Vaulting Over Old Stories

I just did my first MovNat workout.

And by workout, I mean I tried not to fall over for about 10 minutes.

OK, let me back up a little bit.

Two moths ago (I really should update this blog more often) I hired a… I don’t even know what she is exactly.  I guess she’s a combination of a life coach and a personal trainer.  She’s a certified personal trainer, but for almost two months she didn’t tell me to do one squat or other exercise.

Because she believes you can layer exercise on top of all the emotional crap, but that crap is still going to be there in the long run. So we’ve been working for two and a half months on digging up and through the crap so that we could get me to a place where exercise isn’t anathema to me any more.

And it’s working.  Slowly.

Yesterday, I walked to the park with my daughter, and while she played on the playground, I did incline push-ups, crunches, leg lifts with her sitting on my knees, tricep dips, hanging from the bar (which was intended to be a tiny pull-up, but let’s be real, it was mostly hanging), and walking lunges around the entire perimeter of the playground.  And then we walked home.

And I’ve been getting that much exercise or more every day for the last two weeks or so.

THAT is a pretty big shift.

So, today we were on the phone for our second-to-last consult in this three month stint I hired her for, and she asked me, “How can we take this to the next level? What feels like the next level for you?”

And I hesitated.

I knew exactly what I wanted to say, but it was embarrassing.

But I realized as I felt embarrassed about it, that the embarrassment was more old crap, old stories bubbling up to the surface.  So, I blurted out:

“There’s this woman that I met at a conference, and we became friends on Facebook, and she’s into paleo and, like, parkour-style workouts, and I realize that I am literally not physically strong enough to do any of the stuff she does in her videos and stuff, but it kind of looks like fun.”

Except, it probably came out more like:

“There’sthiswomanthatImetataconference, andwebecamefriendson Facebook, and she’sintopaleoandparkourandIamnotstrongenough but it kind of looks like fun.”

I was embarrassed to even admit that something like parkour looked like fun, because it felt so far out of my wheelhouse, so far out of my story about myself and what I’m capable of.

And my coach took a deep breath and said, “Go for it.”

She reminded me that there are plenty of people out there who have overcome much bigger odds than I am looking at to go on American Ninja Warrior or whatever. She told me about a video of an overweight woman doing box burpees. (I searched for the video but couldn’t find it.) And I mentioned seeing an article recently about big girls doing yoga.

The point being: my story isn’t the whole story.  It’s true that I can’t vault over a wall right now.  I would probably fall on my head and kill myself.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t do it some day.

And then she said that it sounded to her like something in my story needed to do this.

My mind immediately flashed over to a post I put up on Facebook recently, about these super cool barrettes that are actually multi-tools, and one of my friends posted and said, “I always knew you were a baddass Bond girl!”

And I thought, “YES!” That’s what I want to be.  A badass Bond girl. I want to be Agent Carter. I want to be Black Widow (except, without all the killing and Russian mind control stuff.) I want to be super competent and capable and able to pick locks and vault over walls.

I don’t know why I want that, but I do.

And my coach said go for it.  Carefully. 😉  No broken bones, she said.

So she suggested this site, MovNat, and I looked it up and found a beginner workout.

And it’s very beginner.  And surprisingly hard. One part of it is jumping up onto a 12-inch tall box.  Well, I had an 8-inch tall stool, so I pulled that out, and for whatever reason, I couldn’t make myself jump onto it with both feet. I was leading with one foot.  (Maybe the landing surface is too small, I don’t know.)

So, instead of being daunted, I got out three bed pillows and jumped up onto those. And I could do that!  And it was still hard!  HA!

But I did it.

And THAT is the biggest shift of all.

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Choices

There’s an interesting interview with money guru Suzie Orman on the Weight Watchers website (of all places) about the connection between poor money choices and poor food choices.

From the article:

But you’ve got to decide: Are you going to have potato chips or the orange, apple or carrot? Are you going to put the money in the savings account or are you going to spend it? They’re identical. So when you don’t have money in your life, you’re the reason why. When you have weight on your body—in most cases, not always if there’s medical reasons—you are not a victim of circumstances, you have chosen to do that to yourself. They are absolutely identical in nature. Identical.

It took me a long time to figure that out, and a lot of days, I’m still figuring it out. I never consciously realized that I was blaming my weight –– or anything else –– on anyone but me, but I was. I used to think up all the reasons I was fat, and a lot had to do with the way my family ate when I was a kid. But that was still my choice. I could have chosen to eat differently, even as a kid. It wasn’t that we didn’t have healthy options at my house, or that my parents wouldn’t have bought me just about anything I asked for; it was that I liked eating the high-fat, high-calorie foods and I chose to eat them.

I really think the parallels between being in debt and being overweight –– two major problems in American society –– are fascinating and teribly apt. We live in a society where taking responsibility (not blame) for our own actions is frequently the last thing on someone’s mind, and if we want to change the size of our waist lines and our wallets (hopefully in opposite directions), we have to learn to take personal responsibility for the problems we have created.

“The Fats”

Had my picture made today at work. And not just a simple passport-photo-type picture, either. No no. They told us to “get our sexy on” for the cute cube signs that everybody has.

Naturally, this led to a case of the fats.

Yup! Suddenly, nothing I own fit correctly or looked good on my body. Suddenly I had lumps where no lumps had previously been evident. Suddenly — I was staring in the mirror at the almost-200-pound girl I was eight years ago.

It’s so easy for me to slip back into that mindset. When I have a case of the fats, I can look into the mirror and see a twisted, distorted, exaggerated view of myself that would put a funhouse mirror to shame.

When I sit down and separate out the distortions from the true underlying feelings, I realize that, although I have made enormous progress toward never ever seeing that fat girl in the mirror for real again, I am still not entirely comfortable with the way I’m taking care of my body. I’ve regained some of the weight it took me so long to take off, and that’s not being fair to myself.

So, as of today, I have recommitted myself toward a mindfulness toward my body, my eating habits, and my physical activity that I have been sorely lacking of late. I have come to terms (mostly) with the fact that I will never be one of those girls who can eat whatever, whenever, and still be slim. To reach a balance with myself, I will have to pay attention every step of the way.

And really, is that such a bad thing?

Share the Love

Lulu.com, the digital self-publisher, is calling for submissions to their Earth Day open source e-book. You’ve got 200 characters to share your own green resolutions and goals and if you do, you’ll be entitled to one free download of the book when it is released on Earth Day, April 22nd.

The Sierra Club’s 2% Solutions Site is looking for photos of what you’re doing to curb your carbon emissions. The goal of the site is to cut carbon emissions by 80% by the year 2050 — that’s only 2% per year. Totally doable.

The Wheels on the Bus

As I was driving to work today, I thought to myself, “Self, I bet I could save money AND the planet by taking the bus to work, and although it would take a little longer, I would have time to read or write while I commute.  How cool would that be?!?”

So, when I got to work this morning, I promptly looked up the Denver rapid transit service.

A monthly pass costs $99.

Now, we put all of our gasoline purchases on one specific credit card that we don’t use for anything else (because it gets us 2% discounts on gas), and I paid that bill on Sunday night.  If I recall correctly, I paid less than $100 for my gas for the entire month of commuting in March.  Even at the current ridiculous prices.

So, the bus costs about the same, and takes twice as long.  Where’s the incentive to do the green thing here?

I know some people at my office are lobbying to get the company to sign up for eco-passes, however, which we could each purchase for $50 for an entire YEAR.  That would be incentive, but not this $100 a month crap.

:((

Windsource

I just signed up to have 100% of our electricity come from wind energy!  It costs less than $1 more per 100 kilowatt hours to get 100% clean, renewable energy to power my home.  That’s pretty damned awesome.

And?  It took about 30 seconds to sign up online.

Green Thumb

What an amazing day yesterday! Have I mentioned how much I love Colorado? After rain all day Saturday, yesterday was bright and shiny and clean and deliciously warm.

The husband and I spent the whole morning poking around local nurseries. We have exciting plans for a container vegetable garden out on our patio. We were hoping to buy seedlings, but realized that it’s still pretty early for vegetables here; one lady told us that the last freeze isn’t predicted until Mother’s Day weekend. Yikes! But she did give us some good ideas for crops we could start now, like lettuce, spinach, broccoli, and kale.

We had to stop for lunch, having become overwhelmed with our options, and once we had some food in us, we decided on a plan of action. We purchased two beautiful wooden window box-style planters on sale, some lettuce seedlings, a raspberry bush, a bunch of seeds, and those cute little pop up soil thingies for starting seeds. Oh, and some soil.

Our plan is to start a bunch of seeds indoors and wait out the 4-8 weeks for them to mature and for the weather to warm up some more. By then, we should be able to transplant them outside easily, and we should also be enjoying our first lettuce crop!

I can’t even tell you how excited I am to try my hand at vegetable gardening, even if it is only in pots on our patio. The last time I grew vegetables, I was probably about eight years old, and my parents did most of the work! But I still remember the pleasure of eating fresh peas and carrots straight from our back yard.

There’s something so satisfying about growing things. Gardens have a lot to teach us, like patience and responsibility. Nothing happens on an artificial time table with a garden; things grow in their own way, in their own time, and they depend on you for food and water and care.

We plan to grow lettuce (as I mentioned), spinach, eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, green onions, basil, oregano, thyme, cilantro, nasturtiums, zinnias, and sweet peas.

And then, today, You Grow Girl posted a review of seed-starting techniques! Must be that time of year.

New Blog – The Organic Beauty Expert

First, let me point you over to Delight.com –– kind of like woot, this site offers a deal of the day, but the stuff on the offing is much prettier and seriously luxe.  (I’m actually REALLY tempted by this bath caddy; I love my baths, but can I really justify $35 for a bath caddy?  On the other hand, I do a lot of my best thinking in the bath… Decisions, decisions.)

Second, delight.com has a sister site, DelightfulBlogs.com, which rates, reviews, and recommends “blogs of interest to creative Generation X and Baby Boomer women.”  (I missed gen X by a few years, but I don’t think they’ve come up with a cute name for my generation, so I’ll take it.)

Following this winding path of my stream of consciousness, the new blog of which I speak, The Organic Beauty Expert, popped up as one of the featured blogs at delightfulblogs.com, and of course I was intrigued. I don’t know much of anything about organic beauty products (or why I should choose them over traditional beauty products other than, you know, the toxic chemicals which I now assume to be in just about everything), but I reckon this site might teach me a few things.

I was especially interested in this post on some wallet-friendly alternatives to Origins’ Plantidote products.  I recently bought some of the Plantidote Serum thanks to a generous subsidy by my organic enabler, but I simply don’t have the Benjamins to shell out for the whole line of products.

So check it out!  I’ve added  The Organic Beauty Expert to the blogroll for your convenience.