Goal #4: Mental Well Being

I would say that most weeks start out pretty strong for me but around say Wednesday, the wheels just kind of fall of.  As in like Wednesday morning.  Is this why they call it Hump Day?  I don’t seem to be making it up the incline these days.  Case in point, this post was intended for Wednesday evening, along with my raffle drawing for my business, and I am sure a litany of things that I don’t even remember forgetting to do!  Having the weekend is definitely needed to collect my thoughts and refine my goals or steps that I can take to support my goals, but first, I need to lay out my last goal for my 40 Days to 40 Challenge.  This one is probably the most needed and my intention is for the first 3 goals to contribute to this.

I DESPERATELY need to make some time for some down time.  I need time to do things that I enjoy and have NOTHING to do with my job or the thousands of responsibilities that I have on a daily basis.  I know this will probably be very difficult for me since I have grown quite accustomed to isolating myself and just trying to get it all done.  Of course it seems that it isn’t humanly possible to get done what is required of me, and pushing harder and harder without ever giving myself a break is a whole lot like requiring 5 year olds to sit down and focus on developmentally inappropriate tasks like tests, tests, and more tests while refusing to give them recess or developmental center time to play and interact with each other.  Sounds ludicrous, right?!

There are things that were once a part of me that have fallen by the wayside since having Lucy along with the combination of my career and my husband’s work schedule, that I need to reclaim.  I know they will look differently from what they once were, and I am fine with that.  I don’t want to go back to the way things were before Lucy.  I loved those days but my days with Lucy are even better!

Steps for Success:

-Incorporate more physical activity into my life.  (I pushed a car during carpool this week, so that counts, right?!)

-Spend more time doing a hobby that I enjoy.    I have scheduled in time for reading (NOTHING PROFESSIONAL) at the end of my day, before bed.  Running and working out were hobbies that obviously are the goal for my first step for success.  I really enjoy writing so using my blog as a way to track my challenge gives me the opportunity to do a hobby that I enjoy as well.

So as I have worked my way through this week, I will take some time to do some self reflection of what went well and what I can improve on to make this upcoming week even more successful.  I look forward to sharing that in my next post!

 

 

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Words are Our “Frenemies”

We use words every day.  We read them, write them, say them, think them, and even sing them.  We can use our words as a means of support or as a tool of destruction.  We usually think carefully about our words as we present them to others, but do we stop to consider their weight as it pertains to how we feel about and view ourselves?

It seems that we are all too comfortable with seeing ourselves in a negative light.  We certainly don’t want people to think that we are an arrogant jerk, so instead we diminish any glimmer of positive regard for our self.  When someone tries to acknowledge our positive accomplishment like starting to run, we respond with something like “It was ONLY a mile,” because we know people that are able to run 3, or 10, or 26 miles, so self consciously we think our measly mile can’t really be worth much!  I can assure you that the people you know who are able to run 3, 10, or even 100 miles, were not birthed from their mother’s womb adorned with a fresh set of Nikes on their adorable little feet!  EVERYONE has to start from somewhere.  The most important thing is starting!  The best way to ensure that you will continue with good habits is by acknowledging them yourself!  Sure, you don’t need to contact every media outlet and suggest that they run a spotlight piece on your magnificent mile during the 6 o’clock news, but at least allow yourself to be proud of your accomplishment.

 

I love to run.  I haven’t always loved to run.  Matter of fact, in high school I HATED running.  I didn’t mind running after a soccer ball, but to set out with the intention of “just” running did not jive for me.  I started running around 5 or 6 years ago after a break up.  I don’t know what exactly made me decide to go for that first run, but I sure am glad I did!  The physical activity did wonders for me.  I had so much emotional conflict inside that I didn’t know what to do with, but it would all get sorted out during a run.  I didn’t set any speed records (still don’t, nor do I care to) during my runs, but I would find clarity.  I often said that God spoke to me when I ran, clear as day, and it helped me make sense of things.  I learned that I was physically strong, which allowed my emotional strength to grow, as well.  The weight loss that accompanied my new found hobby didn’t bother me, either!  I am so glad that I started out running by myself because I didn’t have any pressure from anyone to do speedwork or drills to help me improve my time.  It was not a competitive thing for me. It was my time to prove to myself that I deserved to take care of my body and mind.  I thought running was so great that I started recruiting non-running friends to be my running buddies and it became a social thing for us.  Over the years, I have run a gaggle of 5Ks and 10Ks, multiple half marathons, 2 marathons, and 5 St. Jude Memphis to Mobile Relays.  My friends and I would meet on Saturday mornings, at ungodly hours, to do our long runs which allowed us time to catch up on what was happening in our lives.  It was great and I treasured these runs.

As with anything, the more you do it, the more likely you are to become desensitized to it or lose appreciation.  As we continued to improve on our fitness and a 10 miler became common place, we allowed negative thoughts to creep in.  After a while, we put a to stop negative comments, but that is when we got really creative.  If you say it in a joking manner, then surely it can’t be as damaging, right? WRONG!!!  Every single thing you say counts.  I can’t tell you the countless times that I have declared that “I need to get my fat butt in the gym,’ while running various long distances.  Surely there is no harm in that!  Boy was I wrong.

That is the kind of seemingly innocent talk that little girls overhear and becomes the foundation of poor body image, overall low self-esteem, or eating disorders.  What I was doing, without realizing it, was discrediting all of the hard work that I have done, diminishing the obstacles that I have overcome, and making light of the 45ish pounds that I have lost through that hard work.  Today, I am very careful about the words that I choose, whether directed at myself or others.  It can be extremely challenging at times, but it is well worth it.  I think about things differently and while life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, it helps me to see more of the positive things in life by first acknowledging the positive things I have done for myself.

What would happen if we were all kinder to ourselves?  Think about how you refer to yourself and cut out those negative thoughts and see how things change for you.

 

 


“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

-Marianne Williamson