By: Michaelene Koskela
Hello April! Finally seeing signs of spring after an extraordinary New England winter of snowfall and consecutive days of frigid temperatures is uplifting and rejuvenating.
Spring time brings us longer days that afford us an extra boost of energy to clean our homes from top to bottom, to start much anticipated outdoor projects and to prep the ground for vegetable gardens. For me it is also the perfect opportunity to recommit or dig a little deeper into personal goals.
If you did not make a goal or resolution in January now is ALWAYS the perfect time. Start with defining your goal, aim high make it big; get it on paper. The best method for me is to use the SMART mnemonic. This helps you dig deeper into what you truly desire, to live the life that makes YOU happy. This process also lets you break it down into steps, achievable steps that motivate you to continue forward with a higher success rate of achievement.
- Specific or Significant
- Measurable or Meaningful
- Attainable or Action-oriented
- Relevant or Rewarding
- Time bound or Tractable
For myself I had made the resolution to delve deeper and achieve my magna opus or female nirvana! Or in summary, a healthy self image and body; this goal includes daily self care replacing negative thoughts with positive, embracing gratefulness, acceptance without judging and a combination of healthy food choices with exercise. My established time frame to meet the emotional or mental portion of my goal is undefined, as I had taken most of my adulthood comparing compromising and choosing to allow myself to prioritize others. The healthy body timeline I established was 5 months, believing i would take that amount of time to feel confident and stronger in shorts and swim attire.
Immediately I made the conscience decision to stop being negative toward myself I realized the majority of my self-belief was bad conditioning. Positive measurable results my stinkin’ thinkin’ gave me a face of a grumpy deep in thought furrowed brow. Releasing the negative thoughts and focusing on positives attributed to me smiling, my eyes appeared brighter and my skin improved. My loved ones benefited from this change as well. A smile begets smiles.
However, during month three I called myself out and faced the fact that winter sadness, the death of a loved pet, my husband’s month long battle with shingles are not viable excuses to eat sugar laden treats, nachos or skip a workout; I was sabotaging myself and my positive goal was slowly self-destructing. Without question the desired results were not showing on the scale, I actually stopped documenting my measurements and put away my food log. In turn, I had put on a ridiculous amount of weight in a short period of time and was doing well to revert back to bad habits which gave momentum to negative thinking. Smiles as in earlier months began to waiver.
Shortly after my realization and facing up to myself I had an epiphany. I needed to get uncomfortable, not in the temper tantrum child in the grocery store discomfort; rather I had to get out of my rut do something that would make ME uncomfortable yet steer me in the direction of my intended goal. What did I do you ask?
I signed up for a FREE class at a local Barre studio. I had wanted to try barre, yet never had the courage to take a class; my perception was that you needed to have a ballet perfect body and to also have everything that my body does not have naturally; coordination, grace, and poise. The fear of being in a room full of strangers with my significant signs of wear -which I am slowly learning to appreciate and love -was beyond uncomfortable. A visit to the website hastened my insecurities as the images posted are of beautiful people in perfect tippy toe barre poses, tight fannies and flat bellies. It scared the bologna out of me and I needed to tell everyone that I knew that I had signed up so I would become accountable and would not cancel. (Thank you Y sisters you know who you are.)
The day came, despite the fact that was 27 degrees out, I was perspiring and drenched like a wart hog due to fear. The studio had three walls of mirrors and I selected the darkest furthest corner without a mirror to set my towel, weights, ball and band. The instructor greeted me and was super warm and friendly. Told me to take things at my pace she listened to my concerns certain my voice crack as I spoke. The class was 55 minutes it was low impact, small moves that were easy to understand. Getting my body to cooperate is part of the art. All ages, all sizes and all levels tucked, pulsed, and squeezed. I conquered a fear and tried something new.
Surprisingly I went back and I am hooked! 7 classes in and I have already lost a few pounds & inches. I stand taller and feel muscles that I never knew existed; the unexpected transformation is how good it makes me feel about myself and the time I give to myself. The classes are challenging the isometric movements are designed to exhaust your muscles in a good way.
Falling off track sometimes leads us to greater beginnings.
Now carry on warriors pulse up an inch, down an inch.