Being Breath

stories from the wilderness of everyday life

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 body...to 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.