the mental judo

I am perhaps famous with my “mental judo fights”, where I keep thinking, paining, putting and effort, and struggling about the same issue over and over.

It is not fun; fighting with your own thoughts or choices. Wanting something, trying, putting an effort, and then not being able to continue, be effective, or achieve. Having frustration and lack of confidence as a result. Feeling bad about yourself.

The struggle is usually a habit that I need to change for the better. Take my healthy eating and losing weight saga, for example.

Weight: For my entire life, I struggled with my weight. It is true that in the last 6-7 years, I have gained a lot of weight; 35 pounds to be exact. There are reasons that I can count for this; lack of physical exercise, lack of time, stress, and eating usually unhealthy food or snacks among the top ones.

Walking: When it is combined with the rainy/snowy weather, walking becomes a challenge. I am more comfortable walking in the afternoon than in the morning. When I walk in the morning, it is always a great feeling. But my challenge is to start walking – taking my feet out of the house. When I start it, I enjoy it. When I can walk it, I enjoy it. My day at the office starts better and I feel proud of myself. That is when it is not raining or snowing of course. So I accept the fact that during winter and the majority of the spring, I may not walk in the mornings. Ok.

Gym: Walking is of course not the only exercise I can get. I have gyms at my work place. One of them is quite suitable for me as it is pay per visit and quite an affordable one. I was planning to start it late September; alas 2 months have elapsed and I still did not start it. What am I (not) doing?

Weight loss: In terms of weight loss, I thought by limiting the carbs (which is also good for lowering my blood sugar levels) and by eating better food, like raw veggies, salads, and fruits like apples and pears, I would lose my extra weight….. I thought so because in the past I was able to lose weight. It turns out that is not the case anymore – I have been on a healthy eating journey since September. While I have lost 8 pounds till early October, after that I simply gained them back. It is not working. To lose my weight, I must try another way….

Having these two items, exercising and losing weight, on my “to-d0-list” has been tiring.

It has been years………

I WANT to achieve these.

But there is always something more important to take care or channelize my energy into. There is work, there are issues in life, at work…. There is always A LOT for me to handle. Whether or not they are excuses, I do not know.

What I know is that today I have been thinking; how would I feel if they were gone from my list?

Healthier? Yes

More accomplished? Yes

Freer? Absolutely Yes! 

I today imagined how my mind would be freed of these concerns, attempts, struggles, and issues.

I imagined how energizing this would have been.

I am not naive enough to think that my mind would not fill up with new mental judo activities. And that is okay; at least they would be new, not stagnated ones like these two issues.

Wish me luck as I start planning and implementing new strategies to tackle my weight loss and exercise goals.

 

 

 

random thoughts

For a book-lover like myself, it is weird that I happen to put notes on their pages. Such an habit certainly makes the books unsuitable for others to read. Plus, it actually a little bit disrespecting to these wonderful, and information and imagination full things that we call books…

Anyways, just yesterday I notice a benefit of this practice. I was re-reading a personal finance book that I am fond of and I came across my notes from years ago; I wrote two major and extra expenses that I was utterly unhappy of. As a matter of fact, whichever personal finance book of mine I look at, I find this recurring expenses and my wish to eliminate them…One of them is taking the cab rather than the bus or walking (to and from the office).

I have a very good estimate of this extra expense; I save $90/week by taking the bus in the morning and by walking in the afternoon, rather than taking the cab in the morning and the afternoon. This corresponds to around $4,500 savings per year. Considering I took the cab for many years (only because it was convenient and I thought I deserved this convenience), the total amount I paid for my transportation unnecessarily adds up to quite a large amount of money….

I knew it then and I know it now. But what I have experienced yesterday is the relief of knowing that this years-long struggle is now ended (as part of my “conscious spending” project I have been working on the last 3-4 months) . While I am still not happy about writing on the books, I am glad I put these notes there to remind me how long I have been occupied with eliminating this unnecessary expense.

An additional, and perhaps more cheerful thing is that I have been working on the second expense that I would like to get rid of. It too has been in my list for many years and I am making attempts to erase it. After yesterday’s experience, I am more confident that when the right time comes, that expense category will go, too. Then I will be able to cross them as issues from my life.

Priceless.

decision making is hard sometime

Sometime I can make a decision right away. I am talking about daily-life related decisions, such as what to buy, what not to do, how to have my relaxing routine etc.

At work as well; if it is clear and I am knowledgeable or experienced about, I can make a decision in a split second. I am sure many of us behave like this.

Then, there are other decisions, other situations that require a little bit more reflection. In such cases, if the knowledge and prior experience is not available, I found the best thing is to wait a while to re-examine the situation and then make a decision. Surely, others’ opinions I sometime ask or I do my own research, or just listen to my guts. I started this strategy a while ago when I experienced a set-back when I did not re-visit the situation and made a deficient decision. Since then, I practice this “wait and re-visit” policy.

Sometimes, just sometimes though it is not clear to me how much I should reflect, how long I should spend reflecting or re-examining the situation. These times I feel like having a “mental paralysis” which is not fruitful at all. It is also very painful and is draining. Damage to the confidence should be acknowledged as well. Plus, I have to deal with my own self-critique that blasts me all the time.

Sometimes, I just gave up. Not in the sense that I do not care, but in the sense that I accept the limitations of my decisions or the possible consequences. In those times, I believe doing something is better than not doing anything.

So today I made a decision on one of the projects that I had stopped because of an issue. That is an exciting project with very promising results. There is a way to fix the issue, yet this itself may create more problems. So I decided to rather go ahead with minor modifications, which although will not resolve the issue, will at least get the project completed with a little bit of limitation. That is quite a relief.

I am seriously relieved. I know in a couple of weeks I can prioritize that project and finish it. That makes me happy 🙂

relief – re; house problem

I am excited that I took the steps to have a second opinion on the crack on one of my walls.

I called the insurance company first; my first time dealing with an insurance claim and they were helpful. I am very proud of myself that I could make this call and get information. I do have a tendency to delay things where I am not even sure how to describe. I have been meaning to call the insurance company since last weekend. I am glad I finally made it. I now have more information and if I have to make other calls, I know I can make it easier.

the insurance company hooked me up with a contractor company they work with. Within an hour the contractor and I met at my house. He did an in detail examination. First thing I have learnt that crawl spaces are useful as they help us to inspect the foundations. I do not have one… Second, my problem right now is only a cosmetic problem, so I will continue to watch over the crack and other places in my house. Third, the worst thing that can happen is a significant repair requiring tens of thousand dollars, which is depressing… Fourth, there is no danger or indication of a a dangerous situation yet, so I can have peace of mind until all gets way worse.

It may not be all good news, but knowing that despite my shakiness I am taking the necessary steps. It may cost me eventually some tens of thousands… That is the scary part but there are somethings in life we cannot control and this is one of them… But until it happens, I will remain calm and remind myself that the best thing I can do is to be knowledgeable and attentive. At least I did not ignore. At least I have taken steps to understand. The rest I hope I will be able to go through if something wrong happens.

That is a great relief.

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