I have an app on my phone called “Transform Your Life: A Year of Awareness Practice.” The app reads ” Awareness Practice is practicing living in conscious compassionate awareness…” So basically, it is the process of discovering the reactions that we were conditioned to have as children, dropping them and living free. This is not easy by any means. It requires that we live in a constant state of self- awareness and I cannot say I have been able to do so for more than 5 minutes. It requires mental strength and a willingness to be more open minded than we can even comprehend. Each day, you are given a task to carry out for the day accompanied by a quote. This was today’s quote and task
When I first saw it, I took a double take. Everyone knows it’s up to things to change; we just have to wait for them to do so. Yet the more I thought about it, the more the quote made sense. Why keep sitting around waiting for things to change when you can take the bull by the horns and be the change?
Yep. That’s where I am at. I don’t know what day this is. And truth be told, I don’t care. I thought it would take me longer to learn my lesson but I think I am almost done learning it. I am not going to make it to 30 days and I am currently making my peace with that decision. Bottom line is I started this cleanse for the wrong reasons and that was not good enough to sustain me. I still have issues that I need to deal with but a juice cleanse is not the answer in this case. My initial cleanse did what it was supposed to and now I have to take other steps to achieve my goals. I think some part of me expected my initial juice cleanse to cure all my bad habits including laziness and self-control/discipline but of course that could not be. Life is about constantly learning and improving and I am going to have to find my next learning vehicle. As mentioned previously, I will always juice but unless something drastic happens, it should not be necessary for me to do a 72 day cleanse again and therefore I will always feel a sense of nostalgia for that process. I am grateful for what it gave me but I need to move forward.
Tomorrow at 0920 I will take on the Savage Race. 5-7 miles of obstacles designed to kick your butt. I am both excited and nervous as there will be electrocution and an ice bath and these are not even the worse obstacles I shall face. I know that completing this race will only make me more confident about myself and strive to become stronger. I started races because a friend forced invited me. I did not train for it and was amazed when I beat her: I was hooked! I am hooked mainly because of my competitive nature and this drives me through every single race. I used to look to others to motivate me to feel better about myself, to eat better, to workout more, but with each race I complete, I stop looking for external motivation and feed more into the personal cheerleader who lives inside of me.
I won’t be able to take my camera with me on the race, obviously as there are aquatic obstacles so here is a sampling of what I shall be encountering!
There come times in our lives wherein life requires us to make tough decisions. Sometimes it requires us to change the way we think or remove ourselves from a situation. Neither option is easy but often times before we even try we have talked ourselves out of it. Once upon a time, not too long ago, I had nothing. I lost it all and found myself at the bottom of the barrel with nothing and no one, at the mercy of anyone willing to extend a helping hand. The biggest lesson I learned from that experience was that having nothing can be very freeing and with it comes an absence of fear. I feared nothing and no one because the way I saw it, there was nothing anyone could do to me that could negatively affect me – meaning I was so low I couldn’t go any lower. There was nothing they could do to me that had not already been done. I remember telling a bill collector who threatened me with a lawsuit to go ahead at risk of losing his job because his company would spend more money in court fees that they would get out of me. I even added a giggle at the end of the statement; he was speechless. I found myself more emboldened than I have ever been in my life. I can honestly see why people who lose it all and become homeless prefer to remain in the streets. There is freedom from worry that exists when you have nothing that living a “normal” everyday life lacks. There is no worry about losing one’s job, losing material things, no worry about enough money in the bank, no worries about downgrading or upgrading one’s lifestyle etc. Were it not for the value system instilled in me by my parents to strive for success and be the best I can be, I might still be hugging the bottom of my barrel today. As I picked myself up and my fortunes changed, I promised myself that I would always remember that while material things make us comfortable and may fill us with joy, they are not necessities to life and living. And while a job may provide us with the means to acquire the material things we crave, we should not feel obligated to remain in a place that does not make us happy or leave us feeling fulfilled. In short, I never want the fear of losing anything to keep me imprisoned in any situation.
Presently, I find myself once more in a defining moment and while I can’t quite explain it, it feels different this time around. Lately I have begun to fall victim to fear but I am determined to conquer it once again. I am going to make a decision that will change me and my life but it must be done.
I suffer from commitment phobia: I fear commitment like a plague. I fear apartment leases, car notes, cell phone contracts, anything that locks me in for either a determined or an undetermined length of time. Every time I have to make a commitment, I either down play it in my mind or negate it’s significance to myself. The first time I signed an apartment lease I opted for a 6 months lease even though I knew that I was most certainly going to be there longer than that – I signed a new lease 2 more times, 6 month leases each time. When I sign cell phone contracts I have to give myself a pep talk before I agree to the terms or tell myself that all I am doing is paying the cost of the free phone I am getting. Likewise in relationships, I refuse to establish timeline parameters: I have never celebrated an anniversary because I never establish a start date. No start date, no length of time to count.
When I began juicing I knew it would be a lifelong commitment. Now almost 4 months after I started, I begin everyday with fresh green juice or green smoothies. That’s just they way it will be for as long as is conceivably possible. However today I took time to sit back and actually ponder what juicing had become in my life – a life long commitment. There was that dreaded word. I wanted to fight it, find some way to negate it but I can’t. Finally, at least for now I have found the one thing that can lock me in forever and there is not a darn thing I can do about it.
Does confidence really come from the inside out? I don’t think I have ever been truly confident about my body or in my skin. At parties I am a wallflower and in large groups I only speak when spoken to. Lately however, I have wondered if achieving my perfect body will make me more confident. I don’t know but honestly I can’t wait to find out.
So it has been a week since I was here and what a week it has been! I am not sure how I picked the dates but I made plans to visit my parents in the motherland at the end of March. Since I am not as conscious of the christian calendar as I should be, I neglected the fact that the week of my visit would be Holy Week: that is the week preceding Easter. From the start, the journey was fraught with little headaches here and there. First of all, when I went to get the visas for myself and two other friends who were joining me on the trip, I forgot one of their photos and so a second trip was necessary. Additionally, my mother sent me a shopping list long enough to stock a small warehouse and what with 12 hour days here and there, it was a struggle trying to sneak in shopping between work, so I bribed a friend of mine to help me out which led to several phone calls while I was at work with questions like: liquid of powder?, what is lemon green?, are you sure she wants 20 Glade sprays? Finally, all the visas were obtained but then we realized that for some reason the normally scheduled Monday flight was cancelled and so we would have to travel a day later. We regrouped and I actually appreciated the extra date as it gave me a chance to close all loose ends and get a moment to relax before the trip. I ended up not sleeping the night prior to flight day but spent it packing and weighing. Once morning broke, I left the house to pick up some last minute items. I was doing great on time but some where along the line I lost control and ended up doing my normal mad dash to the airport with minutes to spare.
We made it to Brussels just fine even getting Business seats. In Brussels we bought liquor, horsed around and strolled to the gate. When I asked the gate agent what the seat availability looked like she informed me that there were seats available but because of weight load restrictions there was the possibility that we might not make the flight. I was not worried as I had taken this route several times before with no issues. Not today! We did not make the flight and the next one was 2 days later! Could anything else go wrong?
I woke up early this morning at about 0540. I was both excited and nervous so I hit the snooze button a couple of times, finally rolling out of bed at about 0608. I was dressed in no time as I had already set aside my clothes for the race. I am not a breakfast person although lately I have no problem drinking a smoothie or green juice in the morning. Well, the amateur athlete in me has heard about carb loading before a race and although I did not have clear facts, I decided to eat some carbs; crackers was all I had so crackers was what I had – 2 small packs of oyster crackers. I got to the race location at about 0640 and when I called my running partner she had not yet left her house and told me she would be leaving at 0720! When I left home, I had felt a tinkle of moisture which could scarcely be classified as rain but as I waited, I saw lightning and eventually actual rain. While I wished it was not raining, I was determined to run the race no matter what. My friend finally showed up at about 0740 and went to pick up our numbers, Just as I arrived the Start line, an announcement came over the speakers declaring the race cancelled. I was kinda upset although I acknowledge that it had been raining pretty hard and it was for the best. As with most races, there are sponsors and athletic companies at the site peddling their wares. Well with this race cancelled, it was a free for all. I could not take a picture as it was raining but there were two 10 foot long tables piled high with bananas and another 10 foot long table filled with bags of Einstein bagels. Muscle Milk was also in attendance and while they had been giving out a bottle at a time to passers-by, with the cancelling of the race, they encouraged everyone to take as much as they wanted and fill the little eco-friendly-made-from-plastic bottles shopping bags race sponsor Whole Foods had provided. Which brings me to a thought I had as I filled my bag with bananas and Muscle Milk. Whenever I am faced with something free, I almost always over do it meaning I take too much/ more than I need. And even when I walk away, I am still wondering if I took enough, if I should go back for more and berating myself for not having taken more.
My goal after my cleanse was to stay away from processed foods and I have done well so far. I took about 6 bananas which will come in handy for my smoothies. The Muscle Milk I had no business taking as I did not even read the label but I ended up with 7 bottles. I did not take any bagels and I am very proud of myself for that. When I initially arrived at the race grounds, I had concerns that my pre race meal had been inadequate so I grabbed some Cascade Farms Organic Granola and some Food Should Taste Good Sweet Potato Chips and a small Lara Fruit and Nut Energy bar – not one of the labels on these products did I read so this constitutes my first impulse food consumption post cleanse. Once I found out the race was cancelled, I knew I could not let all that food just hang out in my body so I decided to let Shaun T and Insanity help me burn it and burn it he did! Pure Cardio is a beast but I am glad I did it!
Tomorrow I run a 5K. I have to admit I have not trained for it besides doing the Insanity workouts. If my mind were to run this race, it would complete it in 10 minutes flat because for whatever reason, I am extremely confident in my abilities but I don’t know if my body necessarily agrees. Anyway, the race starts at 8am rain or shine, so if you don’t hear from me in a couple of days, I am probably healing.
I write this blog with sweat dripping down my face. I swear I am about to pass out but I feel good! Originally, today’s blog was going to be called Temptation where I whined about how I had to make cakes for my niece’s first birthday party and how I felt like I had done badly by sneaking a couple of tastes and licks here and there. And then when I got to the party even though I started out eating veggies only, I could not resist a couple of carbs. Over all, I don’t think I did too badly but I am extremely hard on myself, so on my way home from the party, I decided I was going to jump right in and start the Insanity workout. In the past, when I work out, it makes me more aware of my food choices and less likely to eat irresponsibly. As soon as I got home, I put on my work out clothes and got right to it. At first I thought it was easy but that was just the stretches as he quickly showed me why the work out is called Insanity. Completing the workout left me feeling like I had been adequately punished for my discretion today. It is ironic that I am starting Insanity which is a 60 day program after just having completed a 60+ days juice cleanse. Once again a part of my mind is telling me I may not be able to do this but I know I will and I am! Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go recover from this ass whopping.