Sunday, October 9, 2011

Boot Camper of the Day

This week I was boot camper of the day. Yep.

I had hit a wall with my workouts. I was doing better but still struggling with cardio and I didn't see physical evidence of improvement in my figure. After a month of really early morning workouts, my calves are tighter and I have more energy, but that's about it. I've been trying to master the perfect balance of protein and produce without eating animal products and learn how to breathe through the Spartacus workout that beat me every time. This week I did it -- without puking, yay! -- and I moved up to heavier weights. I realize that a little praise at workout class doesn't really mean anything, but the recognition was nice. "Brittan, I noticed the new attitude today," my coach said. And it's true, I realized that every time I feel good it's because I've been decisive and made a choice. To wake up, to think about what I eat, to drink extra water, to use bigger weights, whatever it may be. That day I decided that I was going to focus and move up to the third level on all of my workouts. I set a goal of being boot camper of the day and I did it.

I've had really bad anxiety for the last year or so. When it got bad before I was lucky enough to get to live in Hawaii for a few months, and that pretty much cured me. I learned so much from that and now I need to call on what I learned there to heal from within.

1. Hawaii taught me that nothing is more important than family. The work day there is short and every non-tourist activity on Oahu is centered around family. This is an ideal most of us have, but it's much harder than it seems to put it in action. When you're a parent it means making really hard decisions and putting things aside, physically or mentally, when your child needs your full attention.

2. In Hawaii I learned to never let my health fail (again). Always be in tune with my body, what I'm putting into it and what I'm doing with it. Maybe getting a massage or taking a nap seems like a luxury I can't afford, but it could be the thing that keeps me from getting sick or exhausting myself. I also learned to be acutely aware of my limits and allow myself enough freedom to reach out and touch them without crossing over.

3. Finally, I learned to stop and think. Simple. Stop, think, act. Thinking doesn't mean avoiding or putting something off. It means coming to a decision, acting on that decision and not backing down from it. It also means facing it head on, taking responsibility and being mature about it. That's the hard part.

I went to see an acupuncturist the other day, hoping to curb some of the physical effects of the anxiety. I couldn't afford an acupuncture session yet, but his advice resonated with me. I'm in a place where I feel very little control over many of the most important parts of my life, and that's hard for me. I get rejected for every job I apply for and I feel trapped most of the time, and isolated from opportunity. This makes me anxious and the only way I can calm myself is by making deliberate choices in my daily life.

If waking up early, using heavier weights, shopping at the farmer's market, cooking whole dinners and managing my finances is all I can do right now, then I'll do it. I'll do the extra work, make business cards, go to the conference and shake a bunch of hands. I'll keep pushing and working for the career that I want, and I won't feel sorry for myself anymore. I don't know how I'm connecting getting in shape with every other aspect of my life... I guess I just hope that if I apply the same principles I'll achieve more little victories.

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