Wellness Isn’t Linear, Either

Me and my good friend Steve hamming it up on a road trip this summer.

I love the quote about the creative process not being linear. Finding the original quote has proven impossible (I’d love to credit the author, so let me know if you know), but you get the gist. I find that to be true.

In my experience, improving one’s physical wellness also follows a rather meandering path.

Over the past several years, thanks to a combination of sedentary work, peri-menopause, and aging (yes, and most certainly my beliefs and expectations, too), I’ve gained weight. I’m actually quite healthy overall, but I felt the urge to get more fit.

I tend to hang out mostly in my mind and spirit, and I wanted to pay more attention to my physical body and nurture her better.

In February 2017, BlackLion and I started a “movement challenge.” The idea was to do something to move our bodies for at least 20 minutes a day. My favorite go-tos were dancing, hula-hooping, walking, and swimming. On days when we inevitably didn’t get to our 20 minutes, we’d just double the time the following day. We kept it up for a whole year! I didn’t actually lose much weight, but that wasn’t really the point to begin with.

In late February of this year, we purchased monthly memberships at an amazing local yoga studio. After several years of not practicing, it feels SO delightful to be back to doing yoga on a regular basis. We’ve been going to classes three times per week since then. My flexibility has improved, and it feels terrific.

But since then, I’ve dropped focus on those daily movement sessions, and actually gained a few more pounds. Hmm.

I do exercise more than pre-2017, but I still feel like my fitness and energy level could be better. Recently I’ve returned to my “low-dairy” eating habits, as I am lactose intolerant, and had gradually begun to rely more on dairy products for protein (I’m a longtime vegetarian). This feels better.

Though still no weight loss.

In the meantime, I had some weird symptoms that I decided to get checked out. It turned out to be a “veinous hum,” which is harmless. It just means that I hear a whooshing sound in my left ear at times, which can make me feel a bit dizzy when I first stand up.

My blood pressure is fine. My cholesterol is fine. I’m not diabetic. While looking at the results of an imaging test, the specialist even told me, “your arteries are particularly clear. No plaque buildup at all!” Thank you, vegetarian diet.

In late July, I did something to my left shoulder. It feels like a pinched nerve, as the pain travels down my arm. It’s been gradually healing. I had a chiropractic adjustment, which helped a lot. You know what else helps, besides the heating pad? Yoga. Swimming. Taking regular breaks from working on the laptop.

Yes – we’re back to movement.

The lesson? I feel better when I move my body more.

I’m still “overweight,” yes, but so what?

Healing is a meandering journey. I am moving more. I make an effort to do it every day. I try to eat well and minimize dairy and sugar, which has always helped my body.

As I listen to my body and her wisdom, I’m sure I’ll probably even lose those extra pounds. But if not, I’m happy anyway. The healthy journey is what counts.

Tell me what you think!

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