Wednesday, March 10, 2010

From Where I Sit ~ These Shoes Are Made for Walking

I made a vow when January 1st rolled around to dedicate this year to my body. To tending it better, especially giving it more exercise. To fully reclaiming it as sacred. You may want to read about that here. 

I'm proud to say I'm keeping my vow. It was a bit of a rough start though. Here's my story:

I told myself I would walk everyday. Every SINGLE day without fail! I started out strong, beginning by buying a new pair of tennies. (I hadn't had a new pair in over 10 years!) I also convinced my beloved he needed to walk too, that way I'd have a partner to keep me accountable. And we're off!

Day 1 was great. I was winded, but felt energized. I knew I'd have to go slow, especially after the last couple of years of minimal exercise, so I paced myself.

Day 2 was good, too. We walked and talked and marveled at Florida wildlife.

Day 3. Poop. No walking. The excuses started and I listened and didn't get out the door.

After that, intermittent walking. No consistent pattern. Excuses dominated.

'It's too cold. He doesn't want to go. I don't want to go alone. I'm too busy. It's too windy to walk on the beach like I want to. I should do all these other things first because they are much more important. I waited too long and now I am tired.' It's getting dark.'

A whole litany of excuses starting singing themselves in my mind.

And then I remembered. Voila! I remembered what I recently learned from a productivity coach.

When we begin any new habit, Day 1 - 10 are vital. We must do the new activity every single day in this early period or we will go nowhere. He likened Day 1- 10 to pushing a boulder up a mountain. Literally, you must push yourself to do it. There is so much internal resistance in this early stage (old habits do die hard and their ego voice like to talk loud!) that without pure discipline and sheer will power nothing new will happen.

He's right.

So now I am past Day 10. I pushed. I made myself walk. Woo-hah!

And guess what, I am loving walking again. In fact, my body is starting to feel weird when I don't go for my fast walk each and every day. Even twenty minutes of hoofing it feels like a pure shot of energy. I'm sleeping better, too.

I don't know that I have lost any weight, but my legs are feeling stronger. My stomach is getting just a teensy bit flatter. My posture is better. My stamina is building. I'm congratulating myself that I'm being faithful to my commitment to honor my body more and give it what it needs for optimum health—for longevity, not for appearances.

I firmly believe our bodies are sacred. And if are to fully live as the sacred—holy and whole—beings we are, we cannot grow our minds, nurture our spirits, and ignore the body vessel. That just doesn't work. It keeps us lopsided, unharmonious, and ill-at-ease with our whole self.

So how are YOU doing these days with any new commitment you've made to your health? To being good to your body and treating it like the temple it is? 

I'd love to hear ... 

And remember, if you haven't done so hot, that's ok. Every day is a new day. We can always begin again!


And if you'd like some additional support for your journey into the sacredness of your body, visit my friend, Christine, at Bliss Chick. She's dedicated much of her blog to this healing journey and is currently featuring interviews with women who are reclaiming their bodies as sacred. She calls it "EmBody Talk." Today, one of my other dear blog friends, Lisa, from Mommy Mystic, shares her story of traveling into and through her body. Enjoy!

(Image courtesy of


Anonymous said...

Yes, sometimes we must push. I know this isn't always a popular thing to say with all the kindness-to-self talk in the spiritual community the last few years, but PUSHING sometimes is the KINDEST thing we can do. :)

And I'm certainly not against being kinder and more compassionate toward ourselves! I just think we use it as an excuse sometimes to NOT do hard things.

Lisa said...

Yea, I am with Christine. Although I have had a tendency at times in the past to push my body TOO hard - a lingering 'perfectionism'. So I have to watch myself for balance.

I also vowed to get in shape this year. I have gone back to yoga classes, after doing it at home since the twins were born, and some aerobic and weight work also. I often don't feel like going! But always feel so much better afterwards. And I am SO much more grounded, and 'in my body'. I hadn't realized how much I needed that.

Jan said...

I agree that sometimes a push - perhaps a better word is discipline - is needed to help us along. Especially if we are prone to lethargy. There is a fine line between pushing for a bit of progress and pushing to reach a goal that does not honor us. You've captured this well.

Good for you for returning to what nurtures and strengthens your body. Believe me, I, too, know all about pushing for the wrong reasons, esp. to look a certain way or meet some ridiculous standard of perfection. I am glad that you have found balance and peace with this.

Carolynn said...

Ugh! I didn't make any commitments to myself because history tells me I'll break them. I always feel so much better when I do move, I don't know why I feel so much resistance to following through.

I made a good start in February. Then life intervened and I had to rush off to attend to a family emergency. Now I'm back and feeling very plump. With the official arrival of Spring in the next week and longer days, I WILL get out and move.

I need to. I want to. I will.

Jan said...

Life does seem to get in the way of our commitments sometimes, doesn't it?! I usually don't make NYear's commitments either, but this one has been nagging at me for a long time. And now that I am on the other side of 55, my body was crying for attention. (LOL) I was feeling quite plump too. I know THAT feeling. The walking is helping with that. I will hope that as the weather brightens where you are that there will be a light step in your walk and that you will find some enjoyment through your body again.

Sharon said...

Good for you, Jan! You are so right about forming the habit of whatever it is we want to do on a daily basis. I, too, made the commitment to walk but I use my treadmill so I can't use the excuse of bad weather. I have been following through, and part of that is due to the fact that my body lets me know when I don't walk my two miles.

Alexis Ahrens said...

Hi Jan, I found you through dear Lisa at Mommy Mystic. Thanks for your honesty about your process with this, and congratulations for getting through the first 10 days this time around!

"Healing" is my theme for this year, though it came to me reluctantly. I am generally in good health and good shape, so it's easy to not feel any urgency about healing. However, I have known for years that my addiction to sugar, specifically chocolate, needed to be addressed. I knew it was affecting my personality, my moods, my focus, my self-confidence, and my relationships, not to mention my belly. That's a pretty big impact for me to ignore, and I decided that if I was committed to being in integrity with myself and loving myself, then this was the year to address the sugar demons.

I am reading a remarkable little book called "Potatoes not Prozac" which I never would have picked up from the title, but I learned that it was about sugar sensitivity and overcoming sugar addiction. I feel a lot of anxiety about the idea of giving up sugar for good, since moderation has never, ever, ever worked for me, but I am just about ready to take it on.

Like walking every day, it will be a daily and deliberate practice. Wish me luck!


Jan said...

Welcome, Alexis,
What a great comment and process you are going through. I am very familiar with the "Potatoes" book and have very good things about that approach. I am confident when the time is right you will move away from sugar.

Interestingly, I had one, too, for many years. Could not start my day without a sweet roll or donut! Then munched on sugars throughout the day. I wasn't overweight either, but my health was calling for attention. Now I look at pictures of me from those days and my face looks incredibly different. It always showed up quite round and "heavy" looking. When I gave up sugar (and wine, with all its sugars) my body shifted somehow...I didn't weigh less. Just felt better overall.

I wish you success with this and blessings for continued healing!

Jenn said...

Jan, I think I will try your 10 days idea. I tend to fall into excuses and rationalization also and sometimes even think it is kindness. Interestingly enough, this was my theme from the first post earlier this year. I do agree with Christine though that sometimes the best kindness we can do is push ourselves to do certain things. In this case, when I stop doing something then I feel afraid to start it again or spend more time in the resistance then in the flow. Both of you helped me out here today, so thank you very much! ~Jenn

Jan said...

It seems to me that what you are speaking of here is discernment. A deep listening and attending to our innermost self - pushing when we need to. Or letting go. Or resting. If we know how to listen well, we will know what to do and what best nourishes us in this moment. But to do this we really need to be less busy. We have to be still and quiet enough to listen well...May the days ahead bring you that wisdom.

And when the word "should" springs up we can be pretty sure the ego is around - not our truest, wise woman self. (wink)