Saturday, May 22, 2010

Our Struggle Are Ours

I have been thinking about struggles lately. We all have something in our lives that we struggle with; each one our own.

Recently a Facebook friend commented about having shoulder surgery and going through PT. The PT was painful. She posted that she saw a report about someone who was paralyzed and therefore was not going to complain about her PT pain anymore. Her comments made me think and analyze and question perceptions.

We are taught from an early day to be appreciative for all the things we have. We are taught to look around us and see how lucky we are, that there are people going through something worse than us. But what does that teach us ultimately?

It teaches us to minimize our own struggles:
If I have a stomach ulcer, it isn't stomach cancer.
If I have a sore joint, at least I can walk.
If I have migraine headaches, at least it isn't Alzheimer's.
If a break my leg and have painful PT, at least I can walk.

I am sure I could make more comparisons, but you see my point. We are taught to consider ourselves lucky. But what about our pain, our struggle?

It is real. It is intense. We should be allowed to complain or discuss our struggles. I think that by burying our struggles and comparing ourselves to others, we do ourselves a disservice. Whatever I am gong through is going to be tough for me, it is a struggle.

Everyone should be allowed to complain about what they are going through. If PT hurts, I am in pain. It doesn't matter how many people I know who can't walk, my pain is still real. If I get severe headaches, that pain is real no matter who I know with Alzheimer's. And so on.

I don't mean to let yourself become mired in what is happening. There has to be limits to the suffering/complaining. There is a time to remember all the good in your life, a time to remember how lucky you are. And knowing others are dealing with more can be good for you.

Ultimately, I am giving myself to talk about my struggles. There are things in my life that are tough, and I need to be able to discuss them. I need to feel it is okay to hurt, to feel like my struggles are extreme, that my life is my life and the good and bad are mine to deal with. If I need help, it doesn't matter if my problem seems 'small' to others, they are mine.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Excercise

I HATE TO EXERCISE!
I HATE TO EXERCISE!
I HATE TO EXERCISE!
I HATE TO EXERCISE!

There, I said it. I admit it. I don't see that changing. I have been working out on the elliptical machine regularly for 3 weeks now. I am waiting for my 'runner's high', but it seems to have run past me. I get hot, sweaty, clammy, out of breath, and did I mention hot. I hate those feelings. I do not feel better when I am done. I do not crave exercise on the days I take off. I have never felt anything positive toward exercise.

You always hear people talking about how they love to exercise. They want to exercise. They feel like something is missing when they do not exercise. They get a euphoric feeling while running, etc... Whatever!

While I believe that is true for some people, I think a lot of people are lying. And they do not want to admit they don't like to exercise. After all, why would you do something on a regular basis that you didn't like. But I am not afraid to admit it. I do not think it will make me stop, any more than the 153 other excuses I can come up with to skip a work out. I need to be realistic about this aspect of my life. It is something I have to do. Period, end of story.

I know it is the only way to become and continue to be healthy. My knee hurts and weighing less will take some stress off the knee. By strengthening the muscles in the led, I will help the knee. I have come to like yoga, at least the short routines I have been doing. My goal is to do the yoga on a daily basis.

The elliptical and I are a different story. It sits behind my desk, taunting me, staring at me, waiting for me. I am currently doing a 20 minute work out; with 10 of those at an intensity that really increases my heart rate. No euphoria there, just some heavy breathing. My goal for it is 3 days of working out, then 1 day of rest.

There you have it. I do not like to exercise. I will continue to exercise. One day I may not dread it so much. Will I ever love to exercise? NO!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Fat... Fraud... Failure

I have been thinking about this post for over a week. Not because I didn’t know what to say, but because I didn’t want to admit to these faults in my life. Look another ‘f’ word. However, I want to make real changes in my life and to do that I have to let go of the things that are blocking me. These ‘f’ words are blocking me. My hope is that by admitting to them, recognizing them, and defining them that I will be able to be rid of them.

FAT: No one likes that word, unless of course you are talking of cute little babies. As adults we avoid the label like the plague. I am curvy, chunky, overweight, big, etc… all euphemisms to replace FAT. But the truth of the matter is painful, but simple. I AM FAT. That is hard to admit and harder to admit to the world. It is the truth. I usually justify that statement with comparisons to not being obese, but I can’t keep doing that. I have to accept this part of my life, especially since it is what I want to change. I don’t want to be fat, I want to change that vowel and become FIT. To become fit, I have to change some habits, which leads me to FRAUD.

FRAUD: I often feel like a fraud when it comes to my weight loss attempts. I know about exercise and healthy eating. I am able to talk about those things. And I do. Then I look at myself, or put on my clothes and know that I am not actually doing the things I talk about. I feel like a fraud. How can I talk about being healthy when I am not? I usually end up over eating of stopping the exercise, etc.. Which leads me to FAILURE

FAILURE: I am a failure when it comes to weight loss. I feel like I am not being true to myself when I talk about exercise and healthy eating I feel like others think I have been doing these things forever. Yet, one look at me confirms that I have not. Then I start to justify my statements with… “I just started” “I know I should” “I am trying” But these are not action statements, and little by little they are affecting me negatively. In truth, they allow me an out, a way to fail. And I do. More times than I care to count, I have failed at weight loss and becoming fit. It always looks innocent, but in truth I have let myself use these statements to fail.

This is my cycle, we all have one that traps us, keeps us stuck in old habits. I have now named my cycle and intend to use this knowledge to change it.

FAT: I don’t want to be fat. I don’t want to be thin either. I don’t really care about charts and what ‘experts’ say I should weigh. I have to lose weight; I accept that. I have a goal of 14 pounds by July. After that, well time will tell.

FRAUD: I am not a fraud just because I sustained myself on unhealthy food until know. I am not a fraud because I want to start eating salad and more fruit. I AM NOT A FRAUD. I am making changes to my life; the future is what counts. Who I was and what I did in the past will not weigh in how I perceive myself as I move forward.

FAILURE: Not an option. I truly believe that my misstep is always at fraud. That feeling is what leads to my failure. I will change that feeling; I will break this cycle smack dab in the middle. If I don’t feel like I am a fraud, then I cannot fail.

Will it be easy? No. I admit to hating exercise and loving carbs. But I am going to make these changes in my life. It isn’t about size, but being healthy. I really want to be healthy. Come back for more thoughts as the journey continues.