Saturday, January 11, 2020

Deepening the Health-ing I Now Love -- Listening Anew

[Oct 29, 2019]

Dedication Health
, the formal ‘program’ I have been vested in since June 10th, concludes tomorrow. Or today, plus a celebration visit tomorrow at the gym. This week, anyway. I sit here with the ‘power tower’ behind me, inviting some strict pull-ups as I get antsy sitting for too long. A cup of half-caf coffee next to me, a little bit of almond-milk, like I enjoy in the afternoon. I find myself curious about what my intentions will be in these next weeks, even months. The formality of the health-journey with coach and community has provided a good container for me to learn habits that make me feel good, body soul and mind. I suspect simply the regularity at the gym will hold enough of this kind of container to continue on with maintaining what I’ve learned, and listening for anything new. So…what might be beckoning…? I wonder, with a sense of not-knowing in the least…

As I was driving home, I got curious about the journal/poem I remember writing one night, spring of 2018. I knew it had a number that I had been ashamed of, but I honestly could not remember what the number was. Poetic this seems to me now, I might add. I bounded upstairs when I got home, to look for it. Yes…easily found. And a smile. 207 was the name of the poem. I had had to visit the doctor for something that spring—maybe a bronchial bug or some such—and had been pushed onto the scale by an assertive nurse. I was surprised and embarrassed, a short slide into ashamed, for me. The highest weight I had ever seen on a scale that I stood on. Writing circle that night provided a window to face it, to bring my sketching and poetic mind to befriending what was, who I was, right at that moment. I drew the numbers 2-0-7 with space to write words within them. Then a mouth with fleshy lips, space enough for words to fit within them too.

How do numbers shame women? Why do we let them? I wrote at the top. In the sketched numbers and mouth, I wrote: (In the sketched 2-0-7) A perfect number for / All of Me is needed for All I get to do / Evenly and with LOVE. (then in the mouth) Shame began before I could talk /wordless/ It ended when I was birthed anew in her eyes. I remember hardly being able to speak these words aloud to my spirit-friend, Lisa, whose eyes I referenced, who loves me so fiercely that weight nor numbers nor body-image matter little, if at all. She was one of the most powerful ones to unlock the door for me, actually, letting all that I feared out of my body energies and into the world without harm. Unbeknownst to me at the time: it was an important event that night—loving my body at the heaviest it had ever been. Being seen and not ashamed. Knowing I was loved regardless, unconditionally, right then and there.

Now, I’d say that health was born in me at that moment, though I did not know the decisions I would be making in the months to come to live that journey into its harvest. I entered into CrossFit, and then Dedication Health, less to change what or who I was than to know what they know and see what it might feel like in my body. My beloved, over-200-pounds woman’s body.

Which has become nearly 30 pounds less than she was, more muscled than she used to be, and more energized and feeling-good than I have ever known before. There’s less of you to hug, said a friend recently, smiling. Yet my bodysoul is so much bigger, more expansive, steady, easy.

Today I celebrate ‘having arrived’ a bit, at a destination I had not necessarily crafted for myself, but which I receive with deep belly satisfaction and pleasure. I love how I get to eat, what I get to eat, and the precision of tracking on the app that allows me to tweak and confirm, hold the practice/container for myself. The Inbody ‘norms’ urge me to lose 6.4 lbs of body fat mass. Melissa and I talked about keeping an eye on my metabolic rate, which dropped about 40 cals/day. I find myself wondering whether my body does that in the autumn, preparing a bit for winter and more sedentary rhythms in the cold. I’ve only been measured in the height of summer, which IS my most active time of the year, period. Longer days, more light, better temperatures… I could begin to explore intermittent fasting twice a week from time to time, instead of once/week. Which I’m curious about to some extent. We talked about moving my net carbs down to more like 40 g/day, as I do tend to hit 50g or even a little more regularly.

I listen to each of these invitations, I here return to my opening pondering—what beckons for me in this next part of the health-ing journey? I am tickled pink with where I am. Do I want to be further down the road, with a potentially-perceived ‘more restrictive’ setting to my ‘norms’? Is the last 6 lbs of body fat worth tightening some of the specifics, so to ‘achieve’ what the InBody norms suggest? Is it a fine thing to arrive at one’s plateau and simply enjoy the view?

I may desire to do just that!

Regardless, I will sit and move with these invitations for a while, just doing what I know to do now. My instinct is to turn my attention to activity and some skill-building things—pull-ups have been on my view-screen for a while, but not with focused attention during my heaviest work-season (which slows down a little in three weeks); double-unders arose today as something that opened unexpectedly, and the cardio aspect attracts me; as has running, for that matter. My body just loves to move now, and I’m blessedly strain and injury free. (Part of me wants to write, ‘knock on wood and all that’). I’m enjoying the Mark Hyman reading that is before me, beginning to research some of the local-farm possibilities in my area, exploring with some new and on-plan cooking, even baking. Restricting my eating habits to the next level ‘inward’ feels just that, restrictive. Without a clear sense of discerning and valuing the end-goal—a norm given by an outside source, population-norms, etc.—it’s simply not my goal yet. And it might not become my goal at all. Or it may, if I find myself desiring in that direction...

It is good to receive the invitation, to listen with coach(es) and community, to participate in the regular rhythms of the gym and just enjoy the movement. Just show up. Just get better, as I discern in these next weeks, months.

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