My Rocky Moment

Mid-way up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The view gets even better than this!

On Sunday, I went into Philadelphia with my family. This was a big deal for me because my husband was able to get me, a notorious homebody, out of the house on the weekend.

We checked out a holiday market and then headed over to the Art Museum. While there, we viewed a variety of paintings and sculptures, everything from local furniture and portraiture from the 1700s to jarring art dating from 2005. It felt good to make myself do something that I normally wouldn’t have thought of doing.

I mentioned in the story about my weight loss journey that I wanted to live smaller externally and larger internally. I think it’s fair to say that I’m at a stage where I’m a lot more concerned about my internal life. I’m looking to expand the parameters of my life by revealing myself more, letting people in more, and being honest about my feelings in a constructive manner, rather than burying them.

Running up the Art Museum steps, like Rocky famously did in the first movie of the franchise, exemplified for me everything that I need to do to become comfortable with this stage of evolution in my life. If you stand in front of the museum, it’s somewhat daunting to see how many steps you have to climb to get through the doors. But if you want to have the pleasure of the experiences inside, you have no choice but to start going up the stairs, and not stop until you reach the top.

So I decided to run up the stairs, in true Rocky form. I embarked on the run with excitement and optimism to check out the museum.

Then it got awkward, as I noticed all the people around. Did they think I was lame for trying to reenact this famous scene from Rocky? Would they laugh if I fell or ran out of steam? And then, about halfway up, I started to get a little winded. But despite my feelings, internally and externally, I pressed on, sometimes running, sometimes walking, one step at a time. And I arrived at the doors, a little more winded, but satisfied with my accomplishment.

I may have gotten myself to start Weight Watchers and lose more than 40 lbs., but in other areas of my life, I find it hard to get started and stay inspired, without concern for what others will think. My internal dialogue often psychs me out. But if I want to get to a higher level of living, I have to take that first step and keep on moving. The same goes for you and your weight loss efforts, or in conquering the demons that keep you eating for emotions-based reasons. We have to keep going, even when those thoughts of defeat come, even if we do fall once, or several times. But just like the awesome view of the city skyline from the top of the museum steps, the view from the height of your progress–either in losing weight or in emotional gains–will be breathtaking, and well worth the effort.

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9 thoughts on “My Rocky Moment

  1. That is soo cool! I know I struggle now just climbing up the steps let alone running up them! Congratulations!! You talked about your internal dialogue … how do you keep staying positive? It is so easy to keep saying ‘I can’t” or “This is not working’ when embarking and/or staying on the weight loss journey.

    • Thanks, Neha! The thing I’ve really been trying to focus on is to stop my negative self-talk. It’s definitely not the easiest thing for me to do, but I think that’s one of the important strategies I have to keep from torpedoing my efforts.

      I try to tell myself “Stop!” or I have envisioned a stop sign in the past when the negative thoughts come up. I’ve started working with repeating affirmations and encouraging phrases, and other activities that give my mind something else to think about besides the negative thought.

      It has also helped me to write out my feelings in a journal. When I journal, I usually end by writing a prayer. That makes me feel hopeful, and that a solution is in the works.

      Basically anything I can do to distract my mind from negative thoughts, or to empty my mind of the negative thoughts I have, is a big help to me. Having a goal to work toward is a good example–when things get rough, I rally my mind around the goal. This really worked for me in late summer.

      I need to call you! I hope you’ve been doing well.

  2. I love this post! I have always had some kind of affinity for Rocky, both seeing myself as Rocky sometimes, and seeing the students I teach as Rockies, because they have a spark of motivation that is so precious.
    I also have struggled my whole life with negative self talk. Guess I always will. One tactic that helps me is to say to myself, “You would not say such an awful thing about any friend of yours, so why are you saying it to yourself?” Sometimes that snaps me out of the negative thinking, and makes me laugh at myself, too.
    I’m enjoying your writing style, lady!

    • Thanks so much! That’s good advice, too. Somehow we do end up treating ourselves much worse than we’d treat others we care about; I think to call my attention to that would make me reconsider the things I’m thinking about myself.

    • Thanks, man! : ) I would love to go back again. I forget which Sunday it is, but one Sunday a month is pay what you like. It was amazing to see some famous works–Sunflowers, by van Gogh, The Three Musicians, by Picasso, Brancusi statues… Don’t mind me, reliving my days of studying art history, LOL.

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