Mindful Monday – Living in the past is far from helpful

I had a revelation today and I’m thinking it had something to do with Bee’s post over at A Spirit of Healing.  She posted some helpful links about positive affirmations (thanks Bee!!).  I believe in affirmations wholeheartedly, but Bee mentioned, and I’m noting, that we have so many thoughts that we aren’t even aware of that it is hard to make significant changes when it seems you’re working against yourself.

I’ve talked about that one summer that I worked out really hard and saw significant results in both how my body looked and my weight.  But what I realized today is that I went into that summer not really caring about how I looked or my weight.  I even remember telling friends that I wasn’t doing it for weight loss or anything other than wanting to run Tough Mudder with my sister and feeling really good working out.

I then went through a hell of a year last year and stopped working out and had surgery and a whole host of other things that left me significantly heavier than I want to be and feeling like I have to do something!

But it’s almost like I’m working against myself.  I don’t know how many times I tell myself that I don’t like how I look and working out is hard and on and on… It far outweighs the good things I say to myself.  And I’m wondering if that has something to do with my results…

Not only do I believe in positive affirmations, I’m also a huge believer in living in the present moment.  So, why have I been living in the past?  I think it’s hard to let go of that time when you were you’re skinniest or happiest or whatever it is that you hold on to as the pedestal you are no longer on and are having a hard time reaching again.

How many of us have a number in our heads – that weight we were at when we were in high school…? How realistic is that at 40, 50 or older?  Maybe for some people it is and I’m also sure there are those who have weighed relatively the same their whole life.  I’m not one of those people.  And I think it’s time to start letting that one summer go so I can focus on the here and now.

I love the me I am right now.  This will be my mantra anytime I hold my current standard up to that one summer or any other time in my life that isn’t this moment right now.

 

 

 


 

This post is part of Mindful Monday hosted by Colleen at Silver Threading.

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Mindful Monday – Letting Things Go

Part of my journey to healthy living has been learning when to let things go.  I made a very specific plan a few weeks ago on the blog and then I ended up getting sick.  I’m back into a routine again, but I realized today that I had to let one of those things go.

It’s not easy though.

In many way, I feel like a failure.  I sat at work and thought about it for a good twenty minutes trying to figure out the new workout schedule and I finally realized that four days was good enough.  I didn’t have to do five days just because I made a plan and wrote it down.

I’m realizing that I need flexibility in my workouts; not only because I have kids who basically view me as a chauffeur when they’re here (that’s not to say that I don’t love doing things for them), but also because I have a job that requires late nights sometimes.  And there’s really no way to know when all those things will happen.  So, it makes it difficult to have a planned class at a certain time.  I thought going to the one on Saturday would work, I but I did that once and I didn’t like the time or the fact that it was at a gym farther away from my house.

Are all those just excuses?  Absolutely.  But when they continue to be excuses, you start to realize that maybe you need to make a change in order to eliminate the excuse.  It’s not like I’m not exercising, because I am.  The problem is this class.  And the only problem is the set schedule.

The sad part is that I really like the class.  I also really like the instructor.  I feel like I’m failing her because she was so supportive; but honestly, if I’ve learned anything from this exercise journey, it’s that you have to do what works for you.  And sometimes it doesn’t help to bull your way through an issue.  Many times that only makes it worse.

Note to self: That is also fabulous life advice…

So, I’m letting my exercise class go, but I’m still planning to run twice a week and lift weights twice a week.  I figured that will be good enough for now and I’m hoping it will eliminate the stress I’ve caused myself in trying to keep to the set class schedule.

I just had the thought that I obsess way too much about this stuff sometimes.  It should be easier than this, shouldn’t it?


 

 

This post is part of Mindful Monday hosted by Colleen at Silver Threading.  (I didn’t see a post today, so I am linking to last week’s.)

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Mindful Monday – Stop talking, be silent and listen!

As many of you know, I’ve been sick for just about two weeks now.  I went from having stomach issues to a full-on head cold that feels like it could very well be a sinus infection at this point (that’s probably me just feeling like all sorts of crap, because doctors won’t diagnose that for at least a week, and I’m a few days short…)  Needless to say, my exercise schedule that I was so excited about has come to a screeching halt.

I’m not one of those people who exercise through illness, although I know there are people out there who do.  When I’m sick, all I want are sweats, a blanket and a nice soft couch to lay my head down.  I can’t even begin to imagine going to the gym or running right now, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to and missing the hell out of it.

So, without any kind of updates on exercising, I was thinking about what to write that was interesting and fit the theme and I realized I’ve been thinking a lot about communication lately.

I went from a relatively silent household growing up to learning that you need to talk about everything; talk it out no matter what!  As an adult, I always felt that communication was important, and I’ve had an almost unhealthy aversion to silence, by which I mean lack of communication.  It’s only been relatively recently that I realized you can get to a point where no matter how much talking you do, things can get much worse rather than better.  And sometimes it is because you’re talking that it degenerates into something worse.

My fiancé found a quote the other day that he is obsessed with and I honestly couldn’t understand why for a while.  But the last few weeks have been rough for me internally and in my relationships.  I’ve been insecure and feeling terrible and I started to attach to things that aren’t true; which also means I want to talk things out… but talking about feelings can be misleading because sometimes they lie to you…

Dalai Lama said, “When you talk you are only repeating what you know; but when you listen, you learn something new.”

I found myself looking for a certain something when talking to my fiance.  I wanted him to respond in a certain way or I wanted a resolution.  But I was so busy talking, I didn’t even realize when he actually said what I needed, just maybe not in the exact way I was looking for.

That’s not to say that we should stop talking; no, I believe it means we should each say how we feel and then stop.  If you think about it, whatever it is only needs to be said once and then it’s okay to let it go.  If it needs revisiting later, it will reveal itself (hopefully).  Because sometimes the more you talk about something, the more you realize you are repeating the exact same things over and over again expecting different results.  After all, the only person you can change is yourself, and expecting someone to do or say something to make you feel better is an exercise in madness.

I suppose the biggest thing I’ve learned in the past few weeks is that silence and listening are parts of communication, maybe even bigger parts than actually talking (yep, and it only took 40 years…).

I’m not sure if I helped any of you, but it sure helped me to put those thoughts into words.

Happy Monday everyone!  May you find peace and light in whatever you are doing.


This post is part of Mindful Monday hosted by Colleen at Silver Threading.

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Mindful Monday – Mindful through illness

Last week was my first week of feeling positive about my new plan, but life always has something it throws at you doesn’t it?  I started getting sick on Tuesday but I went to the gym anyway – I basically said my stomach hurts, not my legs.  On Wednesday, it was a bit worse so I took the day off (I can be flexible).  Thursday I followed the plan and was feeling better.  I even went for my longest run in over a year and a half on Saturday.

Saturday night is a different story all together.  What is it about being sick that makes mindfulness sort of fly out the window?  I’m not sure that’s necessarily fair, but I am the first to admit that I don’t think very clearly when I’m sick.  The only thing I can hope for is to either ignore the terrible thoughts that go through my head when I’m sick or try and remember that what I’m thinking doesn’t define me.  The illness doesn’t define me.

It only feels like it defined the past two days of my life.

Being mindful when I’m sick is about letting myself be without attaching to all the thoughts that bring me down.

I should be helping around the house.
What about my kids?
I need to make breakfast…

I don’t know why it’s hard for me to let go, but sometimes (who am I kidding, so many times) it is.  I felt guilty for staying in bed all day yesterday and letting my family fend for themselves.  However, in the past, I would have let it take me down into an even darker depression and this time it didn’t.  I focused more on the fact that everyone was fine.  Everyone ate three meals yesterday and my fiance was at the heart of it.  He did all of it on probably less sleep than I had because in between being sick, I slept, but I know he didn’t.

I believe when we find ourselves in the depths of depression, we don’t see things clearly.  We definitely don’t see help when it is offered, at least I haven’t in the past.  I’m grateful I was able to see it yesterday and accept it.

I’m feeling better today and am looking forward to getting back to life.  As much as I felt like I needed a rest, I would much rather rest on my terms, and definitely without a stomach ache and everything that goes with it!


This post is part of Mindful Monday hosted by Colleen at Silver Threading.

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Mindful Monday – Finding What Works

I’ve been so excited to write this post.  I’ve had so many amazing insights this week and while it wasn’t easy to keep motivated and to workout as much as I said I would, I did much better than I could have imagined.

If you didn’t already know, I am a person of routine and habit.  I go to the grocery store and follow the same path and buy pretty much the same things every other week.  If something comes up that is out of the ordinary, I can handle it as long as I have some kind of warning.

I think that’s why my exercise has been so random in the past six months.  I didn’t have a plan.  I was sort of enjoying what I was doing, but I didn’t feel like it was having an impact and it definitely wasn’t a habit.

Last week, I found an app that showed me some exercises on the workout machines at the gym.  Not only that, it actually walked me through how to do it so I didn’t have to guess.  Most times, I don’t use the machines because I have no idea what they do or how to use them.

I ended up doing “leg” day on Wednesday and honestly, that almost did me in.  I didn’t start walking normally again until yesterday… which means I completely overdid it.  I was thinking I was at a certain level, but your body has a way of letting you know that nope, you shouldn’t have lifted that much weight no matter who was looking at you or judging you.  But now I have a routine I can use to do leg day.  I ended up winging it for arm day because I’m not as concerned about my arms.  I did an assortment of machines that worked out a lot of my upper body and I’m happy with it.

So, my new routine is as follows:

  • Monday – Rest day
  • Tuesday – Leg day
  • Wednesday – Arms (and maybe the bike if my legs are okay, haha)
  • Thursday – Run
  • Friday – Rest day
  • Saturday – Combat class (An hour of high-intensity cardio)
  • Sunday – Run

I feel like this is something I can stick with and I’m actually excited that I figured out something that will work for me.

The other thing I realized this week was that exercise isn’t easy.  Every single day I struggled with that voice saying it was okay to skip the day because (insert lame excuse here).  I also learned that I need to be nice to myself.  I have a tendency to push myself farther than I should because I need to have a better time or I need to lift more.  I’m not here to win a competition, so it really doesn’t matter how fast I run that mile and a half or how much weight I lift.  The goal right now is to be consistent and to have fun!  There will be time for pushing myself once I’ve established a routine.

So there you have it.  Basically restating my goals, but finding new and better ways to accomplish what I set out to do.

Once again I have to thank my sister.  She is still the voice that keeps me going and I believe I wouldn’t have run yesterday if she hadn’t texted me and said, “I hope you go for that run.”


 

 

This post is part of Mindful Monday hosted by Colleen at Silver Threading.

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Mindful Monday – Goals and Whatnot

When I started following Mindful Monday, I don’t think I realized it would become my exercise platform, but here we are.  And today, I’d like to talk about my goals.  I’m not a huge goal person, meaning I don’t have a list on my wall of things I need to complete.  In fact, I try to avoid them; or at least, that’s what I tell myself.  I know they happen whether I want them to or not.

Two years ago, my sister and I set a goal to run the Tough Mudder and even though that didn’t happen, there were a few  things that did happen.

  1. I came to realize that I am stronger than I ever imagined, not just mentally and emotionally, but physically.
  2. I also realized that I am capable of committing to an exercise program for an extended period of time, but it helps to have someone walking the same path who is there to push you when you just don’t feel like it.
  3. That summer, I was in the best shape of my life and I felt fantastic.
  4. I found that I don’t necessarily like all exercise and while that doesn’t always matter, it helps to find things you like to do in order to sustain momentum.

Two years later, I am in a huge rut and trying to find what works for me.  Writing that list has helped me a lot.  Just knowing what I accomplished makes me feel like I can do it again.  I’m beating myself up that I let it go and fell into a rut, but I know I don’t have to stay here.

Today, I am making the decision to work out every single day in one form or another with Friday’s off.  The thing that happened the last time was that I didn’t let myself have excuses because I couldn’t let my sister beat me; and I knew she didn’t take days off unless absolutely necessary.

Now, I don’t have my sister pushing me to be a more healthy me.  In fact, most days she needs me to lift her up and keep her going.  But whether she realizes it or not, she has always been and still remains the voice in my head pushing me further.  She is honestly my hero in so many ways.  She can’t exercise hardly at all anymore, but that doesn’t stop her.  I know she walks her dog every single night, even when she can’t do it alone.

I know I’ve said it before and I am saying it again.  I’m going to exercise for both of us, just like she asked me to two years ago when she realized she no longer could. (I love you Sissy! )

Happy Monday everyone!


This post is part of Mindful Monday hosted by Colleen at Silver Threading.