Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Up the Down Staircase

It's been a while since I posted something new.  Apologies for that.   I actually have been writing... but in my private journal.  I've been writing about my struggles to grasp the realities of finding out that my dad, my hero, is sick.  Really, really sick.  I'm trying to stay positive but it's just not a good situation right now.

I figured I'd spare y'all the day-to-day emotional ramblings and report back here once I'd stumbled upon something useful.

As it turns out, there's a life balance strategy which is helping me in multiple areas right now.  It's an "oldie but goodie."  

One step at a time.  
     One thing.
          One answer.
                One moment at a time.

The "one step at a time" thing works great when I'm freaked out about a project at work or a specific financial situation. Thank goodness.   Eat the elephant one part at a time and all that.

Many times, I've had the experience of seeing an overwhelming mess in front of me and not having any clue how exactly it was all going to get straightened out by a certain time or towards a certain goal.  Yet, I've gained the confidence to know that I will figure it all out in time and that somehow it does all get done.   It's not life and death afterall.

All of these experiences now seem like trivial examples thanks to the instant perspective provided by metastasized adenocarcinoma.

So, what about when it is about life and death?  What then?

I'm finding that I need to use the ol' "one step at a time" strategy right now in order to function.  I simply can't think about the whole staircase or where it lead.  I can only think about one step at a time.

    What do I know as absolute certainty today? 
                 What choices need to be made or what actions need to be taken today

Usually it's not even about a whole day.  It's really moment by moment.

Of course it's hard not to jump many steps ahead, especially for us control freaks. (Have we met?)  How I wish there were a possibility for a known, effective plan which would lead to a known, positive outcome.  There just isn't.

Even for the most optimistic, it's hard not to think about all the dark, painful places where those staircases can lead.

It helps me to slow down mentally and emotionally to a more myopic perspective.  I'm not sure if "protective myopia" is a real term or I just made it up, but it sure is coming in handy.

In the meantime, you know how much I believe in the power of prayer and positive energy.  Thanks in advance for yours.  Much appreciated!

Best,
Charlene

PS:  Here are a couple of past posts about my Dad if you want to get a glimpse into what an amazing man and father he is...

10 Things I Learned From My Dad

Dear Ol' Dad - the Consistent Parent
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Sunday, March 14, 2010

P90X Success!

Was it only three months ago that my son so affectionately referred to my backside as "blumpy"? 

Mommy ain't blumpy no more.

I have successfully completely all 90 days of the P90X Program by Beachbody.com.  (*fist bump*) 

If you're so inclined to read my day-by-day updates, feel free.  I'll warn you that since I didn't plan on the masses actually reading the workout briefs when I was writing them, they are pretty boring.  On the plus side, I did post some exciting "before, during and after" pictures.

Hey - where did everyone go??

Anyhoo...

In 90 days, I lost 10 lbs (plus two more last week), 11% body fat and more than nine inches total -- mainly from my waist, hips and thighs.  I feel stronger than I ever have in my life and most importantly, my "skinny jeans" are loose.  (Call me superficial.  Whatevs.)

So, does P90X workYES.    If you want a recommendation, you got it.  Raving, in fact.  It's so worth the money in terms of potential results. 

That said, you have to work to make it work.

Personally I would have gotten better results if I had started paying closer attention to my eating earlier on in the program.   It's not an excuse, but starting at Thanksgiving maybe wasn't the best strategy from a food perspective. 

When I describe the ritual of waking up at crazy early hours and/or setting aside more than an hour a day to do these crazy hard workouts, people usually look at me as if I'm crazy.  Well, they do that anyway, but even more so when I start talking Tony (Horton, that is).

But ya know, I tried the "eat kinda okay and maybe work out sometimes" method.  It didn't make my blumpy any smaller.  Go figure.

Good news is that even though the P90X workouts were ridiculously hard for me at first, they got much easier over time.  In the last 20 days or so, I found myself actually pushing harder than the people on the DVD. 

Still, the reality check is that life never gets easier, the days never magically grow more hours and "pushing play" never fits neatly in the schedule with all of the other demands we must handle everyday.

This week's Balance Beam takeaway is something I learned from a guy named Tom Kinsman many years ago.  If I had taken better notes, I'd remember Tom's reference for the concept.  However, I did find this quote from Jerry Rice which sums it up perfectly.  (Bet you didn't know that I am a huge NFL fan!)

“Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.”

The way Tom put it, "Successful people do the things that people who aren't successful won't do."

Bottom line is sometimes you just gotta suck it up and do the hard stuff.  I know last week I said "do less."  Make no mistake. That does not translate to "be lazy."

Pick your battles, but when you plan on winning one... get your blumpy arse out of bed early and fight.  Hard.

Remember:  If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got.

I know people say that "self-praise is no praise," but personally I'm feeling pretty freakin' proud of myself for working P90X and getting the results.

Whether it's a fitness program or a completely different goal, I'd love to hear your stories of where you found success doing the stuff that other people typically wouldn't want to do.

Or, if you're aware that you have a goal which requires you to "cowboy up" a lil' bit and are inspired to start now -- please, do tell.

Thanks again for all the support!  You ROCK!
Charlene

PS:  Click HERE to read all my 21-Day Quantum Wellness Cleanse posts.  Another great program!
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