Recently we hosted a four week small group seminar focusing on self-love and overcoming negative self-talk. We asked our longtime member Brandy to tell us about her experience with the seminar, and why she signed up in the first place. Here’s what she had to say!
Setting the same goal for myself three years in a row.
Every winter Crossfit Sabertooth puts on a goal setting seminar around the start of the new year, presumably when people are most interested in pushing reset on the way they are living their life. It’s winter in Minnesota; people are locked indoors, frustrated and ready for change. I have attended this goal setting seminar annually and without fail because I have gotten results from it in the past.
Again, in this year’s seminar I made a list of the potential things I wanted for myself. Like many of my friends there, I had obvious items: Do a strict pull up, pay off student debt, be happier. But the last one, “have a more positive body image”, had come up annually. Looking back at my last three years of worksheets, it was always on the list. I had ignored it because I couldn’t wrap my head around how to work on that or how I would even know when I had achieved it.
I’ve gained and lost weight over my adult life, and I knew that being thinner certainly didn’t mean that i stopped being a jerk to myself when I looked in the mirror. Certainly if I could just become perfect at everything, then why wouldn’t I just be happy all the time. Some of my thoughts are such garbage. Those little nasty squirrels running around my brain always found a way to nest in the cozy corners of my mind.
I’m very proud of myself for recognizing that the problem wasn’t my body, but the thoughts I have about my body. A younger version of myself would have set a weight loss goal and booked a haircut.
I didn’t want to share this goal with the workshop group…but I did. I reluctantly talked about it, and my friends never cease to amaze me with their supportiveness and just bad-ass acceptance of me. The sentiment was shared around the room, and after some discussion we had some ideas about what we could do to make this a meaningful goal.
This is the part where my gym is the best ever. Coach Chris followed up. He’d found a coach to come to the gym to put on a body image seminar. We needed a thing, and Sabertooth delivered it. BAM!
The 1 hour seminar was great, but really just a teaser for the kind of work that is needed to clean out years of squirrel poop in a person’s mind.
Sonja Ecklund of Wild Hope Coaching ran the seminar, and set up a four week small group option for those of us who really wanted to dig deep into this stuff.
If you’ve ever been part of a group before you know that they have the potential to put you in some crazy brain space. Luckily everyone in the group was ready to go deep. Most of our conversations started with us talking about showing ourselves love, but often got into life changing events like betrayal and loss. I looked around the room and felt really lucky that everyone there was willing to be vulnerable, share their stuff and be real.
On the last day of the group our topic was forgiveness and Sonja directed us to make lists of things we needed to let go of in our lives. Inevitably for me, my divorce is going to come up on any list of “shit I gotta deal with”. I didn’t want to share this stuff with the group. This is my poison, and I liked them too much to allow my inner toxins just come leaking out into the room. Again, I didn’t want to share this stuff with the group. (That’s usually how I know it’s probably REALLY important).
I held my throat as I choked my way through how pissed I am that there are knee jerk reactions in many areas of my life that the ex is still in my brain. I went on to talk about how I try not to feel judged by this relationship anymore. Enough time passed and this person isn’t even in my life to judge me anymore. “I should be over this”. But my brain still has patterns that give me anxiety when I do things that would have bothered “The Ex”. I went on a tangent talking about how I still use the little forks in the house, so that the big forks are clean for other people since the little forks are “terrible”.
In a second, it was like “Where the f— did that come from?”
It seems obvious, but no shit. Of course my old dishes and flatware that I see and use every day is connected to how I feel about myself and what I eat and my body. Every day I’m having these tiny feelings about a fork, and then literally swallowing its contents.
Sonja was totally cool about going into the mind body connection. She mentioned that a person’s 5th chakra (throat) is often related to forgiveness. Even though I knew that already intellectually, this was a realization. Throats, and choices, and forgiveness, and swallowing, and forks, and food….oh my.
Since the end of the workshop I told my BMF Ryan, (Beardy Man Friend) about all these realizations and we spend time together choosing new dishes and flatware. I’ve boxed up the old dishes and I’m waiting for them to tell me what to do with them. Should I smash them in the dumpster behind my house? Should I give them away? I haven’t decided yet, but they will be gone soon and I’ll have fewer things in my life for my inner squirrels to observe and remind me about a time I made different choices.
I can say that in the first week after this I ate good food, all my laundry is done, the new dishes are clean and aren’t piling up, plus I’m finishing stalled projects all over the place.
Yes, my brain is still infested with squirrels… but there is one fewer …. And I’m better at figuring out what they sound like.