I'm the kind of person who is either all the way on or all the way off. When the alarm rings in the morning, my eyes spring open and my feet hit the floor. I'm AWAKE!! When I start a new project, I'm 100% in and enthusiastic. I want to sleep, eat and breathe it so I can up to speed on whatever it is, really quickly. So, in these instances, it's great.
But, if we're talking about working a diet/nutrition plan, that's where it becomes not so great. I can be cruising along, no worries. Compliance is great and then all of a sudden, cave to a craving or intentionally make a bad choice, and I start going down the path of "I just ruined 3 weeks of great compliance, might as well eat the whole pizza". Then that choice leads to another which leads to another and I'm off my plan. It's taken time and a lots of failures to realize that I don't have to be all the way on or all the way off. I can just be. There are ebbs and flows that I need to learn to deal with for real change to occur. It's just all part of it.
A really smart man I know (Norman Shub of the Gestalt Institute) says that "ALL CHANGE IS INCREMENTAL". As much as I want to be 100% on, whether its nutrition, workout, whatever, it really isn't realistic to expect that I will hit it all the time. The want can be there. The desire can be there. But if I'm really going to change something, I have to deal with the setbacks and not let the setbacks tank the whole process. If I've eaten the pizza (or ice cream or chips), I need to dust off, and get back on plan at the next meal and not skip meals for the rest of the day/or two (we've all done it) in order to "make up" for what I've done.
Probably one of the best people/sites that I follow is JillfitPhysiques (http://www.jillfit.com). She writes of her past struggles and how she worked it out mentally. Pretty inspiring stuff. Check it out.
So, tonight I had 2 pieces of pizza when I should have had turkey, brown rice and veggies. So tomorrow for breakfast I'll be back on plan...yogurt, fruit and peanut butter. And I'm going to enjoy every bit. No worries. Just learning.
Do you hate this as much as I do? You're crazy busy, maybe you've rushed out of the house in the morning. You're focused on something, not paying attention to what's going on around you when all of a sudden you hear "Hey, let's get everyone together for a picture" Whaaaaaaat?? I wasn't planning on a picture today! I didn't use extra moisturizer. I'm having a bad hair day. This shirt makes me look fat. I got about 3 hours sleep last night. Yea, it's like that. Mention a picture and my brain happily gives me 100 reasons why it shouldn't happen.
Take a look at the photo at the top of this blog. I'm the old chic in the middle. Ok, my mom says I'm not old, but it's all relative right? Compared to our beautiful (inside and out btw) Mighty Petunia models, I AM the old chic..by like 30 years!! And when I heard the photographer at our first Mighty Petunia photo shoot say "I want everyone to get together for a group photo" I almost puked. She was being kind. I wanted to punch her. Hard.
Why? Besides believing that I've had a bad experience with a camera in a past life, I hate that few seconds standing in front of a camera before you hear the click. During those seconds I am truly uncomfortable. I'm feverishly reviewing the perfect photo checklist that movie stars use when being photographed. The head tilt (you can see I've got that one going on in the photo). The shoulder drop (Oprah made that one popular). And the ever popular one-leg popped forward pose. I've got so many of them to review in my head now that sometimes I forget the main one, smile!
When I see myself in a picture, I see all the workouts I've missed. All the poor food choices I've made. All the nights I went to bed with my makeup on. All the nights I didn't put moisturizer on my neck (why didn't anyone tell me about that one?). And I feel TERRIBLE about myself. But, here's the thing...NO ONE ELSE IS SEEING THOSE THINGS. They see someone who looks happy. Someone who is having fun building a business. Someone who just had her first photo shoot for her business and loved how it went. They don't see it with all the insecurities I do. I've got Facebook posts and Tweets to prove it!
So, another lesson learned. When getting my picture taken I need to forget the checklist and smile! That's all anyone sees anyway...my big, fat, SMILE!!
Since I've been working on building the Mighty Petunia business, I keep learning the same lesson over and over again....SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE WORK WITH WHAT THEY HAVE and if they don't have it, THEY FIND IT.
A friend of mine recently told me I HAD to look at some photos of a model. He thought they were right for Mighty Petunia (inspirational and motivational) and he was right. I loved them! I wanted to get connected with the photographer and model so I reached out to them on their website. They answered right away and we met for lunch. Loved them! They in turn connected me with a business here in Columbus who could get me connected with workout pants, something I've been looking to source for http://mightypetunia.com. We're meeting next week to see what we can do together.
I think the same thing applies to the nutrition/fitness success that we all strive for. We need to work with what we have, and if we don't have it, we need to find it...workouts, motivation, inspiration, diet plans, the works! There's a lot of knowledge out there that I don't have but others do. If I want to be successful, I need to find people with the knowledge I need and learn from them.
That's why I've started Mighty Petunia Motivators. I'm looking for people, blogs, sites, that can give all of us knowledge, motivation, and inspiration. If there is anyone you'd like to see on there, send me a message through CONTACT US on the site. I'll be looking for others too, and adding them as we go along. Watch for them!
I've really been struggling with what to blog about recently. Mostly because I didn't want to come clean about my recent struggles. But then I thought, what a freaking hypocrite I am. I have a motivational Facebook site, blog and apparel business that encourages others to keep going. Keep at it. Never give up. And somehow that doesn't apply to me??!! That I have it all figured out (NOT) and that when I hit rough sailing, I need to hide instead of deal. I don't think so. That is definitely not who I want to be.
In Spring of 2013 I started a plan that worked for me. I was inspired, motivated, worked hard at it. (Isn't that a great feeling?!) Got through the holidays, traveled, vacationed. Actually was starting to like my middle section and didn't pull away from my husband when he ran his hand over my belly! I thought I had it all figured out. Until the summer of 2014 came around. I was pretty stressed out and resorted to old (bad) habits to deal with the stress. (EVERYONE knows that SUGAR makes stress go away) Then I went down the rabbit hole. The one that starts with "I suck" and ends with "so I should just keep up with this damaging behavior that makes me feel like crap, because...I suck". It's that cycle that feeds on itself and doesn't stop until I put the brakes on it. And that is haaaaard (said with a little whine in my voice).
So where am I now? I put the weight back on that I lost. My jeans are tight and I am thinking about bringing the fat jeans back out. I feel like crap. Sugar did NOT make the stress go away but did help to make me feel worse!! SO...this morning I woke up and ate breakfast back on my plan. So here I go. I'm back at it. I'm drinking 130 oz of water today. Going to the gym. Getting stocked up at the grocery with all the things that HELP me to feel better. I am scheduling my workouts this week and making them a priority. Because I AM NOT s @#. I am human. I think today I will where my tanks that says "The voice in your head that says you can't do this is a LIAR". As a matter of fact, I may wear that one all week!!
We all negotiate on a daily basis. We negotiate with kids, co-workers, spouses, siblings, and parents. Some of us do it professionally. But the one person that I negotiate with the most is myself. And here's the crazy thing... I often don't win. How can that even happen?
Here's an example of the negotiating that is going on in my head. "Ok Cath, if you get your workout in then you can have a marguerita with your friends after work". The day goes on and I don't get to the gym before work or at lunch, so I didn't do what I negotiated. In theory, the skilled negotiator in my head will then say "Well, looks like you you won't be having a marguerita with your friends tonight. Just have club soda and enjoy their company". And that works. Until I get to the restaurant or bar. So we are all sitting there talking and Sally orders a Cosmo and Mindy orders a Prosecco and I'm feeling pretty bummed by the time it gets to me. And the Negotiator in my head (who is pleased with herself to this point) knows that I am all ready to order a club soda. That was the agreement. But guess what pops out of my mouth when the bartender gets to me?? "I'll have a marguerita with Patron please!". "WHAT??" the Negotiator shrieks...it wasn't supposed to go like that. Where did that come from? The little voice in my head sucker punched the Negotiator! She can be such a sneaky B.
What I'm starting to figure out is that the Negotiator needs to be armed with a strategy to prevail. I need to give the Negotiator as many advantages/tools as possible since I KNOW in advance that the little voice can show up at any moment and put a kaibosh on the planned negotiated result.
In the case of the drink after work, I have several options... A) I can do what I agreed to do-workout- to get what I ultimately want-a marguerita. B) I can, just prior to the after work get-together, have an honest discussion with myself about what has happened and at THAT time reiterate what I am going to do. If I review the event closer to the time (bar time) then it seems like a more recent negotiation and not something I can blow off as easily. C) I can tell a friend of the situation and ask her to order for me. A real friend will have my back on this and help the Negotiator prevail! D) Enjoy the marguerita and friends and wake up in the morning and start over.
I wish I could say that I don't pick D, but sometimes, I do. There are some days that the little voice knows what she wants and the Negotiator just doesn't win. But, trying to implement these other strategies has worked and made the Negotiators chance of winning a little greater.
If you have any great strategies that you use, please comment. Adding new ideas to the Negotiator's bag of tricks is always a good thing.
MightyPetunia.com has been up and active for 2 months. Seems hard to believe! So now I sit here and say..."what's next?". It's that feeling that you get after you worked really hard on something, gotten your second wind and then want to go to the next level. But one of the little twists is that there is so much information coming at me daily, it's hard to tell what is the next right thing to do. One article tells me how important text is on a site so work on that. The next article tells me how important photos are so focus on them . The next thing I read emphasizes key words and the one after that external links. It's a little crazy. I've gotten to the point where I find myself doing nothing. It's like analysis paralysis. So much information and analysis is in my head that figuring out what to do next seems overwhelming.
This issue doesn't apply just to a business thing. I've had it happen to me (and seen it happen with others) in areas like fitness and nutrition. There are so many different options out there that you can get bogged down in the options. But here's the thing, you've just got to start something. You can always adjust. You can always revise. You can always take a different path. Starting is the key. Once you have a little momentum, it's alot easier to move. Try pushing a car from a dead stop....it's difficult. But once it gets rolling a little, things get alot easier.
If you're struggling with getting to the gym, make a date with yourself and keep it for one day only. Just one day. Don't think about having to go for the next month or even week. Get there for that day. And then do it the next day. Just that day. If you're struggling with finding a nutritional program, pick what your gut says is the best for you and try it for a meal. Get that win and go to the next meal. If you string a few meals together, the success feels great and you'll find it easier to get a day under your belt. Once you get yourself into the gym or eating a little better, things will start looking alot differently.
I've not been in a good place recently regarding working out and nutrition. I tend to think of the big picture and start to get overwhelmed. So, I'm back at the gym today and I'm prepping my meals for the week. Feels pretty good. I've got the car rolling. Things will get easier.
After finishing up the first year of implementing a lifestyle change-an eating and workout program-I hit the wall. And I didn't even see it coming.
After a great vacation on the Buckeye Cruise for Cancer and then a 2 week business trip out of the country, I had been spotty at best on compliance and worked out when I could. Once I got back to the USA, I was happy to get back on plan since I missed "normal" food. But that only lasted for a couple days. Jet lag was TERRIBLE this time and I reached for sugar and caffeine to cope. That put me in a downward sugar-spiral that got worse and worse. My body felt like crap, my mind was tired and I felt like a failure. I got to the point I had to ask for help. Not something that comes easily for me-or alot of us for that matter. I reached out to my coach (Mark) at LBC and he helped me get back on track. I spoke to him via email and now I am having a much better time of it. Just having someone to talk to about it made a difference.
Moral of the story...asking for help to attain goals can be difficult but helpful. We all want to be strong and self-sufficient but sometimes that can work against us in the long run. Everyone is going to hit the wall some time. It's how you handle it that is the difference between success and failure. Asking for help isn't a sign of weakness. It's a sign of strength.
The other day, I worried myself sick. Literally. I had so much on my mind...work, family, Mighty Petunia!! My mind was a whirl wind and going 24/7 for several weeks. And you can only do that for so long. So, my mind and body cried UNCLE and I ended up sick for 2 days. It gave me some time to think about how I had gotten myself to that point.
The answer, which became clear after alot of really bad TV, a crying jag, and several hours laying on the bed staring at the ceiling, is (drumroll please) misplaced priorities. It's that easy. I make everyone else's problems, my problems. Then I ignore what keeps me healthy and happy so I can REALLY focus on their issues, and then I drive myself into the ditch. Sound familiar?
So this is my new plan. When I am getting so wrapped up in other people's "stuff", I'm giving myself 30 minutes a day to think about all the issues floating around. 30 minutes of uninterrupted, focused or unfocused (whichever my mind wants) thinking. No cell phone or distractions. I will let my mind go where it wants to go. I can think worse case scenario. I can think best case scenario. I can think what if. I can try to solve the problem or just feel really badly for the person going through whatever it is. And then, after that 30 minutes, I am putting a lid on that box until the next day.
Then, for the rest of the day and night, I will do what keeps me healthy and happy. I will workout on the days I am supposed to workout. I won't move workout to another night so that I can spend the evening worrying! I will move prepping my food back to a priority and other things will be placed around it. I will go to bed without worrying that I should be staying up to think more about all the problems. Why? Because I can be a much better mom, wife, friend, employee and boss when I am taking care of myself. We have all been trained that as women our job is to take care of others. Even to the detriment of ourselves and that just isn't right. I can't take care of those important to me if I am laying in bed, sick with worry.
Gotta go. Need to spend 30 minutes worrying about my kid who is making a big move to Florida at the beginning of August! Then it's off to play some golf with my hubby.
Do you think negative self-talk and self-doubt is a gym-only problem? Right. It's not. If you do it in the gym, on a run, or on the Precor, you're probably doing it at other places. I started noticing other areas of my life that sneaky little voice invades and I've decided to do something about it.
Have you ever started a sentence at work with "this may be a dumb idea but...". How about "this may sound crazy but...". I noticed men and women do it. So, it's not a woman only thing. But I've observed that women do it more. And it unintentionally conveys a lack of confidence. And if you don't believe what your saying, why would or should anyone else? Which makes a person sound more confident: "this may sound crazy but why don't we let our customers know about our new strategy?" or "Letting our customers know about our new strategy will have a direct effect on our business."? Of course it's the second one (see how confident that sounded?).
In the gym or working out, the voice will sound differently, but have the same effect. If your legs hear (yes, they can hear) " I really hate squats. They make my legs hurt. I can't walk the next day. I really don't want to do them" then how good will the squats be? Exactly. Not great. But if your inner voice is cheering them on "Ok legs. It's leg day. Let's go kick some butt. My legs are going to feel awesome after this workout. Ok, tired, but awesome!" Your leg day will go and feel much better. Try it. It works. But not on burpees. Nothing works on burpees!
Awareness is the key. Start listening to your inner voice. What kinds of messages are you getting from it? Supportive? Encouraging? Is it your cheerleader? If not, get to work on it like you would a muscle. The more you work it out in a positive, self-supporting way, the more natural it will become. In all areas of your life.
Why is it so hard for us to see ourselves as other see us?
This morning, my daughter came into my bathroom as I was getting ready for work. I was in my underwear putting on my makeup. She looked at me and said "Mom, you could definitely wear a 2-piece this summer". She knows that one of my goals is to be able to wear a 2-piece to the pool again. Ok, I'll admit it, sometimes I think that at 52 my 2-piece days may be over but, then I think, why not?! Well, she wasn't kidding. She meant it. But instead of saying thank you and being happy, I went on to point out all the reasons I couldn't wear a 2-piece. Not one of my prouder mommy moments!
Later in the day, a friend commented about a picture I had posted on Facebook. It was a photo of me wearing one of the Mighty Petunia tees dressed up with a leopard belt, skinny jeans and hot pink heels. She told me how great I looked. What did I say? Something like "oh, you know, everyone looks good in skinny jeans".
Later that evening, my daughter and I were talking about my reactions that day. And she said "Mom, why can't you just say thank you?". Great question. Thank you Lexa.
I'm not used to people noticing what I look like. I'm uncomfortable even telling this story! But, it's a goal of mine now, that when someone pays me a compliment, to say thank you and enjoy the good feeling that comes with the compliment. I'll let you know how it goes.