Find Your Why
Yesterday morning was off to a good start. I had an appointment for my annual physical with my new doctor. I was tested for the usual; he checked my vital signs, blood pressure, weight, EKG, checked my heart and lungs and a did a urine analysis. Blood was drawn for lab work. I was asked the typical questions related to my physical health, if I take any medications (I don't) and if I was allergic to anything (I'm not). The doctor also asked me if I exercise and how often. By the end of the appointment he told me I was in great health and, assuming everything comes back normal with my blood work, to keep doing what I'm doing. I left the doctor's office feeling proud and patting myself on the back for making choices every day that contributes to my overall health and well being.
Dressing Room Disaster
After my doctor's appointment, I set off for some clothes shopping for my upcoming trip to Miami with my husband. I was excited to be out on a beautiful day. Happy to buy a few items to wear to the beach and dining at our favorite restaurants. I walked into one of my favorite retailers, selected a few items to try on in one of their big cozy dressing rooms. What transpired was a quick spiral into despair. As I undressed and bent over to try on a pair of jeans, I got a glimpse of my reflection in the mirror. WHAT THE $#%&! Right there before my very eyes, was a body I didn't recognize as my own. As I twisted and contorted my body in hopes that it was all just a misunderstanding or a bad dream, I was filled with dread and disappointment. I thought, What the hell are all those lumps and bumps? Why is this the most evil mirror? Has anyone not realized the lighting in this dressing room are not conducive to a middle aged woman taking off her clothes?! My own mirrors at home are much more kind and forgiving. My home mirrors tell me I'm making progress, I'm working hard and achieving my goals. My home mirrors love me and are complimentary, even in the worst lighting. But these mirrors were nothing short of evil, my worst enemy, here to tell me everything I'm doing is a waste of time.
Why weren't my legs toned and filled with muscle? Why do I see major imperfections when I weight train 6 days a week and follow a healthy meal plan to a tee? Why should I be eating clean and restricting my food choices when there was no visible difference in my problem areas?
The rest of shopping trip turned into retail therapy. I left that dreaded dressing room and continued to shop with reckless abandon. Now I was focusing on trying on items where I was more covered up, baggy clothes and loose fitting jeans, oversized sweaters and long skirts. I was careful about which other mirror I was going to be looking at. Luckily the dressing room mirrors in some of the other stores were not quite as evil. I went home with a hefty credit card bill, feeling defeated.
Why I do what I do
I had to pull myself together. I prepared my healthy lunch and stared at the bowl of black beans with avocado for answers. Later, I searched for signs eating my dinner of tofu scramble, sauteed spinach, and a big salad with fat free dressing. I contemplated grabbing the bag of Doritos from the cabinet and having a pity party.
But I refrained. I reminded myself of my why. Why I do what I do. Why health and wellness matters so much to me. The truth is I do enjoy tofu and salad. I like black bean soup with avocado. I love my green smoothies. I also love how much energy I have every morning. I love how I feel with my clothes on and most of the time (without evil mirror) I like how I look naked. I love going to the gym first thing in the morning and getting that endorphin rush. I love being able to go for long hikes and walks with my friends. I love being able to keep my balance while paddle boarding for hours. I love being able to take 35 mile bike rides on Sunday mornings. And I've managed to get strong enough to do more pushups than your average 20 year old. I love knowing my diet and exercise routine keeps me active and feeling young and healthy. And that is my why. Why I do what I do. For my health and for my lifestyle.
The results are in
This morning I received the results from my blood work from my doctor's appointment. Cholesterol was perfect. All the major markers were on track. I'm not deficient in any vitamins. I don't need to take medication for high blood pressure, I'm not pre diabetic, I don't have heart issues. I have good digestion and a healthy gut microbiome. And I'm at a healthy weight.
This is my why. To be as healthy as I can, to be 50 years old and not have to rely on medications. To feel good, have lots of energy, sleep well and be mentally strong. To take care of myself through lifestyle choices means I have a good chance of being healthy well into my 60's and hopefully beyond.
Find your why and you'll be better equipped to deal with the doubt that may creep in. And also, avoid at all costs going into a dressing room where the mirror (and lighting) is evil.
And just so you know, I WILL be on the beach in my bikini!