Today I started day one of my fitness project, under the training supervision of fitness pro, Kim Oddo. I was referred by a classmate of mine to him, and after receiving my nutrition and fitness plan, I was expecting some of what he put together, but also surprised at some of the restrictions. The interesting thing about nutrition is that for each person there are minute details which can be tweaked. His plan goes down to each meal in detail, calories are overall most important for the day, but it is not as simple as just that. I am allowed to swap out certain foods for like foods, but sadly, I can not consume 1500 calories of Peanut Butter and Nutella (although how amazing would that be?!) and call it a day. Although I completed my marathon back in November, I can’t say that I was consuming the right kind of foods. I think protein rarely made an appearance in my diet while I was living in Japan, which is really not a good thing, considering how important it is for overall health (and muscle growth). If I had been taking in the right foods, I really have to wonder how much better I would have performed on my training runs and on race day.
Over the past few months it has been difficult dealing with the aftermath of my failed relationship. I’ve been reading a few different books over the timespan to help me through the grieving process, to understand what went wrong, to recognize the signs of a toxic person, and most importantly, to once again find my higher purpose. I recently began Richard Bach’s classic, Jonathan Livingston Seagull. I am still working through the book, but the basic premise is that we need to do what we believe in, regardless of whether it is what everyone else is doing, if we think that it will lead to our purpose in life. When I was in my relationship, I thought my highest purpose was to love my significant other, but I noticed I began neglecting myself. When the relationship ended I was left with a massive void where that love once was; it felt like a vacuum. I thought: What is there for me if this person is now gone from my life? What other purpose could I possibly have if not to love him? Although I am still working through these emotions, I truly believe it is the love of oneself. Author Jo Coudert puts it perfectly in her book, Advice from a Failure:
You do not need to be loved, not at the cost of yourself. The single relationship that is truly central and crucial in a life is the relationship to the Self. Of all the people you will know in a lifetime, you are the only one you will never lose.
I think of the Alanis Morissette song, Underneath, where she sings:
There is no difference in what we’re doing in here
That doesn’t show up as bigger symptoms out there
What we do within, for ourselves, how we feel about ourselves, manifests in the world. And it is so hard to feel good or to feel okay when somebody abandons us, but we must ultimately accept what their choices were, and realize it is not about us.
My fitness project, along with the increase in my writing, are ways that I am trying to regain what I felt called toward once before. Seeing internal strength, willpower, and dedication manifested as physical strength. BEING MY BEST SELF. That is what my higher purpose is.