Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Reality Check

At 9 a.m., I was given a Reality check.

This morning my husband ran a few tests on us as part of a health initiative his company is doing.  (He's a pharmacist so he just brought the tests home - which is a huge bonus when the temp is under 20 degrees F.)  Basically, if we meet certain standards we get money in a health savings account.  Nice, eh?

After 12 hours of fasting and an odd early morning craving for my iced chai, we began.  My tests were flying along - excellent cholesterol (yay for vegetarian diet!), great blood pressure, blood sugar fine, weight normal, BMI ok....then....boom.

Reality. (Yeah, don't look too closely.  I took this picture without the scale on.)

The body fat percentage.  I won't list my exact numbers, but I am "Over Fat".  AAAAAUUUGGGHH!  (I was blessed with good genes - I'm 5' 8.5" which means that weight/fat usually just spreads out.  But because of that, I am deceived into believing it is not there.  I guess tighter jeans should have been a clue.)

And yes, I am sharing this slightly embarrassing fact with you.  Why?  Because it is part of my story.  Because being honest hopefully encourages you to do the same.

I'm really not that distressed over it - just awakened.  I am not going to try to lose weight.  Let me repeat:  This is NOT about the weight.

I am, however, going to get that fat percentage number down.  I consider it a challenge.  I am well aware that all of these standards are fairly arbitrary; that overall I am quite healthy.

However, how I do one thing is how I do all things.  How I deal with this one small obstacle to total physical health is how I will deal with one small obstacle on my path to peace.  This is just an objective measure of something that I've known - my health is sliding.  In paying attention to my mind I have forgotten my body.  And yet, without my body, my mind too will disappear.

I want to ensure that anyone who reads this does not take this to mean "over fat" or any form of low or high weight is a "bad thing".  It will have consequences, to be sure, but people whose weight fall in the "normal" range also have health causes and effects.  It is part of the blessing of having a experience what having a body means.

I enjoy being aware.  I can now make conscious decisions based off a more true-picture of myself.  I can see that fat that is hiding in there.  It is the same reason I do yoga, art, meditation -- to understand a more complete picture of myself and the world around me.  To be aware.

"Wherever we are we are our true person" 
-Master Linji/Thich Nhat Hanh

Via a body-fat scale, meditation, paint, yoga, deep reflection, and whatever methods I can, I choose to constantly remind myself of that person so that I may radiate that being.

I'm going to make the whole process as peaceful as possible.  That means I'm not "dieting" per se but going to be much more mindful of my food.  I'm not greatly altering my workout schedule but I am going to pursue more active living.  And one thing you can be sure of?

I'm not giving up my iced chai.


  1. Love this post. You are obviously well-balanced, and that is beautiful. Here's to awareness as we enter 2011. Hugs!

  2. So glad you aren't giving up your iced chai!! I hate to think what my measures would have been... I was thinking about blowing off the gym today. You saved me!!

  3. You can do it. I saw your pics from the mini when you were RAIL THIN. Five foot EIGHT and a HALF? Oh my. I am Five foot TWO. Smashed down and squished out. sigh. :-)
    Baby steps. xo, Cheryl

  4. Wonderful smart post. You will succeed and you are an inspiration to me and I'm sure to others as well.

  5. You know what...that is probably pretty much where I am, too. I know my weight is fine, and the stats look good overall, but I'm guessing my percentage is too high. I know what to do about it,'s just pushing myself to the desire to actually do it.

  6. Amazing post...but when I saw the set of scales in on my dashboard, I thought, nope not going there just yet, but you know what? You are so on the mark...I am looking forward to all that 2011 will hold and loss so that we can be the most amazing creative people ever! Thanks for sharing...hugs...

  7. I think it's a great thing to be more mindful of what we're eating. I TRY - but I do have a weakness for a good potato chip. LOL And cake. :) A little indulgences every so often are good for the soul - and how we treat ourselves the rest of the time is what really matters. :) Theresa