This past weekend, I ran a race. It was a race I was looking forward to in order to help keep me trained and ready for a bigger upcoming event, but it was also one I was running solo, which usually takes the ceremony out of it, making the race a little more routine like any other day at the gym.
Afterward, I decided to stand in line with a few people that were helping each other take post-race photo ops. And when I had to chance to glance at it, I was dumbfounded and pretty certain that some magic happened that photoshopped it as it was taken.
On the left is a photo from a mud run I ran with my gym shortly after I joined a year ago. On the right is me as of this past Sunday. For two days I stared at it, wondering what happened. I've spent the last year seriously focused on a more intuitive and gentle model for my health. I've also been exploring how to best supplement my active lifestyle with my nutrition, which in itself is a bit of a science experiment. While my mental well-being and overall stress levels about my health, nutrition, body image have improved, my body composition metrics have not shown a drastic difference in terms of muscle and fat mass, which are usually the numbers that change as your body looks more or less lean.
I found myself perplexed as to how these numbers don't seem to show what is clearly showing up here. I fixated on it. I researched. I went into the depths of my own knowledge. I wrote it off as not accurate, similar to when Barney Stinson always has the perfect photo regardless of how he looks as it's being taken. A magic camera.
This morning, however, something was different. I woke up feeling happy, and proud of what is. I arrived at the gym feeling determined and left feeling strong AF. I stopped doubting what was happening and trying to figure out the math of it all. And I started to wonder if it's about more than just numbers. Is it possible that the decrease in stress and the work to find the best nutrition for my body and lifestyle has helped my body showcase the work I'm doing in the gym? Right now, that's the theory I'm sticking with. Treat your inner and outer self with love, and both will reflect that love and nourishment.
Of course, while I am putting the effort in, it works the best if I have the right toolkit. I can't thank my trainers and the community at my gym enough for welcoming me with open arms and pushing me every day to be stronger and do more than I ever thought imaginable. I also have my positive friend circle here in Seattle that helps keep that good energy going, even on the roughest of days as well as my naturopath that helps me explore what might work best for my body. And all the information I have that comes with certification for health coaching that keeps me on my toes and always find areas to explore and dive deep on.
This is the result of giving myself the ability to be imperfect, explore, and be intuitive rather than strict with a nutrition and exercise regimen
Take some time today and notice the process you've made. Stop and let the sun light shine through and feel the warmth and self-love you deserve. Take a moment to not think about the why and the how, but just appreciate you and the moment you're in.
Happy Transformation Tuesday.