No matter what your chosen profession is, there are 2 things that are almost certain:
- You?ve learned a lot along the way, often via the fantabulous university called ?The School of Hard Knocks?
- Due to your expertise and reputation, there are things that your clients, bosses, colleagues would never guess about you
I?ve worked in my beloved field of human health & joy for a very long time and ?walk my talk,? and therefore enjoy a life of feeling happy, healthy & good, the majority of the time. That said, HOLY CRAP do I hit rough patches and learning journey wake-up calls, just like everyone else?.that ?School of Hard Knocks? thing. And, over the next 3 blogs, I?ll share with you 3 confessions – things that you may not guess about me – so that you know that we?re all in this together. No journey is a straight line and sometimes the rules need to change!
Warning: if you are someone that gets uncomfortable with words like ?menopause? or ?a**?, this post is not likely for you. You were warned! 🙂
Confession #1: I had a mohawk in college.
KIDDING! Well, I?m actually serious about the mohawk thing; I?m kidding about it being the first confession, because it?s completely irrelevant to the topic at hand. Just seemed like a fun way to start 🙂
Confession #1 (the real one): I gain weight, too. And I gain it easier now than ever before.
I had a massive fashion emergency one day in December when I was heading out to give a morning lecture and I was running behind. I really only ?dress up? when I?ll be on stage, and I hadn?t had a speaking engagement for about 6 weeks. I went to put on a pair of dress pants and could barely get them over my ass. I?m not joking. I then pulled EVERY pair of dress pants out of my closet in a wild frenzy and not ONE could be buttoned in a way that didn?t resemble a sausage casing, if they buttoned at all. NOW I was really late, and totally freaking out. It was freezing out, so I didn?t want to wear a dress.
?OMG! What if I have to give my lecture NAKED?!? That would be incredibly awkward (and even colder than a dress). And isn?t that illegal?!??
Once I pulled myself out of the stratosphere of absurdity, I ended up having to go for a ?more casual look? that involved leggings (key words: elastic waist) and boots. I left the carnage of sausage-casing pants and dress shoes on my bedroom floor and drove to my speaking event, thinking ?holy CRAP, when the @$%* did THAT happen??
I thought back to a few weeks earlier in November, when I?d been with my two teenage sons at their annual wellness visit with our family doctor (who I LOVE), and had hopped on the scale as we were waiting for her to come in the examination room. I rarely weigh myself. The scale read some ridiculous number that I knew to be erroneous.
Mom: ?Well that?s dumb, the doc?s scale is totally off. They really should get this thing fixed.?
Son: ?Mum, I think there?s a good chance the doctor?s scale is right.?
Mom: ?No way. This thing is, like, bogus-ly wrong! I feel bad for all the people that step on this thing.?
(Annoying son steps on scale and it reads his actual weight.)
Son: ?Mum, you?ve probably just gained weight.?
Mom: ?Give me a break, Con, this thing is absolutely wrong. I have NOT gained THAT much weight. Maybe a few pounds, but not 15.?
Then I went into check on the other son who was in the next exam room, and nonchalantly stepped onto the scale in that room. HOLY CONSPIRACY, Batman! It read the same totally bogus number! It?s like they?d rigged the scales to encourage people to lose weight or something. Insane. (Notice that I?m ignoring the fact that my son?s weight read accurately.)
And then, a few weeks later, the sausage-casing fashion emergency.
Long story longer, it turns out that I was, indeed, 15 pounds over the weight (and, more importantly, the pant size) that I?ve always worked to maintain. It was where I felt good about myself, inside and outside. With both of my pregnancies, I?d gained 29-42 pounds (total, with baby on board), and managed to peel it back off over 9-12 months by being honest with myself, and focusing on Food Sass?, which was fairly do-able. This time, I had done what a lot of us do, which is live in the ?denial? zip code for a while. Until a person or event(s) yank the rose-colored glasses off, forcing us to face facts.
SO, I did the Body Sass? Cleanse in January, along with the Group, and lost 10 pounds?and I felt ?lighter,? and better in general. I was pleased about that but also realized that I had come to a fork in the road of my menopausal journey. I COULD potentially lose 5 more pounds and wear the pants I?ve always worn, but the truth of the matter was this: my SHAPE and fat distribution had changed, and the only way I was going to get into those pants was to do 100% of the things right 100% of the time.
I have no interest in perfection. One of my fave quotes is ?perfection is fear in high-heeled shoes.? Perfection is an illusion, and I?ve already had enough of that crap in the earlier decades of my life.
Most women find that menopause brings on an extra 5-8 pounds that?s very hard to lose. Not an extra 15-20 pounds, mind you, but some extra weight that we?re just not used to. And, it can be annoying to many of us (like, EVERY female menopausal client that I?ve ever worked with). Change can be hard. But here was my deal?.
Was I going to be rigid?…or was I going to be a human being in my body and focus more on how I FELT in my body, and how healthy I was? Was I going to turn food into a chore with no room for play, or was I going to loosen the reigns enough to still live my Food Sass? ?80/20? rule?
I chose ?room for play.?
The pic that accompanies this post is one of me this past weekend, celebrating my 51st birthday with my favorite cocktail, the almighty cosmo. I?m careful, because it?s easy to start making excuses and deciding that I?ve got 15-20 pounds of ?menopausal? weight. Instead, I own the fact that 10 of that 15 pounds came from a few too many cosmos, dark chocolate bars, gluten-free bagels for my eggs to ride on, holiday sweets, and potato chips. So, I?m going to choose to manage that part, and also mentally let go of the 5 pounds that is my ?menopausal padding.? Life is too short, and play is too fun. 🙂
Two of the most important things we can be with ourselves are honest, and gentle.
Agree? Not? Share your insights with me below! I always love to hear from you.
Create Vibrant Health: BodyMindSpirit?!
With love & secret confessions,
Love this post, Laurie! I too chose 5 lbs of padding and enjoying life. But… I do work hard (really hard) to maintain a healthy weight!
Thanks for chiming in Jeannie! Yes, the hard work continues, along with the self-honesty. Otherwise, as we both know, 5 pounds can very quickly turn into 15+!
And, we’re not alone. My email inbox has been flooded with emails today from women, happy to know they’re not alone…and men, who shared it with their wives so they’d stop being so hard on themselves! 🙂
Great post Laurie, thank you for inspiring those of us in the same boat to be gentle with ourselves. Our once youthful bodies haven’t abandoned us, we just have to listen and adapt to their marvelous changes.
What a beautiful way of putting it…and so true. Thank you for being inspired…and for being inspiring!