What if exercise and eating, hell, living, weren’t about body shape? What if everytime we did a rep or forked a bite into our mouth we didn’t think about how we were going to wear it?
What if instead it was about abundance. About thriving. About strength and longevity. About doing something today that would allow us to live a fuller, longer, more present life far into our days. What if doing an overhead press translated into lifting up our children, or choosing a paleo diet resulted in preventing a neurodegenerative disease? What if we could view doing things that were good for us, not as punishment for our daily behavior, but as a gift to ourselves in our one precious life. What if we give ourselves the gift of nutrition and movement, because that is how we become the best versions of ourselves? The versions that can be there for our loved ones both physically and emotionally. The versions that can be productive members of the workforce who are focused and alert. That can be present in our own lives. The versions that become better citizens because when we make the decision to work on ourselves we begin to realize how interconnected all of it really is. The good choices we make in our lives affect the world around us. We set examples of healthy behaviors for those around us, we are more conscious in the sourcing of our nutrients, we are more present and patient because we are getting sleep and naturally staving off anxiety.
Let’s change the script together. I work out. I eat healthy. Because it is good for my living. Because it is good for the world.
When I got into fitness, these were certainly not my reasons. I wanted to be thin, fit, desired, admired, idolized, loved, accepted. Selfish? Yes. Shallow? Yes. That’s okay. If we’re being honest with ourselves who doesn’t want those things at least a bit? I don’t judge baby Kinsey, I am grateful for her (and hell, I’ve been hard enough on her in the past). Whatever the desire is that gets you started, I’m certain you’ll find it becomes much more about the amazing journey along the way. It certainly has for me.
It was not a quick change. The above stated stayed my main motivation for the better part of a decade. I lead a double life. Fitness and health junky by day, partier and pizza junky by night or Sunday Brunch. I was pretty good at this tightrope too. Not many people, save for my family and my closest friends, really had any idea the dichotomy. -- In case you were wondering, I technically got a lot of what I “wanted” -- the body weight, mild admiration, desirability. But it was never enough, and I never recognized and appreciated having it when I did. Looking back I can see I was in great shape smiling next to a bunch of beautiful friends, but I also can remember how at the end of the day I felt totally and utterly alone, lacking and never enough.
It could easily look like a slow burn from the outside in...a lot of vanity roadblocks on the way to getting honest and starting the journey I am on now, and thrilled to take others on (well, their own variation on a theme). But what I didn’t realize at the time was that by being apart of the health and wellness community, while there were plenty of partiers, I was also dually surrounded by those who lived to thrive. I heard both voices equally and while partying felt like the easier more exciting option for me at the time, the voices of the thrivers were heard and stored away, so as I began to transition and grow, the little snippets I picked up and remembered and quite frankly resented at the time, but have come to love and aspire to, came back in waves and helped guide me on where to go next for inspiration, motivation and information.
Your story may not be the same as mine, it probably isn't, or maybe they are creepy close. It doesn’t really matter (but sweet - yay twinsies ;) ). What matters is that we all have turning points. Even if we don’t realize how drastic or monumentally life changing they can be at the time. If we open our mind to the process and let the words and examples of the “thrivers” in along the way, slowly but surely by that magical process of mental osmosis inspiration will grow, and if we choose to put in the work for a better life, a life we may not even have realized existed, presents itself.
I’m not necessarily talkin buckets of cash, or a hottie bombaratie and a shaggin waggin (is this a thing people are saying), although maybe that will be part of your world. I am talkin a life where we are comfortable (er) in our skin and quiet (er) in our minds. With those two things...the world is your lovely little oyster, and you, my friend, have begun to thrive.
I digress. I’ll get more into my partying days and my struggle with alcohol in another blog post, because I want to focus on one main theme in this one. When I started taking time to focus on creating a healthier life for myself, no matter the timeline, I developed a thirst for knowledge. After I got sober, it became significantly easier for me to start addressing the way I ate. Not in a restriction sense, but learning about the difference between eating a meal at McDonalds in my car at 11pm and taking the time to cook a meal from the organic section (or better yet a farmers market) at 12pm.
I could feel the changes in my body. The brain fog lifting, the mood lightening. So, my darling nerd self, sought out more resources to figure out what made eating one meal soooo drastically different from the next. Turns out a lot of factors. But there is no rush. Take your time. If there is one thing I have learned for myself (luckily there has been a lot more than one), anything I rushed into and tried to rush through, never lasted. Change, like a river carving the heck out of rocks, is gradual. How can you expect a lifetime of habits to change in a month (or less) time?
Over the next year, I learned a lot from many professionals through books, podcasts, talking to friends in the field, and from listening to my body.
My world was changing, faster now that I had put this new nutritional ball in motion (on top of my fitness). I was starting to develop a consciousness around the politics of food and overall wellness. I became much more scrupulous over where I was getting my food and how it was grown or raised. I felt and still feel like a regular ol’ gumshoe. It is bizarre how much of this information is kept out of the spotlight (spoiler -- there are a lot of lobbyists with a lot to lose if we, as a nation, start to wake up to sustainable, regenerative farming practices). The great news is, there is a lot of info out there if you dig a little. Hunny, I got you, check out my resources link on my website for an ever growing list of free and not so expensive resources on alllll sorts of topics. Alas, a great many shifts have happened in the last decade. They took me from diving into fitness, to eating for nutritional value, to food politics and environmental conservatism, and they’re still happening. There’s so much to learn, and so much to share. No matter the miles, we are a community, and only together can we truly thrive.
A quick recap to a much longer story.
I got into fitness for a hot bod, and it has taken me on the journey of a lifetime that is already a world beyond my wildest dreams. I want to share it. The world deserves to be healthy and thriving--and that includes YOU.
My goal as a fitness professional and health coach is to help the world (or my family, neighbors, clients) redefine their relationships with fitness and eating, and inspire them to inspire others. To move from a shame based scarcity mindset and move towards a holistic approach that focuses on longevity and our purpose in the world. When we’re healthy, we can help the world become healthy. (I know it may sound extreme, I would have laughed in my own face, but it’s happening for me, and I’ve watched it happening or others). But as I’ve learned from those much wiser than I, “you can’t give away what you haven’t got.” Together, with an open mind and willingness to explore a new relationship to a seemingly old concept, we can work together towards a better you, a better world.
Shall we THRIVE!?!?!