I don’t know where I first heard the phrase “Physician, heal thyself” but a quick internet search tells me that it originated in the Christian bible. I’m not a fan of organized religion in general but that line has stuck with me for years. How could I possibly heal anyone if I couldn’t first take care of myself? My abhorrence for hypocrisy forced me to do something. My self-imposed lifestyle overhaul began.
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.