Tuesday, January 25, 2011

On Motivation - HELP!!

I just took a virtual stroll down memory lane with my blog. It's just over ten months old already - wow! Where does the time go? I've realized that I have taken off and put on the same 10-15 pounds for most of 2010 and now into 2011 (going down the scale now). This fact is quite fascinating to me. Looking over my blog posts, I see a consistent theme of two steps forward, one step back, sometimes one step forward, two steps back. I think the most difficult thing for me is that I have great self-esteem, and only I would perceive this as a problem - haha! The reason this is a problem is that it keeps me from being motivated from losing weight; I feel good and I'm still cute (self-esteem/narcissism, potato potahto). I don't feel like an overweight person, no one treats me like an overweight person - probably because a lot of us are carrying an extra 10-15 pounds anyway, not that I'm judging - and so I just do my thing. What is my thing? Cooking and baking... AND eating. I happen to love running as well, but not as much as cooking, baking and eating apparently.

What can I say? I do my best. I'm down 7.2 pounds (again) and while I'm happy about that, I also am concerned that when things get busy again in a few weeks with work and German class, that I will, once again, fall of the wagon of eating healthfully and regular exercise. I'm working on week four of my new lifestyle regimen and making a habit of eating well and exercising 5-6 days a week.  Will I keep it up when the going gets tough?  History says, "NO!!" but I want to break this cycle.

What do you do to stay motivated, especially for those of you who have a good sense of self and great self-esteem and are healthy even with extra weight? I'm all eyes (since I'm reading) for what you do to stay motivated.

Friday, January 14, 2011

And the Shoes Came Off!

Well, I've gone and done it.  I've joined the ranks of those "kooky" barefooters.  The Vibrams came off today in a grassy soccer field, which, apparently, is a tremendously great surface to run on.  Not only is it grassy, which is comfortable and soft, but firm because the ground has been packed down quite a bit by those busy-bodied soccer players.  It's the best of both worlds!  I don't have to worry about dips twisting my ankle and it's gentle enough on my pretty virgin feet.

And... believe or not, I actually am following the sound advice of barefooters everywhere, I took it slow.  I only ran around a couple soccer fields, I walked on the pavement and ran across a concrete lined bridge and then I stopped and put my Vibrams back on before I hit the gravel trail.  I'm not brave (or stupid) enough to run on the trail sans shoes quite yet.  One step at a time.  Literally.  It's funny because after I put my Vibrams back on, the minimal amount of material between the soles of my feet and the ground felt really thick.  The mind-body connection while running barefoot is phenomenal.  Wow.

I'm a bonafide barefooter and the abbreviation of my name, Barefoot Emily, is BFE - haha!  That one really cracks me up in my runner's high brain...

Tomorrow, we hit the beach - winter in Los Angeles rules.  Running will be a part of the day.  I hope it's part of yours, too.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Running the Stiff Out

Happy New Year... seven days into it!  Of which, I've exercised five.  No new year's resolutions are coming from this gal, though, since I usually set the bar too high and fail along the way.  One day at a time for me.  I know I'm going to have good days and bad days and that's okay.  I'm just hoping that for the next five weeks that I'm not working that my healthful eating and exercise regimen will become a habit so that I can continue that while I'm back speaking German and teaching art history.  That will be the true test.

Anyway, the real point of this blog is about letting go and staying loose when running.  On the treadmill today (yes, I know I should be out on the trail, but am having some weird aversion to it right now), I was really thinking about my form.  Then I let it go.  Really, I let the idea of how I was running go and just went sort of limp.  I kept running, but let all the tension out of my body, even my facial muscles.  What an amazing relief!  It was only then that I got into a real groove. Actually, it reminded me of this scene from "Friends" when Rachel was pretty embarrassed by how Phoebe ran, but then Rachel realized how much more fun running was when she let go: Phoebe and Rachel running.

I felt more connected to my body because, let's face it, our bodies know what they need to do.  Our brains get in the way much of the time.  I'm an overactive thinker and sometimes that's not a good thing.  When we over-think what we are doing, we tend to wreck what's best for us whether it's exercise or making an important decision.  As human beings, I think we lose sight of and mistrust our instincts in a variety of situations.  I'm always telling students to go with their gut feelings when they are taking exams because those instincts are usually right.  Yet, we tend to push them aside, or more accurately, our brains take over and get mighty bossy.

I wish for you a mindful, yet mindless, 2011.  Take each day at a time.  Don't forget to enjoy whatever you are doing from moment to moment, even if it is eating yet another salad or exercising the sixth day in a row.  Loosen up and have fun!