A few weeks ago I made the radical decision to stop trying to transform myself. All this “live your best life” BS was pissing me off! Mainly because, I went to great lengths to live authentically and discovered that life still sucks sometimes. So, I threw in the towel and started with my body.
I looked at the scale and realized that I was tired of punishing myself for not being smaller. During all of those years I spent trying to hover below what I know is natural for me, I was working way too hard and missing out on a lot of life’s pleasures.
I was treating my body like some sort of assignment.
What’s worse, I realized that one of the reasons I chose to be a fitness professional was to motivate myself to stay in shape – basically, “body, I don’t trust you, so I’m going to make it so that your ability to feed your family depends on how much you weigh – then I know you’ll do what I want! Muh ha ha ha ha!” I put myself in this box, this cage, because I didn’t want to love and accept who I really am.
Well, thankfully, I realized what I was doing and a few weeks ago I shifted my focus from trying to transform my body, to loving and accepting it exactly the way it is (and that includes trusting that my business won’t fail because I’m not skinny).
I’ve been eating what I want when my body wants it - and giving my heart what it wants too, rather than silencing it with food. I bought a new pair of jeans in a size that I would have never accepted before and they feel FREAKING GREAT. I noticed that nasty, judgmental voice inside my head and told it to shut the hell up. Wow, what a fantastic new way to live!
So, as you can tell by me sharing this picture of my butt, my body-image has improved a great deal and its wonderful. But what has really surprised me, is how differently I feel about the rest of my life.
About 2 months ago, when we were settled into our winter home and daily routines in Oliver BC, I really hated it here.
This town is so small. We’ve walked the length of main street too many times and there’re NOTHING here. There is no indoor pool, and no hot tub. The gym is miles away, and there’s no childcare there or showers. We have to climb a mountain to get to school and Reesen’s class is in a tiny room in the basement. The only job Cody could get so we can “save up” while we’re here is minimum wage, and now he’s gone at supper time and I’m bored. Are we even getting ahead? I hate it here. I never want to live in a small town again. We are trapped.
I didn’t try to like it here at all. I reminded myself that we would be out soon, in order to get by. I tried to get lots of work done so I at least felt productive. I tried to save money. We decided that we were moving forward because at least we had found one place and one lifestyle that we knew we didn’t want.
Christmas came and went, Cody got a few days off, Reesen started ballet, and the inevitability of our upcoming tour set in. We got busy working, planning and building.
I kept saying, “I can’t wait to get to the ocean!” All the while – I was loving and accepting my body, listening to my gut and my heart and feeding them appropriately, and enjoying my life as is.
Then, a couple of weeks ago, I found myself feeling sad. “What the hell is this all about?” I inquired, using my newfound listening-to-my-body skills.
Oh… I’m sad to go. I’m going to miss this place.
What?! How did this happen? I thought I hated it here!
I looked deeper: well, why wouldn’t I miss it here?
· Cody has a great job at the grocery store! His supervisors and co-workers are awesome and he always gets the time off when there’s a hoop gig! Working there part-time is so low-impact and it means that we can buy whatever we want when we go grocery shopping! Plus, he gets the best deals on fresh veggies!
· And I love how convenient it is to walk everywhere! I feel so much stronger now after pulling that wagon up and down the mountain!
· The showers here are amazing – they are so clean and I get it so hot its like having a private steam room.
· Going to the gym while Reesen is at school is just perfect. Its not far from her school, so I have tons of time there, and its never very busy!
· And Reesen’s preschool is INCREDIBLE! Her teacher genuinely cares for her and engages with her. The small class size is comforting. They’ve had the best little field trips and she always has something amazing to tell me after school!
Cody, do you think we should come back here? Like, I’m pretty sure I could live here all year. Because:
· The staff and other campers here are so kind and friendly! They let us build hula-hoops in the office and the manager even got Reese a birthday present! They all know us, they support us, its like a family. We feel loved – and our little going-away party felt just like a family gathering.
· And living in an RV is pretty sweet! Our expenses are so low and we’re still free as birds! Let’s camp here all winter and then travel every summer! Oliver has everything we need, this community is amazing!
Whoa. So, how did this happen? Did I manifest these amazing changes through the power of positive thinking?!?
For years I read about these gratitude practices, and even kept a gratitude journal, because I believed that by focusing on the good in my life I could bring more good in. I could manifest amazing things if I just focused my energy on what was already amazing! But the problem with that approach is that it still wants for some sort of material transformation. The end goal is for life to change in some sort of way so that we’ll like it.
Well, that’s not what I did.
Not much actually changed. We didn’t win the lottery, nobody new rolled into town, we didn’t pick up and move. Everything is exactly the same and yet, I like it more. I started at the end goal – love life – and now I do.
What a concept.
But maybe this is all too good to be true, because OH SHIT we’re leaving again! Buh-bye Oliver (maybe we’ll be back?!) and Hello Victoria! And then Vancouver! And then Calgary! And then SK, MB, ON and finally the East Coast this summer! Follow our adventures in our facebook group, The Rolling Hoop and learn more about what we’re doing along the way @ www.hooppplay.ca