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Hard, but not PERMA-hard - and good enough!

Monday, April 01, 2013

That was my BFF's advice a few weeks ago - I might be having a rough patch, hitting a major bump, it all appears super hard... but just make sure to be mindful of not making it PERMA-hard: relate to it as TODAY exercise feels impossible and eating well not within the realm of possibility; doesn't mean it will be that way tomorrow.

So today was my first time back exercising in several weeks - it just felt absolutely impossible to get my ass up to move, at all. Sure - stress, whatever; and my pattern - lose 10-15 lbs and then hit a crazy place. Been playing that game w/ the same 20 lbs for the last 7 years...

And time keeps marching.

So yea, it's hard. Sure, I've seen this before. Of course, I've developed habits and patterns. But hey - today I am at choice. *I* get to select what happens to me, *I* get to create my own damn motivation and inspiration - instead of sitting and waiting for it to strike. So I dragged my tired and cranky ass onto the elliptical... and it was great. For today, that's enough.

And I can tackle the major bugaboos of setting a plan and a schedule and calendar.... all that can wait. For today, I'm tracking my food and did 25 mins on the elliptical. For today, that is enough. For today, I am enough. For today, where I am is good enough.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KRISSYDUNN 4/1/2013 3:30PM

    Maybe setting a schedule, making a plan and and a calendar just doesn't work for you, Maybe tracking your food and doing the elliptical is just fine and will get you where you want to be. Keep doing what works for you and, someday in the future, if you want to add to or change it a bit, that's ok too. Meanwhile, keep tracking and keep doing your 25 minutes of exercise. emoticon

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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.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANDYINBC 3/21/2013 11:13AM

    Thanks for sharing. I was just thinking about the happiness part. Yesterday I was at home for much of the day doing little. In the evening my daughter and I went for a walk at the beach on a windy cool evening. Every moment there was filled with happiness, the rest of the day was simply existing. And when returning home, the rest of the night was more enjoyable as well.

Stick with your goals, do what you know you need to do and you will definitely change everything around. You can do it!

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MYOWNHERO 3/21/2013 10:09AM

    Great blog. That longer term view is...dare I say it...wisdom!

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On Routine, Structure, Practice... and Freedom (part 1)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

I resist routine. I squirm out of structure, I rebel against having to do the same thing, having my time and actions pre-planned. Having to get up the same time every workday (I now have the option of occasionally working from hom - which I take full advantage of), having the same morning routine, even the same drive to work gets me bothered after a period. Weekly appointments - even for things I want to do - give me the heeby-jeebies. (When I first passed the audition into the choir I sing in and realized that rehearsals are EVERY Tuesday for8 months out of the year, I had a little panic...)

So what's up with this? Is it just my inner ornery teenager gone amok?

I guess I equate routine with staleness, with boredom, with being constrained and held back in some say. I've always been so driven by emotion, by how I feel, (a long history of severe depression made my feelings paramount for a long time). Routine, having predictable commitments seemed like a way of constricting myself in the moment. How will I know if I will feel like singing on Tuesday night? Maybe that will be the day when I will just want to veg out with Hulu, or go out with friends.

Maybe part of it is the fear of missing out. On what I may "feel like", on something better that may come along.

At the same time, I do have a history with the concept of "practice". At age 6 I started playing piano, and soon progressed to practicing (with the help of my grandma) for 2 hours a day. That shrunk to about an hour a day by high school, before I mostly quit at the end of my Sophomore year after a dramatic fumble (though that's a story for another time). But hey - that's some serious practice time, there! Did I always want to do it? no way. But I don't remember particularly resenting it, it was just something I did. (You know, until I didn't...)

That's my most dramatic experience with the idea of practice, and it occurred to me as something that was mostly externally motivated (though I didn't really fight it).

Over the years there have been things that I "wanted" to do, like learn another instrument, exercise, meditate... all things that require long-term committment. and yet i would balk at the daily routine that was required to make them happen.

and yet, there's another way to look at routine - and this article really hit it home for me:
www.dailyspark.com/blog.asp?post=bec
ome_a_morning_person_8_tips_from_a_for
mer_night_owl


Having a routine is really just having things that you do without having to think about them / determine what you "feel like", you just do them because you've determined - through a process of planning and introspection and taking the longer view - that these are things you're going to do, that can get you to where you want to be.

This is something that can really be helpful in trying to fit in healthy eating / cooking / exercise / meditation into a life that's hitting a chaos spike - but can be helpful even when things are good, to make them better.

This is just an early brainstorm on the subject - this is certainly something I will be journaling on and working with for a while. But it's great to start slowly making friends with the concept of routing - as a way to finally get out of short-sighted instant-gratification thinking, and into a more long-term holistic goal-oriented way of life.

Huzzah!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IGNI13 3/21/2013 8:35AM

  Hero - exactly! I love that idea - routine is like having a personal secretary. It's a way to get things done that need to get done, in order to clear off space for everything else!

Lola - thanks for your comments, and glad this was helpful! This is a very new and tough area for me - my inner kid just screams against routine, but my adult is looking to be patient and compassionate - and rational - about it. I love what you say about having "mindless" healthy eating options - exactly! There are so many times when I open the fridge to see what's for dinner, with no particular cravings of issues - and if there's a clear and ready option, that's great; it's the times when there's not that I get into trouble!

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LOLATURTLE 3/20/2013 9:21AM

    This is actually really helpful for me in a different way! I've been complaining about how I *like* to cook, but lately I've been busy or stressed or whatever and not had the time for planning/shopping/cooking and it throws me off track of my healthy eating. I need to look at it like this!

"things that you do without having to think about them" = we have to eat every day, so I need to have "mindless" healthy options that are the same - routine - every week. Whether I "feel like" cooking or not. And then when I feel like it, and have time, I can have "hobby" cooking - trying a new recipe, making something fancy or complicated, etc.

GENIUS. Thank you. I'd already decided I need to do this, but this helps me frame it in an entirely different way.

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MYOWNHERO 3/19/2013 7:30AM

    Ahhh the freedom of a routine. It's like having a personal secretary!

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Crap!

Friday, March 15, 2013

So, in trying to find a better way to set my calorie range, I found a way to re-set the SP recommendations. There was a warning that doing this would wipe out things I was tracking, which I had assumed included only my fast-break goals. Little did I realize it totally wiped out ALL MY FOOD LOGS FOR THE PAST MONTH!!!

CRAP!

And here I was psyched to have built up some data on what was working...

Also, SP only lets you choose 1 or 2 lbs / week ranges - and it seems to me that my confortable range would be closer to the 1.5lb, between these two. Crap!

Ok, well... there it is. 1-month history wiped out. But - I at least get to retain the 10.4 lbs I lost during that time... :)

Now - onwards and upwards, in creating new re-usable and useful menus...

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IGNI13 3/16/2013 8:54AM

  Yup - just a small hiccup.
FYI - I did find out that it IS possible to have SP re-set your cal range, without losing anything:

On your Start page, on the left where it lists your pounds lost, click on "change goal". (It is counter-intuitive - you can't get it to auto-update if you try to change your cal range itself)

If you change anything in the "set your weight goal" section and save - this will automatically re-set your calorie range.

Whew! :)

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BECKYLIZ 3/16/2013 7:53AM

    I'm sure you will endeavor to persevere emoticon emoticon

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DELA118 3/16/2013 6:55AM

    At least, I hope that venting about it helps! emoticon Think of it as a brand new start! emoticon emoticon

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ANDYINBC 3/16/2013 1:21AM

    Don't worry, in another month you will have another months worth of data. You will succeed!

Comment edited on: 3/16/2013 1:22:15 AM

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LISA_FRAME 3/15/2013 9:53PM

  emoticon

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Motivation

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Hit a motivation dip this afternon; no big deal, it resulted in a Starbucks frappuccino which I easily absorbed into my daily calorie allotment. But it scared me a little, just from the sheer familiarity of the feeling, the "@$%#$% it all / I don't care / this can never happen anyway / you've been here before and it always ends up failing" kind of place. So may as well pick up a pint or two on the way home (of ice cream, that is).

Like I said, no big disaster happened, but the thinking got a little scarily familiar.

Here's a nice article with lots of motivational quotes!
www.dailyspark.com/blog.asp?post=sta
y_motivated_when_the_scale_isnt_moving


Some favorites:
“The starting point of all achievement is desire. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small amount of fire makes a small amount of heat.” Napoleon Hill

“Most people fail, not because of lack of desire, but because of lack of commitment.” Vince Lombardi

“It’s in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” Anthony Robbins

“Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it. Establish your priorities and go to work.” H.L. Hunt

“You must begin to think of yourself as becoming the person you want to be.” David Viscott

Desire + Committment + follow through = succes...

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BECKYLIZ 3/14/2013 8:01AM

    emoticon

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SPIRALDOWN 3/13/2013 10:05PM

    good for you for not giving in but the thoughts are all to familiar... i get those too

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BENNY2284 3/13/2013 10:00PM

    Be proud of yourself, although you got into the mind frame, like you said, you didn't have a big disaster. You were able to take of it.

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