Monday, January 16, 2012

When life gives you lemons, grab a Diet Coke

     This last week just wasn't my week. My inbox had turned into  a ticking timebomb while I was waiting to hear word back from my instructor on the book. Somehow I had managed to pinch a nerve in my shoulder, and my fingertips wwouldn't stop tingling. The hamstring I injured before the marathon was starting to ache on my 5 mile runs. My kidlet's motors were running on high and their screams were still only slightly softer than the monologue of defeat I was reciting in my head.

    Then my four year old flushed about half a roll of toilet paper. As I was mopping up the Niagra Falls of kommodes I gave some serious thought to the old phrase "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade."  The intention of the proverb is to do the best with what you have and normally I would be all about that. However, ankle deep in toilet water, there was no way I could make anything good out of this --pardon the pun-- crap. 

     When I ran downstairs to throw the wet towels in the wash I heard a drip drip coming from the room directly beneath the bathroom.  Apparently I wasn't fast enough and water from upstairs had leaked through the floor, into the ceiling, and out through the light fixture. I was so mad that I knew if I saw either of my little ones right then, somebody was gonna start crying --probably me.  So what did I do? Stewing over my rotten luck wasn't doing a darned bit of good. My brain was just turning all my worries and concerns over and over. I needed to make a break to disrupt the negative thoughts and feelings. So I took my lemons and tossed em in the fridge for awhile, leaving only a little wedge to put in my Diet Coke. Then I put myself in TIME OUT.

    I made sure the kids were safe and happy watching a DVD and locked myself in my room for 15 minutes with my Diet Coke-- literally. And for those 15 minutes I did nothing but breathe and enjoy my tasty  beverage. And then, when I was done, I walked back out and the lemons didn't seem quite as tart as they were a little while ago. We give our kids time outs to correct naughty behavior. It gives them a chance to seperate themselves from the behavior that led them there. Well guess what? Sometimes adults need them too. When you are being destructive and abusive to yourself then go to time out. Take a break and put your problems in the fridge --they'll keep.  When you're ready you can go get them and figure out the best way to make lemonade.

   For me, that Diet Coke time out provided a much needed opportunity to gain some perspective. By taking myself out of the situation for a moment I was able to halt the ramping up of emotions. That more than anything is what was making me miserable. Not the events, but the dispair and upset I felt about them. Without the emotions I could look at each "lemon" logically. In the case of my manuscript, I would take whatever critique was given, fix it, and then send it back. But what was the point of worrying about it when I hadn't even heard anything yet? Maybe he would love it and all my worrying would be for naught. I was squeezing the lemon before it hatched.. or something like that.

   The shoulder and hamstring just needed some rest and ice to let the swelling go down. My fitness would not suffer too much from one missed weight session or a slower run. But if I injured them further because I didn't rest it then the 2 months recovery time would put a definite cramp in my training.

   As far as the toilet soggy drywall situation goes, I am handing that one off to my husband.

  The Diet Coke Time Out is a technique I learned during this last year when my inner voice was yelling itself hoarse telling me I was going to gain weight back or never make it to the marathon. If I was up a half a pound one day my heart would start fluttering and I immediately went into panic mode. If I didn't stop the freak out in it's tracks then the rest of the day would be spent worrying and weighing. Then when my weight went up with anything I ate or drank (as it should) then I would escalate my spazzing and get even more upset. So I had to consciously choose to stop and interrupt the flow of negativity. Give myself that 15 minutes to empty my thoughts and emotions and start anew. If Diet Coke isn't your thing, that's alright. Make it work for you, just leave the cupcakes on the counter ok?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Are you a Pinto or a Jeep?

      Today during a five mile run, I found myself thinking about responsibilty. More specifically that I needed to take more of it.  Let me back up a little bit.
       Last year, before my discovery of the Philosophy of Finishing, I was victim of life's circumstances. I was a passanger in a busted up POS Pinto on the road of life. When a road hazard came up and popped a tire, I would bemoan my fate and say "It's not fair. Why does this always happen to me?" I hated the fact that I had to buy all my clothes in the Big girl's store, but hey what could I do? After all I was just born to be fat, look at my big oak of a family tree. Can't argue with genetics. Did I take any responsibility for my plus sizedness? Hell no. I'm just big boned. Or my joints hurt too much to exercise. The list of excuses went on and on. Anything and everything I could use to overlook the fact that I was making poor choices.
       So one of the things I learned last year was that I was the driver of my own life. Since I am not the kind of girl to be a little cute convertible, I decided I would be an armored Jeep. Stuff might pop up and try to get in my way, but I was just going to barrel over it. Because just like on the real road, sometime accidents happen that I have no control over. They truly aren't my fault, but what I choose afterwards is. Case in point: the whole Genetics issue. It is true, that nature has conspired against me with two type 2 diabetic parents, and a frame that my husband likes to call statuesque. But instead of whining endlessly like I had before that I would never be a Victoria's Secret model, I needed to do the best I could with what I had. So that means more running and less treats, because if I want to stay out of the plus sized stores, that's what I have to do. I also had to own up to the empty candy wrappers and pizza boxes instead of blaming it all on the kids and hubby.
      This was one of my big lightbulb moments from last year, but on this morning's run I think the bulb must've burned out. About a mile and a half into my run, I found myself cursing all my firends that had given me holiday treats over the last two months. If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be running in the sub freezing tempertures, trying to burn off those holiday five pounds my scale informed me of. Stupid people. Didn't they know I was a recovering chocoholic? Would you bring a recovering alcoholic a bottle of wine for Christmas? No, of course not. Then why oh why did my best friend have to bring me a giant plate of fudge? Did she want me to get fat? My husband is diabetic and my kids are picky eaters, so that left the whole plate up to me to disperse of.  It's a tough job, but somebody had to do it. And I did - for not only that, but the tub of carmelized popcorn my neighbor brought. And the cookies, and my mother in laws caramel candied sweet potatoes.
      It took another two miles before my brain thawed out enough to realize that I had just jumped back into the Pinto.  I was taking the approach that my holiday setback was everyone else's fault for tempting me, instead of taking responsibility for bending into tempation. It's not Misty's fault she makes great rocky road fudge, I chose to eat it...and eat it some more.  It was time to climb back into my Jeep and face the problem head on. I had made bad choices, yes, but it wasn't the end of the world. Five pounds is a whole lot easier to lose than seventy five. So I ran the next mile and a half with renewed purpose and silently apologized for writing all my friends out of my will.

      For me, taking responsibilty is not a matter of blame, but control. As a passanger, I had no control over my life. Living in constant worry, waiting for the other shoe to drop was not healthy for my mind or my indigestion. Bad things happened, and there was nothing I could do about it. But as a driver, I decide which way I am going to go. Sure it means that I have to take ownership for my "accidents" but it also means that I do not have to sit idly by waiting for a Mac Truck to sideswipe me. I don't have to sit at at home and fear endlessly that I will get big again. I'm the boss of my body and I say that I won't. I make the decisions everyday that ensure that I will continue down the road that I have chosen. Sometimes I might take holiday detours, but that's okay. My internal GPS still knows where it's going, and as long as I don't stop and get back in the passanger's seat, I know I'll get there.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...