Accept, Let Go and Have Faith

Since I've been 9 years old, working out has been a major part of my life and oddly (or not-so-oddly) so has a struggle with weight and body image.  I've run over 10 half marathons, done hundreds of aerobic classes and many kinds of group exercise classes. I've worked out to VHS and youtube, run on treadmills, moved on elliptical machines, biked thousands of miles in the summers of my youth on RAGBRAIs, gone to yoga classes and tried to do it at home, and spent many hours in the past two years at a crossfit gym (box). In fact, crossfit became a major part of my life, introducing me to a different way to think of fitness and a community which motivated me almost as much as the endorphins. But over time and for several reasons, the benefits of going didn't outweigh the hassle and toll on my family, so I canceled my membership.  I've enjoyed so much less stress on our family life as well as satisfactory work outs on my own, either at a regular gym or in my drive way. This extra time has opened up so much time for family and other priorities. Yesterday, I ran 3 miles in between school and picking Anna Cate up off the bus (40 minutes total time) and then took dinner with the girls to a friend recovering from surgery.  Today I spent my afternoon shuttling Anna Cate to Girl Scouts and swim practice, and because Molly didn't want to go to the gym with her cast, I did a 16 minute workout this afternoon while Molly ate a popsicle -- Tabata sprints, kettle bell swings, squats and sit-ups.  It isn't the same as crossfit but much more suitable to our family life. Also, thanks to my friend Cassie, I've discovered hot yoga, which has been healing and challenging.  

I hoped that I could continue to "drop in" to where I used to crossfit so I could find the connection with the people whose community I appreciate and enjoy the weird rush of getting weight over my head only to drop it, but that's not possible.  It has hurt my feelings and made me feel shunned, but yesterday I saw this quote which I think embodies the lesson I need to learn. And finally, I've received peace.

Only when I accept what is and let go of what was can I open my mind and my heart to what the next step of my fitness journey will offer.  I learned so much from crossfit:  the value of burpees, cheering for others, the joy in strength, the fun in creating my own wods "workouts of the day" as well as some real friendships.   
I will keep so much with me on my journey, but I need to let go of what was, and open myself up for what's next.  I think it might be yoga for this stage in my life.  My heart and soul needs yoga as much as my body. 

So, I'm taking this acceptance lesson to apply to something related: my body. In yoga, you set an intention for your practice, so this month I'm devoting my yoga practice every day to acceptance. I seek to accept my body, accept that I don't have a flat stomach, let go of the egotistical fear that others can't tell I work out. So for the month of April, I'm going to do 18 sun salutations an evening and set my intention on acceptance.  18 is for the fact that I weigh 180 pounds and am embarrassed by that number. Why? My body has done amazing things for me. . .why should I be ashamed of it? Hopefully by acceptance and publishing the weight here on this blog, I can let go.
Daily I'm going to light a candle, listen to some funky, calming music and do these sun salutations. I hope it will remind myself to embrace gratitude for home and family, that which I chose over crossfit, and seek acceptance.
Maybe by the end of this personal challenge, I'll believe this.


Anonymous said…
Never saw your blog before...but what a beautiful message. I, too, would work out and still maintain a "high" weight - about the same as you. I SOOO appreciate you sharing this - it is so affirming to realize other people are thinking/ feeling the same fears.
Mom said…
This one made me sad, yet hopeful for you to embrace the "quote". I hope and pray your goal to accept your body, will be totally successful. You are so beautiful and real to me, so intelligent, have a sparkling personality, deeply spiritual, and you have such a wonderful and precious family...immediate and extended, and a cadre of close friends. You are the most healthy person I know! I pray for you to have the peace you so deserve!

Jan said…
Ever since I was fortunate enough to be not only your English teacher but also your track coach in high school,I have had an absolutely unshakeable respect and admiration for you, sweet Sarah. You so define beauty that when I think of the word "beautiful", your face comes into my mind. I know how hard you work, because I was privileged to see it up close and personal. Weight is just a number on a scale, and perish the thought that any of us would ever calculate our value by that number. I avoid the scale like a plague because I might let it control what I think of myself on any given day, and besides that, you and I both know that we're pure muscle and muscle weighs more but takes up less space! You are always gutsy and inspiring, and I just had to let you know that once again you have plucked my heart strings with your beautiful melody of words. I have never had time or money to be a gym regular, but that motivates me to come up with my own workouts that I enjoy. Over the past 2 weeks, I've spent almost every waking minute with my precious Mom who suffers from late stage dementia/Alzheimers, and I'd just arrived home when I read your post. I've already changed into my workout clothes, and tonight as I'm doing my favorite intervals in my den to the sound of my favorite CD, I'm going to be thinking of you! I can only imagine what my little 100-lb Mama would say to each of us. . . I think she'd remind us of our beauty inside and out, and beg us to embrace life and love! I love you, Girl. You are the BOMB!
Loved reading this Sarah! Like you, I face the same problem. Daily, I am forced to battle my own mind against its perception about my body. Although over the past three years I've lost nearly 120lbs, I can only seem to focus on the 15 that grad school and the utter happiness of falling in love again have brought back to me. I so admire your acceptance of yourself in the here and now instead of the "where I want to be" which is the only place I can seem to find that acceptance. You are a true inspiration girl! Beautiful inside and out, and with an adorable new do to boot! Go, girl, go!!!