Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Intention

I woke up around 4:45 this morning feeling optimistic, grateful and very clear headed. Love that! Almost immediately, the thought came to me, "get your sneakers on and take the dog out before the sun comes up..." and I did, for a 30 minute walk. It's intoxicating to me to be out before the sun is completely up with no other sounds than the birds. Couple weeks ago I talked about the pre-dawn walk I used to love to and how I was going to re-integrate it into my days. I did for a few, and then busy-ness set in plus I was leaving the house extra early to take a friend who'd had both knees replaced to the 7 a.m. meeting; so the walk fell off my radar for a bit. My knees are really feeling better and better now. Approaching...dare I say normal?! I'm almost scared to write it, but I've been saying it to everyone, so might as well claim it here, too. It is my intention to continue this as much as possible. I often sleep in tee shirts and warm up pants, so can literally roll out of bed and step into my sneakers. Today I didn't even put on a bra, because it was chilly enough for a jacket. Sorry for TMI, but we're talking an effortless transition from bed to street.

The notion of intention has presented itself to me today, perhaps emanating from the same source as the inspiration to walk this morning. I've been thinking of it all day - sort of out of the blue. In fact, I actually titled this post before I started writing it, which is rare for me. I often don't know where my mental meanderings will propel my fingers along the keyboard, but today I do.

After typing "Intention", I googled the word and just selected first a definition choice, and then an option about how setting an intention can help make our dreams, desires and goals manifest. It's here, and I like what it says.

The article's author starts with a working definition for intention: "to have in mind a purpose or plan, to direct the mind, to aim". Lacking intention, we can have a dream or goal yet stray from achieving them. But with intention, "all the forces of the universe can align to make even the most impossible, possible." (Please forgive the paraphrasing, that's about as much as I'll do.)

What has come to mind is that last June when I began this journey, including the blog and the weight loss, I was fueled by the dream of diving in the water. I had a visceral experience (albeit in the dream) of doing something I loved and hadn't done in years because of my weight. All forces united in me to create the intention of losing weight and changing my reality in real life - not just in the dream. I'd wanted to lose weight for years. I crapped around with half-assed efforts countless times, but I wasn't successful. I became successful when I mentally moved from WANTING to lose weight to INTENDING to lose weight. I joined a gym and a special program for weightloss and fitness. I started a blog. I changed my eating, started exercising, saw a trainer, did strength training for the first time in my life. And I got results. Real results. From June through October, I moved down the scale, my BMI decreased, all my blood and body numbers and percentages improved. I lost fat mass and added muscle.

Late October the first signs of knee pain happened, and gradually I fell away from strength training. The cartilage tear required surgery. Then it was Christmas - then the other knee blew and another surgery. Somewhere in all the murk of situations, injuries, holidays, putting the gym membership on hold...that intention of losing weight all the way down to my goal of 165 fell back to WANTING. Of course I still wanted to lose weight, but given the new limitations, plus the pounds gained from holidays and eating to medicate feelings and sample holiday goodies, my intention really left. It started to seem there were too many obstacles, and that maybe this whole big deal of weight loss wasn't going to happen.

And here's a confession: for the last few months, I've been aware that I really haven't been sure I even wanted to go to all the trouble, hard work and sacrifice to lose weight. I wanted to be thinner, but underneath all the words and excuses and confessions I've posted here about trying again, not giving up and being determined, I clearly see now that my intention to lose the weight was gone. And just wanting something isn't enough. I can't bring a notion or a desire to reality simply by wanting it.

For so many of you bloggers who've been successfully clicking down the scale numbers, this probably seems so silly, or nit-picky, or more of Leslie's mental masturbation. But this word has been in and out of my consciousness for weeks, and this morning on the walk I knew there was something about it for me to investigate. And what I've written is what I've discovered in the few short googlings and day's reflections. Wanting something does not equal intending for it to happen, or to be. Wanting is one dimensional. Intending is bringing together the resources available to get the "want".

Maybe this is just some wanton flood of dopamine into my brain today or something, but I can tell you that I am going to have a clean day today with food. My meals for the day are planned out, written down, and the food is available to bring those meals to fruition. I will exercise again if I can work it in, but car issues and appointments may prevent that. However, I did a brisk 30 minute walk early which is better than the nothing I did yesterday. My mind is opening again to the possibility of following a stricter food plan for awhile to get things moving down the scale again. That's what I'm doing today, and I WILL see it through until I go to bed. No matter what.

So, source of early morning dog walks and light bulb moments about where my head and heart have been over the last 11 months, thank you for this day. Something has clicked, and I absolutely intend to lose this weight. No matter what that may entail, which will likely include facing down old pain that I've literally never confronted. Never beyond a point. I feel like this information has been handed to my consciousness today in a way I've never gotten it. Whatever it takes, I'm doing it. After claiming this, even I wouldn't have the nerve to keep coming back here whining and pining because I want to lose weight and can't. I can.

13 comments:

  1. It doesn't matter what we think. It matters what you think and discover and eventually do. That's all. And, yes, you can.

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  2. I totally agree with Helen!!

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  3. You most certainly can and WILL, Leslie!!!
    Those moments that *click* are priceless.
    I'm experiencing that myself of late.

    Grab this moment and fly with it! Have an excellent day!

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  4. Loved every word. Love definitions - love when definitions generate or positively reinforce an AHA moment. Good post.

    (I used to sleep in stretchy sports bras and my workout clothes - just had to add socks and shoes - so no, it wasn't TMI - it brought back memories).

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  5. Great post, Leslie. Love it when a plan (or intention) comes together.

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  6. Yes you can, and excellent post!

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  7. Anonymous19 May, 2010

    Yeah it's not enough just to think about a goal to manifest it. You have to plan (intend) and follow through. There are too many new age ideas nowadays that seem to say that all you have to do is think differently and you make your own reality. I like Nike's saying of just doing it. You do have to do something.

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  8. I, too, agree with Helen!

    You are adding the action to your wanting, and have turned a corner. Love that word, intention!
    Loretta
    =^..^=

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  9. You can do it. Be kind to yourself and feed your mind and body well. You deserve the best life has to offer.

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  10. Sometimes we need time to ruminate. It helps us gather our strength so we can again propel ourselves onward and upward. You can do this Leslie. Because you know you can!

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  11. i really like the definition you chose for intentional. Like it a lot!

    It is such nice timing, because I've just finished thinking about my own weight loss journey so far--looking at the ups and downs, the things I learned, where I've been and where I am now. Just finished a (long & boring) post about some of it.

    Intentional. Finally. I'm there now.

    :D

    Deb

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  12. Hi Leslie. Yes I think you've deliniated something very important here. To merely want something does not get it done. To fully intend to do something is the next stage on. The final stage is actually doing it.

    You can only *want* something for so long. And then your brain brings you to a point where you either have to give it up, or actually make it happen. Otherwise an unfulfilled want just drains your energy going round and round in circles in your brain not getting anywhere.

    Maybe this issue has drained enough of your energy now and you're ready to move on?

    Bearfriend xx

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  13. I love the description 'mental masturbation'! lol

    I know it's no consolation, but when I started this blog and journey last year (I actually started the journey in July, nearly 2 months before I started blogging) my intention was to be at goal by the end of this year. There was no reason I could not have achieved this other than self-sabotage, which has proved to be the case. I weigh the same now as I did towards the end of last year... However, I will not allow it to deter me - I WILL get there in the end.

    I don't know whether it's because you're not *that* overweight (don't hate me for saying that - I know you believe you are) compared with some of us that it sometimes feels more effort than it's worth. I'm guessing you can fairly easily buy clothes and fit into airline seats, and so on - something some of us are not able to do at the moment.

    Enjoy the pre-dawn walks and don't worry that you're tempting fate by describing the improvement in your knee! ;o)

    P x

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