Friday, March 2, 2012

Three pounds of guilt

Total Miles: Not sure...check the Fitbit stat in the morning.
Do you ever feel trapped? Feel that need to just run away?

I've been in a bit of a funk of late. Maybe a tad depressed? I've not really had a lot of energy, not cared a lot about writing my blog (sorry peeps) or much of anything important (sorry Dear Husband), work is overwhelming, house planning is overwhelming. There are days I just want to eat a HUGE carton bowl of ice cream and lay on the couch and watch TV all day.

Oh wait.... I think I did that for a few days. In case you missed the last episode, I had the mother of all a very bad head cold that had me wiped out for 2 weeks. One week of on-the-road suffering. One week of on-the-couch suffering and trying not to go Wicked-Witch-of-the-West-on-steroids-with-PMS-Postal on my husband. No worries. He survived. Barely. With a few bruises maybe.

So, what's up with me? I'm normally pretty damn cheerful (even when I'm bitching about something). But I've been such a grouch of late.

Finding balance in life is tough. We all have our thing. Some are overwhelmed parents with kids running all over the country to every after school activity imaginable. Some are overworked professionals who wouldn't know what to do with all of the extra time if they only worked a 40 hour work week. Some are struggling to make ends meet. Some are families in the middle of a major life change - moving, divorcing, getting married and blending families, building a house, retiring. We could sit and play the game of "who's got it worse," but no one really wins at that game. You just want to drink more.

It's hard to sit back and see all of the wonder in your life when you're overwhelmed and feeling trapped. I mean really - what's my problem? I've got an incredible husband who would and has done everything in the world for my happiness; a great family that is always there when you need them, and not when you don't; a great job; a roof over my head; too much food in my stomach; what's the deal? Why can't I see the blessings in all of that? Not sure why...I just didn't.

So, what do you do about it? What can you do about it?

First....get off your ass. something that requires just a bit of physical exertion. Go for a walk. Go for a jog. Do some yoga stretches. Do some push-ups. I don't care what it is. DO SOMETHING!

Repeat daily.

Seriously. It may be that simple. Endorphins from exercise are the most powerful drug on the planet. Don't get me wrong, you might need professional help and medication - and that's okay. But you may just be in a self-inflicted funk. I'm talking about more than just the "woe is me" feeling that goes away after a day of self pity. This one lasts for a bit.

Exercise truly has a magical way of changing your outlook.

For example:

The last run I went on was at the beach in St. Petersburg, FL while at a conference. That was January 25. When we got back from there, I was tired as heck. I'd worked for 2 straight weeks without a day off (yes, being at a conference at the beach is work when your presentation to an international group isn't until the last day of the conference = STRESS!!), and I was totally stressing, and I had been working out nearly every day for weeks. So I decided to take the rest of the week off from exercising. My mind and my body needed a few days.

Then somehow with my crazy ass schedule, I wound up working super long days, then another weekend and then got sick.  So...three weeks gone in a flash... with no exercising.

By the fourth week, I was miserable. I really didn't give a shit about much of anything. My job suffered, my attitude suffered, and mostly my husband suffered. I had the intent of working out some that week, but my schedule had me working back to back 16 hr days for half of the week....more tired....more moodiness....more this-chocolate-bar-will-make-me-feel-better-even-if-only-for-a-minute episodes....which led to more self doubt, out of control feelings, self-loathing, body image issues. Seriously, I felt like I looked like a whale. My pants were too tight. I was ashamed at what I had become (in 4 weeks). Soft. Weak. Emotional.

I avoided the scale at all costs. I walked by it, and it just KNEW. I could see it just shaking it's head at me...saying "But you worked so hard for what? Nothing? You're such a failure! Go eat another candy bar then come see me you fatass." (Yes, I have a Nazi scale.)

This past Sunday I finally had a moment of mental clarity or a break through or a slap up the back of the head (Thanks Baby!) or whatever you want to call it. I needed to get over it. I needed to get up and get off my ass and get over it. So what if I'm starting over. So what if I fell off the wagon. So WHAT?

So...Monday morning, I very shamefully and very slowly with only one eye partly opened hopped on that scale...and guess what. 3 pounds. I only gained three pounds. For a month of nothing, over-eating and steroids....three pounds. I was so expecting like 10 or something. It felt like 10. It felt like 50 pounds of more than just body weight, there was some guilt-pounds in there too I'm sure of it. Guilt for letting Mark down. Guilt for not doing good enough at work. Guilt for not doing enough for me.

But those 3 pounds did a lot of damage in 4 weeks. And it has out-stayed its welcome.

I'm back on the wagon, of sorts. I pulled out the FitBit and started walking. Time to get back to my 10,000 steps a day - plantar fasciitis be damned. I'm jogging a bit, trying not to really over do it. I'm strength training a bit. I'm counting calories again. And you know what. I feel so much better.

Just getting off the couch and moving has made me feel so much better. I feel IN CONTROL. I can now see that in a few weeks I'll be running again. I'll pick out a spring race and start training. My 3 pounds will leave and I wish it would take that stubborn paunch of backfat with it. And life will go on. I'll get back my cheeriness. Mark and I will find our happy place again.

When I'm in control of myself, the rest of my world is orderly. When I'm out of control - my life reflects it, in every way. If I don't put myself first, I'm no good to others.

So what are you waiting for? Get off your ass and do something!

Gotta bed. It's late!

PS - We're going to the bank tomorrow to see about a home loan. But my plan is to have a bit of a walk or jog early in the morning to combat the overwhelming "I think I'm going be sick" feeling that is building up. The irony is Mark is cool as a cucumber about this - he's been working out!!!

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