It IS about the Journey

It’s so tempting to get hung up on the “product.” On figuring out the “right way” and telling people “how you did it,” or about the perfect plan or getting the best results. It’s tempting to get caught up in data collection and analyzing, goal setting, deciding what it is that has to be done.

But the truth is, it’s really not about “losing weight” or “getting healthy.” It’s really about living. Period.

Being able to take part in the activities you want to take part in. Being happy. Not having to say “no” or “I don’t feel like it” or “I can’t” or “I feel to self-conscious or clumsy.” It’s about looking at yourself in photos or in the mirror and say, “yes, that’s more or less who I meant to be.”

And I don’t want to be the person trying to sell “fitness” or “health” on their facebook, instagram, blog or other website. I don’t want to write that book, and I don’t want to join that clamor. I don’t want to show before and after pictures of how good my behind looks in form fitting clothes now. I just want to be able to climb mountains. I want to be able to work all day in the garden. I want to go on bike rides that last for hours. I want my body mass index to be something remotely close to healthy.

And honestly, the start of all that is, still, why am I not healthy? There’s a rheumotologist appointment finally coming up and then a follow-up with the naturopath. Sure, I want a cure. But to start with, I want someone to tell me why I’m not healthy. What went wrong?

And maybe someone will be able to pin it down to “something.” But at the same time, I know health is not an “event;” it’s a lifestyle. And something isn’t right with what I’ve been doing. Part of it is the stress, I’m sure. Stress is never healthy, but that’s a tough chestnut to crack. What all is making you stressed, and what all are the ways you’re coping?

Coping? Avoidance. Sugar. Coffee. White food. Avoidance. Ok, yes, before, long walks outside, probably the one good habit I had, but usually only on weekends. Sometimes music. Sometimes sleeping, or writing.

But I guess. . .maybe. . .partly what I am trying to get at is, we all have rough spots. Some days are hard. But what are you doing to really take care of yourself? I’ve noticed a few things I’ve tried to change. Like no phone or screen with food. It’s tempting, especially when you’re eating alone. It makes you feel less alone. But it also makes it so you don’t really remember what you ate, or what the morning was like, or the sunrise, or the sunset. And then you don’t go out and sit on the steps while you eat lunch. So I told myself, “the expectation is, no screens at meals.”

And that was good. It was really a lot more of an improvement than I thought. Show up for your own life, right? But it also made me think, what horrible things am I doing and over looking? Maybe horrible is too strong of a word. Maybe it’s not. Things sneak up on us. We don’t know, because once – or twice, maybe three times – nothing really makes a big difference. It’s the habit of it all. Like sugar. Like internet. Like sitting. None of those things gob-smacks you up the head the instant you do it, and gives you such a horrible experience you decide to never do that again. But the end result of the habit is devastating.

So what do I need to take seriously? Going to bed with the sun? Introspection, even if the sun is down? Timing how much time I spend outside? Being with people without an agenda – just visiting, for visiting’s sake? I mean, I know this isn’t a “puzzle-game” where if you slide all the right pieces in place, pop! your life is wonderful. But where are my blindsides? Where are the places where I’ve written myself so many excuse slips I’ve forgotten I even need them?

I know, I know. They wouldn’t be blindspots if we could see them. But maybe it’s time to go looking.

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