Everyone keeps telling me how difficult it is to get fit when you get over forty. I suppose that can be true because metabolism slows down if we do. We can also simply give up. Or we can rev up our metabolism and take ownership of loving, caring and feeding our own bodies, no matter how old we are.
I love stories. Let me share a story with you. Last fall I suffered a rather dramatic, near death experience. The surgery, recovery, and physical restrictions took a huge toll on my body. The recovery took a bit longer than the surgeon had planned and far longer than I would ever have imagined! I lost muscle and instead of long, lean, and strong, I sported loose skin. The possibility that maybe just maybe I could get flat abs and a toned body back at my age looked rather dismal.
The wait seemed eternal. At first I was reverted to old patterns that no longer serve me. I was critical, harsh, and cruel to myself. I also felt sorry for myself, oh poor me! As if things did not appear bleak enough the seasons were changing and we were heading into spring and summer which meant shorts and swimming suits. So, there I was again back at square one. So how did I do it and more importantly what can you glean from this so you can do it too???
- “OK, so this happened. I am lucky to be alive. Get over it!” I told myself. I no longer allowed myself the luxury of self pity.
- I did some really serious work on my own merciless self talk. I would not allow it. I learned self compassion on an entirely new level.
- I realized I had to truly love myself exactly in the shape I was. I mean really. Not some made up sentimental mush but unconditional love. I have been living this way with my children and family and it was time to practice unconditional love on myself. I kept reminding myself, I am like a baby just learning how to walk.
- I took long baths and rubbed coconut oil into my body. My skin was amazingly silky and smooth. I rubbed the parts of my body I avoided like the plague and told each part how much I loved it. I did so with very little emotion at the beginning. It was a perfect example of JB Glossinger’s “fake it until you make it!” But what I learned was slowly I began to love my body. The words went from my lips to my heart.
- Thanks to Marc David, I do not have a scale and when being weighed at the doctor’s office I turn around and ask them not to tell me. I knew I would abdicate my personal power for whatever the number on the scale read. I would have really freaked or felt empowered by that idiotic number on the scale. What a trap that would have been for me. My advice, If you have a scale dump it!
- Instead of pushing myself, like I normally would to get fit in a week, I started right where I was, weakened and slow. I started with a private apparatus Pilates classes. Then progressed to a trio. I added yoga to my regime and am just now at the point where I can go back to running, cardio, and strength building. I am proud of what I can do instead of beating myself up for what I can not do, yet.
- I became very conscious of what I was eating and drinking and why. I looked for any ulterior motives. I ate a little bit every two hours. Each meal has a complex carbohydrate (like vegetables or fruit) lean protein, and some good fat.
- I listened to my body. If my body wanted something- anything at all, I listened. If it was something I truly required, I ate it! I enjoyed every bite of it. There were no forbidden foods.
- Through it all, I loved my body, this amazing temple in which I am blessed to dwell. Currently it still does not look like it did, but I have faith it will look as good or better. And I know if it does not, I will love me anyway!! I am sure you can too. I am going on record now that I can do any exercise I want, I am on my way back!
So, when something happens and your fitness regime has a big hiccup from illness or injury, or you simply hit a snag and fall off the wagon. Be smart. Listen to your health care provider. Learn to truly love your body in whatever shape it is. Nourish and nurture yourself. Listen with your heart. Find a professional to help you. Make exercise truly fun. Vary the exercise. Relax. Enjoy.
I would love to hear about your journey. Perhaps it is not as dramatic. But it is exactly what you require to go to the next level with your health, your fitness, your body, and your life. If I can help, let me know!!
Yours in beauty and grace,