shedding the old skin

There is an old legend, don’t remember where I read it, but it tells the story of how we used to live forever by shedding our old skin.  It told of a woman who shed her skin at a river, the skin getting caught on sticks.  On her return, her child cried, not recognizing the young mother as the elderly one it was accustomed to.  The woman returned to the river and put on the old skin and we’ve been mortal ever since.

I love the picture this paints for me about the importance of letting go of what is dead to continue on in living.  Even if those around me dislike the way I may be changing, what I may be leaving behind or picking up.

I was just walking at a nearby park when it struck me like a lightning bolt that I was walking around in dead skin.  For several years now I have been resisting change in the area of my relationship with my body, my health and well-being.  I don’t know if it was because I was waiting for a convenient time or if I was waiting for the “all aboard” or if I have just been plain old lazy.  Either way, it has become clear to me  that a change is needed.

I have a way I want to relate to food: what I put into my body and how present I am in this every day practice.  Also, what I DO with this body — both what I take in and what I give out.  My actions concerning my health and well-being have been sad.  I want to feel energetic and alive, I want to move towards eating less meat and junk.  But I’ve put off living life as I long to.

So, here is my plan for eating:  it is the 5 and 2 approach.  For 5 days a week, I will eat as I long to.  This means eating in a healthy and mindful way.  Real food, mostly plants, right proportions. I’ll cut out as much processed, prepared food as possible (chips, sweets, sugary drinks, high fat meat and dairy, “bad carbs”).  On my weekend I will have what I have been avoiding or limiting if I desire it, in moderation.  Bake a dessert, have ribs, drink a Pepsi.

This is a more painless method to develop new habits.  After several weeks, those 2 days off will start to look more like the other 5, with an eventual change into eating the way I long to.  Along with this, I am determined to do something physical most days.  This week I have walked 4 days, done yoga once.  I want to really step up my physical activity each week, adding resistance work, more yoga, maybe get a belly dancing tape or some such thing.

I feel so good about this decision.  The resisting is what makes it hard.  Once I decide to shed what is no longer living, I can change.  Transformation is possible, once the shedding is done.