Sunday, October 24, 2010

#Mamavation Monday: Where I Go to Work . . . .

I've fallen and I can't get up.  What's worse: this happens to me a lot.  I'm a Monday morning quarterback when it comes to dieting and I usually give up come the next day.  Now. I could either keep up this cycle (which doesn't seem as destructive as, say, 5 years ago) or I can change.  But I think the most important thing I need to change is my mind.  How do I get my brain to stop sabotaging itself (or my body, or me)?

First of all, I think I procrastinate working out and fail to plan healthy meals because of fear.  While not fully conscious of it, I think I fear change. Of having to take responsibility for my health and translate theory (the ideas to enable consistency in healthy eating and fitness) to practice.  I also think I fear trusting myself.  What if I actually followed through with my plans and . . . they worked!  I'm afraid of losing that entertaining cynicism about dieting. This might be confusing but as a woman, like many women I know, I use self-deprecating humor to connect to other people.  What if I couldn't make fun of myself as a way to connect with others?  If I love myself, will I be fun to be around?  Lots of questions here and no answers.  But I'm going to believe I'm on my way to change because I'm starting to isolate my reasons to not lose weight and . . . .

I've started thinking about when I've been successful.  Not as a way to whine and say, "I've done this and this and this.  Why can't I lose the weight?"  More as a way to say, "How did I accomplish something in these other areas of my life?"  And I think I came up with my answer: When I think of a set of duties as a job, I follow through.

I've only been fired in my life from one job--as a hostess at a sit-down restaurant.  I deserved to be fired.  I was bad at it.  But I've kept every other job I've had and I've been consistently praised within that context.  Also, I managed to collect three degrees.  For the last one (and the hardest one), I managed to get someone else to pay me on a regular basis to complete that program.  In all of these instances, I approached them as jobs.  I have this irritating habit of going to work and supporting the mission of my employer--even through sickness and pregnancy.  I come from immigrant pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps ideology on one side of my family and ethnic/cultural difference which drives us to prove how fabulous we are on the other side.  And work is often the context in which I get significant external validation.  Of course work is important.  And the areas in which I consistently struggle are the areas which I do not define as my job.  For example, if I thought of keeping my house clean as a job, I would schedule cleaning and organizing more than I do.  If I look at this blog as an enjoyable hobby, I would probably fail to work on it with any consistency.  But as soon as I tell myself, "Self, this blog is your small business," I sit up a little straighter, answer emails, network on twitter and pound out blog entries (all of which I enjoy, by the way, but *&%$ its a job!).

So . . . if I reframe how I think of healthifying my life as my job, then I'm more likely to do it, right?  That is what I'm doing.  It is a job that will pay me back in better mental attitude, healthier body, modeling activity and longevity for my daughters.  Win-win, people!

And I gotta say that every time I go to SUBWAY and see that image of Jared huffing and puffing his way to running a marathon, I get motivated.  Yeah, he doesn't look like he's enjoying himself but he's not letting himself be paralyzed by fear.  He is a role model.

  • So, for this week, reframe-ing my attitude.  Taking care of this body and this life is a job.  As such, I will work on our meal plan tonight for the whole week
  • treat working out like a job (I'll be starting as an intern so baby steps)
  • put aside time each day to visualize job success
  • stop eating and reading/computing at the same time (would I multi-task like that if my job is eating mindfully?  Noooooo.)
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