Live to Eat Well, Exercise, Be Well in Mind and Body

Reconstruction: Month 2, Day 11

I’m having a difficult time justifying this reconstruction project. Since inauguration day, I haven’t had the heart or the interest in writing about my eating and exercise habits. I’m a nervous wreck some days. Some days I am so angry. Other days I just drift off into escapism. Some days I take life by the balls and eat Rocky Mountain oysters for breakfast. Speaking of which, I am eating better. I am exercising more. But what does it matter?

Do I really need to be writing inane journals about food and exercise? The world is falling apart and millions of people are suffering and I’m worried about 15 pounds? So worried that I write about it every day? While I know that nutrition and fitness is an important part of the conversation we should be having about public health in this country, the truth is I am already healthy and fit. My blood work is fabulous, I eat my fruits and vegetables, I don’t do drugs or smoke, I drink in moderation, I floss and brush, I exercise regularly, and I have great health insurance. I am winning at health.

In truth, my reconstruction project is all about being skinny. Skinny. Thin. Lithe. I’ve never been good at being skinny but it seems like I’ll never stop trying. They say practice makes perfect. Sigh. Perfect. Skinny. Perfect. Skinny. Are these two words synonymous? Who taught me that? Can I unlearn it? If so, how? But I still want to be skinny. Why? Because I want to be loved. Someone, somewhere told me over and over and over and over and over and over and over again that you have to be skinny to be beautiful and that you have to be beautiful to be loved. Sure, there are exceptions to that rule, but I am not one of them.

How do I tune out their voices? The voice of my grandmother who, with disgust in her voice and on her face, told my eleven year old self, “My God Amber, your friends are toothpicks and you look like you weight 100 pounds.” The boys in junior high and high school who dehumanized me by mooing at me like a cow and barking at me like a dog. The family friend who congratulated me on my weight-loss, declaring me now suitable for marriage, as most men didn’t care for fat women. The boyfriend who told my fit, size six self that he preferred flat abs and firm thighs, disappointed that I had gained weight after our vacation.

Life is scary and hard sometimes and I am very aware, daily, that I am navigating that scary and hard world by myself and that when I fall again (when not if), I fall alone. Again. I don’t want to be alone any more. So, I guess it’s back to the hamster wheel. Back to the gym. Pass the brussels sprouts please…..

Am I ruled by fear? Sure. Aren’t we all? Wasn’t fear the driving force behind our most recent presidential election. In the face of fear, what does courage look like for me personally? I’m not sure. I need to meditate on that, pray about it, beg for enlightenment. For now, I am off to drink wine.

Reconstruction: Month 2, Day 1

I just taught my first group exercise class, Barre Strong, in almost two years tonight. It went great. I love teaching group exercise and Barre Strong is my favorite class to teach. I can't wait to build a life as a part-time group exercise … [Continue reading]

6 Ways to Improve Your Health and Finances at the Same Time

Having too little money and too many extra pounds - few things in life are rife with so much shame and fear. While it is typical to feel alone in your shame, the truth is that few people escape money and/or weight problems. Three quarters of … [Continue reading]

Reconstruction: Day 22

Soooo, I traveled to Austin, Texas for both work and play over the last ten days. I prioritized time with my family and friends in the evenings instead of updating my blog. Sorry not sorry. I spent quality time with my beloved family, saw a lot of … [Continue reading]

Reconstruction: Days 10 & 11

Been a weird, sickly few days. I know that I'm a hypochondriac, so my rational reactions to injury or illness are far more emotional than they should be. (So I've been eating a lot of chocolates and candies.) That and it's that time of the month … [Continue reading]

Reconstruction: Days 8 & 9

A week plus into 2017 and I am feeling the weight of self-expectation on one hand and the gift of self-compassion on the other. Meaning, I am not Super Woman, but making progress towards making exercise a habit and a hobby again. I have strategically … [Continue reading]

Rebuilding My Relationships After Assault and Trauma

Fallout Health and wellness hinges on relationships. In recent mortality studies, researchers have discovered that loneliness is twice as dangerous as obesity and has comparable health outcomes to those of a pack-a-day smoker. In greater numbers … [Continue reading]

Reconstruction: Day 6

I have friends. More than just rogue, individual friends, I have a posse. Complete with dogs. And a devil cat. What?!?! After the lonliest and most friendless year of life in Denver, that is better news than any badass workout or clean eating … [Continue reading]

Reconstruction: Days 4 & 5

I was too tired to journal last night. Happens. Well, the good news is that pile of clean clothes has now been put away. But now other chores are mounting. I'm unsure how to work full-time, exercise consistently, cook healthy food from scratch, … [Continue reading]

Reconstruction: Day 3

I love to walk. I don't care if it's freezing (as long as I'm bundled up) or if it's humid or if it's hot. I love a nice walk outside with the fresh air and sunshine. Walking is my first love in fitness; it was my gateway drug. As they say, you have … [Continue reading]