Archive for the ‘goals’ Category

My life list.

May 11, 2010

One of the reasons I love the Internet so much – and one of the reasons I felt compelled to begin blogging myself – is because of the amazing, inspiring people and blogs I’ve read over the years. I don’t always read them regularly, but I love when I type in a URL and see a bunch of new content on one of my favorite blogs. It’s like a mini-Christmas!

Many of the blogs I read regularly and find most enjoyable/inspiring are on the sidebar to the right. The one I want to talk about in particular today is Mighty Girl.

Maggie Mason (aka Mighty Girl) made up a ‘Mighty Life List’ of 100 things she wants to do before she goes awhile ago and has been making her way through it. I just have to say that I think Maggie is the bee’s knees and I have a huge friend crush on her. Can we be friends, Maggie?

I have been thinking about the things I want to do in my life for a long time. I think the first time I made a life list was in high school. I wish I knew where it was, so that I could compare my list then and my list now to see what has changed.

I’m going to share my life list in – almost – its entirety. There are a few things I’m leaving out because, well, they are a little TOO personal.

  1. Go kayaking
  2. Take a Zumba class
  3. Go climbing at an indoor rock wall
  4. Take a yoga class
  5. Fall in love
  6. Get married
  7. Give birth
  8. Own a dog (again)
  9. Travel to Austin, TX
  10. Travel to San Francisco, CA
  11. Travel to Charleston, SC
  12. Travel to Savannah, GA
  13. Travel to Chicago, IL
  14. Travel to Ireland
  15. Travel to Vancouver
  16. Travel to New Zealand
  17. Travel to Australia
  18. Travel to France
  19. Travel to Spain
  20. Travel to Germany
  21. Travel to Switzerland
  22. Travel to Italy
  23. Travel to the Greek Isles
  24. Go on a cruise
  25. Run a 5K (again)
  26. Run a half marathon
  27. Do a zip line in a rain forest
  28. Become conversational in a language other than English
  29. Get a massage
  30. Drive cross country
  31. Watch an animal be born
  32. Watch a baby be born
  33. Learn to sew
  34. Learn to knit or crochet
  35. Learn to change a tire
  36. Get a tattoo (again)
  37. Host a surprise party
  38. Ride a horse (again)
  39. Cut my hair short (again)
  40. Go skinny dipping (again)
  41. Be able to cross legs comfortably
  42. Be able to sit Indian-style comfortably
  43. Fly first-class
  44. Go back to York, England (where I studied abroad in college)
  45. Go to a big music festival (Coachella, SXSW, etc.)
  46. Sing in a choir
  47. Learn to play the guitar
  48. Grow a garden
  49. Make a Thanksgiving dinner
  50. Learn to ski
  51. Make a pie from scratch in my great-grandmothers pie pan
  52. Put flowers at my aunt & uncle’s grave at Arlington National Cemetery
  53. See a live taping of Saturday Night Live

The thing that makes me sad about my list  is that some of these things – for example, 39 & 40 – are very unremarkable. For most people, these are things that they do every single day with no issue and no thought. I can’t do either of them because of my weight. In fact, I don’t think I’ve EVER crossed my legs comfortably.

Same goes with the traveling. Flying gives me crazy anxiety. Not because I’m afraid to fly in a metal tube at 30,000 feet – but because I hate cramming myself into one of those tiny seats. I feel horribly uncomfortable and self-conscious and I avoid flying because of it. I want to get to the point where I don’t even have to think or worry about that.

And numbers 1-4…again, nothing too remarkable. But they are all things that I am way, way too self-conscious to do right now. Could I do them all now? Sure. But I don’t think I’d be able to really enjoy myself because I’d be too worried that my fat was flopping around or that I was grossing other people out.

I’ve read time and time again from people who’ve lost a lot of weight that that while losing weight makes life easier, but it doesn’t make it perfect. I have no illusions that as soon as I lose 100+ pounds that my life will be all rainbows and butterflies. I will still have bad days, I will still have hang-ups, and Lord knows I will still have a boatload of insecurities. But I’m looking forward to the time when my weight will no longer hold me back. Technically, yes, I know that it’s not MY WEIGHT holding me back. It’s ME holding me back.

In the meantime, I’m going to begin chipping away at my life list. What on YOUR life list?

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Lowered expectations.

March 24, 2010

No, I’m not talking about the skit that ran regularly on MADtv a few years ago…although it was pretty funny. I’m talking about lowering my expectations of myself, and of others.

Here’s the thing: I am an overachiever. I am a borderline perfectionist. As much as I wish I wasn’t, I am most definitely a Type A personality. I cringe as I write that, because when I googled ‘Type A personality’ just now, the things I read were not flattering. They don’t strike me as particularly “like-able” traits. Here’s what it said:

“Type A individuals can be described as impatient, time-conscious, concerned about their status, highly competitive, ambitious, business-like, aggressive, having difficulty relaxing; and are sometimes disliked by individuals with Type B personalities for the way that they’re always rushing. They are often high-achieving workaholics who multi-task, drive themselves with deadlines, and are unhappy about delays. Because of these characteristics, Type A individuals are often described as “stress junkies.”

As such, I have high (sometimes unreasonably so) expectations of myself AND of others. I have spent a lot of time disappointed by the Type B people in my life, some of whom are my best friends. Their apathy and/or the fact that they seemingly have no sense of time drives me crazy. It’s caused long-standing tension (on my part) in some of these friendships. I can’t stand to be late. If I see a problem or am unhappy in a situation, I work to change it (i.e. if I hate my job, I find a new one, instead of bitching about it incessantly for months or years on end). To me, solving problems comes naturally.

The one problem, however, that I haven’t been able to solve is my weight problem. I beat myself up over it all the time. When I look in the mirror every day, I find myself reminded of the one problem I haven’t been able to totally fix yet.

I am an all-or-nothing person. I typically see things in black or white. If I’m watching my weight, I will either be totally on-plan or will fall off the wagon completely. When I read this post by Krissie the other day, I saw myself. Total success or total failure. There is no in between.

When it comes to weight loss this time around, I have especially high expectations. I have a lot of events coming up later this year that I am hoping to lose weight for. Vacation in June. A wedding in July. My 10-year high school reunion in October. Because of these events, I am putting a lot of extra pressure on myself to lose the weight quickly so that I can enjoy these things without feeling cripplingly self-conscious.

I have these expectations of losing 3, or 4, or 5 pounds a week. My friend Jenn and I were just discussing how it seems so many people are losing that kind of weight every week, and when you aren’t…it makes you wonder what you’re doing wrong. How are these people losing 4 or 5 pounds a week consistently and I’m not? I have a lot of weight to lose, and so I just EXPECT that I will lose more per week.

When I don’t lose the amount I was expecting, I get disappointed. Two weeks ago, when I gained 3.6 pounds, I was distraught. It turned out to be all water weight, but I still felt like a failure. It really threw me off. Last week when I weighed in, I had lost 5 pounds – but when you consider that 3.6 of that was water weight from the previous week, it left me with a loss of only 1.4. Yes, it was a loss. But I feel like I’m still too early into this process to only be losing 1.2 or 1.4 pounds a week.

I look at the fact that I have lost nearly 20 pounds since January and although I am happy to be rid of that weight, I am disappointed that I haven’t lost more.

I am coming to realize that I really need to learn to check my expectations at the door. I need to evaluate whether or not my expectations are realistic and achievable, or if I’m just going to be disappointed when I don’t reach them. I need to monitor my expectations of others, and not get totally frustrated when they don’t do what I expect them to do or do something different that what I would do. It’s not wrong, it’s just different. I need to be easier on them, and easier on myself.

I have a feeling that life will be a lot easier once I can learn to do that.