First things first. I went to the gym this morning. Ran 20 minutes at 5.0 and 1.5% incline (I’ve heard 1.5% is what simulates road running) and then did my New Rules Workout B. Phew! Was so glad to be back there this morning. Not so much when my alarm blared at 4:20am but pretty much all the parts after that! 😉
Now, I tell you a story.
I got my hand stuck in the undercarriage of Ray’s truck on the weekend. We were trying to get the boot off of the spark plug and he couldn’t get his hand in there so I offered to give it a try. I slid my hand under the interior mud guard and then had to sort of double it back and slip underneath the heat shield up in the motor. It was akward but I fit so I started tugging at the boot of the spark plug. I had to pull my hand out a couple of times and reposition. Tug. Tug. Wiggle. Tug. And off it popped! And then I tried to get my hand out for the last time. Stuck. Stuck?! Stuck with my face pressed against the fender of the truck and my arm halfway up inside the motor of a Ford Ranger? Stuck! Obviously, I panicked. I started trying to yank my hand out and then I had a vision of degloving myself (a disgusting injury, google it at your own risk) and I stopped. Stop. Reassess. Calm down! Wiggle. Maneouver. Free!
I was thinking about that yesterday after I’d posted my blog about being dangerously close to a backslide and I realized that’s not it at all. I’m not backsliding, I’m floundering. It’s like I’m in the water making all sorts of huge waves and splashes……..but I’m not going anywhere. I’m exerting the hell out of myself but I’m no further ahead than I was when I started.
Stop. Calm Down! Reassess. There is a lot of freedom when you come from a place of counting calories/points to a place where none of that matters. When I used to have guidelines to live within, I lived within them. Now my guideline is “don’t eat grains”. There is a LOT of wiggle room there and I have wiggled beyond where I should be. Instead of splashing around randomly and exhausting myself, I need to stop, get pointed in the right direction and then start to move forward. One decisive stroke forward is more valuable than any time spent in splash mode. One stroke forward and then another. Instead of exhausting myself and not going anywhere, I’ll harness my energy and use it in a concentrated manner.
I’m good with rules and guidelines and limitations. I’m also good at listening to my body. Together those are a powerful combination. When you take away the rules and guidelines though (or they are too vast), listening to my body becomes a party trick rather than a tool to be used. So, I tried “no rules” for awhile (almost three months) and I have a pretty good idea of what works for me and what doesn’t. I no longer believe in counting calories and I don’t agree with chronic cardio when it’s something you’re forcing yourself to do to the exclusion of enjoyment. I don’t believe fat makes you fat and I don’t believe whole grains are a healthy dietary item for anyone.
Having said all that, I’m stopping the splashing and moving forward, one dedicated stroke at a time. I’m not at all where I thought I would be three months ago when I started this and it’s hard not to get frustrated and feel defeated. However, three months is but a blink in the grand scheme, an entire lifetime of habits and behaviours cannot be revised in a blink. So for the next three months I’ll turn away from some of the things that haven’t worked for me, take all the wonderful things that I have learned and gained and build on that with more awareness, more determination and more dedication.
There is a quote that I love from a movie called 180 South where they are talking about human culture and basically our tendency to get too far ahead of ourselves, and they say, “Well what happens when you get to the edge of the cliff. Do you take one step forward? Or do a 180° turn and take one step forward? Which way are you going? Which is progress?” I think that continuing in the same direction is definitely sometimes the stupidest move you can make, that turning around and reassessing doesn’t mean you’re moving backwards. It’s so easy to end up treading water because your expectations aren’t met and that can create confusion and even anger – good for you for recognizing that in its early stages and pledging to move forward! One last great quote: “What screws us up most in life is the picture in our head of how it is supposed to be.”
Your whole comment means a lot but I really love that last quote.
I am in a similar (yet different) spot right now and I really appreciate this post. I am much the same as you in that I work well with guidlines and rules and I know how to listen to my body (mostly). I don’t care for the feeling of splashing around and even though I’m working at just being ok with myself, I fear the backslide.
This is a great post for getting refocused and putting ones self back in the right direction.
I really appreciate you and our friendship and I know that neither one of us is going to let the other backslide!
I wanna be like you when I grow up. Thank you for the continued inspiration…
Message sent from my beloved iPhone 😉
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