Friday, March 07, 2014
This, again, is for me.
I say this because I'm amazing at starting things, but I've been quite the disaster at any follow-through. I'd have given up on myself by now, but this is the only me I have and I'm just stubborn enough to truly believe that failure is not an option.
I remembered a talk I heard once about truly prioritizing your life, about sorting your true passions from the distractions around you. I listen to these things because I am always swirling among so many thoughts and projects, always competing for my time and attention. She challenged me at the end by asking the question, "If you had to give up everything else for ONE THING, which ONE THING would you choose?" As this question landed in my mind again yesterday, I wasn't struggling with God vs. Family. They are solidly in their places. But I have been working thoughts of time spent pursuing the two things I desire most outside of the other two (God and Family). I am in a place where I realize that real change concerning my weight will require serious project status. I need to lose over HALF of myself. It means devoting planned hours and attention to changing habits, tracking every single thing, and exercise. Lots of exercise. I'm also working furiously (have been for a couple of years, now) to expand my photography business. I am in a place of discovering that this IS who I am and time is badly needed to learn, work, and perfect the 20-year vision I've nurtured. If left to myself, I could easily and happily work ten to twelve-hour days on this alone. The dream is THIS CLOSE. I feel that my age is intensifying the urgency I feel. The thing is, I know that my physical self is not working at all toward my professional dream. Two immediate needs are constantly battling for 100% of my attention.
So the question appears again in my consciousness and asks, again, then again, becoming somewhat relentless: "If you could only have one of these things, if you were to wake one morning five years from now to find that you were able to accomplish ONE of these goals, which one?" Would I rather be an accomplished, known photographer, making a living doing what I love (but still rather unfit and still unhealthy)? Or would I be more fulfilled if I were to wake that same morning as a smaller, definitely fit (if somewhat saggy) version of who I am now, and all that would include, but working as a teacher's aide or something similar and having a fun photography hobby? Which one thing would I sacrifice for the other?
It became so clear. SO, so clear.
I will defend my passion for photography to the end. So many creatives seem to measure their devotion by how obsessively they shoot, work, present. I will NEVER give it up.
But I choose me. I choose a shot at a longer life. I choose to spend my extra efforts, at this time, making myself fit and healthy.
Because I will never be fulfilled in the one without the other. And how long would I live, anyway, to enjoy the beautiful things like God, my family, or a lovely portrait?
It is not the fun choice. Or the dreamy one. It is definitely the least comfortable choice. Facing myself and fully absorbing what I've allowed myself to become has been the hardest thing I've ever done. I started a video project yesterday based on one I completed last year called 1 Second Every Day. This time, I'm using it to document myself over this next year. I feel something I've never felt before. It's not a giddy flighty motivation, but a mission, a resolve.
I will still work toward the other dream. I know that life doesn't always demand one thing at the expense of all others. But I will no longer skip my fitness/health plan to attend a class or to pull an all-night edit session or to knock out a deadline. I will order my life to accommodate my first priority ahead of the other.
I'm not even kidding, guys. I mean to do this. This place where I am today? The one that has been a prison for WAY too long? It's going to be left far behind me.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
I found a quote from a book that I read a couple of years ago. The book, itself wrecked me. But these words, read yesterday in a moment of... deep realizations, touched me where I am at this moment in my story.
"Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives Iím not living."
~ Jonathan Safran Foer
Not to be depressing, just trying to hold on to these moments of "revelation". I may need to revisit this later when I find myself wondering why I should bother. There is so much I want, deeply desire, to do. I have limited myself. Fighting for these things to be possible for me is the "Why".
Saturday, February 15, 2014
It's the up and down of my flickering resolve that confuses me the most.
I'm saying, as a simple matter of fact and without the least bit of drama, that I feel that I'm somewhat missing from myself. It's the only thing I can come up with to describe how, day in and day out, I am still flopping around on the shore when I have every intention to jump in and SWIM! The journey, the hard work, the victories and the tears are all still ahead of me. I wake up every morning like the movie "Groundhog Day", only to live that same day (as it applies to my health and fitness choices) over yet again.
So, I've been noticing this and wondering to myself about who it is I used to be and where in the world have I gone and just when will I show up and rescue my own self.
But there are glimpses...
I seem to remember that I am notoriously stubborn when I am convinced. This has been the case since birth, I was told this by my Mother on many occasions when our ideas wouldn't quite match up. Liver for dinner? I could stay at the table all night. And I mean, I was never the one to fold. Not once. I have my own sense of style, which usually rebels against whatever trends are the most mainstream. Of course, I've shut style out of my life for the past 20 years due to my "situation". And, as a (gulp) plus-sized woman on a budget who is not given to graphic prints and polyester, my size requirements have all but swallowed my style whole. And the freedom I relinquished, though I'm not sure when, of my outgoing, loving personality. It was what made me ME. It's what attracted my husband and made every stranger my potential friend. These things are missing at the moment.
And I mean to find where I left them.
I have a memory from when I was around six or seven. I looked down at my thighs and they were wider than those of my little friend, who was sitting next to me. That's when I first felt that I was not "as good" as those around me. I didn't know to consider that she was a year younger than me and that I have a muscly German background. I just felt wrong. My biggest underlying fear became, in every situation, that I would be that one in the room who was the biggest. Today, I live that nightmare. And I'm the ONLY ONE who can fix it.
So this morning, waking with the re-realization that I need to MEAN to, in every moment, fight for the girl I left behind , I returned to my Pinterest vision board. It's not very literal. Where you see a stick thin model, I'm seeing the dress or the expression. I have no fantasy of becoming bony and suddenly tall. But I do enjoy remembering the swish of a flouncy skirt on the back of my knees. The quotes aren't hard-core "Fitspiration", but things that speak to me. And watches! I truly loved wearing watches. Some images are simply about the mood of the moment that is portrayed.
I just want to soak in some inspiration and use that to fuel this thing, which I am determined to accomplish. I'll spend some time remembering my stubborn inner child and see if I can't remember what it was like to stand, fully, in my own space and feel my own power.
My Board: www.pinterest.com/shawneej/there-you
Anyway, HAPPY SATURDAY, all.
Monday, February 03, 2014
This girl turned 46 yesterday. I don't know, I seriously cannot wrap my head around the number. I just feel as though I'm in my 30s. My husband greeted 50 two weeks ago, and neither of us can match the reality to what it feels like to be us. In any case, here we are.
Our plans were to lay low and watch Bruno Mars with some takeout. Nobody in the house cares at all for pro football, but, you know, pop culture. I might have made a celebratory walk around the loop. Nothing big. But, my FAMILY...
They worked behind my back to carry me off to meet my oldest daughter and her husband for lunch where she lives, two hours away. It was just the best day. The five of us together plus one... my heart was, and is, FULL!
I just love everybody so much right now. Which translates here into a fresh shot of "I'm just going to do this already!"
So, I missed Bruno Mars and the game hype was lost on me entirely. Who cares? We made it home in time for Downton Abbey and for me to sleep through 20 minutes of Sherlock before I gave up and went to bed with a smile on my face.
The week ahead will bring the continued effort to create an exercise habit. The snow has finally arrived after the driest Winter in our recorded history, so I may need to get creative with DVDs and the indoor bike. I'm also needing to dig in and spend extra hours preparing my photography business for the Spring sessions I hope to book. There are many behind-the scenes hours to work through before the fun stuff starts. I have also reluctantly, in an inner tantrum, given up (for the 47th time) Diet Pepsi. It's good to let it go. It's just SO HARD! So, Day One, again, for me.
It's Monday, friends. I hope this finds you all well and ready to do good things for yourself. I'm hoping for myself, as well, that I will be able to work hard enough this week to show a good loss and gain strength to continue.
Saturday, February 01, 2014
I don't know why I've been so blocked when it comes to exercise. My history remembers that I really love it when I do. I've INTENDED to start for several months now, but I am a master at talking myself out of things I don't want to do.
I logged my first mile and a half yesterday. I did NOT die. In fact, I enjoyed it very much. My son and I greeted the sunrise and had a good talk. I took my camera and took some shots of the frozen puddles and more of my favorite freckled face. As far as my virtual walk to my longed-for hometown, I made it from my house to the edge of this town. My only big news is that, since it's been awhile, I'm no longer acclimated to our sub-freezing temperatures (it was 23), but that will come in time.
I'll go around twice today (2.14 miles). I'll take my guy and not my dog.
I've been pretty confused about what commitments, or even efforts, I need to make nutritionally. I am the queen of the all-or-nothing mentality, so I have a hard time just cutting back moderately. I want to eat less sugar. That's for sure. But I need to make adjustments I can live with. I wonder if I should give up wheat (if anyone has a thought on this, I'd love to hear) because of all of the recent talk about how bad it is for us. Is this a real thing or just the latest fad? But the thought of feeding a picky family on a budget with no sandwiches or pasta...
I guess, until I figure it out, I'll just track what I do eat.
Okay. On to my birthday weekend! I'm feeling high hopes for this year in my life.
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