This is what 39 looks like in Mandyland and it's only getting better. My abs are starting to peek through again thanks to my collection of tools (listed at the bottom of this post) and 2015 is the year I'll be returning to my natural weight/size after about 4 years of being 20ish pounds heavier and many inches wider than I'd like. Not that I haven't enjoyed the perks of a fuller figure (boobs, I freaking love you!), but carrying this amount of excess weight is not me at my best.
Overall I think I look better with more to grab but I feel better with less. Much less. I miss my leaner self so much. She can't wait to shine again!
The focus on weight and size (and everything external and irrelevant, really) is so prevalent in our culture that I almost hate to add to the dialogue, but what I do want to say is that there is only one reason worthy of my desire to lose weight (well, inches) and that's to be in alignment with my highest self through a return to balance.
I believe that my excess weight is a result of many imbalances over the past few years. Too much stress, not enough sleep, emotional eating to cope, and self-protection from the world at large as I became more visible and accessible to the public. It was all too much and I needed extra cushioning to feel safe, although this was not a conscious decision. It was my body doing what it needed to do to help me manage everything within and around me.
You might also notice that in times of great stress you tend to gain or lose weight as well, and that when the threat or insecurity or person or situation dissolves or is removed from your life, your body naturally finds its balance once again. Our bodies are smart and responsive like that, moving with the ebb and flow of our lives and our emotions. And no matter what the body is up to, its always communicating something important to us.
Are you listening?
While it's true that size doesn't matter, I believe we each have a perfect weight/size for us even without knowing what number that is. We know we've hit it when we feel good in our body, when we no longer obsess about it, when clothes just fit great and we walk through life feeling unburdened by the sense of carrying to much or too little on our beloved vessels.
I've been that "size" before and it was my favourite because I didn't even have to think twice about my body. It was just balanced and happy and so was I. It took no effort to be that size. It was a natural result of being at ease for an extended period of time. That being said, I have a feeling that my new ideal will fall somewhere in the middle between my smallest self and my fuller self.
To be clear, I don't think I need to lose weight. I know I'm fine as I am. I don't even think I'll ultimately look better (or worse) when I'm smaller because I think I'll look great at any size since I'll still be my awesome self and awesomeness always trumps the physical with its timeless shimmer. But I know I will feeeeel better about myself and my body when it reflects my true nature, and my true nature is not made of stress and imbalance and excess. It's made of enoughness and plenty and joy.
Although I've always been active and pretty mindful of what I consume (without feeling guilty for indulging when yummy delish treats call my name) even during my heavier years, my good habits could not counteract all the things contributing to my weight gain. Good food and regular movement is not always enough when underlying issues are not properly addressed. Our mind, body and soul operates as a unit and an imbalance in one area tends to affect all areas. So its balance that I'm after and its balance that I've been recreating over the past five months especially.
That is what I look forward to this year. More ease. More balance. Less excess. Less stress. A return to the simplicity of life before I gave my heart and soul to the world. Before I became an inspired workaholic. Before I depleted myself. Before I needed an injury to tell me I that I had gone too far.
This year is about realignment. It's about paring down. It's about coming home and it's about damn time.
P.S. You can join the conversation here :)
MY COLLECTION OF TOOLS
Currently my collection of tools include yoga (specific to shoulder injuries and CTS but I'll expand once I'm fully healed), HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), IF (Intermittent Fasting - I do 16/8), clean eating and lots of water and enough sleep of course, and l've also been experimenting with Qi Gong. My daily walks/rides are part of the mix as well, in addition to as many great thoughts as I can muster because everything starts in the mind.
This week has rocked physically. My neck and shoulder pain is pretty low and that feels amazing. I've been taking such great care of my body over the past number of months and I'm really beginning to feel the results as of late. So much yay! My range of motion during my movements is reflective of my range of motion before my injury and tomorrow I'll be adding light weights to some of my exercises to continue rebuilding strength in my upper body. I also did push ups yesterday and today for the first time since my injury (about 2 years now) and although I couldn't do the number of reps and sets I used to, I did 12 in a row and it's a small gain worth noting.
Not only that, but my body composition is starting to shift (I've lost a few inches over the past month) so I'm well on my way to transforming my body in all ways. I plan to get into the greatest shape of my life this year. Not that I'm not already fit and healthy, but I'm after a pain-free, hella flexible and naturally light existence in this body of mine.
DO I ADD LIGHT & INSPIRATION TO YOUR DAY?
Please consider leaving a tip in any amount.
Your financial high five means so much.
Read why here.