IT’S A LONG WAY FROM THE HEAD TO THE HEART. One of my mentors said that. He was explaining to a young (it was a LONG time ago) frustrated professional the disconnect between what it seemed people knew, and how I saw that those same people behaved or decisions that they made. For the less spiritual, I guess you could translate that to “It’s a long way from the prefrontal cortex to the amygdala.” But that’s a blog for another day. Anyway, I refer to this within myself often when I make choices that aren’t aligned with my goals, or outcomes I want.
WHAT DOES IT SERVE? This one came from coaches of all sorts. Personal. Career. Trainer. Why, why, why. Why do I worry what people think? What does that serve? Why do I work at something I don’t LOVE with a passion? What does that serve? Why do you arch your back and stack your joints for a bench press? What does that serve? Why do I watch so much TV instead of spend time elsewhere (cycling, gym, with girlfriends)? WHAT DOES THAT SERVE? And in some cases and instances, it REALLY DOES serve me. Sometimes you work at a less than perfect circumstance because… you need a job. Sometimes you hang out on the couch because your favourite person is there. But if I don’t pause to check: I am acting on habits, and not necessarily serving to build the life I want. If I ask myself “Will this create the outcome I want? What will it serve?”, sometimes I will sleep in, but other times I will go to work earlier, or go for a walk. But if I don’t ask, then I am not building my life purposefully.
FOOD IS FUEL. It’s a specific learning related to “What does it serve?” This seems small, but it’s not. The ‘aha’ moment came when discussing my food conflicts: Foods utility to me was that it was pleasurable, and it also happened to be necessary. How lovely that something necessary was SO NICE. I was challenged on the utility factor: “Um, no”, said my life coach “food is FUEL.” What a strange concept. Well, of course it happens to be, but’s its so much more! And when I talked to others about her strange concept… they acted like I was the one who had it backwards. 🙂 And I started thinking about the utility of food. And that logic helped me plan and choose differently.
I thought I had it; and had a ‘healthy’ feed after Mudderella. Greens, etc. I was PROUD. I told my husband that I finally got it; food was not my boss anymore, because I understood it was fuel. And my husband said: but you ran around all day, and were hauling your ass about. You could probably use some protein. Would that not have been the right Fuel? Arg! He was right. I hadn’t really gotten it. I just flipped the pendulum of my practice. 😦
Anyway, it did not become a happy habit, however, until after a few months, I had a several day run of “FOOD as FUN” in December (Christmas parties, fast food etc, etc) … and felt like death. OMG! Food is FUEL! I GET IT! Holy shit. I GET IT! I still love food…but that visceral moment of realizing that food was something that RAN THE MACHINE…. has made it much easier to move that learning from the head,….. to the heart.
BEAUTY IS WHAT YOU DO, NOT HOW YOU LOOK. I mentioned this on an entry a while ago. I started to follow a Women’s lifting micro blog (on Instagram). I loved it. I felt like it encouraged strength. People there uplifted others, and tearing them down was simply not tolerated. Sexual orientation did not matter. Even achievement was not the big deal. PASSION was. Here is someone else’s quote, which is EXACTLY what happened to me. “I was enjoying following them so much that the ‘fitspiration’ crap on my Pinterest board started looking stupid. Those women were just skinny and sweaty. So I started unfollowing them, and my Pinterest board started to look like my Instagram feed. And I was feeling even better about myself.” I’d add that on my previous feed, that they were skinny, sweaty and overly sexualized. I had not been pinning pictures of what was fit. I had been posting pictures of what I believed was desirable. But I didn’t desire to look like that any more. At all.
HOW DOES THIS ALL COME TOGETHER? My body serves me. It is the vehicle through which I experience the things that fulfill me and through which I contribute to the communities (work, friends, family….) that feed me.
That vehicle is capable of amazing things. It’s stronger than I thought. I experience more through it than I thought. How I fuel it impacts how well it serves me, and how well I serve those around me.
WHAT FINALLY, FINALLY MADE IT ALL THE WAY FROM MY HEAD TO MY HEART? All of this means that I can’t help but be mindful of how I treat my body, and at least as importantly, be aware of what it gives me back. So I don’t just know more… I am DIFFERENT.