One Breath, Because It’s Hard!

Let’s be honest, my head is still swimming, or moreover my heart is still in overwhelm from Saturday.  The #OBOS events always hit me right in the chest.  I think it is because I let myself be vulnerable, because it is a necessary part of getting to the root of why I became 400+ pounds.  I think it is also crucial to helping others along the way.  So that being said, once again the topics covered hit right a bit too close to home, which of course were just what I needed.

Jen started out the morning having us close our eyes and raise our hands if we had felt recently that our journey was overwhelming or hard etc.  With my eyes closed, (but wanting to peek to know for sure) she assure us that we all had our hands raised.  I always secretly don’t want to raise my hand just to be “That Asshole”.  The point of the exercise isn’t about raising your hand anyway, it is about knowing that we are all there together, and I get that.  We all struggle, whether it is with motivation, or finding time to *whatever*.

Mary took over the conference just after that, and the topic she first brought up was, “Is being healthy hard?” Well, yeah! Duh! If it was easy there wouldn’t be the multi billion dollar pharmaceutical industry that exists, and the search for the magic-cure-all pill wouldn’t be happening.

This made me think about how we define healthy though.  Is healthy, the right weight, is it being fit, is it being off medications, is it fitting nicely in a box, or a certain definition?  It isn’t the same for everyone.  So it becomes very important for you to define your health your own way, and plan your goals and strategies the right way.

Mary started speaking about how sometimes our ideas and situations change, and that sometime the changes we make that are intended to be lasting changes aren’t always lasting changes.  For example, I joined the YWCA, it was awesome when I started out.  Since my new job started however it is not as convenient for me to work out there.  The hours are less convenient and I started using that as an excuse.  So my change to working out several days a week was no longer a part of my life.  This change didn’t last. Do I view this as a failure?  No Way!  This is a setback.

See, life is fluid, this is why all those checklists in magazines and 10-step’s to the perfect life type things don’t work out for any kind of long-term success.  You have to be prepared to be flexible and change your plans as life throws you a curveball.

Mary touched on a lot of things that I have come to on my own, but I have this problem… see I, like many of you I imagine, have these amazing moments of clarity and then they just pass, and I forget, or think perhaps they aren’t as great as I think they are.

Some examples of this are, Keeping an eye on “Your Bottom” line.  This is mostly about maintaining weight, but also pertains to when you are stuck in a plateau.  If you get comfortable in a place you become complacent.  Think oh it’s okay I am staying within these 2-lbs so it isn’t a big deal.  My lifestyle is changing and I am not.

I JUST went through this, I started my new job, and I wasn’t going to the gym because I was just plain exhausted, but I was eating the same.  The scale creeps around, and before you know it things are headed in a bad direction FAST.  You always need to be pushing the envelope, not necessarily to lose weight, but keep your eyes on the prize at all times.

Remember setbacks are going to happen, this is a part of life! They happen to everyone! Everyone falls, get back up, keep moving forward. You need to be prepared for this.  Remember everything takes practice which means that everything that you are doing is practice! So be prepared with a backup plan, know what tools you like, and what tools in your arsenal work best for you and use them.  Also be on the lookout for new things to try.

Did you read that…

Everyone falls, get back up. Keep moving forward. Falling is not failure. Failure is giving up, not getting up.

These words are a gift to you.  Let them sink in.  You need to remember them.

Another important thing to remember is that it is important when trying to do anything, whether it is lose weight or run a marathon, that you have to be doing it for the right reasons.  The right reason for me isn’t the right reason for you, and if you aren’t doing it for the right reasons you aren’t going to find lasting success.  That class reunion that you want to look awesome for, what happens when you go, and no one cares that you lost all that weight from when you were 15?  What happens after you break up with that girlfriend that had been making you go to the gym or train for that 5k?  Was the reason that you wanted whatever it was yours or theirs?  You can’t do it for someone else, you can only do it for yourself.  Looking back on my life, I WISH someone could have stopped me before I got to the point in my life where I knew I was going to die.

There were so many dark days in my life where I was so miserable, depressed, in so much pain, and I thought I was at rock bottom, and I just kept going down.  There are also so many people in my life who I see, and I want to push to rock bottom so that I can help build them back up, and make them want to save their own lives.  Sadly all I can do is offer a hand up when the time is right and hope that I can inspire them by doing what I need to and want to for my own reasons.  I got a taste of what I like to call the good life and I know what I want now.

Nike says “there is no finish line.” Which I totally agree with.  When it comes to things like living a healthy active life there will ALWAYS be something to do, try or achieve, however this brings up a great point… when there is no finish something is not a race which means it is perfectly acceptable to go at your own pace!  While at times I feel as thought I am sprinting towards my own goals, there are other times where I feel as thought I am sitting still on the track and lately I feel as thought I have turned around and am headed in the wrong direction altogether I need to be reminded that this isn’t a race.  The path I am on may have a loop or two but if I keep moving forward I will make progress.  Baby steps are still steps, I just need to keep making them.

One super alarming statistic that I heard during the event was that if you do not act on a new idea or concept within 48 hours there is a 50% chance that you will NEVER act on it.  This wasn’t surprising, as much as alarming… and I suppose it is very true.  This is why it was SO IMPORTANT that I act on switching my gym before I just decide to keep sitting around of going and using the hours as an excuse to not go!  When I first joined the gym in 2009 it was also an ACT NOW moment.  I drove past, and thought… I should probably check that out sometime… pulled a U-turn and headed back.  Enough waiting… if life has tought me nothing more it is that time is precious and it shouldn’t be wasted.  If you want something you MUST go after it… and don’t wait!

There was a bit of talk about setting goals, and knowing what goals actually are.  I personally really like the idea of setting up “S.M.A.R.T.” Goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely)  and I think that is what Mary was trying to get at in her discussion about pushing for deeper goals that allow you to form strategies with them. For example, I want to be healthy is an extremely vague goal.  However I want to get off of my blood pressure medicine by losing 15 pounds is a much more specific measurable goal.  With those things you can then formulate a plan of attack with diet and exercise.  Make lists of a few things to try, keep trying, and you will make progress on these goals and before you know it your goals become a reality!

Sometimes you have to learn to accept that your lifestyle isn’t going to match what your goals are, and something has to change.  Each situation you are in presents an opportunity for you to learn something.  You always have the opportunity to take something away from a situation, and it is your job to figure out what you are going to take away from it.  Sometimes it is very easy to spot what you are taking away from an interaction or situation.  Every interaction with a person or people can teardown or create a new level to your relationship, so be sure that you are doing all you can be, be present in that moment to foster what you want from that relationship, and this includes the relationship you have with yourself.  Don’t treat yourself poorly!

You need to acknowledge your feeling, learn to see them, feel them and lost of all how important it is to accept them.  It is perfectly okay and acceptable to feel sadness, or frustration, even regret is an acceptable emotion, everything you feel is okay as long as you let yourself feel it!  You know what is not okay?  Letting yourself eat these feelings,

2 thoughts on “One Breath, Because It’s Hard!

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