The Embroidered Truth

An ongoing search for inspiration and the good life.

Discipline: the mind-body connection

on June 28, 2011

courtesy MS Office

Discipline is a nasty word.  I’m not good at it, and I’ve never liked things I’m not good at.  Lately, however, it seems discipline is becoming necessary in a few aspects of my life, and I have to think they all might be tied together somehow.

We’ve all been taught there is a connection between the mind and the body – that to be strong in one, you have to be strong in both. I certainly feel the effects of mental and physical inertia.  It’s so easy just to curl up on the sofa and watch a movie or read a book (usually at the same time) instead of getting up and creating something, exactly the same way as it’s easier to go home and take a nap at the end of the day instead of stopping at the gym and working out.

But as the Walrus said, the time has come.  I saw a number on the scale last weekend I had never seen before, and it was the last straw.  I set a goal, worked out a time frame, and broke the plan into these steps:

  • Show up.  Half my battle with the gym is just getting there.  Once I am there, I do what I set out to do.
  • Ask for help.  I talked to my fitness counselor about renewing my login for VitaBot, Gainesville Health & Fitness’s online monitoring program.  It measures my daily meal plans for nutritional value and calorie count, and will also track goal weight, body fat percentage, and whatever else you want.
  • Use the right tools.  The VitaBot program quickly showed me I needed a multivitamin.  I also started tracking my daily water intake to make sure I got at least 64 ounces, and have been attempting to get 7 hours of sleep each night. (Maybe it should be 8, but my night owl tendency just can’t handle this.)
  • Take it one day at a time.  I usually start a project, including gym attendance, at full tilt, which inevitably means I burn out within a few weeks.  This time, for the first few weeks I am just going to work on burning off a few pounds with cardio so I can see some results before I start back in with weight training.  (I do understand the importance of replacing fat with muscle, which is why this phase won’t last longer than 3-4 weeks.  I just need some reassurance that my efforts are paying off before I confuse that issue with muscle weight gain.  I cleared it with my counselor.)

These steps also can apply to creativity.  Showing up is the first part of the creative process.  Asking for help translates to sharing work and ideas with others, which is why this blog was created.  The right tools make all the difference, whether you’re a painter, cook or dancer.  And I don’t know about you, but my work has to happen one day at a time; sometimes good ideas just need some time to percolate.

Hopefully, being disciplined physically will lead to more mental energy and creative productivity! Stay tuned…

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