Friday, good morning. Another lovely “little” snow storm hit last night. Couple of inches in Manhattan at least.
I was so exhausted yesterday that I went to bed at 8 and woke up at 4:30. Usually I stay up until 10 and sometimes 11:30 if I’m watching or reading something good. (The 4:30 part is not so unusual). But last night I just couldn’t keep my eyes open — instead of flopping in front of the tv, I just went to bed. I had very little sleep the rest of the week — lot’s of stupid stuff on my mind. I’m glad I had a good catch up, ’cause tomorrow is a big run day and I’ll be needing my energy.
So Friday is Feelings day and I have been working really hard all week at fighting negative thoughts. I think I mentioned last week in a blog somewhere about making that a goal. I’m surprised at how often they are still creeping in there. But, I think I was fairly successful in forcing myself to say something positive every time a negative crept in. I feel a little stronger today — sleep helps. Of course, I had a few inspirational moments this week as well and those helped too.
Of course hanging with my friend on Wed. was inspirational to me. I took her demonstration of determination to heart. I wrote about her in yesterday’s blog so I won’t repeat today.
On Wednesday night I went out with a small group to Patsy’s after practice and I happened to sit next to two women — one on my right and one across from me. Most of the people are already used to my ordering soup and salad every week, but the woman to my right asked about it. I make no bones about it and tell anyone who asks that I’m doing Weight Watchers. (I figure it helps me be accountable). She turned to me and said “really? I used to weigh over 200 lbs, and Weight Watchers helped me lose 50 pounds.” I almost fell off my chair. I couldn’t believe she said that. She was in such good shape! She said that she had lost 40 in 2001 and had been battling with the last 10 for the last couple of years. I was blown away. Fantastic, I thought! And then the women across from me said “I used to weigh 220 and now I weigh 170.” Whoa!!! I couldn’t believe it! She said to me, “it works, if you do it.”
I know the universe talks to us all the time, we just don’t always listen. There are over 300 people training together for these two triathlons. There were well over 150 people at practice. Out of all of those people only 8 people chose to go to Patsy’s. Of those 8 people, the person sitting to my right and the person sitting across from me (flanked, if you will, because I was sitting at the end corner) both had lost a significant amount of weight. I didn’t think that was coincidence — I thought it was a message. Don’t doubt yourself, you can do it.
I took a cab home that night, feeling it had been a long, hard but inspiring day. In the morning I woke up and the woman who had been sitting next to me at Patsy’s wrote me an email and said “I just wanted to tell you that you really inspired me and I’m going back on Weight Watchers.” Wow, I thought, how efficient the universe is to inspire two people at once! Of course, I fired back an email saying “no way, you inspired me!” It really helps at this point to hear from people who have been on a program for a long time and have kept going. That’s one of the things I get out of the WW meetings is to find people who are there for two years, at goal weight and still coming to meetings. I find that inspiring.
The other message from the universe I got was yesterday. I had my workout with Rhonda and I think we were both surprised that not only did I seem to have not lost any strength while she was gone, I seemed to have gained some. We had a good laugh over some of my balance skills that seemed to show up yesterday that had never been there before. She noted that my arms were stronger particularly when I was doing this weird exercise I can’t really explain but I’ll try. I lie on my stomach on a bench, have little baby 1 pound weights in my hand. I put my arm out in a T formation and pulse up for 10, then move my arms out to a Y formation and pulse up for 10, then move my arms straight out over my head and pull down toward my shoulder for 10. She said I did that much more easily than last time. She also said I was using heavier weights on my other arm exercises — so that was good.
Then we talked about the pushups. I was feeling a lot of energy and wanted to try one. The mistake was I tried at the end of the workout while my arms were really tired so I didn’t do it. But I still feel like I’m closer some how. Which leads me to my 3rd inspirational story of the week and it comes from an unlikely source, the “National Weight Loss Challenge” tv program. You know every week I end up trashing this poor program. Well this week’s program was not that bad because it was very real.
This week they followed this New York DJ as he was trying to lose weight. The poor guy was working 3 jobs, had lost his mother to that pyscho nurse who was killing patients and had also lost his co-host and mentor to complications from a stroke. Anyway, this DJ decides he is going to use Karate as one of his workouts and also go to a personal trainer. The Karate Sensei (Sensei means “teacher” in Japanese) was this Italian/American who was pretty serious. The DJ also had a life coach who was to help him with time management and life skills. Running the diet portion of the program was a doctor who was helping with his diet plan. He called all of these people “Team Zach.” The team he had put in place to help him lose weight.
Well, it was pretty funny, because not one of the people were interested in being called part of “Team Zach” because they all felt it was taking the responsibility off of him and putting it on them. So every one of them would call him on his bad behavior of bingeing, not showing up to practices, promising too many things. Of course everyone watching the show is going to identify with this DJ because he is just so human and honest about all of his frailties. (He is 6’4″ and weighs 315 pounds but he is emotionally pretty slender.)
There was one scene that really got me. The Sensei was a no bull kind of guy. They showed all of these clips of the DJ being trained and this one clip in particular really got me. The Sensei puts the DJ down on the floor and has him move one hand into the pushup position and leave the other hand behind his back (or at his side, I can’t remember). The Sensei says “Zach, push with your hand and lift your body up.” Zach and I both are saying “what are you nuts?” As I’m saying out loud to the tv “he can’t do a one armed pushup!” Zach is moaning with his face into the floor “Sensei, Sensei, I can’t, I can’t do it.” Of course he can’t, I’m thinking, that’s just cruel — I hate this show.
The Sensei doesn’t smile. He says “Zach, sit up,” so Zach sits up. Then the Sensei says “I want you to meditate on that thought.” So Zach sits up and looks like this penitent little 315 pound boy. His face is red and he is still breathing hard. Then the Sensei says “get down on the mat and push yourself up.” Well don’t you know, this 315 pound guy gets down on the mat and pushes himself up with one arm! I almost fell out of my chair. Then Sensei says something really profound about telling yourself you can do something and you will do it. I was blown away. Zach was all happy and beaming proudly.
Of course I immediately thought about my own pushups. How much of this pushup business is my telling myself I can’t do it? What if I try to channel all of my power and belief into doing one perfect pushup? Just one, doesn’t even have to be a one-armed like Zach. (And btw, the only regular pushup they show him doing is one against a stack of steps, they showed him doing a regular pushup off the floor.) So this morning before I go to my WW meeting, I’m going to meditate and I’m going to practice my pushups. I’ll let you know tomorrow, how I do!! (That’s called a cliffhanger, y’all!)
Oprah also talks a lot about making the “Decision” to lose weight. It’s not about wanting to lose weight, it is deciding to do it. There is a big difference. The difference is choice. You can can want to do something and never do it. Lord, how many people do we know that say “I want to do this, I want to do that” but ten years later are still saying it? I know many people like this. But my favorite people are the ones who say “I decided to….. And I so I did it.” So I guess wanting something is a kind of sleeping or dreamy of activity (in my opinion). Deciding is an awake activity. So now when I question myself and say “what makes me think that I can do this?” I know the right answer. The answer is I will do this because I DECIDED to do this. This is non-negotiable. The decision has been made.
Tomorrow, 4 mile Snowflake race in Central Park, TWICE! (I need to run 8 miles tomorrow, so I’m going to do a 2 mile run up to the race start, do the 4 mile race, and then 2 mile run back down). Yippe, can’t wait…..groan. Stay tuned for my results of the race and the pushup!!! (P.S. — please don’t expect a 12:00 m/m on a 4 mile race — not there yet. How about anything under a 12:30? My best 4 miler so far was a 12:29 back in Sept. So how about I shoot for a 12:15? That seems reasonable to me.)
The main thing is to keep pushing oneself, to keep striving to awaken, by whatever means one has chosen. The difference between the waking person and the person who is asleep is that the sleepwalker feels he already is awake; the awakened one is still striving , pushing, struggling to be awakened.