Monday, December 13, 2010
I took one of our daughters to work early, very early, this morning. It was cold and she doesnít like walking across a dark parking lot and thatís what dads are for. I had a chance to drive down a snow swept, empty road and look at all the Christmas lights. I got to drive slowly. It was beautiful.
I read a blog here yesterday by STEELKICKIN titled What Really Matters To You? If you get a chance read it --- Good Stuff!! I thought about what she said as I drove this morning looking at all the pretty decorations. I felt peaceful and even uttered a small prayer of thanks for the splendor and the beauty. God is good. There is a section of road I traverse on a regular basis that is littered with empty store fronts, vacant lots and the like. I donít notice the people in the doorways when itís 75F and sunny. Itís a non-issue. This morning with the temperature gauge hovering around 0F, I looked at them huddled together, stomping their feet and trying to stay warm. The light changed and I pulled away.
What Really Matters To You? Where did that voice come from? What Really Matters To You? (I hate that voice!!!)
Those people huddled in the store front could give a hoot about Black Friday or Cyber Monday. I doubt they spend a lot of time stressing over whether they are a size 6 or 8 or they dropped from a 40 to 38 in pants size. They worry about staying alive. They worry about feeding their kids and where they are going to sleep tonight and what comes next. I knowÖÖÖ.. We have read this all before. Itís the annual trip down guilt lane. I am not suggesting you give away everything you have and join them. I sincerely believe we are all on our own journeys and here to learn our own lessons. Here is what it means to me.
I spend a lot of time worrying about issues in my life that are superfluous. I have heat, I have food, I have a place to stay and transportation. I whine a lot about eating too many sweet and carbs and how my clothes fit and the like. I was blessed with all of these things and I take them for granted. I become smug and self-righteous when someone suggests I am smug and self-righteous. I do not want to hear this stuff!!! Acknowledging this means I have to do something and I surely canít imagine being faced with the possibility of extracting myself from my comfort zone and trying to make things better. The problem is just too large, right? I take a tag off the angel tree at church and feel so warm inside because Iím going to go to Wal-Mart and but a cheap coat and some crayons for a kid who has nothing color on and with to begin with. Itís not about them is it? Itís about me and how I feel. Got to feel good about what you are doing.
It hits me as I pull into the driveway. Itís become about feeling good. When I do life is grand, when I donít, I curse the fates and scurry about trying to recapture that artificial bliss. There is a real balance that is missing in my life. I choose to ignore the things that are unpleasant and gravitate towards the bright and shiny, until someone as wise as STEELKICKIN brings it to my attention. Iím not called to end poverty. That task would almost seem easy compared to the one that calls me to soften my heart to everyone and relinquish the selfish attitude Iíve built up. The balance of health comes from many areas. I can track my calories till the cows come home and diligently exercise; but until I create an unselfish balance in my life, I wonít really accomplish anything. Iíll go from being an overweight jerk to being a skinny one!!! Nothing but size will have changed. My heart must change and until it does, Iíll spinning my wheels just like I did in this mornings snow.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
At the end of my coaching certificatiion class Thursday our instructor read the following to us. It moved me and I thought I'd share.
ďOur deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.Ē
by Marianne Williamson from
A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles
Thursday, December 09, 2010
Somewhere, someplace and somehow we got a notion in our head that asking other people for help is a fatal character flaw. Iím speaking mostly to my fellow people pleasers. The rest of you can read along.
We look in the mirror in the morning and we donít ever like what we see. I mean, if your mind set is to please others to gain approval, you have to be absolutely perfect in all you do just to be equal and on par with the rest of the world. I mean if you really were equal you wouldnít be overweight right? Thatís how we think a lot of times. Everyone else is stronger, more agile, smarter, and funnier. ÖÖ Everyone but me and you. We have to be perfect because for some odd reason when we were first created we had the misfortune of being placed on the reject pile and from then on someone or a group of someoneís reminded us we are different. We are ten points behind before the game even starts. So we trudge through our days and apply a heavy dose of emotional make up on our souls so that the world wonít see all our nasty little blemishes. We live in the age of self-reliance, beauty and the man or woman who braves the elements to find eternal victory against all odds and BTW if you donít measure up to that standard please go to the back of the line. We smile, put on the proverbial happy face and please oh please do not mention failure. Just look at all the shiny happy skinny people and dream. If you follow our plan, our prescription and our program you to will be shiny, happy and skinny.
Huge problem here, really huge problem. How many of us come from a core belief of self-love and self-worth? How many of those shiny happy skinny people is shiny and happy one year, two years or even five years from now. Shhhhhhh John donít bring THAT up!!! Diets fail and so do most alleged self-help programs because of the first word in it ---- self. We are taught to go it alone.
Yes, if you track your food and exercise regularly you will lose weight. You will reach a goal and you will celebrate. But if somewhere along the way you donít unlock the door of your own value and worth, it will all come creeping back on. We call it different names; a plateau is the most common. Itís the period of time when the light bulb should go on and tell me that hard work isnít enough. Running a 5K isnít going to give me self-love and self-esteem, losing sixty four pounds only proves I can control my input and extend my output. What they should do is validate something I already know.
I know that I donít eat the cookie because I am worth that effort. Iím a child of God. I walk away from situations that would otherwise trash my food plan because I am worth the bit of frustration and anger. I get over it. I am the reason I do this. Not my wife, my kids, my friends or even you. I love your love but Iím doing this for me.
I know that my rather large butt goes to the gym every day because I deserve to have that wonderful feeling inside of me I get from a workout. I deserve the best trainer, the best dietician and the best nutrition plan. I deserve it because I know my own value and worth. I love me.
I hang around with you. You motivate me, you inspire me and you cause me to look deep into myself and realize it is just not about what goes into my mouth but what goes into my head and heart also. I know that I cant do this alone no matter how wonderful I am.
Three things that when we master will assure you and I that any ďplanĒ we embrace will work. I have come to realize this plateau I am on is a period of time for to ask myself just how much I value me?
Hopefully a lot!!!
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
One of the trainers at my gym was interviewed in our local newspaper. A comment he made caught my eye; ďNo pain, no gain,Ē he said. ďWent out with leg warmers, if it hurts stop exercising!Ē
I was standing at the door of the local immediate care facility very early this morning. I had a hard time sleeping. I was running yesterday afternoon, when I felt a pain in my left leg and glute. It hurt enough that I finished the lap I was running and headed for the shower. I wasnít in agony but it hurt. I went to bed and tossed and turned. I got up at five and waited in the cold for the door to open. After about ten minutes of poking and prodding the doctor asked me a question. ďYou enjoy horse racing?Ē I nodded. ďWell you basically did what a horse does when his hoof lands on the track the wrong way. The upper part of your leg went one way and the lower part of your leg went another. You are really lucky you didnít hurt your knee.Ē The diagnosis was a pulled muscle and I was told to rest. It hurts to sit, to stand, to lie down or simply to exist. This pain qualifies as an official ďpain in the butt.Ē However, I do not feel guilty or down, or bummed out. I have to rest so I can run another day. I do not like it. Itís disrupted my routine and rhythm; but it is not the first time it happened and it wonít be the last.
Wisdom comes from not always liking the circumstances we are in but dealing with them positively. Sitting here this morning I realized I havenít had a day off in about two weeks anyway. The doctor told me to take it a day at a time. In relation to my health journey I am maturing. This isnít even a setback, just something I have to deal with. I'm not pleased to be in pain but it is what it is.
Itís not my first 5K or a ten pound loss or a motivatorís award but to me it is just as important. It shows I am growing up as a healthy person. That pleases me.
Monday, December 06, 2010
There was a fashion show in my living room yesterday afternoon. Both DDís stopped by to share what they would be wearing during the holidays. I had the good sense to retreat downstairs and keep the NFL company for a while. When I did come upstairs Iíd hear a variation of the following ďHow come it doesnít look like it does on ÖÖ" Fill in the blank here with the names of people I am not aware of. I gathered up my back pack and headed to the gym. When I returned I met the DDís and the DW walking out the door. ďWe have to return all of this. Itís not right.Ē Iíll have to admit to you I laughed a bit as I went inside the house. ďWhy buy it in the first place,Ē I thought.
It was too cold to walk outside this morning so I went to the gym. If you are not wide awake when you get there you will be after five minutes of listening to the 5:30AM spinning class instructor barking out orders to her attentive pupils. As I walked around the track I started to think I wasnít a whole lot different than my daughters. I got caught up in all the hype and thought I was ready to spin. I am not. I will be in about thirty pounds, but Iím not today. If I did it today I would fail and who wants that? My personal trainer keeps dropping hints that I should start taking her power pump class. I will, when my body is ready. I audited that class one night. I am not ready and if I begin comparing myself to those sleek and svelte spinners and pumpers and not reach the markÖÖÖÖ.. I have created a cocktail for disaster. Iím not knocking anyone who participates in those activities and Iím not slacking off either. They are GOALS. They are not within reach today, but my current activity is pointing me towards them, very soon.
It all goes back to wanting to eat lunch with the cool kids. We all hoped for an invitation to ďthe table.Ē Most of us never got it and then spent the rest of our adult lives trying to prove we deserved that lunch invitation. As I walked this morning I got a big old goofy grin inside. It took me forty years to realize I never wanted to sit there to begin with. I just wanted to be like everyone else. Just like my daughters trying to look likeÖÖÖÖÖ I want to be accepted and loved.
I am my own best friend. I know me, I know what makes me tick, and I know what works and what doesnít. I will never accept you until I accept me. When I look at you, those people I truly love I donít see what you want to be; I see who you are. I see your humor, your kindness, your creativity, your passion for healthy living and exercise. I donít see a well sculpted model in designer workout clothes. I see three dimensional human beings who break their foot getting dressed for work in the morning, who hurt their backs riding their bikes and who gain nine pounds in a week and canít explain why. The cool kids donít exist. They never, ever did. The cool kids were a creation of my mind and yours in an attempt to resolve our inadequacies. They were figments of people who wanted to spin at 5:30 AM and werenít ready to do it just yet.
I made out a running timeline last night. It started on May 10 when I began C25K Training and ended on October 29 when I ran five miles for the very first time. In between there were some mile stones. Iím not finished, running is one thing I am doing and doing well, but it started with a thirty second run back in May. I looked at the time line and felt a sense of satisfaction.
Who wants a best friend thatís no fun to be around? Itís better for me to make this journey with myself knowing what I can do right now and what becomes a short or long term goal to work towards. Thanks for being part of my journey.
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