17 June 2013

healthy living lessons from fleetwood mac

Papa G. and I celebrated Father's Day a little early. Saturday we went to Bac, one of my favorite restaurants in Cleveland (bonus: since Bac started offering brown rice, my two favorite meals there are both almost entirely Simply Filling!) followed by heading to The Q to see Fleetwood Mac in concert!

Playing with hats at 15 months. This has always been my favorite pic of me  & Papa G.


Sissy and I grew up listening to bands from the 1970s thanks to our dad and it is still my favorite genre of music. I don't listen to a lot of contemporary radio and I'm very unfamiliar with all current pop songs. But give me a classic rock station and I'm set for hours. (I'm also pretty sure my dad had to buy a new copy of their Greatest Hits album after I stole borrowed and "forgot" to return his original copy).

Despite the fact that I've been listening to this music, these songs, for about two decades, listening to them performed live gave me a new appreciation and understanding. I also realized how many of the lyrics could be taken as pretty sound advice. So, in honor of Father's Day I offer you some healthy living lessons from one of my dad's favorite bands.


Don't stop thinking about tomorrow, it'll soon be here. ["Don't Stop"]
We all have bad days. We all make bad decisions: eat things we know we shouldn't or slack off on our exercise. Anyone who says they are on point one hundred percent of the time is either lying or in complete denial.

The key, though, is to not let those bad days, those bad decisions, undo all of your hard work. Moreover, your past doesn't have to dictate your future. Why not think about the times to come and not about the things that you've done. If your life was bad to you, just think what tomorrow will do. No matter where you are right now at this very moment reading this post, always remember that every day is another opportunity to get it right. This means that you are never more than a day away from a fresh start.

You can go your own way. ["Go Your Own Way"] 
There's no right or wrong way to weight loss. I use Weight Watchers for food and run and do yoga for exercise. But that's just me and that's what works for me. That combination might not work for you and that's perfectly okay. Trust me, if there was some magic program out there that helped every single person lose weight the exact same way, there would be no need for an entire weight loss industry.

Maybe you follow a low carb plan or are a member of a meal delivery service. Perhaps you bike or swim. Whatever method you choose, make sure it's one that fits your lifestyle and is one you can sustain. For instance, I could never do anything super restrictive or one that limits, say, carbs. It's just not for me but I know other people out there thrive on that kind of diet. There is no right way or wrong way there is only the way that works for you.

Thunder only happens when it's raining. ["Dreams"] 
A little over two years ago I used to weigh 311 pounds. That sort of weight doesn't happen overnight nor does it happen accidentally. Likewise my own personal experience with overeating was a symptom, not a cause.

I can't speak for everyone on this issue, but from my anecdotal perspective, problems with weight that are so severe they put you in the obese category usually stem from something deeper. That is, the physical issues are only a tangible manifestation of inner mental issues. Every season of The Biggest Loser, Bob and Jillian have that heart-to-heart with the contestants to figure out why they have gotten themselves into their current state because it never stems from food alone. The food itself is another symptom of something else.

So keep this in mind: when you start off on this journey, your main focus is going to probably be losing the weight. The physical part. But it's probably a safe bet to assume that there are also mental and emotional parts hiding underneath all of that weight. Some of them you may already be working on. Some you may not discover until you've been at this for awhile. But they are there and dealing with them is potentially going to require more work and dedication than losing weight.

I've been afraid of changing 'cause I built my life around you. ["Landslide"]
Change can be scary. Changing your entire life is even scarier. We sometimes fall into habitual patterns and a comfort zone where we know what to expect from ourselves and from other people. Me, I built my entire sense of self around being the fat girl and it effected everything: not only where I shopped but how I approached the very act of going to the mall. Not only how I dated but how I related and engaged with men.  And don't even get me started on my relationship with food or fitness.

While I'm no longer that fat girl, a part of her still remains and, I think, always will but I can no longer make decisions based on my previous experiences. Old assumptions and attitudes have no place in my life and relationships and that's a bit scary because I can't look to the past to know how to go respond to new situations. I spent decades happily hiding away in my comfort zone watching life zip past and I was perfectly content with that. Now, though, I'm forced out into the big wide world and have to make things up as I go along and respond in the moment and it's not easy for me to do that.

But as scary as it is to leave the old me behind, the alternative of staying hidden away in my little cocoon is so much worse.

Follow those who pale in your shadow ["Gold Dust Woman"]
Just as I know there are people who get inspiration from my journey, there are other bloggers that leave me completely in awe of their story (and one of these days I'll get around to putting together a post about them, I promise).

The thing is, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by their progress. In the beginning you look at their Before and After pictures and realize that this is a real person who did what seems impossible and if they can do it, so can you. But eventually you realize how  much work it takes and they are so far ahead of you and how will you ever manage to catch up?

It's not a competition, though. That seems like pretty basic logic but it's easy to forget. We all have our own stories to tell, in our own time. Yes, it's impressive when the people you admire do things you aren't able to yet, like run marathons or lose 100 pounds. And it's okay to look up to them, to want to follow in their footsteps. But just remember that you have your own path to blaze. Your story is just as impressive, your choices just as awe-inspiring.

So rock on, ancient queen and never compare your first song with someone else's complete album.

Any other Fleetwood Mac fans out there? 

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

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