Tag Archive: vulnerable

Vulnerability. Not a comfortable concept. Even the word itself if hard to say. All of us have to face it to some degree or another. This morning I was so excited to get out in the sunshine and walk. I had high hopes of finally meeting the woman who’s husband said she’s been wanting to walk in the mornings. I even took the stairs instead of the elevator because I didn’t want the usual mess and occasionl smell of PineSol to ruin my mood. But by the time I burst through the exit into the great outdoors, the sun was covered by clouds and the woman was nowhere to be found. I stood there, alone again under a grey sky, waiting…hoping she would appear.

After a few minutes passed and there was still no sign of anyone coming to join me I headed for the tree despite the overwhelming urge to turn around, crawl back in bed and forget the whole thing. And by the whole thing, I mean the walking group, the weightloss challenge (which hasn’t even started yet), this blog and being a coach. Each and every one of the things on that list makes me feel vulnerable and this morning it was almost too much. My success depends not just on what I do, but also on other people and their willingness to trust that I have their best interest at heart. I can do all the right things, but ultimately they have to take that leap of faith.

In some ways it was easier to go to a job each day that paid well, but deep down I knew I was wasting my time doing something I wasn’t meant to be doing for all the wrong reasons and it was making me miserable. Too many times I’ve taken the safe route, the path that appeared to be the best choice when looking at it logically, but failed to take into consideration what it is that motivates me to be the best I can be. Now I do something that I love, but the very nature of what I do makes me vulnerable.

As I walked along, thinking about how we rely on others for support and encouragement and are often times let down, I starting noticing things all around me that are also vulnerable.

The worm was completely unprotected, relying on the world to first notice it was there and then be kind enough to avoid squashing it. The bird was also vulnerable and clearly saw me as a threat, but had a back-up plan. It protected itself by flying to the top of the tree, out of reach, where it could see when the danger had passed. Some people are like the worm and expect too much from others, putting themselves in situations where they can be easily hurt not realizing that they are at least partially responsible for the consequences. Others are like the bird. While they don’t put up defenses like a blackberry bush, making sure no one can get close without getting hurt, they recognize the possibility of danger when putting their trust fully in the world around them. They know that they can protect themselves by going higher which gives them a better perspective.

As a society we’ve put certain rules in place to protect us from each other. For example, traffic laws. We trust that other people will follow the rules and stay in their own lane or not turn right in front of us. Even though they’re perfect stangers, we trust the other drivers with our lives. However, once we’ve experienced the consequences of someone breaking the rules we become distrustful and even angry. I know that while most of the time I’m a pretty relaxed driver, there are times when another person does something that makes me wonder if they’re paying attention and it makes me angry. Some people have been hurt so many times, they’re constantly on the defensive, ready to lash out at any moment.

I’ve been a worm before. And I’ve been an angry driver. I don’t want to be either. I purposely walked along the road in front of Autzen Stadium because with the way I was feeling I knew I needed a better perspective. The Xs and Os in front of the stadium have quotes engraved at the bottom and I figured someone had decided to put one on there that would help me find the determination to keep moving forward.

Mentally, reading those helped me get the perspective I was looking for. Emotionally, I was still feeling down and discouraged. The batteries in my camera were just about spent, but lasted just long enough so I could photograph the one thing that made me smile as I headed home.

It reminded me that even when the people closest to us let us down or we allow ourselves to feel judged because others don’t seem to have faith in us, there is only one who has the right to judge us and chooses to love us unconditionally. There is only one who knows the number of the stars and every detail of every flower and always notices us…every hair on our head and every thought inside it…and never hurts us, but takes us higher so we can see life from a different perspective.

I’m not going to lie, even as I’ve been sitting here writing this I’ve received news that on another day would’ve been somewhere around a 7 on the disappointment scale, but today feels like 1,000,000. One more thing I was excited about, not just for me, but even more for the other person…gone. Over before it even began. Leaving me wondering why they didn’t trust me to come through for them or why they didn’t talk to me before making the decision final. Part of me, a big part, wanted to say screw it, delete what I’d already written and close up shop. Obviously, I chose a different way of handling it. Perhaps that means I’m growing. I’m sure I’ll get over it, but for now it hurts and that is the reality of being vulnerable. But if we close ourselves off and never take risks we will never live up to the full potential of our lives, robbing those who may have been helped if we had been willing to get hurt along the way.

Oh yeah, can’t forget the tree.

The kids had a snow day today so we decided they should watch a documentary with the hope that they would learn something. After browsing through Netflix for a while we chose Super Size Me. I’ve always wanted to see it and we’ve been making some healthy changes to our eating habits so it seemed like a good choice. If you’ve seen it, I’m sure you can understand that the kids have no desire to eat at McDonald’s anymore. If you haven’t, you should. It’s pretty interesting and disturbing. It was time for lunch when it was over and I found myself desparately in need of some veggies. And another big shout out to Trader Joe’s for supplying the world (well, some parts of it anyway) with minimally processed, casing-free jalapeno chicken sausage.

Breakfast – P90X Cafe Mocha protein bar (took my walk early and the kids weren’t ready for breakfast before I left so I switched it up – heaven forbid I wash the blender twice)

AM Snack – Chocolate Shakeology made with 8oz water, 4oz 1% organic milk, a little vanilla extract and exactly 1 1/2 drops peppermint extract (3 drops total in the blender – I make a double batch so I get a full serving and kids each get half a serving)

Lunch – 4c romaine lettuce, 1 jalapeno chicken sausage, 1oz crumbled feta, some peperoncini slices (didn’t count them), 1Tbs Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mixed with 2tsp Taco Bell Restaurant Sauce and a little water

PM Snack – 1/4c hummus, 1oz Trader Joe’s Stoneground Tortilla chips, 1 banana

Dinner – 1 Boca Flame Grilled burger, 1 slice colby jack cheese, 1 slice crushed wheat sourdough bread from Trader Joe’s, 1Tbs Simply Heinz ketchup (the kind without high fructose corn syrup), 1tsp yellow mustard, 1c peas, 2 wedges Weight Watchers garlic & herb cheese, 6oz Yoplait Light Blueberry Patch yogurt

Now, you’d think I would’ve been satisfied with all that, but no. I still felt like I needed something. In hindsight it was probably water, but I read it as hunger. So I had a bowl of Cheerios. Still wanted more. Two pickle spears. Didn’t cut it. Decided to just have another protein bar, Chocolate Fudge this time, knowing it would definitely fill me up and make me feel like I’d had “dessert”. After the bar, I did feel full and started cleaning up and making dinner for my husband who had just come home. I found one snack size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup left in a bag of assorted chocolates that I’d managed to ignore all week when I picked up the bag to throw it away. “Might as well eat it,” I thought. And I did. After all, how much harm could one little piece of candy do?

It was like a switch flipped on in my head and suddenly, even though it had completely registered that I was full, I just wanted to eat everything in sight. As I pulled the hummus back out of the fridge I asked myself what in the world I thought I was doing. Then I told myself that I just wouldn’t post anything I ate after the protein bar. I rationlized that no one would ever know and I didn’t have to tell everything if I didn’t want to. It was my blog after all. I ate several spoonfuls of the hummus right out of the container, chugged some apple juice from the container, and crunched my way through a handful of croutons.

Did I stop there? No. The spicy beef and broccoli I was making for my husband was done so I had some of that, too, with rice. It was somewhere around the apple juice that I noticed I was having a little trouble breathing. That used to happen a lot when I would sit up at night eating ice cream straight from the carton. That shortness of breath usually turned into a full-on asthma attack and by the time I downed the beef and broccoli that’s where I was. Ugh. And, I hadn’t done my workout yet so I didn’t even had that option for burning off some of those extra calories. Double ugh.

I was so annoyed and disturbed that I had done that to myself again and at how easily I crossed that line. Like Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde. One minute I was in control, carefully tracking what and how much I was eating and the next minute I totally lost it. It’s like walking a tightrope. You’re so careful to stay right on track so you don’t fall and it becomes easier as you form new habits, but just when you think you’ve got it you lose your focus and crash.

When I woke up this morning I knew I had to post this, as vulnerable as it makes me feel, because the whole point of sharing my food journal is to be accountable. If I left out the bad parts I’d be lying to everyone else, but most importantly myself. So here it is and today is a new day with a chance to get back up on that tightrope and do it all over again, but better because I’ve learned from the experience.

Total Calories – at least 2900 (can’t really be sure, but I tried to account for everything), Protein – 167 grams, Carbs – 379 grams, Fat – 92 grams (YIKES!), Fiber – 38 grams

Protein 22%, Carbs 50%, Fat 28%

Total calories burned – 2567, SURPLUS (ugh!) of at least 333