Katy Trail: Black Walnut to Machens

I did it! I started my Katy Trail Challenge! It was a LOT harder than I’d anticipated and about half way through I was questioning my sanity. After all, this first leg was the shortest distance I have planned and I baaarely managed it. But I’m getting ahead of myself…

I haven’t written here (partially because I don’t like to complain, partially because not writing about it allowed me to diminish it) but shortly after I decided to do this challenge I injured my knee. I’m pretty sure it’s a meniscus tear, though that can’t be confirmed without an expensive MRI which wouldn’t actually change the course of treatment so I’m not getting one. So, I didn’t train properly for this first leg of my challenge. When I tried to walk more than about 1.5 miles my knee would swell and cause me a lot of pain. I also sometimes have pain during normal daily activities so I was trying not to aggravate it further. But I was determined to start this challenge anyway- the way I have it set up if I miss many of my planned walks I won’t be able to finish before my 40th birthday. I’m prepared for that if serious injury occurs but I’m not willing to give up before I even start because of a little knee pain. So, I researched how to tape up the knee and figured I’d do the first leg and hope for the best.

As I was getting my stuff prepared the night before Kya decided that she wanted to come along. I, of course, agreed but was unsure at first how it was going to impact my experience. I had to leave later than I’d planned and when we first began she was complaining a bit. In the end it was a really great thing that she came along because when things got REALLY hard she helped me keep going- but I’m getting ahead of myself again!

keepIMG_1248We headed to the trailhead at Black Walnut (tiny town outside St. Charles) and planned to walk the 3.1 miles to Machens, the terminus of the East end of the trail, and back to Black Walnut. I should mention that a lot of people don’t bother with this section of the trail. St. Charles is the unofficial end/beginning of the line for many people who are hiking or biking the entire trail. But the perfectionist in me would never be able to say I’d walked the entire trail if I skipped this section and with the short distance between the two outposts it seemed like a good place to begin my journey.

I knew the Machens trail head was seculuded but that a picnic table, primitive toilet, and shade would offer us an opportunity to rest before turning back so I figured it would be okay. We started off in good spirits, passing one other pair of hikers and several cyclists who also wanted to travel to the actual end (beginning?) of the line.

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The trail itself is well maintained and stretched out before us with trees and farm land lining the way. It didn’t really offer much in the way of scenic interest because private lands jut right up to the trail here. I know from my research that other areas are more beautiful and interesting but, again, this was a shorter leg and that seemed more important for my first walk than beauty. However, even with all my research I still didn’t expect junk…

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This was the first of a few run down properties we passed that were right next to trail. We also spotted quite a bit of litter on the sides of the trail. I’m not really sure why it surprised me so much; rural Missouri farm towns are generally economically depressed and this little used section of the trail probably doesn’t offer much to turn that around. I can only hope the rest of my walks offer less depressing views.

About a mile in we spotted a bench and we rested for a few minutes before heading on. As we started walking again we wondered if there would be more benches. There weren’t.

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We walked on, taking in the farm land and occasional bits of trash and junk. We were going at a pretty leisurely pace (about a 25 minute mile) because we had no reason to hurry and we knew we had a long way to go. At about 2.25 miles though something shifted. My legs started to ache, my spirits started to plummet, and I realized I was pretty hungry. I’d walked further than this before, and with more hills, but it had been before my injury and my lack of training was catching up with me. There were no good places to rest for a minute and get my bearings so we plunged forward, albeit a bit slower (about 33 minutes per mile). We finally made it to the Machens trailhead and were SO happy to have a place to rest and eat the fruit I’d packed for us.

keepIMG_1254We weren’t in a hurry and knew that if the first half was tough the second half would be tougher so we rested for quite a while. We ate, used the restroom, updated Facebook and just relaxed for about half an hour. I felt refreshed and ready to take on the walk back to the car. At least that’s what I thought.

The first half mile was okay but then my legs really started to protest this sudden jump in activity. In addition to not walking I’d also been avoiding my beloved yoga because of the way it sometimes pulls at the knee. This was perhaps a bigger problem than my lack of walking because my hip muscles were so tight and screaming the most. We found a grassy knoll where we stretched for a minute, me doing a few lying yoga poses that I knew would loosen my muscles. Then we were on our way again, me feeling like I couldn’t go on.

Kya, however, had gotten her second wind. She made up a game of all the ways we could get back to our car (superpowers to teleport, jumping the passing train and riding it all the way back around, hitchhiking with the farmer passing on his tractor). She was patient when I slowed down, offered a hand to help me up from our spot on the grass and just generally kept talking and making jokes to keep me distracted. When I cracked that I was just going to stop and live in this place on the trail she said I couldn’t because I needed to go grocery shopping. ๐Ÿ˜‰ In these small gestures she never made me feel as if I was slowing her down or that she was condescending to me. I realized that I have always respected my kids limitations, from the physical to the emotional, without judgement and by offering whatever help I could. She was doing the same for me and I swelled a little with pride. It pushed me forward.

During our loooong walk back the sky began to darken even though it was still early and we could see rain in the distance.

keepIMG_1257It was far enough away that I wasn’t terribly worried but I also knew our current pace (42 minutes per mile) could mean getting caught in the rain if we weren’t careful. However, we soon came to that bench that we knew was a mile out and I figured we’d be okay. At this point we’d run out of water (most outposts have a way to refill water but not Machens and I simply hadn’t brought enough) but we had a few strawberries left. We sat on the bench and finished them and they were hydrating enough to take us the rest of the way.

When we finally spotted our car I wanted to cry. My legs ached, my knee (which the tape had kept from hurting for about 5.5 miles) was screaming and we had finally felt a few raindrops as the storm caught up with us. There had been a few low points when I wasn’t sure how I was going to go on but I did. It was grueling and it took us 5 hours to complete (which included all the times we stopped). I could barely lift my legs to get into my very low to the ground car. The 2+ hour drive home only made my muscles stiffen more. But I’d done it. And I’d figured out a few things to help the next time be easier…

  1. Train more. The athletic tape works. I can walk and do yoga without exacerbating my knee injury if I tape it. Which I definitely will.
  2. Bring more water. The last 1.5 miles were the worst not because I was so tired but because I no longer had water. Water is key.
  3. Don’t be afraid to rest when I need to. Even if there’s nothing more than a bit of grass it helps to give my legs the break they need. As time goes on I’ll need fewer breaks but I need to listen to my body and rest when I need to.

I had a couple of surreal moments that brought a bit of clarity to the struggles. As I sat at the Machens trail head I realized that just a few moments before I’d felt like I’d never make it, that it was just too hard. But then I did make it and that exhausted, tired, achy me was already a memory that I could disconnect from my present self. It had only been about 15-20 minutes but I still had the very real understanding that it was in the past. And that moment of clarity would also soon be in the past. I knew then that even if it was slow, even if it was difficult, even if the rain caught up with us that it would all pass. I kept that thought close to the surface during the difficult walk back to the car. And it worked. I put one foot in front of the other and I made it.

Before Saturday the furthest I’d ever walked was 3 miles and I’d worked my way up to that. Then in one day I more than doubled that distance after weeks of rest. It was hard but it proved to me that I CAN do this. This was only the beginning.

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Worth It

In my last post I mentioned that I rarely spend money on myself but for this challenge I have. That’s actually kind of a big deal for me. When I spend money on things I want, and sometimes even on things I need, I feel selfish and indulgent. Intellectually I understand that isn’t true (or perhaps more accurately, itย isย true but it’s okay to be selfish and indulgentย once in a while). But knowing and feeling aren’t often the same thing. So, it was with a lot of anxiety that I bought some things…

keep2A guide book, some comfortable clothes for walking, headbands, a backpack with a water bladder for the longer walks, and some money set aside for new shoes as soon as I get to a store with people to help me find the right pair for my needs. Not much (but still a significant amount of $$ for our budget minded family) and yet I’m feeling the need to justify these purchases, to reassure myself that it’s worth the money I’m spending. And one of my justifications is giving me pause.

When I’m being completely honest with myself I acknowledge that little voice in the back of my mind that is patting me on the back for being a “good fatty”. For those not familiar with that term it boils down to this… A lot of people are raising their voices to promote size acceptance and some of those people like to break down the stereotypes that fat people are lazy, have difficulty with physical activity, aren’t athletic, have high blood pressure and cholesterol, etc. It’s an important message but has created a bit of backlash because now some people think that overweight people are worthy of acceptance only if they defy these stereotypes. A recent viral blog post (which I’m not linking because it doesn’t deserve it) was supposed to be inspirational but was really very condescending in this manner. The thin runner was “proud” and “inspired” by the fat runner, upon whom they heaped heavy doses of stereotypes. This went viral because other thin people couldn’t understand why I person of size wouldn’t be flattered to be complimented on being considered good and worthy of admiration by people who are obviously superior. (No one says this outright but it’s in the subtext; kind of the way some men are flabbergasted when women aren’t flattered by catcalls or some white people still think articulate is a compliment.)

So, you can see why it bothers me, a loud proponent of size acceptance, to find myself feeling proud of being “good” in the eyes of other people. Yes, I’m excited about this challenge and have a lot of sound reasons to be proud of myself but there’s also a tiny little part of me that is proud for a really dark reason. That dark little part was one of the reasons that made me feel better about spending money on myself. Not because it made me happy, would improve my health, would help me have more joy (which are ALL true) but because other people would see me being a good fatty. Ugh.

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And then I remember, as my angsty teen self learned so long ago, that I am not a toaster. I’m not just one thing. I am a confident person who is accepting of myself and my body. I am also a person who lives in this world full of size stereotypes and has faced discrimination and judgement as a result. And I have feelings and thoughts that reflect both of those (and a multitude of other things). And true self acceptance is acknowledging those dark corners of yourself without judgement. I see that this is something that is still an issue for me, that I still have some work to do. But then I remember how far I’ve come in this journey and I know that darkness is a part of me but it is not all of me.

So, I lace up my old walking shoes, put on my new clothes and walk. A little bit in the interest of being “good” and “worthy” but mostly because it feels good and makes me happy. And I am definitely worth that.

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What I’m Doing and What I’m Not

People who know me well IRL or who read my blog frequently enough have had some really fantastic, supportive responses in regard to my decision to walk the Katy Trail. People who don’t know me well think they are being supportive but kind of miss the mark. So, I just thought I might take a minute to clear up a few things about what I am and am NOT trying to do/accomplish with this challenge. ๐Ÿ™‚

1. I AM trying to improve my health.

I have diabetes. Exercise is a really important component of controlling my blood glucose which, in turn, helps reduce a lot of the health risks associated with diabetes. It’s not a magic bullet but it’s the closest thing I’ve found. But here’s the thing, I struggle with exercise. I think I associate it with all of those diets that failed me on so many levels and my subconscious rebels. But I also simply struggle with motivation and follow through. Having an end goal, deadline, and specific parameters helps with that.

2. I am NOT trying to change the shape of my body.

When you say to someone who has struggled (or not struggled since not all fat people struggle with that fact) with their weight that you think it’s so great that they’re “trying to get in shape” it’s condescending. I have a shape and I’m pretty okay with it. Yes, there are things that are difficult when you are fat but honestly, being short is more challenging for me than being fat. I have to ask my children to reach things on high shelves all the time. Like, nearly every day. It’s really rare that my weight keeps me from doing something or forces me to ask for help but my height is a problem all the time. So, this challenge isn’t really about what I look like, what size my jeans are, or a number on a scale because those things don’t matter (much) to me any more.

3. I AM trying to have fun.

I know exercise is important but I also just don’t think it’s very fun or interesting when I could be reading, writing, watching some cool sci-fi, or hanging out with friends and family. I’ve read lots of HAES focused blogs about moving for fun and health, not as a means to punish yourself, but I’ve never had much luck finding that for myself. However, this challenge finally has me excited about exercise. It’s fun again, like it was when I was a kid playing tag or a teen on the cheerleading squad, and that motivates me to get up off the couch and go.

R and I about halfway through a fun, relaxing walk on the first really beautiful day we'd had in a while.

R and I about halfway through a fun, relaxing walk on the first free, beautiful Sunday afternoonwe’d had in a while.

I’ve walked two miles every day but one (and I was helping my brother move that day) since deciding to do this challenge. I don’t have to force or chastise myself, I don’t need other people to remind or encourage me, I just do it because I really want to. Because I’m having FUN! ๐Ÿ™‚

4. I am trying to reach new limits but I am NOT trying to push myself there.

Yes, this is a challenge for me but it’s more a challenge of endurance and follow through than anything. The Katy Trail is used by runners and walkers but it is designed for bikers, converted from a rail line. It’s flat and easy. I’m not really hiking, I’m long distance walking. And I’m perfectly okay with that. I will have to push myself to accomplish the longest walks so I’ll gradually improve my physical strength and endurance but I’m not pushing it. I know myself and if this stops being fun, I’ll quit. Right now I’m walking about a 30 minute mile at a comfortable pace. I can feel a slight invigorating burn in my nose and chest when I breath in at that pace. I warm my muscles enough to shed extra layers of clothes but not so much that I’m dripping with sweat. I am tired enough to need a break when I’m finished but not exhausted. It’s a comfortable level for me, for now. I figure as time goes on and I increase my distance (I’m shooting for 2.5-3 miles today) my pace will also increase. But it will happen gradually, not because I forced it.

5. I AM doing this for myself. I AM also doing this for the people I love.

I wanted something motivating, fun, challenging and just plain awesome to help me ring in my 40th year. I don’t really spend money on myself but I have for this project. I’m also carving out time for myself not just on the Katy Trail but also for training. This is most definitely about wanting to feel good as I grow older. It’s also about seeing family members lose limbs to diabetes and being afraid of that future. This is, first and foremost, a selfish endeavor. And I’m okay with that because I don’t live a selfish life. I think it’s okay to be selfish sometimes, just not all (or even most) of the time. But in the back of my mind I’m also doing this for my kids. In the darkest corners of my imagination I’ve contemplated what it would be like for them if something happened to me, like a diabetes induced stroke, and I don’t want that for them. I don’t dwell on it and I know I can’t control everything but, I’ll do what I can to protect them. As parents we protect our kids from so much and often don’t even think about protecting them from our own self destruction.

So, that’s it. A fun, challenging, healthy, self-motivating, primarily, but not entirely, selfish endeavor. I’m ready! ๐Ÿ™‚

Katy Trail Challenge

Oh, wow guys, I have been planning and plotting! There have been so many times in the last week that I’ve wanted to come here and write about my Big, Exciting (at least for me!!) Plans but life keeps getting in the way. Finally, I’ve managed to carve a little time out to share my news!

I’m going to walk the Katy Trail, section by section, before my fortieth birthday next year. ๐Ÿ™‚

The Katy Trail spans most of Missouri and began it’s life as the Missouri-Kansas-Texas, or MKT, rail line. After the trains stopped running it was converted to a biking/walking trail. It’s not hilly or rugged but it is long. 247 miles long. I considered choosing other hikes that would offer more rugged terrain and therefore more of a physical challenge but I honestly didn’t consider it for long. I know myself and I need a self-contained goal with a deadline. That’s how I actually get things done. So, I’ll challenge myself in other ways, mostly by making my walk/hikes longer and longer as time progresses.

I suppose that in an ideal world I’d be able to just pause my life and walk continuously for 2-3 weeks and then pick back up where I left off but this isn’t an ideal world. My kids are old enough that I could probably get by with planning such a trip but then I’ve missed 3 weeks of the very limited time we have left when we are inextricably woven into the fabric of each other’s daily lives. Who’s to say how those three weeks could change that. I know they wouldn’t hold it against me and everyone would be fine… but when I get back will we have lost the habit of stopping to chat several times per day? Will we still want to wait to watch our favorite shows when we can watch together? Will our routines still include each other? Maybe. But maybe not, and it’s not a risk I’m willing to take. I would also miss them, and my husband a lot. So, no, it’s not going to be a continuous walk from one end of the trail to the other.

I’ve spent a lot of time exploring the Katy Trail website and mapping out a plan that actually fits into my life. (I’ve also ordered a guide book but couldn’t just sit around waiting for it to arrive before I started planning!) ๐Ÿ˜‰

My notes, mapping the trail by geological and chronological order as well as ideas for which sections would make good muilti-day trips.

My notes, mapping the trail by geological and chronological order as well as ideas for which sections would make good multi-day trips.

It’s going to take me 16 months to complete this challenge, beginning next month and ending in July 2015 when I turn 40. I plan to do one walk/hike per month in that time; most of them will be one day trips but there will also be 3 overnights (including one in wine country with my BFF) and finally, a three day trip at the culmination of the challenge. Because I’ll be doing a little backtracking to get back to my car I’ll actually walk 305 miles on the trail in addition to other walks and challenges close to home. That final three day trip I mentioned is going to span over 55 miles, 25.7 of which will be walked on the last day (nearly a marathon) so I’ll definitely need the walks at home to help me prepare; in fact I’ve already begun but I have to save something for next time…

An Unwelcome Visitor

Yesterday was a very bad day and I have no idea why. I’ve mostly recovered from the clinical depression that used to consume my life but there are days when it taps me on the shoulder whispering, “Remember me?”

It didn’t exactly take me by surprise; there have been a few clues over the last week but I ignored them because these episodes frighten me. I remember what it was like to walk around in the haze of depression, feeling ready to break apart at any moment. I don’t ever want to live like that again. And yesterday I found myself briefly there.

The day started with a news story about a former family friend being arrested. I haven’t seen him in years and we weren’t close and yet I found myself unable to hold back tears. Not just watering eyes but short, staccato sobs that I found myself forcing down even though I wanted to cry forever. Another clue that something was off, my first conscious awareness of what had been under the surface for a little over a week.

As the day progressed I felt myself slipping more. Everything was a struggle; getting dressed, eating, talking to my family. The slightest perceived grievance would bubble up into feelings of complete and utter rejection. Small struggles, like a TV cable being too short, suddenly felt insurmountable and caused me to burst into tears. By late in the day I was exhausted from the effort it had taken to hold myself together and I could no longer contain my tears. But I still had no idea why I was crying.

In the shower I let my tears flow freely, let the meaningless sobs out. I wrapped my arms around myself and fought against the fears that I was slipping back into a dark place. When Robbie came to check on me I craved his concern but it also made me feel worse. I was pulling it together but trying to talk to him, to talk at all, would bring the tears again. I tried to lose myself in mindless internet chatter and clear my mind of the anxiety and hopelessness that had rushed in to crush me. And then, almost as suddenly as it had arrived, it was gone. I got dressed, walked into the living room, hugged Robbie, confessed my fears about returning to the darkness, and then it was over. Not because I’m ignoring it, repressing it, or putting on a happy face but because it just… went away.

I have no idea where these tumbles into the pit come from. I don’t really know what helped me climb out- was it allowing myself to cry in the shower? Or maybe finding a way to tune it out afterward? Probably a combination of the two. I don’t know for sure though. I do know that nothing dramatic changed in my life that started the episode and nothing changed to end it. It’s not about anything external; it comes from within. Which is also where I have to fight it from.

Feel free to share any experiences you’ve had with depression in the comments. Sharing this helped me; sharing your story might do the same for you.

This post is highly unedited. I didn’t want to censor myself or be tempted to dilute what I’d originally written. So, please forgive any typos.

 

 

 

Day 21/Post 20: Acceptance Includes Accepting Limitations

Lately I’ve written a lot about the concepts of Health At Every Size (HAES) and am also striving to put these principles into practice in my daily life. I’m focusing on my health, not my weight, and am learning to separate the two. I’ve learned to love, care for, and appreciate my body as it is now instead of constantly wishing it were different. I accept myself as a fat, beautiful, intelligent, passionate woman. I do not hang my hat on your acceptance of these concepts or of my body. And yet, I discovered this week that I hadn’t fully accepted myself because I hadn’t accepted the limitations that my weight might impose.

We are planning a trip in the fall to Universal Orlando. The kids and I are recent converts to the Wizarding World but when we finally fell, we fell hard. We can not wait to walk down the streets of Hogsmeade and try our first sip of butterbeer. But Universal, unlike Disney World which we visited three years ago, is not always accommodating of people above average size. I’m not being euphemistic with that phrase either; everything I’ve read online indicates that people who are exceptionally tall, muscular or fat may have trouble fitting into some of the ride seats. I worried about this quite a bit because one of the rides in question is the one featuring my beloved wizards and witches. I’ve spent a lot of time pouring over information from those who’ve been there, fretting over whether I’d be able to ride “Forbidden Journey”. I still have no idea because it’s all about proportion, not weight and it’s impossible to tell until you’re there in the test seat. (And even then the test seats have been known to be wrong.)

A lot of the discussion on the forums I’ve visited center around “encouraging” people to lose weight, to remove these limitations. And I have to admit that I briefly considered trying to diet my way down a few pounds before the trip. I told myself it was okay because it’s not about my weight or other people’s perceptions; it’s about doing something I really want to do. And that argument may be true for some people. But it is NOT true for me. With my history of eating disorders there is no such thing as a casual diet. There are no “right reasons” to go down that road for me. Ever.

So, with that realization I realized that HAES and body love aren’t really enough. I also have to be honest about the limitations I’m accepting when I accept my body as it is.* Instead of following the standard assumption that I should actively try to lose weight for myself I’m choosing NOT to for myself. I accept the limitations of this choice and also reject the misplaced pity that may accompany it. I am not a victim, I am a warrior fighting for my health and well-being.

I may not get toย  fly with Harry, Ron and Hermione but I will still get to walk through the streets of Hogsmeade and explore Hogwart’s castle. If that’s what happens then that will truly be enough for me because a few minutes on an amusement park ride is not worth the risk of triggering a downward spiral into relapse.

Besides walking through Hogwarts is hardly a consolation prize. ๐Ÿ˜‰

*Just a brief note to say that I’ve limited this post to HAES for the sake of flow but this applies to so much more. When I embrace unschooling I also accept the limitations it may impose because I feel the benefits outweigh the costs. When I embrace gentle, respectful parenting concepts I also accept the limitations they carry. When I embrace less work for more family time I have to do so while understanding and accepting the limitations this creates on our finances. You get the idea. Truly accepting any concept or philosophy implies accepting its inherent limitations.

Day 6: Defining Health

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I love these “I Stand” PSAs for HAES. You can search Google images or Pinterest for more examples but for now I want to talk about this one and why it resonates with me.

I wasted a lot of time waiting to start my life. I always thought that when I lost a certain amount of weight then I’d be happier and more comfortable in my skin. I’d have more energy and be more flexible so I could have more fun. On some level, though not a conscious one at the time, I thought I deserved less in the mean time. It was my own fault (so my thinking went) that I couldn’t have fun, my own fault that I was too fat to do the things I wanted to do.

And then I found the HAES movement and I began to realize that I don’t have to wait. I can live life to the fullest RIGHT NOW!

I started reading blogs written by people who were fit, active, healthy and also fat. All of my favorite bloggers had pictures and stories of themselves breaking down stereotypes and doing fantastic things like ballet, advanced yoga, running marathons. These were all people doing these amazing physical things not because they should or because they were punishing themselves but because they love it. But, as I previously shared, I don’t love it. And that’s okay.

But does that mean it’s okay to just not do it?

Well, yes and no. If you are comfortable with forgoing exercise all together I say go for it. Plenty of people, of all body types, don’t exercise. They are happy with that choice, happy with how they feel and I think that’s great. But I am not one of those people. I have Type 2 Diabetes. When my blood sugar is under control I feel better. I have more energy, my muscles and joints are less stiff, I have fewer headaches, my menstrual cycle is less painful. Exercise is an important component of maintaining healthy blood sugar. So, it is certainly okay not to eat right and exercise; these things do not define our worth as human beings. But what I’m slowly realizing is that it’s also okay to do even if I don’t love it.

It always comes back to balance. We can run ourselves into the ground chasing a body that may or may not feel good. We can also decide that it’s all too much and that we are going to do whatever feels good in the moment. Both of those are choices that I’ve made in the past. I was still myself. Still a good friend, wife, mom, daughter. Still creative, loving, inquisitive and introspective. I was still me. Those choices didn’t affect who I am but they did affect how I feel.

Reading stories and having discussion with other people within the HAES community had left me feeling as if exercising when I didn’t want to was a bad thing; it’s all wrapped up in self-punishment and thin obsession. I have been continuously trading in one prescription for healthy behavior for another for most of my adult life. First I was convinced I needed to lose weight at any cost. Then I was convinced I needed to just do what felt good in the moment. Then I was convinced I needed to find movement that I love and break down stereotypes. I’m done with it all. I’m no longer listening to what works for others. I’m listening to my body and to the science I trust. I’m defining health for myself.

I know which foods give me energy and which leave me lethargic and/or achy. I know which yoga poses and cardio I can like, though never love, that also help me maintain blood sugar control. I know what sleep patterns help me be at my best. I know that when I push myself too hard or chastise myself for perceived failings that it impacts my mental and emotional health which are just as important as my physical health.

At the end of the day it all comes back to fun. I want to have fun in this body. I don’t want to waste any more time, energy or money trying to change it. I want my time, energy and money to be used for pleasure, not punishment. I want to wake up in the morning feeling energized and ready to face the world. I don’t have the perfect prescription for that yet but I know I’m only going to find it within myself.