Thursday, December 4, 2008

The success equation....

So I have had an interesting few weeks. If you've been reading my posts latelly, you'll get a sense of the fact that I'm feeling pretty burnt out. It has been a very busy semester at work, and the school work I had this term was pretty demanding. All that said, I'm pretty pleased with the fact that I'm still standing, and managing to balance the many priorities I've put at the top of my list.

That said, the past few weeks have indeed been interesting. Over the past four weeks I think I've met with Sebastien only twice -- we've each had scheduling conflicts that have made having our sessions. And admittedly, I'm jealous of the fact that he's taking a week off and is currently sunning himself on the beach in the Dominican Republic -- yes, he's entitled to take time off, and he works hard... he deserves it. He puts up with me every week -- he definitely deserves it.

But what I've started to learn is just how much I actually need my trainer. Having time every week to work out together, check-in, talk about where my head's at, and simply hang out has become very sacred for me. I even remember a few months ago when Seb was telling me about a client who wanted to buy up all of his time -- meaning he'd have to think about referring some of his clients. That freaked me out. And I didn't really figure out why until this past week.

I realize that I still don't trust myself. As much as I've worked hard on all of this, and as wonderful as my results have been, I still don't have confidence in my own strength to persevere and do what I need to do to keep on track. And that's understandable. I'm making a huge life change, and it will take time to build the complete strength and determination I need to go it on my own. Even though I'm blogging about it, and talking to my friends about it, the experience is still pretty solitary, and the one person who knows absolutely everything about what I'm going through and how I'm progressing is Sebastien. I really rely on him. Yes, I'm a pretty closed up person - and the degree of disclosure that I've given myself still makes me feel very vulnerable. So much so that I still don't trust myself to catch myself when I fall... because I don't think I've really surrounded myself with the safety net I think I would need. I'm not saying that my friends and family wouldn't ever be that net for me -- without a doubt they would all be there in a snap. Without question. The point is that I don't think I trust myself enough to:
a) to fall;
b) to catch myself, or;
c) ask for someone else to help catch me and pick me up.
Even as much trust and faith as I have in my trainer, I don't know if my own ego would even allow me to let go of my control issues (shocking, I know) enough to let him be what I might need if I truly screw things up.

So, what leads me to this conclusion??? Well, while Seb is sunning himself in the Dominican (I'm not bitter... really), I find myself not holding myself accountable to the same standards as I would if I knew I had to meet up with him in a few days. Indeed we're reconnecting next Wednesday and getting back on schedule, but when we're not going to meet up, I realize I kind of let things slide. Why is that???? Well, I don't think I need to pay a therapist $150 to figure that out....

Essentially, it boils down to the fact that without Sebastien as my safety net (to the extent that I would ever allow him to be) and my external accountability, and in many ways a source of strength, I'm not sure that I could hold myself accountable for my progress in the same way that he can right now. I've been working really hard at all of this, but I'm still not convinced deep down inside that I'm capable of doing it totally, completely, and unequivocally by myself and for myself. Because of that, I can't really hold myself ultimately accountable for when I succeed and when I fail. And it's that risk of not being accountable, of not being able to pull my shit together when I fail, that is creating my fear of succeeding. So what do I do?

Without even thinking about it, I find I let things slide just enough to maintain some semblance of keeping it together, without completely throwing it all by the wayside. In other words, I don't eat as 'cleanly' as I would like. I don't workout as intensely as I would if I had an appointment with Sebastien looming on the horizon. "Looming" is not the best word, because the training sessions I have are by far some of the best time I have each week. But I think you get what I mean. Essentially, I give myself the space to fail. Because if I'm afraid of succeeding, the alternative -- and default option given the numerous different ways I've attempted to get at this -- is through failure. It's classic self-sabotage. I've read about it. I've heard people talk about it. But I've never truly understood it until now.

All that said, I don't think it's as bad as I think... or as bad as it could be. Why? All of the other times in my life, when I self-sabotage and choose failure over confronting the possibility of success, I would eat my face off. And remember... I'm a foodie. So 'eating my face off' didn't necessarily mean gorging at a drive-thru. I would cook up a storm... eat lots of indulgent and decadent things... not "a whole lot of crap" (as my Mom would say), but a lot of rich, savoury, carb-heavy food. Picture plates of homemade pasta.... steaming hot with homemade meatballs and sauce... loaded with mushrooms and cheese. Okay.... I need a moment. Kidding. And then I'd lay down on the couch, watch TV and be completely desensitized to the fact that I had just totally binged on food to somehow make myself feel better and deal with the fear of success.

So, what do I do now?

Well, I won't work out as vigorously. But I still work out.
I won't eat as cleanly as I would like. But I still eat well.
I don't numb myself with food.
I sit back.
I reflect.
I figure things out.
I blog.

Instead of filling my face with pasta, I take advantage of the opportunity to think, reflect, and write. And from this important blogging exercise, I figure out that I don't totally trust myself, and that I need to learn how to do that. I don't know exactly how to do that, but I'll figure it out. I realize that I don't need to do this on my own -- I can turn to my friends and family for strength, because I don't have all the strength I need to do this... and it's okay not to.

And I have to have faith in the fact that I can succeed.

I am determined to succeed.

I will succeed.

Or to think about it mathematically...

(trust + strength + faith) - fear = SUCCESS

So there you have it.
A big brain purge.
A big brain fart.
A big brain.
A big heart.

And in that heart,
I know how truly fortunate I am to have my friends and family... and one helluva trainer.... peace, love and thanks to all.

Kia kaha. Stay strong.

PS. Tonight's work out....
60 minutes at level 11 on the elliptical trainer = 1275 calories burned
100 ball squats = more calories burned and legs that are like buttah
400 crunches = abs of steel? In due time....
Overall, a good night and a spring back in my step...


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