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Monday, December 3, 2012

I'M FIXING THIS.

Every time I start looking for other people to blame, I should take it as a sign that I'm straying from the Road.  (I used to call it the Road to Well but I realized that put too much emphasis on the destination.)

It seems like as long as I'm taking care of my body and mind, my spirit takes care of itself and I effortlessly sprinkle light and love on the heads of those around me.  When I lose momentum and start letting things go, I forget to look internally for answers.  I get to feeling like a victim.  Poor me.  I'm so tired of having allergies.  I'm so tired of having asthma.  I'm so tired of never having anytime for myself.  God my ego is such a whiny lazy brat.

I know better.  I KNOW BETTER!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Presence.

So when I come here to write, I have this need to make it worth reading.  It's one of those ways of thinking that can be so destructive to progress: refusing to do something unless you can do it exactly how you want and know the outcome will be exactly what you want it to be.  Because honestly how often does anything meet my expectations?  I don't know.  I'm learning all about the suckiness of expectations.  And here I am right now, a click away from deleting this draft altogether, and who knows how many months will go by before I open up another blank new entry screen and start typing.

No.  This time, I will finish and I will post.

So that's one of the things I want to talk about, I guess.  Being committed to changing small behaviors.  I've been telling myself I wanted to write a new blog entry for surely months now.  I tell myself every week all the things I need to do, to change, to work toward a better and healthier me.  But these moments, the ones where I actually decide to execute a different behavior, that's where the gold is.  And like gold, these moments are precious and rare.  And in the beginning (and aren't we all always at the beginning?), these moments are crucial.  And they are something to be proud of, something to celebrate!  Every time I decide not to stuff my face with some disgusting corn syrup laden piece of something that Americans call chocolate, every time I opt for a ripe juicy orange or a shiny red apple instead, that is something to be mindful of, to relish, to celebrate.  I should let my mind resonate on these moments.  I deserve to savor the feeling.

Mindfulness is something I think about a lot (which I guess is kinda ironic, ain't it?).  I've always known I'm a real glosser, meaning I'm not the most aware person who ever lived.  I often miss details of what's going on around me or being communicated to me unless they are of interest to me for a specific reason.  Cecil has taught me a lot about why it's important to be mindful, but I've just been the other way for 30 years so it's taking time to change.  I didn't always understand why it should be so important to me to become mindful, but I realize that nothing worth doing is going to get done right without mindfulness.

I think being mindful is incredibly important to being physically and mentally fit.  When I'm stuffing my face with junk food, I'm not being mindful.  Sometimes I'm just on autopilot, doing what I've always done to comfort myself, pass the time, get through life.  When I'm laying around in bed in the mornings when I should be getting up to get my daily exercise in before work, I'm not being mindful.  And emotionally, when I let stupid shit bother me for no good reason, I'm not being mindful.  When I get stuck on something and seem hell-bent on staying annoyed by it, I'm not being mindful.  When I tell myself week after week I will get back on the train next week, I'm sure as hell not being mindful.

I guess the thing about mindfulness is that you have to keep practicing it your whole life.  You don't just achieve it one day and then never have to worry about it again.  And it's like that with everything I'm learning.  I used to think my weight, my physical fitness, was the only devil that I couldn't defeat, the only thing that kept coming back and back and back in my life, but in reality, all devils do this.  Lessons learned must be re-learned.  Accomplishments must be re-accomplished   Goals met must be met again.  There is no getting off the hook.

So for the richest life, a life with a strong body and a peaceful mind, I must be mindful.  There just ain't no gettin' around it.  But honestly, there are much worse unavoidable things.  Being mindful means I get to enjoy every bite of a juicy strawberry.  It means I get to be tuned in to the way my muscles feel after climbing a mountain in the snow.  And then I get to gaze out from the mountain's tip and let the big sky engulf me, and no thoughts or worries will rob me of that moment.

Life is truly nothing more than a long chain of moments.  Each moment is a chance to live the right way.





Friday, July 13, 2012

I need structure.

I suck at structure but god knows I need it desperately.  I miss writing.  I think writing, even if it's just a random stream of thought in a journal or this blog, helps me stay focused.  Helps me understand my own thought processes and behavior.  And helps me refrain from glossing over all the things my dark side encourages me to gloss over.  I need to make a commitment to myself to start writing every single day.  I think I'll start with 10 minutes a day.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Ain't No Good.

I want to be someone I can be proud of.  Someone I can feel good about.  There are a lot of things about myself that I am NOT proud of, that I DON'T feel good about, and when I'm letting these kinds of thoughts fester without taking any sort of real action to combat them, these feelings start to leak into other aspects of my life, and before I know it, I'm having all kinds of poisonous thoughts that affect how I react to every little thing that happens around me and to me.  The only solution to this is to get off my ass and start fighting back again.  I will never understand why the fuck I get in slumps where I don't give a fuck and want to slack...it ain't no good, it ain't no good.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Make myself face myself

When I started Letters to My Best Friend, I felt it was because I needed to be kind to myself.  I realized in an enlightening moment of self awareness that I had self esteem problems, and that it was the root of all other problems in my life, including my health and weight.  It was very hard to face it and I didn't want to.  I have always been on the surface a joyful, proud, and confident woman.  I didn't like admitting, even to myself, that I possibly suffered from damaged self esteem.  Since I was not acknowledging it, I was participating in lines of thought and behaviors that were unkind to me and certainly not the habits of a healthy person.  I had negative feelings about myself often, and I was way too hard on myself.  I realized that I would never be cruel or unkind to someone I loved, like I was to myself, and I knew from there that I needed to shift my ways of thinking before I could really tackle anything else that needed tackling.  So, I wrote my first letter to myself, my first bluntly honest, yet kind letter, and Letters to my Best Friend was born.

Since then, I've lost about 50 pounds and many aspects of my life have vastly improved.  I learned a lot about myself and what makes me tick.  I took care of many things in my life that needed taking care of, things I'd had stagnating in the background of my life for years.  It feels good to be free of all that extra weight (both literally, and figuratively!).

The thing about staying on a path toward continuous improvement is that just when it starts to feel easy, something tends to distract me and I end up taking the scenic route for awhile (which is fine) and eventually I end up so far off the path that I can't even see the way back anymore (not fine).  This I now understand is a result of a very pesky behavior of mine I usually call "glossing".  I'm a glosser.  I gloss over all kinds of shit--small details, words people say to me, things going on in the background, fine print; you name it, I gloss it.  I've had to train myself not to do this in a professional setting, so for 40 hours a week my brain is in non-gloss mode.  (I wonder if that makes it even harder on my brain to refrain from glossage when I'm not at work?)

I realized today for the very first time that my glossing goes much deeper than I first thought.  I gloss over my own behavior.  I gloss over my own thinking.  This is dangerous territory, my friends.  Let me try to explain what I mean by all of this.  Okay, in the beginning, I had negative thoughts, and was hard on myself, and that's why I started the blog.  Then I trained myself to be kind to myself and not allow feelings of guilt or remorse or disgust to manifest every time I made a "mistake" or took a step backward.  I'm pleased with how much improvement I've made in this area.  I'm no longer hard on myself about eating a piece of chocolate or skipping a workout, because I know that feelings of regret and disappointment only serve to hurt my self esteem and put me on a spiral back into all the old bad habits.  I know now that I must move forward from each decision without carrying along bad feelings.

However, the problem now seems to be that I'm going so far as to gloss over things I do to the point that I'm telling myself, "You're doing fine," when an objective observation might tell a slightly different story.  Today, I realize that some of my behaviors and thoughts in recent weeks (months?) are adding up to what could be interpreted as me being drawn back toward old destructive habits without recognizing it.  Things like: "it's okay to eat this, you can make up for it later" but then not making up for it later.  Or eating things every day that should only be in moderation.  Or failing to give exercise the time and attention I deserve to give it.  It may be that what I am doing is going to unravel my success and move me back on my path if I don't stop and make myself face myself.  Okay, not maybe.  It IS.

So it's times like these that a blog like this is so necessary.  Today, I face myself.  I accept and see now that I have been slipping and refusing to acknowledge the gravity of it.  Today I forgive myself and feel pleased that I am able to understand now what's happening so that I might shift direction before I make things even harder.

I missed this blog.  Feels good to be home.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Return from Blog Hiatus

Hey guys.  It has been forever since I last blogged.  So, let me give you a quick summary for those who haven't seen my blog posts in so long that you've forgotten my story:

I'm 29 years old, and decided last summer that I was going to get a serious amount of weight off before my 30th birthday on June 8th of this year.  So far I have lost 43.2 pounds.  I blogged weekly up until around the end of October, when I met my current boyfriend who I'm completely crazy about.  He moved from South Carolina to be with me in December, so we live together.  It may seem a bit crazy, but we didn't want to be 6 hours apart.  Things are going very well relationship-wise.

Since we got together, I've struggled a bit with my weight loss efforts.  I haven't fallen off the wagon altogether, but I have definitely lost a bit of the focus I had going on before I met him.  At first it was because I just wanted to spend my free time with him.  We had so much to talk about, so much to do, and see, and share; I simply stopped making time for workouts and food preparation and all of the other organization that goes into a real effort to change one's lifestyle.  By the time December rolled around, I had gotten control of my diet and was back on track in terms of my calorie budget and such, but I never did get my workouts back on track.  And honestly I was never that hardcore about working out anyway, I was mostly just doing anything I felt like for cardio (dancing, hiking) for 30 minutes 4 times a week.

Now that he lives with me, I have struggled with my workouts because I don't really like doing them in front of him.  However he is very fit, and into working out and such, so he is willing to help me anyway he can.  I have finally gotten comfortable enough that I think I can handle working out with him around.  I just really struggled with giving in on that because for me, my workouts were something I owned, and I was moving at my own pace.  I didn't want him to threaten that.  But I have decided that since he loves me deeply, and since he doesn't judge me, and since he has a wealth of knowledge and guidance to offer in this department, that I should just be fucking grateful I have a free personal trainer living in my house and make the most of it.

He set up a resistant bands-thingie with handles and it hangs on the back of the closet door.  He says I can do most any type of strength training I need with that.  So he's designing a workout for me that he wants me to do every other day, and I'll do my own cardio of whatever I choose on the days I'm not working with the resistance bands.  And on Sundays I'll rest.  This seems incredibly ambitious to me...very overwhelming...but I really do want to make a big change before my birthday in June, and I've got 4 months to do it.  I have already gotten a decent amount of weight off, and I'm still losing on a regular basis, but I really need to work on my strength and endurance.  I want to be able to go hiking without getting worn out so easily.  I have asthma too so having stronger muscles will help me breathe easier.

Anyway, the workout stuff starts this week so I'm nervous and kinda grumpy about it but I know I have to do it.  I am hoping I will be more excited about it soon, lol.

Thanks for reading and sorry it took me so long to post... I really need to get back into my blogging.