In the last 9+ years, I’ve gone through a variety of stages in my life as it relates to health and fitness. Most of which I’ve been very transparent in sharing publicly! And though sometimes it’s difficult to look back on some of the points where I’ve made a bit of a backslide, I’ve finally determined that ALL of them were necessary for where I was at in that point of my life. I read an article recently that talked about The Seasons of Life by Jim Rohn, and how he stated, “you cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself.” Comparisons were also made to farming, another concept I’m familiar with, having grown up on one haha.
“A farmer would rest in the winter and sharpen his tools. In the spring he will prepare the land and plant the seeds. In summer he will nourish his crop and protect it from pests. In the fall he will reap the results of his effort and patience.”Ram Jain, Arhanta Yoga
Coming out of my Winter season (sadness, depression, loneliness), in which I tried to take as FEW photos as possible haha, I can look at the three photos above and define who I was/am. The first picture represented my Spring – a time of hope, new beginnings, and opportunities. Even though I was extremely unhealthy, tired all the time, and relying on caffeine far too much to power through, I was excited for the possibilities. I was finally ready to take massive action and put all of my excuses behind me. I was unsatisfied in my career, but happy in my relationships. I admit, there was near instant gratification during this season of my life, and that made it much easier to push and overcome obstacles.
The second picture was taken at a time when I felt extremely successful in this journey. My consistency and efforts showed in my results, and many things were happening a lot easier than in the past. I had come very close to my ultimate weight loss goal, but there was some leveling off which started to become frustrating. I had changed careers, but was commuting almost 3 hours total every day, and started to lack quality social time with the right people. Some of my relationships were verging on toxic, and I didn’t have the confidence to pull away. I wish this article had existed back then, because it warned not to be fooled by the momentum of the Summer season, as the goal is still not accomplished yet. Oh, what a word of caution that would have been!
The results after this point, and for the next few years, were slow, nonexistent, or in the opposite direction of my intended goal. Basically, life happened. I had some injuries, other setbacks… and even though I never quit, I had many moments of weakness. And any of you that have trained for a long distance race know that the whole “I can eat what I want” mentality is very real yet very FALSE haha. Training sixteen weeks with 4 runs per week for a marathon, injuring myself during said marathon (yet still finishing,) and not being able to be active for a month afterward, took a huge toll on my routine, mindset, and momentum. I struggled to find an adequate balance after that point, especially after I decided I wanted to build more muscle. But to build more muscle, you need to eat more…which sounds amazing, but not when you don’t eat the right things!
I’ve struggled with emotional eating as long as I can remember. Pretty sure you could call that a hereditary trait, right mom?! 😜 Comfort food was, and often still is, a crutch… something to make me feel better, even if just temporarily. And when the most difficult season of my life hit me the first three months of this year, it didn’t surprise me that I was quickly, and too easily, getting back to where I was when I swore I wouldn’t let that happen again. In reality, hitting the reset button wasn’t as smooth a process as I thought it might be. When I first started this journey, over 35 pounds came off in the first 5 months. So every time I start a new program, or even restart a program I had success with in the past, I basically expect the same results. Often forgetting that “Hello Cat…you’re nearly a decade older, you’re starting from a very different place, and your body has different needs and wants, DUH!” So I needed to step back, regroup, and accentuate the positive.
The final picture was taken earlier this week. I’ve jumped to my Fall season, and am facing the moment of truth. I am accepting responsibility for my actions, and in turn my results (or lack thereof). I am “celebrat[ing] my success[es] and accept[ing] my disappointments.” I am sticking with a routine that is FUN, so that I don’t dread being active and staying fit. I am allowing myself treats in MODERATION, because I know I will sabotage everything if I fully deprive my body of what it wants (and sometimes needs). I may never see a low number on the scale again, and my pants and shirts fit a little more snug because of my shoulders, triceps, quads, and booty. I’m learning to love my 41-year-old body, with all of its fluctuating hormones and near-daily changes. Because it’s capable of so much more than the body in the other two pictures, as crazy as that is!
The seasons are going to change whether I want them to or not. That’s out of my control. But I CAN control myself, my actions, and my reactions. I have to remind myself I don’t need fixing, I just need adjusting. No matter what season I’m in! ❄🌷🔆🍁