I have made plans to start a healthy eating challenge for the month of September. I have let my eating habits follow along with whatever is available, and it is making my mind foggy and my pants to tight. I don’t want to go on another diet, I just want to make changes to my insides and feel the benefits both mentally and physically. So, I have gone to my local grocer to find the greens and the yellows, the purples and whites. All the veggies and fruits, beans and meats and sparkling mineral water I can fit in my fridge. I must fill it to the brim, because if it’s not, I will cave, and then the food I paid for will go bad. I am ready to go and excited to feel the blood flow through my body with ease.

Then this week my family got the painful news that my maternal grandmother is very sick. She has had a couple of strokes and the doctors have found a blood clot in her brain. This kind of information has a tendency to stop me in my tracks and it takes all the slow breathing and mindful moments I have been practicing, just to make it to the next hour, let alone plan out meals and get excited to create healthy foods for my family.

After a long day of feeling all the emotions and talking to each of them, after coming home from our co-op and holding my daughter for a couple hours while watching mindless TV and after letting my body rest, I woke up to a realization: that I have to keep pressing forward. I learned a long time ago that I am the only one who can make the physical, mental and spiritual changes in my life that I long for. I don’t want to throw my plans out the window, plans to take another step forward towards my goals of health and fitness, because of pain. In fact, if I think about it, the health problems of another should breathe energy into me to become even more focused.

I have been a follower of Dr. Fuhrman for a couple years. He wrote a book called “Eat to Live”, and I love/hate what he has to say. Dr. Fuhrman is really focused on eating the foods that can heal your body, and not eating the foods that will slowly create problems through out your body. It’s not all that surprising that a big bowl of vegetables is better than a big bowl of ice cream. Very little of what he has to say in the book is new information. It’s the practice of the good choices over the bad choices that add up, and that’s where his plan make’s sense.

When I think about the health of my family, I can’t even enjoy the sugar and the processed foods. Honestly, it’s when I am not thinking about anything, and/or being selfish, that I don’t care about what we eat. When life gets really hard and there is pain ever so close, then I say, it won’t matter if we eat out all the time. It’s when the weight of my history gets too heavy that I don’t want to go to the gym and work out my thoughts. I don’t want to swim the laps or even sit in the dry sauna.

However, the other day when I was at Lulu Lemon, (I was there to buy a scarf that I had fallen in love with a month or so ago and I just had to go back and get it) luckily, it was there and so was a particular cashier. A cashier that gave me a reminder of why I keep going back and I keep doing the work. As I walked up to the counter I hear her tell her associate she is going to die if she doesn’t make it to the gym after work. I thought this to be very dramatic until I looked into her eyes. She wasn’t over dramatizing her words, she was overwhelmed by something and she needed to go work it out. She smiled at me and asked if I ever felt like that. Like I would go crazy if I didn’t get the blood flowing through my body at a fast enough speed to flush out the frustration. Yes! Yes, yes, yes. This is where I find myself today, to be honest.

 

Hearing that my mom’s mom isn’t doing very well sent me through quite a few different emotions and I was making the unconscious choice to alter my plans and close down for awhile. I don’t think that is what I really want though. I want to let this time that is painful breathe life into my dreams, not crush them. I want to let the hard get worked out while running sprints and the painful be worked out with the lungs. I want to feed my body and my heart, the truth and the vegetables, because I deserve them both. My family, my people, are working right now to make sense of emotions that come with confusion, and more often than not, confusion and pain come dragging old habits with them, but not this time. This time I will keep moving forward physically, mentally and spiritually.

I am going to let the people around me be my driving force to continue to live. I will, for sure, fall all kinds of on my face throughout my days, but I will get back up and do what I know I am called to do. I will begin the Eat to Live meal plan I have been preparing for, and I will head to the gym in the early morning hours. I will breathe through the moments of pain and frustration and do my best to be graceful.

May you find a way to work it out, get your blood pumping and make your mind clear.