How Working Out Has Healed My Life
In the past 6 months or so I've shed about twenty pounds of physical weight and another ton of energetic weight. I feel stronger and healthier than I ever have in my life, and I'm looking at my body and the ways in which I support it through a completely new lens.
In technical terms, you could say that I've lost the weight the good old-fashioned way, through diet and exercise. And while I've adopted better habits in those areas, the truth is that it's all about the energy. My body is finally catching up on the outside to what my heart and mind feel like on the inside.
And the whole process has felt effortless.
While I have wanted a slimmer, healthier physique for some time, this whole weight loss thing all kind of happened on accident. I was never really "trying" to lose weight. I was simply inspired to live differently moment by moment, and so I followed those nudges. And one day I woke up and noticed that changes were taking place.
That's how mindfulness works.
You just show up in the moment and do whatever feels good. Crazy concept, I know, but it's that simple. It may not always be easy, but it is truly that simple.
Around August of last year, I was inspired to go inward and take a break from a few things in my life, namely alcohol and social media. I stopped drinking for about a month or two and then only eased it back in moderation on the weekends after that. I got off Facebook and deleted all my other social accounts besides Instagram (I love you Instagram!).
What happened when I released those energetic ties in my life was nothing short of miraculous. Suddenly I wanted to go for a run in the afternoons. If you knew me at all before, you would be like, wha-what? Seriously though, I had so much energy to burn that I couldn't just walk anymore; I needed to move my body, and it wanted to run. It wanted to be outside, and it wanted to move. Fast.
Running suddenly became this joyful act of energetic expression that had absolutely nothing to do with fitness or weight loss. I was enamored with the whole process. It was a moving meditation of the highest form. I loved feeling my feet grip the pavement in my barefoot shoes. I felt empowered by the way my heartbeat filled my entire body. I reveled in the emotional high I felt a few miles in with nothing but the sky above me and air all around me.
I was falling in love.
As the months have gone on, running has become this life line that I couldn't imagine not being in my life. Just like my morning meditations, my runs help to quiet my mind and remind me of what's important in this life. I am reminded of what a changed person I am and the power of our intentions as I feel my strong, steady legs propel me forward stride by stride. In those quiet moments of solitude, I hear the whisper of God and am inspired again and again by the nudging of my own inner light.
The call has expanded to include other forms of beautiful, life-affirming movement. I've found myself belly-dancing in the bathroom mirror, doing yoga in the kitchen, stretching into the splits in Chloe's playroom, lunging around the house to pick up toys. I'm like a kid discovering her fabulous body all over again, and I'm just amazed at all the cool shit it can do.
Yes, it's becoming leaner. Yes, I love feeling thinner, stronger and healthier. And yes, it feels great to be lighter. But the truth is that all of that is just a byproduct of following my inner whisper and expressing my joy through movement.
I am healing myself through movement, and my body is enjoying the benefits.
The other morning I was doing push ups in the living room (which has surprised even me lately), and suddenly I was present to myself rooting me on. There I am perched on my knees, at the point where I can only take it one rep at a time without rest, and as if I'm out of my body, I hear myself saying out loud, "Come on Kayla. You can do this sweet girl. You've got this. You're strong and powerful and so amazing."
Imagine hearing yourself genuinely saying those things to yourself. I burst into tears. I was so overcome by my own self-love. I was completely touched by the place that this journey has brought me to. I was healing wounds that had been undone for years, and in that moment I felt a blinding flash of light that washed away some of my biggest hurts, namely around my daughter's birth.
When I gave birth to my sweet Chloe just three years ago, I chose the route of natural, drug-free birth. It was an experience that broke me down in more ways than there are words to express, and I have lingered with this feeling that I didn't support myself through that process. I looked to my husband, my doula and my midwives to give me external support when what I really needed was me not to desert me.
In that moment on my living room floor this week, with arms quaking and sweat dripping, I finally let go of that hurt. When those words of encouragement tumbled from my lips in that prone push-up position, I saw a flash of Chloe's birth, and all at once I forgave myself for giving up on me in those bleak hours of pain and desperation. I realized that I didn't know how to be there for myself at that time. I did the best I could with the spot I was in at that moment, and it was all perfect. It always is.
Working out has healed my life. Just like meditation and mindfulness and morning smoothies and green juice. I laugh now to think of all that energy I wasted for the last DECADE wanting to lose those twenty pounds that just slid off me in the last few months. What could I have created in my life if that energy had been directed in a more productive, loving direction?
And so that is the lesson in all this. Do what feels good. Be here now. Affirm yourself. Love your body. Move with the energy. And be kind to yourself. We are magical, amazing creations of the Divine and truly anything is possibly when we step into the moment and trust in the Unknown.