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Shift in Focus

Thursday, April 15, 2010

As a yoga instructor, I've taught many people through the years how to balance and focus. First, visualize a target in front of you the size of a paper plate. Now, visualize concentric circles in that target. Focus on the bulls eye in the center. Now, focus on the dot in the middle of that bulls eye and slowly slide one foot off the floor and up onto your calf of your supporting leg. Focus on the dot at the center of the bulls eye. As soon as your focus broadens and you can see the full bulls eye, you have lost your focus and will soon lose your balance if you do not refocus.

So it is in all areas of life. The broader focus you have, the fewer 'dot on' precision points you will be able to hit. The more divided you are in you focus, the more divided you feel in your mind, your body, your relationships, your self care, etc.

Now, applied to health and nutrition, define your goal. Not the big goal the size of the paper plate. Not a vague goal the size of the other rings. Not even the bulls eye. But the pin point dot in the center of the bulls eye.

What is at that pin point will change and needs to change as you progress.

Here is a sample of how mine have changed over the past 10 months.

June - Lower blood pressure. I learned about foods that were high in sodium and eliminated or greatly reduced their role in my meal plans.

July - Get Moving! Learn exercise I can do while be treated for plantar faciitus (sp).

August - Focus on Nutrition. Make every calorie as nutrient dense as possible.

Sept - Practicing balancing the above three principles simultaneously

During these months I was also motivated by the numbers on the scale! They were dropping almost daily.

October - Focus on Fitness. Started my exercise calendar and nutrition tracker when I joined Spark in October. I also found out about the Couch 2 5k program and started it in October. Additionally I started working out with a personal trainer 2 x a week.

November - Keep that fitness focus. I signed up to run a half marathon before I could even run a mile, because I knew if I had the focus, I could accomplish anything.

December - I'm 'in training'. This mentality of being an 'athlete in training' kept me focused on good nutrition and fitness during the holiday months. I kept thinking of professional athletes and the hours of training and preparations they put themselves through in order to be able to perform at the top of their game. I want to perform at the top of my game. I'm not a naturally gifted athlete, so if it is important for a gifted athlete to do, how much more important is it for me?

January - Lost my focus . . . or shifted my focus back to the scale. Read my blogs from January. I was wobbling all over the place. I was still working out. I was eating good foods. But I was so locked on that number on the scale, my training and my nutrition suffered. My trainer helped me refocus on the quality and quantity of my nutrition and encouraged me to up my calories.

February & March - Fuel, Run, Recovery, Repeat. Quality, quality, quality. Eat the best, run quality runs, get quality rest. Focus. Keep your eye on the dot. Don't look at the scale. Keep focused. Stay centered. Do the right things and the results will follow.

April - Still focused on Fuelling, running and recovery. Learning more about what makes my body perform at it's peak.

As my half marathon day is approaching I am super focused on keeping balance in my life. My nutrition and health are a high priority. My husband and I shop together for the best quality foods we can afford. We work together to keep focused on the type of workout that needs to be done. We work together to make sure that rest days are full of relaxing time together.

I had gotten so focused on my training and nutrition, I totally lost track of what size I am and what weight I am. I continued to weigh in, but the numbers didn't register as relevant. So much so, that twice today, I responded to blogs where the writer wanted to challenge themselves to get out of the mid 190's by the end of April and I responded that I was in the same place and I would join them in the challenge. I am 189.5 lbs. LOL!!! I totally forgot that I already hit that, because it was not a goal, it was a benefit that I received from being focused on being healthy and fit.

As further evidence of how focused I have been in these past couple months. I totally lost track of what size I need to purchase. I just pulled out of my closet a whole wardrobe that I could not wear last summer because it was too small and I cannot wear now because it is too big! I could have been wearing that stuff in October, November and December. At the very least I should have realized that I could not wear the same clothes this year that I wore last year.

So, my dear friends, I ask you, where is your focus? Can you define it. Visualize it. Make it smaller, fine tune it. Lock on to it. If you need to regain your balance, take your time, find your center, slid your foot off the floor and balance.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Awesome advice!

    3935 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4811290
    What a great blog! Thanks for giving me something to think about and see how I can use it to benefit my health and fitness goals. Hugs!

    3935 days ago
    Wonderful! Combination of self-reflection and singular advice. I've thought a lot about the chasing two rabbits since you reminded me of the saying some weeks back. It's a very relevant thought process.
    And meanwhile I'm entering into another frenzy with something work-related that came down the pike Friday afternoon. I may need to do some FOCUS exercises to see how I can achieve all my goals without splitting my aims in wild directions. Got an extra 24 hours hidden in your pocket?
    3936 days ago
    emoticon emoticon ........... emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3939 days ago
    great blog. Thanks.
    3939 days ago
    What a great blog! You are such an inspiration.
    3939 days ago
    You write the best blogs!!
    This is so right!
    WTG on the 1/2 marathon goal so early... I've been too chicken to sign up for a 5k and I'm in week 4!

    Lol at wanting to get out of 190's and missing the opportunity to wear all your clothes!

    EXcellent focus on your goal.
    I need some work in this area.
    I know my goal is not the scale but "Fitness" is too vague and I'm a tad afraid to get more specific lest my volatile life circumstances change again.... (I'm already oversubscribed to my life!)

    3939 days ago
    Thanks for sharing...
    3939 days ago
    What a great blog to share with everyone. You helped me with some of the clutter in my head so I am sure you helped others! emoticon emoticon
    3939 days ago
    Purely blown away by this blog. Makes me want to sit back and see where I am and where I want to be and what my focus is. Never really thought about it this way.

    Thanks for sharing!!!

    3939 days ago
    Fascinating entry.

    Thanks for sharing your journey, and the nifty metaphor.

    Focus is often something of a struggle for me in general, so I'll start looking at that aspect of my own approach.
    3939 days ago
  • TIME4ME2010
    I love the rings on the plate and pin point focus analogy. I need to apply that, I often find my focus flying all over the place. I signed up for my upcoming first half marathon the same way you did, before I could run anything! But I really love the focus that has given me, even though I still use the scale, I'm not as worried about the number because I can see how much farther I can run every day, how much easier the short runs are getting and how my body is changing shape.

    Thank you for your inspriation today!
    3939 days ago
    You always make me smile.

    3939 days ago
    You've definitely given me something to think about, thanks!

    My jaw hit the floor when I read that you signed up for a half marathon before you could run a mile, wow - you are a might brave woman! You have so much to be proud of, and I'm so happy for you! emoticon
    3939 days ago
    to be honest, i have no idea how i focus. I just do, but Its a good question to think about
    3939 days ago
  • 46SHADOW
    3939 days ago
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