Transformation Time

I have no idea what I weigh, and for the first time in a long time, I’m not focused on the numbers. About a month ago I told my husband to hide the scale and not to surrender it to me for any reason whatsoever. For the first time in a long time I’m determined to emphasize how I feel and not how I look. By no means am I implying I shouldn’t care about weight or appearance, but frankly it can easily become an unhealthy obsession.

In December of 2013 I joined a new gym, Body Project Fitness Studio in Robbinsville, New Jersey.  Upon meeting with C.E.O. and trainer extraordinaire, Lindsay Vastola, I recognized a serious error in my failed previous approach to fitness; specifically, I focused on short-term goals instead of long-term fulfillment. Ultimately, my story is like many others. I dropped weight for my wedding, starved myself for a friend’s wedding, and found temporary thinness in the fitness fad of the hour. I sought temporary solutions for a long-term problem: consistency.

There was nothing consistent about my previous fitness and nutritional experiences.  Until I began contemplating starting a family, I didn’t accept accountability for mishaps and misfortunes regarding my health and happiness. Today I’m on the path to consistency, which is inevitably the key to success. I’m not counting calories and I haven’t forgone chocolate or wine. I journal what I eat and trace and track my moods based on the foods I consume.  I work out five to six days a week and because I keep my routine filled with fun in the form of barre, yoga, cardio, etc. , I’m not bored. In fact, I am challenged and inspired. At the gym I’m held accountable. While I submit myself to the scale at the gym, I also partake in a body metric analysis, which allows me to understand “all of me.” This is a “whole person” process, so I’m determined to focus on the experience and its revelations.

I’m about to partake in a six-week challenge that is centered upon transformation.  This snowy and cold winter has been unbearable to most, but in my heart it feels like spring. I’m on the verge of a re-birth and I can see, feel, and hear myself in a new light. Like a caterpillar sheds its cocoon, I’m eradicating the former image of myself. This transformation is not solely centered on the body, but rather it exists to extend and empower itself to every element of my life. I’m excited to embark upon the adventure.

Fittingly, this transformation aligns itself with other significant events and activities in my life. To begin, I’m off to celebrate and cherish time with my husband. The opportunity to restore and renew love is just as magical as its initial blessings. It’s also almost Lent, which is the season of penance and remembrance. Finally, spring itself will be sprung.  This season of growth offers time for reflection and rejuvenation.  I never imagined consistency could be so attractive and awesome.  While the body is a work in progress, I feel the first transformation has already transpired. My heart is full of promise and potential.

“Lasting change cannot occur without transformation of the heart.” –Nathan Morris.

The City of Good Gloveless Neighbors

Buffalo, my hometown, is often referred to as “the city of good neighbors.” However, recently I found myself thinking the same could be said for many places, including my current residence. A few weeks ago New Jersey  received more snow. My town, Robbinsville, has a small “Town Center,” which offers quick access to common conveniences. This particular snowy day the town and building management hadn’t plowed the public and private roads, which made for challenging driving conditions. I was desperate for some snowstorm essentials so I ventured out for a quick car ride. One turn onto the main road and I recognized the error of my weather-related arrogance.

I got stuck. My car wasn’t moving and I didn’t have gloves, a hat, or shovel. I sat in my car, completely bewildered, pondering my next course of action, which made for awkward and painful silence. Suddenly, a man offered to dig me out while I tried to drive forward. Five minutes passed but there was no change. By this time I had noticed this poor man was without gloves as well, which only made me feel worse. Just when I thought we were doomed, another man appeared and started digging my car out of the snow. This stranger, like the previous one, had no gloves. I sat in my car, listening to their commands, watching them work, completely in awe of their time and tenacious spirits. Finally, after ten long and cold minutes the car was freed from the snow and I was on my way. They didn’t want me to stop the car, mostly out of fear it would get stuck again, so I waved to them as I shouted my gratitude through the window. I left feeling thankful for their neighborly and noble efforts, which saved me from madness and panic.

To the strangers who helped me free my car from snow and slush outside of Dolce and Clementes’s, thank you.

“What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?” Jean Jacques Rousseau

So long, Shirley

I’ve cried twice today. I’ve misplaced my emotional spool and I’m completely unwound. Like thread, my heart is delicate.  My reasons for tears vary, but whenever I’m sad and nostalgic I find myself looking for a safe haven.  Yesterday was challenging, today exhausting, and so on. Essentially, there’s varied reasons for my emotional release.  In an attempt to conquer an emotional pit, I’ve sought out comfort within a profound peak.

Yesterday Shirley Temple died.  This iconic woman gave me delightful dreams, mocktail mania, and fervor for film. Shirley Temple was sensational. She was innocent, sweet, talented, and tenacious.  I proudly mimicked her roles as a young girl, which despite the chagrin of my brothers, gave me simple and pure joy. Her career as a child was astounding, but her pursuits as a woman were even more admirable and awesome.  And so when life hands me challenges, I revert back to childhood comforts.

Sometimes it’s the sacredness of something or someone that rushes us back to reality. However, we return slightly better,  less delicate, stronger, and ready to thread our way through challenges because we allowed ourselves a moment. So long, Shirley. You gave me a moment today and hundreds before then too. You were magic.

Snow

This winter has felt more like Buffalo as opposed to New Jersey. It’s snowing again in the Garden State, which means school was canceled and I’m home alone. I love snow days.  When I’m snowed in I tend to do my best thinking, writing, and dreaming. Here’s to a day filled with all three, which means a positive and productive start to the week.