Thursday, October 14, 2010
I am eternally fighting with myself. It’s not the knock, down, drag out sort of fight it’s really more of a struggle to see who wins. Maybe it’s safe to say it’s often the battle between the heart and the mind.
Because I tripped and fell this weekend I had two days where exercising wasn’t an option. The easy thing to do would have been to accept things --- “It is what it is.” It would have been nice to sit back and adopt the philosophy that I had two days to work on other areas of my life. Yeah that would have been nice.
Instead I made the choice to listen to that nasty old tape that I somehow forgot to get rid of many months ago. Maybe you have a tape that’s similar to it in your head? It basically says you are not as good as everyone else, you will never be as good as everyone else and stamped firmly on your backside, at birth I might add, are the words “People Pleaser.” It says you are overweight, fat, obese, chunky --- you pick one --- it is because of some fatal character flaw you have that no one else has…. You get my point.
A friend of mine once floated the notion in front of me that you “Take what the room gives you,” and you live with that. I took it to mean that those few words are a variation on “Playing the hand you’re dealt,” or the proverbial “When life gives you lemons create an LLC and open up a lemonade stand…” Those are wise words because if you are in the business of pleasing people and stressing over the fact that you always don’t please people, you are always looking for another room to be in. You are always looking some vehicle or some situation where you can look better than the person on either side of you simply so you will feel equal.
If I’d have been smart, which I’m not too very often, I’d have taken the two days as a break, a respite and an opportunity to work on some things, like say my book or my DVD or all those other things I’m scared to start because I mean what if I fail. Maybe you won’t love me?
I know it’s foolish.
I was sad to realize there are still small wisps of the old John in there somewhere. The guy who has to be better, look better and act better than anyone else just to be equal. I’m reminded of a line from one of the Gospels where Jesus tells his apostles, as it relates to expelling a demon “This kind does not come out through good works but through prayer and fasting.”
All the “activity” in the world does not make John a better boy. John looking at John and deciding that rolling with the flow isn’t a bad thing, a character flaw, something to revoke his pass to heaven over, is where the “prayer and fasting come in.”
I am wonderful, I am beautiful and I am worth every ounce of effort I put into my growth and development. I still have some, LOL, messed up ideas floating around in there. It starts here, by recognizing I am maybe only half way there, learning to let other people support me and acknowledging my own worth and value.
It begins by admitting to myself there are times I still want to please people and there are times I feel inadequate, alone and lonely even though people all over the universe love me.
It begins with acceptance and if it sounds tiring, boring and frustrating please realize some days, that’s all the room gives you and it gives it to you for a reason. The reason is to help you become a better you and me a better me.
When all is said and done, isn’t that what it’s all about anyway?
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Shortly before I joined Spark I switched gyms. It wasn’t an easy decision. I had belonged to my gym for thirteen years and was on its Board of Directors for four of those years. I woke up one morning and realized that it was not meeting my needs any longer. I had asked for help in a number of areas and I got a lot of nice speeches and promises to institute programs to deal with nutrition and exercise after age fifty and a host of other concerns I had about my own health. Nothing ever came to fruition.
It was about this time my doctor had one of those heart to heart talks with me. My weight had caused my blood pressure to be borderline dangerous, my blood work showed I was border line Type 2 diabetic, and my prostate gland was enlarged. I went to my gym and asked for some help. I was told it wasn’t available. The programs I needed weren’t available anywhere in our community except from a physician and they were expensive. “Sorry, John.”
I had a lot of friends at this gym. We went to church with some of the staff; others had swum in my pool and attended our barbecues. But guess what? They weren’t helping me. So I left. It was hard. I had at least a week of tossing and turning.
The gym I went to and am currently with costs thirty dollars more per month than I had been used to paying. The benefits I received are as follows:
My blood pressure has lowered to the point that my medication has been cut in half. I see the doctor in three weeks and I anticipate it may be cut further.
My blood work is well back in the normal range. I received a metabolic analysis when I joined my gym and a dietitian reviewed it with me and gave me some good nutrition guidelines.
Because of my weight loss and over all conditioning my prostate is normal and I am not using the restroom five times per night.
In August I took advantage of the option to hire a personal trainer and as I write this I can only tell you I am tickled pink with Jen.
Despite all the positives here I still felt bad sometimes. The CEO of my old gym will not speak to me. He feels I betrayed them by going to a competitor. I had to ask myself that question I pose to so many of you, “What are you worth, John?” I am worth a lot. There is no price on my health and well-being. No amount of guilt can make me devalue who I am and what I deserve.
Life is full of tough choices. While in the end they may produce great results, they may be painful to initiate. I am healthier, happier and more active because of the choice I make. I embraced my own mantra “You are who you hang around with.”
Life isn’t always easy. Joan and I went to a movie last night, a kid’s movie, called The Guardians. There was a line in that movie that I think applies to our journey here at Spark:
“When you have flown as far as you can fly, when you are out of breath, and your wings ache ,when you feel you are going to drop to the ground ---- You are about half way there.”
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
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Monday, October 11, 2010
We are indeed a very busy people!!! I think we have been conditioned to behave this way.
” Pull this lever, push this button, put a smile on your face, feel better, now quickly get back on the tread mill with the rest of the mice and everything will be okay.”
We never heal. I mean, we do, but mostly it’s done quickly and then all that unresolved pain and conflict and agony lays waiting around the corner, smiles, sticks it’s foot out and trips us. Then it laughs, and then we cry and shake our heads and wonder what happened.
There is a small voice inside of us that says “Get up, keep running. You don’t want everyone to notice you are not like them!!! Hurry up.”
We stuff our feelings, our hurts, and our “issues.” We work harder than the person next to us. We have come to believe that if we put enough distance between ourselves and our pain that once we can’t see it anymore, once the feeling deadens and numbs, that it’s gone.
You deal, you heal.
It returns. Maybe it’s through compulsive and emotional eating and all of our good work and effort goes down the drain and the weight creeps back on. We hear the pain and sorrow snicker and whisper “I still got ya…” Maybe it’s a pulled muscle or a hectic work schedule and we start losing gym time and that voice mocks us by saying “See, I told you that you couldn’t do this!!!”
You deal, you heal.
We choose to be healthy and to be healthy means that to heal, we deal. We deal with the pain, the frustration, the failure and we take the time necessary to resolve it. Then it goes away for good. It doesn’t end up waiting for us around the corner, plotting to trip us up, just when we feel the road to success is a clear and straight shot.
If you never accomplish another thing in your entire life you will be as precious, as valued and as loved as anyone you and I foolishly attempt to compare ourselves to.
Nine thousand, nine hundred ninety nine other people did not fall flat on their face Saturday, I did. Sitting in the ER with a compress on my knee and my wrist throbbing I just knew this wasn’t about a physical injury. I just knew there was a lesson here.
You deal, you heal.
The lesson for me is that when I choose to take the time to examine my internal bumps and bruises and deal with them the right way, they won’t crop up somewhere to hurt me. They are gone for good.
Healing takes time and while all the good activity that surrounds it can act as an emotional ibuprofen, the pain doesn’t go away until its confronted. That takes time, but I believe it’s well worth it.
You deal, you heal.
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