60 Days, 20 lbs

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60 days ago, I began my health journey.  I had just come back from vacation with my in-laws.  My life was mellowing out after transitioning to a more demanding  role at work back in November, and after having moved 3 times in 8 months.  I was mentally ready to focus on my health, so I did.

With all the stress of the past year, I retreated inwardly into a depressive state.  Though my life was in turmoil, I chose to focus on gratitude.  Everyday I expressed how grateful I was for the things I did have: my general health, my loving husband, my supportive family and friends, flexible work hours, sunshine, a fun bike ride, a much-needed nap, running water – whatever!  Re-framing my thoughts helped me to hold onto the positive in my life.  

With my life in flux, I pretty much ate out for 6 months straight, which quickly took its toll on my body.  As we settled into our new home (apartment # 3), I made it a priority to shop weekly at the local farmers market.  I committed 4 weeks to detoxifying my body with lots of fresh produce, whole grains, beans, fish, nuts and seeds.  I eliminated caffeine and alcohol, and minimized dairy and sugar additives.  After reintroducing foods back into my diet, and seeing how my body reacted, I settled on a more Primal eating style.  My body is happy when I eat this way.

I was never very active before, but eating as I did left me with no desire to get off of the couch.  As I started nourishing my body, I felt the desire to get moving.  I focused on walking around my neighborhood, hoop dancing (a killer workout and an awesome creative outlet), and hiking.  I had forgotten how fun it was to be active.

With all these changes, I began noticing how much better I felt.  I was less bloated, had more physical energy and mental clarity, I had a more positive outlook, my acne was getting better, and the pounds were coming off.  However, until today, I did not notice the physical difference in my body until I created the side-by-side above.  I’m happy to add that to my progress list as well.

I know I still have a long journey ahead of me, but I’m looking forward to incorporating better choices into my daily life, and seeing how my life improves all around.

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It’s all temporary

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“The greatest wisdom to keep in mind with all the phenomena in the parade of your life, whether they be valleys or peaks, is that ‘this too shall pass’. Celebrate, yes, and keep on riding the tiger.” –Osho

Acceptance has been a buzz word in my life of late.  Through difficulty and ease, victory and disappointment, chaos and calm – accepting my current state of being, and the circumstances surrounding me, has helped to keep me sane.

This is no easy task, though, by any means.  I have spent most of my life avoiding my own pain, fear, sadness, embarrassment, boredom – you name it.  It is not easy to be present in a moment of hardship, and accept the pain it causes, especially if nothing else can be done.

Being able to acknowledge my own emotions, and name that which causes them, enables me to accept my situation, understand what lead me up to that point, and determine how I can respond.  Acceptance is a very powerful tool in this way.

But to accept and fully comprehend that my situation, my emotions, my challenges, and even my successes, are all temporary is astounding.  This means I can expect change, even plan for it!

During a difficult situation, knowing that something different (maybe even something better) is on the horizon can help to ease my pain.  And during times of celebration, I can make the most out every minute before the situation changes.

I realize this is a glaringly obvious lesson, but I often struggle to see past my immediate emotions.  When upset or depressed, it takes a great deal of effort to take a step back and see the bigger picture.  When excited or proud, I rarely think about the impermanence of these feelings, or my situation.

Understanding that circumstances can, and will change, can help to keep me present and focused on the emotions, situations and people right in front of me.  Knowing that it is all temporary can to keep me grounded and centered around my core, my truth.  Reminding myself that ‘this too shall pass’ will help me to be mentally prepared for this inevitably changing world.