The ABC’s of T

I’ve never been one who thinks the whole world needs to know my story, or who thinks anyone would find anything about me remotely interesting. However, as I get older, I’m coming to see the importance in connecting with other people on a more personal level. Even then, the thought of just producing a massive word vomit telling my whole story in just one post seems both overwhelming to write and unappealing to read.

I had the idea that it might be more fun, less overwhelming, and more palatable to read if I broke a “getting to know me “ post up into smaller chunks. The idea for TheABC’s of T was born.

Over the next four to six weeks I will use each letter of the alphabet to tell a little something about me. It may be something that I’ve learned about myself (like the whole processed food addiction bit), or an attribute I think has been lacking in my life or one that I want to strengthen (like discipline or integrity), or maybe it is just a food that I like to eat (like quinoa or zucchini). Hopefully by the end of the alphabet, you will know a little more about me, I will know a little more about myself, and both of us with have a little bit better idea of where this blog is headed.

Welcome to The ABC’s of T!

A New Beginning

Hi Friends! It’s almost 2020. The first of the year is approaching and we all know what that means: New Year’s Resolutions.  I’m not really a fan of resolutions only at the new year. I believe in setting goals and revisiting them frequently throughout the year.

One of the things that I’m going to do throughout 2020 is write on my blog. I’ve been a bit perplexed about where exactly I want the blog to go. I started out blogging on findingmyinnerathlete.com where I was going to chronicle my path from an obese, out of shape, formerly athletic woman to a happy, healthy, fit, and thing reclaimed athlete. Then I went to lifebeginsinthemiddle.com where I was going to write about changing my whole life up at mid-life and how I make my dreams come true. And then I’ve always blogged at teresapassey.com where it has just been a bunch of random musing.

Well, I’m not really sure I want to find my inner athlete—although I do want to talk a lot about my slide down the scale from 360 pounds, depressed, sick, unfit, lacking in self-confidence and self-love 50 year old, to a much thinner (but with a long way yet to go), happy, confident, woman. I eat plants. I move my body. I’m learning to love myself. I want to share it all. But….I don’t necessarily want to pursue athletic endeavors any more.

While I do think that life can begin anew with each and every breath we take, I don’t know that I want that to be the single focus of my blog. I do, however, want to write about being brave and going for what you want in life. I have done a lot of that over the past year or so and I want to shout from the roof tops that its never too late to go for what you want.

So, I’m leaving it for now at teresapassey.com. I am finding that developing healthful habits has been key to all of these areas of my life. I am toying with the idea of tying everything together by talking about how incorporating simple routines can help us create the happy and healthy lives we want.

At this point it is just an experiment. I’m happy that you are here. Things will likely be in a bit of flux over the next several months. I’d love to get your input. Please comment and let me know what speaks to you and what you would like to hear more about.

As an introduction, I’ll be doing the ABC’s of me over the next several weeks. It will mainly focus on things that I’m doing to reclaim my health, including a healthy mindset and healthy weight, as well as how being brave and being willing to live outside of your comfort zone can really pay off. 

Welcome!

Becoming Whole

One of the things I’ve been working on with my coach, John Pierre, the past several weeks is to become more in touch with my feelings. When I text him, I am to include a statement that looks something like, “I am feeling strong.” or “I am feeling frustrated.” From there I either get a positive reinforcement or some questions to help me think through and possibly re-frame the feelings that aren’t very productive.

This has been a particularly good exercise for me as I am seeing that I have made it a habit not to connect with my feelings. Somewhere along the way, whether consciously or subconsciously, I’ve stepped back from really feeling my feelings in a lot of ways. Sometimes it is just easier to ignore my feelings or push them down (with food, with overtime, with excessive recreational activities, etc.).  I think there are a lot of us who deal with hurt, stress, trauma, etc,. by just learning not to feel the associated feelings. Detaching from the feeling seems like the safe and comfortable option in the moment but is so damaging to our health and well-being (physical, mental, and emotional) long-term. 

I have to admit that I struggle some days to articulate how I am feeling. My norm for so long has been to just numb my feelings or to cultivate a few familiar, mostly negative feelings and then sit around in them like they are an comfy old recliner. Other days I either can’t state my feelings concisely or I am unwilling to put them into words for fear….of what, exactly, I’m not sure. (And yet, as I read back through this, I am aware that I know what those fears are but I’m not quite ready to be open about that. It’s ok. I’m a work in progress.) 

Just the other day I stated, “I am feeling…..” and the first thing that came to my mind was something very foreign. A feeling that I haven’t had in a very long time. Initially I passed over it thinking that it I was just being silly. After some thought, I decided that I really was feeling that way, so I passed it along to my coach and I’m really glad that I did. Simply allowing myself to feel that feeling has made a noticeable change in my outlook. I felt a connection to and a lift in my vibration that felt authentic and natural…even though I haven’t allowed that to happen for a really long time.  

I came across this quote from Patricia Holland that spoke to me in relation to this writing. The context in which she shared it was very different, and yet I think it speaks beautifully to what I am witnessing in my own life as I am working to bring my body, mind, and spirit into balance.

While it is not the easiest thing I have ever done, I am noticing more progress in the past few weeks than I have in all of the time throughout my life where I focused solely on what I was eating and how much exercise I was getting  (all the while suppressing my feelings and letting negative self-talk run rampant). I’m starting to feel excited about my life again. I can see possibilities in my future that are amazing and I can’t wait to level-up each and every day.  

To Dream the Impossible Dream….

Do you ever feel like you’ve got a little bit of greatness bottled up inside of you? Maybe it’s a lot of greatness. And every once in a while you see or hear something or interact with someone that opens the blinds and shines a light on who you know you could be if you would just be brave and take a step out into the light. That maybe, just maybe–if you were willing to give voice to that deep-seeded calling you feel stirring within you when you dare let a little light shine on it–you would be unstoppable.

But instead you hold your dreams and wishes close. So close that there are days when you don’t dare let even yourself in on the secret because giving your hopes and dreams a voice and then not accomplishing them feels as though it would be more devastating then letting them drown slowly in a lake of fear, doubt and procrastination.

Perhaps, like me, you’ve let the fear and doubt rule the roost–for a really long time. I don’t know about you, but lately it seems like someone’s been opening the blinds and shining that light into my soul a whole lot more. So much that I can’t ignore it anymore.

Change is on the horizon. I can feel it. I am excited about it. I am willing to admit what I want and what I feel called to do. I am ready to embrace the fear I have of failure, ridicule, and just plain being wrong and to fall flat on my face if that is what it takes. Writing here more frequently is one of the first steps. Stay tuned.

Where is Your Focus?

I’ve been thinking a lot the past few months about focus. I’m a firm believer that the things we focus on are the things we bring more of into ur lives.

It can be hard to keep our focus positive. I don’t know about you, but I have enough negative circling about me that I don’t want to give it any more power by focusing on it.

As someone who likes to look at life through the lens of her camera, focus is a word that I can really identify with. When making a picture, focus is key to getting the final image I desire. When I was first learning on my old film camera, I would often be excited so see the developed print of an image only to find that while I had been focused on a particular element in the picture, the autofocus setting on my camera was actually focused on a completely different element causing the final product to be disappointing.

Have the experiences from your past caused you to have an internal autofocus that leads to outcomes in your life that are less than desirable and disappointing? Do you find yourself focusing more on what is missing from your life than the bounty with which you have been blessed? Are you focused more on fear or avoiding uncertainty than you are on creating awesome in your life? Are you focused more on protecting your feelings and playing it “safe” than you are on love and kindness and reaching out to others?

These are all questions that I’m trying to ask myself whenever appropriate circumstances arise. I’ve been having some fun creating mini vision boards for myself using the analogy of focusing a camera to focus my thought ms and desires. I’ve done this in a way that looks a bit to me like the focus of a camera and I’ve made several of gear for different areas of my life. I find it very useful.

Here is one I created to hep me refocus on the good things to come out of my new eating/health lifestyle, especially when things seem difficult and I find myself thinking about how hard it is rather than how much good I get from it.

I have a tendency to get caught up in things that are stressful–like work issues–and I lose my focus on the person I really want to be. Here is one I made as a reminder for me this week to try to do all things with love and to stay focused on what I want and not my circumstance.

What strategies do you employ to keep your focus?

SS/DD

It’s February. Finally, January, with all of its hype and promise of a new year and a new you, has exited stage left taking with it both the wide-eyed promise of grandiose change and the head-hanging shame of early defeat. February is where the rubber really meets the road and we find out if we are in it (it being all of those grand resolutions) for the long-haul or if it’s really just back to the old boring business as usual of SS/DD (same stuff, different day).

I’m here to say that SS/DD may be the way to go in order to actually reach the desired outcome of those goals you set in January. There is one caveat, though. Your February SS/DD can’t be the same as your December SS/DD.

All too often, we get caught up in the grand gestures and wide-swept habit changes that come along with New Year’s resolutions. We think we have to change everything, or at the very least we have to make radical changes to our daily habits in order to achieve our goals.

My experience is that the grand, sweeping changes fade quickly and I return to those things that are easy and comfortable. The trick is in making reasonable, manageable changes to something that I do every day that will bring me closer to my goal.

For instance, January’s focus has been on movement. I set a goal early in the month to make daily movement early in the day a part of my new norm. Initially, I got all fired up and thought, “I should do this 3x per day.” And, “I should add weight to this routine to make it harder.” Or ” I should also go to boot camp everyday in addition to this workout.” But that is something old T would do–the T who would set herself up for burn-out, failure and self-flagellation. Sure, some days I would also go to Zumba or another class at the gym. But can I tell you how much better it was for me in every way to set a simple, manageable goal and actually succeed? It was so much better.! And now my SS/DD includes this new improved habit.

I’ve heard it said that you won’t change your life until you change something you do everyday. I would add that the change doesn’t need to be grand or New Year’s resolution worthy. It just has to be meaningful and consistent.

Have you made any changes to your SS/DD?