By Any Other Name

Had Project Purpose (P2) started at any other time of the year, I’m confident that team “House of Chaos” would have made very much progress. When we started this project in July, our schedules were less busy and the flexibility allowed me to be able to figure out what did and didn’t work for me. Over several weeks I began to regain my fitness and work through the initial aches and pains of moving again.

I’ve now developed a reliable routine that allows me to be efficient in my time at the gym. Instead of anxiously looking at the clock and fretting about all the remaining items on my ToDo list, I now focus on moving and let my mind free of the worries.

Kickin’it at the gym.

Our team couldn’t be more appropriately named. Each of our separate worlds collided last week – and we spent more time on the go than we did at home on any one-day – which was a test to our resolve, endurance, and the skills that we’ve been practicing for the last several months.

Son made it to all of his practices on time, Dot made it to all of her classes and activities, my troop of Girl Scouts successfully and excitedly ‘Flew Up’ from Brownies to Juniors, I was caught up on all of my transcribing for the students I work with, various meetings were prepared for and successfully undertaken, Karl’s deftness at juggling the proverbial ‘fires’ came into play, homework was attempted (and in many cases completed), and we made it to the gym nearly every day we were supposed to. All in all, it was a typical week, save for the Girl Scouts ceremony.

The challenge though was in the eating aspect. We fell of that wagon and with a great flourish. In celebration of her bridging, Dot picked a restaurant to celebrate, as is our tradition, and her choice did not allow for ‘healthy choices’ – even the lettuce had given up in protest. We talked about healthy alternatives, but also recognized that it was her turn to celebrate a two-year accomplishment, so we dove in and did our best to navigate the options.

By the end of the week we were out of time and energy; eating out was our survival mode. Arriving home at 8:30 pm after a series of long days with few breaks, neither Karl nor I were up to making dinner on Thursday or Friday thus making it three dinners in a row of eating out.

We regained our momentum on the weekend – and spent hours on Saturday and Sunday working in the yard preparing flower beds, the vegetable garden, and other parts of the yard for the winter. In addition to all of the yard work and eating healthily, we also made it to the gym once, and in doing so felt satisfaction in being able to emerge from old die-hard survival habits and regain our healthy ones without guilt.

This week was a true test of the skills that we’ve learned through P2.

=> When you slip and fall (and you will), don’t beat yourself up – start where you are and move on.

=> Healthy is a way of life, not a phase – take the moments you need to celebrate and do just that – but don’t make the moments a lifestyle.

=> Only YOU can do it – no one else can work-it-out, no one else can choose the healthy over the not so.

=> Health is earned only through hard work – there are no easy ways out – no five minute fixes or miracles ‘as seen on TV’.

=> The more you practice, the easier it becomes – both in mind and body.

When it came to fitness, I used to say, “I should” a lot – and truthfully I still do on occasion. But if you, kind reader, happen to find yourself in that place – then do what I’ve done. One thing at a time. One step, one skipped dessert, one healthier choice at meals. They all add up, they all make a difference.

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