Merely 3, and 4, and 5 months ago I was living on the West Coast, and in one of the best shapes in my life. I was strong and spare, living out of a van in California, working on the 10 Billion Lives tour.
A $10/day food stipend sustained me. The rest of my meager salary went to paying for triweekly trips for my husband to visit me from our home in Nyc. No room for extravagant eating on that budget, and I didn’t care because with $.50/lb papayas and 10 lb. bags of potatoes for $3, I was living rich on a Raw Till 4 vegan diet. Consuming 3000-3500 calories a day, a massive amount of carbs, I had what I needed to support a 2-3 hour morning jog-walk-exploration at dawn each day.
Tour LifeWhen I was on tour there was not much to think about. There was the tour work, that consisted of a 7 hour shift M-F, evangelizing on college campuses about the horrors of how animals are slaughtered or inhumanely crowded together in dirty conditions on farms. We then discussed the magic of cutting back on meat and dairy consumption, maybe becoming vegan. Other than that, we were just cruising.
I was married, but physically I had no husband. No friends, other than my tour mate. I had no reason to stay up, other than seeing a movie at the cinema, which I did upwards of 5 times a week when we were living somewhere slow, like in Central California. So I went to bed around 9 every night, keeping to East Coast time, falling asleep and rising at the same time as my husband in Nyc.
While on tour, I’d catch every sunrise. Quietly, at 5a each morning, I’d slip on and tie my running sneakers, grab the overnight oats out of the fridge and the pre-made-the-night-before instant coffee with soy milk, and then out the van I’d go, with my backpack, awake and ready to explore the open terrain of a new place.
There were panics looking for a parking lot to crash in overnight without being fined – fear of being woken in the middle of the night by the flashlights of suspecting police on the hunt for squatters. Things in our van broke… a lot, leading me to quit, but for that period of time, and in the remaining two months of my life on the West Coast, I was in sick shape.Not toned or sculpted like the fitness models that you see or Shakeology moms that you set on Instagram. I was a different kind of fit, becoming stringy and taut. My body was tight. For someone riddled with body insecurities all of my life – never fat, but not thin either, it was a big step, in Hawaii, to wear my first bikini on the beach. My body did other things. My round face became angular. Seeing my friend for the first time in months, she inquired as to what workout I did to get my strong looking shoulders, showed prominently in sleeveless dresses that finally looked right on me. I looked and felt great.
But it didn’t last forever.
Back then I could sustain taking very good care of my body. My job only required a max. of 40 hours a week of attention. I had no husband to speak sweet nothings (or complaints) to every night, no friends to plan trips to the Prospect Park Band Shell with, and no dogs to take out three times a day.
At my poorest, I was living my richest part of my life, in terms of health.
I’m fat now. No. I kid. But I am getting “fluffy.”Not as much as Julio Iglesias, who coined the term. But I’ve lost my angular shoulders and face. I’m back to being soft and round, because for three weeks I’ve gone without my run and push-up routine. I also kicked the Raw Till 4 diet for the first time in 6 months, which immediately led to an uptick in my body mass.
However, with my work schedule I haven’t had the bandwidth or the time to work on my body. Each morning last week I woke at 6:30a to tutor some of my students whose parents are insistent that they work with me, and then I roll into my FT job at 9a. Evenings are for fun, grabbing dinner with friends, seeing movies with my husband.
Where is the time for my fitness?
I take long walks every day, between tutoring and pet clients, on shopping errands for my Personal Assistant job
I don’t get high intensity cardio, but then again I never did run fast.
I’ve been balancing my lack of calorie burn with just trying to eat less and have returned to Raw Till 4 for its rigidness as it helps me to control my eating.
All rationalizations for not running, but it’s time!
For the next month, including that time in Ecuador where I can be free and very active, I will get my body back in check. Check back here weekly for articles on how I’ll accomplish this and to monitor my progress (fingers crossed)!
If you’re questioning your body, your health, your lifestyle, take stock of what you are doing and whether it is interfering with your happiness. If it is, make other things not your priority and get on top of making the changes that will make you happier and healthier.
Share your stories here if you’d like or email me if you’d like to find someone to chat with as you undergo a journey as well! Your thoughts are welcome here!