Sunday, January 26, 2014
When I began to ride a motorcycle, I learned about something called "target fixation."
Fixating on something means not being able to take your attention away from it. When you look at something while riding, you tend to steer towards it. If you fixate on that pot hole or truck that you want to avoid, when you try to swerve away from it, you will very likely swerve right into it instead.
Since it is difficult to steer away from what you're looking at, and almost effortless to steer in the direction you are looking, it makes sense to look where you want to go. I was taught to figure out where I wanted to be and fixate on that instead - to look where I want to go. It helps to focus on the positive goal: the spot down the road where I want to end up, the escape route between the two trucks, the path around the pothole, or through to the end of the turn -rather than the negative: the obstacles and dangers I want to avoid. The motorcycle, almost like magic, goes where I look, even in situations when I fear I don't have the skill to get there!
This is also an excellent way to control skids - keep your head up and fixate on a point dead ahead on the horizon, and you increase your chances of automatically correcting a skid. Looking down in a skid drastically increases the chance that you will end up going down because by taking your eyes off the horizon, you do not steer the bike in such a way as to keep it upright and going forward.
What I learned on my motorcycle is also true of a bicycle, a car, a surfboard, a fighter jet, and our journey through life!
I think you all know where I am going with this. In my health and fitness ride, The last couple of months have found me either skidding and looking down or fixating on failure and steering right towards it. I've been colliding with self-doubt and failure and lack of motivation because that's just what I've been fixated on.
I am making a correction now.
I am now looking where I want to go. No longer will I look down at failure or at the obstacles that are keeping me from success. I am making a new commitment to look forward to the horizon of success- to health and fitness and weight loss.
Let's keep our heads up and our eyes on the horizon!
Sunday, November 10, 2013
It's been a terrific weekend. I have tomorrow off and plan to have a productive day with a little fun included. I will aim for cleaning out my car, working out, a pedicure, and see if I can get myself a last-minute haircut appointment. I have some paperwork and open enrollment stuff for my work benefits to do as well.
On Friday evening and a little yesterday, I went shopping in my closet. One of my organization projects this weekend was to explore and organize a closet that holds clothes that no longer fit me - the "wrong-size" or "think-positively" closet. I found a number of things that used to be too small that fit me nicely now! I demoted some of my larger items to that closet and will in the next few weeks continue that process, eventually giving away all my larger clothes. No more larger options for me! I will not go back! Today, I even tucked in my shirt and put on a belt for the first time in many many moons and a friend commented on my new waistline!
I have shied away from cameras so much in the last 5 years that it is a pleasure to be able to look at some photos and actually smile rather than cringe. I am pleased that my self-image is improving. This is such an issue for so many of us. We need to believe in ourselves in order to succeed and having low self-esteem sabotages our efforts. I have made an effort to find what is good rather than what is bad in my appearance and I think it is helping me to feel better about myself and also helping to motivate me to keep up the progress!
Since I developed facial paralysis 5 years ago, it has been difficult for me to look at photos of myself, and as I gained weight, it became even more difficult. I am so happy to be moving past that and to be accepting of who I am.
Yesterday, had a workout date with my Sweetie, then it was off to a memorial service for our hospice patients who died in the past year. I was so glad I went. It helps put my work into perspective to see and hear the whole list of names and pause to honor each of their lives. Two sisters sang a song that was so moving - and uplifting! I had never heard it before. It's called "It's How You Live" by Point of Grace. Here is a You Tube link:
For the memorial service, I had planned on wearing a dress that I had not worn in years that now fits me, but I found another one in the closet on Friday and my husband liked it even better. I have not worn a dress in at least 5 years. I was not about to wear anything that displayed my unsightly lumps and rolls and elephant ankles, so the dresses stayed in the "wrong-size closet." Here is me yesterday!
It makes me smile :)
Later in the evening, DH & I resumed date day and went to see the Young Africans perform. They are former members of the African Children's Choir who are now between 18-22 and have graduated high school and will be going to college when the tour is completed. The show was very enjoyable!
I did some cardio this afternoon- a longish ride on the Expresso bike at the gym (my secret workout motivation weapon!) and am taking a Strength Training rest day. I really worked my shoulders overtime yesterday! Since I was short on time, I increased the weights knowing I'd do fewer reps and man, am I feeling it today!
I hope you all had a great weekend and will be focused and successful in the week to come!
30- Day Plank Challenge progress - Completed Day 17 - 120 seconds!
Next few days are:
Day 18 - 150 seconds
Day 19 - REST
Day 20 - 150 seconds
Day 21 - 150 seconds
Day 22 - 180 seconds
Day 23 - 180 seconds
Wednesday, November 06, 2013
It has been a strange week or so. I have been spending less time on line due to a need to focus more on other aspects of my life. I am still seeking that elusive critter called balance! I was actually having a great week, I thought, with my exercise and nutrition, but the scale today is only down a half pound. Down is good, I know, but I expected more!
I had a great workout with my trainer on Monday. I was huffing and puffing and grunting and sweating the whole time and then smiling when it was over. Mountain climbers? Seriously? Another exercise I have not done since 1979 and I did it! 30 of 'em! I also rode a few miles on the bike to warm up before the workout and did my daily plank for a plank challenge I am doing. During my workout, the son of one of my patients came into the gym. The next morning, his mother said she was worried about how hard my trainer was pushing me and did I check with a doctor before starting that? I guess I DID have a good workout if her son characterized it that way to her!
I had a terrific NSV yesterday. I went back to the fitness club to do my cardio ( A 10-mile bike ride) after work and found that I had been chosen as the "Monthly Star." Each month, the staff chooses a member who has really been motivated and working hard, and they honor them as the star of the month. I always find the stories motivating and look at the board often. For November, the star is me! This is now very motivating for me to stay focused all month because my name & picture and story is up for everyone to see when they come in the door-- so I can't slack off this month!
I must say I am disappointed in my weight loss this week. I'm glad I didn't gain and that the scale did go down, but I felt like I should have lost more than 1/2 pound! After looking over my week, I think I did good in activity and calories, and it was not likely water retention because I watched my salt. Although it could be my muscles holding onto some fluid after a couple hard ST workouts, I sort of doubt it. The thing I did that seems to be the culprit was that I added back too many carbs. I realized I had too much cereal - grape-nuts fit and steel cut oats and bread this week. I've been allowing myself some tortillas, flatbread, pita and some Ezekiel 9 bread this week.
It seems that my body will simply not release weight when I eat fast carbs-- an amount that for most people would be considered a small amount is enough to stall my progress. I'm feeling a little dejected about that. Every time I try to get around it or doubt and try something different, the evidence keeps coming back that I need to be brutal about keeping fast carbs to a bare minimum in my diet. That is depressing to someone who used to enjoy a meal for two of a 1 pound loaf of sourdough bread and some olive oil.
I made some wallowing-in-self-pity bad food choices today but that's enough. Tomorrow, tough-love and back on strict no fast-carbs for a week to get me reset. I learned something from it, I guess. I keep telling myself it's about living healthy--which I did--and not the number on the scale, but it's about both!!
I also keep telling myself that one cannot expect to lose the equivalent of an average sized adult woman without some ups and downs, but it's still a little frustrating! Back on track! Now!
Sunday, October 27, 2013
“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” Arnold Schwarzenegger
“Success is sweet and sweeter if long delayed and gotten through many struggles and defeats.” Amos Bronson Alcott
“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” Frederick Douglas
“Life has meaning only in the struggle. Triumph or defeat is in the hands of the Gods. So let us celebrate the struggle!” Swami Sivananda
I like these quotes. They remind me so much of what we are all doing here, and the fact that there is not a nice easy paved road to success. Each of us has to find our own way and blaze our own path to whatever we have defined as success.
Lately, I have been reading a number of posts from fellow Sparkers who have been identified as "motivators" and have a big following of folks who look to them for inspiration. These folks have been faltering --like we all do --on the path and they have had to really suck it up and publicly acknowledge their struggles. It seems as if they feel they are letting others down when they do this and the posts have such a tortured confessional feel to them. They feel that there is value in sharing their victories but seem ashamed to share their struggles. There seems to be an expectation that victories are public but struggles are private until a victory can be claimed. It breaks my heart a little to see that their goal of helping others has added to their burden and become something they use to beat themselves up with when they falter.
I want to say this to them: Your struggle inspires me. Yes, it is true that your success does also, but honestly, not nearly as much as your struggle. It is your struggle that makes me feel a kinship with you. Your struggle is what makes me cheer for you. Your struggle is what makes me appreciate my own. As Swami Sivananda syas, let us celebrate the struggle! Our struggles connect us.
Never be ashamed or disappointed in yourself when you are honestly talking about your struggle with us. We know it is not easy and if you never faltered, we would not feel as connected to you! Although we do look to you for inspiration and motivation, it is because we know we are all climbing the same mountain. The fact is, we want the opportunity to lend you a hand sometimes also.
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