Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Journey continues ....

I can't take it any more, I just can't take it. There's something about rules, boundaries and guidelines I need in my pursuit of good health. I cannot seem to make healthy choices completely on my own yet. I need the declaration of a public commitment before I can seem to abide truly by the standards I want to live by in the realms of my desired lifestyle.

It's like I cannot live by the standards I want to unless I've tied myself to them in some way. Unless I have everyone watching. I'm kinda glad I don't need that for my marriage or I might be in trouble. I wonder if that's why some people don't do so well in marriage relationships - they can't abide by their promises in secret the way they can in public.

Well I'm publicly declaring that unless I publicly declare my vows to a healthy life I'm forever unfaithful.

I've mentioned before I think that since wally and I moved we haven't gone to the gym as we've been painting, packing, moving, Christmasing and now gorging ourselves. We both actually miss it desperately but now are too far from our current gym (including my favourite Dee) to go back. There's another 'sister' gym that's a little closer we could go to but it's still further than we know is best for us (especially in the winter).

When we bought our house we noted the perfect workout room in the basement for us. So last week during Boxing Day sales we used our Master Card points and a little extra to buy a treadmill!! Then later in the week we found a sale on dumbbells that can be used as weights from 2.5 to 20 lbs. We already had a stability ball but then had to buy a bit of floor padding so we picked that up along with a medicine ball and voila, almost a complete home gym. I hope to purchase an adjustable bench in the next couple of weeks. After which time our bank account will need a vacation from the debit card.

I'm so excited to get back to working out and especially trying some things I've been too self conscious about at the gym. I also hope to begin training to do a 5 K run in the spring sometime. My very close friend from far away land (you know, who surprised me at the party) offered to run with me as she will be visiting around that time.

I finally had Wally weigh me yesterday (you know, being New Years and all). I didn't look at the weight nor did I ask what it was. I just wanted to know how much I'd gained. Well actually I wanted to know approximations. I got exactitations.

I was both excited and disappointed to learn that in the 5 weeks without going to the gym and during the month of eating much of the food I'd stayed away from in the past 6 months I had gained a total of 6 pounds (ok I'm lying I gained 6.8 lbs but for some reason I feel better when I leave out the .8).

Of course my mind has played a few games on me reminding me of losing muscle and probably gaining more fat than our scale will reveal and then I think 'Oh my goodness I'm fat! I'm fat! Call the intervention show I'm doomed and have totally gone astray!!! Somebody help!!!!'

A friend warned me once way on back when I mentioned a 'cheat meal' turning into a 'cheat day', he said 'Eva be careful, it takes nearly a month to create a good habit and only a few days to ruin it'. *sigh* Yeah I'm seeing that now.

The good news is that I feel hopeful rather than depressed about my weight gain. As I grow and learn about this little journey of mine I know now that you can never approach the same problem the same way twice. What was wonderfully successful before will not likely give me the same wonderful success now. I'm convinced there's something I need to change this time, some attitude, some outlook, some behaviour that will help me achieve what I'm after creating even more honest results. Whether it's a new buddy to fight with, or a new activity to master or perhaps just a shift in my approach something must be different, even if it's just a bit.

An old pastor of mine used to say the definition of insanity was continuing to do the same thing over and over and expecting a different out come.

What I want to do is make some public vows right now and declare how I am going to live and what I am going to live without. It worked last time, very well actually. I am confident that it would be fairly successful this time but not as much as the last. What do I do to make my commitment real? What do I do to be true to how I want to live?

Accountability takes you so far, but you need to be accountable to someone (or someones) who cares enough to give you crap when you screw up. Who will spur you on to do your best and challenge you to get better.

Maybe a physical goal is needed, something measurable, something factual, something I can see change with.

Perhaps I need a new purpose to change. I know changing my eating in the past was much to do with the information I learned. The more I found out about the food I was hooked on the less I wanted to eat it, which then birthed a real commitment to change how I baked, cooked and ate. It was never through how much I wanted to be a certain size at all, though I wanted that it was never a strong enough factor in my will power.

Hmmmmmm .... I feel as though I need to do some soul searching, learning, friend searching, and purpose in me changing my lifestyle. I think I know for sure that the number on the scale or around my waist isn't enough for me to follow an eating plan or exercise routine. I need reason, advantages, facts, and good feelings for me to truly continue (and yes I'm continuing not re starting) my journey.

We're never 'there', where ever 'there' is. But that's good because that means we're still on the road to somewhere. and I'm choosing to believe it's somewhere better.

I sort of want to apologize about so much 'weight' talk much of the time, I'm sure it seems as though I'm obsessed about my appearance. I'm really not. I am probably mildly obsessed with bettering my health, but no more than I am with trying to better the rest of me. It's just easier to try and work on something physical than it is something invisible.

So let me write the following list of things I've learned about my body during my past year's journey towards better health:

* 80% of the equation is what you eat
* my appearance isn't a huge motivator in my progress
* my journey consists of ups and downs NOT going forwards or backwards. Though a weight gain appears to be a step back I believe it's just another lesson in what I am learning about myself and what's really true: I'm still learning.
* I am now convinced that proper nutrition and exercise is the only real way to lose fat and be healthy. I never ever have to engage in a diet. If something needs to be consumed in strict moderation it need not enter my body at all.
* I actually want to take care of what I've been given because good health is a real gift
* I can make my body into anything I want it to be (that is freakin' awesome!!!)
* I love sharing with others the things I have learned
* When my body is strong I feel amazing
* I can't just decide not to put something into my body i know is bad for me I must commit to it. However I need people around me to hold me accountable and remind me why I've chosen to do so.
* more to come .... :)

Wally and I canceled our gym membership today. A bit of a scary thing. We spent money on a home gym (well all the things I mentioned) and hope to continue to build it up a bit more. We know we are not likely to use one so far from home and I do home to maybe just maybe use our gym to train others in someday. We would like to be able to use our membership money on things of our choosing. I would love to take an actual yoga class for a couple of months, then try some other things. Eventually I may rejoin a gym closer by but for now I will see how working out at home goes. I hope to make our gym room a sanctuary in a sense to greet me each day and get me excited about this relatively new part of my life.

You know what would be fun? If someday I surprised Dee by achieving my strength goals and becoming a trainer. I would love to see the look on his face.

Hmmmmmm .... is that motivation enough?

Beeee Happy

Do you ever think about your life having an ending? I mean do you ever have a serious moment of realization that jolts you into the actual present to the very millisecond?

I do every once in a great while I stop long enough to really and truly put myself into thinking about time and my life in a way that scares the crap out of me AND gets me excited all at once. It's those moments that spur me on to doing things I REALLY want to do and gives me real focus and understanding that the time we have NOW is the only time we have.

The other day I was sitting in our new to us living room having one of these moments. I remember physically feeling startled at this reality and then trying to think to myself how I could even better what I am doing in my everyday to make my experience here and now, well .... better.

I was thinking how my aunt died at age 44. And how I now am almost 31. How if I died at her age I'd only have 13 years left and that doesn't seem like much. Then I thought, wow what if I only had 2 years, would I be pleased with my life? Am I experiencing and learning all that I should be? Am I missing something deeper and more joyous? Am I doing the job I am supposed to be doing? Living where I'm supposed to be living? Engaging in the friendships I'm supposed to be engaging in?

The initial 'I want to live life to the fullest' idea is obviously what drives me to put myself outside of my comfort zone, try new things, and try and understand other perspectives but am I doing so within the big areas as well.

This past week were the holidays, Christmas and New Years, a time generally filled with family and friends. Time to stop for a little while and just enjoy them with a meal and exchange of gifts. Maybe even a schedule change that's just different enough to allow you to enjoy that it's not the usual.

Probably because of these holidays, mixed with the fact that Wally had with first week off in exactly a year, I was feeling a bit sad. I had Christmas eve and Christmas Day off but other than that worked a regular week because people in my field don't exactly go on holidays from needing money, food, baths and socialization. Now I will completely admit that I am beyond fortunate to be able to have spent the two days that I always spend with each of our families off, when so many of my co workers worked straight through the holidays. However for some reason I just wanted to be home with Wally. I became resentful of work and taking anything but joy out of it. By day 5 and 6 in a row I dreaded going in and almost cried at the thought.

This seems completely ridiculous as I have no real reason to feel this way. I like those I support very much, but I like Wally more. I know I'm just acting spoiled now. It's funny though I was supporting someone on the last of my 6 day stint and I was scrubbing their floors on my hands and knees like when I used to house clean as my full time job. As I was working away being watched with an Eagle eye (the person I was supporting who I will admit I find a wee bit, or a lot bit creepy for more reasons than I can share), I was loving the silence. Silence in less than usual in most cases with this job. Then I actually had a moment of thinking maybe I should do a bit of housekeeping on the side. Then I longed for the days I was a housekeeper. Then I thought 'Am I going crazy? Or am I already there?'

Another factor into my dissatisfaction this week I think is that fact that I'm reading 'The Happiness Project'. Not because it's a bad book but because it's causing me to ask myself questions about my fulfillment and happiness.

As anyone who has read my blog for the past year and a half would know I (at the core) love my job. Actually maybe I'm lying. I think I'm discovering I love the people I support more than anything. I love meeting people that fascinate me, which they do every single day. I love being challenged, which I am every single day. I love being so privileged to know them. I honestly have and am learning more about the human heart from them than I think I could from 'regular people'. For example if I took 10 people I support and spent 10 hours with them I would generally come away from that time having felt as though I learned more about human kind and the true notions of it than I ever would if I were to do the same thing with the same number of people without a disability. I'm not saying they are angels (trust me, a co worker was trying me to go on the cruise for work and I am fully aware of the taxation that occurs on your psyche, or at least mine for extended periods of time - for that is).

I feel like I'm taking the scenic route to whatever point I'm trying to make and I'm getting bored.

I guess I'm beginning to wonder if perhaps my work in this field was less about me giving and more about me learning. I'm sure that generally that's why we're put in situations, I mean people think I'm going to Thailand to work when really I'm going to Thailand completely for myself to learn and to be changed in some way and to share the message with others.

When Wally and I went back to school we wanted to be prepared for the fact that we may have felt lead back to school for the journey and sacrifice we went through to rather than the result of the specific jobs we were going through in. We knew of lots of people that went to school for a certain occupation then ended up doing something completely different, some loved it and some didn't. When we both got jobs in our prospective fields we were elated and excited to know we were walking right into what seemed planned all along.

However as I look back I see how much the several different acts of change we had to accept before getting to school. The enormous fears we had to face, the geography we had to learn. We still say at least once a week 'We bought a house. All by ourselves. Without anyone's help or advice. Wow!' We have amazed ourselves. Though most couples our age wouldn't likely be all that amazed at doing those things we are as up until 2 1/2 years ago we had lived pretty much in the same town our whole lives and we fear driven. we'd do things based on how scared we were of them. Now we do things because we want to or because we don't.

Back to my job. I am beginning to wonder if it was and is less of a job or actual destination for me and perhaps more of a stepping stone and learning area. I can't say I've ever felt as though I've learned more than during the time I've been in this field, and don't get me wrong I don't plan on just quitting or anything. I just want to keep my heart open to doing what makes me happy, what I'm good at and what I love.

I do wonder if the mom calling I experienced in the summer is what my heart is anxious to encounter. Not to be loved, my husband, family and friends do a fine job of that, but perhaps for that thing I have known for years I've longed to do. We'll see...

One question 'The Happiness Project' lady asks, something many have pondered: 'What do you do in your free time? What would you do for free?'

I can think of a couple things right off the top of my head: read, observe, try new things and write. Oh and I love talking to kids. Like having a conversation with a 4 yrs old is THE BEST (well as long as you are not arguing your point). I mean a real conversation where you ask them questions and you wait to hear their answers. Bill Cosby is my hero by the way. Love that man.

I have no earthly idea how that started or where we went but there you have it!

It's funny, just writing that last paragraph makes me feel happier. Hmmmmm ... maybe I'm on to something.