Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Where in the World?

I know.  It's been a long time since my last post.  I've been working on lots of projects at home, at work, at the gym, you name it.  The positive outcome to all of this work is a lot of insight and a whole lot of progress in some areas.

One area I've made a lot of progress in is nutrition.  About 6 weeks ago I started testing and taking some supplements (minerals, vitamins, herbs).  I've converted to as much organic food as I can - I'd say 75% or more.  The results of these two changes is pretty great. 

I had given up hope that I would feel energetic again.  I forgot what it felt like to be comfortable in my skin.  Now that the changes have become normal, my body is responding positively.  My strength is coming back.  I'm sleeping even better.  I don't wake up with hot flashes.

Each week I feel a little better.  Each week I make another positive change or adjustment.  I'm changing my mechanics, my chemistry, and my psychology.  All through biofeedback.  And it really didn't take long to get results.  It just took a willingness to do some work.

So, where in the world have I been?  Working on ME.  That's where.  When will you go there?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Shoulding All Over Myself

I should stop eating so much at all of these holiday gatherings.
I should work out more.
I should write a blogpost.
I should _______________ (fill in the blank)

I'm shoulding all over myself again.  Do you find yourself doing this?  We spend so much energy thinking about what we should be doing.

Who says we should?

That voice inside that wants us to be accepted, to be perfect, to be acknowledged by others.  Each of us has that voice telling us what we should be doing so that voice can be satisfied.

You know what?  It will never be satisfied.  All it wants to do is want.  Even if we were to do everything perfectly, the voice would not be satisfied.  It would tell us to strive for something else.

I'm learning to silence that voice so I can make choices that are the best ones for ME, not that crazy voice.  (Make no mistake, that voice IS crazy.  Listen to yours once and you'll realize it tells you all sorts of warped ideas.) 

When I listen to that crazy voice, I respond in an almost unconscious way because that's what I'm conditioned to do.  For example, here is a typical exchange I have quite often.  Notice my typical response:

Other PersonAmy, we really need someone to take care of this.  We would be so grateful if you would take the lead on this project.
Crazy Voice:  Ooooo!  Here's your chance to be appreciated for your skills.  Do it! Do it! Do it!
MeI'd love to oversee this project.  Thank you for thinking of me!  (How nice that Other Person has such faith in my abilities.)

Now, the crazy voice is happy for about 10 seconds.  Then I realize it's finals week and I have no time for another project.  Crap.  I just shoulded all over myself.

All to satisfy the crazy voice.  Yep.  That's crazy.

Every day I'm working to stop that need to satisfy the crazy voice.  I am getting better at enacting the two steps to breaking the stupid cycle:  1)stop and 2)pay attention before responding.  (See my post below for more details.)

Have I mastered it?  No. 
Am I better?  Absolutely.

Before long, I will be able to laugh at the crazy voice, pat it on the head, and say "You are a silly little bugger, aren't you?  I'm not falling for your insanity.  Bye now."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Words - Not Now

Just put some on the page.  Break the seal.  Let em flow.

It's strange how much I've changed over the past month.  I was so full of words they practically oozed out of my ears.  I couldn't stop the words from filling my head constantly.


I have fewer words filling my head, cluttering my existence.  Let me tell you - it's bringing a lot more peace to my life. 


Do I shut down the incessant stream of words running, running, running through my brain?  It's pretty simple, actually.  I do two things:
1) Stop    2) Pay attention

1) Stop - This means I stop my unconscious reactions.  I've conducted some research into what responses are negative to me.  I also have had to uncover what triggers these responses.  Now that I know, when I find myself close to a negative response, I can stop.  I shut down my normal reaction. 

How?  By focusing on what I'm sensing at the moment.

2) Pay attention - This means that after I stop, I immediately focus on my physical being.  I pay attention to all of the automatic systems in my body - breathing, blood flow, movements, etc.  I also key into my emotions.  We experience our emotions through physical sensations.

Emotions are what they are.  I'm working on not judging myself for the emotions I am experiencing.  Instead I just pay attention to them.  It's like I'm just taking note of them.  When I pay attention to the physical experience of the emotion, it immediately shuts off the flow of words.  The words normally carry judgments.

Once I've stopped and paid attention I am then ready to act.  I have broken the ineffective cycle of negative thought and negative response.

Why -

Would I feel the need to shut off my thoughts?  Because those thoughts are destructive.  They keep me trapped in a vicious cycle of negative thoughts, negative reactions.  I'm like Pavlov's dog, salivating at every bell I've conditioned myself to respond to.  It's exhausting.

Actually, not so much any more.  I'm still a work in progress,

every day

at focusing on the NOW.  That is the only time frame I can impact.  I can't change the past, and I can't travel to the future.  Doing what is better for me at this moment will undoubtedly make my future better. 

I can only get to the future  (and reach my goals) one NOW at a time.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Now - There Is Nothing Else

I attended a course on biopsychology taught by The Movement's Frankie Faires this past weekend.  It consisted of two days filled with with listening, absorbing, reflecting, testing, connecting, disconnecting, growing, learning, unlearning, and on and on.

Many lessons swirl around my head at different times, but the one aspect that is the recipient of my attention this week is the power of NOW.

NOW is the only entity we truly have.  Everything else is only a memory of what happened or anticipation of what's to come.  I cannot do anything about either of those.  The events of my past only live on in my memories and my associations to these memories. 

The future is uncertain, and focusing on it, worrying about it, only robs me of the one moment I am certain of - NOW.

What I've already found in a few short days since the biopsych course is that paying attention to the current moment and asking "What can I do now?" changes all my decisions, my actions, and my thoughts. 


By getting me to slow down my reaction times.  That one change changes the response, the outcome. 

How many times have you jumped to a conclusion about a person or their motives in a split second?  Every day?  Me too.  If you stop yourself from thinking about the past with that person and instead focus on the right now, your usual reaction will change.

Instead of remembering how that person has behaved in the past or how you feel about that person, focus on the moment you are in.  Pretend you've lost all memories of that person.  How does that change your reaction to him/her?

Memories can only hurt us now if we don't change our associations with them.

So, this is just a nugget of what I'm working on - focusing on right now, this moment.  LMK if you have thoughts or questions.


After a full day of teaching and meetings today, I went to the gym.  I could have easily gone home.  Before starting my car in the parking lot, I asked myself, "Can I do this now?"  The answer - Yes.  I drove to the gym, changed clothes, and went into the training room.

I started testing movements.  Which movements could I do now?  DL, Swings, Burpees, Split Squats.  Cool.  The same drills I did last week. 

I did the same 350 reps workout as below.  Today, I moved the same weight, the same number of reps in 20 minutes, 10 seconds.  That's over 2 minutes faster than last time. 

Seeing a correlation?  I am.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Field of Dreams

"If you build it, they will come."

Actually -

If you move it, PRs will come. 

I'm blown away by how quickly I've made progress once I got my body moving.

I've added 20 lbs. to my deadlift in the past week.  I've been moving more weight and spending more time under load. 

I'm out there, Jerry, and I'm lovin' it!

Seeing the PRs on paper is so rewarding.  I'm glad I keep a log.  If you don't, you need to.  How else can you track your progress?  If you don't see progress, how can you stay motivated?

Here's what I did today.

350 Reps Workout
I did 7 movements, 50 reps of each, and timed how long it took me.  The next time I do this workout, I can see if I complete the 350 reps in less time.  When I do, I'll feel the satisfaction of being better.

Split Squat - Right - 24 kg
Split Squat - Left - 24 kg
Burpees with Jump Up
Sumo DL - 150 lbs.
Ab Chopper
Swing - Right - 24 kg
Swing - Left - 24 kg

Time to complete - 22 min. 20 seconds

I live in Iowa, a state covered in fields.  The most beautiful field, however, is the one I am cultivating, planting, and harvesting of my own.  It's called "Amy."

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Twenty and Done

I absolutely love how biofeedback training allows me to focus in my training on exactly what my body needs.  Because of this, I don't waste time doing unnecessary drills. 
Today, I worked for a total of 20 minutes.  It took me about 5 minutes to test movements and determine which ones I would do today.  I also took about 5 minutes between circuits to get set up. 

Factor in the 5 minutes to change into my workout clothes and that's a whopping 35 minutes to train today.  Not much, is it? 

That efficiency is why I am able to train.  It would not be sustainable for me to workout an hour a day 5-6 days a week.  I'm interested in a lifestyle I can manage throughout my life.  Twenty and Done is definitely manageable!

Circuit #1 - 10 minutes
1. One-Arm Press - split stance, torso twist, 12 kg
Left - 16 reps, Right - 19 reps
2. Supergirl Squats
Left - 40 reps, Right - 40 reps

Circuit #2 - 10 minutes
1. Inverted Rows - TRX
50 reps
2. Mountain Climbers
120 reps each leg
3. One-Arm Clean - 20 kg
Left - 40 reps, Right - 40 reps