My students always wants to know what’s in my “cup” when I arrive to my Wednesday morning Zumba class. Because of my schedule, a lot of times, I eat my second meal of the day out and it is usually oatmeal and a soy latte of some type (maybe a green tea if I am wanting something lighter) at Starbucks or a smoothie from Earth Fare. They are more concerned on the day when it is a latte. I am not a normal coffee drinker and anything with ridiculous amount of caffeine is liable to send my normal high intensity self shooting through the ceiling. And that means I am taking them with me.
Sometimes I don’t realize how fast/hard I am going until I am sweating about two minutes into the class. Or when a slower track comes on and I feel like I can’t find the rhythm because my body still wants to go 180 beats per minute. It’s like I am having an outer body experience. My mind is saying “SLOW DOWN” but my feet are doing their own thing and dragging the rest of me along for the ride.
Do you ever feel like that?
My entire life is FAST. I talk fast. I get dressed fast. I eat fast. I type fast. I fall in love fast. I am bored fast. I fall asleep fast. I finish my work fast. I walk fast. And, man, do I dance fast. At times, it feels hard. Fast has always been equated as “better”. A lot of people don’t know but, as a child, I was quite a runner. A fast one. If my friend Theo had not finally outrun me that day on the sidewalk when I was thirteen, I would have probably pursued it into high school and maybe college (if I had not gotten bored). I always felt “successful” when I was first in a race, whether running or competing on a math drill. Talking fast and eating fast come from believing I would be cut off so I had to get it all out.
So, basically, what I just said was I wanted to be heard and seen. I wanted to win.
And, living fast has cost me quite a bit. There is an unawareness I adapted to food and life (not to mention bad digestion and not being able to get somewhere because I never paid attention to landmarks) that have followed me throughout my weight gain/weight loss/weight up and down all around journey. I came away with no PLEASURE. I was just shoveling food down my mouth, going through the motions of an existence that, well, I seemed to accept because I kept waking up. And the result was a life I wasn’t happy with and so I was bored and so I swiftly changed to something else, fell in love with something and someone else and the story continues.
What is it about our lives that we are in such a rush to get it over and done? What are we rushing to do? Because, hopefully, the next day is coming. With all of the energy drinks, stamina pills, caffeine laden concoctions we drink on a daily basis, it’s a wonder any of us do anything slow, other than crawl out of bed, looking for our next fix. As one of my instructors says, “slow is the new sexy.” It is a way of savoring life. Of enjoying that which is meaning and tasty and delicious and enjoying it in the here and now. If we found pleasure in EVERYTHING that we did, we wouldn’t be in such a rush to get to the next thing. If we found pleasure in our food, we wouldn’t jam in down our throat while riding down the street in our car. If we found pleasure in our exercise, we wouldn’t be watching the clock after every two steps. And, if we are not finding pleasure in what we are doing, maybe we should be doing something else.
This week, I challenge you to just slow ONE THING down. One meal, one conversation, one shower. Be present in EACH PART of the process. Allow yourself to become completely submerged into what’s happening.
And, what in the WORLD does this have to do with weight loss and fitness and health? Life is a metaphor. Slow down long enough to reread this and there’s your answer.