I know I’m not the only one in the world on a journey of health and wellness, but sometimes it feels like it. I’ve always enjoyed physical activities like bowling, biking and kayaking. I’m up for adventure! But those are fun things. It’s easy to do the fun things. Or it was. I’ve learned that in order have the energy and stamina to do the fun things you have to do the not-so-fun things. So I’ve tried. I’ve started and stopped so many fitness programs and gyms that I’ve lost track. You know what I mean. You sign up because you just know that “this time” it’s going to be the one that works for you. You go full out for a few days or weeks and boom! Life happens. I’ve been told that it takes six to eight weeks to develop a healthy habit. Undoing a healthy habit can happen in a matter of days. Say what? Crazy, but if I look back, it’s true.
It’s so easy to have good intentions, but hard to follow through. Just ask anyone who makes New Year’s Resolutions! Things like injuries, health issues, work interruptions, family, travel, celebrations, they can all get in the way of that journey. Not to mention, pure laziness. I’ll be honest, that happens too. It’s hard to move when it’s hard to move. So I’ve been on this journey of life where I provide healing, rest and relaxation for others, yet I wasn’t taking care of me. Not only that, this profession can be physically demanding. I know better. I practice and teach massage. I know how the body works. I know where to place my hands and how much pressure to use to provide relief. Sometimes, I know what I need to do to help my clients simply by watching them walk through the doors of Be Well Massage & Skin Care. But I suffer from the same problems everyone else does. My needs tend to come last until I can’t ignore them any longer. Then I am forced to do something. Not the best way to go about a personal journey of health and wellness!
Because of my profession as a massage therapist and esthetician, I meet a lot of people seeking better versions on themselves. While there are many reasons people seek our services, we welcome all of them and learn from each client experience. Our intake forms and questions help us learn about general health and well-being of new clients. Our eyes help us discern what physical trouble a visitor might be experiencing. Our hands tell us the rest of the story. I have clients who have been with me since the very beginning. It’s the long-term relationships that tend to teach me more than I realize. For example, I have a client who first began seeing me in desperation looking for pain relief. She could barely walk, let alone exercise 4-5 days a week, yet that was what she was doing. As she learned what she could and couldn’t do physically, I learned how to keep her moving along the way. She has had set-backs but there has been more success. We began a monthly journey of healing which, after over ten years, is still ongoing. She works out 5-6 days a week, doing things that she never thought she would be able to do again. I try to make sure that we stay on a regular schedule. Sometimes we talk during her sessions, sometimes we don’t. She dictates the conversational flow. I work on her and I tell her she needs more stretch in her life. She quizzes me about my wellness journey and tells me that I’ll find something that works for me and I just have to keep trying. She’s been with me for a while. She knows exactly how many gyms I’ve joined over the years—even if I don’t!
A few months ago I was able to tell her that I finally did it. I found a place where I feel encouraged, challenged and I’m held accountable. In addition to that, I enjoy it. Or I do now that I got past the initial aches and pains. I’m thrilled that my body hasn’t let me down! It doesn’t hurt that I’ve lost 30 lbs* and am feeling great. I have to admit, I get a little nervous when I have to be away from my routine. Will I backslide? What happens if I get too busy? Will I get lazy? Can I stay interested? So far, so good. I’m discovering that it’s like a happy relationship. You put the time in when you can and there’s a reward. I’ve never come this far on my fitness journey. I’m excited and it feels good. I’m finally in a committed relationship with myself. I’m also putting it out here on my blog, so now anyone can call me out if I backslide. Now, I think it might be time for me to schedule my massage.
*Update: as of November 2019 I'm down 50 lbs and 4 sizes. If I can do it, you can too!