Still Striving to improve myself, one board break at a time

Archive for the ‘Balance’ Category

School’s out for…ever?

I graduated from college on May 12, 2017. It took me five years to get through all the coursework needed to attain an Associates degree. I freaking EARNED IT!!  It was not a walk in the park. It was a lot of hard work. I busted my butt to earn that degree and I’m proud of myself for it. I went back to school when my kids were in school so that I could finish something I didn’t finish right out of high school. When I was eighteen or nineteen years old, I was more concerned about getting out of the house than I was about going to school. My transcripts showed that. I’ve changed things around, worked my butt off and managed to graduate with honors. I maintained a 3.5 GPA, which makes me a kick ass B student!  I am proud of myself for that. Would I have liked it to be A?  Oh definitely. However, I had a couple of classes that dragged me down (Science with Professor Your Britches are Burning” and English with Professor I Hate Your Writing). I got a C in Math. That was the only class I consider an absolute failure and it wasn’t a failure. I managed to pass the class, just not as well as I could have done. I hope I never have to take another math class in my life (but I bet I will, especially if I go on to get another degree!).

So now what do I do with myself. That’s something I’m working on. I feel lost, cast adrift right now since I don’t have classwork to occupy my time.  I’ve been off work for a week and a half and even THAT feels awkward. I have to be doing SOMETHING. I don’t feel like myself if I’m not obsessing about something!

I’m going to work on studying Italian on my own for a while and see if I can get involved with a local group in Dallas. That seems to be what I feel drawn to at the moment. Who knows, maybe I’ll get back to writing? I love to write. I just have to figure out if what I’m writing about is of interest to people.  Maybe I’ll start researching things that are interesting to me and writing about them.




As humans, we want recognition for what we have done or are doing. It’s a way of saying, “hey, I’m worth something.” It doesn’t have to be big.  Sometimes, the smallest word of encouragement is enough to keep you going and make you feel that you’re being successful. It’s a great feeling to have someone notice you and say, “Keep up the good work!” You don’t feel that it’s all in vain.

All my life, I’ve had weight issues. I’ve lived with a parent who constantly told me how “fat” I was, how she was going to have my clothes made special for me.  I’m desperate to NOT repeat those actions with my own children because I know firsthand how hurtful it is for your parent, the one you love unconditionally, who should love you unconditionally, to tell you things like that.

I usually resist posting my weight loss attempts on Facebook because I tell myself I “don’t want to be like Jane Doe or Sarah Homemaker”, the ones “who spend all their time in the gym.”  “I don’t want to to be boring.” I have read *many* status updates where Jane Doe or Sarah Homemaker talked about how they conquered climbing Mount Fuji and it annoyed me. Why was I annoyed with it?  Was it jealousy because I couldn’t go climb Mount Fuji? Was it irritation that they climbed it before me?

Thinking back on my attitude, maybe I should have been out there, patting them on the back and telling them how wonderful they are for doing it.  After all, aren’t I looking for the same thing? I want validation too. I want Jane Doe and Sarah Homemaker to tell ME, “Hey, M, you’re FABULOUS!  You are rocking the workouts!! ” I have my support group in place already-I have eight wonderful, true friends, who push me, tell me to get over myself and keep going. I’m not sure why I want MORE validation.  Do I not already value myself?

I have to think long and hard WHY I ‘m working on weight loss.  It’s for my health, ultimately, I know, but there’s that nasty little voice inside my head that says “you’re not worth anything unless you’re super small.”  I have to beat that voice into submission and say “GO AWAY.”

So, for the people who constantly post their status updates as “I am a gym rat.” “I ran two marathons today.” I say, “GOOD JOB!! I applaud you!”  My cousin told me that I needed to post my updates, because that way people could follow my progress.  I tried it, didn’t get the “atta girl” that I thought I should get and frankly, had a temper tantrum of sorts. Well, guess what?  I’ve built a bridge and have gotten over it.

I am important to me. My husband and children notice that I’ve lost.  Ultimately, THEY are the ones who will appreciate that I’ve lost weight, because I’ll be out there running ahead of them when we go out as a family to do things.

I have goals.  My number one goal is to stop trying to have my outside family appreciate me or notice me.  I’m not in contact with my mother anymore so shouldn’t need to have validation from her that I’m successful.  I am successful in my own way.  So I don’t spend hours upon hours in the gym. I’m making baby steps and that should be more important to me than having someone pat me on the back and say “I’m glad you’re working on your weight issues.”


Day one of 2013

It’s the first day of 2013 and I am happy to say that I have been successful in ONE THING. I have successfully tracked *all* my food that I’ve eaten today.  Hooray!!  Score one for me! I need to document my eating all the time. I’ve heard people say “I know what I can eat and what I can’t eat, so I don’t need to track.” Well, congratulations! You’re a MUCH better person than me! In order for me to be successful, I have to document.  It’s training to see what I’m actually putting into my mouth. I’m also documenting my activities.  I posted on Facebook yesterday that I was bummed out that 20 minutes of vacuuming was not very many activity points.  The point is, I moved my butt! 

Fitbit says I’ve only walked about 25,040 steps this week.  Again, HOORAY!! It’s tiny. There are people on my friends list (whom I would hide but I’m not going to–I just deliberately ignore them) who have hundreds of thousands of steps. I don’t get that many steps in a week. It was bad enough that I deliberately changed my 10,000 step/daily goal to less. I sit all day long and don’t move.  Last week when my office was practically empty due to holidays, I got the most activity I’ve gotten in a really long time.  As I’m also not out riding my bike, my steps are also lower. That will change once it warms up. Until then, I’ll have to figure out what to do to get my activity level up. 

I was invited to a push up competition for the month of January. I haven’t clicked on the ‘accept’ yet. There’s no need for my fitness fails to be out in the public where I can be judged.  I’m rather a solitary person. I don’t like to publicize my failures.  That’s why I asked a small group of friends to help me.  I don’t post my status updates on Facebook. They get once a week updates and that’s enough.  Of course, if I get a “get your ass moving” text, I don’t take offense either. 

I read the Fitness Magazine article about Allison Sweeney. She said she had to put aside her feelings of having to be “perfect”.  I’m going to look at taking her advice. It’s not hurting anyone but me. I’m only in competition with myself.


Tai Chi Form class

I jumped into the Tai Chi form class on Monday a week ago and feel like it’s going to work out for me. I remembered some of the movements from the Introduction class and was able to step in and follow with what the rest of the class is doing.
After knowing what I’ve done to myself in Tang Soo Do by comparing myself to everyone else, I’ve made a vow that I’m only going to watch the instructor to see what she is demonstrating. I’m not going to compare myself to anyone else. I like the similarities to TSD. I found out on Friday that I was able to execute a kick *and* I turned my hips over!!!! It was the first time I actually did that! I may go out in the garage tomorrow and go kick my BOB around. Now that I have the room to play, it’ll be a lot easier to get back into practicing.

I’m also going to go out in the yard in the morning and see how much of the first section of the form I actually remember. It’s been a week and I haven’t worked on it since class last week. We don’t have a class tomorrow since it’s Labor Day, so I’ll get a chance to work on my own and see what I remember.
I know I can do it.

The learning never ends

I think I’ve learned a bit of something about myself in the past few weeks. I’ve been reading The Tao of Pooh and The Te of Piglet by Benjamin Hoff. I got the idea by reading a magazine that gave some ideas about ways to re-energize yourself. I felt that it was something I needed to read. I’m glad I got it.

I’ve been picking out different things in my life that I was sure I could change. One of the things I need to work on changing is my outlook on life. To that extent, I’m trying to step back and take a more child-like view of things. I have found that my stress levels are at a more manageable level at work. I still panic over the sight of multiple calls holding in the queue, but I’m working on keeping myself under control and saying “oh well” to the calls. I am one person and can only handle one call at a time. Just need to remember that I provide better service when I’m less stressed than I do when I let the stress control me.

I have also learned a valuable lesson from Tai Chi. I’ve learned that in my class, we are ALL beginners, except for our Teacher. As far as that is concerned, I am not interested in comparing myself to anyone in the class. All of my focus in class is on myself. I keep my thoughts centered on me. I don’t look around and think “I’m not doing this any worse than so and so is.” That’s a HUGE difference from my TSD classes. In the TSD class, I look at the other black belts and i think, “They’re all so much better than me. I’ll never be at their caliber.” Unfortunately, that’s an Eeyore point of view and is self destructive. I need to apply my thinking that I’ve developed from the Tai Chi classes to my TSD classes. I just haven’t melded the two yet. My ways of thinking are still a work in progress.

Monday, I had my eye surgery and was advised no exercise for a week. They didn’t want anything strenuous to disturb the healing of my cornea. Now that I’ve had that done, I can go back to my regular routines again. I think I’m going to go outside and practice the first part of the form that Elise taught us at the last class. I know it and am looking forward to practicing again.

Tai Chi after surgery?

I’m scheduled for a touch up on my right eye on August 9th. I need to check with my instructor to see if it’s okay to come to class afterwards. I don’t see (literally) how it would hurt anything as I’m not doing anything strenuous. Now the Tang Soo Do class is a different story entirely. I won’t be able to do any kind of jumping jacks or anything that would cause strain on that eye and I’m pretty sure I won’t be going out after dark without a fellow driver with me.

I don’t think the Tai Chi will be a problem. I do believe I’ll be able to do that. I’ll email my instructor tonight and see what she says, but I feel confident I”ll be able to do it.

Tai Chi wisdom

Tonight, my Tai Chi instructor said something that resonated with me. She said that all the ideas of perfection we have are to be left behind because there is no perfection. Her suggestion was to do the technique and if it brings you happiness, if you’re smiling inside, then you did it right. It’s thought-worthy, especially in light of my determination to be ‘perfect’. I got something out of class tonight that I would never have thought I’d pick up.

In class, we did “Move around the world to the left”. It is a neat technique. When done slowly (note to self…MOVE…SLOWLY…), it is very pretty. Some of the Forms Class students came in and worked with one of the other instructors. They were working on the “Four Corners”. It was beautiful. I’m glad I’m taking the time to slow down and learn the Tai Chi. I needed to re-think and re-focus.
I was thinking on the way home from work tonight that I needed the break I’ve taken from martial arts. I’m getting re-balanced in Tai Chi. It’s about balance.

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