This post may seem like it’s all over the place, but bear with me: there IS a theme!
Lately I’ve been thinking of how great it feels when you feel at home in your body. In conversations with my family, friends, and students, I am reminded that everyone is in a different place in their journey and it’s important to encourage each other and share where we’ve found success with others.
Reflecting on my personal journey, I remember being disconnected from my body. In my early adulthood, I ate with the notion that whatever it was in front of my simply disappeared when it entered my body, not fully realizing that it became the fuel I needed to function. Both my actions and thoughts were sluggish, and I never thought to connect that to my habits. When I began to get healthy in 2009, I started with running (by which I mean mostly walking). I would run a little, then gasp for air. When I started doing research on proper form, then actually try to run that way, I felt almost immediately better. And the more I ran, the less I wanted fatty foods, sweets, and alcohol.
For the past few months, I’ve had the privilege of teaching our only basics class offered at the studio. I don’t have many regulars there, as most people use it as their springboard into other classes, but the few regulars I do have are amazing to watch – seeing them grow into comfort with their bodies is the absolute best. Their stamina improves. They become stronger and able to hold poses for a few more breaths. They begin to inhabit their hands and feet and they become more connected to these areas. I can’t tell you how awe-inspiring it is to watch someone’s hands go from lifeless fish in the air to fully activated parts of their bodies, with beams seeming to shoot out through each finger.
Recently, here in the midst of the holidays and the sugary food that comes along with them, someone I love was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I can only imagine what it must have felt like to look at their beloved Christmas foods and know that their body was no longer able to process them. Fortunately, people living with diabetes can thrive and can live healthier lifestyles than those living without the chronic disease. This person has realized the truth and has already begun to live from it – take care of your body, and it will take care of you.
In the spirit of sharing successes, I’ll share a habit of mine that makes healthy eating easier: back in the fall, I read this post on my friend Ellen’s blog about planning your meals. I tried it and loved it! All you have to do it make a little chart, frame it, then write on it each week with a dry-erase marker. You buy your ingredients for the week, and then you just make whatever you’ve planned for the night. I just plan dinners, and we typically have leftovers for lunch. I have two pictures below: one is a picture of an example of the chart fully filled out (I shared it with our 40 Days group a few months ago) and the second picture is the plan for this week. Get a jumpstart on January and try this out! It’s helped me think about respecting my body through nutrition. Let me know how it helps you!