Never being satisfied: The double edged sword

So I’ve found out I have this…. errrrr….. challenge with myself……

I’m never really happy with myself, my progress, my results, ok everything I do really.
I don’t think I’ve ever looked back on something and thought ‘Jez that was good!’ unless I push my need to be better out of my head (which rarely happens.)
There’s always something i can improve on and do differently.
Which is great as I’m always striving to be better in my life, but which severely limits me, and stops me appreciating what I have, what I can do, and my enjoyment of it all.
– It’s like I’m living up to what was written on my old school report cards
“Andrea could do better”

But which translates in my head as ‘what you do is never good enough.’

Wow! A freaky insight to have about yourself.

I don’t think I’ve ever handed in an assignment, or to be honest written anything without then going over and over in my head about what could’ve been better. I mean even writing this, by the time I’ve pressed send I’ve gone over it again and again, and then when I re-read it a few days later, I think ‘What did you write that for Andrea!’ ‘Oh man! You should’ve….could’ve…..etc etc’
Holy sh*t balls! I’m so mean on myself!

When I’m training, I put myself down and always focus on what I struggled with, what I couldn’t do super well.
When I’m training with Sharon Anyos (5x World Champion Boxer) and we’re boxing, when she reminds me to ‘sit down’ ‘breathe’ ‘punch through the pads not to them’ etc I feel like ‘Jez Andrea! Get it right!’ ‘Sort it out girl!’ but in reality she should be reminding me! Everyone can ALWAYS improve, and always get better, and they should always try to, but it’s like in my brain it computes to ‘I’m not good enough.’
Sharon does well to remind me of this but it’s inside my head where I really need to work on. When I finish a set and say ‘I only got 5’ I really should be saying ‘I got 5!!!’

I know this.

I know that when you focus on what you can’t do, how weak, fat, lazy etc you think you are, then you ail get more of that in your life.

I know this.

Yet I do find this a challenge.

Over the past week I’ve been checking out my body (in particular my mid section) and trying to find out why I’m not more ripped than I should be.
Yes I’ve got abs, but they’re not like abs I’ve had in the past, and I’ve been training hard and eating well, so am trying to figure out what’s been going on.
So I thought about the times that I’ve had a body I’ve felt proud of and I really pulled apart both my nutrition, training and what was going on in my life.

So I feel like I’m really on track with my eating.
I’m choosing real food, as close to nature intended as possible (In fact I pretty much just shop at the local fruit and veggie store (which i can also get my bread from) and occasionally at the Butcher. Or if I do go to the Supermarket, I pretty much walk around the outside, and nothing comes prepackaged in a box (unless I’ve bought legumes, pasta, rice and tuna – but which I rarely touch anyway!)
My training has been going well.
I always train hard.
I always have.
I know people poo poo the notion of training hard, as everyone says they do this. But when i look back on the times when I’ve been quite serious about my training and competing, I’ve noticed that every single time, I’ve only been training with guys.
Guys stronger, faster and fitter than me.

When i was 17 I became a Les Mills Aerobics Instructor.
I was aerobics training with Duane but also I would run to the gym with Chris Pollock. (Chris is currently an elite World Class Rugby Union Referee.) Although it was only a 4km run, which was fine going to the gym, after strength training and doing a class, some 2 hours later, running back uphill (and at the super fast speed Chris only ran at) it was most definitely challenging! (in fact some times I felt like I needed a medal afterwards!) Chris absolutely drove me to push through my pain and get there (and he may not even be aware of this until now – so thank you Chris you super star! 🙂

At that time I was also training hard for the NZ Surf Life Saving Championships. My event was the Surf Ski (which only a handful of women entered in) and required strong upper body strength, balance, co-ordination, but also brutal strength just to carry the ski to and from the waters edge (especially if it was windy, and especially after a hard session, there was just no other way, it had to be done.) And like my hard and wise Coach Trevor Corkin (amazing man) said ‘If you want to ride it you have to carry it!”
*Many times it took me almost the same time of the training session to carry and put away my ski afterwards, my forearms so pumped and weak, and the bruises from resting the Ski on my hips aching, not to mention the strong and relentless wind which carried my cursing far into the distance.
So my training partners were guys.
I trained in the gym with them, ran with them and paddled with them.
I never saw myself as different from them, and never pulled out the “I’m a woman card’ as that thought never entered my mind.
I ran the same, paddled the same, tried to lift the same, and was constantly in an environment where I was pushed to my limits.
(In fact years later 2 of my running buddies Hayden and Sam told me they used to always push the runs so hard as to try and shut me up!!)

During lunchtimes at work I used to get out and run with the guys.
Again, I never used to think much of this, training with people that were faster and stronger than me was just what I was used to.

The other times I trained seriously for events, I did so by myself.
But because I always was never quite satisfied with my efforts, I always trained hard and pushed myself (but then under played my what I did.)
This happened when I competed in the NZ Coast to Coast.
My plan was to just finish the 280km course however when I was out there racing I (naturally) gave it my all. This meant that to start my support team was often not ready for me (they didn’t expect to see me doing so well – and this was because I gave them no indication that I would be – as I had no idea I’d actually done pretty well with my training.)
I remember getting off my bike after the cycle leg and standing there trying to find my support team, as all the other competitors got rushed off. I then spotted my father and the look on his face was utterly priceless “We didn’t expect to see you so soon! What on earth were you doing out there? He cried.
I shrugged and answered ‘I just rode my bike’ quite perplexed .
I also wondered why the other competitors weren’t as willing as I was to chat away when on the course, as I was actually up there and competing with some serious athletes! In my mind was just going along and enjoying the ride. I had no idea that I was actually quite good!

So trying to understand what was different in my life when I was looking my best….

So I’ve always felt like I could and should do more, but I’ve constantly felt like this almost my whole life, so nothing really has changed (I’m not saying it’s a good thing here, in fact it has both positive and negative attributes; but it’s purely just an observation.)

But what I found is when I was looking really good, it really came easily.

I wasn’t trying (although of course I was eating well and training hard) but it wasn’t the focus of my life.
I was simply happy with who I was and what I was doing, and it was like the body the had permission to be comfortable with itself, and it looked awesome!

I remember waking up and thinking “wow I have an awesome life!’ Feeling super confident, and  sexy in my own skin, and not caring about what other people thought of me because I was super happy with me. What an awesome place to be right!

However if I want to feel like this (and who doesn’t want to?!) then I need to take the focus onto what I can do, how well I am doing, how great I look, how awesome I feel etc.

And even if I’m not where I want to be right now, then to know that I’ll get there, but the way to get there (and enjoy the ride) is to be happy right now.

To appreciate your fabulous body, and be grateful for what you have in your life (as being grateful for it, will bring in more opportunities that you can feel grateful – it’s that weird and oh so wonderful cycle!)

I always thought serious athletes seemed quite errr, over confident, even arrogant. But nooooo! They’re on the money! And that is why they are a successful athlete!
You NEED to have belief in yourself. You need to focus on how strong, fit, capable and motivated you are.
You need to wake up in the morning and look at yourself and think ‘Jez I’m a sexy/strong/sucessful/smart/ unit!
Because if you don’t, then how on earth can you expect yourself to succeed??!
You could say it’s about loving yourself and being kind to yourself. And when you do, then things will start to fall into place for you in your life.

The battle is not only won when you believe in yourself, but when you also value and cherish yourself too!

So 2 1/2 more days to go until I rock up (and I certainly will be rocking up!) to my Search4Hurt Audition!

The focus on the next few days is about working on my mind.
Appreciating and being grateful for my amazing body (who has never ever give me an injury or ever let me down) and focusing on what I can do and how awesome I am.
Yes of course still being humble, but just taking the focus off what i am not, and looking at what I am (being what I positively am, and can do.)

Maybe you can try this too?

When you feel yourself thinking about what you can’t do, what you (negatively) are, then stop and focus on something you love about yourself.
Focusing more on this will bring you more of that into your life.

So let’s bring more opportunities into our lives that confirm what gorgeous, strong, capable, independent, motivated and powerful beings we truly are!!!!!

Be before you are and you will become! 🙂

By andreapeebles

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