Wellness Journey 2 Month Update
Over the past two months I’ve not only begun a recomposition of my body, but a recomposition of my mind and the spirit that feeds them both. When I stepped on that scale on September 10th and discovered I was less than 3 pounds from 200 pounds and having obesity it was the last straw. I’m happy to give this wellness journey 2 month update.
High blood pressure. Low energy and sluggishness. My complexion and skin. Red eyes. A bulging belly. And then there was the lump I’d found in addition to the fibroid situation I’d been dealing with since the fall of 2022. Enough was enough. I’d ignored my health – physical and mental for too long and like a child not given proper attention, it was going to demand my attention by acting out.
The decision to get healthier and begin a journey to whole wellness didn’t start on September 10th though. I didn’t know, but it had begun weeks before when my husband was retiring. While his schedule was demanding and less predictable, mine needed to be less demanding and steady. As his role shifted, so would mine. Where I’d spent the past 18 years making sure I was home and available, I’d soon share that.
Suddenly there was the unexpected gift of flexibility. It took me a couple of weeks to wrap my head around this change. I’d spent years writing and doing my creative work from home, with the exception of some theater activity. Even with that, I’d stopped pursuing acting because it was too much on my family. Putting on my own shows required a great deal of balance and I only did it twice, a year apart. That was enough. I stuck to writing mostly.
It dawned on me as we looked forward to his retirement that writing had filled a space. It had met me where I was. It was an escape from the limited options I had to create and pursue those creations. I asked myself if I loved it. I asked if it loved me. I asked if it was good for me. The relationship is definitely complicated. Afterall, I’m writing right now.
Putting Things Aside
I have always loved writing, but the relationship has definitely been a little one-sided. Sure, it fed my need to have something of my own, to create, to feel productive. It also gave me overwhelming sadness, insecurity, dashed hopes, and too much spent on marketing and ads. It also supported my weight gain, high blood pressure and other poor health associated with sitting for long periods of time.
Now, aside from writing a blog post a few times a month and dealing with emails for home and school and medical, I hardly get on this laptop. You know what? I don’t miss it. I love that I was able to write and create stories that will be there. My books will be there and be a part of my legacy (whatever that will be). However, the days of my long-form writing are most likely over. At least for fiction. There’d need to be a pretty strong case for it, like someone stumbled on one of my books and wanted to commission it for a movie or order copies for their whole school system and wanted book two. That kind of reason.
(If you want to support the books I do have, you can find my books here.)
What I thought I wanted hadn’t brought me peace, joy, or ease. It had brought me stress and on top of that I was dealing with more frequent periods of mild depression or the blues. It was debilitating and a weight I carried that I wasn’t living up to expectations. That I needed to be who people expected me to be. That I wouldn’t be good enough or wanted as I was. I don’t mean in my home but in the world. I knew my family loved me but who was I outside of a doting mom and wife?
All of this combined as I was forced to look at myself, my health, and the truth that I’d been contorting myself to fit into the boxes placed in front of me. The other truth is that I never fit in. Anywhere. At any time.
Would that be okay? What would it mean if I accepted this and stopped trying, freeing myself from a prison I’d built up for myself?
- What if it could be simpler?
- What if I focused on me?
- What would that be like?
I began sharing some inspired messages I’d received and written down, ending them with Love, Bernette. At the time I didn’t know I was writing them to myself.
They were the things I needed to hear. Much like the Tell Me poems. I was working on this poetry book and reading through the poems considering how to organize and put them in the book. These were a series of haikus I’d written in 2021. It was what I needed to hear now. All of this was happening at once. I was swept up in a swirling tornado forcing me out of the false comfort I’d fooled myself to believe was satisfaction. The yellow brick road didn’t lead me where I thought I wanted to go and now I needed to find my way home. I needed to find me. Ultimately, I needed to love Bernette.
It was the near tipping of the scale that brought me to my senses that what I was doing wasn’t working. What was my heel click? What would get me back to me?
Heel Click One
Seven years after publishing my first novel I made the decision that I wouldn’t continue writing as I had or doing readings as I had done for over ten years. It hadn’t really panned out and had definitely made me question myself. It was liberation from other people’s expectations and permission to show up for myself.
Heel Click Two
Friday I went to the gym with my husband. With him retired it was something to do (and maybe not the worst way to spend an hour.) Saturday night I got on the treadmill and I signed up for a calorie counting and food planning app, Lose It. I didn’t know what to really do with it besides put in what I ate and try to eat better.
Monday morning I joined the gym and signed up for the coaching consultation. At my consultation, with the support of my ever supportive husband, I signed up for one of the higher coaching programs, choosing to invest in my wellness, my health, my self.
A week later I had my first weigh in and workout and Jess told me something life changing. She says I should keep tracking my food but focus on protein by doing forty percent protein and thirty percent each for fats and carbohydrates. I listened and did it. Consistently.
Heel Click Three
And then I kept doing it. Day after day, week after week, pound shed by pound shed, fat shed and muscle gained. Every day I woke up with a commitment to myself. To love myself. To get stronger. To be well. To have peace. To show up for me.
I keep choosing these things every day when I wake, 2 months later.
Wellness Journey Two Month Update
When I started out on September 10th the scale read 197.6. This was the beginning and I knew if I didn’t get hold of it my BMI would tip over 30.
Today I weighed in at 176.4 pounds. That’s a whole twenty-one – 21 pounds released through diet and exercise in two months. I worked for this. I earned it. It makes it all that more precious to me and I am dang proud of myself for getting this far. I’m more than halfway to my goal and only 10 pounds.
Going Forward on My Wellness Journey
For some, it’s around the six to eight week mark when it starts getting hard. The motivation wanes. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to push through the next week and Thanksgiving week without the opportunity to go to the gym like I’d done as if it were my job for the past two months. While I’ve got my own concerns about it, I also have a plan for how to stay on track and continue on this whole wellness journey.
For one, diet and nutrition doesn’t stop and I’ll be focusing and learning more about how to fuel my body and health by what I eat. Second, family will be coming in and we’ll be hosting the largest Thanksgiving gathering we’ve ever done with about twenty people. This may not seem large, but to this introvert who is completely content with a few close family members, it does feel a bit daunting, especially given my recovery and trying to get a stove and oven delivered and installed before they get here. Thankfully, my stress levels are a lot lower these days.
I am on a journey but there is no end point. I’m taking it day by day and while I have a goal for a healthy weight, blood pressure, body fat, BMI, etcetera those are just numbers that help quantify how I feel and can use my body to serve my mind and spirit. As I continue on my path I am inspired to learn more about nutrition as I truly believe it’s the linchpin to success.
I know I’m not the only woman like me who desires to be healthy, feel good, and be confident in her body. And I refuse to think ‘we’re too old’ and no longer believe the lie about not being able to do it just because of metabolism. I’m still ten pounds from a healthy normal BMI and I will get there. When I do, I’ll have something more to share with you.