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    KAREN_NY   37,538
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Destructive Coping vs. Productive Coping


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Saturday, January 22, 2011

On 11/29 I was pumping up my jogging pace and dreaming of a half marathon. I was workin' it and superconsistent for the next 3 weeks. Then my older dog died, Christmas commitments washed over me, visitors came & went, my younger dog was hit by a truck, and my father had spinal surgery... all while the upstate NY winter wind chilled my bones.

Oh pity party. ** NOT! **

The thing is, Life Happens. It's not all bad, but it requires real coping skills, doesn't it?

There's Destructive Coping: Sleep erratically, grab whatever's edible when you need it, do a half-a$$ed job on the things you need to do, and then "treat" yourself with sleeping in or eating gobs of chocolate & cream when you finally have a moment to yourself. None of this leaves energy or time for exercise, and there is no plan to make any, because the days Just Happen To You, as you fly by the seat of your pants.

Pretty soon 5 weeks have gone by and you don't remember what you were achieving before. Now that you're ready to "get back on track," you've got to claw your way through undone laundry, purge a stack of untended email you won't get to anyway, reassemble your workout plan, suffer through hamstring cramps when you finally get to run again; then reality-check those credit card bills, buy all new groceries, and find a way to tactfully tell those you've been doting on that you're rebooting your sanity. And you've got to make this shift without feeling selfish about it.

Then there's Productive Coping. I imagine that this includes taking your hour-long workout and simply trimming to a half-hour when time is tight (instead of skipping it altogether). It probably involves setting priorities and doing the important things well. It's sure to include using a ready list of healthy quick meals that you actually like. I'll bet there are even some requests to others for help with the laundry or driving. And of course it's full of forgiveness and humour.

When you're ready to return to prior routines, you gracefully and gratefully add a little more workout time. After all, you've got some energy to spare now. You catch up on a few tasks, with a quick but sincere thanks to those who've waited for you. You get together with the family members who helped you get through it, commisserate a little, laugh through a nice dinner together, and get a good night's sleep.


Any dream, notion, or plan of achieving a new level of fitness has got to include ways to succeed anyway when the going gets tough. Fitness does not happen in a vacuum! It happens amid Real Life. If you're gonna run, you've got to do it in the body you've got. (Thanks John Bingham.) If you're gonna achieve, you've got to do it from where you are right now.

Right now, I'm in bed with my laptop, looking at my November/December achievements and no longer thinking, "WTH happened?" I know what happened. And now it's time to do it differently. Not tomorrow, not "next time," but NOW.

Off to the treadmill, and to rock the day!
K:)
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MA9194 4/18/2011 1:35AM

    I love your post. It's not a bunch of excuses about why things aren't happening, just a very honest reality check and a great vision of how to get through things with your head above water and not giving up! Thank you for getting this out!
emoticon

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CFELTS217 4/16/2011 3:57AM

    Woah! I needed this. Thank you for sharing your insight and strength with those of us that need it.

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PAMG415 2/22/2011 12:45PM

    Great post, I can see I was in same type of slump. Thanks for sharing, real life does happen. Now, I'm back to taking care of myself.

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KLOKEY 2/13/2011 12:13AM

    LOVE this post!!! Thank you!

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HENRYNOLAN 2/7/2011 12:29PM

    i can not even express to you how very timely it is that i read your blog today - you are apparently psychic, and may in fact reside in my head, your words hit me so personally and profoundly (i have had more than my fair share of 'woa is me' moments these past few months). thanks so much for the very much needed mental kick in the pants!
anika

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BELLADONNA14 2/3/2011 2:45PM

  Thanks. This post was really motivational :)

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VANB01 1/30/2011 2:48PM

    Hear, Hear! You have hit the nail on the head. Congrats to you for doing it, and thank you for inspiring me!

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MOMGETSSPARK 1/30/2011 8:18AM

    I love your attitude and I was just thinking to myself that I need to get my plans made for when life hits you!

Thanks for your words!

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NEWGUYTATTOOS 1/29/2011 9:52AM

  http://mymarriagebreakup.org
>Great Blog

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WONDERS06 1/28/2011 5:22PM

    Thanks for your blog. I definitely needed to read this.

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ABBY_G 1/27/2011 9:53PM

    emoticon

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MARIE_S 1/27/2011 3:06PM

    Thank you for sharing...it is really helpful!!

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CWYNN01 1/27/2011 12:09PM

    Great blog, that a friend passed onto me!! I had this moment yesterday. So I have to make myself a priority inspite of "LIFE"..

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EGGBASKET1 1/26/2011 9:51PM

    I AM BACK ON TRACK NOW AND YOU ARE SO RIGHT...IT MUST HAPPEN NOW AND IN THE BODY WE ARE PRESENTLY IN !!! THANKS FOR SHARING, I NEEDED THIS TODAY !!!

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ALWAYSCHANGING 1/26/2011 9:44PM

    I kept looking for a button that says "I LOVED THIS BLOG!!!" but had to settle for the like button instead! This was awesome! Thanks so much!

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HIKETOHEIGHTS 1/26/2011 7:29PM

    Love it! Victoria

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LINDY2202 1/26/2011 6:46PM

    I needed this really bad. I am going through some tough family/life issues and I have slacked off on working out and eating well. No more excuses. I know that I deal with things better when I exercise and eat right, thank you for reminding me!

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HHANSON4 1/26/2011 6:37PM

  Having lost 12 kilos, which was a consistent effort over an 8 week period, I was disappointed to find that my three week holiday in New York (from Adelaide, Australia) has resulted in a 2.0 kilo gain. However, I am back in the saddle, so to speak, and will be facing a weigh in at midday today (Weightwatcher in the Workplace), so, fingers crossed!

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FOSTER1001 1/26/2011 6:36PM

    emoticon

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MOON10 1/26/2011 6:33PM

  WOW.... thank you for your words of encouragement to keep on track. So true what you said there must be a plan to keep going when the going get ruff.

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CONNORCOLINSMOM 1/26/2011 5:04PM

    Awesome post! We all could use some productive coping!

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SM-ARTGIRL 1/26/2011 4:38PM

    Describes my Oct/Nov/ Dec !
At the time, I threw my training for a 10 km out the window together with weights and yoga practice.
I am back on track and with a plan for success when life's demands pile up.
Thank you for introducing the "middle way" through!

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FERGSGIRL2 1/26/2011 2:47PM

    This is a "Real" blog! thanks

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MOMWANTSNOWAIST 1/26/2011 1:56PM

    Very true! emoticon emoticon blog! Life does happen & keeps going and I have to keep maintaining the wt.loss or it ain't gonna happen! Thanks for the helpful advice!---Betsy

Comment edited on: 1/26/2011 1:56:56 PM

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TARADT 1/26/2011 1:48PM

    an awesome reminder for all of us emoticon

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GMINYARD 1/26/2011 12:43PM

    I LOVE IT! Thanks for the kick in the butt that I needed. :)

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DEBLYNN323 1/26/2011 10:36AM

    emoticon

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LIVNFITNHAPPY 1/26/2011 9:57AM

    Thanks for the REMINDER and support for those of us that you do not know and will probably never meet! It has been a challenging January for many!!! But we are MOVING with you to "rock the day!" emoticon

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LCWATER 1/26/2011 9:51AM

    I just came out of being in the same place. I was really annoyed with myself but I'm back on Spark to keep me on track!

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LCWATER 1/26/2011 9:51AM

    I just came out of being in the same place. I was really annoyed with myself but I'm back on Spark to keep me on track!

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KATHLEENMB 1/26/2011 9:48AM

    I love your description of Destructive vs. Productive Coping. It is a great counterpoint to "all or nothing" thinking. Thanks, KAREN_NY, for sharing this!

Comment edited on: 1/26/2011 9:49:22 AM

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JORDANADDO 1/26/2011 9:41AM

    emoticon loved the blog

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T42AND24T 1/26/2011 9:37AM

    Yup, that is a fine blog - loved the horrible images of Matterhorns of laundry etc...

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NDORRIS 1/26/2011 7:59AM

    Fabulous blog. Thanks for creating it and addressing an important topic I needed to hear about.

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HEIDE69 1/26/2011 7:58AM

    Keep RAWKING!!!!

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TENACIOUSTIGER 1/26/2011 7:14AM

    "Beautiful Woman Award! Once you've been given this award, you have to paste it on the wall of 8 women who deserve it. If you receive more than 3, you know you're really beautiful! If you break the chain, nothing will happen, but it's always good to know someone thinks you're beautiful inside and out. "

Don't forget to pass it on
Sorry to hear to have had such a rough time
wow i needed to read this as tomorrow i get results to see how badly i have injured my hamstring? I have been committed to spark for the last 12mths and am nowhere near my goal weight despite clean eating and heaps of exercise so i am scared to think what will happen if im laid up for a period of time, i will just have to deal with it emoticon emoticon

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LYDILOS 1/25/2011 9:03PM

    It really is about having a plan in place when things happen. I think this is a good idea and am going to start brainstorming for things I like to do when stress hits. I've already cut my hair, so let's see... emoticon

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GIAZZYTOUCH 1/25/2011 8:49PM

    emoticon

LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!

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JERSEYGIRL318 1/25/2011 5:39PM

    Thank you!!! Wonderful motivation!

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GO2GIRL99 1/25/2011 4:08PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SPECBEARCA 1/25/2011 3:04PM

    "Any dream, notion, or plan of achieving a new level of fitness has got to include ways to succeed anyway when the going gets tough. Fitness does not happen in a vacuum! It happens amid Real Life. If you're gonna run, you've got to do it in the body you've got."

Ugh, thank you so much. Perfect timing. Was just feeling sorry for myself, and you've snapped me out of it! Training for a half marathon in April, getting impatient with my running pace and my weight loss pace. Keep it up, and thanks for the attitude check!!

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GINA180847 1/25/2011 1:14PM

    I really have to put this somewhere to read when I get down about something. Definitely would get me off the couch after I give myself a grieving time allowance. thanks, Gina

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GREENSCRAPCAT 1/25/2011 12:58PM

    Awesome, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

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MARELNAT 1/25/2011 12:33PM

    Awesome post! I am so sorry about your losses, but you are definitely a survivor. Much success to you in your endeavor to lose weight emoticon

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SUZANNEMW 1/25/2011 11:59AM

    So sorry about your dogs! That's a hard one to recover from. I have had similar experiences since Thanksgiving and am now working on getting back on track! Today I am attacking the laundry basket of unpaid bills...

Wish I were in the Productive Coping category instead of the Destructive one, but I am on my way.

Thanks for the great blog and good luck with your running!

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SUCCESSHEL 1/25/2011 9:29AM

  so true. thank you for articulating what ive been thinking the past 2 weeks. im getting divorced and my father in law is in hospice. i spent the fall and holidays depressed and in a pity party. the sad thing is i knew if i would exercise i would feel better but i couldnt make myself do it. im doing the 3 day 60 mile walk for breast cancer this summer and i started training last week...........WOW what a difference.after just a few days i felt like my old self again. so glad i put down the wine glass and got off the couch. when will i ever learn? hopefully this time.
thanks for a great blog

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MARGARITTM 1/25/2011 9:09AM

    Thanks - I needed that ------ see you on the pavement!

Save a bottle of water for me at the finish line!

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ANELAKANOA 1/25/2011 6:31AM

  Very good blog! Yesterday I has a setback with my eating. It would have been easy for me to say screw it and not workout. I took the productive approach and worked out! Thanks for the motivation!

Angie

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DIKIWI85 1/25/2011 3:16AM

    Thanks for the motivating blog!!



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CHRISTIE6625 1/25/2011 1:56AM

  emoticon

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