When the holidays started I was invited to take part in a health challenge. A maintain, don’t gain approach to being more mindful during the easiest part of the year to statistically gain weight. There were various opportunities to work out with fellow participants and support to keep you motivated. I consider myself to eat fairly well and try to take the middle approach as much as I can. (I do have a famous sweet tooth :))
I don’t know if it was the awareness of the challenge that I was paying more attention or not. I was doing fairly well, doing yoga almost nightly, getting to the gym on a regular basis etc. That was sometime in between Thanksgiving and pre-Christmas chaos. I was at one point down a few pounds which probably led me to enjoy the holidays with a little extra reckless abandonment. I don’t know why it was shocking when somewhere between Christmas and New Years I had added an extra 5 pounds to the scale, but there it was.
Sometimes seeing the scale not tipping in favor isn’t motivation for me, sometimes its the exact opposite which can be a very slippery slope. My husband and I hit the gym around that same time and it was the first time I was doing extensive cardio in quite awhile. At one point in my life I was a cardio junkie and something has changed slowly over the years and that love affair has died or rather its been so long maybe I forgot about that love. My husband and I were side by side and agreed to go for 30 minutes. He suggested I up my speed. I could have, I could have had a certain expectation to keep a pace my pre-baby self would have expected. I told him no. I wanted to listen to my body. 30 minutes seemed like a super long time to “get through in that moment.” I did my best and when it was over it didn’t seem so bad. A few days later we were back at it and this time I felt comfortable with a higher speed and the time seemed to go faster. I was finding a groove. I landed back in the pool to swim some laps and felt stronger and was able to push myself. The next visit to the gym I was pumped to see where I could push myself on that day except a funny thing happened. I wasn’t able to do “more” laps or reps or whatever then my previous session. That’s when it hit me that my best today was just going to look different from my best did the last time. When I became ok with that the rest of my session was enjoyable.
We live in a society that is really easy to beat yourself up for every little imperfection you have. Its mindless hobby for many of us, myself included. The internet, Facebook, pinterest etc can really make one feel like everyone else really have their “sh!t together”. I wanted to share this as a reminder to look at what your best looks like in this moment and not to compare it to the last moment or the next one. And please ignore what anyone else’s best looks like for Pete’s sake!
Because post New Year’s is a time where many of us feel like it’s a good time to finally lose some weight or “get healthy” I will be sharing 3 posts over the next few days (because in this moment I have my “sh!t together and I’m seizing the moment :)) on weight loss and how it can be viewed physically, emotionally and environmentally. I wanted to share this experience first for some perspective and also to say that most people who want to know if Chinese Medicine and acupuncture can help with weight loss really don’t need to lose anything. Feeling good about yourself is as much of a mindset as what a scale or the size on your jeans says.
My best today is slightly lesser because I was attending to a toddler for an hour at 3am this morning. I’m acknowledging that and being kind to myself. Will you join me in honoring your best today?