January is The Month of Cake. I call it that because both my husband and I have our birthdays close to one another in the second week. It was right about that time that I took a lovely little week long course in mindful eating. I highly recommend it even though it kind of ruined chocolate cake for me. No. It showed me that I prefer dense cakes to light and airy ones. Yeah. That’s it. Though truly, the light and airy cake really felt like nothing in my mouth.
But this month was so much more than simply The Month of Cake. It has been an exhilarating month. I walked into the month upset and worried about spending a ton of money on the Precision Nutrition coaching program. I am limping out of it absolutely convinced it is one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself, so far.
First, the philosophy of the program can be summed up in three sentences:
Start wherever you are
Use whatever you have
Do whatever you can.
And this means you start your process of change with baby steps. Teeny tiny baby steps. My “work out”–if, really, you can call it that–is ten minutes of meditation and a five minute walk three times a week. “Five minutes! What’s five minutes? Too easy!” I thought. “I’m paying all this money to be told to walk?”
But here’s the thing. When you are starting a habit, you have to start with the smallest bit–because it is not the thing–it’s not the walking, really, that’s important here. It’s the consistency. It’s establishing the pattern of thinking about going out for my walk every other day. It’s the making room for it in my day. (And yesterday, finding five minutes to walk was a challenge. But I met it.) It’s what the practice does to your head that’s important. And, obviously, exactly where I need to start–because my head just wasn’t there. And that’s why it has to be a five minute walk. It has to be small enough to get out of the way of the important mental stuff that has to happen for a habit to form. I’ve “known” all about this stuff about habits for along time…but this is the first time I get it.
As well, this month, after being without for over four years, I have finally found and met a family doctor. I have gone for all the tests and x-rays. My follow up appointment is tomorrow. For the first time in my life, I have a female family Doctor. I am quite excited about it.
I re-twisted my ankle this month. I’d originally twisted it back on Oct 4th. That’s when I filled out the incident report at work. I procrastinated treatment. I don’t know why. I kept hoping it would go away, I guess. It is one of the reasons I stopped exercising in December. (That should have been my first clue to get help, don’t you think?) So, in the spirit of self-care, I found a physiotherapist and she’s helping me. I’m taped up like crazy. Waking at work, unfortunately, in steel toed boots with inflexible soles on concrete floors is nearly impossible.
As a result of wanting to give my foot a bit of a rest, I started aquafit. In the middle of the month, I bought myself a bathing suit and promised myself I’d go once a week. I’ve made it twice so far.
One of the absolute best things this month was reading The Secret Life of Fat, by Sylvia Tara. The book made me understand just how difficult it is for a woman like me, in my early fifties (hormones!) with my history of losses and gains (efficient fat!), with my genetic background, (Irish/Scots/Welsh/British = thrifty fat genes!), and who has a mother who struggled with weight all her life (a fat building gut biome!) to lose weight. I am thrilled with the six pounds I lost this month. Six whole pounds!
Perhaps I need to rename it The Month of New Beginnings. But that would be cheesy.