This week has been challenging, and I’m not all that sure why.
For days I’ve felt as if I’ve been perched on the edge of a cliff, just one careless movement away from plunging into the abyss. I haven’t felt like this in quite sometime — not since the very early days of my journey.
A day or two ago, I was very, very close to going on a food bender. I was thinking about deep dish pizzas and cheeseburgers and breakfast burritos. I was thinking about what would happen if I did it just once. I wondered what it might be like to put my Weight Watchers tracker out of mind and just eat and drink whatever I wanted without worrying about it or consciously thinking about it for just one day — or, maybe to a lesser extent, just one meal.
As I was thinking this, however, the now stronger, more logical part of my brain was screaming; I knew that I was headed down a very dark and very dangerous path, but I didn’t know why. That (seemingly) more logical part of my brain was muddled with so much confusion, and a voice inside my head was yelling. STOP STOP STOP. Analyze. Why. Why. Why. Why.
I tried to focus on my body and listen and feel. I told myself to calm down.
Don’t go to the fridge. Don’t go to the fridge. Don’t go to the fridge.
And you know what?
I figured something out when I was listening and feeling.
My stomach was full. I had eaten a nice, healthy, hearty meal not long before this urge took over.
My stomach was not the driving force of my hunger — my hunger was coming from a different place, a place that food won’t ever be able to satisfy.
I did not go on a bender.
Today, the hunger came back.
This time, I was more prepared. This feeling has been here all week — it’s becoming familiar to me now.
It was familiar to me before, but it’s a new kind of familiar now.
I started to think about what I could do. What’s wrong? What’s bothering me? What’s happening? How can I fix it?
I brewed a cup of my favorite coffee — the one I save for “special occasions” — Dunkin’ Donuts Blueberry Muffin. I added 1 Tbsp. of International Delight Fat Free & Sugar Free French Vanilla creamer.
I sipped. I thought. I decided that it’s time for a change.
This second round of the Steps Challenge has been hard. Too hard. I don’t enjoy going for walks anymore; it’s just something I do (when I do it, that is) because I feel obligated. I started this, so I have to finish it. There are people looking at me, expecting things from me, following me. It’s OK to let myself down, but, for some reason, it’s not OK to let others down, especially not when they’ve invested in me — in my life and my story.
This is a problem.
There are some serious flaws in my reasoning here, obviously.
So I think it’s time to do a little soul searching and focus on part of this journey that I’ve maybe been neglecting a bit lately: my mental health.
When I started this journey, I set out to get healthy — physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. I have done very, very well with improving some of those things, and not so well with others.
So to combat that, I’ve decided to try something I have always wanted to do but avoided because of my size: yoga.
Yoga will be good for me physically, and I’m hoping that it’ll do wonders for me mentally and emotionally, too. Maybe if I’m lucky, I’ll get some spiritual help, as well — who knows.
I am going to finish out the remainder of this leg of the 1,000 Extra Steps Challenge — because it’s important that I do that — but then I’m going to hang up my Nikes for a bit.
I am going to finish out the rest of this challenge because I need to learn that letting myself down is just as bad as letting other people down, and I also need to see things through because quitting any part of this journey is unacceptable. I’ve given up on myself in the health department too many times to count — that’s how I ended up weighing almost 320 lbs. at age 21. It’s not OK to give up on myself anymore, even if I don’t want to do this or I don’t like doing it.
The challenge ends on March 16, 2015, and once it does, walking is no longer going to be my main focus, but it is certainly still going to be part of what I’m doing.
Here’s the plan:
I am going to go and buy a cheap yoga mat and then look around Wal-Mart or maybe even Goodwill for a cheap beginner’s yoga DVD. Once I find what I need, I’m going to commit to 30 days of yoga. Maybe I’ll do it for 10 minutes on some days, maybe 30 minutes, maybe an hour. I am not going to put a time stamp on that; I’m just committing to a solid 30 days of doing yoga, no matter what. I might not be any good at it, but it doesn’t matter. I’ve always wanted to do it, so I’m going to do it.
I am also going to set a goal of getting in 7,000 steps twice a week. I have been trying to do 7,000 steps each day, but I’m failing miserably. I think, though, if I maybe build my new goals around the number of days versus the number of steps that I’ll do better.
Maybe that familiar feeling of non-stomach-related-hunger will go away once I start treating myself better, yeah?