2016 was the year that I committed to running every morning (mon-fri). I ran alone. I listened to loud music that pushed me harder and made me feel strong and confident. For the first time since having children, I was carving out time just for me – and doing something that tapped into my inner strength. I was getting back to me, and it felt good.
Unfortunately, I started to get discouraged when the weight-loss slowed and then eventually stopped. Because I wasn’t integrating healthy habits in the rest of my life (other than avoiding bread), they caught up with me and I couldn’t out run them.
When I started working with my health coach (Jennifer at Project Healthy Body) , we agreed that I needed to focus on nutrition and portion sizes, at least initially. Not because exercise wasn’t important (it’s super important), but focusing on everything all at once might have overwhelmed me. Plus, running does make me hungrier, and therefore more challenging while I was working on shrinking my stomach back to something a little smaller and less vacuous than say a black hole.
I have been steadily dropping pounds since January and had kind of forgotten about the benefits of more strenuous exercise than just walking. When Jennifer asked if wanted to join her at a Soulcycle class, I immediately said yes. Not because I was just dying to spend 45mins gasping for air and bruising my lady-bits – believe me, I don’t have to drive all the way to Palo Alto for that. I said yes immediately because everything Jennifer has ever asked me to do has only brought me closer to self-love and a life of absolute freedom from the scale.
I arrived early (as all nervous people do) and sat in the parking lot blasting my favorite Metallica song – you know, like all the other 42 year old moms at Stanford Shopping Center. It was essentially the live action version of this scene from Monsters University.
When I woke up this morning, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had done something wrong, or a little icky by exposing my innermost self in my first blog post. I questioned whether or not I should have done it at all, and even whether or not it was my authentic voice, or an obvious ploy to gain attention. It’s possible that Jennifer and the universe conspired to help me work through those feelings gifting me my confidence back in the form of vigorous exercise.
To say that Soulcycle was just what I needed is an understatement. I walked in with shoulders and spirit down, and walked out with my head high and spirit lifted. At one point during a particularly amazing remix of Under Pressure [Freddy Mercury, am I right??] I hit the wall and wanted to sit down. Instead, I dug down deep, and thought about the words written on the wall beside me…
As I rode, I visualized inhaling self-love and exhaling self-doubt – and I began to cry. Like, really cry! All while peddling like an uncoordinated crazy woman! I left all of the nonsense I’d been feeling all morning right there on my bike. Now I know why it’s so dark in there. Who wants to watch some broad with yesterday’s mascara running down her face bobbing and sobbing on a god damned bike?
I left the studio confident, relaxed, and feeling so strong. I used to workout to help negate some of what I was eating. Today I worked out and went to Whole Foods for a green drink, and to replenish the ample supply of vibrant fruits and vegetables that now reside on my kitchen island.
Anyone want to ride with me next weekend, if I promise not to cry? Green drinks after are my treat!