For all of the years I have been acting as a confidence/wellness/health mentor – I have heard one thing pretty consistently “I just want my old body back”. I think we can all agree that age/time changes the way your body “accepts” food – that coupled with a likely more sedentary lifestyle of office living and that perky ass & flat tummy you may have enjoyed in high school just seems to fall by the wayside. For some people the change is caused by something different, but whatever it is the emotion/mental torture is there (albeit experienced uniquely by the individual).
To be honest, I had never personally experienced it – until now. You see, when I was younger – I suffered from a decades long battle with an eating disorder so my body was thin, frail and in hindsight pretty scary….fast forward through years of mental health counseling and a new found healthy relationship with working out and I found myself in the strongest body I had ever felt. I did give a shit that I didn’t have a 6 pack – I had traps that made any strapless dress look awesome! It was more than just that physical stuff tho – I felt well nourished, energized and pretty fuckin’ capable of doing anything I wanted.
The sciatica and herniated discs had other plans for me though – I’m 13 months out of surgery and I just don’t look and feel the same. NOW, I understand what so many of my friends and clients go through MENTALLY. The surgery took away pain – awesome – but it also took away many months of training during which I could have been progressing. I lost about 15 lbs in the month after my surgery – I wasn’t hungry because I wasn’t lifting…shit I wasn’t even allowed to bend over for like 2 months.
But now, I find myself experiencing those moments where my mind is just completely preoccupied with figuring out what I need to do to get back “my old body”….at time I have been literally grasping at straws, trying to figure out what do I need to change? what do I need to do differently? what WAS I doing then that I am not doing now? Training, nutrition, stretching, rest, foam rolling, burgers….I’ve gone over this list about 900000 times in my mind. If thats not annoying enough, the mind fuck continues when I am in the gym. A few things happen: I find myself embarrassed that I’m not lifting what I used to, I look around and play the compare game, I think to myself “I probably look like a goddamn noob up in this bitch, these people think I’m weak”, I completely lose focus on what the fuck I SHOULD be doing and focus on this completely ridiculous notion of my “old body”….
Well let me tell myself (and you if you need to hear it) something, You have the SAME body ….its not a different, new, or some sort of body snatcher scenario you are working with……your body hasn’t changed but the way you are TREATING it has. I don’t mean physically, I mean mentally. I have just been being a real shit to myself, and most of the time the clients and friends I support are doing the same thing. You know what its done for me? Jack shit! If anything, its lead me to doubt myself, to self sabotage my training, to overcomplicate a situation that I know can best be dealt with by doing the basics…..I am sure I am not alone in this, right?
I have to have a conversation with myself on the regular about this shit, and lets face it ladies if its during your lady days this self doubt and focus on everything negative just gets amplified to level 90000.
If you are here, STOP. Stop thinking about it as your old body, start treating it (mentally, emotionally and physically….spiritually if you wanna throw something in there for that shit) like your ONLY body. That is the one truth we know about our body – we have one, no exchanges, no refunds, no store credit. Be nice to it….be nice to yourself. Stick with basics, don’t over complicate things:
1: Take case of stress – keep a peaceful mind. Your mind will only fuck up your body so don’t skip that.
2: Eat well – keep if “from the earth”, sustainable and local as much as possible…but don’t deprive yourself of beer, cookies and burgers. Learn to love food but not be emotionally dependent on it.
3: Move, stretch, breath – keep your body strong, limber, flexible and mobile. This isn’t a pain in the ass, this isn’t a chore, this isn’t something you need to be dragged into – this is your one and only fuckin’ body so treat it well! If you had one car for your entire life, I am pretty sure you would keep up with the oil changes and change the tires and all that other car shit.
4: Find your tribe – surround yourself with a community that lifts you up, puts your bullshit down and helps your LIVE – and I don’t mean get by with a few Friday nights at Applebees….I mean really LIVE, have fun, enjoy every second of being alive because you never know when that can change. Learn to have fun doing the random chores we have to do everyday – if you can’t whistle while you work…..you need to let some shit go and smile.
5: Always focus on finding and expanding yourself – I gotta tell you, I look around and I don’t see a lot of people really being who THEY are….I see them making attempts to fit into a standard thats set, but a majority of people don’t walk around unapologetically 100% organically themselves. So find yourself, then BE yourself, but never give up on expanding your horizons : learn, grow, adapt, challenge yourself.
You have one body. You have one live – assuming that you don’t believe in reincarnation of some sort, but if you do and you come back as a snail I am pretty sure you are going to want to regret all the shit you could have done in your human form!