Tag Archives: Outlook Development

I Finally Did It

The view this morning.

After almost four years of never working out, I went “running” this morning. “Running” is in quotes because, at best, I jogged for 4 minutes. Things started out just fine. I was feeling pretty good about myself, headed up the avenues with Christina Aguilera singing in my ears, when I was struck by the headache. I know you know what I’m talking about. The headache that makes you wonder if God is punishing you. It is sudden. It makes you stop and take in more oxygen. It’s the warning you get that you’re just about to throw up from exertion. I dry heaved into the bushes, felt really dizzy, wheeled around and ambled my way up to a grassy spot on the hill overlooking city creek, the capitol and downtown SLC.

I took a moment to snap the photo shown here and headed back home. My head was pounding. It was really very cold and my face and ears were frozen. I must’ve been clenching my teeth, because my jaw was killing me. I was in a quite a bit of pain. And then I started coughing. You know the cough. The cough that comes from years of laziness and intermittent smoking. I welcomed the cough because I knew that even though I hadn’t gone very far, my lungs were already opening up. For that matter, I welcomed the pain. It was further proof I had done something worthwhile.

My “run” was very informative. I am obviously even more out of shape than I thought. I learned I should invest in softer ear buds for my iPod and that I gloves aren’t really optional. I found out that I really need to wear a hat and maybe even a turtleneck. I also made mental notes to wear sunscreen, even though it’s early and overcast, and to never, ever forget my sunglasses. I have sensitive eyes, yes, but mostly I wished I’d had sunglasses to hide my shame!

As part of my larger “Excess Emancipation” project I am committed to implementing a morning routine that allows me to get the most important things I need to do to maintain peace of mind finished up before heading out into the world. The first part of my new morning ritual has come surprisingly easily — I wake up at 5 AM and write for two hours. Sometimes I wake up a little later, but all in all, I’ve stuck to it pretty religiously.

The second part of this rising with the sun regimen has been a bitch. It is very important to me to be physically fit and I’ve really let things slide. So, in an effort to purge some pounds and fire up my fitness level, I decided to incorporate just 15 minutes of running and yoga, each, to my morning momentum. My plan was to be 20 days in to a 40 day yoga challenge by today (which I committed to with some other peeps from Avenues Yoga). And I figured I would also have added in the running portion of my mornings over 10 days ago. But, as it turns out, I am more resistant to exercise than I had realized.

My exercise “allergy” is proving to be one of my biggest obstacles. Regarding the yoga challenge,  the rule is is that if you skip a day, you start over. Well I have started and stopped around 7 times already. I have lots of excuses. And regarding the plan to start running every day? I have not been able to force myself out the door until today.

This week’s class at Outlook Development was on listening to our inner gurus. I participated in an exercise to find a solution to whatever our biggest obstacle was to accomplishing our goals. It was easy for me to identify mine. I want to silence the “Itty bitty shitty committee” in my head that tells me I don’t like physical exertion. It’s simply NOT TRUE. I can come up with tons of examples where I have volunteered for physically exhausting enterprises. But, when it comes to consistent exercise, I balk. After having a guided convo with my inner guru, I decided I would call the person who is most like me, who has overcome this same obstacle in her life. I decided to call Nan.

My sister, Nanette, is number 4 of us 10 kids. I am number 7.  We have shared a lifetime of obsessions with gymnastics, songwriting, performing, bleaching our hair, being hilarious, loving our kids, making awesome rally posters, participating in off-beat arts and crafts (She: tole [tolle?] painting, knitting and rug-making. Me: decoupage, furniture refinishing and collage making), writing and maybelline mascara.

My silly chart with spaces to place gold stars.

I called her to ask what she does to stay motivated to workout. She told me that having a running buddy helped. That’s just not right for me, right now. WAY too much pressure. She said that sometimes she would sleep in her workout clothes. Brilliant! We talked for awhile until we both got really excited about making silly charts to track our progress and agreed we’d both set goals and a timeline that, when achieved, would earn us a prize. We are going to make prizes for each other to send upon completion. I am laughing out loud as I type this. It seems ridiculous, but it’s just what the doctor ordered.

I promised to call every morning as I was lacing up my shoes so I could be accountable to someone. We haven’t worked out all the details, yet, but I’m encouraged. Last night I laid out my clothes and this morning when it came time to get outside and run, I actually got dressed, laced up my shoes, left her a message, and ran!

Who cares that I overdid it in just 4 minutes and almost passed out? I don’t. I’m just stoked I actually did it. I pretty much rule. Thanks, Nan!

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Filed under 101 Day Project, Honing my Habits

When in doubt, eat something.

I am tired.

I let myself get so tired, in fact, that my brain stopped functioning today. I know that in order to have energy, I should eat. But when I’m tired, I often miss the obvious. It has been over a week since I’ve had a decent night’s sleep and until about an hour ago, I’d probably only eaten 300 calories in 48 hours.

I am NOT into torturing myself by starving. I am also not into going without sleep. But I AM determined to become a morning person. For realsies. So I have been greeting each day at dawn in hopes my body will believe me that I’m serious about falling asleep earlier.

But today was a straight-up nightmare. I woke up at 5 AM per usual and meditated for a half an hour before waking up to write for a couple of hours. I was anxious because I knew that at 9 AM I had to be at the school to confront a professor about a grade. I have never had to do that before and was really nervous. I was also angry. Outraged, actually. By my estimation, there is no possible way I deserved a ‘B’ in that class.

So I forgot to make a smoothie before school. I also forgot to throw a macadamia/cacoa energy ball in my bag. I also neglected to consider that I had only had about 24 ounces of raw juices and soup the day before. I figured I’d pick up an apple and a banana at the school cafeteria, along with some green tea and all would be well. But the “conversation” I had with my professor was very upsetting and before I knew it, I was still choking back tears halfway through my critical theory class (which I love).

I hid my droopy, tired red eyes with my Ray-Bans and somehow made it through music theory and a history lecture. Next, I drove my daughter down to Draper (It may as well have been Mexico) and took a nap in the parking lot of Outlook Development. My back was not pleased with the arrangement (My sister, Nan, jokes that we have “ancient gymnast syndrome!”). So I took some big, deep breaths and drove back toward downtown.

I took the 1300 South exit so I could stop by the health food store to pick up some more Flackers. I was wicked hungry and too tired to make dinner, so I figured I’d polish off the avocado and pine nut hummus I’d made two days prior with an entire box of a few Flackers. I walked in the door and was immediately heart sick. “This is not a health food store,” I grumbled to myself, “this is just a stupid restaurant.”

I turned around to leave, my head hung low, believing I was probably just going to starve to death, when the woman behind the register asked me if I was looking for the market. I said I was, and expressed my confusion. And then she said some glorious words. They were a little jumbled up, but I caught fragments of “All” and “Raw” and I swear I heard the angels singing when I looked back over my shoulder at what I had assumed was a salad bar. But this was no salad bar. This was a buffet of gorgeous, thoughtfully prepared, all raw food dishes.

It was glorious! They had Raw Pizza, Zucchini Noodles, Vegan Sushi, Raw Lasagna, Curried Kale, Smashed Cauliflower, home made Flackers and more! I was like a wild animal. I am laughing out loud, by myself, in my living room right now at how crazy I must have seemed to the nice organic hippy ladies.

After wolfing down the comfort food, I came up for air long enough to appreciate the cute, quaint diner space. I especially liked that they had books laying out on every table ranging from the sensible to the “far out.” The address is 329 W. 1700 S.  I think it was called “Manic Organic” or some such thing. I’ll definitely go back again.

After letting my stomach settle, I had a surge of… energy! I was still tired, but now fully functioning again. I realized I could’ve saved myself a lot of misery today by being just a little more prepared.

Next time I feel like I may actually be starting to die in the middle of a class, I will use my head and go buy a banana (or seven). Divorcing the drama, to me, means more than just staying out of negative conversations and relationships, it means planning ahead so days like today don’t happen.

I can hear Doug’s voice, “Everything happens for you, not to you, Rebecca.”

and mine replying, “Can it, Byron.”

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Filed under 101 Day Project, Freeing the Fat, Going Raw

“Buddy” Calls

I was really very surprised last night that I had actually accomplished my goal of getting at least one more bin full of priced and tagged items ready for the yard sale. I woke up pretty stuck. I felt overwhelmed just thinking about the living room. Then I had my daily buddy call and I was revived.

A “buddy” call could not be more different that its cousin, the “booty” call. It is a daily prescription from the Outlook Development folks. When I first heard about buddy calls I was completely horrified. You see, I hate the phone. I truly do not believe there is a man, woman or child on earth who loathes the phone more completely than I. Intellectually I am very grateful for all things of modern convenience, and the cell phone has been there for me when I needed to find Hannah, or get help because I ran out of gas, etc. But I miss the 80s.

Remember the 80’s before everyone had cell phones? Remember the anticipation you would feel as you walked in the door, after having spent the day running errands, and checked to see if that red light was blinking on your answering machine? That was awesome. It was fun, back then, to get messages. I think getting messages all day long has taken some of the fun out of it.

And then there’s the part that where it used to be you could spend a day (or even two!) away from the phone and when you finally returned all your calls, no one was mad at you. You would simply say, “I was running errands all day yesterday.” Or, “Hannah and I drove out into the desert and decided to stay in this hilarious motel we found.” And the person on the other end would say, “Oh, did you have fun?”

In addition, I firmly believe that but for those people who live far away, the phone should be used as a tool for planning to meet up in person to discuss the minutia of the moment. As soon as someone wants to discuss in detail the nuances of another negative experience I simply shut down. Not ever with the real stuff, but always with the drama.

This is, in part, due to my awesomely, unconventional brain which doesn’t process audio as well as video. My brain shares some qualities with those of the ADD brain. (I hate it when people own a diagnosis by saying things like, “My ADD…”) I have a difficult time staying engaged in a phone conversation and tend to drift off. I understand things I read and people I can see MUCH better than I understand things I only hear. For instance, when playing trivial pursuit, the odds of me being able to access the answer to a question goes up exponentially if I’m allowed to read it.

Nowadays I often take “Phone Vacations,” where I’ll put the phone on airplane mode to have a whole day (or more! gasp!) when I am actually unplugged from outside stimuli. And my subconscious does me favors like leaving my phone in my purse or the car or at home or what-have-you. The universe is on my side. Most of the time I wind up with a phone that shuts off the ringer on its own in my purse when I’m not looking.

On the whole, this has lowered my stress level about the phone. But there are days when it just. doesn’t. stop. ringing. and this aversion, or what I like to think of as “this boundary,” has gotten me into trouble. I’ve missed many a communique from people that I love who really needed someone to talk to. I’m not worried about the doctor’s calls I’ve missed, or the phone calls from my father’s industry folk, or even those from school-mates and work. But I hate not being there for those who matter most. And it’s so much worse now than the 80s because, no matter what you say about your phone habits, people tend to think you’re dodging calls. And when someone is in need of a shoulder to cry on, they are especially prone to believing you’re dodging their calls…

Luckily, my sisters, brothers, CRH, Mom, Dad, and a few others who know me really well, don’t take offense when a text message may take days to be returned, and a phone call sometimes over a week. They know that my phone phobia is not personal. They know that as much as I love everyone, I have a daily threshold of electronic chatter I don’t force myself to cross.

But I digress.

Rewind to four weeks ago when Doug announced that we were all assigned a “buddy” for the duration of the Power-90 program. I was gripped with horror. How could I possibly manage ANOTHER demand on my phone time? And then. And then. And then, I ended up in a group of three! Yikes! The only thing that kept me from refusing entirely was that I love the women I was put with.

A buddy call is a phone call that happens five days a week. It is an opportunity to re-state your goals and be accountable for the baby steps you’ve committed to for that week or even that day. Some last 30 minutes, others much longer.

I know that once I’m on the call, I love it. I seriously love my buddies. But, I have been through every emotion about this. I went through denial (lost my phone for a couple days); bargaining (maybe I can just text them every day); anger (why am I being bullied?); and now acceptance (how did I get so lucky?).

I have turned out to be the biggest offender of over-chatting in our gang. I get so much of a lift from my ladies and partners in positive power. Which brings us back to this morning. I was stuck in the space of what I call, “the feeling of impending doom,” about purging my possessions. Then one of my buddies reminded me that I am JUST tagging and bagging stuff for a yard sale. She reminded me that I would have another chance to veto selling some shit. This completely took the pressure off of my day and I was able to accomplish my goal and a little bit more.

So here’s a shout out to my buddies: Karen and Sheri, I love you both and feel so blessed to be on this journey with you. Thank you for being patient with me and not having our calls at dawn when I can’t speak, but only write. You’re unconditional acceptance of me and the strength of purpose you demonstrate daily is a gift. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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Filed under 101 Day Project

The Ropes Course

I am the master of letting myself, and those around me, "off the hook."

Miracles never cease. Hannah and I were out the door this morning by 6:30 a.m.! We made it to the “Ropes Course” in time despite the sleepy dude running the juice bar (or, rather,  slowly ambling the juice bar).

It was a sunny, but very cold Utah County morning. Mt. Timpanogas was as glorious as always, rising above us to the east. Our Course Commander was a great guy named Adam West who wore a knit hat with the bat signal on it. I appreciate an unspoken joke.

Hannah and I had both bundled up in no less than 4 layers each, but it was still cold. All of our “Power-90” group was there along with the Outlook Development facilitators. They put us through our paces.

There were various and sundry physical  challenges that we all helped each other through. I have a general lack of fear of things like heights, and whether or not I will be able to accomplish this task, or that. It’s probably all the gymnastics and my stint as a skydiver. Or, perhaps it was my lack of fear that drove me to those pursuits. Wait. No. I was terrified of rides at the fair as a kid… It doesn’t matter. All I know is, Bursts of Brilliance? Call me. Long Term Grind? Don’t. You could try, but I probably won’t answer. So, while the ropes course was really scary, thrilling and daring for most, for me it was an exercise in endurance, commitment and patience.

It took endurance because of how cold I was. There have been so many times when I’ve punked out because of the cold. I hate being cold. I love the cold so long as my core is warm, but once I lose that internal heat, it’s over. That happened fairly early in the day, so then it became a matter of commitment.

Commitment is a word I can hardly say out loud anymore. I have only recently realized what a total commitment-phobe I am. I like to let myself (and others) off the hook. I put the “hook” in hooky. I am easily bored and ready to move on to the next thing. But I am working on all that. I went to the event today completely committed to the experience. I was committed to staying present and learning everything I could from the group and the facilitators. It was difficult.

Why was it difficult? Because I have no patience for things that I do not have patience for. I have patience and some to spare when someone is struggling, but trying their best, to overcome an obstacle. Or when people are talking and I’m just 10 or 15 degrees warmer. I start to lose it when I’m cold, outside, around a lot of cool toys like zip lines I’d like to be playing on and I’m stuck in an endless debate over how best to get all of us from one side of the pond to the other.

I am someone whose first impulse is to take charge. I decided to practice taking direction and letting other people step in to leadership. This meant I had to constantly remind myself to SHUT UP, be patient and mostly stand still in the cold. Which took commitment. Which then required endurance. Which made it more and more difficult to be patient. Which in turn made it harder to stay committed… you get it.

Overall, I was proud of my experience at the ropes course. In truth, the most “acute” experience I had was when they forced Hannah and I to be in separate groups (very wise) and I was standing way way far far away from her when it was her turn to battle a demon and win.

She is such a rock star! Intellectually I know I should not rescue her from all things scary, even if she is terrified, but it goes against every fiber of my being. Sometimes I feel like Gollum walking behind her muttering, “my precious…”  but not only does she NOT require rescue, I think the facilitator’s advice that I could be hindering her personal growth is wise.

So, in keeping with the theme of excess emancipation, I am committed to stopping excess worrying and rescuing in general. I know she’s resilient, smart and resourceful. I will use my faith in her to override the worry-and-rescue subroutine running in my brain at all times.

To that end, in the spirit of endurance, commitment and patience, every time I catch myself worrying over stuff only she can ultimately deal with, I will picture myself throwing out the worry and putting faith in its place. Shucking the superfluous shit. Maybe I’m getting the hang of this?

Its that time of the week now to shift the focus back to ridding myself of material madness. I will take pictures and post a report on the progress of the big YARD SALE coming soon to Salt Lake City.

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Filed under 101 Day Project, Moving On

Totally Freaking Out…

Seriously folks, I am totally freaking out. I want macaroni and cheese, or a grilled cheese sandwich, or chips with cheese so bad! When are the cravings going to stop? Are they? They have subsided some, just not at night. And I have less resolve at night. ugh!

I know I just barely posted about how awesome the raw food diet is going, and it’s all true, but the real world started again today (school) and all the old habits were there to smack me in the face.

I made it through, though. Me and my first world problems, right? Perspective! Hannah and I are going to an all day ropes course event with the Outlook Development team tomorrow. I’m excited. It’s sounds like just the thing to help me redouble my efforts.

This would be easier if I had lost some weight, but I really haven’t. It’s true that I don’t have TONS to lose, but I do have 25 or 30 extra pounds on these bones.

Everyone was so worried I’d lose a bunch of weight super fast. I knew it wouldn’t be super fast, but I had thought I could count on losing a little by now. I do see my face looks thinner and brighter, and I know once the daily running habit gets implemented (not long now…) that extra weight will come off.

I am going to continue to focus on the fact that I’m doing this for my health, not my vanity! To life!

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Filed under 101 Day Project, Freeing the Fat, Going Raw