Thursday, February 24, 2011

I AM Good Enough, Just As I AM.

After an unfavorable weigh-in this morning (+1.5lbs), I've decided it's time to get a handle on a few things, and what better way to organize my thoughts, change the negative ones and revise my strategy than to get it all out here in my blog?!  Mike is right.  I need to share more of my downs as well as my ups, rather than my usual style of bottling myself right up and barely interacting with anyone when I'm feeling low.  So, here goes...


Why, oh why, have I been feeling so low and unconfident this past week?  Unworthiness, impatience with myself and feeling as though what I do is never enough.  Who's making me feel this way?  Me, myself and I.  No one else.  I receive SO much support, encouragement and love from so many.  Mike, my fiance, has been and continues to be my ROCK; he has my back throughout it all.  Dalton, my lovely son, he's been doing SO well lately after working out some behavior issues he'd been having.  The rest of my family, friends and acquaintances have been nothing but absolutely supportive.  And, despite my feelings of low self-worth, I have to admit I really have been doing some pretty cool things lately (see this article I recently wrote: 5 Ways to Break Bad Habits).  So why isn't it enough for ME?!  Why do I still feel like I'm unworthy of all the praise, of confidence, of feeling good about myself and my accomplishments?


I posted my October 2010 to February 2011 progress photo (below) on Facebook and MyFitnessPal so I'd have visual confirmation of the progress I've made.  Not so much for everyone else to see, though I must admit to enjoying the feedback from publicly posting such photos.  However, it was more so an attempt to show myself my own progress and an attempt to allow myself to feel a little bit of pride and confidence.  Validation.




Well, I can SEE what I've accomplished.  I can even feel it.  Most of the time.  Other moments (confession time!) I'm downright disgusted still.  Huh?!  On the one hand I'm perfectly pleased with how my weight loss journey is going, slow and steady, becoming a LIFESTYLE change; not just a victim of yet another get-thin-quick diet scheme.  But, on the other hand, ego (my "mind with a mind of its own") still takes hold and I end up feeling miserable about myself because I'm not at my goal yet.  Really?!  Must I really and truly beat myself up every single day because I'm not progressing as fast as my ego/mind thinks I should?!


That same ego mind also enjoys gloating and really rubbing it in when I "cheat" - skip a workout or three, or overeat (see my last blog post: Confession.) -- confirmation that I'm really not all that good a person, that I'm not doing all that great after all.  That I don't deserve to feel worthy until I reach my end goal, and even then who knows if I'll be "good enough".


Well, ya know what, ego mind?  I WANT to be confident in myself, faults and all; I AM good enough just as I am, and you'll just have to get used to that right along with everyone else!  I honestly do my very best each and every day to be the best person I can be.  To my ego mind, though, enough is never enough.  I could have done better here... I should have done better there... etc.  Well, as a good friend would say, all the "coulda, woulda, shoulda" mind chatter in the world won't change the past.  The only thing that will atone for past mistakes is to correct them by doing better in the future... no, not even in the future... in the NOW. ;)


And, I must come to a point where enough really just has to be enough.  I'm NOT Superwoman.  I'm not meant to do it all in one day (this goes for weight loss, fitness, being a good mommy, a good partner, cleaning up my credit, finances, etc.).  Heck, as the ol' saying goes, I didn't put all this weight on in a day, so it sure as crap isn't going to come back off in a day!  I think I've done pretty darn well this past year, and I DESERVE to feel good about that and about myself in all areas of my life.  And, I intend to begin doing what it takes to do just that, starting ... NOW.   I thank each and every one of you for your continued support.  Good day and Namaste! :)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Confession.

Yesterday, I completed my food diary over at MyFitnessPal at around 8:00 p.m.  Note that I had a neat little 30 calories to spare at the time, even after having had some ice cream and eight Archway Oatmeal Snacking Cookies - Iced, 16 oz already.  As a general rule, I normally don't deny myself sweets; I just make room for them in my daily calorie intake goal.  I generally exercise a little extra, if needed, to be able to enjoy my "weaknesses".  This way, I'm less likely to cave and binge on those otherwise "forbidden" treats.

However, later on in the evening while Mike and I were catching up on The Office and 30 Rock, I grabbed that bag of cookies and polished them right off!  Probably close to another 400-500 calories.  Eek!  Now, this may not seem like a big deal to some of you, my dear readers, so please, laugh if you will.  It's ok; you won't hurt my feelings. :)

I purposely didn't record the extra calories in my food diary.  My ego mind came on strong with an onslaught of excuses, "Those calories just don't count if I don't face up to them", was the general gist.  For those of you on your own fitness journey, I'm sure you can relate to the various and sundry excuses that ran through my head as I sat there eating the extra cookies and not recording them.

And, as much as I may say to myself today: it was a one-off, it's over, it's in the past, it's a new day, fresh start, and as much as those statements are absolutely true, I feel that today I also must confess this moment of "weakness", so as to prevent it from becoming habit again.

To those of you who read this and have supported me throughout this journey, and, most importantly, to myself, I hereby vow to record everything that crosses my lips, whether I stay on track or I "cheat", like last night.  Ego, defied.  Now, off to work out. <3

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Winter BLAHS ...

Show of hands: Who's in "hibernation mode" until spring?  It's OK.  You're not the only one by a long shot.  It happens to the best of us.  We don't feel like getting up and moving.  We just want to eat.  And eat.  And eat.  Yep, we still have our everyday responsibilities; we're not bears!  But often we feel like simply sleeping, lounging and eating our way through winter.  What's a human to do?!  Well, here are a few suggestions and ideas...


SUNLIGHT is our friend.  Yes, even in bitter cold temperatures.  Even if you can't get outside, standing/sitting by a window, soaking in as much sunshine as possible, helps boost the mood:
Sunlight triggers our circadian rhythms, our sleep-wake cycles. When sunlight hits the optic nerve, the brain cuts down on the release of melatonin, a hormone that controls sleep, and increases production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter tied to wakefulness and feeling happy. When the sun sets, this cycle is reversed, with more melatonin produced and less serotonin. The more sunlight the body receives, the more serotonin the brain produces. In addition, the body also creates vitamin D from the sun's ultraviolet rays. High levels of vitamin D help our bodies maintain high levels of serotonin. http://www.sharecare.com/question/how-does-sunlight-affect-mood
Another alternative, especially if you're stuck indoors without much sunlight, is to increase your intake of Vitamin D.  Some natural sources of Vitamin D include: catfish, salmon, mackerel, tuna, whole eggs, whole milk, and cod liver oil.


It may also be beneficial to look into a product called a light box, or light therapy device, such as this one: NatureBright SunTouch Plus Light and Ion Therapy Lamp.  These products simulate the sun's natural rays and its effects on our body chemistry.


And, as much as we may want to put it off during winter with the promise of hitting it hard once spring arrives, EXERCISE is very important in lifting our mood and making us feel better throughout the cold months.  It's been said that one hour of aerobic exercise outside (even when it's cloudy) has the same therapeutic effect as two-and-a-half hours of light treatment indoors.  Again, it raises our serotonin levels, helping us feel more alert, awake and happier.


And, who doesn't want to get a head start on that summer beach body?!  I personally am looking VERY forward to warmer weather and this being the FIRST year ever that I will feel confident enough to don a bikini.  So yes, I'm VERY motivated to keep moving all winter long.


There are other methods fight the winter blues, and the following is another great article with several more pointers: http://www.wikihow.com/Fight-Winter-Blues#_note-corn-1

Let's give the remainder of this WINTER our very BEST and be ready for spring and summer together!  Good day and Namaste.