The Total Package

totalpackage

I don’t think I’m going out on a limb when I say that most people don’t consider the other parts of the human experience when considering getting their “health” back on track. I believe that to most people, “getting healthy” means getting back into their high school clothes or an elusive size __. They don’t consider that if they aren’t equally improving the other parts of their lives, those aesthetic changes they are making (whether drastic or those with longevity) are in vain and only temporary.

I had to learn this the hard way. It’s been resurfacing much more profoundly lately to me- if I’m not caring about ALL other parts of Amy: who I am, what I like to do, what makes me thrive and tick and grow… weight loss is pointless. It took getting to my smallest weight and size to look around, frown, and realize that the rest of my life was pretty damn sucky. I hadn’t dealt with my part of my failing marriage. I didn’t put enough energy into furthering other aspects of my life. When I was in class at college, my thoughts were solely on what I could/couldn’t eat when I’d get back home or the impending workout the next day. I didn’t keep in touch with many of my close friends, and consequently, I lost many of them.

Because I know better now and this time around, I’m doing it right. For as much time as I’m spending working out any day, I’m spending equal on reading and expanding my mind in new ways. Instead of obsessing about calories, I simply only buy wholesome, whole foods and am focusing on mindful eating without any distractions. This is still so hard for me! A guilty pleasure in the past has been rampaging Pinterest during meals. I won’t allow myself to do that now. I am getting a little more comfortable being uncomfortable with that part- having silence while I eat and focusing on my meal. No background noise of the afternoon news on CNN or even my favorite radio stations.

As I’ve said in the past, being out in nature and in the mountains (especially) is how I feel spiritual and in tune with myself in that aspect. I am most at peace what has been and what is and who I am when I’m hiking with Michael. Just the serenity of the fresh air, bright sunshine, green valleys, high peaks, and deep breathing. It’s all there for me. Growing up, being “spiritual” was taught to me in one form: Mormonism. I grew up being taught that the only right way to live my life was by the standards of someone else- all of which were male opinions. I felt like a fraud for all the years growing up because no matter how hard I tried, I did not believe any of it. I couldn’t live by teachings of who I could love, who I could be friends with, and what my future fate was going to be. I knew that if I removed myself from the group, I could lose the love of my family, the friendship of my community (all of whom are all true-believing Mormons), and be in social exile. I took that risk anyway, the year before my divorce. With shaking hands and a trembling heart, I left. I knew in my gut it was the right thing to do, and I never once looked back. I no longer associate myself with the endless guilt, comparisons, shame, and judgements that I once felt. Leaving the church, for me, meant freedom in every sense of the word. It meant trusting myself as an adult to make moral decisions on my own, the person who truly knows me best. I’m actually learning what it means to have confidence and self-esteem. Spirituality means, for me, that I’m one of a total and a total of one- I am here to help other people and, in turn, receive help from others. I’m not here to separate myself from any other person or group but to help the world, as a human race, to grow. The biggest part of the self-actualization process has been to think for myself. To be courageous enough to stand up for myself, my rights, to shun the things I disagree with and to embrace things that I love. I’m here to share my talents. And I’m here to be happy.

When I reach the weight and size for me that doesn’t require strenuous effort, straining to count calories, and enjoying the occasional treat, I’ll feel satisfied knowing that the rest of my life rocks, too.

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