who me? no, never. i mean, really? would a type-a, overly organized entrepreneur who created a product specifically to document every detail of your health have any issues with control? i’ll be the first to admit that it’s not a bad thing – all the time, that is. herein lies the problem: we really don’t have much control at all. so when chaos ensues, even a well-intentioned person can go loony. whether it’s a broken heart, or in my case a broken tailbone, sometimes life brings about things that weren’t in your “plans”. it was once said: “if you want to make god laugh, tell him your plans.”
so we have 2 choices when life doesn’t go our way:
1) feel sorry for ourself and focus on the negative, poor-me-i-can’t-have-what-i-want feelings which inevitably brings about only more negative.
2) get over it, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and focus on what you CAN do
little secret: all i’ve been focusing on the past 4 months after so brilliantly busting my a** (literally) was what i couldn’t do: i can’t run, i can’t do the stepmill, i can’t do lower body workouts, i can’t take a spin class, and i for sure can’t do p90x – apparently i’m not coordinated enough. after being told to not workout for 8 weeks, i resumed working out and contrary to what i might tell my injured clients, i went all-in (as this is how i do everything in life) and of course injured it again. another 6 weeks off. now, i haven’t completely stopped moving all together….i’ll go for walks, throw in an upper body workout every now and then, and thankfully i have been able to do pilates without it hurting. but being the control freak that i am, if i can’t do my workouts the way i’m used to always doing them, i’d rather not do them at all. (even typing that i realize how horribly bratty that sounds). can’t you just see me stomping my feet and throwing a fit? yeah that’s pretty much been me. not in control? throw a fit – it works, it really does.
so rather than practicing what i preach (yes, i’m human), this injury got me down. the worst part is that a huge part of why i exercise is to handle stress – so the one thing that makes me feel better felt so out of reach. if you’ve ever had an injury that sidelined you for any period of time, you can relate.
a wise person once told me, the best way to analyze any situation and what to do next is to ask yourself: “is what you’re doing right now working for you?” and the answer to this question for me has been a resounding NO! not only have i lost a lot of muscle mass over the past four months, but right along with that i’ve lost a few other things too: my ability to handle stressful situations as well, the desire to write in my fitbook with that blank workout page staring back at me, and most importantly i had lost a sense of who i was. if i can’t exercise 6 days a week and be in complete control of my health and wellbeing, it’s as though i had an identity crisis. and all the while i was fighting it, i knew deep down that it was a good lesson for me to learn. connect with who i am beyond the minutes logged on the stepmill, sets and reps of throwing dumbells around….find out who i was if i couldn’t control that body fat percentage slowly creeping up. what i’ve found is that losing that control is the best thing that ever happened to me.
the lesson for me has been this:
1) stop focusing on what you can’t be or do or have.
this will send you into a tailspin of negativity – trust me.
2) be thankful for what you can do, what you have – and most importantly who you already/
focusing on the future and setting goals is important, yet often we miss out on today. author jane buckingham said awhile back at a SMARTY event: “you can have it all – just not at the same time.”
3) re-gain perspective – it’s usually not the end of the world.
my mom said since i was little, i’ve been very dramatic…either i’m so excited i’m going to explode or quite literally the world might end. drama i know, but typical of a high-strung, control freak who sees the world in black & white. recently a fitbooker hit me up on twitter sharing that she could relate having been inactive for 3 months. she’d had breast cancer: thankfully she’s doing fine and i’m grateful that her story put things in perpsective for me.
4) focus on what you can do
this is highly empowering once you dig deep enough and find it in yourself to grab life by the horns and show it who’s boss. this doesn’t mean you can control your circumstances, but you can control your response to it. the way i figure it: we’re all dealt our hand of cards – and our only job is to play to win.
so today, august 1st, i’ve decided that i’m gonna quit being a big baby, put my big-girl panties on (as cassie would say), and do what i can despite my limitations. i started a brand spankin’ new fitbook BLACK today and here’s my plan:
* 3 days of swimming: yes, it’s a pain to drive 20m to hit the pool, swim laps, drive home, and get ready for work, but i’ve decided that i want it bad enough to just do it. did you know the worse the swimmer you are, the more calories you burn? i’m golden.
* 2 days of pilates: thankfully the most fabulous pilates reformer class with erica doesn’t bother my tailbone one bit…and it’s a sweat-inducing, strength-training, limb-lengthening workout that goes by in a flash!
* 2 days of strength training: upper-body that is. if i do lower-body i’ll just keep inflaming my poor booty-bone, so i’m going to add in 2 days of upper body weights workouts that specifically don’t add any weight on my lower-half. operation: build muscle!
* 1 day of walking: i love running – but i can’t do it, so instead of fret about it, i’ll plan a 1 hour walk per week with my girlfriend so the time goes by faster.
so my question for you: what has set you back lately? what has you down and out? it’s time to buck up, chuck! i usually take a tough-love approach, and so this is why i’m grateful for the past four months. i now, more than ever before, can relate to what all my fitbookers face each and every day. so share your challenges with me and together we’ll map out your plan of attack!
there’s that word “plan” again. (can you say control freak?) i come by it honestly.