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Bringing Your Body Into Balance

My 100+ pound weight loss is what grabs people's attention. However, my weight loss was merely a side effect of finally taking my health and happiness into my own hands and finding that perfect balance. Body, mind, spirit. It all matters.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Go Ahead, Be Broken




There truly IS something beautiful about being broken, 
torn down to nothing. 

Go ahead. 

Be broken. 

Cry. 

Scream. 

Then become silent. 

Sit with yourself in that silence. Then watch the beauty start to bubble up around you. All those cracks where the light can get in. 

And as you rise up out of the ashes, the magnificent light that pours out of your soul will light up the world.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Vulnerability

I had a bit of a breakthrough with my counselor Tuesday. I shared with her what I recently became aware of: I recoil when nice, healthy men show me attention or affection. I told her that I never made the connection until a recent experience I had with a nice man because I never recoiled when a man, who treated me poorly, praised me.

She suddenly lit up when I said this and went and grabbed and book and started searching through it. She found a page and looked up at me and said, "I think it's possible we've been addressing the wrong schema in you. I don't think you have a fear of abandonment. I think it may have appeared that you do because of the way you've behaved in relationships. But they have not been healthy relationships so your actions have a different meaning than if you were doing these things to push a healthy man away."
I was still confused but I did at least agree that I don't have abandonment issues. I always thought deep down that diagnosis was wrong when they first told me my schemas after my initial evaluations. So I was very interested to see where it was all going. She asked me some questions. I answered yes to all of them. The last couple I answered an excited, resounding "yes!" to each! I still had no idea where this was going but I could tell we were on to something.
Vulnerability!
I fear vulnerability. And I KNOW this to be true to my core.
I can even pretty much guess why I fear it. When I was very young, I was extremely vulnerable. I cried easily, I wore my heart on my sleeve. I shared my deepest secrets with everyone. I blindly trusted. I gave my heart, my loyalty, and eventually my body, freely.
As a result I was bullied, walked all over, made the butt of everyone's jokes, laughed at, lied to, cheated on, pushed around and just overall used as a whipping post for the social predators of the world.
Eventually I got angry. I've always known that I threw up a wall and developed a "get them before they get you" attitude in my teens and through a lot of my 20's. However, I thought I had overcome it because the anger went away and a great deal of my sensitivity returned.
I've since realized that I didn't overcome it. I found healthier, more socially acceptable ways to deal with it but never truly have I realized the problem until now.
So many of my actions and attitudes about life suddenly came into precise focus. It all made sense. Except one thing. Why would I recoil from a safe, healthy man? Why would I keep seeking out emotionally unavailable, mentally unhealthy men. How is that safe? How does that not make me vulnerable?

Then it hit me. They never made me take my walls down. A couple tried but they were mostly content and sometimes even preferred that I keep them up. I've always preferred my men cynical (like me) and a little guarded, never saying or doing anything foolish which I have a hard time tolerating at all. Then when I did let my walls down a little, I didn't feel so vulnerable showing my weak spots to someone with more mental and emotional issues than myself. Also, if I never felt a deep connection or desire for forever with them, and if I always felt a little superior to them in some capacity, then I was always the one in the driver's seat (or so I thought). And when these relationships all did eventually fall apart, I always had the comfort of feeling relief because I knew I can do better, that it wasn't a healthy relationship. Conversely, when a good man comes toward me with his heart on his sleeve asking me for the same, not only does this strike a chord of fear within me (what if a good guy rejects me?!) but it also makes me feel disgust for him. Why? Because, when I really analyze it, that's exactly what I've been feeling for that little wide-eyed innocent, stringy haired, fat girl who wore her heart on her sleeve and let people hurt her. Disgust. How could she do that to us?
I've shared so many personal experiences on this blog. That's how I was convinced that I was making myself vulnerable. And I was! I've actually come a long way in that I can share this sort of thing with the world (or 100-150 unique visitors a day anyway). I've also developed some pretty deep friendships over the years which is also huge growth for me. I had a lot of female friends do very horrible things to me earlier in life which made me really shut females out for a long time. However, now I have developed true bonds with quite a few females in my life and it did make me uncomfortable when I first started doing it but now they are bonds I cherish so much.

But I do realize these types of vulnerability are less scary in comparison to what I am incapable of doing. The thought of making myself romantically vulnerable is horrifying. It explains why when I met my ex I got into a relationship with him even though I KNEW there was something a little inauthentic and guarded about him. I even said this to my mother after talking to him on the phone for the first time. I said "I feel like there's something not real about him, like he doesn't make true human connections with people." It all makes sense now. I'm realizing he probably has the same fear of vulnerability so we both had our walls up and everyone was safe. Until we weren't. Where everything goes wrong is when you biologically attach to someone anyway. Then the vulnerability sneaks up on you.


So I'm finally at a point where I realize that I have to make a deliberate decision to make myself vulnerable to a man from the very beginning. This forces me to really analyze my feelings when I meet a new potential mate.
When I think about truly opening up my heart to someone, it makes me shut down immediately. I am definitely not ready to do it now anyway. I have much work to do on myself. However, I am also going to start to open my mind and my heart to the possibility of it some day. And it begins to feel less and less scary as I compare it to how much suffering and humiliation I've experienced at the hands of those guys I was supposedly choosing to feel safe and to avoid vulnerability. Oh the irony.
In the meantime, I want to begin to contemplate what making myself vulnerable feels like. I believe a big first step to this is acknowledging that I can't avoid pain. Pain, change, grief, all of it is inevitable. As many times as I've tried to avoid it, I've failed. So I am going to attempt to surrender to life and what it can offer me despite how vulnerable and uncomfortable it makes me feel to embrace things and people that I know I can and will someday lose. I recently read a wonderful quote that describes it perfectly:
“Life is made up of a collection of moments that are not ours to keep. The pain we encounter throughout our days spent on this earth comes from the illusion that some moments can be held onto. Clinging to people and experiences that were never ours in the first place is what causes us to miss out on the beauty of the miracle that is the now. All of this is yours, yet none of it is. How could it be? Look around you. Everything is fleeting.
To love and let go, love and let go, love and let go...it's the single most important thing we can learn in this lifetime.” -Rachel Brathen

I have one last thing to do for now:

Dear Little Tammi,
I'm sorry you went through what you did. You were right to be so wide open, it shows what a good, pure, beautiful heart you have. Don't let the bitter, jaded people of the world make you ashamed of who you are. It's is okay to be raw and open. We can now protect your heart with the wisdom I have gained for you over the years instead of the walls we have built around it. We will be okay together. You weren't disgusting and there was nothing wrong with you and I love you.
Love,
Medium Tammi (because I'm still growing)


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

You Are a Badass: Finding Inconsolable Sobbing Awe In Everyday Life


I've been doing a lot of self-work and soul searching lately. However, after a bunch of heavy, HEAVY audiobooks and some intense and frequent introspection in a very short amount of time, I decided yesterday it was time for something a little more lighthearted. 

I've wanted to listen to "You Are a Badass" for a while now. The reviews are mostly good but quite a few people complain that it's not based in science and it's too "new age" which I generally don't go for. However, I decided to give it a try yesterday because it seemed like it might be just a really good, long pep talk. And that's exactly what it is! So far my favorite quote is the following. It's not just my favorite quote so far, it's becoming a mantra. I shared it on Facebook with my friends and I find myself pulling up my page to read it over and over again. 

It never ceases to amaze me the precious time we spend chasing the squirrels around our brains, playing out our dramas, worrying about unwanted facial hair, seeking adoration, justifying our actions, complaining about slow Internet connections, dissecting the lives of idiots, when we are sitting in the middle of a full-blown miracle that is happening right here, right now. 
We're on a planet that somehow knows how to rotate on its axis and follow a defined path while it hurtles through space! Our hearts beat! We can see! We have love, laughter, language, living rooms, computers, compassion, cars, fire, fingernails, flowers, music, medicine, mountains, muffins! We live in a limitless universe, overflowing with miracles. The fact that we aren't stumbling around in an inconsolable state of sobbing awe is appalling ” ― Jen Sincero, You Are a Badass"

Wow.

Regardless of what you believe or don't believe, how can you not step back in absolute awe and think how amazing it is that we even exist?! That everything is synced up so perfectly that we are certain the sun will rise and set every day. How beautiful and magical life is when seen in this light. 

So that's what I've really made an effort to do for the last day. I have been walking through life in awe. Yesterday evening I sat on my back patio with my son and we just chatted. I try to always appreciate my time with him but this time was extra special. I was so unbelievably tuned in. As he talked about Minecraft (one of only about three topics he has in rotation in that sweet little head of his right now) I noticed the perfect little slope of his button nose, his china dolls lips, how amazingly cute he sounded when he kept using the word "unfortunately." I thought about how he grew inside of me. His body literally came from my body! Talk about magic!!

This is just one example of how my perception is shifting. And I don't want to lose it. 

I recently met a very unique person who has a weight loss story similar to my own. He reached a low point in his life and decided to change himself and used that desire for a better version of himself to transform his body completely in just one year. Yesterday he celebrated one year since the day he began. He began on Summer Solstice. He said it was meaningful to him because it symbolizes new beginnings. I kept thinking all day after he told me that that I should come up with some big change to implement on that day. I couldn't think of anything.

This morning I woke up and realized I did something very different yesterday! I walked through life with awe. I embraced pretty much every moment. This morning I did the same. I tasted my coffee like never before, I enjoyed my morning meditation in a totally different way. Yes, right now it's coming naturally to me but I know there will be days when I need to remind myself to look at life this way. So that is my resolution. I am going to post notes around my house and set reminders on my phone. 

One of the very best things about going through life this way is something I discovered yesterday and it's what made it instantly so addictive to me. When I am truly immersed in the moment and finding joy and amazement in simply being alive, I am incapable of dwelling on silly, meaningless things that have been bothering me. When I'm contemplating the synergy of nature as I watch a bee buzz around some flowers and grass, I can't seem to care whether or not that person who said that thing that kind of sounded not nice was trying to disrespect me. When I'm truly completely immersed in playing chutes and ladders with my funny, quirky son, and we are laughing about my absolutely horrible luck, the fact that I'm an almost 40 year old woman living in a youth obsessed culture doesn't register as anything more than some mathematical equation and observations of the society I live in. Being fully engaged in MY MY MY life, makes me incapable of caring about the opinions of people who are not relevant in my life or the silly details of what's going on in their life (yes, this is an ex reference...notice they are getting fewer and further between). 

I feel that resolving to remember to view life this way is yet another step toward being the vessel of peace and love that I long to be. And, in the meantime, it's simply making life happier!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Getting Comfortable In My Own Skin


I know people like blog posts with pics more and I always avoid full body ones of myself so I end up with a lot of random pictures of weird things instead. So I'm breaking that trend. I'm also not going to offer some kind of qualifier where I acknowledge what's lacking about my body like I have in the past "I know I'm not perfect but I've worked so hard..." NO! To hell with that. I AM perfect. What the heck is perfect anyway?! 

I've been teaching an Introduction to Yoga workshop the last couple of weeks. I didn't give it much thought because it was mostly women I knew and just a low key thing to help make people interested in attending our regular yoga classes more comfortable doing so. However, the reality of things really hit me during my first instruction when I realized that a large portion of the class would be spent with me contorting my body in different ways while they stared at me. Yikes! 

Well, there was no turning back once I started it. It would be way more awkward to suddenly grab a yoga blanket, wrap it around my body and run out of the room. So I, of course, followed through. What I've found is that just like that first time I walk out of the house in summer wearing shorts and a sleeveless shirt, I almost instantly became more comfortable with my body. I guess it's the whole "ripping off the band-aid" thing. Just get the worst over with quickly.

I've also written recently about how recent events have made me question the "worthiness" of my body. In the strangest way possible, this has also contributed to more body acceptance! I have to admit I never would've seen that one coming! But I guess when you're forced to turn away from some source of praise and acceptance that has suddenly dried up and toward yourself instead, it does something to you.

And I can't overlook the fact that I could easily seek out new approval. Quite honestly, the dating world around me seems ripe for the picking. There are so many newly single men my age. It's almost like an epidemic. And I see them oozing out of the woodwork around me, moving toward me like lonely zombies and....I'm just not interested! Me! The chick who has always needed a man in her life. Always needed approval. I'm. Just. Not. Interested. I am astounding myself! What has caused my sudden shift in self-worth?....

Everything!

I have dedicated so much of my life to trying to grow as a person. I mean, I have put my heart and soul into it. And there are times when I feel like it's been a waste. But, as the dust settles from my sadness and the blow to my ego, I find this new, stronger, more peaceful and centered women sitting in the middle of it all. And I am proud of her! 

There is this old, insecure part of me deep inside, that recoiled a little as I typed "I am proud of her." Why? Because I thought "no, that's too arrogant, someone will think badly of you." I don't care. So I'll say it again...

I am proud of myself. 

I am amazing.

I am beautiful.

I am sexy. 

I am absolutely perfect just the way I am, both on the outside and WAY more importantly, on the inside!

Don't agree with me? That is YOUR reality! This is mine! 

This getting older thing isn't so bad after all because that nasty little voice in my head is dying of old age at a far faster rate than other parts of me. That voice that tries to tell me I am defined by the opinion of others is played out and no longer welcome. I am starting to perceive it as some tired boyfriend I outgrew a long time ago and only recently thought, "wait, what are you still doing here?!" As layers come off and people walk through and out of my life, I'm left with one constant. Myself. My divine and perfect self. 

And the longer I hold steadfast to my resolve to find self-acceptance instead of turning to yet another man to validate me, the more I settle into this peace that I am feeling. I am amazed by it. And I don't think it's so much that I am suddenly okay with any physical imperfections I may perceive. Rather, I've stopped putting so much emphasis on this silly meat shell I'm walking around in and instead am turning inward over and over again to grow and appreciate those parts inside of me that never need a tan, never need a lift, never die.



Now, that's not to say that I won't totally break down an hour from now and feel alone and ugly. But that is part of my journey also. But it will be healthy. I will not look around desperately for something to dull the pain. I will do what I've been doing. I will close my eyes, feel my pain and grow yet again. How beautiful pain and struggle can be when seen in this light. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Turning Grief and Guilt into Gratitude

My life has not been a picnic at times lately. I've had some pretty heavy stuff happen to me. The more that happens, the more I break down. Now, on the surface, "break down" sounds like a negative. But I'm learning that is not necessarily the case. What I'm learning is that painful things like grief and loss crack you wide open in a way that allows you to become something totally new and beautiful.

A perfect "for instance" happened yesterday. I have a client in her 70s who struggles with unbelievably (and understandable) grief over losing her daughter to cancer a few years ago. I've always felt sadness for her and I've even shed a few tears when I see her break down but the situation always made me feel a little uncomfortable because I, having never suffered any great loss other than my grandmother in my 20s, felt like I couldn't relate and I had no idea what to say to make it better.

She mentioned in passing that it was her daughter's birthday. At one time I would've said something to the effect of "awe, I'm sorry," and then tried to think of something positive to say. It would've kinda choked me up and made me sad but I would've felt like the best way to make her feel better was to move quickly past it and on to something positive.

Instead, I dropped what I was doing and headed across the room straight to her. I wrapped my arms around her and we cried together. I didn't let go after a few seconds with a pat on the back. In fact, after a little while we pulled away and I pulled her back to me and she cried harder. When we were done she said "I don't get many hugs anymore." I hugged her again as she walked out the front door and told her I loved her. 

What was responsible for my change in behavior? Well, in addition to finally understanding how devestating cancer can be because of what I've seen my mother and our entire family go through, I also am raw with all of my own pain lately. It's hard being single at times (although I'm seriously loving it more and more at other times!) But there are times, like last week, when I had a complete meltdown at my studio before a class. There were a group of women there whom I feel close to and they all wrapped their arms around me in a big circle and told me to just cry. There was something so freeing about knowing you could collapse into someone who loves you and cry and not worry that you were letting them hug you too long. 

That experience forever changed me. It reinforced once and for all what I'm learning of the importance of women supporting women and it also taught me that sometimes you just need to wrap your arms around someone in pain and give them a really long hug until all their tears come out. 

I'm listening to an amazing book on grief and loss (I will write a review when I'm done) that talks about the first stage of loss. It's called "shattering". This has become a very powerful word for me lately. Shattering is when it feels like the entire foundation of your world blows completely part and you are left floating in an abyss of pain. It's hard to breath, to eat, to function at all. 

However, a combination of what this book talks about and what I know to be true about behavior modification tells me that shattering can be the best thing that ever happened to you in the long run. When you completely disturb your foundation, you are absolutely primed to make huge changes in your life. I always tell my clients, if you want to change something, change something else first. Disrupt your day to day life and this primes you for change. 

My foundation is about as disrupted as it could be right now. My mother's future remains uncertain (although, isn't that true for us all?!), I am single for basically the first time in 25 years and I just moved into a new place and am still half living out of boxes. I hardly even feel like the same person at times. 

Last night I was struggling forever to mount a shower rod in my new bathroom so I could finally bathe my filfthy son before he went to bed. As I finally, FINALLY screwed in the last screw after probably close to 45 minutes of struggling and hung my pretty shower curtain that I had picked out all by myself, I took a step back and admired my handy work. I felt so inspired that I decided to hang my towel rack too. What appears to many to be probably a slightly below average bathroom that doesn't even totally match is a huge symbol of my independence and freedom to be whoever I want.



Which leads me to my main point of this post. Turning grief and guilt into gratitude. It's something I'm getting good at lately. Here's how it's working for me as it relates to grief...


  • Had I remained in my relationship (that was not serving me in any meaningful, healthy capacity), he would've been there last night to mount my shower rod and towel rack. Instead of feeling empowerment and a sense of accomplishment, I would've felt indebtedness and probably a little stress because there's a good chance he would've been at least slightly annoyed.
  • When we went to bed last night, I would've been crowded and gotten another subpar night's sleep. Instead, I stretched out in my brand new bed, in my brand new room and slept like a log. 
  • Had that woman not felt compelled to tell me that my ex was with another woman, I would have easily healed from a relationship that had caused me so much grief that the pain I felt from it ending paled in comparison to the pain I had felt staying in it so long. Instead, I was cast into a deeper pain than I knew was possible and, as a result, shattered and now am having the beautiful experience of creating a new, more amazing me. It also helped me stop romanticizing who he was. Furthermore, I truly feel it has forever broken the cycle of toxic relationships for me. My eyes are so wide open and I actually had an amazing, somewhat spiritual, experience recently relating to this which I will share in the near future. 
  • Had I stayed in the confines of that relationship, or jumped immediately into my next relationship like I used to always do, my world would've remained small. Instead, I've really taken time to nurture friendships and build new ones. As a result, I don't really ever have time to feel lonely. In fact I received two "good morning" texts from friends (at 6:15am) just since I started writing this. I am really appreciating the importance of good friendship lately and enjoying just going and doing things with people for reasons other than romantic ones which used to, sadly, always be my motivation. I've had so many new experiences and learned things from new people, things that enhance my life and build my character. 
  • Had my mother never gotten sick, I would've never been so raw and open and able to relate to other people's pain the way I can now. I also would not have this acute appreciation for how finite life is and how important it is to savor every moment.

Now, my recent experiences with turning guilt into gratitude. I am the world's worst at feeling guilty. I really think it's a part of the female condition but I'm convinced mine may be even a little worse than the average woman. I almost think this could be the love child of my GAD and OCD. But like a good therapy patient, I just keep breaking out that CBT model and poking holes in my thought patterns. 

I've almost started to make a game out of it. When I feel guilt about something, I try to find the gratitude within it. I've always struggled to do the whole gratitude thing but using my feelings of guilt and grief as a trigger and opportunity to find gratitude is helping me finally get the hang of this concept. So here's some examples of how I've made my guilt lemonaide lately:
  • Just this morning, I hit the snooze button. Something I try to never do because it feels so wasteful. Sleeping nine more minutes after being awoken doesn't contribute to feelings of wakefulness during the day so what's the point? Well, this morning I hit the snooze button and instantly felt guilt and was about to turn my alarm off and then I thought "NO! This feels nice and I'm so grateful I have an extra nine minutes to snuggle deep back into my covers and all my cozy pillows and just snooze." So I did....for 18 minutes! It was heavenly and I woke up determinted to just appreciate it instead of viewing it as 18 minutes I'd never get back.
  • I didn't work out yesterday. I like to always start my Monday's working out but I just literally didn't have time. But I did get plenty of physical activity walking and even dancing with my clients, then unpacking boxes, mounting and assembling things, cleaning, and just working nonstop in my apartment all evening. So instead of feeling guilty for not working out, I'm grateful that I have such an active life. Furthermore, as I get ready to design the workout for the class I'm teaching today, I'm grateful to not be worn down and sore from a heavy workout yesterday. Which means the ladies in my class better watch out!!
  • I struggle with ongoing guilt of how I feel that I wasn't always attentive to my son's emotional needs when he was very little while I was going through my post-partum depression. However, had I not gone through that, I never would've changed all the things I did and become the person I am today which I believe makes me a better mother. Furthermore, my need to "make up for lost time" compels me to be more attentive and spend more meaningful, quality time with him now instead of going on autopilot at a time that many parents easily could as he becomes more independent and keeps himself occupied. As a result, I see him more and more turning into a fine young man who is guided by morals and the wisdom I've tried to provide him instead of simply fear of discipline. 
Life is such a beautiful tragedy and greif is inevitable. We can allow it to make us broken and bitter or we can allow it to make us deep, wise, humble and wide open for everything amazing.

"There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in."
-Leonard Cohen

Monday, June 13, 2016

Well Hello 165

Okay, after some super deep posts lately, this one is going to be a little more shallow...okay probably a lot more shallow but maybe I'll go off on some super deep tangent and surprise us both.


In the midst of what has recently been literally the worst, most stressful time in my life. My breakup was actually just the rotten icing on the cake, not the main event. In fact, despite the sadness and shock, it was actually a much needed relief to pay more attention to other important issues in my life. My mother has been struggling with cancer for well over a year now and is at a point (she is stage 3B) where she is refusing conventional treatment and turning to alternative therapies. I am actually relieved that she is turning toward natural medicine because, not only am I a fan, I also know that she will feel GOOD from doing this instead of seeing her suffer like I have for over a year now. There comes a point where you have to choose to LIVE instead of choosing to struggle to possibly live just a little longer. But I have a strong belief in my heart that she can do both with these more natural methods.

Then, on top of this huge life stuff, I've also been in the middle of a big move. So needless to say, life has been nuts. And this is in the midst, as always, of trying to run and grow my own business.

I've also been doing something that's completely uncharted territory for me: being single! Now, I'm not talking my single moments of the past which involved desperately looking for my next boyfriend. I'm talking, truly embracing my "me" time. Going on a date and telling a guy I had a great time and not caring if he calls me (and often preferring he doesn't). Declining dates that I would've at one time accepted to just not spend a Friday night alone and instead hanging out with friends or *gasp* by myself.

Life is about as different from what it was a couple years ago as I could possibly imagine and it's not always good. In fact, there's moments when I break down and cry my heart out and wonder what the future holds. However, the good times are way better than they used to be and here's why...

First, with my mother being sick, it has made me acutely aware of how precious life is. So, when I'm sad, I cry. When I'm anxious I acknowledge my feelings and deal with it. I do whatever I have to do in that moment to get back to living. And when I laugh, I laugh with my whole body and I am completely in that moment.

Second, this is the first time in my entire life where I am the sole captain of my ship! I always felt like I needed someone to navigate through life with. Now, I am truly embracing making my own decisions and I'm having some truly amazing experiences that aren't limited by the rules of others (just the rules of society but, hey, what are you gonna do).

Last, because I am finally developing a more healthy relationship with myself. Everything is brighter and feels better when I'm living in accordance with who I know I should be. Whether it be from a spiritual aspect or feeding my body the proper foods, it all matters and I realize that more than I ever have. When I'm aligned in this way, sadness is "cleaner" and not clouded with regret and self-loathing...and much shorter lived!

So, Friday I hit 165. I have no doubt I'll go a little lower which I'm excited about because I've started running again and I feel my best when I'm running around 155. What makes this time different than all the rest is that it is coming from the most pure and healthy place.

While I have some of the aforementioned psychological slumps, what I don't really have anymore are physical ones! I am balancing my hormones in a way that is changing me both physically and mentally. I feel calmer and as I become more balanced it is making me feel and look younger and more vibrant. My mind is clearer. My workouts are more intense. I don't wake up so groggy in the morning.

This all goes back to something I wrote about a couple weeks ago, about how when my actions don't align with who I know I should be, I tend to not take care of myself. Well, folks, I am aligned as heck right now!





Saturday, June 11, 2016

Remembering to Get Uncomfortable

Today I went running with a friend. Other than some sprints in Crossfit, I have not really run in a very long time. He, on the other hand, is an avid, almost compulsive runner. This is actually one of the reasons I was motivated to get up and go running with him this morning because I knew my pride would push me out of my comfort zone and boy did it! 

He ran a mile or so to "warm up" while I dragged my feet finding a bathroom and walking a little. Then we were off. I was almost instantly miserable and it was unbelievably HOT by 10:15am! Here I am doing my slow crawl jog and he announces he going to "do a quick lap" and meet back up with me. I felt like a dying turtle as he took off running. It was so hard to not stop running and walk during that lap but I was determined to at least keep my slow crawl of a jog up until he circled back around and caught up to me. So I did.

Had I not bee running with him, quite honestly, as hot as it was I would've ran one lap and drove to the gym to strength train in the A/C. So I accomplished exactly what I set out to do. I got PUSHED and pushed hard. And he was super nice about it and told me I did great even though I know he will probably have to sneak in another run today because of it. So, yeah, I still had to swallow my pride despite trying so hard to maintain it. 

But what it did for me reminded me of an important lesson. It's actually something I used to blog about constantly and somehow slowly slipped away from. 

The power of making myself uncomfortable.

As I got in my car I felt sweat slide down behind my ears! I don't think I've ever sweat behind my ears before. I looked in the mirror and my face was completely covered in red splotches. As I drove to get lunch, my arms shook and when I got out of my car, my legs wobbled. I know all these symptoms to be precursors to change.

Once I ate a good, healthy lunch, I felt full of energy and inspired! How had I forgotten this feeling? Now, don't get me wrong. I've been doing Crossfit, so I definitely push myself with that. However, I've had to scale it back a lot because I was injuring myself. I think the injuries almost made me fearful to push myself.

Then I look at other areas of my life and become acutely aware that I had started to sink back into comfort. Whether it was in the form of running back to the comfort of a familiar relationship or doing a workout I knew I could do, it was all seeking out comfort, familiarity. 

This is exactly how NOT to grow. It's, instead, how one stagnates. I knew it but somehow I forgot. 

So it's time once again to make myself uncomfortable every chance I get! Which is why I'm off to the pool because getting in a bathing suit also makes me uncomfortable!

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