Creating Space for Healthy Changes
This is an awkward post for someone dedicated to living and modeling a healthy lifestyle. However, I just have to face the fact that the health practices that have sustained me for so long just aren’t showing up in my life as they have been for so many years.
How it’s been
The decade of my life was structured tightly in the cocoon of an executive level corporate role. In that chapter of my life I carved out, by necessity, a way of life that supported my ability to contribute my best energy in all that I did. I very consciously wove in health practices to energize me for long days of meetings, achieve a performance plan full of goals, be a mother to two active little boys, run a household, volunteer and do a host of other things.
I created this energy by waking up at 5:30 am to workout, showering and then ensuring kids (and I) were dressed, fed and ready for school. Lunches and snacks were prepped for all, and whatever was on the meal plan was set ready to go for when me or my husband came home. One of us picked up the kids from after school care after which point I made supper, which was followed by some play or extracurricular activity, homework, bedtime routines and whatever other meetings or events that were on the agenda. Life was full and demanded high energy.
With my health practices ritualized and efficient. I worked out daily, ate 5-6 small pre-prepared healthy meals and snacks, drank 8-12 L of water a day, used my standing desk at work and took little breaks to keep my focus maintained and ensured I got into bed before 10 pm to restart the routine the next day.
As of today I’m doing none of that. In January of this year I resigned from corporate life to embark on a new entrepreneurial venture. I’m working from, have wide open unstructured weeks, in my “home office” able to set up my New Way in whatever way I choose. It’s great. But I’m not doing any of my health practices as I did them before.
They continued to show up for a good three months, the intense energy of corporate life still surging through my body. On Sunday nights, I went on to high alert anticipating the week ahead. My body still rose early to workout. And at 3 pm when my kids got off the school bus I’ll admit I wasn’t yet ready to see them. I still had a solid 3 hours of work in me, a work pace reminiscent of the years past.
It was interesting to notice how that Way stayed with me as long as I did, how it pushed me along. I honour that Way, it served me for a long time supporting great achievements. The intense commitment I had then to being healthy and integrating health practices fully into my life allowed me to move through depression allowing me to go off my anti-depressants. It buoyed me with the energy I needed to live out my values fiercely in all areas of my life.
I need a New Way
And now, that focused, intense energy is gone. While I have goals I’m working to achieve now, the structured life I was living is now gone and no longer begs of me such focus.
But I have shit that I want to get done. I’m here following my dream, working from home on My Thing and writing to you saying I’m not working out much, my eating pattern is sporadic and while my sleep is pretty good I’m not as attuned to taking the breaks I know I need to take.
Am I worried? Has my health gone to pot? Or more importantly, am I totally lacking integrity (this one makes me nervous)?
Yes, I’m a tad anxious about what’s unraveled. It was my girlfriend who reminded me that health IS in me. And she encouraged me to trust that it will take shape in a New Way even if I can’t see how it will happen now. So, my commitment to myself is to be awake to what is needed and slowly put into place the new mini-muscles and health practices that I need now.
What I do know is that I have all kinds of muscles and skills in me to be healthy. I have months, YEARS, actually of story to re-affirm to me that I am healthy and committed to having awesome energy for all that I do.
So, in the blog posts that follow over the next weeks, I’ll share my story of how I will create my New Way.
If you’d like to follow my journey and go on your own, download your own copy (if you haven’t already) of the Health is in You workbook. I believe so strongly that you too can create change that is based on compassionately knowing where you are and then, only then making a plan to move ahead.
The big idea is…
Rather than lever change based on anxiety (for not having worked out for awhile) or guilt (because I’m letting myself and others down) or fear (that I’ll never find my way back) or embarrassment (like when your pants don’t quite fit like they used to), I’m going to GROUND this change in confidence (I have a long history of healthy practices behind me) and openness and self-trust (to believe I’ll find my way because this is Who I Am) and a sense of adventure (which is what this whole transition was supposed to be about).
See you next week when I explore what muscles are in place, in my life for a great night’s sleep. Sleep, as you likely know, is the starting point of physical energy.
Until then, I would encourage you to find belief and be willing to see that Health IS in You too.
Thanks for stopping by,
p.s. Hey – if you know someone who is working on making health changes in their life and needs to start from a more compassionate place of knowing what is already in her, please pass along this post.