Sunday, January 13, 2013
Its the end of the weekend and the end of my long winter break. I'm a professor and have been away from school for one month now. In the past I have spent this time preparing for the holidays, throwing parties, and doing everything I could to give my family the "perfect" holiday. Then I would crash, worn out from all the attention I was giving to everyone else.
This year, I started my holiday the same way. I immediately began planning parties, menus, and was ready to start holiday shopping. My husband did the nicest thing; he objected to all the plans. He said no. We negotiated and he agreed to have 4 people over for dinner one night (4 people!! I couldn't believe he was being such a stick in the mud!) and to exchange presents with the most special people in our lives.
This opened up so much time in my life, and my husband said he wanted me to spend it on me. At first I was completely lost. I tried to meditate, but my mind was racing. I thought about working out, but I felt too fat to go to the gym. I tried to read, but ended up surfing on-line sales. I was feeling depressed, lost, and confused. By focusing on everyone else, I had prevented myself from feeling my own feelings and dealing with them. Suddenly, there they were -- all my tough feelings and me. That's it.
I decided I wanted to do something about this. I didn't want to sit around in my pajamas and feel like crap. I didn't want to eat boxes of holiday cookies in the afternoon. I didn't want to ignore my feelings. I spent a few days sitting with my feelings and talking to my therapist, and then I just decided. I decided that I was responsible for me, for my feelings, and for how I deal with my feelings. My family and friends can support me and encourage me, but when it comes right down to it, I am the adult in this body! It is MY JOB to take care of my body, of my feelings, of my soul. It is MY responsibility to take care of myself, not matter how much I want someone else to take care of me!
I signed up for Spark people the day after Christmas. I have been tracking my food, exercising, and sleeping (or trying to sleep) 8 hours a night since. I have read so many inspiring blogs, met so many inspiring people, and have reminded myself day after day that I am responsible for my feelings and for how I deal with them. I can eat my way through the day or I can make choices to get up off the couch and go for a walk.
I am still a sparks newbie, but I am already feeling better about myself. I am proud of myself for joining. I am proud of myself for connecting with other people. I am proud that my clothes are looser, my energy is higher, and my that my body can still do amazing things in and out of the gym.
I've decided to focus on nonscale victories -- my pants are looser! I am eating vegetables! I feel more energized! And, I am still focusing on my goals every day. I am not giving up; I may slip up but I am not giving up!
Sunday, January 06, 2013
This morning I have been inspired by one of my Sparkfriends to set a goal for the first day of Spring. March 20th is 72 days away, and living up north, I am going to be counting down those days anyway -- I might as well count away a few lbs, too!
Two years ago I visited my best friend and her family in Germany. This year, my husband has a conference in her town on March 22-24th. So, I am taking some vacation days and tagging along. I will be in Germany with my best friend, her adorable 18 month old and wonderful husband.
The last visit I made I weighed 155 and wore a size 10.
MY SPRING GOAL: I WILL WEAR THE SAME CLOTHES ON THIS TRIP THAT I WORE ON THE TRIP TWO YEARS AGO. I CAN DO IT!!!
Friday, January 04, 2013
A few days ago I realized that meditation is going to be an important component in my weight loss journey. Although I have been an athlete most of my life, I've also had body image issues since I was in my early teens. In fact, its one of the "secrets" that many athletes carry: we are obsessed with our bodies and "making" them as fit as they can be. We are perfectionists for whom good is never good enough.
Well, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
I am not returning to that mental lifestyle. Good is good enough. And, what is, is enough.
(two years is not a long enough break from that mindset!)
In these past few days, I've been reminding myself of who and what my body is and has done. Here are just a few things that I've allowed to come to consciousness in the past few days:
My heart works all day, every day, without any rest. Imagine. That is crazy! No coffee breaks, no naps, no holiday time off. She works and works and works. If that were my best friend, I would tell her to take a break, or a vacation, quit her job, hire someone else, get a raise, but for gods sake stop working so much! But, my heart keeps working for me, all the time, and I forget. I forget to be mindful of her, to take care of her, to make it easier for her. Today I am thanking my heart for all she does and all she has been through. She is amazing!!!!
Then there are my lungs. Whether I am asleep or awake, resting or working out, silent or singing, my lungs are breathing in and out. In and out, in and out, all day, every day. And, I forget this too. I forget to take care of my lungs, to thank them, to surround them with love and peace. Where would I be without them (lets not think too long on that one!)?
I am reminded of my arms and legs, core and back, all of whom are the aim of my criticism. Yet, all are in ongoing movement through most of the day. If I am not walking, I am lifting or bending or twisting or folding or reaching or typing. These hands have brought me and those I love so many good things. These arms have shared so much love, have carried so many burdens, lifted so much weight. These legs have brought me through 38 years of life, including 36 without a car! They have walked and run 5k's 10ks, half marathons, marathons, stairs, treadmills, hills. They have worked and worked. These legs are f*#&ing amazing.
And, then there is my core; the core that has burned with passion and loss much deeper than it has burned from planks and crunches. The core that has survived and rebuilt time and time again. The place from which I rise every morning. And, I think she is too flabby (?!?!) How can I forget her true strength and courage?
Today I am making choices in homage to my body. Its astounding to me that I ask more of this body and she responds. She gives me more and more every day. She is more than I remember; she is more than I imagine. What would I do without this amazing body day after day, holding and carrying me?
Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Happy New Year!
I have been on/off Spark People for the last two days: New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. In those two days I have made healthy food choices, healthy sleeping choices, but I have found myself feeling down. Taking a few days of rest from the gym was my plan, yet it created a sense of panic in me. I am afraid that if I don't work out every day, count every single calorie, and meet every single goal every single minute I will fail. I am creating such horrible pressure on myself!!
What does success look like for me?
Success is feeling centered and grounded in myself.
Success is feeling confident in and proud of my body.
Success is treating my body with respect.
Success is treating myself with compassion.
Success is taking time to care for and love myself.
Success is living mindfully, enjoying my choices instead of regretting them.
Success is living my life in a healthy way, not only at a healthy weight.
Success is slowing down.
I sometimes allow myself to be driven -- driven by goals or ideals, memories or dreams, even by fears. I don't want to be driven. This happens when I am less conscious of my moment to moment experience of life. I want to be making choices and enjoying this life. I want to practice gratitude and kindness.
I think mindfulness is going to be a very important part of my success. Mindfulness brings me joy, compassion, rest, and love. Mindfulness allows me to experience what is good in my life as well as what is painful. The truth is I have so much to be thankful for. I want to take the time to cultivate my awareness of this truth.
Today I will spend time in meditation to help me live with the awareness of this truth. Thank you for this wonderful new year.
Sunday, December 30, 2012
Today is my day of rest.
I will treat my body gently, spend some time in meditation to rest my mind, and enjoy being in every moment of the day. I will practice compassion toward myself.
I will breathe and eat slowly, reminding myself of how lucky I am to have this time of rest and these sources of nourishment.
I will connect with friends and my husband to feel the nourishment of their love. I will share my love with them.
Today is the day I feed me.
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