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    MORETHANHOPE   18,712
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Checking In


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

After a month of struggling, I realized that it's time for me to check in and be honest about my feelings and thoughts at this point in the journey.

About a month ago, I was feeling great. I finally had my diet under control and was exercising regularly. I was down about 10 more lbs. since I had rededicated myself to my weight loss efforts, and was finally starting to envision my ultimate success.

Unfortunately, a trip to Japan (which was awesome) sort-of threw me off course. To clarify, I didn't gain weight (which is pretty much a miracle, with all the good food I ate). However, I didn't lose any either. To top it off, it took me about 2 weeks to recover from my jetlag, and after that I seemed to lose my direction. It's taken me about a week to realize it, but I'm starting to fall off the deep end (i.e. weight gain instead of loss, food cravings, low energy, etc.) I'm not going to lie. It's pretty depressing. You get to this point where you're feeling like your goal is within reach, and then doubt starts to creep in, and before you know it you're moving in the exact opposite direction.

I'm definitely not quitting, because I've come way too far for that, but I'm in a hard place right now and I'm forced to think about how I'm going to deal with it. Otherwise, another year will go by with goals unrealized, and that scares me.

To encourage myself (and maybe someone else) I've decided to write down some random thoughts that have come to me in my lowest times this week...

Choices & Excuses:
Multiple times a day I am faced with a choice to make, often one that will lead me toward or away from my goals. In these moments, there is usually one choice which is both easier and more detrimental to my goals. It is at that point where my mind instantly forms an excuse for making the poor choice. For example, I've started drinking my morning coffee (the instant sugary kind) in a smaller cup. The other day, I noticed that my small cup was still dirty from the day before, and my mind instantly used it as an excuse to suggest that I go ahead and have a big cup. Thankfully, I recognized it and asked myself the question, "What could I do to negate this excuse?" Of course! Wash the cup! The solution was so easy and only took under a minute, but I was horrified at how quickly I had been ready to jump back into my old pattern of thinking. The keys here? 1) Recognize every choice as just that: a CHOICE. 2) Before taking the "easy" way out, ask yourself honestly what you can do to make the better choice more doable. It might require a little work, but maybe it won't be as bad as you think.

Goals and Direction:
As I noted earlier in this blog, I've been floundering around for about a month, and I recently realized that it's due to a complete lack of direction. I'm currently not working right now, so it's become so easy for me to get caught in the trap of sitting around all day and sort-of wallowing in my "tiredness." This has got to stop. I need to revisit my goals! To create a game plan, even a schedule if necessary! (my inner spontaneity cringeith). So here's what I'm thinking. Every morning, I need to review my goals, perhaps read a fitness/health article, and listen to a song that gets me moving. Then, quickly afterward, I need to shower and get on with my day. I've noticed that the longer I recline on the couch or play on the computer, the more sluggish I feel. By keeping my morning computer time to strictly "business," then starting my day with a song (music being a powerful motivator for me), I'm hoping to negate the morning slump that I've been experiencing lately. I'm also thinking that before/after my shower is probably a good time to get some exercise out of the way, as it will probably increase my energy level during the day, and I'll have less room for excuses to avoid it later. Secondly, I think it's very important for me to write out a "daily goals" list to keep me focused on tasks that should be completed that day. Then, I need to prioritize those tasks so that I have a very clear picture of how my day will look. I could go on and on here about the "things" that I need to do, but in a nutshell, many of those have gone undone for years simply because I have not made time for them, although the stress of it weighs on me daily (think organization, clutter, etc.) It's about time I got rid of that crap so I can eliminate all the DISTRACTION keeping me from my goals!

Passion:
You know those things in life that used to be important to you, that you might not even think about anymore because you're too busy to dream and feel like the person you are deep inside? From time to time I get glimpses of those, and it is at those moments that I truly feel inspired to live and be the best I can be. For me, music is a huge one. I have been a musician most of my life (albeit a bad one) and I can't deny the power that music has over me. All it takes is one good song, and suddenly my mood can skyrocket. I've also discovered that there's a dancer inside of me, which comes out when I am totally overwhelmed with inspiration. So... cheesyness aside, I was thinking that maybe I need to leverage some of this passion to my benefit! Maybe if I join a dance class, or dedicate some time to practicing my instruments every day, I can start feeling some of that old zest for life that keeps me going on the hard days.

Anyway, this blog is entirely too long already, but these are my thoughts. I wrote out a rough schedule that I will start trying to follow tomorrow to see if it makes a difference, and I'm also looking into signing up for a boot camp or something else to get me back on track. I really want 2012 to be the year I didn't give up.
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