Jeannette’s blog: The beast called Deirdre

It’s been a weird old summer in the Sheehy household. The hubs, recovering from shoulder surgery, and with my blessing, has spent most of his summer up in Northville, recuperating, reflecting and chilling out. Most of my neighbours have been on vacation, and I with no vacation time (due to having started a new job last November) have been to work and come home to an empty house.


Yes, it’s been a little lonely at times, but I have enjoyed some me-time to try and accomplish all the amazing and creative endeavours I have dreamed of completing; blogging, writing, photographing all manner of things, spending time at The Kettlebell Center, getting fit and healthy, painting and drawing, reading enlightened books and spending time with friends. What a summer packed full of all the good things!

And now, after 8-10 weeks, Dan has gone back to work, and I look back on my summer to realise that I did accomplish quite a few things, and here is the list:

Ate badly

Drank quite a lot of wine and/or beer

Binge-watched 6 seasons of “Project Runway” and 2 seasons of “The Man in the High Castle”

Put on poundage

Sporadically went to Kettlebells

Stayed up ridiculously late (see also “binge-watched 6 seasons of ‘Project Runway’”) and drank much coffee to stay awake at work.

Consumed a lot of Cheetos (see also “ate badly”)

Kind of sounds like my whole summer was sabotaged, right? Well, funny you should say that. How does a summer of full of the possibilities of creativity end up being a summer of inactivity?

Well, all those questions and more were recently answered at a recent seminar given by The Kettlebell Fitness Center, and a more timely seminar could not have been more timely as this timely seminar was….times ten.

I’m not going to go into all the ins and outs of it, as to do so would mean reading this blog until midnight, (if you started at midday), and you don’t want that; you have many more exciting and interesting things to do, right?

So, Kelly Coffey of Strong Coffey came to the Center to talk to a whole group of gals about the “3 Essential Strategies to End Self-Sabotage”…hmmm – interesting that. Was my stupid summer a result of self-sabotage or was it completely out of my control? I think we know that answer to that question, dear readers. “But why would you sabotage yourself, Jeannette?” I hear you chorusing. And therein lies the rub.

The excuses I made to NOT blog, to NOT photograph a darned thing, to NOT paint or draw went like this: “My office is a mess and I hate sitting in there at my computer when there’s clutter and rubbish from the last art show all over the place; besides there’s a hair in my camera mirror that I haven’t got time to clean and my camera’s old. PLUS I’m not sure I have any fresh paint, and even if I did, I’d have to set up an easel, and my office is a mess (did I say that already?) AND I sit at a computer all day quoting insurance, so sitting at a computer doing something I enjoy will be the same as sitting at a computer as I do at work.”

See what I did there? I believe I may have talked myself out of making myself happy by doing the things I know make me happy. However, you will be glad to know I girded my loins, set my face like flint (words from an old hymn!) and cleared my office’s a tiny room so any clutter makes it seem full of stuff. Tidying it felt so free-ing!

What about my lack of kettlebell activity? “I’m tired because I stayed up too late last night, because I was binge-watching “Project Runway” because Sandros was having a fit about not being in the top, and walked off the show then came back and I wanted to watch what would happen next. Plus, I’ve put on a lot of weight, because I’ve been sitting around eating Cheetos and watching Project Runway, and I don’t want to turn up at The Kettlebell Fitness Center looking like the Michelin Man when everyone else has been working so hard and consistently and I’m pretty far behind now anyway so what’s another couple of weeks…perhaps I can start eating healthily again and then go back when my stomach has decided to deflate a little…”

And yet you’ve heard/seen me talk about kettlebells and strength training with so much love and enthusiasm in the past, right? What’s going on? Catch 22 sabotage, my friends. The things that make me happy, are also the things that my inner self kind of throw away because it makes me happy and healthy, and why would I want to be happy and healthy, when I could be miserable and unhealthy? Am I not worth it? And again, there’s the rub.

I don’t know about you, but I go through times where, on the outside, I’m chirpy and post positive stuff on social media, and try to help others and make others feel good about themselves; “Hey, that colour really suits you!”…..”You did great this morning!”….”I love you”…”Let me help you with this.”….”You’re really good at……..”. But when it comes to me, I’m my own worst enemy. And I’m sure that some of you are the same. When push comes to shove, we don’t feel like we’re worth the same effort we put into others. Exploring where that comes from seems like it would be painful or too much hard work, so instead we kind of accept that we’re not worth the effort.

I look back at photos of me a year ago – I looked great! Healthy! I was hiking, kayaking, kettlebelling and deadlifting like it was my job. I was in jeans at least 2 sizes smaller and loved how I felt. And yet, even seeing those photos and remembering how I felt seems to point to my failure this summer instead of being motivating.

Yes, I’ll get to the end of this tunnel I’ve created for myself. I know I have to put some strategies into place to get to the end of this. So that’s where I am right now. No resolution right now. Loose ends. As Kelly Coffey said at the seminar: I need to start listening objectively to the negative voice in my head (she calls it “the beast” – deliberately not giving “the beast” capital letters to take away its power.) and to question the negativity it spouts. It’s bloody hard, but I guess that there is no easy way to conquer it, other than to constantly question it, every single flippin’ time it rears its ugly little head, right? What are the benefits if I don’t listen to “the beast”? I may call the beast “Deirdre” just to piss it off and make it slink away, because for some reason that name makes me smile. (No disrespect to all the Deirdres out there…)

I have to remember that health, fitness and a good life is about the journey not just constant successes. Failure will happen – we just need to look at the long term, think about the benefits, adjust our goals if need be. Remember the book “Pilgrim’s Progress”? It was about the journey and lessons being learned along the way. My lesson right now on my health and fitness journey is working out my worth. And if you feel the same, then I’m glad that you read this and know you’re not the only one in that boat/on that road/in that plane/whatever mode you’re using in your own health and fitness journey.

I used to be a Youth Pastor back in the UK; much of my job and calling was to encourage kids to know their worth and to help them fulfill their potential. And yet, at the age of 52, I’m still trying to work out my own worth and potential. Life is funny like that, isn’t it?

Now onto good stuff….like food. Patty Pan Squash (or scallopini) is the best. There is a family farm store in Northville that sells their own produce, and they produce heaps of patty pan squash. I have it with eggs, I have it with salad, I have it in ragout, I have it in stir fries and I make home fries out of them with onions (instead of using potatoes) because Patty Pan squash is da bomb. They’re not only pretty, but they are delicious. The only thing that makes them even more delicious is Trader Joe’s Lemon Pepper. So if you find it, buy it…buy all the Patty Pan squash and eat it in so many ways. I may try to grow some myself next year.

Want to thank you for reading and want to encourage you that you’re not alone. I know I’m going to get out of this slump…I always end up managing to and so can you. Small steps in the right direction are still steps. The journey’s a marathon, and an obstacle course, not a short sprint to the finish line. That’s life. And now I’ve kinda let you know what’s going on in my head, I guess it means I have to do something about it. Oh, crap. OK beast, give me your best or shut the heck up, because I’m ready for you.

Until next time, stay strong – in mind, body and spirit!



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