During the hardest times of training and racing, when it feels like I'm moving at Mach Negative 16, or when another runner is struggling, I will often say this to myself or my struggling counterpart:
Any forward motion is progress.
The idea here: speed is unimportant. Mileage is unimportant. The goal/finish line will still be there waiting for you. It's not going anywhere - but you are. You're moving forward - and thus towards it. This is something I have also learned to apply to my personal life.
This has really been one of the most meaningful, fulfilling, and challenging weeks of my life. I feel so positive about all the progress I've made.
You'll notice I said positive, meaningful, fulfilling and challenging - not GOOD, GREAT, SATISFACTORY, etc. That's because part of the progress I've made is in re-teaching myself not to label things and judge them. I've blogged before about undertaking this effort, almost a year ago - and, here I am, having merely planted the seed with that first blog entry, making some REAL, honest-to-goodness, forward motion with it.
CHA-ching! (That's the emotional cashbox ringing as I fill it with positive currency.)
I've also managed to switch from updating my status on FB/Twittter every few hours to about once a day, sometimes going days without touching it. And I have not checked in anywhere, given gratuitous information about my whereabouts, etc. - basically, I halted all the behaviors that were annoying me. (Although Twitter doesn't give me the same aggravated feeling as FB, because a lot of the people I follow on Twitter are celebs, and they're just good for laughs.)
HUGE change in my overall outlook/feelings of happiness though. The more space I had from FB, the better I felt: free, happy, relieved, etc. So I decided to check out what some of my friends were doing today and see what happened. (Yeah, real smart, I know.) As soon as I went on and read status updates for the first time in over a week, once again, it aggravated me.
But, I learned something about it (that it still annoys me). So - forward motion is still progress. I am still debating just deactivating my account altogether.
Fresh Eating is going AWESOME. In my first week, I dropped back down 3-4 pounds to my 'triathlon training' weight, even though I have only been training about 5 hours a week. Best of all, I feel great. Basically, I just cut the majority of sugars and refined carbs from my diet and returned to my super-healthy roots. I had a few beers this weekend, and twice during the week I had products with white flour, but for the most part it's whole grains, beans, veggies out the ass (literally), and so much lean, lean protein that even my little protein-craving heart feels satisfied.
Typical breakfasts are protein smoothies with spinach, fruit and flax, oatmeal with flax, bee pollen and/or wheat germ, and egg whites. Typical lunches are canned tuna and greens, lean chicken breasts on whole wheat buns with salads with minimal dressing, or piles of fresh steamed and raw veggies with lean beef, egg whites, chicken, or fish. Sometimes I'll have tofu, beans, or veggie burgers instead of meat. Lots of water and unsweetened green tea. I even got to visit the health food store this weekend - first time in YEARS - and made beans from scratch like I used to.
And the coolest thing next to feeling GREAT?
NO. COUNTING. CALORIES.
NO. COUNTING. POINTS.
^What this teaches a former disordered eater is that food is about FUEL, not ANGUISH. (Again, I'm learning to drop labels . . . am I allowed to progress this much in a few weeks??!?!?) And when fresh isn't super-available, I just make the smartest decisions I can. Like when the guys dragged me to a burger joint that only had burgers on Saturday and I had a veggie burger with loads of veggies instead. Did I snitch some fries? You bet your ass I did. But overall, just being aware of looking for the last-processed food keeps you from going overboard.
It's about being healthy. Weight loss is a secondary, although pleasant, effect.
Math, like food, used to be my enemy. My GRE score once prevented me from applying to my PhD program. But thanks to a lot of hard work with my tutor, I am knocking down some serious barriers. I'm almost guaranteed a higher score this time, and I feel outstanding about my math skills. (Compare this to several months ago, when I actually told a friend I thought I was one of the dumbest people on earth.)
As far as my other academic progress, I hit another major milestone in my SIOP research this week and I have a RARE BEAK right now where I can spend the next week working only on my OWN work, not student assignments or research.
My home is finally sold after too long on the market, and although I feel sad about selling it so close to buying, it is definitely for the best and I am excited about the next chapter as well as the relief of not having the responsibility.
So, everything seems to be falling together very nicely.
A new era in my life began this week . . . and forward motion ensued.