Saturday, November 19, 2016

Getting Uncomfortable

In about an hour, I will be stepping into a new group workout 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… 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! 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. 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Pauses in the Day

Got up at 6 am like clockwork on a weekend away.  Why I don't get up to be outside like this everyday...I don't know.  It's such a refreshing and peaceful way to start off your day.  Instead of immediately going to electronics and the online world.

Might be implementing some time limits to change up routine.  Five minutes max in the morning to check if anything has an immediate need or if the world is going to explode.  Then get up, get outside (if only for 5 minutes), and move a little.  Chances are...I'll want to keep moving, which would be a much better start to the day.

Same goes for after work.  Twenty minutes of nothing, to make the transition, and then decide what else I will do next.  Thoughts are that the little pauses throughout the day may help adjust old routines, and better choices will be more likely to follow.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Coming Out of Hiatus

Sometimes we may feel like physical change needs to happen before any progress is made.  But that’s not always true.  Positive change towards a healthy lifestyle doesn’t always have to be about weight, or bulk, or tone.  Sometimes it’s as simple as the act of starting again - like that first day you get your nutrition back in order or making it to the half mile point towards the 2 mile mark you used to be able to do before.

It’s a time when negativity can easily set in.  Especially if it happens to be the same goal as it was before.  But the thing is, when you really think about it…that point in time when you are coming out of hiatus can be quite valuable.  It actually means you’re further along then you were before.  You’re aware of where you are in progress towards your goal.  And you’re wanting to continue the changes you started.  

If you recognize that you have been on a hiatus from something, and are feeling the need to get back to it…that’s a positive thing!  Value it.  Use it.  And get your head back in the game.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

When are you ready for more?

4 weeks ago, I walked into a group workout class with people half my size, not knowing whether I would be able to do the class.  It was a weight and cardio style workout, which on paper seemed incomprehensible for anyone over 300 pounds.  But I modified a few moves and was able to do it - and continued doing it multiple times a week.

Tonight, I walked into a kickboxing class, REALLY not knowing what to expect.  I didn’t even know if my body would allow me to do all the moves.  Was I nervous at first, yes.  Did I know if I would be able to finish the whole thing, no.  But I knew I would never know what I was ready for next, unless I tried it.

Trying doesn’t have to mean potential failure… just means you are figuring out what you can and can’t do at the moment.  And then you try again.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Working Out with Grandma

Over the last month or so I’ve been trying various forms of activities – different intensities of walks and hikes outside, group weight training, group cardio activities, even Zumba.  And one thing I've realized is that you don’t need to be as fit as you might think to start some of these things. 

Think of them all as a progression.  Going straight into a regular Zumba class may be a little difficult.  While it will get you moving, the pace may be pretty fast or you may not be able to do all the moves.  But there’s an alternative to everything! Once you get winded or reach a point in the routine where your feet can’t move as fast as everyone else's - just move side to side to the beat until you can keep up again.  Even in group workouts, there may be some exercises your body isn’t quite ready for yet – so some squats can be done instead (believe me, those add up too, ouch).

Other surprisingly good alternatives are activities geared toward older adults.  Many community education programs have them, even some gyms.   Key words to look for would be "low-impact" or "low-intensity." For example, instead of Zumba, there is a Zumba Gold.  Zumba Gold basically recreates the moves of the regular class at a lower intensity. There’s also a version that is done in a pool called Aqua Zumba.  Again, low-impact. Even if you are a “younger” adult, they may be perfect for your current abilities until you are ready for more.

And if you are now picturing yourself in a room with a whole bunch of people like your mom or grandma…that’s most likely exactly what it will be.  But let me tell you – they are probably the least intimidating group members you’ll ever work out with…welcoming, fun and inspiring at the same time.  If they are moving like that at their age, they have the same goal as you – to keep moving.