Wednesday, August 29, 2007

0 A Few Final Thoughts Before I Bid You Goodnight


Hello Everyone,

Well, if you've been following my blog at all by now, you'll know that I can never just seem to write a simple little light-hearted blurb about running, without following it up with something more ponderous & philosophical. Yes, I can't be funny all the time. ;-)

But seriously: I hope that you, the readership, are finding my journey to better fitness & overall health to be motivational & inspiring, to spur you on to reach/achieve your own fitness & health goals.

I'd like to share with you a few thoughts & recommendations regarding the importance of paying attention to one's state of mind & spirit, on the climb to those goals:

I'm finding that the key to making these goals a reality is to take small steps forward, and to only focus on thoughts & ideas which support those goals.

Furthermore, it's important to constantly reaffirm the solid belief in oneself & one's goals. The thing that makes getting into shape different for me THIS time around is that I have an unshakably strong will. I am GOING to get in my weekly exercise no matter what happens around me, save injury or illness. I have this unstoppable fire within & no one is going to deter me from reaching my goals.

Fortifying this single-minded mental strength is the continual belief that I will be successful: I really believe that I will reach these goals, & consciously guide my actions & words in support of these goals. Words, thoughts, visualizations, & intentions are clear pathways (& not obstacles!) to action.

Of course, while I don't claim to be perfect, I do realize that it's never too late to take corrective action, to keep me on the path to good health/fitness.

Along with this idea comes the belief that I shouldn't have to be anyone else but me, and that comparing my body or weight to others is counterproductive, & ultimately doesn't serve my goal.

Now I know that men aren't immune to comparison (i.e., gym locker rooms, the beach, etc.), but this behavior seems to be particularly insidious amongst the female segment of the population. So, ladies who do this, you know who you are. Please kindly stop staring, put your eyes back in your head, & focus on your life, instead of other people's.

If you are consciously sizing yourself up with someone, I'd highly recommend that you get out of the habit of doing this behavior, since it's extremely unproductive to both yourself & others around you, especially to those who are the possible targets of this behavior. By engaging in this low-level behavior (which is comparable to competitive consumerism & other chimpanzee-like behaviors ;-) ), you are taking the real focus away from what you are trying to accomplish, namely self-betterment. Ultimately, comparison just makes us unhappy, as we never feel "good enough" & it spirals endlessly into unhappiness.

So, a word of caution to all: Aside from causing eternal misery, the above-described behavior, if you let yourself be affected by it, can easily become a dangerous habit that can actually derail you from your goals (either subconsciously or consciously), as either the gazer or the gazed-upon.

Sometimes when I look at the garbage that writers/journalists fixate on (what petty thing so-&-so said about so-&-so, the unreal weight expectations of the Hollywood entertainment bubble & other people around the nation apparently influenced by this drivel, etc.) in the pop-culture mags & so-called newspapers, I can understand why some people have lost their way. They are helped along towards their oblivion, & it does seem that many really do want this "cheap & easy," instant oblivion that's readily offered by so many different sources. Dare I say that these people are willing & eager participants in this blind pact towards their own demise. And yes, not choosing to resist is still a choice.

I'm not just talking about numbing yourself out with drugs, booze, food, shopping, or even video & computer games. I'm talking about numbing out your mind in the most basic way -- the things we feed our brain.

There are many people who are constantly gazing outward, instead of inward. Constantly distracting themselves with noise & useless, frenetic motion (their own "sound & fury, signifying nothing") or fixating on the lives of others when they should be re-examining themselves. Afraid of stillness or silence, fearful or anxious of being alone, not allowing themselves to just be.

It would be too easy & convenient to blame it all on the media or some other external factor "beyond our control." For once, let's take responsibility for ourselves, OK?

Anyhow, let me ask you this: What's the real reason the media sells crappy pseudo-news focusing on gossip or other petty concerns? Well, there's obviously a market for it, otherwise they wouldn't generate this sort of donkey-doo. So, if you're sick of this crapola, send big business a big message: Vote with your almighty dollar. If you don't like the product, don't buy it. Demand better. Speak out & exercise your power, not only as a consumer, but as a curious & informed citizen of the world.

I'm not saying it's bad to seek a laugh from hysterically odd-but-true "news" -- Truth is most definitely stranger than fiction -- but it shouldn't be the ONLY news around or rather, the only news to which we pay attention or actively seek out.

But the greater point is this: Ultimately, if you feed yourself a steady diet of crap (or just the "edu-tainment" news), you're going to forget what your original purpose was & where you were headed. The mind-numbing distractions -- and there are many -- CAN be avoided, but some active thinking & questioning is required.

So people, put the garbage filter on & stop accepting the dross of others' mental chaos as so-called "reality." What about the old adage about not accepting what you read, hear, or see on face-value?!

Do you really think that Hollywood has conception of what a healthy body image actually is? Need I quote what the media circus publishes about Tyra Banks? Or those absurd comments Joan Rivers made about J.Lo being fat?! Talk about losing perspective!!! Are these people seriously off their rocker?! Why would anyone even bother LISTENING to these people! Who the heck are they anyhow, to tell anyone what the definition of "thin" is?! (I certainly wouldn't take advice from a walking skeleton with enough body image problems to keep those Hollywood plastic surgeons in business for life!) So why do people listen to this crap? How did celebrities become revered "experts" in serious matters for which they have no business advising? And, how did serious news media & entertainment get so confusedin the first place?! Let us not forget that media is big business, and these companies are focused on trying to sell you a product & make a buck, not on saving your life or looking out for what's best for you!!!! More people need to remind themselves of whose really looking out for their best interests.....

Why is it that some truly insane people think that "size 6 is the new 14"? Shouldn't your body frame, height, & other health-related factors be considered in determining what a healthy weight should be for you as an individual?! How thin do you need to be to feel good enough about yourself as a person? Isn't the real issue that person's displaced projection of low self-esteem?!

The bottom line is that this "keeping up with the Jones" in the physical appearance department has GOT to stop. Or we'll all just spin ourselves into an endless frenzy. Those type of thoughts are a bottomless pit of "nothing good"! I mean we all just have to block out all the noise of other people & their silly expectations & call that stuff what it is -- a load of counterproductive, distracting B.S.!

Of course, even if you yourself aren't doing this behavior, it can sometimes be unnerving to experience other people rudely & unabashedly staring at you & comparing themselves to you, sometimes with nastiness or harsh judgment in their eyes. All I can say is ignore those rude, judgmental people! As my mother always likes to say, "Consider the source." These unbalanced, harpy-like people are obviously so unhappy & insecure that they feel the need to stare & judge others as a way to assert a false sense of control over their own unstable emotional state.

But in the final analysis, who cares about them! Let's be peaceful warriors & focus on achieving our goals:

So, the point of that rather long digression is that it's important to keep your mind in check, and note when it has a tendency to redirect itself away from productive thoughts & feelings, & thus, away from your goals. Keep the focus on what's most important. I like to say to myself, "What's the most important thing I need to do right NOW?" That usually helps things snap back into focus rather quickly.

Enough said. Quite enough actually! ;-)

Doh! It's 2:41 am. Looks like I've done it again! Another late-night blogging session to screw up my sleep schedule.... Well, it's not really a loss, because it's supposed to be 88 degrees Fahrenheit tomorrow. So guess I'll be running late in the evening once again. ;) These vampire hours are killing my schedule.

Let's all hope & pray for cooler weather, eh?!

Have a good night/morning!

P.S. As I've mentioned in earlier posts, you're welcome to comment on any of these posts & write to me about your own experiences of getting into shape. You inspire me too! Let me know how your exercise & nutrition programs are going. If you've got any fitness/running &/or nutrition tips or useful suggestions you'd like to share, by all means, write about it here. You can either post your comments on this blog or email me. I really do enjoy hearing from you! Thank you everyone for your comments & suggestions!

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