A lesson is repeated until it is learned. I heard that from my mom about a million or so years ago and it’s always stuck with me. Especially in times of frustration when I feel like the same things keep happening over and over again and I can’t figure out why, that little eight word sentence pops into my mind and I’m reminded that maybe the same thing is happening over and over again because I don’t ‘get it’ yet.
Back on December 30th, I decided to detox from my Christmas Binge Extravaganza and do a Whole 30. The purpose of my involvement at that time was to try and detoxify all the chemicals and sugar and inflammatory foods out of my body that I had willingly (and joyfully, no shame!) jammed in there over a month. At the time I was also running about 2.5miles every second day in an effort to get ready for a big run (5K) that my sister and wanted to do (and did). I took a before picture as per usual and then took the after picture. Now, here’s where the lesson returns with a vengeance. That after picture… I was dressed in my yoga pants and my favorite hot pink tight fitting yoga top. Looking back on that photo four months (and a considerable amount of stress later), I’m very proud of the girl that stood there. The problem is that that girl didn’t appreciate the results of the hard work and dedication that it took to get her there. And that’s the lesson. I’ve seen pictures from when I was much younger and I was told (and believed) that I was an overweight cow and should be on a perpetual diet. To put that overweight cow in perspective, I was a size 8/10. For 5’10 that’s a pretty healthy, in shape size. In the photos from then and from January, all I could see at the time were the flaws. A roll of belly fat here, an arm that ‘seemed’ too fluffy there… a poor angled photo that implied a double chin or some other ‘ghastly’ flaw.
What do I see when I look at those photos now? Wasted opportunity. I see wasted opportunity to be loving and compassionate to myself. I see wasted opportunity to be proud of myself and confident that I am worthy of wearing shorts and tight fitting tanks.
The reason that this is coming up is because I’m frustrated with the body shape progress I’m making in my current Whole 40. I’m looking at the pictures from January, where I was much slimmer than I am now (truth be told… it’s not MUCH… it’s some) and wishing I would have appreciated the place I was. I’m looking at those pictures KNOWING that I didn’t see the progress and didn’t see the victories.
I actually believe that my stalled progress (if it’s even stalled… it’s only been 15 days) is BECAUSE of my current obsession with photographing myself and then comparing it to January. Stress like that can make you hold on to fat and adipose tissue. It can keep you inflamed and puffy. I’m sure there’s science behind that to back up the statement but I’m not about to go look it up. I’ve read it before, I know it’s true.
So my next 15 days (the duration of a standard W30) will be dedicated to appreciating where I am exactly in the moments that I am there. I really want to work on appreciating that the reason that I have puffed during Puffer Fish Week is because I am a health and presumably fertile woman. I want to appreciate that the size of my quads makes easier work of propelling myself home on foot 3 days a week. (dudes, at the end of today, I’ll have logged 60KM in 15 days!) I want to appreciate that my favorite hot pink tanktop fits, looks good and makes me feel powerful as I motor down the street. It’s really hard in this day and age of exceptionally high beauty standards for women (even for those of us that know that health is first and foremost) to appreciate your current place. I always say that if someone is working toward making themselves healthier, then I will give them all the kudos in the world because they deserve it. So why then, would I not give myself that same appreciation.
I don’t know what this next 15 days looks like in terms of actual measurable success, because it’s pretty hard to measure appreciation. I do think that it’s reasonable to not take another body selfie to compare to January until at least the 30th day. Right now I’m comparing a 30 day accomplishment to a 15 day accomplishment… how insane is that!!!
If anyone else out there is doing a Whole30, rock on with your bad self! You’re (we are) doing something that presumably 99.9% of the regular everyday people around you (us) wouldn’t attempt. That’s huge!