Saturday, March 13, 2010

Please secure your mask before assisting others...

Up again at 5:30 am, not a fan of this yet. When I am laying there wide awake with two more hours on the alarm clock, it kind of annoys me. I feel robbed of precious sleep time, a rare commodity. In the end I know this is probably better for me, but right now, just not a fan. But hey I'm up, so might as well be productive.

Today is going to be a "me day", no work and a lot of time at the gym. I have my strength/resistance time with Gui, then a manicure and this afternoon going to a boxing class with Ann, Karen and Kristin. I may try to squeeze swimming in there somewhere too. Only downside to all that, somehow I have to get enough food in to balance out all the calories spent, and it hasn't been a great week for that, but I am trying not to over obsess about it.

My plan for the blog today had been to talk about the financial cost of losing weight and getting fit. Real or perceived, this is a factor that holds a lot of people back. But as I started to write the post I realized that there was another topic that had to come first, self worth, because a lot of what we are willing to spend on ourselves is related to what we think we are worth.

This is going to be a very generalized statement, but I think feeling we are worth investing in, financially or otherwise, is harder for woman that it is for men. We are taught from a very young age that it is our job to take care of everyone else. We spend our days caring for our families, our friends, our coworkers, our clients, our neighbors, the charities we are part of, complete strangers, and what we give to ourselves is what is left over at the end, which is often nothing. For many of us we were raised to believe putting ourselves first is selfish and wrong.

In 2010 I am trying to unlearn those old habits, and it isn't coming easily for me. I have a great job but it takes a lot of time. I have causes I believe in with all my heart, they can take a lot of time (and money). I try to be a good friend, which can be time consuming. To this point in my life I have let all those things dictate my life. I would live around those things, if there was time left over then I could do for me. But part of my realization last year of needing to make changes was that that formula had to change. I had to make time for me the first thing in my life not the last. I have done better with that than I expected.

A year ago taking time away from working 18 hour days to go work out never would have crossed my mind, and if it did I would deny myself the right. It is still a conscious step for me to do, it isn't automatic, and some days I still scold myself for it, but I do it. Again, having the trainer has helped, being on someone else's calendar makes it harder to let those work outs become optional. Meeting up with friends to work out helps, it gives me the illusion I am not letting them down, yet in the end I am doing something for me.

If I had to pick what has probably "suffered" the most it is my job. I still do the best job I can, and I think I am good at what I do, so the quality hasn't suffered and I believe my clients are all happy and well served. But what I do see suffering is the speed at which things get done, how many of the "side items" in my job get done and how many new projects get done. While none of them have come out and said it, I am guessing my bosses are frustrated with the change, they are used to being my sole focus. And I am sure my coworkers are frustrated, they are carrying more of the tasks. But I have to say on this front I am also blessed. In July I was assigned to lead a group of amazing people, and I can say in my heart of hearts, without Hilary and Jonathan and the amount they do for me and the amount of the ball they carry at times, I don't think I could have made this change. As I am trying to find a better life balance they really have stepped in and stepped up to cover what I might be dropping. Guys you mean so much to me! Thank you for giving me the latitude to not always have everything done so I can do for me! Thank you for being there til I figure out how to take care of me and still get things done! Thank you for caring about me as much as you care about yourselves!!!!

In addition to allowing myself the time to take care of me, I have also allowed myself the freedom to spend the money to take care of myself. This has been even harder, especially as the changes in my job since July have dropped the amount I am bringing home each month (as I am doing less directly billable work). The way I have come at this weight loss  has not been an inexpensive path, something I will go more into tomorrow, but I have decided I am worth investing in. That while a little less money will go to charity this year and a little less in savings, that has to be ok.

If I had to pick one factor that puts my eventual success most at risk in all this, I would say it is this topic, being able to keep myself first in my life, not falling victim to life and others needs overtaking me. I am about to head into a really crazy time at work, where my last few months I have had more control over my schedule (which in turn means control over my food, my working out, my sleep) that is going to get harder the next couple months. It also means less time to interact with those people who help me stay on track, both trainer and friends. It scares me, but I am hoping that by now enough is engrained to get me through, and if it isn't that the people around me will notice and kick my butt as necessary.

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