i(NO)Robot

Don’t we hear it all the time?

Our bodies are machines.

Food is fuel.

Train like a machine.

I get it, but, we are not machines. We’re humans. We have feelings, we feel good one day and not so hot the next. We can’t function the same way, with the same output, every single time. But we are not machines, we’re not robots… we feel, change, vary.

We’re real. be you

My disorder drives me to function more as a machine than a person. When I start to deviate from the strict path, I feel the disorder yelling to me to get back in line. 

Right now I’m not in machine like shape. I don’t look “hard” like I used to… which in reality was not hard and healthy it was disordered. But truth be told… I miss it. That’s one of the hardest parts of disorder recovery. We got satisfaction, approval, feelings of success out of it. Perhaps out of functioning like a machine.

All machines break though. Eventually you have to replace parts, they lose functionality, and sooner or later, all machines need to be thrown out.

How many machines at home do you really like? Are you friends with your toaster? Is the fan a great conversationalist? I doubt it. So then, why do we feel this need to be a machine? Why is it that we feel if we’re not machine like we’re a failure?

My disorder is calling for me to fall into line … yelling loud and clear. But I refused to be a machine. I want to feel – the good and the bad, the comfortable and the uncomfortable. Feeling is life. Being a machine is not.

Remember… you are so much more than a machine, don’t hold yourself down trying to be one.

TRUEStrength

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Mean girls

My drill sergeant (aka my disorder) often acts like the mean girl in school… the one who, for whatever reason has all the attention and still treats everyone like shit.

The mean girl in my life is my disorder, sitting on my shoulder, telling me I’m not as good looking, not in good shape, don’t deserve to eat this or need to do another workout to feel good. This mean girl used to get ALL my attention.

As with most mean girls, as the attention starts to fade the voice gets louder, trying to regain power and control. Often it is hard to hear above the noise and after constant digs, sometimes the knocks starts to feel like truths. When you’re constantly bombarded with these cut downs it is hard to hear anything else.

Mean-Girls-HD

The movie Mean Girls came out in 2004  

Mean girls are only as powerful as the power you give them. The drill sergeant and this disorder are powerful – sometimes crushing – because I give it power.

Lately I’ve had brief moments or flits of a kinder, gentler voice saying… you’re doing great – keep it up. Often the mean girl bats that away quickly but the fact that this voice is poking through is encouraging.

Do you have these competing voices and influences?  Real or just swirling in your mind – they are valid and real to you. Who would you rather choose to spend time with… the mean girl group… who usually peak in high school or the friend who lifts you up?

It is not as easy as simply kicking the meal girl to the curb but it has helped me realize I no longer have to continue to give the mean girl all my attention and power. Slowly but surely she’ll peak and and go away… now I’m just actively helping move that along!

Stay strong, be kind to yourself, and honor your TRUE Strength.

Finding the sign… a little luck, a lot of love

Yesterday was so hectic and a workout didn’t seem doable but something kept pulling me towards Hoover Dam for the stairs.  ** If you’re not familiar with “The Hoover Stairs” two flights of stairs flank the dam… it’s about 105 stairs up and a killer workout.

I changed clothes in the parking lot (sorry for the indecent exposure) and set out for stair repeats. After each set I started doing a few moves in the grass. During plank (and while feeling like I wanted to stop) I saw the tiniest four leaf clover.

My mom had a knack of finding four leaf clovers and would have said this one was perfect because it was so small and slightly torn – she always valued “imperfections”.

I smiled and said thanks mom and took my butt back up the stairs.

The next round, in a completely different spot, I looked down and saw another and another, and another to the point that I was giggling in excitement.

I took the first two and left the rest for others to find some luck.

This poem seems so fitting always 

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TRUE Strength

“Actually”

A family member of mine… we can call him “George” (remember the old abominable snowman cartoon with Bugs Bunny where he’d “hug him, and stroke him, and cuddle him, and sing to him, and call him George, duh.”) uses the word “actually” in a way that grates on my nerves.  Be prepared, now that you’re reading this, you’ll hear it more and I promise it will drive you crazy.

This person, when asked how the day was, will respond – without fail with… “Actually… not too bad.” Or, “Actually it was good.”

Why does this drive me crazy? Well think of it in the same light of our justice system… we are innocent until proven guilty.  This use of the word “actually” implies that the person assumes that the day is going to be bad and then is surprised… it wasn’t too bad, “ACTUALLY.”

Why come at a day with the assumption that it will be a bad day? hugo-the-abominable-snowman

In my most snarkiest voice… suck it up buttercup!  

Remember … you ACTUALLY do make each day what it is… watch a little Bugs Bunny, run around outside, laugh at yourself and have a good one!

TRUE Strength

 

Brutal Honesty

Sometimes the hardest TRUE Strength is honesty.  stronger than this

And the chart topper is honesty with yourself.  It’s amazing to me how easy it is to lie to ourselves and convince ourselves what we want to see as reality.    

My lie… the reality that my disordered thinking and tendencies have started to resurface.  In my experience, and I don’t dare speak for everyone, the harshest reality as a person who has battled eating disorders or disordered thinking is that it never really goes away or is officially treated.  It’s my addiction. Compared to someone’s alcohol or drug addiction. As odd as it sounds… restricting, over exercising, controlling is comforting to me.  The scariest part for me is that my disordered thinking comes under the veil or cloak of doing something healthy.  It just goes too far.  It’s enticing… alluring even.  Always under the best of intentions… and then slips.

It’s very easy to say there’s nothing wrong or I’m all under control.  

But the TRUE Strength reality is … honesty is harsh… and it’s time to get honest.  

My friend, Meggie is someone I really look up to.  She is brutally honest and open about her struggles and as a recent first time mom has been experiencing all the amazing ups and downs and blurred reality of newborn life.  All while still being honest about these ever present disordered thoughts.  Her article about Orthorexia encouraged me to seek more guidance and to acknowledge I may be loosing control and need to be more honest with myself.

Meggie writes for Saltyrunning.com.  You can read her full article HERE.  

Perhaps, such an honest post is not all that fun to read… but, if it can encourage even one person to get some help, it is vital.  Thank you for sharing your TRUE Strength with me.  

 

Born with strength

As cliche as it sounds, I am constantly amazed by how much I learn from Baylor and Nola every single day.  I am positive in their short 14 months with us, they have taught us much more than we have taught them!  

They teach intangibles such as: a deeper sense of love, selflessness, unending worry, and how to let go of control.  I’ve learned to let life happen and that control is simply not possible at all times, nor is it any fun!  They’ve taught me to live in the moment and laugh at myself and at stress.

The most striking lesson they continue to teach me everyday is that we all are born with TRUE strength within us.  It’s found deep down and true inside of us all.  Their drive to discover, explore, try, fall, get back up and laugh is unending.

TRUE strength encapsulates adventure, love, life, tears, fears, and physical, emotional, and mental balance.  It’s taken me 31 years to truly understand this… and I’m still working on putting this into practice.  

It is breathtaking that children are born with TRUE strength.  It’s after years of socialization, sheltering, and limiting creativity and possibility that people are in danger of losing their ability to pull on their TRUE strength.

I think about how my girls don’t know any limits on what they can accomplish.  They try and explore and learn and fall down and try again.  They are exercising their TRUE Strength. My goal is to foster this inner strength within them and within myself so that I can continue to help them grow and to personally be a better, stronger and healthier mother and role model for them every day.

This picture is my definition of how we all are born with TRUE strength… right now we may see a slide… the girls see an adventure… one to climb up, slip down, laugh at, bump into each other and attempt over and over again.

fearless girls

My wish for you all is to reach inside – grab a hold of your TRUE strength – help others find theirs and embrace it! 

UP!

The desire to move upward is deep rooted.  

UP is powerful.  

The power of up is a motivator, an influencer, a drive, and a burning desire.  How you utilize the power of UP is up to you and determines how successful you will become.  Up can be a higher being or a promotion, it can be a literal up-jumping to a new box level for us Crossfitters, or it can mean living a happier and fuller life.

I’ve witnessed people who chose to let the power of UP overwhelm them and instead it holds them down.  Perhaps the fear of not reaching the mark is paralyzing. I think this fear is a learned behavior.  I’ve witnessed the power of up through the most innocent of eyes… experiencing life and all challenges and adventures for the first time through my daughters’ eyes has been an amazing experience.  In their short ten months of life I have learned more and grown more than I ever dreamed.

They do not have fear.  They don’t know what failure is and I believe they can feel the power of up through their whole being.  

The notion of up has been a motivator of action for my daughters.  From a the time they could see far enough away they were fascinated by the ceiling fans… not just for their hypnotic motion but for the curiosity that went along with this object so far away… so far UP there.

Next came the desire to go up… be lifted… raised up…

At nine months old my daughter Nola looked at me and very distinctly said… Mama UP! While raising her hands.  I know – not ground breaking but powerful.  She knew where she wanted to go and knew “up” had power.  Now I see them exploring how far UP they can go as they learn to pull themselves up, stand up, and climb to new heights and adventures.

I’m trying to be conscious about not teaching too much fear in them.  Some fear is good as it’s a safety issue but I know I’ve shied away from adventures or even trying particular things because I’ve been afraid.  Afraid of not getting all the way UP.  OR afraid of not being a success once I got there.  I never want my girls to have this fear and I beg you to remember… UP is ever moving.

You CAN always go up.  And your definition of UP is always going to move which also means… why fear it?  Where do you want to go?

I want to go UP!

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