I’m kind of a Type A personality, but only kind of. See, I have the intensity of a Type A personality when it comes to timeliness, punctuality, and unfortunately, competitiveness. But the funny part is that I’m mostly competitive with myself, and when a Type A challenges his or herself, nothing good can come of it.
Here’s how my self-challenges typically go: I get an idea in my head – usually one involving reading every Newbury Award winning book, or losing weight and getting crazy-toned – I put said idea into motion, I follow totally awesome idea for about 1-2 solid months, and then I crash. Hard.
Oh Type A… you silly, silly, out-of-balance nincompoop.
For a moment, let’s travel back into the Jaime time machine to the year 2012. It was my first year at my current school, and I learned very quickly that the staff participated in a Biggest Loser contest, and I decided that year I needed to join. I had put on my usual beginning-of-school-weight, and knew that this was the time to kick into gear and shift that “extra skin” into some extra lean muscle. I had a plan of attack: meal plan week-to-week, and do my favorite exercises of running and yoga. I mean, have you ever seen a chubby yogi? I haven’t.
So I set out on my healthy journey, and I ended up losing 12 pounds and kept it off. Yes, you can clap your hands together after you see this way-back-then picture (please don’t mind the odd head piece. I was at a party and was having fun):
I mean, daaaaaamn’! I think I did a great job that year focusing on my goals and not letting that Type A get out of control or take over. I felt great, I had a healthy constitution, and my Type A was becoming more of a Type A/B, yet another incredibly pleasant side affect of yoga.
But last year, I did the usual beginning-of-school-weight-gain dance, and instead of going back to my happy place with yoga, I found myself buying into a very intense workout program, and although I really enjoyed the workouts, I found myself getting caught up in that Type A mentality where I started competing against myself. I did my weekly weigh-ins, I ate well (not an issue), and I took weekly pictures of myself in my bathing suit (don’t even ask; you are NOT getting a picture).
Then after a month and a half, I went to Mexico and ate a LOT of empanadas. A LOT. And just like that, I crashed.
Three pounds in a week?! I put on three pounds in ONE WEEK?! Okay, back on the wagon… but the wagon didn’t quite roll the way I thought it would. Yes, I started my workouts again, and of course I ate well, but the competitive Type A started seeing more of the Type B and I lost track of that momentum I started with in January.
So what actually happened? Well, the intensity of the program I started was actually too intense for me. As it turns out I’ve been fighting the loss of my Type A personality so much that for almost a year-and-a-half now, I’d regressed momentarily into that Type A, only to discover I now crash much sooner than I used to while pursuing these “self-challenges”.
I took most of last week to really do some self-reflection, and I’ve come up with a few solutions to my yo-yo exercise and health routines. The first part was admitting that I truly can’t keep up with the intense daily workouts. I’m not cut out for high-impact without some sort of break. I also recognized that I can’t let my body get too far from yoga, because it is the one exercise that I 1) love, 2) opens my joints and spine, and 3) keeps my Type A and Type B personalities balanced so that I can quiet the mind before it races itself to the next challenge I likely won’t complete.
This was turning point for me in that I had to look beyond the immediate results of the workout programs, and focus more on what my body was telling me it wanted. I had no choice but to silence my competitive Type A mind, and open my body to the truth of what works best so that my reflective, gentle, expressive Type B side has a fighting chance to actually prove its worth.