Wednesday, April 9, 2014

So Easy, Yet So Hard

It's amazing how much better you feel, emotionally and physically, when you eat well. I know this. You know this. And yet, for some reason, there's such a resistance to doing so. Why wouldn't we want to feel better?

The answer has become more and more clear to me with each passing year. For me, I don't eat well because, deep down, I don't want to feel better because I don't think I deserve to feel better. That, I believe, is the underlying reason. There is, of course, also addiction.

Having to battle both of these demons is hard. It's exhausting. It's painful. And because it's hard, exhausting and painful, I've reverted back to my old habits time and time again. Apparently, it's so much easier to hate myself than love myself.

It's been a good week so far. Not good in terms of work and relationships and such. But good in terms of ... peace. I'm eating well. I'm walking every other day with bouts of jogging. I'm doing Lenten devotions each morning. I'm working hard at work and sleeping well at night. And I'm making myself think about where this self-hatred, self-sabotage comes from.

I even wore a new dress yesterday that I would never have worn without this feeling of peace inside me. (Horizontal stripes around the hips...that says it all.) It was cute but definitely accentuated my wideness. My thought was, "I am what I am. This dress is cute. I'm going to wear it with confidence." And I did (ish. There were still moments of feeling self-conscious but I tried to nip the internal criticism).

I don't know what tomorrow brings. I don't know if something will happen that will make me snap and revert back to the depressed state that squashes the peace. But I am so grateful for these few days that give me hope.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Who Do You Want to Be?

Last night's 5K was great. Yes, I was the slowest I've ever been. Yes, I was practically last. Yes, I felt some pains afterward I wish I hadn't. BUT. It was a beautiful night. I was able to run/walk the three miles (alternating 1-minute run/4-minute walk). And when I got home, I felt good about myself.

When people ask me why I like to run, it's hard to explain. But I felt something last night that I think sums it up pretty well: When I'm running, I don't feel 260 pounds. Even though it's hard for me to pick up my feet, even though I sweat profusely and have a hard time catching my breath after a bit, there's that moment when I'm running where I feel light as a feather. Like if I could just keep going, I'd take off and be free. When I'm running, I don't picture myself the way I look to the world. I think that's why it's so hard for me to see photos of myself running. I don't feel like a girl who is plodding. I feel like a girl who is flying.

Of course, I AM plodding. And I know I have to be careful about this love of mine. Running is not great for a person my weight. I must really work to take care of my hips, my knees, my ankles. I don't want to be sidelined forever. I had a scare last night when I thought I hurt my ankle. And immediately I pictured myself on crutches, hobbling to work, sitting on the couch and gaining more weight. I prayed all night that I wasn't injured. I need this. I need to be outside and walking and running when I can.

Something I've been meaning to do for years and never did: Compile some "before" and "after"s. Not like the one from my first blog post (which goes from heavy to lighter). This one is the opposite. Photos from my thinner days and photos of me now.

I just printed this out and I'll be putting it up in my apartment with the words "Who Do You Want to Be?"

Do you want to be that girl on the left, or the one on the right? The choice is yours.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Lenten wisdom

I know I've been away a long time and haven't written about my weight or journey for even longer. The reason: This blog has been filled with me starting over and trying again, and then failing, only to return to start over and try again -- at an even greater weight than when I started over and tried again before. I know there aren't many people reading these words, but I have much anxiety and feel quite embarrassed knowing I've disappointed the readers and friends who believed in me. 

Still, if I don't start over and try again, I'm guaranteed to fail. Each time I return, I at least have a glimmer of hope that I can face my demons and win.

Today is the start of two things for me: One, I'm back to ordering the healthy, prepared (and mostly gluten-free) food that's delivered twice a week to my home. I spent the first three months of this year working crazy hours to complete some big freelance projects, and I figured that money could best be spent with two months of healthy eating. I'll start with two, and if the freelance work keeps coming, I'll continue as long as I can afford to.

Also, today begins a month of five 5Ks -- the return of 5K Fridays in Crystal City and another one on a Sunday (if you recall from last year, this was to be the 10-miler I did, but I am in no shape to take that on this year, so I downgraded to the 5K). I'm very, very anxious about these. For awhile I was successful at getting out and walking, but this winter -- and the depression that came along for the ride -- completely derailed me. I will be going to tonight's 5K completely unprepared. I will have to walk this first one. I will likely be last. But it's something to get me out of this house and to get re-energized. At least, I hope it does that for me.

Last weekend, I had a horrifying experience when I saw myself in a group photo. I had gone down to North Carolina for a quick trip to see some friends, and seeing this photo caused me tremendous pain. It's embarrassing. Appalling. And, sadly, seconds after it was taken and I saw the result, it caused me to bow my head and feel immense sadness for the rest of the trip. I will post it here now. To hold myself accountable. All I can say is I'm sorry I let myself get this bad.

A friend of mine at this dinner noticed my depressed state and sent me some daily prayers for Lent. 

This was the start of today's reflection: "There is always a chance to start again, and to return to life."

And for that I am grateful.