Shaping Up

Like so many of my colleagues in the sister-hood I have had an endless love-hate battle with my body; how it looks, how it feels, what to put it in, what to put on it, what to do with it, how to appreciate it and how to change it.

I’m 163 centimetres tall and in the last few years the scales have drifted between 75 and 90 kilograms.

I’ve never been overly concerned about my size and shape. I’m just your average ‘I-wish-I-was-thinner’ kind of gal. I’ve been a weight watcher, a gym-goer, a walker, a carb-free eater, a drinker, a non-drinker, a boot camp member and a detox devotee. But mostly I’ve been apathetic.

As I’ve grown older I’ve noticed more and more fatigue in the way my body responds to things and the lack of clarity or sharpness in the way my brain works. Essentially I’ve been feeling dull. Not flat or emotionally despondent – just not on top of my game. You know what I mean?

In my twenties I was quick. I had an intelligent response for most anything. I was sharp, funny and full of verve. Now it’s not that these things have disappeared from my DNA, they just appear to be dormant.

I’ve known for a while that I’ve needed to do something — holistically — to shape up (both inside and out).

In high school I remember the sports teacher (the young, spunky, sporty-girl type that I loathed) giving us all a lecture about fitness needing to be part of your life from an early age. “No worries”, thinks me. “I’ll have it sorted by the time I’m 17”. I was 15.

Those two years went by pretty quickly thanks to my first serious relationship and the final years of high school. In all that time I was never happy with my body. Not uncommon for teenage girls, but I didn’t think I needed to do anything radical. I had heaps of time.

So the years marched on and here I am 25 years later and facing, for maybe the first time, a serious approach to my wellness. And ‘wellness’ is the only term I can think of that accurately describes all I want to be.

I want to be well on the inside so I have a spring in my step and my vibrancy returns. I want to be well on the outside so I’m happy when I look in the mirror and don’t second-guess every decision I make (and I do that often because decision making is tough too these days). I want my spirits to soar easily without the assistance of a serotonin enhancer. I want to be clear thinking and have purpose and commitment in my life choices.

But most of all, I want to be 100% present and active in my own life. All too easily I slip into apathetic responses or fake a ‘genuine’ response to remain in the conversation.

I know that my current state is down to two things—exercise and diet. Genius, right?

Bear with me. I know this isn’t news. I know it isn’t anything that hasn’t been tried and tested before.

I believe that the hives I get from time to time are due to something I eat or drink. I think that my mind is dull because I’m not putting the right combinations of food into my system.  I know I sneeze or wheeze when I have too much dairy, gluten, alcohol…too much of anything. I think my muscles are silently seething because they’re not worked enough and so they give up and become tired and sore to touch. I know my mental health would be improved if I was more active and balanced what ate and how I treated myself and others.

So many of these things that I know and yet I’ve failed to actively participate in the resurrection of my well self.

This year, that’s changing.

I’m going to be 40 .

So here I am—writing about this project of mine, which is about tuning up both my mind and my body.  Not breaking new ground. Not revealing insights that others haven’t already made a fortune from in the health industry. Just sharing my experiences for those who want to relate.

Maybe this is a way to keep me honest about my endeavors (creative license not withstanding of course!).

Maybe it’s a way for me to commit to writing (like I should).

Maybe it’ll kick start my true, under-nourished creative self onto another path (like it should).

Maybe it’s all of these things.