The ongoing narrative in my head is mostly negative. “I screwed that up.” “I should have done that differently.” “I’ll never be able to figure this out.” “I don’t have time for myself.” And so on. In talking to my few friends, it seems that’s common for other women as well. I wish I knew why that was.
It occurred to me the other day that negative self-talk does not have to be the default. I have the power to change the default setting. I can change the messages I tell myself.
I’ve been feeling extremely stuck in my life so I decided that’s a place to start. My first new message is:
“I am not stuck. I have the ability to make change. I can make new choices.”
I followed that up with a few general positive statements:
“I am confident. I am competent. I am smart. I make good decisions. I have the ability to figure things out.”
And then, a few goal-specific items:
“I have the ability to ride my horse. My horse is not beyond me.” And . . . “I have the ability to learn Spanish. I will practice Spanish and the learning curve will be o.k.”
It might sound ridiculous but I literally repeat these statements to myself over and over and over . . . when I first get up in the morning, several times throughout the day, and when I get in bed at night.
I think its making a difference. I’ve felt a bit more motivated, gotten a bit more accomplished, and well . . . I just feel better, like, more able to overcome obstacles. The challenge is going to be making it stick. I’m usually good at things for a day or two. So, the fact that I’ve reached day 3 or 4 here is an accomplishment in itself.
Happiness is hard but I’m convinced that its worth it.
I’m almost embarrassed to write a new post. I’ve been away for awhile having once again fallen off the road to my goals, dreams and own personal success; pulled away by “life” and “busy”. I know that everyday I made the choice to write a post or not, exercise or not, eat healthy or not, work with my horses or not. I’m a big believer in personal responsibility. Unfortunately, for the past few weeks, that belief has brought me down – I allow myself to make excuses and then later, feel even worse about myself.
Anyway, I’m here again. In some ways, I feel like a lot has happened and I want to write it all and share it all. But in some ways, I feel like its really nothing very interesting, all of it just falling under the category of “life”.
So I’m not going to beat myself up for not having anything profound or even extremely interesting to say. The point of this was to start again, to take a small step towards who and where I want to be. That’s what I’ve done and so I’m going to let myself be happy with that.
I do laundry on Sundays. For some reason, whether or not I actually get the laundry finished on Sunday speaks to how my week is going to go. Last week, for example, the laundry stayed on my couch the entire week. I’m not exactly sure why – I was just busy and distracted. That also means that I didn’t eat particularly well, didn’t exercise and in general, just felt blah.
I was sick a couple of weeks ago and had come out of that determined to really and truly make changes to how I eat. As it seems to go with all of my other “determinations”, it lasted a couple of days. Ugh.
Here it is Monday yet again. I just heard from my best friend in Vegas – she’s doing great with some new eating habits. I’m really happy for her but it made me feel way, way terrible about myself. Like, I almost started crying. And I’m not really a crying person.
Instead of crying, I’m trying to take action. I popped some garbanzo beans in the toaster oven to try roasting them again. That was a gumdrop replacement snack but I didn’t get them quite roasted right last time. I’ve surveyed the refrigerator and decided to make broccoli beef for dinner. Its my daughter’s favorite, involves some veggies and I’ll make myself brown rice.
I’m also trying to remember that I’ve made some progress. The gumdrops are still out of my car. I’ve put ice cream in a bowl on the nights I’ve had some, rather than sitting down with the entire container. I made an excellent new recipe – avocado edamame hummus and ate it with jicama. I figured out how to make an omelet and had that for breakfast several times last week.
Despite this, I’m continuing to gain weight. My blue work slacks are tight and they’ve never been tight before. Its really, really hard for me to see the positive.
And, its only Monday and the laundry is almost done! Its all through the washer and dryer and 50% folded! Perhaps all is not lost for this week.
The end of last week really fell apart. All of my “living purposefully”, small goals, small steps, talk went right out the window. I ended yesterday feeling miserable, depressed and like a total and complete failure.
Thankfully, for some reason, I woke up feeling much better this morning and am choosing to look at today as a reset day. I’m choosing to focus on the fact that I did walk my dog three times last week, which included these lovely views:
I managed three days with much, much less sugar. Three days is better than zero days! And I managed a few posts here on my blog.
When I actually type it out, last week doesn’t sound all that bad!
This morning I read this great post titled, “Mindset Changes Everything” by Dr. Andrea Dinardo: https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/43836667/posts/1734422042. Dr. Dinardo points out that obstacles can be learning opportunities.
Right. Learning opportunities. What obstacles did I face? Why did my new mindset go awry? What do I need to look out for to make more progress this week? What went well that I can build on?
I don’t have all the answers yet. I do know that this is hard!! I also know that my mantra needs to be “I can” and “I will” instead of “I want to” or “I wish”.
I was going to end this post with the thought that I will make this week a “better” week than last. I think that’s another mindset I need to switch . . . away from the concept of “better”. Last week, I did the best I could. Thinking that I need to make this week “better” somehow implies to me that last week wasn’t good. But it was. I did a lot of things well. And, if I didn’t do everything perfectly, well, that’s o.k.
So how about this . . . I will continue to move forward this week.
A few days ago I wrote about my intent to live more purposefully. I had a bunch of vague notions about what exactly that meant. I’ve spent the past couple of days trying to put those vague notions into practice.
As a mom, wife, attorney, and wearer of many other hats, its incredibly easy to get swept up in work, household chores and running the kids here and there.
So I’ve decided to focus on a few things I can control. (Because as much as I’d like to believe otherwise, I can’t control everything – at least, that’s what my therapist tells me.
1. Eat less sugar. I’m a complete sugar addict. While working on the Rose Parade float, I lived on these little gems: I literally ate 10 – 15 a day! The frosting is my favorite part!!! Now that I’m home, I’ve been plowing through candy and ice cream. There’s a tub of gumdrops in my car. But I can feel the ill effects of the sugar. I’m tired, not focused, not sleeping well, and my face is breaking out. Its time to once again seriously decrease my sugar intake!
2. Eat better – this goes hand in hand with number 1. Less sugar, more veggies, fruit and water. I came back from Rose Parade float the heaviest I’ve been in quite awhile. Ugh.
3. Write more. Writing is something I’ve wanted to do for a very, very long time. I’m not sure I have a book in me but I can give myself 10 or 15 minutes several times a week to post something here.
O.k., normally I would go on and on with a huge list of other things I’m going to do. Stopping at three is another thing I’m trying to do differently in my “live purposefully” quest. I’m trying to slow down. Focus on a few things at a time. Not become overwhelmed, feel like I’m failing and then beat myself up.
I keep reminding myself to take baby steps and be patient. And not give up just because its hard. More than “I want to do this”; “I can do this.”
I didn’t really make New Year’s resolutions. (Is January 8 too late for a post about New Year’s resolutions?) But, for 2018, I want to stop just being swept along by life. I want to live purposefully.
I’m not even sure exactly what I mean by that. I guess I want to live by making conscious choices rather than just bouncing from thing to thing. I want to feel more focused. And I’m hoping that leads to feeling more accomplished.
I’m not 100% sure how exactly to go about this. I think its going to take some slowing down and being more thoughtful. And allowing myself time and space. I think its telling myself that its o.k. to be successful at something. I think its about closing the door on anxiety and worry, which I’m guessing will allow more time for actually doing.
I think its about not making excuses. And not procrastinating. I think its about allowing for practice, rather than expecting perfection at every turn. Its about plans and following through, trying again, and not giving up. And allowing for mistakes!
Its about believing that a new way of living is possible. Even if it sounds hard (which it does!)
I can’t believe its been six weeks since I started my first round of Game On!!! Where did that time go?? Anyway, I thought I should give an update / report.
I’m sorry to say that, in the end, I really feel like it made zero difference. I suppose the fact that life here was turned sideways by the fires has something to do with that. Its difficult to focus on healthy eating, exercise, making new habits, letting go of old habits, drinking enough water and sleeping enough when the county is on fire (not literally the entire county but that’s what it felt like some days), people are losing their homes and livelihoods, my Mom is living with us, and I have extra dogs running around – all because of fires.
And then, October 1 rolled around which means I get to eat these:
I really, really love candy corn. And its only allowed in our house during the month of October (even if its in stores earlier). I’m one of those “OHAAT” people . . . “One Holiday At A Time”!!!!! So, since I only have 31 days of candy corn, I have to get my entire years’ worth in.
And then, all that Halloween candy comes home!!!
Have I mentioned that I really like sugar?? My kids have Halloween candy from last year left over!!! So they certainly don’t notice if a piece or two or three (or four) are gone each day.
With all of that being said, I’m starting a new round of Game On tomorrow. I’m certainly not feeling geared up for it, motivated, or anything else. But I’m going to give it a go nonetheless. Hopefully, the next five weeks will be calm and smooth and, this time around, I’ll actually make some new healthy habits. Or at least lose a couple of pounds. Or at least decrease my candy consumption to one or two pieces a day. I’m hoping for all of those things. But I know its going to take more than simple “hope”.