I’m 40 now and it hasn’t been since recently that I’m feeling like I’m finally getting to know my body.
The fact that it has taken me so long is pretty hilarious and shocking at the same time, I think. I don’t know how many women and men out there feel the same way but over the last few months I have realized that I have been disconnected with my body for the longest time despite the fact that we have gone through so many things together – puberty, painful PMS’, good and not good sex, putting on weight more than losing it, a surgery, physical exercises etc. - and I have been living in it all my life.
Still, I have never really given my body much attention unless I complained about pimples, cellulite, too tight pants and bikini season.
I’ve been treating it unfairly and badly by eating what I feel like, letting it get addicted to sugar, not giving it enough sleep, not listening to it when it gives me signs and warnings, not loving it and on top of everything blaming it for my own failures.
If my body were my child, I would be a horrible parent.
It isn’t like I’m completely out of touch with it though. I have moments of gut feeling when my body tells me something is off or wrong with a person or situation and though I don’t always listen to it, I know that it is there.
I believe though that I have been getting better at giving my body more attention when it feels exhausted or when I want to know where my emotions sit. I also understand that breathing is very important and that I’m actually not doing it right but at least I’m working on it now.
So, why did I decide to write this post? One reason is that I want to share my journey about all the things I have started to discover about my body and myself. Maybe someone out there can benefit from it in one way or another. Another reason is that it’s simply ridiculous that we live in a society that gives the ‘wrong’ and negative attention to body, and that tons of industries use this to enrich themselves by offering solutions to this negative outlook on body and mind. Waking up and grasping all that is essential in order to change the game. And last but not least because it is still a long way to change your lifestyle once you come to understand all this.
You got to start somewhere though, right?
Two years ago, I joined the gym because I sounded like a dying old horse when I used stairs or had to run to catch a train, and so I wanted to be proactive about getting older in a fitter body by building muscles and getting in shape.
Nine months later I still didn’t see any noticeable results. My trainer at the gym told me that a healthy diet is the most essential part when it comes to losing weight. Although I heard the words coming out of her mouth and adjusted some food habits it didn’t change much. The great thing about having joined the gym though was that I made two new friends there – one was the receptionist at the gym and the other was a gym member, who is a professional athlete trainer, acupuncturist and life coach. That’s when I quit the gym and the receptionist and I took private work out and life coach lessons with the professional trainer. That was about a year ago. After half a year I did see some change: I did build some muscles and also lost some weight but once the trainer went on a two-month break I gained everything back on over the summer. I felt pretty depressed about how fast things went south even though it took so long and was so hard to have come this far.
I opened up to my trainer and life coach about it after she came back from her trip.
And then she said something she had said to me many times before but AGAIN, you only really hear when and what your heart is ready to listen to. She said “It’s not about being or not being able to do something, it’s whether you REALLY want something or not.” For some unexplainable reason this time what she said finally sank in and I told her that I was ready to do what was necessary.
The challenge was to get me down from 60 kg to 54 kg (my height is 1,57m by the way) within two months. The conditions were that I had to do everything my trainer told me to do. For two months I had to be in bed by 10 pm and get up at 6 am. I had to follow a strict protein diet and take a photo of everything I ate and follow her advice, and I worked out for an hour about four to five days a week. With my trainer’s support I pushed myself to my own limit and on the 60th day of my challenge I had built muscles and my weight was down to 55 kg.
Yes, I didn’t finish strong and had failed the challenge by 1000 g but I felt strong in many other different ways.
I learned a lot about myself, I became aware of my food habits and my sugar addiction. I learned about nutrition, about consequences of decisions and how planning ahead can be half the achievement. I understood that I wanted to change my lifestyle; most of all I know now that I want to become a morning person.
I learned one more important thing but that’s another hilarious and shocking story I will tell you in another post.