What Meditation Taught Me

A show of hands.  How many of your are thinking 5 different things at any given moment?  Good! I’m not the only crazy one.

thoughts

In today’s world we are pulled in so many different directions, it is understandable to at times feel overwhelmed.  We start the day with our “To-do list” and as time ticks on, more and more things come up.  Being someone that gets satisfaction for crossing off the to do list, adding more to it can give me a little anxiety.

About 8 weeks ago I reached the tipping point for me.  I was making breakfast one morning and realized I started my oats, cutting my  apple, poured my protein shake, put my lunch in my bag… all without finishing one completely.  My head was spinning out of control.  I decided I had to get a grab.  I have realized I do these things when I am under/ causing myself more stress.

For a while I had been listening to a podcast at night that helped me unwind form the day.  It was great because normally I was sleep by the time the voice said “now feel the waves wash over your….zzzzzzzz”. It wasn’t great because all day I was stressed and it was taking my energy from other things in my life.  I realized I was being REACTIVE instead of PROACTIVE.  Instead of letting myself get all worked up as the day went on and then relax, why not start the day with a sense of peace and clarity I was really looking for.

Now, like most of you may be thinking, how the heck can you sit (without moving) and no think of anything? Well like my fitness journey I decided to take it one phase at a time.

Phase 1:

I started to meditate for 5 minutes every morning.

inner peace

I didn’t make it a big production.  There was no candles, flowers, chimes, or pillows.  I did it mostly when I could, which was in my car before work or when I was blow drying my hair.  I know it’s not the way it “should be done” but I’m a rule breaker… just kidding… I just made it fight into my life. 

Phase 2:

At first I was a little frustrated because I thought I had to think of NOTHING… how is that possible? This isn’t Seinfeld!  I soon learned it’s not thinking about nothing.  Actually it’s the act of focusing your mind and thoughts back to a “center” or whatever your goal is for that meditation faster.

medate funny 2

To me meditation is practicing the discipline of getting your “energy”/ “focus” back to the your goal faster.   Every time you are able to “let a thought pass by” or in my case bring myself back to thinking  my goal, the more peaceful and focus you become. As you get better at doing this you are less distracted by little things that come in to your thought or even come up in your day. (Like obstacles, doubt, and fear) .

PHASE 3:

After doing this for 8 weeks I have seen a change in myself?

I don’t feel like the white rabbit running around worried about what I have to do next. This is a HUGE change for me.  I normally worrying about the emails I have to return or what the next thing on the “to-do list”.  I remember one of my mentors Stella tell me he practicing focusing on one thing at a time.  I was in my mid 20’s and I thought there is no way to do that and get things done.  I was wrong.

Meditation has helped me be more present… in the moment.  This is a work in progress and I’m ok with that.  I do feel I am getting better at enjoy the task, event, or person in front of me at that moment.  Just like Stella was trying to tell me- it would helping me be a better trainer, worker, friend/ family member, and wife.

Interestingly, it has helped with my workouts.  I’m no longer worried about what my body will look like in X weeks,  instead I  focus on what I am doing right now which will help me reach my goal.

In closing, don’t worry if your mediation does look like typical.  Start off slow and reminder you wont be perfect.  The important thing is that it helps you in the ways you need it.   There is no right and wrong… just what is best for you.

Yes, this made me LOL
Yes, this made me LOL

Namaste and stuff! 🙂

Hurry up and Wait.

What do you do when a moment turns into a bad day… which turns into a bad week?

By now you can probably got the idea that I’m more  a “Tigger” personality than an “Eeyore”.  (If you don’t know what I am referring to  read The Last Lecture… It will change your life).  With that said, this Tigger was in a very deep “funk” the first week of 2015.

Here’s a screen play of what was going on in my head:

Voice 1: “Great way to start the new year… brrr”

Voice 2: “Hey it will be ok…”

Voice 1: “Really? Because it doesn’t seem like that today.  I hate everything right now. ”

Voice 2: “Now, now.  You don’t hate EVERYTHING… ”

Voice 1: “Yup- Hair -hate it!

Skin- hate it!

Clothes- Hate them!

working out – hate it!

Most of all I hate that I feel like my life is all about Hurry up and weight”.

Voice 2: “At least you have something to wait for… Stop being a stick in the mud! Look you always tell people to focus on what you can control RIGHT NOW… It’s time to take your own advice!”

(end scene)

After giving myself some much needed tough love, I had a break through.  In the competition world we have a staying, “Trust the Process”.

That means when a client, friend, or even when I’m having a moment of doubt,  we are reminded that there’s a lot that can and will  happen between now and the day of the show.  All you have to do is follow what is laid out in front of  you and you will get where you want to be.

I realized “Trust the Process” can and should be used in EVERY goal you have.

– Keep your body fat at healthy levels

-When building muscle

-Quitting a habit that doesn’t serve you

-Staring your dream job

-Saving for a house

– Trying to get pregnant

Ha… These are just some ideas of goals… ok ok they are my goals.

Most of these goals are very “future” focused, making it hard to feel like I am “winning”.  BUT that is only because I was looking at them with doubt clouding my vision.

Whatever your goal is, set up “Stepping Stone” goals.  They can help you celebrate mini  “wins” every day.  If you are like me this will help you stay on track.  In the competition world we can these progress updates.

Things to remember when you set your stepping stone goals:

1- Make sure they line up with your long term goals.

2- Focus on a behavior more than an outcome goal.  Meaning If you want to lose x amount of weight in 3 months, make a weekly behavior based goals each week that will help you improve a habit that will lead to your end number.  (side note… word this behavior goal in the positive… stay away from “I wont eat cake” instead say, “I will get all my water in”).

3- Time frame- Like I said above, make it weekly.  I like to write the goal in my planner so I will reminded of it every day.

4- Be patience- AHHHHHH I What it all NOW! (yup I said that for each one of the goals listed) Here’s one of my deep moments… When you are so busy look at the future you miss the things that are happening in the present.  Every day something little is happening that in bring you closer to you goals. We just have to be aware.  (and grateful…)

I want it now

5- Celebrate the little victories!- with every step forward give yourself a little pat on the back.  YOU DID IT…. YOU’RE ONE STEP CLOSER!

In today’s world it’s instant everything… but goals are always going to be a work in progress.  Give yourself the time to reach, strive, and enjoy the ride.

Keep Moving Forward.

Being SMART and No weights needed

Happy new year everyone! With the year comes new goals. Most people have some tip of fitness goal they like to start the year off with. I love this time of year! Everyone is excited and ready to attack their (inserted goal). A couple of tips:

1. Be S.M.A.R.T – by this I mean your goals should be smart…
Specific– What do you want to achieve?

Measurement– Your goal doesn’t have to be weight lose, but can you measure the progress you are making towards your goal? (daily, weekly, monthly, year)

Attractive– Some people change the “A” to mean something different, but I like attractive because the goal should be something you really want… Even on snowy days, bad days, hard times, and when the cookies are in front of you.

Realistic– I know I will never be 5’6… But I can work on my posture to stand taller. When you set your goal set it high but make it something that (right now) you are able to be achieved.

Timely– When do you want to achieve this goal? (day, week, month, year)

The other thing to think of when it comes to your new goals is to pace yourself. It is important to start where you are, not where your ego thinks you are. Also, stop looking at everyone else’s paper… Your buddies is not you and you are not them so stop comparing your journey to theirs.

Now that I’ve giving you “the talk” here’s some fun things you can do in the gym or at home:

  • Always keep your stomach tight.
  • Focus on pulling with the hamstrings (back of your legs) by pushing your heels into the ground.
  • Keep your back straight (no arching or sagging)
  • Your knee should stay over your ankle.
  • Push back at the hips, BUT keep your chest up so you don’t fold forward
  • Only go as far as you can and come back in 1 motion.
  • Again, keep your core tight.  Think pulling your belly button to your spine.
  • Knees to chest is a modification, if that is to easy try the pike ones.

Be safe! Listen to your body! Have fun and wear a cape… Everything is much more fun in a cape!

Best wishes in 2015! Make it the Best Year Yet!