Thursday, September 18, 2014

Saddling up my unicorn.

The best thing about a new day is that you can choose how to face it.

Create your own destiny, follow the fourth agreement and do your best, live in the present, be mindful - every day is a gift, choose your attitude, and blah blah blah blah blah a bunch of other inspirational quotes with fancy backgrounds with stock photographs of beaches or forests or Buddha.  I say almost cliché...because I am notorious for posting such things on my Facebook and Twitter pages, and they seriously resonate with me, sometimes.  Whatever, it doesn't matter...what matters is that when faced with a new day, put your big girl panties on and kick its arse!  Give 'er!  Go for it! 

Yesterday I was riding a dark horse, so today I decided to saddle up that unicorn (with rainbow-coloured mane and tail and glittery gold hooves) and go on a joy ride.

You are always only one sleep away from a new day, don't let your yesterday take over your today!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

High Maintenance.

It's time to get off this dark horse and ride a unicorn or something.

At least that's what the ninja said to me a while back. And, in all seriousness, I have been in a bit of funk as of late.

Why in the funk, Suzie Spitfyre!?

I don't want to talk about it.  (Because when I do I get weirdly emotional and cry. WTF!? Ninjas shouldn't be all teary...and broken.)

As you know from previous posts, for the last little while I've been bouncing around at about 145 pounds...I've come as close to goal as 138 pounds and gone as far away as 163. It is very hard for me not to obsess about this. “Focus on how you feel, ninja,” if I feel fit and strong, I'm cool. If I feel wildly out of control, I'm not so cool. In fact, I panic, doubt myself, and fall a downward spiral of junk food and other bad choices. Then I get over it, buckle down and take care of business. I got this, I know how to do fact, I'm pretty good at it...when I focus.
That's my resent crazy drops in weight, but no huge gains either. This is the boring part. No celebrating 7 pound losses, no surprising victories over push-ups, no mayor wearing his chains of office to congratulate me for being the biggest loser...just maintenance. And maintenance sucks.

I know, I know, I really don't have problems if these are my problems right?! Nonetheless, this stuff weighs heavy (pun intended) on my psyche. For the last year and just over a half, I have built myself up by leaning myself down, so going in the opposite direction scares the sh!t out of me. And the reason the scale is going in said direction...well, it's because of me. But, just as I had decided to give up drinking wine on the balcony, Bum Biter BBQs, and sneaking in a bag of Doritos while watching True Blood on my Croatian Conscience's couch...

I left the Shimmy Shack and embarked on a run along the Westsong Walkway. The run I do is around 7K and includes the stairs of death (there are 100 of them, and I try and do them at least 5 times..and lately I've been doing them a few more times than times, I'm a keener). So out I go on my merry little way, feeling particularly strong and fit...running to the beat of all these songs on my play list that are all obviously written specifically for me...when SNAP! Limp, limp, limp. Oh crap.

My little injury (ruptured ACL) has reared its ugly head yet again. Apparently, at the time of the MRI there were possibly two little strands holding on for dear life, and what I just did took care of at least one of them. Normally I wouldn't be such a cry-baby, but I was out on a trail about 2 kilometres from home and I was sore. I walked back along the pathway to my house...dragging my leg, ruing the decision I made to leave my mobile phone at home.

Realising that walking home in such a gimpy way ate into my precious get-ready-for-work-time, when I finally got home, I showered very quickly...but how was I going to work a shift if I couldn't even walk properly!? And to top that off, thou shalt wear heels on counter is practically written in the MAC dress code. I called my manager. “I don't think I'll be able to come into work today, I just felt something in my knee pop and there's a lot of swelling. I should probably ice it and keep it elevated, at least for today.” Damn, someone beat me to the punch, so no sick day for me. Already one man down. In pain, I put on my knee high combat boots, a skirt, button down shirt 'n' tie, braided my hair into two tight French braids, and took the bus two stops to town. Suck it up, Princess.

On a side note: As I “toughed it out” on counter, one of the department’s staff told me I looked less Wednesday Addams bad-ass private school girl (the look I was obviously going for) and more, well, how do I put this!? Nazi. Oh good. I wonder if that's why my sales were so high...”Buy this make-up or I invade Poland!” I know, I know, not funny...sorry.

The point that I am trying to make is this...when I feel out of control or upset, an easy fix for me used to be to lose myself in food. And now, it is to find discipline and focus at the gym...even if it's after losing myself in food because I'm not going to lie and say that never happens.  It does. Still. So what happens if you take the gym away?! Well, nothing good.  I get a little down in the dumps.

The gym is my meditation station, my decompression session, my opportunity community.  I
feel safe, and loved. Before embarking on this journey, I regarded gyms as places where hyper fit and annoying people hung out and tried to out-do each other. These gym-types were judgmental and exclusive. And then I walked through the doors of the Crystal Pool & Fitness Centre...and I realised, it was the opposite. I was the bitter, annoyed person...I was judgmental and exclusive.  I was not looking forward to entering the gym, I didn't know what to wear, how to do anything...and the people behind those doors, well, they became a huge
support system, my mentors, teachers, my friends...they welcomed me to the health & fitness community with open arms, smiles free of judgement with a pat on the back for all my efforts. I had never experienced such a sense of community. My knee, on occasion, takes all that away, and I am left to stew. I start shutting down.

As soon as I was well enough to start gymming again, the Crystal Pool & Fitness Centre closed for maintenance.  I told you maintenance sucks.  But, at least I found my unicorn.

On balance, ballast, and bobbles.

I am seated in half-lotus position, precariously perched atop the exercise ball that serves as a chair in front of my laptop.  I suppose there's no need to tell you that my balance has significantly improved since that fatefull day in New Orleans in 2012 when I rolled my ankle  and my 294 pound self came crashing to the ground.

But has it?

Yes, I can twist my body into different asanas and hold them, I can jump from a plank to a squatting position on top of a Bosu ball, and I can even walk on top of logs at the beach without fearing for my life...but sometimes I can't find my balance.  Coordination at the gym, studio, or in the great outdoors, no problem...but, trying to find equilibrium in life, well, that's just waaaaaaaay harder. 

Ironic, non?

How am I supposed to get up, go to the gym, workout, get home from the gym, shower, get ready for work, walk to work, get home from work, get ready for taekwondo, get to taekwondo (or yoga, or whatever), do taekwondo, get home?  How am I supposed to eat 6 times a day, and find time to make those healthy mini meals?  How do I get 8 hours of sleep a night?  How do I find time to read, write, blog, paint, draw, create, play, perform, and participate in all the other activities that I love and that have been falling to the wayside?  How do I do all the things I want to do?!?

Just breathe.

I started this post with yoga, so I will continue it in that all comes down to breathing.  Deep breath in, deep breath out...I am feeling overwhelmed by everything right now.  So I have to break things down and concentrate on the one thing I do without thinking.  Breathing.  

You know how they say you don't know what you've got until it's gone?  The same thing goes for balance.  Losing my balance only makes me want to find it again.

This Weigh-In Wednesday is brought to you by ballast. 

noun \ˈba-ləst\

: heavy material (such as rocks or water) that is put on a ship to make it steady or on a balloon to control its height in the air

When I stepped on the scale this morning, I was burdened by my heaviness.  But now I realise that the extra weight that I have put on over the summer is a reminder that I need to find more equilibrium in my life.  I choose to interpret today's weigh-in as a reminder that ballast can also restore stability of character and conduct.  I will resuscitate, I will breathe, and I will regain my balance.  This is just a bobble.