Thursday, October 14, 2010
I've always wanted to say that, flippantly to some guy, like in the movies.
But seriously, while on the topic of the sleep challenge, there is the natural segue into the world of dreams. Dreams can be crazy... all the events of your day, your anxieties, general thoughts... come out in images while you sleep. Sometimes I remember them and wake up with them. Sometimes they make me laugh. Sometimes they give me insight into what's bugging me.
Well, this morning I woke from a dream that involved a Wedding, a messy house that I was frantically trying to tidy up while... hiding from those relatives I mentioned a couple of blogs back! Oh, what dreams do tell!
Speaking of those relatives... every family dynamic is its own thing. Kaligirl identified with my thin well-to-do relatives (if you only consider that as the description, which is about all I gave). That brought to mind a class I took a few years back.
It was work thing, really about workplace relationships, but there was a thought-exercise that was very worthwhile: in it we were asked to think about people who made us feel "less than". What did they do to "make" us feel that way? (Focus on the actions.)
Then turn it around: had WE ever done any of those things to someone else?
Well, you wouldn't be honest if you said "NEVER". Some pretty small actions can be taken ill at any given moment... we're talking emotional response. I didn't say you ever MEANT to make them feel "less than", just that you have DONE some of the things that irritated you when someone else did them.
Yep, the point of the exercise is that even the "nicest" of us can be a jerk to someone at some point! So cut one another some slack.
Anyhow, all of this is helping to strengthen me for the weekend ahead. To relax, let "those relatives" be human. Allow myself to be human, too, and not so defensive. My life is my life. Their lives are theirs. I don't choose who I'm related to... but I also don't have to have their approval or understanding to be who I am and to be content to be so!
Inside my skull? My responsibility. Outside? I have no control... it is what it is. I'm working on the inside now!
May you all have a peaceful day, content to be the best YOU that you can be... just for today.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
I may have mentioned I started the better sleep challenge, following in the footsteps of WalkingAnnie and Slenderella61.
I started my sleep journal and found some variations in my sleep patterns, but not a whole lot. I do go to bed on time. I fall asleep pretty easily, most of the time. I wake up during the night for a couple of reasons: bathroom, and canine. When I do, MOST of the time, I fall back asleep easily. On occasion mind-spinning keeps me awake, when I'm concerned about something going on in my life.
This week I started looking at the tips. I already do several of them: I have my bedtime routine. I try to adhere to a regular schedule (my sleep gets really messed up when I stay up too late!)
I'm on the hook to have a plan by end of the week - two things to incorporate. I picked these:
"Take control of your worries" - in fact, since moving my Couch to 5K run to evening... the stretch and shower leading up to bedtime are great worry-reducers.
"Know when and how to nap" - and, I started using this one over the weekend. The 20-minute power nap is a cool tool.
I already feel pretty good about my exercise and nutrition habits related to time of day and sleep. Which leaves the fourth element: reflect.
My reflections indicate that pretty much, at this point, I'm complacent about my sleep: except when I'm not. Right now, after a good night's sleep, I'm feeling pretty complacent. When I do something like the pinochle night with the neighbors and mess up my sleep for the whole next day, not so much!
So, my big picture plan is to simply stick to my routine, and cut myself a break when things don't go as I'd like: for example that Wedding trip, when I'll have to adjust to having other people along for the ride, and may not have as much control over my schedule.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Now I've blogged my ABC's. Someone else can take up the theme and blog their own alphabet... or not.
But that leaves me with a feeling of a finish line... which is one of my danger signals.
This weekend and next weekend, the furnace / hot water heater, some work issues... too much peopling, the changing season... and lots of externals leading to the temptation to compare my life with the lives of others. Another of my danger signals.
In my head was the usual replay of things said, not said, social mistakes made on Sunday. I don't know WHY I do this to myself, but I should be prepared for the fact that I DO do this to myself. Then a succession of service people came trooping through my house. The bug spray guy complimented my house, the kind of social thing that people do (I do it myself): "You have a nice place here". And the plumbers did, too. And what does the dark side of my brain do with that?
Get this: the same thing the dark side of my brain does with compliments about my weight loss! Response, "I don't keep it up like I should!" Can you believe it? And this leads to the internal thought (NEVER said out loud, of course): "I don't deserve to live in a place like this, I don't take care of it."
And then my brain goes to the people I'm going to be seeing next weekend. Yes, THAT side of the family. You know the ones? Oh, you DON'T have people like that in YOUR family? These are the ones who have always been thin... who don't "get" that you struggle, even when you ARE physically thin? The ones that have money, and don't "get" that you have to budget carefully? The ones that talk / seem to brag about what's going on in their life. The ones you sit on the knife edge between envying and loving to hate, even though they are family and you know you "should" love them?
If you have healthy boundaries, you separate yourself from people in a healthy way: they are them, I am me, we each have our own lives and challenges... they are just choosing to talk about the positives, not the negatives! And that's OK, I don't have to be the star!
But what does the dark side of the brain do with people like this? The dark side of the brain wants to compare and compete. In this competition, there are two choices - to enter the lists, or avoid the joust. In entering the list, you end up in a "can you top this" thing, and end up doing things that socially you hate yourself for later (i.e. bragging, talking too much). In avoidance, you reject the good and the bad both, tell yourself you don't care and then overindulge (usually in private, before or after). All or nothing thinking, right?
I can't win with that kind of thinking, so it behooves me to start working at strengthening my boundaries NOW! Of course all of this is in retrospect. In the Monday that really happened, I allowed myself to be totally set up for overindulgence. It was like watching myself in slow motion as the pressures built over the day... and I succumbed. Confession good for the soul? I went after the leftover lasagna. And other things as well.
The good news: I tracked it all.
The better news: I've taken time to think about it and plan for the weekend ahead, seeing this as my "sign".
The best news: I am learning to accept even this "spinning" as a part of my personality... just something I have to adapt to - like a disability that puts a person in a wheel chair or requires a screen reader! I can see it. I can write about it... and I can make changes in my thinking. I don't have to stay stuck there. And I don't have to keep eating over it. Even if I started. My stay in the land of health is not over because of this one day.
And if you managed to read all the way through this self-indulgent rant... bless you, you probably identified on some level. We CAN overcome these things... one decision at a time. One day at a time. And this is a new day.
Monday, October 11, 2010
What, no foreign words allowed? But Zeitgeist is in my Webster's! It denotes the spirit of the age; trend of thought and feeling in a period.
Perhaps it is overreaching to use it in personal terms. Zeitgeist is huge... usually thinking in terms of the spirit of a century, an era, or a decade.
I've mentioned how my way of looking at my journey and motivation has changed over the decades of my life. That's the sense in which I am thinking of my Z word today... how attitudes and focus change over time, and there are periods in time as well as periods in our personal lives when certain things take focus.
So, question for all of you: what is the spirit of your time, meaning right now? Is it reaching for your goals? Is it defining them? Is it maintaining gains you've worked hard to achieve? Is it basking in gratitude for a life well lived?
As I leave the alphabet blogs behind... and contemplate "what's next" in terms of writing assignments... the spirit of my time is expressed in brief phrases "this time is for keeps", "I think I want to stay here"... and "this really IS the new me". The spirit is to recruit new folks to the neighborhood of health and fitness... not by force, but by example. "It isn't always easy... but it's SOOOO worth it!"
Sunday, October 10, 2010
MY will to the demands of my body?
my feelings of rebellion to not just obedience but joyful acceptance of my real needs?
What a concept! Now that is the intransitive verb use of "yield"... giving in to pressure. And believe me, when you start listening to it, a healthy body can exert a lot of pressure: it wants healthy food NOW when it's hungry. And it wants to MOVE a certain amount each day. Granted, most of the time, we want our mind to govern what we do... but sometimes it's important to yield to the needs of the body, because that body needs to be healthy to support that wonderful mind!
But then, there is the another meaning of yield (you know there always is). In this case, I am thinking of the transitive verb. Webster puts it this way:
1 to produce; specif., a) to give or furnish as a natural process or as the result of cultivation [an orchard that yielded a good crop] b) to give in return; produce as a result, profit, etc. [an investment that yielded high profits]
Yes, good old 1b! What is your investment in SP yielding for you? Are you profiting from your time here? I am! The yield for me of participating in SP is confidence, and motivation to keep going. The yield of my nutrition and exercise program is a healthier body... my doctor smiled a LOT at my annual physical. (Notice I'm now using it as a noun?)
Hopefully, my blogging my way through the alphabet will yield a greater understanding of what's going on!
May each of us yield to healthy impulses today, take care of body, soul, and spirit today... and yield blessings in the process! One day at a time.
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