Getting through the rough patch
Thursday, March 21, 2013
It's been a challenging week. Big time constraints and life stress (good stuff, but stressful); a gala event where I had planned to partake but in moderation - which lead to exhaustion and overeating after I got home; overwhelm by current schedule (for the next 2 weeks) and giving in to the stress and fears - which lead to another overeating/comfort session. Waning motivation, feeling overwhelmed by the eating well process and the need for exercise - which has been seeming like an insurmountable mountain...
But lets take a step back and look at reality.
I've still been logging all my food (doing my best to guess at the items I can't fully quantify). Of the last 5 days (since I inadvertently erased my food log :) - 2 days are significantly over calories, one is under my range (the day after the first big binge) and two are within range. So - not great, but certainly not disastrous. And I've kept logging. So clearly I know what I'm doing, I have ways to feed myself that are healthy and withing range. And no need to make it "perfect" - I can rely on pre-packaged stuff if I need to - make it "mindless healthy eating" as much as possible! No need to stress.
On the exercise front - this is a little trickier, and requires a mental re-set. My default, habit-based position is that exercise is hard and it's REALLY hard to get myself started. I also found that it helps me to have a several-week plan / goal - and that I then need to switch it up after 2-3 weeks, or else I get really bored and quit.
Ok - good info to have! I was doing the ACE beginner workout - to get my core (hips, abs, back) stronger so that I don't injure myself in taking on more exercise. Given that it's been a few weeks, it would make sense to do at least 1-2 weeks of core-focused strength building again, to set a safe base (apparently strength gains begin to go away after 2 weeks of inactivity!) After that, I have tons of tools (which I haven't been using) to rotate through - SP videos, yoga videos, other videos, Wii active sports game, Wii walking game, elliptical, walking in the park, stability ball, strength bands, dumbbells...
The other part is the mental part. This is tricky - but again, bringing compassion to the process - I mean, after all, I have decades of habit to overcome. My BFF had some really good input here last night - the focus here has to be about personal integrity. Moving my body - even weightloss aside - IS the main thing that will help me get to where I want to be, BE WHO I want and need to be in order to grow and move forward. The sense of inner strength and confidence I get, as well as the extra energy and positivity, is KEY. Ironic how habit is such a strong pull against this apparent non-brainer.
Another interesting point here, based on a the featured blog I got in email from SP this morning (funny how there's always something that appears just when you need it!) - the blogger talked about the idea that our main goal is life is to be happy. And I realized - my habitual way of being is to (subconsciously) believe that the "comfort" of food and sloth - doing what "feels good", lying around on the couch watching Hulu and eating ice cream - is "happiness" - it's what feels good, it's the goal. After all, it takes me away from the discomforts of action, decision, interaction, potential fear and change and uncomfortable emotions.
Shining a light on that piece, what used to be my subconscious self's coping mechanism to deal with all the discomforts of life over the past several decades - makes it easier to see the issue. Yes, the goal is to be happy. But although my habitual form of reaching happiness did prevent various discomforts, it is no longer serving me.
Today, for who I am now, achieving happiness looks quite different. It looks like going THROUGH the immediate discomfort of planning, of making decisions, of change and doing new things, of putting on my workout costume and getting my butt kicking and screaming to the mat/machine/DVD/park. Because only then will I be able to get the real happiness of that post-workout accomplished feeling, of feeling my body - actually feeling it! - come alive and actually be part of me - not just an uncomfortable and issue-causing appendage.
And achieving happiness looks like being in integrity with myself - for once I have come to this awareness, choosing to ignore it is simply a way of causing myself more stress, more pain, more overwhelm.
So here is my hope, my goal, my prayer, my commitment - to have the strength to go through the discomfort of changing habits, to keep the goal of maximizing happiness and be purposely mindful that to achieve it I will need to go through this temporary discomfort. And to remind myself that it's all in service of building strength and grace.