For some reason, I always feel that this blog should be sad and grief-driven. But, today I just feel AMAZING! It would have been our 10th anniversary last week, and yes, it was hard, I mean really hard. However, it wasn’t nearly as hard as in the past.
Partly why I feel so good is that I used my heavy bag for 30 minutes this morning. As is commonly known, exercising in the morning is a fantastic way to start the day—it gives your entire day a jolt of confidence and childlike excitement for life. As I am punching, kicking, sweating and listening to the Stones, I can’t help but notice the wind blowing around me and the bag. It’s the perfect kind of wind today for working out and/or flying a kite. I have spent years in grief not noticing and appreciating the wondrous things around us all.
For instance, I feel like I am tasting food for the first time in my life. Since my wife passed, I have become very fitness and nutrition focused. I have always been into working out, but I never took diet seriously, it was too much work. But since Natasha died, I have a new focus and one of them is to eat more of what my daughter calls, “gene.” Very cute, she can’t say “green” but she sure knows that green food is yucky!
I have made a habit of pushing myself to eat more veggies and over time it appears that I have created new neural pathways that tell me, “Veggies are delicious!” In other words, for the first time in my life, I crave zucchini, broccoli, eggplant, cauliflower, spinach, and I absolutely LOVE arugula. I can drink kale, or smothering it with garlic, but I still don’t crave kale. I suppose not even all the good eating habits and repetition can build certain neural pathways because the negative pathway that states kale is awful, is far, far too strong!
How did I do it? I started with making smoothies with a lot of veggies. Then, I started getting into cooking shows. We love Jamie Oliver, and over time my cooking skills got better. I am better at figuring out spices and herbs and I am also much faster at chopping. And the more you do this, the better you feel, not just physically, but also mentally. The physical benefits are not always immediate, except for say stretching, but the mental benefits are immediate and long-lasting. Simply put, I know my grief is far more manageable if I try a new recipe and workout—basically, I know I will get ‘high’ from sweating and making healthy food.