Sparkly & Slimming….a Weight Loss Blog

Samantha's journey to slim down, while remaining sparkly!

Think About Why You’re Here….

on May 7, 2012

I have a serious problem with my mind wandering lately. I’m always either thinking about what needs to get done, thinking about how I could have done things differently in the past or thinking about random nonsense that clogs up my brain. I cannot seem to find mental clarity – especially when I’m exercising.

Thursday night barre I was a wandering fool. I could not stay focused and I joked that the barre owned me. Saturday morning was the same. I was in overdrive. Here’s a snippet of the noise:  “Is that girl looking at me? She probably thinks it’s insane someone so fat is doing this. She might be right….I am twice the size of anyone in this class! GAH. Why can’t I ever stay on my toes during chair? What’s wrong with me? Why are my legs so funny shaped? Stupid cankles….”

The whole hour was pretty much a repeat of that. I left feeling really defeated. I hate that I can’t focus on myself and the moment. I hate that I am always worrying about and hypothesizing over other people. Every time I think I’ve conquered that part of me….it comes back and kicks me in the ass. I wish I could take a class without mirrors. I really feel like they get me into my head and spinning out like a top.

Thank you Buddha, easier said than done!!

How do you clear your mind and refocus?  Do you think it’s possible to ever get to a state of zen and stay there?

Before Sunday’s class I said to myself “Focus on you, stay in the moment and don’t let your mind wander“. My plan was to grab Stasia and snag a spot in the back row. My favorite place! Alas I was foiled…I saw Steph and got to chatting – by the time we got in the room the only 2 spots next to each other were up front. YAYYYY ! I wasn’t thrilled. But, it helped. I thought about why I was there ~ I looked at myself in the mirror and focused on muscles – not fat. I didn’t stare at my chubby biceps – I stared at my emerging collar bones. In my head I heard Jo saying “Think about why you’re here”.

After class I got to spend some time with Stasia (it’s nice having fit dates with friends!). We both agreed this summer we are going to find fit activities to do together – hiking, canoeing etc. Thinking about how much farther I will be in 2-3 months really motivates me to find fun activities and try them! That said, I need to find a way to conquer my inner doubt.

Any suggestions? How do I get out of my own head and out of my own way??


13 responses to “Think About Why You’re Here….

  1. jobo says:

    I too have fallen into the trap of brain-in-overdrive-must-focus syndrome and it is so hard to break out of it when you get into that spiral, isn’t it? Sometimes, you just gotta let the thoughts cycle through so you CAN get out of your own (mental) way, rather than get frustrated for thinking them in the first place. Sometimes, allowing your thoughts through clears your mind, as a result. If that makes sense. That’s what has helped me, and in fact, it was something I too did this weekend. Felt what I needed to, observed, and then moved on. Don’t beat yourself up, we all do it, it’s just a matter of letting it out and then picking yourself up and realizing what you realized on Sunday: WHY you are here, Your strong shoulders, back, and collarbone definition. And it all comes back into focus, doesn’t it? *end novel comment*

  2. Kathleen says:

    I think getting to that point of peace with yourself; it’s doing what you’re doing. You have to always be on the quest for it. Sometimes you have it, and other times you’re trying to get back to it. Don’t beat yourself up too hard when things get out of balance. Just keep working towards your goal. You’ve got this, girl!

  3. I think everyone has days where they get to class and just don’t have it or end up beating themselves up. I look in the mirror and focus on my negatives rather than the positives. I try and think back 9 months ago and how far I’ve come. I think sometimes seeing what I need to work out motivates me to work a little harder. I know its hard to blocked out the voices in your head but try and do it! Everyone is working out to achieve the same thing, whether some of us are going to take longer to do it just makes us who we are. Im still one of the bigger girls in class too and what i think to myself is…. One day I will smaller and stronger and what is going to make me get there is having this one hour of my day be where I shine and push myself. Keep up the good work! Every time I see you, you can see the transformation happening!

  4. aslahan says:

    I think of my brain like a puppy – I can’t force it to sit still, I can only keep picking it up and putting it back where it belongs.

  5. pameluna says:

    Personally, I don’t think the goal is to stay in an ongoing zen-like state – nearly impossible unless you are living secluded in a cave somewhere, hey, even the Dalai Lama has mental distractions, he’s said so himself! I think a more applicable goal would be to become adept at identifying those mental fluctuations (vrittis) when they arise, allowing the thought to be as it is and then pass through without grasping or attaching to them. And that can be a tall order in itself! And it takes ongoing practice to build up these skills just like it takes ongoing steady physical practice to build up muscles, lung capacity, etc.

    First off, setting an intention before your class is absolutely perfect. I would make the focus a little more along the lines of what is my intention of doing this practice/work out – why do you go there? Is it because you feel empowered, encouraged, maybe a sense of being connected to your body in a healthy way, is it a deeper connection between your heart and your body, or a way to physically express yourself that feels strong and graceful? Identity what it is that brings you to this practice, what it is that feeds you in the class, and hold as your intention to reconnect to and express that. If you can connect a physical sensation in your body with that intention (open, light feeing in the heart, feet rooted on the ground, whatever works) that’s great to pull that in and connect to that as well.

    The distracting thoughts are going to come up because that is just what the mind does by its nature, there’s no getting around that. When they arise first notice, acknowledge, even say the word “thought” mentally to yourself. Try not to argue with it or debate it, don’t try to control it (you will fail), don’t pick it up and turn it over and over like a shiny thing you like to look at from different angles. Let it say what it has to say and allow it to pass. Move your attention to your breath, inhale and exhale and allow your breath to bring you back inside to your intention. If you had a physical sensation you can hook into with your intention breath deeply into that (breath into the opening and lightness of your heart, etc). So all this is super hard and will take a lot of practice and many, many repetitions. But just start where you are, be patient and compassionate with yourself and you will build those “muscles” and get better and better at letting these distracting thoughts float through.

    I would also recommend starting a simple daily meditation practice to help build the skills of not attaching to thoughts and ground you in something deeper. Literally start with 5 minutes each morning (right after you brush your teeth is good) sitting comfortably and connecting inside to the essence of who you are. I do very simple breathing and focus exercises such as inhaling into the pelvis and allowing the exhale to float out and up the crown of the head like smoke. I imagine a cleaning away or maybe a smoothing down of the rough spots as the breath sweeps down and up. I have one meditation teacher who described this as being like a zamboni smoothing out all the bumps and grooves in your psyche. There’s also a very nice one taught to me by Sally Kempton where you breathe the word “beloved” into your heart (as if the Universe is saying this to you), let that infuse you and permeate love back out on your exhale. When thoughts come up, acknowledge, label them as “thought” and drop them into the breath. Try if for a week for 5-10 minutes each day and notice if you have any shifts!

  6. Jess Sutera says:

    I say this all the time and I”m pretty sure you shake your head at me every time. 😉 But seriously – force yourself to befriend that mirror. About halfway through my own 60-day challenge journey, I forced myself to spend the entire class watching myself work through the class, move after move after move. I forced myself to think about the positive things I was seeing. “Hey, did I just make it through that set without stopping as much as I did in the last class? or “Wow, I did more pushups this time!” Or “I’m pretty sure that was me getting a wee bit lower in chair pose.” ANYTHING you see, turn it into a positive. Be your own best friend at the barre. Cheer yourself on. Be your own biggest fan. It was a really big turning point for me after that class. To fight for myself, for my own strength, my own confidence. For ME. Nobody else but me. I think that might help you. Truly. You are doing GREAT, seriously so so so proud of you. xoxoxo

  7. Stasia says:

    ok our goal is to find a place to go hiking!

  8. Sometimes it’s just a phase you have to go through and then find you’re better on the other side. At other times, I’ve found a nap to clear my head, but it sounds like you’re beyond that kind of relief. I say figure out what’s really nudging you and work it out. Some kickboxing cardio does that well for me!

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