Author Archive for jessica clark

11
Feb
09

Running TOWARDS life.

runblog

Lacey and I were at dinner with a friend last night, someone that we are having the great pleasure to get to know better.  I found myself talking about how I have signed up to run my first ever full-marathon in San Diego at the end of May.  I’ve run half’s before but never the 26.2 mile distance  🙂

Every single person in my life in NYC now, knows me as a very physically fit and healthy individual, in fact many of my friends (and indeed my lovely fiancée!) I met at the gym 🙂  Nobody is surprised when I say that I’m racing, nobody except myself.  It wasn’t until I heard myself explaining at dinner why exactly I have become so excited about the prospect of running it, and running it well that I fully understood it myself.

It was about five years ago that I decided I should probably get a new life, because the one I was living didn’t feel worth the cigarette smoke filled air I was breathing.  About three days later I stepped into Central Park wearing the single pair of running shoes that I owned and which I had barely worn in years.  Central Park has a number of different running loops, and I figured that I’d start out easy and just run the 1.2miles around the reservoir.  I think I made it about 100 meters (if that) before I was doubled over wheezing and had to repeat a long and arduous walk-run which took rather longer than expected.  I literally threw up from the strain.  

I was genuinely surprised because I’d been an active kid, but looking back, the years of not eating or eating crap, smoking and general physical abuse that I’d put my body through had obviously taken its toll.  I do not joke when I say that there were several 70+ year-old runners in that park who could easily out run my young self.  Humiliating!

Initially I ran because I had gained weight and was having a very hard time with that fact, and with my reflection in the mirror.  Then I ran because I couldn’t believe that people older than my grandparents were in better shape than me.  Then because it gave me a sense of calm at a time when my life was anything but.  I ran and I wheezed and I went early, or late or whenever I though no one would notice how bad I was.  And I hated parts of running for about 6-9 months! 

But gradually I could feel differences.  I could run the 1.2mile loop without stopping, then the 1.5 loop.  The other runners started to smile at me like I was one of them.   My body started to change, but much more surprisingly so did my attitude towards it; I didn’t WANT to smoke the cigarettes I used to live on because I knew it would be so much harder to run the next day.  I DID want to eat real food so that I could feel stronger when I ran, and I could be OK with that food because I knew I was revving my metabolism up to burn the calories off efficiently.

And eventually it genuinely became fun for me to run.  Not always before I started, and usually not for that first mile (which is still tough for me to this day) but after that… and when I was done I felt and feel AMAZING!  It turns out that I’m actually a pretty good runner.  Who knew?  Certainly not me 🙂

My point is that I used to look at people on the treadmills at the gym, or running past me as I walked to work in the morning and think “There is no way I could ever run that fast or for that long”.  I would think that they had OBVIOUSLY been fit their whole lives and that if I tried running on the treadmill next to them they would be laughing at me huffing and puffing and think that I was pathetic. 

NONE of that is necessarily true and much of it was just an excuse for me not to try it, to not put myself out of my comfort zone.  But the fact is that with fitness (As with most things in life) we only get better at something if we push ourselves just a little bit further than what we believe ourselves to be capable of.  I didn’t start out to run a marathon.  I just focused on wanting to run for 1.2miles without stopping. And the sense of accomplishment on the day that I first did that is still with me today.  It still makes me smile 🙂

That’s why I want to run the marathon, for the tangible representation of a journey that has been my new life for long enough that it is now just MY LIFE.  Because it shows me just how far my health and fitness has evolved, gradually, over years and for all that the journey had given me and continues to give me; friends, self-esteem, physical and emotional health, focus, ambitions and an amazing woman to share all of that with.  Because it took time, and because it is meant to take time, and because the journey is never over but it can get a whole lot more fun!! 🙂

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04
Feb
09

What’s the problem?

model81

Why are we as women often not willing to express how we’re really feeling until the situation has got so bad that we can’t contain ourselves anymore, until it comes pouring out in tears, or anger, or weird passive aggressive BS?

A few days ago, with memories of our particular fight still fresh (but resolved 🙂 ) Lacey and I were eating dinner at a great Japanese restaurant when a couple next to us started to fight.  It’s NYC, the tables are very close together and you can’t help but notice it, as discreet as you try to be.  Seemingly out of nowhere the woman started laying into her husband, very angrily, with a lot of emotion and tears.  I say “seemingly out of nowhere” because it became apparent that she had to of been keeping these feelings bottled up inside her for a long time.  It was one long stream of consciousness.  She didn’t pause for breath. She gave him absolutely no opportunity to respond or to participate in the ‘discussion’.  He, for his part, seemed completely blindsided at first, tried to respond a couple of times. When that had no effect he basically checked out of the conversation and sat there looking a little like Homer Simpson does when Marge is ‘nagging’ him, only hearing “Blah, blah blah” not absorbing anything she says and merely waiting for the noise to stop.

Now I use this example not to apportion blame, or to take sides. I firmly believe that the only two people who truly know what is going in a relationship are those two people themselves.  My point is that however justified this woman’s anger and upset was, the way she had let it build up and then come pouring out was completely unproductive and inherently upsetting and unsatisfying to them BOTH.  I know; I’ve been very guilty of it myself.  I’ve let unexpressed anger and resentment build to a point where I lose my love and affection for the person, to the point where they only hear about it as I’m breaking up the relationship. In my mind it was “beyond saving” but in truth I hadn’t even given them a real chance to rectify the situation.  Sometimes it can be the other person who wants to leave because they can no longer bear the sniping, the passive aggressive, “tit-for-tat” behavior and dishonesty that the long-term inability to communicate your feelings to your partner often results in.

Here’s the thing; arguing with each other for the sake of it, or because you’ve had a bad day is missing the point. If we need to vent we need to ‘phone a friend’ and vent, not head home and pick a fight with our partner about something completely unrelated.

But expressing our genuine hurt, feelings of inattention, of being disrespected, or an outright difference of opinion is VERY IMPORTANT.  I would go so far as to say that it’s essential 🙂

Your feelings are valid, my feelings are valid, but here’s the kicker…. So are theirs!  If we hope to gain any clarity, any real resolution, any true chance to move forward in life together and not apart then we have to see it as a process.  There’s a reason why the other person is behaving the way they do.  Often when Lacey and I talk things out we discover that the upset has resulted from us having different opinions, different perceptions of what something is OR isn’t.

So it’s all very well and good for me (and I’m using hypothetical examples here people!! 🙂 ) to say that I’m feeling insecure, or that I’m angry because I feel disrespected, but unless I can go further and say what WOULD help me to feel differently, and actually to think about how much of that is Lacey’s responsibility and how much is MINE.  I also need to hear what Lacey’s understanding of what security in a relationship feels like.  It may be very very DIFFERENT!  She may be doing absolutely everything that her life experience tells her a relationship is about.  So her understandable response to me being inexplicably angry about that could be frustration and a feeling on HER PART that I don’t listen to HER or that I don’t pay attention to all the GREAT stuff that she does and the way she makes me feel.

Unless we’re able to talk THAT out we don’t move forward and we just run around in ever smaller and more frustrating circles until someone bails out. 

So we talk it out.  And then we talk it out some more.  And short term it can kind of suck because it means that we BOTH have to take some responsibility for our actions and inactions.  There’s no blaming the other person wholeheartedly for everything that is wrong in our life.  Unless your partner is emotionally/physically/sexually abusive… in which case YOU GET THE HELL AWAY FROM THEM STAT! Then there is no right and wrong.  If they regularly behave disrespectfully towards us, then unfortunately WE have allowed an environment to be created where that is OK. It’s not.  But by choosing to stay we are communicating that it is acceptable on some level. We deserve more than allowing ourselves to be treated that way.  It’s your life, so TAKE IT BACK.

I know what is non-negotiable for ME, what I as a woman need and want and DESERVE from my relationship.  And I accept that that means I have to treat Lacey as I would wish to be treated myself, because to me that is the single most effective way to judge if something is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.  If I lost my temper because I was tired ad sick, would I want to be forgiven?  Yes.  Would I be OK with my partner dogging around on me? HELL NO, so you better believe I know that means I can’t and won’t do that to her.

Love and lust and fun are all wonderful and amazing and kind of essential to a good relationship, but I don’t think that any of those things are enough to make a relationship last happily without COMMUNICATION.  We’re all just people trying to do the best we can, and that includes them, not just us.  So we have to TALK to them and just as importantly if not MORE so, we need to genuinely LISTEN.

So why is it so hard?  What mind shift do we need to take within ourselves to make honest, respectful expression of our feelings something that we take pride in as women and men, instead of something to fear??

28
Jan
09

It’s a Jungle IN there!

brainblog

Here at Sweat City we talk a lot about “creating new patterns”, about deciding upon a goal and then consistently working towards achieving it.  Now obviously that’s much easier said than done.   We’ve all experienced the feeling of thinking we want to go to the gym more often, or to quit smoking (yep, I was once a 20 a day kind of a girl), or to stop obsessing over the loser ex that treated us like crap anyway.

Sometimes it’s hard to believe that it’s truly possible for US…even if others around us have made it look ‘easy’.

Breaking negative patterns and creating a life of new, positive habits has become a passion of mine, stemming from my own personal journey and experiences.  It’s what got me interested in the development of neuroscience; that is how and why the human brain works the way that it does. 

I myself am having a hard day today; I’m unusually tired and I don’t seem to be communicating with others particularly well.  I was staring out of the window at the bad weather instead of doing all the work that I have piled up…. Anybody relate? 🙂 I suddenly realized that despite all the above being very true, it hadn’t once occurred to me to resort to my old ‘comforts’ of negative behaviors with food, isolating myself and not working out.  Things have really changed for me on every level.

Then I remembered one of the most interesting and useful things I ever heard about how the brain processes the creation of new thought patterns.  So I thought that I’d share it with you all 🙂

Think of the brain like a vast tropical jungle.  Now there are parts of the jungle that have been explored, there are parts that are as wild and over-grown as they were thousands of years ago. Say there is a path to a water source that was found.  It might not be the cleanest water, or the best tasting but you know that it’s there.  Consequently every time that you’re thirsty you go down the path that has already been cleared away and is easy to walk down with no overgrowth or hanging branches in the way and you drink that water.   The water might be kind of dirty and it might even make you a little sick but it’s there and it’s easy and so that’s what we do.

This is how a negative thought process works in our brains.  For example; “I had a super stressful day at work, so I’m going to get wasted, eat a bucket of fried chicken and stay out until 4am on a school night.

Back in the jungle 🙂

What happens though when we hear tales of the purest, sweetest tasting water that ever existed, that fills you with real energy and a zest for life?  We decide to go after that fresh water, except that it means we have to cut a whole new path in our ‘jungle’ brain patterns.  And it’s hard!  Our new path has to be created by pure will and effort on our part.  No one will cut down the bushes and vines and beat down the long grass except us.  But we do it!  And it’s amazing 🙂  We decide that we’re ALWAYS going to drink that pure, fresh water.

This represents a discovery that we can all make, such as that dealing with a super stressful day by going to the gym, sweating out our frustrations, eating a healthy meal and then getting a good nights sleep, is SO MUCH BETTER for our bodies and our brains than alcohol, wings and sleep deprivation.

But what can happen all too easily after the next horrendous day at work?  We’re tired and are not really concentrating and somehow we’re back at the bar and not in the gym!!  For many of us we can take that as a sign that we’re somehow just not meant to drink the delicious life giving water.  After all… that original cleared pathway in the jungle didn’t disappear did it?!

Here’s the thing that has been scientifically proven about the human brain and it’s ‘neural pathways’, or paths through the jungle to you and me 🙂

They never actually disappear, we can never ‘un-create them’.  BUT what we CAN DO is with a consistent applied effort over a time period of between 21 days and 3 months (depending on the strength of the negative habit) is cause the original path (leading to the BAD water) to become completely overgrown.  This CAN and WILL happen if it is not used for a while: our 3 -month time commitment.  At the same time our NEW PATH is becoming neater, and less and less chaotic and difficult to walk down because we are choosing to walk down it all the time. 

Eventually the NEW neural pathway in our brains becomes the one we ‘walk down’ automatically.  This is why I now automatically want to go for a run or do a spin class when I’m stressed instead of lighting up a cigarette, hooking up with a random person, or eating my way through the contents of my local deli.  Those old, negative, even soul-destroying habits of mine are SO OVERGROWN in my brain that my brain forgets that they’re an option 🙂

What does this mean for you and me?  🙂

It means that we are not ‘weird’ or incapable of change because we’ve been conditioned to think that REAL change can or should happen overnight!!  It doesn’t. Not for anybody and not for any habit.  It can be as silly as deciding to brush our teeth with the opposite hand that we usually use, and it can be as serious as reclaiming our bodies from abusive habits and neglectful behaviors… and every habit in between.  They ALL take TIME.

So it may be a jungle in there; but it’s not one that can’t be explored and CONQUERED with the right effort, support and commitment 🙂

FYI:  I’d love to say that I’m the genius that figures this all out but unfortunately not 🙂 !!

Here are two GREAT books:  ‘QUIET LEADERSHIP’ by David Rock (I thoroughly recommend this one!) and ‘A USER’S GUIDE TO THE BRAIN’ by J.J Ratey which is much heavier going but very interesting if this really grabs your interest 🙂

Stay warm and dry peeps!!  🙂   Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

21
Jan
09

Let the sun shine.

sunflower

This photo was taken while I was working in Argentina recently very early in the morning as the sun came up.  Do you like my glamorous outfit? 🙂

I’ve always loved sunflowers, something about their determined cheerfulness and how they stand so tall and proud.  But I standing there in that field I was reminded of something that I had long forgotten.  Sunflowers are named after our sun not only because of their uncanny resemblance to that life giving ball of fire and flames in the sky, but because they unfailing turn themselves throughout the day to be facing the sun at all times.

It got me thinking that this was a useful and beautiful way for me to try and approach life.  The idea that no matter how dark and cloudy the day, somewhere the sun is shining; I just need to figure out how I can see it and swivel my perspective to feel the warmth again. 

Each and every one of us finds ourselves in the middle of a ‘bad day’ sometimes, when events pile up on top of accidental misfortunes, frustrations and other peoples projected unhappiness.  If I can feel myself starting to spiral into negative self-talk exacerbated by exhaustion I try to just STOP and take a moment.  Is there one thing, just one thing that has gone right today?  One thing that has made me smile or that I’m proud of myself for doing?  Just a little bit of sunshine please 🙂  

I know that it sometimes feels as though there is no light shining in a dark moment, and that to constantly seek the ‘silver lining’ is unrealistic.  I am not trying to say that we happiness is a constant state, or even that it should be.  I truly believe that there is darkness and light, and all the shades in between, and that this is part of the richness of life, part of how and why we appreciate the good times.  Even those sunflowers in the field experience nightfall and must wait for the dawn.  

Those hard times are when I actively think back and choose to remember other times in my life when things have been hard, when I’ve been sad, when I’ve felt unhealthy in my body or worried about money.  And I realize and remember that those times did pass, that things did get better, that the sun did come out again.  I realize that everything is cyclical for all of us: for the economy, for that 3lbs ‘time of the month’ weight gain, for those cold and grey January blues.  They pass. I was able to figure it out in the past and I will figure it out again. 

I; we are capable of anything we choose, if we want it enough and are prepared to work for it consistently.  Yesterday history was made.  Today the 44th President of the USA, Barack Obama woke up in the White House, a building that was partially constructed by black slaves.  To me it represents a nation of people turning towards the sun, seeking it out even in the darkest of economic times.

 So today I am going to try and be a sunflower 🙂 

14
Jan
09

With ‘friends’ like these….

friendsblog

“If you want to really know what a person truly is like then you need to take a look at their friends.”

I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently and this is my Sweat City retake: “If you want to know what YOU really think of YOURSELF, then take a look at your friends.”

Who we choose to spend time with, who we allow to share those precious moments of time that are ours to decide to spend however we wish; these people reveal more about what we unconsciously think we’re worth than almost anything else.

If we choose to be in an intimate relationship with a man or woman who cheats on us, then some part of us believes that we are not worthy of the effort that it takes to be truly faithful.  If we are friends with somebody who is consistently, willfully late to every brunch, night out or movie then that says that we accept that their time and life is more important than our time and plans. 

The ‘friend’ that consistently tries to sabotage our healthy eating commitments by ‘accidentally’ ordering pizza with extra cheese when the original plan had been a delicious Thai stir-fry is behaving in a passive aggressive way and placing their needs, wants or fears (you changing, you growing away from them) far above your own.  A lover that sulks when you choose to go to the gym after work rather than rushing to the neighborhood bar to drink beer with them is NOT doing that because they love you so much they can’t bear to be without you for a second.  They are doing it because THEY want to drink and they don’t want to have to question their stress management by having you show by example that there ARE other, very successful alternatives. 

A true friend wants the very best for us and our happiness, and they get excited to share that with us.  A girlfriend or boyfriend that is deeply in love with us is respectful of our efforts to become healthier, happier and more fulfilled. If they are smart they know that the better we feel about ourselves, the more we will BOTH be able to enjoy the couple time we spend together.

Backstabbing, bitchiness, passive aggressive behavior, sulkiness or outright disrespect on any kind of a consistent basis is NOT acceptable.  We are all: each and every one of us, worth so much more than that!  In all honesty if we really mean to accomplish our life, fitness and personal goals then this toxic behavior can’t be allowed to fester and derail all our hard work and results.

So is the relationship truly worth trying to salvage or has it gone so far past it’s sell-by date that the Health Inspector needs to shut it down?

By this I mean what’s the balance on the emotional scale?  Overall do I leave an interaction with this person generally feeling uplifted, happy, stimulated, caring and cared for?  Or am I frequently sad, feeling insecure, do I find myself questioning who I am and who I want to be, do I hear a voice in my head telling me that my dreams are dumb? Pointless?  Unrealistic?

If overall the feelings are positive but perhaps my friend has a habit that I find hurtful then it is important for me to be an adult and to communicate that, in a kind and generous way.  Often people have no idea that their behavior or off-hand comments affect us so deeply.

If when I think about the ‘emotional scale’ the feelings are predominantly negative then this is the time that I really take a look at MYSELF and figure out why I allow this relationship to continue.  Is it just a habit?  Am I scared that if I’m no longer close with this person then I’ll have no friends, or be “single forever”?  Do I secretly agree with the mean things they say about me?  Do I think that that’s all I deserve, all I’ll ever get?

We often know our friends for much longer than we are in an intimate relationship, yet for some reason people rarely think about whether they are still a good ‘fit’ with their friends.  I think that it’s just as important to take inventory on our friends as our lovers.  And if necessary it’s just as important to break up with them if the friendship makes us miserable and we dread picking up the phone when they call.

Yes, it’s nice to be a good person and perhaps they DO ‘need’ us.  But honestly are we helping either them OR us by maintaining a friendship that is toxic and more enables negative behaviors on both sides than anything remotely positive?

I used to spend time with people that were very funny and entertaining and sexy.  But they were also mean, exclusionary and treated themselves, their bodies and each other like dirt under their shoes.  The Jessica that I used to be chose to spend time with these people.  I was deeply unhappy, I had a lot of casual ‘encounters’ but was incapable of real intimacy, and I treated my body like I didn’t really care if I died or not.   When I made the decision to actually GET A REAL LIFE those ‘friends’ had to go.

Was I lonely?  Well yes, sometimes for a little while.  But I took that time to actually think about who I was, who I wanted to be and what I actually ENJOYED DOING.  It turned out it wasn’t getting wasted in nightclubs for another 5 years, having identical experiences time after time (because when you don’t actually DO anything, eventually no one you know has ANYTHING new and interesting to talk about)!  🙂

So I started trying out other, different things that I thought I might like.  I took writing and art classes, joined some random clubs, tried different sports and yoga, went to quirky movies, the gym etc.  Some were a good fit, some weren’t but they ALL showed me that there are literally thousands of different people out there to be friends with.  It’s a gradual process but having the support and company of people who share similar goals and have aspirations beyond hooking up with the hottest girl out that night is an unbelievable experience.

I have people in my life now that am proud to have ‘represent’ me, because they’re smart, funny, ambitious, and healthy.  So that must mean that I’m doing something right  🙂

To me it says all the hard work was and is worth it. I genuinely like who I am as a person. I’m frequently imperfect but I try hard every day to be the best I can be today. Just for today.

Right?  🙂

07
Jan
09

Aaaaah What Happened?

aahblog

Ok. I’m going to be very honest with you all today. I’ve been back in my food and workout routine for just under a week and it’s KILLING ME!  You think I’m joking?  I’m not.  I actually feel unfit, I feel like someone who hasn’t worked out in a long time.  It’s no fun 😦

 Friday I was in The Big Game! Lacey’s athletic drills class and I was sucking wind so badly and loudly she had to laugh at me DURING CLASS.  Saturday I ran outside with a good friend, which was great; that is until the next day when my hip flexors felt like they could snap in half.  My social Sunday afternoon plans were shelved in favor of lying on the couch, because the double header of The Big Game! followed by spin had taken every last gasp from my body.   Monday morning I actually threw up in my mouth a little during spin class (I know… attractive right?!). And Yesterday, well yesterday everybody was back at the gym in full force and I couldn’t help but notice how we were all looking at our reflections just a little sadly in the floor to ceiling studio mirrors. It’s DEFINITELY JANUARY!!  And yes, I know that my workout schedule probably sounds a little insane to some of you 🙂  but that’s what I need to do to be the way I like to be 🙂   Plus, I love it.  Just NOT right now!!

What’s my point?  My point is that it’s incredibly hard for us ALL to get back into our focused and disciplined fitness routines after a few weeks (or months) of relative relaxation and indulgence.  If you’re having a hard time motivating right now; are slightly horrified by the extra little layer of softness on your body (that’s a hard one for me!) or just can’t quite believe that your cardio endurance or strength has decreased THAT quickly then you are NOT ALONE.  I don’t know anybody who isn’t fighting that feeling, and I include all the fitness fanatics I know in that statement.  I want you to know that if we’re making it look easy it’s because we’re smiling through the pain 🙂 and that’s the truth.  We’re all human, as super disciplined and athletic as we try to be.

 How can we smile?  Because this much we know for sure. If we all, you and I and them, if we all just keep persevering, keep at it, keep pushing through the red-faced, out of breath “I wanna puke” feeling for just three weeks or so.  If we fight the call of the couch, at least until AFTER the workout 🙂  then IT WILL get better, steadily, maybe a little slowly, but UNDENIABLY better.

 You know what else happens?  Our brains start getting used to the feeling of working out too and we start to look forward to it again, we start wanting to make healthful food choices again so as not to undo all this hard work, and time that we’ve invested in ourselves.  It starts to come together again. It does.

 So if you’re coming back from an extended December fitness break, or if you’re a brand new ‘RESOLUTIONS’ gym member, just know that just a few weeks of consistent effort will give you dramatic improvements in your fitness and energy levels and is enough for those jeans to start to feel a little looser again too 🙂

 

So Yes I Can.  Yes You Can.  Yes We Can 🙂   !!!  

01
Jan
09

New Year. New You?

newyearpic

It’s the first day of 2009!  Happy New Year everybody 🙂

The festive season was lovely for me; I decided to give myself a real break.  I spent time with my family in Ireland, ate carbs and dark chocolate, drank a little red wine, didn’t workout nearly as hard or as often and slept long and late.  It has done me the world of good.  I was exhausted and needed the change of pace to recharge my batteries.  I woke up very early this am (jetlag!) after a late night of New Year celebration back in NYC with Lacey and tired as I am, I am also happy to be ready to get back into my routine.

One of the initial reasons Lacey and I decided to start Sweat City was in answer to the question we both (as a fitness professional and a model) get asked most frequently: “What is it that you do to look/feel/be the way that you are?”

Let me preface by saying that this is a personal routine that work for ME.  We all have different needs and desires and find different activities fun. 

The fact that it might not feel fun to start with is NOT an excuse however 🙂 !  Getting sweaty and out of breath might not feel fun to begin with, but I promise it CAN AND DOES become something that you get so much out of that you’re sad if you have to miss it.

So: What do I do?

I workout 5-6 days a week doing a combination of running or the elliptical machine for low impact, spin classes, and the BIG GAME (a full body cardio conditioning class courtesy of the lovely Ms Stone).  I use a weighted medicine ball. I do push-ups, and jump rope as fast as I can for 5-10 minutes or until I can’t breathe 🙂

For really fun, SUPER EFFECTIVE workouts check out https://sweatcity.wordpress.com/2008/11/24/seven-treadmill-workouts/

 https://sweatcity.wordpress.com/2008/08/15/laceys-interval-workout/

I eat (yes I really do I promise!), at least 3 times a day and often 4-5 times a day.  Check out ‘volumetrics’…

https://sweatcity.wordpress.com/2008/08/17/how-we-eat-volumetrics/

I don’t eat dessert or candy ever really, well, festive season aside 🙂 I also rarely drink alcohol, I quit smoking 5 years ago when I first decided I wanted my life back.

I go to bed early and I get up early because that is how I manage to workout so consistently; I just do it before life can get in the way and give me an excuse not to.

I actively try to ‘reframe’ events that I may not like, or that upset me during my day. For example if someone is horribly rude to me my emotional gut response is to think “It’s me, they don’t like me, there’s something wrong with me.”  This kind of thing used to be a trigger that would result in me stuffing food into my face like it was going out of fashion.  Now I reframe the event immediately in my brain. “They must be having a really hard day, I don’t think that it has anything to do with me really, it could have been anyone they were rude to. It’s because they are unhappy or frustrated in some way.”  That doesn’t make the behavior acceptable but it does mean I don’t start in on a negative downwards spiral for the rest of the day.  It used to be something I had to do consciously, but after a while it became second nature and it is one of the MOST HELPFUL life tools I have ever learnt!

I try the best I can everyday to be the best version of me that I can. When I screw up, and I definitely do, I try not to dwell on it, beat myself up and use it as an excuse to opt out of my life. I acknowledge it, if necessary I apologize (to myself or someone else) and then I try to move on. 

I try not to over eat, but I also try not to under eat, because my body is worthy of more respect than that.  I try every day to have respect for myself, my health, my emotions and for everyone out there who, whether they’re my favorite people or not, are just trying to do the best they know how in their lives too.   If they’re toxic, I don’t let them into my life anymore than is absolutely necessary.

And I’m lucky enough to have this forum, which helps me check in with myself through writing and interacting with you all.  Sweat City has proven itself to be such a rewarding experience for us both.  We want to thank you all for sharing this experience with us through 2008 and now as we begin a whole new chapter in 2009.  I hope that this New Year brings you health, happiness and prosperity 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 




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