Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Stop Wishing for a Better Past, Just Start Where You Are

 Stop Wishing for a Better Past,Just Start Where You Are  

We are at the beginning stages of what could be a big transition and transformation for many of you.   After the first week you should have gotten your first tastes of the program (fitness/eating assessments, tough workouts, food journaling, etc.) which purposely act like a mirror giving you a big taste for your current self.  This current state of you is where we need to start and there is a healthy, powerful approach and a debilitating approach to mentally dealing with that current state.   

When you actually measure your waist/body fat, feel your heart pound too hard, see the patterns and content of your diet, etc. it can be quite a humbling and scary experience, especially when we are out of shape and out of practice.  What have I been doing to myself? How could I let this happen? These questions and the mental struggle to justify or find a satisfying solution will ring in our heads over and over if we do not keep them in check and stay focused on the present moment.  During a time when I was in such an obsessive, unhealthy thought pattern, some very wise people said to me a few things that allowed me to stop beating myself up, let go of the past and move forward in the present even if it was painful right now.
"Pain is our motivation to change, embrace it". I repeat this line again and again because it is sharp like a knife when it comes to cutting through our ego's flight response. Joy can be motivation too when we get a taste for the happiness of being fit, but where most of us start is that wake up call of pain from our body and mind about its current state.  There is tons of useful energy we generate in these first "painful" weeks, we just need to harness it to serve us now, versus getting pulled back to the past depressive state.  
Acknowledge the pain or frustration but don't hold onto it.  When you are in it, soften and really feel your anxiety, your upset at yourself and others.  Don't repeat the past storyline, just the feeling.  Let the bad feelings flow through you and before you know it they will be over.  It has been studied that emotions last no more than 90 seconds if we don't hold onto or deny them.  
Much of our mental confusion and upset is futile because we are essentially wishing for a better past. "If only I would have", "If they hadn't done that", etc.  We must accept that everything in our world, except for our minds, is out of our control, especially the past, so we must work towards dropping the wish for things to have went differently, and do something different right now.  Plant a new seed for a better future.   
Forgive yourself for not being perfect and forgive others for not creating a perfect situation for you.  This is real acceptance and this is the starting point for any major growth and change in life. Start where you are means forgiving yourself for your current state so you can put your energy towards moving forward.
There is nothing to fix of figure out. For those analytical minds that are used to problem solving it can be tempting to try to "solve" our past mistakes and get rid of the crappy feelings that come with them, but you can't.  Times of reflection and change can bring up feelings of lacking, like something is wrong with me, something needs to be fixed or figured out.  This is the wrong view.  You are fine inside and totally capable of this so don't doubt yourself.  We just need to clean out the layers of bad habits, cruddy food and get moving again. 
Everything is changing all the time, just direct it.  Our bodies are changing, our fitness is changing, our health is changing, our energy is changing, our mood is changing and our perspective on all of them is changing whether you want them to or not.  So the only question is are you changing towards the positive healthy direction?
Loosen up, it's not the end of the world and you aren't the only one. There is something relaxing about knowing that you aren't alone in what you are feeling and going through.  That others have been there and come out of it stronger and healthier.  Pay attention to people that have been through it and take solace and inspiration in their words and examples. 
Feel good about what you are choosing to do.  While most humans have gone through a poor fitness and health stage and the lack of confidence and beating yourself up that goes with it, not as many made the positive choice to get on track and took action.  Stay focused on what you are doing positively.   
By transferring all of the negative energy directed towards ourselves (false ego bashing) towards our positive intention on reaching a healthy future goal (being a friend to yourself), then action by action we are fueling a powerful engine for change.  Practically this is done through a simple on the spot reminder to stay present by asking yourself, "What am I doing about it today?" or reaffirming "I am committed to completing this program to get truly fit and stay that way" Remember that many others have felt this before you and it is your peace and happiness that matters most. If we listen with open ears, peacefully do what is asked, and quickly get back on the path when life gets challenging, it will work!  

Act Positively in the Present,  Dropping All but the Lessons from the Past 

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