At the end of my lesson on Thursday, Ivan told me that he was going skiing this weekend in Payson to celebrate a friend’s birthday.
“Have fun and be safe,” I said. “I will probably see you next Tuesday, then.”
For some reason, maybe because it would be 4 days without practice, Ivan said, “Come for a lesson tomorrow. I give you buy one get one free.”
I couldn’t turn that down so I said “Well, Ivan, I work until 5pm so it’d have to be like 6pm.”
“Let me check my schedule.”
And we agreed he would call me to confirm the time for this extra lesson.
About 3 minutes later, I got a call.
“Stefanie, I forget I am leaving at 5pm tomorrow to leave for Payson. What time you have to be at work?”
Was he really this committed to getting an extra lesson in that he was suggesting we dance before I went to work for the day?
“I have to be there at 9am but it is like 40 minutes away from the studio so we’d need to be done around 8am. We’d have to meet at like 6:30am to get a double lesson in and be done in time.”
“Oh my God! 6:30am? Let’s try it. I never had a lesson so early! But we do it. Okay?”
I agreed. But warned Ivan, as my husband can attest, that I am NOT a morning person. I was gonna have to be up by 5am to get ready and make it to the studio on time. It is about 45 minutes away from my home.
It was dark and cold when I arrived at the studio, but there is something magical about starting the day in darkness and watching the world warm as the orange sun rises in the horizon.
Ivan told me that everyone was asleep in his house, even the dogs, but that his father-in-law woke up and asked him what he was doing.
“Teaching a dance lesson,” he explained.
“What? At this hour? Who is so crazy to have a lesson so early?”
Um, that would be me.
We began with stretches and a Bolero to warm up. We then proceeded to mark the Rumba routine, which Ivan has changed once again. After about an hour working on the showcase piece, we just start dancing, going through Samba, Swing, Cha Cha, and Mambo. I’ve worked up a sweat and my body was warm and buzzing and it wasn’t even 8am yet.
Maybe Ivan is crazy and maybe I’m crazy too. So far this man has had me do all sorts of tricks that I’d never imagined I’d do, meets with me regularly at a location that takes me 45 minutes to get to, and now has me coming in for lessons at ungodly hours of the day. But I saw it as an opportunity. I could have said no, thanks Ivan, but I’d rather get an extra hour and half of sleep and stay in my warm, comfy bed, plus I’m not a morning person. But really, now, even though it was a little bit uncomfortable, which experience will I ultimately treasure more? Sleeping or dancing? The answer is clear for me.
So, what else am I saying “yes” to in my life? What am I saying “no” to? What am I missing out on because of those choices?
“Yes” to sleeping in means “no” to time to meditate or do some physical activity in the morning before going into work. “Yes” to wine with dinner means “yes” to extra calories, sleep disturbances, and not being my best the next morning – but it feels really good in the moment. I mean, every moment is a choice, and every choice has prices and benefits. What benefits am I garnering by my choices and what prices am I really paying?
I’m glad that in this instance I chose to say “yes” to an extra dance class. Though I had to pay a price of being a little bit sleep-deprived, in this case I think it was worth it.
But I have to be honest here. I don’t always choose in ways that ultimately support me in achieving the things I say I want. Isn’t it a strange aspect of the human condition that we can be moving toward something and fighting against ourselves at the same time? I have been doing it for years and years with my weight and my body. Sadly, I think the price hasn’t been high enough yet for me to commit to changing, no matter what. I haven’t committed.
I’d love to be able to write here that I’ve chosen to commit, but based on results, often harsh but always fair, I really haven’t. I’m telling myself I’m committed to the picture in my head of what I will look like at the Desert Classic, but I’m not always taking the actions to support that. I’ve plateaued with the weight loss this past week because I went off plan. I’ve been saying yes to comfort and no to my goal. I got knocked a little off path emotionally when I released the tutoring and went to my habitual way of coping, which isn’t coping, it is eating. I will say it was less severe than other times in the past but it has still set me back. Why do I keep doing this to myself? I’ll do well for a while and then relax. I’ll be feeling good, have some positive momentum behind me, and then I self-sabotage.
I’m in this pre-contemplative state. I have access to that Insanity work out program that I could do at home, and I have a dvd of the New York Ballet work out, as well as Hip Hop Abs. I have a Kinnect on my Xbox 360 and Dance, Dance Revolution. I could stretch. I could practice doing a Rumba box in my kitchen. I could say no to the lunch they are ordering at work because I brought my BistroMD meal. I could be doing so much more. And I don’t.
In moments when the pain of the burden of the flesh I’m carrying around is acute, I resolve to myself that I will change. Like, when I was at Galaxy and I saw pictures of myself, or when I’m in Inna’s class, dying for breath, in those moments I realize I can’t continue to exist like this and that I must change. But the feeling fades and so does the motivation. I can’t seem to make it “stick.”
So, I’m gonna ask for some support here. I am not good at this. I can’t seem to resolve to just power through this journey like I did for the first few weeks. I experienced some unsettling feelings in my life and I allowed it to become an excuse. I’m up against the wall and I’m caving in. I’ve done this same thing for years, now, basically just treading water but not making it anywhere.
Like in my mind I intellectually know exactly what I could do. And I know that I need to do it no matter how I “feel” about it if I’m going to get where I want to go. I need to be pushing my body regularly in new ways that stress it and make it adapt. I need to be eating on my plan. I need to be getting the proper amount of sleep and take a multi-vitamin. So if I know all this, why am I still not doing it!?
I hate to be such a “Debbie Downer” and this is my reality right now. I’d love to be all, rah, rah, sis-boom-ba! I’m gonna tackle the world and kick some ass! But that would be lying. I need some external motivation, I think – some tighter accountability and someone to push me even when the going gets tough. I’m just being a whiny wimp right now, I know. I’m sure I’ll shift out of it at some point. But why do I even go here in the first place?
Well, this I know. I have a dance lesson to go to most days this week. I know I will show up for styling with Marieta on Monday, Inna’s class on Tuesday, Toni’s class on Wednesday, and Tina’s class plus a dance party on Thursday. I know I will also schedule at least 2 lessons with Ivan. I know I will show up for these things and will keep showing up. I know that I will choose to get back on plan and I know that I will progress. I just don’t know why I continue to take these detours along the way.
So, if anyone has some suggestions to help me out, please post a comment. I am open to your feedback on how I can be more self-disciplined. What has worked for you in the past? What helped you to finally overcome something you came up against over and over? What finally got you to make the changes you knew you needed to make and stick with them, no matter what? What got you to commit?
I’ve hit a wall and I need some help to get over it.
I have NO excuses. Seriously.
This man, Nick Vujicic, is a Samurai. Check out his video and you’ll see what I mean: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gc4HGQHgeFE&feature=youtu.be
Ok, enough complaining, Stefanie. It just relieves the pressure so I don’t have to do anything about my situation. But the reality is, I need to be putting that energy I’m putting toward complaining toward my goal instead. After all, the sun will rise on a different day tomorrow. I can choose back in. And so I will.
My heart aches for you… and I empathize with where you are – I am there as well. I wish I had magic words of wisdom – but I don’t. What I know is this:
I am not saying “no” to being thin, eating healthy, caring for my body, exercising as I should, etc. I am saying “not now” or “not today” or “not in this moment” and that can change. No seems to have a finality to me – and I do not want to tell myself I am giving up (not putting this on you-it it my thing -perception and language is a big deal to me).
I know that things will change – even when they are great – it doesn’t mean they will be “bad” but life has an ebb and flow -so it’s OK for me to experience ups and downs. I cannot be “up” or “on” all the time. Being perfect is not for me- the job of God is already taken 🙂
I have tried to use what I call the “GPS” mentality. When I use my GPS and I take a wrong turn – it doesn’t scream at me, beat me up, tell me what an idiot I am, etc. it just recalculates and says “at the first opportunity turn around and take…” and gets me back on my path. It does this no matter how many times I get lost (and I am very directionally challenged so trust me – I’ve done this many times in one small area!). I like this approach and try to use it with myself. When I get off track from where I want to be, I don’t beat myself up, I just recalculate and at the first opportunity get back on track. If I get lost again, it’s ok, I can always find my way back. Eventually I’ll get there.
I hope this helped a little. Sending huge hugs your way.
Hey Ellen. Thanks for the support. It means a lot and it does help. I really like your way of thinking about it like I’m not choosing such and so in this moment, or right now. That does seem a more compassionate way to Self-Talk as well as acknolwedging that things will change, and maybe quicker than I think. The GPS metaphor is great too. I beat myself up less and less these days. It used to be horrible, really bad. Now I feel like I’m just “recreating unitl I resolve.” I’ve created this pattern and will probably continue to do so until I resolve the deeper underlying issue that causes me to self-sabotage (I’m guessing worthiness). I’ve been on this merry-go-round quite a few times, it’s like, when will enough be enough? Do I have to get a gastric bypass to do this? Do I need to go to a treatment facility for months? Do I need to get on Biggest Loser? Like, really? Logically it is just taking reasonable, incremental steps day in and day out. It makes me wish I was “Seven-of-Nine,” a Borg from Star Trek Voyager for you non-Trekkies out there. She’s part cyborg and part human and very logical, unemotional, and methodical. I remember one episode when she gives up her ration of “nutritional supplement number 57” (or whatever it is) when the ship takes on some extra passengers. Like, how great would it be to be so disconnected from food…to just see it as fuel. To not care about the taste at all, but just to eat what is nutritionally the best for the body, and most responsible for the planet, and most respectful of life (I think by the 23rd century all food is vegetarian). I don’t necessarily think that “Seven” exemplifies the “ideal” relationship with food, but it would be great if most of the time it was like that for me, at least to get where I want to go health-wise and morality wise? How to balance that with enjoying food? Sigh. Once I tried going vegan for a while. I managed two weeks and learned a ton, but it didn’t help in terms of weight loss. I’ve been supervised by a physician. I’ve done Weight Watchers. I’ve done counseling for overeating. When will the insanity stop? When will I give myself the body I desire and deserve? What will it take to release this attachment to food and to get my body to adapt to what I’m asking of it? Alls I know is that being me tonight at dance class sucked. Why? Because I’m carrying around an extra person and I’m sick of it. I’m sick of dying for breath, and sweating like a piggy when everyone around me doesn’t even glisten. I’m sick of pushing my body so hard that I want to die. When does it get any easier? Does it ever? I mean, I remember a time in my life when I was 16 and I could do all this stuff, no big deal. Yeah, I sweated and I puffed, but over time it got easier and I could handle more. I don’t seem to be getting anywhere at the moment. I’m back on the wagon today and all, but I’m still feeling a little like Kermit the Frog, not easy being green and all that. I’m sure it will pass (it always does), and thanks for the kind words and support. I am the sky, and this experience is the cloud passing through. Thanks for being a ray of sunshine in my sky. -Stef
I understand – I am truly there as well. I don’t know that gastric bypass would help ( I speak for me – not you) – I know that I tried getting a gastric balloon (at my own expense $10K) in Canada a year and a half ago. I figured it was less dangerous but had as good a success rate in Europe and Canada – and if I was going to change my behavior I had 8 months where I would not be able to eat more than a small amount without being physically sick because of the gastric balloon – so I had time to work on the mindset. I lost 23lbs in the first 4 months. Then family stress hit and I found a way to get around the balloon – Frozen Mocha’s with extra chocolate drizzle at McDonalds! Soothed my chocolate need and because they were liquid they did not make me sick – but they had 800 calories a piece! Two or three a day were “not a problem” how ironic a way to say it huh? Yeah – by the time I had the balloon removed at month 8 I had gained back almost all the weight -now I am back where I started plus. I am glad I did it though. I know that bypass is not my solution (again -not speaking for you – just sharing my story) I know that if I do not change my brain and emotions, I would just find a way around it. I don’t know what is. I too have tried WW, Jenny, Atkins, even the fudgescicle diet (I liked it but it did not work), and I do not really eat many fruits and veggies so it is tough. I have no answers – but I know I am not willing to give up. Today was not a good day – but tonight I will do better at dinner. Each moment is a chance to be kinder to myself. It doesn’t benefit me to beat myself up – I’ve done that a lot for years – it obviously hasn’t worked – so I am trying to be kinder to myself and allow for my humanness. If I find any answers along my path, I’ll share. What I have found is wonderful inspiration and hope in your blog. Thank you!
Hi! You are doing such an amazing thing! Just saying it out loud is a big step – and you’re still going! Incredible that you are going to lessons each day. Although it’s not dance, feel free to stop by anytime for walks. The kids love being outside and we are out every afternoon (and sometimes mornings too). So depending on your work and dance schedule, you are more than welcome to join anytime. It’s not dance, but I wanted to throw it out there if you ever wanted to join.
Thanks Celena. That’s so sweet of you to offer. Thanks for the encouragement. Next time I’m over at Debbie’s I will stop by. I’m feeling better today and got on the scale. It really has been just a plateau. At least I didn’t gain weight and now I can get back on track. I really should walk the dogs more often, so thanks for the walking suggestion and invitation. Hugs. -Stef
Hello Stef! Well, I can’t say much about this because I have never been in a situation like this. However, I do want to say that I think it’s very brave and also very important for all this process you are going through, that you share these “mistakes” you make in trying to achieve your goal.
I think that’s key to success 🙂
My dad had overweight problems, I know how difficult it is for a person who loves food (who doesn’t?) to learn to eat healthy, not too much, just when you’re hungry and not because you “feel like it”. What I learned from seeing my dad go through that, was that it’s impossible to be 100% perfect when it comes to diets or losing weight.
Failure is an option, it’s a fact. The important thing is that you always get up and go back to the road you were walking, that you learn from those mistakes. It might take years before you see the results you were looking for (like it happened to my dad), but the happiness, the feeling of accomplishment you get every time you get a step closer to your goal is much stronger than the bad feeling you get when you fall. I think this feeling can grow in time.
Little by little you learn new eating habits, more fish and vegetables instead of too much pasta and meat, for example. More fruit and yogurt instead of chocolate and ice cream. More water instead of sodas. There’s plenty to experiment when it comes to taste! Of course: you can sometimes enjoy that what you really like, but don’t exaggerate. Not saying you have to do this, but that’s how his process was, and may be there’s something useful for you in there too 🙂
I don’t know if this helps, but, well, just wanted to share that you’re not alone in this! If my dad- a GREAT cook who lives in the mecca of food: Rome, Italy!- could do it, anyone can :p
And one more thing: I don’t have weight problems, but I like sugars too much (which is not really healthy). When I get all emo and stuff, I need my chocolate fix, but I am learning to ask myself just before I bite “Do I really have to do this? Can’t I eat something else instead? An apple? An orange?” It doesn’t always work, of course, but sometimes it does and I think that’s the right way to go as long as you keep on trying.