Saturday, October 1, 2011

10/01/2011 - Witchy Fitness Challenge - Honoring My Body

OK, wow. I originally signed up because, well, you can read that post here. Right up until I re-visited the Domestic Pagan's Week One Mini-Challenges, I've sort of only been kicking around the concept. An IRL friend even offered to hook up so we can work on it together and part of me started to panic. Part of me is still panicking. This week's mini-challenges include creating a plan. A plan.

See, the "plan" is where I always lose my way. I'm not good at making plans. I tend to lay everything down as strictly as possible, with no flexibility and since life is not like that my "plans" always get thrown off quite early and I have to gear myself up to get into it again. In order to not completely derail my goals, I usually try to keep a vague idea in my head of what I'm working toward. But, that really isn't going to work for any kind of fitness, now is it? And now I'm accountable to more than just myself and that plays right into my fear of failure and my fear of success and my fear of being out there and looked at and ridiculed and my fear of standing out and being noticed and my fear that there's nothing special about me and the fear that no one will notice me and my fear that I just blend in and can never stand out. The fact that the original thought behind all this was to take care of myself, to provide something for me - to care for me, to honor this physical body that I am in, can so easily get lost in layers of fear.

This body that is wonderful enough to have conceived, nurtured and borne two glorious daughters. Obviously my body is not a hideous thing - it was my daughters' entire world for the start of each of their physical lives; it was perfect enough a world to create two complete, beautiful, perfectly healthy new humans. That deserves to be honored. My second daughter was born when I was 38 years old and I weighed approximately 365 lbs at her birth. I did as the doctors suggested (gain about 15 lbs) and only gained 16 lbs. Rhea was perfectly healthy at 8 lbs and with the extra weight of the placenta and amnion, I had to have actually lost body weight to only total a 16 lb weight gain. I asked my body to do incredible things in a condition it should not have been in to have to do them. But it did them, it did everything I asked and it did it beautifully. How much more could it be capable of with a little love, a little care and tenderness and all the things I've never given it?

I've never given it those things because I was too busy flogging it with hatred - hatred for not being what it was "supposed" to be. For betraying me. (For more on that thought, please see Geneen Roth's Breaking Free from Emotional Eating and Feeding the Hungry Heart (or any of her books, really).

Is breaking out of this ambivalence toward my physicality something I can achieve? I've come to a truce with my body and it was hard-fought and -won. I don't want to rock the boat. I can marvel at my body, be impressed with the things it has accomplished and can accomplish, even occasionally be proud of its abilities. However, none of this translates to anything like love. I do not love it. In fact, I've tried hard not to think about it; for a very long time, thinking about it was incredibly painful. This is evident in the almost 400 lbs I am carrying around. So, I've nurtured this ambivalence and come to a sort of comfortable stand-off. But I know it deserves more. And that means thinking about it. A lot.

If you have read my other post on the Witchy Fitness Challenge, you've seen that I understand that change is supposed to hurt, to be incredibly uncomfortable :) So, I can start this entire process by knowing that I'm going to have the horrible, uncomfortable flailing feeling that I have when I (feel like I) don't know what I'm doing. This won't make it hurt any less, but it helps ease the pain, knowing that nothing's wrong with me just because I hurt.

With that in mind, I now take up the mantle of trying to learn to love my body. I step out of the dark cave, blinking, into the bright light of the sun. At this point, I'm not sure where I'm headed. I have a vague destination. I have signposts to point the way. I have companions on the trip. Every thing else is up to me. It's time to fill in my own blanks.

Knowing that I don't love my body, how can I motivate myself to care for it? Well, usually I hate the phrase "Fake it 'til you make it". I'm 40 damn years old, I'm tired of faking it. I want to "be". I want to do what it is in me to do with no lies, no pretense. But, in this case I truly must act as if I loved my body in order to treat it like I do, all in the hope that one day, I will.

My mini-challenges this week (notice how I've owned it already? "My" mini-challenges :) include taking my measurements. I've done that before. It's like getting splashed in the face with cold water. You knew the situation was bad, but not its actual, *ahem*, dimensions. So, I can do that. I will have that done by the end of Tuesday October 4th, as well as my "before" pic. I can have my husband take it. My weight will have to wait until I can take it again. I'm a big girl and there are not many scales that read it accurately, so I have to wait until I can get to one. I will post that when I have it.

And now I've come to... THE PLAN. I'm going to create some sort of calendar and sketch in some general things, able to be filled in as I go, along with my overall goal - which I must put succinctly. Oh! I get it! It's a spell! And in spellcasting - one casts for the essence of one's desire, not it's shape. And one must state their desire as accurately and succinctly as possible. I will have that by next Saturday, October 8th.

Now, I'm off to post my link at The Domestic Pagan's site and to probably wax verbose about what I'm doing for the Hallowe'en Countdown.