Flashback Friday and Benchmarking

Sorry in advance that this post will be a little long. Yesterday got away from me and now I’m playing catch up, but here’s what happened.

I really wanted to post yesterday for Throwback Thursday and just slap some photos up here and tell you a story about benchmarking and where I was, am, and where I hope to be. However, I chose instead to take my kids for an enormous walk to a local park (almost 3 miles away) to play for a little while in the middle of the day. It was both a good and a bad idea. It was HOT and HUMID, but I kept the same pace (15:01/mi) on the walk each way. The kids had fun and E took his “morning” nap during our walks. Ike and I had a great time chatting when we could hear each other over traffic. And I got the burn back in my legs that I’ve been longing for. The double walk also put me within reach of my weekly mileage goal and with another just over 3 mile walk this morning, I should meet it without problem.

I’m currently sitting in the airport in Charlotte and will have to go and find a family restroom to commandeer soon to pump as Eli didn’t want to nurse before I left this afternoon. I am on my way to Memphis and may not finish this post before I get there, but here’s where I am at today (yesterday and today actually).

Fort Fisher Aquarium

Do you know this girl? I used to. This is me on St. Patrick’s Day 2010. This is a little over a month before I got pregnant with my first child and I was still very new in my relationship with my now husband. This is a genuinely happy smile of a young woman (aged 29) who has been through a divorce, left grad school, moved half way across the country (ALONE), suffered a bad relationship, quit her job, met a guy, started grad school again and is truly in love with herself and her life.

I was teaching fitness classes for 8 hours a week when this photo was taken. I had lost all of the weight from my depressing first marriage. I was happy, healthy, and had the whole world in front of me. I was excelling at school and working on a research project. I had a boyfriend who made me happy and I was okay with life. This is where I want to be, but with my Master’s, a husband, two kids, a new house, and a million part time jobs.

So, like I said the other day, I am going to start with the physical and here is how I am going to get there. First, I am going to practice my yoga EVERY DAY! I am reading a great book by Amy Weintraub called Yoga for Depression: A Compassionate Guide to Relieve Suffering Through Yoga. I am not reading it to find out how to solve my depression. I actually checked it out at the library to help write the Yoga Manual for NETA that I’ve been working on since September last year. I figured I’d just give it a great read while I still had time on my loan. Something I read on the plane today really resonated with me and that is that I can do something every day and it will change me. It can change me in the moment by redirecting me or giving me new purpose or focus. It will change me overall as it can help me to give up negative self-talk and addictions over time.

I was over at Fit, Feminist and (almost) Fifty again the other day and read about how Tracy has broken up with chocolate. Chocolate of all things! Can you imagine the liberation?! I keep a bag of chocolate chips in the freezer for the daily handful(s) to help me through. Wow! How amazing would it be if I didn’t feel the urge to shove some mini morsels in my mouth every day? I want my yoga practice to do that for me. I want to do that for myself.

Second, I am not going to limit myself. I don’t like the words “going on a diet” because you have nowhere to go but OFF. I refuse to limit myself to “good foods” and to label any food as bad. I will just be more mindful in all of my daily choices from food to drink to activity and even how I socialize. I found myself the other night trading one bad habit for another. My husband went out to dinner with his brother as kind of a preemptive “reward” for watching this kids this weekend while I’m out of town. Okay, okay, I know that’s a bad way to put it, but it’s honestly how he sees it. Anywho, while he was out to dinner enjoying a 6 course wine tasting meal I was at home trading my choco chip face stuffing habit for binging on blog reading. I’m not going to limit myself to x amount of time in front of the computer, but I’m already good about not watching tv hardly ever, so I’m going to try to be more conscious about not trading one bad habit for another.

Thirdly, I am going to keep myself accountable. I am going to try and enjoy the journey (Thank you Lisa) by keeping track of who I am and what I’m accomplishing along the way. Another blog I like to read Mommy Shorts, has a little contest going on right now where you should be rewarding your self by taking pics of you with your kids and the chance to win a new camera.  This is similar to the Dove Love your Selfie campaign that is going on on the Today show. I am hardly in any photos with my kids because no one thinks to take them of us and I have started to hide behind the camera. I am going to take and post more photos of myself and my progress. I refuse to hide from who I am.

My little fireman

This was me the other night with Ike. He’s big into trains and firetrucks and other boy things right now. There was a small leaf fire in a neighbor’s backyard and my husband snapped this photo of us watching the fire trucks. After I saw it last night I almost cried. This is a girl with a fake smile who is not happy with where she is at. When I look at this picture I feel sad. I don’t even see the cute and so funny little boy who has helped to make my heart complete.

Benchmarking is kind of like goal setting, but gives you a place to track a little more. I was going to post some pics of me in the past and how I’d like to look like parts of those previous selves. However, I think it’s much more important for me to measure my success not by my waist size. So, here are the benchmarks for 2014 that I can measure regularly:
-Stick with the yoga daily
-Complete 1000 miles of walking or running
-Take pictures regularly that are a real representation of who I am and what my life is

As I go to save this post I am taking my last shallow breath. I’m going to let it out slowly to make sure that all of the negativity goes with it. When I wake up tomorrow to teach yoga all day, I will first make time for myself and my yoga practice. When I get done with this post I will walk around to make better choices with my time. When I am done teaching tomorrow I will go for my run and explore Memphis. When I end this year I will be three steps closer to being whole again.

How will you measure your 2014?