Having a tantrum

Tuesday is my day this semester to attend classes at university. Which means getting up and ready, then getting in the care, driving for 2 hours, sitting in class for 4 hours, then doing the return drive.

This is the fourth semester that I’ve been doing this routine. The entire time I’ve been doing the drive I’ve had to navigate between 5 & 7 major lots of roadworks as they upgrade the highway after major floods a few years ago.

Today is the first time I’ve done the trip in 2 months due to the break between semesters. There have been changes in the configuration of the works and I am reminded of how painful and stressful it’s been to make this journey in each of the 3 completed semesters so far.

I have mentioned in recent posts that I’ve undertaken a 6 month food coaching program that I’m about 2-3 weeks into. This has created some pretty turbulent emotions even as recently as 2 days ago, so my emotional state has been somewhat fragile.

I’ve been rather negligent with my water intake recently and one of the things to focus on is to increase it so I can clear out some of the toxins in my body.

Can you see where this is going?

Almost 1 litre of water before 10:30am, followed immediately by a 2 hour drive (which turned into almost 3 hours) simply do not mix! I had to stop 3 times in the first hour!

By the time I actually pulled into the car park at uni I was ready to curl up into the fetal position and cry! Especially since 2 of the stops were very close calls! I actually almost pulled over onto the side of the road at one point to cry. Either that or turning around and going home! Or raging.

When I actually arrived I had 10 minutes to navigate my way to the lecture room all the way across campus, which for me means a 40+ minute walk. Up hills and stairs, carrying a heavy bag. And then I’d have had to walk the reverse trip to change rooms for the tutorial, which means leaving the lecture early or being late for the tute (still not sure how to deal with that each week for the rest of the semester).

Given my emotional state I decided to forego stressing myself even more and decided to locate myself outside the tutorial room and blog instead. Take some time to re-centre myself and breathe.

On the way home I stopped at the service station to use the facilities (for the 100th time that day!!) and I looked at all the food in the store. I felt resentful that I couldn’t have any of it. Then I spotted what was probably the only healthy thing in the place and chose to have sushi. But I still felt resentful that I even had to make that choice in the first place.

So, I spent most of yesterday feeling frustrated and resentful that I am in the situation I’m in. Pretty much tantrum material! Feeling disempowered and acting out because I didn’t have “freedom” to choose.

Twenty-four hours later and I’ve had a couple of lightbulbs go off in my head about what happened yesterday. Today I am very grateful for friends who care enough to call me out on my shit and don’t let me get away with it. I’m also grateful for coaches who can see through that same shit, not play into the victim role I was trying to go into and after the bulbs get lit, compliments me on my tenacity and determination to go through this process!

I am very blessed.

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Healing and Destiny

Feathers, rocks and trucks.

Mind, body, spirit.

Authentic self. Red print.

Homeostasis. Balance.

How do all these things fit together? How are they related?

The mind, body and spirit are the individual parts of the authentic self. Or, the authentic self is made up of the mind, body and spirit. The driver of these is the spirit. It is the one that has the ultimate power. Equally, the back stop is the body. The last line of defense. If something goes wrong with the body you can bet that something went wrong ages ago with one of the others. The feathers, rocks and trucks are the signals of whether you’re listening to your mind, body and spirit. If you refuse to listen, you receive a feather. If you continue to refuse, you get thrown a rock. And if you refuse to listen to that, you get run over by a truck. And it will reverse over you again and again and again until you get it. Until you surrender control and follow the messages that make up your truth. When you are in homeostasis, or balance, all is well. You feel centred and balanced. Your body is healthy. And when unbalanced, your body will break down and provide you with signs to listen to. Your spirit will give you signs. Your freewill allows you to choose whether you listen. But if you choose not to, watch out for the feathers, rocks and trucks!!

Speaking your truth. Different for everyone. Each of us has an authentic self, or red print, that is different. If you count the number of people on the planet that is how many red prints are in existence. Some will have similar characteristics or commonalities, but each is completely unique.

As the one in charge, our spirit will show us what our unique red print consists of. We will know by the things that attract us. Music, quotes, phrases, words, people, professions. Our job is to listen and align ourselves with these things. The closer we move toward it the more confident, healthy and centred we become. The further we move away from it, the more we feel lost, helpless, trapped and lonely. And the more we get feathers, rocks and trucks thrown at us.

self care burnout

After a lifetime of feeling confined and repressed I am finally understanding how much my body has taken in order to protect my spirit. Anger, frustration, repression, helplessness, sabotage. Comfort eating, weight gain, mobility issues, circulation issues, fluid issues, back pain, muscle cramps, pinched nerves. For 40+ years. That’s a lot of shit to carry. My body has done this for me. And for the most part has done it with little complaint. I don’t have high blood pressure. I’ve never had problems with my heart. I don’t have diabetes. I’ve eaten enough sugar and fat over the years to keep a small country going in order to protect myself from the expectations and “requirements” of other people. Do this, think this, be this, say this, don’t say that.

That noise became my normal way of being. It was the way the world was. It was the way I was.

My spirit needs more. It needs me to move closer and align myself to it. I have been given opportunities in the last few years to discover my purpose. To help myself and others to listen to their own spirit. My work has shown me, through the guidance of a selection of very special people in my life, that my talents lie in designing and delivering programs and support to people who are seeking their individual pathways to their own authentic selves. Every time I write a program and facilitate it the feelings I have tell me that I am very close to where I am meant to be. My thoughts and emotions tell me I am close. I can feel it throughout my entire being.

The damage that has been done to my body needs repairing. As I take steps to do so, I uncover more layers. They have been layers of damage and despair. And now they are becoming layers of healing and repair.

Training, nutrition, meditation. Self-care, self-love, self-nurture. Respect, boundaries, love.

Listening. And speaking my truth.

Speaking the language of my spirit. The language that allows it to fly free and soar. The language that pricks tears in my eyes because I know it is my destiny. My vast, full, pure destiny.

hardships destiny

For now; healing.

For the future; freedom.

Judging Transformation

A few months ago I responded to a post about how people judge their transformation process by saying that I had a bit to say about it and that I would get back to it after I finished my uni assessments for the semester. I never ended up getting back to it and had a gentle nudge to do so today. So here I am.

So many people judge their transformation by the numbers on the scales. SO many people. The entire “weight loss” industry is flooded with programs that focus on reducing numbers. And when the programs don’t work, people are led to feel inadequate and unworthy because they couldn’t make it happen. The whys and hows of this is a whole other blog post that deserves more attention than I am willing to give it, so I am not going to focus on this. Instead, I want to share how it has been for me.

find self at end of journey

I began my “journey” near the end of 2004 following surgery to reduce the size of my stomach. At that time I was in a place where I didn’t believe in myself. In any way. I felt worthless, useless and unlovable. And I ate those emotions every day, to the point where I didn’t even know some of them existed. I was depressed, sad, angry, confused, lost. Plus a whole host of other things. And I never allowed myself to even acknowledge those feelings were there.

The surgery allowed me to start the process of rebuilding myself. From the inside out. In the 18 months afterward I worked very hard on my fitness, attending gym sessions 4-5 days per week. At the peak I was there for 3 hours; 20 minutes treadmill, 20 minutes x-trainer, upper body weight routine, followed by an aqua class. I then spent some time in the spa before having a shower and going home. One time I remember spending a full hour on the x-trainer before doing my weight routine and then an aqua class. In that time I dropped 60kg.

After 18 months I moved states to be closer to family and a couple of months later got full-time work. At this point my gym routine fell over. I was really tired all the time, doing work that was challenging and stressful and I didn’t have the energy to keep going. I was told several times that I “should” get back into it and I felt the pressure. But I didn’t. 6 yrs went by and I regained 20 of those kg.

Fast forward to 2012 and I began the 12WBT program. In 3 rounds (9 months) I dropped 30kg, taking me back under the amount I had previously dropped. At that point things somewhat fell over again. I got sick (headspins) and spent 3 months trying to figure out what was going on. My doctor ended up telling me I had Meniere’s Syndrome, which is basically fluid between the ears that impacts balance. I had to stop my training.

My focus has changed since then. Rather than focusing on the numbers I am focusing on self-care and self-love. Nurturing myself, listening to my body, mind and spirit and giving them what they need to function optimally. It’s a very different way of being that takes a lot of getting used to. In the time I have been doing this the scales have said that I have regained 10kg.

I don’t care. Well, a part of me does. At one point I got seriously frustrated with the scales not moving. My head got really messy with it all and for my own sanity I had to ditch the scales. I’ve pulled them out of the cupboard several times since then and each time I step on them I get a pang of frustration that they aren’t shifting. Then my brain reminds me that the fluid my body holds onto with my lymphedoema does some crazy stuff and sometimes the numbers get messed up because of it. And then I remind myself that my nutrition intake isn’t always the best and I need to “fix” it. And then I get frustrated with myself cause “no matter what I try nothing works” *rolls eyes at myself*. And so it goes in circles. Around and around and around. Nothing is ever good enough (story of my life). When will it ever end??

*sigh* relax

So I have put the scales away again. Because I know that I am so much more than the numbers. They can never define me. Ever.

The numbers haven’t shifted in any desirable direction for about a year. But when I look at other things there have been huge shifts. I described earlier my feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness. I now have complete certainty that I am enough. Just the way I am. Right here, right now.

The way I think about myself is completely different. Professionally I have gained a heap of knowledge about the human mind and how we respond to stress and this has given me a new awareness and insight into the way I cope with things. I have taken action to deal with those things and while the process is ongoing as I continue to learn more, where I am now is worlds apart from where I was even 12 months ago. After so long spending my life eating and numbing my emotions, I am now able to acknowledge and recognise them. I allow myself to feel them. I acknowledge my right to feel them. I am learning to deal with them without resorting to food.

I am learning to speak up for myself and voice my truth. I am learning (and coming to terms with) the fact that my future is full of possibilities. I am learning to listen to myself. To trust that my inner voice is right (for me) and is worth listening to. This process has led to a more natural way of eating. I have found recently that I am naturally eating the less processed, healthier foods. And my training has transformed as well. It’s no longer about fitness. It is now about listening to my mind and body and giving it what it needs. I’m working on being able to walk away from each training session with a feeling of peace, calm and strength. Using it to nurture and care for myself in the way I deserve. With love. Increased fitness is just an awesome side effect.

THAT transformation is worth so much more than the numbers on the scales. Every step I have taken has led me to this place, right here and now.

And right here and now is where I want to be, because where I am heading is full of lights so bright I am going to need sunnies. 🙂

authentic beauty

Stand Fight Fit

I have been feeling quite overwhelmed with all the stuff I do at work and uni and I have been feeling like I never get time to myself. And yet whenever I am not at work or uni I am at home by myself. This includes most weekends and every evening. Doesn’t quite make sense, does it? focus on your heart

On Saturday morning I went to a Stand Fight Fit workshop with Emazon. I set my intention for the workshop; “focus”. I wanted to come away feeling like I was focused and could concentrate on the stuff I needed to do. Like assessment pieces for my degree. To let go of work stuff, leave it at the front door and then focus on what I need to do at home. Instead of what I have been doing; sitting in my recliner watching mindless television while I eat everything in sight. Well, maybe not everything. But close to it. And then I wonder why my mind is racing at night and I can’t get to sleep for hours …

I finished Saturday’s session feeling centred and calm. And the short talk Emma gave afterward was particularly pertinent for me. The more I push my body and ask more of it, the more stress I add to it. The more I stress it out, the more it craves carbs and sugar. And the more it craves, the harder it is for me to deny those cravings and the more I end up eating. Emma did a youtube clip on something similar to this a few months ago. Very interesting stuff and it makes perfect sense.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiuSTG8g-f8 

So, rather than ask more of my body by spending extra time “trying” to do extra stuff, what I really need to do is create some rituals and give it what it really needs; time to replenish, repair and heal from the stress it has been under for so many years. My kiniesiologist told me a while ago that my adrenals were stressed. I wonder why!!

I need to add to my goals list to include:

  1. Create an evening ritual of quiet time with a cup of tea and meditation.
  2. Spend some training time with the air element, morning and evening. Breathing, meditation, yoga-type movements.
  3. Allow myself to take what I need every day.
  4. Be in bed by 9:30pm to breathe before sleep.
  5. Spend some time in the Japanese Gardens on the weekend, simply sitting, walking and breathing the serenity.

relax