I was casting about for some pithy way to start this post and hit upon this quote
“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”
― Frank Herbert
I have several friends who are moving into the next phase of their life – going to graduate school, getting married, adopting kids, fostering kids and having kids and changing their career to name but a few.
These are all exciting things to happen but do not come without a level of stress- I learned in college all about “eustress” which is defined here-
Eustress is a term coined by endocrinologist Hans Selye. The wordeustress consists of two parts. The prefix eu- derives from the Greek word meaning either “well” or “good.” When attached to the word stress, it literally means “good stress” I don’t know about you but I don’t generally think of stress as associated with good things but isn’t that the ultimate in reframing a situation? I am a big fan of that phrase and practice because let’s face it there are lots of situations in life that are not as we wish them to be, so in reframing you can paint it with the brush you like instead of the brush you have. For instance, I can look at today like, man I am tired and don’t want to go work out today, or as my good friend Jessica says, I have the “opportunity” to be tired because I am busy living a life I love and I have the “opportunity” to work out because my body is a working, breathing instrument that I am blessed to have working for me.
Is that a little “being pollyanna” or viewing the world in “rose-colored glasses” YOU BET.. and most of the time it’s how I choose to view my life. Mark me, this does not exclude hard circumstances and real-life difficulty, but there are real opportunities every day to look for the happy rather than the annoying aspect of a given situation.
For example, I could look at my friend going to graduate school and moving away from Austin to become a professor as very sad and focus on the fact that he is moving away.
Yes, there is a level of sadness that goes with it, but I choose to focus on all the students he is going to impact and help live more enriched lives and the things they have yet to experience in his as yet unfilled classroom. This also gives way to the opportunity to stay in touch whether that is by email or even (gasp) a paper and pen letter.
Perhaps we could all stand to have a change like that. What chapter do you need to bring to an end to get YOU to your NEXT chapter?
Think about it…
Dear Readers, Within the last two years I have begun to care more about my body and this has led to healthier eating and regular exercise. It started with my husband finding and implementing the paleo diet in our lives. It should not be work to love yourself just as you are, but given my childhood and upbringing and the constant echoes of “if you would just lose the weight, you have such a pretty face” Even now, I feel a hot tear starting down my face as I type that but I am casting this demon into the light and sharing in hopes that it will be terrified of the light and scamper off like an unwanted cockroach. For starters, does this look like a child with a weight problem to you?
I have not been practicing this art very long (*2 years in the span of 38 is not even a third of one’s life) so to truly believe it will take time and the forming of a habit. I decided to go for it this week and just eat exactly what I wanted to eat.
Why am I telling you this? I hopes my honesty with a difficult subject will help you be honest with yourself and love yourself more. In a culture that constantly tells men and women to feel bad about ourselves, or to strive to look better or do better or exercise more, I really want to accept myself just as I am. It’s an ongoing quest in the battle for love of self and the end of food shame.
I am not saying that I am going to stop eating well altogether or exercising but after a refresher from the book, “French Women Don’t Get Fat” by Mireille Guiliano, I am reminded of the importance of her main concept which is “bien dans sa peau” which roughly translated is feeling well in your own skin.. or loving yourself as you are.
Much like the title character in Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, “Eat, Pray, Love” I am not going for obesity but am DONE with the guilt. Now I have to keep saying that to believe it.
So I will not be beating myself up for the last week and rather call it what it was. “Vacation from Health” and now the new normal is eating healthy and no longer thinking or calling myself fat at all. I AM NOT FAT! I know that I am not the only one who struggles with this so please give me your best tips and tricks and ideas to share.. I am eager to hear YOUR stories and about YOUR journey with this issue.
Please comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello dear readers, I come to you to tell you today about a failure.
I did not work out yesterday, but I did not eat unhealthy foods, either. I feel like this is a small victory but an important one.
Having to confess that to you hurts, as I know that my energy and posts sometimes spur you on to accomplishing your goals.
Let my inactivity inspire you as well. If it helps, I went paddle boarding on Monday without knowing what to expect and got a sunburn (despite using sunscreen) and my arms hurt for a day or two afterwards. But you know what, after getting over the initial, “am I really going to do this” (which by the way is the feeling that floods me any time I do something new) It was fun and exciting.
So what is today’s message? Meet yourself where you are. If you didn’t work out today, pledge to do so tomorrow.
Think about it!
Well, dear readers, it is almost here.. I set a goal for myself to slow jog at 5K (originally the goal was a 13 mile half marathon) but I wised up after a quick conversation with my more experienced marathon running friends and they set me straight.
I set this goal in December, which feels like a very long time ago but really it isn’t.
In today’s workout, I got to 3.9 miles which means 4 miles is not that far away, who knows I might even hit that mark by Friday and then I will be consistently going 4 miles at least twice a week, then the next goal is 6 miles in an hour… (still moving toward that slowly but moving there all the same! )
Also worth noting, free pizza in breakroom, untouched by me, determined to stay paleo till Wednesday which makes a full week of no cheating!
Compared to where I was in January? “Workout 3- got up to 3.1 mph!! Ran 30 seconds walked 30 seconds – went 3.00 miles!!”
Normally, I am not a fan of comparison as it tends to be defeatist but comparing where you were to where you are, usually works out!
I am sooooooo close to 4 miles I can taste it.. I am coming for you 4 miles.. when to think I used to only do 1 mile on the treadmill…. I think I can, I think I can!!!!
Think about it!!!
I chose to not eat ice cream last night, but when I came in to work today, I ate an egg and bacon sandwich and then I chose to eat a pastry. I am doing my level best to not feel guilty because I promised my husband I was “excising the guilt” meaning any time I start to feel it, I say to myself ala Karen from Will & Grace “Guilt be gone” by handing a check to Grace because she was late – I am working on it.
It takes time for that to happen since I have 36 plus years experience feeling guilty so “excising the guilt is a new thing” it will take time.
What habit have you started recently? How is it going?
(insert ABBA here) Dancing Queen in particular.
When I hear the song, “Dancing Queen” it reminds me of 3 things.
1. When I first moved to Austin, I was staying with a friend who came home to hear me playing it on his cd player and said, “my cd player is confused about its identity”
2. When I was driving from Austin to St Louis and my car died and white smoke came out of the hood.
3. The movie Mama Mia and how much fun I had watching that movie with my good friend Sharon and then the joy I had in getting it as a gift from some dear friends of mine so I could enjoy it over and over again.
and then #4. This morning I heard it while listening to the soundtrack on my ipod nano and working out for the 10th time since the year has begun. It’s starting to get a little easier, and I hope eventually when I work out, I can wear this face you see above as I work out and truly enjoy it like some other people I know. I keep taking it one step at a time and hoping it will get easier and so far it has. Maybe it will also become fun. Who knows!!!
So this morning, I woke at 4:30 (without an alarm, mind you) and still decided to snooze. Mistake #1. I still got up though and headed to the treadmill and did the walking 30 seconds, running 30 seconds thing going pretty well, feeling pretty energetic even though listening to the Beatles, “Carry that Weight” has never been more depressing.. but I digress.. At about the 20 minute mark, I accidentally pulled the emergency switch.. Swearing to myself, I got the treadmill going again and got my momentum back and kept going until I got to 45 and then pulled it again. UGH! This time I was defeated and said to myself, You know what, I am going to take that as a sign that my workout is over. I got off the treadmill and weighed myself. 247. Yesterday it was 246 so I am a little down about that today but I take solace in the fact that I did get up to workout and then DID NOT go back to sleep, despite how badly I wanted to do so.
But, onward and upward, I have 12 pounds to go to make my goal weight, I CAN DO IT!!!
I am headed to work now to start my day and trying hard not to beat myself up. I know its only 15 minutes but I think it will make it that much harder to get back up to an hour again on Friday. I try to be positive as much as I can, but the truth is, sometimes a situation just sucks and all you can do is rise above it. I felt like it was important to report the setbacks as much as the successes. It’s a all a part of the goal and I think sometimes we get so caught up in the success piece we forget there is pain and frustration. So I hope this helps inspire you to keep going with your goal.
Think about it!
Okay readers, so I have a confession. Sometimes I get SO excited about what I THINK I can do, I forget to check out all the factors and then realize I have bitten off more than I can chew. If you are unfamiliar with the phrase, maybe a visual will help.
I signed up to do a 13 mile marathon at the end of March, on the strength of two slowly walked 5K’s three months apart. In talking to a few people (you know who you are) I realized this was not only ambitious, it bordered on dangerous. (with apologies to Mr. Izzard) “You’re British, so scale it down a bit”
It is embarrassing to admit this and have to walk back my goal, but here goes. I have signed up to RUN a 5K by mid March. Intermediate goals include, working out two – three times a week. Doing a slow jog for the first half of the 5K on 1/18/2014 and doing intermediate training with a personal trainer including using the tips from Couch to 5K.
I think its important to shoot for the moon and if you fall short of your goal, you wind up among the stars.. but never forget to pack your spacesuit or your oxygen.
I think sometimes in the rush to get things done, we forget that each goal we set has intermediate goals and its just as important to build a foundation of baby steps which then lead you to a larger milestone. If this is obvious to you, congratulations, you are ahead of me.
If it is not, then take a minute and look at that picture again.
Think about it….
I walked my second 5K on Saturday and it was exciting to me to realize how far I have come in just a few months. My first one was in June and needless to say there have been several things keeping me from this monthly commitment.
But no more, I am actively putting exercise in my life again, because with paleo I feel great, but the weight loss has died down. The answer? Exercise. I also realize that “cheating” on the paleo diet once a week rather than once a day will help too!
I made the comment as I walked up to the administrator, ” I am not last, YAY!” He smiled and marked my time on his computer and said, Last is asleep. It really hit me that even suiting up and walking is better than not being there. Its a great metaphor that can be applied to almost any goal. Give yourself some grace and take baby steps to get there. At least you are in the race!
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?