Often times when I’m out on my longer runs I witness seemingly happy families and couples–old and young. They’re in the parks celebrating, playing, walking and enjoying life together. Early on in my running journey this used to gnaw at … Continue reading
Biggest and most challenging project I’ll likely ever take on–myself. *SIGH* Don’t get me wrong, that’s not a bad sigh nor is that a complaint. I’m a worthy project to spend that kind of time and effort on. Easy is … Continue reading
How about an update to this crazy no sugar thing I committed myself to?!
There’s a foggy haze that’s been lifted and I feel like I have something substantial to actually write about. So during this “sugar detox” I’ve found some spiritual clarifty and practices. I’ve gotten back to and better at meditating, I actually went out and tried hot yoga (thanks to my WeightWatchers friend Lula and my BFF Katie for the nudge), and I realized just how foggy I’d been operatering these last few months.
During my rebirth of my meditation practice, I came across this excerpt and felt the need to share.
The Final Obstacle Is Us
Then why do we still battle the lingering doubts and prejudices in our own minds that convince us we are not worthy—not good enough, not strong enough, not talented enough, not brave enough?
Why are we holding ourselves back from greatness?
It’s from a Deepak Chopra daily reflection that I did a while back. In cleaning out my inbox (yes, I do stuff like that) I came across it again and re-read it. This speaks so much truth to me. This whole process is really revealing how much I’ve been holding myself back. I don’t sit here wallowing in regret about it, on the contrary! I’m actually grateful for my new found clarity! I didn’t know I was walking around in a fog. I didn’t realize how much I’d been missing out on by being in that state of being. I was more like a zombie then human. I’d wake up, eat, work some, eat, want to nap (sometimes did), work a bit more, eat, and then sleep again. It sounds depressing just reading that as I type it out! To have a day like that, not a big deal in my book. But to have every day like that, is NOT good! But I wasn’t aware enough to realize that that is what I was doing.
It’s no wondering I wasn’t happy with myself. It’s no wonder I put on 15 lbs over my goal weight–note that’s over my goal weight, that’s not based on the lowest I got down to. Yes, I’m human and until I become superhuman or really accept and deal with my faults I’ll always fight this battle. But with where I’m at now I feel like I’m in a place where I can do that. Accepting you’re imperfections is easier said then done. Actually, it’s almost as challenging to admit my imperfections–step one I guess.
We all “know” we aren’t perfection but who actually talks about it? And why is it so hard to talk about anyways. I just saw in the news how we are creating narciscistic kids but what about ourselves. We start a petition because we don’t think it’s ok that Facebook has an emoji that allows someone to admit that they are feeling fat? Why? Who cares if that’s how they feel? I feel fat sometimes–usually it’s when I’ve over indulged on food. No we are being censored on admitting our feelings? And the other thing…with this recent “International Womens Day” (do guys even get a day?) when did this start and why? It’s like the feminist’s (uh oh, I’m going on a rant and I’m sure I’m going to get comments/emails about this but too bad it’s my blog I can say what I want) own Valentine’s Day! Why do we need ONE day to celebrate ourselves as women? Why do we need one day to “come together” and celebrate the amazing women in this world? Why isn’t that happening every day? Oh I know, because the other 364 days a year we are sitting in front of our screens and judging each other. I’ve seen “plus sized” models go through fat shaming and celebration all in the same day. I’ve seen thin women get praised for eating indulgently in public and shamed in the same day. I’ve seen a self empowered corporate excecutive female get praised and criticized all in the same day for being a career minded female who also wants to be a mom. What are we doing to each other? Are we so unhappy with ourselves that we have to bring down each other too? This does go back to my original point about admiting and accepting our own imperfections. In today’s society you can’t be too thin or too fat because there’s going to be a group that comes together and bashes you for it. BE YOU! WORRY ABOUT YOU! I don’t mean that in a selfish, self centered way but in a Michael Jackson “take a look in the mirror” way.
We are holding ourselves back and each other by living the way we are. Let a kid get a gift they didn’t ask for on a list so they learn humility and gratitude. Let a student fail at a problem so they can learn how to get it right on their own. Let a baby fall while learning to walk so they learn how to get back up and try again. Let a woman, man, girl, boy, etc. learn to pave their own path so that they may reap the reward for achieving their goal. There’s always a reaction for every action we take–they may be unintended but it’s going to happen none the less. What’s the better option–“Bandaid” the problem or find a solution? I prefer the solution, personally!
So that’s why I’m sitting here in bed (at 915pm PT) and I’m ok with that. Label me the old lady who’s in bed before some kids are. I don’t care. I know that I need sleep in order to function well and with this jump ahead an hour, “performing well” isn’t where I’m at yet. I know I’m a littler bitter that I don’t wake up at 6am to daylight anymore because of daylight savins. But the whole government isn’t going to change that just to please me–nor they should! Plus, I’ll adjust and get there. I’ll be happy when the weather starts to warm and I can go for an evening run after work outside because it’s brighter later now. I’m just a little immature about it at the moment–I’ll get over–I learned that lesson young too and I’m better for it!
So what’s this rant (yep, I’ll admit that) have to do with inner reflection, imperfection, and appreciation? We are all individuals part of a greater piece/system. My place in this world effects others who come in contact with me–physically or socially. I know that if I’m not offering my best self through taking care of myself first, i’m weakening the system as a whole. So yes, some times I just suck it up and get up and do what I have to because the world isn’t going to stop revolving if I don’t want to get out of bed. Plus, being in that state isn’t going to make me feel any better. Getting up is hard sometimes, but it’s for the best in the long run.
I’m seeing clearly now that taking care of myself–first and foremost–allows the system as a whole to be better. It allows me to offer my best self to those I love and care for. I’m not an immortal superhero who can do everything, all the time, forever. I’m perfectly imperfection me. What I can’t do well, someone else can and I’m good to delegate to them. I was put on this earth for a reason and I’ll work at vocation versus trying to fulfill other’s!
Be ok and accepting of who you are and why you are who you are. Accept your imperfections as openly as you accept your assets–they all make up who you entirely are anyways. I’ll share this one last bit with you. Someone in my WeightWatchers meeting this week said something so simple and yet so profound. She was going on a cruise and worried about making the healthy choices with the all you can eat options. A friend told her to just enjoy herself AND (this is the part I love) to let enough be enough!
How is it that when I want to be mindful that I think about everything else except what I want to be focusing on? BUT when I just want to be “brainless” I’m all of a sudden very aware of what I’m doing, feeling, thinking, etc?! What gives?!?!
This didn’t come up out of no where. A couple of weeks ago I was blessed with the opportunity to attend a Mindful Eating Event hosted by FoodieMcBody. It was a great and very eye opening event. I was there with a room full of about 10 other people and I realized I felt very alone. We ate in silence without eye contact and I realized that I don’t normally do this because I didn’t like the feeling of feeling alone. I’m not going to give it all away, I HIGHLY recommend if you are ever in the Bay Area when she hosts this, that you attend in person! Of course you leave something like that feeling empowered and inspired to want to live the rest of your life like this–eat by candle light every night, sit down to dine, one bite at a time, put down your utensil after each bite, etc. But reality is, that doesn’t happen! I ate about a cup of food that night after have a very full and active day and I felt completely satisfied. For the next two weeks, my mind felt like I should eat myself out of house and home! Often not even remembering how much and what I even put in my mouth–let alone how it tasted–kinda like my eating out of the peanut butter jar yesterday!
Then I had 10 miles to run last Sunday–during which I was very mindful and aware of how my legs, lungs and (in general) whole body felt while running. I heard every pound of my feet on the pavement, every breath in and out, and person pass me along the trail. I felt every tightness in my calves, quads, hamstrings, and burn in my lungs. Starting out, I could have sworn I heard every tick of time going by–SLOWLY…much like my speed. And then I thought…”How is it that I’m so aware of all this while I’m running but I’m so unaware when I eat?”
Have you ever thought about or asked yourself that? Am I alone here too? Don’t get me wrong, I’m NOT trying to deter anyone who’s thought about trying running to not try! I LOVE running and there isn’t anything I’d rather do (I think that’s pretty evident being that I’m approaching on completing my 7th in 14 months this weekend)! Running is very much a mental activity while at the same time not. I have been on runs where I literally have almost closed my eyes while running because I’ve gotten so relaxed–head to toe, inside and out. It’s like meditating but easier–in the sense of hitting that happy non scattered place in your head. In that sense, it’s that aspect of running that I’ve become “addicted” to. After completing my first someone asked me how I liked it and how I was feeling now. When I paused to think about my answer, I realized I hadn’t had a long run since my half and I missed that “happy place” that long runs take your mind to! I say it in jest but it’s kinda true, running gives you a sense of a high that you really keep wanting to get back to. Training for long runs teaches you how to physically get there but once that becomes a natural movement for you–knowing you pace–you are able to get to that quiet place and enjoy the run!
So I guess I’ve kinda answered my question here…In order to be as mindful eating as I am a runner, I need to set up those routines so I don’t over think so much and can just sit down (that may be the hardest part to implement right now) and enjoy my meal. I can eat until satisfied and not be concerned that some child somewhere else is going to starve because I didn’t join the “clean plate club” that meal. I can stop and enjoy my food and not be worried, sad, or concerned about what’s going on outside of that very moment. I can enjoy and learn to stop, pause, and be aware/present in that very moment and OK with whatever may happen at said moment.
I think to help, I’m going to continue to read up on this with the book Savor by Thich Nhat Hinh which informs readers about mindful living and how it relates/impacts our eating. I may be at a point of maintaining my weight, but I know what got me to my highest…it wasn’t ONE piece of cake, pizza or bag of chips. It was my relationship with food and the practice of eating/dinning. That fear of the unknown–as small or simple as it may actually be. That not wanting to feel the pain, sadness, anger, etc so turning to food to numb it because mentally it was unbearable. Running has taught me more than just how to run (because I never was good at it…I nearly passed out after my mile run to earn my Presidential Fitness award in 8th grade!); it’s taught me how to be mindful, present and aware. Running has taught me how to feel, be ok with what I feel, and that I’ll survive whatever it is I feel.