• amyk

On Being Health Conscious

I met with my personal trainer the other day and she asked how things were going since our last chat. I proceeded to tell her about what I had done, what I thought worked pretty well followed by how I was feeling. I told her I felt happy, energetic and was ready to take on a new step in my health journey. I felt proud of accomplishing my latest challenge that we set together too because it felt like a milestone; a small one but I did it! It felt time I told her for some new things that built on this little success. Her response surprised me because it was more than just being unexpected but it opened a door for me to reflect. I thought I was giving a status report but she told me she saw something else. She told me she was always excited to meet with me because I was so conscious of what I was doing and feeling about it.

In describing myself I would use a lot of words but being conscious wouldn’t be on that list. It isn’t something I ever considered about myself to be honest. Isn’t that what healthy people call themselves after they have achieved their goals of losing weight and being all muscle toned? I wasn’t there ( and feel far from it yet). My journey of being great at not wanting chips and choosing healthy foods every time while exercising daily was not at the level of someone who mastered it yet so how could I be conscious? I wasn’t even sure I was doing great at even claiming progress on those things but I was trying.

This description caught my curiosity and I asked what she meant. This was a new aspect I wanted to assess further myself. She told me she saw this in me because I was aware of what I was feeling and learning to listen and act on my body’s needs. I was aware of the changes occurring on this journey and looking for ways to feed them in a way that makes this a positive experience. Most people she said, when asked how it’s been going start off with what they failed at or didn’t do between meetings with her. When I mentioned something that didn’t work well, I looked at it differently; as if I was still seeking ways to find the positive and long term gains from the journey. This was the secret sweet spot of changing your health and seeing true progress.

After our chat, this conversation sat with me a long time. Was there really a point where people discover this health conscious spot and it made that big of a difference? Again, I had not achieved massive weight loss yet but I was a little bit stronger, a little bit more energetic and I didn’t dread working out as much as I used to. It was still work and I still needed a nudge to do it some days but I didn’t not like it. I saw the help it was giving me in my mood and energy. I felt better, more positive even. Maybe this being conscious description was about my mindset for those little changes I was noticing?

When we are at the cross roads of determining if something is worth continuing or not, it is easy to see the shortcomings and failures. It is even easier to say because we didn’t reach this lofty goal we had by this point it wasn’t working at all. I know I am one that will gravitate towards the negative perspective quickly in situations. It’s just easier to see what is not meeting expectations. Our own expectations, those of others and even ones we didn’t know we had influence greatly our outlook on these types of decisions. It was there my trainer saw me going the opposite way for some reason. I am not sure I understand it myself but here I was positive and conscious with different expectations now.

I have come to realize expectations are often like goals and resolutions, in that, they very often are our own worse enemy. It is not bad to have expectations, goals or even resolutions but more often than not they are not setup for us to win at achieving them. We don’t intentionally set ourselves up for failure but we also don’t give ourselves a chance. They just are there and when we get to a milestone point we look back and go well that didn’t work, why did I both and why should I continue? This is especially true when we try to do things like lose weight, be more healthy or change some habits. We almost expect to fail perhaps because we have so many times before?

When I set out on this journey it was not that I didn’t want to lose weight, because I did and still do but that emphasis has changed. It is not what I think as most important now as a result of working out regularly. Instead, I’m interested in feeling good, gaining more confidence, having energy, being in a good mood and yes even looking better. It has become a journey of healthy behaviors rather than pursuit of only losing weight. To be honest I haven’t even taken my measurements and rarely weigh myself either. Those things are important but I have chosen to not be a critic of my numbers. Instead I count wins by how I’m feeling, how many push ups I can do now when I couldn’t do more than 3 in the beginning.