Monday, April 4, 2011

Talking Belly Buttons

Hey folks. How's that for a title that demands attention???

Each of you has encountered challenges as you've worked through the BTWG process, as well as encountering successes that aren't measured in pounds but are instead measured in insights.

I've had my own fitness challenges lately - err, let's be honest. Since the holidays I've had my own fitness challenges. No doubt, they mirror some that you've run into. This week I experienced a success, an insight that gave me the kick in the pants I needed to get myself back in gear and move ahead. Yes, it involves a talking belly button. Yes, that lint-catching indent in the torso inspired my recent insight. 

For a variety of reasons I can rattle off (work hours/commitments, drive time to PRFitness and gas expense, the need for some solitary workout time which I admit is not as strenuous of a workout as when I am with our PRF community, the desire to be home a bit more versus out and about, post-winter and pre-spring mood swings, and so on) - because of these things I allowed my workouts to fall off slightly, while my eating has not. Ah-ha moment!  When I was working out more I had "X" calories coming in, "X" calories being expended - balance! Lovely. Alas, for the past 3 months I have had "X" calories coming in, and "X minus 500 calories being expended."  Add into that a diet that is not unhealthy but certainly has added in a few "extra" things a tad too often and in portions a tad too large. You don't have to be a math genius to see where this is going, right.

Weight gain of 7 pounds over 3 months. But the weight itself is not the issue - it's merely a signal to me that I'm out of balance in certain areas of my life again.  Beat myself up over it?  Nope - that's time wasted that is better spent changing my path. And, while I rarely beat myself up over anything I say or do, I always make sure I "own it", whatever it is.  What I'm owning right now is the fact that I moved away from a few of the general concepts of BTWG in the last 3 months and doing so has ramifications that don't serve me or others well. As each of you are finishing up BTWG, all I can say to you as advice is keep the BTWG concepts in your daily life. Even when you feel like you had them engrained into your daily life as I felt I had after 2 years, keep them in the forefront of your mind and actions as a guide.

Now, I say the weight I've gained isn't the issue, but let me also be clear that I am NOT happy with it. All 7 pounds have acted as a well-orchestrated team and gathered their force around my soon-to-be 45-year-old midsection.  In the same way that friends say to one another, "Let's go shopping at Kohls!" these 7 pounds all looked at one another and said, "Let's go to Sherri's waistline!"  Which leads us to the talking belly buttons.

Recently when a BTWG graduate/friend and I were comparing the bulges that have "mysteriously" appeared around both of our waistlines, we both lapsed into 5th-grade humor by exposing our midsections and flapping our midsection bulges around so our belly buttons became "talking" mouths.  (Yes, even in your mid 40s stupid body humor prevails. And no, we had not been drinking.)  What did our belly button mouths say?  In a French accent (not sure why) we flapped our bellies while crooning, "What is 'dis? What is 'dis bulge? Where did it come from? Dis was not here last summer!! Dis is what is in da way of the buttons on my pants!"  We were laughing hysterically as she watched my belly bounce about and I watched hers, but we both were very much aware that this laughter was our way of drawing a new line in the sand.  Post-laughter, belly buttons now silent, we have both recommitted to a renewal of focus on our mental, emotional and physical health by bringing BTWG principles - specifically the eating portion - back to the forefront.

What strikes me as really funny about our talking belly buttons is the fact that the next day we both went out and ran 13 miles and we felt great afterwards. I had even run 13 miles the weekend before with no trouble and felt great after it. BUT "great" is relative, isn't it?  How much better would we have felt if our eating had been healthier before our run, how much better would our joints have felt minus those extra pounds and with a little more muscle mass, how much quicker could we have run, how much more would we have mentally and emotionally enjoyed the run if our fitness and training had been a little more deliberate?

I'm owning all this, friends, and I'm asking you to witness it. All 7 pounds, the talking belly buttons, the shorts I bought last summer that now fit me like Hooters waitress...yep, I'm owning all of it.  I'm owning it but I'm not keeping it. Farewell non-serving eating habits I allowed to return and a lackadaisical approach to fitness. Hello again "focus-on-me-because-I-am-worth-it-and-want-to-be-active-and-have-fun-well-into-my-90s-with-friends-and-family"!

AND NO, I will not be doing an encore performance of the French-speaking belly button act. Don't ask.  heehee

HOWEVER, I am game for getting a group together on Sunday and running/walking the trails at Eagle Creek...all paces welcome. Kelly and I will be at the 71st entrance to the park at 8am sharp for an 8am sharp departure. Any takers? If so, drop me your email at