22 May 2009

I used to...

I am doing P90X now because I believe in the program and so far 4 weeks down, I can already feel the amazing improvements. It's not just about looking physically good... but also feeling good mentally and physically!

I speak to people everyday and I hear everyone's "story." Many people go through life in stages, or as if they are in a play or a movie, and there are those that resist the changes that happen, and those that embrace the changes. Change does indeed happen, and we have to adjust with these changes in the most positive way. You are to write your own movie, your own life.... you have the control over how it plays out.

When I was approaching my 40s, I would hear other soon-to-be 40 something year olds say the strangest things. They would say things like, "now that I am approaching 40, I am going to have a different attitude about my life. I don't need to dress a certain way. My joints hurt, so I am going to stop running or even exercising. I don't need to lift weights anymore because I am not as young as I used to be." The more I heard those types of statements, is the more I decided for myself, "I will just keep doing what I do."

I have been told that I am crazy. I have come to learn that being crazy is indeed a good thing. Crazy means, being diligent and getting up and going every day. Crazy means that you resist the negative. Crazy means you are willing to get up and at the very minimum, "TRY." Crazy means that you love to feel good, laugh, jump out of bed feeling happy. Crazy means that you may be the only 44 year old parent running with your young children, or the only 44 year old parent who can hula hoop with your 7 year old daughter and 3 of her other 7 year old friends... and they think you are cool! I will take being "CRAZY" any day of the week!

Many conversations also encompass the notorious statements like:

"I used to go to the gym."
"I used to be a size 4."
"I used to be so healthy and watch what I ate."
"I used to workout but my job has me so busy now."
"I used to run everyday."
"I used to ....."

Much of the time, the reason why people "don't do" what they "used to do" anymore is because their lives have suffered various changes, some good and some bad. In times of change, good and bad, one should never decide to cut back on their diligence to their personal well-being. In challenging times, it's the best opportunity to make YOU a better YOU.

Certainly we can agree that today we have the best resources to learn what types of foods are most beneficial for the body, and we can easily learn easy ways to prepare them so that they are tasty while being ideally nutritional. The same goes for fitness options. It may be that after 10 or 15 years of running and pounding the pavement, you have incurred major abuse on your joints. But that does not mean that you should suddenly halt your dedication to cardiac conditioning, it just means that you need to seek a better choice of exercise so that you can keep your fitness goals going strong.

I had my share of stress inducing obstacles throughout my life and perhaps there are more to come. Two divorces, a stillbirth (of a full term pregnancy), a few miscarriages, brutal allergy issues that kept me sleepless for almost a year after my daughter was born, being on medications that caused fatigue and major gastrointestinal stress, major stress work environment working on Wall Street for 22 years, then being laid off from that job after 22 years, full time working mother, many years of sleepless nights with young children, family issues, weight problems, and that is not the entire list.

All of these debilitating experiences started over 20 years ago, and my wellness journey started back then too. My first marriage lasted less than 2 years, and halfway through those 2 years, I realized that things were not good at all. At that time, I decided that I had to strengthen my mind and my body in order to survive, and I did. It was a magnificent feeling, and when I realize how much better I felt on so many levels, I made a promise to myself that I would always seek to empower myself first, no matter what was going on in my life.

That has been my mindset ever since. No, it has not been easy, but every time I think about stopping my program, or even times when I had missed a couple days.... I did not like what would start to happen. If something bad was happening, it never made sense to me to compound it by bringing myself down even further. I hear people mistakenly decide to "feel sorry for themselves," "give up," "stop working out for weeks and months," when something goes wrong in their life. I watch them go from sad to miserable. I watch them get sick. I watch them spiral into a dark place. I watch them gain weight. I watch people put their jobs first, only to be so miserable day in and day out, continually refusing to address their health. The more they let themselves go down, is the more they get unhappy, unwell and unwilling. And when they take such a path, it's so much harder to get back on the right road. It becomes the biggest struggle of their lives.

If they could just realize that when things go wrong..... that is the PERFECT time to step up their game and power up their program. It's the perfect time to immerse yourself in YOU in the most positive way. It does not take a lot of time when you consider there are 24 hours in a day, and you should be willing to devote one or two of those hours to yourself without guilt or excuses.

When you take the time to "fix" you up, you come back stronger and more confident. You come back feeling a sense of accomplishment. You realize that YOU possess the power to control how you digest life. No one outside of you should have the power over you.

You used to???? And you still CAN. All you ever have to do in the midst of change and obstacles is seek a more improved way to keep your life going in a positive way.

You still CAN..... it's your choice.


Tally Green said...

Hello Jacquie, Great article I could not agree with you more about what you shared. You are so right about this. I just made 51 in April and I am living my life and loving it. I am no longer feeling sorry for myself. I have a walk in my step and I work on being upbeat and positive about everything. Even when things are going bad we have to look for the bright side of things. We have to stay grounded and take captive of those thoughts that take us to dark places. In a world of so much chaos and bad stuff if you do not set yourself up with positive reinforcement you will get pulled down. I just love reading your article if had me feeling encouraged and uplifted. Thank you
The Hot Flash Coach-http://www.thehotflashcoach.com

Rosa said...

Hi Jacquie! I must say, I am so grateful to have you in my life as a dear friend and also as a coach. You bring so much inspiration to me, each and every day. I am one of those ppl that spiral down when I'm sad and just can go horribly. But I have you to thank everytime you lend a hand, ear, shoulder...you bring my spirits right up! I have come to LOVE to exercise and be healthy MOSTLY because of you. YOu have opened up my eyes and mind to so many new options. Thanks for always keeping me moving and motivated. There is always a better way, better solution and brighter path! :) We will be young-fit gals forever! Thanks bud!! xoxo