– Introduction To Change
Back in the 80’ies Jane Fonda rocked the aerobics floor – and VHS tapes (if you are in my generation you KNOW what VHS is) – and for as long as I can remember January has been a month of launching crazy ass diets and training plans that would send grown men crying home to their moms.
I’m dead set on eating healthier (and I really need to!), exercising more (the pain in my back tells me it’s about fucking time) and sleeping better (My Lady doesn’t deserve my crankiness from bad sleep) – sure, I’d love to see some of the medication/sick leave weight come back off, but the main priority is getting further back on my feet, feeling stronger and healthier and better. Like, taking this stairs without losing my breath, would be cool.
THERE ARE 3 WAYS GOING ABOUT THIS:
1. If you are looking into changing things up in any of these senses, then I would absolutely love you to tag along and we could be support buddies. With the spine I have, God knows I’m gonna need it.
2. If you are not into changing a goddamn thing, then don’t. But I’d still love your company and hopefully some of my dumbass efforts and comments will still bring a teency weency smile on your face. What can I say… I love the way you smile!
3. If you are looking for a magic “losing 20 kiloes in 8 weeks and look like an Avenger specimen” type of thing… you are wasting your time with me. Besides, my hip bones are too big to ever fit the Black Widow suit! I would like to kick some Thanos derriere, tho!
You’re cool with that…?
Then let’s begin…
This post is a part of DANCING JANUARY.
With DANCING JANUARY I chose to celebrate new beginnings and make breaking bad habits (if you’re on that wagon) a little more fun. So at the bottom of every post in January, you will find some music that is supposed to invite you to dance UGLY in your living room (or dance amazing, if you are a pro) – our goals, no matter their focus, are always more easily achieved, if we are having fun. So, no smoking, increasing confidence, be better at saying no, weight loss, gaining followers on Instagram – no matter your goal – or if you even have one – I hereby invite you to come and dance with me.
I dance like I’m being attacked by wasps!
It’s Never “Just” Changing
Let us start off by talking a little about change in the first place. Whether it’s the reckless crazy diets or the smarter (sorry, dieters) lifestyle changing, fall backs, relapses and eventually caving in and postponing ’til next New Years resolution (why?) seems to be more common than not.
I think a lot of people forget (or choose to ignore) the fact that breaking a habit, something that you might have done for ages, it doesn’t change overnight and it doesn’t come easy. So from the start – IF you are part of the beforementioned first group – can we just agree and prepare ourselves for the inevitable?:
This is to some extend at some point going to suck worse than a mosquito on a binge!
At some point we ARE going feel robbed of some of our rich world perogatives (’cause face it: there is not a single socalled third world country where this is even remotely an issue).
So let’s agree on the fact that whining is okay – to a certain level – but excuses like “I’m feeling off today, so I’m allowed” not so much (she wrote, while stuffing her migrainial head with Buggles!). Okay, maybe once in a while then – but if it becomes a habit, can we just agree to call each other out on it?
Next thing I’d like to address on the matter of change is something I have touched in my New Year Meditation, which you’ll know if you signed up for the newsletters on the Subscribe page. If you haven’t, then the Meditation is available until January 31st. Go and get it.
Leaving the commercial interruption, I’m talking about the difference between excuses and reasons and the difference between goals and dreams. I will write about the latter in a few days, so keep an eye out for that one.
Meanwhile excuses are very often pointing at something outside yourself and it strips you of the responsibility, which can momentarily feel good, sure, but for the greater purpose, it’s kind of counterproductive.
“It’s just because the store displays all the sweets by the check out line”
“I just got dumped, so I am not strong enough right now”
“I didn’t buy it!”
You know them, and heaps more, where these came from. Learn to spot them and fight them. They do exactly what the crave for a cigarette does to an ex smoker: “It’s just one smoke, because I had a rough day”
NEWSFLASH if you haven’t smoked: it’s NEVER just one smoke. They breed like fucking rabbits…no pun intended, there – sorry, kids!
So spotting your excuses and acting on it, is key to achieving whatever goals you’ve set.
Reasons are a different matter. They are more likely to be about you and addressing the real issues. Like in my case:
“I eat a lot of chocolate and sweets, for comfort, because I don’t know how to deal with strong emotions”
“I hesitate treating myself well, because I deep down have doubts if I’m worth the effort”
“I bought the sweets at the check out line, because in that moment I lacked a spine”
There is nothing here about certain weights or running laps – on the contrary: this change I’m diving into is about figuring out better ways to deal with emotions, building up self worth and training my determination (My Lady might argue that I’m stubborn enough as it is, but it’s not quite the same thing).
The best advice I can give, before we actually start, is to have the courage to be completely honest with yourself. You don’t have to tell the world like I just did. It suffices that YOU know and are aware of it.
The four pillars
As hinted in the beginning I have some headlines for this lifestyle change: exercise, reducing sweets (later it will be bad foods in general, but sweets is a really big issue of mine – baby steps!), sleep and good things to mention. For this I created a list, a tracker, to help me pinpoint and – duh – keep track of what I do. And in the case, that you feel like joining in, either on all four of them or a selected few, then I have added the list for free download right here:
What I do with this tracker, my overall view, is that on a daily basis I take some quick notes on each subject. For instance yesterday:
I had 1½ hours of walk, as I decided to walk all the way home from work (6 km), which is awesome. Then I came home and started working on this post and binged some popcorn, caramels and another bag of Buggles, which was not so cool. But it’s all the leftovers from the holidays, and we can’t just throw them out..! (see, what I did there?)
I had about 6 hours of sleep the night between Wednesday and Thursday, which is almost acceptable, better than usual, but still a ways to go. And of good things to mention that made me smile yesterday, the season and disorder of routines officially ended, I got to work, the walk home was cathartic and I made my contact person laugh and she told me she was my fan, because of something I had made.
Basically, the good things can be anything. The day before yesterday, I wrote “leg exercising while hanging up laundry” on the exercise part and on good thing “DID the laundry” – sometimes doing chores is a good thing that makes me smile, because of my executive functioning difficulties. So in my case, I need to sometimes give myself a pad on the back for doing just that.
As you may have noticed, there is no field on the tracker for writing and keeping track of weight – or your measurements for that matter. I left those bits out, because they are not – or shouldn’t be – important.
But aren’t you trying to loose weight yourself?, you might add.
True – If this procedure takes a few kiloes (or 10!!) off, so I can fit my clothes again, I will not complain. But having had two full blown anorexic periods in my life and feeling the eating disorder sneaking around in the corners of my mind, it cannot be the primary issue and to me, any noting numbers down should be avoided. It might be cool now, but I think anyone with latent or active eating disorder will know, that it sometimes doesn’t take much to snap. I am not risking that. If you yourself need to write these things down, I’m sure you’ll find a spot on the sheet to do so.
In my case, I don’t know my current weight. It was 80 before Christmas, but there has been a few bags of toffees and pots of gravy under the bridge since then, if you catch my drift.
Instead I took some “before” pictures, that I have saved and in a month or two I will see if there’s a change. Change or not – if I FEEL better, stronger and healthier, that is really the key point to all of this.
My way to go about this is to have my primary focus on exercise. The sweets are tied to something that is not very easily dealt with and I want to give myself a chance of succeeding from the get go – and adding exercise to me is easier than denying sweets. When I have hopefully achieved a few goals on the exercising part, I am hoping that this will induce the strength and spine to deal thoroughly with the sweets.
Whichever you choose – IF you choose to do something different – is entirely up to you. I will say though, that if you have ANY history healthwise, be is physical og psychological, I will advice you to at least have a quick chat with your doc and see what the doc says to it.
What I do here, is a pretty slow and gentle kind of change, trying to take my recovery into consideration, but depending on personal health issues, even this can be a strain. So play it safe and check with the doc – hey, if it’s a GO from there, you might even get some bonus tips.
At the moment I’m mostly in a discovery fase: I’m noting down the shitty things I eat and what exercise I get done, to make me a little more aware of possible patterns.
I’m pretty loyal towards agreements and stuff, so of course, to increase my chances of success, I made contracts for the two primary targets I have: exercise and sweets. And trackers for these alone.
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Clarification and signing off
My focus in all of this is viewing my body (and mind) as a machinery. The things I do affect the machinery. I am talking a lot about sweets and exercise, but when it comes down to it – these sheets can easily be transformed to fit the goal YOU have.
You want to be kinder to yourself – then start tracking that. You want to be less self-deprecating – track when you do it and why.
What happens on the psychological level affects your physical machinery too – and vice versa.
It’s all connected.
It makes absolutely no sense talking about diet and reaching a goal weight, because I promise you, it’s not the number on the scale that defines the level of your happiness. If so, I should have been over the moon and exstatic in high school during my first run with anorexia. I wasn’t. I was flat out miserable and contrary to my then belief, I was in control of nothing. Sure, I had the sheets and diagrammes and whatnots to prove progress, but what progress? The progress of killing myself slowly? Wow, what an achievement!
Don’t be fooled by or misinterpret my talk on sweets and exercising – not now and not in coming posts:
Those are means to – as said – walking the stairs again and not die trying. It’s being able to run to catch the bus and not being bedridden two days later as a consequence. It’s finishing a meal and feeling envigorated and content, rather than bloated and nauseated. It’s about waking up in the morning and FEELING ready and rested. And it’s about fitting my clothes again, because quite honestly, I’m too cheap to want to buy an entire new wardrobe OR have the energy to do so – and too poor at the moment too.
Oh, I’m not exactly overtaking Jane Fonda anytime soon, throwing a cocky “On your left!” her way, much the Captain America, Winter Soldier style – shit, I’m not even close. Only – being fit, is a lot more than just your body. And all the aerobics vids, HIIT modules, diet plans etc seem to forget this part.
What I am saying is – incase it isn’t clear – I am not inviting you along for the ride, because I think you SHOULD. I’m inviting IN CASE you would LIKE to and because, if so, a little mutual support never hurt anyone. And in case you would NOT like to join the ride, I hope you’ll stand by the sidelines and give me a cheer every now and then.
This is it, for a start. As promised I will get back the the topic of this lifestyle change further along the road, all of this in the end being captured and destilled in a book. If you want stay posted, remember to subscribe…
AND NOW, CUPCAKE, SUNLIGHT, MY SWEET ROSE AND MY MORNING DEW….(yes, I had my meds!) – IT’S TIME FOR SOME DANCING…..
Today my focus is on a Danish artist, Joey Moe – first off, a mild warm up, “Million”, I l.o.v.e the rhytm of it – and then a massive hit from years ago “Yo-Yo”, that you might have heard in an English version – but the Danish has a slight better flow. That should, if you are walking, running, threadmilling, keep the pace going. If you just in your living room like me – just be careful you don’t knock over vases and stuff;)
Until next time….