I posted a question a few weeks ago on Facebook that inquired, “What is your biggest struggle in fitness right now?” Thank you to everyone who answered, and to all of you who engage on the Clear Rock page. Facebook isn’t perfect, but it is the best way we have right now to keep the fitness discussion, and our walks, going between workouts. And those who comment on Clear Rock’s page lose an average of 20 pounds more than those who don’t. (That is not true at all, but I thought I might coerce you into being more active on the page.) I like hearing from you and knowing my shouts out into the cyber-void are landing somewhere!
Anyway, the answers were varied but had a common theme that had something to do with blowing it. One response simply said – Weekends. Don’t we all know what that means? I start off the week strong and motivated, eat lots of whole foods, pack my lunch, skip the junk, and get some good workouts in. But Friday comes and I am exhausted mentally and physically. The motivations slips as the rebel in me starts chanting, “I deserve it dammit” to the old way, the dark side, days filled with too much junk food and not enough fitness.
Another response said it was one step forward, two steps back. Why is it so hard to keep progressing? Just as soon as I have some victories, I start to slide and feel like I am losing ground. I understand that completely. Changing, growing, improving my health and fitness can feel like a miserable game of Sorry! Constantly being sent back to the beginning, through what seems like no fault of my own. Just part of the game that none of my strategies can protect me from. Why bother, I’m just going to fail and end up right back where I started.
I get it! I really get it.
Not that a bit of it’s true, but I get it.
Listen. Fitness is not like Sorry! You do not get sent back to the beginning. You are always right where you left off.
I want you to picture a glorious, gorgeous, humongous room. It is filled with light, health, fitness and self-love. It includes your fitness friends, walking trails, music, your gym, group fitness classes, your favorite fitness clothes, water bottles, trees, heart rate monitor, iPod, fitness equipment, etc. It is also filled with your best choices in food, beautiful fresh vegetables and fruit, water, sleep, relaxation, dancing, stretching, meditation, laughter, prayer and peace of mind. You are free to walk (run, dance, sashay, leap, wiggle or twirl) around this room and express the love and self-care that a person with solid self-worth does. You are in your healing. You are in your authentic self. You know you are good enough, loved and you matter.
Then you fall down a hole.
That hole sends you to another room. It is small. Dark and empty. Except for your past. Old temptations. Junk food. Inactivity. Apathy towards fitness and health. Old judgments and criticism. Abuse. There is no sashaying here. Just sadness, frustration, anxiety, and fear. It feels heavy. You are not in your healing here. You are not your authentic self. You are thoughts, failures, your weight, and your never-good-enoughs. The strong desires of this room are to isolate and medicate. Hide and comfort. The lie that the walls of this room tell you over and over is you have to go back to the beginning. You have to start over. You failed. Sorry!
Don’t listen! Look UP!
See that light up there? That’s your glorious, gorgeous, humongous room. That’s your healing! It is not gone, it is right above where you are!!
Do whatever you must do to get there. To get UP.
Your daily practice.
Take 8 deep meditative breaths.
Read Proverbs 3: 5-6
Go for a walk in the wilderness and talk to the Spirit that created the woods.
Fall to your knees.
Turn on your music.
Call your most trusted friend.
Cry out, “Help. I need lifted up.”
Steam some broccoli.
Get to a group fitness class and sing as loud as you can.
Cook an “eat clean” recipe.
Read Debbie, Byron, Joyce, Marianne, Geneen, Elizabeth, Brene, Anne or anyone who speaks truth to your heart and elevates you up.
Because you are not back at the beginning. That lie is keeping you stuck.
You are exactly where you left off when you fell in the hole. And every room, everyone’s healing, has holes. Triggers. Obstacles. Spiritual attacks. They just do.
It is OK that we fall through them. It is expected that we struggle between dark and light, ego/flesh and spirit. The key is knowing what happened, and getting up and out as quickly as possible, back to the light. Back to where you are in your healing.
I like to think that daily practices are transparent vacuum tubes big enough to hold a human. I have to be the one to climb in. (Like the ones they used to send Katniss up to the Hunger Games.) Then as soon as I cry out, pray, dance, get into Warrior II, read or write, a force much powerful than me lifts me up with such velocity that I can feel it in my heart. Whooooosh. And in a breath, I am back, right where I left off. Singing and sashaying around my beautiful room, trying to avoid the holes. But now, knowing when I do fall, I can quickly be lifted back up. That is what changes everything.