My Aha Moment
What I learned about myself during my detox. What’s your story?
I was going to wait until the 60-day mark to report back in on the effects of daily sauna usage on my detox, but there’s no time like the present. Plus, it is about so much more than the sauna!!! In my February 6 post (read here), I explained the need for detoxing and told you the story behind my personal reasons for doing so. Today I will share with you what I’ve learned so far.
We started our detox protocol in October before we even left Texas. We were in Texas for the Truth About Cancer conference. Shortly after being back, I twisted my ankle while walking and it has been a very slow process to heal. During that time, my left knee started bothering me as well. Oh, and my right hip has been extremely tight. I started to feel like I was falling apart, which seemed counterintuitive to the whole concept of creating greater health and wellness. Needless to say, I hadn’t run since Columbus Day. This bothered me for a few months, but then I decided to shift my mindset and let it go. I had been in this situation before and I knew that it would not be permanent. The last time it happened I couldn’t run for nine months. It nearly drove me crazy. I stressed over the fact that I wasn’t getting my runs in; more from an exercise perspective than anything else. Because that’s what started me running in 2013 – the desire for more intensive cardio exercise.
At some point along the way, since October, I realized that running was more than exercise for me. It had become my “thing” back in 2013 to prove to myself that I was still healthy and strong. You see, I was diagnosed with breast cancer just two months after I started running. I kept building up my stamina through tests and surgeries. I pushed myself to run as much as I could through chemo and radiation; which lasted about five months. Running was my metric, my bar for measuring my health. If I could run, then I was okay.
I came to realize that I so internalized this belief that I no longer realized it was still in play. It took me a little time to recognize the subconscious story I was telling myself. If I can’t run, I’m not healthy, or I won’t be healthy, or I can’t be healthy. But running does not equal health. It may correlate to stamina and general well-being; but just because I can’t run at any given time does not mean I’m not healthy.
The mind is a complex subject. What is easy to spot in other people is not so easy to see in ourselves. It’s very difficult to think of oneself in an objective sense, and it can be difficult to recognize what is and isn’t real or true. Throughout our lives, we are given messages and create stories from the interactions we have with others and the world around us. They color the way we perceive ourselves, our surroundings, other people, and the world at large. They explain how three people can witness one event and come away with completely differing opinions on what they experienced. Nothing is absolute.
When I stopped focusing on how healthy I was day to day, and just remained focused on engaging in health-promoting behaviors, my body began to let go of all the tension and stress that I was placing on myself. My sauna sessions became more productive, my flexibility increased, and I even started mixing in some running during my treadmill walks. Short bursts here and there. Before, I would run in the frigid winter temps to prove that I could. Now, I’m just looking forward to warmer temps so I can just take in the sun and air and enjoy myself. No strings attached. I have a feeling I will enjoy running so much more when I’m using it for the experience and not as some test I put myself through.
As for how my detox is going, the addition of the sauna, along with stretching in the sauna, and aloe vera juice in my morning smoothie seem to have made a huge difference. My knee is feeling better and my hip is loosening up. My skin looks awesome and much less dry. I’m feeling stronger, looser and just plain better. And letting go of my story around running has contributed to my wellness.
Can you think of any stories or messages that exist for you that might be keeping you from reaching a goal, or just enjoying life? Post yours below in the comments, I’d love to hear from you.
Yours in Wellness,