My personal trainer at B Active had me on the treadmill running for 45 minutes last week. I did some pondering while I was there. Where had I come from? Where am I now? I have finished one month of Tribe Nutrition food and stepped into a balanced healthy lifestyle after – I say balanced as I still have pizza and dessert, just not every day. I have finished 10 sessions of training alongside a trainer who put up with me bouncing around like a ball.During this I was sick for almost two weeks, fighting a bug while detoxing.
I was so unsure about my body and went crying to the hospital, feeling weak and emotionally drained. The doctor ran all the tests, and prescribed antibiotics and rest. Then he sent me to a lady in the hospital who would “help me breathe”. Now I was already breathing all day long, so what was she going to do? Turned out to be a lot actually. I broke down having such a bad day and needed some extra help taking a breath.
Hailie, my personal trainer, likes me to breathe all the time. I seem to forget often. Beijing has made me think about breathing more than anywhere else, as the air makes it hard sometimes. Somebody pointed out to me that we breathe more than we eat so it is important that the air is great. I have 10 air purifiers in my home, and the gym I work out at promises clean air. My work environment has over-the-top air purifying equipment, and the air is at a constant AQI of 1.
My doctor at Oasis Hospital sent me over to Nathalie Sophrologue, a mindfulness and stress management practitioner at the hospital. I was happy to see her. I needed somebody to be there for me that day, and she provided a safe space for me to reflect and recharge, making time to just be with myself and my own breathing. I started with telling her my story in brief. She then started with a simple guided meditation and helping me focus on my breathing. She explained that meditating is a ongoing process of learning and I should aim to practice everyday. I voiced one concern with her: that I wanted to stop using food as a excuse to celebrate my pain or happiness.
Breathing and actually feeling emotions seems like the way to go. My new way got tried and tested to the max last week, and I had some occasions that NEEDED chocolate. I tried and I succeeded in shifting my feelings. I usually get to eating as fast as possible when I get upset or happy, but not this time. I just felt through the emotions and worked through them. And I cried, I cried like a toddler. In the middle of a workout session I broke down, I cried while finishing my 10 bur-pees. Then I biked for 20 minutes while I cried some more. And that was that: no food, just tears.
Pauline is a passionate international mother who wants to show that Beijing is not a unhealthy city, proving that it’s possible to become a healthy mother and woman, with the right support and resources. Mommy friends, colleagues, family, Tribe Nutrition, B Active Fitness, and now the rest of Beijing will be her support, proving that every mother deserves to have a healthy body and mind; tackling her own food issues along the way and showing the rough, the ugly and honest way she does this.
Pictures Hailie the trainer