All By Myself

Years ago I joined up with a Military Boot camp style fitness program.  It was one of the best 18 months of my life.  I worked out 3-5 days a week at 530am-7am with people who would become some of my best friends.  It was incredibly motivating to know that I was going to go down to the picturesque Jericho beach to hang out with a group of friends.  The work was hard and sometimes intimidating but I gave it my best and I got into some of the best conditioned shape of my life to that point.  I had people who counted on me and who I counted on.  It was a surreal time in my life to say the least.  When the owners of the program pulled out of Vancouver to focus their time and energy on working in their hometowns of Edmonton and Calgary, the dynamic changed with the new head trainer and then when the dynamic changed too much, it was all folded up and closed down.  I tried a couple other boot camp style programs and I tried to get along with the head trainer that had set up his own shop but the magic had gone.  Around this same time my personal life started its long slide into hellish oblivion… not good timing.

What I realized just recently is that even though I was motivated and consistently worked out… even though I was the one that had to get out of bed every morning and go do the work… I never learned how to rely only on myself.  Many times I went because I wanted to see my friends… because I knew they would miss me if I wasn’t there and because they were counting on me.  I didn’t go because I had any sort of mental strength or fortitude.  I didn’t go because I wanted to get stronger.  I essentially had a crutch to lean on to keep me motivated and when that crutch was gone, I was in trouble.

I came to this realization two days ago when the head trainer contacted me on twitter and invited me back to his program with the ‘enticing’ note that my friends were waiting for me and that they missed me.  Besides the fact that we do NOT get along, I know things about him I can’t get over and it’s not convenient or in my budget, I realized that this journey I’m on… I have to take it alone.  I have to know myself and know my own motivations and know my own strengths and weaknesses.  Leaning on a group of friends again would be great…it would be easy but it wouldn’t help me grow as a person and it wouldn’t teach me what I need to know about myself.

When I run after work or on the weekends, or go to my weightlifting coach, I do so under my own power.  No one but me knows when I do or don’t run… my friends would never know if I said I was running or working out and then didn’t.  And that’s the way I want it.  I want to be accountable to myself and only myself.  I need to nurture the strength I’m developing to be able to stand on my own in the face of everything that life chucks at me and be firm and grounded in what I value.  And one of the things that I’m coming to value most out of anything is my own personal strength.  I can hear my thoughts, I can be still and quiet with my contemplations and processing of information and stimuli.  And I can love myself enough to do something for me that is only for me.  I eat the way I want and work out the way I want because in the end the only accountability I have is to the voice in my head and in my heart.  And the last thing I need right now… in the fledgling state of learning to hold myself up… is an easy way out.

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Happy Random Friday!

The other night I was really really upset… I cried until I couldn’t breathe and then when I couldn’t calm myself and I couldn’t take it anymore, I begged God to just let me sleep… Within no more than 60 seconds my tears stopped, I was calm and peaceful.  I wasn’t asleep… sometimes the prayer you say isn’t the prayer that was answered.  I’m glad I wasn’t asleep… I was so peaceful and had such clarity over my situation… I was hearing answers to my struggle… I eventually fell asleep… calm, peaceful… comforted.  That feeling stayed with me and reminded me that I do not have to have these experiences by myself… and that I need only to ask for help.

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I’ve been pretty tired this last little while as I mentioned yesterday.  Case in point… I went to the store yesterday evening to buy some face wash and got to the counter only to find my wallet was missing.  After racing around the city to all the places I’d been that day (including the hospital board room and my office), I went home and found that I actually hadn’t had my wallet with me for 3 days… it was in another bag I’d taken to the gym… As a person who is very detail oriented, not realizing I hadn’t had my wallet for 3 days is a direct result of my sheer exhaustion!

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I wrote myself a letter from FutureMe.org about two months ago and received it yesterday.  It came at a very interesting time because I’d just been thinking how eating W30/Paleo had become a habit and was no longer a struggle.  Part of the letter that I got yesterday was asking from the past if it really sucked and if I was getting any better at it.  I have strayed a couple times in the last month… I ate some rice with a Greek dinner one night and had a Vodka/Soda one night… no big deal… it’s not the drama fest that the ice cream incident was.  Maybe because I know that this is a lifestyle, not a diet and in a lifestyle, one must understand that things come up and you just keep going… I feel so good when I eat clean that it’s second nature.  My FutureMe letter asks if I’ll do another W30… One day I might go and do a proper W30 again to get really clean but for now I think I’ve got a good thing going that keeps me on the straight and narrow 99.9% of the time and allows me to choose that .1% and feel guilt free.

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I’m continually flabbergasted by people I know who tell me you can’t lose weight on the Paleo because there’s too much fat, or that it’s not healthy to not eat corn… and then these same people do idiotic things like the HCG diet (look that sucker up!) or some 30 day juice and fruit only ‘cleanse’.

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This weekend I will finish making the screens for my windows (hopefully my lessons learned with my prototypes work out!), sew another skirt I think, go to the gym, cook for the week, catch up on my rest from this insane week.

May Days

I’m darn well exhausted. 

I’m a complete zombie and the only thing keeping the secret of my exhaustion is that my skin care ritual is so fantastic that I haven’t developed a puffy face or bags under my eyes yet.

In the last three weeks I’ve gotten MAYBE 4-5 hours of sleep a night, I’ve been still going to the gym and working out as hard as I can and then working a full day, coming home and keeping a clean house and trying to keep the cat from chewing his way out of the house… all the while spending precious time commuting back into downtown Vancouver in the evenings to hang with a friend.

The exhaustion comes not only from not getting my very much required 8 hours of sleep a night but also from processing a lot of mental and emotional data.  I’ve been in one of those learning phases for a few weeks… Self-discovery is actually a really hard job and can be really tiring… the outcome has been great tho and besides being completely exhausted, I’m very happy!

Many many good things have come out of this last three weeks, one of which was a really meaningful experience in my Faith. I have a whole entry I’m writing about it but until I get it all finished up… you’ll just have to wait.

Last night I went out for dinner after work… I met my friend downtown and we decided that we needed to walk for a while to decompress from the day so we headed out toward English Bay.  We first walked along some pretty busy streets but the sun brought every single person in Vancouver out to downtown so we quickly retreated to the side streets and found ourselves strolling along some very lovely neighborhoods. We finally made it down to the beach (where I neglected to take even one single picture of how beautiful it was) and found ourselves an empty bench to sit on… The heat drove us off the bench eventually and we went to a small hole in the wall Greek restaurant for dinner.  It was SO GOOD! The place was packed and they also do huge take out business so everything was super fresh!  After dinner we decided to walk a ways and when I finally got back to my bus stop and my friend to his office, we’d walked a total of 5miles.  I sincerely wish (for both of us) that had we known we were going to walk that far that we had worn appropriate footwear… neither of us did altho with such good conversation and a relaxed pace it was hardly noticeable how far we went.

I have no dinner plans again until next week so hopefully I can catch up a bit on my sleep and spend a little time decompressing… My plan is to gym tonight after work (and by tonight I mean I’ll be home early today so gym at 3ish) and tomorrow after work (again, since I’ve adopted early work hours to accommodate gym in the am, it actually accommodates gym after work if I don’t make it in the am). I have no projects on the horizon for the weekend except maybe making another skirt or two and buying some face cleanser.

I hope everyone is planning on having a great weekend… I heard it’s supposed to be sunny here again so I might find a patch of grass for a mid day sunshine nap.

darcy May 9

I know it looks like I have huge bags under my eyes but I took this pic under flourescent lights in a bathroom stall so… it’s the lighting…