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It’s Saturday morning, my usual blog post day. The kids are still asleep and I’m sitting here with my cup of Bulletproof Coffee contemplating how I want to say this. As I begin, I erase, no that’s not it. Try again….no that’s not it either. Then it hits me…..

As I go to scratch an itchy spot, it hurts. Ouch! I’m covered in bruises from my CrossFit  adventures this week. These bruises used to embarrass me when I first started, but not for long. I’ve become very proud of them, as well as the calluses that form on my hands and the marks on my shins from missing a box jump. Ok, missing a couple of box jumps. These are all little badges of my effort, my work and accomplishments since starting this journey back to health. I actually found CrossFit through eating Paleo, rather than the other way around. CrossFit was something I tried because the more I emersed myself into this Paleo life of mine, the more I heard about CrossFit.

I had been a chronic exerciser for years but it was mostly cardio, I never really lifted anything particularly heavy and certainly not on a regular basis. But you know what? Through Paleo nutrition, and let’s be honest, a Paleo state of mind I began to feel like I was up to the challenge. I felt like if I can reverse my downward health spiral, I could really do almost anything. I say almost because at 5’2” I’ll probably never be able to dunk a basketball, but if I was going to change my life might as well include how I workout and really challenge myself to BE STRONGER. Being stronger was and is very important to me. This is an emotional and psychological thing for me I think. This probably comes from years of feeling weak. Literally, feeling bruised from the inside out.

Having gone through an unhappy marriage, getting divorced, struggling through being a single mom with 2 small kids (they were 5 and 2 at the time) and the beating my self-esteem took through that, boy, was I bruised up. Bad. I had failed and I needed to start over. I NEEDED to make it better. I had to prove to myself that divorcing was the right decision because in the end things were going to be better. It was then that with the best of intentions I slowly beat myself into the ground trying to do it all, on my own, with one hand tied behind my back and a kid in each arm. WHAT AN IDIOT!!!

I was just creating more bruises in an effort to “have it all” meaning a career, happy healthy kids, a fun social life and healthy body.  All I did was create an illusion that all this was working, while on the inside I was getting sick. My bruises were on the inside and I didn’t even now it until I finally got fed up with the hypocrisy of the life I was living.  With the help of a holistic practitioner I realized my folly and changed direction down the path of forgiving myself, loving myself and taking care of myself.

What I didn’t realize then that I do now is I was punishing myself through restricted diets and punishing exercise that exhausted me yet I couldn’t sleep because of the stress of the life I thought I wanted.  What I mean by punishing exercise is exercise I was forcing myself to do regardless of how I felt and whether I liked it or not. When it comes to CrossFit this is an entirely different story. It has become something I fell in love with. It is also some of the hardest workouts I have ever done. But here is the difference, rather than making me feel exhausted to the point of unhealthy, now that fatigue comes with a feeling of awe at what I just accomplished and I SLEEP LIKE A DEAD WOMAN. I have also found a community of people more like me. People who not only value good health (because I think most people value good health to some degree) but TAKE OWNERSHIP OF ACHIEVING IT.

It is those last 5 words that make all the difference. Look, WE ALL HAVE BRUISES. We’ve all fought our own personal battles. We have all been through tough times that bruised us, sometimes to the bone. Some of us have even been broken. The beauty of the human body and the human spirit is its ability to heal itself. It is amazing to me what our bodies are capable of. All we need to do is give it what it needs! I have found the following to be true. If you truly heal the body, the bruises fade and what’s broken becomes unbroken. Healing is not treating; it’s healing.

This Paleo life is a one that heals because it gives the body what it needs.

  1. Proper foods and nutrition that our bodies are genetically designed to thrive on rather than foods it needs to defend itself from.
  2. Proper exercise that strengthens the body rather than weakening it.
  3. Proper rest to reduce stress and restore energy rather than forgoing rest in order to accomplish too much. There is always tomorrow.
  4. Proper balance of work and play. All work and no play….well, you know.
  5. Proper understanding of what YOUR body needs. This Paleo movement is so flexible! It is easily tailored to your bio-individuality.

We all have bruises, unfortunately they are a part of life. Some are on the outside and some are on the inside. Don’t let those bruises keep you from finding and keeping the life you love. Love yourself enough to provide your body what it really needs.

  • It does NOT need another low fat granola bar because you’re bored or your blood sugar is dropping and that bar is a health food, right? NOT!!
  • It does not need another sugary energy drink because you didn’t sleep well and you’re exhausted.
  • It does not need another slice of processed whole wheat bread because a sandwich is more convenient that a salad.
  • It does not need another cookie, or chip, or cupcake to feel fulfilled and satiated.

What it needs at the very least is the list of 5 that helps heal, strengthen and calm. You might feel confused, overwhelmed and beaten up right now. I know I did. Please know we have all been there. We all have these bruises, but lets earn those bruises for the right things. Let those bruises come from fighting for the life, the body, and the happiness you want most.

Until Next Time,

~ Laura, MGP

 

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2 Responses to “We All Have Bruises”

  1. Nicole says:

    Beautifully said, thank you for sharing this.

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