When I hit forty I thought it was this monumental milestone and that somehow I’d be different. All grown-up. Mature. Wise. You know what? I felt no different from when I hit 21 or 30. Just another day; just another year.
The fact that I did NOT feel different is actually what prompted me to take steps to make change in my life. I didn’t dislike the person that I was, but I couldn’t honestly say I liked her either–nondescript, benign, no real identity aside from being a mom and wife.
I think the first big step was when I had LASIK done. My parents paid for it as my eyes were getting to the point that I would not be able to wear contacts much longer because 28 years of them were causing damage. This gave me my first tiny glimpse of freedom. I no longer had to rely on contacts to function, as I was legally blind without them.
Day-to-day of running my boys around to soccer and baseball wore me out. I watched my son struggle with diabetes and realized this was not something he had a say in. He fought every single day for good health, so it was time I stepped up and did the same. I started watching what I ate. I started walking on a regular basis. When I first started, a mile KILLED me! But then I got to two, then five, eventually walking up to eight miles a night.
Setting aside time to walk every night gave me something else far more important–time to think, or depending on the day, time to NOT think. So many decisions weighed heavily on my mind.
The turmoil in my head and the angst in my heart led me to seek spiritual guidance and peace. Most of this came in the form of me studying Hinduism and it’s philosophies. It spoke to me in a way that traditional Christian views in a small town did not. I was ridiculed for it, but soon came to realize that it was fed by ignorance. I needed to find what worked for me, not by what society deemed.
With studying Hinduism, I came across a saying and belief that I thought had validity and merit: ”Feed your mind’s thirst for knowledge before your body’s need for sustenance.” How simple! Basically, learn how fast to gain spiritual and emotional clarity, not weight loss.
This began the most trying, but freeing, time in my life. I sought answers to two questions. I made a vow that until I had those answers, I would refrain from feeding my body. I had to trust in my own judgement.
Days turned to weeks, weight loss became obvious and friends expressed concern. I reiterated to them to trust MY judgement of knowing when to stop. The emotional clarity during my fast was unlike anything I would’ve imagined. For me it was like seeing in High-Def for the first time ever.
My answers came suddenly, LOUD and clear, literally saving my life.
My fast took me much longer than I ever anticipated. Everyone says “I could never do that!” My response? You do what it takes to find your own peace. My fast took me 39 days. Had I not been so undeniably shown my answers, I would have continued until I had them. I should mention, labs done throughout were astoundingly normal, surprising my doctor.
Thirty-nine days changed my life forever, so when put in perspective, it doesn’t seem so long. Those 39 days, I lost an additional 18 pounds. What I gained was so much more … and it had nothing to do with a midlife crisis.
Category: Over 40