Thursday, November 24, 2016

My new normal

I overheard a woman at the gym the other day(an attractive and fit woman in my eyes) say that on January 1st, she was going to "Reclaim her Fit Body".

It got me thinking...what does that mean?  What defines a "Fit Body"?  I used to measure my own fitness with thinness, low body fat levels and perfect symmetry.  The lower the body fat, the more fit I was...

I look at myself now and I know I have an average amount of body fat, not too low, not too high. Not that long ago I would have been describing myself as "Out of Shape" and "Fat" because I am not as "thin" as I have been in the past.  I now know that is not true.  My body can do almost anything I ask of it...from carrying heavy boxes and picking up children, to running up and down stairs or down the street.

How do you define being fit?  Is it the amount of weight you can lift?  How many pushup or squats you can do?  How many miles you can run?  How many days you can cleanse or eat "Clean"?

I have struggled my whole life with accepting the body I was blessed with. I have tried many methods to either CHANGE IT or HIDE IT. (and still try to hide it on occasion).

The Acceptance of What Is...This is a hard concept for many.  I am learning to accept what is....still knowing I can change, learn and grow within certain areas if I so choose AND/or I can accept what is.

For Example...

I can accept my body as it is or I can try to lose weight and try to lower my body fat level, by going on a "diet".   This would make me "fitter" right?   

This is what I know from experience...after experience ...after experience...

It would make me:

  1. Feel Deprived
  2. Feel Punished-Like I am not good enough
  3. Feel Weak, Tired, Lethargic
  4. Be Emotional 
  5. Be Short Tempered
  6. Feel Depressed
  7. Look critically at myself more in the mirror (increased body checking)
  8. Be obsessive about my exercise and calorie intake
  9. Withdraw from hanging out, talking or just being with friends
  10. Stress out over being with family and withdraw
After a while of this "Diet"  I would begin to hear compliments...things like "Wow, you look great, have you lost weight? How did you do it?"

These feel good right?  Until they make you think and overanalyze them and say to yourself: "Wow, I must have gotten really fat" (THIS IS NOT QUITE THE FEELING I WAS LOOKING FOR!)

If I decide to accept my body and Reclaim MYSELF:

It would make me:

  1. Feel Empowered
  2. Allow me to move and exercise how and when I want
  3. Have all the energy I need to do whatever I want to do 
  4. Enjoy all foods with friends, family or alone
  5. Not expect compliments from others (I used to thrive on this, it gave me a sense of accomplishment and pride and filled my EGO)
  6. Understand and Empathize with the struggles of others
  7. Feel Free from expectation
  8. Be free from mirrors, scales, calories
  9. Feel free to BE ME
I am 53 years old.  I have worked with clients from 18-94.  Some of them enjoy Christmas cookies and look forward to dinners out with friends, while others worry about fitting into their clothes of 30+ years ago and how many calories are "In that dessert"...

I want to grow older enjoying walks, drumming, dancing, twirling and moving my body with a childlike joy...
I want to enjoy a glass of wine, an ice cream cone, nachos, french fries and chocolate chip cookies.

I want to feel empowered and strong following my own rules, my own standards and be OK with it.

I need NOT "Reclaim my Fit Body" of yester-year...

My body IS STRONG, my mind IS FUELED, and I am now going to have leftover Chinese food for Breakfast...
It was 2 years ago, I started up my blog...    This is the reason...Repost from 2014

Just the way I am!
I am 12 years old wearing only a pair of underwear. My mother is making me stand in front of a mirror.  I am mortified.

She asks me what I see...I roll my eyes, pinch the skin on my belly and say ,"I see fat,fat and more fat...  Happy?"

She sees frail and fragile, and hears the sarcasm in my voice.  She is beyond  frightened.

We are both looking at the same almost naked body, yet we see completely different things, have completely different emotions and are thinking completely different thoughts

I am feeling awkward, angry, embarrassed and mixed up, while my mom is feeling terrified and troubled.  She has been watching me slowly disappear in front of her eyes over the past 6 months and is unsure of where to turn next.

Anorexia Nervosa was the diagnosis.  It was virtually unknown to most 1975, it wasnt until 1983 when Karen Carpenter died from her anorexia, that people recognised the diagnosis.  

It took 3 years of counseling, a month of hopitilization and lots of tears shed before the dinner table in the Poirier household was not a war zone.

Food and exercise have been the coach and the quarterback throughout my life. They dictated actions, decisions and choices.  Calories counted non stop, exercise logged and analyzed, scale down=worthy and happy, scale up=depressed and ugly. 

 It has been only over the last few years that I have finally begun to accepted and appreciated what my body has done for me.

 It can throw like a boy, kick a soccer ball down field, fight a fire, climb and repelled off a ferris wheel, run a marathon or 2, deliver babies, naturally and  via c-section, it can climb mountains and swim in the ocean....It can hug, smile, laugh and cry...

My body has done amazing things...why have I hated it so much and treated it so poorly?  It is time for me to begin to respect and honor my body, JUST THE WAY IT IS!