Over the past four decades, Green Mountain at Fox Run has helped thousands of women end weight loss struggles with eating, exercise and body image, make long-term healthy lifestyle changes and lose weight permanently. This weight loss blog helps women navigate these changes.

The Life Lessons of Golf: What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger

By on 09/02/2014

003As I stared at the golf ball and stood in golf swing stance, I began mentally preparing myself for the probable failure of making contact with the ball. Three better golfers (one is a 10 handicap player – no pressure) stood patiently waiting as I took too long to run through the mantra: relax the arms, relax the shoulders, eyes on the ball, and initiate rotation from the core. And then came the back swing followed by contact with the ground creating a soaring divot the size of a Frisbee.

I look down (which means I had averted my eyes from the ball – dang it!) and the ball is still there. This realization elicits an internal litany of self-flagellation and negative self-talk (more like self-yelling) that I can’t print here. I look at my friends who awkwardly avert their eyes, except for the handicapper who has become my golf sensei, and he gently says: “You need to relax your body and you are thinking too much.” Well, no duh.

“Enough of this” I think to myself – “I quit.”

I mean I’ve had several lessons, a lot of range time practicing, even developed golf elbow (ahem, from hitting the ground too much no doubt). And by the way – what kind of sport allows the consumption of alcohol during play? “To keep primal rage in check” I thought to myself – as I began desperately scanning the golf course for the booze cart.

I’m frustrated because I feel like the time put in does not equal where I should be skill-wise. I mean I’ve been practicing inconsistently for at least 2 months. So, what gives?

My expectations need to give apparently.

I was expecting too much too soon and as someone who tends to pick up sports quickly, this was a humble pill to swallow. Learning how to play golf has felt like a mostly ebb experience in the ebb and flow process around practicing a new skill – 2 steps forward and 2 steps back (sometimes 5 steps back).

However, instead of quitting I have decided to take my own advice from what I teach at Green Mountain about the process of change, and work to shift my mental approach.

Cultivating Self-Compassion

I will focus on not comparing myself to the other players, cultivate patience and compassion for how I play today, and work to shift my negative self-talk to something kinder in the moment.

So, I first re-evaluated my expectations and proceeded to lower them to zero, and then reframed my negative self-talk from – “I suck at golf” and “I’ll never get this”, etc… to a more encouraging thought “I’m learning more every day.”

The statement “@*# golf” felt comforting as well, but I went with the first one.

Putting My Zen Approach To The Test

I was able to put my new Zen approach to the test recently with the same group of friends I played with for that last round of humiliation. This was the first time we had all played together since that game so instead of reliving the past, I proceeded to lower my expectations and focus on decreasing my negative self-talk.

My goal was to simply enjoy the company I was with and to enjoy the beautiful Vermont weather. Some may call it disassociating from the negative stimulus (golf) but really I was out of my head and enjoying the process of sucking at – oops, cancel that – of learning how to play golf.

A funny thing happened. I not only enjoyed myself, but I played a decent round (for me). Once I eased up on the self-criticism and focused on enjoying the moment, my stress eased up. For the first time playing 9 holes of golf flew by instead of feeling like precious hours and money were stolen from me.

I didn’t look for the booze cart once.

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The Binge Eating Diaries: We CAN Just Do It!

By on 08/28/2014

I did something crazy. Me, myself, and I took Nike’s famous words of wisdom – and we just did it… I Wasn’t Feeling Up For My Regular Gym Routine I was on my way to the gym after work the other day – and I just couldn’t bear the thought of going through with all of the tedious steps: finding a parking […] Read more »

binge eating diaries we can just do it

Before and After: Finding peace when you’re somewhere in between

By on 08/27/2014

Weight Loss Before-and-After Photos We’ve all seen them. They pop up everywhere and they all show some kind of weight-loss “transformation” that seems nothing short of miraculous. The “after” photos show a seemingly happy, healthy person. Put side by side with a “before” photo, it implies that the subject had been neither of those things in the past. Read This […] Read more »

change the way you think maya angelou

What Everybody Ought to Know About Staying Fit On Vacation

By on 08/26/2014

Be Active To Help Stay Fit On Vacation During a recent long-weekend trip to Maine, I began to question “How can I remain fit and healthy while on vacation?” The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the fitness guru who provides the fitness industry’s recommended levels of duration and intensity for exercise, tells us that we want to be: Cardiovascular Exercise Rhythmic […] Read more »

staying fit on vacation

Meghan Trainor’s #1 Hit “All About That Bass” – Body Positivity or Misogyny?

By on 08/21/2014

A Body Image Breakthrough? Meghan Trainor sings she’s ‘bringing booty back’ in her new hit song “All About That Bass.”  Some say it’s a fun, catchy tune that boldly promotes body acceptance – or body celebration – even if you aren’t a “size two.”  Other say that it reinforces a superficial and misogynistic view of women. The positive message of this controversial song may […] Read more »

meghan trainor all about that bass
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