My word for 2013

Happy Monday to you! Be sure to come back tomorrow for some DG 12th Birthday goodness!

Do you have a Word of the Year? I always thought it was a frilly idea until I gave it a go last year. My word was present, and turned out to be a groovy way to set a theme, guide actions and remember an intention. Rather than a mega list of to-do’s or goals it’s a concise little thing to carry around. When things went astray I’d recall the word – whether in my head or muttering it aloud like a loony – and POW, it pulled my head out of the clouds.

Many times I forgot to remember the word (e.g. covered in cake crumbs… Oh yeah! PRESENT! D’oh.), but these things take practice!

Since 2012 turned out okay I’m calling the secret trial a success and have decided to say this year’s word out loud. There’s always that, “If I tell people, what if I cock it up?” fear but… accountability and all that, eh?

Wood pigeon and pals from earlier this morning

Wood pigeon and pals from earlier this morning

My 2013 word is Focus. It felt like a good one to build on the momentum from the end of 2012 and get that consistency happening. I know what I need and want to do, it’s just that tendency to procrastinate, self-sabotage, multi-task and wander down self-destructive and/or time-sucking side streets (e.g. Facebook Street, LOLcat Alley, Binge Boulevard, ho ho ho!).

So I’m focusing…

  • On what’s important, on what’s meaningful, on the little things that make everyday life feel good.
  • On only one task at a time.
  • On one browser tab or Word doc at a time.
  • And not focusing my energy on petty issues, perceived slights, drama that doesn’t belong to me, etc etc etc.

To give the Focus a bit of backbone, health and wellbeing wise, I picked three straightforward things:

  1. Write every day - basically the Morning Pages idea from The Artist’s Way book. Every morning you write three pages of stream-of-consciousness waffle. It helps shake out any deranged thoughts and set your compass for the day. I’ve been doing them for about eight months now but with no real consistency until this last two. It’s so helpful to get your ranty pants on first thing then just GET ON with your day!
  2. Continue the HAM Plan for the eating. Also watching portion size as that’s no doubt contributing to the maintenance ;)
  3. 3-2-1 Exercise plan - 3 cardio sessions, 2 weight sessions and 1 yoga session each and every week.

Two weeks in and it’s all going great guns. Focus is a great word for muttering under your breath… must be the F? Also, I’m amazed at how much work gets done when not Alt-Tabbing between a dozen apps and brower tabs. Hmmmmmm.

Apologies to the Up & Runners for having already been subjected to a version of these ramblings on the Forum! ;)

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Hope in a disc

How did I end up with so many bloody workout DVDs? I’ve pondered this a gazillion times these past couple of Dust-Off months and this is what I came up with.

1. The Absolute Awesomeness.
I remember the elation of my first Cathe DVD - whoa this just like Body Pump except I’m home and it doesn’t matter how shite my workout clothes are!

I just dig the home workout. I can modify for my dodgy knee or skip high-impact sections, which is much better than paying money for a class that I can’t really do properly. I like seeing the evolution of instructor hairstyles and wondering if they get along with their background exercisers, or if one of them is secretly plotting to topple the leader with her own set of DVDs.

2. The Collect-Them-All Syndrome.
Like when you read a great book and urgently want to get your hands on everything they’ve ever written. Or watch one Scandinavian crime drama and immediately want to watch them all. I went a bit mad with Cathes, Jillians and the Element series, but turns out the majority of them are total keepers!

3. The Diet Book Mentality.
The whole Dust-Off project was sparked when Jillian Michaels’ Body Revolution 90 day programme thing was released in the UK. It was over £100 and I hadn’t touched any of her other workouts for months, yet I was lusting after it. I scoured reviews and Googled for Before and Afters.

Years ago I quit my diet book habit after noticing the thought patterns… Maybe this one holds the secret? Maybe this one will tell me what to do and I’ll bust this lard for good? I’d feel like a twit when I finished reading because it was never anything new. Deep down I already had all the tools I needed; I just needed to get on with it. I reckon I’ve had a similar thought process with workout DVDs. They’re so shiny and revolutionary with never-before-seen moves that sculpt your butt in entirely new ways! Hope in a disc!

But really, the only Revolution I needed was to get back to moving my body on a consistent, sustainable basis. The answers were always within and there was certainly adequate support available on the groaning shelf of DVDs.

So, ten weeks since the Dust-Off started it’s fab to be enjoying exercise again. I’m going to give the project a rest for awhile. Firstly as I have a bunch of other things to write about, but mostly because I really enjoyed Bob Harper Week and want to give the workouts another go this week!

The more I look at the Yoga For The Warrior cover with his zen body but crazy eyes, I think he looks like he’s steeling himself to levitate…

Levitating Bob

You cannae beat a bit of bad Photoshop on a Friday evening

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If you’re up there somewhere…

The highlight of the Mothership Reunion was seeing her try to use an eyelash curler.

My sister and I gave her a mini makeover – I was on hair, Rhi on makeup. In hindsight it might have been a bit insulting: Yo Mum! Haven’t seen you in a year, what the hell are you wearing?! Let us spruce you up! But she really loved getting pampered after a few weeks of Cruise Casual.

Bougainvillea

Except for the eyelash curler. I could have watched her snapping it at her face all day. What is this contraption? Like this? Ow! Crikey! Ow! 

Turns out she didn’t need the curlers – she has disgustingly long, lush lashes. I’ve not inherited them nor had I noticed hers before. That made me feel a little sad. You don’t get these details over Skype or email.

The last day of the Reunion happened to be ten years since Poppy – Mum’s dad, our grandfather, obv. – passed away. He was in our thoughts and conversations all weekend. As Rhi dusted Mum’s nose with powder I saw the family resemblance alive in their dark eyes and big laughs and my heart just cracked.

I miss him as fiercely as I did a decade ago. Not only for his intelligence and warped humour, but because I like the way he did things. He made it feel okay to carry a little spark inside you; to want to make things and go places. And I miss the way he made my grandmother smile.

I wish I’d been able to know him when I was a adult. He got ill as I finished high school. How would we have got along? Would he have come to Scotland for a visit? Would he and Gareth have bonded over their love of motorbikes?

I can’t remember where I was going with this; I’ve wandered off again. In summary: it was bloody brilliant to finally hang out with my mum and sister at the same time. And I need a visit back home to Oz soon. Least of all to make sure Mum’s following our beauty advice!

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Hello! I’m over here!

Does weeding burn calories? It better bloody burn calories. We spent three hours weeding the allotment the other day then went back last night to plant out some onions and it was totally chockers with weeds again. I just threw my hoe to the ground and yelled, "THIS IS FUTILE!".

I need to add another item to my Why gardening is like weight loss analogy listit never ends. You dig and dig and dig but you can't stop digging! For there is always more digging to be done. If you don't dig everything will get wild and weedy. Sigh. But hopefully you'll be rewarded with an onion or two, eventually.

I wanted to say that I'm posting more regularly on my non-fat blog What's New Pussycat. This blog actually pre-dates Dietgirl by eight months. It's weird to be able to read what I was thinking about during the Sydney 2000 Olympics. Clue: the same thing as London 2012 – handsome blokes in Speedos!

Sometimes when I'm only writing Dietgirl posts it feels like the state of my lard is the only important thing about me; that my worthiness/interestingness is dependent on the size of my arse. There's a lot more to life than that, and a lot more to me. So I'm having fun waffling on about random things!

I know some folk may only be interested in the lard-related rambles, that's cool! I'll update on that soon. But if you fancy reading about a wider range of topics, I'm over at What's New Pussycat? too. You can subscribe to the feed or I link to the new posts on the DG Facebook page.

Here are some recent posts:

Smiley Wiggo

Hope you're having an ace week!

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The elephant in the blog

You'd think missing three Monthly Check-Ins in a row meant I was splashing around in a gigantic pile of Twix wrappers. But all is well – I've been busy taking a long hard look at myself.

This past month been incredible and I am so full of the joys I could spew! But before I get to the fun stuff, I wanted to fill in the gaps.

. . .

It's a bizarre thing to write about your weight in a public place for eleven years. Kinda ridiculous, let's be honest. But I love this nerdy habit and have met so many amazing people as a result. The trick is not to let it mess with your head. Unfortunately, I'd begun to do just that.

Despite working on the mindfulness and self-acceptance stuff, the old "You Suck" voice had reared its grotty head these past couple of months. I'd start writing then feel completely bowled over by shame, anxiety and dread, stemming from both the regained weight and my failure thus far to re-lose it.

Sometimes the shame was sparked from within, other times triggered by external stuff. I've developed a tougher skin over the years but when you're already feeling low it's hard not to crumble a little when you receive opinions ranging from friendly curiosity, concern, to apparent disappointment over the size of your body.

Anyway, there I was feeling like a stinking fraud and like nothing I wrote would ever be worthy until the day I could report, Hey folks, you can come back now. I'm normal again! I match the After photo!

Suddenly it was all about the lard again. If I wasn't scheming ways to worm out of all social plans for the rest of the year, I was doing frantic maths to figure out how to lose X kilos in Y weeks by cutting down to Z calories so I'd look halfway "acceptable" again.

But then I had an epiphany in early April, at my friend Sarah's wedding. All night I sat on the sidelines, too self-conscious to get on the dance floor with my friends. Dancing is one of my favourite things in the world, but I was frozen to my chair. I could not stop thinking about how much space I took up. The thoughts came so dark and fast; I felt like I was growing wider by the second.

The déjà vu was a smack in the chops – the last time I'd felt like that was a night out with my friends back in Australia, eleven years earlier.

Shauna, this officially SUCKS, I thought. Are you really going back here again? You know you want more than this.

It was time, as mentioned earlier, to take a looooong hard look at myself. This is what I figured out:

1. Focusing on external stuff doesn't work
It must be the 357th time I've relearned this lesson, ahem. But fear of public events, disappointed strangers, holiday snaps, not being liked and/or increasingly enormous undies are not lasting incentives to get me on the spinning bike. When I'm home alone with the kitchen cupboard doors flung open, they're not compelling enough reasons. Shame only takes me so far forward, then it leads me straight back to the biscuit tin.

2. I need to focus on what I want
… rather than what I think I should want, do or be. I asked the flaming obvious question, "This is your life, what the heck do you want out of it?". I wrote a dorky list of stuff and I've been reading it every morning. It took a few weeks, but now it pops into my mind when I'm working out or staring down a cake. A gazillion times more effective than, "I shouldn't eat that or I'll look crap at Fitbloggin" or "Must do training walk otherwise I'm a shite example for Up & Running."

3. I'm a bloody boring person when I fixate on weight
Dude. There's more to me than my size. I have a wonderful, kickarse life. But for awhile there I couldn't see the forest for the flab. I was hiding away from my friends, being a moody git, not being very present. Which leads me to…

4. Fun first, fat second
Because there's too much good stuff happening! I had to get out of my head and back into the world. First on the agenda was finally going indoor climbing with my friend Tor, the awesome one who persuaded me to do the Santa Run and Loony Dook. She'd asked me yonks ago but I made all sorts of excuses, including "I'm Too Fat for climbing". Yes, I was back there again!

But thankfully I came to my senses and Tor very patiently showed me the ropes, HAW HAW. There was a hilarious moment when I could not let go of the wall… top metaphor! But awhile later I lost my grip and fell off and instead of being shitscared I was just annoyed and wanted to do it over… an even better metaphor. It was an awesome, awesome day (thanks Tor!) and made me feel rebooted and refocused on what's important.

Here I am in my post-climb squinty sweaty glory!

Let's climb

Since then the momentum has been building. And whaddya know… the scale is going down again.

Well, you deserve a medal if you got through this post. Next time I need to tell you all about ITALY and the Up & Running retreat and the big race and the Nutella.

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Attack of the sunrise alarm clock

It's been three months so time to answer the question… sunrise alarm clock: SAD Saviour or Overpriced Lightbulb?

Sunrise

First I should disclaim that I don't really suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). I find it difficult to scrape myself out of bed all year round; it's just so much harder when the sun doesn't show its face before 9AM. If I appear depressed in winter it's usually due to the usual end of year what am I doing with my life moody musings… or I'm lost in Christmas menu planning. Mmm, trifle.

As previously reported I finally bought a sunrise alarm clock after eight Scottish winters of dithering. If you're not familiar with them, they're also called dawn simulators and are basically an alarm clock with a lightbulb inside. It wakes you with a gradually brightening light, like a mechanical sunrise in the dead of winter.

I got the Lumie Bodyclock Starter 30 – the most basic Lumie model but still a hefty £59.99. More pricey models allow you to awake to faux birdsong or FM radio, but the Starter 30 offers sunrise with an alarm beep, or just plain sunrise.

Gareth was amused when I took the hunk of plastic from the box, "I can't believe you paid sixty quid for a lightbulb! Bwahahha!" etc etc etc. I really wanted it to work just so I could say, "In your face!"

To my satisfaction, it has. It is so much easier to get out of bed now. Half an hour before the alarm goes off, the room starts to fill with a gentle, slowly brightening light. By the time the alarm actually bleeps I feel ready to get up.

How does that work? The Lumie website says it's because, "the sunrise effect is a natural cue for your body to reduce the production of sleep hormones (e.g. melatonin) and gradually increase the levels of those that help you get up and go (e.g. cortisol)."

To me, it somehow feels like the light lifts me out of the deepest layer of sleep and gently pulls me up towards wakefulness. Just say the deepest level is when you're really gone and dreaming that you were at a press conference in which Johnny Depp announces he's retraining as a chef*… then the light starts to seep in… and the dreams fade. I start to feel more aware of my body… thoughts of today's tasks creep in… it's like being awake with my eyes shut. Increasingly I'm waking up a few minutes before the alarm goes off, and I don't feel cranky and resentful – I'm ready to go. Not in a perky somebody-punch-that-insufferable-morning-person way… just in a matter of fact kind of way.

Just to recap my sleep habits before: on a work day, my alarm would go off at 7.15 and I'd hit snooze over and over and over til 8.15. Then I'd be in a frenzy to get to the office for 9. I started small with my reforms: a 7.30 am wakeup. A couple months on I routinely get up at 7am and have even managed a 5.30am when I had some particularly nutty deadlines. I'm not one of you crazy morning people yet, and I can't fathom the idea of morning exercise just now (I hope to get there some day), but I love getting some stuff done before I go to work. The quiet time before the day whacks you in the face is just dandy.

The progress is not all down to the clock – I've also worked on getting to bed earlier – 11pm instead of midnight or later, and reading before bed instead of computering. But I still think that the gentle light from the clock has made all the difference on the dreary winter mornings.

The best moment since getting the alarm? When Gareth opened his eyes at 6am and said blearily, "Oh man, time for work already? Hang on. What time is it? AAARRRGHHHH STUPID FAKE SUN! FOILED AGAIN!"

* I was disappointed to realise yesterday this was only a dream. I think Johnny Depp would look good in chef's whites.

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Cycletta Report

I woke up Sunday morning feeling ready to spew, the usual nervous routine! I choked down a bowl of porridge while trying not to look at Gareth and Gillian's cooked breakfasts… the sight of scrambled eggs and greasy sausages was totally giving me the boak!

Off to lovely Tatton Park. There were over 800 women taking part in Cycletta on all manner of bikes. We started in waves of ten. I did a cheerful "woohoo!' as we whizzed over a cattle grid then down through the park, sunlight streaming through the tree-lined paths. Then out onto the big bad open road!

First two miles were fast and fun, grinning to myself at the visual of chunky me on clunky mountain bike and tiny Gillian on her tiny Brompton folding bike.

Then Gillian says, "We're going pretty fast, don't overdo it now!". Good advice, whoops! I felt awful during Miles 4-6. My rubbish knee burned on every downstroke, I had that shooting pain in my glute and my stomach felt dodgy. I couldn't take my eyes off the bike computer, doing fractions to figure out how far there was to go.

Then a bunch of speedy women whooshed past in the opposite direction, already on their way back to the finish line (part of the course was a loop). They yelled "KEEP GOING!" in such cheery tones I wanted to slap them. Then I got overtaken by a woman on a poncy bike with a freakin' wicker basket!

"Well isn't that just DANDY!" I sputtered to Gillian, feeling really really cranky and lardy.

Then I remembered that I'd vowed to enjoy the moment as it was happening, instead of having to enjoy it retrospectively as I always do with these things! So I had stern talk with self… Dude… you've travelled a stupid long way for this and you have dragged your friend and husband with you, and you trained for ages and people have sponsored you and do you REALLY want to look like a whiny brat… so SUCK IT UP cupcake! Turn this around!

I made a conscious effort to look at the scenery, feel the air on my skin, notice how strong my legs felt, just really ABSORB everything going on… thinking about how good it felt not to be sitting brooding on the couch wishing life could be different.

We got to Mile 9 and I said to Gillian, "Make a note! Mile 9 and I'm enjoying it!"

Mile 10 was a food stop. I really didn't want to stop but I needed the loo. Admired my beetroot face in the port-a-loo mirror. They had lots of crappy chocolate and sweets which I avoided (memories of dodgy stomach at Moonwalk '08!) and had some orange segments instead… lovely!

The remaining 14 miles were BLOODY FANTASTIC. Sure I was dying on some of the hills, I hesitated too long at an intersection and nearly got barrelled by a car, my chain came off at mile 15, I got stung by a wasp at mile 16…

Wasp Sample only. Not actual wasp.

…but I felt so alive and kept thinking, enjoy this enjoy this enjoy this. We rolled past quaint pubs, cottages with thatched roofs and climbing roses, wholesome people on horses… and a dead badger. Poor bugger. Oooh, and I even overtook a few people!

"Make a note!" I yelled to Gillian, "Mile 22 and still loving it!"

Finally we were back in the Park! There was a sneaky bit where we thought it was over but there was another half mile loop to go… my knee was sore and I felt like I'd been kicked in the lady parts, despite padded saddle and padded shorts and a naturally padded arse. But then I saw the finish line! I was woohooing like a deranged woman. FINISHED!

Dr G was waiting nearby. "Soooo?"

"IT WAS BRILLIANT!"

He looked absolutely stunned. "Well! Never thought I would ever hear such a positive statement out of you while straddling a velocipede!" Bwahahaaaaa. Smart arse.

I looked at my bike computer: 02:01:39, average 11.8 mph! Sooo much faster than my training… all thanks to lack of Scottish hills + unbridled enthuasism ;)

Then I got a text with my official time: 40km/24miles in 02:10:24 – of course the bike computer paused while I was on loo break/chain fixing/wasp swatting. Still… SO PLEASED with that as the snaily pace of my training rides indicated a 2.5 – 3 hour finish.

Cycletta was a great event, very well organised. It was heartening to see so many women across a wide range of ages, shapes and cycling experience – it was a very welcoming, non-intimidating atmosphere. I'd been really worried after the event lost its closed roads status, but the marshalls made it feel very safe.

But most of all I owe the feeling of safety to The Amazing Gillian. 24 miles is a warmup for her so she just freakin' rocks for coming along and helping me not get run over. Thank you so much comrade! Also have to say a huge thank you to Gareth, for not stabbing me on the training rides. You rawk!

So, I'm really happy with how it went and glad I got over my internal BS and enjoyed it while it was happening!

Afterthoughts…
Three days later I'm still feeling delirious and so fired up to keep going. I want to keep working on my Fear Of The Road and my inability to do hand signals. I also feel a new sense of purpose for getting back in shape – it's hard work hauling so much booty up the hills, I tell you.

It sounds so cheesy and perhaps quite pathetic, but this experience has reminded me that I am worth taking care of. That life is so much better when you treat your mind and body with kindness and respect, not dulling the edges with rubbish food and inactivity. It takes work to feel good, but I'm feeling like I am worth making that effort.

Why has it taken so long to remember this? To really feel it and believe it deep down? I really don't know. But I'm going to roll with it!

Me
Disclosure: I was offered a "media place" on the Cycletta event thus my entry fee was waived. Click here for full details.

ETA: While I added a cheeky link in the post above, I wanted to shout out properly that I raised a few quid for the MS Society. Huge thanks to my family and pals who sponsored! If anyone out there fancies supporting this great cause, here's my link to donate. You can find out more about the work the Society does to provide information and support as well as funds for multiple sclerosis research on their website, www.mssociety.org.uk.

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The Gambler

Just advanced warning… I'm really tired today and bordering on delirious so this may not make any sense whatsoever :)

On the weekend I was browsing at a department store beauty counter. A twenty-something sales assistant sprang out from behind a mirror and said, "Can I help you? How about this primer?" She waved a tube in my face. "I think you'll love it. It's great at smoothing fine lines and wrinkles!"

Yeah, thanks very much lady!

This trifling anecdote is the only way I could think of to start writing about the tangled pile of stuff I've been thinking about lately. Ageing and health and relationships and work and meaning and whatnot.

At times I've lived like I had a neverending bucket of time. Like no matter how poorly I treated my body I'd have time to Ctrl+Z the damage. But really, it's only luck that I've escaped relatively unscathed (thus far).

Recently I've been humbled by how fast life can change – seeing how the most healthy specimens can become fragile overnight. We humans are really are so vulnerable. It's left me feeling quite rotten for gambling with my own health so much.

Another thing that's brought clarity was hanging out in Brussels with my Up & Running compadre, Julia Jones (better known as Coach Julia to the ladies she bosses around with her virtual megaphone!). The premise of our meeting was to do lots and lots of work, which we did; but I came away feeling like my brain and heart had been dismantled, scrubbed and polished, then put back together again like new.

I dunno, maybe Julia hypnotised me or something? But hanging out with her makes me look forward to being 50 years old. She is kicking arse. Not just because she finished a freaking half iron man a couple of weeks ago, but because does things with purpose, thoughtfulness and consistency. She lives with the kind of structured mindfulness I've been striving for. She squeezes her running shoes into her carry-on luggage – it wouldn't occur to her not to move her butt on a long weekend away. She orders exactly what she wants and relishes a yummy restaurant meal, but eats lighter and healthier at the next meal without making a big thing of it. She works hard, on projects she cares deeply about, but knows when it's time to down tools and chill out. She gives so much to people, but she knows when to draw boundaries. I admire the hell out of her approach to life.

Does this post have a bloody point, woman? you may be asking. Yes! Sorta! I guess lately I'm feeling very conscious of time passing, and the cumulative effects of my thoughts and actions. I'm seeing this Making Healthy Choices thing in a different light. Sometimes a slice of cake is just a slice of cake, but when scoffed too often cake numbs; it dulls the edges and clouds the thoughts. I'm trying to be more thoughtful about what's going on when I reach for cake and what happens afterwards… both the immediate sugar crash and mood plummet, and the effects arteries years down the line.

Likewise when I choose to lift some weights, or go for a bike ride, or eat a salad… sometimes a salad is just a salad. But when it's bursting with colour and flavour it almost feels like a declaration of intent…

I want to live a long life
I want to have strong bones when I'm an old lady
I want to spend my days doing meaningful work
I want to walk for miles without hurty knees
I want to be a strong, clear-minded partner, friend, daughter, sister, business partner

And I really don't need a £30 tube of primer!

(I could really do with a nap, though :) )

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Action before Belief?

Jen's juicy quote yesterday got me thinking about self-belief. I agree with her sentiment that when you truly believe that something is a top priority, nothing can get in your way. It's simple, but as some of you said in the comments: "it's not easy". As Jen herself said, "I'm not there yet either… I'm talking theoretically here".

So how do you get to that point of believing?

I tend to find that action comes before belief. If you're not someone with confidence on tap, I find it useful to do what the lovely LBTEPA said in her comment, "acting as if you believe it". I interpret this as "performing the desired actions as if you believed in yourself" as opposed to pretending you believe. If that makes any bloody sense at all. For example, at this start of this year my self-belief levels were at a dark and skanky low. Even as I started doing tiny, positive things (keeping my food journal, small amounts of exercise, listening to my hunger signals) I had no real conviction that they would do any good.

But I vowed to keep plodding along regardless of what the brain was telling me. So even when the Voice of Doom was whispering, "Wow, you used to be able to do this easily!" in the middle of kickboxing, the idea was to keep going and focus on the action.

Slowly the balance has started going the other way. Momentum is building. The more tiny, positive things I do, even with teeth gritted, the more my brain seems to link the actions together and conclude, "You are capable of good stuff."

I'm noticing this with some of the Up & Runners. The more training sessions they string together, the more positive they feel and the more they start to believe they will get through the eight weeks. This is regardless of how good or bad the session itself was – the victory is simply in the doing. I can see them starting to believe in their own power and it is so, so inspiring.

I find the action-before-belief thing applies to many aspects of life, in large and small ways. Like every time I make an effort to hang up my coat instead of dumping it on the floor, I am slowly changing the tune of "I'm a slob" to "I'm quite a tidy person".

The only exception might be writing. No matter how much action I take on the writing front, the self-belief doesn't come. But I reckon that might just be a writing thing. Maybe if you allowed yourself to believe in your own abilities too much you'd get cocky and a piano would fall on your head. I think with writing you need that wee bit of terror and doubt in your guts to keep you motivated. Hehe ;)

What works for you? Do you have any tips or tactics for cultivating self-belief?

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Wow

From Jen @ Perfect in our Imperfections today:

"I think when we get to the point where we really believe something is at the top of our priority list, nothing can stop us. We can find a way around any excuse. We don't need advice, we just need to realize our own power and make our own goals a priority, and then rearrange our lives accordingly. Simple, right?"

I love Jen.

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