I've been decorating my new apartment the past few weeks. Tonight I painted 3 pictures for a wall that just needed something on it, but I haven't been able to find exactly what I wanted in stores because it's an odd-shaped wall with a cutout looking into my kitchen. So, since I couldn't find it, I made it. Now let me preface this by saying - I AM NOT AN ARTIST. I have painted exactly 4 paintings in my life now. All of them were because I could picture what I wanted in my mind, but either I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for, or I was too poor to afford it...This was a combo of the two. ;)
Now, I will repeat I AM NOT AN ARTIST. Ain't nobody gonna be buyin' a Stacie Mountain original anytime soon... Alright? Alright. ;) That being said, I am a creative person. For instance, I'm very good at interior decorating and things like that. So back to tonight... I started out by painting the background of the canvas. So far, so good. I wanted a word or two to be on top of the painted background (Eat. Drink. be Merry. if you're curious - because it's going in my dining room). So I added the words in black. To my surprise my handwriting turned out well (which is truly amazing because I have the worst handwriting in the world. Seriously. The. Worst.), but despite the well-formed letters, the stroke of the brush was too light. So I went over it again, but then it was too dark... So then I used a lighter color on top, and so on and so forth... I kept adding layers, and eventually I finished the project.
Now what does this have to do with fitness/health/wellness or anything besides my empty dining room wall? As I was painting tonight, it occurred to me how creating art is very much like creating the body we want, the life we want - full of physical, mental, and spiritual well-being... You see, with each canvas I painted tonight, I first stood there and I studied it. I pictured in my mind how I wanted the end result to look. After I knew what I wanted to accomplish, I then had to figure out how to achieve it. So I started painting. Creating the textures and colors I wanted. It took a lot of trial and error. Learning the correct pressure to apply to the brush, and how each stroke should move. Trying out different mixtures of colors, combining them into custom shades for different effects. Not every technique I tried got me the result I had intended... Let me tell you, at least once with all 3 canvases I said to myself "This is the ugliest piece of shit I've ever seen" LOL... I thought briefly about giving up on the project, but I decided to keep painting to see if I could get it right. Do you remember Bob Ross? My brother and I used to watch him everyday. He would create a beautiful landscape, and just when you thought he was finished, he would add a "happy little tree" right on top using a hideous dark green, almost black color... Every time he did that, we would say "Why did he do that?! Now it's ruined!" But then he would keep painting. He would add the highlights on top... Then suddenly, it looked like a beautiful tree that fit into the landscape in the background. That's exactly what happened with my paintings tonight...
So again, what does this have to do with fitness/health/wellness? We are that blank canvas. We can create any masterpiece we want. First of all, we need to visualize what OUR version of healthy is. We can be inspired by others, but we need to develop our own body/wellness/life. I was inspired by a piece of art by one of my favorite artists, but I didn't try to copy his exact work. I made it my own to fit my space, my need. We all have different genetics, obligations in life, resources, etc. Outside forces may sometimes intervene and may make it a little more difficult, but we can't let that be our excuse to not finish... For instance, since I was painting on my kitchen floor, my dog actually stepped on one of the canvases while I was painting... I brushed off the dog hair and kept on going. Fitness and wellness is a lot of trial and error. What works for one person, does not necessarily work for another. It may take several attempts at different techniques to get the results that work for you. But the thing is - YOU HAVE TO KEEP TRYING. Giving up and saying "I'll never be able to 'xyz' " will DEFINITELY not get you where you want to be. If I had stopped painting when I used too much black, all I would have is 3 canvases in the dumpster... and you know what? I would still have the problem of my empty wall. So the black wasn't the right color? Okay, so I tried different colors. Health and wellness is a lifelong process... You will always be evolving - "adding colors" so to speak. The choice is yours as to what color you want it to be. And the other thing is this - the layers I added of the lighter colors on top gave it more depth and made it more beautiful. But, if I didn't have the dark underneath, you wouldn't be able to see the highlights... So you're not where you want to be with your body/health/life? That's okay. You can't really appreciate the light without having some dark to compare it to. That really goes for anything in life. You don't truly appreciate the good times without having some bad experiences in there too. With fitness - as you progress, you appreciate more and more what your body can do, because at one time you couldn't do it, and if you ever quit... you will revert back to the "dark", but you will remember the "light" and how good it felt to be there. Same goes for nutrition. Once you start consistently eating healthy, when you have unhealthy food - you feel it, and it's not as beautiful as you thought it once was, because again... you've seen the "light".
If right now you're staring at your blank canvas feeling overwhelmed about the finished product... Stop and visualize what you want to achieve. Next, determine what the steps you need to follow to get there. If you need to ask someone who is more knowledgeable in that area - ask them for guidance. Then, get moving. Don't get stuck in the planning phase forever. You can gather all the information in the world, but without action you will still have that blank canvas. If something comes along that interferes with the process, find a way to fix it and move on. Finally, if it doesn't turn out exactly the way you planned during the process - keep trying... You'll eventually get there. Or even if it does turn out exactly as you planned... Your canvas is much larger than you think. There will always be ways to add to the masterpiece of your life. The possibilities are endless. Just know this... YOU are the one who controls the brush. YOU create the version of you that you want. Much like art, not everyone sees beauty in the same piece. This is your body, your health, your life... So create the your beautiful self, and take pride in it.
Go. Create. Show the world, show yourself, the beautiful piece of art you really are. I know you can do it! :)