I’ve been working on this particular post for a while now, but felt like I needed to get that weighty one off of my chest first. (See what I did there?  Because I wrote about being heavier?…)  Anyway, I wanted to share something of a mantra that I have been using for a while now.  I already had two mantra type sayings that absolutely love, but I find that they have their use in different situations.  My absolute favorite, of course, is “SoPossible.”  I’ve explained where that came from in my about page, and I love using it when I am doubting myself in a particularly hard moment.  Could be that last mile of a race, or during that first mile of the swim.  Amor Fati is something I have been trying hard to achieve.  It means, love of fate.  It’s not about acceptance, but really loving what has happened no matter what.  The concept is fabulous, but in practice very hard to do.  I came up with my own stepping stone to my Amore Fati goal.  I ask myself if I am ABLE.  Not physically able, but able being an acronym.  It stands for Accept, Balance, Love and Evolve.


I first ask myself if I am accepting the things I cannot control.  If I am fighting and putting energy into something I cannot control, that is a waste of valuable resources.  Too often in the past, I have found myself reacting to something I cannot control in a way that does nothing to remedy it, since again I cannot control it, but only proves to make me more unhappy.  How many times do we shout out and wave our hands at the person that cut us off in traffic?  What good does that do?  Most of the time, that driver isn’t phased at all.  They don’t see our arms waving like mad, and they certainly don’t hear us.  Maybe they don’t even realize they cut you off in the first place.  We cannot control the diagnosis of certain illnesses, or the outcome of the fate of the Avengers in Infinity Wars! (Let us take a moment of silence for Spiderman, please.)  When we identify and accept the things we cannot control, we can move on to better things.


Sometimes, accepting your fate can easily go too far the other direction and become a crutch.  You have to find that balance between what you cannot control and what you can.  If you plan to go out for a  walk or run and you get to the door and it’s raining.  You can accept that you can’t control the weather and maybe can’t go out for that run (you can, it’s actually fun).  You can then tell yourself, it just wasn’t meant to be for me.  Guess I will have to start tomorrow, fate just doesn’t want me to be fit.  That’s BS!  That’s taking accepting fate and making it your excuse.  Like I said, you can run in the rain, but even if you don’t, you can do bodyweight exercises.  You can have a dance party like nobody’s watching and burn a couple hundred calories (I’ve done it, it’s awesome!).  The point is, that bad stuff can happen, things won’t go according to plan.  We can’t control it, but we can choose not to just sulk and blame fate for everything that follows.  I try to remind myself of this in my reactions to things, in my outlook.  We have more choices than we sometimes realize.


Accepting your fate can become easy if you work at it.  Loving it is a bit more challenging.  I will literally list to myself ways to love whatever fate has brought me and eventually I realize that it’s possible.  At the very least, I can find something I learned in an experience and be grateful and love that part of it.  When you take a moment and try to love something that happened to you, especially some bad, it really brings an inner peace I cannot describe.  It makes you think about how much more there is to life.  It brings clarity to the fact that most bad things that happen to us, could have been so much worse.  People say that god or fate ,only give you that which you can handle.  I believe that to be true.   You can handle it, but if you can learn to love it, man,  that brings you to a whole new level!


For me, and in this little mantra of mine, evolve means to get just a little bit better as a result of whatever is going on.  That could be as simple as learning something from the experience, or making a change that makes me a better person as a result of something that happened.  It could be the fact that I did the first three parts of this mantra very well in a given situation!  Having this last part of the mantra kind of closes the loop for me.  If I can accept the things I cannot control… If I can balance that acknowledgement of what is out of my control and take control of what I can… If I can truly find a way to love my situation, my life and even more importantly, myself…. And be cognizant enough to learn from every one of those experiences…. How can I not have evolved?  As a person, as a fellow human being, as a friend, the list is endless.

I have been using this little acronym for quite a few months now.  I use it in so many situations and have found that it is always applicable.  At first I felt a little silly thinking about sharing it.  I am no motivation speaker after all, but it has helped me so much that I just wanted to share it.  I would encourage you to give it a try the next time you feel your blood pressure going up as a reaction to something, or you feel down about something.  It works wonders for me and I hope it does the same for someone else.  Remember, we are all ABLE!


How far can you bounce back, if deflated?

When I had to have the biopsy, I was told I could not train for a couple of weeks, but not to worry.  I was fit and healthy, I would bounce back.  Then, the surgery and no training for at least 3-4 weeks.  The nurse said, don’t worry honey, you will bounce back in no time!  Then, broken bone in the foot, and 8 weeks in the boot.  Yeah, yeah, I know.  I will bounce back.  Well, I am having trouble getting the height of bounce I expected.  A typical ball bounces because of the material on the outside and the air on the inside.  Have you ever successfully dribbled a basketball with no air in it?  No.  It hits the ground with a thud.   That’s been me, somewhat deflated.

While I haven’t been able to run for 8 weeks, I have been swimming, spinning and doing some strength work.  I’ve been really proud of my effort level in all of this.  In the past, I thought I was pushing myself, but hindsight is always clearer, and I see now that I really had not been.  I’ve been feeling pretty good.  I’ve been feeling strong and accomplished.  That is in all areas except one.  My weight.  I’ve had lots and lots of different doctor appointments and they love to weigh you at each one.  At the first mammogram, I remember thinking “hmm those last 5 or so pounds to my goal weight just won’t come off.”  Then the next appointment “oh crap, maybe a heavy breakfast now has me a couple of pounds more over my goal weight.”  Then it was, “Dang.  ok, 10 pounds over.  What’s the point right now anyway?  I won’t be able to work out now so I know I am going to gain a bit.  Oh well.”

Looking back, I know that as positive as I tried to be, there was something inside that was anything but.   Some part of me was sad, mad, and frustrated.  So much was out of my control and I felt like an innocent bystander caught in a crossfire.  I kind of gave up a little, without even realizing it was happening.  A naughty meal here and there, turned into Zinger Mountain Melts and Dairy Queen more often than I care to think about.  Before I knew it, I gained 15 pounds!  What’s funny, is I don’t feel overweight.  I feel pretty fit actually.  Then, I see a photo of myself.  Or, I go to put something on that I used to love wearing and realize it doesn’t quite fit right.  That’s when it hits me.  Hard.  I distribute my weight evenly, thank goodness, so people don’t quite realize how much I have gained.  I have used the excuse of “doing what makes me happy” because we only live once.  I wanted something, I craved something, and I’d say life should be lived!  Ok, I will have it.  Then I hate that I ate it, and would tell myself the next meal would be healthy.  The cycle would repeat itself, sometimes without me even realizing it.  I have been having this internal battle for months now.

I had told myself that once I started to train, especially when I started to run, the pounds would just melt off.  I had really hoped they would.  I am embarrassed and this is something I hoped would be resolved before feeling the need to even share it.  The truth is, you can’t outrun a bad diet.  Happiness from bad food is fleeting.  That two second pleasure of an amazing chocolate chip cookie is nothing compared to seeing a photo of myself and not wanting to burn it!  I am happiest when I see a photo of myself that looks like I feel.  A photo that accurately represents the fact that I wake up early 6-7 days a week and train.  A photo that shows me looking as strong as I feel.  I had that before, and when I did, I could still have that chocolate chip cookie every now and then.  I had the best of both worlds, but somehow along the line I got deflated and just wasn’t able to bounce back.  I had a great conversation with a friend the other night, and come to find out she goes through the exact same thing.  At least I know I am not crazy, or if I am, I am not alone in my crazy!    After that talk, I got to thinking about why I hadn’t changed things yet.  Maybe I was feeling sorry for myself.  Maybe I was hoping that with all the work, the food wouldn’t matter.  I don’t know, but I decided I was done.  I either want this bad enough or I don’t.  I needed to just snap out of it and do what needs to be done until I get where I want to be.   I started yesterday and I already feel like I’m pumping myself up.