everywhere and in imprinted in every thing, every being. Right now I am working on getting comfortable with my fear, because it's not going anywhere. But WHAT I fear changes as I get more comfortable with the things I am afraid to do, and with that, my confidence builds. That confidence and fearing something less only comes with feeling it and doing it anyway. It's our conditioning that allows us to hold that fear in the position of calling all the shots, of keeping us small... and having that awareness, I know for sure I don’t want to be guided and driven by fear. Knowing that I can’t turn it off, I still feel it, which then opens up the space for courage to walk through it, even if I get it wrong. I’m not paralyzed by it; I feel it and I acknowledge it’s presence; and then I get uncomfortable and do it - whatever “it” is.
Today my fear is about sharing me as I am, right now; unfiltered; all my curves, bumps, and wrinkles that I am learning to love more as each day moves through. This is me. This is Trish. I am terrified. But I also want to speak and act from a place of truth, even when it's this hard. I love where I am at right now in my life - all of me.
All this to say it’s not easy to put myself out there like this, but just like the book that I’m writing, I know that sharing my journey - the good, the bad, and the ugly - can touch and inspire others, even if in some small way.
I’m am really excited about focusing on my fitness in this way because it IS about balance and true self care (and laughing at myself from time to time). I have done many different types of workouts, "diets" etc. in the past. But this is different. I am not doing this to be accepted or to feel better about myself or to be a certain size. I love myself as I am right now. It's more than that. I’ve been working through a lot around my self-worth recently and while I know I have always been worthy, I had trouble believing it for a long time. Even though it took me some time to get there, now I DO BELIEVE it, and I see the things that have held me back by not believing in it. I am worthy of loving, caring and nourishing myself in this way. I am worthy of feeling good on a day-to-day basis.
As far as my specific plan for nutrition around this fitness journey, trying to keep track of each calorie and balance the calorie in/out does not work long term for me. I am a foodie. I like food; different kinds of food... and layers of flavour and spice, heat and contrast....contrast in general ( I’m a Gemini 😉). But I can still enjoy those things at times while maintaining a healthy overall approach that doesn’t include guilt and shame. Fear can stay, but guilt and shame are not invited. I will continue in my mostly vegetarian manner, with some fish from time to time (especially when veg options are limited). You'll see me enjoy life too - having a beer, glass of wine, or ice cream but being more mindful around these things as I grow a new dynamic with myself in this way.
I’ve already started using the super-food shakes/smoothies that are part of this program and energy-wise, I feel more energetic than I have I in a long while. I feel like my energy lasts throughout the day, and while I still hold my coffee ritual every morning, I've naturally reduced to one cup, not forcibly. And speaking of that contrast I mentioned earlier, that’s what attracts me to this workout program, the variety of workouts available, that can be done in a basement, bedroom or living room, or even hotel room when traveling, from a phone, tablet or laptop. I don’t have to go out to get it done and if I get bored with one a have so many options. I have to say the flexibility and mobility of this program is working even more in my favour with the whole *coughcoughCoronaviruscough* thing - because I had contemplated going back to a gym initially.
There isn’t a better time than now to get started, seriously. Today I begin a 21-day workout program to really kick start my self care and feeling good. They say it takes 21 days to form new habits, so I feel this is a win-win with establishing good habits around self and feeling good too. I’ve been testing out some of the different workouts in the meantime and already feeling the benefits.
If you've made it this far, thank you. I am sharing this journey with you all because I know we all go through things in life - up, down and all around. It's our human experience - and a lot of us can relate to each other's experiences. I am striving for progress over perfection with this journey and in all areas of my life. If this resonates at all... if you felt a little internal nudge or spark that this might be something you want to try too...maybe you too, have been wanting to feel better more consistently or even if you just have a question, please don’t be shy about reaching out, even if we have never spoken or met before, or even if we have. 😌