Do you know whats stressful? All the in's and out's of a getaway. Or if you’re flying US Airways. That in itself is a whole other kind of pain. But what else is stressful? Trying to stay "regimented" on vacation.
Looking at the number of days I was away and the activities planned, I wasn't going to see much the gym (I saw the colour of the gym walls once). What were the activities? A 3 day Music Festival called, “Life is Beautiful”, held in Vegas. The Sin City. Followed by some time Los Angeles. To top off the fun sundae supreme - my birthday!
What didn't I do?
Stress about what I would be eating and how much I would be working out. I set the standard for myself not to be perfect, but to be manageable. To do my best each day and each day my best may look different.
I ate more treats than normal. I'm assuming I didn't eat the amount of protein I wanted to and some days I ate more carbs and fats. Some days I did a lot of sitting. Some days I did a lot of walking (including a 5km hike in Runyon Canyon - great time, beautiful view, tough workout). Some days I drank a lot of water, while some days I drank a lot of wine.
The last night of vacation was my birthday. I went to try on my dress pants. Yep, more snug than what they would normally be. But that's okay. I am out of my routine and my environment. Guess what? Bodies are malleable and change. Some times I am carrying a little more fat, some times I am a little more lean. But either way, it doesn't make me any better or worse of a person. My self-worth doesn't shift with my body.
To be honest, if this was 5 or 6 years ago, I probably wouldn’t have been able to look in the mirror and shrug it off. I would have been upset that my clothes didn't fit.
It took some time to shift my relationship with the perception of my body. It took a lot of mindset work, self-reflections and internal dialogue. And if I am going to be completely honest, some days are still challenging. But these days are far less frequent than they have ever been. What changed?
I stopped tying my self-worth into my body.
Realizing my body looking a particular way doesn’t make me any more or less of a person. Acknowledging that my body is malleable – it changes. It has some dimples, a few wrinkles, some muscle and some fat. When I sit, my stomach will fold over my pants. And that is normal. It is totally okay. And if your stomach doesn’t fold over your pants upon sitting, if your muscle/fat ratio stays consistent, that is also totally okay.
Because bodies can change and bodies can stay the same. Either way it doesn’t change who you are. It doesn’t make you a mean person. It doesn’t make you a nice person. But I understand associating these outcomes into how you show up in the world, because I have been there.
If you’re struggling with tying your body into your self-worth, I encourage you to really have some conversations with yourself (or share with trusted loved ones) and acknowledge why, how and when this all started. This can be as early as childhood. Your why, how and when is going to be different from any one else’s because we all have completely different experiences that will affect these outcomes.
I also encourage you to check out Nasty Woman Radio Podcast with Erin Brown and Neghar Fonooni discussing “Body Love”. It’s a very enlightening 60 minutes.
And to end with, on the trip I enjoyed myself, while not over indulging (okay, maybe 1 night - oh well). I know that when I get back to my routine, everything will come back into my balance .But, all this is okay. Its not perfect, you know what is - nothing. What is this - manageable. What's manageable? A low stress regime.
Diet and exercise should be enjoyable, don't let it make you feel chained or ashamed.