I am so glad to be back after a very fun week at the coast. It was a great trip with lots of sand, sun, forests, campfires, seagulls, and time unplugged, but it is always so good to come home.
I went with an agenda: to quiet the external inputs I am constantly assaulted with in daily life and to just listen to my body, heart, and soul and just BE. There I was, without a scale, without a blog, a computer, a TV, a phone, a food scale, and for several days without even a mirror. Just me and my head and my body. Me and nature. Me and the Universe. I had no input from the outside except chatter from my kids and the sensations that go along with camping and the beach: the smell of pine trees and salt water and campfires; the sounds of the waves crashing and birds singing and kids laughing; the sight of sunsets and fallen trees and my pup racing across the beach with absolute joyful freedom. I became very much in touch with my inner and outer self on this trip, and the quiet led me to some new conclusions.
I went to the forest trail we always hike. It's a bit over a mile and a half up ragged, steep terrain to a lighthouse at the top of a cliff. The view is amazing. I blogged about it three years ago with pictures of the trail, and I have gone back to hike it again each year. It's not only a wonderful tradition but also a celebration of how far I have come and a great way to assess my fitness level. Well, my fitness level sucks. Don't get me wrong, the vacation was wonderful, but there were two sad points (which led to new awareness) which I will mention here. One: you may remember one year ago I went and hiked this trail and it was very tiring to me. I blogged that even though I was much lighter in weight than the last time I hiked it, it was more difficult. I was not as energized and got winded frequently and in fact felt like I was completely spent when I got to the top. This time, last week, was even worse. Granted, the trail was muddier than usual, but we only got about a half mile in and I decided not to continue. My knees were hurting and I already felt exhausted and I turned around and went back down with 3 of my kids.
How did that feel? I felt defeated. I knew at that moment that my focus has GOT to change from weight loss to health and fitness. What good is a lighter, thinner body that does not even function as well as the heavier version? My goal is not to look good. It is to actually BE well. I have not been feeding my body right lately, and it shows. And I have not been moving nor exercising much at all. I am weak. I don't like it.
Sad point two: we were driving along the beautiful Oregon highway 101 beside the ocean just chatting away about inane things when traffic suddenly slowed. A heavy logging truck was pulled to the side of the road and a few cars were stopped. And there by the side of the road was a man, lying dead after the bicycle he was riding collided with said logging truck. It had happened only moments prior, and was, to me, just horrifying. There he was, face down on the pavement, so still, his torn pants fluttering gently in the ocean breeze. Just moments before, he was enjoying the forest and the air and the beauty of life. And now, in a split second, he was gone. It seems so wrong to me whenever I read or hear about a tragic death, that life goes on all around us while others grieve and mourn. It seemed so wrong that we drove past, just feet from his lifeless body while a few random people milled about, no one kneeling by his side or trying to revive him because there was no reviving to be done. It broke my heart for his family who was probably just living their life at that very moment and had no idea what had happened. It upset me for a long time and I prayed for his friends and family to have peace. It drove home to me how precious life is and how everything can change in a second.
The Universe seemed to speak to me as I hiked and walked and sat on the driftwood watching the waves roll in. Take care of yourself, it said. Stop fighting yourself.
More than a week before I left, I sent my monthly food order in to Medifast so I could have lots of portable options to bring with me on vacation: ready-to-drink shakes, puffs, bars, and the new BBQ and Pizza Bites. Several days later, I hadn't heard anything so I emailed again. I have had nothing but great, attentive support from Medifast in the 17 months I have been on their program, so I knew something was amiss. I waited. Still nothing. And so on Sunday we left and I took the portable Medifast food I had which was really not enough to get through a week, and by day 2 on vacation I was eating what everyone else was eating (burgers, bananas, the occasional smore over a campfire) and had abandoned the Medifast food altogether (the new Bites were just not cutting it) and trying to figure out what I was going to do when I got back. I kept getting the sense that I need to change direction. With no scales or mirrors or other fake weight-related feedback, all I had was reality, sore knees (from eating sugar), my obvious lack of fitness, fatigue, and the true desire to change my HEALTH, not my weight (although I believe that changing my health would naturally cause more weight loss as a side effect). But I figured I would come home to a big box of Medifast food... my order for the coming month... and would probably eat that until I figured out exactly what direction I am going. However, when I got home... no Medifast food. Nothing. No email response, no package, nada. Very uncharacteristic of my experience with them. I hope Renee (my contact at Medifast) is okay. I have to think all my emails to them are being sucked into some weird Internet black hole (aka spam folder) so maybe she will see this post and realize what happened. But regardless, it feels almost like another note from the Universe. Can't continue Medifast with no food. So a new plan it is. A fresh focus on health and fitness... a new direction. I will write more about that later since this post is already mega-long. You may notice I took down the "Weight By Month" feature that I have had in my sidebar for more than 4 years (yes, Happy Bloggiversary to me on August 4th!) and put it in the archives where you can still view it via the sidebar link. In its place will be a new, healthy eating/recipes blog Blogroll later this week. Expect to see lots of new things on my blog, with a return to eating foods based on my local Farmer's Market with lots of pictures and recipes for fresh produce, and perhaps a new exercise/biking log.
It is so good to be back! More later, with vacation pictures :)
*Medifast provided their products for my personal use for free over the past 17 months in return for my blogging about the experience. I was not compensated in any other way by Medifast for my always-honest reviews. Thank you Medifast, it's been real :)
Food on the Brain
7 hours ago