Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Being Brilliant with the Basics

That’s what I ‘dubbed’ the theme for 2010... Last year I declared it to be the year I got comfortable with discomfort... and right now is the time I’m asking myself “How’s that working out for me?”

I've been thinking a lot lately about my journey, about it's start, where it's taken me, the hills and valleys, what I’ve learned, how I’ve grown, what I’m still working on, and how it impacts me right here and now...

Best to go grab some coffee, because I’ve got a lot of brain dumping to do. ;)

I think a bit more detail is needed to understand what’s brought up this introspective trip down memory lane. See... I did something really stupid a couple of months ago. I was doing really well, able to exercise regularly, eating well, etc., feeling energetic, etc., then I ran a 5K in April... It was fantastic, and awesome and I finished in a great time... and it was the start of the burnout for me.

After that I went back to my regular exercise schedule without taking much of a rest, and was also working on increasing my dose of bee pollen to help with my allergies... and in late May/Early June I started having some serious issues - 1/2 a cup of coffee would wind me up, I was jumpy/anxious/paranoid, exhausted but not sleeping, along with a few other issues. The only other cause: stressed out thyroid and adrenal fatigue (or in fitness/health geek talk: My sympathetic and parasympathetic systems were pi$$ed off at me and fighting back.)

So I took a “break” and refocused on getting rested and well - kind of the Ross & Rachel break, but I fully intend to get back together with my active life... and even though I say it’s a break, I’ve still had visits with it from time to time.

I forget that for 'normal' people, they can do that sort of exercise plan and have minimal side effects from it... for me, the first ‘enough’ I deal with is always walking a fine line between doing just enough to be slightly under trained, but risk doing too much to be way over trained... and for me, that line keeps moving.

Backing up even more, when I started on my lose-weight-morphing-into-healthy-living path, I had several things stacked against me, not the least of which was dealing with an un-/under-treated low thyroid condition which then lead to some fibromyalgia-like symptoms and chronic fatigue (because the longer a thyroid goes un-/under-treated, your adrenals have to do a lot more work). Once I started getting proper treatment for that, combined with massive improvements in my eating, my body was then able to move and do more, which moved me on the progress path much easier.

Thing is, the thyroid/adrenal “stuff” is part of me, and is always part of the thought process when I’m doing/planning pretty much anything. It’s also something that I don’t really talk much about, because I really dislike giving too much importance. I could choose to have it label me, define me, and be a crutch, or I can acknowledge it, respect it, and move on.

Another thing happened during my break - I got back into ‘learning/research’ mode, which caused it’s own problems. I’ve always known I’m really impressionable (or gullible, depending on how you look at it. ;) I also read a LOT of different blogs, articles, books, etc. On the surface, that’s not a bad thing - there’s a lot of inspiring stuff out there, lots of really good info, and when you’re struggling, or looking for ideas, there’s no better place for help than from someone who’s been there, done that, has the T-Shirt.

The down side is the information paralysis/overload that can come with it. For me, it can quickly trigger the perfectionist/people pleaser/have to do everything right right now part of my brain. I get stuck in the minutiae and the teeny details (which is one of the major issues I have with “Trademark Diets”... but that’s a story for a different time) , I get distracted with what I’m not doing and don’t appreciate/celebrate what I am doing.

Basically, I miss the bigger picture...

The BIG lesson I’m learning is that the Devil really IS in the details. What to be overwhelmed and feel stuck? Give in to the naggy voices that say I’m not good enough, look at aaaallll the reasons why I can’t, and take my eyes off the end goal that’s totally achievable and that I’m completely worth working towards. Want to get distracted from your path? Start listening to the all the nay-saying voices that are in your head or from the people around you.

In the midst all this turmoil, and testing, and healing, and resting, I had a moment of clarity that came with a single thought: “There’s /no/ reason I can’t.” That was all I needed to stop the run away/worst case scenario brain that had dark broody clouds every where, and to start seeing a sliver of sunshine.

I knew what I needed to do - get brilliant with the basics...

But what does that mean?!?! Must. Research! Must. Define! Must... procrastinate... longer...

Whaaatever! (That was the battle cry of my Inner Princesses, by the way. ;)

Ok fine... one thing with the basics: Keep it simple!

The ironic thing that I’ve found: The more you get ‘back to basics’, the more uncomfortable life can be. You see... simple, basic philosophies goes against a lot of conventional wisdom and modern practices. Keeping things simple goes against /my/ usual devil detailed/make things complicated MO. It can cause some friction with people who don’t see things the same as I do. It also means not listening to the roar of the crowd, instead it means taking the time to listen when your quiet inner voice is telling you something.

The upside: Keeping things simple and basic and enduring the discomfort often produces brilliant results.

I’m good with that.

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