Last night, after about three hours of dancing, 100 half ball squats and 25 floor squats and a killer workout, I found myself trying to fall asleep, but the IT band in my right leg had other ideas. Normally, I’d have just grabbed a couple of Aleve and waited for the pain to subside, but when I woke up this morning, it dawned on me that I hadn’t even thought to do that! Instead, I grabbed my little, wooden back roller which had been sitting on top of the lone, free standing book shelf in my office. I don’t know why I went this route, though I’d been thinking seriously about laying on my foam roller in the morning. But running that little thing up and down my leg until I found the sore spot, then pressing REALLY hard, finds me much better this morning! Who’d have known??
The best part is, when I woke up, I didn’t need more pills because I went to the source of the problem.
My point is (and I really do have one here) that just as I’m filling my refrigerator and cupboards with healthier options, and just as I find eating out to be less appealing, I also seem to be treating my entire body as less of a science experiment and more of a machine which, when fed, lubricated, and otherwise maintained properly, works a lot more efficiently. But oddly enough, I didn’t plan to make these changes. Just like when I quit smoking many years ago because it was interfering with my dancing, I seem to be making lifestyle changes naturally as they impact my dancing, my sleep patterns and my overall welfare.
Reducing my levels of stress by leaving the rat race was, apparently, only the beginning. Although, once I took stress out of the picture, I started listening to my body because it no longer had to shout to get over the louder, more insistent voice of stress which was saying things like ” Go ahead and eat that chocolate! You’ve had a rough day!” or “You’re tired. Just grab something from the sushi place rather than having to go home and cook something!” or worse yet: “You’ve had a rough week, and you did go dancing. It’s ok to skip those gym workouts! You’ll make it up later!”
With the stress levels down, the voices are virtually silent, and I am better able to hear the voices which are telling me to go to the gym regularly, join things like the 30 day squat challenge, add an extra night of dancing, do more housework, and take a weekly, post-gym side trip to the local farm for super fresh, organically grown, sweet and tasty fruits and veggies. There’s no longer either the need nor the desire to make excuses. I want the bowl of home made gazpacho in my refrigerator so I can grab a quick meal or add a side dish to my dinner when I don’t feel like assembling a salad. I want fat free Greek yogurt instead of sour cream! But even more, I want to take the time to prepare healthy meals with leftovers so I can still eat healthy meals when I’m busy.
By now, unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve likely heard of the Laws of Attraction. This is just another example of how that works. The more you do healthy things (reduce stress, exercise, eat healthy foods), the more you’re going to be inclined to do more of those things!
Lately, I’ve really been tempted by those Taco Bell commercials, but have I actually gone and gotten something? NO! Do you want to know why? Because I know that it might taste good for a minute or two (if that), but it’s going to leave me feeling heavy and dull. My body is used to fresh vegetables, turkey, fish and chicken, and gets downright offended if I try giving it fried foods or beef. The last time I gave it something in the fast food family, it punished me for three days! I don’t want to go there again!
I’ve always professed to listen to my body, but I had no idea that it’s true voice was being smothered under the voice of stress! What a revelation! I’m just grateful that I learned it now, when my body isn’t as resilient as it used to be, and requires a better grade of maintenance if I want to not only keep up my current pace, but increase it in the months and years ahead. Just one more reason to believe that stress is NOT your friend!
My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for healthy revelations, better late than never.
2. I am grateful for serendipity.
3. I am grateful for my low stress lifestyle.
4. I am grateful for learning to turn away from the quick fix and towards treating the actual cause.
5. I am grateful for healthier habits overall, and the ability to be a body in motion that stays in motion.
Love and light