Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A-Ha! Again :)

We got up at 4:30 in the morning to go for a hike. I don't know about you, but I can't see a damn thing at 4:30 in the morning. But we started hiking, and by the time daylight began to break we were at the top of the hill, and then I realized, it was the Hollywood Hill! I couldn't believe how high we were. And so we hiked back down and when I got to the bottom I looked up and couldn't believe the hike I had just made. If I had seen what we were doing before we started, my mind would not have allowed me do it. And then he said, "I just wanted you to know you can do anything."

That was a very loosely transcribed story from a woman I spoke to tonight. What a powerful story, it made me think about how many times are we limited by our thoughts. How many times a day, a week, a year, a lifetime, are we held back by our own thoughts?

There was another story she had, it was similar. She was asked to do something she'd never done before, and in her mind she just thought over and over, "I've never done this before" and she doubted...but he encouraged, "you're ready to do this" and so she set out, and she did it. When she was done she was crying! He asked her why...she replied it was because she'd never done it before, and she DID it! He said, "Your body is ready for all these things, it's your mind that is holding you back."

I spoke to her more about her confidence and the changes she's seen...she's new to her body, all of the changes and the things she can do are new, still learning, still exploring...she *appreciates* and she feels absolutely empowered by that feeling.

I *had* that, that joy, that feeling that I could DO anything, and somehow something turned ugly in there. "I can't take a rest day," "I can't eat that," I"I have to do this because otherwise i will gain," or, "I can't do that because I will gain." I've reread a few other things I've written recently, I've said things like.."I don't trust my body" and "I feel betrayed by my body."


There's no joy in the daily "I can'ts" and "I have to's" There's a place for those things, but it doesn't have to be 24/7 & 365 - there's no joy, there's no power, there's no trust. This is supposed to be a colorful, joyful life! Not a drab black and white.

Look at all the things THIS body can do! Look at all the things this body used to NOT be able to do. And not just my body - but my mind! I was empowered, I changed my life, literally, in almost every way conceivable. And now I risk it, I truly risk it, when I don't appreciate that, when I focus on negative, when I choose to doubt all I can do, when I choose not to trust me or my body, and when I let my mind cast doubt.

Today was the day for me to have this realization. Not even a realization, this was a reminder, a wake-up call, and I heard it as recently as yesterday. Christie asked me in my session - "Do you ever *appreciate* all your body does for you?" I couldn't really answer her positively, at least not recently - but on further thinking on our discussion I realized - I *used to* Back when this change and this body was new. I needed a reminder.

But today was the day for it to come actually started long before that conversation. I was at the gym early this morning for my last workout before my meet. I did some time on the elliptical, and then I went into the aerobics room (it's quiet, and dark, and empty) to stretch. I was doing a standing quad stretch when all of a sudden I was able to notice the foot I was balancing on. I noticed all of the tiniest of adjustments my foot was making each second to keep me balanced. I was not thinking about it, I was not (to my knowledge) controlling it - my body was just making it happen. It was a really striking moment for me. Ahhh...LOOK at what my body can do, and I'm not even consciously asking it to do it for me. Cool :) Go foot! Go tiny fine-tuning muscles!

And then this evening, I had this conversation with this amazing person.

The more I thought on this, the more I realized...I *can* trust my body, IT can't trust me! It doesn't know what to do when I work it so hard and I feed it badly. I'm not betrayed by my body...I am betraying IT! With my mind and these thoughts...I'm the one allowing them. This is my mind at work,this is a matter of changing that mind.

I need to recenter, and go back to that center place and remember why I'm here, and where I came from, and everything else I chose to change in the name of my HAPPINESS and my HEALTH, not to mention, remember to love me and trust me, for all my body does for me and for all I need to do to continue to live and love and find that joy again.

I know this is a lesson I will likely have to learn again, I'll probably have this very moment a few more times as a matter of fact. But right now, right this moment, I declare that I am re-empowered - taking it back. I am DONE with the negative and working toward the positive. They might creep in, but the plan is to acknowledge them ("oh! how interesting.."), visualize setting them to the side ("thanks for your input, I'll have to get back to you on that one"), and move on (hahah yeah ok, when pigs fly"). That's the plan.

To cap it off, at the end of this conversation tonight, I went to the support boards and there I found Raphael's Daily Motivator...also an amazing story, but the end summed it up...

"Size up and break through the confining ropes in your mind. When you're faced with change, change your perspective. When you're overwhelmed with something new; change your view. Eradicate limitations and nothing will be impossible for you!”


  1. "I know this is a lesson I will likely have to learn again, I'll probably have this very moment again as a matter of fact. "

    I think THIS is the key! At least it was for me...getting that these types of lessons need to be learned over and over again, and that, along with the lifestyle changes we make, we must also make a mindstyle change. And both of these changes require ongoing practice, stumbling, regrouping, remembering, and so on. We don't just get it once and we're done. I am so happy for you Cathy!

    I'n not sure if you know this blogger (@MisheMarie on Twitter), but she's got a great thing going on here: Looking at these videos/photos is very empowering. I want to do one but am not quite there yet.

  2. I think I've moved from "I can't" and "I have to" to I CHOOSE TO. I can eat whatever I want, I can skip a workout whenever I want, but I WANT to eat healthy food in healthy amounts and I WANT to exercise. If I want dessert, I have it, but I also choose not to and don't feel deprived - usually relieved for avoiding that gross sugar coma feeling. It's a struggle because it takes so much planning, preparing and careful choosing when the easy and convenient options are so un-healthy.

  3. I was not following, had not seen any of that..but I've just been reading and looking at the response...I'm in tears. My *first* thought was that I can name things I appreciate my body does for me, but why do I have to SHOW it?! Nice.

    So, it's up for consideration :)

    THANK YOU for passing it on.

    Coco, when I said "I can't have that" or "I have to do this" for SO LONG, I think that practice, like the rope in RC's example really confined me. It was no longer a choice, I really couldn't because the guilt for not making "the right" choice, was (is?) so completely overwhelming.

    I'm working on bringing it back to choice and desire, that's the trust I'm working on rebuilding :)

  4. (continuing) So that's another view on empowerment - eating right and training bc you choose to, not because you "have" to. Doing it to honor your body and be your best "you," not to "punish" yourself or whip your body into shape. It's hard because the media msgs have it all backwards - they push the message of comfort food is good, healthy food is deprivation, exercise is torture - so we have to constantly filter the msgs and do our own counter-programming (yummy broccoli!).

  5. LOL, didn't realize you could cross-post on a blog. I'm on my iPhone so I didn't want to write too much at once.

    I know you've got to recenter your reality. Did you watch LOST? You need to turn that heavy wheel to move the island back to its proper coordinates. Otherwise strange things will keep happening. ;-)
    Not sure if I've shared this with you before, but:
    We think (hope? expect?) our weight loss journey to be a straight line, but get frustrated when we feel like we are going around in circles. But, instead of getting nowhere our path is spiraling in to our goals. We may stumble over the same issues, but each time we learn something to help us get back on our feet faster. We may be scared by the same fears, but each time we push through we become less afraid. We may need to learn the same lesson over and over, but each time we understand a different point. So, even when we think we are getting nowhere we are making progress. Then one day we will look back and see how far we really have come.

  6. That is a beautiful visual for me, it works perfectly. Thank you :)

  7. the LOST analogy, and the spiral. I remember one time when I was upset over something I thought I shouldn't be upset over anymore and someone told me that it's okay to revisit past hurts. I would beat myself up for not having gotten over it. Now I give myself permission...and try and treat myself with compassion with those subjects.

    And Cathy, you don't *have* to do show anything :-) Just wanted to share the "exposed" movement. In fact, there are people who have participated without showing. There aren't any's just a way to practice that self appreciation...

  8. I have to keep reminding myself that life will continue to teach me certain lessons until I finally understand them. I think that's true for a lot of people. Sometimes, I think we just aren't capable of handling the entire lesson at one time, so it gets spread out over a few "classes".