Thursday, February 20, 2014

Beginnings and Beginnings

"If you always do what you've always done then you
will always get what you've always gotten."

I was walking to work today, a beautiful clear bright morning, and feeling a little tired and lacking in motivation after another failed attempt at getting up early after a restless night's sleep. To put it bluntly, I was in a bit of a slump. 

I was listening to the radio as I walked, and there was an interview with a former Irish Rugby professional, one who has battled depression throughout his adult life. He talked about his slow slide into full on depression after injury ended his professional career and he abruptly released at 27 that he had no back up plan to speak of. 

It's funny how things strike close to home in the most unexpected places. I've been having troubles of my own lately, amongst others figuring out what my next step should be in my career (or lack thereof), flailing in the face of recession and doors slamming all around. I have no plan B and that is terrifying. He was flailing too. With no plan, he had no motivation to get up in the morning, having set no goals for himself he quietly floated along in a slump. Seemingly having so many options open to him, he froze at any and all decision making. Paralysis from analysis, a wise friend of mine once said, and something I feel intimately familiar with at times. 

When he was at his lowest, and wondering why he was failing at all attempts to pull his career and life together his father said to him: if you always do what you've always done then you will always get what you've always gotten. Such wise words. He had spent so much of his professional life having everything done for him and not having to make decisions for himself that he was immobile in its pattern, and especially trapped after his career was cut short.

There is so much truth to that quote, so much experience, and yet is so bloody simple! If you're not achieving what you want, the most obvious of solutions is to try things a different way, but obvious isn't always what we try first, is it? 

If your current exercise plan is not giving you the results you expect, you probably need to try something different, or put in more effort, but how many of us keep at it in the hope that something will change itself? If your diet is failing and you haven't consciously changed the kinds of foods you are eating, or the size of the portions, why do expect to suddenly drop 10 lbs? We lie to ourselves in so many subtle ways, mostly by 'just not thinking'. 

I've been there, and I know how hard it is to change the way you think. When I lost over 40lbs after college (over about four years), I made a huge effort to change my outlook and push myself out of old habits and it worked, mostly, but it wasn't without effort, setbacks and emotional difficulty. 

Now, nearly 10 years after I did things the first time round, I find myself heavier and more unfit than I want to be and slipping back into old patterns of emotional eating and letting my inner introvert have her way more than is healthy. I hope this blog will be a reminder of how far I came, what works and what doesn't for me and why it's so important to try different things if what I'm doing isn't working, in whatever aspect of life.

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