Monday, August 26, 2013

Remember who you are...

He-who-trains once told me about getting up from Christmas dinner (after eating everything he wanted, apparently including a good sized bit of pineapple upside down cake) and going to the gym for two hours. My initial reaction was "Why in the world would you do that? That's just ridiculous. What's wrong with you?" But what he said has stuck with me.  "I needed to remind myself who I was, and what I was about."

Today I understood. My afternoon tasks went long, and I was rushed and overwhelmed.  I didn't have time for my usual pre-workout routine.  And I'm stressed about a writing deadline that looms. (Which, of course, explains why I'm blogging.) Everything told me that today was a "Well, the world just got the best of me but I'll do better tomorrow" sort of day. It wouldn't have been the end of the world if I missed one workout, but coupled with the other one workouts I've missed lately, I realized I was starting a nasty habit.  So I slammed a protein shake, threw on gym clothes and ran out the door before I could change my mind, and rationalize more butt sitting. It was actually a good workout, but even if it wasn't, it was the best thing I could've done today.  It cleared out some of the stuff weighing on my brain which enabled me to be a little more productive.  It gave me a few minutes with "my people" where I could laugh and cut up and be a person away from the church. But more than that, I reminded myself who I was and what I was about.

I've been guilty of forgetting lately. If I let myself forget enough, I'll quickly turn into the apathetic person I once was. That person was 90 lbs overweight, too tired to do anything, plagued by asthma and bad knees, and had a crappy sense of self-esteem.

But I am not that person any more, so it's worth remembering who I am.

I am not someone whose priorities will be set by a nagging to-do list.  I am not someone who will let self care slide so that I can be more or do more.  I am someone whose health matters. I am someone who has goals and will achieve them.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Too much of nothing

"Too much of nothing
Can make a man a liar,
It can cause one man to sleep on nails
It can cause others to eat fire.
Ev'rybody's doin' somethin',
I heard it in a dream,
But when there's too much of nothing,
It just makes a fella mean." (Bob Dylan)

What is there to say when nothing happens? I've not lost a pound in five months. (Ok, to be fair, I am shrinking.  I wear size M shirts for the first time in probably a decade. People are noticing.  A dimple that I never knew I had is showing up when I smile just the right way. But the scale is resolutely refusing to move.) Frustrated doesn't even come close to describing it.  And any honest way of describing how I feel wouldn't be appropriate to write here. He-who-trains has tried what feels like bajillions of things to make my body snap out of this.  But there is an ugly truth that neither of us really wants to accept.

I'm stressed out.  And yeah, I got the Cortisol-is-nasty-business lecture several months ago. I did the research to see how it really affects the body. He-who-trains warned me that I may not be able to lose weight until I get the stress under control. But what I don't know is what to do about it.  Work stress isn't going away in the forseeable future.  I've been burning the candle at both ends lately, because I'm spending so much time putting out fires that I can't get my job done.  Nevermind that I'm on a writing deadline (though thankfully, that deadline is fast approaching, so at least that stress will clear off soon.) 

But here's my part in this.  My own commitment to self care is waning the last few weeks.  Due to sickness, and busyness that has gotten out of control, I've missed more workouts than I've made the last two weeks.  I've eaten later than I should, and not as well as I could have. I've not had a true day off in weeks.  

And my attitude is crap.  People tell me I look great, and I immediately say something about being stuck. Thoughts of "it doesn't seem to matter what I do, so I might as well eat what I want" are actually getting room in my head. I managed to resist the pizza we had at church the other night, but it was a genuine struggle for the first time in months. The truth is that at least some part of me has begun to doubt that I can do this. (The other part of me wants to eat mass quantities of Oreos.) And at some point, that must become a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

I said some words to my session the other night that have stepped on my toes all week. I said, "You want better than this, so choose better.  Make it better."  I want better than whiny and doubtful. I want better than sick and always keyed up.  I want better than this body. I want better than to feel like I'm being conquered instead of doing the conquering.  But if I want better, then I have to be committed to making it better.  I have to put on my big girl pants and grow up and handle my stuff. 

I feel like Scarlett O'Hara as she angrily faced a hopeless past and decided that she was done being the victim.  She shook her fist at the sky and said, "With God as my witness, I shall never go hungry again."  And she took the steps that made that true. 

I can't eliminate the stress yet, but I can learn how to handle it.  I can't make my body stop throwing a temper tantrum, but I can fix my attitude on the situation.