RESOLVE TO GET INVOLVED
By: Lauren Anderson
After last week’s bold and exhilarating –if not premature– resolution to start thinking of my body as not just a machine that can DO things, but also as a thing of beauty— I thought I could get out of the obligatory “making of a resolution” talk that is everywhere this time of year.
(See last week’s blog MERRY FUNCTIONAL FIT-MAS for the full declaration.)
I’ll admit it. I almost felt a little smug about it. Like a guy at a party that is in on the prank, but only because he was the recipient of the prank last year, ya know?
When people asked me about my resolutions, I was like, “Already declared. Already started.” And when I would tell them about this brand-new body-love beauty-kick I’m currently on, I think they could sense the wildness I’m feeling by declaring something like this.
As a testament to my friends, I got a lot of support, and a lot of “good for you” type responses. Which have been such a life jacket when I’ve been feeling super vulnerable about it.
But then I talked to my mom.
Before you gasp and settle in for an all-too-typical, treacherous, mother-daughter tale of body shame and hurt feelings–let me just say, NOTHING like that happened. (Thank goodness.)
But my mom did what she does best, and asked me to clarify. See, my mom is always ALWAYS right. It’s annoying how often she’s right. She’s like a wise shaman on the mountain top. Asking questions that cut through the noise, right to the core.
She will ask a question that forces you to see something you may or may not have been avoiding. And since she speaks almost exclusively in metaphors, it’s usually pretty effective.
I’m vibrating with excitement, explaining to her about what I wrote in my last blog post. She goes, “Oh wow. That’s really big stuff.”
I say, “I know right?! I feel so alive! I could’ve NEVER attempted to feel anything like this about my body 2 years ago. Pre-Solcana, this was not possible.”
My mom goes, “That is so cool. I’m proud of you.” I beam.
She takes a breath…and uh oh…here it comes. She continues, “But what does that look like?”
My mother waits patiently for the response.
I open my mouth to answer, and stop myself. My mind was swirling with words and excitement just a second ago, and now it’s quiet. I shrug and say, “Well shit. I guess I don’t know.”
Then my mom laughs and says, as only she can, “Right now you’re using your piano as a table. But it also plays music right?”
This is a familiar thing she says. Not all the time, and not always about a piano, but she’ll whip out a phrase like this when someone underestimates something or someone.
In this instance, I’m pretty sure I’m underestimating myself, and it’s becoming more and more clear that I haven’t thought through an action plan.
Then she says, “I just want to know how you’re gonna learn to play the music.”
Dammit! She got me again!
And guess what gang? She’s right. ANNOYING ISN’T IT?! In the frenzy of declaring that body love can also include beauty, I didn’t really stop and think about what that looks like, or how to accomplish my goal.
And since the new year is awash in goal setting and “new you” merchandising, I can’t seem to avoid it right now either. Like rabbits fornicating, my mom’s one simple question “What does that look like?” has now sired millions of offspring.
There are so many questions. What does feeling beautiful in my body look like? How does that manifest? How is that different from the way I act now? Can a beautiful body look just like I do now? (The short answer is HELL YES.) But it begs another question: What does having a beautiful body mean to me?
If you’ve never struggled with body love, these questions might not seem like grenades, but for a body like mine, trust me–they are. Because the minute you start looping “beauty” into the conversation, people are just a little too quick to start talking about weight loss.
And believe me, that automatic correlation is exactly the stuff that will maim your soul, and leave it bleeding in the street. A purposely dramatic sentence written in attempt to show the pain that can be caused by even one “well-intentioned” but unwanted, weight loss comment.
But before I start repeating myself from last week, back to the HOW of it all.
How do I just magically start thinking that my body is beautiful? Nothing is ever that easy, right? I think it’s great that I’m ready to tackle this whole new aspect of being in my body, but how do I do it?
Well, shit. I guess I don’t know.
Aaaaaaaand now I’m stuck in a loop.
Before I’m paralyzed by inaction, and not knowing where to start, I get a Facebook message from my friend (and number one LuLaRoe Consultant!) Janelle.
She says, “I read your blog and love it, (thank you!) and I was wondering if you could tell me more about CrossFit. I’ve been wanting to give Solcana a shot.”
I am over-the-moon. Because seriously, if I had it my way, every single one of you would be at the gym with me sweating it out. I give her some logistics, answer some questions, and offer to do a workout with her. And I send her info about our beginner program Body Adapt.
But the most important thing I’m trying to get across to her is to just try it! Don’t overthink it. Just try it, and you can adjust later the more you learn and the more you experience. The important thing is to start.
And BOOM. Just like that, I think I just answered my own question.
Duh! How come I didn’t see it before?! There is no magic formula to suddenly start thinking my body is beautiful, after years of telling myself otherwise. There is no clear, set course. Because it’s different for everyone.
But my hope for Janelle, is the same hope I have for myself. I’m going to just try it. I’m going to START. Because the last thing I want is to get stuck in my head, and have no action.
I’ll start small by literally telling myself that my body is beautiful, and see what changes. I’ll build strength, I’ll build confidence, and then I’ll try more/ different/ harder stuff. I’ll adjust as I learn.
And I’ll keep speaking it out into the universe and see if that changes anything too. Like blog posts like this! And I’ll assess and keep moving forward.
The new, more frequent words will be matched with new, more frequent visits to the gym. New time slots and new personal gains. Action in the body as well as the mind!
I guess, to put it back into my mom’s metaphor– In order to learn to play the piano, I have to start by banging on some keys.
I’m glad Mom asked me “what does that look like?” Because before, this beauty business was just an idea that I was maybe-gonna-attempt-to-start-to-maybe-try-maybe-one-day.
But now I’ve got a plan! Even if that plan is just banging around for a bit till I find a melody.
It reminds me of the iconic words my sister said to me from my very first blog.
“Do what you can until you can do more. Then do more.”
So it seems, whether it’s attempting to play music in my mom’s metaphor,
Or starting the Body Adapt classes like my friend Janelle,
Or gearing up for the next big challenge like accepting that my body can be beautiful–
Three cheers for the hope of new beginnings, and giving something a try.
The best we can do is to resolve to get involved, both physically and mentally– and start.
Happy New Year Everyone!