The Cowardly Lion, Cheese Graters, and the Topic I’ve Avoided

You know the thing about getting older is that time goes faster. The list of what I can’t believe feels so long: that I’m in my 30s. That I’ve been done university for almost 10 years. That I’ve been living in my condo for almost 2 months. That I haven’t blogged in two months. That I completed the 8 week Glow Challenge almost 6 months ago. That my yoga practice has slipped to one or two classes a week. That it’s been a year since the New Job. That it’s been a little less than a year since I’ve been for a run. That I have spent my last year growing into myself, and learning to cherish my friendships like crazy. That I’ve read over 55 books so far this year.

I have never meant for this to be a space where I blog about my health, or my lifestyle. With everything I have going on, I like to ignore that part of my life. The yoga challenge was never something I did to look better – it was something I did to feel better about myself – that I looked better afterwards (in all kinds of ways – I glowed, I shrank a little) was only an added perk. But, in ways that feel inevitable, here I am. I don’t have anything to say about geeky things, although I could. I’m back to self love. The theme I can’t escape. Only this time, I’m looking at self love in the fashion of “holy crap I haven’t ever been bigger, and something needs to change”. Let me be clear – I think I’m pretty lovely. I love my body, love how strong it is, what it’s capable of. I love being curvy, and I have never felt sexier in my own skin than I do at 32. It likely makes me sound like a conceited jerk – but I think I’m pretty awesome, just as I am.

But.

But.

In order to be healthy. In order to run again. In order to keep my organs safe and sound (because, hey, they aren’t right now). In order for my physio and my doctor to approve my inverting in yoga. In order to live until I’m 100. I need to do something.

To that – I have a friend. We met in university, and we have remained sometimes and very sporadically close through the years. He doesn’t realize how lovely he is, and I don’t think he realized until recently that I had a crush on him. To me, he’s always been handsome – he has a huge grin, and a laugh to match. He’s genuinely kind, and so smart. I feel very blessed for this friendship. That said – my lovely friend decided a few years ago that he was tired of being soft around the middle. I didn’t notice it, and whenever he pointed it out I thought – “nope, you’re fine just the way you are”. But my friend wanted to make a positive change for himself. So he got a trainer and a nutritionist and started lifting weights. Now, whenever we text, I’m guaranteed to get a photo of his progress. Which, I might add, is an amazing perk of being this man’s friend. He looks pretty darn good in his underwear – think Chris Hemsworth shirtless in Thor.

The point is, one night before he moved to Calgary, we were having a glass of wine at his place while he was meal prepping. As he boiled his chicken and made up his rice, I took a sip of wine and asked him “Dude, doesn’t it get boring eating the same damn thing EVERY SINGLE DAY? Seriously. You didn’t add any spice to anything!”

To which my lovely, smart friend walked over to me, lifted his shirt, and told me to rub his abs.

“That, N, doesn’t make it boring. That makes it all worth it.”

I’ve always shaken my head at that. I’m certain that I shook my head that night (I also didn’t take advantage of the whole “rub my abs” situation – which, I will add, I feel is a misstep. My friend has abs that resemble a cheese grater. Not my “forever” type, but goddamned if I don’t appreciate that from afar. ALSO, WHO SAYS NO WHEN THEIR HOT RIPPED FRIEND SAYS RUB MY ABS.), but recently, I’ve stopped shaking my head at it. Will I ever be the type of human to eat the same food prepared the same way every time, day after day? Likely not. But I want to be the type of human who feels good about herself all the time. I want to be healthy for my body, so that I can continue to do the things that I like doing. I want my body to stop aching after curling. I want my feet to be able to carry my body when I run, rather than stress fractures making them ache for days afterwards. Hell, I want to be able to wear high heels without having to kick them off under my desk because my feet start aching. I want to be able to invert in yoga – to backbend and shoulder stand without worrying about aggravating an old injury. Hell, I’d like to have the strength in my core to do a headstand in yoga. I want to be someone who can forget her injuries, dammit, because I’m an accident-prone klutz who has so many – a blown knee, stress fractures, a weak back, a pelvic floor injury – and all of these things keep me from feeling AWESOME after a work out, and they keep me afraid of working out – admittedly, I am terrified to repeat these injuries. And, ridiculously, I have the cutest pair of blue jeans that I’d love to rock again. (Yes, this is partly fuelled by conceit. I think I’m a babe, and I want to keep thinking that. Oh well.)

So, after meditating a lot on this, I have come to this conclusion. I am the Cowardly Lion.

Lion

It’s easier to stand in the corner, tugging at my tail, afraid of the judgement of others, afraid of myself and my shadow. It’s easier to hide myself away than shine – I don’t like attention, I don’t want to stand out in a crowded room. I prefer the silence of my life – I prefer things orderly and clean and simple. Fear is so much easier than rushing out to face your fears head on, isn’t it? I find it remarkably easy to be afraid and not try, over trying and failing. I remark that “one day” and “I wish” – when I already know, in my heart of hearts, that I already have everything I need to succeed. I continually defined my own success in my life – everything I have wanted, I have worked my ass off for. Just this morning, in fact, I was thinking about applying for my Masters – and I caught myself actually thinking- “What if I’m not good enough?” to which the little voice inside of me went “Shut up. You’re good enough, full stop.”

And still, I’m afraid. I keep giving myself excuses, extending the deadline (“Next Monday I’ll get up at 6 and work out in my building’s gym!” to which I bang the snooze button and then blame keeping the alarm clock in bed with me), and generally, being a gigantic ‘fraidy cat. I have the tools, I have the know-how, I need to stop excusing my behavior and start giving a damn. Because, really. It’s getting old (and so am I).

And this, this is something I can do. Something I can control, something that I have full power of. Which is shocking to me – I’m (mostly) unafraid of doing things that I have zero control over. But this – changing MY body, changing MY lifestyle, changing MY diet – this is all me. And with that – I offer myself to the mercy of the internet. Here I am , and this is the starting point. This is the body that I want to improve. And yes, I’m standing on the toilet. I don’t have a full length mirror in the house.

October 28. 2015

October 28. 2015

October 28, 2015

October 28, 2015

So I guess this is a healthy lifestyle blog. I better find some nerdy shirts to work out in.