Wednesday, October 10, 2012
There are a LOT of great "f" words, from fit, to fun to functional. Yet when I think about what motivates me? What could be better than the freedom I feel when I maintain those healthy habits?
In my little Webster's, among the words defining freedom (there are a lot) there is this snippet: "d) exemption or release from imprisonment e) being able to act, move, use, etc. without hindrance or restraint".
What are those layers of fat I fought my way free of but a prison? What are the unhealthy habits I work to give up but a way of restraining myself? What is being unfit but a hindrance to my freedom?
So the desire to be free, to be able to make my own decisions, and to be able to carry them out? HUGE motivating factor.
Here's to being fit so as to be free! Free to function! Free to feel! Free to have fun!
Life is good, freedom is great! Spark on!
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
Today I chose a descriptive term for motivation, at least where I myself am concerned. There are times when my motivation to "eat right" becomes an escape artist.
Elusive, says my little Websters means "1 tending to elude 2 hard to grasp or retain mentally; baffling".
Elude includes this snippet: "1 to avoid or escape from by quickness, cunning, etc.; evade"
Yep, sometimes motivation is hard to hang on to. Take yesterday. I did all the things I normally do... I took some time to myself, I got on the treadmill, I had a healthy breakfast, I drank my water... I *thought* about going outside, it was a gorgeous day.
But then something happened... I ended up anchoring myself indoors... allergy avoidance? Maybe some. Hope for IM connection with a different timezone? Perhaps some. And I ended up watching movies and... eating. Starting with a lovely veggie soup I'd made, but moving on through a whole lot of stuff. And finally ending full enough to nap away the afternoon.
So, this morning, I find myself with another e-word: emerging. Coming forth from this cave I hid in yesterday, back to work, back to normal routine. Because the healthy behavior is more normal than a lapse. And the majority of behavior rules... here's to a healthy majority!
Monday, October 08, 2012
Discernment was a word that popped into my mind as I wrote yesterday's blog. As I wrote about becoming aware of the difference between hunger and the desire to avoid unwanted emotions, it appeared: the perfect D.
My little Websters tells me that to discern is exactly that: "1 to separate (a thing) mentally from another or others; recognize as separate or different". Of course discernment is the ability to do that or the act of making that distinction.
Often I have words pop up in advance. Seldom do they "stick" all the way to the next day's blog, but this one did. Discernment is key to overcoming habitual behavior, to understanding the trigger before the action, so that a conscious decision can be made about the motivating factor.
If one doesn't have a lot of discernment, how does one cultivate it? I have to quiet the mind, to let the silence (or my higher power) speak to me... to gain insight into what's making me tick. I really need to make some quiet time every day to assess and seek guidance.
In this time I assess: Do I feel I'm being pushed by what I think others expect of me? What am I really feeling? Do the facts justify the feelings? What else can I do about the feelings?
About three years ago, I started turning off the car radio on the way to work. I began to use this time (I am alone in the car) to give myself that little self-contemplation. It is a time to assess the driving forces and lay out a plan for dealing with them... today.
Whether it's ten or fifteen minutes in a car with silence or moments at a desk with a book, you are certainly worth this level of daily maintenance. You are a valued member of the human race. To do your bit, you need to be in good form. Slowing down, starting the day (and for that matter ending the day) with assessment and nurturing discernment helps in many ways... including being able to distinguish between emotions and hunger.
And that, in turn, leads to healthier decisions, and a stronger sense of belonging and mission.
Life is good in the light! Spark on!
Sunday, October 07, 2012
Today's word is courage. My little Webster's says that courage is "1 the attitude of facing and dealing with anything recognized as dangerous, difficult, or painful, instead of withdrawing from it; quality of being fearless or brave; valor"
I'm focusing on the first clause, because as almost everyone who battles the battle of weight loss and maintenance motivation knows... while it may not always be dangerous (if done sanely) to deal with our weight issue (it SHOULD be making us healthier), it can be difficult and sometimes painful. One of the reasons some of us have carried excess weight was to avoid. Avoid emotions. Push people away.
I am not without fears, anxieties, or worries. Food has been my way to cope. It takes courage to choose NOT to avoid... to use other tools... to recognize, accept, and feel the emotions that have to be dealt with. I was so deep in denial about negative emotions that my first signal I was experiencing them was finding myself at the fridge or the candy counter or at the bottom of a carton of ice cream.
While I cannot control their appearance, I can choose what to do about those emotions. Part of the solution is having the courage to make a different choice, but first I have to be aware of the difference between hunger and avoidance of emotion... and that is not always easy to detect at first on this journey. And it is the subject of other entries, not this one.
Courage is letting go of the coping mechanism. Courage is seeing something that scares me and moving forward, anyway.
Courage is part of my event participation, too. I sign up for an obstacle course, mud run, or endurance race and while training, I still find that I dream of all the things that could go wrong... but then I do it anyway. Amazingly, having done something difficult and completing it? Makes the next difficult or scary thing a little less so, and my likelihood of following through greater.
Examine the courage with which you live your lives. It is there. Trust me. You have made decisions in your life where the ultimate outcome was uncertain. If you got married? Where was the guarantee in that? Bore a child? Yep, scary as it comes. Moved to take a job? Yeppers, that's in there too. Made a decision to see a doctor? Faced a diagnosis and had to decide on treatment options?
All of these were risks to make your life better. Letting go of the crutch of food as an emotional calmer? A risk? Yes, because then everything that might have been driving the eating must be uncovered, examined, and dealt with. Then the choice of HOW to deal with it is back in our hands.
No longer victims. Food is not the enemy. We are courageous, and that is the motivation for today!
Life is good. Spark on!
Saturday, October 06, 2012
I decided my alphabet this year would be on motivation... since that is the puzzle, continuing motivation, through the years of maintaining healthy habits.
Today's word is bond. I'm picking this particular sense of the word, from my trusty Webster's: "4 a binding agreement; covenant 5 a duty or obligation imposed by a contract, promise, etc."
I've often said one of the most empowering things I can do in a day is to keep a small promise to myself. A fulfilling of a bond, one might call that.
I think this sense of empowerment is part of the reason I "event"... I sign up for one of these things, and then I have in my mind a binding agreement to both prepare for and participate in them. While any given bond of this sort might have "escape" clauses (illness, injury), nothing much has a high enough priority to remove the obligation. My surety bond keeps me working toward them. And when I fulfill one?
Have you made a "bond" with yourself to maintain healthy habits? Is a "general obligation" bond enough? Or, if you are struggling, perhaps a smaller, special purpose one might serve better?
In any case, bind yourself to have a GREAT today! Because life is GOOD. Spark on!
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