I have not felt well since January. I was tired, stressed, unable to concentrate, and sluggish. I began to suspect my eating as potentially the problem. When March hit, in conjunction with a “Mindful March,” initiative, I decided to take action and be mindful of my eating, and to attempt to observe without judgment what was really going on. I describe my approach to mindfulness as “It is, what it is.”
For two weeks, I wrote down everything I was eating without ANY eating plan or modification. I didn’t edit no matter how painful or how much I wanted to blur the lines. I wrote the truth AND LET IT BE. Then when I was ready, I sat down with myself and read what I had wrote. Once I pulled myself out of self-loathing and very loud UNMINDFUL slew of judgment and curse words that followed my initial shock (I committed every eating plan error in the rule book), I told myself “OK, it is, what it is. Take a deep breath. Now what do I do with the information that I have?”
Right here was a moment of truth. Since January, I had had the flu, shingles (holy cow shingles are no joke!), a nasty viral infection complete with diarrhea, lost my voice from a second viral infection, and two rounds of medication. I was ready to feel better, and when my body felt out of control, I knew I could control what I put into it.
MINDFULNESS TAKES MOXIE. GRIT. HONESTY. TRUE MINDFULNESS in my case SPURRED ACTION. I needed to see the truth. I was ready to see the truth. I was ready to talk about the truth. I was ready for change. I HAD TO BE COMPLETELY SURE OF REALITY BEFORE MOVING FORWARD. I am a team sport athlete. I needed friends. I needed accountability. So I consulted with my doctors. I consulted with a few trusted fitness and health industry friends. Then, I went back over what I had written with a new sense of calm and with my fitness and health hat on.
What was necessary in my diet?
What could I really do without?
What did I need (both healthfully and mentally)?
What absolutely had to go?
Then I moved forward with my own plan of being 80% good. I do not expect perfection with any of my athletes nor with my class participants, so how could I expect perfection with my eating? It is not realistic. I know every day I need a little slice of heaven (Lenny and Larry cookie, a small bit of cheese, glass of wine, or hummus) I continued to track my eating and to modify once I identified something that no longer fueled me. Then I asked myself, WHAT ELSE FUELS ME? So I took it a step further and I started doing the activities and workouts that I enjoy and that I know are sustainable for me, and my crazy travel schedule (yoga, running). Forewarning: if this time next year I am signing up for my first marathon, someone SLAP ME! Then line up at the finish line to slap my hand, because I AM NOT A RUNNER!
Here now, at the end of April, my numbers are staggering. My resting heart rate has dropped 12 points and I am 15.4 pounds lighter than I was March 1. I am still going strong. Those numbers are nice, but the biggest change that I was after was to FEEL better, that is my barometer. I am there.
I have to ask you now: What are you ready to see more clearly? What fuels you? Where in your life are you ready for change? What can you do about it? Maybe MINDFULNESS and MOXIE will get you there? I am here.