The Professor Helps!Professor Jennifer Haston- Author, Speaker, Activist- Accomplice to the Oppressed- helping people live their best lives. Inspiring one person daily!
Roughly a year ago, I decided to buy a treadmill to take away my excuse to not workout and actually get in shape and be healthier. We already had the healthy eating thing going and were actively working on eliminating debt from our lives.
On Saturday I ran what turned out to be a 3K not a 5K but because my goal was a 5K, even though I saw the cheering fans and signs for beer and water I kept running till I got the 5K done. This sounds really inspiring and it is, but it took someone else saying it to me to get me to see it. Why is it that someone else has to say, “good job” or “Congratulations on that presentation” for us to recognize our worth?
So on Saturday, I walk/ran the 5th 5K I have done in a year. When I consider where I was this time last year, that is nothing short of amazing– a brief recap–
You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. -Zig Ziglar
The first one was January 18, 2014 – Vern’s No Frill’s 5K- I walked more than I ran but I did run for a while and hey as the guy writing times down said, “last place is asleep”
Second 5K was “The Biggest Loser 5K” and I ran it and walked it with my good buddy Susie Gidseg- my time for that was a little shorter and I felt exhausted after it was said and done but very accomplished
Third 5K was the color run which I ran walked with Jessica, Adam and their son Pierce which represents just a lot of fun, but for me, I hate being dirty or messy so I was breaking past a comfort zone on this one so it was less about exercise and more about mess but came together to represent both–
The Fourth 5K was “CASA Superhero 5K which was a huge milestone because my husband decided to do that with me for his FIRST 5K ever so I actually walked it with him and we created a Team “Haston Helping Hands” to help raise money for CASA http://www.casaforchildren.org It was very hot and probably the hardest 5K I have been until the 5th one.. which just happened-
The Fifth 5K was the “Trail of Lights Fun Run” which I don’t know how I got the notion it was a 5K but it’s not. It was a 3K which I discovered much to my chagrin as I saw the signs for the finish line when the voice in my ear said, “3K completed” “2 to go” so that was frustrating, it was at night as well which made it very hard to see, I was worried I was going to fall down at any moment and it really became the struggle to find a place to run amid strollers, walkers and gawkers! (it is Trail of Lights after all, some of that I should have expected) but I will know better for next time-
At the end of the day, my takeaways from all these are they each represent a 5K that I have completed, I intend to (deep breath) eventually run a marathon but its still pretty far off but as my life of late (baby steps, baby steps) have been celebrating the small steps that we take as we walk nay run in the journey of life. I need to make sure I stop along the way to appreciate that which I wanted to do and worked towards and not keep looking ahead to “the next thing”… very easy to get discouraged doing that so this is my attempt to avoid negativity and be positive. It’s worth noting that this time last year (I checked my social media log) I wasn’t working out consistently and now I work out 3 times a week most of the time.
I could get down on myself for not being further down the track but I am choosing to focus instead on the fact that tomorrow is Workout Day 89 and I am going to keep at it, because every baby step I complete gets me closer to Mile 26.
I come to you once again to say.. meet yourself where you are. I have said this before, but its so important I thought it bore repetition. For example, I want to give a Ted Talk by this time next year.
That is scary saying out loud and then here I go putting it in black and white but there you go.
I can hear you saying, that sounds great Jennifer and you are awesome and all but how do you plan to do it?
Great question and I am glad you asked.
1. Don’t reinvent the wheel, if someone has already done it, read about what they did and if possible get an audience with them to find out the nuts and bolts
2. Do your own research. For instance, did you know that Ted speakers do not get paid, the prestige is what you are after and of course the opportunity to go viral for all the right reasons.
3. Work backwards. Some of the best advice I have ever gotten is from a noted director who said to me, when I asked him (quite the upstart am I) “What is your best advice for directing a play?” He said plan your schedule backwards, Opening Night is August 22nd. work backwards from there.
4. Be patient and curious about what you discover along the way to your goal. You may find that your goal changes or leads you to a new goal. Case in point, Healthy living for me has led to 5K pursuit I never even thought was in my reality and now I have done three of them.
5. Get accountability partners or someone you trust to help you stay the course or work on your goal.
Sometimes that can be you… Let me explain, there is no time. Let me sum up-
You can write a letter to yourself and have it delivered in the future- It’s kind of awesome to think that the motivated you of today can help propel future you forward!
Think about it!
So my motivational photo shoot has come and gone. Sad face. It’s hard to come back to reality after such a fantastic departure from it.
So to be accountable and honest I will tell you, I haven’t weighed myself in a week to try to motivate myself. Yesterday I stepped on the scale to see where I am and I am back up to 247 which is disheartening, especially because I worked out first and yes I know you gain weight when you gain muscle but its still tough.. when I was at 241 just two weeks ago.. but that is okay, I will persevere because I realized something. The goal is better health and weight loss. Both goals are important, and the balancing of them is just as important as whatever number flashes on that scale.
I think its easy to forget that a year ago, I wasn’t working out at all but recovering from appendix surgery ( I could barely walk ) and was in an incredible amount of pain. So a year later, not only am I consistently working out (every other day) and eating healthy, I am continuing to find ways to enhance our life including but not limited to not feeling guilty when we do eat ice cream and other assorted yummy goodness. I am giving up the guilt and I have my husband to thank for it. 80% of the time we eat healthy and abide by paleo.
The other 20% are just going to exist and I am excising the guilt. Thank you Jeremy, I appreciate the balance you bring to our lives daily but especially in this matter.
What could you stand to let go? Think about it!
I am going to make this short and sweet since I am on a break at work but guess what!!! ITS CHEAT DAY for my diet.
I was questioning myself and wondering if it was a good idea or “okay” to be THIS excited about processed foods including chocolate and cheese consumption that I am going to do today and realized yes, it is! There is balance in everything. For six days, including Halloween, Renaissance Festival, and a pancake breakfast, I have adhered to the paleo way and its been difficult, but not impossible because we have the balance of a long-awaited cheat day.
I think that the build-up to that of cheating every other day helped me stay true but really, after you make the decision you are working towards a goal, (the aforementioned 50 pounds lost and resulting photo shoot) the discipline required starts to show up in other things too. I am walking in my second 5K in exactly 9 days and this forces me to incorporate exercise in my routine as well as stay true to our paleo way. What are you working towards? What habits and discipline have you found along the way?
What do you do well? What energizes you about your work? This video takes a look at what can make your day better your interaction with customers better and what can overall make your life better and by extension give you better work/life balance. We can all do better jobs of being good people. What can you do today to make work/life better? Think about it!