Anyone that knows me, knows I’m loud. My kids are loud. My relatives are loud. When I meet friends in a bar or restaurant, they don’t look for me….they listen for me. When I was single, I once had a friend tell me “Lauren you don’t need a blind date. You need a deaf date.”
This has been me from the beginning. My mom used to call us “The Shut Up Family”. It started with me and my two younger brothers. By the time I was a pre-teen, supervision at my house was what you might call hit or miss. My parents were divorcing; my mom was in her early 30’s with a 12, 11, and 9 year old and was spending her early evenings bar tending and her late evenings/early mornings reliving her 20’s. My brothers would go with my dad most weekends while I decided to stay home or go to my Grandmother’s. **Warning: unrelated/unsolicited divorce advice entering here- Out of some self imposed loyalty to my mom I almost never went with my dad. My dad and I have a great relationship, and when I became aware enough to look back with the eyes of an adult, I thanked him for this: He never forced me to go or made me feel guilty for not going [difficult for him I’m sure because of his staunch Catholic upbringing] but he always let me know I was welcome and loved, regardless of my decision.** Since my brothers and I were unsupervised a lot, most of our time was spent fighting and yelling. We were wild animals. We didn’t politely wait our turn for the other to stop speaking. When we had something to say, we just got louder and yelled “Shut Up!” It was crazy and completely uncivilized. We didn’t care where we were or who was around. And, I’m ashamed and proud to say, my kids still do the same with each other when they really get fired up. (Moral of the story….wild unsupervised child wolf raising is irrelevant: “shut up” is in my DNA.)
As ridiculous as my childhood was, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’ve been extra grateful this week for coming from “The Shut Up Family”. Why? Because I’ve had to internally scream “SHUT UP!” quite a bit to myself. It’s funny the things my internal voice likes to focus on. “This is hard.” “God, what am I thinking.” “Look at my ass……seriously???” “I’m hot (tired, cranky, busy, etc. etc. etc.)” You get the point. It got me thinking this week about the battle between body and mind. The mind is an amazing concept. We can’t see it or touch it, but it affects everything in our lives. We can convince ourselves of anything. Put a thought in your mind (helpful or hurtful) and you’ll find the proof everywhere you look. I’m worthy. I’m not worthy. I’m awesome. I suck. I’m beautiful. I’m hideous. The body is just as powerful. I’ve met amputees who became world class athletes. I’ve also met perfectly healthy adult humans whose entire life conversations are about what their body CAN’T do.
When the mind and body work in concert for your best and highest good, that’s where the magic really happens! When I stopped looking at the clock in spin class and started focusing on the movement of my body, my calories burning and energy expended started climbing. When I stopped bitching at the gym about how hard everything was, I started grabbing heavier weights and finishing my reps quicker. It’s only been a few weeks, but I’m starting to notice the changes. I’ve stopped being self deprecating when someone asks me why I’m not drinking and bringing my own food places….I’m speaking proudly about this journey I’m on. I’ve already lost a few pounds, and a few % points of body fat. It’s slow. It’s steady. And I feel good about that.
I once heard a contestant on the Biggest Loser say “I just need to quiet my mind and let my body do what it’s capable of.” I love that, and have changed it to suit me: I need to just shut up and let my body do what it’s capable of.