Wednesday, January 09, 2008

My Dream Team

I've only recently become an Oprah devotee. Thanks to Tivo, I get my Oprah fix every morning when I get home from the gym. It's a major treat that keeps me motivated in my workouts each day. Someone told me once Oprah had a theory about dream teams and that everyone needs a dream team of their own. At the time that sounded like rich people mumbo-jumbo to me. My chef, maid, hairdresser, and butler... uh, yeah. But recently I realized I have an incredible dream team - I've hired them with care and I am so proud to surround myself with these amazing people.

Brooke Castillo - Weight loss coach extraordinaire Brooke Castillo has been my ferry(wo)man back to me. She helps me connect to my authentic self when it seems my authentic self is living on an island far, far away. She has passed tools of self-awareness on to me that I have no choice but to take with me for the rest of my life - and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Jeanette Eleff - My executive business coach has helped me find my inner leader. No, not the one my mom told me I should be, but the leader of my heart and she is so not what I expected and yet so authentically me. She creates a space where my natural self bubbles to the surface and then helps me name my truth.

Brian Crow
- My personal trainer, fitness guru and triathlon coach, Brian, reminds me weekly I am so much stronger than I think I am when he isn't around. He has challenged me to push myself hard consistently because it feels great when you accomplish your goals.

Myriam Davila - The amazing Myriam has been cleaning my house for seven years now. She is sweet, loving, and so much better at cleaning than I am. She keeps my house looking good so I can focus on things I am better at. I'm so lucky to have her in my life!

Jackie & Sibyl from Shapes - I've been going to Shapes Salon & Day Spa for 5 years. Cybil is a new addition to my dream team but she keeps my eye brows from overtaking my face while simultaneously making me laugh in our bi-monthly 20 minute waxing sessions. Jackie is a dream stylist. She cuts and colors my hair, makes me smile, and let's me come back between cuts for touch ups whenever I want.

Dr. Lori Kaler - Yes, my OB/GYN is on my Dream Team. How do I know? I look forward to annual pap smears and feel better, and not worse, after I spend time with her. Her office staff empowers me to take an active role in my health and Dr. Kaler makes me believe a better physical me is always possible. If you are looking for a great OB/GYN in Bethesda, I couldn't recommend her more highly.

Dr. Jezelle Sonnier
- I know what you are thinking: "You like your dentist enough to put her on your dream team?" Hell yeah! First of all, I love spending time with Dr. Sonnier because she is stunningly gorgeous to look at - even through safety glasses. She is a New Orleans native with the most stunning Cafe au Lait skin with these cute freckles. She is smart and sassy and best of all, she keeps my teeth healthy without causing me pain. I like that in a dentist.

Who's on your Dream Team? Are you excited when you see them? (If not, they may not be so dreamy...) Do you feel like you HAVE to see them? Like it's a chore or a necessary evil? Or like it's a dream opportunity. Your Dream Team is a reflection of your thoughts and what you believe is possible for you. Put people on your Dream Team consciously. Make sure they are fulfilling the role you want them to and make sure when you spend time with them your authentic self sings.

Be Honest: Do you hate exercise?

For most of my life I hated exercise. I dreaded gym class, played inside, and picked my college based on the fact it didn’t have a phys. ed. requirement. Periodically, I would give exercising a try. I'd go to the gym dutifully for a week or two, spending most of my time there just wanting to die inside when I would look over at the lean girls in their cute outfits and expensive sneakers. I was in a t-shirt and shorts with tennis shoes I’d gotten in back high school. Considering how intermittently I exercised, I told myself, it really wasn’t worth the money to buy nice things.

My weight fluctuated between 150 and 250 lbs but after having my first baby, my weight reached and all time high and didn’t seem to be going anywhere but up. The day I had my baby I was 315 lbs. – an 85 lb. gain! A year later I was still skimming the 300 lb. mark and the weight was making it hard to enjoy being a mom. I vowed, once and for all, to “get to the bottom” of this “weight problem.”

Five months later I had shed about 40 lbs and to celebrate, I treated myself to a seminar based on the work I’d been doing with the book “If I’m So Smart, Why Can’t I Lose Weight.” My intention was to stop hating exercise so much.

At the seminar, there was a “ropes” course challenge. I knew climbing a thirty foot poll only to face a tight rope walk was not for me. I sat it out. Later that night, most of the women were on cloud nine celebrating their accomplishment. Another woman shared my lack of enthusiasm. “I never would have done it,” she said, “if Theresa hadn’t asked me.”

“Oh,” I said, quickly, “if Theresa asked me I would have done it.” Somehow the scary parts of the course melted away in my mind at the thought of doing it for someone else.

On hearing that, Brooke retorted, “YOU didn’t ask YOU.”

She was right. Why would I have been willing to scale a 30 ft. poll and walk across a tight rope for Theresa – a woman I had only met a few days before? I was willing to take a physical risk for someone else’s approval and pleasure, but not for my own.

I thought of the number of times I promised myself I’d go to the gym and then broke the promise. I would never break a promise to a friend! But what if I changed the paradigm, what if I asked myself to work out as if it was Theresa asking instead of beating myself up that I should go. I returned home from the seminar and did just that. I invited myself to the gym every morning as if it was my best friend asking me out for dinner and a movie.

The day I was able to jog for 10 straight minutes it occurred to me. It wasn’t a thought or a decision, just an occurrence. I’m going to do a triathlon. We’re still a few months away from the event and my workouts have increased considerably.

I’m jogging and lifting weights for an hour minutes almost every day, swimming and biking a few times a week, and I just plopped a couple thousand dollars down on a fancy carbon road bike. I hired a trainer who I see 2 times a week for additional core strength workouts. I say things like carbon road bike and core strength work out! I even bought more than one cute work out outfit and an expensive pair of sneakers.

I’ve gone not just from someone who hated exercise to someone who loves it. I’ve gone from someone who doubted her abilities to someone who has confidence and excitement about what’s possible. I’ve gone from someone who put herself last, to someone who puts herself first because I know I'm worth it!