I am grateful.
Looking through my travel photos I'm overwhelmed by so many feelings, some of them bittersweet. I'm in a massive transition right now - from a life I have loved to one full of unknowns - and this transition is HARD. Yet as scared as I am, and as sad as I am sometimes, mostly I'm just incredibly grateful. WHAT A LIFE! And that seems like the perfect note on which to start this blog!
I am here (on this blog, on this planet) because I'm so fucking lucky. I have felt lucky my entire life but the older I get the more I am absolutely convinced that as much as luck allowed me to be born to the wonderful parents I have, in the terrific place that I live, in a family that's loving and fun, I'm lucky because of me.
Seems kinda crazy huh? But it's so true, and it's true for every one of us: We make so much of our own "luck". Our perspective really does create our world. If I'm able to get up when I'm knocked down (and believe me, I am), it's because I choose to. It's because somewhere along the line I learned that whatever our challenges, obstacles, set-backs and heartaches, there is choice. And that is SO powerful!
When I became truly grateful, and when I saw the power we each have to reframe a "bad" situation into an opportunity to learn and grown, I realized that I couldn't take a single day or person for granted. Yet the hardest person to value and appreciate has been me - to see and believe at last and for good that I am special and worthy; that everything I want to be I kind of already am.
For many years I was really out of shape. Thankfully I was a slim kid - just being a dork was hard enough! - but I certainly became a fat adult. And that wouldn't matter at all if I hadn't hated myself for it and become sick and diabetic. From a young age I turned to food for comfort, and by the time I was 18 I began to put myself through cycle after cycle of diets, driven by self-loathing and disgust at my lack of self-control over a body I'd always been at war with.
As you might imagine, when my desire to "improve" was driven by self-hate and perverted by self-doubt, creating positive change was nearly impossible. Yet many of us attempt to tackle fat loss from this very perspective. So it took me many years of stumbling around, wrong turns, and false starts before I finally unlocked the secret to self-love. Once I did, eating mindfully became an act of self-care. Exercise and movement became an expression of my appreciation for life and for my hard-working, perfectly "imperfect" body. It all got turned around as the same eating, the same exercise, shifted from being critical and punitive ("I suck!") to about living the life I deserve.
In one week I'll be flying to Austin, Texas, to turn a dream into reality: I'll be attending a health and fitness symposium called PaleoFX. There for the first time I'll be meeting many of my paleo heroes, passionate people like me who've put wellness at the center of their lives and are spreading the word.
Ever since I made the switch to a paleo diet in 2010, my affection and admiration for this incredible community has only grown. I feel a deep sense of belonging with these guys who are finding value in life's simple pleasures, like enjoying healthy meals with loved ones, getting outdoors for fresh air and sunshine, and doing what we love and loving what we do. It's these paleo peeps - the bloggers, podcasters, trainers, cooks, coaches, nutritionists, practitioners, and motivators - who inspired this blog and compel me to share what I'm learning in the hope that you might find value in it for yourselves.
For this paleo community, for my loving friends and family, for this crazy, beautiful, heart-wrenching life, I am so incredibly grateful. And so lucky!
What are you grateful for?