I pulled a pair of jeans out of my closet, now the weather is cooler, and shook them out. They are my most recent acquisition from the used clothing store. I love them. They are straight leg, with narrow bottom and I turn up the cuff and wear funky socks. It makes me feel young and trendy.
As I pull them on, over my hips and derriere, they slide on easily. I have not had them on since the spring. I pull the zip and button the top and realize they are about two inches too big for my middle! They were a little loose when I bought them, however now, they are quite loose. Hmmm I think! Wow, I did not realize I had slimmed out quite so much. I never step on a scale and wearing loose summer clothes and stretchy gear, there never seems to be much to encumber me. Being a runner, peaking in the summer, I find I often “run off” any excess pounds, or so I am told. If I am honest, I believe differently.
As I covered the course last weekend I was alongside many people. People of all shapes and sizes. Older people, younger people, tall people, short people. People with long legs and others, who as I watched, made me grimace, as watching them run looked painful. There was one man, in his 70s who ran the marathon, partially stooped over as he had curvature of the spine. I watched in awe as all these different people were reaching for their goals. Every goal is different. Some want to run it in a fast time, others just want to finish, some want to prove they can do it at all, and there maybe a few who are there on a dare.
I remember when I was teaching fitness in the '80s we talked about using muscles. I remember one wise trainer saying, “simply using a muscle does not strengthen it, nor does it mean you will lose weight. If that were so, those who chewed gum all the time would have skinny faces!” It stuck with me. Our bodies are all very different, and lifestyle plays a huge part in our overall health.
This week I facilitated a spiritual group and was revisiting a book I purchased in 2008 to use for a presentation. The writer discussed our “human health threshold”, and how, in their practice, natural and homeopathic medicine, they have treated everything from eczema to Parkinson’s, the common cold to cancer, digestive ailments, cardiovascular support, mood and emotional imbalances and on and on. In their findings, changing the diet and lifestyle and getting results was often seen as a “miracle”. There are many miracles, including turning around health and wellness, and these miracles happen when we come into relationship with all that keeps us well.
The author, Dr. Bryce Wilde, states, “the miracle is in the way your body works when you bring mindfulness to bear.” When we stay under our human health threshold and are mindful when we are close to the boiling point, miracles happen. While I leave nutrition to my fellow columnists, I have adopted mindful eating and know education about food is important. It is not the running that slims me down all by itself, it is the alignment of my body, mind and spirit coming fully around.
There was emergency workplace training this weekend and as I sat in attendance one of the slides was about fire, earthquakes, tornadoes, loss of power, flood and a wandering resident. One slide was labelled “intruder” and outlined the policies and process around this constant fear. I noted while I have been learning emergency process for 40 years, never have I taken that slide to heart as much as I did today. The fear and awareness this is happening more and more is real, and raises our human health threshold temperature by many degrees.
Human health, overall, consists of many variables including our toxic workload, stress accumulation, emotions and genetics. When we live right below the boiling point then our poor diet and lack of exercise pushes us over the top. Poor food choices decrease our ability to cope, heal and manage our daily lives. We live our lives like a slingshot stretched and held ready for the slightest additional load to set us off.
As I snapped on my jeans, I then pulled out my dad’s old leather belt, (and my dad died in 2005) I secured my pants on my hips, knowing I am not “skinny” because I run. I know I am healthy because I manage my human health threshold in every possible way. I can run because of all the other steps I take to care for myself. I can hike with a 25-pound pack because I eat right and manage my stress levels. I can hop on my bike and cycle 40 – 50 kms because I have fuelled right and give my body what it needs to be in tune with the universe. I sing a song of health, so my “uni-verse”, my one song, is that of wholeness and personal strength. I have not loosened the fit of my jeans because I run, I have loosened the fit of my jeans because I gave up ice cream!
I am five years sober in January and I still have days where I cannot believe I was able to finally remove alcohol from my life. I did not just stop drinking, I managed my stress, investigated my heart and began a journey of lowering my health thermostat. Ice cream was not the only poor choice of food, it was the final piece of the puzzle that I placed into my life’s picture. After five years alcohol free, three years with no animal products and now a summer without ice cream, I do not care how my jeans fit, because if they are not fitting how I want them I just put them in a bag, head to the local secondhand store and choose another pair.
May you find your thermostat lowering with good choices in your day and remember if you need help, there are those who can read the thermostat for you! Blessings!
Cynthia Breadner is a teacher, author, grief specialist and bereavement counsellor; a soul care worker and offers specialized care in spiritually integrated therapies. She works as a LTC chaplain assisting with end-of-life care for client and family. She is the mother part of the #DanCynAdventures duo and practices fitness, health and wellness. She is available remotely by safe and secure video connections, if you have any questions contact her today! CynthiaBreadner@gmail.com breakingstibah.com