Of Mice, Bikes and Keeping goals in mind
Hi guys, I’m back after a rough couple of weeks. As a mentioned in my last post, change is never easy; it is wrought with many uncertainties and inherently involves some degree of risk. Sometimes things work out as or better than you expected, but other times the road is a little bumpier. I guess my road has started off a little bumpier than I would have liked, but that’s part of life! The first week (Oct 6 – 10th) I had an unwelcome visitor in the form of a mouse (ugh). This past week, my bike, along with three other bikes in my apartment building, was stolen. I found out later that it actually happened on Wednesday night but I didn’t notice till Thursday. I ended up filing a police report, but then by a bizarre sequence of events, my bike was recovered! (Long story short, my movers accidentally bent the rim of the tire and so the back wheel wouldn’t turn; thus the thieves left it behind and my super put it in the basement). Anyway, Thursday night (when I thought my bike had been ripped off), was not pretty. I was really distraught about a whole series of things that had gone wrong since moving back, and was just an emotional wreck.
Through all these ‘festivities,’ and the roller coaster of emotions I was feeling, I found myself questioning a lot of decisions I had made – about changing careers, moving, relocating etc. I started questioning many decisions and asking a lot of “What if..” questions. Making a career change mid-life was not and is not an easy decision. You give up so much, including financial stability, a regular income and time, and put other things like relationships and life events on hold in order to pursue your dreams and goals. It is hard work and requires a huge investment of time, money and sacrifices – but it’s also so worth it to know that you are pursuing your dreams and not settling for anything less than exactly what you want. This past week, when things weren’t turning out to be quite as I had expected,I started comparing my life to those of others around me who have very successful careers and certainly a much larger bank account than I do right now. However, this comparison did nothing but augment my anxiety. Thankfully, I have an amazing group of friends who are like family to me, and wonderful parents who were so supportive and talked me through the rough times. The odd recovery of my bike was also a nice sign (NYC’s way of saying “Welcome back – but you have to go through a period of hazing before you get settled in.” Don’t worry – I still love you NYC). So I am back, and looking forward to good things. I spent a lovely Saturday at a food festival with some dear friends, and had a great run around Central Park today – and loved every minute of it 🙂 And I keep in mind why I chose to do what I do – because I love it. That’s why. I have a dream and I am pursuing it, and at the end of the day that is what I have to remember when things get a little rough.
This little episode did however get me thinking about our tendency to compare ourselves to others in different areas of life. For some it may be comparisons related to finances, lifestyle, careers etc, while for others it may be comparisons around body image, looks or athletic abilities. Whatever the comparison may be – is it really worth it?? Is it really necessary? And what exactly does it achieve? Not much, except for causing unnecessary mental anguish and preventing you from recognizing and celebrating your own accomplishments and abilities.
One area in which I hope to help my clients in the field of nutrition and health is dealing with negative self-talk and comparisons surrounding food and body image. Food can be such a sensitive subject for many individuals; eating a “bad” food can lead to a downward spiral of negative self talk, comparisons to other individuals with supposedly “perfect diets” and “perfect bodies,” and a great deal of mental anguish and distress. And yet the comparison is unjustified; it is a disservice to your own self, to your body and what it can accomplish, and to your lifestyle and needs. While comparisons can sometimes be a positive thing and drive us to make changes for the better (for example, make healthier food choices, exercise more consistently), they can become crippling if they prevent us from doing what is best for our own body. Someone else’s diet or exercise program may not be right for you, because your life is different; you are different. So that is one area in which I really hope to help individuals who are seeking to change their diet and/or lifestyle. To find what works for them, and to help them live their healthiest life.
What about you? Do you often/sometimes find yourself making comparisons between yourself and other individuals, and if so in which areas of life? Career? Finances? Social life? Fitness? What helps you break out of this mode of thinking?