Think like an Athlete

Today begins again another attempt to start the restart.  I have been planning for days and working on getting my mind and my motivation ready.  I have cleaned out the house, prepped my food, and moved my mind into a place of submission (for now). But I just can’t help feeling like this is just another futile attempt at something that can’t end in anything but failure. 

What a Failure

How do I ever get back in the game?

And not just one of those I gotta B instead of an A types of failures.  No I mean the kind that brings hopelessness, chaos, discouragement, fear, and “who cares it doesn’t matter anyway” type talk. This kind of place got me thinking about that impossible hopelessness feeling…

I remember those days when it was drilled into my every waking moment that CAN’T was not a word.  It didn’t seem to matter whether it was from school, home, or sports; it was a belief that was spoken with power and conviction.  I am beginning to believe that this life philosophy whether societal, academic, or athletic driven it truly planted a deeply rooted attitude in me.  It didn’t matter what I felt, thought, desired, or believed the meer idea of CANNOT, COULD NOT, UNABLE, IMPOSSIBLE were simply a lazy man’s vocabulary.  All the talk about winners never quit and quitters never win is something I KNOW pushed my average life forward towards an above average goal.  But I sit here wondering where that philosophy went in my life.  I don’t hear myself saying those words of push and promise and drive and ambition and goal focused. 

Instead, I hear myself giving me permission to be less than I can be.  Giving reasons and excuses to why I can’t do this or that.  I have been putting in my resignation before I even TRY to be sucessful and make a difference.  Regardless of the type, if I feel the smallest amount of resistance and I reach for the towel.  I don’t even try to push through the discomfort.  I am convinced there is no gain after the pain.  I am not reaching through the pain or seeing the beauty through the sweat; I am definitely not realizing the Prize of Achievement. What happened to the girl who would run laps because the coach said so.  The girl who wanted the best time even though she had no chance of beating the top swimmers.  The person who went to speech events with horrible material, yet pushed to make finals and walk out with a ribbon.  The woman who wanted to grow more, learn more, know more every day.  Not to mention the Soul who wanted to change the world… where did she go? 

Even thought this simple area of my life seems to revolve around food and exercise with plenty of plans, techniques, promoters, and know it alls; I find it reaches deeper into my soul and identity than a simple choice between a donut and an orange.  With every confusing step I take these days, finding the right motivation, right feeling, right method, right attitude seems to be the only way I find success.  But this has only led me to temporary victories and marginal successes (yes I will agree 93 pounds is a touch more than marginal); but alas it was still just temporary. 

So as I begin the CHOICE today to resume my plan, submerge my feelings, and focus on the goal; I was asking for the key.  The key to knowing how to make this stick, unlock the deep dark love affair I have with food, push me kicking and screaming through the tough times.  Knowing that in the past my emotions always seem to win out in the end, I was struggling to find the reason the motivation the desire the TRUTH to why it is more important to be healthy than happy (doesn’t that sound like a blog post all by itself. )

I prayed for some point of reference that would make sense to me.  Trying to find some real world example where someone continued to try and try and try even after repeated PUBLIC, HUMILIATING, and DISCOURAGING failure… And in pleading for an example, I received the image of every athlete I have ever watched in the Olympics.  So many of them were NEVER brilliant from birth, they did not arrive at the Olympics after years and years of perfect execution of their event.  athletes are the prime example of constant failure, yet that never stops them.  They miss their mark, come in 2nd place or last, drop the baton, hit a pole, miss a turn, slip and fall, or just get BEAT… and with all the press and cameras and people commenting on their every move along with showing it on the instant slow moe replay for 100 times; they still get up and try again and again and again. 

I recently watched a documentary on Chris Evert (one of my hero’s growing up) and Martina Navratilova and their rivalry.  I was reminded of their continued competition for years they would compete.  But for a series of 3 years Chris could not beat Martina, losing 13 consecutive matchs-TALK about discouragement.  Listening to Chris talk about that time, she tried everything she knew to do to try to compete with Martina.  She struggled and struggled but just could not beat her.  In that moment, I heard myself whisper, “Why keep playing if you know you could never beat her?  Why not just take the successes of you youth and walk away?  Why is it worth all the fight knowing you just can’t beat her?” 

I can't do this anymore its too hard

And there it was… the evidence that the fight in me was gone.  That competitive fight I had when I was younger was replaced with the resignation of taking the easy road because victory was impossible.  Yet, Chris didn’t do this.  She kept playing, training, fighting, competing and even though it took her time to achieve her victory over Martina; she did it.  So as I was mentally trying to prepare for the long game of this competition between me and food I was drawn back to my sports days of running laps, fielding grounders, and doing suicides on cement (love softball in California) and asked myself does that girl still live?  Isn’t it time to find take that girl back out onto the field and remind her that a competitor doesn’t quit when they fail.  An athlete doesn’t determine they have lost based on the score, this time they are fighting for the win.  This time could be the Hail Mary pass, this time the record could be broken, this time I could be the winner…. and that only works if I’m in the game. 

Alrighty friends and fans… June 6, 2011 begins the first inning… first at bat… first stretch… first swing… Today I made it through on plan. 🙂


6 thoughts on “Think like an Athlete

  1. Ric says:

    There is NO “futility” – one thing that I have learned in weight loss is every attempt to be healthy leads to something. Sure – sometimes it means that we fail and want to give up … however … sometimes it helps us become stronger and know what we want to do and accomplish. Every ounce of effort we put into being healthy is sooooo worth it and especially for such an amazing wonderful person as you are. Thanks for blessing me and sharing your life – I am praying for you!

    • Christina says:

      Thank you Ric. I value all the encouragement that you & Barb, Lisa & Ken have given me. Which is why I keep coming back to this challenge with new resolve. Truly believing that I can have success one day is a smidge of the thoughts, but also knowing that people believe in me helps like you wouldn’t believe. The knowledge is a good tool and I will forever know the facts of the food even if I choose to eat it anyway. 😉 But for now… I am on plan and doing well… Cheers to Day 3.

  2. Melanie says:

    I am proud of you Christina. I know you have it in you to succeed because I know the power of the God that is in you and the strength that He provides. I can empathize with your struggles though only part of it is food for me. I find myself in an odd place. While devotion to my children is good and appropriate, I have done it to the exclusion of all others. I find myself lacking in any intimate friendships, hobbies or pass times. I find myself not even knowing how to approach anything that has to do with “me”. I don’t know who she is any more let alone what she likes or wants. I have lost myself. I am trying, starting this week to make some changes as well. Maybe we can keep each other on track via your blog – since I dont know how to start a blog I will just comment on yours (I also do not have the writing skills that you have). So keep on plan and I will be cheering for you as touch each base!

    • Christina says:

      I would love Love LOVE that Mel… I have been blessed in the past with multiple groups of people doing the samethings with me at the same time so it has helped me stay on task. But this time I am kinda of disappointed I seem to have but one or two that are joining me. So any additional help and encouragement that comes via print, post, txt, or email is always a positive.

      I have seen a few friends that seem to lose themselves in the live of their children; and I can only imagine the challenge it must be to find the balance. Wanting to give them the attention they deserve and the experiences that make life AMAZING versus fulfilling the desires of your heart as a woman beyond just being Mom. Let me know if there is anything I can do to assist you as you seek her out in your new changes. Change can be exciting.

      PS Be careful not to say that blog thing too loudly or Perry will have you blogging in no time. I had to ask him for a tutorial before diving into using this format.

  3. Kristin says:

    There should be a “like button! I like that you ARE starting to uncover the reasons that the “deep dark love affair with food” in your life exists. I wish i could find the reasoning behind my constant struggles. I think knowing the reasons, or at least the motivating factors, can lead us to change ways of thought that have previously held us back. If you are not willing to look at those deep dark places then nothing will ever change and, for me, nothing would ever get done. I am proud to know that my friend is willing to look in those places and start to change things that need changing!

    • Christina says:

      Ok there IS a Like button on my screen, but since Its my blog I don’t know where it shows up on your side. I checked out and downloaded the Made to Crave book so I am hoping that will help me do a deeper digging into the why and how come (Just as soon as I’m done with the Shack). These last 6 months have really shown me that much of my eating is desire driven. It is either a rebellion, hurt, anger, or celebrative that triggers the pull to eat beyond what is necessary. To continue eating even when the initial hunger has been met, which has me wondering why. So as much as this is a test of my self-discpline and commitment to a plan, it is also necessary for me to find the FEELINGS behind it.

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