It’s so easy to get complacent and stuck. You know how one can settle into comfortable patterns and not even realize that one isn’t living consciously and purposely. I drive down New Falls of the Neuse Road most days to go to the Wellness Center where I work. So, on the days when I am on Falls of the Neuse, I sometimes head, unknowingly, toward work. And I am not even aware that I am on autopilot and going somewhat into my default setting.
I have a lot of default settings, I have found. Default settings with eating patterns, exercise habits, thinking of ideas and relationships that aren’t necessarily built on truth…and what I’ve learned to do is question myself. And ask for a little help from my friends.
Ten years ago, I was living life the best I knew. But I was stuck in morbid obesity and an immobile body bound by the excess weight and the aches, pains and fatigue that go with that. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired and so I made some drastic changes in my life. I was done with having dear hubbie drop me off at the door of the grocery so I could hobble in to get my groceries, I was embarrassed to use a scooter in the walmart like an 80 year old.
So,I asked for help. I stopped making excuses for my metabolism and why I couldn’t change. I went to see a doctor, took his advise, hired a trainer and took her advise. I stopped doing what I had been doing and started taking suggestions. This decision cost me money and a lot of time. But I wanted to live more than I wanted to keep doing what I had been doing and feeling like I was 80 years old instead of in my late 40’s.
I set intentions. I began making incremental and deliberate changes in my eating. I packed healthy snacks. I always had good foods with me in my little cooler. I found foods and beverages that I enjoyed.
I began to move a little bit every day. First, 10 minutes a week 5 days a week, then 11 minutes, then 12. Baby steps. I was the largest person at the Y working out. I got over myself and got on the stupid bike and went riding. I wanted life back. I built exercise into my life the same way a young lover makes time for his lover. When I traveled, to the beach or to Vancouver, I paid to visit a gym. I was worth it. No excuses.
I changed everything. And over a period of two years, I reached goal weight. Yippee. Ironically, life was not all rainbows and unicorns. I did have a lot more energy and could wear some awesome clothes in stores I had longed to shop in. But, my career pressures and a very sick mother and other family stressors, well, old habits die hard. I began to make compromises with the food. And, at first, I got by with it. I left teaching choral music and school administration and became a personal trainer. I loved inspiring others to health.
But, I could not escape reality. A mentor calls that “magical thinking”. I wanted to literally have my cake and eat it to. It doesn’t work that way.
So, there I was, a changed career -a fitness professional now, training clients, teaching group fitness and I’d gained 40 pounds back. Ugh. Shame beyond belief. Fear that I’d gain back all 182 pounds.
Time for another change. Ask for help. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting: the twelve step slogan and the definition of insanity.
So, I am changing everything again: my food and exercise. I am holding my patterns up to the light and examining them-do my choices serve me well. And if the answer is no, I have the power to say no. I have learned that change is uncomfortable. I am learning to comfortably uncomfortable. I am learning to ask for help, be accountable, and be transparent and there is healing in that process. I am “gloriously imperfect” but still working toward health that will let me run with my grand darling ,slide down the sliding board with her, and take her hiking in the Rockies. Being complacent is not a place I want to get stuck. Moving forward physically, emotionally, and spiritually are the choices I make today.