The Subtle Side of Life
Thursday, April 02, 2009
I wanted to really think about my current progress with my exercise and food plan, because I have been learning and trying to trim down for over 3 months now. I recently began more frequent exercising, specifically with Leslie Sansone's "Walk At Home" DVD's. I have felt more energetic and happier for the effort. I imagine that was one reason I got excited to attend the Convention in San Diego. Since signing up for the convention, I have been reading posts from the younger set who have younger metabolisms, higher energy levels and in some cases, results. I remember those years when a week of activity and "dieting" would give great results. A 2-lb/week weight loss seemed easier in those days. I don't know exactly when the transition came when my tummy started putting on a hefty layer of fat. It was quite a metamorphosis, and I read that mother nature kindly does this for us women. That fat is loaded with estrogen to help us in our later years. I read about the additional belly fat one could gain from "worry" and "stress", so I learned I should not resist. I didn't want the additional inches to the belly from the stress of worrying about the first layer of fat. No wonder exercise routines for older people includes Yoga and breathing, and other ways to calm the spirit. Older age isn't for sissies, that's for sure. It requires quite a bit of creativity to work around things like arthritis or knee problems, or the ability to remember what you ate yesterday if you didn't chart your food. Twenty years ago, it was a challenge to find time around the activities of the kids in order to get personal goals accomplished. Now it's a challenge to remember what the goals were in the first place. I exaggerate for myself, but see all of this all too well in the life of my 86-year-old Dad.
Anyway, thinking about my age-related disadvantages was my mind-set the last few days. Yesterday, Oprah's guest was Michael J. Fox, who discussed his 18-year experience with Parkinson's Disease. He described it like having a 4-year old climbing all over you, inside you, distracting you from what you are trying to do, constantly, every minute, every day. That really impacted me. Sure people make concessions in life. But unlike Michael J. Fox, we don't always have to have a Plan B, C, and D at all times as he does. We can get by with one "alternative" most of the time. So, not being able to do forward lunges due to my knees suddenly took a very long backseat to the intense struggle some people face just getting from moment to moment. I realized how meaningless were my thoughts that I'm probably going to be one of the oldest people at the convention, that I have only lost 6 lbs in 3 months, or that I wished I could do the "run" instead of the walk the morning of the convention...I had to really stop and remind myself that the SP Convention is a celebration for people trying to be their own personal best, whose stories serve as inspiration for others finding their way toward their goals. In all of our lives, the courage and commitment to find a path around obstacles in order to reach our higher selves puts us in touch with the Divine here on earth. We can either be the kind of person who settles, or the kind who finds a way to work around or through the challenge. Just thinking about life in terms of loss is misleading. Michael J. Fox said had he not had his disease, he wouldn't have spent as much time with his family, or have traveled as much, or been an activist for research to find a cure for his disease. And he said in his journey, the first thing to go was the "vanity". Maybe another name for the vanity is the ego. It's power to hold us back can be very strong. I'm grateful for yesterday's lesson and a change of perspective.