Monday, December 02, 2013
As I mentioned in a previous blog, I've been worried about the pattern I see in myself in which I start SP and then quit once I get to Onederland. I realized that my tendancy towards perfectionism was part of it, that I would "burn out" and give up after about six months. I also knew, deep down, that it wasn't just that. I needed to figure out why I was adopting such a dramatic all-or-nothing attitude about health/fitness. What purpose was it serving?
You know how they tell you to be careful what you ask for? My quest to find answers turned out to be quite fruitful, but it's also led me to realize just how much work I really have to do- and I'm not talking about diet and exercise here. I don't know, somehow a lot of things have been coming together and it's all showing me how severe my lack of confidence has really been.
Essentially what I've discovered is that I pretty much hate vulnerability, but that it's my ability to become vulnerable that will ultimately lead me to success. Being able to live life courageously, with my whole heart, and to stand firm in who I am no matter what anyone else has to say about it. Simple and ridiculously hard all at once!
I watched an amazing TED talk by Brene Brown on the subject, and she discusses the importance of vulnerability as well as the release of shame. I found other talks by her as well through internet searches, and I was completely struck by how accurate what she had to say felt in my own life. I've been working on some of this stuff anyway, little by little, but now it's like the universe is hitting me over the head with it to let me know that it's time. I'm ready to grow. I'm ready to work through this baggage and succeed. (Finally!)
Ms. Brown claims that the three ways people most frequently build up armor around themselves to avoid vulnerability are: numbing (like overeating, maybe?), perfectionism (I already owned up to this one) and what she calls "joy foreboding." (That's when you panic in the face of something good because you worry about losing it instead of enjoying it. I'm good at that, too.) The problem is that when we block the bad stuff, we tend to block out the good too.
She also talked about shame and how it leads to feelings of unworthiness. I definitely struggle with that. I think the whole reason that I tend to self-sabotage is that deep down I still believe that I am unworthy of a healthy body and a happy life. Kinda sad. (But! Knowing is half the battle, so it's said, and awareness of the problem means an open avenue for solutions.)
In short, if I'm going to make this lifestyle change last, I have to be ok with who I am. Being overweight, at least in my experience, is like going through life with an invisibility cloak. I've never been comfortable with being visible because it feels like an invitation for criticism. (Let's face it, in a way it is.) I just have to learn to be like Teflon, though, and let it roll right off of me. In my head I know that a person's opinion of me often says more about them than it does about me, but now I need to take that message to heart. I really want to succeed this time!
Every year when I make my new year's resolutions, I try to come up with a word that summarizes the intent of them and I sort of use it as a mantra. This time, I'm starting with a word and I'll develop my resolutions around that. 2014's word? Courage! I am determined to work through all of this and to live more courageously.
I hope that you're having a great start to your week/month!
Friday, November 29, 2013
Well this was the first year in a loooong time that I didn't do the Run to Feed the Hungry in Sacramento. I probably should have found another run to do here in the bay, but honestly I'm so out of shape that I'm not sure I could even manage a 5k at this point. (Sad, but true)
I had a nice time with my family yesterday, although it was bittersweet as the first Thanksgiving since my dad's passing. My mom and I tried not to focus on that and to just be appreciative for the family that we do have, and how fortunate we are. There are so many blessings in our lives! I did miss him, though.
The food was amazing as always, though. My aunt made the turkey and the rest of us pitched in and brought all the sides. So. Much. Food. And then pie. Ugh.
Today I am thankful for my cousin's wife. You see, exercise is a four-letter word for most of my relatives (don't do the math on that, you'll hurt yourself) so when I asked if anyone wanted to go for a walk with me, she was the only one who said yes. Yay! It felt good to get moving and not just let it all sit there. We ended up getting a little lost, so we had a 30 minute walk and a nice chat. Love her!
I'm also thankful that I can work from home sometimes. I slept in, did about an hour of Zumba to help undo a bit of last night, took an amazing shower, and had a light breakfast. Life is good.
I hope those of you who celebrate had a nice Thanksgiving! Oh and also for those who celebrate, Happy Chanukah!
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
I have this habit of staring SP and then fizzling out after about six months. I hate that I do it, and I really don't want to do it again so I wanted to get to the bottom of why it's happened before. To that end, I just went back and read my old blogs. Like, all of them- which given that I write a lot and have been on this site off and on for a few years now, there was a lot of reading material. Most of my blogs were super upbeat and happy, almost crazily so, but there were some more serious ones in there too. One common theme kind of hit me like a ton of bricks, though:
Holy cow, I am a serious perfectionist and clearly have an all or nothing type of attitude about health.
I mean, I guess I should have known that already. It's not enough to just stay within my Calorie range, gotta look at the ranges of the individual nutrients as well. Once I master that, then I have to make sure my ratios of carbs/protein/fat are correct. It was the same with exercise, too- while it's true that one has to keep challenging oneself, I felt like I had to be breaking personal bests every day in order for it to "count" as exercise. I also had severe anxiety over anomalies that would arise throughout the day: oh no, someone offered me a snack. Oh gosh, I have a meeting so I can't go home and cook the dinner I had planned. Darnit, I have to miss ONE exercise class so the whole world is going to end because my perfect routine isn't perfect any more and only perfection will allow this stubborn body to shed its fat so everything is ruined and I should just quit now!!!
Seriously.. it sounds psychotic, but that's how my brain worked. No wonder I quit every time! I talk about finding a balanced approach and then go completely off the charts control freak crazy and can't keep it up. When that happens, I just abandon the whole thing. Not a great attitude!
I can see now why Raymond (a trainer at my old gym) made comments about me being hard on myself. I really did expect perfection from myself, but that's so unrealistic. It also prevented me from being as social as I would have liked to have been because I spent so much time worrying about the consequences of stepping outside the bubble of "health" I had created for even a minute. That's not something that anyone can stand long-term.
I want to slow down a bit and have fun with these changes. Instead of looking at this like a serious project, maybe learn to cook some new recipes and experiement a bit more with foods, focus on exercises that I truly love and are fun for me, and not worry so much about little things like a meal out at a restaurant. I can be more spontaneous and still be healthy.
I'm hoping that a more relaxed approach will help carry me through this time, and I'll actually be able to maintain these practices long term. I'm so tired of the back and forth! I am DONE being the (crazy OCD) fat girl and ready to be a much healthier (and calmer) version of myself.
Friday, November 15, 2013
With the holidays coming, I thought I'd post something about my favorite book store. It's called Powell's and it's in Portland, Oregon. If you've never heard of it, it's basically the most awesome book store on the planet. No lie. It's HUGE.. I got lost in there!
Anyway, they're having a free shipping weekend. So not only will you not have to pay sales tax since they're in Oregon, you don't have to pay shipping either! I just ordered five books and paid less than $25- it's awesome!
No, I don't work for them and I wasn't paid to post this. I just really love reading and wanted to give my fellow nerds a chance to do some book shopping.
If you're interested, check them out at www.powells.com. Happy reading!
Friday, November 08, 2013
I am the new girl. I have a new job in a new area. Being the new girl means that I know relatively few people, so any sort of gesture of friendship is huge to me right now. I try to show my appreciation and gratitude to those who have shown me kindness.
Except when a colleague of mine offered to share her lunch with me. She had just gotten a huge container of take-out noodles from some restaurant around the corner and came in to offer me some. Without even thinking, I said something like "Oh thank you but no, I'm trying to be good." She looked down at her offering and insisted that "noodles aren't really that indulgent" and looked at me with questioning eyes that asked, "Are you sure?" I sort of stammered and mumbled something, and so she just walked away, looking incredibly confused.
And no wonder, previously when she had offered me goodies (pumpkin spice bars and Kahlua cake, people.. OMG this woman can bake) I had accepted them. What she didn't know is that I would take one bite and then discard the rest. Just a taste. I figured it was easier to do that than to keep rejecting everything and seem like I had some kind of issue with her or her food. Plus it did look amazing, so taking a single bite seemed like a good solution. All things in moderation, right?
Just to recap, though: this means that in the face of Kahlua cake and pumpkin spice bars, I smiled and said "thank you" but in the face of noodles, I declined with "Oh no, I'm trying to be good." It's the baked goods diet, you haven't heard of it? Pshaw, all the celebs are doing it... Anyway, I'm slightly horrified and yet still somehow amused that I've made myself look like a complete psychopath with the new coworkers.
The good news is that it's the Friday before a long weekend! My bestest friend from where I used to live is coming to stay with me, so we're going to let loose on the bay area all weekend long. I can't wait to see her! I hope you have a great weekend, too!
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