by Pallas H.
I fell into massage quite by accident. Ever since I was little, my family would ask me to rub their shoulders when they visited over the holidays.One year, I was asked why I didn’t go to school for massage. I’m a pretty simple person. At the time, I worked at a deli making sandwiches, an easy and enjoyable job. It had never occurred to me that I could make a career out of massage. My cousin helped me enroll in a massage school the following year.
Over the next eighteen months, I was taught to identify muscles and bones by touch and sight. By applying different techniques to different conditions, I could heal others using my hands. During ethics & scope of practice lessons, they cautioned that clients would view me as an authority on health and self-care. I had to be careful about how I phrased things.
Also within those eighteen months, I had another child, married and divorced. I had gained more than seventy pounds from the pregnancies. My emotions were all over the place. I was a first-rate mess.
Diet seemed like the easiest place to start. My idea of a diet isn’t a strict set of limitations on food. My little sister took ballet for years and she tried diet after diet to force her body into the lithe frame required for professional dancers. They all worked for a little while, but then she would hit a plateau. Her frustration and anger, mostly directed at herself, remained constant and tangible for years. I kept my mouth shut while she tortured herself, guilty of having the body type she desperately wanted. (Our perspectives may vary on these events but I think we’ll both agree that I have half of her class and none of her grace.)
I didn’t want to add any emotional turmoil or set myself up for failure. For my diet, I simply paid more attention to what I put in my body. Junk food, ice cream and soda gave way to vegetables and home cooked meals. Cooking has been an integral part of my family’s gatherings; it seems we are born with a love of food and at least basic cooking concepts. It turns out that I love to cook and most of the time, I’m pretty good at it. (Don’t ask my best friend, who is an actual chef, to validate that statement.)
Sixty pounds melted away with minimal effort. My flat stomach and skinny thighs are lost in the past but my body no longer feels like foreign territory. Success, even a small one, is encouraging. It helped me stay motivated and keep moving forward.
Next step: Exercise.