exercise

Some Assembly Required

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I meet with my wellness coach, Meg, every Friday morning. She always sends me the session worksheets a day or two in advance, and we typically work through the material in our meetings. We start each session with me sharing some accomplishments or good things that took place in the week since our last meeting. Meg then invites me to discuss what challenges I faced, but we always start with the positives.

Despite our planned session work, our time was overtaken with me digging into some challenges that are broader than week-to-week observations. Basically, it boils down to a very direct question.

Do you want this?

The this at the center of this question is my stated goal of losing weight and toning my body. I seem to be going in circles with choices regarding food and exercise. I struggle with the proverbial one step forward, two steps back. In fact, it often feels like one step forward, five steps back. The backward movement seems or feels larger because it is coupled of with guilt, shame, and self-judgment. Why can't I stay the course? What will it take for me to get my shit together and honor what I say that I desire? Self-sabotage is a real thing, and its pull can come up in ways so buried that you don't even recognize you're undoing your progress. 

Thankfully, Meg took time for us to walk through my feelings and frustrations. As discussed in my last post, one thing that keeps coming up for me is impatience. Beyond that, I thought back to a discussion I had with Carla several years ago about being authentic. We discussed that I tend to be a nice person and say the right things. But, it begged the question, was I being honest? Like many people, I was raised to be polite. I think that I also developed, or picked up, the trait of being a people pleaser. I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings and typically steered clear of criticism that might be deemed too direct or sharp.

As we talked, it became clear that I was doing the same thing with Meg. I have been very honest with Meg in our meetings, but I think that I fell into the habit of saying what sounded right. I am a pretty emotional person, but I have been pretty stoic when discussion my struggle with weight and eating. Where is the part of me that is screaming inside and wants to run around the room with my would-be hair on fire?

Perhaps more revealing was digging past the surface to examine how this behavior manifests. I had to offer that I am extremely engaged in our meetings and walk away feeling charged to take on my action items. However, just a couple of days later the enthusiasm fades and I'm back to the same 'ole same 'ole. I analogized it to Sunday Christians. You know ... the folks who show up for church every Sunday, but do very little worship or reflection Monday through Saturday.

As much as I give lip service to acknowledging that change takes time, I believe that I haven't embraced this truth. I walk away each Friday as if the meeting itself will transport me to the desired end point. That's not how it works. The hard truth is that I have to account for decades of behaviors, actions, and attitudes about myself. I have to lay out all of my habits and feelings and take a good hard look at what serves me and what does not. Only then will I be in the position to take on the task of assembling -- piece by piece --  a more complete, self-loving self. A self that is motivated and willing to take on the challenge to move toward goals. A self that knows that, in many ways, there is no "end." There is a path to achieve goals and I can't get there if I am so focused on the horizon that I keep tripping or falling into holes right in front of me. 

The big takeaway from this week's meeting is that I want to try setting more immediate goals and milestones. I need to set daily accomplishment points that feel more tangible, instead of the, seemingly, exclusive focus on "the long game." I think through this; I will find more confidence that I can continue to make progress toward my goal and quiet that naysayer on my shoulder who wants me to believe I'm not capable, deserving, or worthy.