Sunday, February 14, 2010
I rewarded myself yesterday with a premium ticket to see "The World Famous Lipizzaner Stallion Show". It was wonderful, and I am musing over the show as motivation to continue my own efforts at training.
What athletes these horses are! What patience their trainers have to train them in the gentle way they do, in the great tradition of dressage and the Spanish Riding School. Although this is an American show, they use the same principles of training that have been used for centuries by that great institution. And of course, the same breed stock.
I'm a great fan of "being there" whether it is standing in the Sistine Chapel looking up at Michaelangelo's "Creation of Man", in Florence gazing on his statue of David, riding a jet boat up the snake river through Hell's Canyon, walking up Scott's Bluff, attending a major league baseball game, or, in this case, seeing a live horse performing "airs above the ground". It lifts the heart, more than a photograph or a movie can do.
I think these things help me feel present and alive on the planet. Obviously they are not something that I do every day, or all the time. They are the jewels scattered throughout a lifetime, making memories to look back on, or dreams to look forward to.
When putting together a plan for fitness and healthy habits... having things like this to look forward to makes a difference.
As for the training of the athletes themselves... none of these horses do anything that was not a natural move they performed in play as colts. The same is true of us... being fit and healthy is what we were born to be, but it takes training to bring out our best performance on cue. It takes patience, and gentle persuasion... rewards and correction... you cannot punish excellence into being. But you can coax and encourage it.
May we remember this as we encourage excellence in ourselves!
Saturday, February 13, 2010
I'm sitting watching a myriad of emotions wash over me. Coffee mug by my side, TV show on netflix on another window. I put the TV show on pause, to deal with emotions that are flitting around and competing for top position in the brain.
* Valentine's Day (and being "alone")
* My ex (and of course why he's my ex)
* My son (deployed, and whether I'll even get an IM from him this weekend - can we say impending self-pity?)
* Work (and the big stress-inducing project just getting under way... a huge source of past relapses, by the way. Can we spell f-e-a-r?)
* Reflections on recent and past successes in establishing healthy habits (and how I really feel about that)
* Pride in what I see in the mirror this morning (imagine a look at a full-length image and the words "d*mn I look good!" flitting through the consciousness)
* Fear that like all past efforts this will unravel under the pressures of life
* A touch of loneliness
* A touch of defensiveness
So, on to the pep talk, to address these things:
Barb, you've got to keep it green, and re-motivate, here. A lot of times you used to eat large volumes of food to stop feeling these feelings. Now they are here in force!
Let's review strategies that have worked in the past.
* Distraction (the horse show this afternoon might be a good one of that nature, so take full advantage of that, but prepare to deal with the aftermath... when the distraction ends)
* Reasoning (hey, I'm doing that now). I've learned from every past "failure". I'm learning more now. This time, I can do even better. Just because something has always been does NOT mean it will always be!
* Planning, accepting that these emotions are OK, that I will feel them, but that they do not necessarily require action, just acknowledgment.
* Experiencing and enhancing the emotions: if there's sadness, watch a sad movie and let the tears flow. It's OK. That's a bit of transference, and if it works, go for it.
* Giving myself permission to fail. Seriously... if you never failed, you never tried.
* Giving myself permission to succeed! Yes, it IS OK to be the best me I can be, even if it is "not perfect", and even if my life seems consequently "better" on some scale than that of others I care about. There will always be differences... comparison to others is fatal to living your own life!
This last is a very important point for me. I have spent a good deal of my life trying to avoid having people envy me... wanting everyone to like me. I think part of keeping weight on, or relapsing is a "don't envy me" message I try to put out there. It is OK to succeed. It is OK to be pleased with a healthy body. It is OK... I am OK.
There, I think I'm done. And I DO feel better. Here's to staying strong, my friends!
Thursday, February 11, 2010
You guys are amazing, you know that?
To continue this morning's story, I made it past the chocolate again today, mainly due to having posted that blog entry this morning. Tonight I came home to a whole collection of wonderful tips from my Spark Friends... sharing their own experience, strength and hope about one of my weaknesses.
Anyway, today I was in meetings all day, and at a couple of stressful points in the day, I made certain that I went down to walk my loops in the basement. At noon I went outside, across the street, and bought myself my latest reward for working my program: a ticket to see www.lipizzaner.com/lipizzaner_frames
et.asp . Cheaper than a massage, and something I've wanted to do my whole life and never got around to.
This is my valentine to myself. And suddenly, I don't need chocolate quite so much.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Seriously humorous - somebody in their infinite wisdom decided that having food in the receptionist area was causing too much "socializing" at the front desk... and it's been banished. Unfortunately, where they banished the candy jar to... is within a very few steps of where I sit. And... it's full of Dove dark chocolate.
Now over the months and years, I have trained myself to walk right past the reception area, knowing that the food that gets put up there is just "not for me". Yesterday, I found my feet automatically veering toward that jar every time I walked by. (No, I did not dip into it). It was like a magnet of some sort! It took a mental battle to choose not to take a piece, each time.
Later in the day, a few of us took a walk in the chilly sunshine (sun sure looks great, by the way... felt like a bear coming out of hibernation)... and ended up at a drug store with aisles and aisles of Valentine's Day candy. In fact, my compatriots were there purchasing same for their kids. I had to physically leave the aisle to keep myself from the stuff.
Going to have to come up with a plan... will I plan a small treat to make myself not feel deprived? That might work. I'm better with a plan than without one... but somehow, "what was I thinking?"... was I thinking I was just going to breeze by one of the major chocolate days of the U.S. Calendar without being tempted?
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
It isn't that I've never done self-pep talks before, but this week I'm trying to be conscientious and conscious of when I do. Today's little pep talk took place while I walked laps in the basement of the office building where I work. I do this during "bad" weather, when going outside to walk on break is not a pleasant option.
This morning's pep talk was about the upcoming work challenges and maintaining healthy habits when I enter a period of time where I will be sorely tempted to overwork. One of the first things that happens when I fixate on a big work project is that I try to throw myself, personally, at it, and make it all come together by sacrificing my personal time and life.
This has made me successful in my career, but it's not the way I want to live the rest of my life. So, my self-talk is directed at "my mind gets sharper when I take an exercise break", "if I drain my health by over-working, that won't do the project any good", "it's important to delegate", and of course, the every popular, "You can do it... you CAN let go".
If I can let go of the food, I can let go of feeling I must personally do EVERYTHING at work.
You see, Sparking is about so much more than nutrition and exercise. It is about becoming our best selves. Our best selves are not self-destructive!
Get An Email Alert Each Time ONEKIDSMOM Posts