Monday, March 11, 2013

drive, heart and focus

Well, I stepped on the scales this morning..  Not the greatest results. Yes I gained.  I'm not going to lie and say that it was all out of my control. It wasn't.  No one force fed me food.  I made the choices.  Some of the choices were more difficult.  Some of the choices were out of my control. (that said I am still the one that made the final choices and decisions about what to put into my mouth).    Am I angry at myself?  No.  Am I disappointed with myself.  Yes.  I'm disappointed because I made poor choices. Why am I not angry with myself?  I am not angry with myself because I realize that it is totally unrealistic to expect myself to eat perfectly every stinkin' day for the rest of my life. It's unrealistic to think that way.  Being strict is just setting up for failure...because life WILL happen.  There will be days where you forget to take your lunch to work.....and unfortunately there will be times when you meet up with a friend for dinner and find out she ate before you get there (well, hopefully that doesn't happen again, but is DID happen)...there will be gymnastic meets and celebratory dinners afterward.  Life happens.  How those circumstances affect me is where this battle is won or lost. The success comes in learning how to recover from a day or two of non strict eating. If you give lose.  If you accept it as a fact of life and move on it only makes you stronger and puts you one step closer to winning the battle.  I accept and I'm hanging on because I refuse to LOSE!  Shazam!
So my weekend was nuts...eating wise it started on Wednesday when I forgot to bring a lunch and ended up partaking of the free lunch my work provided.   It continued on Thursday with me planning on eating out with a friend only to have the friend eat before I got there, which left me shoveling food into my mouth at 10:30PM (I was within my calories but seriously....while eating peanut butter was a treat,  it was not a totally nutritious meal).  Friday night my husband and I went out for Chinese....I don't know what possessed me, but I didn't calculate my calories BEFORE I ordered.  I didn't even calculate my calories after I ordered but before the food arrived.  I didn't calculate my calories until I got home.  Yup....I ate a BUTT LOAD of calories. (It sure was tasty and I don't regret it at all...I got that meal out of my system..I'd been SOOO hungry for it!)  Saturday and Sunday I did pretty good calorie wise, but was woefully lacking on fruits and veggies.  Today?   I've got my day totally planned and I'm rocking it!  :-)
That all said.  I"m determined that spring is here.  So I'm wearing a short skirt to emphasis my declaration.  I was looking in the mirror while I was getting ready.  I really do like my legs.  So muscular and toned.  Just sayin'.  

Saturday I rode down to Ocean City (Berlin, MD to be more specific) with my sister in law and my niece for my nieces gymnastic meet.  So very proud of Ali...she took first place in two events and second place in two events and walked away with first in All around!  She Rocks it!   It is always fun to watch her compete.  She totally loves gymnastics.  From the day that my brother and sister in law put her in an introductory gymnastics class when she was three years old it was her passion. She flipped around the house.  She moved up the ranks into competitive gymnastics.  She loves it.  When they moved, within days she was asking when she could get into a gymnastics gym and join a team.  They had barely unpacked the truck and my sister in law was visiting gyms and signing on the dotted line for my niece to join a gym and to compete with their team.   As I sat there watching the meet a  meet a few things were startling clear to me.
I watched my niece as she competed.  She was doing stuff that struck fear in my heart.....had I been the one that was cartwheeling across a narrow balance beam or running down a runway that is.  She was cool as a cucumber and made it look extremely simple.  It's not simple. She has WORKED for that level of apparent ease.   This 10 year old girl (barely 10 too) puts my measly hours of exercise to SHAME! Yes, remember my bragging recently (ok, I wasn't really bragging) about my 7 hours of exercise in one week?  She is in the gym for HOURS upon HOURS a week.  As a 10 year old.....hours upon hours! I think the commitment for her level is 12 hours.....that does not include the extra hours that she flips around practicing and doing sit ups (stomach muscles need to be TIGHT to do some of these moves).  That does not include the hours that she puts in at these gymnastic meets (the last four weekends straight).  She is committed to this.  She is focused and LOVES it so it is not a hardship.  She just does it.  Do I hear her moan on occasion because she hears that something fun may happen while she is laboring at the gym?  Absolutely.  Does it deter her from going?  NO.  Focus.  She has it.  And she has done incredibly well.   
There are two to three components that my 10 year old niece has in place.  I need to follow her lead.  What are those components?   
1.  Follow your heart.  She loves gymnastics.  LOVES, BREATHES and LIVES it!  Exercise is finding out what makes your heart go pitter patter.  Is it running for me?  I don't know.  Is it biking?  I don't know.  Zumba?   Could be, who knows.  Maybe for me it is a combination of everything. I just know that if you are not totally immersed and happy with what you are doing you will lose interest....lose focus....and lose your drive to do it!
2.  My niece has grown to realize that sore aching ankle...even a broken bone are part of life.  Hurting is only a temporary thing.  It doesn't stop her.  So often we as adults stop doing things because it 'hurts' or because we MIGHT get hurt.   But sometimes pain is necessary to progress.  My niece has realized this....she just puts on the ankle brace when it hurts and continues on.  She broke her wrist a few years back yet only missed a practice or two.....she still went and stretched out and did everything possible that she could do.
3.  If you want it.....go after it.  12 hours plus in the gym is a lot for a young child.  My niece is being home schooled again this year...but when she did go to public school she literally would get home from school grab a snack change her clothes and walk right out the door to head to the gym.  She would be there for hours and get home later in in the evening....rush to take a shower, do homework and fall into bed. She packs dinner to eat while she is at the gym.   That is the life she leads (by choice, my brother and his wife do NOT push at all...there is actually very little focus on long as she is having fun they don't care what scores she gets...although they are very proud when she does well).  She leads it by choice..why?  Because she has a focus. She wants to perfect her moves.  She wants to do things perfectly and accomplish moves that she struggles with. She has a drive that pushes her when she doesn't want to go on. 
Important lessons to learn.  So important!   I want this.  I want to be healthy.  I want to be thin.  I actually want to be athletic.(kinda shocked me to write that!)  So I will not run at the first sign of an achy muscle.  I will not run at the first sign of difficulty or inconvenience.  I will push forward and be willing to work for it.  I will surround myself with activities that I love...activities that will ultimately help me reach my goal!

After the meet, we had just a few minutes to run over to the beach.  My niece had never been to the Ocean (remember they just moved from the mid west...there are no oceans near where they lived...and all vacations were spent visiting family) so we took her the few miles to check it out.  It was so I'm dying to go back!!