Back in January, right after I turned 40 (BTW, You probably shouldn't know this, but I'll tell you anyway... Everytime I say that, I throw up in my mouth a little...), I decided it was time to get serious about getting fit. I had been doing the Jillian Michaels' 30-Day Shred, but decided I needed to step it up. I loved that workout and I was seeing great results, but I needed someone, other than Scott and that mean, badgering critic in my head (Hi, Mom!), to hold me accountable.
My deep-fried hot friend Jennifer had been going to a trainer named Eric for a while and followed him from the neighborhood L.A. Fitness to his own gym. I decided that whatever she was doing was working and since she spoke so highly of him, I decided it was worth a try. The price was steep but I don't regret it for one minute.
Yes, my body is reshaping and I love that. But so is my belief in myself and what I am capable of. Some of those critical voices in my head are beginning to quiet. And I, the real me, my Inner Being - that part of me connected most closely to God - is getting louder. And she's telling those voices in my head - my mom, old boyfriends, frenemies, bad teachers, bullies – well, she's telling them to shut the fuck up!
She's telling me that I am beautiful and vibrant and yes, at 40, still young. Still relevant. Still worthy of love and joy and excitement. Still worthy of Life.
And maybe some days I have to summon that Inner Being to remind me of those things again and again and again. But her voice is getting clearer to me.
It's not just the working out. (Oh! By the way, did I mention that I benchpressed 75=lbs. today? Pretty good for a chick, as my old highschool friend Shane the football player told me today.)
I've also been meditating, though not daily. I would love to fall asleep at midnight. Wake at six a.m. and meditate for at least 15 minutes before the wee ones awoke. Sadly, that ain't happenin'.
I fall asleep by midnight most nights, but then Cooper, our beautiful, sad, sweet 14-year old puppy awakes several times in the night. Last night was the first night in ages he only got up once. I'm giving him Valerian root, but he had been off it for a couple of weeks and totally regressed to his senile behavior. With little solid sleep, I've been a mess. Then, to top it off, Beckett or both boys have been coming into our room at around 6 a.m., meaning that even if I had gotten a solid night's sleep and awoken bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 6:00 a.m. like I want to do, I'd just be facing my little men telling me they were ready for their oatmeal or asking me to turn on the T.V. No time for meditation then.
Even still, when I do get to do it, while they're napping or watching a movie, I can tell it's making me feel more whole. More like a real woman capable of making tough decisions. I feel far more capable as a parent, more in tune with my own beliefs and less insecure about my parenting choices since I've been meditating.
Still, it's a practice I'd like to explore in more depth. My friend Chris, whose partner Yasuko teaches mediation at their joint venture, The Center for Remembering and Sharing, sent me a link to this article on mediation today. I found it extremely helpful. The train analogy really clicked for me.
Then there are the dietary changes. Scott and I, along with our kids by association, are also eating healthier. I've cut out almost all HFCS from our diet. The kids still get a few items that have it because there aren't really any affordable alternatives to some items and I really just am not ready to be the totally green mom who doesn't let her kids enjoy anything in life. Give me a few months.
We've also given up anything with aspartame in it, trying only to use Stevia as the only sugar alternative in our diet. Scott, too, is on the workout bandwagon and looking sexier than ever.
We're really focused on living healthy lives around here. And I'm really excited about that. My mother didn't really try at all to take care of herself. By the time she was my age she had already had a heart attack. And yes, that was partly due to the fact that she was a Type I Diabetic, but had she monitored her diet carefully and exercised and done all the things her doctors told her to do, in fact, had she gone to the doctor regularly, she could have prevented her death at 59 of ischemic cardiomyopathy.
I do not intend to leave my amazing sons motherless until they are well grown and I've seen my grandchildren. My mom essentially left me motherless at 12 when I had to start worrying about her health.
All that stinkin' thinkin' aside, I hope that soon I'll start to really notice some additional and tangible changes to all this healthy livin'. Like a little more joy. A little more love. A little more hot mama. And a whole lot less mean-woman up in my head.