Tuesday, April 17, 2012
For those of you (and me) in the world who feel like it's OK for everybody "except me" to need help now and then, this blog's for you!
Who appointed you as having to be more than human? Seriously, mental kindness has to include giving oneself a break now and then to holler "help" and go seek it.
Whether that help is a phone a friend (remember who wants tobe a millionaire?), a poll the audience ("hey Spark buds, whaddaya think?"), or a 50-50 (THAT one is a bad answer!)... help sometimes gets us through a rough patch, even if we go right back to independence.
The secret to long term success is recognizing that the journey never ends. It isn't really about numbers on a scale. It's about living life, fully, feeling good. Things come up. They do! Families, work, injuries, illness, loss... celebrations and sorrows alike can throw you for a loop.
After a very bad week last week, I happened across two appointments last Saturday that I had made weeks ago. Part of me didn't want to go. But I went. And I came out with help, and renewed purpose.
The first help resulted in my coming out with a pre-planned week of food. I don't have to think about it this week. I look at the paper, pull the stuff, pack the lunch and snacks, and live my day. When I get home, look at the paper again, fix what it says for supper, have the evening snack it says... and I'm done.
In my mind it is kind of like a Spa... where meals are provided. OK, not quite, I still do some prep work... but I don't have to think about it.
The second help was the personal trainer, who worked my *** off, and I'm still feeling it on Tuesday, folks. What the help there was kick-starting the motivation. I love being able to do what she asked of me.
Anyway, these two things got me thinking about "help" and how sometimes I think I don't need it, that I don't want it, and it's not worth it. I can get really stubborn about that... then when I slip up, get really upset with me, and it spirals. That's hardly kind.
But getting the help? Deciding it's not only OK, but worth the investment? Priceless!
Be kind to yourself today. Life is good. Spark on!
Monday, April 16, 2012
There are so many starting points to being kind to oneself. However, I'm going to start with one that folks might have vocabulary troubles with of their own (as I do with the "mental toughness" vocabulary).
"If I'm kind to myself, isn't that just another way of giving myself permission to behave however I want?"
Well, no, it's not. I think of mental kindness as mothering my inner child. Good mothers do not let their children run wild. When the child begins to misbehave, the good mother does a little diagnostic work, right?
She determines what's been different about the child's day/week/surroundings and then comes up with a plan that works... FOR THAT CHILD. Because every child is different. The plan *could* be a swat on the bottom and off to a time-out corner or "go to your room and think about it". It could be a mutual distraction: "Go outside and play until dinenr time!" It could be a hug and a shoulder to cry on. A listening ear. And sometimes it's a cookie and a glass of milk!
Yes, there is even a place in the life of a child for the occasional treat. But the treat should not become a substitute for the love and careful consideration of what the real need is. The plan doesn't always work, every time, it's something of a trial and error figuring out what works with any given child. So we might change plans the next time.
But if we skip that step of assessment of the real need, and doing something about it, the temptation is to try to "fix" things with food, which is "easy"! Mental kindness is being a good parent to yourself.
Sometimes that good parent is one of Dad's little talks about the way life is... and you can equate that to some of the Mental Toughness lessons. Especially the hard ones: people are watching you, things are expected of you because of XYZ, you are a role model, people are attracted to or make judgements about you based on your size and fitness and appearance. Hard lessons, but true, nonetheless.
And sometimes that good parent is one of Mom's hugs and the reminder that YOU are special, and precious, have value and are worth taking care of... and she's there for you! Sometimes followed by the practical suggestion of something that might help... and sometimes leaving it for the child to figure out what will work that *isn't* the whole bag of cookies!
So... are you being mentally kind to yourself?
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Video response to Steve Siebold's Mental Toughness coaching sessions from fatloser.com. And I actually say some NICE things about it.
edited to add:
If you don't want to hit the play button, it's OK... this is the first time I posted a video blog and it's about five minutes long. If I do any in future, I'll probably try to make them shorter!
Saturday, April 14, 2012
So, the motivational slump? Ends in facing the music, right? Went to see my dietary consultant this morning, and fessed up to my bad behavior with food. I know darn well I feel better when I eat better, so I have a one-week plan to start addressing THAT area.
Then I went off to keep my last appointment with the personal trainer (my birthday present to myself last November was a six-pack of PT sessions). It was a good workout, and with machines I *don't* have available at home.
She's moving! Of all things! So this really is my last chance workout with her. She gave me a reference to another gal who is currently on maternity leave but coming back in June, so if I decide I want to continue periodic sessions, I can do that.
DAY 21 QUESTIONS / ACTION STEPS
1. On a scale of 1-7, 7 being best, how strong is your sense of urgency for getting fit?
This week, about a 3. Trying to get it up a bit. I started out this course fit. I ran a ten mile race the first week. Motivation/urgency has been unraveling the entire series of video, as I find myself emotionally "talking back".
2. What will be the next big goal you will pursue once you get fit?
Why wait? My goal is to achieve balance in my life.
3. What one big dream would you attempt if you knew you couldn't fail, now that you're thinking bigger than ever?
I already had this dream before I started, and I am on track to complete it: a triathlon, Sprint distance, this Summer.
To be honest, I'm glad to be done with this series. A lot of stuff has been swirling around emotionally, and the "Mental toughness" coaching is all about stopping from being emotional. Well, I got news. I am an emotional creature. I have to learn to deal with my emotions, not deny that they exist.
Granted, coach Siebold says one should "motivate with emotion" and "act/decide based on rational thought". But he really doesn't have much to say about dealing with and accepting emotions, so he kind of strikes me as being a "guy motivator", and I did not respond well to his style. Although, in the end, I agree with his conclusions... I have to find different ways to motivate ME.
Friday, April 13, 2012
Perfect day to "get over it", don't you think?
It's Friday. Whether you (I) had a bad week or a good one, it's the perfect day to make into a great one.
Yes, I have continued in my rebellion mode. Still talking back to the guy. Still misbehaving but taking baby steps to make it better. The allergies have been running rampant this week, which leads me back into making excuses, feeling sorry for myself, and continuing the "bad" habits. That said, here are the last 3 days of homework questions. Then I'm off to work!
DAY 18 QUESTIONS / ACTION STEPS
1. What has been the "cause" of your fatness in the past?
Not valuing myself and my health.
2. How have you confused cause and effect in other areas of your life?
Haven't thought about it much. Kind of drift along accepting things that are.
3. After you reach your natural weight and get fit, what will be your next major goal?
Don't know as I have one. I'm pretty content.
Thinking too much about THESE questions kind of undermines my "oomph"... this guy preaches success on many levels, and I'm not sure I want to buy into that whole philosophy.
DAY 19 QUESTIONS / ACTION STEPS
1. What are your five strongest beliefs about dieting?
1. I feel better when I eat right, it has nothing to do with trying to lose or gain weight.
2. Nothing is forbidden, but some things once started are hard to stop with, so it's better not to stock them in the house.
3. There is nothing magic about diet... it is simply "what you eat."
2. What are your five strongest beliefs about exercise?
1. If I stop, I have trouble starting again.
2. A little bit is better than none at all.
3. Ten minutes of activity in the midst of a sedentary job contributes to mental, emotional and social health!
3. Have these beliefs contributed to your being fat?
No, these are the ones that are contributing to becoming less so.
I didn't manage to come up with "five"... and that's OK by me. These will do it.
DAY 20 QUESTIONS / ACTION STEPS
1. Have you hit a plateau yet? If so, how did you make it through?
Yes. I've even had some regains... but I'm not just counting this 20 days, but the whole losing process. I got through it with patience. In some cases I overate for a while before re-establishing healthy habits. It may not be what you recommend, but it worked for me to "keep it green."
2. List the three stages of success for future reference.
The excitement stage.
The season of pain.
The knowing stage.
3. List the three best strategies you've learned or used during the season of pain.
Personal pep-talks, blogging.
Doing the healthy habitual behavior anyway.
Once in a while slipping, forgiving myself, and getting back on the horse again.
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