Time to Switch the Flip!

Switch the Flip! In times when things were uncertain and we weren't sure where to go next, my father-in-law used to say, time to switch the flip. I didn't get why he said it that way when in reality the saying is "flip the switch" meaning time to change, or turn it on. I suppose as I got into life and started to see things inside out - from a contrarian point of view - the term was perfect.

Switch the Flip was born because at a time in my life when the kids are well grown, my husband is doing his thing and life was at a turning point, I realized something needed to change. Something was about to "break".


So what I did was to force the break, like when firefighters start back fires to prevent the worst from happening in a forest fire. You probably know in order to prevent massive home damage, firemen will set backfires to burn out the land that is in the path of a raging inferno. The idea being to take the fuel away from the fire and slow it down in order to control it.

My life was burning a slow, steady crazy kind of burn and I was ignoring it even running from it at times. So I switched the flip - I stopped ignoring the problem(s) and turned around and faced up to them.

What I did was talk to myself as I had been to my kids all these years. Like I am my own mother/cheerleader. Tough but encouraging. Firm but also affirming. Being my own best friend - the kind that says, what the heck is going on here, Cheryl? You're not alive. Sure you're breathing but not really alive. 53 going on 83.

And that's what I felt like - old. Old before my time. The thing is I know better! I am an avid reader/researcher alternative health being a favorite. I like to sniff out the unusual. Go against the crowd. I seek out the contrarian, maverick like me and am happiest when I have been challenged to "poke the box" as Seth Godin coined the term.

Here are some things that go against the mainstream:

  • Not exercising or working out (but still moving and staying strong)
  • Not dieting or depriving but still eating sensibly
  • Saying yes to myself for once
  • Learning to love me for who I am today
  • Saying no to organized religion and yes to faith in the Creator
  • questioning everything!

Starting with "not exercising": I have never been fond of fitness programs, P.E. as a kid, sports in general. As a matter of fact, there was a time when I thought exercise is for some, but not for me. I thought of it as something some people like to do but not me. So I didn't exercise - at all.

As a kid I was slender (because I was a picky eater). So I got away with not feeling compelled to exercise. After all it hurt and was no fun. My muscles are tight - always have been (I know, Mom made me take ballet as a 5 year old and my instructor tried to help me touch my toes or do splits like all the others in class but, no, hard as I tried, I couldn't touch them). Later my chiropractor confirmed the fact that my lower back and thigh muscles were unusually short/tight.

So exercise was always a pain. I did enjoy bike riding some. I know how to swim just enough to get by. So I didn't do it. I got out of P.E. in school as often as I could get away with it.

Fast forward to 2014 and in my fifties, nine kids and two elderly in-laws later and I am past what is called middle aged spread. I stayed fairly trim for the first 4 babies but along about 35 years old, the pounds just slowly packed on so that today by the charts I am "obese" (eeeww - ugly word!)

But more to the point, I know I want to become more fit because if I live as long as my grandparents did, I have another 40ish years to go. And I want to finish well not some shrunken, sagging old woman who wonders when someone will find time to change my diaper.

So time to switch the flip! In coming posts I'll be planning my journey from flabby and fat to fabulous and fit. It will include finding my own exercise groove, learning about my own tastes and hunger signals and listening to my body. Learning to be me and loving it.

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