Friday, January 29, 2010
What's going on in my psyche? No, I haven't fallen off the program. But I'm having this odd emotional crossroads. It happens about this point in the process for me. I'm only about 4 pounds away from my "new" goal, five pounds under the original. I'll probably reach that goal by the end of February, as long as I don't stop doing what I've been doing.
But there is this sense of "is that all there is?" that kicks in about now for me. I know I need to have new goals. I even wrote some of them down at the beginning of the year, and went through the motions of evaluating them against what I said my beliefs and values are... and still am having this emotion. "Is that all there is?"
For me, losing pounds and driving for a goal that's recognizable, getting applause, or virtual applause of watching a ticker tick towards the goal... is relatively easy. OK, not sit on the couch and eat ice cream easy, but root for your team, go out there and play easy. It's a project. I do well with projects.
But when the project appears to be "finished"... I lose interest. It's time to find another project. I've tried putting out things like an athletic event to train for as my next project, but I've kind of "been there done that". I have put nice rewards up for myself in 2010... and I am doing some of them.
Clearly, losing weight is not a silver bullet. It doesn't solve LIFE. I'm envious of people who have a mission in life. A clear, identified mission. I feel like I lack that. I love my work, enjoy being with the people there, but you don't work 24 x 7.
At the same time, work takes about all the energy I've got beyond just taking care of me. When people start suggesting "do more for others", it sounds like just more work to me. And when I start trying, it turns into a second career, without quitting the first. I stop taking care of me, and the whole cycle of regain / have to do it again begins. Somewhere there HAS to be a fulfilling balance.
What do I want out of LIFE? Who am I, and how can I really be the best ME, when I don't even know who that is, beyond what I do, day to day?
I have not started the 28 day program in the book because at this point, it feels like too much. Yes, those three little "fast start" goals feel like too much... time pressure to do something in the next 28 days. It smacks of things that have led me back to downward spirals in the past.
So, yeah, this is a whine and work it out post. My plan: be a little kind and gentle with myself. No program is one size fits all. Spark People is flexible in that regard... I just have to get a grip on my "I want to be a super star" thing. I am who I am, I have my limits, and THAT'S OK!
Thursday, January 28, 2010
OK, this one I am going to have to either argue with or grow into.
This was the first chapter I felt like talking back to. I mean, seriously talking back to. Yes, for many people, just being a positive influence in someone's life is a huge motivator. Chris has a painfully shy childhood, but I'm convinced he was an extrovert yearning to be let out.
I am no extrovert. I am an introvert with a job that requires a certain degree of courage and mimicking of extroversion! I'm close enough to the dividing line that I can pull this off. But I need some serious alone time to recover. If I add "volunteering" and "community service" on top of the peopling I already do to earn my living, I'm in deep doo-doo.
Building Block: COACHING
Despite my statement above, I do engage in a certain amount of coaching and encouraging. People nowadays come up to me and ask. And I share. I encourage here on SparkPeople, on a community on Live Journal, and in person in the work place and among my family. This helps keep me motivated... BUT...
I have to be careful of my own character flaw of wanting to do it FOR someone else, feeling responsible for "fixing" others. As with oxygen masks on airplanes, I have to be careful to put my own recovery first. If I don't, what kind of role model could I possibly be?
Building Block: PUBLIC LEADERSHIP
Toddler Barbie is sitting on the floor screaming "I don't wanna" and scuffing up her little patent leather shoes. Teen-aged Barbie is abdicating her throne as empress of the sim-soc country in her 8th grade class. I have never wanted to be a leader... because I'm too selfish... people (especially 8th graders) don't appreciate their "leaders". I wanted everybody to like me, and not everybody likes "leaders".
Flash forward... but it's what I do for a living. I have a team of people who I depend on and who depend on me. I think I'm reluctant to overload myself with the vocabulary of "leadership" more than the actuality of working as a leader of a team. I prefer to think of myself as a peer, although I've come to accept the title and responsibility.
Interestingly enough, as I have worked on my own fitness, so have others on the work team. We may have used alternate "plans", but we encourage one another. They know I'm on Spark People. They are aware (because of my yellow post-it) of my 32 day streak without soda. And three of the five of us take walking breaks, sometimes turning the walk into a work meeting, sometimes just social.
Building Block: COMMUNITY SERVICE
Sorry, gotta wait 'til I retire for this one. Maybe. I have my hands full with my life and work.
So, the important lesson for me, in this chapter is patience... don't expect too much of me too fast. Someday I may get there. Right now... well, what's the old phrase? Two out of three isn't bad?
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
I think this chapter was written for me. You see, my biggest hurdle, looking back over the years, has been retaining my motivation. I battle to success, then something happens and I no longer see myself as worth the effort... an injury breaks training, and I have trouble coming back for it... overwork leads me to drop exercise... stress gets swallowed up in overeating... and I find myself back at the beginning of the journey. Or close to it.
Building Block: Personal Leadership
Over the years this has grown. By the one step back, two steps forward method. Now, in my 50's, I feel more in control of my destiny, and less afraid. What may be surprising is that each time I have gone through the exercise of getting fitter I have discovered something about the fit me that I like. I may have slipped backwards, given up for weeks, months, even years on end, but never completely... motivation always returned eventually, if I was patient.
Building Block: Consistency and Momentum
During each of my successful periods, this has been the wind beneath my wings. Only when something relatively big got in the way did I lose my focus. Big? Yeah, injury that I'd have trouble coming back from. Job changes adding to stress, subtracting from time. Marriage falling apart... now wait, that was the beginning of a successful program. I did not deal well with the sea changes of life, in general, though.
But each time, I have got a little better at dealing with my own flaws... accepting my humanity makes the lapses shorter, and the restart quicker.
Building Block: Motivation
The older I get the closer the connection between good nutrition and activity and my health becomes. What do I want the quality of my life to be like for the rest of my life? It's an old fashioned concept, perhaps, but I don't want to be a burden on my son and his wife. I don't want them to worry about my health and independence... Oh, I've said that before, haven't I?
But it never hurts to remind ourselves of what motivates us! Why am I going to all this effort? Sure my health, but why do I care about my health? Because my health supports everything I do... from the good I do at work to the good I can do for my family to any good I can do to give back to my community and the world.
Health is more than physical... it's mental and emotional, too. And that's where the fun comes in. Can never let the fun go out of the motivation picture!
What sets your motivation on fire?
Sunday, January 24, 2010
My kid sis snapped the photo, the fuzzy old lady in the foreground is yours truly, rewarding herself with a fun activity.
This was one of the things I was going to do in 2010 - find the ice skates and use them!
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