I showed up to my first kickboxing class bubbling with nervous energy. I can't overstate how long it's been since I've actively taken care of my body, so the fear of throwing up was real. (I've heard it happens a lot when starting kickboxing!) I was immediately greeted by my friend Caitie, and a kickboxing instructor who wanted to know my goals. SO MANY GOALS! I assume she is talking about fitness goals, so I say, lose a few pounds, tone, feel stronger, the usual. Her next question catches me off guard.
Do you have any mental conditions?
What? Um, no. I mean, yeah, ...it's complicated. I'm working on it!
Caitie is laughing. The instructor is gripping her clipboard nervously.
Wait, what did you ask?
Do you have any medical conditions?
Oh. No. Nothing medical, but we all have mental conditions, right? Caitie is still laughing and agrees, and the instructor checks a box on a paper and I fear I've been put on a kickboxing watch list.
One hour later, I peel myself off the floor and feel proud that I neither quit nor threw up. However, as I walked home from class, my breathing was really labored and I developed a weird raspy cough that made me sound like my Grandmother right before she passed away from emphysema. (RIP, Gigi.) Nowhere to go but up, right?
You see, for too long, I have neglected my body. I've put great emphasis on the caring of my heart and soul, and I actively keep my mind engaged with endless reading and addictive podcasts. But this skin and these bones? Well, let's just say that if I really believe my body is a temple, I'm pretty much burning down the church.
I'm no fitness guru, but I knew that knew my diet as it existed, would not sustain me through kickboxing a few times a week, nor was it evidence of a person trying to practice self care. I decided I was worth the time, energy and labor (it is so laborious!) of a healthy detox. No juice cleanses. Something sustainable, but challenging. I settled on a really cool one from a site called Wake the Wolves. I really like what they're about, because along with giving up toxic food, you have to choose a few non-edible toxins too. Social media time, bad television, gossip-whatever it is that isn't adding anything beneficial to your life. Yikes.
I've definitely made some adjustments so that I have a fighting chance of completing this. I've added in egg whites and I am not giving up my coffee. It is my one daily pleasure, and I am trying to be healthier, not die, or worse, become a murderer.
If someone were to see me today and ask "What are you up to?" I might reply, "Toxing and Boxing, bro." That's how I affectionately refer to this combo cleanse of kickboxing and detoxing. But I wouldn't really say bro because it would probably be a mom friend I was talking with, but I would think it. These kickboxing classes just might be making me a little street.
An important note about self-care: It works best with accountability. While it's entirely self initiated, and only YOU can do the practice, it sure helps having one or two trusted friends at arms length during the process. I am detoxing with my artist friend, Mic. She lives in NJ, so we text crazy photos of our kale salads and encourage one another when the cravings for pizza bubble up. (like warm mozzarella cheese, please God, help me.)
My friend Caitie and I try to get to kickboxing together as often as possible, which so far has been precisely ONE time, but we're working on it. Knowing she might be there makes me know it won't go unnoticed if I don't show up. Also, she's probably the only one who will hold my hair back if I ever do vomit which I just KNOW is going to happen. We really want this shirt. And this one too. They're funny cuz they're true.
If you know me even a little, then you know I am not the girl who posts kale salad pictures on Instagram. I hate that girl! I'm the girl that thinks any time is the right time for a glass of wine. I love that girl! But that girl wasn't sleeping well. She was really sluggish in the mornings, and she keeps forgetting alcohol is a depressant. Oops.
So I am learning to be a new girl; a girl who can hopefully achieve some balance, even though that has never been her strong suit. A girl who encourages someone to take one small step towards wellness today. And not throw up.