The voices in my head

I’m having a bad morning.

Thus far I have tripped over one of my own shoes, landing on the knee that has been giving me some level of grief for the last year. My disasterous experiment in yoga on Friday night did yield an extra glossy silver lining: knee that has been very tight for the last year (since a prior fall while hiking) loosened up considerably. It was a little puffy and painful on Saturday yet was definitely still more loosey-goosey (in good ways) than it has been in a few months. Knee is now puffy, painful, and sporting a black-and-blue spot, although I doubt any long term damage has resulted. Except perhaps my pride, which should be immune to injury considering how clumsy I am.

Speaking of clumsy, I took a sprawling tumble yesterday while at the law firm and ripped a new dress on its second outing. It was an accident – I was on one side of a door with my hand on the knob to open it when it suddenly opened from the other side and pushed me off balance in into a doorjam and then the floor. While it was again primarily my pride injured in the sprawl (thank GOD I was wearing modest black panties that disappeared into the black dress), lawyer on the other side of that door insisted I be checked out by either my physician or a local doc-in-the-box at the firm’s expense (they are lawyers after all). My doc said it was not serious, the ugly bruising the worst outcome. He even okayed me continuing my work-outs as long as I told trainer J in advance and used common sense and stopped any movement that caused pain or more pain than usual. I remarked that if I was to be excused from training I would need a note, because if I told J I was on life support his response would be something akin to “we can work around it – see you Thursday.”

Despite my fresh bruises and stiff-feeling back, I am going to the gym this afternoon and to yoga tonight. The voices in my head are a crescendo of why this is a bad idea and trying to dissuade me from going forward with this course of action. I am doing my best to ignore them. Yep, stuff hurts, but if I try hard enough or think with intent something always hurts and there is always an excuse to not take better care of me. I’m sick to death of my short-term thinking, i.e., I’ll work out tomorrow … or the next day … or the next year. How long until I run out of time and am sicker or frailer or more inflexible from lack of movement and eating crap?

My own personality quirks make it so difficult to do some of this stuff, to break free of my comfort zone and Just. Do. It. The voices allow me to justify anything and everything, making is so much easier to weaken my resolve and crumble to the couch with a package of cookies and a can of soda. I am absolutely not listening today.

Being a newborn calendar slave, I have a break scheduled from 3:30 to 5:30 today and will get to the gym and get my workout completed. I can and will go as slowly as needed, take breaks if necessary, and if I cannot make it happen, at least I tried and have good reasons to request modifications or work-arounds during my meeting with J on Thursday morning.

Like so many of my personal triggers and self-destructive behaviors, I can trace the origin to traumas and dramas in my growing-up years. For once I can think about and thank my mom for setting another example I do not wish to follow.

After she retired my mother had a very sedentary lifestyle. Before that, while she was working, she was on her feet a lot during the day, walking to and from the bus every work day. After retirement, she sat a lot. She would go outside and stand in the yard, but her knees and hips gradually stiffened to a painful position that made movement so difficult. Our small SUVs required a step stool for her to climb in and out of them, and we would swap cars with one of the kids for appointment or shopping trips. If I can avoid that, it would be infinitely better, particularly since M is an active, engaged athlete.

I am not going to get stronger, more limber, thinner as quickly as I wish it to happen, and I mostly accept that. I understand it’s going to take time, consistent practice, and strict attention to what I am eating to get to a more satisfactory point. Maybe I am never going to love yoga and exercise and watching my diet, but perhaps I can adjust my thinking to the point these must-do items not my dreaded enemies. Adjusting my attitude is almost harder than pushing myself to avoid junk foods and exercise, and silencing the voices in my head is impossible. But I have and can again lower the volume and ignore the inviting suggestions, because giving up is not an option.

And that’s my personal pep-talk for today. Annoying alarm is set for 3:30 gym time. A perk of working from home? I am already in my gym clothes and do not have to change to leave the house. No dawdling, no excuses for not getting this done and off my list for today.

3 thoughts on “The voices in my head

  1. Rough day and start of day. But for the gym – Do it anyway. My mantra these days. I am at a point where I either push through or stop. Success can be a scary thing and the voices remind me all the time why I can’t do something. But I’m doing it anyway. I don’t have to love or like or enjoy – I just have to do it. Because not doing it just hurts me – no one else. And that’s what I say to the voices in my head. Your trainer and mine sound a lot alike – “work around it”. And yes a benefit of working at home is being in your gym clothes – one more barrier to exercise removed!

    • At the too-advanced-for-me yoga class she said something that has stuck in my head: it probably is uncomfortable to a little painful to hold the postures, but it’s not about or supposed to be easy or comfortable. That was like a major breakthrough – even the teachers are saying it’s is not going to be easy or comfortable, but just do it as far and as well as you can.
      The biggest battle I fight is with myself, the easy seduction of “I can’t” rather than the much more unpredictible “I will try and fail – A LOT – before I succeed.” I do not have to love it, but I do have to do it, and there are little sprouts of enjoying the challenge of mastering perfect form. I remind myself daily it’s only been a few weeks, new habits take time, and failing today or even this week does not mean failure forever. Daily pep talks are my latest thing to kick myself into action – no annoying alarm required. 🙂

  2. Well at least the panties were black and as they say always wear clean ones in case of an accident. Maybe they will replace the dress…I love that dress. Really really love that dress. But keep going to the gym and maybe it wont hurt so much. Youngest child child and I are going tomorrow. Yoga(you know how I feel about yoga..and falling down so much) and then I am going swimming which I love. At least I can out lap her on that.

    I hope your bruises heal fast!

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