Recently, in Letting Go of What No Longer Serves Us, I shared about trying things a little differently as a way to spark growth and change. After ripping every article of clothing I have out of the closets and drawers, piling them into a mountain on the floor, and returning nothing that didn’t “spark joy,” to use Marie Kondo’s terminology (and methodology) I knew I wanted more of this. It had shifted something for me.

 

Her next suggestion was to do the same with books, which I did. It feel great. I got rid of all these intellectual books I had been keeping from college for, what, to prove that I was smart enough to read them again even though I never would?

 

Books that were gifts that I was keeping out of obligation. Need I say more? And the “should” books.

 

As a literature major, was it possible to get rid of classics? Answer: yes!

 

Paper is next on the list. Not looking forward to that.

 

But it is not just my house that needs to be taken to the next level, it’s me. As with my house, I had fallen into a routine. For the house: Clutter clear the house a couple times a year. Keep it energetically sparkling. Move and shift things when they begin to get a tired energy about them. For me: yoga, hiking, walking, shooting for 5 hours of physical movement a week but rarely achieving it because of other obligations: work, kids, partner, more work, blah, blah, blah.

 

Sleepy pattern.

 

Tennis was once part of that too, but no more.

 

What happened to tennis? I was running down the stairs in the pitch dark early morning one day a couple of years ago, on my way to yoga teacher training, and I fell, spraining my ankle badly. It’s swelled up to nearly twice its original size, and I went straight off to yoga training anyway, once I ascertained it was not broken, because I knew I could either lie in bed and feel miserable, or hang out with great people and wonderful energy and feel miserable. I chose the latter. No, I did not do yoga that day. Seriously, how could you even wonder if I did?!

 

A lot changed after that.

 

I stopped playing tennis, I stopped going on rigorous hikes, I stopped most of my yoga. Essentially, I stopped anything that put strain on the ankle. I went to the doctor to have it checked and all that, and this bad sprain kept me down for awhile.

 

So I fell into a new pattern: not so much working out.

 

I tried to get about the same amount of hours in, because I knew I always felt better if I got at least a good five hours a week in, but I did not make the full amount often, did zero cardio, and then one day got on the scales because of a medical visit (you know how they love to hop every one of us who goes in on the scales), and said, “holy crap.”

 

Actually, I probably said something else.

 

I hadn’t gained all that much weight, but I had clearly gained some. What this experience did was validate what I had been feeling for a while, which was not so comfortable in my body. It just didn’t feel like my body anymore.

 

To explain, I have occasionally been referred to as a golden retriever. I have a lot of energy, I like to move, I’m athletic, and all this stillness was changing my body in a way that didn’t feel so great. Maybe I needed it for a while, but something needed to shift.

 

Now.

 

Like, super now.

 

So I applied for a six week challenge, complete with required workouts and meal plan, and in spite of the fact that I did not have 20 pounds to lose, as they wanted their participants to have, I managed to talk my way into it with my wit, my humor, and, well, perhaps the cash helped as well.

 

I went to the orientation meeting, got my meal plan, went to the grocery store, got all my food, and if I knew anything at all, I knew that I was breaking another pattern that needed to be broken, moving out of my comfort zone, and into, shall we say, a protein-based, dairy free, low-carb zone?

 

Next week, I’ll tell you what happened next. How’s that for a cliffhanger?