• Kathie Scalf

Silver Linings


Last weekend I got hit with one of my “a-ha” moments, where something that seems so obvious but I just wasn’t getting smacked me in the face. Frankly, I love it when that happens; it’s like my subconscious is slapping me back to reality.

Sunday of July 4th weekend was my only day off for essentially 3 weeks, so I really wanted to do something fun. I tried all week to make plans and everyone was out of town. Then when I finally got an invitation for a fun boat outing, I got news that a family member had passed away and had to cancel. After a couple hours of moping around I resigned myself to just going to the gym because I literally had no excuse not to. As I lay on my mat cooling down and trying to recover from my workout, I realized in the most backward way the universe was actually giving me exactly what I’ve been asking for all these months – having the time available to focus on my health. Because whoever is out there answering prayers doesn’t just grant wishes by letting me wake up 25lbs lighter, I had to be given a lesson, and you’d think by now I would be pretty adept at identifying those.

Life doesn’t do handouts, especially not for me. I have to work for the blessings and they never come without sacrifice. In this instance, I’ve been feeling lonely and sorry for myself because my social life has essentially dwindled to non-existent. But all that newfound free time is the perfect opportunity to prioritize getting back on track physically. Being on the wrong half of my 30s, it’s getting harder and harder to maintain my weight. Add to that the chaotic nature of my schedules over the last 2 years and it’s been nearly impossible to commit to daily workouts like I used to. Without the temptations of dinners and happy hours with friends seducing me away from the gym, I cannot rationalize not utilizing that time for the fitness – I literally have nothing else to do. It’s also easier to eat well because I’m staying home and cooking, at least when I’m not on the road.

Another backward benefit, albeit an unhealthy one, is that my old anxiety diet is still tried and true and back in full effect, which has kick-started a much needed weight loss. I’ve mentioned my issues with hormones as of late and one of those problems has been that I cannot lose weight no matter what I do. Luckily for me, when I get severely anxious I lose my appetite completely. Again, definitely not a healthy route, but it’s inspiring to know that it’s at least still possible to drop weight since I’ve not seen the needle on the scale move in a downward trajectory in a year and a half. And I think it will trigger my body’s responses to healthy foods and exercise going forward.

It’s important to acknowledge the silver linings that come along with hardships. This is how you’re able to look back and say “I wouldn’t trade those tough times for the world.” It always comes down to controlling what you can and letting go of what you can’t. Acknowledging that these difficulties might actually be for your own good can be hard. Like your parents the universe might not give you what you want but it always gives you what you need. These times of solitude have been hard, but they’ve also been wonderful for inward reflection and weeding out relationships that maybe I had outgrown. It also might be saving me from something worse, as I sometimes do dumb things when partaking in too much “fun.” There are even lessons to be learned from the passing of a loved one, as sad as that is. I needed this time to process this painful loss, and I’m not being tempted to turn to destructive coping mechanisms like I have in the past.

It’s impossible to always look on the bright side. We’re all human and sometimes you need a “why me” break where you feel sorry for yourself, but you don’t need to unpack your suitcase and live there. Have a cry, spend a day in bed, then start looking at the opportunities the hardships are opening up for you. Ask yourself what good can come from the pain, the lesson, or the loss, then shift your focus to that. I’ve said it a thousand times but I’ll say it again – you can either be a victim or victorious, the choice is entirely yours to make.

I’m on the road for 2 weeks straight so let’s see if I can put my money where my mouth is and maintain this level of positive focus. It might be tough! I hope you all find your own silver linings in the coming days if you need them! Til next week…