Calves of steel

I don’t know where Seattle ranks on the list of the nation’s healthiest cities, but I’m discovering that it’s been good for me, especially in the last year. The city has been sunk in a crazy panic brought on by a little bit of snow and ice, and so lots of the bus routes have been suspended until further notice as Metro waits for conditions to improve. This means that I’ve had to walk even more than usual, and I just walked up eight steep blocks to where I’m sitting. Surprisingly, it just wasn’t that difficult. My calves are used to the inclines because Seattle is laid out like a giant Stairmaster. I thought that was pretty cool.

I also just got a bathroom scale at a white elephant party. I could have traded it away, but I’ve actually been wanting one. The universe makes deliveries at parties, and I was happy to receive the gift. I’d been wanting the scale because I’ve lost some weight since I started going dancing back in February, but since I didn’t have a scale, I had no idea how much I’d lost since my last weigh-in at the doctor’s office. The magic number was thirty-three. I’ve lost thirty-three pounds since I started dancing, all without changing my eating habits or doing anything but having a joyful good time. How cool is that? I need to lose more, but I’m sure that’ll come as I keep dancing.

I think Seattle has been so healthy for me because I love it here. When you love the place you live, it’s even easier to bloom where you’re planted. I’ve also become really focused on using joy as a guidance system, and when I choose my course based on joy, I tend to steer towards healthier things. That’s a lot different than the way I used to do things—I used to use guilt as the strongest bearing in my compass. Guilt just steered me onto the rocks of despair, and once you’re on those rocks, it’s hard to get off. Now that I’ve broken free of that, I’m glad that I’ve landed in Seattle, and joy is likely to keep me here for a good long time.

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:

214. How does the place you live in contribute to or detract from your health? Also, take a moment to evaluate whether you are steering by joy or guilt. Is this working for you? Why or why not?

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