I’m on the homestretch of the Inner Mean Girl (IMG) Cleanse and this week was all about jailing judgment. I’ll admit, I got off to a slow start with this one. Judgment comes naturally to me. Like breathing, it just feels right. The truth is, I judge myself all the time and recent life events have really tested this toxin.
I’m a health and wellness coach and I’ve mentioned this fact in almost all my IMG Cleanse posts. It has great relevance to me on this cleanse because the most important reason I have undertaken this endeavor has been in an effort to improve myself as a coach. Nutritional health and overall mental well-being are intimately interwoven.
However, I don’t judge my clients, so why do I judge myself? The simple answer is I JUST DO. And this week, I have judged myself more than ever.
Over the past six weeks I’ve started a new exercise regimen with a very challenging, early morning Bootcamp. I’ve always been an avid exerciser (since the age of 17) and in my 20s competed in several triathlons, road races and a marathon. Even though I haven’t trained for a race in a couple of years, I always hold myself to a high level of fitness. I enjoy being fit and challenging myself physically.
After the first three weeks of this Bootcamp, I felt stronger, leaner and more toned. But during the second three weeks, things started to feel different. I had always experienced some soreness with exercise and yoga but over the years stiffness began to enter the equation and at one point along the way I sustained a hamstring injury. As time has gone on, I’ve noticed these aches and pains becoming more frequent. My business networking introduced me to a chiropractor located conveniently to me, so I made an appointment to get my alignment checked out.
An X-ray revealed slight scholiosis, uneven hips and calcium depostis on my lower lumbar. Overall, conditions leading to the early onset of arthritis – a health concern that in most cases should be delayed by at least 30 years.
Because I’m a health coach, I immediately began to process the information and diagnose it with nutritional concerns and explanations and with that came – you guessed it — judgment.
Judgment for my choices and decisions:
My decision to be a vegetarian from the age of 13
My decision to participate in strenuous exercise on a vegetarian diet
My decision to eliminate milk from my diet three years ago
And more recently my decision to eliminate all other dairy products
In addition to being general dietary preferences, these choices, on the one hand, so importantly define who I am and also support my morals and beliefs, but on the other hand, I had to wonder if I could have prevented the early degeneration I described with different choicecs.f Was I getting enough collagen from protein to repair my muscles, tissues and joints after exercise? If arthritis is inflammation, what oods in my diet could be causing the inflammation? Was I getting enough calcium to support the health of my bones?
I asked myself all these important questions all the while in the back of my mind questioning myself, that nagging voice (Inner Mean Girl) saying to me: “You’re a health and wellness coach. Your diet is close to pristine. You’re supposed to be perfectly healthy. How could you have possibly gone wrong, Marissa????”
And so amidst all the confusion, questions, research, follow up, worry and beating myself up. I had to back away and approach it all with a new attitude of discovery which will not only benefit my own health but also my coaching practice.
I have chosen to sentence my judgment to jail and to rely on what is truly natural and just breathe. To love myself for the me I have chosen to be. To trust that there is a reason for every challenge. To know that the Universe is behind me on this journey, that nobody is perfect and to open my heart to the answers as they are revealed to me. Understanding that I am exactly where I need to be.
Who do you judge most harshly and how?
To catch up on Weeks 1-4 of the IMG Cleanse:
Sneak Peak at Week 6: Go media free!
I am participating in the Inner Mean Girl 40-day Cleanse as a Self-Love Ambassador. To thank me for my participation, I will receive a self-love gift from the founders of the Inner Mean Girl Reform School.