Having a plan is sometimes the ONLY thing that keeps me going on those days that either my body or my mind try to convince me that all I really need to be is lazy. You may not follow the plan exactly, but having one is better than floundering around and getting nothing accomplished at all.
Having a plan can be as exact as listing out every exercise with reps that you will do during your workouts for the week, as detailed as to what you will eat when you have limited options at a fast food restaurant, as simple as focusing on the positive or as grandiose as celebrating every moment for the rest of your life because you will never ‘wait’ again!
Yesterday I woke up at 7:30am with hopes of hitting the gym for a long workout around 10am. Greg was still sick with flu like symptoms, so I lounged on the couch, keeping the animals entertained, while I had my morning coffee. Napping came easy, all too easy it seems. I nodded off & on for several hours with the help of a soft, purring kitten!
By 1:30 p.m. I finally managed to get enough energy to go do my interval run. I didn’t want to go. I was uninspired. Then I saw pictures of one of my mentors grappling with her brother online. That got me up and out of nap mode. I am a competitive woman and I know she is a force to be reckoned with and will be competing this season. That thought definitely got me off my ass.
That afternoon was the latest I have ever been to the gym on a Sunday. There were a few people around but not the ever entertaining stream of eye candy that I am used to, so my focus was on what was in front of me. That happened to be the view of my body running.
Lately I have been losing my focus. A cookie here, a hamburger there, every now and again a fully leaded Coke, and it was starting to add up. So much so, it finally added up to 7 pounds on the scale! That got my attention, but it also got me focusing on the negative side of things. My clothes were getting tight, certain pairs of shorts weren’t fitting the way I liked them to, I didn’t like the way my body moved and I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror. Old bad habits reared their ugly head, not just in the foods I was eating, but in how I was dealing with the results.
In the past, I didn’t worry so much about a weight gain because I knew it was most likely muscle, due to the time I was putting into lifting at the gym. Muscle weighs more than fat. But this time, I could feel a difference. I knew it, and I wanted to blame it away. The ‘new medications’, the ‘hormones’, my ‘age’, its been a stressful 3 months, etc, they all got used inside my head, and even verbally to others. In the end, I knew it wasn’t any of that. It was me, making poor choices and slacking in the gym.
Things can go ass-over-teakettle quickly. I am THANKFUL it only took 7 pounds to wake my ass up to the fact that I wasn’t following a plan any longer. That I was not tracking my workouts, that I wasn’t paying attention to how many miles I was logging in a month, that I was failing on following my plan.
So, as I was stuck running on the treadmill, with pretty much a big mirror right in front of me, I had two choices. I could loath every movement of my body because I could see exactly where that 7 pounds was, or I could embrace the positive. I could look at the way my shoulders rippled as I ran. I could notice the cuts in my thighs getting deeper with every upward stride. I could look into the eyes of the woman I have become and realize that I wasn’t a failure at all. That I am strong, solid, powerful and while I have setbacks, they are not goal killers.
My original plan a few months ago was to be stronger & more defined by Dragon*Con, which is over Labor Day Weekend. At the time of that plan, one of my goals was to be under 200 pounds when I got on that plane for Atlanta. I had a mere 5 pounds to drop then, now I have 11. I also realize that adding lifting back into my routine is going to add muscle, which weighs more. So that goal may have to change and that is OK. Changing your goals, based on need is fine. Ignoring your goals because you just don’t want to do them is NOT.
My plan stays the same. Get stronger & more defined.
Tonight I added incentive to that plan. New ink. Its time to celebrate more and postpone less.
At my 200 pound weight loss mark, I got my Dragonfly done where my obesity hump used to be. I spent most of my life trying to hide that part of my body because I was ashamed of how it looked. I swore I would never hide that part of me again, so I added ink that made me want to show it off. Tonight, I got ink on my sword arm bicep, another section of my body I used to hide. I still don’t like the way it looks, having the granny flap waving in the wind, but it is one of my battle scars and I have felt like it was time to embrace it for awhile now. It is a part of me, and while eventually I may get surgery to fix it the small section that will not correct itself on its own, I am tired of not embracing the strong muscles I have developed and am proud of.
Since before I left for Poland I have needed a new tattoo but sadly my schedule did not allow me to see my regular tattoo artist & very close friend. My ink tells the story of my life, every single piece represents an aspect of me at certain points in my life. The Valkyrie in me has been yearning for acknowledgement for quite a while. I put her off, because I didn’t think the time was right and yet, it is. Because its exactly what I need to push me further on this path I have chosen. I made a very hard decision and went ahead with seeing someone locally for ink. I am happy I did. It was a simple enough piece that I didn’t feel like I was compromising the artwork for the sake of locality. The shield arm half sleeve, however, will be done by Derek. It is far too complex a piece to trust to anyone else but him.
Sometimes a plan has a mind of it’s own and it leads you right where you need to be, before you realize it. I need to focus on the positives more often and sometimes we need reminders to do that. Following this path is not easy, but my plan, my goals, my choices are part of what makes me who I am.
And while tonight’s artwork will be another marker on
my chosen path…all I need to do is look in the mirror to remind myself…
I am strong. I am powerful. I am Valkyrie.