Mikki has shown herself some tough love over the years. Her wellness journey started when she was very young. Her grandmother used to say "a moment on the lips, forever on the hips" and then proceed to bake sweet treats like cakes, cookies and pies for her grandchildren - this was so confusing for Mikki. She also watched her mother try diet after diet, experiencing ups and downs, then crashing and burning. Mikki decided this wasn't the lifestyle she wanted. She also knew that at 5'2" (the tallest girl in her family) she would have to watch her weight.
In her early 20s she kind of gave up. She partied, had fun and packed on the weight. She quit drinking 2 years later and started focusing on exercise and eating better. Losing weight was hard for her and those pounds just never seemed to "melt off". After she had her son, her body chemistry shifted. She looked better than ever and because she gave up eating meat while she was pregnant (nausea!) she developed a new relationship with food. We'll let Mikki tell the next part of her story:
"I ran a marathon when I was 38. I hate running, but I had a running buddy and it was actually fun. I registered intending to run the half-marathon. Upon registering, the half was full so I had to register for all 26.2 miles. To get the medal and T-shirt you had to complete what you registered for. I trained with my friend for 6 months. Stress motivated me. I have lived with depression for most of my life and have found that exercise is really the best medicine for depression, anxiety, worry and stress. It was the ultimate motivator that year. I ran that full marathon... I only trained for the half, but I wanted the medal damn it. I got it. Crossing the finish line was so cool.
There were consequences of not enough time spent training. My digestive system was a mess. The next year I couldn't seem to get food and my body to cooperate. I put on weight, felt crappy, and was up and down. I couldn't run either. Every time I went to try even a short jog I felt ill. So running was off the table. I got depressed again and slowed down. I had work, which was a physical job, but it wasn't the same as doing exercise. I've dealt with injuries before - strained or pulled muscles, a tweaked back, a twisted ankle - but my stomach was never happy. I eventually was introduced to a chiropractor who was also into alternative medicine and nutrition. He got me on supplements and I learned about foods and how to navigate what works for me.
This was successful, but a slow process. My digestion finally got back on track, but this took a couple of years of diligent observation, trial & error, and experimenting with supplemental assistance. It wasn't cheap either. Eventually I went off most of the supplements and tried a simpler, less expensive way. Paying attention to my diet, I couldn't ignore it anymore.
From that point to now I have been more on track with my healthy lifestyle. My relationship with food has changed. What I crave and eat is different then when I was 25 or even 30. Small changes were best for me. I started by no longer having soda in the house, a few weeks later I practiced not eating pasta or bread with dinner, then I added vegetables to the menu. I learned to read labels and slowly incorporated new ways of eating until it became part of my life. I was told to focus on feeling good instead of working out to look good. I liked that, it shifted my perspective."
From childhood until now, she has done several different types of exercise and played lots of sports. As an adult she was able to stick with a workout program for a little bit, but then she would get bored and tired of the same routine. For Mikki it's all about having fun and being part of a community. That's why she joined B&B!
"My focus with exercise is to have fun. Life is just too damn short for me to torture myself and push myself into doing things I really don't want or like doing. My focus is to feel good in my body, to own it, like it, love it. I want to care for myself: mind, body and soul. It's about accepting myself as I am; being kind to my body, taking care, having fun, exercising, eating well, being happy.... health and confidence, youthfulness and mobility, longevity and agility, strength and stamina. It's about endurance, I am practicing aging gracefully. I want to be able to move and be free for as long as possible!
My healthy lifestyle is mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. It is all connected. When one is out of whack they are all off kilter. So, I pay attention. Now I can look in a full length mirror and nod, smile, love and accept the woman staring back. I was super duper excited to join B&B because it was actually affordable! The library was even better than I had expected - full of variety and super easy to navigate. I do it all (whether I have the equipment or not)! It lifts me up, gets me motivated, relieves stress, depression and gets my mind right. I love boxing for this reason - it stimulates my mind.
B&B nailed it. The facebook community is great and I love checking in and seeing what other people are up too. I'm not alone anymore." ~ Mikki Clow
Where in the world are you from? Everett, WA
What's your fav B&B category? Sweatbox! It's fast and furious and it challenges my brain. I love it all really!