Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Embarrassment of Obesity

I’ve traveled the world as an obese person.

Many, many airplanes.  A Russian train. An Indigenous boat in the Philippines. 

I’ve slept on the floor of a family’s yurt in Mongolia.  Walked the streets of Indian cities.  And been approached by many a Japanese tourist for a picture they want to take with a big American girl (basically three times the size of everyone else).

Yet the thought of walking across a stage…..to receive a nutrition degree….as an obese person.....is one of the most frightening things I’ve ever encountered.

Yesterday, I realized that I have not told many people that for the past 2 and half years I’ve been taking night classes to receive a Masters in Clinical Nutrition Intervention.  It was a way for me to build up knowledge so that I could help others with their weight loss goals - to be able to advise beyond what my personal experiences have been, with evidence-based information. 

The classes went by really fast – and I now have one final project to complete before receiving the degree.  But I’ve delayed it.  I froze in the realization that I had built up all this education to help others….but had not yet focused it in on myself.

It might take a little extra time, but when I walk across the stage, it won’t just be about obtaining a degree.  It will be about the confidence that I've built in both mind and body. Freedom from the embarrassment that I didn’t know I had, and how I chose to respond to it.
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” - Principle of Victor Frankl

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Time to Recalibrate

In a world of constant speed, recalibration periods are almost critical to keep yourself on track towards your goals.  Sometimes they are planned time periods – say, a week away at a cabin.  Sometimes they are unplanned – getting a cold and having to spend a lot of time in bed.  The latter, is where I am at the moment. 

I found myself reflecting about how I have lost momentum on some of my goals.  I started thinking about various elements, realizing it’s been a while since I’ve had focus on them.  With January typically being a time that everyone starts their resolutions….I am starting by recalibrating my thoughts. 

What kind of things do I need to build into my routine?  It doesn’t have to be counting calories and hitting the gym every day (yet, haha).  But perhaps it should be cutting certain foods out.  Eating at home versus going out.  Or simply starting to build a daily routine again, in general.

Are the people I am hanging around with supporting or distracting me from my goals?  This is a tough one. Especially in the dead of winter, when there aren’t a lot of options to be social that don’t involve ingesting food and drink. But putting thought into who I have on the support side, tends to remind me there are other options…especially on days when all I want to be is distracted.

How can I remind myself of the positive, when I feel like I’m in a hole of negativity?  Things may not be going right at the moment, but there’s positivity I can pull from the past...What are some of the successes I can use again....What have I learned from the times I have fallen down....What should I pick up and start doing again.

These are just surface level thoughts at the moment.  Deep dives into the depths will come with time, and shared in this form as much as possible.  But what I’m realizing is how important it is to build in short bursts of recalibration.  Twenty minutes in the morning listening to music to start the day.  Ten minutes here and there writing a few thoughts down.  An hour having coffee with someone you just like to be around. Or simply, 5 minutes of breathing or meditation.  All or any should help recalibrate the pace of life, and steer me back into the direction of my goals.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

What's on my radar

There might be a lot of things you want to do, a lot of change you want to make.  But sometimes you have to break it down to what you need to accomplish at the moment.

For me, that is regaining focus.  Starting with a morning routine of making a cup of tea, reviewing what’s on my radar, followed by some movement (stretching or a walk).  The important part of that routine, is the regular reminder of what’s on my radar for the day, week, and year. 

I’ll be keeping a little folder with those goals or tasks. And that's what I will review each morning.  But it's not going to be a lot of things - keeping it simple, and focused on what's important.   As I accomplish some, or other things come into the picture (like they always do) - I will change them.  But it will be a regular reminder of where my focus needs to be.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Being Open Through the Hard Times

If anyone tells you it’s easy, it's not.  After losing a substantial amount of weight, it's crept back up on me.  Well it didn't creep, I let it happen...not being as focused and making a lot of poor choices for an extended period.

Blogging publicly in that situation, isn’t ideal.  Or is it?!  That’s what I’ve been thinking week over week, month over month…and reminded of whenever Facebook’s alert comes through that people haven’t heard from me in a while.

I’ve decided, this might *actually* be the perfect time to share what’s happening and how I move through it.  Sometimes that’s the understanding and motivation that I have looked for…...when I scroll through Facebook at 9 pm after a hard day….or after I’ve eaten an entire pizza, and realized I've had no real vegetables for the week…..or after I get back from a walk, sweaty and feeling much more unfit than I was before.

A shift in your state of mind can come from anything.  You never know when it's going to happen or where it's going to come from.  But we’re not alone in the struggle to change course for the better. 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Getting Uncomfortable

In about an hour, I will be stepping into a new group workout class...one that seems waaaay beyond my abilities, with not only gym rats but actual athletes.  In fact, last Saturday I worked out along the side while class was being done.…just to see what it's like, preparing myself to join sometime in the future. But at the end of my pt session this week, my coach said I should come to the class on Saturday.  

I wonder what the look on my face was - I'm thinking it was shock, horror, and doubt....having immediate discomfort with the idea.  Even though it was the same situation I've been in before (about a year ago I joined an Anytime Fitness class, bravely thinking I could do it, I just needed to modify things)...this one is a little bit different. This time, it wasn't me thinking I'm ready, but someone else thinking I'm ready.

Coincidently, I'm having similar conversations in my professional life.  When talking about personal development goals for the upcoming year, my boss is steering the conversations towards things that are uncomfortable (even towards the one thing that I know I am not good at, and don't care to do).

There seems to be a theme going on right now.  There's many, many quotes talking about making yourself uncomfortable in order to grow.  And then there's living it.  So here we go!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

It's not how you start, it's how you finish

For the past two weekends, I’ve been watching my friend’s kids and seeing how their days have been filled.  They are growing up in a city….lots of friends around - playing in the neighborhood, playing at each others houses, etc. I also noticed that when they are at the house by themselves, they don’t seem to know what to do without guidance - someone helping with choices or engaging in an activity with them.  They know how to physically play – with their imagination, toys, draw, sports, etc.  But if left to their own devices, they tend to go to the old standby – screens of some kind (iPad, Xbox, cell phone).   Those observations made me think more deeply about how I grew up, and I saw correlations to some things I've been struggling with as I try to make healthy changes now as an adult.  

I grew up in a house out in the country.  In that environment, you don’t really have a lot of friends nearby. I was lucky enough to have my grandma and cousin a mile away, and a few childhood friends just as far - but the rest were in the city.  There’s no popping over to each others houses for playtime throughout the day – play dates needed to be planned, setup, and were usually very sporadic. In addition to this, my parents owned their own businesses.  If I wasn't able to be out and about, I had a lot of time at home alone.  And when I was on my own, there were a couple standby's I went to.

My go-to's were screens as well (in the form of tv) and food…..both of which I helped myself to quite regularly.  For many, many years that’s how I filled most of my time at home.  And since most of those years are a time of development and learning what day to day life means,  it meant that I had developed habits that centered around my go-to's.

Now, it would be easy to blame my parents.  In fact, for a few years I probably did. But really, when I think about that more - they were busy being an example to me in another way.  They had a combination of midwestern work ethic and coming from farming families - which meant they worked a lot, worked hard, and built their own businesses as a result.

So, now the question is…..how do I twist it all.  How do I use the qualities I have from my parents that they modeled in having their own businesses….and create a healthy, consistent day to day routine, knowing what my mind and body has been used to.

It’s going to take a lot of effort, but it can be done.  It's not how you start, it’s how you finish.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

How Many Times

How many times can you walk into a restaurant, go through a fast food drive-thru, or order a guilty pleasure, and say to yourself....this is it, this is the last time.  

I've re-written this post for hours, and sat on it for days. Trying to figure out what to say about it.  But the simple fact is, I’ve said that phrase often.  I've told myself - this is it, this is the last time...

...I'm going to order that pizza (and then do it again days later, usually eating the whole thing in one sitting).

...I'm going to go to the grocery store to pick up a quick dinner (and then get more than just A dinner).

...I'm going to order a sandwich through the drive-thru (and end up ordering three).

Even after I noticed these patterns, I kept on doing it.  Maybe not all the time, but enough for it to feel like Groundhog Day whenever it happened again.  And since I can't even remember how many times that has been!...now is the time it really does need to be the last.  

So I guess the question now is, what comes of admitting it.  What's the next step to make those rare moments, instead of regular routine. To be honest, I'm not exactly sure yet...more to learn and figure out.  But this post has been a "this is it" moment I'm proud of.