I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

In the here and now

Okay, so I'm about 50 kabillion percentage points behind, and it's doubtful I'll win this thing, but at least don't let me be humiliated by a complete hamster annihilation, okay?

So we all know how hard I am trying to reclaim my life back - back from the crazy, unstructured life of a chef, back from the crazy, unstructured life as a mother to 7 year olds x 3, and back from the crazy, unstructured life of a fatty. Starting up da biz was the first step in this process, as theoretically I could plan my work life better and have some control over the whole thing. I wanted to be there for my kids at the end of the day, I wanted to enjoy getting up to do to work, and so on. The next step in the process was getting their lives in order - so we got rid of the time-sucking after school activities, reclaimed some of our old routines of yesteryear, and resolved to live a happier, simpler family life. Then came step three, which was returning to my old gym-junkie self, which I've been doing for several months now.

So all of these things have been going swimmingly, except that my ass wasn't getting (much) smaller, and I still felt like I was on a bit of a roller coaster, body and attitude wise. I attempted to go the naturopath route and found that it didn't suit me. On the advice of my GP, I've been seeing a Head Shrinker for a few weeks now, and then yesterday I also saw a nutritionist. Before you all go thinking this is a waste of money, consider ANY of the things you've wanted to achieve in life. Most of those achievements wouldn't have been possible with at least some effort on the part of your BRAIN, right? Athletes will tell you "it's all mental", business people will tell you the same, and millions of people are paying life coaches for that added MENTAL boost which will get them across the line.

Seeing the head shrinker (who btw specialises in health psychology, and counts elite athletes among her clientele) has been a GREAT and a HORRIBLE experience. Horrible because she forces me to think about, talk about, take action on, and confront things about my attitudes to food and eating which I've never thought about, talked about, actioned or confronted. I leave her office feeling like I need a big, long cry followed by a big, long nap. It's emotionally exhausting. It's a great experience because she forces me to think about, talk about, take action on, and confront things about my attitudes to food and eating which I've never thought about, talked about, actioned or confronted. I leave her office feeling like I CAN DO THIS, and I AM A SUPERSTAR.

One of the biggest themes she has talked about in the past couple of weeks has been one of living in the moment. Living in the here and now and being mindful of what we are experiencing. She makes the point that so much of our lives are lived in the future, that we fail to spend enough time in the RIGHT NOW. As you can imagine, this has been a really hard thing for me to do - because I am ALWAYS thinking ahead - planning, goal setting, thinking, considering. At breakfast I'm thinking about the business of the day ahead, at lunch I'm thinking about making dinner, and at dinner I'm thinking about all the things I need to do before the kids (and I) head to bed. When I stopped to consider her words, it occurred to me that I really do spend a lot of my time in the future - only once I've gotten to that future, I'm thinking ahead yet again.

We've talked a bit about how the future can actually be a scary, scary place. When confronted with the idea of having to do something "forever," most people naturally freak out. Hence her insistence that if we try to be more mindful of today, then tomorrow becomes easier to deal with. This week is a pretty good example of that. I'd missed 2 gym sessions last week because work was busy. This week I missed Monday because my neck was aching (the result of me hitting my head on a staircase, but that's another story.) Bollywood had a new teacher, and she was terrible so I barely broke a sweat. By Tuesday I had started to get a bit disheartened, and missed my gym session because I was grumpy about it. On Wednesday I went to see head shrinker lady...and she caught me out! Too much time spent thinking about how I'd have a crappy week because I'd missed some gym sessions, about how I'd never have the time to fit it in this week, and so on. I had basically decided on Monday that there would be no gym-going for me this week.

Besides just the endorphins no longer swishing around my bloodstream, these feelings (and subsequent choices) so clearly showed her point. We talked about how to get that "self talk" into a better place, about how what I choose not to do TODAY won't necessarily mean that tomorrow is a wash out, too. She recommended going out for a walk, even just 10 minutes - because that walk would then act as the first step along the path of a thousand to follow.

This morning I got up, went to the gym, and had a 50 minute cardio workout. I walked out of there thinking, I CAN DO THIS and I AM A SUPERSTAR. Suddenly the future doesn't look quite as bleak, and I know that I am the one in control, right here and right now. I am (figuratively) *bigger* than the feelings of self-doubt and failing into the future. I can KICK THEIR ASS.

While I don't think it's possible to live a life without at least some forward thinking, this week I am resolving to live in an attentive way, and to choose to do things now rather than do them tomorrow, next week, or not at all.

In an attempt at influencing you to do the same, I'm going to recommend you all go to this website, and create a Thank You message for someone. Remind yourself how important it is to live for today, and thank someone. You'll be glad you did.


Laura said...

I really liked this post. TY for the info. And I voted :)

Anonymous said...

thanks emzee, i have been wrestling with the decision to see a Psych for a while now about the same thing so thanks for sharing your story - I want to change my life too!


emzeegee & the hungry three said...

Hi Laura!

Thanks for commenting AND voting (although I am slipping into third place now...)


Hi Marie,

Wishing you the best of luck - I really resisted the psych route, but I'm finding it's really making a difference in my attitude to food and life, which no amount of diet and exercise will do. Really, it IS all mental.