memento moriMay 17, 2022
I'm standing on top of Primrose Hill, London - a place I stood at the age of 19, regularly through my 20s, at 37 and now - once at again - at 42.
A wild and surreal marking of time made possible by the scientific miracle of transatlantic flight, a carefully allotted travel budget, and my two lovely legs - which continue to haul my body up the steep 213 ft incline regardless of how many times I've shamed the girth of my thighs.
Possibly BECAUSE of the girth of my thighs.
I can see the London Eye.
The Shard: a spectacular spike of glass and mirror.
The BT tower: an ugly but nostalgic blinking of light, chatting me up via morse code "hey! good to have you back".
I realize, in this moment, that I've stood in this exact same spot, at a dozen different times in my life and that - while the circumstances are entirely different from visit to visit - the hopes & worries I bring to the top with me have stayed curiously the same.
I've achieved so much in my career - but the thoughts of "if I could just get to X or figure out how to be Y" sound strangely the same now as they did when I was 19.
Same goes for money. Different circumstances but same striving, not quite content, at times limiting and often scarcity-driven, thoughts.
The body stuff, however, I've shifted. While faint whisperings of how my body doesn't quite measure up float through my head when a fabulously dressed size 2 wanders by, for the most part I feel content.
I've found a place where I can rest - placated but not indifferent.
Fulfilled but not finished.
I'm still very, very interested in taking care of my body. Feeding her well, moving for joy, getting dressed in clothes that feel inspiring and beautiful and a representation of who I am. I'm just done with the "what ifs"
What if I were a different shape? A different size? Had better skin? Could just get back into those jeans from 2009 Looked more like her..... or her?
As I stand there, with the wind blowing strands of my hair across my eyes and into my goopy lip gloss, I realize that I might just be half way through my life.
That as these trips get fewer and further between - I can't know how many more times I'll have the privilege of climbing to the top of this hill, unaided, on a warm and sunny Tuesday afternoon - filled with Pimm's and ham sammies.
It reminds me of two things I've heard over the course of this week:
1. Mememto mori: the awareness of the inevitability of death
2. The silly/sad quip: Don't end up 92 years old, in an old folks home, scared to eat the pudding
I mean this in the most optimistic and hopeful way: I'm very aware that I'm not getting any younger. My life, the best parts (the good old days!) are happening right this minute and it's helping me to really acknowledge and absorb how grateful I am to be in a place of peace with food, body, beauty, health, and my weight.
Fulfilled but not finished.
Content but still hopeful.
How about you?
Are you agonizing over the same bad body and food thoughts that have haunted your every Monday morning, milestone, and vacation for the past (fill in the blank with a number) decades?
Striving, pushing, constantly wanting things to be different than they are?
If so - I ask you this:
To what end?
When will you give yourself a break? Let yourself rest and enjoy? And if you decide to keep striving and chasing... are you happy with what you're sacrificing along the way?
PS I made a commitment to myself at the top of that hill to bring the perspective that I have when it comes to my body to my career and money.
I'll be shifting the way that I work over the next 4 months - so stay tuned for new offerings in the fall and - until then - I hope to show up in your inbox more than usual with the MOST important advice I can give when it comes to making peace with food and weight.
PPS Thank you for all the feedback! I sent out a feedback form in my last email - got lots of responses - and drew a name for the winner of a Starbucks gift card. Shannon Castle - you're the big winner! I'll be sending that gift card along shortly.