Tag Archives: self

Getting a Little Uncomfortable

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I’m a creature of habit.  My husband is my high school sweetheart – we’ve been together for almost 11 years.  We bought my grandparent’s house as our first home – the home in which I spent my first 5 years of life, and nearly every Sunday thereafter.  I’ve been going to the same gym for 8 years, the same hairdresser for 8, the same nail girl for 6.  I eat basically the same foods Monday through Friday on a seasonal basis almost all year-long.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been able to figure out what works for me and stuck with it, but I also must admit that in part, it’s due to the fact that I’m afraid of change.  I’m one of those people who has a clearly defined comfort zone and has a difficult time stepping outside of it.  At least I used to be.

As of late, or really, since I’ve become a Mom, I’ve been forced out of my comfort zone more frequently than I have cared for. Each of these times I’ve learned something, and more often than not, I’ve learned a lesson about myself.  In general I’ve found that I don’t give myself enough credit.  I under-estimate my intelligence, my strength, my humor, my adaptability, etc. For me, leaving my comfort zone doesn’t necessarily mean doing something crazy, or totally out-of-the-box.  A lot of the time it just means doing something completely benign.  Like running with a friend, or going to a play-date with a few other moms and kiddos that I don’t really know very well. I’m sure to many the fact that something so seemingly normal is uncomfortable to me is probably pretty weird.  For me …. it’s comfortable.

I think in most cases our comfort zones are made of confidence and security and stepping out of them leaves us in a vulnerable state where we arent exaclty sure what to expect.  I know how I run on my own – how I pace myself, what playlist gets me going, whether I want to sing outloud, take a walk break, or do some speed work. I don’t know how my friend runs.  Whether she likes to listen to music or expects me to chat, whether she’ll want to take a walk break at all, or keeps close track of her pace on her Garmin.  I know how I play with my toddler, what snacks she likes, what her favorite games and toys are, when she needs a time-out, or a quiet book-break.  I don’t know how other moms deal with their kiddo’s terrible-two fits, or how a group of four nearly two-year-old girls will play together for several hours in a home that is not theirs, and with toys that I can almost guarantee there are not quadruplets of.  So, today when I was invited to do each of these things – run with a friend, and have a play-date with some moms and kiddos that I don’t really know very well – I immediately said, YES!  And then I remembered that I would be completely out of my comfort zone.

A few years ago I would’ve declined both invitations, assuming that it would be a waste to run with someone else, because I would definitely slow them down and make a fool of myself, and if I got together with a group of girls I didn’t really know, I would be the ugliest, dumbest, and least funny, or relevant person there.  It irks me to even say that I would have felt that way, but it’s true.  Becoming a Mom has instilled a desire within me to love myself and to believe in myself so that my daughter could love and believe in me, but more importantly, so she would know how to love and believe in herself.  Raising a little girl is my life’s greatest challenge.  I want her to be everything that I am, everything that I wanted to be, strived to be, failed to be, dreamed of being, and more.  The old saying “monkey see, monkey do” is quite true, I think, in parenting.  Modeling a behavior is the quickest way to get your child to catch on and do it themselves.  So, how can I expect that she challenge herself to try new things if I don’t do it?

Maybe I will be slower than my friend during our run on Thursday.  But maybe I won’t.  And maybe when G and I get together with her friends and their moms on Friday I won’t have anything interesting to add, or I’ll forget how to parent …. but I doubt it.  I’m sure that I’ll still be alive on Saturday, and probably more comfortable than ever.

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What’s up with that?

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The hubs and I love this skit on SNL.  I especially love Jason Sudeikis as the back up dancer in the Adidas track suit.

 

This morning I set out for a run – nothing out of the ordinary – I expected to get a quick 5-miler in, and run some errands before I had to pick up G from camp. I ran out my door, and onto my usual route, noticed that I felt especially strong and had no pain from my recovering injuries. Awesome — great start.

Suddenly I find myself looking at my Garmin which is telling me I’ve covered .49 miles.  Yep.  Half a mile, and I was already ready to quit. What’s up with that? Needless to say, my mind got the better of me and sadly, I only ran 1.5 miles before running straight back into my door.

I find it interesting how a work out can vary so greatly from day-to-day. Just last night I spun my little heart out for almost 90 mins, and loved every sweaty moment of it.  This morning’s experience was very different – despite my strong start, I wound up feeling tired faster, uninterested, and ended up with about a minute slower pace overall than I normally have.

I do think it’s important to encourage yourself throughout a workout when you’re not feeling into it.  I often repeat positive affirmations, remind myself why I’m out there, play games and break my remaining time or distance down into small increments that seem easy to conquer. Today, none of that was working for me. And you know what?  I am OK with that.

It has taken me a long time to get to a place where I can be OK with not getting a full (read; at least 500 calorie burn or at least an hour of sweaty, nasty, dirty work) workout in. For many years I was an all or nothing kind of girl, nearly killing myself in the name of being “skinny enough”. But today I can say I live a healthy, balanced lifestyle … and I am happy!!

For me, I find great comfort in knowing that I do the best I can for my body 95% of the time.  I make healthy food and lifestyle choices as often as I can.  (Green veggies? Check.  Plenty of water? Check.  Daily exercise? Check.)  Knowing that makes me more comfortable with the occasional not so healthy lifestyle choice. (Eating the toddler’s leftover pastina for dinner at 9:00 at night after getting home from a crazy day instead of steaming broccoli and broiling tofu?  Check.  Turning back in from your run after completing less than half of your goal? Check.)  I can feel OK about these couple of slip ups because I know that my next meal will be chock full of veggies, and my next workout will kick my butt.

So, as long as my good choices outweigh my not-so-good choices, I feel confident in knowing that there’s always tomorrow!

Do you have workouts or meals that don’t go as planned for you? How do you deal with the slip up?

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