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Why Are We Unaware of Ourselves?

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Being aware of what you think and what you say is beauty inside and out.

Why do we fail to see in ourselves the things that others see in us?  

You know what I am talking about.  Superficially, we see people heading to work and you look at them and ask yourself, ”do they even own a mirror?”  People sit in their cars and do all sorts of things that you do only in private, like things with their noses. People wear some of the oddest combinations of clothes.

But on a deeper level, why is it that when someone pays you a compliment out of the blue, we are so surprised?  Why are we ashamed when somebody calls us out on something we said or did that hurt someone else’s feelings?

Why are we so unaware of our own selves?

Let me make this abundantly clear, I have no idea!  I am not an expert in this field, I am simply asking a question.

Over the years, I have attended many networking events.  I go to both to further my knowledge path and to meet and talk with other people in the hopes to expand my horizons.  One of the things that people do is ask you about your business. Perfect, I can do that. I love to talk about the stuff that I learn while I find things to write to you about.  What is weird for me is when you find somebody else talking about me in front of me. So, it's not a secret. It's not gossip. It is somebody else’s opinion of me and my business.  That should be cool. Why am I so uncomfortable?

Part of the reason why, in my opinion, is that we have become an amazingly self-centered world.  Even if you are not naturally self-absorbed, we have become a society of talking about ourselves.  But, I find, that we rarely listen to what other people think about us. Hmmmm!

If we have differing opinions on social media, we block people.  If the opinions are really different, we simply refer to it as hate, rather than listen and learn, or even try to understand, we turn it off.  We rarely take the time to actually listen and learn about somebody else’s viewpoint even if the topic is YOU.

So in a world so self-absorbed with ourselves, how can we be so oblivious?

I believe that it is that we are not willing to truly be honest with ourselves.  Honesty leads to other people confronting us and most of us would rather do that online than in person, so we just do our best to blend in.

But, I think that means we are living a lie because we aren’t willing to hear what others say.  True, our opinion of ourselves is way more important than what others think about us, but we still need to be honest with ourselves and each other.

How, then, do we learn to be more aware of who and what we are?  Simple, ask people.

Let’s face it, most people are quite happy to be brutal online.  It may not be the truth, but they will definitely share their opinions with you.  The trick, I think, is to ask as many people as possible. But, you must be prepared to listen to the answers.  Keep asking. Ask easy questions, ask the hard questions. Ask things that seem obvious, and ask things that are subtle.  Just ask and then listen.

Listen with an open mind and an open heart.  You may be very surprised at what you find out.  You may hear a world of hurtful things, or you may blush from all the love, but if you are not willing to hear it in the first place, how will you know how you are impacting others?

The biggest favor we can do for ourselves is to be the best self we can be but if yourself is naturally aggressive, sarcastic, hurtful, and/or negative, then we are not being the best we can be, we are simply being annoying.

If you really want to improve your outward appearance, maybe you should start with your insides, aka your attitude.  Learn to love yourself and be loving toward others and you may find that your outward appearance, becomes as loveable as your inward self.

 

When people express opinions that differ from yours, take it as a chance to grow. Seek to understand over being understood. Be curious, not defensive. The only way to disarm another human being is by listening. – Glennon Doyle Melton

 

I Love My Crossfit Gym

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Couples that train together, stay together.

So as I think about writing again, I am looking at what my gym workout will be today.  That is what got me thinking about my fitness routine. We sometimes wonder what other people do for a routine but I also tend to wonder why we do what we do?  Why is that your routine when there are so many options? You may not be quite as curious as I am but as this is my space to write, I am going to tell you what I do and why.

I have told you about some of my workouts before, at 50 , but I have recently learned that my way of moving is a little different from most people, let alone, women, women over 50, women over 50 and overweight.  I have almost always been active. But, lifting weights is something that is relatively new for me.

When Doug and I started going to personal trainers, it truly was for the sole purpose for losing weight.  Well, all these years later, I have changed my goals, but I still love going to the gym. The gym has changed.  The workouts have completely changed. My love for the gym has also changed.

We are now proud members of a CrossFit gym.  

We had been under the impression that this was not for us.  We were under the misconception that we would get hurt. Not that we might get hurt, but that people get hurt doing Crossfit.  And that the movements were all ‘cheats’, not proper techniques for doing things. Well, I am here to tell you that we were incredibly misinformed.  Now, just to be clear, not all gyms are our gym. Not all trainers are our trainers.

We just wanted to continue in our health journey when we started working out at PoCo Crossfit.  Little did we know that we would be completely addicted to the new ways we were learning how to move and move weights.

I now really miss the gym when I don’t get there.  I miss the people that are there. I miss the trainers.  I miss the feeling that I have when we are on our way home.  Pure exhaustion, but feeling exhilarated with whatever I have managed to accomplish.  The workouts are never, ever boring. I sometimes look at what the workout will be and moan ugh.  But, I never regret going. I am still learning new things. I am learning how to do a handstand, walk on my hands, do double unders skipping, pull-ups, and that is just the things the gym deems gymnastic.  I am also learning Olympic Weightlifting. I am still learning techniques and form each and every class. I am learning about clean and jerk, snatch lifts, deadlifts with different grips, front and back squats and am humbled at the amount of accessory work I need to do just to make sure I am warmed up and not going to hurt my body.

I am surrounded by people who are new to this sport, like me, as well as people who have been doing this for years.  Some people are just kids, actual teenagers, and then there are people almost my age. Admittedly I am close to the oldest woman in the gym.  But, my age doesn’t define me anymore.

That is one of the things about this gym.  I actually hold my own on most workouts. I am quite often slower than the younger people, but the one thing that I have learned is that I can actually lift pretty heavy weights….Cool!

So what do my routines look like?  I do two classes of Olympic Weightlifting per week.  Although it is a class, it is so amazingly one on one.  Truly the most hands-on coaching I have ever received. EVER!  I also do at least two CrossFit classes. Again, the instruction is really personal.  Although there are still so many actions that I can’t do, there are so many ‘scaled’ versions to do that I don’t ever feel inadequate.  I get better each time and get stronger too.

The one thing that is more different that I didn’t expect is how much recovery time I actually require.  Unlike being tired after a day of cardio, lifting heavy weights takes way more out of my energy and quite often the next day I am still tired.  Recovery has become so important. Also, with lifting things, heavy things, over my head I really have to stay focused so there is no room for my mind to wander, that is a really good thing.  Having said that, if I am distracted, I still work out, I just focus more on technique than heavier and I still get a great workout in.

I know that this kind of workout isn’t for everyone.  I didn’t think it was for me either. But, as I have talked about before,       you need to try something new once in a while. You need to do what is right for you.

So, just go out and do it.  

 

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. – Walt Disney

 

Goal Setting is Huge

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Goal setting is huge. You never know what you can actually accomplish, like a handstand.

Goal setting is huge.

Goal setting is something you hear so much about.  People create courses on how to set goals. You can get journals set up just for goals.  The goal section of the book store is full. If you search goal setting on Amazon books, you will find over 10,000 books listed.  I think that validates my point. But, do you set goals? Really set goals?

I have talked about setting goals…lots.  I have talked about it for the same reason so many people write books, courses, make videos and everything that goes with it.  Making goals is really important and yet most of us simply don’t do it. We tell ourselves that we do. We think about goals. ‘I am going to get in shape for summer’  ‘I am going to start Christmas shopping early this year’ ‘I am going to get organized once and for all’ ‘This is the year I finally stop eating junk and get healthy’

We have all made these types of goals.  But, the truth is that these are not really goals.  These are hopes and dreams we tell ourselves to make us feel better.  But we never really do them and as a result, we don’t feel better, as a matter of fact, we most likely feel worse.

Sound familiar?

Sorry, if that kind of hurts.  It bugs me too. I get so frustrated that year after year, season after season, time after time, nothing seems to change and here we go again.

Well, maybe it’s time to do something different.  I am no expert on goal setting. I too set fake goals and then get upset when I never seem to reach them.  But, the one thing that I do know is that it is never too late to start again and make a real list of goals this time.

If you are still breathing, still moving, still thinking, then it is still possible to make goals and actually achieve them.  I have had the goal to be a certain weight for as long as I can remember and I am still not there. I reset my goals, I do different things, I try, I fail, I reset, I begin again, but the underlying thing here is that I haven’t given up.

One day I will be at that ‘goal weight’.  Or will I? I may never actually achieve that particular goal.  But that too is ok. So, as I go along with new and different things I set new and different goals.  I set goals that 5 years ago were never in my mind. That is more than just ok, it is actually the best thing.

As I look at the fact that I have lost some weight, put it back on, I have also learned so much about myself.  One thing that I have learned is that after years in the gym surrounded by people who have an amazing ability to be thin, I am not made that way. I will never look like a tall thin model. It is simply not in my DNA. I am ok with that because one thing that is in my DNA is the ability to lift heavy things.  

Over the years in the gym, I was told before that I could lift heavy, but until recently I didn’t really care about that, I just wanted to be thin.  I still want to weigh less than I do, but I am actually really enjoying the fact that I am strong. Yup, I am strong. For my age, especially, for being a woman, for not being a lifelong athlete, for trying something new.

Last year Doug and I joined a local Crossfit gym.  New goals came out of nowhere. I started watching people doing things that I have always admired, but never dreamed that I could do them.  

One of the goals I had set, with no particular timeline, was to be able to do a handstand.  It always amazed me how people could do that. Our son Josh has been able to do that since he was a kid.  He would just push off and stand there and then one day walked across the grass. Show off. But, here we are so many years later and I began to think, maybe that is something I could actually do.

Our gym has an ever-changing board on the wall.  Yearly goals, and monthly personal records. So you can see what people want to learn and you can see what people are accomplishing.  There is everything from movements to weights that people are working toward and actually doing.

This last week, I did it.  I did the unthinkable, I did a handstand.  Not just once either. And then I did it again a couple of days later.  I have been working toward this for months. The trainers have so many different movements that are progressive and get you closer with each movement to get to the handstand.  I am still blown away that I did it, that now I am looking at all sorts of other things that I want to be able to do.

The goal of a handstand was never part of any real goal list that I have ever made.  As a matter of fact, it was kind of one of those things; ‘one day I will go to …the pyramids, Fiji, Buckingham Palace, learn to surf, write a novel.’ But, I can’t explain how this accomplishment makes me feel.  I feel amazing and that nothing can stop me now.

This goes back to the goal setting rules that says make small achievable goals.  Now, I understand why. The empowerment that has come my way is crazy.

So, buy that book, keep that journal, put up those post-it notes, do whatever works for you to make and keep your goals.  Type goals in the search spot on our blog and you will see so many posts on goals you should be able to find something that is helpful for you.

Then;

  • go and do a handstand.  
  • Get up and do it.
  • Or a meal plan.  
  • Go for a walk.
  • Clean out the fridge.  
  • Track your meals.
  • Whatever it is for you.  

You are way more capable than you think and when you set your mind to it, you too will do it.

 

What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.  Zig Ziglar

Whining Season is Over

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Whining Season is over, time accountability and action.

I sit looking out my office window loving my view. I see trees, sunshine, that is usually a little odd in January in Vancouver, I see a little frost and I know that I live in a great place. I can, if I let myself, get caught up in that view and linger there just long enough to lose my motivation to look away and look at my computer where I should be focussing.

But, it is so easy to stray from what is important that I force myself to hunker down and get to work.

My job isn’t hard, for me. I write. The hard part is to write stuff that I want to write about and to write stuff that other people want to read. At this time of the year, it seems like everyone is obsessed with getting back at the gym, losing weight, stopping smoking, you name the resolution and people are still talking about it. They are not doing much about it anymore, but the idea is still warm in their minds. Mine too.

We are all humans with most of the same character traits. Some of us are easily motivated, some not so much. Some love to be active, again, some, not so much. Some people love to eat, some love to drink, some love to sleep, others prefer to bathe over showering. We are all made up of so many differences and yet we are all still people.

Our similarities is what we need to draw us to a support group that keeps us on track for whatever we love to do or whatever we need support in.

There are endless groups out there and online, there are even more.

When we started Q4fit we had a really simple idea in mind. We wanted to share our journey to better health and in doing so, inspire and help other people to find healthier ways of living. “We meet you where you are and help inspire you to reach your health and fitness goals.” We were really hoping that we would gather a group of likeminded people to gather round and help inspire each other.

The process has been a lot more difficult that I thought it would be. Part of that is that although Doug lives, eats, breathes business, that is not my thing. Although I really enjoy going to conferences to learn, some of it is totally boring to me. That has been tough for me. I just want to do the fun stuff and hope, the boring stuff just happens. Well just like paying bills, it doesn’t just happen.

When the boring stuff becomes tough, other things get in the way of getting the right stuff done.

We have had a very busy, crazy year. We have had lots of great stuff happen, we have a new grandson. Oh my heart!! We have had some really tough stuff happen too. We lost a few family members and a couple of friends. Some of the loss has been death, others has been because our time as friends has just come to an end.

We have seen job changes, moves, illness, accidents and all the natural things in life that we all go through. Through all of that, I had lost my motivation and dedication to writing on a regular basis.

For that, I am truly sorry.

But, the whining season is officially over

and I am back to being motivated to write for me and for you. In the back of my mind I can see and read all of those great inspirational quotes about don’t look back you are not going that way so, let’s move on.

The thing that we all need to keep in mind is that the pursuit to ‘better’ is a journey where you will never reach the end. There won’t ever be a moment where you can say ‘phew, I finally made it!’ As soon as you do that, its over. So, although you may ebb and flow with your dedication, that actually is part of the process. Sometimes it’s a good thing to get lost along the way. You find some really cool things just outside of your path that can’t be found by sticking to the road.

So, I am recommitting to you and to myself to get back on focus. I do have a size goal that I would love to achieve for myself, and that will be something that I am going to focus on for the foreseeable future. But there is so much to learn about achieving better health that this is going to be a great and fun journey.

Please, if you want updates and some insider “goodies” sign up for our newsletter. We are going to be including things there that you will only get with the letter.

Here’s to our year 2019!

Realize that if you have time to whine and complain about something then you have the time to do something about it.- Anthony J. D'Angelo